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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
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • 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

Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

In the days of King Arthur nobody thought the worse of a young knight if he suspended all his social and business engagements in favour of a search for the Holy Grail. In the Middle Ages a man could devote his whole life to the Crusades, and the public fawned upon him. Why, then blame the man of today for a zealous attention to the modern equivalent, the Quest of Scratch!  P.G. WODEHOUSE


    

Friday
Apr172015

Euro Tour Selects Man From Designer Eyewear Ad As Next CEO

It’s a full-fledged, undeniable Friday news dump, which is never encouraging. But the European Tour board found their replacement for the retiring George O’Grady in a Canadian known for orchestrating big TV deals.

Keith Pelley's biography is noticeably light on golf accomplishments, though that’s not always a bad thing. Particularly if he listens to the many golf-aficionados in the organization assembled by O'Grady and who, against most odds, are bringing the European Tour to the Gullane's and Royal County Down's of the world.

Charley Lemay at Golf Magic has the story and the image from a Warby Parker ad. Or is it Lens Crafters?

For Immediate Release:

Keith Pelley unveiled as new Chief Executive of The European Tour
 
The Board of the PGA European Tour is pleased to announce the appointment of Keith Pelley as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective this summer. This follows the announcement in November 2014 that George O’Grady would be stepping down from the role.

Keith has enjoyed an extensive and highly successful career in the worlds of sport and media.  He is currently President of Rogers Media, a media conglomerate in Canada, with responsibility for all lines of the media business, including 51 radio stations, 56 publications, 12 national TV stations plus 42 local stations, 300 digital properties as well as the Toronto Blue Jays, Canada’s only Major League Baseball team.

While at Rogers, Keith helped orchestrate the largest sports rights deal in Canadian history, the first of its kind worldwide, with the acquisition of a $5.2 billion National Hockey League rights deal for 12 years to include all media platforms.

Prior to this, Keith was President of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium where he created and led the media consortium for all broadcast rights holders for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, with responsibility for all production, programming, marketing, sales and sponsorship in the run up to and during the Games. Earlier in his career he was CEO of the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, during which the team won the championship title in his first year of leadership.

Keith has a deep understanding of the professional athlete, having worked with them for over 30 years across several major sports including the National Football League, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and the Canadian Football League.

This, combined with his extensive experience in rights management and negotiations; sponsorship creation; television production; marketing; communications; brand development and event management, made Keith the unanimous choice of the Board’s Nominations Committee.

David Williams, Chairman of The European Tour commented: “I am delighted to welcome Keith Pelley to The European Tour as our new Chief Executive.  Keith’s proven track record, extensive experience and outstanding leadership skills in both sport and media will be invaluable as we continue to further develop our strategy.
“Throughout the interview process, it was clear that Keith has an unwavering passion for golf as well as a strong grasp of the challenges and opportunities facing not only The European Tour, but the wider game of golf as a whole.  He knows the game, respects its history and I have no doubt he will bring an innovative approach to the development of The European Tour on the global stage.

“On behalf of the Board I would again like to thank George O'Grady for his extraordinary contribution to The European Tour and professional golf over the last 40 years and we are delighted that he will undertake the role of President of International Relations, ensuring The European Tour will continue to benefit from his knowledge and experience.”

Keith Pelley said:  “I am very honoured to be joining The European Tour as its new CEO at an exciting stage in its development.  The Tour already has a highly regarded reputation and I look forward to building on this using my previous experience in both media and sports to ensure it remains at forefront of the game across the globe.

“Throughout my career in North America, it has been a privilege to work with the best sports organisations, athletes, and media assets.  I am excited to build on these experiences on the international stage.”
George O’Grady, who will continue in the role of Chief Executive until Keith takes office officially, said: “I look forward to welcoming Keith to The European Tour and ensuring a smooth transition as I continue to develop my new role. I am certain that Keith will bring a fresh and business-focused perspective to the Tour.”

Thomas Bjørn, Chairman of The European Tour’s Tournament Committee said: “On behalf of all the players on The European Tour, I am delighted to welcome Keith Pelley as our new Chief Executive. Having spoken to him at length, I know the passion and commitment he will bring to the role as the Tour moves forward. You only need to look at what he has achieved in sports and business to date to see that his record speaks for itself.
“I would also like to place on record how impressed I have been with the process put in place by the Board of The European Tour to select our new Chief Executive. The Nominations Committee, led by chair David Jones, and consisting of David Williams, Damon Buffini, Chris Hanell and Robert Lee, handled the process in a professional and exemplary fashion and shows precisely the trust the players have in the Board.”

Thursday
Apr162015

Masters Putts Made: Jordan 410 Feet, Rory 340 Feet

With the soft launch this year of Masters.com's "Track" feature we were treated to a ShotLink-light system that looked great and allowed us to track players when television wasn't showing them. Or, to see what distances they had off of tees, into greens or on the greens.

While the system did not provide ShotLink-type numbers or hole scatter charts, there was this enterprising use of the data on distances by Brian Keogh at the Irish Golf Desk in considering the issues Rory McIlroy faces in adapting to Augusta National's greens.

McIlroy, in contrast, totalled 86 feet, 71 feet, 101 feet and 82 feet of putts. In other words, he holed 340 feet worth of putts compared to 410 feet for Spieth.

It’s not that the Holywood star putted poorly but any means but while he holed just nine putts beyond eight feet for the week, Spieth holed 16. That's got little to do with McIlroy's overly conservative strategy in a week when soft conditions begged for his usual attacking style.

Thursday
Apr162015

We Are Golf Lobbies For Inclusion In Health Investment Act

Mike Stachura of GolfDigest.com with the specifics of the annual descending upon Washington by various folks in the golf business to lobby the future lobbyists currently buying time in Congress.

This was an interesting little revelation:

The group sought to make inroads yesterday in a number of specific legislative areas. One interesting item is an effort to get golf included as part of the proposed PHIT (“Personal Health Investment Today”) Act. This legislation would allow the use of pre-tax health spending account funds for “physical activity expenses.” Currently, golf is specifically excluded from the legislation.

Making that change requires adjusting some lawmaker’s perspectives about what golf’s impact is on the nation’s economy. We Are Golf cites a direct economic impact of golf of $68.8 billion and nearly two million jobs. Mona also estimates a charitable impact of nearly $4 billion. He notes the PGA Tour gets more attention for its contributions, but it’s local one-day events at golf courses that constitute the vast majority of those dollars. He estimates there may be as many as 144,000 charity golf events annually.

You can read about the PHIT Act here.

Thursday
Apr162015

Fox Sports Happy To Reach Non-Millennials, Except On U-Verse

Greg Connors of the Buffalo News looks at Fox Sports' embrace of non-millennials as it begins covering golf on Fox Sports 1.

Because it seems any live event is better than a rerun, even if it's the U.S. Junior Amateur.

From Bill Wanger, executive vice president of research and programming for Fox Sports, on not being ashamed to attract the demographic dead to most over-35-year-olds.

The live events drive the viewership,” Wanger said, “so we’re going to have about 40 hours of coverage on Fox Sports 1 of just the U.S. Open. You’re talking about eight hours on Thursday and Friday, and all sorts of preview shows, so it’s really important to establish a good base for people to come and check out the channel. 

“And particularly golf, which is a unique audience. It’s a little bit older, more upscale, so it’s an opportunity for those folks to be able to see the network.”

Fox Sports acquired digital rights to the USGA events, as well as broadcast rights. Wanger said that in addition to streaming some of the TV broadcasts online, there will be three digital-only feeds available on Fox Sports Go and through USGA.com.

Awful Announcing's Matt Yoder noted this in analyzing the story:

Seeing Fox Sports 1 publicly yearning to attract golf’s older, upscale audience and have them visit the network is a long cry from the days of #The1ForFun.  The arranged marriage between the conservative golf audience and Fox Sports is one that will bear watching in June considering the golf world’s yearly reaction to Chris Berman.

One area of continued concern: the number of homes Fox Sports 1 reaches. As Awful Announcing noted earlier this week, the Fox-AT&T U-Verse standoff hasn't changed, meaning 4.5 million homes that have Fox Sports 1 are likely to see a darts rerun when USGA events are airing.

Fox's VP of Communications Dan Bell confirmed this when I reached out to Fox about the status of AT&T-Fox relations.

His statement:

“AT&T U-verse has determined it will forgo carriage of dozens of live sporting events on FOX Sports 1.  Unfortunately, U-Verse subscribers have already missed several events, and will miss many more including FOX Sports 1’s coverage of eight USGA championships, including rounds 1 and 2 of the US Open.  U-verse subscribers are encouraged to contact AT&T to request all FOX Sports 1 programming.”

As of February 2015, approximately 84.8 million households in the U.S. receive Fox Sports 1, while 94.3 million pay television households have ESPN, where the U.S. Open weekday coverage aired for 28 years.

Thursday
Apr162015

Video: Spectator Goes Into Lake For Hat, Face Plants In Turf

During the 2015 LOTTE Championship's second round, a completely tanked spectator recovers his hat from a lake but loses his beer can.

And gets a nice taste of the turf.

But he will always have Tom Abbott's call to remember the day he was drunk midday at an LPGA event.

The edited clip:

Deadspin posted a longer grab from the telecast.

Thursday
Apr162015

Living Icon Of The Brand: I Won The Tournament Of Life

Hamish McLachlan chats with Greg Norman about life as the living brand and winning the tournament of life for which they award a green sweater vest, I believe.

Anyway, I can't really do a full takedown of this one because Peter FitzSimons already did in the Sydney Morning Herald. Still, the interview is pretty special on many levels (thanks readers M and M for sending).

About fame:

GN: I’m comfortable with it. Sometimes when you walk into a room though, all you want is a little bit of peace and quiet, and it’s not there. And when you feel like that, you have to really check yourself, and change your mood. We are all human beings and sometimes the burden on us feels a little bit heavy, but at the end of the day I also realise — and this is something I’ve only noticed in the last six or seven years — that I am the living brand. So it doesn’t matter where you are, or how you are feeling, if somebody walks by you have to say “Hi, how are you doing?”

The burdens of living brandedness.

On Tiger, which veers into the surreal.

GN: I’d sit down and talk to him first and find out what is in his head. You need to understand all the pieces of the puzzle before you try and put the puzzle together. My natural response would be “Yes, of course I would”. I’m always willing to help friends; my Aussie friends have been told there is always an open door at my house. I always had that from a couple of great athletes, Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd. Those guys were there for me whenever I was down and out. That’s why even when I see presidents of the United States getting hammered, I will pick up the phone, and just thank them for what they do to help keep the freedom of the world.

HM: An open line to the White House?

GN: I’m lucky in that regard.

Ahh...to be so lucky.

As for the Masters..

GN: Simple, I won the tournament of life at Augusta. I never won the green jacket, but I did win the tournament of life. Two really tough situations happened to me on that golf course, one with Larry Mize in ’87, and one with Nick Faldo in ’96. Two totally different situations, and as a result, two different emotional reactions within myself. I could have tried to bury both of them, and pretend that they never really bothered me. But whenever I’ve been asked about them, I’ve talked about them, I’ve never run away from them. To this day people talk to me about how well I held myself, which is why I say I won the tournament of life.

The Tournament of Life already has a theme song, with a little reworking of Tim Rice's chorus.

It's the Tournament of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope when Larry Mize holes out
Through faith and love from Nick Faldo's hugs
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding unless Bill Clinton's walking on it
In the Tournament
The Tournament of Life

Thursday
Apr162015

USGA Ends U.S. Open Cell Phone Restriction

With fans able to bring their cell phones to the U.S. Open tournament days, the Masters is now the only event remaining where fans must leave devices behind.

Jack Broom of the Seattle Times reports on the change in policy and the long shuttle rides fans can expect for June's U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.

Mobile devices are to be less than seven inches long and must be kept silent, with calls made only at designated locations on the course. Texting and e-mailing will be allowed from anywhere on the course as long as play is not disrupted.

No photography will be permitted during the Thursday-Sunday tournament, but cameras and still photographs will be allowed during the Monday-Wednesday practice rounds.

The phone policy, more in keeping with the rules at PGA Tour events and other USGA tournaments, replaces a mobile-phone ban at previous U.S. Opens.

Thursday
Apr162015

NPR: California Golf Course Ethically Keeps Greens Green

Great to see NPR doing a story on a golf course that saves water: Sonari Glinton looks at Pelican Hill's efforts to capture every drop.

Pretty fascinating stuff:

Pelican Hill says it saves 50 million gallons of water each year — recycled water, mind you. There is something else that makes Pelican Hill special: rainwater.

"We want to capture every bit of rainfall we can. One, it's cheaper and two, it's a very high-quality water," says Sat Tamaribuchi, who helped design the course's conservation system.

Any rain that falls on the buildings, pavement and cart paths goes into one of the course reservoirs — which form the major water features on the course. And underground, there are giant cisterns that hold millions of gallons of runoff water from the course.

"As it turns out, because our cistern system and the lake systems are so large, ever since the work was done, no stormwater has left the golf course, essentially," Tamaribuchi says.

Golf pro Steve Friedlander admits that a golf course in a wealthy town like Newport Coast has a real incentive to save water, but he says it's not just a California problem.

"If you're in the golf industry and you're not a water quality and a management person, then what are you doing?" Friedlander asks.

Here's the full audio:

Thursday
Apr162015

Third Masters Question: Is Augusta National Too Green?

A few of you saw my comments on Morning Drive Monday about Augusta National being too green and wanted some elaboration.

Alright, here's what we know:

—It was a strong year for overseeding rye in Georgia. Multiple locals in Augusta, Aiken and Atlanta all said the weather was perfect for a robust rye grass harvest. Three different people tried to insist to me last week that there had to be some sort of synthetic turf mixed into the real turf. It was that deep and dense of a green.

—Augusta National has no shortage of resources, including chemical assistance to ensure great conditions.
Unfortunately, this also means that the turf is so well fed that even if cut tight by 8 am when the gates open, by the time the leaders go out late in the day on weekends the grass has had 8-12 hours to grow. Lake banks, greens and fairways slow down as the day goes. I couldn’t see mowers doing their thing because we are not allowed on the course before 8, but I’m guessing they were picking up a lot of clippings.

—The trend has been for green and making the course play long over all else in recent years to keep ANGC relevant in the face of distance advancements. This year was the deepest green yet, with the annual practice of mowing fairway grain toward the tees creating a huge contrast in looks between the first and ninth fairways. There was almost no roll. I was only at the second fairway a few times, but each time a drive headed to the bunker stopped short thanks to this cut. That makes the course play easier for today’s players, who have extraordinary ball control if they don't have to worry about what happens when the ball hits the ground.

—The second cut was true rough this year. It did not appear to be topped off daily and instead of creating problems, saved a lot of balls from going to more trouble. Spieth’s Thursday second shot on 15 immediately comes to mind as one ball that did not end up in a hazard because of the rough. And the second cut continues to strip the place of a certain elegance in spots that one tight cut would deliver.

—Sub-Air is overrated.
Everyone has that initial demo in mind from several years ago when a large puddle was sucked out of a green as cameras roll. The Sub-Air does a nice job at Augusta National of getting air to the roots, while the installation of a heating and cooling under the greens also plays a big part in the healthy greens there.

--The setup was balanced, interesting and more consistent. The committee seemed to have a better balance of fun and difficulty each day, or just a few inches of speed reduction in the greens helped. But instead of their recent tendency to set things up tough for the first three days, only to make Sunday the birdiefest day, they seemed to not be trying too hard to make the early rounds excessive. According to Doug Ferguson, Sunday's final round, produced the lowest scoring average (70.91) of any round in the history of the Masters. No wonder Phil was displeased with himself for not posting a few more roar-inducing birdies.

So what does all of this mean?

The wisest, most imaginative player still won last week. Spieth and caddie Greller analyzed the course, built a local knowledge base in just two years and his tying of the record is not to be shrugged off just because of the soft conditions.

However, Augusta National has lost a little sizzle due to the love of emerald green and the push to keep the course up with the times. A little leaner course would restore some integrity by not so heavily rewarding the players who seek to merely overpower it. We want to see the bombers rewarded, but we also want to see them kept honest. If the ball is running into the trees or down lake banks or even just into positions less advantageous, Augusta National would be even more interesting and demanding.

Oh, and the second cut and trees planted on holes 7, 11, 3, 15 and 17 still need to go.

Wednesday
Apr152015

Dick’s CEO Suggests He's Always Been All-In On Golf 

I know everyone loves Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack, but you really wish he'd just stop talking about golf in his conference calls with analysts.

You may recall he's the one whose company bought into Taylor Made's three-drivers-in-a-year idea, then threw golf under the bus leading to countless stories about the game's demise because millennials and people of sane minds weren't clamoring for a new driver every few months. Even Taylor Made's new CEO admitted it was a mistake before leaving his position after less than year. Yet Stack made this a statement about golf's merits as a business and pastime.

So he let go 500 PGA pros and talked down the future of the game because of a poor decision on the part of Dick's. But it seems in his latest conference call he admitted that golf was still profitable for the company. He's talking the game up even.

And during the Masters he announced a program to donate to the First Tee and suggested in writing that "a group of people began a rumor that Dick's is 'getting out of golf.' Nothing could be further from the truth."

I can't imagine where anyone got the idea Dick's wasn't bullish on golf!

Wednesday
Apr152015

Video: Masters Supercut, Jordan Talks To His Ball Edition

Michael David Murphy has done another of his fun final round supercuts, only this time it's just Jordan Spieth talking to his ball.

Watching this you'd swear he shot 80, not 70 to tie Tiger Woods for the Masters scoring record.

Meanwhile Spieth was asked by Doug Ferguson whether he was upset about not breaking the Masters scoring record. A little, he said.

"When I was reading it I thought to myself, 'I've been told after each round about some record. I'm sure it's for something. Let's make it,'" Spieth said.

Sure enough, he missed a 6-foot birdie putt on Friday that would have broken the record for the lowest 36-hole total at any major. He made par for 66 in the second round and still set the Masters record at 130.

Spieth reached 19 under with an up-and-down birdie behind the green on the par-5 15th. He made an 8-foot par putt on the 16th that was important — just look at the intensity of his fist pump — because he kept a four-shot lead over Rose on what had the potential for a two-shot swing. He narrowly missed a birdie on the 17th.

And then he bogeyed the 18th.

"It looks like I looked at the chip, but I had a lot of thoughts in my head and I was just enjoying that whole moment," Spieth said. "I wished I had maybe glanced at it, tried to read it. But it matters very little at this point."

Wednesday
Apr152015

"A day in the new life of Jordan Spieth"

Nice behind-the-scenes stuff from Brian Wacker on Jordan Spieth's media tour of New York City where no request was denied.

The meetings with Bill Clinton and the former mayor were impromptu.

When Spieth stopped by Bloomberg’s headquarters on Lexington Avenue for an interview, the guy whose name is on the building wanted to say hello. Spieth told him that at the Masters putting is “all about speed ... which we seem to be having some trouble with this morning,” as Mike Bloomberg left his first few rolls on a putting mat short.

Everyone else in the office came to a standstill -- especially the women, young and old, who lined the set taking pictures with their iPhones, gazing and smiling at the blonde-haired, blue-eyed kid who if he had stayed all four years at the University of Texas would be in his senior year. It was the kind of showstopper moment usually reserved for celebrities like George Clooney, one insider said.

Morning Drive did this roundup of the appearances.

Tuesday
Apr142015

Second Masters Question: Where Does The Year Go From Here?

When you have a Masters like 2015’s, the rest of the year is all downhill from here. Right?

After all, how do you top that leaderboard, winner, ratings, viewing experience and such overall positive impression for the professional game?

Here are three reasons I’m not giving up on the rest of the year potentially superseding what we’ve seen to date. The next few months should be fascinating.

—No gray May. With the WGC Match Play’s one-off move to May and sporting a new and improved format, we have a fun two-week run featuring future PGA Championship venue Harding Park and a Players Championship with so many top players either on their game or experiencing a renaissance. And then May gets better. The European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW Championship, always entertains in late May. But this year it’s followed by the Irish Open brought to us by Rory and Dubai Duty Free at…Royal County Down. It’s not often you get a top 10 in the world course seldom seen by most of the planet and the field could even be better than the previous week’s BMW.

—Chambers Bay Could Be Brilliant Or A Fiasco. I can’t recall a venue that so few players know—except Jordan Spieth and caddie Michael Greller—with so many questions about how the place function. Will it be a masterful, daily puzzle of course setup twists, shotmaking and stunning vistas? Or six-hour rounds, cranky players, goofy shots and a fluke winner? Will players skip the Memorial or St. Jude to get in extra practice rounds? Throw in the Fox Sports debut (though potentially not on AT&T U-Verse), and the intrigue level figures to be high on many levels.

—Gullane And The Old Course. July only gets more interesting with the one-two punch of Gullane No. 1.5 and The Old Course hosting The Open Championship. As thrilling as it is to see the game return to the course that started it all—and remain relevant with help from the neighboring courses—the debut of Gullane on the world stage will introduce many to another course instrumental in early Scottish golf. Two weeks of tournaments starting in golf-friendly towns and returning to backdrops of virtual movie sets could manage to top the Masters.

And what do you think?

What month are you most intrigued by?
 
pollcode.com free polls

Tuesday
Apr142015

Bandon Muni And Sheep Ranch Updates

Ron Bellamy gets the latest on Bandon muni to be designed by Gil Hanse and his plans for the Sheep Ranch course evolving into a full 18-holes.

Bellamy writes:

Keiser said construction could start “sometime in the next year would be my hope and my best guess,” and would take two years to complete. He expressed hope the course could be available for preview play late in 2018, and open in 2019.

And there was this about expanding the Sheep Ranch, though he has no timetable:

Keiser also said that one day he hopes to fully develop the Bally Bandon Sheep Ranch — the under-the-radar, restricted-access 13-greens course on spectacular ocean-front land just north of the Bandon Dunes resort. The course is co-owned by his longtime business partner, Phil Friedmann, and is a rustic, appointment-only course with no amenities, well-kept greens and wonderful views.

Keiser said there are 400 acres available on the site, ample room for the course he’d like to develop.

“I don’t have a good guess as to when that would be,” he said. “Right now, it’s 13 greens in a pasture. Eventually, it will be 18 holes on a mile-and-a-half of ocean frontage. So eventually, it will be exciting.”

Tuesday
Apr142015

"Really? Wow. O.K."

Forgive me for being late with this one, but I was out at the interview area Masters Sunday and did not hear Bill Macatee's epic reaction to Tiger Woods suggesting he'd popped a bone back in place, nor had I heard the Faldo-Nantz reaction where you can almost feel them looking at each other incredulously.



Matthew Schwerha
talked to Dr. Benjamin Davis, an orthopedic surgeon in Chicago who says it's possible.

“In football, it’s not uncommon to have hand injuries that are put back into place, and the player will return to the game,” Davis said. “In 2008, Tiger finished and won the U.S. open with a torn ligament and a stress fracture in his knee. Tiger has a proven record of physical toughness and he is a tremendous competitor. I wouldn’t put anything past him.”

Tuesday
Apr142015

Video: PGA Lifetime Achievement Award For Sirak

At last week's Golf Writers Association of America dinner the PGA of America presented its lifetime achievement award in journalism to Ron Sirak.

After some copyrighted music was edited out, the excellent tribute video was posted. Well done Ron!

Tuesday
Apr142015

You Know Jordan's Win Is Big When SI Pushes Aside The NFL!

The once-great Sports Illustrated has regularly descended into an embarrassing NFL obsession, but they may have turned a corner by putting aside an all-NFL Draft Preview cover for the Masters winner. Love the credit to photographer Robert Beck, too.

Granted, if Spieth or Tiger or Phil wins The Open at St. Andrews they still won't stand a chance against the NFL Training Camp preview, but this is a victory.

Also, Golfweek's cover featuring a Ross Kinnaird image...

Monday
Apr132015

First Post-Masters Question: Where Will Jordan Not Play Next?

The most pressing issue for Jordan Spieth after his Masters win: saying no.

Spieth has been very loyal to the many events that granted him sponsor’s invitations when he did not have a PGA Tour membership. He’s also shown a propensity to respect his elders, which means he’s not likely to say no to Jack Nicklaus or Tim Finchem.

However, considering that he played the the two weeks prior to the Masters and is currently sticking with his commitment to this week's RBC Heritage, that means Spieth may play 6 of 7 weeks with his hometown Dallas events looming. That would mean a stretch of 10 events in 13 weeks leading up to the U.S. Open.  Mixed in there will be all sorts of requests and perhaps a scouting trip to Chambers Bay, though his caddie Michael Greller used to loop there and Spieth is one of the few U.S. Open exemptees who played there in the 2010 U.S. Amateur.

Either way, I’m exhausted just thinking about his recent and upcoming schedule along with the folks he'll have to say no to:

Valero Texas Open - 2nd
Shell Houston Open -  2nd
Masters -  Win
RBC Heritage - Still committed
Zurich Classic - Likely Pass
WGC Match Play - Jordan, it’s Mr. Finchem calling again.
The Players - Jordan, Mr. Finchem will get you on Pablo Creek if you'd like
Wells Fargo - Likely Pass
Crowne Plaza Colonial - Sleeping in his own bed…needs to pass
Byron Nelson - Definitely sleeping in his own bed...definitely playing.
Memorial - He won’t say no to the Golden Bear
FedEx St. Jude - Pass
US Open - Play

If you aren't tired enough thinking of that schedule, consider his Monday New York City tour that will also include more interviews Tuesday, including Morning Drive. Steve DiMeglio reports for USA Today:

The world's No. 2 and second-youngest Masters winner did interviews with ESPN Radio, NBC Nightly News and Fox. There was a photo op and lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building, which was lit green in his honor. And of course he met up with David Letterman for his late show.

Today he's live with Mike & Mike in the Morning, CBS This Morning, Today, CNBC's Squawk Box, Golf Channel's Morning Drive, The Dan Patrick Show among others.

PGATour.com has the full schedule.

Spieth has returned to Twitter post Masters (note that his last Tweet before the tournament was a re-Tweet of the 1934 course photo gallery).

To the point..



And pre-Letterman:

 

Monday
Apr132015

Clippings: The 2015 Masters Ledes

Battling Go-Go at 38,000 feet (and losing), so, if you see any good ones I missed please post...it's not like there are that many game story openers left.

Doug Ferguson for the Associated Press:

Jordan Spieth tapped in his final putt to cap off a record performance and bent over in relief. He just as easily could have been taking a bow.

This was a Masters for the ages.

Steve DiMeglio for the USA Today:

As a kid growing up in Dallas, Jordan Spieth would haul the lawn mower out to the front yard and create a makeshift putting green.

On many days and usually into the night, with his brother, Steven, in the gallery, Spieth would face a putt and imagine it was to win the Masters.
In a far different place, on a far bigger green, Spieth's dream came true.

David Westin in the Augusta Chronicle:

Jordan Spieth proved to be one tough Texan to wrestle the lead from in the 79th Masters Tournament, going wire-to-wire to win at Augusta National Golf Club in dominating fashion.

Karen Crouse for the New York Times:

The University of Texas men’s golf team played in a competition in California over the weekend without Jordan Spieth, who helped the Longhorns win the national title three years ago as a freshman.

In a different era, Spieth would have been winding down his senior year, perhaps with a shot at the individual N.C.A.A. crown. But in this warp-speed world of golf, in which the top-ranked woman is 17 years old and three of the top five men in the new world rankings will be under 28, Spieth’s talent placed him on an accelerated track.

Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and top-ranked Rory McIlroy, who have a combined 24 major championships, all tried, but no one could catch the 21-year-old Spieth at the Masters on Sunday.

Dave Shedloski in Golf World opened this way:

They’ll have Texas barbecue at next year’s Masters. Doubt it will be as hot as the kid ordering it up.

Kevin Garside in the Independent.

The test was always going to be about character, mentality, headspace. Jordan Spieth can play golf all right, but could he get his ball around Augusta National on the last day of the Masters? The question all America and one Englishman, Justin Rose, was asking.
The answer was emphatic.

James Corrigan for the Telegraph:

Uncatchable, unmatchable. Jordan Spieth marched to his first Masters title on Sunday night, breaking records and emulating legends as he went.

Mike McAllister at PGATour.com:

You want to tap the brakes and avoid getting swept up in the moment.  Your mind says not to give in, not to make knee-jerk declarations of greatness, despite what you’ve witnessed the past four days. Leave the overhype to others. You’d rather sell perspective, not headlines.
But damn, it’s difficult.

Jordan Spieth just won the Masters at age 21, and that’s merely scratching the surface of this story.

Derek Lawrenson for the Daily Mail:

One day they will write books about Jordan Spieth's nerveless brilliance at the 79th Masters. They're already rewriting the one comprising the tournament's records.

At an enthralled Augusta National, the 21 year old Texan's exquisite mastery and immaculate composure continued right to the end. We all know the cliché about how the Masters starts on the back nine on Sunday.

Hank Gola for the New York Daily News:

He’s 21 years old. Really. And not since another 21-year-old named Tiger Woods has anyone this young solved the riddle of Augusta National as convincingly as Jordan Spieth.

Mark Cannizzaro for the New York Post:

Jordan Spieth had a thought that got his attention, like a flickering light bulb, late Saturday afternoon. He was determined to carry it out. And so he did.

“I walked out of this interview room saying, ‘I want to walk back in there really late [Sunday] and sit there with the jacket on,’ ’’ Spieth said after winning the Masters by four shots Sunday. “I watched for a lot of years guys finish on 18, I watched it firsthand last year, and watched guys come into this room with the jacket on and always dreamt of doing the same.’’

So there he sat early Sunday evening, before a packed interview room, wearing the Green Jacket as the 2015 Masters champion.

Monday
Apr132015

Herb Wind's Spinning: The New Yorker On The 2015 Masters

Note to New Yorker editor David Remnick: we subscribers know you hate golf, so just don't try to fake it once a year? Please?

Because in a sad state of affairs, the still-fine magazine that was once home to Herbert Warren Wind now rarely acknowledges its golf heritage. When it does, they roll out this hilarious attempt to sound like Wind. Only minus the knowledge-of-golf component.

John Cassidy opens with the lede of the week...

There’s an old saying that goes, “The Masters doesn’t really begin until the leaders start out on the back nine on Sunday afternoon.” This year, that was where the tournament more or less ended.

Oh come on Dan, I know you hijacked this man's laptop.

When Jordan Spieth holed out from just off the green, to the left of the tenth hole, he moved six shots ahead of Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson. For a player of Spieth’s quality and steadiness, half a dozen shots is a huge lead, and despite the best efforts of the television commentators to insist that it wasn’t over, we all knew it was.

We did?

After dropping a "preternatural calm" mention, there was this epic:

Golf of the very highest order, which is what Spieth played for much of the tournament, is impressive rather than exciting to watch. The ball proceeds from the tee box to the fairway to the green to the hole without much interaction with the bunkers, trees, or other hazards that interfere with the progress of ordinary players. It is tempting to say that the game is made to look easy, but anybody who’s ever tried swinging a club knows that this is an illusion.

Oy vey.