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  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

We should, however, not forget that some higher Power presides over links-land, and to those inclined to be critical that Power hands down an ultimatum much like this: "There is the green which generation after generation has played. There are its pronounced slopes, its sharp ridges, its blind approach, and its other violations of your so-called sound principles. However lamentable all this may be, there it lies, and shall lie. Play it, or leave it, as you like."



Video: A Don't Try This At Home Trick Shot

Nice spot by Jason Crook of SkratchTV's Tweeted trick shot video from Sigurdur Hauksson in what is definitely the first "don't try this at home" trick shot.

Seriously, don't try this at home or at a national park near you.

But, like the local news anchors who warn that graphic video is coming, I give you Hauksson standing on Kjeragbolten, a boulder wedged into Norway's Kjerag mountain. It's over 3,000 feet above sea level and no telling how far down for the rescuers to go to claim your body. Not worth it!

Okay to the tape!



Rory's Done With Kickabouts, Global Travel Days Soon Too

Rory McIlroy appears to have talked to several outlets as part of some sort of pre-Race To Dubai wrap and you'll just be shocked to smithereens to learn that the days of traveling the globe (standing in the Hall of Fame!) are not long in his world.

From James Corrigan's story for The Telegraph, which has McIlroy pledging no more in-season kickabouts (mitzvah!) and at some point soon, spending more time at home. Wherever that is.

On his forays into casual football.

“Looking back, I can see the opportunities I missed because of the injury,” McIlroy said. “Listen, I’m in a fortunate position to have the chance to win trophies many others can only dream about and yes, I will make sure I’ll be a little more careful in the future. I will not be playing football during the golf season again. It’s a shame, as I enjoy playing with my friends, but I’ll limit it to the off-season. We always have our Boxing Day game and there’s no way I’m missing that. That’s our FA Cup final. And in that sense it is important to carry on living my life.”

And in the world travel division, some tour is going to see a lot less of Rory very soon.

“Look at it, some of it is amazing,” he said. “The travel - wow! I’m in an airplane for more than a fortnight a year; have been in 118 different airports in 12 months. I’ve spent 287 nights in a hotel. What does that leave? less than 80 nights in my own bed, whether it’s the one in Northern Ireland or Florida. I guess at the minute, I don't really have a home.

“I’m not moaning, because I know how lucky I am. And you don’t notice it when you're doing it. But then when you're shown it in black and white, you take a step back and think ‘blimey’. I can definitely see a time in the not so distant future when those numbers will reduce. They’ll have to, if I’m going to have a family and a home life an all that. But that’s what being a global player and playing two tours entails.”

He also suggested he thought about quitting the European Tour, but those comments were less eye-opening than the above.

Phil Casey also has McIlroy justifying his special exemption into the Race To Dubai playoffs despite not qualifying while he was out channeling his inner-David Beckham.

“We had to be careful, especially because I’m included in the Race to Dubai now, so number 61 doesn’t get in, number 111 doesn’t get his card... so it was a tough decision for them (European Tour) to make.

“For me it’s more about the 111th guy, who loses his card. That’s the big thing. What do I do? Send him a bit of a Christmas present? It’s a hard one. I can’t really think of that.

“If I was to look at it really selfishly the 111th guy could have made one more putt or cut to get his card. I just have to think about myself and take a bit of a selfish view of it, I’m afraid."

“But at the end of the day it’s not about the bonus pool, I want to win the Race to Dubai. If I can win the Race to Dubai playing 12 events... at least give me the opportunity. I would have played more if I could.

Yep, but at least you're honest about it.

In this opening-up session, McIlroy also revealed that the PGA Tour lowered his fine for hurling a club into the 8th hole pond at Trump National Doral earlier this year. Stephen Hennessey highlights this admission which ought to raise a few eyebrows on the PGA Tour.

In an interview with ESPN, Rory McIlroy revealed that the tour cut the Northern Irishman some slack after being fined by the PGA Tour for tossing his 3-iron into the water at Doral in March. Actually, the tour saved him $20,000.

His quote: "The fine was reduced from $25,000 to $5,000 because I said I was sorry in the TV interview afterward."


It Wasn't Draft Kings, But We Have Our Avis Fantasy Winner!

It took a while to get your the final results from the league of 2015 PGA Tour Fantasy, and while this four week run was no FanDuel/DraftKings in terms of unadulterated corruption now apparent to the entire world, we were able to produce a winner!

Now, that doesn't mean the PGA Tour world of fantasy golf is working to perfect, but again, at least the thing relentless billed on ads is not saddled by insider trading.

Congratulations to BWL 02 (Ben Latimer) who wins two free rental days from Avis and a new Great Big Bertha from Callaway (left-handed for Ben). And 2nd place goes to Double Eagle Dobiash (Jonathan Dobiash), who wins an Odyssey putter and a free rental day from Avis.
Nicely done chaps.

Now, in light of the corruption scandal that is breaking and the PGA Tour's attempts to embrance fantasy--a new league is promised starting next week--I'm curious what you all think?

My take on the Avis Fantasy League: nice concept, nice software but just too hard to follow your players because of the reliance on ShotLink data instead of their tournament finishes. Thoughts?


Golf Gods Files: Kicker Who Mocked Tiger Cut Over His Yips

Nice work by Emily Kay capturing the lovely story of Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee, who mockingly challenged Tiger Woods post-Waste Management Open debacle via Twitter to a game.

This was as the legend was experiencing some chip yips and now finds himself unemployed. Scobee has been stinking it up this year, going for 3-for-7 on field goals and missing an extra point from the new distance.

Kay writes:

Scobee apparently deleted his Twitter account following Thursday night’s debacle, but we’ll leave you with some words of wisdom he shared after playing himself into a five-shot cushion at the American Century Golf Championship in July.

"Being a kicker, it is kind of like kicking a football," Scobee told the South Lake Tahoe News. "You have to take each thing individually and focus on that one thing and not try to get anything clogged in your head and play your game."


Adam Scott Refreshed By "Forced Change"

Rex Hoggard at talks to Adam Scott, who is re-debuting a short putter at this week's Presidents Cup after a few weeks of practice.

Hoggard's report includes this quote with Scott putting the best spin on the loss of his long putter, which he could still use, just without the anchoring part.

“It was a good time to make the change and I spent some time working on it, a similar amount of time actually when I went to the long putter,” Scott said. “It’s kind of refreshing to make a forced change because my putting stats are certainly unimpressive this year.”

It's an interesting time to re-debut the old/new method, either speaking to Scott's desire to test his new approach under pressure, or under the light pressure of an exhibition. Just depends on your view of the event I suppose.


NCAA Rules: DeChambeau May Be Checking Out Early

Bryson DeChambeau's probably winding up his SMU career after last week's news of NCAA sanctions against his team due to violations he had nothing to do with.

Lance Ringler at reports that DeChambeau may be finishing school in December and focusing on his professional career post-Masters now that the NCAA will not be letting the current individual champion defend his title.

DeChambeau said he will make a decision later this week.

“It hasn’t been completely settled yet as my team will discuss it on the 10th of October, but the NCAA decision made it quite clear, as some may realize,” DeCambeau said.

You certainly can't blame the current U.S. Amateur champion given his abilities and the bleak future for SMU golf. But you can blame the NCAA for this ridiculous situation that does nothing to advance college athletics.


Nobel Winner (Golfer) Says Key To Prize Find Was On Golf Course

Lawrence Altman of the New York Times reports that three have won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering therapies "that have revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases."

While William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won for developing, Avermectin,which eradicates river blindness and other really awful lymph system attacks, it's how they found it that should give the anti-golf course movement a few days off.

In a follow-up NY Times blog post (thanks readers Jim, Jeff and Tim), Omura reveals that the key to developing ivermectin was found on a golf course.

Omura said the key substance was taken from a microbe contained in the soil sample at a golf course near Tokyo. He says he always carries a plastic bag in his wallet so he can collect soil sample any time.

Asked if he likes to play golf, he grinned, and said "yes.”


Remember Him? Thorbjorn Olesen Conquers St. Andrews

There was nothing overtly spectacular about Thorbjorn Olesen's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship win at St. Andrews, though he did hold off closing surges from America's Brooks Koepka and Chris Stroud.

What was spectacular: at 25, Olesen was declared a next big thing not that long ago but has struggled to post a breakthrough win. Now he has one over a quality field and on the best of all links, but this is still a good reminder that in the rush to declare various youngsters the Golf Gods' gift to Golf, that this weird sport can derail even those who are so physically gifted (like Olesen). Oh, and that you aren't over the hill if you haven't won by the age of 22.

Martin Dempster
on Olesen turning things around after a nightmare at Gullane.

Olesen’s third European Tour title triumph secured his card for next year, having come into this event sitting 124th in the Race to Dubai but leaving it in 25th position, and also made amends for the bitter disappointment he suffered in this season’s Scottish Open at Gullane, where he held the outright lead after an opening 63 only to then miss the cut following a second-round 77.

“When that happens, you are very disappointed and angry at yourself,” said Olesen, who was sidelined for three months earlier in the year after undergoing surgery on his left wrist. “You just try to get on with it and I really had some good people around me to help me with that.”

“I remember that night,” he added of finding himself out of the event in East Lothian, killing off his hopes of getting into the following week’s Open Championship at St Andrews in the process. “I shared a house with Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen and we had a few drinks. We were all a bit sad, so we talked a lot of s*** and just had a few drinks."

European Tour highlights here, with nice aerial views of the Old Course.


Congrats And Enjoy Tour Grads (For One Week)!

The worst-conceived sports calendar on the planet wrapped up Sunday with Emiliano Grillo taking the Tour Championship to earn a PGA Tour card in 2015-16.

Tim Finchem's brainchild of finishing the season in October and starting it again in October, as $upported by his employers (the players), now has a week off. That's before the madness begins at the Open, where the newest members of the PGA Tour would be wise to appear, even if they've played something like 11 of the last 13 weeks.

"I've played 11 tournaments in 13 weeks and I'm tired," Tom Gillis said Friday after withdrawing midway through the Tour Championship. "I want to see my family. I'll be back for the tournament in Jackson (Mississippi)."

Gillis, who lost to Jordan Spieth in the John Deere Classic playoff, did not have to complete the Tour Championship to ensure his 2015-16 card. Nonetheless, when players are burning out and being asked to turn around and start all over again, or pulling out of the playoff championship, is this really a quality product being put out by the PGA Tour?

Not that emotion was lacking, as John Strege noted, but compared to the annual event that was Q-School, the Tour Championship is not really coming close to registering.

BTW the 50 who are..."slotted in the Tour eligibility ranking (1-50)":

Remember, instead of a natural January to October calendar, the PGA Tour went to this calendar-year debac;e to supposedly save the four fall events, none of which will be seen by more people than before when they were off-the-radar tour events. As we head into a cramped 2016 calendar, it's worth remembering that the only reason to have gone to this model is for the enrichment of players and executives. Nothing about it makes sense if making the PGA Tour a better viewing "product" is the goal.


Meanwhile In China, Files: Official Sacked For Playing Golf

In the aftermath of a 16-year-old from China winning the Asia Pacific Amateur, it's good to remember that for all of the inevitable fawning over how exciting it is to have China in the golfing mix ($$$$$$), the crackdown on golf is as bad as ever there.

Ben Blanchard (thanks reader Brian) reports on the sacking of Lin Chunsong, who tried to hide his love of playing, but failed.

The official Xinhua news agency said , vice mayor of Wuyishan in Fujian province, belonged to a golf club but was paying much less than other members to play, Xinhua news agency said.

When a campaign against membership of private clubs for provincial officials kicked off in 2013, he changed the name of his membership to somebody else and carried on playing, the report said.

Between June 18, 2013, and August 16, 2015, Lin played 163 rounds of golf at his club, 12 of which were during work hours, Xinhua said, citing a report from the local anti-graft watchdog.

He has now been sacked for breaching anti-corruption and clean government rules, it added.


Ernie Els Has A Plausible Explanation For That Epic Yip

The problem was clearly solved by an outgoing 31 and third round 66 leaving him T8 headed into the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship final round at The Old Course.

John Strege with the explanation, which is a big red flag for anyone thinking of going the counterweight route to help their putting.

“I made an adjustment, obviously,” he said regarding his move up the leaderboard. “The putter I used on Thursday is a longer putter. It has the counterweight. It’s got weight in the grip and weight in the head. I was a little bit jumpy, to be honest with you. I don’t even want to see it. I knew what it felt like. It was a disaster. So I went to my other putter, a shorter putter, a 35-inch putter and all the weight’s in the head. I feel I can get the putter head through to the hold easier. The other one didn’t want to move past the ball.

Golf Central Daily posted the full video of Els explaining what backfired.

So we can now relive this horror knowing it was all the product of a bad putter setup.




Typhoon Shortens Asia-Pacific Am, Jin Edges Ruffels By 1

With a 2016 Masters exemption on the line, budding Australian star Ryan Ruffels was understandably "gutted" not to have a chance to play out the final round.

So the title goes to third round leader Cheng Jim of China, who now heads to the Masters.

The typhoon was definitely a round killer, as Lucas Herbert's Tweet shows...


Dunhill: If It Makes The U.S. Walker Cup Team Feel Better...

Jimmy Mullen (-11) is leading the European Tour's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship through 36 and Paul Dunne is one back at 10-under-par.

Both players, now professionals, were part of Great Britain & Ireland's historic rout of Team USA. Ashley Chesters, who was also on the team, is at even par.

In other words, a formidable team is looking even more incredible by the day. Even with two rounds to go, what impressive debuts.

Kevin Casey has the lowdown with two rounds to go in Fife.

All scores here.

Rich guy leaderboard here.


"Life as Robert Allenby's caddie: 'It can be hell'"

A nice piece of reporting and writing by USA Today's Josh Peter, who offers a well-balanced take on Robert Allenby. The January victim of some sort of incident that led to facial bleeding and bruising, speaks in depth about a year that has him seeing a psychiatrist, firing another caddie to bring the 24-year veteran to his 24th career caddy, and MC'ing or WD's in 13 of 18 starts.

Peter says Allenby is known as "The Beast" among caddies and talks to nine of them for the cover story.

Many of his former caddies said Allenby repeatedly blamed them for his mistakes.

“You kind of need to accept responsibility for your own actions on the golf course,” said Robert Floyd, who is the son of Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd and caddied for Allenby for about nine months starting in 2011. “He never has and never will.”

But Allenby has not always been so difficult to work with. Damiano said Allenby was “wonderful” to caddie for when playing Q School before Allenby earned his PGA Tour card.

“He never missed a shot and he was nice as pie,” he said.

But when Damiano took a job with Allenby years later in 2008, he said he encountered “The Beast.”

“And I kept going back for the simple reason that he needed help and I could use the money,” Damiano said. “If he’s playing good, everything is fine. If he’s playing bad, everything’s wrong and your the biggest a------ that ever lived.

The USA Today includes a second story (!) on Allenby's nightmares with detail that may sound eerily familiar (his kidnapping story that has not been verified). He is seeking help and talking to a psychiatrist in advance of his October 11th wedding.


Golf Channel Posts "Best 3rd Quarter Ever In Key Metrics"

Aided by Tiger's Wyndham Championship performance and compelling majors, Golf Channel reports big numbers in key metrics, declaring itself the "No. 1 Most-Affluent Audience in All of Television in Total Day and Primetime."

Makes sense since it's a favorite of PGA Tour executives.

The full release.


2015                114,000          

2014                106,000                       +8%

2013                112,000                       +2%

2012                102,000                       +12%

2011                85,000                         +34%

2010                74,000                         +54%


Torrey Pines North Forging Ahead Under Cloudy Skies

Governmental projects gone awry don't usually make the best Friday reading, but in case you're dealing with a nutty boss or the condo board isn't making much sense, take heart in the mess that is the City of San Diego.

First, there is Mickelson's purported disqualification from inclusion in the project, which now is made more clear in this report by John Strege at It turns out the DQ referenced by Mickelson is not been as a result of a ruling or pending ruling, says Jay Alan Wierenga of the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

Wierenga declined to address whatever reasoning would be behind excluding Mickelson from the bidding process, even though he said he was offering to do the work for less than half the city’s $12.6 million budget.

However, contract law contains a “reasonable person standard” that might apply in this case. A reasonable person might conclude that because Mickelson was involved with the design, he would have an unfair advantage in the bidding process on the actual work, based on his familiarity with the project and his having already established a working relationship with the city officials involved.

Tod Leonard says with Mickelson out over cost and possible red tape, that's not going to stop the city from having a contractor carry out work at a steep price tag.

Bids were due by midday on Tuesday on the $12.6 million project and Marney said he was told three or four had been received. A city committee representing several departments will review the bids and score them to determine which presents the “best value.” No bid could exceed $12.6 million.

Once the project is awarded, Marney said planning with the architects and construction company will start, with the goal of beginning work soon after the conclusion of the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 31.

Architects? Carrying out Phil's design or a contractor's choice for architect?

Either way, I can't fathom a worse approach. And nothing like a rush job on an important project.


"Spieth’s talents are those that tend to have a shorter shelf life."

As the PGA Tour prepares to (inevitably) hand Jordan Spieth the 2015 PGA Tour Player Of The Year Award Friday at 11 am ET, Jaime Diaz reflects on all that Spieth does well.

The conclusion that Spieth's greatest strengths tend to have shorter lifespans is bound to upset his fans, but its hard to disagree.

Diaz writes:

Golf is better for Spieth’s special qualities, but he’s got to be of careful of where they can take him. Unlike power, a strength that makes for tour longevity, Spieth’s talents are those that tend to have a shorter shelf life.

Magical periods of putting among the game’s very best tend not to last beyond a few seasons, as Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson can attest. Even Woods, who made more bombs over a longer stretch than anyone, has seen his putting decline.

Intensity is tricky. Those who burn the hottest tend to burn out the soonest. Curtis Strange won with ferocity, but it aged him prematurely as a player. Johnny Miller, always a close student of the strengths and weaknesses of extraordinary players, noted at the Tour Championship that Speith “is kind of twitchy for a 22 year old.”


Dawson's (Old) View: Inside The R&A Clubhouse

Nice job by the European Tour social media gurus Jamie Kennedy and Will Pearson to take some photos during a tour of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club clubhouse, including the upstairs meeting room and office of the Chief Executive (now Martin Slumbers).

I'm not sure if Kennedy and Pearson will live long to tell about this story and accompanying images, as I can't recall many photos or video from this upstairs area, so enjoy it while you can!

Meanwhile among the first round leaders this week at St. Andrews are a pair of Walker Cuppers.

But back to the best office in golf, there was also this video giving a sense of the space and view :


"But for SMU, why is the penalty so harsh?"

Here's a solid perspective from's Lance Ringler on SMU golf's essential death penalty announced this week. He asks if "64 contacts and less than $1,000 in discounts on SMU golf apparel and equipment result in a postseason ban? And for current players that were not even named in the report?"

Ringler also writes:

If you consider the track record at SMU, it might shed more light. SMU has now become the most penalized NCAA member institution in history with its 10th major case. The penalty is not necessarily against the golf program and its members but rather more against the institution.

Also, these sanctions might have been what they were because they were issued along with basketball sanctions.

Of course, SMU will appeal this and while the appeal could be a lengthy and drawn-out process, there is hope for the players that the ban on postseason play could be lifted.

It's rather remarkable that the NCAA is one of the most disliked organizations in sports and American college athletics, and that cases like this one are precisely why people do not care for them.


Reminder: St Andrews Is Back! Dunhill Kicks Off

The European Tour's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship kicks off Thursday morning on Golf Channel (8-noon ET) following a massive lead-in audience and energy injection from a one-hour Morning Drive where Old Tom Morris will be fondly remembered.

Wednesday we debated different takes on a St Andrews trip. I, of course, was right.

Yesterday we talked with Josh Evenson about the evolution of golf art through the eyes of St Andrews.