Happy New Year!
Time to get back to work. I am excited to start this week at the SONY Open in Honolulu at Waialae Country Club. It is one of the best golf courses we play all year long as it challenges us with tight fairways and some good wind.
Let me take this opportunity to get you up to speed on all that is new.
You will see a new logo on my left shirt sleeve, KLOVE. KLOVE is a radio station that Amy and I listen to often. They have no commercials and receive all their funding by donations. Their slogan is “positive, encouraging KLOVE”. The station plays Christian music, and you’ll find some very talented musicians sharing their songs here. There are also lots of feel good stories and great tips for life. I find it at 94.3 on the FM dial in Chicago. Go to www.KLOVE.com to check out a station in your area or listen online.
KLOVE is replacing Time of Grace, who along with Pastor Mark Jeske, I want to thank for allowing me to wear the logo the last five years. It was an honor promoting this television ministry. You can still find them in the same place I do, www.timeofgrace.org.
As for other sponsor news, I will be continuing with Ping, Titleist, Sunice, Northwestern Mutual and Swing Trust Oil. 2014 also marks the first full year with Great Blue Research based out of Hartford, CT. Check out my sponsors page for more information on all these outstanding companies.
As for the markwilsongolf.com website, watch for more communication as I will post some video content with swing tips, an inside look at a certain hole on TOUR, fitness ideas and more. I also plan to do some polling on Facebook every month when a fun question comes to mind.
This year also marks the beginning of my three year term on the the PGA TOUR Policy Board, joining other players Bo Van Pelt, Jim Furyk and Harrison Frazar. The TOUR is always staying way ahead of the game with their planning and always tackling issues that arise to make the PGA TOUR even better for its players, fans and sponsors. Unlike being on the Player Advisory Council which I have done for the last six years, I actually have a vote now, instead of simply giving my opinion. Oh, the responsibility!
One question I get often is what status I have on the PGA TOUR. Many people know that a player gets a two year exemption (plus the rest of that current year) for winning an event, but few know that the PGA TOUR policy is that a player should extend his exemption by an additional year every time he wins, up to a maximum of five years. Therefore, when I won for the second time in 2011, my exempt status was for all the way through 2014. Therefore, when I won at Humana in 2012, my exemption was pushed through the 2015 season. Exempt status simply means I am in most PGA TOUR events, but not invitationals (Bay Hill, Colonial, Memorial). However, I am in the AT&T Invitational at Congressional as that has a slightly different eligibility criteria. I am in the Players Championship, not because of my previous wins but simply because I finished in the top 125 on the FEDEX CUP list in 2013. Are you confused yet? Well, this is my 12th year on the PGA TOUR, and I still have to look in the manual every once in a while. On my schedule page, you will see that I have a yellow box next to the events I will definitely play if I qualify for them. For example I would make room on my schedule for the Masters.
Well off to practice up at Waialae. Thanks for your cheers and I wish you all a great 2014.