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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

Every good golf course should have some touches of subtlety that prevents the golfer doing a low score without much previous practice. ALISTER MACKENZIE




Report: Tiger’s Got A New Body!

Rosie’s has had some big exclusives but if his Golf Central report is true that Tiger Woods has a new body, this will make international headlines.

Oh wait, oh I got it…new body as in, maybe he’s not spending more time on the bench press than the range? Our prayers have been answered.

Tim Rosaforte also has an update on Dustin Johnson, who has taken his leave of absence from the fairways of Sherwood back to Florida where he’s showing up on time for his lessons. It’s news that will cure whatever ails you.


"Wasting time on a golf course simply standing around will only mean more ghost signs on other courses as they see more and more players opt for other pursuits."

M. James Ward attended the USGA’s Pace of Play Symposium and concludes for those not getting the urgency of the issue…like the PGA Tour Commissioner...

Wasting time on a golf course simply standing around will only mean more ghost signs on other courses as they see more and more players opt for other pursuits. That’s not a solid future, it’s a dead end certainty.

Before reaching that point, Ward covers the array of topics involved with trying to speed up play both in tournament golf and at the recreational level, as presented at the event.

The symposium provided reams of information on how and when to time players but when all the smoke clears, the main issue is enforcement. Backing up matters to show action will be taken when warranted. A great example of retreating on slow play took place at the 1981 U.S. Open. Two players from a threesome were deemed responsible for being more than 20 minutes behind the group in front of them. Then USGA Executive Director P.J. Boatwright Jr. slapped two shot penalties on John Schroeder and Forest Fezler. Both men appealed to a four-man Rules committee—of which Boatwright was one—and the committee overturned P.J. by a vote of 4–1. So much for standing behind your key man.

After reading a few stories from the syposium, I'm still stock on the overwhelming data that points to 11+ Stimpmeter speeds as the most evident evil facing pace. Stop this study now and stop the chase for 13 feet!

I  discussed on Morning Drive with Gary Williams.


Video: Tiger's "The Making Of Bluejack" Vol. 1

Remember, I just copy and paste this stuff.

So that we're clear, (A) this is real and not satire and (B) I don't coordinate the developer's ties with the sweaters he wears over his shoulders. Frankly, I don't condone any of this other than to say that this video is a positive sign the economy is coming back. Because to see golf course developers have the resources to do these kinds of films and coordinate their over-the-shoulder sweaters with their ties can only be positive.

And at least they cropped Tiger's dad jeans out of the shots! Enjoy...


The Donald Has Big Plans For Turnberry, Prestwick Airport

Helen McArdle reports that Donald Trump is floating some big numbers for both his planned revamp of Turnberry and has worked a deal to have private planes landing at Prestwick airport. Oh and the golf courses will get remodeled too, including big changes to the famed seaside holes.

From McArdle's Scottish Herald story.

In a far cry for an airport more associated with budget holidays, wealthy customers en route to Turnberry will also be allowed to land their own private jets at the site before being whisked by limousine or Trump's own Sikorsky 76B helicopter to the famous golf hotel.

Mr Trump, 68, also revealed he was close to agreeing a redevelopment of the famous golf resort with the Royal and Ancient, golf's ruling body, which will see both the Ailsa and Kintyre courses completely overhauled, with work commencing on October 1 next year after hosting the Women's British Open.

A new sprinkler system, renovated clubhouse and major changes to Ailsa's ninth, 10th and 11th holes - which will see the ninth become "the most spectacular hole in all of golf" - will be key to transforming the resort, which Mr Trump said had been neglected for decades by its previous owners.


Shark Offers To Give Poulter A Putting Tip Via Twitter

Ian Poulter has feuded with NBC's Johnny Miller. Fox Sports' Greg Norman?

Why he's spotting things wrong with Poulter's putting and offering (via Twitter) free advice. Is this is a sign of things to come for Shark the broadcaster?

Luke Kerr-Dineen with the Tweets. And take that, Johnny!


Christina Kim Is Back!

It wasn't easy, nor did anyone expect Christina Kim's hugely popular comeback win to come easily, so here's the AP story on her hugely popular win in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

If you saw Kim's playoff win over ShanShan Feng you know that the notoriously fast player has developed a pre-shot routine which, while not slow, is slow by Christina Kim standards. Randall Mell with the lowdown on why she's developed the almost full backswing and stop move. Naturally, her description gives you an idea why she's a golf writer's favorite:

“I had an incident with some bees that had me back off my shots [at the Ricoh Women’s British Open], and that actually gave me sort of a back-in-the-day, Sergio kind-of-Dufnery waggle. It's something that's been really frustrating to me, because I used to be such a fast player.”

Kim has actually refined the waggle the last couple weeks, shortened it up considerably.

“Lobbed off a lot of time, but still not quite what I'm working toward, because I would love to just step up to the ball and hit,” Kim said. “But it's also something I've been trying to work on. Just making sure that I don't turn my hands over too quickly and just making sure I get the grip and the butt of the club going ahead of the club head.”

Golfweek's Beth Ann Baldry on the long road back for Kim, that has included this long stretch on the road.

Kim’s Sunday rounds at several events on the Asian swing were a precursor to what happened in Mexico. It began with a 63 in Malaysia, followed by a 67 in Korea, a 70 in China and a 68 in Japan.

“My caddie, T.J. Jones, and I have been kind of using the mindset every day is Sunday,” she said.

Kim’s international odyssey began on Sept. 27 when she left Orlando, Fla., headed to Beijing. She won’t return home until after next week’s season-ender in Naples, Fla. That will be eight consecutive weeks of tournament play for Kim, in seven countries (China twice).

Judging by the sombrero-wearing selfie Kim took with the tournament trophy, it was worth every mile.

The "With this Win" info for Kim from the LPGA's media staff:


LPGA: Third-career victory. Previous wins: 2005 The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions, 2004 Longs Drug Challenge
LET: One career victory. 2011 Sicilian Ladies Italian Open


Earns 500 points toward the Race to the CME Globe standings moves from 40th to 23rd in the Race to CME Globe with 1,435 points


Christina is projected to move up from No. 76 to No. 58 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings


CAREER: With the $200,000 first-place check, Christina remains 50th on the LPGA Career Money List with $4,783,556.50
SEASON: Has earned $555,658 this season and moves from 43rd to 27th on the 2014 LPGA Official Money List


• Becomes the seventh different winner of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational
• This is the third time she has played in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, finishing 33rd in 2010 and T34 in 2008


25 events, 20 cuts made, $505,658 earned, two additional top-10’s, previous best finish - 2nd at ShopRite Classic


•  1st career playoff win, lost only other in 2010 L. Na Yeon Choi, Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented
by Kroger (SD2).
•  First LPGA win since the 2005 The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions, 9 years and 3 days between wins
•  Becomes the 21st different player to record a win this season on the LPGA Tour
•  Christina Kim finished 4th in the 2003 Rolex Rookie of the Year standings with 376 points - the winner that year was Lorena Ochoa
•  The $505, 658 total earned in 2014 is the fifth-highest total in her career - she earned $678,598 in 2008

After the round she talked to Jerry Foltz of Golf Channel and as you'd expect with nine years separating wins, not to mention countless days wondering if she'd ever find her game, things got emotional.

And Golf Central Tweeted this image of Kim with the winner's sombrero.


Teen Qualifies For USGA Four-Ball On Own Ball

David Shefter has the the amazing story of Honolulu's Brent Grant, whose qualifying partner is a physician's assistant, 47-year old Bill Walbert. But Bill had to be present for surgery instead of playing the USGA Four-ball qualifier.

So the 18-year-old shot 63 to get the duo into the first-ever four ball championship at Olympic Club next spring.

From Shefter's story:

Grant’s score was one stroke better than two other teams. With 35 sectional qualifiers completed to date, Grant is the only competitor to have earned a spot in the field May 2-6 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco without a partner.

“Pretty amazing,” said Walbert, 47, who serves as a physician’s assistant for heart and lung cancer surgeries at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu.


Even Dustin Johnson's Biggest Supporter Hasn't Heard From Him

My Loop item feeding off of Bloomberg's Erik Matuszewski-authored story on Taylor Made CEO Ben Sharpe confirming that the company that is paying Dustin Johnson handsomely through 2015 hasn't heard from the golfer who is on a "leave of absense" from the PGA Tour (but not from playing Sherwood Country Club!).


R.I.P. Taylor Made's Grow The Game Initiatives

Longtime readers will recall that I applauded Taylor Made's Mark King for his crowdsourcing idea and 15-inch-hole experiment since a golf manufacturer finally put forward money to do something about their state-of-the-game complaints.

Unfortunately, the initiative lost traction before its first anniversary ('14 PGA Show), as new CEO Ben Sharpe confirmed with CNBC. (He told's Coleman McDowell that they'll continue to fund the website and any ideas that come from the site).

Sharpe also mentioned how golf needs kids, when he should probably be making the case that kids need golf. But we won't quibble over that.

The non-confirmation confirmation of Hack Golf as a leading voice for change meeting its maker...

That didn’t get the traction that we hoped it would, because it was perceived maybe as a Taylor Made campaign rather than an industry campaign. So we’ve learned from that.

Sharpe goes on to say how they are supporting the PGA Tour's initiatives, and mentions The First Tee and the PGA Junior Golf Leagues (that's PGA of America, but who's keeping score?).

The full clip:


Video: John McEnroe Hasn't Mellowed On The Golf Course

The tennis great and now broadcasting giant who makes watching tennis so fun, has mellowed from his playing days. Except, on the golf course, it seems.

Sporting some sort of headgear that only John McEnroe could pull off while golfing in an Dominican Republic exhibition with Jim Courier, Johnny Mac displays that old fire when he regrets not listening to his caddie. Only, he doesn't know that you don't compound the ignorance by leaving the ball for the caddie to pick up!


Lawrie To Host New Euro Tour Match Play Event In Aberdeen

The Scotsman's Martin Dempster has the details on Paul Lawrie hosting a new European Tour event in his home city of Aberdeen during the week when the world's best are whapping it around dreary Firestone.

Murcar Links, which abuts Royal Aberdeen and has hosted professional events in the past, will be the site of the 64-player event featuring a €1 million purse. It's a straight up, single-elimination event which isn't ideal but any match play on a links livens up the schedule and provides a welcome alternative to watching golf at Firestone!

The tournament, named the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play, will be held at the Murcar Links Golf Club, on the outskirts of Lawrie’ hometown of Aberdeen, from July 30 to August 2, 2015.

Boasting a prize fund of €1 million, the tournament will see 64 of the leading players on The Race to Dubai play against each other in a straight knockout, match play contest.

Lawrie, a stalwart of The European Tour for the past 23 seasons, will host the tournament, with his 4 Sports & Entertainment management firm promoting the competition.

Murcar, by the way, has the narrowest entrance drive in golf.

Regarding Lawrie, I just finished the latest By The Minute Golf podcast featuring Lawrie and it's a tremendous listen. The former Open Champion talks about spectating at this year's Ryder Cup, playing with Bubba Watson at the Masters (and what a fast player he is), Monty, the past Ryder Cups he's played (he doesn't think Brookline was the travesty that others do) and more.

Definitely worth a listen.


Christina Kim On The Cusp Of Winning In Mexico City

She hasn't won since 2005 and many had assumed her best days where behind her, but win or lose Sunday Christina Kim's made a stunning comeback to be holding a five-stroke lead heading into the Mexico City finale.

Randall Mell at writes:

With a hot putter, Kim didn’t just hold off a stellar cast of challengers in the third round as she seeks to claim a wire-to-wire victory at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, she also pulled away from them. At 14-under 202, Kim is five shots ahead of Shanshan Feng (68) and six ahead of Azahara Munoz (71), So Yeon Ryu (69) and Pornanong Phatlum (71). Kim built on her one-shot lead through two rounds to secure the largest 54-hole lead on tour this season.

Kim, who played with Ochoa in her rookie years on the Symetra and LPGA tours, says she loves playing in Mexico in front of Ochoa this week.

“I've been really, thoroughly enjoying myself,” Kim said. “This is honestly one of my favorite countries on Earth. Between the tequila and the tacos and the guacamole, and just the wonderful mindset that the people have - they have such a lovely lifestyle – it’s just something that I really embrace.”

That's our Christina!

You can read about some of the demons she's dealt with and overcome to be back in this position on a tour dominated these days by teenagers. Stina Sternberg filed the story.


Rory's Dad, Caddy Are Dragged Into The Horizon Lawsuit

An unbylined Belfast Telegraph report says that Gerry McIlroy and caddie J.P. Fitzgerald are going to be dragged into their man's Horizon lawsuit by the defendants, ordered to produce documents of some kind.

Rory's lawyers found this to be a surprise.

McIlroy's counsel, Rossa Fanning, said his side was "very surprised" by the application by the sports company to see Gerry McIlroy's documents. He is not a party to the case.

The Co Down golfer's caddy, JP Fitzgerald, has also been ordered by the court to produce documents by the management company so it can defend Mr McIlroy's claim that an agreement he made is invalid.

Mr. Fitzgerald, did you or did you not scribble the words "ten percent max" on Mr. McIlroy's pin sheet at the HSBC Classic?


USGA Restores Championship Agronomist Job, Other Changes

Guy Cipriano reports on the revamped USGA Green Section that is now broken up into four regions and ends the role of various green section agronomists serving as the championship agronomist when one of the USGA's 13 events arrives.

They've also created a new "Course Consulting" director's role.

The USGA also promoted Darin Bevard and Chris Hartwiger to new positions. Bevard, a Mid-Atlantic Region agronomist since 1996, will serve as the director of championship agronomy, a newly created position within the Green Section. Bevard will be the lead agronomist for multiple major championships, including the U.S. Open. Hartwiger, a Southeast Region agronomist since 1995, will serve as the director of the Course Consulting Services. Hartwiger will work with Green Section agronomists on the development and dissemination of science-based and practical sustainable management practices to help golf courses.

“By having Chris dedicated to the Course Consulting Service, he will be able to focus on our efforts on the business operation of it as well as increasing the value of it,” Erusha said.


Bin Laden Shooter: Golf More Stressful Than Combat!

The Navy SEAL who took out Osama Bin Laden joked to a New York Post writer that “golf is more stressful than combat.”

Reporter Tara Palmeri says Rob O’Neill, the 38-year-old who recently outed himself as the “the Shooter” in the Seal Team Six raid of Bin Laden’s compound, was advised by a psychiatrist helping him with post combat issues to take up golf as a way to deal with stress.

“And that’s a bad idea,” O’Neill said with a  wink.  

Here’s guessing that just about all golfers will give O’Neill as many mulligans as he’d like.


Taylor Made CEO: "We’ve taken a responsibility start to make sure we flush this product through."

Ben Sharpe, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf CEO, discusses with CNBC's Dominic Chu his company's plan to attract more players to the game via new strategies and products.

He also addressed, indirectly, 2013's three-driver release mistake, the need for initiatives to grow the game (but makes no mention of the previously announced Taylor Made initiatives) and touches on inventory levels at places like Dick's Sporting Goods.

On the state of the game and business:

The whole industry has a responsibility to get people back into the sport, and certainly we will want to support a lot of those initiatives about how we can attract new golfers or retain golfers into the sport. The first thing we need to do is just start talking positively again. We’re talking about challenges in the golf industry and we’ve heard about those challenges over the last 12-18 months. Now, nobody wants to be around losers. Golf is a great sport. We have 20 million people playing it here in the United States. We have 50 million people playing it around the world. It is a healthy spot. Yes, can it get better. Yes it can. But what we want to do is make sure through our products and through our messaging, that we’re engaging people again so when they see us they want to go and pick up the game.

On changing the inventory level issues at places like Dick's.

That process has really started and it started before I took the seat in June. We were over-inventoried and it’s not just a Taylor Made issue, I think it’s a golf issue.  So one of the things we haven’t done through the course of this year is launch another product and put inventory on top of inventory. And we’ve taken a responsibility start to make sure we flush this product through. And we’re going to continue to do that for the balance of this year so when the new products that we have showcased this week come to market they’re doing it with the inventory in a lot better place than it was in 2014.

The full interview:


Putting The Gary Player Brand Building Blocks In Place

Daniel Roberts of interviews Marc Player about managing his legendary father's career and other topics, including his views on the effort (so far) to build the Rory McIlroy brand. Player explains how they go after more upscale hospitality experiences with Gary at the Masters and the touchy subject of what happens to the Player brand down the road.

From the interview, talking about whether "a company based around Gary Player outlast Gary Player’s life?"

So, who’s done it? You can argue Bobby Jones has done it. To a lesser degree Ben Hogan’s done it. But there aren’t a lot of people that are dead and gone whose brand, the essence of who they are, is alive and well. I think it is possible. I think if you put the brand building blocks in place, not unlike a Chanel or a Versace, you will be able to produce products and services that people will pay for even when he’s no longer alive. I think 20 years from now, 50 years from now, people will go into the Gary Player boutique and they will buy the apparel. They will buy the book on diet and health. They will buy the golf instruction video. If not, then it’s just, “Gary Player was a nice golfer, he built some nice golf courses, and he’s gone.”


Highlights From Geoff Ogilvy's Golf Digest My Shot

There's much to enjoy in the December 2014 Golf Digest, including the Johnny Manziel interview and Dan Jenkins finally getting his sit-down with Tiger (well...), but the icing comes in Geoff Ogilvy's as-told-to-Guy Yocom My Shot.

It's three online pages and a must read (I know you'll all cherish it in print as I did), but just in case or if you want to send this anonymously to your favorite sub-species of golf snob.

But before those, his thoughts on how he won at Winged Foot:

IT'S OBVIOUS that narrow driving zones, extreme length and dense grass don't suit me. I dislike them. So how did I win the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot on one of the most penal setups in golf? Well, nobody hit a lot of fairways. On a course that is supposed to reward pure ball-striking and tremendous driving accuracy, the opposite happened, more or less. I wound up lumped in with everyone else. The penal setups are how Phil Mickelson, far from a precision player, has finished runner-up six times. In 2006, it came down to who was best from 100 yards and in. For that week, it was me.

Loved this on short par-3s.

FROM THE BEGINNER TO RORY MCILROY, everyone loves super-short par 3s. Everyone loves the 106-yard seventh hole at Pebble Beach, or the par-3 Postage Stamp at Troon in Scotland. They're considered genius architecture. The question is, why aren't there more of them?

Ah because to get to 7,000 yards, or now, to 7,500 something has to give!

SPEAKING OF GOLF SNOBS, I've identified four sub-species so far. The first is The Membership Collector. He belongs to several clubs, all of them expensive, exclusive and always on the tip of his tongue. The second is The Traditionalist. He raves about 6,000-yard seaside courses (preferably in Scotland), plays them with wooden woods and insists golf was better before they invented the bunker rake. Then there's Mr. Big & New. Buys a new driver every six months, has 40 Scotty Cameron putters, drives brand-new cars to courses that are 7,500 yards. Loves huge clubhouses with wine cellars. Then there's The History Guy. That's me. Always talking about old players, old courses, the history of majors and so on. Knows not only about architects, but when and where they were born.

And let's not forget our favorite golf snob of all...

It's The Harder Is Better guy. The club member who comes up to me at a tour event and says, "Bet you guys thought it would be easy, eh? Nice to see it beat you up the way it beats us up." Oakmont members are like that. The faster, more impossible they can get the greens, the better they like it. Nice people, but I don't understand the mind-set.


Report: USGA Pace Of Play Summit Said To Be "Engaging"

That's what Bradley Klein says after sitting through two days of Far Hills presentations on pace of play.

Since the plans for a live, pay-per-view simulcast still haven't materialized, we'll have to take Klein's word. He included this in his report discussing the amazing difference in pace depending on the spacing of tee times:

Yates is working closely with a number of golf associations on expediting flow and reducing bottlenecks, in part through more relaxed starting times that are separated by as many as 11 minutes. The effort has led the LPGA this year to reduce its average playing time by 14 minutes, from 4:54 to 4:40.

Finally, it sounds like the USGA has begun to compile data related to pace and green speeds, and Klein drops one of the first hints via Twitter of the shocking (shocking!) findings:

Not in his story but certainly the buried news item of the day:

Maybe this will allow for a greater focus on meeting #2 of the non-traditional means task force with Mark King and Bode Miller? The world anxiously awaits.


IBM CEO Rometty Becomes Augusta's Third Female Member

Sam Weinman with the details revealing that IBM CEO Ginny Rometty is Augusta National's third female member following Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore.

The reports also says Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang is now a member.

“She has a nice swing,” one member said. “She’s obviously got a big job so she doesn’t play much, but if she got to play, she’d be a pretty good golfer.”

Rometty was observed being congratulated by other members and seemed "a little nervous” in front of club chairman Billy Payne.

Aren't we all.