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A ball will always come to rest halfway down a hill, unless there is sand or water at the bottom. HENRY BEARD


    

Thursday
Apr242014

Portrush Might Need Two New Holes To Host The Open!?

Brian Keogh explains how the venerable, world top 20 Royal Portrush is still in the hunt for a return engagement of The Open. But now suggestions are surfacing that the R&A might like to use the current 17th and 18th holes for tents, and ask the the club to build two new holes near the current 5th and 6th holes.

Apparently the use of two holes from the accompanying Valley Course is not an option either.

Keogh writes:

The 17th and 18th could then be used to house the tented village — par will be reduced from 72 to 70 with the 475-yard ninth and 478-yard 10th likely to be reduced from par fives to par fours.

Two "new" holes would then be needed and according to one member, it appears unlikely that the R&A are thinking of incorporating two of the Valley's signature holes into the Open course — the 336-yard, short par four, fifth hole and the 237-yard, par three, sixth  — but instead hope to build two new holes in the sandhills close to that area.

According to one source, a potential seventh hole for the Open could run from left of the current sixth green to the area near the seventh tee on the Valley and from there head back up through the sandhills to the seventh tee on the Dunluce Links.

Wednesday
Apr232014

Wie Pushes Back: Jack Bent Pretty Low Too

It is funny to hear how many people were taken aback by Michelle Wie's putting stance over the last year or so, but now that it's working she's pushing back just a bit.

And while golf has had many great putters doing it all sorts of strange ways, Wie picked a pretty good example and with help from the editors at golf.com, has photographic evidence to back up her assertion (and show she has better posture).

From AP's Janie McCauley on the eve of the Swinging Skirts in San Francisco, a new LPGA event.

“I did it like about two years ago, year and a half ago now. … just something that I felt feel comfortable with,” Wie said. “I haven't had a plan to keep with it or not keep it. Just feels comfortable and I see the line better.”

Her putting style was not inspired by Jack Nicklaus, who in his prime bent over his putts to see the line, Wie said.

“I practice at the Bear's Club and there are pictures of Jack everywhere.,” Wie said. “I saw a picture of him like putting and I was like, Oh, he is actually pretty low as well. I don't feel that bad anymore.”

Wednesday
Apr232014

The Donald Threatens Ireland Council Over Doonbeg Remodel

Fiachra Ó Cionnaith reports that new Doonbeg owner Donald Trump is already settling into the neighborhood with his trademark humility and gentle ways.

This time he's threatening the Clare County Council should they obstruct his efforts to strengthen Doonbeg's coastal defenses and to fix some of its holes.

Documents posted on their website by environmental lobby group Friends of the Irish Environment show tensions between lawyers for the US investment mogul and the council after Mr Trump brought “rock armour” on site to strengthen the defences of the Doonbeg golf course against coastal erosion.

The golf course suffered €1m worth of damage during storms that battered the coast last winter. However, the use of rock armour to protect the site is banned, according to the detailed 2011 planning permission document allowing the golf course’s development.

Mr Trump bought the site for a reported €15m in February and announced plans for a major rebuild.

Documents obtained by FIE under Access to Information on the Environment show Mr Trump attempted to reduce the risk of weather damage to the course following this winter’s storms which, according to his solicitors, led to “unprecedented damage” in a “major erosion event”.

Wednesday
Apr232014

Greg Norman: "My objective is not to be criticizing golfers. My objective is to be fair and balanced."

Just remember, I merely copy and paste this stuff.

Highlights from today's Fox Sports call to promote the naming of Joe Buck and Greg Norman as their lead USGA announce team for the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Amateur.

Greg Norman on his broadcast style – “My objective is not to be criticizing golfers. My objective is to be fair and balanced. If I see something that I feel is very pertinent to the situation, I will explain that view to the audience, and I want it to be very fan-friendly and informative. Being informative is not sugar-coating the situation and not addressing some serious issues that could arise in the game of golf, which we have seen in the past. It’s incumbent upon myself and Joe and every other member of our team who has a microphone in their hand to have the confidence and the willingness to express themselves.”

Got that?

Joe Buck on why FOX Sports and the USGA make a good partnership – “I think I’ve been here long enough to know that today is a big day for FOX Sports. It says a lot about the USGA that they are willing to take this leap with us. Like I told [USGA President] Tom O’Toole, who I’ve known pretty much my whole life, he is going to be blown away, as will the golf world, with the effort and the ability that we’re going to throw at this. We’ll push golf coverage like FOX Sports pushed NFL coverage, MLB coverage and NASCAR coverage. It’s a good partnership both ways.”

12 years. 12...years. Twelve!

Joe Buck on working with a new broadcast partner – “We’re not going to have the opportunity to feel our way. When we go on air at Chambers Bay, we’re doing the Super Bowl. We’re coming right out of the gate, and it doesn’t get any bigger. We’ve got to be ready, and we will be ready. We’re all going to spend time in June at Pinehurst to walk through exactly what is expected of us and go through the mechanics of calling a golf tournament, which I can’t wait to get into. The one thing that was obvious when Greg and I talked the other day, and I’ve always gone about it this way – if I have a great day in the booth, but my partner doesn’t have a good day, then overall we don’t have a good day. I don’t walk out of the booth feeling good about the broadcast, and certainly vice-versa. Greg and I are going to approach this as complete teammates, and what that means for me as far as the mechanics of broadcasting, the oddity of somebody talking in your ear while you’re covering something and you have two trains of thought, I’m there for him, and I’ll give him everything I’ve got.”

Uh Joe, if you want a ride on Air Greg back from Erin Hills, you better hold his hand!

Greg Norman on Tiger Woods and his chance to pass legend Jack Nicklaus – “No, I do not see that happening.  The older he gets, the younger these players get.  You’ve got to remember too, the intimidation factor of that era of players that Tiger grew up in when he was 21 to 30 is not the same because he is now in his high 30s. Your brain is telling you, ‘yes, you can do it,’ but at the same time, your body is reacting a little bit different than it was in your hay days.”

I think, last time I checked, hay days were for horses. But we know what Greg meant.

Wednesday
Apr232014

Tiger's On Schedule To Return Even Though There's No Schedule For His Return

He's doing "light" chipping as opposed to heavy chipping, reports Bob Harig after speaking with Tiger Woods agent Mark Steinberg.

"He's doing a little bit more and more each day," Steinberg told ESPN.com. "He's getting to the point of light chipping and putting and the doctors and trainers seem to be pleased with where he is. He is on schedule but we don't know what that schedule means. I don't know when he intends to be playing competitively.

"But I expect it to be this summer. I know that's a wide range, but as the weeks go by we'll be able to pinpoint an approximate time. It's still a little early for that. Nothing that has gone on from the day of the surgery until today gives me any pause to amend what I said then. I know that's broad and vague but we can't pinpoint a specific time until we're further along."

Wednesday
Apr232014

Video: Rickie Takes On High G-Forces And Survives

If you've ever wondered what Rickie Fowler would look like if he'd spent too much time going to Grateful Dead concerts, this recent flight with two-time Red Bull Air Race world champion Kirby Chambliss and the in-cabin GoPro shots should give you a pretty good picture.

From YouTube:

And a photo that will be used against him by a peer on Twitter, if it hasn't happened already:

Oh by the way Fowler says his swing is better than it's ever been. Ryan Lavner reports on the eve of the Zurich Classic.

Wednesday
Apr232014

Fox Sports Confirms Buck & Norman For 18th Tower; The Two Are Expected To Meet Very Soon!

Fox Sports hosted a conference call to kick of its move to covering USGA golf starting in 2015 and as you'd expect from a network not currently doing golf, this was a first of many baby steps in what will be a tall task in starting a major championship broadcast team.

Joe Buck, who shouldn't have any trouble assimilating after working World Series and Super Bowls, said all the right things about his love for golf, his excitement about the USGA, etc. There were the expected "Tommy" O'Toole references to the current USGA President. So yes, viewers will have to endure in year one of good ole boyisms when the St. Louis natives do everything but engage in leaping man-hugs on air.

Buck admitted that Fox can't "feel our way" as they are starting off with a Super Bowl of a golf telecast and admirably admitted that he has not yet met his announce partner, Greg Norman.

As for Norman, he sounded like he was doing the call in bed. The Great White Shark was asked about his lack of experience as a lead announcer, and "begged to differ," citing the many times he visited the 18th hole announce booth during his playing days. Whether those experiences translate to a six-hour broadcast will be another story.

Regarding a test run, producer Mark Loomis was non-committal, though Norman insisted "whether in Florida" or elsewhere, the team will get together and bond. Greg might even open the wine cellar if you bring the meaning to him boys! Now, wearing headsets, watching golf and trying to simulate an actual broadcast did not sound like a concern for the Shark, who also assured that there will be no "I" in the Fox Sports team. So you can be assured, the cliches will be flowing.

Loomis said the broadcast team would ultimately include 8-10 voices, which would be mirroring the old ABC golf approach. And Loomis said that Norman and Buck will work the big four USGA events: U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Senior Open and the U.S. Amateur.

The Fox Sports team plans to be studying the "mechanics" of the U.S. Open in June at Pinehurst, though beyond committing to nightly recaps on Fox Sports 1, it was unclear what else the team could do without access to the television production compound and broadcast feed.

Here's the full release, For Immediate Release:

FOX SPORTS TABS BUCK & NORMAN FOR 18TH GREEN TOWER
 
FOX Sports’ Signature Voice & Seven-Time Emmy Award Winner to Anchor Coverage;
“The Shark” Comes Aboard as Lead Golf Analyst
 
Duo Calls Action for USGA Championships Beginning 2015
 
Los Angeles – Joe Buck, a seven-time Emmy Award winner and a signature voice of FOX Sports for 20 years, and “The Shark,” Greg Norman, a 2001 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee who spent 331 weeks ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings, have been teamed to anchor FOX Sports’ coverage of the USGA Championships beginning in 2015.  The announcement was made today by Eric Shanks, President, COO & Executive Producer, FOX Sports and John Entz, Executive Vice President, Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports.
 
“We’re really excited to pair Joe Buck, one of the most talented voices in sports television and himself a pretty good golfer, with Greg Norman, one of the game’s best professionals ever,” said Shanks.  “Joe and Greg are sure to bring an informative, entertaining style to the 18th tower, continuing the tradition of talented announcers and analysts who have brought energy and insight to USGA Championship broadcasts.”
 
“We are fortunate that the long history of our championship telecasts have benefited from the talent, experience and expert analysis from some of the finest broadcasters in the business,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “With Joe Buck and Greg Norman, the team that FOX Sports has begun to assemble will continue our long run of talented announcers, while maintaining the energy, insight and enjoyment that has become synonymous with USGA Championship broadcasts.”
 
Buck, an avid golfer currently playing at a 3 handicap, joined FOX Sports in 1994 and has become one of sports’ premier broadcasters.  Buck handles lead play-by-play duties for the network’s Emmy Award-winning coverage of Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
 
Buck has held lead MLB on FOX play-by-play duties since 1996.  At age 27, he became the youngest play-by-play announcer to call the World Series since the legendary Vin Scully (age 25) in 1953.  Buck has called 15 All-Star Games and World Series and 17 League Championship Series.  He has been lead voice of the NFL on FOX since 2002, and has called 12 NFC Championship Games and four Super Bowls including Super Bowl XLVIII, the most- watched television program ever in the U.S.
 
Norman, labeled the "Great White Shark" during the 1981 Masters Tournament, won 91 professional events in his career, including 20 PGA TOUR titles. Victorious in two majors, he won the British Open Championship in 1986 and 1993, and became the first person in PGA TOUR history to surpass $10 million in career earnings. Norman received the Arnold Palmer Award in 1986, 1990 and 1995 as the PGA TOUR’s money leader, and in 1995, after three TOUR wins, he was named PGA TOUR Player of the Year. Norman captained the 2009 and 2011 Presidents Cup International teams and recently ranked No. 2 on Golf World’s list of Best Modern Golfers.
 
Off the course, Norman is an incredibly accomplished businessman, serving as Chairman and CEO of Great White Shark Enterprises, a multinational corporation that comprises several companies and divisions, including Greg Norman Golf Course Design, which has completed over 75 courses around the world and has over 30 additional courses in development.  Norman’s business portfolio also includes his production company that manages three PGA TOUR events including the Franklin Templeton Shootout, which was founded by Norman in 1989. Norman’s passion and knowledge for course design, as well as his experience in event management, add dimensions of understanding for viewers as he joins Buck as FOX Sports’ lead golf broadcast team.
 
In addition to course design and event management, Great White Shark Enterprises includes Greg Norman Estates Wine, Greg Norman Australian Prime, Greg Norman’s Australian Grille, Great White Shark Opportunity Fund, Southern Cross Developments, Greg Norman Interactive, Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy, Greg Norman Collection and Greg Norman Eyewear, as well as several other merchandising and licensing ventures.  He also maintains business partnerships with several well-known global brands including Dow Chemical, COBRA Golf, OMEGA, Club Car, Sandals Resorts and Pacific Links.
 
Norman has been involved with the Advisory Council for the Environmental Institute for Golf, which is a collaborative effort between the environmental and golf communities. He also hosts the Franklin Templeton Shootout, which benefits CureSearch for Children’s Cancer.  In addition, Norman lends his hand to developing future golf talent through the Greg Norman Junior Golf Foundation, which provides professional guidance and instruction to young golfers in Australia, and his advisory role to the China Golf Association in its bid to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio.
 
A native of Queensland, Australia, Norman spent his childhood surfing and diving off the waters off Queensland’s coast.  Norman was also an accomplished rugby and Australian Rules Football player before taking up golf at the age of 15.  Just two years after taking up golf, Norman was a scratch golfer, and four years later he would win his first professional golf tournament at the West Lakes Classic in Australia.
 
The United States Golf Association (USGA), which governs the game of golf worldwide with The R&A, and FOX, the No.1 network for sports television since 1997, announced a comprehensive multi-media agreement last August that makes FOX Sports and FOX Sports 1 the principal domestic media partner of the USGA and the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open Championships, as well as the USGA’s national amateur championships and other live content, beginning in 2015. The landmark agreement brings premier major championship golf for the first time ever to FOX, home to the country’s greatest sports events, including the World Series, Daytona 500, Super Bowl LI and 2018 and 2022 World Cup.
 
Mark Loomis is Coordinating Producer and lead event producer of FOX Sports’ golf coverage.  John Entz serves as Executive Producer and Executive Vice President, Production, FOX Sports and Eric Shanks is President, COO and Executive Producer, FOX Sports.

Wednesday
Apr232014

Tiger's In The Playoffs! With Merion And Myopia Hunt Club!?

With his FedExCup playoff hopes dimming each week he's not out collecting valuable points so that they can be reset by an algorithm, at least Tiger Woods is putting his name on something fun and different in the form of his Foundation's new series of charity events. It's sort of a Kickstarter meets Amateur golf tour concept in the name of people getting to play places they might not normally be able to see (Merion, Congressional, Myopia Hunt Club, etc...)

From Doug Ferguson's report:

It's an amateur golf series that stretches over five months on eight golf courses, and it rewards the best players and fundraisers with a final event in Orlando, Fla., at the end of the year.

"My foundation provides really awesome experiences, and this event allows all golfers to play cool courses for charity," Woods said in an email through his foundation.

Two-person teams can select a regional qualifying tournament with a registration fee ($500 per player on most courses), a $1,000 charity pledge and a goal of fundraising. The teams with the low net and gross score from each site, along with any team that raises $10,000 or more, qualify for the Charity Playoff Finals on Dec. 1-2.

Finalists gets two days of golf, two nights in the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Resort, a private exhibition with Woods and clubhouse credentials to the World Challenge. The team that raises the most money will get pro-am spots in the three PGA Tour-sanctioned events for 2015.

The tour's official website is here.

Tuesday
Apr222014

GMac Took Notes During Masters Final Round

Fun note from Doug Ferguson on Graeme McDowell, who has stunk up Augusta National, taking notes during the weekend telecast (scroll down a bit for the item) to try and play the place better.

Tuesday
Apr222014

Remembering The Great And Forgotten Beverly Hanson

Beverly Hanson passed away April 12th at the age of 89 and few know her as one of the pioneering figures of the LPGA. Hanson won three majors and even covered men's tournament as a writer (with a mistaken byline of Ben Hanson given to her by an editor).

Thankfully, Doug Ferguson talked to some of her peers and files a superb obituary of this LPGA golfing great.

The year the LPGA was formed in 1950, Hanson won the U.S. Women's Amateur at East Lake — Bobby Jones presented her the trophy — went 3-0 in the Curtis Cup and finished the year by beating Patty Berg in the Texas Women's Open as an amateur.

She won her first event after turning pro in 1951 by beating Babe Zaharias in the Eastern Open.

Hanson won 15 more times over the next decade, including three majors. That included the inaugural LPGA Championship in 1955 when she beat Suggs twice in one week. Hanson finished three shots ahead in stroke play in Fort Wayne, Ind., and then won 4 and 3 in match play between the top two medalists.

Tuesday
Apr222014

A Short Open Letter To Purists: Be Open To 15-Inch Cups

Brace yourselves purists who've been making great points in the Hack Golf debate.

However, I've penned a short GolfDigest.com letter asking that you keep an open mind about 15 inch cups, or at the very least, start taking your passionate views in defense of the game and focusing on the costly chase for faster greens. The chase for putting surface speed is doing nothing to make the game more enjoyable or more affordable. Nor does the speed chase retain golfers.

In a roundabout way, 15-inch cups may be the only way to minimize the absurd chase for speed. Or at least generate so discussion. Which is why I, (hopefully still considered) a purist, will not write them off. That concludes the longest-ever introduction to a 500 word letter.

Gary Williams, Charlie Rymer and I talked about the Hack Golf debate on Morning Drive today, along with many other topics including Tom Watson's Ryder Cup comments, the Masters and Michelle Wie:

Tuesday
Apr222014

R&A's Dawson To Step Down In September 2015

From a Guardian staff report, the news that R&A Chief Inspector Architect Peter Dawson will step down in September 2015, but still will remain on the International Golf Federation board through 2016 to see the Olympic golf's debut through.

Interesting that the Guardian item notes high up in his list of accomplishments: the possibility of female Royal and Ancient Golf Club members. No mention of his architectural tinkering work at Open rota courses, i.e. The Treatment.

There was this from the official press release on the search for his successor:

The recruitment of Mr Dawson’s successor will be handled by international executive search firm Spencer Stuart and the position will be advertised this weekend. An appointment is expected to be made in sufficient time to allow for an appropriate handover period in 2015.

Expressions of interest in the role should be sent to TheR&A@SpencerStuart.com.

Tuesday
Apr222014

World's Most Interesting Golfer Ryder Cup Worthy?

With his Masters performance and now a win in his Champions Tour debut, should Miguel Angel Jimenez be consideration of Captain Paul McGinley?

Jimenez wants on the team and Derek Lawrenson says the idea doesn't seem as nutty as it did last summer after a win in Hong Kong Open when Jimenez made his ambitions clear.

And now? If the match was taking place tomorrow, you'd want him in the team.

Never mind that he doesn't hit the ball very far and his Ryder Cup record isn't great.

Think about what he does bring to the party, what he'd be like in the team room, the  crowd reaction when he walks to the first tee, and the fact  that in the only home Ryder Cup he has played in, at Celtic Manor in 2010, he won two matches  out of three.

And so, this summer, the world's most interesting golfer - to quote the headline accompanying an American magazine feature - will become the most intriguing sub-plot. Will he achieve his once-impossible dream? One thing's for sure: every overweight, 50-something club golfer from here to California will be cheering him on.

Monday
Apr212014

Coore: Pinehurst Will Produce Spectacular Recovery Shots 

Randall Mell reports on U.S. Open media day from Pinehurst where the scribes mooched off the USGA for a free round of golf in return for spellbinding stories of Scotty McCreery sightings or, on occasion, something to whet our appetite for the upcoming Opens. (We pause for this Wikipedia entry on Scotty in case you were like me and just couldn't place the name.)

That came in the form of Mell's report on Bill Coore making an appearance to talk about No. 2's restoration and the first U.S. Open of modern times without a rough crop.

“This is going to be the first U.S. Open played without a maintained rough,” Coore said during Monday’s media day. “Yes, the fairways will be bigger, but the uncertainty of shots that are going to be played from the natural rough, we think that is going to be one of the most interesting stories of the week.”

Of course, Coore said, the diabolical turtle-back greens will remain Pinehurst No. 2’s primary defense, but the shots into them will be more intriguing this year. Coore and Crenshaw began restoring the course in May of 2010 with the course re-opening in the spring of 2011.

The restoration means a player who misses a fairway this year may find his ball in a sandy waste area, in wiry grass or in pine straw, or in some combination of all of the above.

“We think you’re going to see some of the most spectacular recovery shots in U.S. Open history,” Coore said.

Will Gray takes us through the delineation between Pinehurst's bunkers and waste areas. This will be the first of many times we decipher the distinction between now and June.

Monday
Apr212014

Famed Forest Oaks CC Closed Until Further Notice

The 31-year host to the Wyndham Championship until 2008 (a.ka. the Greater Greensboro Open) has been closed due to the bankruptcy filing of owners ES2 Sports & Leisure, reports Kim Wynne.

(Thanks ol Harv for this.)

“It is with sincere sympathy and a heavy heart that we update you all on the status of Forest Oaks. Although I still can not give details as to what lead us to this point due to pending legal matters, I need to inform you that as of Today, 4/15/14 Forest Oaks has closed.”

“All employees including department heads are no longer employed by ES2 Sport & Leisure.”

“ES2 Sports & Leisure has elected to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection and will not be able to help with any questions or concerns.”

In the email, the company said all employees of ES2 Sports & Leisure have been terminated effective April 15.

“Obviously nobody is going to get paid today,” said Garrett Smith, who worked at the club’s pro shop.

The News Record also posted a story with shocked member reaction and more photos of the facility. And there was this local Fox 8 news report from Kim Wynne:

Monday
Apr212014

Reminder: Jarrod Lyle, Harold Ramis On In Play Tonight

The tears are going to flow when Rex Hoggard profiles Jarrod Lyle and his efforts to return from cancer treatments for the second time, but there will no doubt be plenty of laughs in the segment remembering Caddyshack director Harold Ramis, including rare insights from Bill Murray talking about the role that made him famous.

In Play airs at 10 pm ET.

Monday
Apr212014

LA Times Water Story: "It's the same fatal error being repeated all over the Southwest--there is no new water"

John M. Glionna's front page LA Times story is generating a lot of attention today and it's interesting to see the many ways the look at Las Vegas's water situation has been interpreted. While The Strip sounds like it's to blame, the story makes very clear that it is not, but instead the watering of turf.

And though we all know from David Owen's Golf Digest story a few years back that the efforts to minimize turf irrigation have been the most progressive in the country, it still sounds like the takeaway from the story will be that golf is still a huge part of the problem.

The real water hog is not people, many say, but grass: About 70% of Las Vegas water goes to lawns, public parks and golf courses. A rebate program has already ripped out 168 million square feet of grass, enough to lay an 18-inch-wide roll of sod about 85% of the way around the Earth.

But is Las Vegas ready to ban grass entirely? "Well, at that point you're seriously impacting quality of life. We're not being complacent. We're just not ready for draconian cuts," said Davis, the spokesman for the water authority.

Monday
Apr212014

More Positive Reviews For 15-Inch Cup Golf

John Paul Newport considers himself a purist and his weekly WSJ column backs that up, yet he couldn't help but rave about the Hack Golf 15-inch round he played, where time on the greens was slashed in half.

He called it "fast, fun and liberating" and says it would be a fun alternative now and then.

But we dispensed with the lion's share of the short-game choreography that not only slows down the game, but can intimidate newcomers.

Among the things we never or rarely did in the round: remove the flagstick; mark our balls; study the line of a putt for more than 15 seconds; wait a long time for someone else to putt, because whoever happened to be ready played next; and agonize over second putts. No one three-putted all day.

Newport also reports that Taylor Made, backers of Hack Golf, will be shipping big-hole kits to 100 courses free of charge. Par Aide will be selling them at $700 for kits that include cutter and cups.

Bill Pennington also wrote about the day for the New York Times and included this about the PGA of America's star task force member, Bode Quesadilla Miller, who needs to have it explained to him that there is no local, state or federal law forbidding manufacturers from making non-conforming equipment.

Mr. Miller said he wanted to lift the rules governing the use of juiced golf clubs or golf balls.

“A nonconforming club or ball does not corrupt the game,” Mr. Miller said. “Not if it encourages people to try a very intimidating game. That will be beneficial to golf for 50 years.”

Pennington also shares a range of opinions from golf industry folks, including this from Curtis Strange.

“I don’t want to rig the game and cheapen it,” said Curtis Strange, a two-time United States Open champion and an analyst for ESPN. “I don’t like any of that stuff. And it’s not going to happen either. It’s all talk.”

We'll be talking 15-inch cups on Monday's Morning Drive at around 8:20 a.m. ET.

Sunday
Apr202014

Golf.com: Tiger Absence Could Cost Golf $15 Billion!?

I've tried to figure out Josh Sens' item on golf.com asserting that the $68.8 billion golf industry could see a $15 billion hit from a prolonged Tiger Woods absence.

I want to give Sens the benefit of the doubt because he does fine work, but this really makes no sense as far as I can tell:

According to Brad Adgate, senior vice president and director of research for Horizon Media, a New York-based media services company, the 25 – 30 percent ratings drop we’re accustomed to seeing at Tiger-free events threatens to translate into similar percentage losses the board.

Adgate and other analysts say it’s impossible to a put a precise price tag on Tiger’s absence. But if we do the math and arrive at a ballpark number in a golf industry valued at around $68.8 billion, it pencils out at roughly $15 billion. Gulp!

Key word, pencils.

Meanwhile thanks to all here who voted in the Friday poll on tournaments without Tiger. With just over 900 voters, 38% says they're less likely to watch a tournament without Tiger and 51% said you were just as likely to watch.

Sunday
Apr202014

Can't Make It Up Files: Reed's Shot Finishes At Top Five Yacht

Luke Kerr-Dineen with the details of Patrick World Top Five Reed pull-yanking a hazard recovery shot at Harbour Town further into the hazard and right at the base of a yacht named Top Five.

Here's the video if you don't believe it: