“Tiger’s in a mode where he has to know it all. Technically and physically I think he felt like he peaked and that he needed more information to get better. In his quest to get better, Tiger’s actually gotten worse and now he’s confused.”
Once you've had 'em, you've got 'em." HENRY LONGHURST on the yips
I'm not sure if they were just happy or sending a message to a PGA Tour forbidding players from throwing gifts into the stands, but the 16th hole fans in Scottsdale showered the course with beer cans following Francesco Molinari's ace.
There is a long way to go, but I'm sure plenty of people are offering Waste Management Open tournament director Danny Calihan an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas after his sponsor's invites have excelled.
Nick Piecoro for the Arizona Republic on Calihan giving spots to Daniel Berger (8-under thru 36), Justin Thomas (7-under) and ASU junior Jon Rahm (4-under).
"It's very rewarding," said Calihan, the Open's tournament chairman. "We have a team of people who do (help determine sponsor exemptions) and we take it very seriously. A spot in a PGA golf tournament is a valued thing and we know it means a lot to the players, so we try very hard to make sure we make worthy selections. It's very fun when those young guys come through and play great. They're both great young players and nice young men and we're really psyched to see them playing so well."
**John Davis on Rahm's ultra-impressive 66 Saturday that has the ASU amateur in contention.
"It's not my home course, but it definitely feel like home," said Rahm, who got into the field this week on a sponsor exemption. "There are a lot of Sun Devil supporters out there, and it's great to hear them cheering.
While Tiger's blaming habits ingrained into his wedge game by Sean Foley and even knocking the bounce on his wedges, 17-year-old Lydia Ko is playing her first tournament without glasses but with contact lenses and despite the huge change, hasn't missed a beat.
Heading into Saturday's final round of the inaugural Coates Golf Championship (scheduled to avoid Super Bowl Sunday), Ko leads a stacked field.
And according to Randall Mell, some history is on the line when Golf Channel's coverage starts at 3 p.m. ET.
If Ko wins Saturday, she’ll vault to the top of the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, becoming the youngest No. 1 in the history of men’s or women’s professional golf. Ko can also take the No. 1 ranking with a solo second-place finish, as long as current No. 1 Inbee Park finishes in a three-way tie for third or worse.
**The AP story on Ko finishing T2, which was enough to vault her into the #1 spot. She's the youngest of either gender to get to the top of a world ranking.
There's nothing positive in Tiger's 2015 Waste Management Open appearance. His 73-82, last place showing was a disaster in every way. Any yips-sufferer can attest to the damage done by playing through rounds that only solidify, confirm and exacerbate the mysterious mental disorder which largely plagues golfers, but has been known to haunt second basemen too.
I'm certainly do not want to pile on Woods, as a I've experienced yip syndromes in far less public fashion in two areas of my game. However, seeing one of golf's top five all time scramblers lose his scramble ability takes this case of the yips to a level that is far different. Rarely if ever has golf seen a player's strength become his nemesis. For whatever reason--most likely the bizarro demons that come with multiple injuries--the short game yips have infiltrated even a player of Tiger's immense scrambling ability. The weird wedge shots first happened (noticeably) at Torrey Pines last year, but few thought of this as a case of the yips because the rye rough was silly and by Sunday when it was happening regularly during a 79, Woods was out of the tournament, presumably bored as much as anything. Or so we thought.
It's hard to see any upside in taking a yippy wedge game to Torrey Pines next week. You'll see in the roundup some suggestions that more "reps" is the answer, but we yippers know that experiencing even more more yip in front of peers or fans just makes things worse, not better. Tiger patted himself on the back for fighting through his 82 Friday and in a strange way anyone who has been inflicted knows what he means. But the big picture suggests entering high-profile tournaments while still haunted by injury-induced flinchy thoughts will not serve Tiger Woods well.
So here goes...starting with Doug Ferguson's tough assessment in his AP story:
Tiger Woods never had shot a score this high in his 1,267 official rounds as a pro.
He had never looked more lost on a golf course.
From Steve DiMeglio's USA Today story:
Watching the winner of 79 PGA Tour titles and 14 majors hit shots from around the greens these days is as inconceivable as Secretariat losing by 50 lengths, Michael Jordan tossing up bricks for 30 consecutive games and Rafael Nadal losing 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.
But it's happening.
John Strege of GolfDigest.com on the lowpoint of Friday's Waste Management 82 and Tiger's explanation, which speaks to a level of denial that many yip-sufferers can attest to.
The worst of his short-game mishaps came on the par-3 fifth hole, where Woods bladed a chip over the green and into a bunker.
“Well, it’s the pattern,” he said, citing the swing changes he has made with instructor Chris Como as the cause of his short-game woes. “My attack angle was much deeper with Sean [Foley, his previous instructor]. Now I’m very shallow. So that in turn affects the chipping. I’m not bottoming out in the same spot. It’s a different spot.”
He did allow that it’s a mental problem as well, “because the physical pattern is different. So the trust is not quite there. I’m not bottoming out in the same spot. Yeah, to an extent, it is [mental], but I need to physically get the club in a better spot.”
Gary Van Sickle at golf.com took the humor route in his lede before getting to the seriousness of the disease at hand. His "Things You Say After Watching Tiger Woods Struggle (and Fail) to Break 80 While He Shoots His Worst Pro Round Ever on a Rainy Friday Morning at the Waste Management Phoenix Open" list:
Well, there goes the Vardon Trophy…
Aww, the Presidents Cup team can win without Tiger, anyway…
Operator, get me the number for 9-1-1...
Tiger may be related to Aaron Baddeley’s brother, Chip Baddeley…
Do these new wedges make me look chunky?...
How many more reps can you have in just one round?...
Pardon the jokes, this is actually no laughing matter. Tiger Woods, as stated previously, appears to have caught the chipping yips.
Karen Crouse, writing for the New York Times, says galleries could feel the anguish.
As his round unraveled, the greeting he received at each tee box grew louder and more prolonged. Fans repeatedly shouted, “Keep your head up, Tiger!” and “Keep fighting, Tiger!” By the final holes, Woods was getting a reception fit for the Olympic bobsledders from Jamaica or the female sprinters from Iraq.
Gone is the golfer whose mere presence on the leaderboard Sunday seemed to send other contenders into a free fall. In his place is someone who looked frightfully familiar to the 20-handicappers in the stands. As one weekend duffer in Woods’s gallery mournfully noted, “Watching him makes me feel more normal.”
Jason Sobel looked at the oddity of both Woods and Phil Mickelson missing the cut and the hope for better things to come next week at Torrey Pines.
The two players, who have combined for 121 wins and 19 majors, had only previously missed the cut at the same event in their 198th start together -- the 2012 Greenbrier Classic.
After his second round, Mickelson pointed toward next week’s Farmers Insurance Open as reason for optimism for each of them.
“Next week is a course that we have both played well in the past, and hopefully we will be able to get it turned around for next week,” he said. “I was very optimistic heading into this week. I'm a little more surprised that I had such a struggle today, because I felt after yesterday's round I was going to really come out today and do something special. So this is disappointing, but I'll take this time on the weekend and see if I can get my game ready for next week.”
Bob Harig of ESPN.com was one of several who noted Woods' upbeat demeanor and joke dropping post-round as a positive sign, though the Tiger who won 14 majors would have been so angry that he'd have blown right by the media scrum.
Harig noted this about the golf:
He hit just eight greens for the round and got up and down for par just 2 of 10 times.
"I was caught right between patterns, just old pattern, new pattern," Woods said referring to swing changes he has been making with consultant Chris Como. "And I got it better, more committed to what I was doing on my back 9 and hit some better shots, but still got a lot of work to do.'
Woods admitted to some mental hurdles to overcome in the chipping game, and most observers would admit something is wrong.
Tod Leonard in the San Diego Union Tribune says everyone could understand Tiger WD's from the Farmers Insurance Open, but thinks reps will do the trick.
There isn’t a shot he looks comfortable making right now.
Who could blame Woods if he said he wanted to work out his foibles in private?
Yet Woods is in the toughest of spots, too. What’s wrong isn’t going to just be fixed on the range. In fact, that might be the last place Woods needs to be. And no matter how painful and ego bruising, massaging the kinks in the public eye might be the only way for him to get some mojo back.
It wasn't all bad news for Tiger. The explosiveness has come back! Sean Martin tweeted the shocking number that Woods led the field in driving distance.
Tiger led field in driving distance by 15 yards (327.5 yards) and led in average distance of all drives (301.8 yards).— Sean Martin (@PGATOURSMartin) January 31, 2015
The full Woods transcript.
Regarding the yips, Coleman McDowell reports that golf.com surveyed their Top 100 teachers and a huge majority diagnosed the problem as the yips or "maybe" the yips.
As for upcoming reps, Tiger's chances of making the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral appear bleak. Will Gray explains:
Woods entered this week at No. 47 in the world, but after rounds of 73-82 he is projected to fall outside the top 50 next week for the first time since November 2011.
Adam Sarson tweeted this compilation of Tiger's lowlights:
The PGA Tour posted this short highlight package on YouTube.
Tiger's press conference, courtesy of GolfChannel.com:
And in the fun-awkward department, Golf Central's pre-game show recapped Tiger's early morning round, with Brandel Chamblee taking issue with Tiger's choice in consultants. Awkward since Notah Begay, who has been helping his fellow Stanford alum and introduced Woods to instructor Chris Como, was sitting to Chamblee's left.
Most fascinating was Begay's comeback that Chamblee is confusing Tiger's swing with his chipping yips. While that is Tiger's view, we all know that Begay has it right: these are two different issues and right now, the short game issues threaten to completely dismantle Woods's confidence. If it hasn't already.
**Tiger's Masters odds have moved from 12-1 to 20-1 in light of his Scottsdale performance. Alex Miceli reports.
Charles Sale for the Daily Mail says Sky Sports will pay £10 million a year for UK rights and the deal is to be announced next week.
BBC will retain some sort of highlights deal. ESPN, meanwhile, is in the midst of an 8-year, $25 million-annual deal that commenced in 2010.
The 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews will be the BBC's final broadcast.
And the Feherty Live guest thinks Lee Trevino has the answers for Woods.
During an epic three-minute rant on Tiger's game, almost as fun to watch are Feherty and McCord, mildly squeamish at the fun-poking at swing coaches (though this elicits a great line from Feherty about how Rocco could "start an argument in an empty room."
It's all capped off with Rocco slamming the idea that Tiger's current coach demonstrates elements of the swing by jumping off a diving board.
Reader Matthew sent in that line and I'm never one to turn down an opportunity to copy and paste even as the videographer remains at large.
Reading the roundup of Tiger's season-opening 73 in the 2015 Waste Management Open, few writers chose a dental metaphor but instead wheeled out some pretty strong language to describe Woods' short game. And AP's Doug Ferguson called the wedge issues "grave" while weaving in a reference to Woods' tale of tooth-chipping woes.
Woods is working with a new swing consultant, Chris Como, who is not in Phoenix this week. He still has trouble taking his game from the practice range to the golf course, which is nothing new. But when he last played, at the Hero World Challenge, what stood out was a series of chips that he either stubbed or bladed.
Two months later, nothing changed.
The focus on Woods quickly shifted from a chipped tooth to simply his chipping.
Woods twice chipped with 4-irons, which he called my "old-school shots from Augusta." On two other occasions, one after a chip he knocked across and over the green, he opted for a putter.
Steve DiMeglio got right to the point in his USA Today lede:
Tiger Woods still can't chip.
The rest of his game isn't much better.
Below is the primary Woods quote about the short game performance. The transcript was not the best I've read, so take this with a grain of TPC Scottsdale's ridiculous new white bunker sand. It's worth trying to make sense of this since his wedges are getting some of the blame.
I'm just having a hard time finding the bottom. Because of my old pattern, I was so steep on it, that I have a new grind on my wedge and sometimes it's hard to trust. This is a similar grind I used to use back in the early 2000s, but it's a different grind. Some of my shots were into the green with tight pins, and either I'll flop it or bump it, one of the two. I chose to bump it.
Golf.com's Gary Van Sickle came right and used the y word.
It looks an awful lot like Tiger has the chipping yips. It's kind of verboten to use that y-word in golf but any golfer who's been there knows it when he sees it.
Robert Lusetich of FoxSports.com hears excuses that we're not used to from an all-time great.
Whenever difficult subjects arise, Woods resorts to the most painful mental gymnastics to explain them away.
"Because of my old pattern, I was so steep," Woods said of his chipping woes.
He then went into a lengthy explanation of the grinds on his wedges.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
The thing about golf is that it's just about the numbers on the scorecard. There's no room for explanations. He knows that better than anyone. "All that matters is what you shot," he used to say.
Lusetich noted something that I know has amazed Hank Haney: Woods playing the rust card.
"It's going to take time to get the feel of my hands where they need to be through the entire swing and shaping shots."
And, look, that's all true. But he's had six weeks to prepare. Woods has won his season opener seven times in his career. Was he rolling out excuses then?
By the numbers, John Strege at GolfDigest.com felt there were some good and some awful.
By the numbers, Tiger hit five of 14 fairways and 10 of 18 greens in regulation.
On the up side, he seems to have recovered some of the speed he had lost in recent years, as he said he had. At the 13th hole, his swing speed was clocked at 121.465 miles per hour. Last year, Bubba Watson led the tour with a swing speed of 123.7 mph. On the par-4 17th hole, Woods drove the green, 341 yards.
The round did have a couple of retro moments, noted by Adam Schupak of Golfweek:
With his typical fierce resolve, Woods battled back. The highlight of his round was a 5-iron from 225 yards to the par-5 13th hole that rolled to a stop six inches from the hole for eagle. He tacked on a birdie when he drove the par-4 17th green. Woods could have been deflated, but he spoke with the experience of a man who has his eye on a bigger prize and knew this was just one round.
Woods backed off his 16th tee shot twice, including once after a fan made what sounded like a tooth reference.
And GolfNewsNet.com posted this heckler shot:
You can see part of Woods' post round comments and the full round highlights on this GolfCentral recap.
At the 6 minute mark Brandel Chamblee says its the "worst that I’ve ever seen a tour pro around the greens and it’s a long way from there to playing competitive golf again."
**Ian O'Connor at ESPN.com with this blunt assessment:
Back in this tournament for the first time in 14 years, Woods didn't make any such magic Thursday. He proved only two things he didn't want to prove:
1. He's not chasing Nicklaus or battling McIlroy as much as he's fighting himself.
2. Right now he's behind on all the judges' cards.
Karen Crouse's New York Times lede suggested the day was a positive one.
Tiger Woods took a lemon and squeezed a two-over-par 73 out of it Thursday, proving there is nothing wrong with his mental game. After nearly six months away from full-field competition, Woods’s golf remains a little green. If it were a piece of fruit, he would let it ripen a few months before picking it.
Golfweek's Alex Miceli summarizes a report out of Korea where Sang-Moon Bae confirms he has filed for a five-year extension on his exemption from military service and is perplexed why he was denied.
His goals and reasoning will go over well with the International Golf Federation.
“I have a really big tournament, Presidents Cup in Korea, this year," Bae said, "and my goal is medalist in Olympics next year.”
It took a while but a beauty form Paula Creamer in round two of the Coates Golf Championship.
First hole-in-one sporting a fanny pack? Or whatever that is?
Having long felt like the course was a three or four-hole gem with the rest pretty ordinary, I was excited when news of Tom Weiskopf's hiring was announced and we wrote about it on The Loop.
After seeing Shane Bacon's Back9 tour with Weiskopf along with the drone shots, the whole lunar-golf-in-the-desert vibe of the course looks lost to unsightly flashed white bunkers, making the prospect for a revamped TPC Scottsdale became a lot less exciting. Seeing more shots in this Matt Ginella-Rex Hoggard chat on Morning Drive really highlighted the horrible look of bright white sand fighting the desert's browner hues.
AP's John Nicholson previewed the re-opening and Weiskopf also touched on the Church Pews added to the 18th hole.
Out of respect for the historic Pennsylvania club's Church Pews bunker, the course architect refers to the four long, thin strips of raised, turfed ground as islands.
"That's reserved for Oakmont. There is only one Church Pews," Weiskopf said. "Those are islands in there. Four islands. Big islands. Some people call them church pews. They can call them whatever they want. You don't want to be in there."
This will also be one of the few renovations with bunker placement based on ShotLink data, all because the guys are eating their kale.
Weiskopf used ShotLink data from the last five years to put the fairway bunkers back in play for even the longest hitters. He cut the number of bunkers from 73 to 66 and filled them with white sand that area tour players tested for two years on the back range.
Also surprising is seeing some bunkers shallower than they were in the past, especially at the famed 16th. During the pro-am, Tiger's release pattern miscue (once called a shank) is notable in part because (A) he shanked a bunker shot, and (B) how shallow that bunker now appears.
It was heartwarming to see Phil Mickelson enlisted as an ASU interim assistant coach at his alma mater and working under brother Tim Mickelson. And now it's all over before Phil could even get his luxury Mercedes Sprinter van-driving license.
Golfweek's Cassie Stein with Phil's refreshingly honest explanation today that this was really more about recruiting one player and ensuring NCAA rules had not been violated. And I had "blame a rogue videographer" in the Phil is no longer assistant coaching pool!
"He (Tim, his older brother and head coach) needed some real help," Mickelson said. "We had developed a plan to where I could call some recruits. We weren't really going to say anything and hadn't said anything for a few weeks until one of the players had tweeted it and it looked like there were some improprieties, which there weren't, so we had to publicly announce I was assistant captain; otherwise, I wouldn't be able to make the phone calls I had been making."
Mickelson is referring to Australian Ryan Ruffels, who tweeted about his phone call with Mickelson. Ruffels is ranked 19th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Besides not digging a hole for himself and ASU, there is reason to like Phil's chances this week, reports Mark Lamport-Stokes on Mickelson's Super Bowl/Scottsdale synergy.
The oldest living major championship winner, World Golf Hall of Fame member and one of Australia's greatest exports, Kel Nagle was 94 when he passed away in a Sydney hospital.
The 1960 Open Championship winner also won a record 61 Australasian PGA tour tiles. Martin Blake's excellent story on the life of Nagle is worth a few minutes of your time. The more workmanlike ABC Australian obituary is here.
And Mike Clayton posted this remembrance at Golf Australia's site.
In one of his very last events, sometime in the 1980s, he was drawn on the opening days at Royal Melbourne with Norman and another long hitter, Lyndsay Stephen. Kel was well past sixty and he came to the final hole facing a fairway wood for the long approach. Stephen and Norman were predictably miles ahead with pitching clubs in their hands but Nagle bumped his four wood up within fifteen feet of the hole. The other two somewhat clumsily pitched to almost double the distance from the hole and as Kel marked his ball he turned to the younger men and said, ‘not really much you can say, boys.’
He was a wonderful man, beloved by all and one who will be sadly missed but by no one more than by his great mate and partner, Peter Thomson. Together they moved the game into the modern era and made the path easier for all who followed.
What a difference two weeks makes.
Not long ago Rory McIlroy said his upcoming trial against former agency Horizon Sports Management wasn’t a “distraction” and that he hadn’t “really thought about” the trial.
As James Corrigan noted after McIlroy’s pre-Omega Dubai Desert Classic--where the most relentlessly grating and brand sabotaging ad in the history of sports was filmed a year ago--a noticeably downcast McIlroy admitted he wasn’t looking forward to the next few weeks when the trial he brought actually starts.
“It’s not something that I would want anyone to go through,” McIlroy said. “It’s a very sort of tedious and nasty process… Yeah, look, I'm going to be heading to the States regardless with it off my mind and not having to deal with it or think about it. That will be it.”
Golf as a whole will say Amen to that. Since it first emerged almost two years ago that McIlroy was involved in an acrimonious split with the Dublin agency owned by Conor Ridge, the affair has become something of an elephant in every press room McIlroy has entered. Here at the Emirates Course, it was inevitably no exception.
The European Tour media officer valiantly tried to make light of the situation, declaring at the end “this press conference is adjourned”. But, by then, McIlroy’s discomfort was apparent.
Brian Keogh on the stakes:
If all goes well for him in court over the next few weeks, McIlroy could save himself millions of dollars. If not, he'll end up paying Horizon what he owes on his contracts, at the very least. In short, it could put a slight dent in his huge fortune.
As he says himself, it's in the hands of the lawyers now and as such, there's little he can do now, bar the obvious.
Ewan Murray in The Guardian says if a settlement does not happen before Tuesday, it will be "one of the highest-profile court cases in sporting history" and have ramifications for golf.
Golf as a whole would be a better place if a full public slanging match is averted. There are two reasons for that; the first relating to the potential impact on the sport’s best player ahead of a Masters tilt, added to what knock-on effect legal rulings could have for commercial contracts and agency deals going forward. The landscape could change, not necessarily for the better.
Alex Myers with the news that keeps Golf Digest/Golf World's recent run of winners going, and adding Ron's name to a prestigious list of the game's great scribblers.
"The PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award is more satisfying than any other honor because it recognizes a body of work over a long period of time. I am particularly happy that I was cited for two areas I worked very hard to try to shed light on: The women's game in general and the LPGA in particular, and the business side of the game," said Sirak, who will be honored April 8 at the Golf Writers Association of America's annual awards dinner ahead of the Masters.
If there was ever a better sign of Ron's devotion to craft, it was summed up in his tweet before the award was announced today. The image shows Ron's attempt to get down his driveway and off to the airport to the first LPGA event of 2015:
Well, I got that far in my driveway before I got stuck. Won't be making it to Florida today. Nuts! pic.twitter.com/eQ26iee2Uv— Ron Sirak (@ronsirak) January 28, 2015
Nice spot of this inspirational clip by Alex Myers of Bonita Springs, Florida's Madeleine Kennedy, an avid golfer and recently diagnosed ALS sufferer.
WINK News, the CBS affialiate, interviewed Kennedy and asked her to hit a long putt from the specially made cart she's using to still play golf. And you know what happened next. Still, what a joy to see...
Even though it looked like he'd been eased on at the half-mile pole, Miguel Ángel Jiménez is gaining on Darren Clarke, who flew out of the gate in the 2016 Ryder Cup Captaincy Stakes but could be tiring down the stretch.
Brian Keogh has a nice summary of the unexpected jockeying for the keys to the lead blue and yellow Club Car.
But while he's still the 1/4 favourite with the bookies to be named as skipper, Clarke now admits that the five-man selection committee has a choice to make in what looks like a two-horse race.
"At the moment it would look as if it's down to two of us, between Miguel and myself, and I'm sure whoever the committee decide will do a great job. It's up those guys to determine which one they think is going to be best out of the two of us. Those guys have a lot of experience and, having done it all before - there are three previous captains - we'll see what happens."
Keogh is taking votes on who you'd like to see win.
Is there any doubt who most of the world wants? Think of the press conferences people!
**Rory McIlroy reiterated his support for Darren Clarke's bid, reports Matt Smith in the Irish Independent.
Congratulations to James Hansen, author of "A Difficult Par" for winning the 2014 USGA Book Award.
Hansen will receive the award at the 2015 USGA Annual Meeting at New York City's Waldorf Astoria hotel.
For Immediate Release:
“A DIFFICULT PAR: ROBERT TRENT JONES SR. AND THE MAKING OF MODERN GOLF”
WINS 2014 USGA HERBERT WARREN WIND BOOK AWARD
FAR HILLS, N.J. (Jan. 27, 2015) – In recognition of its high standard of achievement in golf literature, James R. Hansen’s A Difficult Par: Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the Making of Modern Golf has earned the United States Golf Association’s Herbert Warren Wind Book Award for 2014.
Hansen’s profile of renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. is an expertly researched and written reflection on the life and career of one of the most prolific, well-respected and transformational figures in the history of golf.
“Robert Trent Jones was a colossus of the game and his contributions to golf course architecture undoubtedly influenced the way championship golf has been played over the past 65 years,” said Michael Trostel, senior historian for the USGA Museum. “In A Difficult Par, James Hansen uses exhaustive research methods to deliver a comprehensive depiction of the man who shaped the landscape of modern golf, skillfully weaving together the story of family and business to break new ground on one of the game’s most celebrated and significant designers.”
“To have the USGA and Herbert Warren Wind associated with a book that I wrote is a huge honor,” said Hansen. “There is no name in golf writing more respected or more prestigious than Wind. As a writer, it is the ultimate distinction in my career.”
With the help and cooperation of Jones’ sons, Robert Jr. and Rees, who shared letters, documents and personal stories of their father, Hansen pieced together the life events and struggles that the British-born Jones encountered on the way to creating his legacy.
A gifted and passionate golfer, Jones served as the first golf professional at Sodus Bay Heights Golf Club in Sodus Point, N.Y. During his tenure, he caught the eye of club president James D. Bashford, who sponsored Jones and encouraged him to enroll in Cornell University’s architecture program.
At Cornell, Jones tailored his curriculum in landscape architecture and agronomy to create a degree in golf course design and management.
Upon graduation, Jones struggled to find work in a U.S. economy that was mired in the Great Depression. His patience, timing and relentless pursuit of his dreams eventually paid off, as he passionately and successfully promoted the construction of new golf courses as a wise use of public money and labor that had become available under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), part of the New Deal initiative.
A Difficult Par focuses not only on Jones’ achievements in design and architecture, but also on the personal and financial challenges that he faced throughout his career. Hansen carefully details the family dynamics and professional rivalries that occurred during the latter part of his career.