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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
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    by Chris Millard
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • 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

The really great sports passion of Bob Hope's life is golf. I don't suppose anybody alive has ever done more for the game, not Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, not anybody except possibly the Scotsman who invented it in the first place.




U.S. Am To Pinehurst In 2019, U.S. Open Soon Thereafter?

Matt Ginella reports that we should expect a 2019 U.S. Amateur nod going to Pinehurst, perhaps as early as the upcoming USGA Annual Meeting.

He notes what a run this has been for Pinehurst if true, and if a U.S. Open is close behind.

With the 2019 U.S. Amateur, and rumors of another U.S. Open returning in 2024, there’s potential for at least seven majors events to be held at Pinehurst in a 25-year span.

This also sets up a potential murderer's row of courses. Okay, Following Shinnecock Hills, Pebble Beach and Winged Foot in 2020 comes a brief respite to replenish the coffers and enjoy some SoCal marine layer at Torrey Pines in 2021. The 2022 date is open. Los Angeles Country Club is in line to host in 2023 and as Ginella reports, 2024 seems destined for Pinehurst ten years after its last U.S. Open. With Boston putting The Country Club down as its 2024 Olympic course on the slim chance the city does not botch its bid, the 2022 date continues to look perfect for a long-rumored return to Boston for the U.S. Open. And what a run that would be.


Super Bowl vs. Sunday Pro Golf Prop Bets...Really

Will Gray breaks down the best sign yet that oddsmakers are tremendously bored with the Super Bowl before media day even arrives.

They're offering some prop bets on Dubai and Waste Management Open final round scores versus Super Bowl player performances. Several of these assume the players make cuts to play Sunday...

My favorites:

McIlroy final-round birdies (Pick 'Em) vs. Rob Gronkowski receptions
Marshawn Lynch rushing yards (-11.5) vs. Sergio Garcia final-round score in Dubai
Tiger Woods final-round score in Phoenix (-5.5) vs. Julian Edelman receiving yards
Robert Turbin rushing attempts (-0.5) vs. Woods final-round birdies

Sadly, there were no bets involving the number of new versions of his kidnapping story Robert Allenby will tell vs. Tom Brady pass attempts, or Tiger Woods tooth losses by cameramen vs. Russell Wilson fumbles.


Video: On The Rocks At The Palmer Course, Two Final Times

A four-way tie for the lead includes Erik Compton, Michael Putnam, Justin Thomas and Bill Haas heading into Sunday's Humana Challenge with Matt Kuchar one back after a poor finish. Besides Humana's departure after Sunday's final round and the Palmer course leaving the rota, there's a very good chance this is the last year they will play a course hugging the rocky Santa Rosa mountains.

Anyone who recalls Lanny Wadkins and Craig Stadler's epic Hope Classic playoff at Indian Wells or some of the down-the-stretch fun at the Palmer course will lament the loss of this eye-catching once-a-year hazard.

In the meantime, we have two weird shots off the rocks Sunday by James Hahn and Scott Piercy. Both cases appeared to benefit from a deadening effect when hitting the mountainside. How, is the question?

Hahn’s 143-yard tee shot that rolls just past the cup to 3 feet on the par-3 17th hole where he made the putt for birdie.

Piercy’s shot hitting the rock ledge and where the cameraman rightly anticipates the bounce the ball should have taken. Piercy ends up making the 8-foot putt for birdie.


Video: Branden Grace Making Eagle, Qatar Masters 

South African Branden Grace picked up a nice win in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Saturday thanks in part to driving the blind 16th green. (Will Gray on the win).

And as Jason Sobel reminds us, in all of the hyping of young players Grace's name gets left out way too often. Grace moves into the world top 50 with the win, meaning he has an annuity of sorts that could free him up just enough to make the leap to elite status.

Earlier this week Grace hit an incredible recovery shot. Kyle Porter with the Vine.

But Sunday's clutch drive of the 16th green, which gasp, is obstructed by a dune! A blind and driveable par-4 green. What's not to love?


Mr. Cub And Golf

Ed Sherman empties his notebook of stellar Ernie Banks golf anecdotes, including the late Mr. Cub's affinity for watching the majors and getting to Augusta for the 1997 Masters.

Sherman writes:

It wasn’t the last time Ernie and I talked about golf. He loved the game and practically lived at Cog Hill, Chicago’s top public course, during the summer.

If his motto for baseball was “Let’s play two,” I’m sure it was “Let’s play 36″ for golf.

Ernie hardly was a casual fan of the pro game. Whenever we would meet, usually at Cog Hill, he wanted to talk about the majors. He always knew all the venues for that year and enjoyed handicapping the field.

Of course, Ernie always wanted to get the latest on Woods. It is hard to believe Woods had a bigger fan. He definitely didn’t have one who hit 512 homers.


Sunday vs. Monday Finishes Against The NFL: Ratings Watch

In this week's ratings listing from Douglas Pucci, we get to see how the Monday finish at Kapalua fared versus Sunday's Sony Open conclusion (both on Golf Channel). The PGA Tour’s Monday finish concept for the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions has not been popular with many, but the numbers for the live telecasts suggest it's best to get out of the NFL's way.

Even though the Hyundai TOC finished its sudden-death playoff as Monday night's college football national championship game between Ohio State and Oregon started, the final round averaged 409,000 viewers (0.3) over a four-hour Monday telecast.

Meanwhile the Sunday conclusion to the Sony Open, played against the AFC Championship game and with Jimmy Walker coasting to victory, drew an average of just 167,000 viewers (0.1) over a two-plus hour telecast. Prior to that, a two-hour NBC telecast featuring the Sony leaders as they started play and going against the end of the NFC Championship game, delivered a respectable .4 and averaged 640,000 viewers.

To underscore the power of the NFL, Saturday's Sony Open third round telecast on Golf Channel (over four hours) delivered 438,000 (0.3).

The week prior, Sunday's TOC third round played against NFL playoff games fared somewhat better than the Sony finale, with the third round drawing a 300,000 average (0.2). Saturday's second round from Kapalua averaged 376,000 viewers (0.3).

Pucci's ratings January 18th breakdown at Awful Announcing.


Peter Oosterhuis Retires From Broadcasting

A twenty-year presence on CBS and Golf Channel, Peter Oosterhuis will be best remembered for providing a steady presence during his Masters coverage of hole 17. Considering the number of pivotal moments taking place there, his retirement leaves a huge hole in CBS's coverage.

Oosterhuis has been a major presence in golf telecasting over the last two decades who knew when to lend drama to a situation. He never oversold the magnitude of a moment and provided a former player's perspective that will be missed. Best of luck, Peter!

From CBS:


After a 20-year career as a golf analyst for CBS Sports and Golf Channel, Peter Oosterhuis has announced his retirement from broadcasting.

“Golf has been a big part of my life ever since I was a little boy growing up in England and I thank CBS and Golf Channel for allowing me to continue in the sport after my playing days were over,” said Oosterhuis. “I feel it is the right time to step away to focus on things in life that I have always wanted to do.”

“Peter has been a valuable member of our golf team for almost 20 years and we wish him nothing but the best,” said Sean McManus. “We will miss his unique style and insightful analysis that he brought to each broadcast.”

Oosterhuis joined CBS Sports’ golf announce team full-time in 1998.  He began his United States broadcasting career in 1995 with Golf Channel covering the first two events to ever air on the network.  Oosterhuis competed for 11 years on the PGA Tour (1975-86).  Before joining the PGA Tour he played worldwide on the European Tour, amassing more than 20 victories, including the 1973 British PGA Championship, the 1973 and 1974 French Open and the 1981 Canadian Open.  Oosterhuis also played on six European Ryder Cup teams from 1971-81.


Houston Golf Association Taking Over Gus Wortham Park GC

You may recall a few months back the Houston City Council was grappling with whether to convert the 107-year-old Gus Wortham Golf Course into a botanic garden.

So it's exciting to see the Houston Golf Association finalizing a deal to take over the course, renovate it and add to the facilities assuming they can generate $5 million by the end of 2015. The eventual price tag will be steep but the results will be worth it considering the courses legacy.

The full press release:

City approves plans by HGA to operate historic Gus Wortham Golf Course

HOUSTON (January 22, 2005) — Houston City Council unanimously approved a proposal from the Houston Golf Association to lease, manage and restore historic Gus Wortham Park Golf Course. The vote took place on Jan. 21 at council's regular meeting at City Hall in downtown Houston.

Gus Wortham Park Golf Course is the oldest continually operating 18-hole course in Texas and west of the MIssissippi River. The 107-year-old course was the original Houston Country Club.

"We are extremely proud to have this opportunity to preserve and improve the facilities at Gus Wortham Park Golf Course," said Steve Timms, president/CEO of the Houston Golf Association, a 501c (3) non-profit organization best known for annually conducting the Shell Houston Open PGA TOUR event.

The agreement with the City of Houston calls for HGA to generate $5 million by the end of 2015 at which time the HGA would begin operational responsibility at the course. Among the improvements planned are space for junior golf programming, including but not limited to, The First Tee of Greater Houston. New clubhouse, multi-use buildings and new driving range are on the drawing board. Total cost of the project over time ranges from $12-$15 million.

Gus Wortham Park Golf Course is the second City of Houston-owned property that Houston Golf Association will manage. In the fall of 2014 HGA began operating F.M. Law Park, which includes a 9-hole course constructed especially for youngsters in 2000.

In 2014 The First Tee of Greater Houston reached more than 155,000 youngsters with youth development programming through its school program delivered in physical education classes and at its green grass facilities spread throughout the area. The First Tee of Greater Houston is the largest chapter in terms of total community outreach out of more than 170-plus chapters in a worldwide network.

"We appreciate the confidence city officials have in the Houston Golf Association to see this project through," said Timms.


PGA West Palmer Course Saying Goodbye This Week

While Humana says goodbye to the old Bob Hope Classic this weekend, the tournament also faces the loss of what has become an iconic host course in the PGA West Palmer Course.

Larry Bohannan reminds us that the tournament has played there since 1988 and except for a three year absence in the 1990s, has been played annually. After the tournament's ill-fated move to The Classic Club, the Palmer was welcomed back by all in large part because of the exciting finishes it produces.

Bohannan reviews many of the great moments there, including David Duval's 59, Peter Jacobsen's win there and Phil Mickelson's two victories.

Officials have been quiet about a replacement venue for the Palmer and the Nicklaus Private course, which is also out.

In his notes column,'s Bob Harig suggests that one option may be the public PGA West venues across the street.

La Quinta Country Club, which is one of the three current venues, is expected to stay. It is part of the tournament this year for the 50th time. A possibility could be two other courses at PGA West, the Nicklaus Tournament course and the TPC Stadium, which sits across the street from the current host venues.


Roundup: Days One And Two 2015 PGA Show

Just based on the Morning Drive's coverage there was a noticeable uptick in energy and bodies at day two of the 2015 PGA Show after day one conveyed an, uh, mellow vibe. A few folks on-site confirmed what was visible on Golf Channel in the day two improvement.’s Live From The PGA Show micro-blog focuses on some of the more fun and offbeat products, starting with Sun Mountain's Reflex push cart

Luke Kerr-Dineen also looks at the $995 golf bike and Ryan Herrington profiles the Aeroe GolfPod.

Jim Achenbach reports at on the Most Innovative Concept Award winner, Mike Jones's $30 Tour View glasses to help with head stability.

Adam Schupak on the splash made by G/Fore launching high-end clothes to go with the previously launched shoes by founder and designer Mossimo Giannull.

Morning Drive’s visits to Srixon, Ping, Titleist and Scotty Cameron also provided an opportunity to do a white balance check on the backs of the Acushnet sales force. And their visits to TaylorMade, Callaway and Bridgestone Golf.

And their visit with the new Ben Hogan Golf team. Golfweek's Achenbach offers his first reaction to the new Hogan irons both aesthetically and functionally.

What Koehler is doing is simple and perhaps revolutionary. There is no 6-iron in the new Hogan scheme. In fact, there are no traditional numbers of any kind, eliminating the concept of 1-iron through 9-iron. The numbers are replaced by lofts.

Morning Drive also featured some fun niche products during Wednesday's coverage, including Matt Ginella's stop by the Ship Sticks booth for an interview with CEO Nick Coleman that covers some of their pricing and methodology.

Callaway has a 21st century online presence this year, with this blog of all their coverage. On the whimsical side is their XR Speed Read Challenge with visitors to the booth.

Harry Arnett talks to Lydia Ko and David Leadbetter at Callaway’s Live Studio. Yesterday he interviewed Annika Sorenstam, CEO Chip Brewer and Gary Woodland.

Full Swing Golf announced an endorsement deal with Tiger Woods and Woods Tweeted about it. Jason Crook reports.

And finally, Mark Aumann has a good story on GolfBoard, with testimonials from demo day folks who tried it and some video as well. has this image gallery from the day as well as links to related galleries. also posts a nice Instagram compilation of product closeups along with galleries for Wednesday. Many other galleries of Titlest, Adidas and Nike events can be found at their photos page.


The Country Club Named As Boston's 2024 Golf Venue

Thanks to reader John for sending along Boston 2024's freshly released document which clearly states The Country Club as the golf venue should the sport still be in the Games and Boston lands the bid.

The details include how spectators would arrive at the course and suggests the club is "supportive of the proposed use" and "preliminary discussions with Trustees have confirmed venue availability."

The golf portion of the document specifying TCC as the one and only golf host and not, as noted in early reports, Franklin Park's William J. Devine GC. Golfweek's Jim McCabe scolds early reports for not accurately specifying the William Devine name and reports that TPC Boston is one of the proposed golf sites in the bid documents, though I was unable to find the mention.

Here is the golf bid page and the outlined vision for TCC as the venue, assuming this even gets to the bid stage. Based on the reaction in Boston, the possibility of a bid is no certainty.


Right On Cue, A Strip Club Enters The Allenby Saga!

The Honolulu Chamber of Commerce is feeling better today as the Robert Allenby kidnapping claim unravels with the shocking, stunning but slightly clichéd revelation that the Aussie went to a local strip club. He told rescuer Chris Khamis he'd been drugged. Definitely not a plot from the Taken films Allenby says he loves.

Rob Shikina in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

Moments before Australian pro golfer Robert Allenby injured himself by passing out and hitting his head on a lava rock early Saturday, he told a homeless man that he was depressed and had been drugged at a strip club where he went to get some "action."

Nothing soothes the soul wounded by a missed cut like a lap dance!

"There was no crime (when I was present). It was his stupidity," Khamis said in an interview.

Way harsh Tai! I mean Chris.

"(Allenby) passed out and hit his head. I was there. Nobody pushed him out of a car."

This is a nice image...

But when Khamis looked back at Allenby, the golfer was on the ground, bleeding.

"There he was, I was like, 'Oh, my God!'"

Khamis said he gave Allenby a stack of napkins from his bag and tried to get Allenby to focus, but Allenby kept repeating that he was a millionaire and waved around his American Express Platinum Card.

Don't leave home without it!

This story follows a Hawaii News Now item suggesting that police are skeptical of Allenby’s story and merely searching for whoever lifted Allenby’s credit card to “buy more than $10,000 worth of goods from other stores in the Ala Moana and Ward areas, including an ABC Store and an Urban Outfitters store in Waikiki.”

Which prompted this shrewd observation from Jim Moriarty:



Rio Olympic Course Has No Name, But Grass Is Growing

Ryan Herrington of reports on the PGA Show unveiling of initial images (below) from Rio of the 2016 Olympic course, where the name has not been settled on but at this point no one seems to mind.

Herrington writes:

"We're just happy to have a golf course right now," joked Gil Hanse (below right), who along with Amy Alcott designed the course and participated with Peter Dawson of the R&A, Ty Votaw of the PGA Tour and tour pros Graeme McDowell and Suzann Pettersen in the discussion.

The laughter that followed from the entire panel underscored the relief being felt that finally, albeit months later than expected, all 18 holes of the course had been grassed and legal challenges to its construction had ended.

Golfweek's Brad Klein writes about the initial impressions of the layout, which have arrived as Hanse and Alcott billed in their presentation to win the job.

What counts is that the layout – at 7,350 yards, a par 71 – has a wide-open, linksy feel to it. It’s built on sand, brings no trees into play and offers several paths and avenues for greenside recovery from the side and behind. It also features lots of what Hanse calls “half-par” holes – short and long par 3s and par 4s and reachable, risk-reward par 5s. Amy Alcott, an LPGA Hall of Famer and design consultant to Hanse on the project, is especially proud of the finishing stretch. Those present opportunities for birdies if players take the risk – as they well might at the reachable par-4 16th hole.

The images presented in Orlando and courtesy of Hanse Design. The sandbelt influence is strong in this one!




Worldwide Manhunt For Tiger's Rogue Videographer Continues

Just think, somewhere on this planet--at least in the minds of Tiger Woods and his agent, Mark Steinberg--there is a rogue "videographer" who knocked out Tiger's yellowish front tooth, yet is likely sitting on some really juicy footage of the a world top 5 in terms of recognizability losing a tooth. Hope is alive!

Meanwhile, those crafty Arizona State frat brothers who populate TPC Scottsdale's 16th are buying up all the skull masks they can find for next week's Waste Management Open, where possibly Tiger will emerge with a new front tooth and a dental bill for that clumsy videographer (should anyone figure out who the mystery person was). But since the AP writer on site and the race organizer charged with holding Tiger's hand during his surprise visit didn't see anything happen, Tiger may have to pay this dental tab. Hope he can spread out the payments!

Reva Friedel over at Awful Announcing summed up the mess this way:

Also, this is not the first time his team has tried to cover up and/or downplay injuries he has sustained. If you will recall with me his November 2009 accident in the middle of the night when his jilted wife ran after him with a golf club and he smashed his SUV into a fire hydrant. I believe the PR-spin on that was “minor car accident.”

So the question remains – what REALLY happened? Did Vonn catch him cheating on her and knee him in the mouth? Did he re-enact the Happy Gilmore scene with Bob Barker and get his tooth knocked out with a fist?

Did that Perkins waitress finally unleash all her anger? Odds are we’ll never know the truth. But we have to wonder if his agent thought his explanation of the incident would suffice when no one else saw it happen. If you knock out Tiger Woods’ tooth, SOMEONE is going to notice. It’s all in the details, people. Next time, try harder!


Three Golfers Land On Millennial's Favorite Athletes List

Something called 120 Sports conducted research to determine who the most important people in the world view as their favorite jocks. Besides learning that the 18-34 year olds(ish) are sexist, ageist and likely to favor someone who attended college, they do like three golfers in their top 40.

From the press release, which notes the various predilictions of the precious, vital, and largely indebted demo.

The rankings provide additional insights including:
    •    8 out of the top 10 are 26 years of age or younger
    •    2 out of the top 5 are defending champions in their respective sports
    •    Jonathan Toews, NHL, was the most liked athlete among females
    •    1 female athlete in top 15
    •    70% of the top 10 attended college

The golfers are in italics:

2015 120 Sports Millennials' Athlete Index Top 10
1) Stephen Curry, 26, NBA
2) Mike Trout, 23, MLB
3) Russell Wilson, 26, NFL
4) Kevin Durant, 26, NBA
5) Madison Bumgarner, 25, MLB
6) Aaron Rodgers, 31, NFL
7) J.J. Watt, 25, NFL
8) Andrew Luck, 25, NFL
9) Lionel Messi, 27, La Liga
10) Odell Beckham Jr., 22, NFL
2015 120 Sports Millennials' Athlete Index Top 11-40
11. Alex Morgan, 25, USWNT
12. Damian Lillard, 24, NBA
13. Marcus Mariota, 21, NCAAF
14. Calvin Johnson, 29, NFL
15. Cristiano Ronaldo, 29, La Liga
16. Clayton Kershaw, 26, MLB
17. Jonathan Toews, 26, NHL
18. Patrick Kane, 26, NHL
19. Tom Brady, 37, NFL
20. Tim Howard, 35, USMNT
21. Anthony Davis, 21, NBA
22. LeBron James, 30, NBA
23. Rickie Fowler, 26, PGA TOUR
24. Tim Duncan, 38, NBA
25. Marshawn Lynch, 28, NFL
26. Rob Gronkowski, 25, NFL
27. Giancarlo Stanton, 25, MLB
28. Shaun White, 28, Action Sports
29. Steven Stamkos, 24, NHL      
30. Maria Sharapova, 27, WTA
31. Henrik Lundqvist, 32, NHL
32. Buster Posey, 27, MLB
33. Bubba Watson, 36, PGA TOUR
34. Felix Hernandez, 28, MLB
35. Sidney Crosby, 27, NHL
36. Alexander Ovechkin, 29, NHL
37. Klay Thompson, 24, NBA
38. Russell Westbrook, 26, NBA
39. Peyton Manning, 38, NFL
40. Tiger Woods, 39, PGA TOUR

As for our millennials, Jordan Spieth was left off the list but he doesn't care, he just signed with Under Armour for ten years in a no-brainer bit of loyalty since both sides took a shot when Spieth was an unproven commodity. Nice to see it work out for both sides.

And Rickie just reportedly re-upped with Puma for an unspecified number of years, with Cobra-Puma putting out a fun video featuring cameos both great (Greg Norman) and eye-roll worthy (Rickie's cranky agent Sam MacNaughton).

You have to stay with it to the end for Norman's fun cameo:


The Disastrous Dustin Johnson ESPN Interview...

I've seen the negative social media and comment references to Dustin Johnson’s chat with ESPN's top interviewer, Tom Rinaldi, and having watched the four minute chat I understand the lack of empathy for Johnson as he returns from his "leave of absence."

Chalk this one up as a horrible bit of stage puppetry to Johnson's agent, David Winkle, who mysteriously thought the public would buy the story of a vacation and nothing more. Johnson, who is undoubtedly an immense talent but by no means a wordsmith, has a good heart. But throwing him in front of a camera and taking tough questions from a pro like Rinaldi? He has zero chance. In the court of public opinion, even one that rarely sides with the media, Johnson’s stance of innocence will not hold up to's multi-sourced story suggesting a drug suspension.

Also of note is the bizarro on-course footage shot at Sherwood Country Club of Johnson, including a shot with a crowd reaction and Johnson playing to them. Who is that reacting? Friends? Family? The caddies?

The entire thing matches the lameness of the Sears catalog shot in the SI package. File it all under textbook examples of "how not to return from your suspension" stuff here:


Shocker: Robert Allenby's Story Continues To Unravel 

If you had Wednesday morning in the Allenby Exposed pool, you may be looking good as Robert Allenby's unbelievable story of kidnapping and assault by mystery wine bar stalkers has been refuted by another credible witness suggesting the injuries may have been the result of passing out and introducing a head to a rock.

Frank Coletta and Leesa Smith of Daily Mail Australia talk to Toa Kaili, who came upon Allenby twice while the Aussie was passed out on a downtown Honolulu sidewalk near the wine bar.

About two hours later, Mr Kaili says he returned to find the golfer still unconscious on the pavement but now with a bloodied face – the man claims the Australian was injured from falling over and hitting his head on a rock.

'Then he’s accusing me and my friend "you guys stole my wallet and phone – alright the gig is up just hand it over" so I was like "brother we are the ones who woke you up - we are the ones just helping you,' Mr Kaili told Channel 9 News.

'He was saying 'you don’t know who I am".'

That's our Robert! Same one who ran into that big Robert Allenby fan at the bar.

Now Toa, you mean you weren't you a big fan of early 21st century PGA Tour golf? You should know who I am!

Here is the video segment where Toa comes off quite credibly.


Forever Golden: Nicklaus Turns 75

Golf World's Jaime Diaz visits with Jack Nicklaus on the Golden Bear's 75th birthday, considering the state of Jack, his family and his businesses.

Most interesting, and something that also came up in the recent USGA documentary, is how much Nicklaus appears to enjoy mentoring young up-and-coming players.

"I’ve had a lot of kids come by, a couple over the holidays. I’m very flattered by it, I get a big kick out of it. If I can impart some wisdom that can help somebody, I’m just delighted.”


The New Ben Hogan Irons...

Most of you know how little I care about the new stuff debuting at this week's PGA Show in Orlando (longer, straighter, softer, etc...), but how can anyone who has been around a while not get excited at the sight of the new Hogan irons? Maybe I'm just a sucker seeing that iconic signature, but the design and perimeter-weighted forged concept sounds (and looks) incredible.

Mike Johnson
has a short write-up with images in Golf Digest Styx today, with the revelation that the irons will not be stamped with numbers, but instead with lofts.

Steve Kaskovich profiled the company in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, explaining the planned April launch of the club design. While the heads will be made in China, the assembly will take place in Hogan's Fort Worth. They've gotten the band back together, with several ex-Hogan employees and they have an interesting distribution concept used previously by CEO Terry Koehler's previous ventures.

With that in mind, the new set of Hogan clubs being unveiled this week, dubbed the Fort Worth 15, combines the sleek look of traditional “blades” with state-of-the-art perimeter weighting technology to offer a high-performance premium club for the serious golfer. (The company can no longer use its famous Apex model name, which was retained by Callaway Golf, the old Hogan Co.’s last owner.)

And in a novel approach, the company will allow golfers to create their own set from a selection of 44 different irons, including 16 wedges, numbered by loft angles from 20 to 63 degrees instead of the traditional 2-9 plus wedges.

The clubs will be sold exclusively through golf professionals at country clubs and learning centers, where players will be custom-fitted and provided help to choose the lofts that fit their game. They’ll be priced at $149 apiece with steel shafts, and $165 with graphite.


Humana's Last Stand In Desert; Clinton Foundation Continuing

Larry Bohannan writing for the Desert Sun considers the future of the tournament formally known as the Hope which starts Thursday, where Bill Clinton and his foundation remain committed to the event while Humana's CEO change sounds as if it led to the corporation's decision to make this its last year sponsoring a PGA Tour event.

Clinton talked at length with Bohannan and exposed a shocking amount of awareness of the event field, the dynamics of luring players and the progress the event has made despite not landing a top 10 player or Tiger Woods.

"Something has happened in each of the last three years," Clinton said. "One year it was the presidential inauguration that took me away. I want to be there at the end, so I am really looking forward to it."

Last year, Clinton placed a phone call to Humana winner Patrick Reed just as Reed was preparing to meet the media after his victory.

"He had a remarkable year, even though he had his ups and downs," Clinton said of Reed. "People gave him a little grief for saying he could be one of the top-five best players in the world, but there is no question that he can be if he just keeps going."

This year Clinton will be on hand for the trophy ceremony, followed by two days of the Health Matters event.

And here's where Clinton slips in a suggestion that the new CEO, Bruce Broussard, who was definitely not as committed as the previous Humana leader, Mike McCallister, who saw the brilliant synergy of desert golf, Clinton Health Matters and Humana's interest in wellness.

"We are going to land on our feet on that. The PGA is working this hard, and I have done a little work on it, and I feel like we'll be fine," Clinton said about new sponsorship for 2016. "I am grateful to Humana. You know they have new leadership and they have the right to have new priorities. We'll figure out how to replace them, and they still want to stay involved in some way."

In another story, Bohannan suggests the Affordable Healthcare Act was part of the company rethinking its marketing strategy. Though it was hard not to see the change in leadership as the ultimate deathnell for Humana.

Up next is finding a new sponsor and perhaps a shift in where charity dollars go, something that has concerned some longtime locals.

Part of what made Humana’s time at the tournament different is that the healthcare company, along with the Clinton Foundation, was promoting an agenda of health and well being rather than trying to raise funds for a specific charity or series of charities. The tournament still raises money for local charities, handing out more than $800,000 this year to 40 charities, including Eisenhower Medical Center. But the message from Humana was more about personal health and taking control of one’s own health.