Spring Fling: The USGA announced last week that it will adopt a test to measure the springlike effect in clubheads. According to USGA executive director David Fay, "The best players will be impacted the most by capping the distance they gain" from such clubs. Let the litigation begin!
Pak It In: Se Ri Pak's triumphant return to her native South Korea hit a snag last weekend when Pak (below) was hospitalized with a severe cold. During a weeklong visit, Pak rode in parades, greeted throngs of fans, played golf with Korea's prime minister and shared the lead in the Korea LPGA Championship before withdrawing after two rounds. Critics ripped Pak's sponsor, Samsung, for running her ragged.
Nike Shakeout: Among the men who earned 1999 PGA Tour cards by finishing in the top 15 on this year's Nike tour money list were No. 1 Bob Burns, a former Cal State-Northridge Matador who barely avoided being beaned by a flying stereo during a '94 earthquake, and No. 10 Notah Begay, of whom fellow Nike grad Dennis Paulson says, "If there's a David Duval coming off our tour this year, it's Notah."
Shark A-mending: Greg Norman, who expects to return from seven months of rehab at next week's Shark Shootout, says he's disappointed by his friend Bill Clinton's handling of the Lewinsky affair. "I carry the Constitution of the United States around in my briefcase," Norman told Foxtel, an Australian cable network. A president, he said, "should be a bit above the Constitution. He is a role model."
Xan-ax: During qualifying for last week's Pacific Bell Senior Classic at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles, former Laker Happy Hairston missed out with a sky-high 88, and one Alex Xanthos went into orbit with a 125. Joe Inman won the tournament by a shot over Lee Trevino.
Jason the Arrghonaut: Long-driving legend Jason Zuback (GOLF PLUS, June 8,1998) was down to his last shot at the recent RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship in Mesquite, Nev., when he gritted his teeth and bombed a 361-yarder to claim his third straight long-ball title.
Dominant Duo: Judy Rankin's captain's choices, Rosie Jones and Sherri Steinhauer, played pivotal roles in the U.S. victory at September's Solheim Cup. Last week Jones and Steinhauer went a combined 4-0 to lead the U.S. LPGA over the Japanese LPGA at the Nichirei International in Ibaraki, Japan.
Tall Tale: When David Esch, a one handicapper, turns pro to team with his wife, Annika Sorenstam, in next month's JCPenney Classic, he will do so without corporate sponsors. "I will show up in everything Annika wears, but in a different size," Esch says.