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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
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • 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
  • 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
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2014: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2014: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • 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

It would be a pity to cast the slur on any course as being altogether ‘futile and superfluous,’ however bad it might be or wherever it might be situated, simply for the reason that it has its uses as the terrain for the pursuit of certain ends, a kind of happy and perpetual hunting ground. And all such hunting grounds partake in an equal measure of the earth and the sky; the hand of man is fortunately only able to mar the face of the earth.




Captain Watson: Logistics Forbid Later Picks!?

Think about it, the WAGs have to pick out their evening dress(es), the clothing manufacturers might have to hire extra laborers to hem pants for three men, and the PGA of America's charter flight seating setup could not be made three weeks in advance! So in general, later Ryder Cup points cut-offs or captain's picks would be a nightmare on the swag front and that's reason enough apparently for Tom Watson to not support moving deadlines closer to the Ryder Cup.

Talking in a pre-Ryder Cup press conference conference call, Ryan Lavner reports on Watson's various thoughts including the pick timing.

“In ’93, I made my two captain’s picks the day after the PGA, six weeks before the Ryder Cup,” Watson said.

“Logistically, there are so many different things that go into it, just in getting the players over there and getting ready ... get their families involved, get their families and friends over there. It would be awfully tough to make the decision the week before the Ryder Cup.”

Essentially, competitiveness may not be as important as getting families and friends of the three picks overseas comfortably.

Captain, you have a week to strengthen your answer.


Captain McGinley Still Planning To Pair Rory And GMac...

Talking to writers before the ISPS Handa Wales Open, European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley downplayed the latest revelations in the McIlroy-Horizon case where even the judge is suggesting Graeme McDowell has been dragged into the proceedings to the point mediation should be employed.

Phil Casey reports that McGinley says the case tension is not a concern.

"Rory's had arguably his best year ever (winning two major championships) and Graeme won the French Open. It has not affected their performance and both of them have assured me it's not going to affect anything in the team room.

"I would be very surprised if they don't play together although I'm not going to write it in stone."


Stevie And Adam Call It Quits

Adam Scott and Steve Williams. It was a partnership that started as caddie-player but ultimately produced an epic Masters win along with other competitive highlights (Alex Myers with the top 5 moments.)

But Steve (aka Stevie) wanted to work part-time and Scott wants a full time luggage handler.

Ryan Lavner with details and yada-yada press release quotes from the now former duo.


2015 West Coast Swing Will Likely See Fewer Stars Than Ever

There was a Golf World column that warned about this when the PGA Tour's calendar year schedule was announced and now the reality has hit home, with more star no-shows to come in 2015. Especially as the match play moves to May.

Even though the PGA Tour's west coast swing from January to late February produces the biggest non-major championship television ratings of the year--many times three to four times larger than last week's Tour Championship--it appears the part of the schedule when you have the most eyeballs on PGA Tour "product" will have fewer star appearances than ever, reports Doug Ferguson.

Besides Adam Scott confirming he won't be at Kapalua and and likely won't be seen until the Florida swing, the European presence is only by default.

Of the six Europeans from the top 20 in the world, three played one West Coast event before the Match Play. Graeme McDowell was at Pebble Beach, but only because his father played with him. Justin Rose played Riviera because he missed the Middle East swing because of injury; and Martin Kaymer played Phoenix, where he lives.

The rest showed up at Match Play, which will not be at the end of February in Arizona next year.

Rory McIlroy left Atlanta on Sunday. Odds are it will be five months before he next plays an official PGA Tour event in America.


Referendum Roundup: The Independence Vote & Golf

The birthplace of golf may see a massive change in spirit and economics depending on how Thursday's Scottish independence vote goes. Golf has mostly come up in jokes about what Scotland contributes to the United Kingdom and because Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond is a huge supporter of the sport. (Here's a nice NY Times primer on the issues and the nuts and bolts of how this will work Thursday.)

From the completely selfish American point of view, the campaign has beaten down the pound a bit, which might lead to some better tipping by scribes gleeful to see the dollar holding up better during their early week festivities.

And since the currency situation is very much unresolved should the "Yes" vote win, golfers stand to enjoy a short term benefit by a weakened pound or even the longshot possibility of Scotland adopting the Euro, as I pointed out at (Severin Carrell gets into much deeper issues regarding currency in this Guardian story and Mark Johanson of Skift looks at the prospects for tourism.)

Well established is that The Open Championship will not be affected, as Luke Kerr-Dineen explains, though as the above piece on tourism notes and as many professional golfers will tell you, there could be major benefits for golf tournaments played in Scotland should they be freed from some of the UK's taxation on professional athletes that tend to discourage too many UK appearances.

That very first world issue was not addressed in this Guardian story by Owen Gibson but he did address the chances of a Team Scotland in Rio and it's not looking good.

Sir Craig Reedie, an International Olympic Committee vice-president and a prime mover in the bid to secure the 2012 Olympics for London, has grave doubts about whether a Scottish team could be formed in time for the Rio Games. The SNP is targeting March 2016 as the date to declare Scotland an independent country but that timetable could slip. While Scotland could easily satisfy the requirement of having five national sporting federations affiliated to their international counterparts, it must also be formally admitted into the IOC as “an independent nation recognised by the international community”. In practice, that has tended to mean membership of the United Nations.

John Ivison uses next week's Ryder Cup host as a mark for what a more ecomically prosperous Scotland might look like compared to other parts of the country, but will that make Scotland better off?

The Forecaddie reports this week that a couple who are also Golfweek raters were paired up with First Minister Alex Salmond recently and it took him 14 holes to ask why they had not brought up independence.

John Oliver did a brilliant bit on the referendum. No golf but plenty of laughs. Thanks reader Doug.


Rory's Lawyers Request Ultra-Sensitive GMac Documents, Prompting Judge To Suggest Mediation

Perhaps wanting to keep peace for Team Europe, the Judge in the Rory McIlroy vs. Horizon management case analyzed an application for discovery of "sensitive" documents related to Graeme McDowell's days at Horizon and asked the lawyers, “Is this not a case that is made for mediation?”

From an unbylined Irish Independent report.

“Is this not a case that is made for mediation?” he asked Mr Fanning, for McIlroy, and Ciaran Lewis for Horizon and two related defendants. “The case has all sorts of sensitivities involving two players on tour, a manager of one of them and a former manager or agent of the other.  It has all sorts of complex issues involving relationship matters,” the judge said.

Oh but it gets better.

Philip Reid's story in the Irish Times focuses on Horizon's contention that Rory destroyed evidence on a cell phone pertinent to the case.

In a sworn affidavit to the High Court in Dublin yesterday, Ridge contended McIlroy – who signed a representation agreement with Horizon in December 2011 but who has taken litigation seeking to void the contract – had “professed himself . . . to use only mobile phone devices for communication, to keep no notes and to correspond in no other way with any third parties. Despite this and after the litigation had commenced, Mr McIlroy destroyed data held on at least one mobile device, in particular the mobile phone which he had been using during the crucial period between January and May 2013, thus preventing a review of that data for the purposes of discovery.”

Brian Keogh analyzes some of the information that has surfaced in the proceedings and has Rory's Nike deal as the center of the disagreement over how much Rory is willing to pay Horizon of the 5-year $100 million package. Besides the prospect of taking the stand in a trial just weeks ahead of the Masters and risking his reputation, Keogh says the documents also reveal that dragging Ryder Cup teammate Graeme McDowell into the case was a more recent and perhaps desperate move by his solicitors to wreak havoc for Horizon.

McDowell has since left Horizon to start his own company.

McDowell has acknowledged some strain will linger in the friendship as long as the proceedings move forward, and while this week's goings on may not be news to McDowell, they're almost sure to come up next week at the Ryder Cup.


Tiger: My Teachers Didn't Understand Back Nine Sunday Feels

The most encouraging remark from Tiger this week may have been his suggestion that his three primary instructors as a professional couldn't understand the feel a golfer experiences under tournament pressure. Encouraging because it could suggest he's going to go teacherless and play more by feel, a nice contrast to the explosiveness talk that seems to suggest he's obessed with distance.

We'll find out soon enough, but this is from Doug Ferguson's AP notes column:

"I would have to say on the technical side, I probably don't know as much as some of them," Woods said without singling out Butch Harmon, Hank Haney or Sean Foley. "But from a feel standpoint, which is something I think is innate because of what we're able to do at such an elite level, yeah, I think I know a lot more than they do. Because they've never played down the stretch of a major championship. What do the hands feel? What does the body feel?"

"You have to understand your practice sessions," he said. "Will they work on the back nine on a Sunday of a major? Either yes or no. And I think that's one thing I've always tried to tell all my coaches. Will it work or not work? And if it's not going to work, then we're not going down that road."


Olympic Golf Prices: Around $77 A Day

Ticket prices were released for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Preliminary competition, presumably practice rounds, are 100 Brazilian Real and the "Final" (presumably tournament days) are 180 Brazilian Real, which equals $77.

Now if we can get the course finished...


Old Tiger Talked Traj, New Tiger Talks Explosiveness

Morning Drive ran an interesting clip package of Tiger talking traj to refine his actual playing of a golf course to his new interest in explosiveness, which doesn't seem to involve anything more than trying to get more distance.

There was a good discussion of Tiger's remarks involving Phil Blackmar and Nicole Castrale, hosted by Kelly Tilghman. It's a short clip but Blackmar gets right to the point, questioning Tiger's desire for "explosiveness" as someone who is also suffering with back issues. And Castrale alludes to Geoff Ogilvy's recent Golf World commentary about finding his game again through less analysis:

They also had a chat more focused on Ogilvy that was worthwhile too.


Rio Organizing Chief: Golf Course Will Be Finished On Time

Carlos Nuzman, president of Rio 2016's organizing committee, says all is well even though a proposal is due Wednesday to shift holes away from the trash-laden sensitive areas.

From an unbylined Shanghai Daily report:

"This is one of the best golf courses in the world," Nuzman said during a talk to students of Estacio University.

"It's a public course and we know that we are going to face difficulties like in any place in the world."

"But the golf test event will take place next year. I don't have any doubt about that."


Norman Praises Greg Norman For Chainsaw Incident Handling

Tim Rosaforte tracked down Greg Norman to talk about how he almost cut his hand off while chainsawing some sea-grape tree limbs only to be saved by the shrewd actions of Greg Norman.

From Rosaforte's report:

Looking back, Norman said he had a premonition that afternoon "something bad was going to happen," and he was right. When one of the branches broke, Norman's left wrist fell down on the blade of his chain saw. Fortunately, Norman had instinctively taken his finger off the chainsaw trigger, otherwise, doctors told him, he could have lost his hand outright.  But even then, the damage was significant.

In pain but not panicking, Norman acted quickly: He had his wife, Kiki, meet him in the backyard with a towel and a tourniquet, then called his son Greg to have him take him to the hospital, and lastly he called Jupiter Medical Center to tell them he was on his way.

Greg Norman...hero! Norman also credited Norman to the AP's Doug Ferguson with not running the chainsaw at full strength, otherwise Norman would have lost his hand.

“Thank God the blade wasn’t running full speed or it would have taken my hand off,” Norman said. “I handled everything as calmly as I could. There is no major damage. There is nerve damage, but no muscular damage. They fixed me up and here I am.”

As for why a man worth hundreds of millions is doing his own uh, hedge trimming, Norman offered this on his good friend Norman:

"I'm a do it myself kind of guy," he said. "I enjoy doing it. It's in my DNA. I'm out on the ranch, driving bulldozers and graders, chain sawing 100-foot pine trees. I like it. I grew up that way."

Norman posted a photo on Instagram sporting a large, purple foam pad to protect the maimed limb. I'm a little disappointed he didn't brand the rather unwieldy protection with a logo from one of his business ventures.


Per Published Reports: Tiger Yet To Swing A Club; Searching For His Explosiveness In The Gym

It was strange reading the quotes from Tiger’s press conference today to promote something. (Only special people were invited to the teleconference so I'm not privvy to tell you what he was promoting a new partnership with Hero MotoCorp, describing itself as "the World's single largest two wheeler motorcycle manufacturer based in India."

(I'm going to pause to let you digest that amazing get for Tiger, then remind you that those of us under non-embargo embargos are not obligated to spend much time dwelling on reaching new lows in the "who is that sponsor again?" stakes).

Anyway, it seems Tiger's back strengthening is going well, and voila, his strength is back but not enough to swing a golf club. Nor is he hiring a teacher anytime soon. Oddly, no one concluded from this that Tiger may just be burned out on golf, an understandable position considering the unprecedented level of his dedication over the previous 20 years.

This quote in Steve DiMeglio’s story would be funny if it wasn’t kind of a sad statement about Tiger's love for the gym superseding his love of playing golf.

"Well, golf‑wise, nothing. I haven't swung a golf club yet. I've just been shadow swinging without a club, but I've been busting my butt in the gym pretty hard," Woods said when asked about his preparation. I've got my strength back, which is nice. Now the next goal is to get my explosiveness and my fast twitch going, and that's the next phase of my training."

Fast twitch? Welcome to the jargon club, we have you in a locker between "reps" and "it-is-what-it-is."

Fleshing out this explosiveness thing, Karen Crouse included this in her NY Times story on the Woods press conference:

“I wasn’t as conditioned as I needed to be, so as the tournament would wear on, I would get more and more fatigued and tired, and I wasn’t as explosive,” Woods said. “I wasn’t as strong because I couldn’t burn the candle at both ends. I couldn’t lift the weights that I’m used to, or accustomed to lifting as well as playing and practicing.”

He added, “Eventually the game started to deteriorate a little bit because physically I couldn’t — I wasn’t in good enough shape to maintain it.”

As for finding a replacement for Sean Foley as his instructor, the explosiveness word came up again. Tim Finchem must have squealed when he heard this, from Doug Ferguson’s AP story:

"Am I looking for a new coach? As of right now, no, I'm not," Woods said. "Right now I'm just trying to get physically better, stronger, faster, more explosive. ... I'm in no hurry to look for one right now. As I said, I'm just focused on what I'm doing."


"The Tour Championship was the first and only event of this year’s FedEx Cup to have an increase in overnight ratings"

A Sports Media Watch graphic pretty much sums up the dismal ratings news out of East Lake, where the third round managed to out-rate the final round and the weekend was up slightly from last year, something the other events could not claim. So the primary takeway was that this year's Tour Championship was the only playoff event not on the decline despite having Rory McIlroy involved and an eventual winner who really could use the massive winner's prize.


Ogilvy: "'More' didn't really work for me."

Another fun read from Geoff Ogilvy in this week's Golf World, talking about his career resurgence following a few years of struggle. As with many others before him, all the searching only made things worse.

Ryan Herrington with the highlights of Ogilvy's piece, which can be read in its entirety here.

At first my reaction was to practice harder and longer, experiment more with TrackMan, video and other equipment, and increase my work in the gym. It made me feel I was doing it the "correct" way, but it's actually easy to just work hard. Somebody next to you is hitting 500 balls, so you hit 550, and it seems you've gained ground. It's the time-honored sports approach that many simplistically ascribe to Ben Hogan, but I have no doubt even his voluminous practice was more about quality than quantity.

Bottom line, that kind of "more" didn't really work for me. For months, I found myself dragging my clubs to the airport Friday night instead of Monday morning. I finally realized I had fallen prey to a common tour disease: getting analytical, doing a lot of repetition, taking a scientific approach that tempts with possible answers.


Golf Channel Offering "Alternate Shot" Coverage Of Ryder Cup

Do I dare say this sounds more fun than the real Ryder Cup telecast for American viewers?

BTW, note those telecast hours. Live, baby!

For Immediate Release...

Golf Channel’s Ryder Cup Alternate Shot Telecast Features Additional View with Host David Feherty, Former Ryder Cup Captains and Players, and Golf Channel’s Gary Williams
ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 15, 2014) – A first-time, exclusive collaboration between NBC and Golf Channel at the 2014 Ryder Cup, Sept. 22-28, will present 71.5 hours of unprecedented coverage designed to bring fans closer to the action of one of the world’s most exciting sporting events. Debuting this year will be Golf Channel’s Ryder Cup Alternate Shot coverage, which will feature a different view of the action that complements NBC’s live weekend coverage.
“As NBC Sports Group unparalleled coverage of the 2014 Ryder Cup, one of the most unique events in sports, this coordinated effort between Golf Channel and NBC will super-serve fans’ appetite for the passion and patriotism that surrounds this event,” said Golf Channel Executive Producer Molly Solomon. “The Ryder Cup Alternate Shot coverage will be perfect complement to NBC’s coverage, and will showcase the unconventional Feherty and legends from past Ryder Cups discussing the action like only they can, because they have stood on Ryder Cup first tees with the hopes of their nation on their shoulders.”
“Tom’s team is the hungry, young underdog in this contest,” said Feherty.  “We’ll talk about that during Alternate Shot coverage and will show viewers a different spin on analysis, as well as give them a fun and informative way to enjoy the Ryder Cup.  It’ll also be fun for me because I’ll get to argue with Wadkins all day.”
GOLF CHANNEL’S RYDER CUP ALTERNATE SHOT: Hosted by the outspoken, Emmy-nominated David Feherty – former 1991 Ryder Cup European Team member, but now a proud American citizen and host of the award-winning Feherty – and Morning Drive host Gary Williams. Former U.S. Ryder Cup Captain (1995) and player (1977-93) Lanny Wadkins – who is second only to Arnold Palmer with the most Ryder Cup matches ever won by an American – and former U.S. Ryder Cup team members David Duval (1999-2002) and Justin Leonard (1997-99, 2008) will join the Feherty and Williams in studio to help break down the matches through lively discussion and analysis. Additional features of the Ryder Cup Alternate Shot telecast include:
·  Conversations from Scotland with former Ryder Cup players and captains:
o   Sir Nick Faldo:  European Team Captain 2008; Player 1977-97 – played in more Ryder Cups (11) than any other player in history; also will contribute all week to Golf Channel’s Live From the Ryder Cup telecasts
o   Colin Montgomerie:  European Team Captain 2010; Player 1991-2006 – tied for the most singles matches won in Ryder Cup history.
o   Corey Pavin:  U.S. Captain 2010; Player 1991-95
o   Tony Jacklin: European Team Captain 1983-89; Player 1967-79
o   Darren Clarke:  European Team Vice Captain 2010-12; Player 1997-2006
o   Peter Alliss:  eight-time Ryder Cup player for Great Britain (1953-69); known as the “Voice of Golf” and one of the all-time great golf commentators.
o   Jesper Parnevik:  European Team player (1997-2002)

· Viewers also will be treated to alternative live coverage throughout the Ryder Cup Alternate Shot telecast via the world satellite feed hosted by members of the European broadcast team regularly featured on Golf Channel.

· An on-screen graphic frame, similar to Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage of PGA TOUR events, will highlight real-time statistics, as well as social media conversation surrounding the Ryder Cup.

· Hands-on analysis using Golf Channel’s simulator, which will feature a virtual version of the Centenary Course at Gleneagles.

Oh...that's not necessary. Unless you're taking us through Jack's renovation of David McLay Kidd's renovation of Jack's design?

Friday, Sept. 26      Ryder Cup – Day One    2:30 a.m.-1 p.m.          Golf Channel
Saturday, Sept. 27  Ryder Cup – Day Two    3 a.m.-1 p.m.               NBC*
                             Ryder Cup Alternate Shot  3 a.m.-11:30 a.m.        Golf Channel
*Coverage on NBC will begin at the conclusion of regularly scheduled late-night programming in Mountain and Pacific time zones. Streaming will be available via NBC Sports Live Extra
Sunday, Sept. 28  Ryder Cup – Final Day           7 a.m.-1 p.m.               NBC
                           Ryder Cup Alternate Shot       7 a.m.-11:30 a.m.        Golf Channel


Looper Emeritus Stevie Williams: I Hate Being Called Stevie

Upon his induction into the Caddie Hall of Fame, Karen Crouse looks at the life and times of luggage toter supreme Steve Williams about his pending retirement and his years with Tiger.

Tiger famously called Steve, Stevie.

And it turns out, Stevie isn't a fant.

From Crouse's report:

Settling in at the lectern for his speech, Williams gave Sands the same look he would give a golfer who questioned his yardages. “It’s Steve,” Williams said to the assembled crowd at the Cherry Hills Country Club outside Denver. “Stevie’s what Tiger used to call me, so that’s what everybody calls me. I hate that name.”


First Glimpses Of Cabot Cliffs Look Stunning

Josh Sens talks to Matt Kuchar about getting a sneak peak of Cabot Cliffs, the Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw design that will join Cabot Links next year in Nova Scotia.

The item includes several images of the course playing along 17-Mile-Drive reminiscent cliffs.

There was also this...

Even Bill Coore, a man so laidback you have to pull him forward to get him sitting upright, has served up a few excited sound bytes. “I had the same feeling as I did at Sand Hills,” he said, alluding to the heralded Nebraska layout that he and Crenshaw built. “If we don’t deliver a great course on a site like this, then it’s our fault.”

One of "The Boys," the traveling band of artisans who craft Coore and Crenshaw's designs, has been tweeting some stellar photos of late. Here is Keith Rebb's account. And a couple that stood out:


Horschel Likely Would Have Skipped Ryder Cup Anyway 

While Ryan Ballengee makes a sensible case for the PGA of America re-evaluating when the points list and captain's picks are decided for the Ryder Cup, he does neglect to address the PGA Tour's inevitable dissatisfaction with seeing the Ryder Cuppings overshadowing their uh, Super Bowl of golf that draws about 1/108th the audience.

Still, there is this about where we were a few weeks ago and now with Team USA:

Had Watson been given longer to evaluate his choices, would he still have picked the three he did? Just some of them? Watson won't say, but it's hard not to see the juxtaposition of players that were picked for the team against the ones staying home when the U.S. team heads to Gleneagles.

I would counter that if the playoffs are not going to move from the current August-September window--and it's hard to see Commissioner Goodell South admitting they aren't working--that at least the Ryder Cup decision every two years might add some extra spice to the playoffs that no algorithm can match.

As for Billy Horschel, who makes you want to see him on Team USA with his play and his charisma, Jason Sobel reports Horschel's wife is due during the Ryder Cup and he would have sat it out unless labor was induced early.

So while Team USA is grinding it out at Gleneagles, Horschel will be counting his money and supporting his wife as they celebrate a newborn. And maybe it's just better it worked out this way. Not that this is an excuse for revisiting the deadlines in the bizarro 2016 season.

Sobel also notes this bit of irony:

Back in 1979, Tom Watson was prepared to compete in the Ryder Cup before withdrawing from the competition to witness the birth of his first child.


McGinley On Clarke, Monty And A Funny Elevator Exchange

Thanks to reader Alan for Paul Kimmage's lengthy Q&A with European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley. The format is an embellished transcript of sorts and after a while you get used to it.

Most of the best stuff comes later when McGinley talks with humility about his role, the backstabbingroom antics of Darren Clarke when McGinley was up for the job, Monty's bid for the captaincy (and Clarke inexplicably backing him) and the entire thing ends with a stellar story about a San Diego Marriott conversation that I won't spoil here.

Just part of the Darren Clarke exchange.

PK: When is the last time you spoke to him?

PMcG: I saw him in Turin last week.

PK: Did you speak to him?

PMcG: Yeah.

PK: Did you tell him he was not going to be one of your vice-captains?

PMcG: No.

PK: You never felt you had to make that call?

PMcG: No.

PK: It was obvious it wasn't going to happen?

PMcG: Yeah. Our conversations (now) are short and sweet: 'How are you? Fine. Move on.'

PK: That's kind of hard given how far you've come together?

PMcG: Yeah.

PK: And those great experiences you've shared?

PMcG: Yeah, but do you know what? It happens in all walks of life whether you're a businessman, a journalist or a golfer. It's what happens. You move on.

PK: Because the killer blow wasn't when Darren decided to stand against you, it was when he withdrew and rowed in behind Monty, someone he didn't actually like.

(He smiles but does not reply.)

PK: I'll take that as an acknowledgement.

(He changes his mind.)

PMcG: Now that was different. When you say: 'You told a lie,' I didn't tell a lie.

PK: You'll have to explain that to me.

PMcG: The answer I gave at the press conference was that I didn't have a problem with Darren standing.

PK: You weren't asked if you had a problem with him rowing in behind Monty?

PMcG: No.

PK: So you didn't tell a lie?

PMcG: Checkmate.


Billy Horschel's Playoff Haul: $13,477,333

John Strege on Billy Horschel's cash haul for an excellent run of golf and Johnny Miller's suggestion that a star was born the last few weeks. And just in time to give Team USA a needed...oh wait, sorry.

Anyway, the best of all? Horschel didn't wheel any stuff out about one day at a time or it's about titles, not the money. Despite the impression the extreme-preppy outfits might give, Horschel says he comes from a blue collar world and will gladly take FedEx, Coca Cola and BMW's money.

It adds to $13,477,333 in the span of two weeks, but the payoff ultimately could be substantially larger by virtue of his confidence now equal to his talent.

“Billy Horschel, I’m not sure you’re not seeing a star in the making,” NBC’s Johnny Miller said. “This is not a fluke. The guy is just good. He hits a decent distance. He’s accurate. The irons are fantastic.

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour Playoffs got even less play than normal without Tiger and set against a sports backdrop with big NFL news, the usual early season marquee football games and all-but-one close divisional race (how 'bout them Angels!), it's pretty clear in year eight that the sponsors of these events are not getting value commensurate with what they are ponying up. Despite the cum-ulative audience rising (according to the Commish) the ratings are weak because there is almost no chance to compete this time of year. The audience might be there in a few weeks after the initial football euphoria has calmed down and baseball is largely played at night, but common sense says the playoffs would have a better chance a month later.'s roundup of the week didn't have much nice to say about these playoffs. And not because of the play or the performances, which were as good or better than any year with a winner who sees his life changed by a month of amazing golf. But instead, their issues are with timing and the Ryder Cup selection cutoffs.