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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
  • 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
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2014: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2014: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
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

We've got a society now looking for answers anywhere. They might go to a car wash to take a lesson. JACK BURKE Jr.

 

    

Wednesday
Aug272014

Video: 2014 PGA Championship Final Round "Quad Supercut"

Michael David Murphy's supercuts of major final rounds are always revealing, but this one combining McIlroy, Fowler, Mickelson and Stenson is mind-blowing. How he came up with this I have no idea but it's fascinating viewing. And btw, nice consistency on the overlay of first tee announcer Derek Sprague's calls.

You can follow Michael here.

The video:

Tuesday
Aug262014

Johnny And Brandel Chime In On Tiger's Coaching Move

To promote the positively spellbinding playoff chase looming over the next few weeks, Johnny Miller and Brandel Chamblee took reporter questions Tuesday to hype the upcoming events on NBC and Golf Channel.

After the Denver crowd got in a few questions about the superb Cherry Hills, host to next week's BMW, the talk turned to what else? Tiger. As expected, Johnny and Brandel had plenty of interesting things to say about Tiger Woods parting ways with his third high-profile swing instructor this century.

Randall Mell filed a couple of pieces, starting with this on Tiger's "explosiveness" obsession.

“Tiger needs to quit being Ponce de León, looking for that fountain of youth,” Miller said. “He's looking for explosive power. What he really needs to do with the long game is swing a little smoother, instead of exploding into it, and blocking everything right and flipping it left . . . I think it would help his long game if he used a little smoother action, like he does with his irons . . . He’s trying to explode up through it, and his feet are hopping, and he's squatting down and hopping, and he's raising up, instead of just swinging level.”

And Brandel added this...

“Even on Jimmy Fallon's show, he was talking about how he needed to get more explosive, and in another interview he said he needed to get stronger glutes,” Chamblee said. “He keeps referring to getting stronger and stronger and stronger, which is bizarre to me, because he just needs to be faster. He traded speed for strength.”

Yes, but he looks so good in that Jack LaLanne estate sale gear!

I asked a question about the rise of celebrity swing instructors and Mell wrote a separate item on the remarks there, which were equally fascinating.

“It's interesting for all of us to talk about,” Chamblee said. “It's fun for us to sit down and talk to these instructors and listen to their ideas, but I don't know that this helicoptering, this helicopter teacher, this constant hovering, well‑intentioned, well‑informed constant teaching, is doing the player a great service.”

Chamblee believes a player can become too reliant on a teacher.

“I think the very nature of the way golf is taught now has led to a timidity in players, and it's certainly upped the profile of the teacher . . . A lot of theory is being put forth, and golf is in sort of a revolutionary stage, of lots of number, lots of ideas, lots of geometry, lots of science being thrown at these players,” Chamblee said. “It's intriguing, it's interesting, and I think a lot of these teachers have done a great job of promoting themselves. But, unfortunately, I think that there's discovery and there's confidence that's found in solitude."

Chamblee elaborated on these thoughts in a GolfChannel.com column released around the same time:

Tiger at 21 knew enough about his swing to orchestrate the changes that lead to the greatest stretch of golf in history. At 38 he may be golf’s version of Humpty Dumpty and all the king’s men hopeless to place him back into his origins. Perhaps he should tell all the king’s men to take a hike.
Alone in thought, watching the video from the 1997 Masters Tiger was in as powerful a state as any athlete can be. He decided what needed to be done, he had a game plan, he could feel it, taste it, smell it and he executed it.

Who should be his next coach is likely the difference between him breaking Jack’s major record or not and because of what he means to golf, that decision means a lot to the game. This is all precisely why I hope his next teacher’s name is Tiger.

Tuesday
Aug262014

The Greater New York Area Venue Obsession...

The Barclays is slated for the greater New York area on an annual basis, with an unofficial rota of Ridgewood, Plainfield, Liberty National and Trump Ferry Point (2017). Batting .500 isn't all bad. Anyway...

Tuesday's excessive commitment to Liberty National for ten PGA Tour events over the next 25 years ensures the Manhattan skyline will get no shortage of airtime.

However it's not just the PGA Tour that is staking a claim to this amazing region for great golf.

Consider...

2016 PGA Championship  Baltusrol Lower
2017 Presidents Cup  Liberty National
2018 U.S. Open   Shinnecock Hills
2019 PGA Championship  Bethpage Black
2020 U.S. Open   Winged Foot
2022 PGA Championship Trump National Bedminster
2024 Ryder Cup  Bethpage Black

I can't think of a bigger logjam of major events in one region over such a short period. Yet if there is one market that can handle the workload, it's this one. But it still seems like overkill.

Tuesday
Aug262014

Spieth's Ideal 21st Birthday: Golf At Preston Trail!?

I love the kid's passion, but come on, a round at Preston Trail, where they don't accept anyone under 21, as your big birthday celebration?

Okay...whatever Jordan says!

Doug Ferguson reports on Jordan Spieth's idea of a perfect 21st celebration at the all-male and apparently anti-early-millennial Preston Trail Golf Club:

"I must have played Bent Tree about 50 times and I always looked over at Preston Trail knowing I couldn't go over there," Spieth said. "When I was playing in college, or even last year as a professional, I'd get home and a couple of buddies would say, `Yeah, we're going over to Preston Trail.'"
 
He was invited to play by Malcolm Holland, a Preston Trail member and prominent USGA official. Spieth said the superintendent prepared for their visit by rolling the greens twice and finding some of the toughest pin positions. He played with former U.S. Amateur champion Colt Knost and Carlos Ortiz, who tops the Web.com Tour money list.
 
It was everything Spieth thought it would be. 

Tuesday
Aug262014

"Ponte Vedra Beach residents express concerns over PGA Tour development plans"

Stuart Korfhage of the St. Augustine Record reports on the conflict between Ponte Vedra residents and the PGA Tour over undisclosed development plans near the TPC Sawgrass.

The tour is asking for waivers without disclosing what it is they want to do on parcels of land between the TPC Sawgrass and Palm Valley Road. Though as a meeting went on, the tour's "consultant" Vernon Kelly revealed that a five-star hotel may be in the plans if only the awful economy were better!

That question was probably never truly answered, but Vernon Kelly, a consultant for the tour, did finally provide some insight into the tour’s development objectives an hour into the meeting.

Kelly said the most likely developments would include a small, five-star hotel as well as upscale retail and office space.

The property already has the approval for allowable uses that include: commercial, office, patio homes, multi-family, single family and special use. Mostly, the tour wants the flexibility to have those uses wherever they fit on the entirety of the property and not in “bubbles.”

“Nobody is going to be developing anything in this economy,” Kelly said. “If it is developed, it will be in a way that is complementary to The Players (Championship). We don’t want to build something that’s bad.”

That could be in the eye of the beholder, Kohnke argued.

“I do not trust the tour,” she said. “They (the PZA) never should have messed with our rules.”

No one is developing anything in this economy? The five-star hotel in the current climate is a non-starter? Did I miss a memo?

Interesting view on things down there at 100 PGA Tour Blvd!

Tuesday
Aug262014

Hank & Butch Agree: Tiger Needs No Stinkin' Coach

The former coaches have spoken: Tiger should go solo.

Butch Harmon said it yesterday (reported by Rex Hoggard).

“I don’t think he needs a swing coach. If I were advising Tiger I’d tell him, ‘You’re the greatest player that ever lived, just go to the range and hit shots.’”

And Hank Haney talked to Morning Drive, saying the same thing, reports Ryan Lavner.

“He certainly knows enough,” Haney said Tuesday on “Morning Drive". “I think he’d probably be better off just going and doing it himself. He’s the one that he’ll listen to the most. He’s the one that he’s always listened to the most.”

Though the former world No. 1 has all the tools to go it alone – access to TrackMan, an understanding of video technology and the swing, etc. – Haney said doing so could potentially pose an issue, because of Woods’ tendency to “get off on tangents and work on things that aren’t really part of the plan.”

“That’s the biggest challenge that Tiger would face in helping himself,” Haney said. “He has trouble staying on point and staying on a plan. ... It’s making a plan and staying on point, that is where a coach really can help, if he can do that.”

Meanwhile I ran Sean Foley's official statement through the GolfDigest.com What They Said, What They Meant algorithm.

And John Feinstein had some interesting things to say about Tiger's history of firing coaches in this Golf Central segment.

 

Tuesday
Aug262014

Get Ready To Hear About Liberty National's Views For The Next 25 Years

I was just praising the PGA Tour for making a concerted effort to go to classic venues in the playoffs and now they announce an unprecedented 25-year partnership with Liberty National, the twice-renovated Bob Cupp-Tom Kite course next to New York City.

The course's claim-to-fame? Manhattan skyline views. The actual ground on which they play? Not so much. Liberty National was voted the second worst course on the tour in Golf World's survey of PGA Tour players.

After the 2017 Presidents Cup and a Barclays every three years, my math says there is still room for something else in there.

For Immediate Release...

Liberty National selected to host The Presidents Cup 2017,
Start of 25-year partnership with PGA TOUR


Paul Fireman announces $5 million donation to The First Tee, with half to benefit area chapters
 
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – At a flag-raising ceremony today overlooking the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem officially announced Liberty National as host site for The Presidents Cup when it is next staged in the United States, in 2017.  The announcement is part of a 25-year partnership between Liberty National and the PGA TOUR, which will bring up to 10 PGA TOUR events to the venue over the course of the agreement.  Joining Finchem to mark the occasion were Liberty National co-founders Paul Fireman and Dan Fireman, as well as New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
 
Liberty National will be just the fourth golf course in the United States to host the prestigious team match-play competition, joining Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Va., (1994, 1996, 2000, 2005), TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif., (2009) and Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio (2013).  The Presidents Cup 2017 will take place September 25-October 1.
 
“We’ve had several very compelling announcements relative to the future of The Presidents Cup so far this summer,” said Finchem, alluding to the announcement of Jay Haas and Nick Price as 2015 captains and TPC Harding Park in San Francisco being named 2025 host, “but standing in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty today to announce Liberty National as our next U.S.-based host of the event is really icing on the cake.  The Presidents Cup has come so far in its relatively short history, and seeing the world’s best players compete in this market, on this incredibly fantastic venue with such an amazing backdrop in 2017 is something fans of this great game will never forget.
 
“I’d like to thank and congratulate Paul Fireman and his son Dan for their partnership through the years, which has previously brought the PGA TOUR to Liberty National for The Barclays in 2009 and 2013 and has now resulted in a long-term relationship that will see some of the TOUR’s biggest and best events staged here over the next quarter century.  Paul and Dan have exemplified a true dedication to the future of the game, and we are thrilled to work with them to showcase Liberty National and the PGA TOUR in an incredible way.”
 
“Being chosen by the PGA TOUR to host the 2017 Presidents Cup is every golf course’s dream,” added Paul Fireman.  “We at Liberty National Golf Club are proud to receive this honor and will dedicate our efforts to live up to both the TOUR and the players’ expectations.  This new 25 year agreement is a mutual acknowledgement of trust and respect between Commissioner Finchem, the PGA TOUR, Liberty and our membership.  We embrace this selection with great pride and look forward to fostering this relationship for years to come.”
 
One of the world’s most picturesque golf courses, Liberty National is located along the Hudson River in Jersey City, N.J., with striking views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Manhattan skyline. The golf club fittingly opened on July 4, 2006, and is guided by the vision and leadership of former Reebok Founder/Chairman & CEO Paul Fireman, currently chairman of Fireman Capital Partners, and his son Dan Fireman, managing partner of Fireman Capital Partners. Designed by U.S. Open Champion Tom Kite and esteemed golf course mastermind Bob Cupp, Liberty National has been the proud host to the first event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs, The Barclays, in 2009 and 2013.

Esteemed golf course mastermind. There's a keeper.

The Barclays 2009 at Liberty National was won by Heath Slocum in dramatic fashion as he holed a 21-foot putt for par on the last hole to deny Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods the chance at victory.  The Barclays returned to Liberty National, which has been part of the tournament’s rotation in recent years over some of the area’s best courses, in 2013 and again provided an incredibly compelling finish.  Adam Scott carded a final-round 65 and then waited nearly two hours as the likes of Justin Rose, Gary Woodland and Woods all narrowly missed an opportunity to force a playoff.
 
As part of today’s event, Paul Fireman also announced a $5 million commitment to The First Tee over five years (beginning in 2015), with half of that amount earmarked for programs in the New York/New Jersey area: The First Tee of Metropolitan New York; The First Tee of Raritan Valley; The First Tee of Monmouth & Ocean Counties; and The First Tee of Greater Trenton.  In addition, Liberty National will host an annual fundraising event for The First Tee, with any additional money raised through those events to benefit the local chapters.
 
Matthew Chung, a member of The First Tee of Metropolitan New York, performed the National Anthem before Lt. Governor Guadagno, Finchem and Paul and Dan Fireman raised The Presidents Cup 2017 flag in a newly constructed flag garden to forever commemorate Liberty National’s selection and the Fireman’s commitment to The First Tee.

“As The First Tee moves closer toward our goal of reaching 10 million additional young people with character-building programs, support from Paul and Dan Fireman is significant and will have a far-reaching and lasting impact,” said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive officer of The First Tee. “We are grateful for their continued investment in young people through The First Tee, and for their commitment to the four chapters in the New York Metropolitan area.”

Monday
Aug252014

Roundup: Tiger & Sean We Hardly Knew Ye

Just to get the most out of this post, may I propose you right click here for a little Barbra to set the appropriate mood during this upsetting, utterly-first world time in golf history as Tiger Woods and instructor Sean Foley have split.

Anyway, I spoke to Hank Haney briefly today. The former Tiger teacher sounded sympathetic to the plight of  Foley, even though Foley was never particularly complimentary of the former instructor's efforts.

"There’s tons of hall of fame coaches that have been fired," Haney said from Philadelphia where he was working. "Working for Tiger is not as easy as it looks."

That seems to be the general takeaway on Sean Foley and Tiger's breakup: the pupil is a once-in-a-lifetime talent not at his peak and it just didn't work out for a teacher with proven results elsewhere.

Doug Ferguson's AP story recounts some of Tiger's instructor past, which is extensive.

Woods began working with Butch Harmon as a teenager, and they changed his swing twice. The biggest overhaul was after Woods won the Masters by 12 shots. Many believe the new swing produced Woods' most dominant golf, though he also was in his early 20s and had not had serious issues with his knee. Woods won eight majors while with Harmon, including seven in 11 attempts and an unprecedented sweep of them in 2000-01. They parted in 2003.
 
Woods went to Hank Haney and produced another memorable stretch with an entirely different swing. In a two-year period covering 34 tournaments, Woods won 18 times (including four majors) and was runner-up six times. That ended with the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, right before his fourth and most invasive knee surgery.
 
That was his 14th major, and Woods has not won another since.

Jaime Diaz explores the ups and downs of their four years together and comes away feeling like life comes down to timing. And "Foley's timing was bad."

As science based as Foley's teaching is, he soon enough learned that his biggest challenge would be fixing not the physical, but the mental. Which was actually a challenge and opportunity Foley welcomed. Naturally open and gregarious, a self-described searcher who enjoys sharing his own life lessons, Foley had openly looked forward to getting to know Woods well as a person, and helping him through what he knew was a difficult period. He saw that dynamic as part and parcel of a successful coach/student partnership.

"I want to be a teacher who teaches his guys more about life and themselves than just about the game," Foley said. "By helping them become better people, they're going to become better at their sport by having less conflict."

But based on reliable observers, what Foley had hoped for didn't happen.Though their working relationship never showed any public strain, it remained more clinical than close.

The ambulance chasers are littering the streets of Jupiter hoping Tiger will stumble upon their card, so Paul Azinger has something to sell Tiger. But he's not quite saying what it is. Randall Mell reports.

“There are only three things great players have done the same with their swing, the three fundamentals,” Azinger said. “That’s physically. There’s a mental side. Of the three physical things, Tiger has lost track of one, and he’s got to fix it. It’s a very easy fix.”

What is it?

Azinger says he isn’t sharing that publicly, but he would tell Tiger Woods.

Bob Harig says the two "sensed it" according to Foley, and the parting was on good terms. So we'll get fist bumps on the range at Augusta, which is comforting. Harig also says Woods gets all the blame for messing things up.

While Foley might have offered advice, who said Woods always took it? He is his own man, with his own thoughts, and many players use bits and pieces of what they are offered.

A coach can only do so much. He can't give advice between the ropes. He can't necessarily control how much a player practices or even works on his short game. It is an individual sport, and the blame almost fully rests with the guy hitting the shots.

It is true that Woods' inability to figure out the driver and how to get it in play consistently has been a vexing problem. And yet, how much better was it five years ago when Woods won seven times worldwide?

In 2009, Woods ranked 86th in driving accuracy, hitting just over 64 percent of the fairways. Last year, he was 69th although his percentage was just 62.5 percent.

Jason Sobel asked Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose about Foley's work just before the parting, and the idea that Foley was somehow to blame.

“It's comical,” Mahan stated flatly. “It frustrates me and kind of angers me a little bit. But you know, that's the world we live in and that's just kind of the way things are, and Foley is better for it because he can handle a guy like Tiger – a lot comes with that and I think he's done a pretty good job of containing himself and not letting it bother him. He just does his job every day and does it better than anyone.”

Rose was more diplomatic, but no less adamant in his view that Foley has shouldered too much of the blame over the past half-decade.

“It’s difficult to hear,” he said, “because I put a lot of trust in him with my game and I believe in his abilities to help me with my game.”

With over 500 votes, a clear majority of you would recommend Tiger to your golf instructor friends.

Tiger's swings through the years can be seen in this GIF posted by Luke Kerr-Dineen at The Loop.

Tiger's various swings were also analyzed on Golf Central.

Monday
Aug252014

Best Signs Yet Of Ice Bucket Challenge's Inevitable Demise

There is no better sign of a social media craze dying out than the first criminal to be apprehended by participating, and Jesean Morris was nabbed by Omaha police on a parole violation thanks to his Facebook posting of a dousing. Gawker reports.

And somehow I missed the first warning side a few days ago, but thanks to reader John for former Golf Channel anchor Win McMurry's effort to take part by dousing herself (in a bikini) with some sub-75-degree tropical bay water. Not quite an ice bucket, but it should do the trick in confirming that enough money has been raised and time to move on to our next, uh, cause.

Jack Jorgensen with the details of Win's effort:

Monday
Aug252014

Butch Called Sean: "Nothing lasts forever"

The Former Tiger Woods Instructor Society (aka The Society of The Crossed Instructors) unofficially extended its invitation to the newly scorned Sean Foley in an official phone call from Butch Harmon.

Okay, it wasn't that blatant, but Harmon called Foley to assure him that he's not alone in having been put out to pasture by Tiger.  Rex Hoggard reports.

“Sean’s had great success. He has nothing to hang his head about. I called him and told him that. I told him he worked his tail for this guy,” Harmon said. “Nothing lasts forever.”

Monday
Aug252014

Butch Opens At Even Money In Next Tiger-Swing Coach Stakes!

Andy Zunz has the odds at Golfweek.com posted the rather elaborate list from PaddyPower.

Even money on Butch seems a tad silly since Hank is all the way down at 14-1!

Nice to see David Feherty rewarded for his loyalty...

Monday
Aug252014

Poll: A Friend Says Tiger Called, What Do You Tell Them...

It's a very simple question, but with so many complicated ramifications considering the state of Tiger's game, his aspirations and the pressure that comes with the job.

So, knowing what you know now...

If an instructor came to you and said he/she had an opportunity to work with Tiger Woods, would you tell them yes, no or don't know?
 
pollcode.com free polls

If an instructor came to you and said he/she had an opportunity to work with Tiger Woods, would you tell them yes, no or don't know? - See more at: http://pollcode.com/pollcode.cgi#sthash.xtjIyBiF.dpuf
If an instructor came to you and said he/she had an opportunity to work with Tiger Woods, would you tell them yes, no or don't know? - See more at: http://pollcode.com/pollcode.cgi#sthash.xtjIyBiF.dpuf
Monday
Aug252014

Tiger Woods & Sean Foley To Spend Way Less Time Together

In one of the more succinct reports ever issued from the TigerWoods.com newsroom, the lede is, well, very tight!

Tiger Woods said today he will no longer be working with Sean Foley.

He said this via telegram? To...?

Anyway, now the awkward quotes.

"I'd like to thank Sean for his help as my coach and for his friendship," Woods said. "Sean is one of the outstanding coaches in golf today, and I know he will continue to be successful with the players working with him. With my next tournament not until my World Challenge event at Isleworth in Orlando, this is the right time to end our professional relationship."

Not sure why it's the right time, except that now Foley doesn't have to answer a million "hows he doing?" questions, so in that sense Tiger was doing him a favor. And now Foley...

"My time spent with Tiger is one of the highlights of my career so far, and I am appreciative of the many experiences we shared together," Foley said. "It was a lifelong ambition of mine to teach the best player of all time in our sport. I am both grateful for the things we had the opportunity to learn from one another, as well as the enduring friendship we have built. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him."

"Presently, I do not have a coach, and there is no timetable for hiring one," added Woods.

...as if this was a joint news conference, added Woods.

Personally, I think it's a shame this duo is finished only because I think Foley will be blamed for Tiger's awful 2014 and maybe even his back issues, which is terribly unfair. Foley is a fine coach and even finer person who loves seeing people get better. Unfortunately in this case, he was working with a less motivated, less physically sound and certainly less focused Woods than his predecessors had the pleasure of dealing with.

Sunday
Aug242014

Is Team USA So Desperate That Hunter Mahan Just Locked Up A Ryder Cup Captain's Pick?

With his Barclays win, Hunter Mahan recorded his second top-10 since March and finished 25th in Ryder Cup points.

But as Lindsay Gibbs points out, he's trending in the right direction for a country with not too many hopefuls right now.

After 13 straight tournaments without a top-20 finish, Mahan has now finished tied for 15th at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, tied for seventh at the PGA Championship and now alone in first at The Barclays.

All of the SI/golf.com guys have a "why not?" attitude toward a Mahan selection in this week's roundtable, and Jim McCabe would seem to agree.

It would be embellishment to suggest that Mahan has been motivated only by a chance to be on this year’s American team that will compete at Gleneagles in Scotland Sept. 26-28. Fact is, though he’s been arguably one of the world’s steadiest players since 2007, Mahan accepts that his scratchy play had left him off this year’s radar. He finished 25th in the standings, which Mahan is savvy enough to translate as a message. That being, step it up, son.

Getting selected as a captain's pick would not be unfamiliar territory for Mahan, writes Jason Sobel.

On four separate occasions – twice for the Ryder Cup, twice for the Presidents Cup – Mahan finished just outside the final automatic qualifying position on the points list, but was named to the roster as a captain’s pick.

Before Mahan's big final day at the Barclays, Michael Fitzpatrick wondered if this is the sorriest USA team to head overseas since 2006, which I think is a tad strong considering how quickly some of the players on the current USA squad have been known to jumpstart their games.

He was particularly tough on Team USA's No. 1 points earner, Bubba Watson, but also noted that Americans Kuchar and Spieth suddenly look less compelling based on recent play.

As it is, Watson has managed to notch just three points for the U.S. Ryder Cup team in eight career matches and he has yet to win a singles or foursomes match in Ryder Cup play.

Matt Kuchar, who is ranked sixth in the U.S. Ryder Cup point standings, has posted just two top-10 finishes since his win at the RBC Heritage back in mid-April. He also withdrew from the PGA Championship two weeks ago with back spasms that came about while he was out shopping for a Slip N’ Slide toy for his children (as reported by Golfchannel.com), although his back issues seem to have subsided as he is currently tied for 16th through 36-holes at The Barclays.

With all of the hoopla surrounding Rory McIlroy and his two consecutive major championship wins, the Jordan Spieth story has become so last year. Spieth, who is seventh in the U.S. Ryder Cup point standings, has just one top 10 since the Players Championship back in May, and that came at the very weak fielded John Deere Classic.

Sunday
Aug242014

Will Phil Get Fined For Barclays Fan Wager?

Stooge that I am, I kept refreshing the PGA Tour YouTube page to see the fun moment on Saturday where Phil Mickelson lost a $5 bet (at 4-1 odds) with a gallery member and lost. Then promptly paid up his $20.

And then Ryan Ballengee reminded me why this video won't appear...Phil may get fined for a little harmless fun!

The penalty for breaking rules under Section VI of the PGA Tour handbook include “fine, suspension from play in PGA Tour cosponsored and coordinated tournaments, [or] permanent disbarment from such play.”

Mickelson has violated this rule in the past. At the 2001 NEC Invitational, Mickelson and Mike Weir were among players watching the final action unfold at Firestone C.C. With Jim Furyk bunkered in a playoff and needing to hole it to extend, Mickelson bet Weir $20 at 25-to-1 odds that Furyk would make the shot. Furyk did, and Mickelson was to collect $500.

At the time, PGA Tour official Bob Combs said it was a “technical violation” of the player regulations, but it didn’t have an outcome on the tournament.

And because of the tour's stance on not discussing fines or disciplinary action, we'll never know what happened. But if YouTube is any indication, the tour will crack down on this fun!

Sunday
Aug242014

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green Stat Coming To The PGA Tour

Luke Kerr-Dineen reports for The Loop that this Monday will see the unveiling of strokes gained tee-to-green, an extension of the strokes gained putting stat that has been a hit with players and fans. A hit defined as, paying attention to it from time-to-time.

Kerr-Dineen writes:

The way strokes gained/tee to green works is relatively straightforward: Let's say the field's scoring average for Sunday at the Barclays is even-par 72. Imagine, then, that Keegan Bradley shoots 70 and his strokes gained/putting stat for the day is one -- meaning that he gains one stroke on the field through his putting. In that scenario, Bradley gained the other stroke on the field from tee-to-green, so his strokes gained/tee to green figure that day would be one.

A statistic like greens in regulations, which Evans says will remain a useful metric, can be swayed in ways that strokes gained/tee to green can't. If Adam Scott, for example, only plays in the toughest events -- events where it's harder to hit greens in regulation -- his greens-hit percentage will likely be lower than someone who only plays in events where it's easier to hit greens. That essentially masks the fact that Adam Scott is the superior ball-striker of the two.

Sunday
Aug242014

Video: 10-Year-Old Cancer Survivor's Trick Shot

Pinehurst’s Alex Podlogar shares an inspirational trick shot considering that 10-year-old Clarkie Carroll pulled off this harder-than-it-looks effort just after finishing 10 months of chemotherapy. Thanks to reader William for spotting this.

Saturday
Aug232014

Chella Choi Disagrees With Penalty, WD's Instead

In the annals of HD replay rules reviews, Chella Choi's penalty and subsequent WD before the penalty could be assessed has to be one of the strangest of many strange incidents.

Especially since while it may be apparent she violated the rule upon closer inspection, the speed with which this happened and the lack of any apparent reason to not replace her marked ball in the same spot suggest it was just carelessness. The WD, however, makes the whole thing strange.

Randall Mell lays out the story quite well in this report.

The two-stroke penalty would ultimately have caused Choi to miss the cut by a shot.

“The player did not agree and decided to withdraw from the competition,” LPGA rules official Dan Maselli told GolfChannel.com in an email response to a request for an explanation of the violation. “She gave no reason for the withdrawal.”

A review of the television broadcast showed that when cleaning up a short putt at the 10th hole, Choi placed down her mark so that her ball was resting on the right side of the mark. After briefly picking up her ball, Choi puts her ball down on the left side of the mark, moving it over an inch or so.

In the video Judy Rankin's comments about Choi are worth noting.

Saturday
Aug232014

Video: "Oh no not again!" Phil In The Hospitality Tent...Again!

This time, having a night to sleep on his overgauged shot Friday from the tent, Phil Mickelson gauged the bounce off the Barclay's carpeting better even though he had to carve it over the tent and, well...you just have to watch. Unreal.

The video:

And since the tents are temporary, there will be no plaques. Just these painted remembrances, tweeted out by the Ridgewood CC Grounds account.

The first.


And the second:

 

Friday
Aug222014

Video: Phil's Recovery Shot From The Hospitality Tent

This one at the Barclays in round 2 may top all of (his) others.

Nice try by Terry Gannon to let us listen in, but Nick Faldo disobeyed. Predictably!

The video: