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    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
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    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
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    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
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    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
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    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
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    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
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    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
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    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
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    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
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    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

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    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
Classics
  • 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
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    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

My ultimate ambition is to be able to afford to retire from the game beacuse it drives me berserk. DAVID FEHERTY


    

Wednesday
Sep022015

Royal Visit: The U.S. Walker Cup Team Goes To Latrobe

Alex Miceli reports on the U.S. Walker Cup team going to Latrobe to visit with Arnold Palmer and hear from the legend before other team bonding exercises.

Palmer was, of course, accomodating.

"OK, boys. Ask me anything you want. Anything you want to talk about, let's talk about,” Palmer said in an open-ended invitation when he met the team on Aug. 28, Miller said via conference call from New York.

“It was unreal," Miller said. "If I tried to plan it, it couldn't have gone better.”

Ryan Lavner at GolfChannel.com with this about one element of the visit. Imagine the Queen tapping shoulders with a sword and bequeathing knighthood status. Only better.

Last Thursday, the group met for the first time as a team in Pittsburgh and stayed at Latrobe Country Club, where they received their apparel and went over a few other housekeeping items. 

The next morning, the team toured Arnold Palmer’s office and shed, and then met with the 85-year-old for more than an hour, listening to stories about Palmer’s time on Tour and what allowed him to remain relevant even well after his playing days were over.

After a round at Laurel Valley, they ate dinner with Palmer and his wife, Kit, and had a team-building exercise in which each member was assigned a nickname by Palmer. “I expect one or two to stick,” Miller said with a laugh. They played Latrobe the following morning, under Palmer’s watchful eye, and then headed home after lunch.

It took some hunting, but I did manage to find a video of the nickname ceremony. Enjoy!

Wednesday
Sep022015

Blue Monster Changes To Appease The Wee Knockers

This is sad but not unprecedented given the location of Doug Ferguson's byline: Trump National Doral is seeing several fairway bunkers changed to appease the tour's shorter hitters who have been the biggest complainers about the revamped Blue Monster. The same gripes were registered about Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner's TPC Boston redo, though the PGA Tour largely held its ground against those complaints.

At Trump National Doral, the "fair" word was dropped after the 2015 WGC Cadillac leaderboard was dominated by those able to drive the ball a long way with enough accuracy to separate themselves.

Ferguson writes:

Andy Pazder, chief of operations for the PGA Tour, said a shorter bunker is being removed and another bunker is being added further out on the left.

''That makes the tee shot more fair,'' he said. ''And even the long hitters who can't quite carry the bunkers on the left and still hit 3-wood comfortably.''

That was just one example. The other changes are mainly about covering over some bunkers that were in play only for the medium hitters and extending or moving bunkers that would challenge the longer hitters.

Pazder described the changes as a result of ''continuous feedback we've received over the last few years after Gil's redesign.''

''This is designed to create a little more of a level playing field as it relates to those who carry it 300 yards and those who don't,'' he said.

Of course the suggestion of rolling back the ball to lessen the distance disparity will be met with skepticism, so just change the courses. And of course, we all know that if the long hitters keep driving it relatively accurately, the chances won't mean a thing.

Wednesday
Sep022015

New Euro Tour Chief Has Studied The Medical Files And Determined Precious Rory Deserves Very Special Treatment

I've been doing this blog thing a decade now and some real whoppers have come my way, but I must say in the annals of utter malarkey, pathetic gobbledygook, and chutzpah only if it was even slightly believable, new European Tour Commissioner Keith Pelley takes the prize.

We get it Elton, you want Rory McIlroy to play in the Race to Dubai without playing enough events to qualify. Just say it. Don't lie. You're sacrificing your credibility, the believability of doctors, and even the street cred of a certain Northern Irish golfer.

But the dance is oh so fun!

To recap, McIlroy blew out his ankle in a "kickabout" designed to make sure he retains a sense of his roots as he's CEO of Rory Inc., a multi-million dollar operation. He returned to the PGA Championship, where he was constantly running up totally unstable dunes and touting how he was pain-free, running 20 minutes a day. Ankle seems to be great. So great that with nine starts in the eyes of the European Tour, he just needs four more on a schedule with eight to go to qualify for the season-ending Race To Dubai. But the lad's ankle apparently can't handle back-to-back weeks in the eyes of doctors, except of course when he does play the Race's back-to-back events.

So to be eligible to collect the lucrative bonus money, he would have to play four more times on the European Tour before the "Race". There's the reborn British Masters in England and the Dunhill at St. Andrews, along with a Porsche and a KLM and a UBS in there that may not be brand-synergistic, plus a required Frys.com Open appearance to fulfill a PGA Tour request. And PGA Tour playoffs. Definitely too much meaningless golf.

So Commissioner Forgetabouttherules Pelley enlisted doctors to suggest McIlroy is not sound enough to play in consecutive weeks in granting an exemption into the Race To Dubai and the ability to cash some more checks at the expense of the rules. According to the statement issued, McIlroy doesn't have to add to his total of 9 starts to qualify for the race to Dubai, which normally takes 13 starts.

Voila, problem solved! Making the rules up as we go.

From Alistair Tait's Golfweek story:

“These are exceptional circumstances and I have taken this situation and the resulting decision very seriously,” Pelley said in a European statement. “I have spent the last two weeks examining every angle and every possible solution, and I have spoken with Rory and his team, as well as independent medical advisers and some prominent players.

“After reviewing and discussing all the medical reports and recommendations from orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Adair, physiotherapist Dr. Steve McGregor and our Chief of Medical staff Dr. Roger Hawkes – while at the same time recognising that Rory is a world golfer with global commitments – I am convinced that he could not commit to any further tournament participation without risking further injury and persistent weakness to the ankle in the future.

“Therefore, after lengthy discussions, I have given him approval to play a minimum of 12 European Tour events this year.”

Living in the Hall of Fame, and the world's going to know your name so we'll let you skirt the rules!

And there was this from the medical people...

Dr. Roger Hawkes said: “From the evidence presented to me, in my view this is a potentially serious and significant injury. There is a risk of permanent instability of the ankle which could seriously affect both his golf swing - you need stability in the left ankle during the follow through – and for walking safely on uneven surfaces.

“Although he played again after a few weeks, he will need close attention for about a year. The suggestion of a reduced schedule and, wherever possible, avoiding back-to-back events is, in my opinion, sensible and important to allow adequate healing and reduce the chance of the complications mentioned which could clearly jeopardize his career.”

He left out the part about avoiding sprinting up fake dunes. Guessing that's not advisable either under this new scenario of ankle instability.

If all of this nonsense is to be believed, McIlroy's 2016 sounds very iffy. Of course it's not to be believed, but the Irish Golf Desk's Brian Keogh humored the Commish and looked ahead.

The Telegraph's James Corrigan opened his story this way:

In what many will view as a bending of the rules for the superstar,

No, not many will view it as a bending, just a total making-it-up-on-the-fly move...

the European Tour has granted Rory McIlroy special permission to compete in the final stages of the Race to Dubai despite the world No 1 planning not to play the minimum required number of events.

However, it is the Tour’s reason for invoking the “exceptional circumstances” clause, and the statement of its medical expert, which will worry McIlroy’s many admirers, who had been led to believe that his recent injury would not be a long-term concern.

In this world of make believe, Rory's ankle will only get better playing back-to-back weeks when it's a playoff scenario. Oh, and running up dunes.

Tuesday
Sep012015

SBD: CBS & Feherty Split Over His "Role" After 19 Years?

John Ourand's Sports Business Daily exclusive revealing a CBS and David Feherty break up after 19 years is intriguing on a number of levels.

Ourand writes that the two sides "could not reach an agreement on Feherty’s role on the network’s golf coverage."

He's been doing the same job for 19 years! What confusion could there be?

Perhaps Feherty asked to do less on course reporting or work fewer events. After all, it's hard to imagine CBS wanting to rid themselves of someone who is arguably their most recognizeable face and voice (just go to a PGA Tour event). Feherty's possible departure also leaves a huge void in their major championship coverage, where he always stepped up his game and somehow, some way, managed not to offend the Lords of Augusta from the 15th hole perch.

Then there is the timing.

CBS just wrapped their 2015 at The Barclays last weekend. If the two sides actually were wanting to work together going forward there was time to work things out. Or if this is actually an official split and not just a negotiation hiccup, leaking the news so soon after the last telecast of the year suggests a fatal blow in the partnership. After all, the next CBS golf telecast is not until late January 2016.

If this is not just a breakdown in talks, Feherty is a free agent at a good time: Fox is coming off a widely panned start to their 12-year USGA deal where Corey Pavin was their lead on-course announcer, while NBC/Golf Channel just added R&A events starting in 2017.

Tuesday
Sep012015

Ex-First Minister Salmond: Trump's Odds Of Landing The Scottish Open "Lengthening"

The former First Minister of Scotland was instrumental in pushing for investing in the Scottish Open and protecting its now important spot on the European Tour. While he's no longer in charge, Alex Salmond is still clued in to the proceedings.

So it's somewhat telling he's suggesting to The Scotsman Martin Dempster that the time separation from comments made by Donald Trump this summer, to the scolding he received, to now leading in polls, has not helped the chances of Trump International landing three of the next five Aberdeen Asset Management sponsored Scottish Opens.

“It’s not my decision, but I would have thought Mr Trump’s odds are lengthening as far as these matters are concerned,” he replied to being asked about the American hosting the tournament before adding, jokingly: “But he might become the president of the United States of America. He might say, ‘do it or else’!” His tone becoming serious once more, Salmond continued: “Look, let’s talk positively. There’s absolutely no doubt it’s an absolutely great golf course. But there are things to consider in the fullness of time, and I’m sure Aberdeen Asset and the Tour will be considering these matters. Obviously the PGA of America made a decision, a quite understandable decision. Politics is a rough, old trade, as Mr Trump will find out. Sometimes you can say things when you’re a television star, but not necessarily when you’re a politician.”

Earlier this year Trump suggested his Aberdeen area course would be getting the 2017, 2019 and 2020 Scottish Opens and there were indications an announcement was postponed at Gullane during this year's event.

The R&A downplayed Trump's comments as an issue for Turnberry's future Open Championship hopes.

As for Trump National Los Angeles' Grand Slam of Golf, the PGA of America tells me they are still working on a replacement venue and will let us know as soon as they have something. The event is six weeks away.

Tuesday
Sep012015

Historic? Varner Earns PGA Tour Card Via Web.com

Symbolically it's a start, but I admire that PGATour.com's Kevin Prise downplayed Harold Varner's race in reporting that the Web.com Tour player earned his card and is eligible to tee it up in The Show starting at the Frys.com Open.

Considering how few African American players have even made it to the tour, Varner's story should be celebrated. As Joel Beall noted for GolfDigest.com, this is historic in a number of ways for a sport that has an lousy track record of developing a diverse group of players.
More notable than his skin is Varner's story as a product of municipal golf, a tale we need to hear more about.

Farrell Evans wrote about this when the North Carolinian played the Northern Trust Open last year on a sponsor's exemption.

Tuesday
Sep012015

Forward Press: Looking Ahead To Golf's Light Labor Day Week

We do a lot of looking back on the web, so with that in mind check out my column at GolfDigest.com looking ahead to the week.

Granted, it doesn't seem like the best week to preview tournaments and other goings on, but as you'll see the lack of Thursday PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Web.com or Champions Tour golf means some fun Golf Channel programming.

And how to find Patriot Golf Day-friendly golf. That, and more in the Forward press.

(BTW this is the first of hopefully many, so the themes and content will vary, but I'm open to suggestions and tips for this early week table-setting-minded column.)

Monday
Aug312015

There's A 2015 Player Of The Year Debate?

Normally MVP's and Player of the Year awards aren't of much interest, so it was surprising to see the reaction to the chat we had on Morning Drive.

Damon Hack took the view that Jason Day has entered the Player of the Year debate, while I just can't see how Jordan Spieth's 2015 can be overlooked considering his 2015 performance in the majors goes down as one of five best of the modern era alongside efforts by Hogan, Nicklaus and Woods.

Day could win the next three playoff events--Deutsche Bank, BMW, Tour Championship--but he still won't be remembered by history the way Spieth will be. Yes, Day would be very rich, the leading money winner and the player of the year most years based on wins and capturing the PGA. It might cause the vote to not be unanimous, yet perhaps in a nod to dwindling attention spans, the idea of overlooking Spieth winning the Masters, U.S. Open and missing The Open playoff by one, is still hard to fathom.

Then again, we are in a "what have you done for me lately culture," so maybe Spieth's going to be old news if Day keeps up the amazing golf. After all, memores for some suggest Tiger beat nobodies!

Doug Ferguson took on the topic and got this from Day:

“Right now, Jordan Spieth gets my vote,” Day said. “Winning two major championships at such a young age is big. Winning four tournaments overall is great.”

Then again, there are still three FedEx Cup playoff events remaining, including the Tour Championship that determines the $10 million bonus. It’s already been a banner summer for the 27-year-old Australian, and he’s not done yet.

“I think winning the FedEx Cup and maybe one or two more tournaments, that could put my name in the mix for player of the year,” Day said. “I’m not sure. I’m going to leave that to the peers, to the people. That will definitely throw my name in the mix.”

Thoughts?

And your vote right now for Player of the Year, with an option to wimp out...

Who Is The 2015 PGA Tour Player Of The Year?
 
pollcode.com free polls
 

Monday
Aug312015

R.I.P. Jamie Fay

Alexis Krell of the News Tribune with the horrible news of Jamie Fay's passing. He was the asst. GM at Chambers Bay, who also worked at Bandon Dunes prior to his tie at the 2015 U.S. Open host.

Fay was killed by a falling tree during a recent windstorm in the University Place area. His daughter was with him by unharmed.

Aaron Levine of Q13Fox files this remembrance of Fay:

And as our thoughts go out to his family, it also goes out to the entire staff at Chambers Bay – clearly a tight-knit group that went above and beyond in the lead-up to and aftermath of the U.S. Open in June.

Even Michael Greller, current caddie for Jordan Spieth and a former caddie at Chambers, tweeted his condolences this morning. I spoke to Greller this afternoon, and he described Jamie as “a gentle soul with an infectious smile” – a man, in charge of coordinating Greller’s wedding at Chambers Bay, who went out of his way in taking care of the smallest of details. Greller says he’ll write something on his hat next week in memory of Jamie as well.

There is a GoFundMe.com page devoted to raising money for Fox's wife and two daughters. I went through the process and it's remarkably easy, if you have the ability to make a donation.

On August 29th 2015 Jamie was coming home from Costco with his daughter, Eilee, when a tree fell on the car. Both were taken to the hospital. Thankfully Eilee only had a few bumps and bruises, but Jamie was taken from his family too soon. Jamie was a wonderful guy with a goofy sense of humor that delighted his daughters, and a love for his wife that was steady and strong. His passing was abrupt and unexpected, leaving behind 2 young daughters and his wife, Jen. Jamie was the sole breadwinner of the family. Please consider donating to help his family financially through this unimaginably difficult time. Money will go towards funeral expenses, food, and basic necessities. We can't help their grief or pain, but we can help lightened the financial burden, leaving Jamie's loved ones with one less thing to worry about.

Sunday
Aug302015

The Donald Takes Plainfield By Storm!

The Star-Ledger's Steve Polti with a wonderful recap of Donald Trump’s whirlwind visit to Plainfield CC during the Barclays final round? The occasion?

A meeting with the other Don...Finchem. And a little campaigning.

Anyway, Polti's piece (thanks reader Jeremy) is a keeper from beginning to end. The setup...

I have seen some unusual things on a golf course, including Tiger Woods returning to professional golf at the Masters after his made-for-the-tabloids sex scandal. Nothing tops this for sheer insanity. The best golfers in the world were lining up putts for a $1.4 million prize, but the bigger galleries were formed around the businessman and reality TV star who suddenly is the frontrunner for the Republican party's presidential nomination.

And make no mistake: He loved every minute of it. An impromptu security detail of six Edison police officers surrounded him, but Trump made it clear that he wanted no special "inside the ropes" access that would take him away from the people. He wanted to be seen.

"This is an affirmation," he told me. "People want our country to be good again. This is a great affirmation. You see it. Not a heckler in the whole group out of thousands of people."

Sunday
Aug302015

Photo Caption Fun: The Donald And The Great One

There's a superb photo gallery accompanying Steve Polti's most enjoyable Star-Ledger column on Donald Trump taking The Barclays by storm.

While most of the photos were pretty self-explanatory, I just felt like this caption on John Munson's image didn't quite tell us everything:

Donald Trump and Wayne Gretzky watch Dustin Johnson on the 14th hole during the final round of The Barclays golf tournament at the Plainfield Country Club.

Don't get me wrong, it works, but I feel like we, as fans of the Star Ledger, might be able to do better...

Sunday
Aug302015

LOL: Jason Day Could Ascend To No. 1 This Week

The best player on the planet right now actually has a chance to get the algorithm's attention at this week's Deutsche Bank Championship. Why is this funny?

Because we could be in for a lot of discussion, speeches, thank yous and cutting of bonus checks for one of the three lads vying for the typically-six-weeks-behind "World No. 1" label.

Anyway, Rex Hoggard explains how Day can pull a Keen Ice and come flying down the lane while American Pharoah and Frosted were outdueling most of the way. Hint: Day needs to win this week, not that this is a reach given the courses power bias, his affinity for TPC Boston and the way he's playing.

Brian Wacker touched on this and five other things from Sunday's Barclays, where Day dominated.

“Really trying to manage that has been tough. But over the years it's starting to become a lot easier. The last six weeks, they've been crazy. U.S. Open, The Open Championship, you mix that in with three other wins. The good thing about it is it's not over. I have this great momentum going into next week to a course I absolutely love. It's only positive stuff moving forward from here.”

ESPN.com's Jason Sobel notes how Day suddenly makes winning look easy after having done so little of it up until this year, where he has four victories.

Entering the current season, Day had competed in 151 PGA Tour events and won only twice. For most players, the "only" qualifier in that sentence wouldn't be applicable. That type of victory ratio throughout a career will keep any player employed at the game's highest level and, yes, extremely wealthy.

Hoggard says the difference may be in the lag putting. The stats back him up.

Maybe a more detailed explanation would be dramatically improved lag putting, like when Stenson gave Day something to look at on the leaderboard on Sunday, moving to within two strokes with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 13 and 14. Your new FedEx Cup front-runner answered by rolling in 61 feet of birdie putts at the 14th and 15th holes.

On paper it would explain how Day, who hasn’t ranked outside the top 30 in strokes gained-putting the last five seasons, is second on Tour in putts outside of 25 feet this year, converting 10 percent from that neighborhood.

Sunday
Aug302015

Rickie Fowler & Jordan Spieth Scout Baltusrol Because They May Not Get Another Opportunity 

With next July's PGA Championship starting just 10 days after The Open Championship, Barclays cut-missers Fowler and Spieth wisely headed over with their caddies for a game at Baltusrol, site of 2016's final major.

Thanks to Joel Beall for the heads up on what may be about their last chance for a scouting mission before the PGA, which speaks to the madness that is next summer's schedule.

Missed cut pillow fight round today at Baltusrol but still some good action from @rickiefowler

A video posted by Jordan Spieth (@jordanspieth) on Aug 29, 2015 at 2:22pm PDT

A little @PGAChampionship practice round today with @jordanspieth and our tour loopers

A photo posted by Rickie Fowler (@rickiefowler) on Aug 29, 2015 at 2:50pm PDT

 

Sunday
Aug302015

Video: Brian Harman's Second Ace In One Round

Brian Harman's second ace of The Barclays final round came at the 228-yard 14th. Two in one round! Harman posted a 68.

The video:

To put in perspective how rare the feat is, Golf Central put together this graphic:

And in case you still can't believe it, here's how the scorecard looked...

According to Melissa Blanton at PGA.com, the last to record two aces in one round was Yusaku Miyazato at Reno in 2006. There's a Final Jeopardy stumper.

 

Saturday
Aug292015

Sangmoon Bae's Military Plight, The Good And The Bad

The good news? The 54-hole co-leader at The Barclays could win and not lose his PGA Tour exemption when he starts fulfilling his Korean military service reports Jason Sobel at ESPN.com.

Sobel writes:

According to an amendment that has already been preliminarily approved by the policy board and is scheduled to be ratified next week, Bae's exempt status would receive an extension following his military service. In other words, when he completes his duty, he won't need to reclaim his playing privileges.

The bad news for Bae? Even if he wins, the Presidents Cup as a captain's pick--he's currently 25th in points--is unlikely unless Captain Nick Price wants to be a total rebel. I saw you go Nick, pick him as a statement to the host country, then replace him if he can't go.

Rex Hoggard on Bae and the other intriguing elements going into Sunday's final round.

Bae is scheduled to report for his mandatory 21 months of military service next month after losing a legal challenge last month in South Korea. Without a significant policy change, his participation in the matches doesn’t seem likely.

“I'm not sure if Mr. Nick Price is going to pick me. I'm definitely going to go back [to Korea] after the FedEx Cup,” said Bae, who is currently 25th on the International Presidents Cup point list but can move into the top 10 automatic qualifiers with a victory on Sunday. “[Military service is] mandatory in Korea. I have a little mixed emotion. I have to go and I have only a few tournaments, and I will play really hard and work really hard.”

Bae and Jason Day are paired again Sunday and the drama of Bae's situation, along with the incredible showing of a heartbroken Ryan Palmer, actually threatens to overshadow the playoff points permutations. I know, shocking.

The highlights from Saturday at Plainfield:

Saturday
Aug292015

Video: Phil Tries The Backwards Shot In Competition!

The definitions of success will vary I'm sure, but I'd say that it was a success in that he did go backwards and almost got the ball out of the bunker. No doubt some will insist that he had to hit the green to make this work.

Phil Mickelson says he used the shot once in competition at the AT&T National Pro-Am, but this is the first attempt caught on video.

Either way, unlike the past ones, including this one I got at Muirfield, the effort was a noble one for Mickelson at the 2015 Barclays, 18th hole, third round.

The clip:


Saturday
Aug292015

Playoff Pressure! Bubba Aims At Tent; Jordan Goes Home

You can literally see the playoff vibe at Plainfield.

In the form of large, Impact font lettering along the fairway, just in case you forgot these were playoffs where algorithms rule!

That's the good news for Jordan Spieth, who misses his third cut of 2015 but is still very much alive in the FedExCup points race despite stepping on his ball. Reinforcing just how vital these playoffs are, Spieth put new irons in the bag this week, reported Jonathan Wall (and noted by golf.com's Brendan Moehler).

The 36-hole leader, Bubba Watson, apparently doesn't care much for Plainfield due to the blind shots, so he's aiming at tents and not worrying if he moves the ball. He's also using driver on holes where the play seems iffy, but the strategic tactic is to secure a few of the next shot.

Kevin Maguire on the tent play:

The two-time Masters champ said previously this course just doesn't suit his eye. Blind shots, of which there are many on the classic Donald Ross design, are difficult for Watson and he is an extremely visual golfer.

"The reason why I hit driver is to make the hole visually better for me on the next shot," Watson said.

Asked about his hole after the round, Watson simply gave the answer that many a weekend golfer would after making a par in a non-traditional.

"There's no pictures on the scorecard," he said.

But it doesn't really matter because the golf should still be fun. Example 4.5 million of how much more fun golf is when the ground game matters, Jason Day style at Plainfield's superb 7th hole:

Thursday
Aug272015

Golf.com: "Breakup & Makeup: The Bromance Between PGA [Tour] Golfers and Caddies" 

Cameron Morfit at golf.com files a fun look at the on-again, off-again bromances of certain players and their luggage handlers.

I'm exhausted just trying to keep up with Vijay and his various loopers.

Although Singh and Tesori promised each other that their second partnership wouldn't revert to the way it was, old habits die hard. Having amassed six wins in their first collaboration, they raked in six more the second time around. The bad news? Singh, as driven as ever, was still dragging Tesori to the range on their off weeks.

"After another year and a half, I quit," Tesori says. "[Going back] was a decision I never liked. I did it for the money, the notoriety and the respect, and none of those were the right reasons. Jerry Kelly was top 30 in the world at the time, we'd done the 2003 Presidents Cup, and he was treating me well. It was something I said I wouldn't do again. When it's time to split up, it's time to split up."

Except, of course, when it's time to get back together.

Thursday
Aug272015

Industry Leaders On How They Fell For The Game, Golf's Future

Jim Achenbach at Golfweek.com goes to various golf industry leaders to ask how they fell for the game and where they see it going.

While there are no breakthrough revelations on how these interesting and intelligent people would help the sport going forward, I consider it a breakthrough that not one saw it as the job of governing bodies to create new consumers for the various companies who stand from growing the sport.

I enjoyed this most from Dave Schnider, president of Fujikura USA.

About the game’s future, Schnider compares golf to music.

“When I was growing up, I would never listen to Frank Sinatra,” he said. “Now I do, because it’s really good quality art. In the same way, I think kids will come to the game of golf. I think it will have another resurgence because it’s a fabulous game that can be played for a lifetime.

“I truly believe this in my heart. More players will come to the game because of what the game represents: good people, smart people, men and women who appreciate golf.”

And I believe he's right.

Thursday
Aug272015

Another Course Bites The Dust; A Dozen We'd Like To Have Back

Imran Ghori in the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports that the Pete Dye-branded Moreno Valley Ranch, once home to a Nike Tour event, closed its doors on August 25th.

The course goes to auction September 1st with an openign bid of $3.6 million for the 27 holes and clubhouse.

On the sad topic of lost courses, GolfAdvisor.com's Jason Scott Deegan looks at a dozen shuttered golf courses that we all regret having seen gone to seed.