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Books
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • 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
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

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

A first class architect attempts to give the impression that everything has been done by nature and nothing by himself, whereas a contractor tries to make as big a splash as possible and impress committees with the amount of labor and material he has put into the job. ALISTER MACKENZIE


    

Thursday
Apr092015

Chairman Payne: Golf Course Will Expand Across Berckmann's

The Augusta Chronicle's Meg Mirshak details the finalized vision for shifting of Berckmann's Road to expand Augusta National Golf Club's western boundary.

The plan will be financed by the club and repaid by a once-cent tax. Mirshak writes:

The new road will be three lanes, including a center turn lane, with a sidewalk on one side. An 8-foot wide multiuse path suitable for bikes and strollers will be built on the east side of the road, Cassell said.

In the first phase, the road will be realigned and widened from Wicklow to Alexander drives. The second phase involves widening from Wheeler Road to Ingleside Drive, where a traffic circle will be built. The bridge over Rae’s Creek will also be replaced in the second phase, costing $3.7 million in addition to the cost of the road widening.

The chairman on the spectator and expansion element:

Q.  Mr. Chairman, I've read about Berckmans Road being changed by next year.  I'm just wondering if you can share with us the plans of that whole area that is out there and how that's going to change over the short period of time?

CHAIRMAN PAYNE:  Well, the short period of time is that the new road will be constructed and it will significantly improve traffic year round here, importantly, and we think as well during the tournament.

The long‑range plan, of course, since our boundary will then be extended, we will upgrade from a beautification point of view, the parking lot.  And while it will continually be maintained every year as a parking lot, it will look appropriately as though it belongs inside the fences of Augusta National.  So a significant beautification project.

The buried lede in Chairman Payne's Wednesday press conference involved the road's move and the possibility of expanding the golf course. The Chairman all but guaranteed the course will be expanded onto the area currently taken by Berckmann's Road. The fifth tee is an obvious candidate to be extended.

Q.  One more Berckmans Road follow‑up.  For people who don't realize how close the golf course comes to the road, does having that land allow you to think about expanding or doing anything to the golf course itself?

CHAIRMAN PAYNE:  Yes, through time it will, yes.

Thursday
Apr092015

ESPN.com: Augusta National Trademarks Nantz's Phrase

Darren Rovell and Bob Harig report that Augusta National trademarked "A Tradition Unlike Any Other" in September, 2014.

From the report:

The club filed for two trademarks to Nantz's familiar phrase "A Tradition Unlike Any Other" in September.

One trademark that would tie the mark to the Masters asserts that Augusta National's first use of it came in 1989. It is believed Nantz first used it leading up to his first Masters broadcast in 1986.

The second trademark is to use the phrase on everything from shirts and pants to dresses, sleepwear and headwear.

And they wasted no time.

Nantz's phrase is property of the broadcast, which, the report explains is owned by the club, not CBS.

A new t-shirt featured in our GolfDigest.com merchandise roundup sported the phrase sold out early in the week.

Thursday
Apr092015

Henrik Stenson Battles, May Not Continue If He Gets A Fever

First round leader Jordan Spieth noted how playing partner Henrik Stenson battled to an impressive 73 during round one of the Masters. It sounded like he recognized a peer not in the best physical condition.

A pre-tournament favorite with some handicappers before he came down with the flu last week, Stenson tells Svensk Golf that he’s iffy for Friday’s round two if his condition worsens overnight.

Oskar Asgard reports Stenson was consulting a physician after the round.

Thursday
Apr092015

Tiger's 73: Situation Normal On The Greenside Release Patterns

Tiger Woods won't be happy with a 73 on a day where 40 players broke par (including old Stanford buddy Tom Watson, notes Golf World's Dave Shedloski). Considering how bad he was, the round is an enormously positive comeback score.

Yes, there was a violent drop-kick on the 9th tee and another horrible chunk from the 1st fairway where the drive ended up (at least he had a sense of humor about it). I walked the front nine with him and several thousand of his fans and the return sure seemed like a huge victory. The change in his demeanor, the overall quality of his shots, the lack of any apparent physical limitations and an absence of release-pattern mishaps makes this a strong comeback.

By the way, the majority of you who voted for Woods to shoot from 73-75 win the Grand Prize.

Now, if Tiger would just give Nick Faldo a hug, all will be right with the world.

After the round, Woods blamed his putting and the green speed for his troubles. From Bob Harig's ESPN.com report:

"I felt good," Woods said. "I felt like I hit the ball well enough to shoot 3-under par. Our entire group [Jimmy Walker and Jamie Donaldson] was really struggling at the greens. We were talking about how slow they were today. We had a hard time hitting the putts hard enough. You've got to give respect to the downhill putts, but they weren't rolling out."

That said, Woods had just a single three-putt -- at No. 1 for the first of his four bogeys. He hit 10 of 14 fairways but missed badly at the ninth, leading to a bogey. He hit 11 of 18 greens, but none of the four bogeys were due to poor chipping.

Thursday
Apr092015

Spieth's 64 And The Low Scoring At Augusta National

Jordan's Spieth's 64 is notable on many levels (my Golf World take here), particularly as the youngest to post the number and on a day he bogied the par-5 15th that played as the easiest on the course (4.649 average, 2 eagles, 43 birdies).

The ball-striking numbers looked solid (15 od 18 greens, 11 of 14 fairways), yet Spieth said he was lucky and got a few breaks. The video highlights from Masters.com are worth checking out if you missed any of the round. Steve DiMeglio's game story on the nearly epic round.

As for the scoring onslaught, the day was the third best in Masters history if you measure by sub-par rounds. Mike O'Malley Tweeted this:

The answer is simple: the course is too green. The rye grass is thriving from a perfect overseed and the grow-in has presented almost carpet-like conditions. The second cut even seems unusually robust, as evidenced by Spieth's over-cooked 228-yard hybrid into 15 that in past years would have finished in the 16th hole lake. Give today's players such cushions to play from and receptive greens, and they will score even with wind conditions as tricky as Thursday's.

Yes, yes, we'll hear all about the Sub-Air's running to firm things up, and if they do work they might impact the greens some. But the course is mostly vulnerable due to how soft and lush it's playing.

Maybe it's time to stop moving the fairways at 3/8th's toward the tees and get things running more? Just saying...

Thursday
Apr092015

Niall Effect? ESPN Scores Par 3 Contest Ratings Record

Was it Tiger? Or Niall Horan? Or both?

For Immediate Release:

ESPN Sets Viewership Record for Masters Par 3 Contest
 
ESPN’s live telecast of the Masters Par 3 Contest from Augusta National Golf Club on Wednesday, April 8, was the most-viewed telecast of the event since ESPN began televising it in 2008.
 
The contest featured legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus scoring a hole-in-one and Tiger Woods playing in the event for the first time in 10 years.
 
The two-hour telecast averaged 1,084,871 viewers, surpassing the previous record of 1,007,274 that watched the 2010 telecast.
 
The telecast averaged a 0.8 rating, tying the record for the event’s highest rating on ESPN that was set in 2008 and matched in 2010.
 
Also on Wednesday, ESPN’s SportsCenter at the Masters special from 5-6 p.m. ET saw large viewership and ratings jumps over last year’s telecast, with the viewership average up 83 percent to 708,000 from 387,000 in 2014 and the rating up 67 percent to a 0.5 from a 0.3 last year.
 
ESPN is airing live coverage of the first and second rounds of the Masters Tournament on Thursday and Friday, April 9-10, from 3-7:30 p.m. ET.

Thursday
Apr092015

Video: The Honorary Starters Kick Off The 2015 Masters

Arnold Palmer fought off his separated shoulder to kick off the 2015 Masters. The highlight of the week for so many was carried out with a huge crowd of the most devoted patrons and media under sunny skies.

With Palmer's uncertainty there was an added tension, but The King came through: 

Ryan Herrington notes some of the jokes made by the Big Three. The Big Lead has a great Getty shot of Gary Player doing a high-kick.

Johnny Miller was one of the many players who came to see the honorary starters (Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler were others). Naturally, Johnny only sees the sunny side. Sam Weinman reports.

"You don't know how long Arnie's going to be around," Miller said. "I knew he's fallen a couple of times, you can see his balance isn't very good. But it was pretty gutsy for him to get up there and hit."

Ever the analyst, Miller noted Palmer's tee shot was a "low, quick hook that almost hit some people." He didn't need to break down Jack Nicklaus' swing since Nicklaus did it for him.

"He said, 'Ah, I hit it off the toe, that's why (Gary Player) outdrove me,'" Miller said of their exchange while walking off the tee. "It's strange because I'm used to these guys being competitive. In my life, that's how I knew them. But time doesn't favor anyone, does it?"

Thursday
Apr092015

Tiger Wants To Know About Sandy's Hickory Round At Augusta

Ok this Tiger charm offensive has reached epic proportions now that he is asking about hickory clubs! Is he running for office? He has my vote!

Martin Dempster talks to Sandy Lyle about Tuesday's Champions Dinner and Tiger's interest in the former champ playing Augusta National last Saturday with his Tad Moore hickories.

“Tiger said to me, ‘I hear you played on Saturday with hickory clubs’ and I said ‘how did you know?’ He asked me where I got them, I said it was from Tad Moore,” revealed the 1988 Masters champion. “He didn’t know that name, but he sounded quite interested. At the end of the evening he came over and said ‘what was that name again?’

“I played round here on Saturday with them. It was windy and I’d just driven up for five hours. I wasn’t quite on full swing. My challenge was to break 80, but I didn’t. It was off the back tees, mind you. I parred the first and the 18th.

Thursday
Apr092015

Video: Jack And The Other 2015 Par 3 Contest Aces

Courtesy of the Masters Twitter account. And the Golden Bear even predicted this would happen.

Wednesday
Apr082015

What Will Tiger Do Next? (And A Poll Too) 

He's hugging, he's "rocking" to hip-hop, he's playing the Par-3 contest with his kids, he's not chunking, sculling or chunk-sculling wedges...he's back baby!

Actually, round one of the 2015 Masters will shift to full attention to Tiger Woods and for a day, at least, from the pre-tournament favorites Watson, Spieth, Day, Walker and Johnson.

Without the killer instinct that made him so superior, what will happen? Robert Lusetich explores this topic in a FoxSports.com column.

Tiger Woods was a killer, too. The deadliest of assassins when the tournament was on the line. And stone cold.

Woods once famously walked through the Augusta National clubhouse getting ready for a Sunday Masters run and was so enveloped in his cocoon that he ignored even the goodwill wishes of his mother and Nike chairman Phil Knight.

Emotional, nostalgic, softer and kinder; safe to say, this is a different — and probably psychologically healthier — Tiger.

Psychology/schmycology. How's his short game?

Gene Wojciechowski tries to wrap his head around the new Tiger in this ESPN.com piece.

He yukked it up Monday. He even yukked it up Tuesday at the news conference. He wasn't Chris Rock/Louis C.K. funny, but he tried. And in the past, Woods hadn't tried much. Not with his peers, and certainly not with the media.

He sounded slightly different. He acted slightly different. It was a matter of degrees, but degrees count for something.

Maybe it's his age -- 39 and counting. Maybe it's how injuries (back surgery) and -- how did Rory McIlroy put it earlier in the day? -- the fickleness of golf. It can humiliate the very best, including Woods.

Has he been humbled? Has he seen the light? What will he shoot when the tournament light goes on?

The poll:

What Will Tiger Shoot In The Masters first round?
 
pollcode.com free polls

Wednesday
Apr082015

Ike's Tree Has Been (Genetically) Saved

Chairman Billy Payne took the podium Wednesday at the Masters flanked by Competitions Committee chair Fred Ridley (who gave a masterful performance) and Masters Media Committee chairman Craig Heatley. The chairman covered an array of topics

He did announce a new display for the Eisenhower Presidential Library and the club grounds. Here's my GolfDigest.com item about the commemoration of the fallen pine as well as how the club intends to keep studying the hole in considering future changes.

Ward Clayton at Masters.com explains what is happening to try and continue the legacy of the tree.

Two grafts and a seedling from the original Eisenhower Tree were preserved to continue the Eisenhower Tree legend. A specific date and location for the tree at Augusta National has not been determined.

Here is a Masters.com video on the history of the tree and future efforts to commemorate its place in club lore.

Wednesday
Apr082015

These Kids Today Files: Tom Watson At The Champions Dinner

The Tom-Watson and Phil Mickelson exchange at the Champion's Dinner was as awkward as hoped, reports John Strege after Watson's appearance on Golf Channel's Live From.

But more fun than that was Watson's little rant on the kids today!

“The conversations have been pretty stilted the past several years. Nobody really was willing to kind of speak up… [In the past] there was a tradition of conversation, and that tradition was kind of lost until last night, when people got up and spoke, and it was a special night. I think it was wonderful for the younger players to see that and to hear the stories from the older players. That's the way you pass down history and lore, by word of mouth. That's the old‑fashioned way, not by your cell phone and doing a Google. But to hear the stories direct from the horses' mouths is something very special, and that's what happened last night.”

Maybe the young ones--Scott, Bubba, Immelman, Schwartzel, etc.. are afraid to talk because there's a grumpy geezer in the room? Something tells me it's not because they are looking at their phone during the Champions Dinner. Just a hunch!

Wednesday
Apr082015

Herb Wind, Ben Crenshaw And Amen Corner

Karen Crouse of the New York Times uses the retirement of Ben Crenshaw from Masters play to remember Herbert Warren Wind, coiner of Amen Corner, style maven and legendary golf writer. Thanks reader Hugh for sending this.

Crouse writes:

He used “Amen Corner” all of six times in the next 31 years, according to an online search of The New Yorker’s archives. Wind’s nephew, Bill Scheft, a staff writer on “Late Show With David Letterman,” was not surprised.

“Herb was like a comic who comes up with a bit and delivers it to an audience once,” Scheft said. “It was nothing he was going to repeat because he was always striving for better bits.”

Wind was once approached by two young writers asking about the origins of Amen Corner.
“I found it exceedingly awkward to tell them that I thought that I had given that famous stretch of course its appellation,” he wrote in Golf Digest.

Tuesday
Apr072015

The 17th Without Ike's Tree, A Year Later

I know you all have committed to memory my Golf World story from 2014 on how Augusta National's 17th hole played without Ike's Tree. Amazingly the landing area was much easier to hit even though most players insisted the tree had no impact.

The 17th on Monday, 2015 Masters (Click to enlarge)And yet with the fairway hit percentage climbed 11%, the scoring average went up in 2014 and the fewest number of GIR's were registered since 2006 (42%). That was down 7% from the previous year.

So 11% more balls finished in the fairway and from there we saw a 7% drop in GIR's. I theorized in the Golf World story that the loss of the tree led to more 3-woods and therefore more players playing blind to one of the most difficult greens on the planet. Seeing as much of the green as you can is vital there, as Phil Mickelson explained in today's press conference.

PHIL MICKELSON:  It really doesn't any play different because it wasn't really in play for most players that hit the ball high enough.  It was in play for some guys that couldn't quite carry it over that tree, maybe a quarter of the field.  I don't think it's going to affect scoring too much.  The challenge is really the approach shot into the green in that you can't see the green because it's so flat and hidden by the bunker.  It's very difficult for depth perception and difficult for distance control with you're dealing with that elevation change and it's difficult to hit the ball online because you're hitting off an uphill lie.  Most people pull that shot and you're trying to hit a cut to a lot of the right‑handed pins for a right‑handed player.

It's a challenging hole because of the other subtleties and nuances of the hole, not so much the tree you were past after your first shot.

Paul Rogers talked to Geoff Ogilvy about his return to Augusta and his design influences, and Ogilvy had this to say about his first time back at 17?

Upon his return to Augusta this year, Ogilvy said, he did a “double-take” when he stood on the 17th tee and saw that the Eisenhower Tree, a broad loblolly pine, was missing, having been destroyed in a storm prior to last year’s Masters. “To my eye, it looks better,” he said of the hole, before adding that a precious “bit of history” had been lost.

Ogilvy described the green at No. 17 as his favorite on the course, for the subtlety of the rolls despite the fact that the putting surface was fashioned from a piece of relatively nondescript land.

And Tiger also is seeing 17 for the first time post-Ike's Tree.

I just find it fascinating that they keep changing this place, it seems like, every year and it looks exactly the same, like it's never been touched.  It's just fascinating.

I didn't play last year so I didn't see when the Eisenhower Tree was gone.  I didn't realize 17 was straight ahead.  I always thought it was a little bit of a dogleg‑left.  It's eye opening to see it's just dead‑straight.  That was very, very shocking to me to see it like that.

Q.  Do you like it now?

TIGER WOODS:  I loved it the way it was.  That tree, I've hit it too many times, trust me.  I've had my issues on that hole, that tree.  But I thought it was a fantastic hole.  It's iconic, that tree, and I don't think you can ever, ever replace it.

Tuesday
Apr072015

FYI: Introducing New Golf News Site, GolfBlot

The beta has been retired and GolfBlot.com is now live.

The mobile driven golf news site includes contributions from veteran Steve Elling and is owned by Alex Miceli. Considering how rarely we see new entries to the golf news world these days, the play to be extra mobile friendly seems wise. Best of luck!

Check it out here.

Tuesday
Apr072015

Analyzing The 2015 Masters Groupings And Starting Times

I'm open to any findings of deep, hidden meaning in the 2015 Masters Groupings. Sadly, the dream pairing of Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh will have to wait another year.

Groups and times of note Thursday...

8:18 am Weir, Crane, Conners(a). They'll be a hole behind but at least the two Canadians will get to spend time together.

9:24 am Watson, Rose, Gunn Yang(a) - the defending champion lands Justin Rose and the US Amateur Champion.

9:35 am Scott, Johnson, Murdaca - the Asia Pacific Amateur champ gets to watch two pre-tournament favorites.

10:08 am Crenshaw, Haas, Dufner - Gentle Ben gets two cool, understated cats for his final Masters.

10:41 am Mickelson, McIlroy,  Moore - Nice contrast in styles and personalities.

11:47 am Langer, Wiesberger, Ogilvy - Committee trust Ogilvy to master his pronunciations of Bernhard and Bernd

12:20 pm Cabrera, Ooisthuizen, Dominguez(a) - The Latin American Amateur winner gets to Masters vets likely to make cut and contend.

1:15 pm Spieth, Stenson, Horschel - No shortage of fire.

1:48 pm Woods, Donaldson, Walker - As if watching Tiger's return wasn't interesting enough, he gets one of the favorites to chase.

Here is the Masters official sheet (click to enlarge)

Tuesday
Apr072015

Bubba On His Peer Pressures: "I need to improve as a man."

An ESPN.com survey noted that Bubba is not the most popular player on the tour and may need some non-PGA Tour assistance if he were to be walking down a dark alley.

Bubba was asked about this during his Tuesday Masters press conference. Very well handled by the two-time champion despite the best efforts of the ByTheMinuteGolf's senior Augusta Correspondent to get him to crack:

Q.  I was reading this morning about how you had written a check for the school and all that which is great publicity.  Did you see the survey on ESPN yesterday?

BUBBA WATSON:  No, I didn't.  I take that back, I heard about it because I did an interview ‑‑ I'm playing in China next week, so I did an interview for the China tournament and they asked me about it.

Q.  What do you think about when you read about that stuff?  On a scale of 1 to 10, how much does it irritate you, that kind of publicity?

BUBBA WATSON:  Here is the way I take it.  I take it as I need to improve as a man.  I take it with pride.  I need to get better.  And I think over my career, since my rookie season to now, I've gotten better.  But obviously there's more room for me to improve as a man.  And so hopefully next year or the year after, it improves.  It's a challenge.  It's great.  I'm glad that it came out and it's going to help me improve.

So if it's a bad thing and people don't like me, then I've got to improve and prove them wrong.

Q.  Do you get any sense of this in the locker room at all?

BUBBA WATSON:  No.  I had the same question asked to me, so I answered that question.  I put my name on there to, because I'm not going to call out anybody, there's nobody I dislike on Tour.  I dislike them if they beat me, but I don't dislike them as a person.  So I put my own name down there.  So one of those names were me; I wrote it down myself.

Q.  If you were being beaten up ‑‑
BUBBA WATSON:  Obviously, I've never been in a fight in my life, so if I was in a fight, it was my fault.  I caused somebody to get angry.  So yeah, I wouldn't help myself either.

Q.  Does this stuff irritate you at all?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, it helps me improve.  So I don't know which way I would go with that, but it helps me improve as a person.

I've had some mess‑ups on Tour, and I think I've improved in those areas and I'm trying to get better.  That's all I can do.  I'm glad people that call me out when they do; that's the only way I can get better.  If I don't know about it, then I can't improve.

Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com defends Bubba post-parking lot revelation. Sort of.

Can he be a bit of a hick, a goof? Do you sometimes wonder if his visor is impeding blood flow to his brain? Yes ... and yes.

But I've seen him talk about the joys of being a father and watched as his tears of pride unashamedly flowed. I've seen him at North Berwick Golf Course in Scotland, where he had a smile as wide as the fairways as he played a goof-around 18 holes with his buddies. I've heard him gush with excitement as he explained why the third round of the 2008 U.S. Open was the most fun he has ever had watching a tournament on TV (he had bet his wife that Tiger Woods would eagle the par-5 13th hole at Torrey Pines, birdie the par-4 17th and eagle the par-5 18th to move into first place -- and Woods did exactly that).

And yes, I've seen and heard Watson do dumb things, but he almost always publicly acknowledges his dumbness. It's as much a Bubba tradition as his pink driver.

Tuesday
Apr072015

Alliss: Club Equality Driving Women Out Of The Game

Now before you jump on the master announcer, his reasoning for a decline in women at UK golf clubs is worth hearing out even if seems a bit of a leap to have called it "mayhem."

From an unbylined BBC report (thanks reader LC for sending).

"I'm told the Ladies Golf Union has lost 150,000 members since equality for women came in," said Alliss.

"Hundreds of women have left golf clubs because they've gone from paying half fare to full fare. It's caused mayhem."

The number, according to the Ladies' Golf Union, is closer to 30,000 since 2010 when it became illegal for clubs to discount based on gender. Ladies' Golf Union finance director Sam Burton refuted Alliss.

"I wouldn't dream of joining a club where women had less rights than men, and neither would my friends," she said.

"I can't agree with what Peter is saying - it's a terribly outdated view."

However, Women's PGA founder and former Women's Open champion Vivien Saunders backed Alliss, though the reasoning was not exactly positive.

"The age group under 50 are fine. A lot more independent women have their own money," the 68-year-old told BBC Radio 5 live.

"It's the women over 60. A lot of them, their husband controls the finances, they've never worked, and they are the ones who are dropping out of the game."

Tuesday
Apr072015

Masters.com Gallery: Augusta National In 1935

If you've seen the reproduction of the First Annual Augusta National Invitational program, you have seen the images before.

However, never at the size or clarity revealing Augusta National in the manner Alister MacKenzie and Bobby Jones envisioned.

Here is the link.

Monday
Apr062015

Flora, Fauna Report: White Dogwood Is The New Azalea

Right on cue the White Dogwood is in all its spring glory. But I bring good news to those expecting some Masters color and not getting their fix the last few years due to oddball winters: the azaleas are on their way, already creating a grand setting at Amen Corner with more color to come. Weather permitting.

An explosion would be fitting, as the club's longtime horticulturalist, Tommy Crenshaw, is retiring. He's been working for the club since 1979. Let the flowers bloom for Tommy!


Six deep on Monday for McIlroy: