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Books
  • 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
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
  • 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

Golf championships are a good deal like omelettes. You cannot have an omelette without breaking eggs, and you cannot have a golf championship without wrecking hopes.
O.B. KEELER

 

    

Monday
Aug032015

Video: Rory Trick Shot At Whistling! (And As Close As He'll Get)

It doesn't sound like Rory McIlroy will defend his PGA Championship title at Whistling Straits, so assuming the world's worst kickabout-erer doesn't make it to the year's final major, we at least have two reminders of his brief time in Wisconsin:

(A) The Omega ad that has inexplicably resurfaced after having been designated for shipping to SWAT teams across the globe for flushing out barracaded suspects.

(B) His trick shot appearance at PGA Championship media day with the Bryan Brothers. This would be a great chance to merge one negative with one positive and air it as 2015's endlessly played Omega ad, minus that grating song. Wait, sorry, I forgot about the blatant Bose ad to kick things off the trick shot video. Because nothing sums up the joy of media day like giant noise-cancelling headphones!

BTW the trick shots are fun, and so are the drone views of Whistling all set to stock music known simply as What We Think The Millennials Would Download If They Paid For Music, Theme.

Sunday
Aug022015

Tiger: “Everything is kind of trending in the correct direction”

More than the numbers, Tiger actually looked like someone who knew where the ball was going and even threw in a recovery shot like the good old days during the Quicken Loans National.

That said, the numbers were telling (in a good way, for a change) and Brian Wacker has a run down of them.

Steve DiMeglio notes Troy Merritt's maiden win and the impressiveness of following up a 61 with 67, but also had this on Tiger's week.

He caught a bad break on the first hole when his approach caromed off the flagstick and wound up 50 feet from the hole.

Instead of a kick-in birdie, he settled for a two-putt par. Undeterred, he started putting up red numbers two holes later. Hitting fairways and greens, Woods made five birdies in an eight-hole stretch to reach 10 under.

Then things started to fall apart. There was a missed 3-footer for par on the 11th, a drive into the hazard on 12, an approach spun off the green on 14. But there were far more ups the last four days than downs.

Ryan Reiterman at GolfChannel.com notes this about the final day:

But perhaps more importantly, Woods said after four rounds at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club he feels like he's turned a corner with his new swing under instructor Chris Como.

"I'm getting some speed back, which is nice," he said. "I'm starting to pump the ball out there again, and I know the lofts on my irons are very weak compared to today's standards. I'm hitting the ball up there with some of the bigger guys again ... I was able to make some putts, and the short game's becoming good again like it used to be."

The recovery shot is a YouTube favorite tonight:



The PGA Tour's highlight reels from the round:

Sunday
Aug022015

Poll: Inbee Wins Women's British Open, Career Grand Slam?

Not sure it's an ideal situation to have Inbee Park win her seventh (!) major only to have a fight break out over this as a "career Grand Slam" moment.

But since ESPN's telecast (not the website headline writer) and the LPGA Tour insisted, many fought back saying it was not a career Grand Slam because, even as former winner of the Evian Championship when it was just a great tournament and not a major, Park has not won the modern LPGA Grand Slam of five added by Commissioner Mike Whan designated it so. Folks then were not exactly unaware of this situation arising.

But don't let that cloud her 12-under-par 276 win at Turnberry edging Jin-Young Ko by three. Still the LPGA felt the need to issue this clarification on their stance:

The LPGA endeavors to maintain fair comparisons - as they relate to major championships and grand slams – from generation to generation. Despite the dictionary definition of grand slam, when translated to golf it has been widely understood that accomplishing the grand slam has been to win all four major championships.
 
The term grand slam was translated to golf 20 years before the LPGA was founded and the LPGA has not always had four majors. We began our major history with three. In some years we competed for two, in some years three, in some years four and now five.
 
The LPGA did not add a fifth major championship to change history, alter discussion or make the accomplishment of a “grand slam” more difficult. We added a fifth major to create an incremental opportunity for the women’s game.
 
For players (active or retired) who have won four different majors available in their careers, the LPGA has and will continue to acknowledge them as having accomplished a Career Grand Slam.
 
And for players (active or retired) who have won five different majors available in their careers, the LPGA has and will continue to acknowledge them as having accomplished a Super Career Grand Slam.
 
Likewise for players who win four consecutive majors in a single season, the LPGA will acknowledge them as having accomplished a Grand Slam.
 
And for players who win five majors in a single season, the LPGA will acknowledge them as having accomplished a Super Grand Slam.

Grand Slam, Super Grand Slam? Messy when you have five majors.

What say you?

Has Inbee Park won a career Grand Slam?
 
pollcode.com free polls
 

Sunday
Aug022015

Power Of Golf As Seen At The Special Olympics World Games

Earth shattering, this revelation is not: the athletes of the Special Olympics World Games are courageous, inspirational and full of joy.

What may have been most eye-opening in watching the final day of World Games play at L.A.'s Griffith Park: how well-suited golf is for people of all nationalities, genders, ages and abilities. For all we hear about how exclusionary and difficult golf is for a mass audience, a close viewing of these special needs competitors contradicts that view and more.

A few random observations followed by some images and excellent ESPN content from the Games.

--Etiquette, rules. We often hear how the many peculiar written and unspoken rules in golf can be such a turn off to new players and a new generation. Yet watching these mostly young athletes carefully observe all the basics and even the less-appreciated intricacies of etiquette, nor question when they are reminded by their caddie to behave a certain way, their actions reinforce that (A) we approach this weird game the way we do for mostly good reasons and (B) golf should not throw out our traditions to appeal to the moment without really good reason.

--The power of professional golf. From pre-shot routines, to body language, to things as simple as dress, watching these athletes reinforced just how much they are influenced by what they see on television. And in largely a good way. While we get caught up with today's slow play or bad architecture or the occasional whiny pro, for the most part, the golf presented to the world has had a positive impact on these players and other young golfers (minus the corporate logos everywhere). This was most evident when rounds were complete and players of all ages, abilities, nationality and experience engaged in 18th green handshakes and hugs.

--The beauty in golf's pace. We rightly lament the length of rounds and the potential harm slow play has on the sport. Yet many of these athletes, who grapple with issues related to attention span, were focused on their rounds and only because of the heat and humidity, appeared at select times to have their attention waiver. The deliberate nature of a golf round--9 or 18 holes spread out over several hours over several hundred acres--did not discourage these athletes.  Nor did anyone appear to lose patience with a few backups caused by some unfortunate placing of lower level competitions amidst the higher caliber competition.

Below is some reading worth your time, including this Steve Craig Press Herald story on Maine's Scott Allen, whose precision pre-shot routine allows him to compete despite needing the assistance of a brace crutch. Allen took the gold in his division and posted a career best 47 in his final round play.

ESPN Sport Science looked at Allen's methodology, which doesn't translate as well to photos but is oh so impressive to watch in person.

This ESPN story on India's Ankush Saha, who has overcome brain damage to be a two-sport athlete, is also worth watching.

And a final word about level 5 winner Scott Rohrer of York, South Carolina, who posted a 12-under-par 276: he's scary long off the tee, amazingly focused on the task at hand despite any number of chances to get distracted by the back nine pace of play each day, and is a 4.7 index I wouldn't want to face.

You saw his fundamentally perfect action in the images below (and immediately below in the Team USA Stars and Stripes shorts):

Friday
Jul312015

WSJ: "It Only Took 600 Years for Golf to Return to the Masses"

John Paul Newport used the Open Championship green speed delay to check out the updated British Golf Museum and found a nice tie to today's interest in shorter rounds: "short golf" from 600 years ago.

He writes:

Short golf, which started in the 1400s, was usually played on Sundays and festival days when rural folk converged on the towns. The precise rules are unknown and were probably fluid. Evidence compiled by David Hamilton in “Golf: Scotland’s Game” suggests that participants used only one club, that alcohol and high spirits were often part of the deal and that the game could be dangerous. In 1632, a spectator in Kelso was killed by an errant ball.

Which brought him to Topgolf, naturally...

Topgolf, the chain of driving ranges with concentric-ring targets and automatic electronic scoring, as in bowling alleys, may be the closest modern counterpart to 15th century short golf. It doesn’t require much space, like street and churchyard golf back then, and alcohol is usually part of the deal. I recently spent a very enjoyable two hours at a Topgolf facility near O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. I basically just practiced. The targets used in Topgolf focus one’s attention far better than at normal ranges and the scoring creates a sense of pressure as you try to beat your best score. But as a singleton just practicing, I was in the minority. (I also might have been the only customer over 40.) Topgolf is date-night golf, where “one more round” typically means more drinks, not another batch of balls. When I left there was an hour-long line out the door.

Friday
Jul312015

Tiger is Totally, Completely, Unequivocally & Utterly In Contention!

Looking lost even with an army of life and swing consultants never out of his sight, it's been hard to imagine Tiger turning things around, especially after suggesting at The Open he just needed to get on the Trackman to sort some out. But as Steve DiMeglio notes and anyone who has trailed the game long enough realizes, there is no explaining much of anything about golf, especially as it relates to great players finding their games.

Lipping out putts four times on the the front, Tiger still posted a 66 at the Quicken Loans National to trail Ryo Ishikawa through 36 holes.

And earlier this week at the Quicken Loans National, the tournament host said he was close to putting everything together and making the red shirt again mean something on Sunday, that a lucky bounce here or a good break there could be the spark he needs to do a 180 on his dreadful year.

In each instance, eyebrows raised and eyes widened by those within earshot. He became a punchline with his reference to glutes. He was labeled delusional for saying he was in contention at the Masters. He was thought by some to be holding on to a last grasp of hope when referencing his numbers and spin rates. And he was thought to be out of his mind this week when he said he was close to being a contender again.

Jason Sobel at ESPN.com says don't get too excited just yet.

Let's not misunderstand this point: Just because Woods opened with rounds of 68-66 at his own Quicken Loans National, that doesn't mean all criticism has been proved to be invalid, nor does it mean that he can stick out his tongue and say "I told you so."

What these rounds have proved, though, is that he's been right all along while preaching about "the process" and insisting that he was never going to undergo monumental immediate improvements.

He birdied three of his last four. The PGA Tour highlights:

Thursday
Jul302015

Video: Fun Aces By Fowler, Ishikawa At The Quicken Loans

And with these aces, loans paid for a year by two more people.

Both are fun because we get to see the ball rolling on the ground. In Rickie Fowler's case, it was at the 200-yard 9th hole and a "walk off" where he was also nearly leveled by two cameraman. Easy there guys!

Ryo Ishikawa's ace at the 178-yard 4th is one of the slowed developing you'll ever see...

Thursday
Jul302015

The Culprit Behind The PGA Tour's Crammed 2015-16 Schedule?

The Olympics will get the blame but this was so avoidable (and will be in 2020).

You can study the 2015-16 schedule in all its glory and, if you find it a bit clogged come July, just blame the PGA Of America regime of a few years ago for locking on Baltusrol as its 2016 PGA site before we know if golf would be played in the Rio Olympic Games. Not that they knew was coming. (Baltusrol is close to New York City, where the PGA of America was founded 100 years ago next year.)

In the PGA's defense, they selected Baltusrol in August 2008.

Golf got into the Olympics in August, 2009.

Rio was selected as the 2016 host city in October, 2009.

Because of Baltusrol's limited golf season and the skewed importance of the NFL, the 2016 PGA can only be played select weeks. This gives us a frantic run that will have ramifications for majors, some PGA Tour events and certainly some of the better European Tour stops played around this time. If ever there were a year to put the WGC Bridgestone on hiatus...


As Rex Hoggard notes for GolfChannel.com, the John Deere seems to be one taking a hit for the team, but in reality their field will be about the same as normal. Just light on Spieth's and some international players.

"We feel like we’ve had challenging dates over the 45-year history of our event, but the community has always supported it and we stand proud behind our product,” said tournament director Clair Peterson.

The Olympic field will include 60 players but will likely be top-heavy with star players. Current projections indicate that nearly half of the field will be made up of players ranked outside the top 100 in the World Golf Ranking.

“With only four of our American players playing and, to be honest, I don’t know how many Tour players will be in the [Olympic] field, I don’t know how much that will deter a field," Bohn said. "That would be the ultimate concern if I was the tournament director, but I don’t think it will diminish anything.”

The U.S. Women's Amateur also announced a new date due to the Olympics and will be played the first week of August.

Of course, much of this could have been avoided had the PGA not been locked into Baltusrol. It was a harmless, well intentioned move at the time, but by committing to a major venue so far in advance, tied the hands of those trying to make golf's re-entry into the Games a better experience.

Wednesday
Jul292015

Will The Women's Open Get Trumped?

That's the question The Guardian's Ewan Murray contemplates as The Donald prepares to arrive at Trump Turnberry Thursday for a press chat and other appearances. (Ron Sirak of GolfDigest.com reports that the questions will be limited to golf for the 1:30 pm Turnberry-time gathering, and has the "T&C" document explaining the restrictions to prove it.)

Murray "says the competitors deserve better" should Trump overshadow the golf, and he also assesses where the world of golf sits after a few weeks have passed since the developer's controversial remarks.

Disappointingly the European Tour, which hopes to host the Scottish Open at Trump’s course on the outskirts of Aberdeen, has been silent. So, too, the Scottish Government which ploughs £1.4m a year into that event.

The R&A would also happily have dodged the issue until it was put to it immediately before the Open Championship. Turnberry remains part of the Open rota and could host the tournament in 2020. When asked if the R&A’s position had been compromised by Trump’s comments, its chief executive, Peter Dawson, said: “Well, it’s had a lot of publicity, hasn’t it? We don’t have any decisions to make about Turnberry for quite some time and I think we’ll just let a bit of time pass and future championship committees will deal with them at the time.”

In other words: “We hope this issue vanishes.” Equally disappointing was that it shouldn’t have even been the outgoing Dawson’s question to answer. The chairman of that championship committee, Peter Unsworth, sat on his hands alongside him.

Wednesday
Jul292015

Photos: Special Olympics World Games Golf, Los Angeles 2015

USA's Scott Rohrer posted an astounding 9 birdies in his second round 69, leaving him atop the Level 5 competitors with two rounds to go. But as you can imagine, the Special Olympics World Games 2015 aren't about who wins, but who gets to show off their incredible talent and heart.

The competitors are broken up in to divisions, with the elite players contesting 72-holes of stroke play while the newer contestants partake in a multi-station skills challenge.  All were taking their competition seriously and performing with great spirit, passion and sportsmanship. It's as inspirational as you'd expect watching these athletes and their volunteer coaches/caddies.

A few photos from LA's historic Griffith Park:

Wednesday
Jul292015

"Income for St Andrews Links Trust tops £20 million for first time"

More money for the next Castle Course renovation!

And according to The Courier's Andrew Argo, this is before the windfall from The Open (though the Old Course was closed for a month prior).

St Andrews Links Trust meets the charity test of providing public benefit through the advancement of public participation in sport.

It does this through “the provision of recreational facilities, or the organisation of recreational activities, with the object of improving the conditions of life for the persons for whom the facilities or activities are primarily intended”.

Local residents and members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club enjoy privileges in the form of lower annual links fees. This year St Andrews residents can play on all courses for just £200.

Spending increased by 5.5% to £19.16m, with the largest component being payroll costs, which were up 12.3% to £9m. Maintaining the golf links and its associated activities needs a workforce of almost 300.

Wednesday
Jul292015

Video: The Best-Worst First GoPro Shot

I'm not sure why there is so much pleasure to be taken in this man's "First shot with my new GoPro" going oh-so-wrong. Maybe it's that his technique suggests someone who has no business recording himself like he could be a Bryan Brother in the next life. Or maybe it's that the camera kept on recording and captured his reaction (caution, bad words used).

If you haven't seen it on Twitter by now, enjoy...

Wednesday
Jul292015

State Of The Game 59: The 2015 Open And UK Golf

It's just Rod Morri asking Mike Clayton (still in the UK) and myself questions about The Open at St. Andrews, links golf and more. But there's just so much to talk about!

As always you can get it on iTunes or wherever podcasts are distributed.

Or get the MP3 here.

Check out past shows here. Or listen below:

 

Wednesday
Jul292015

Special Olympics World Games Golf In LA!

Ellen Leyva of KABC7 in LA profiles Orange County's Greg Kozlowski, a veteran of Special Olympics golf playing in his hometown(ish) for this week's World Games.

The final two rounds are being played at Griffith Park Wednesday and Thursday, for those of you in SoCal wanting to take in the action. (More info here.)

Kozlowski already has 25 medals from past Special Olympic events, but he really wants to add a World Games gold medal to his collection.

"I do want to do it, but I'm not going to say I'm going to win a medal and then don't win a medal and put myself down. I'm just going to go out there and have fun and keep an open mind," Kozlowski said.

All the Special Olympics World Games sporting events are free and open to the public.

The video:

Tuesday
Jul282015

Going To Scotland? Bite The Bullet And Ship Your Clubs

Matt Ginella and I discussed on Morning Drive the approach to a Scotland golf trip, and while we didn't agree on who to trust with the details (tour operator vs Google), I'm pretty confident he would endorse the idea of shipping your clubs.

While it's an added expense (up to $500 if the journey is an exotic one), my recent experience confirmed that shipping is a must for Americans traveling to the UK. Yes, it's a tough pill to swallow when you are already spending a lot or worse, if you have status with an airline and get baggage fees waived. But shipping via one of the big services will save you stress, physical effort and in some cases, ensure you get to play your first planned round (or all your rounds with your unbroken set).

Consider my recent experience: fly to London's Heathrow airport on my preferred airline (where I have premium status and therefore a "priority" tag on the bag), then have a four-hour layover.

Surely the clubs would make the connecting flight to Edinburgh, right?

Of course not.

While my suitcase made the journey, the clubs somehow needed another hour in Heathrow before making their way onto the next flight. Because of that, I missed out on a late nine at the incredible Musselburgh on this night:


The clubs did eventually arrive in fine shape, though my trusty Sun Mountain travel bag was missing one of its two wheels. However, I was lucky because U.S. Amateur champion Gunn Yang was in line at the same service desk only to learn his clubs never made it out of London.

With the recent run of UK events, we know from players making the trip that no matter how famous you are or how obvious it is that you are a professional golfer, the airlines just aren't great with golf clubs these days. Especially flying internationally.

Just in the last few weeks, I give you Brittany Lincicome, Stacy Lewis and Graham DeLaet, among others. Oh, and then there was what DeLaet's clubs looked like when he opened his travel bag.

For the return journey, Luggage Forward picked up my clubs late at my last lodging locale late on a Thursday. After I had made a leisurely trip to the airport without lugging the clubs, I returned home and by the following Monday afternoon the clubs were here. In between I got email updates on their location. Everything was in perfect order. when they arrived.

I've yet to hear of any negative stories about Luggage Forward or the other name brand shipper, ShipSticks. I believe Luggage Forward uses of all three shipping services (DHL, FedEx, UPS), which comes in handy for pricing and getting things picked up conveniently. ShipSticks formerly did, but I believe now relies primarily on UPS. (Here's a good ShipSticks review from Jason Scott Deegan at GolfAdvisor.com.)

Either way, just ship 'em. You may miss a day or two of last minute practice and you won't be able to play immediately after you arrive home. But these are small prices to pay compared to missing out on a great links course or having to enlist rentals because the Heathrow baggage handlers decided to hurl your clubs around the tarmac...for hours.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Tiger's Close...To Playing His Last Tournament Of 2014-15

It's bizarre to believe, but after this week's Quicken Loans National Tiger Woods may only play the PGA Championship and then be done with his 2014-15 season.

But he says after a few days off and some practice, his game is close. Steve DiMeglio writes for USA Today:


Woods has already played 32 holes since arriving here and put in an additional 2 hours, 20 minutes of work on the range Monday. He’ll play another 18 in Wednesday’s pro-am. He’s hoping to play 72 more starting Thursday.

“It's frustrating not to be able to win golf tournaments. I'm not really there in contention very often and so that part is frustrating. But I know how close it feels and I know that I just need a couple shots here and there and it turns the tide,” Woods said. “People don't really realize how close it has been between a person who is winning and a person missing the cut. It's not as big a gap as people might think. … Obviously I’ve got to clean up my rounds, convert the opportunities that I have and I just haven't done it and hopefully I can do it this week.”


As Brian Wacker notes at PGATour.com, only a win this week gets him in to the WGC event next week at Firestone. There's always the Wyndham...

Woods isn’t yet eligible for next week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, though a win this week would get him in.

He could play the Barracuda Championship, opposite the event at Firestone, too, but indicated that he wouldn’t.

After that, there’s the PGA Championship followed by the Wyndham Championship (a tournament he has never played) before the FedExCup Playoffs begin.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Billy Hurley Needs Help Finding His Dad

Brian Wacker with the unfortunate story of Billy Hurley asking for the public's assistance in helping to find his father, who hasn't been seen in nine days.

Wacker writes:

Fighting back tears, Hurley, in the field at this week’s Quicken Loans National, said his father drove off in his truck on July 19 with some clothes and cash, and hasn’t been heard from since.

Hurley’s mother filed a missing person’s report Monday in Virginia. The couple lives in nearby Leesburg and has been married more than 30 years. Hurley said his father has no history of mental health issues.

“No one really knows why,” said Hurley, who found out on Monday that his father was missing. “It's complete speculation as to why he left.

“I'm just hoping that there's a story that maybe he goes to PGATOUR.COM to check my tee time or check my score and sees this and understands that dad, we love you and we want you to come home. We have no idea where he is.”

Tuesday
Jul282015

Debuting: PGA Tour's Digital Streaming Subscription Service 

I'm not sure if the “Stop Missing, Start Watching" slogan will resonate, but the PGA Tour's pre-Golf Channel Thursday/Friday digital streaming package (plus marquee groups when Golf Channel is on) arrives this week.

The kneejerk take is to assume that the subscription option will likely only excite friends and family, except perhaps on a few rare days when some sort of must-see round is emerging. On the other hand, as noted with Fox's extensive U.S. Open package and to a lesser extent at the Masters where the selected groups can vary, the "featured group" component may be a better way to watch golf because (A) you see stars and (B) you get into the flow of a grouping, a round and get a better sense of the golf course by following one group.

There is also the intriguing ramification of the PGA Tour putting out an offering of their own which, at least in the featured group setting, will compete with their partner at the Golf Channel. Like other leagues who have started channels and supplemental coverage, it's an intriguing move that could be seen as the first step to an independent network approach (until they do the math and realize how nice it is to have someone else pay for the right to televise the product).

PGATOURLIVE is offering a free seven day sampler and remember, this is in partnership with Major League Baseball, pioneers in the streaming world. They have an incredible customer satisfaction record and are leaders in the world of streaming, so it will function well.

For Immediate Release:

PGA TOUR LIVE Debuts This Week at Quicken Loans National

First-of-its-Kind OTT Subscription Service Provides Exclusive Live Coverage of Featured Morning Groups during the First Two Rounds of Competition

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (July 28, 2015) – PGA TOUR fans will have access to Thursday and Friday tournament rounds for the first time ever beginning this week (July 30-31 from the Quicken Loans National) with the debut of the PGA TOUR’s first-ever, digital Over-The-Top subscription service. As announced in April, PGA TOUR LIVE, developed in partnership with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), will provide fans access to exclusive live coverage of two different marquee morning groups featuring the TOUR’s biggest stars each day during Thursday and Friday tournament rounds that have never been available live.

“PGA TOUR LIVE is a groundbreaking service for golf fans, enabling them to watch live Thursday and Friday early morning action as soon as competition begins,” said Rick Anderson, the PGA TOUR’s Executive Vice President for Global Media. “We’re confident that this exclusive coverage of marquee groups, alongside our Thursday and Friday Golf Channel telecasts, has strong potential to build fan interest and viewership for our traditional television coverage.”

PGA TOUR LIVE begins with seven tournaments through the remainder of the 2014-15 PGA TOUR season and, moving forward, more than 30 PGA TOUR events per season. Initially available through a special seven-day free trial on iPhone, iPad and desktop/laptop platforms (at PGATOURLIVE.COM), fans will now be able to follow the game’s biggest names with full coverage from a dedicated broadcast team leading up to Golf Channel’s afternoon telecasts.

PGA TOUR LIVE debuts Thursday at 7:30 a.m. ET and will provide exclusive shot-by-shot coverage of the following groups on Thursday: 8:10 a.m., THE PLAYERS champion Rickie Fowler paired with Ben Crane and James Hahn, two of the players starring in the PGA TOUR LIVE ad campaign (see links below); 8:21 a.m., former Quicken Loans National champion and The Presidents Cup 2015 International Team vice-captain K.J. Choi from host country South Korea with International Team hopefuls Danny Lee of New Zealand and John Senden of Australia.

Friday’s 8:10 a.m. feature group includes three former Quicken Loans National champions: tournament host Tiger Woods, Bill Haas and Nick Watney. At 8:21 a.m., defending Quicken Loans National champion Justin Rose tees off with Jimmy Walker, No. 3 in the FedExCup points standings with two wins this season, and David Lingmerth of Sweden, who won his first PGA TOUR title last month at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.

Following the conclusion of the featured groups on Thursday and Friday, PGA TOUR LIVE will shift its live broadcast coverage to the Featured Holes at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club – a pair of par-3s, the 11th and 16th. Overall, PGA TOUR LIVE will deliver access to more than 11 hours of live coverage to fans each day.

Hosting the coverage throughout the season will be veteran broadcasters John Swantek, Brian Katrek, Grant Boone and Ned Michaels. They will be joined by a team of former PGA TOUR regulars as on-course analysts: Bill Kratzert, Craig Perks, Phil Blackmar, Aaron Oberholser, John Maggines, Mark Carnevale, Phil Tataurangui and Gary Christian.

PGA TOUR LIVE initially will be available in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia and the United Kingdom. Other markets will follow.

Coinciding with PGA TOUR LIVE’s launch, a new print and on-air campaign featuring PGA TOUR players is debuting this week with the tagline: “Stop Missing. Start Watching.”

Their preview clip:


Monday
Jul272015

Jordan Spieth vs. Tiger Woods At 22

Stephen Hennessey at GolfDigest.com compares birthday boy Jordan Spieth with Tiger Woods at 22 and the numbers are fascinating (on top of the magazine covers and hair loss chase).

Spieth's five wins trail Woods by one, but Spieth has one more major.

Tiger won six times before he turned 22. (1996 Las Vegas Invitational, 1996 Walt Disney World Classic, 1997 Mercedes Championship, 1997 Masters, 1997 Byron Nelson, 1997 Colonial, 1997 Western Open.)

World ranking: No. 2. Spieth trails Rory McIlroy by one point after the British Open. Same as Tiger, who trailed Greg Norman by less than a point.

Golf.com weaves in Nicklaus and McIlroy for fun and it's shocking how many more PGA Tour starts Spieth has than those two at 22.

ESPN's Mitch Adams wonders if Spieth is the planet's best 22-year-old athlete and you'll see he in some pretty elite company (if you like baseball or basketball).

G.C. Digital posts this slideshow of Spieth "through the years" (all six of them). And Golf Central went through their top five moments in Spieth's career.

Monday
Jul272015

Trump Spotlight Turns To Turnberry

Graham Ruthven of the New York Times reports from Turnberry where the Ricoh Women's British Open arrives this week.

Now managed by Donald Trump, the planned overhaul of the resort and the high-profile nature of its brand icon, whose recent controversial comments may or may not bring extra attention to this week's event.

Trump has pledged around $250 million in investment toward his Turnberry resort, and with gold fixtures, marble floors and shimmering glass now adorning the recently renovated clubhouse, it is easy to see how $10 million of that money has already been spent.

Most locals seem hesitant to comment on Trump’s character, as if torn between wanting to voice their derision and express begrudging gratitude for the investment he has plowed into the region.

“We try to ignore what he says in the media,” one man said. Another golfer — a tourist from Connecticut — quipped, “He’s better at owning golf courses than is he at being a politician.”

Make sure to stay long enough with the story for the correction.

Meanwhile, in the player category, Beth Ann Nichols reports that Michelle Wie was inspired by the men's Open at St Andrews and will be pushing her injured leg to get her around Turnberry.