The Break newsletter: Where do we go from here?
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The Break newsletter: Where do we go from here?



Welcome to The Break, our daily newsletter for Golf News Net members!

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Each day, I’ll be sharing some thoughts on topics in the game, links to Golf News Net content and what else I’m reading, as well other stats and information to frame the day in golf.

Today, I’m talking about the unfortunate reality of race in this country.
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What are we supposed to do?

“If not now, when?”

Chris Webber asked a really pointed question last night on NBA TV, wondering aloud what it’s going to take for our country to start treating all of our citizens equally. What happened to Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., and then what didn’t happen to the 17-year-old killer who murdered two protesters in cold blood, encapsulates the experience of African-Americans in the United States. Walking away from a police officer as a Black man means getting seven rounds in the back from behind. Killing two people with a semi-automatic in the middle of a crowded protest means police clearing a path for the shooter to walk away and giving the killer a bottle of water before going home ahead of his ultimate arrest.

What are people who are fed up with this kind of thing supposed to do? Nothing seems to work, at least for very long. Protests don’t work. Slogans don’t work. Art doesn’t work. Boycotts and strikes won’t work. Nothing is changing, and that’s by design.

The people who run this country politically don’t benefit from making things better. They benefit from maintaining strife, maintaining conflict and keeping people held down.

Millions of people who are not directly affected by this reality try to justify it, deflect it or not pay attention to it. They come up with excuses not to care or try to compare their problems or convince themselves that whatever progress made in their lifetime is enough.

I like to believe most people are good and that they want all of us to have the same guarantees of safety and opportunity. Convincing people, though, how that should be brought about is a difficult task. Being the change we want is hard because the change I want may not be the change you want. Authoring that change takes convincing and compromise and time. Lots of time, toil and tension. Most people aren’t up to the task, and they’ll sink back into the way things are because they’ve grown accustomed to their normal.

It’s a long slog to make things better, but I think it all begins with empathy. If you can see the world through someone else’s eyes and live in their shoes, then it’s much easier to understand what needs to be done.

Tiger Woods will open his first public design with a fancy match

Tiger Woods’ first public design in the United States is Payne’s Valley at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri. It’s open to the public now, and fortunately I’ll be able to play it in a little more than a month as part of a buddy trip to the resort. However, Big Cedar Lodge and Bass Pro Shops owner Johnny Morris will kick off the course with a high-profile televised match involving four superstars of the game.

Woods and Justin Thomas will team up to take on Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose on Sept. 22 on the Payne’s Valley course. The match will be televised on Golf Channel, a nice treat after the US Open ends the Sunday prior.

Less than 10 days later, I’ll share some pictures in The Break from our round there. The place looks like a stunner!

What I’m reading, watching and listening to

Tiger Woods-designed putting courses opening: There’s a new golf-entertainment concept that’s debuting in September. It’s called PopStroke, and it’ll debut in Naples, Fla. on Sept. 12. The venue features a pair of 18-hole putting courses designed by Woods, who is also a backer of the concept. This isn’t just another mini-golf courses. There’s outdoor dining, food and beverage delivery anywhere on the courses and space for the kiddos to play. Sounds like a good time.

The KFT season pauses here: This week is the Korn Ferry Tour Championship at Victoria National Golf Club in Indiana. While the KFT already announced the combination of the 2020 and 2021 schedule into a megaseason, and that the top 25 players on the points list at the end of the next planned year will move on to the PGA Tour, there’s still reason to care. The top 10 players in the standings at the end of this week will earn entry into PGA Tour opposite-field events (now dubbed “additional events”) in 2021.
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About the author

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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