My Loop item on a 20,000 club collection for sale for $7500: read here but brace yourself and if you're a fire marshal, do not look.
To a good man his wife should be a goddess, a being far above him to whom he can offer worship and reverence, a beacon-star guiding him over the tossing seas of life. She should be ever on a pedestal and in a shrine. And when she waggles for a minute and a half and then jerks her head and tops the ball, she ceases to be so. And Mrs. Fisher was not merely a head-lifter and a super-waggler; she was a scoffer at Golf’s most sacred things. She held up scratchmen. She omitted to replace divots. She spoke lightly of Green Committees. P.G. WODEHOUSE
My Loop item on a 20,000 club collection for sale for $7500: read here but brace yourself and if you're a fire marshal, do not look.
As longtime readers know, the WGC Bridgestone at Firestone is not my favorite tournament of the year. I'd watch some but I remain under strict doctor orders not to turn on the television only to see the scintilating, ball plugging on greens, back-and-forth fairways.
It seems Alan Shipnuck kindly pointed out in SI/Golf Plus that the event is boring because of the limited field format, the lack of "World" in a world championship always staying in Akron, and the course itself. He was correct on all points. The event is uninspired and would be #1 on my list of tournaments that could disappear tomorrow from the PGA Tour schedule and outside of Akron, few would be distraught about such a development.
Well, Bob Dyer has come to Firestone's defense, grilling every player who came into the press center and just about anyone else he could talk to about why Firestone is sheer brilliance. The Beacon-Journal columnist even claims to have made Shipnuck back down! The power of the pen!
McIlroy says the players love the Bridgestone “because of the atmosphere, because you’re guaranteed four days of golf ... [and] it’s on a great golf course.”
This from Sergio Garcia, who ranks 10th on the career money list with more than $36 million in winnings: “I love the golf course. It is definitely one of the best we play all year.”
Winning money does make one a design expert.
“This venue just goes to show you that you don’t need elephant burial grounds out there to make a golf course fair, difficult and enjoyable.”
So I guess it’s safe to conclude that, if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this fellow from SI needs to borrow Mr. Magoo’s glasses.
OK, Mr. Shipnuck, what’s your beef with Firestone? Not enough windmills and waterfalls?
“A golf course is highly personal, what people like and what they don’t,” he said by phone from Dallas, where he was working on a feature story. “It’s like looking at a painting or some other piece of art.
“To me, Firestone is a nice championship golf course. As Tiger likes to say, ‘It’s right there in front of you.’ But to my eye, a lot of the holes look the same, and the terrain is not super interesting.”
But as someone who has fallen asleep many times watching golf at Firestone, I can attest to its strength as a nap-inducer. Coma-inducing, really.
Soon, he began to backpedal.
“That critique is more about the purpose of the World Golf Championships. ... It says it right there in the name: It’s supposed to be a ‘world’ event, and yet they almost never leave the United States, and they never really even move around the United States, at least as far as the Bridgestone and [the Tucson tournament] go. ...”
“It’s not a knock on Firestone so much as I think it’s a failure of the vision of the World Golf Championship.”
Well, that claim doesn’t exactly square with your previous assessment of Firestone as the most “boring” golf course you’ve ever seen. But I guess it’s pretty tough to hold your ground when you’re a minority of one.
Only one person finds Firestone boring!
Well, there was Jack Nicklaus, too...
Steve DiMeglio reports on Dustin Johnson's departure from the tour for an indefinite time citing "personal challenges." The decision also means Johnson, arguably America's most consistent player this year, will not be playing the Ryder Cup.
Rex Hoggard on that part of the equation:
Johnson, 30, was finishing up one of the most consistent seasons of his career, having won his opener last November in Asia, and he was fourth on the FedEx Cup points list. He would also have been one of the favorites for next week’s PGA Championship following his tie for 12th at the Open Championship and his fourth-place finish at the U.S. Open.
Bob Harig explains that the Ryder Cup spot will not be chosen by the captain, but instead, by the points list. Patrick Reed is currently the next player not already eligible.
Sam Weinman notes that a photo of Johnson and fiance Paulina Gretzky was removed from her Instagram account. Johnson was holding a beverage.
A photo posted by Gretzky on Monday showed Johnson caddying for her with a drink in his hand. Gretzky has since taken down the photo from her Instagram account.
"By committing the time and resources necessary to improve my mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation, I am confident that I will be better equipped to fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion," Johnson said in the statement.
The PGA Tour's statement is, as expected, free of names, information or any other clues as to what this is all about.
Statements from PGA President Ted Bishop and Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson:
“Obviously we are disappointed Dustin Johnson will not be playing in the PGA Championship or be a part of the 2014 Ryder Cup squad at Gleneagles. Having spent time with Dustin at the last two Ryder Cups, we know he’s an amazingly talented young man capable of winning Major Championships and becoming a Ryder Cup staple for the next two decades. We wish Dustin the best and look forward to his return.”
-- PGA of America President, Ted Bishop
"We will certainly miss Dustin Johnson at Gleneagles, and we wish him the best. As one of the longest hitters in the game with an undefeated record of 3-and-0 at Medinah in 2012, he has clearly been an asset for the United States team. That said, the United States is a team with an abundance of talent. I am looking forward to teeing it up alongside those players in the PGA Championship at Valhalla, and finding out along with everyone else, which players qualify for the team based on points."
-- 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, Tom Watson
Great gets by Fox Sports in landing Brad Faxon and former USGA Executive Director David Fay for their USGA event coverage starting in 2015. Faxon, who worked for NBC briefly, mysteriously was not renewed, then surfaced as an excellent studio commentator for Golf Channel over the last year, adds a strong voice to the Fox's studio team while Fay will reprise his former role on USGA telecasts as a rules analyst.
The full press release minus the boilerplate stuff about Fox Sports:
FOX SPORTS TEES UP FAXON & FAY FOR 2015 USGA CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE TEAM
New York -- FOX Sports announced today the addition of more firepower to its already potent 2015 USGA Championships arsenal with the hiring of eight-time PGA TOUR winner Brad Faxon and former USGA executive director David Fay as analysts alongside host Joe Buck, analyst Greg Norman and reporter/host Holly Sonders.
Faxon serves as lead studio analyst and hole announcer, while Fay contributes as rules analyst. The announcement was made today by John Entz, Executive Vice President, Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports, and Mark Loomis, Coordinating Golf Producer, FOX Sports.
“Long-known for his smooth putting stroke, Brad's transition to broadcasting has been just as easy,” Loomis said. “He still has great relationships with, and knowledge of, today's Tour players, and that insight will prove invaluable to our telecasts. David has been synonymous with the USGA, its Championships and history for decades, so adding him to our team was a no-brainer."
Faxon is a 29-year PGA TOUR veteran and winner of the 1993 Australian Open and 2005 Buick Championship. He represented the United States on two Ryder Cup teams, was one of the most successful players on the PGA TOUR in the 1990s and ranks 50th on the PGA TOUR Career Money List. Faxon also led the Tour in putting average in 1996, 1999, and 2000. In 2010, Faxon began working as a commentator for NBC’s golf coverage, rapidly establishing himself as an entertaining and well-informed analyst.
Fay retired from the USGA in December 2010 after 21 years as its executive director. After his appointment in 1989, Fay quickly became one of the game’s foremost leaders during its boom at the turn of the century. Renowned for his encyclopedic understanding of the Rules of Golf, the former caddie functioned as a rules expert for NBC’s U.S. Open broadcasts. Also serving as chairman of the World Golf Foundation in 2008, Fay championed the effort throughout his career to bring the U.S. Open to public courses and established the “For the Good of the Game” grant program.
Rory McIlroy is citing the special team dynamics in shooting down the idea of a Langer or Montgomerie Ryder Cup Captain's pick. You know, the dynamics where one team member's lawyers are asking for the contractual specifics of another teammate in a awsuit, or filing said suit to coincide with a teammate's wedding.
That kind of bond!
Anyway, these millennials just don't find the old guys relatable, or something like that.
From Sky Sports:
"I think the team dynamic is pretty good at the minute with the mix that we've got and to bring someone in that hasn't spent much time around us mightn't be the best," he said.
"He (Langer) is not playing against the regular guys week in and week out but he's playing great golf obviously and what he's done this year, and Monty as well, has been fantastic. If they were to be involved as vice-captains or something then I'd be all for that, but I don't think they should be on the team."
Check out Mike Stachura's defense of the state of golf which will stir many emotions with you as it did for me. But this is not personal, it's business Fredo.
Still, it's hard not to get annoyed at the mention of the Real Sports report on golf's "nosedive," interviewing former Taylor Made CEO Mark King, who is discussing everything wrong with the sport except one mistake that happened under his watch.
Mr. King, who signed off on the idea to introduce three drivers in one year, something his parent company lamented in its quarterly report and which has since been blamed for Dick's Sporting Goods layoffs and cited as irrefutable evidence of golf's demise, was reassigned in the Adidas corporate structure. Real Sports left this out.
Reader Blue Ridge Pro laments Stachura using "data going back to 1960 to come up with a growth in number of golfers" and that he "has to go back 17 years to get a positive equipment sales stat."
Perhaps, but couldn't we also be accused too often of focusing on year-to-year figures as if golf is a stock? Shouldn't some long term perspective enter any of these discussions?
Stachura goes through many equipment numbers and then this on rounds played:
On the front lines, the news of rounds played can be viewed in two ways. Certainly, the sheer numbers of rounds are down and weather has been a large factor. This June was one of the six wettest Junes in the United States in the past 120 years. But a look inside those down numbers shows an increase in golf being played when the weather cooperates. The average rounds-per-day-open through June 2014 was up 2.7 percent compared to 2013. Twenty-one states reported rounds played were up in June.
Ultimately, golf's most serious issue is the notion that rich old guys want to force the game on young people, instead of helping them find it naturally. The golf bug needs to be caught organically, not because of an ad campaign, initiative or other method to seem cool.
From hippest Commissioner in sports.
In his 20 years at the helm of the PGA Tour, Finchem has seen the professional game through incredible growth and challenging economic times. He cautions about focusing an assessment of the game’s strength on “a pinpoint piece of data.” He talks a more positive game than the stories of last week might have you believing.
“I think we have to work harder in today’s world to get people to try the game and get into the game, and we have to do some things that we really haven’t done in the past to help with that,” he said. “Really, it comes back to the youth, reaching out to youth. You can’t expect youth to come to the game, you have to bring the game to young people. We’re dealing with it -- we’ve got to get better at it -- but I see a lot of bright spots. I’m very bullish on the future of the game both here in the United States and globally, where it’s growing quite nicely. And with golf going in the Olympics, that’s going to be accelerated.”
Not really. Top Golf is probably a lot more important to introducing youngish people to golf. Some may not like it because it's a bowling alley on steroids, but if people have fun and are intrigued, that's going to be a lot more powerful than seeing a one-minute clip of golf highlights on an Olympic telecast before they send it back to the women's men's Pommel horse prelims.
The Plain Dealer’s Bud Shaw posts a fun Q&A with Johnny Miller who is in Akron this week to accept the Ambassador of Golf Award. Johnny says that he brought the word choke to golf telecasts, brought X Games attitude to golf announcing, how he learned to talk at church firesides with Billy Casper and, ultimately, has done it all for the kids. And, he’s kind of right in an immodest sort of way.
Shaw’s excellent Q&A that is embellished with some great YouTube moments from Johnny, at least until the Ponte Vedra censors discovered the brand sabotaging moments they haven’t scrubbed!
BS: Aside from your playing days, what do you consider your biggest contribution to golf?
JM: Obviously, what I've done at NBC is a pretty good body of work. I sort of changed in a lot of ways the way golf was covered in that it was a little bit more X-Games (with me), a little bit more "with it," so I hoped the younger people would enjoy the telecast. I wanted to give them the real deal instead of the watered-down White House version.
I try to really say what I think is happening and I'm pretty forthright.
I obviously hold back some things. But pretty much what I see and feel I say on the air. I hope if I say it's a great shot, people say, "Wow, if he thinks it's a great shot it must've been a great shot." I don't throw that (word) around as loosely as (they did) in the old days. I've tried to educate people on the swing and tips and why guys do what they do. I hope I grow the game. NBC says no doubt about it, people tune in to hear my commentary. A lot like John Madden was (in football) and John McEnroe (in tennis). I'm not saying I think that. I'm saying that's what they tell me.
This on Tiger was interesting:
He just can't resist trying new things. He gets bored with one way of doing things. He's always looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Nicklaus never changed. I don't know how he did it. But he didn't change his putting stroke, his golf swing, his way of doing things, the way he practiced.
Tiger, if he could try to swing more like he did in year 2000 and pause at the top ... if I was working with him I'd basically go back to him being quieter at the top of the backswing. Go back a little to 2000. I thought it was the best swing and the best golf he's ever played.
Lost in his 13-stroke victory in the Senior British, several came to Bernhard Langer's defense as a possible Ryder Cup selection, including former lead cart drivers Jacklin and Montgomerie, along with 2014 U.S.A. Captain Watson.
But more intriguing was Langer his ownself not shying away from his desire to be considered. These 57-year-olds and their youthful ignorance!
Tom Hayward of Reuters reports:
“We’ve been talking about it for a number of years now because I’ve been playing some really good golf the last six or seven years,” Langer said. “But I’m not sure I’m on the radar screen of Paul McGinley.
“It’s up to the captain. I certainly feel my golf is worthy of playing in the Ryder Cup.”
Jacklin, Europe’s most successful captain of all time, said he would be considering Langer for a wildcard pick if he was in charge.
“Bernhard’s a great team man...and I’d be thinking very seriously indeed if I was Paul McGinley because even if the young guys had been here they wouldn’t have beaten his score,” said Jacklin who was working as a TV commentator at Porthcawl.
In this week's SI Golf Plus digital package, Michael Bamberger makes a definitive case for Langer and against Tiger for Team USA with plenty of common sense for why you make captain's picks (to win!). Like he says, not a real reason to pick Langer, but how fun would it be to see a Langer (57) vs. Spieth (21) singles match?
Golf architect and author Scott Macpherson joins us from his holiday to talk about his impressive new book, Golf's Royal Clubs. Macpherson previously analyzed the Old Course and now publishes the definitive tome on the select group of clubs worldwide holding "Royal" status.
We also talk about the Old Course, this year's Open Championship and more. You can listen or download the MP3 here. Find a permalink to the show here. Listen to the episode on iTunes here or subscribe to the podcast here.
And if you're interested in the book, a limited run has largely been sold to the royal clubs. However an email to the R&A's Catherine McGirk should allow you to order a copy of this outstanding addition to golf libraries.
Here is the R&A press release on the book.
...and the only revealing thing appears to be that he granted Fox Sports an interview.
Colleen Dominguez lobbed the questions. I can't find a video on their site or YouTube page, but these clips should give you an idea of what you missed...
On what goals are motivating him at this stage of his career:
“I think there are probably two goals that are pushing me right now which one is to get the all-time [tournament] wins record. I’m only three back of Sam [Snead] on that one and obviously the major record, you know, being four back of Jack. So, those two are pretty synonymous with the greats of the game of golf, to be number two and on both lists is not too bad. And that means I’ve had a pretty good career.”
On his disappointing weekend at the British Open after an encouraging first round:
“Well, I didn’t hit the ball very well; that’s just plain and simple. I made so many mistakes. When I first came back at Congressional I made a ton of mistakes there as well. My thought process was off. I missed the ball, like wrong sides. I was too passive at certain points and too aggressive at others. Just my feel was off for how to play at that level, at the tour level, even though I hadn’t played. You know, it's only been three months, but I don't know, there’s a build-up process that I kind of skipped and it's one of the things that I normally play my way into shape at home and play a ton of golf. I didn’t really play a lot of golf because I was just given the OK to go ahead and go.”
**Here's a clip, not sure if it's the entire thing. Love the roving camera. Added drama where there was none!
I'm not sure about the origins of this but it's on a Jack N YouTube account and posted this month. With all of the focus on Jack Nicklaus designs coming up (Valhalla/PGA, Gleneagles/Ryder Cup) it's fun to hear where the Golden Bear is coming from these days.
I'm not sure about his reference to wildness and wild greens, but I suspect he's suggesting minimalism has run its course because such designs have scared off people due to difficulty. Can't say I'm buying that one!
So much for the collectibles market drying up.
Yesterday when I read Luke Kerr-Dineen's item on Rory's final Nike ball from Hoylake going up for sale at Green Jacket Auctions it was at $2852.
Now? $5558 and going up with the bidding ending August 9th.
If you were thinking of bidding and sending me the ball for Christmas, I'd prefer some more nostalgic stuff from the auction.
It would be the first time to have 100 for 100 since the rankings have been gracing us with their presense. That's what Louisville in August will do!
From the press release:
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – (July 29, 2014) The PGA of America announced today that the top 100 players in the Official World Golf Ranking have committed to play in the 96th PGA Championship, Aug. 7-10, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Barring any withdrawals before the opening round, this would be the first time any major championship would feature every one of the top 100 world-ranked players.
Perennially touted by many as the strongest field in golf, the PGA Championship has featured the most top 100 world-ranked players of any event in golf since 1994. The field for the 96th PGA Championship includes 29 major champions, 70 international players representing 24 countries, and all three of the year’s major championship winners. They will compete for the coveted Wanamaker Trophy as Valhalla hosts the PGA Championship for the third time.
The PGA of America announced 154 members of the 156-player field for Valhalla, with two more completing the field based on the results this weekend of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and the Reno-Tahoe Open. (Click here for the current field for the 96th PGA Championship.)
Sara Germano of the WSJ first wrote about the millennial crisis striking golf, or at least, those who think there is only one generation of people who matter, even if they are saddled with student loan debt and working for Baby Boomers with money and an affinity for golf. Because why go for the folks with money when you can get the ones looking at their phone all day?
Matt Powell of Forbes, who writes about the "culture and business of sneakers,” took the WSJ story and said golf lost the millenials and therefore, is pretty much doomed. By the way, just to recap, the sport is also doomed because two companies got a little greedy, made some bad projections, made even worse decisions, and didn't meet their numbers. This is what accounts for deciding the fate of a $76 billion industry and its future these days, even if the management of a course has nothing to do with the aforementioned behaviors.
Anyway, the structure of the Powell follow up to the WSJ item and complete lack of acknowledgement of golf demographics over the last century--skewing ancient--makes this almost comical reading except that Forbes readers are just as likely to believe this as the fictional athlete earnings nonsense the publication puts out.
With all the bad news in golf, this kind of stuff just doesn't improve the discourse:
The Golf Industry failed to attract Millennials to the game. The National Golf Foundation said there were 400,000 fewer golfers in 2013, with 200,000 of the decline coming from Millennials. Since Millennials represent 25% of the nation’s population, this decline is devastating to the sport.
So, why don’t millennials play golf?
Golf is too time consuming
Millennials value ease, speed and efficiency in their endeavors. Raised on the internet, “instant gratification” is the expectation. 4+ hours essentially doing the same thing over and over is against the idea of Speed and efficiency.
Golf is exclusive
Millennials are the most inclusive generation. They want to share their experiences with as many friends as possible. Golf says, “All of you can play, as long as it no more than four.” Boomers value exclusiveness. The idea of paying to have the privilege of exclusive membership to play golf is counter to millennial values.
Actually, it's counter to the values of anyone who is not in the upper class with abundant spare time. Sorry, that's not a millenial issue, but an economic one. The rich are richer, the poor poorer.
And when is someone going to write about golf's positive prospects because millions of Baby Boomers are about to retire and need a recreational pursuit to enhance their free time?
The only real intrigue in whether Tiger Woods makes the ResetCup Playoffs lies in how Commissioner Finchem spins the inconceivable notion that the player of his generation is barely eligible for the Web.com Tour Finals.
Because as Kevin Maguire explains, Tiger is going to have to play way better than he has to date if he's going to make the ResetCup playoffs.
Coming into this week, Woods has 45 FedEx Cup points. That means he needs some combination of at least 358 points just to squeak into the field at the Barclays. A victory at the WGC-Bridgestone or the PGA Championship should get him a tee time at Ridgewood Country Club. Without a win, though, things get murky.
There are many permutations as to what could happen the next few weeks. For example, say Woods finishes solo 10th in Akron; that'd be good for 78 points, which would leave him 280 shy of the 403-point mark. He likely would need a second-place finish at the PGA Championship (worth 330 points) to make the playoffs.
Granted, the use of ResetCup points as a barometer of anything is pretty silly, as John Hawkins reminds us that the calendar-year schedule's points leader hasn't been in contention for six months and the world top-5 last played great in March.
Just as the snarkiest of cynics feared, the PGA Tour’s 11 ½-month golf season has become a long walk to a small house. Jimmy Walker hasn’t contended on a Sunday in almost six months, yet he still leads the FedEx Cup points derby by a comfortable margin – Bubba Watson is the only player within 500 points of Mr. Dy-No-Mite.
Remember Patrick Reed? He's been missing in action since the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March, yet he just slipped out of the top 10 and remains one spot ahead of British Open champ Rory McIlroy. Same goes for Jim Furyk, who doesn't have a victory in almost four years, yet remains four spots ahead of Martin Kaymer, who won The Players and U.S. Open.
As for Tiger's 15-1 odds this week, Luke Kerr-Dineen tries to explain the inexplicable: why that price for a guy who hasn't registered a top 20 in 2014?
The answer has to do with incentives. Bookmakers do factor in things like recent form when they set odds, but mostly they're just trying to set prices that will entice people into placing a bet.
Put him at 100-1 and I'm enticed!
Ryan Lavner with Tim Clark's candid comments after winning the Canadian Open.
The putter anchorer said he's been tinkering too much with his 2016 options and forgot about the present.
“I’ve kind of put it to the back now, and I’m going to just do with what I’ve got now and maybe give it more thought sometime next year,” he said.
That’s the same philosophy adopted by world No. 1 Adam Soctt, who said earlier this month that he hasn’t practiced with the conventional stroke at all since the anchoring announcement last May.
“I thought I’d worry about that when I have to change,” he said.
Brian Wacker, reporting on Woods' press conference for the Deutsche Bank Championship, which benefits his foundation and which he's not currently eligible for.
The preparation for the next two weeks that will either rescue his season or seal it as his worst ever, included getting in reps against young son Charlie at a Putt-Putt.
“We had a good little time,” he said Monday during a press conference for the Deutsche Bank Championship, which Woods won in 2006 and benefits his foundation. “We toured a little bit and even played a little Putt-Putt, which I won every single time.”
Take that kid!
On Morning Drive today we had a lively chat inspired by Bernhard Langer's record 13-stroke victory in the Senior British Open. I'm of the view that he should be considered for a Captain's pick by Europe's Paul McGinley, Gary Williams scoffed at the notion because of Champions Tour field strength. Bill Fields, a huge admirer of Langer who put the win in perspective here, also thinks it's a reach. (Monty also continued to make a case, Martin Dempster reports here.)
Yet consider the options the Captain has for his three selections among those currently on the outside looking in:
Graeme McDowell - with his French Open win, probably a lock
Thomas Bjorn - playing very well, currently in but could be bumped
Stephen Gallacher - Scotland's hope having a steady year
Miguel Angel Jimenez - great run this spring, has cooled off since
Ian Poulter - Ryder Cup master hasn't had a top 10 since April
Lee Westwood - since Malaysia win, form hasn't been there
Francesco Molinari - T15 at The Open first sign of life in a while
Jonas Blixt - second at the Masters, quiet since
Bernhard Langer - tons of experience, top 10 at Masters, just won a tournament by 13
Remember, you get three votes!
As the PGA Championship run-up officially begins, check out Jason Dufner's Golf Digest My Shot with Guy Yocom. The unassuming defending champion displays a much deeper side than you might have imagined based on how he carries himself.
Random choice here from many great bits...he believes in ghosts.
IF YOU LOOK BACK on the remarks of players after they've won tournaments, you'll notice they often mention someone looking down on them from heaven. I believe that. I've definitely felt my grandfather and my father—he passed away in 2001—looking down on me, experiencing what I'm experiencing. Sometimes I wonder what the old-timers think as they're looking down. Is Bobby Jones cringing about technology? What does Ben Hogan think about slow play? Something tells me they're bemused, but not losing sleep over any of it.
Jerry Tarde's Editor's Letter includes some fun insights from Yocom on working with Dufner, from photo editor Christian Iooss on Duf as a model, and Jaime Diaz asked to compare Dufner to Fred Couples. Thankfully, Couples probably won't read this.
Revealing admission here: I've waited until my luggage made it safely out of Heathrow to post Karen Crouse's NY Times story on the perils professional golf bags face when they hit the tarmac at London's major airport.
The golfers’ stress level is heightened this time every year because the British Open brings into play London’s Heathrow Airport, which Hunter Mahan’s caddie, John Wood, described as “the Bermuda Triangle for bags.”
On the advice of his caddie, Woodland bypassed London, “and they still didn’t make it,” he said of his clubs. Allowing time for any mishandled bags to catch up was also a factor in Woodland’s decision to move his travel plans up a day.
Now, for professional golfers, shipping clubs via service is not practical, and for many golfers saying goodbye to your close friends for 5 days prior to a big Scottish golf trip is not easy. But after two weeks of dealing with the bag rules and enforcement in Europe, apparently devised and still enforced by old SS officers, moving large luggage to and from has become an entirely miserable, expensive and stressful experience. And that's before finding out if your clubs made it.
While the cost is in the $244 range for a U.S.-to-Scottish journey, Ru Macdonald of the Scottish Golf podcast tells me that Luggage Forward has been getting strong marks from golfers who've used the service for trips to the home of golf.