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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 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
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    by Dan Jenkins
  • 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

No matter with what heights he is faced or with what winds assailed, the sportsman in battling with nature makes no complaint. But immediately he is faced with problems of human origin, he feels justified, if he finds them too difficult, in turning upon their creator with murder in his heart.




Crazy Elie Putterer Claims He Made It On The First Try

In case you didn't see last week's posting at The Loop about "Greg" making the longest four-footer in golf history, I don't want to spoil the ending, so watch here.

Nicola Love
follows up with 21-year-old Greg Walker who explains that the crazy putt, at nearly 2.5 million views, was a dare from his dad who did the filming (believable since only a dad would frame it vertically).

"I really didn't think it would go in," he laughed. "It was a pure fluke."

Greg says he has been astonished at how quickly the video has gone viral.

He added: "I thought the video would get a few views... but I never expected so many people to watch it."

Greg studied professional golfing at college before becoming director of Golfing Links, a business he runs with his father.


Shocker: Task Force Likely To Meet Around Tiger's Schedule!

Rex Hoggard talks to Davis Love about the upcoming PGA of America Ryder Cup task force Task Force meetings and while I thought one already happened, it seems the first will be in early December (when Tiger resurfaces for his Hero World Challenge) and in February at Torrey Pines (when Tiger resurfaces in California for the Farmers Insurance Open).

Hoggard writes:

While some have dismissed the task force as an overreaction to the U.S. team’s five-point loss in Scotland, Love considers it a step in the right direction.

“What does (PGA Tour commissioner) Tim Finchem do when the U.S. wins the Presidents Cup? The players say they want Freddie (Couples) back and they get Freddie again,” Love said. “What we need is continuity year after year after year.”

When the task force was created earlier this month, officials said the panel’s job was to address every aspect of the Ryder Cup, from how the teams and future captains are picked to the logistics and schedule during the matches.


Clarifying The Terms Of Ted Bishop's PGA Death Sentence

(Expedited) outgoing PGA President Ted Bishop's term ends a month or so early and with the PGA of America's decision to remove the president over social media playground talk gone awry, Bishop suggested that he will be essentially expunged from the record books.

Clarification requested by yours truly from the PGA of America spokesman Julius Mason:

Ted will enjoy the same rights and privileges of all PGA members, including the ability to attend PGA of America events. He will continue to be recognized as the 38th President of the PGA, and his record of service during the time period which he served will remain intact. Due to his removal from office, he will not serve on the Board of Directors in the role of Honorary President, nor will he be granted the rights and privileges of a Past President in our governance structure.

Life without the possibility of parole.

Technically Ted is not expunged from the record books.

And Ted can use his PGA card for free admittance to the PGA Championship, though discounts at Dick's Sporting Goods likely aren't on the radar. But he will not be the immediate past president and board member, nor will he be invited as part of those PGA of America entourages so beloved by Phil Mickelson that the former PGA champ flies separately to overseas Ryder Cups.

Bishop will have his name on the various listings in PGA programs or at headquarters, but he is persona non-grata going forward.

I'm sticking with overkill.

Meanwhile a few of you have asked who the PGA Board of Directors were that made this decision.

The group (click to enlarge):


Chairman Billy Payne Loves Royal Melbourne!

With the successful conclusion of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and another Masters invite secured, this time for 19-year-old Antonio Murdaca, Chairman Billy Payne took to the press room podium with extras from an episode of Inspector Morse...oh wait, with R&A Chief Inspector Peter Dawson and someone else to express what a great time they had Down Under.

Rod Morri reports on the good time had by all in the green jacket entourage.

“I know I speak for every gentleman here in a green jacket,” he said, “we have found a place that we would like to call a second home.

“And I would, therefore, predict that you will definitely see this championship return to Australia in the not too distant future."

Martin Blake on the winner and his hopes for April.

The clip:


Ted Bishop Removalgate Roundup 2: "By any reasonable measure, the punishment didn’t fit the crime."

As far as brouhahas go, the PGA of America board's ouster of outgoing president Ted Bishop over a social media screw-up feels like it should transition from the absurd phase (banishment for life!) to the farcical (say, fast-forwarding Suzy Whaley to president...tomorrow!).

Except, there is one complication.

It seems few are willing to cooperate, as Jay Coffin highlights in a column pointing out the number of women who are refusing to affirm the decision to not only remove Bishop for his final month from the volunteer position as PGA president, but to expunge the past and future of Bishop even though he steered the PGA of America into a direction acknowledging half of the population relentlessly ignored by the organization. Could it be that these women recognize the excess of the decision? That on the list of sexist moments in golf, this comes no-where close to Fred Funk dawning a skirt or Wilson putting out blatantly sexist ads to sell golf balls? Or the R&A taking until 2014 to vote to accept women, kicking and screaming?

Golf Channel made attempts to reach several of the most respected women in the game and nearly all did not feel comfortable enough to comment.

Everyone else? Radio silence.

Mostly though, what I really wanted were strong women’s voices for my daughter to hear. I wanted her to have a chance to find a new role model because someone stood up to a powerful organization to say enough is enough. It’s an important issue to me as a father and it makes me wonder if it’s a big deal to women. Right now, I’m not certain. Perhaps my moral compass needs to be recalibrated, but I expected more from women’s leadership.

Actually, the silence could be seen as a reaffirmation of leadership, regardless of gender. Could it be they are quietly saying this isn't the right incident and right target to eradicate blatant sexism?

On that point, Tim Rosaforte reached out to Bishop's daughters, who spoke to exclusively. Both work in the golf business and put a brave face on what must be a bizarro circumstance to be dealing with in such a short time. Because regardless of how you feel about the man or is inability to come up with a non-sexist metaphor (twice!) on social media, he is a proud dad and husband whose daughters work in the golf business.

“I’m 32 years old, and never once in 32 years has he ever hinted or made a derogatory comment or a suggestion about women,” said Ambry Bishop. “This is a tough day. He’s done nothing but empower me and promote me to be the most successful person, type of person I’m trying to be.”
It was a tough day for Ambry Bishop more as a PGA member than golf coach. She learned of her father’s email through members of her team, all of whom, she said, were supportive. She talked about her father’s support of girls’ junior golf, her high school team and the college team she coaches.
“This is a tough pill to swallow,” she said. “Yeah, looking back on it, he could have chosen better words. It’s important for people to know that’s not the type of person he is.”
Davidson concurred. I spoke to her Friday afternoon, just after Bishop was impeached by a vote of the PGA’s Board of Directors. “He’s not a sexist person," Davidson said. "He doesn’t make those kind of remarks." Davidson had a good handle on the type of personality that led to his demise.
“I love my dad, and I know he is an honest man that sometimes says things that later he’s sorry for -- and I’m sure he feels that way now,” she said. “But he does care what people think. This kind of stuff tears him down.”

Rosaforte put the item into more context during a Morning Drive chat with Gary Williams and Damon Hack.

I also spoke to the Morning Drive team and shared my view that this punishment is not reflective of the crime, and that my views were shaped in part by the comments here or Twitter feedback. While you can disagree all you want with Bishop, and he and I had our share of big differences, he was a change agent for a stale organization. I tried to point out that it will be hard to attract unique personalities to these volunteer positions if this punishment remains the outcome.

Alex Miceli also questions the PGA of America's decision and puts on his law degree-infused cap to question whether "this swift judgment truly was a fair judgment."

Bishop’s past accomplishments or failures should not be part of the decision-making process. The single incident regarding Poulter was all that should have been judged. By any reasonable measure, the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

Foolish – even stupid – statements need to be addressed. And there is no question that the reference to Poulter as a little girl was both, but to strip a person of his office and his legacy was too harsh.

If Bishop had been suspended for the monthlong remainder of his term, the message still would have been the same and he could have left the office with dignity.

Miceli also talked to new president Derek Sprague, who called it a “dark day” for the PGA of America. No disagreement there!

I can’t disagree with Brad Klein’s assessment condemning Bishop, but as his colleague Miceli points out, were the actions take by the PGA of America board productive for combating sexism in golf? So far I'd say the opposite, that they've emboldened those who weren't even opposition to oppose any teaching moments that might come out of this.

Bishop took pride in stirring the pot, but too often the pot was a side dish that had nothing to do with what actual PGA pros do for a living every day. When you grandstand and indulge selfies in the face of a stressed rank and file, they begin to see through the boldness and construe it instead as narcissism.

The Telegraph's James Corrigan, who a day ago lampooned Bishop, sounds almost sympathetic to the man's plight after hearing of Bishop's permanent removal from PGA activities and the LPGA's statement celebrating the news.

This was as quick and as complete a fall from grace as any official in the game’s long history. In a couple of clicks on to Twitter and Facebook - in which he lambasted Poulter for daring to criticise the Ryder Cup captaincies of Sir Nick Faldo and Tom Watson - Bishop signed his own P45, as well his own excommunication order from the game’s corridors of power.

However, far from feeling any empathy with Bishop, a controversial, outspoken character who always polarised opinion, the LPGA Tour on Saturday welcomed his ousting.

Rex Hoggard says it was "strangely apropos that Poulter would play a bit part in Bishop’s downfall considering the Englishman’s checkered history on Twitter" and takes the opportunity to spread some blame here to social media.

While it seems unlikely Bishop’s insensitive remarks would have been dulled had he said it, for example, during a radio or television interview, that doesn’t change the reality that there are no emoticons that are able to flawlessly convey context.

“If it was a bit of banter, that goes on in the locker room all the time. This is the problem with Twitter. When things are not said face to face they get blown up,” Padraig Harrington said.

“I’m quite sure Ian Poulter has been called a little girl plenty of times in his life and he has retorted. But clearly Ted Bishop is in an important position and you have to be careful what you tweet when you are in that position.”

Hoggard is on site at the McGladrey Classic and talked to PGA Tour players who weren’t wild about the PGA Board of Directors' decision.

The PGA board of directors probably forget how much capital Bishop built up with players thanks to his support of the PGA Tour's opposition to the anchored putting ban and for forging better relations between the PGAs. Hoggard also talked to many club pros/PGA members, and reports that while they weren't always thrilled with Bishop, they questioned pushing the president out with only a month to go and for life. Me too.


Video: Will MacKenzie's Slam Dunk Ace That He Didn't See

Billy Hurley dunked one at Silverado two weeks ago and now Will MacKenzie has done it at Sea Island's 174-yard 6th.

And he didn't even know it.


Masters On Line: Murdaca Takes 8-Stroke Lead Into AAC Finale

Martin Blake is on the scene at Royal Melbourne where Antonio Murdaca of Australia leads the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship by eight heading into the final day.

A spot in the Masters is on the line for the Adelaide native.


Round-Up: Bishop Removed As PGA Of America President

I'm going to sleep on the reaction to Ted Bishop's removal as PGA of America president by the PGA Board following offensive comments made on Twitter and Facebook and weigh in with a few comments to Saturday's Morning Drive, which airs later than usual from 11:00 am. to 12:30 am ET.

If you only have a few minutes or were engaged in more important activities Friday (that's everything up and including a marathon session catching up on your DVR'd episodes of Maury), Sam Weinman provides a straight-up, no no preachiness take on Ted Bishop’s “removal” as PGA President.

Here is the official statement from the PGA of America on Bishop's removal with less than a month to go in his two-year Presidency.

The PGA of America Board of Directors voted today to remove Ted Bishop, the 38th PGA President, from office for insensitive gender-based statements posted yesterday on social media. The Board deemed the remarks to be inconsistent with the policies of the PGA.

"The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and to enrich lives in our society through golf," said PGA Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua. "We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it, and everyone at the PGA of America must lead by example."

Under the Bylaws of the PGA Constitution, Vice President Derek Sprague has been appointed the Association’s Interim President until Nov. 22, when the election of new national officers takes place at the 98th PGA Annual Meeting. PGA Secretary Paul Levy will assume the dual responsibilities of Vice President and Secretary until the election.

"The Members and Apprentices of the PGA of America must uphold the highest standards and values of the profession, as well as the manner in which we conduct ourselves at all times," said Sprague, the PGA General Manager and Director of Golf at Malone (New York) Golf Club. "We apologize to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way, by this unacceptable incident."

Bishop issued a statement to select golf writers and referred to his removal as an impeachment. Interesting is the suggestion that he was hamstrung in issuing a stronger public apology sooner. His approach and style are debatable, but ridiculous is that the PGA of America will effectively remove his tenure from the history books over a social media mistake by someone who is a progressive and not a sexist.

I want to apologize to Ian Poulter and anyone else that I might have offended with my remarks on social media that appeared on October 23, 2014. Particularly, I have great remorse that my comments contained the words “little girl” because I have always been a great advocate for girls and women in golf.

My two children, both girls, have made their careers in golf. I have a 4-year old granddaughter who I hope will someday play the game. In my 37-year career in golf, I have worked with many women to grow the sport and I have been a champion for inclusion and equal rights for women in golf.

However, this is a classic example of poor use of social media on my part and if I had the chance to hit the delete button on the things that I sent out yesterday, I would without hesitation. The PGA of America asked me to avoid any interaction with the media in the past 24 hours and that is why I did not issue a formal and public apology, which I have wanted to do since early this morning.

This afternoon I was asked by my fellow Officers to resign my position as President. I declined because I wanted to speak to our PGA Board of Directors, offer a personal apology and let the due process take place in this matter. The Board heard me out and then voted to impeach me as the 38th President. That is the due process and I respect that, as painful as it might be.

The PGA has also informed me that I will not become the Honorary President nor will I ever be recognized as a Past President in our Association’s history. These, along with the impeachment are drastic consequences for the offense I have committed, but I must live with them. I take great pride in what we were able to accomplish in the last 23 months. Hopefully, we laid the groundwork for a successful future for the PGA of America. Today, all I have left is my PGA membership and that will always mean the world to me.

Ted Bishop, PGA     

PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua, who just weeks ago was lauding Bishop to Golf World’s Jaime Diaz as “the right person at the right time” while saying “the way he's wired helped us get things done that would otherwise not have gotten done,” appeared with Steve Sands on Golf Channel to express his disappointment. “Saddened” also was used by Bevacqua, who was close to Bishop and who would not reveal discussions with Bishop today.

Because it was a Friday and the PGA's move qualifies as a Supreme Friday News Dump, reaction from the golf world was limited. Alex Miceli included this from former Ryder Cup captain Davis Love:

"Ted Bishop has been a great supporter of golf, the PGA of America members and the PGA Tour during his presidency," Love said. "I have said things in my passion for the Ryder Cup that I wish came out differently. We all make mistakes on social media. I consider Ted a friend and will not remember his presidency for this incident, but for his support and passion for helping me through my captaincy, and for his role in setting the team up for future success."'s Rex Hoggard talked to players at the McGladrey Classic and sums up what he heard prior to the removal news. It sounds like most of the PGA Tour’s finest found the backlash excessive though part of the life in social media as a public figure. Though it was interesting to hear that Bishop's stance on anchoring has him finding plenty of friends on the PGA Tour.'s Michael Bamberger comes to Bishop’s defense and says the PGA of America “did the right thing in forcing him out.” Here's the defense part:

In this totally needless fiasco that led to Ted Bishop's forced removal as President of the PGA of America, he will be derided as a clown, as a man in constant need of attention but unsure what to do with it, and as a sexist, for his ridiculous comment about Ian Poulter, whom he likened to a "lil girl."

In reality, he was none of the above. His two daughters work in the golf industry: Ambry is the women's golf coach at St. John’s University in New York and Ashely works at Legends Golf Club in Franklin, Ind., the public course Bishop co-owns. Legends G.C. has a thriving junior program under Bishop's direction that stresses the importance of being inclusive of women, minorities and kids from modest economic circumstances. He comes at golf as a populist.

Continuing the awkward reaction theme, Golf Channel’s roundtable hosted by Steve Stands and Lisa Cornwell and featuring Paige MacKenzie and Brandel Chamblee who seem to feel bad that Bishop’s tenure will be being “erased from history” yet question his lack of contrition, though as Bishop noted, he was barred from expanding on his initial statements and his apology (above) was extensive. It’s somewhat surreal hearing his legacy of progressive moves for women or golfers at large appreciated but his mistake over a Tweet treated as such a terminal offense.

Prospective PGA of America officer Suzy Whaley talked to Golf Channel by phone and said she was “extremely disturbed” by Bishop’s comments and found them “extremely insulting and sexist.”

“For me to hear comments that are derogatory about young girls, or insulting, just because you are a girl, is offensive,” Whaley said. “Our board of directors took swift action. The PGA of America finds it quite critical to be inclusive and we will continue to do so moving forward.”

Whaley would be best off not reading the comments on Deadspin, where the entire thing was mocked compared to the offenses of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The A Position's Steve Pike suggests Bishop’s ouster came about because of the way he went about the job and I would not disagree that this sentiment prevails in the upper circles of golf. But is that really a legit reason?

Often in the past two years Bishop appeared to be more interested in furthering his own career than furthering the cause of his organization and its 27,000 members.

But that’s not why the PGA of America’s board of directors gave Bishop the boot less than a month before the latter’s term as president was to expire.

In the movie, “Patton,’’ Karl Malden’s Gen. Omar Bradley tells this to George C. Scott’s Gen. George Patton: “You don’t know when to shut up, George. You’re a pain in the neck.’’

In the end, Ted Bishop didn’t know when to shut up.

Hoggard also penned a column suggesting that this was Ted being Ted to the end.

Still reeling from the heat he took for his gamble with Watson, Bishop lashed out. It was signature Ted, unapologetic and unedited. The moment exposed Bishop’s central weaknesses, the lack of a pause button and an unwavering belief in his own course.

History will not be kind to Bishop, not his principled stand against the USGA’s move on anchoring, not the olive branch he extended north to the PGA Tour that has brought the two organizations closer than they have been in years, and certainly not his attempt to wrest the U.S. Ryder Cup team out of a slide that has now been extended to eight losses in the last 10 matches.

He was Ted to the very end.

In this site’s poll, the Not Sure Many Are Paying Attention voters are at 53% while the Yes, this is another embarrassing fiasco ranks are at 43% with over 300 votes cast so far.


Instant Poll: Do comments like Ted Bishop's "lil girl" remark reflect poorly on golf?

Golf Channel has extensively covered the social media blunder of outgoing PGA of America president Ted Bishop on their various platforms.

Brandel Chamblee took on both Bishop and Ian Poulter, calling the English golf star a “cyber bully.” Chamblee said he was surprised Bishop had not resigned by this morning, and at the very least, issue a more extensive apology.

Jason Sobel, while noting Bishop's strong views on the R&A finally admitting women, was even less kind.

Instead, it will unceremoniously mark the end of a narcissistic reign during which the PGA president curiously infused himself as part of the regular news cycle. It will remain as a lasting memory of a presidency that featured too much face time, too much self-absorption and too many ill-fated decisions.

The Telegraph's James Corrigan gets to what is the golf issue in this, Bishop’s continued anger over criticism of Tom Watson as Ryder Cup captain.

Therein those pathetic jibes lie the reason why he chose Watson. Bishop believed that Watson would be a great captain simply because he was a great player. Fortunately in 2008, Faldo had rid Europe of this absurd notion.

So the US had an out-of-touch veteran at the helm, who thought he could inspire his players just by being the legend he is, and Europe had Paul McGinley in charge, never a great player, but a man who had put so much work into being a great captain. McGinley showed up Bishop's folly and the president is evidently still bristling.'s Andy Zunz sums up the reaction of a few golfers and a caddy on Twitter and most took a more subtle mocking tone.

The poll:

Do comments like Ted Bishop's "lil girl" remark reflect poorly on golf? free polls


“Immigrants on the fence, expulsions and a game of golf."

Reuters picked up a powerful image by activist José Palazón of the rights group Pro.De.In Melilla showing a golfer hitting a tee shot as African migrants crawl over a border fence during an attempted move into Spanish territories between Morocco and Spain's Melilla.

It's a powerful image explained by Palazon in this Guardian piece:

“It seemed like a good moment to take a photo that was a bit more symbolic. The photo reflects the situation really well – the differences that exist here and all the ugliness that is happening here,” he told El País newspaper.

Each year thousands of Africans – many of whom have spent years travelling across north and sub-Saharan Africa – try to reach Europe by making it past the fortified fence that separates Morocco from the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta. Many of them spend months living in makeshift camps on the Moroccan side, waiting for the opportunity to rush the fence.


15th Minute: PGA Prez Bishop Calls Poulter "Lil girl"

PGA of America Ted Bishop may have stayed around a few minutes too long even though a case could be made that he's had a very successful presidency in re-establishing the PGA's relevance.

Reminding the governing bodies of the everyday man's desire to anchor putters, introducing more women-friendly initiatives, making the bold choice to select Tom Watson as Ryder Cup captain and leaving the PGA of America in a better place than he found it certainly made his presidency interesting and in my view, a largely positive one.

That said, Tweeting and then Facebooking a jab at majorless autobiographer Ian Poulter about his lack of respect for his major-winning elders was within reason. But delving into petty sexism? That was beneath the president.

John Strege reports Bishop's since-deleted missives. The Facebook post was the most elaborate (pictured here) and suggested Poulter sounded like "a little school girl squealing during recess." That will not win metaphor of the year.

Will Gray also recounts the entire Thursday afternoon saga with both deleted posts and features an exclusive response from Poulter.

"Is being called a "lil girl" meant to be derogatory or a put down?" Poulter told Golf Channel. "That's pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America. No further comment."

Poulter also Tweeted this:

In an unbylined AP story, Bishop attempted a clarification of sorts via email:

Bishop said in an email Thursday night to The Associated Press, "Obviously I could have selected some different ways to express my thoughts on Poulter's remarks. Golf had always been a sport where respect was shown to its icons. That seems to have gone by the wayside."

Or maybe in the 21st century the icons need to continue to behave like gentlemen even after they've earned icon status by getting their ball into a hole fewer times than others at one of four events designated a "major"? Just thinking out loud here...

According to Gray, PGA of America spokesman Julius Mason issued a short statement: “Ted realized that his post was inappropriate and promptly removed it.”


Video: The Longest Four-Footer Ever

Besides posting the video and deep analysis (we think it's real), I took the opportunity to highlight the uber-cool Elie links over at The Loop. Thanks to reader StephenP for the tip and allowing me to remember one of my favorite links.

But if you just can't wait to see the putt...


Pairing Fun: Haas/Simpson Tee It Up At McGladrey

Of course, PGA Tour pairings are a totally random!

Rex Hoggard on today's opening round pairing of Bill Haas and Webb Simpson at the McGladrey Classic. The Wake Forest alums are friends but also the source of Tom Watson's consternation.

Watson ultimately picked Simpson to play on the 2014 Ryder Cup after a texting and early morning phone plea from Webb.

“I don’t know if we will talk about it. I don’t know that it needs to be. He earned his spot,” Haas said. “If you want to see someone get picked, I want a buddy of mine to get picked. The answer to all of this is just play better and earn a spot.”

Haas, who like Simpson attended Wake Forest, said that he learned he wouldn’t be a pick the Tuesday morning Watson made his announcement, but sources have said the captain planned to pick Haas just 12 hours earlier.

Speaking of Captain Watson, he surfaced at last night's Royals World Series win sporting all of his Royals gear.


Commish Open To Foursomes Play At...Monday Pro-Ams!

Leave it to Commissioner Tim Finchem to, like most things, almost-but-not-quite get it right when it comes to something golf-related. This time it's the topic of Team USA's lousy play in Ryder Cup foursomes.

Alex Miceli reports that Finchem was not asked to be on the PGA of America task force Task Force, but sees a "silver lining" in our lousy foursomes play as a way to introduce the format to more Americans who do not understand why UK golfers enjoy playing a faster way. If only he could have stopped there...

“One of the silver linings on these things would be if foursomes golf could develop some traction in the U.S. We are strapped for (open) weeks,” said Finchem, who acknowledged the possibility of “a little side event” that could include foursomes.

Dare I mention restoration of the old Tuesday PGA Tour practice round exhibitions...oh right, we close the course on PGA Tour Championship Management Tuesdays now. Sorry, go on...

Finchem also mentioned the possibility of a special Monday pro-am that would feature a pro and amateur paired in foursomes.

“There are things you can do,” Finchem conceded. “I think that should be an area of focus.”

Ah yes, an alternate shot Monday pro-am with a PGA Tour player and a 15 handicapper is going to button things up for Team USA going forward! Yep, that'll really help! There is that one problem of Monday pro-ams being a place that most Ryder Cuppers tend to not be seen.


Video: Happy Ending As Eagle Returns Ball

Last week there was the video of a majestic eagle at North Bellingham Golf Course picking up a golf ball for the fun of it and I speculated on Morning Drive that this could only have an unhappy ending if America’s bird engulfed the ball.

Thankfully Sam Weinman noticed there was a part two to the video and it shows the stunning creature bringing the ball back before flying off. And he is a big birdie! As always, it’s just great for the world to see that golf courses and wildlife do mix.


Video: Lewis Black On Pinehurst #2's Greens

Former UNC student and comedian Lewis Black holds back on the obscenities in talking to Alex Podlogar about Pinehurst #2.

The Daily Show contributor and constantly-touring stand-up master was in town for an annual cystic fibrosis fundraiser and while it'd be fun to hear him say Donald Ross's name with R-rated words as only he can use them, it's still enjoyable to hear him riff on the 2014 U.S. Open host.

The first clip:

The second clip:


Opportunities! PGA Tour Trying To Help Its Starving Millennials

Debatable is the pure genius it took to commit golf to an exhausting, annoying, neverending wraparound schedule at the expense of the common sense that says every entertainment product needs to go away for a bit. Not debatable was the new calendar year's schedule's discrimination against younger players and the PGA Tour's ever-expanding list of medical exemptions clogging fields each week.

But as Rex Hoggard reports, the PGA Tour has listened to their critics and is working hard to expand fall fields and lessen the role of the medicallty exempt. This doesn't solve the problem of pro golf as a year-round enterprise that annoys in its persistence (especially compared to other sports), but it's at least a righting of the inequity that has arisen for up-and-coming players.

All told, the Tour has added up to 180 new playing opportunities next fall and the circuit’s moves have already started paying off. Last week in Las Vegas 13 more players from the Tour category received a spot in the field compared to last season and this week at Sea Island 25 more are on the tee sheet.

“We’re looking at everything to get more Tour guys into tournaments top to bottom,” Finchem said.

“We are doing some things and will watch it for a year or maybe two and see where it comes out.”

The Tour also plans to adjust the major medical exemption category to increase access for the Tour graduates. Beginning with the 2014-15 season, medical exemptions will be capped at three seasons unless there are “extreme circumstances” which should, over time, reduce a category that has grown to 14 players this season.


Sandy Lyle On Hickories: "The feedback you get is incredible.”

Golfweek's Jim Achenbach talks to World Hickory Open winner Sandy Lyle to talk about his love for the retro game and thanks to architect Scott Macpherson, how he first played with them at the great Musselburgh and got hooked.

Among the interesting tidbits, besides just how many great courses he's tested the hickories on and that he has sets on two continents? How much they help him with his game.

Lyle regularly plays with his hickories using modern balls, playing rounds at Prestwick, St. Andrews, Royal Dornoch and Skibo Castle, among others. Last Sunday, Lyle said he played 12 holes with hickories, and he uses them to practice.

The clubs help Lyle get a good feel for his swing.

“It’s really good to help you tune your senses,” he says, “because they can be unpredictable as far as shaping the ball goes. ... I would recommend them for any young golfer who wants to experience playing golf in the raw. The feedback you get is incredible.”


"A Timeless Sport Puts Itself on the Clock"

And it's not golf.

Tim Rohan of the New York Times looks at the very serious experiment by Major League Baseball to speed up Arizona Fall League games by experimenting with shot clocks and other proposed rules. While some of the ideas seem extreme, the effort to recognize the pace issues with the sport must be admired.

Rohan writes:

Thirty years ago, in 1984, a major league game averaged 2 hours 35 minutes. This season, the average game time crept above three hours for the first time (3:02). In the playoffs, the average length of a nine-inning game has jumped to about 3:26 — including a 2-1, nine-inning contest the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers played that somehow lasted 3:40.

It is games like those — a long time to complete a contest in which not all that much happened — that has Major League Baseball worried that the sport is losing its appeal to a younger generation more attuned to the immediacy of the Internet.

Bud Selig, who is retiring as baseball’s longtime commissioner, would never publicly admit to that concern, but in September he did appoint what was formally titled the Pace of Game Committee to find ways to quicken the sport. Then came the decision to use the Arizona Fall League — six teams in all — as a laboratory.


It's Already Back! Royal Melbourne Returns To Our Screens

Thanks to the folks at Augusta National and ESPN, the sublime Royal Melbourne already returns to our televisions a year after hosting the Australian Masters and World Cup in back-to-back weeks and seemingly feeling like the best place to hold an international PGA Championship (but no go).

The Asian Pacific Amateur Championship will be played on the composite course of years prior to the 2011 Presidents Cup, and it'll be interesting to see what the Pacific Rim's finest amateurs do on Alister MacKenzie and Alex Russell's masterpiece (I've heard the greens have been too firm of we'll see if they have found a happy medium.)

Bruce Young with an preview of the event.

This unbylined AP story notes that Yang Gunn, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion and master handshake bluffer is playing even though he already has a spot in the Masters. But he has a history with the sandbelt that made the event irresistible.

"This is one of the best tournaments in the world," Yang said. "I'm really excited about being here and kind of competing on my home soil. I grew up here, and I really love the way they play golf here on the sand belt. It's like links golf."

Also in the field is 16-year-old Australian phenom Ryan Ruffels, whose home course is Royal Melbourne. Martin Blake profiles Gunn and Ruffels.

My photos from the 2011 Presidents Cup, an event that sticks with me and those who were lucky enough to attend. Here, here, here, here, here and here.

You can follow the event through it's vibrant Twitter account.

Here are the ESPN telecast hours and channels, all times Eastern:

This is that magical time of year for West Coast viewers when we get the best Australian pro events in prime time, featuring fine telecasts highlighting top quality courses with intriguing fields. Though the pro opener is on tape delay to avoid the Asian Pacific Amateur, the European Tour's first event Down Under should still be worth watching even. And by no means is the ISPS Handa Perth International to be taken lightly as many top Aussies, Europeans and a few Americans (Duf is back!) tee it up at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in the final event to qualify for the Race To Dubai.

Golf Channel times (Eastern) for the ISPS Handa telecasts:

Thursday         9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Tape delay)
Friday              9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Tape delay)
Saturday          6:30-10:30 a.m. (Tape delay)
Sunday            6:30-10:30 a.m. (Tape delay)