Rules official goes from West Virginia to the PGA Tour
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Ken Tackett is back in familiar territory this week. The twist is his job description.
Tackett worked for the West Virginia Golf Association for 11 years, the last seven as executive director. When the PGA Tour needed another rules official, Slugger White helped Tackett get that job. White, a Beckley native, is the PGA Tour vice president for rules and competition.
While with the WVGA, Tackett traveled the Mountain State to conduct tournaments and other golf business. One stop each year was The Greenbrier Resort for the West Virginia Amateur. Now he travels the United States to monitor the pros and make sure things go as smooth as possible.
"I love it. It's exciting," Tackett said Saturday morning while observing play between the second and 11th holes on the Old White TPC golf course and communicating with other officials working The Greenbrier Classic. "A new job week to week, a different town. It's nice to be back home at The Greenbrier."
Tackett, a Capital High School graduate, said his stay at The Greenbrier will run two weeks when the FedExCup event ends Sunday. He arrived a week early on the advance team.
"I had this date marked. Slugger worked and got me on the advance team," Tackett said. "You set things up to avoid interference."
During his time with the WVGA, he watched the likes of Pat Carter, Sam O'Dell, Brian Anania,Tim Fisher, Steve Fox, Harold Payne and Brooke Bellomy compete at a high level in West Virginia tournaments.
Tackett sits in his cart now and watches the likes of Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Steve Stricker, Rory McElroy and many more stars go low on some of the top courses in America. And when there's a problem, Tackett can expect a call if he's working that particular area.
"There are a lot of similarities," Tackett said. "The difference is for the pros their misses are not that bad. Bad holes are bogeys and not huge numbers. It's amazing to see how they handle those situations. They're just a joy to watch."
Tackett stayed busy the first part of the PGA Tour season. After this week, he'll have four weeks off. He isn't working any of the major tournaments this year.
"They wanted me to get off to a good start," he said. "Get to know everybody, the procedures, the towns, the sponsors. As we go forward, I know I'll get the opportunity to do majors."
In addition to players, Tackett is getting to know caddies and the faces who work broadcasts on CBS, NBC and Golf Channel.
When it comes to rules, Tackett said both the top amateurs and pros have a good idea about the basics. If not, they pull out the rule book.
When situations get complex, it's time to call an official.
"Subjective ones are the hardest," he said. "I had one with Davis Love. It involved fire ants (on his golf ball). Were they fire ants or not? I said, 'Davis you're from Georgia, I'm from West Virginia, you should know.'
"He said, 'OK, I'm going to play it.' Pace of play is never comfortable. It's tough to go under the ropes and tell someone they're slow."
In March, Brad Ullman replaced Tackett as the WVGA executive director. Ullman started with the state association in 2007 and went full-time a year later. He served as Director of Junior Golf and Director of Operations most recently before assuming this role.
"I worked with good people," Tackett said. "Brad will do a good job. He'll do all he can to make the association even better."
FOR CHARITY: Among the distinguished contributions for which The Greenbrier Resort is known, the facility is perhaps most proud of its longstanding history of social responsibility through many and varied gifts to local, state and national charities, a PGA Tour news release said.
Through its Badges for Charity program, more than 30 non-profit organizations will receive 30 percent of the proceeds of each weekly badge sold. The Badges for Charity program will generate much needed funding in West Virginia, Virginia and across the region.
The Greenbrier Classic will have a tremendous impact on its communities, and these contributions are expected to resonate for years to come. The Greenbrier Classic honors America's heroes by offering complimentary admission to active and retired military personnel and family with valid identification.
GREENBRIER 5K RUN: Wes Stowers, 19, of Oak Hill, W.Va., was Monday's winner in the Birdies for FCA 5K at The Greenbrier Resort. with a time of 16 minutes, 54.7 seconds. Misty Bradley, 37, from Charleston placed 17th overall and was the female winner with a time of 22:39.0.
A lineup of 82 runners completed the race that started and finished at the historic Springhouse at The Greenbrier.
Runners from the Tri-State were Kim Legg, 33, Barboursville, 29:33.4; Emily Riley, 32, from Barboursville, 31:04.5; Kyle Robson, 18, of Hurricane, 34:11.3; and Terri Dodrill, 42, from Hurricane, 39:46.0.
THAT LOOKS NEW: Ping introduced the G30 driver this week at The Greenbrier Classic and the French Open.
Bubba Watson is using one as is Charles Howell III. The company's been quiet about the model, but information is due out soon. The G30 line is expected to include woods, hybrids and irons as well. Projected retail date to the public is August.
TOURNAMENT NOTES: No 36-hole leader has gone on to win at The Greenbrier. Eighty-nine players made the 36-hole cut. There was another cut Saturday to the low 70 players and ties after the third round.. ... The Greenbrier tournament set a season high for players advancing to the weekend. The Valspar Championship, Zurich Classic of New Orleans and HP Byron Nelson each had 84 players make the cut. The all-time record is 103 and shared by the British Open (1995) and U.S. Open (1996). The record for a non-major is 91 at the Greater Hartford Open (1991) and RBC Heritage (2013).
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