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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
  • 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

  • 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

What strikes us--in truth, assaults us--are the massive sandhills, the profusion of gorse (overpoweringly golden in spring, impenetrable at any time), and the heady views. Then comes the challenge of playing the course. And that, by and large, is a matter of the bunkers and the bounces and the "blinds." Half a dozen holes, beginning with the 2nd, entail a blind drive over a dune ridge to reach the narrow fairway that--we must take on faith--lies somewhere on the far side. Add to that three or four occasions when the green itself is hidden. JAMES FINEGAN on Royal County Down



Jack And Donald Open Ferry Point...Again

I feel like this is at least the third golden shovel event, but should be the last as Trump Ferry Point is off and running. And receiving favorable reviews.

And based on their comments Tuesday, as reported by Hank Gola in the New York Daily News, majors are still very much on their mind. However the calendar for U.S. Opens appears filled until 2024 and the PGA Championship through 2022. The course does host the Barclays in 2017.

"It's going to stand the test of time and you're going to have some great events here, whether it's a U.S. Open or PGA Championship," Nicklaus said. "You're going to have a lot of events through time. Donald and I will be in a wheelchair, but that's all right, we're going to look down at it and say we had a part in that, proud of it and we did something that is going to be enjoyed by people for a long, long time. I'm very proud of that and very pleased that we had the opportunity to be involved."

Nicklaus is in Far Hills today to open the new Nicklaus Room at Golf House.

Rich Chere with a list of items on loan for the opening, with this accompanying video featuring Mike Trostel discussing a painting anchoring the permanent exhibit hall:


Bad For Rory? Royal County Down Firm And Fast As Ever

Brian Keogh with Irish Golf Desk preview notes from Tuesday's Irish Open practice, anchored by Paul McGinley's defense of all things McIlroy, including the world No. 1's perceived vulnerability on fast, breezy links.

Keogh writes:

Even if McIlroy's game has led to some debate over his perceived weaknesses on hard and fast tracks, McGinley can only see positives in the 26-year old's game, and who can argue.

"He’s only in his early 20s and he’s still got a lot to achieve and different conditions to get better at," he said. “But as far as I am concerned he’s way ahead of schedule, that’s for sure. It’s easy to be critical. Debate? There is no debate. He is comfortably the No 1 player in the world.”

As with more and more courses in the age of drop kick drivers rolling 150 yards, the driver won't get much use this week. Keogh notes the thought of Reeve Whitson, a local and former Spanish Amateur Open winner.

“The whole course is playing fast and much shorter than usual,” said the former Spanish Amateur Open winner, now an EPD satellite tour player, who has shot 63 around the course. “I’d hit driver quite a few times out there but today it stayed in the bag on the fifth, eighth, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 18th… I just hit three woods there today because driver would run into trouble."


Match Play Strikes Again! Women's NCAA Dynasties Shocked

If you had the luxury of watching any or all of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships Tuesday from Florida's The Concession, you'll know that the consensus top two teams were knocked off, giving us Wednesday's surprising Stanford-Baylor final. Mercifully, there wasn't too much grousing about the vagaries of match play (at least yet), perhaps because the setup yielded a bit and seemingly let the players win with their skill. Besides, both Duke and USC had their shot at winning and simply failed.

The emotions and athleticism conveyed during Tuesdays grueling 36 holes also served as reminder #459 that team match play of some form would be so much fun in the Olympics, even if it was trimmed from college golfs five players to three and the coaches were famous retired golfers driving carts around for no decent reason.

Either way, the stellar coverage from Golf Channel--including live plane shots of shots and great reactions captured the passion of college golf--sets up what should be another dramatic match play final Wednesday.

Jay Coffin files this roundup of Baylor vs. Stanford and how they got to the finals by beating the season long 1-2 punch of Duke and USC.  And here's the video roundup with Golf Channel's team.

But the craziest story of the day was summed up by Ryan Lavner here, covering the 24-hole match between two struggling players who decided the fate of Duke and Baylor. Lauren Whyte of Baylor was not having the best week, yet because of the match play format was vaulted into the national television limelight and ultimately won with a bogey on the 24th hole.

Whyte’s high scores kept piling up at Concession: An opening 81. Followed by an 85. And then a 94. And an 82. Four days of stroke play, and not once did her score count toward Baylor’s team total.

Of the 84 players who finished four rounds here, Whyte was dead last, 54 over par, 57 shots behind winner Emma Talley.

“She was down,” head coach Jay Goble conceded.

“It’s really been hard for her,” Davis said.

The closest to Whyte in the individual standings was Duke freshman Lisa Maguire, who has endured her own struggles this season. And incredibly, both Baylor and Duke’s fates came down to those two players Tuesday during the semifinals of the NCAA Women’s Championship.

The day was spiced up a bit by controversy when Duke's Leona Maguire found herself in the middle of a rules controversy after making gestures to her coach and teammate about a hole location. It turned out she was trying to tell them the committee had the wrong hole location sheet and after an investigation, Maguire was cleared of wrongdoing because the hole location sheet was, in fact, woefully wrong.

From Lavner's report:

After playing her 10th hole at Concession in the afternoon semifinals, Maguire said she motioned back down the fairway that the hole location was in a different spot on the green than what was shown on the pin sheet.

The rules staff had marked that the cup was 21 paces deep and 10 from the right. It was actually cut 9 on and 7 from the right.

“We just screwed that one up,” NCAA director of rules Jerry Lemieux said later. “We just gave players the wrong paperwork.”

The video of the incident and follow up from Lemieux:

Golf Channel airs Wednesday's Stanford-Baylor finale from 3-7 pm ET.


Luck Of The Irish! Rickie & Rory Paired In Irish Open

It's the mitzvah of all mitzvahs as Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler will rekindle their Walker Cup days--minus a few pounds of hair and subcontaneous fat--in an 8 am pairing Thursday morning at Royal County Down.

For us USA west coasters, that should have them teeing off at the start of Golf Channel's midnight Thursday live coverage window (3 am ET).

From the Irish Times, on a pairing that also includes non-millenial hope Martin Kaymer, there is also this fun grouping:

There is little love lost between three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia and the two will start together from the 10th tee along with 2014 winner Mikko Ilonen at 12.50pm.

Rickie is on site and spoke to Golf Channel about returning to the site of his team USA triumph. Like many of his interviews, he doesn't say much of interest, but the photos that run as he talks are superb.


CEO: "One of the things we'll do at TaylorMade moving forward is build out an experiential platform."

I may be less interested than most in the latest technology and utterly bored with the distance chase, but I do want to see our manufacturers prospering while innovating within the rules and making golfers happy.

So reading Mike Johnson's Q&A with the new TaylorMade CEO David Abeles I was hoping for something to get excited about. I didn't find it. But the jargon was fun.

What did you learn in your time that away from TaylorMade? (Abeles left in 2014 to become CEO of Competitor Group Inc., an operator of marathon and half-marathon races.)

I learned that running and golf are different. Running is an inspiring sport to those who run. They run for health and wellness, for charity, for personal records. Golf is a very aspirational sport. When we see Dustin Johnson, Jason Day or Justin Rose hit a shot, we want to hit that shot -- and from time to time we actually do. So we aspire to that level. But the biggest learning for me was the interaction of brands and how it can elevate your business practices. One of the things we'll do at TaylorMade moving forward is build out an experiential platform. To engage golfers on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month basis so they can experience our brands and products in new ways.

Experiential platform. Noted.

What is one thing individuals can do to grow the game?

It's incumbent upon all of us as golfers to grow the game. To reach out to people of all skill levels. They're friendships for life and they are experiences that grow the game. There's a responsibility for us to play with those who are less skilled. This will bring more golfers to the sport along with all the formal initiatives. There's a lot of energy surrounding golf now. We need to capitalize on that positive energy rather than the negative things people are saying about the sport.

No disagreement there!


A Royal County Down And Irish Open Primer

For us west coasters the coverage from Royal County Down starts at midnight Wednesday, but with Golf Channel devoting at least 21.5 hours to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, we should have plenty of opportunity to see one of the world's great courses.

Thanks to Rory McIlroy joining forces with the event, a strong field has assembled to see Royal County Down, relive Walker Cup memories or just collect a nice appearance fee.

Either way, I've assembled a primer on the course and Irish Open week at The Loop. We also previewed RCD on Morning Drive.

Also, do read Ran Morrissett's 2006 review of the course. If you haven't been to RCD in a while like myself, or you just want to know about some of the particulars before the telecast starts, it's well worth your time.

Anyone who has a ticket to the sold out event, please let us know how it all goes.


Chambers De Facto Defending Champ Uihlein Misses U.S. Open

The U.S.Open Sectional Qualifying kicked off with the annual Walton Heath/post-BMW Championship qualifier and as longtime readers know I'm obligated to dwell unfairly on the number of WD/DNF's (22 this year).

Though for a change the bigger news out of England may be the misses by Peter Uihlein and Padraig Harrington, two players who, when healthy, would have been more than just showing up hoping to make the cut. Uihlein, the 2010 U.S. Amateur champ at Chambers Bay and by default the de facto host-site defender, missed by two.

Harrington, who has enjoyed a resurgent game and who should embrace the conditions at Chambers Bay, battled through shoulder issues to make a playoff for the alternate spot only to miss after a two-hour wait.

Alistair Tait with all the details from Walton Heath.

The full field scores,
including those who had better things to do.


Fox President Shanks: U.S. Open Part Of Big Event Strategy

SI's Richard Deitsch sat down with Fox Sports President Eric Shanks to mostly talk about the possibility of Bill Simmons joining the Fox team.

But in his weekly media column, Deitsch includes Shanks' thoughts on picking up golf coverage. His words will be closely followed by those looking to Fox to bid on The Open or PGA Tour coverage should the tour opt out of its current deal with CBS and NBC.

Sure sounds like the The Open fits the Fox approach while PGA Tour golf does not. On the USGA's 12-year-deal:

“It wasn’t necessarily the start of a large golf strategy but we are big believers in broadcasting big event sports on broadcast TV,” Shanks said. “This is a big event that captures the attention for at least a week if not more. It’s a major sports championship where you get to crown a champion at the end of it, and that was the appeal. It fits well with our big-event strategy. It’s not about us getting us into 23 weeks of golf.”


Chambers Bay Scouting Report: Morning Drive Edition

The Morning Drive gang went to Chambers Bay to scout out the course and record some pieces for the upcoming U.S. Open week. And since we'll take all the scouting advice we can for this little seen course, I got to ask the Gary Williams, Damon Hack and Cara Robinson their impressions. The most interesting insight: local caddies and the possibility for players to either employ them during practice, or for the week. Qualifiers take note!

Check it out:


Setup Run Amok Files: NCAA Women's Finals At Concession

As the NCAA Women's Golf Championship prepares to whittle its field from stroke play to the match play finalists (and gets Golf Channel coverage Monday-Wednesday), Ryan Lavner assesses a course setup that appears to have gotten out of hand. (17 of the 24 teams posted their worst 18-hole score of the year.)

Yes, most of the top teams will advance to match play, but in recent years the NCAA's have suffered from questionable setups (Prairie Dunes bathed in rough for the men last year) and the women facing what sounds like an excessive test at Concession has many worried about what we'll see on TV.

Women’s college golf hasn’t been on national television in years, and everyone hopes to make a good impression when the cameras start rolling for real Monday afternoon. That’s problematic now, Washington coach Mary Lou Mulflur says, because “people will see teams 40 over par in the mix, and it doesn’t make us look very good.”

“This setup is the most difficult I’ve been on,” Alabama coach Mic Potter said. “And I don’t think that’s a bad thing, as long as it doesn’t hurt the perception of our sport.”


Photos: 17th At Pebble Beach Update

Many thanks to MenWorking for Tweeting some photos of the restored 17th green at Pebble Beach.

While there's plenty to quibble with, there's even more to like. And so soon! Considering work started April 29th or thereabouts, they don't mess around. (But when your green fee is $500 you need to get the penultimate hole back into play.)

The images of the famed hole after much needed green expansion and bunker modification:


Not Cancer Related: Jarrod Lyle Taking Break From Tour

An AAP report explains Jarrod Lyle's situation as he tries to keep his card after his second bout with cancer. And with 10 more starts to make enough money to secure his status, Lyle says he's taking the summer off to work on his game for a fall return.

Most importantly, Lyle's statement says this is game related and not a health issue.

"I need to stress that this decision has nothing to do with my recent illness - I am still healthy and cancer-free," he said.

"As the year progressed, it has become increasingly obvious that I am simply not in a position to compete on the PGA Tour.

"My goal every single week out here, just like the rest of the field, is to play my best and to be competitive.
"Unfortunately I haven't been in real contention in any of the 10 events I have played so far this season.
"At the moment, I am out here making up the numbers."


Punters Note: BMW Winner An Was A Semi-Finalist At Chambers

Bettors and fantasy players will take any crumb so note Scott Hanson's story on BMW Championship winner Byeong Hun An's win at Wentworth that earns the former U.S. Amateur Champ a berth to the U.S. Open.

An, besides winning the Amateur, reached the semi's in 2010 at Chambers Bay, making him one of the few to qualify who has a track record of success over the mysterious layout.

Anything seemed possible when An was one of the big stories entering the U.S. Amateur in 2010. The year earlier, he had won the event, becoming its youngest champion at age 17.

He proved his title was no fluke at Chambers Bay, making it all the way to the semifinals before losing to David Chung. He played six competitive rounds at Chambers Bay, which will give him an experience edge at the U.S. Open.

But it has not been a straight line of success.


Video: Britany Lincicome Enters The Trick Shot Game

LPGA great Britany Lincicome, most recently the winner of 2015's first LPGA major at Mission Hills, gets points for originality and execution with this trick shot.

From her Instagram account:

Candy on top of ball trick. Take 1. Got it Hahahaha. Funny ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š @dewald_gouws @trevthemachoman

A video posted by Brittany Lincicome (@brittany1golf) on May 22, 2015 at 1:24pm PDT



Primer: Chambers Bay's Fescue Grass

As we inch closer to the first U.S. Open played on a fescue grass course, Craig Smith in the Seattle Times files a primer on what makes this strain of turf different.

Thanks to Larry for sending this in...and this about superintendent Josh Lewis and the key trait of fescue (bounce) was interesting.

The “they” he refers to are course owner Pierce County, operator Kemper Sports and the Chambers Bay greenskeeping crew headed by director of agronomy Eric Johnson and superintendent Josh Lewis.

The relationship between golf turfgrass and the professionals is fine-tuned. Lewis said he makes it a point to walk a lot on the course and said his feet transmit information to his brain about the health of the grass. He said when he was an intern Gilhuly told him, “Don’t ever stop walking around.”

One trait of fescue is that it doesn’t stay green in hot months. It can turn brown but still be playable. Chambers Bay was brown in 2010 when the U.S. Amateur was played in August. June is a transitional month, so it should be more green than brown. Still, don’t expect fans to say, “I want my lawn to look like that.”

Gilhuly noted that fescue isn’t as dense as other grasses and said, “You can’t mow this grass low.”


Video: Another Jimenez Ace, Fleetwood Albatross

He's already back with another ace, his 10th on the European Tour just a week after securing his record-tying ninth (and third of season). And Miguel Angel Jimenez appears to have his post-ace reaction down.

Tommy Fleetwood's
7-iron second shot from 198 yards, fueled by extra work in the Pilates studio and not by the dank English air, vaulted Fleetwood into contention at the BMW Championship.


Yikes: Top Of The Rock's Sink Hole...Err...Geological Event

Just weeks after hosting the Champions Tour, the par-3 only Top Of The Rock Golf Course in Ridgedale, Missouri has seen massive sink holes open up.

John Strege
at with the funny-if-it-weren't-so quote from the course rep calling this a "geological event."

The sinkhole was located between the practice tee and a pond near the entrance to the property, Tammy Sapp, director of communications at Bass Pro Shops, said.

“We discovered at about 6:30 this morning a geological event at the Top of the Rock,” Sapp said. “We reported it to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Our team and their geologic survey team were doing a geologic assessment of the area.

Wes Johnson and Trevor J. Mitchell of the Springfield News-Leader with a more extensive story and multiple images of bunker liner doing things it was not designed to do.

Nick Penzenstadler of the local TV station Tweeted this image:


Not Again! Players Talking Up Yet Another Wentworth Redo

Remodeled to the point of looking, well, remodeled, Wentworth's greens have not exactly been the smoothest at the BMW Championship.

As Phil Casey reports in his round two game story (including a Keith Pelley sighting!), the oft-maligned layout has players calling for yet another remodel to provide better playing surfaces. Though H.S. Colt fans wouldn't mind someone having a go at the Ernie Els architecture, too.

Two-time winner Luke Donald carded a second successive 70 to finish four under par, but suggested that the greens needed replacing for the second time in six years.

"I guess the only way to fix them is to redo them again," said Donald. "If there's one tournament you should expect them to be perfect, it's this one.

"It's not a question we haven't talked about over the years. It has happened a few times.

"When they redid the greens (in 2009) and I look at the success I had (finishing second in 2010 and winning in 2011 and 2012), I would certainly be a proponent of doing them again."

Former US Open champion Justin Rose agreed after a 72 left him one under, adding: "I just watched myself on TV knocking in a four-footer on 18 and it looked easy, but that was different from the running commentary in my head.

"They are bouncy and then it becomes a mental thing, you don't quite trust your reads.

"It's disappointing in the sense that the whole reason we changed this course was that if a player has a six-foot putt to win and hits a good putt, it should go in.

"We are back in the situation where that six-footer might not be true come Sunday afternoon."

If you must, the opportunity a sampling of past redesign controversies involving Wentworth can be viewed here, here and for giggles involving Ernie pouting, here.


Video: Flying Over Colonial Just Before The Invitational

The PGA Tour posted a nice package of drone footage above Colonial Country Club just prior to this week's Crowne Plaza Invitational.

While a few more of the low-flying shots would have been nice to see mixed with the more traditional bird's eye view, it's still interesting to see the property is by modern golf standards.

The video:


Video: New Cabot Cliffs Teaser

Short but sweet, with Kiefer Sutherland narrating and images by Mike Robin.

And Cabot Cliffs continues to look spectacular as it nears its official opening...(h/t Ashley Mayo).