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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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

  • 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

Alister MacKenzie was a genius. He always forced you to play the game of golf backward – from green to tee. First, you had to figure out where the pin was on the green, and then figure out where you wanted to come in from, and then figure out that you have to hit your tee shot over there. He challenged you to a game of chess – find the easiest way to play the hardest hole.  GREG NORMAN



Video: Phil Mickelson's 8-Iron Snaps At Impact

Wild moment from the Valero Texas Open today as Mickelson's 8-iron broke at impact. He was playing a fairway bunker shot at the 12th. He made bogey and probably will get fined for texting someone after (probably looking for a replacement or a FedExCup shipment of a new one).

The video with great sound and replay zooming from the NBC/Golf Channel crew:

Nice to see Phil's friends at Callaway not running from the moment. This tweet is from their creative director, Johnny Rodriguez:



Pro Emeritus Tom Watson No Longer Pro Emeritus

In the world of bequeathing emeritus status, The Greenbrier's second pro emeritus Tom Watson, has not had his contract renewed, reports Ryan Ballengee.

If there's a contract involved, it's not really an emeritus situation now, is it?

The resort's head, Jim Justice, says he is looking for a new pro and mercifully, one of the non-emeritus variety.


TaylorMade Golf Appoints (Another) New CEO

Ben Sharpe is out after almost a year at the helm. He replaced CEO Mark King last April.

For Immediate Release:

TaylorMade Golf Company Names David Abeles as CEO and President
CARLSBAD, Calif. (March 26, 2015) — The adidas Group has appointed David Abeles as CEO of TaylorMade Golf Company with immediate effect.  Abeles succeeds Ben Sharpe, who has decided to leave the company for personal reasons. Abeles will report directly into adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer.
Abeles rejoined the company as President of TaylorMade and Adams Golf last month.  A 12-year veteran of TaylorMade Golf Company, Abeles brings a deep executive skill set, leadership competence and business acumen built both within the golf industry as well as in the world of sports. Most recently the CEO of the Competitor Group Inc., Abeles is widely respected within the golf community for his relationships and energetic connection with both the retailer and consumer.
Herbert Hainer, CEO of the adidas Group:  "David has a proven track record of success and leadership excellence. I am convinced that David will lead our golf business into the next era of growth. At the same time, I would like to thank Ben for his passion and many contributions to our company over the last nine years and I wish him all the best for his professional and private future.”


Rio's Mayor Now A Passionate Defender Of Golf (This Week)

Rio de Janeiro's mayor Eduardo Paes, who in recent months has sought to distance himself from Rio's Olympic golf course and even suggested it never would have been built if it were up to him, has seen the light. This week anyway.

Touring journalists around the course as it grows in post-construction, Paes and his team came armed with evidence that the site was, once in fact, mostly concrete and that the course will actually increase habitat area for critters.

The unbylined story features many ground shots from the bizarro course tour, though it's very clearly in the grow-in phase where bunkers are not maintainted and turf is the focus.

'Does this look like an environmental crime?' he exclaimed, arms akimbo, as he led reporters over the course's spongy grass. Earlier, Paes projected aerial photos from the 1980s apparently showing what's now the golf course dotted with concrete structures.

Environmentalists contend that hardy subtropical vegetation had since retaken the area and that before the bulldozers descended it had become home to several endangered species, including species of butterflies and frogs.

'He (Paes) thinks that all green's the same,' said Jean Carlos Novaes, a member of the Golfe Para Quem (Golf For Whom) group that has been protesting outside the site for months. 'But non-native grass is just not the same thing as the native ecosystem.'

Novaes, who was among a small group of protesters on Wednesday, insisted it was unnecessary to build a new course in the first place, since Rio already has two other golf courses - despite golf's status in Brazil as an unpopular sport played almost exclusively by the moneyed elite. The owner of one of the courses has said he wrote to authorities to offer it up for the Olympics but never heard back.

 I guess this would be a tough time to explain to him that the ball goes too far and that the other courses simply were not an option?


Crenshaw's Last Masters Files: Augusta Chronicle's Take

There will be many farewells to Ben Crenshaw's storied Masters career, and while his two wins will get most of the attention, David Westin reminds us of what an incredible run Gentle Ben had in years not ending in '84 or '95.

Brother Charlie is convinced that Ben could easily have won two more.

“Two or three more times, at least,” Charlie Crenshaw said.

He was in the final pairing of the closing rounds in 1977, 1987, 1988 and 1989. In 1987, he finished one shot out of the playoff involving eventual champion Larry Mize, Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros. In 1989, he fell one short of joining the playoff with winner Nick Faldo and Scott Hoch.

“There is a lot of great things to remember and a lot of heartache,” said Scotty Sayers, who has known Crenshaw since 1962 and been his manager since late 1984. “There’s no question he could have won in 1987 and 1989.”


"Road Rage in the Scoring Tent"

David Fay sheds a little light on one of the last private places in the game: the post round scoring tent.

While I won't spoil the ending to his April Golf Digest column, let's just say that if Fox wants to innovate in golf, they'll convince the USGA to let them install a nanny-cam in scoring tents. Maybe stream that on a separate channel. With sound, of course.

There was this:

Some players behave like princes, regardless of their score. Good examples: Ben Crenshaw and Nick Price. On the other hand, Ben's college teammate, Tom Kite, would fall into what I coined The 67-76 Club. All smiles and compliments after a 67, but a steady stream of criticism—usually about the course setup, sometimes about the guy he was playing with—after a 76.

I preferred the guys you could count on to be jerks all the time over the chameleons whose score dictated their behavior. Let's just say that the players you've heard stories about typically lived up to their reputations. And don't think there weren't some LPGA players who could lose it, too. (By the way, it should come as no surprise that Jack Nicklaus was a model citizen: always pleasant, never saccharine, no matter his score.)


Notah: Tiger 50-50 To Play Masters

Tiger life guru and senior swing consultant-to-the-consultant Notah Begay tells Scott Rude of 120 Sports that his student is 50-50 to play the Masters.

But only on Tiger's terms.

“I think that’s very important. It’s easy to get bullied into trying to acquiesce to the media’s concerns, or the PGA Tour’s concerns, or other people’s agendas. My suggestion to him was to take as much time as he needed to just figure out this issue with his short game and also to work on or clean up a couple of things that might be a little loose with his golf swing."


Sensibly Reducing The Crowded Masters Field

Few first world problems are more acute than that of the Masters and the desire to keep the field under 100 players for logistical reasons (starting weekday tee times at a civilized hour, for one).

And as this year's field approaches the number, Doug Ferguson makes a strong case for keeping the PGA Tour winner's exemption restored by Chairman Billy Payne, but trimming some of the official world golf ranking fat from the field.

Perhaps it’s time to get rid of the first cutoff for the top 50 at the end of a calendar year, and simply have one deadline at the end of the Florida swing. That still allows two weeks for players to plan a trip to Augusta. And the tournament is more likely to have the top players in form.

Dating to 2008, when the Masters returned to its policy of awarding spots to PGA Tour winners, an average of nearly three players per year were among the top 50 at the end of the year and failed to stay in the top 50 at the end of March.

There was so much turnover in 2010 that five players were added to the field after the March cutoff. Five others who had been in the top 50 at the end of 2009 still got into the Masters. Three of them missed the cut.


CNBC On The State Of Great White Shark Enterprises

Tom Cunneff in a special to CNBC caught up with Greg Norman en route to a Teeterboro wheels up situation to chat about Great White Shark Enterprises and reveals some interesting things about the empire that is all things Shark. Mercifully, his Instragamming was not discussed.

Complaining about too much banking regulation in his adopted homeland, Norman has started the Great White Shark Opportunity Fund.

The newest division at Great White Shark Enterprises he's most excited about is the Great White Shark Opportunity Fund, an asset-based debt-lending fund that provides alternative and flexible capital to small- and mid-cap companies. Norman won't reveal what companies they've invested in so far but said they have $75 million in capital.

"It's a good place to be in right now, because a lot of small, entrepreneurial businesses can't get capital to grow their business," he said in his familiar Australian accent. "Many years ago my partner, David Chessler, and I invested in a couple small business and just saw the returns we were generating, in the high 20s and even above. We started off very small, but now we're growing at a comfortable pace, and we have institutions interested because we have a performance track record that's very positive. We don't want to be a $20 billion fund. We just want to be like the space we're in."

Cunneff says Norman's design fee is down to $1.5 million from a peak of $2 million post-recession, and says the Shark's famous wine business has seen a decline.

One division that's still lagging is wine. Norman has been a connoisseur and collector since 1976, when he won a bottle of the award-winning Australian red Penfolds Grange. Twenty years later he partnered with California-Australian conglomerate Beringer Blass (now Treasury Wine Estates). The company, Greg Norman Estates, makes 13 different varietals and shipped 160,000 cases last year to Australia and the U.S.—down about 90,000 cases from 2006—with the majority made in his native country. (A Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand will debut in April.)

"Part of business is identifying the divisions in the company that need to be helped a little," he said. "And now, with the Australian dollar below par, our margins are improving on wine. It's a business I really want to start focusing on and getting it back up to where it was pre-recession."


Video: Jack Nicklaus Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony

Other than the huckster politicians bellowing on about nothing of much importance or interest, the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for Jack Nicklaus made for enjoyable viewing.

It's not often seeing the Golden Bear get so choked up, even as he stuck to his script in hopes of not getting emotional.

From D.J. Piehowski's report from Congress:

Nicklaus took the stage last, after being awarded the medal from Speaker John Boehner. Among other things, he touched on his worldwide competitive record, his work with the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and the role his wife Barbara played in all of his success.

“Yes, Jackie, I just played golf,” said Nicklaus, referring to the time his son gave that simplistic answer when asked what his father did for a living. “But my whole life’s work was to make you all proud of me. I hope I have.” posted a nice slideshow of images from the day, including this of the medal.

Also note the shots with Arnold Palmer, who made the journey to be there.

The full ceremony:


Rio Judge Allows Construction To Proceed On The Already Completed Olympic Golf Course!

The Rio Olympic course is finished and growing in. But that didn't stop Judge Fabio Dutra from ruling (again) that construction may move forward, despite attempts by city of Rio prosecutors who have attempted to halt completion due to environmental concerns.

There's one catch: construction is complete! Proceed!

All of this is made that much more surreal when going on in a city that on the same day admitted it's trash and raw sewage infested waters will not be cleaned up for Olympic sailing (doody!), 500 days away.

Yet some are still lamenting the creation of a golf course, yet unable to demonstrate any negative impact on the environment. This is one wild and zany city!

Prosecutors did not immediately say whether they would appeal again, although this was considered their last chance to stop the construction before work becomes too advanced.

In his ruling, judge Fabio Dutra said the matter is "highly complex" and needs to be further evaluated, but conceded that at least some of the environmental concerns were taken into consideration. He noted that course's construction was already in an advanced stage, and mentioned the importance of the Olympics to the city.

Read more here:

Video: Nike In The Gym With Rory

I'm leery of manufacturer-produced videos but this Nike piece with Rory McIlroy in the gym is quite exceptional on many levels. Namely, the minimalist vibe (though it surely was done by top-notch pros), the black and white, the quiet and of course, Rory discussing why he's gotten into working out so much.

Granted, it lacks the Omega Hall of Fame ad's ability to squeeze a confession out of even the most disciplined terrorist when subjected to repeated playings, but I can see this motivating aspiring players or those who've let their training slack off.


Video: Bubba & Kelly Make The New York Rounds

If you made the mistake of trying to watch Bubba Watson on the Jimmy Fallon Show, you were treated to some first rate Mustn't See TV. Oh well.

Mercifully, the effort to promote the upcoming Drive, Chip And Putt with Watson and 2014 winner (and only 2015 repeat qualifier) Kelly Xu was far more enjoyable when the charismatic duo appeared on CBS This Morning and Golf Channel.

The CBS interview let young Kelly shine (again), and at the 4:30 mark the dreaded millennials are brought up and Bubba makes a nice defense for the game.

Talking with Rich Lerner, here are two bits, a general discussion followed by Bubba remembering his late friend David Miller.


Link: Nicklaus Gets His Congressional Medal At 3 PM ET  

Below is the live link, reportedly, for the March 24th, 2015 ceremony.

3 pm ET is the official start time.


“The Masters looms...but all Tiger Woods has left is a walk-on part in his own freak show”

Thanks to reader Steve for Oliver Holt's Mail On Sunday story from Orlando, surveying the landscape that Tiger Woods once dominated both on and off the course.

Ignore that he starts off at the local eatery that has been through various iterations since once housing a Perkins, and instead consider the takeaway from a week where Rory was dining with Arnold Palmer while Tiger's no-show chipped away at his status in golf.

The interest in Woods does not centre on sport now. In the freak show phase, it revolves around stuff like pictures of him missing a front tooth. His explanation that he had been hit by a TV camera was not widely believed. His management recently had to deny claims that Woods does not even have the rights to his own name after speculation that it had been bought by Nike. They also shot down claims made by a former PGA Tour player, Dan Olsen, that Woods’ current break from the sport is actually a one-month ban. Olsen later retracted his remarks.

What is obvious, though, is that golf is bracing itself for Woods’ exit. The sport is nervous about losing him and it should be. ‘I don’t know what he’s going to be like when he comes back,’ said Ian Poulter, ‘but I’d love to think he’ll be on good form. Every player wants him at his best so you can measure yourself against him.’


FS1 And USGA Ratings Eyebrow Raiser: Big East Ratings Plunge

As we're only two months from the debut of most USGA events on Fox Sports 1, the cable channel continues to earn accolades for...delivering shocking ratings plunges.

Awful Announcing
notes the Big East Championship's 86% drop in two years since moving from ESPN.

We’ve chronicled the issues the conference has had on Fox Sports 1 since it began on the network in the 2013-14 season to the point where it could influence other leagues from coming on-board.

Last Saturday’s Big East Championship on Fox Sports 1 drew just a 0.3 overnight rating. That’s down 40% from last year’s 0.5 which also had the Pac-12 Championship as a lead-in. And when you compare it to the last Big East Championship on ESPN, it’s a huge 86% drop from the 2.3 in 2013.


Clarke Could Rake In Up To €2.7million For Cart Driving Duties

Brian Keogh does a nice job tracing recent Ryder Cup captaincy endorsements and reaches out to Darren Clarke rep Chubby Chandler in piecing together what the gig can mean for the Captain's coffers.

And Keogh concludes that landing the 2016 job for Clarke could mean a nice haul. Up to €2.7m in endorsement income to the 46-year old, Keogh says.

According to Steve Martin, Global CEO of M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, £2m “is not far off what is possible” with more to come in the event of a successful captaincy.

Chandler does not dismiss the £2m figure as outlandish either and expects his first big client to do very well from the captaincy.

“I think commercially it will be very good for Darren because he's so very good with the corporate world,” Chandler said in an email.

As McGinley discovered, Ryder Cup Europe LLP is very hands on when it comes to its partners — Rolex, BMW, Johnnie Walker, EY and Standard Life — not to mention a long list of official suppliers.


Here We Go: Caddie Told Shorts Not An "Acceptable" Color

It's been hard to get too caught up in the plight of the caddies and their PGA Tour lawsuit. Until now, when a "PGA Tour official" (which could be any number of possibilities) reportedly told looper Duane Bock that his red shorts were not acceptable. Bock was looping for Kevin Kisner at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when the fashion police shared their views.

Luke Kerr Dineen with the posting and comments (also pasted below).

Rex Hoggard followed up with this:

Bock is among 167 caddies who filed a class-action lawsuit against the Tour last month, claiming the Tour has engaged in restraint of trade and anticompetitive conduct involving the caddie bib.

Following Sunday’s final round, Bock told that he had no problem with officials policing what caddies wear, but that he would like to see more consistency.

On Friday, for example, Henrik Stenson’s caddie Gareth Lord wore a similar pair of red shorts and told officials said nothing to him about it.

As many commenters noted, John Daly's wife/caddie wears Loud Mouth branded stuff when looping for her man. And there isn't a jury in the world that would agree red shorts are less acceptable than that stuff!


Video: 9th Circuit Hears Sharp Park Golf Arguments

No matter what side you come down on (I'm guessing it's 99.9% in favor of golf here...), it's fascinating to eavesdrop and watch the lawyers discussing with the infamous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals the fate of Sharp Park Golf Course and habitat permitting.

Great to see this posted on YouTube by the court and to see the strong lawyering on behalf of Alister MacKenzie's semi-lost masterpiece. And great to see the humorless Brent Plater, almost a one-man-band fighting the course at this point for Wild Equity, getting grilled by the justices.

Appearing for the City and County of San Francisco was Deputy City Attorney Jim Emery. And Joseph Palmore, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice Group, argued the case for San Francisco Public Golf Alliance. The decision from the 9th Circuit is pending.


Nike Announces Tiger's Masters Apparel Scripting!?

Now we just need a body to show up and wear the clothes!

Add another slash to the Bizarro Moves tally sheet, as Nike has released their Masters clothing scripts with no idea whether one of their primary players has found a wedge game to get himself around the course.

Kyle Porter posted both Tiger and Rory's scripting. (Good news, Rory's hideous day-glo ensembles allow him to volunteer as a traffic cop outside the gates if he feels the need to pass time before those late weekend tee times.)

Reading into this madness, I'm sure had Nike withheld Tiger's scripting while releasing Rory's, that the PR department told the higher-ups that it would not look too kosher.

Or, perhaps the higher-ups are making a passive-aggressive statement about their wishes? You know, uh, we're paying you to wear our Swoosh, now do it where cameras are located.

One thing is certain. No one needed to know this information two weeks prior to the Masters.