Mickelson bag man Jim “Bones” Mackay opens up about his career to Vice Sports' Fernando Perez and allows a horrible rake job to go uncriticized in this feature.
Putting is a form of self-torture by which I have been fascinated throughout my golfing life. Long, long ago--and if you don't believe it, I am not arguing the point--I had a period when for two or three years I could putt as well as anyone in England, though I was no great shakes at the rest of the game. Then I learnt to play golf quite reasonably well and the putting sank first to moderate and then to the lowest depths of the "jitters". Finally, the rest of the game departed and the putting returned. A perverse life, indeed!
Mickelson bag man Jim “Bones” Mackay opens up about his career to Vice Sports' Fernando Perez and allows a horrible rake job to go uncriticized in this feature.
The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein considers the possible South Shore-Jackson Park-Obama-Woods-Keiser-Rolfing project on the South Side and gives it an endorsement, seeing plenty of potential "greatness," assuming green fees for the locals do not go up substantially.
The project has been a dream of Rolfing's that has taken an intriguing turn with the possible inclusion of Tiger Woods and now, the Obama library. I hate seeing the dreadful TPC Harding Park redesign--a massive cost overrun boondoggle with dreadful architectural results--as a precedent setter, but Greenstein notes the green fees have at least held steady:
That's what officials did at TPC Harding Park, the San Francisco course that was transformed into a facility worthy of the 2009 Presidents Cup. Senior residents of the city can play the 18 holes from Monday-Thursday for $39, about one-fourth of the standard rate.
Rolfing also wants to design a "short course" in the vein of what Harding Park has — nine holes ranging from 140-405 yards
It’s a sorry state of affairs, and I want to sympathize with Tiger's swing and injury issues, but celebrating the 20th anniversary of his fine Foundation and the not-so-fine launch of his rebranding with appearances on Colbert and Charlie Rose? Strange timing.
It's not a great look that he committed before pulling out of last week’s Safeway and inexplicably passed on Arnold Palmer’s funeral, yet Woods can make time for talk shows? Given the amount of money he has made thanks to Palmer’s breakthrough efforts for athletes or the intelligence gleaned by his operation from IMG as a result of Palmer and Mark McCormick’s pioneering ways, the appearances seem poorly timed (at best).
If you want to set the DVR, here is a preview often October 20th appearances from Joel Beall at GolfDigest.com.
That was Anthony Woolford's view of Ian Woosnam's previous Hall Of Fame slights, now rectified by the committee.
We discussed on Golf Central both Woosnam and, more importantly, Henry Longhurst's selection, and while I'm happy for Woosnam and the validation of his 29-win European Tour career, in a strange way his selection is fascinating because he overcomes a bold Tweet.
From Woolford's story:
Woosie wrote on Twitter at the time: “After seeing the results of the World Golf Hall of Fame, I think it’s time to say goodbye to golf and retire.”
But two years on former world No.1 Woosnam took to social media again to tweet his delight at finally being recognised by the World Golf Hall of Fame when he joined fellow inductees Davis Love III, who captained the US to Ryder Cup victory over Europe this autumn, another well-known figure in British golf, the legendary late BBC commentator Henry Longhurst as well as Solheim Cup stalwart Meg Mallon and former women’s world No.1 Lorena Ochoa.
Jason Day texts with Tiger Woods and has visited him and says he senses an eagerness from Tiger to return, but doesn't see it happening anytime soon.
Robert Grant, reporting on the sidelined world No. 1's comments about the sidelined former world No. 1. **
"I think he misses being out here, which is understandable because the competition is so addicting," Day said.
"He saw Phil Mickelson playing well at the (British) Open Championship, and that got him going. But he knows he can't push it.
"I never really had any faith in him coming back this year. The state of his game, I'm not sure. His back is so sore. I think we'll see him sometime next year, but I'm not sure when," he said.
Day went on to suggest winning will be tougher than ever due to the competitiveness of today's tour.
**Apologies for not catching this, but the author unfortunately chose to lift these remarks from Brian Wacker's Golf Digest feature on Tiger's low-profile existence in the greater Jupiter area. A story worth reading given the latest suggestion that Tiger tried to cram for his first tournament back and WD'd upon actually testing his game on a course.
As for dating the story October 18th and giving the impression of original reporting, the Golf Australia story should not have been posted and distributed as news.
AP's Doug Ferguson, working with additional information from Yonhap News Agency, reports on the new event joining the 2017 PGA Tour schedule.
With a $7 million purse sponsored by the CJ Group, this will give the tour three weeks in Asia and nearly a month of its calendar outside the continental United States.
The event in South Korea would give players an easier option of playing two weeks if they are eligible for the World Golf Championship in Shanghai. Instead of an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur, the flight from Korea is just over two hours across the Yellow Sea.
The details will be announced Monday, but the PGA Tour bolsters the two events already in Asia while also further signaling to the European Tour a continued willingness to expand outside the United States.
Hey how about that Henry Longhurst!
The full release:
ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida (October 18, 2016) - The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum announced today its 2017 Induction Class: Henry Longhurst, Davis Love III, Meg Mallon, Lorena Ochoa and Ian Woosnam.
These five new members will be enshrined at the World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City the week of the Presidents Cup.
Following is a brief bio on each new Inductee:
Henry Longhurst, United Kingdom
A weekly columnist for the London Sunday Times for 40 years. He was also considered to be the first golf TV personality providing coverage for the BBC from the 1950s until his death in 1978.
“Henry Longhurst did something that no other journalist has done. He proved to be as apt, succinct, colorful, informative and compelling to listen to as he had been to read. He captivated people. He has influenced golf in the same way as many Hall of Fame members. I’m really pleased that we have recognized his achievements.” - John Hopkins
Davis Love III, United States
In a career that has spanned four decades on the PGA TOUR, Love has notched 22 victories including the 1997 PGA Championship and two victories at The PLAYERS Championship in 1992 and 2003. His quality of play has earned him a place on six U.S. Ryder Cup teams and six Presidents Cup teams. He has captained two Ryder Cup teams, including the victorious 2016 team. Love is a recipient of both the Payne Stewart and Bob Jones Awards.
“Davis is a fixture on the PGA TOUR and has been for decades. He has contributed so much to the image of the game because of who he is, and the way he handles himself. Love is extremely well-respected by the other players, so having him contribute his time and energy to making the organization work better has been a very impactful thing. It makes us all smile to see him get the recognition he deserves and be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.” -PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem
“Davis has an outstanding record not only as a player but as a gentleman. He’s been a tremendous contributor and has been an all-around man for golf. It’s terrific to see him in the World Golf Hall of Fame.” -Gary Player
Meg Mallon, United States
Her 18 career LPGA Tour victories and four Major Championships are just part of Mallon’s winning make-up. A member of nine Solheim Cup teams (captain in 2013), Mallon was recognized during the LPGA’s 50th Anniversary as one of the LPGA’s top-50 players and teachers. She also earned the Golf Writers Association of America Female Player of the Year award in 1991.
“Meg Mallon has been a great player and a great contributor. She has been involved heavily in the game of golf. Everybody likes her; everybody knows what her talent is. She’s just an amazing gal, a fellow Buckeye and great member of the Class of 2017.” -Jack Nicklaus
Lorena Ochoa, Mexico
In her first full season on the LPGA Tour, Ochoa had eight top-10 finishes, finished ninth on the LPGA Tour’s money list and was named Rookie of the Year. She finished with 27 victories on the LPGA Tour, including two major championships. She was ranked World Number One for 158 consecutive weeks (2007-2010). In a three-year stretch (2006-2008), she won 21 tournaments, including the two majors and in 2008, she dominated with wins by as many as 11 strokes on more than one occasion. Ochoa will be the first Mexican-born golfer to enter into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
“Being Mexican myself but being born in the United States, I’ve always been very proud of Lorena Ochoa, what she’s accomplished and the way she’s accomplished it with class and style. She is a role model for Mexican children. They can look at her and say, ‘She did it. Why can’t we?’” -Nancy Lopez
“Lorena’s record speaks for itself. In addition to her wins on the LPGA, she also won Player of the Year numerous times. She has so many awards, which just shows how much she contributed to the game. She has reached a demographic that we didn’t see before.” -Annika Sorenstam
Ian Woosnam, United Kingdom
“Woosie,” winner of the 1991 Masters Tournament, sat atop the Official World Golf Rankings for 50 weeks throughout 1991 and 1992. His sterling play led him to represent Europe in eight consecutive Ryder Cup teams from 1983 to 1997. Woosnam won the Order of Merit as the leading money winner on the European Tour and named European Player of the Year in 1987 and 1990. In recognition of his contributions to golf, he was awarded the Queen’s honor of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006.
“Woosie got a lot out of his game. He was a great competitor and handled himself very well. He’s been on a lot of Ryder Cup teams and captained quite a bit. He’s been a great contributor to golf from the European side, and I’m delighted to have him inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.” -Jack Nicklaus
These five Inductees will bring the total number of World Golf Hall of Fame Members to 155.
“Thanks to the hard work and diligence of both the Selection Sub-Committee and the Selection Commission, we have the privilege of bringing in one of our strongest classes to date,” said Jack Peter, President of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “We look forward to an exciting year ahead as we prepare for the Induction Ceremony, which will be hosted appropriately in the ‘city of dreams’ – New York City – this September.”
The Class of 2017 was elected by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Commission, which debated a group of 16 Finalists. The five members of the Class of 2017 each passed the required 75 percent voting threshold – approval by at least 12 of the 16 members.
The Selection Commission was co-chaired by Hall of Fame Members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam and included the Members of the World Golf Foundation Board of Directors and a mix of institutional and at-large seats.
The Commission elected the Class of 2017 from 16 Finalists, which were vetted by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee vetted every candidate that met the qualifications of the Hall of Fame’s four Induction categories. It presented the following group of Finalists to the Commission:
Peggy Kirk Bell
Davis Love III
One of the more brilliant and fascinating characters in golf architecture finally has been revealed in a new biography.
Fred Hawtree and Donald Steel are listed as the authors though I know there were many fine contributors, and Rhod McEwan is the publisher. I have purchased Simpson and Co. and will review when I have received the book.
Here is the purchase page.
From the description.
Whereas many famous golf architects have been reluctant to divulge their trade secrets, Simpson was a glorious exception. His views are an educational catalogue of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. Without them, a biography published half a century after his death may have proved impossible. An engaging, multi-talented figure with a perfectionist’s streak, he was one of a generation who had to adjust to the disruption of two World Wars. As a result, there were more prolific golf architects but few whose legacy has a more enriching influence.
Simpson was involved in many courses around Europe, one way or another, and these are some of the jewels: Cruden Bay, Royal Aberdeen, Royal Porthcawl, Rye, Hayling, Ashridge, New Zealand, Muirfield, Huddersfield, Sunningdale, Woking, Liphook, St Andrews, Chantilly, Fontainebleau, Morfontaine, Deauville, Royal Antwerp, Liege, Spa, Louth, Ballybunnion and Zurich etc.
Ken Brown tweeted this teaser:
As the timeline takes shape for Europe to select its next Ryder Cup captain--Paul McGinley says Christmastime for the Thomas Bjorn to likely get the job according to G.C. Digital--the 17-11 losers at Hazeltine may be taking inspiration from the vaunted American Task Force.
Derek Lawrenson writes for the Daily Mail about Europe realizing it may not be fielding its best team, with Alex Noren serving as the latest reminder by winning his third European Tour title.
Though the discussion could get awkward...
Barring last-minute manoeuvrings, expect them to appoint Thomas Bjorn — and if anyone should know the time is right for change, it is the Dane.
Bjorn benefited from the failings of the current qualifying system when he made the team at Gleneagles.
He won the first qualifying event in Switzerland, then the Nedbank Challenge at the back end of 2013 - and was still hanging on to a place despite a single top-three finish over the next 10 months.
He then struggled in Scotland, contributing a half-point. Yes, it is true the Americans putted far better than the Europeans at Hazeltine and that is why they won. But it is also true that players bang in form invariably do.
Brynn Grimley reports on the selection of a local team to build a resort-style hotel, restaurant and villas at Chambers Bay. While getting the turf a little stronger is a priority for some and stadium mounds that actually work (unlike the ones RTJ envisioned), we all know by now the real key to landing a repeat major centers around high-end lodging for the decision-makers.
This should help:
Led by Dan and Tom Absher, of Puyallup-based Absher Construction, and Dan Putnam, who previously was CEO of structural engineering firm PCS Structural Solutions, Chambers Bay Development used the local angle in its pitch. Also included is Columbia Hospitality, Kemper Sports, GGLO Architects and Douglas.
Putnam and the Abshers say they view the project as a legacy, something they would remain a part of after construction.
“I think they understand the Pacific Northwest,” said county Parks and Recreation director Tony Tipton. “The end product will transform into something this community can be proud of.”
The plans are conceptual, which means architectural features and smaller details are likely change as the project moves through the permitting process.
Martin Dempster reports on former Masters and Open Championship winner Sandy Lyle taking his second World Hickory Open title at Panmure.
From Dempster's Scotsman report, where Lyle said the win was the highlight of his year.
“I’ve also played in the Par 3 event at The Masters with them a couple of times, which has created a bit of a stir. They all thought they’d have steel rods in them but, no, it is proper hickory shafts. “Tad Moore has made hickory clubs for quite a few years. He’s in his late 70s and used to work for Dunlop. I got to know him quite well back then and it’s funny how 30-odd years later that we’ve met up again.”
Here is a link to Moore's beautiful clubs.
It's been way too long since we've been blessed with a unique blend of authentic, frontier gibberish-speak.
But then we also didn't see Tiger Woods picking the Monday after his Safeway enter-and-the-WD to launch a rebranding and business expansion. Maybe he just felt that threatened by the Great White Shark transitioning redirecting to a single-color logo as he continues to pursue his love of hurricane-induced fitness, chainsaws and shirtless golf tips (and that's just in the last week!).
Elizabeth Segran of Fast Company got the exclusive lowdown on TGR, Tiger's new Magic/Lebron/Jack/Arnold-like empire of brands complete with a new logo "made up of three triangles that look like a tiger's stripes and also resemble a W."
Key word, resemble.
The story includes plenty of photo gallery fun and no shortage of prime B-speak. But why, oh why a rebranding now?
Though Woods's overall brand has been tarnished by highly publicized personal-life scandals, TGR will give him a platform from which to launch the next stage of his career. He had been thinking about building this kind of umbrella operation for several years now, but only began nailing down the details last December, shortly after his 40th birthday. Woods and key executives from his existing businesses started strategizing ways to create a brand that would take advantage of his position as one of the world's most recognizable athletes, but would not necessarily be directly tied to golf. They brought in Sub Rosa to help define what TGR would stand for and how it could scale across a wide range of industries. "If chapter one began when he was first on national television playing golf, now it's Tiger, the enterprise or Tiger, the portfolio activator," says Kempler. "He has a really clear mind-set about what his personal brand means."
Portfolio activator. I'm just going to give that gem some time to breathe.
Ok, continue on sir...
Sub Rosa was tasked with incorporating these ideas into the TGR narrative, so that as the brand scaled and entered new markets, it would be instantly identifiable as an extension of Woods. But they also wanted to create a business that could exist apart from its namesake, like, say, Paul Newman's food empire. "How can Tiger's global fame and recognizability both empower the new brand, but not create a dependency that would undo longevity?" says Kempler, describing the kinds of conversations he's had with Woods.
Translation: when you move on the Big Cat's Big 18 In The Sky, we want people to be able to keep making money off of your name, because we know how much you love that.
And there was this story ending...
Of course, Woods could, at the age of 40, still have many years ahead of him as a competitive golfer. Given his famously intense training regimen and diverse business interests, how will he manage everything? "I pride myself on being efficient," he says. "I also don't sleep much."
The story also speculated Woods might use the Nike equipment demise to start a club company. Mike Johnson considered that and the many other nuggets from the story in this GolfDigest.com assessment.
With the golf club business stagnant, it’s not clear how Woods could make a golf startup buck the current trends. That said, it’s also not clear how Woods could hope to negotiate a golf endorsement contract anywhere similar to the deals current top players like Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are bringing in, let alone the last deal he signed with Nike in 2013. So starting his own golf club company could have a certain appeal.
Still, Woods hasn’t tipped his hand that he’s exploring other golf equipment deals yet. In footage from a charity outing at Pebble Beach last week, he was still clearly using Nike clubs. And while he’s still apparently a few months from competing again, that’s not enough time to start a new golf club company.
But the Nike deal is set to expire 2018, which gives Woods time to explore his own equipment brand.
Dan Adams of the Boston Globe reports that Acushnet Holdings will be valued at $1.7 billion and is hoping to raise $435 million with the sale of 19.3 million shares. A whole bunch of people will get rich!
The offering is expected to raise roughly $435 million with the sale of 19.3 million shares priced between $21 and $24. Previous investors, not the company, will reap the proceeds.
Thanks to a series of related transactions in advance of the offering, the majority of voting shares will go to Fila Korea Ltd., which has owned Acushnet since 2011.
The long awaited IPO may also accelerate the sale of Taylor Made and Golfsmith.
**Steve Pike says this is the "most anticipated IPO since Callaway Golf Founder Ely Callaway took his company public in the early 1990s – a move that sparked a Wall Street run (with varied results) on golf equipment companies."
Beth Ann Nichols interviewed a dozen LPGA players for Golfweek and all but one supported keeping the 2017 U.S. Women's Open at Trump Bedminster.
Reporting from Incheon, South Korea where the KEB HanaBank Championship just concluded.
“I say keep it there,” said 2016 Women’s Open champion Brittany Lang. “I don’t think it’s related.”
Cristie Kerr, the 2007 USWO champion and a friend of Trump’s, feels the Republican presidential nominee should be forgiven.
“Nobody treats the LPGA better than Donald,” Kerr said.
It seems like ages ago, but Donald's Trump International was the longtime season-ending ADT Championship host, including through the rough Bivens years.
The U.S. Senior Open is heading to some swell places: an American classic and a Coore/Crenshaw design that has emerged from early struggles to become one of America's best college courses.
Ryan Belmore reports exclusively that Newport CC in Rhode Island will get the 2020 edition where Phil Mickelson will be eligible but will pass because he's trying to earn a few more pre-Whistling Straits Ryder Cup points!
The full USGA release on Notre Dame's Warren Course landing the 2019 edition
“The USGA is proud to partner with the University of Notre Dame, an institution whose national and international student body is reflective of the 156-player field in the U.S. Senior Open Championship,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “The U.S. Senior Open is senior golf’s most coveted championship and we know the Warren Course will examine the players’ skills as they compete for the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy.”
Al Lesar of the South Bend Tribune has more details on how the bid came about and future enhancements to the course.
Bill Warren, who has named the course for his parents William K. and Natalie Warren, is enhancing his financial backing to help with course modifications and improvements over the next three years.
Logistically, the course will be turned upside down. All that will take will be changing the signs.
The current back nine will be the front nine of the tournament layout. Holes 7, 8 and 9 will be 10, 11 and 12. Holes 1 through 6 will be the finishing holes, allowing better access for spectators, grandstands and hospitality tents.
As John Strege notes, the combination of rain, an already oversaturated product re-starting way too soon, and Tiger's WD has the new PGA Tour season dragging.
But as he always does, Tiger still overshadows the week. The SI gang kicked around his WD in this week's Confidential, with Alan Shipnuck declaring the end nigh and the WD the ultimate capitulation.
I also thought this from Gary Van Sickle is a key point for those trying, a week later, to understand how someone enters a tournament on Friday and WD's on Monday.
Johnny Miller said he wasn’t convinced Tiger would play give how gingerly Tiger got in and out of the carts at the Ryder Cup. Back surgery isn’t knee surgery, and knee surgery is no snap. Maybe Tiger is so used to being able to cobble together a game in a few days that he forgot that everything — his age, his body, his desire — is different now.
We saw it at Troon and Turnberry and the world continued to revolve on its axis. So it is with great delight that Adam Lawrence reports on a New Course at St. Andrews effort to remove the gorse that so annoyed Old Tom Morris, and restore it to the sandy/grassy aesthetic of old.
This news is fun on multiple levels: this makes for a better looking course, better playing and better functioning. And what happens in St. Andrews has the potential to influence countless other links that have been compromised by gorse and the loss of dunes.
Lawrence quotes Graeme Taylor, course manager for the New and Jubilee.
Taylor told GCA that the reason for converting the gorse areas back to exposed sand was primarily ecological. “Bob Taylor, our ecologist from the Sports Turf Research Institute, actaully first suggested the exposed sand areas back in 2005,” he explained. “Bob explained that exposed sand was a habitat common to linksland and was ecologically important. We tried a few areas then, but nothing like the scale of what we are now doing. Bob visited us again after last year’s Open, and again suggested that creating open sand areas would be very beneficial ecologically, restore natural habitats, and be an interesting feature to otherwise scruffy areas.”
The news of an architect's involvement at St. Andrews is also intriguing given Ebert's fine work at Turnberry, Troon and presumably based on the track record of he and partner Tom Mackenzie, Portrush.
Could this be leading to a consulting role for The Old Course? Given the many disappointing tweaks in recent times and the overabundance of gorse that would have Old Tom fuming, let's hope so.
Thanks to Steven T. for Dan Reiner's story suggesting that the homeowners who have battled Quaker Ridge are running out of options and courts to hear their claims. They earned a measely $7,300 in damages from the court.
The six-year-old case (!?), while appearing to be yet another first-world situation, is important because a victory here could have led to more such cases against golf courses. Given the actions of the homeowners and attempts by the club to appease them, could have set an even more dreadful legal precedent than the many already on the books.
The club stationed an employee at the second hole for 118 days in 2015 to secure an accurate count of ball incursions on the Behar property; the count found 40 balls may have entered the yard, which equates to about one ball every three days.
"Quaker Ridge has always been good neighbors to the surrounding homes around our golf course," Friedman said. "The significant steps we took to reduce the number of golf balls entering this yard were successful."
“It should not be unexpected that any house abutting a golf course, including the Behar’s house, would from time to time, receive three, four, five, or more balls on a given particular day of poor swings, and that there could be no liability on the part of a golf course for trespass, nuisance or concomitant damages," Wood said.
With the Ryder Cup and its assorted dramas taking our attention during what should have been a longer mourning and celebratory period for Arnold Palmer, it may be a nice time to reflect more on the late legend.
Perhaps Tiger's struggles also highlight just how extraordinarily stable Palmer's life was and he couldn't have done it without the help of Doc Giffin and Charlie Mechum.
Jaime Diaz caught up with them following Palmer's memorial service and how they are coping with the loss of their pal.
Both men were in contact with Palmer either in person or by phone several times a week. Now both are struggling with a tremendous void. The man whose public presence could dominate a playing field or a television screen, and who left a legacy like very few others who’ve ever lived, is most intensely missed by those who knew him privately.
GolfDigest.com has a nice page of Palmer reads, including a recent post on one of the final congratulatory letters he sent.
And if you're looking for a great Palmer keepsake, Golf Digest's special tribute issue really is a tremendous bargain at $13.99 (for The Open Championship images alone). Palmer's A Life Well Played is now in stores after having its shipping date moved up.
Mike Whan, the LPGA Tour Commissioner, is punting on the issue of Trump Bedminster, the 2017 U.S. Women's Open and the presidential candidate's recently revealed comments.
From an unbylined story in The Age based on a KEB Hana Bank Championship press conference.
"In a strange way I'm lucky that the LPGA has no direct dealings with Donald Trump or Donald Trump properties," he said.
"Like any group we have people who are political in favour of different sides. I'm not here to be a politician, I know that what the players want is that I don't get so political as to limit opportunities for women.
"All I've said to the USGA is this, 'You have long since proven you support women's golf so if you tell us this is the right place to play then we're right there with you.'"
Nice, end-over-end punt.