Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer

I know well two great champions of earlier years who cannot now always carry a hazard one hundred yards from the tee, but who still play the game and have shots in their bag which Hagen and Jones would view with envy. On my ideal course these shall not be denied nor yet humiliated.  ROBERT HUNTER

 

    

Friday
Nov182016

Video: Billy Finally Asks Rory All Of The Tough Questions

The hairdos, the mosquito fears, favorite female tennis player, what he was really up to at the 2012 Ryder Cup, Trump, the Horan bromance...Billy leaves no stone unturned.

The kid is adorable and Rory is a great sport. Though his honest answer on the Olympics will wipe smiles off a few faces in Lausanne, Ponte Vedra and London.  I've embedded the "play all" option of Billy's hard-hitting interviews of other European Tour players, but warning, the ubiquitous Beef Johnston is one of them! But just in case your you're in a YouTube deep dive mood today...

Friday
Nov182016

Video: See Seminole's Restoration Work Explained

It's not often you get to see and hear about the restoration of a course as exclusive as Seminole, so enjoy this Vimeo-posted piece with restoration explanations from superintendent Hal Hicks and architect Ben Crenshaw. There are some super drone flyovers too.

Check it out here.

Thursday
Nov172016

Peter Senior (57) Calls It A Career

Not many 50-somethings have ever been able to remain relevant with the flatbellies, yet Peter Senior did so in spite of the game's power surge, even winning the 2015 Australian Masters at 56 (!).

Planning to call it a career at the Australian PGA Championship in a few weeks, Senior had to WD from the Australian Open he's won twice due to hip pain. Martin Blake reports on the ageless golfer finally experiencing father time catch up to a career that included 34 worldwide wins.

"It's a tough pill to swallow. The last two years, I've had that many injuries. I'm just sick of it. It's a game you can't play with injuries. I've had a great run, a great career. I've enjoyed every minute of it. People have been fantastic, you just can't play like that. I don't enjoy playing like this. I can't hit a shot. Every time I hit the ball I get a bolt of pain through my hip.''

Senior gave this interview after withdrawing from the Open.

Thursday
Nov172016

Transition Meetings: Mr. Trump Goes To Bedminster!

Perhaps realizing he'd like to not have every New Yorker mad at him for clogging up Fifth Avenue, or maybe Melania was just really sick of all the retreads kissing up to the president-elect (Kissinger!)?

Either way, Donald Trump is moving his Friday transition team meetings to Trump National Bedminster, home of the 2017 U.S. Women's Open and the 2022 PGA Championship.

S.A. Miller, reporting for the Washington Times, says no reason was given.

The transition team did not provide details of who Mr. Trump will meet with at the exclusive private golf club about 35 miles west of Manhattan.

Wednesday
Nov162016

What's Up With The State Of America's Women Golfers? 

As the LPGA wraps up its season, Bill Fields tackles the sensitive topic of American women's golf. Sensitive because it's usually just chalked up to South Korean golfers working harder. But as Fields notes, the issue may be something both straightforward and difficult to address given the already robust college golf system.

Writing for ESPNW, Fields says...

Talented female golfers in other parts of the world frequently are immersed in golf at younger ages through organized channels of a national scope -- federations or associations charged with developing and supporting young talent. No existing American entity has that responsibility.

"It really is a missing link here," says Hall of Famer and 31-time LPGA winner Juli Inkster. "Places are trying to grow the game but not really grow individuals. We don't have a federation to push our young athletic girls into golf, and we've come to a point where we need a federation to really grow top-level golfers. I'm not saying our girls aren't good, because they are. But they've grown up in a different type of golf atmosphere."

Wednesday
Nov162016

Update On Tour, Microsoft Putting Tracking Effort

It was a year ago that the partnership was announced and some of us got to see demos of the PGA Tour/Shotlink/Microsoft effort to enhance both the presentation and culling of ShotLink data.

The most interesting component appears to be the upgrade of putting stats, which will give players some incredible data on their tendencies. But as Doug Ferguson reports, the ability to put the lasers to good use could some day have a profound effect on a telecast.

This is from ShotLink's Steve Evans...

"With this system, let's say it's a 30-foot putt. We'll know a foot off the putter how fast the ball is moving," Evans said. "It's gives us a much more accurate projection on where it will end."

Imagine how fun it would be if that information could be incorporated in a graphic popping up on the screen a bit off the putter face what the percentage chances are of the ball going in the hole?

It's still a ways off but that could be just the kind of fun use of technology revolutionizing the least interesting and most heavily seen part of a golf telecast.

Wednesday
Nov162016

Guardian: Rolex Series Doesn't Bridge PGA Tour Gap

Ewan Murray doesn't deliver a Guardian-endorsed stamp of approval to the European Tour's new Rolex Series.

He questions whether the expensive funneling of cash to events that were already stars on the ET schedule is a wise tact given the number of events in dire need of an attention infusion.

Pelley remains quite the showman but close analysis of his work continues to raise queries. What this Rolex Series will actually provide, barring more money at the elite level of the Tour and enhanced media coverage which it is hoped will make golf more accessible, is a cause for debate. The gulf in resource to the PGA Tour remains vast.

One could make a decent case for the batch of events as boosted, with the French Open being certain to follow, being strong enough in any case. What is being done for the poorly attended, unattractive stuff at the lower end? Pelley has to be careful not to pander only to the players at the top of his organisation.

Murray also touches on something that has left me confused about the Series and many of these concepts created in various tour headquarters.

There is no overall narrative to knit the seven tournaments together and no combined prize at the end of them. The European Tour already has an order of merit, which it is stressed will retain key status. This, it is feared, could add confusion; the announcement of a second money list, lost in the Rolex melee, certainly should. Golf hasn’t really grasped the concept of simplicity being king.

It's bizarre that tournament formats floated to break free of 72-hole stroke play are often branded as too complicated, yet we keep getting all of these odd money lists, points races and other algorithmatic nightmares that interest no one.

Wednesday
Nov162016

Diana Murphy Elected To Second Term, USGA Creates New "President-Elect" Position Because It Beats Rolling Back The Ball

That great bungler of names has been elected to another year of butchery, much to the joy of those now looking forward to 2017 USGA trophy presentations. Because it sure isn't Erin Hills anyone is excited about.

More disconcerting or hilarious or just plain bizarre in the annual USGA press release on Executive Committee coming-and-goings was the news of a "president-elect" position. With this by far the latest announcement of the upcoming navy-and-grey set, it's hard not to wonder if this president-elect position was inspired by the election.

The "position" replaces the Vice Presidency, which was quietly eliminated last year. The move is yet another sign that the USGA Executive Committee is busy obsessing about the details of governance more than actually governing, but we already knew that given the ease with which 150-pounders hit 325-yard drives and they counter by saying things leveled off a long time ago.

Anyway, really good to see consulting gurus McKinsey get their foot in the door on the EC level, that should work a few miracles...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DIANA MURPHY NOMINATED FOR SECOND TERM AS USGA PRESIDENT

FAR HILLS, N.J. (Nov. 16, 2016) – Diana Murphy has been nominated to serve a second one-year term as the 64th president of the United States Golf Association by the USGA Nominating Committee, as the organization prepares for its 123rd year of service to the game of golf.

In addition, there are three newly nominated candidates for the 15-member Executive Committee: Thomas Barkin, Stephen Beebe and William Siart. Their collective experience encompasses expertise in strategic planning and nonprofit leadership, as well as a passion for environmental sustainability. If elected at the USGA’s Annual Meeting on Feb. 4, 2017 in Washington, D.C., they will replace retiring members William Fallon, Malcolm Holland and Asuka Nakahara.

“Bill, Asuka and Malcolm have shared their time and experience to help guide the USGA through one of the most pivotal strategic planning periods in our history,” said Murphy. “I have been privileged to work with them and all of the successful professionals with such diverse talents who have advanced the game and the USGA’s leadership of it. Volunteers have always been at the heart of our mission, and we appreciate all they have done and will continue to do.”

The committee also nominated Mark Newell, a four-year Executive Committee member, as president-elect. The new officer position replaces the role of vice president eliminated in 2016, and supports succession planning for future association leadership. Newell, who served as USGA general counsel in 2011-12, currently chairs the USGA Rules of Golf Committee. He has focused significant efforts on a multi-year Rules modernization project led by the USGA and The R&A, and he continues to provide support and leadership toward the development of a world handicap system.

Current officers Sheila Johnson and George Still have been nominated to continue their service as secretary and treasurer, respectively. The eight committee members nominated to continue their service are: Michael Bailey, Stuart Francis, Thomas Hough, Robert Kain, Martha Lang, Gregory Morrison, Mark Reinemann and Clifford Shahbaz.

In addition, Robert Weber has been nominated to serve a second term as USGA general counsel.

Notable experience and achievements of the three committee nominees are as follows:

Thomas Barkin, 55, of Atlanta, Ga., is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. For the past 30 years, Barkin has dedicated his professional career to providing executive-level strategic and business counsel to clients across multiple industries. For the last seven years, he has been the company’s global CFO and chief risk officer, with oversight of finance, legal and information technology functions, among others. Barkin earned his bachelor’s, MBA and law degrees from Harvard University. He currently serves on the executive committee of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Emory University Board of Trustees, and he is a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. A lifelong avid golfer and current member of East Lake Golf Club and the Capital City Club in Atlanta, he continues to try to play as well as he did when he won his junior club championship at age 16 in Tampa, Fla., and enjoys playing the game both in the United States and abroad.

Stephen Beebe, of La Quinta, Calif., put himself through the University of Idaho College of Law by working on golf course maintenance crews, after spending most of his high school years working on the grounds staff at Blackfoot (Idaho) Municipal Golf Course. He credits that work for his passion for sustainability and efforts to highlight golf’s responsible management practices. Beebe, 71, became president and CEO of the J.R. Simplot Company in 1993, guiding one of the country’s largest privately owned companies through continued global expansion until his retirement in 2002. He has served on the grounds committee at every club where he has been a member, and continues to support courses in his current home state of California on drought-related issues. Beebe competed in the 1986 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, and is a past member of the Idaho Golf Association Board of Directors. He is a member of the Citrus Club/PGA West and the Quarry Golf Club in La Quinta, Calif.

William Siart, of Pacific Palisades, Calif., a career banking executive, has dedicated his retirement years to supporting public education and the arts. He is the founder and chairman of Excellent Education Development (ExED), a California-based nonprofit with a mission to provide business and support services to public charter schools that deliver high-quality education in low-income neighborhoods. He is a member of the board of trustees and the executive committee of the University of Southern California, and the chairman of its finance committee. He also serves as a trustee of the J. Paul Getty Trust, which guides the largest privately endowed museum in the world, and is chairman of its finance committee. His collective charitable work earned him the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service in 2006, an accolade whose recipients include heads of state and international leaders. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Santa Clara University, and an MBA in finance from the University of California, Berkeley. He served as chairman and CEO of First Interstate Bank from 1994 to 1996, capping more than 35 years in the financial sector. Siart, 69, is a member of The Los Angeles Country Club, Merion Golf Club, Riviera Country Club and The Vintage Club.

The full Nominating Committee report will be distributed to USGA member clubs by Dec. 10, 2016, along with the complete schedule of the Annual Meeting, to be held Feb. 4 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. The day-long event will culminate in the USGA Annual Service Awards Dinner, which recognizes achievements by industry professionals and volunteers who have served the game of golf.

Nothing says organization-of-the-people like a meeting at the Ritz!

Wednesday
Nov162016

Oy Vey Alert: Great White Shark Sensed Donald Trump Would Win, Tells Newsweek (!?) Readers All About His Wisdom

Maybe the testosterone boost of linking Australia's prime minister Malcolm Turnbull with president-elect Trump went to the Shark's head--no, wait, that luxury-yacht left port long ago.

So we'll just assume this matchmaker role, detailed by the Daily Telegraph, prompted non-American citizen and one-time Fox Sports analyst Greg Norman from wondering if he should write this excessively first-person Newsweek piece celebrating Donald Trump's victory.

(BTW, I'd hate to think who said no before some editor announced triumphantly, "I got The Shark!")

Anyway, strap yourself in for so much "I saw this coming" talk that perhaps Norman is prepping us for the day he hangs up his chainsaw and becomes greater Jupiter's leading psychic.

I personally had a sense of this and told Donald, when President Barack Obama was campaigning for Hillary Clinton 10 days before the election, that he was going to win. Obama’s messaging was wrong and just reinforced that those wanting change would get it with Clinton. In other words, the problem was not the problem—the attitude to the problem was the problem.

How fortunate we are to share a planet with people who hear their ghost writer read sentences like that and say, BOOM! That makes perfect sense!

Let the humblebragging continue...

I have spoken to Donald on numerous occasions since the election and I think he will surprise many with what he will do with the presidency, but not himself. He has a clear vision. I believe he will fill a cabinet with quality, experienced, doers that are like-minded yet strong enough to redirect him if they so believe.

Hey, Greg maybe you should nominate yourself in the next phone call?

But go on, woo us with more deep thoughts...

A Trump presidency obviously not only affects the United States, but the rest of the world.

Deeeeeep!

Foreign policy will be a tricky one for Trump. I can only imagine that there are so many grandfathered agreements in place from previous administrations in the U.S. and abroad.

Easy there Greg, you count yourself a friend to the presidents who supported and enhanced many of thsoe agreements. I know those Bushes and Clintons are so last year to you, but they do still read.

Until he gets in there to understand those, from NATO to NAFTA to TPT to Middle East agreements to the Asia Pacific rim and many others, it is difficult to speculate.

I'm fairly certain those agreements are readable outside of the White House. Maybe Shark could read up on those grandfathered agreements and present a white paper that also includes how you'd fix Doonbeg. That's better than a cabinet post!

Wednesday
Nov162016

Tour Players Embracing Fresh Ideas, For Now!

For too long the average PGA Tour player has only cared about playing opportunities and little else. The mentality has been so pervasive to the point that many lost sight of any need to be part of something entertaining. Of course, if your "product" is not entertaining, those opportunities will not arise.

So it's refreshing to see news of a new format and scheduling adjustments (Web.com Tour) on both sides of the Atlantic are receiving a warm reaction from players.

ESPN.com's Jason Sobel reporting from the McGladrey Classic on St. Simon's Island:

"It's a trial and error process," added Jim Furyk. "If it's good and the fans like it and the sponsor likes it and the players like it, heck yeah, let's go. Let's keep doing it. If it doesn't work, we'll come up with some new ideas. There's nothing wrong with trying."

Therein lies an inherent issue with outside the box thinking: It can't only serve one master. These new ideas have to fit the desires of fans, sponsors and players, which is a more difficult concept than it might seem.

That the players are thinking beyond themselves is a sign of progress.

What's prompting the change? Maybe they get to gauge social media reaction, or its the new influences at headquarters or maybe it's just a growing realization that 72-holes of stroke play every Thursday-Sunday is not the Holy Grail. Either way, it's refreshing to finally see them budging off of the playing opportunities mantra.

Wednesday
Nov162016

McIlroy Welcomes Rolex Series: "With the regulations that the PGA Tour are putting upon us...it’s hard to jump back and forth and play tournaments."

James Corrigan considers the ramifications of the Rolex Series, labeled a "critical game changer" by Chief Executive Keith Pelley. The Telegraph writer also says the French Open will be added to the series, making it eight events.

More interesting, however, is the comment of Rory McIlroy, suggesting the lucrative Series and increased PGA Tour rules will tempt some to stay in Europe. But him?

“It gives guys an incentive to maybe play a little bit more on this side of the pond leading up to the Open Championship and hopefully get some great fields,” he said. “It’s getting more and more difficult to play two tours. With the regulations that the PGA Tour are putting upon us and with how great the events are becoming over here, it’s hard to jump back and forth and play tournaments.

“So I think you might see more guys spending prolonged periods in either/or, because jumping back and forth, you can do it for so long, but in the long run, it just doesn’t work too well. I’m very grateful for the Irish Open being in this Rolex Series. We’ve been given a great date.”

Here's what I'm not clear on: have the UK rules changed for taxation of visiting athletes?

Because unless Keith Pelley has convinced Her Majesty to ease up on rules that make UK visits a loss leader, it's hard to see players teeing up in all of the events leading up to The Open.

Wednesday
Nov162016

2016 Australian Open Primer: Spieth, Ogilvy & U.S. Amateur Champ Luck Paired For Opening 36

Royal Sydney hosts the 2016 Emirates Australian Open, with Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott headlining. Coverage begins Wednesday at 8 pm ET on Golf Channel.

John Huggan covers Spieth's return to Australia a year after winning and he considers the Texan's typically-thoughtful answers to questions.

Martin Blake noted Spieth's admiration for Royal Sydney, which has hosted many times and which is currently under architectural review by Gil Hanse.

Blake also writes about Aaron Baddeley's return to the site of his 1999 Australian Open win as an amateur.

The opening two rounds include Spieth playing with Geoff Ogilvy and U.S. Amateur champion Curtis Luck. That trio tees off early Thursday, meaning they may sneak in the end of the round one coverage window but will receive full coverage Friday in the U.S.

The Spieth and Ogilvy press conferences yielded some nice questions and interesting answers, including Spieth at the 22:00 minute mark answering a question about his brother's great (basketball) play at Brown:


Ogilvy is great as usual on many topics:

This Australian Golf Digest interview with RSGC super Steve Marsden features some incredible drone shots of the course, too.

Tuesday
Nov152016

Atlanta Mess: Bobby Jones Golf Course Purchased By State, City Passes On Non-Profit Takeover

The news out of Atlanta isn't good for the beleaguered public course system, as John Ruch reports on a non-profit's effort to operate the city muni's was rejected by the city council.

The story could just be an aberation related to politics, but also will not bode well when future non-profit fans of the game attempt to rescue the many terribly-run city or state courses which, with some repairs, could be made better.

Buckhead's Bobby Jones Golf Course was partially saved thanks to a long-discussed purchase by the state, with a plan to reduce it to 9-holes but add multiple amenities. Everett Catts reports.

With the sale finalized, the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation announced it has entered into a 50-year lease with the authority for the course, which was built in 1932 as a tribute to golf legend Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones Jr.

As part of the state’s ownership plan, the course will be transformed from an 18-hole one to a nine-hole one with a driving range and a wee links for children 12 and under. The wee links will be named the Cupp Links in honor of golf course architect Bob Cupp, who designed the new course before he died in August.

The foundation is partnering with the Georgia State Golf Association and the Georgia section of the PGA of America to create the Georgia Golf House, a new facility that will become a hub for golf in the state. Those organizations, plus Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Junior Golf Association and others will call the Georgia Golf House home.

The new course and facilities will remain open to the public. The course will also be the new home of the Georgia State University golf teams.

Tuesday
Nov152016

Steiny To ESPN: Tiger's "Getting after it a bit more"

ESPN.com's Bob Harig talks to Tiger Woods ten-percent Mark Steinberg who sounds cautiously optimistic about his client's planned return in two weeks for the Hero World Challenge.

Note the timeline prefacing...

"The determination is still there," Steinberg told ESPN. "We've still got two weeks to go, but he is doing the things necessary to get himself as ready as he can be, but it's going to be 15 months since the last time he played competitively.''

Given how things have gone and the issues Tiger's dealing with as an oft-injured athlete dealing with the demons that come with that, it's hard to picture him playing until he's actually on the first tee.

Tuesday
Nov152016

"For some deep buried reason, the US electorate trust a man who can handle a four iron even more than one with whom they can have a beer."

The Guardian's Will Buckley credits golf as a key part of Donald Trump's election to the presidency.

Buckley is surprised at the lack of mentions for golf's role.

There have been 18 contests since the second world war and the only exceptions to this rule are Harry S Truman (not a golfer) beating Thomas Dewey (Augusta member who gave his green jacket to Jack Nicklaus) and Jimmy Carter (not a golfer) defeating Gerald Ford (who, contrary to rumour, could play golf and chew gum at the same time). Aside from these two anomalies it is all golf. For some deep buried reason, the US electorate trust a man who can handle a four iron even more than one with whom they can have a beer.

And this advice...

No surprise, therefore, that Americans have only gone and elected a man who has turned his hobby into his business and actually builds golf courses for a living. Hillary (weak off the tee, inconsistent putter and further let down by a shocking short game) never had a chance. The world of golf has indeed become more powerful and influential. And the Democrats, looking to 2020, need to find themselves a candidate who is more golf than The Donald. Good luck with that one.

Tuesday
Nov152016

Video: Kangaroos Fighting Over A Green Complex Design?

Or something like trivial that. Not nearly as adorable as the kangaroo that played with the flagstick, but almost as entertaining in a "what do they really think will be accomplished here" way.

From Ian Baker-Finch, who is back Down Under and presumably will be heard on the upcoming string of Aussie tournaments, starting with Wednesday's Australian Open.

Boxing Kangaroos #twinwatersgolfclub

A video posted by IanBakerFinch (@ianbakerfinch) on

Tuesday
Nov152016

Video: The Bryan Bros Reunite In Grand Fashion

After a one year tour of the midwest playing small gigs off the beaten track with nary a trick shot in sight, Wesley and George Bryan have bypassed the festival circuit and reunited for the stadium show of trick shots.

The latest trick shot for the tricksters-turned legit players (Wesley with a tour card, George just missing at second stage): hit from atop the 40-story MGM Grand to the new Topgolf Las Vegas below. Spoiler: it ends with a walk-off, so another reunion tour looks like a mere pipe dream for now.

Tuesday
Nov152016

European Tour Unveils "Innovative" Rolex Series: 4 $7M Events

The press release and announcement tout this as an innovative and a significant advancement for the European Tour. Certainly there are promises of the events in question offering enhanced digital and television converage touches (see video midway down this page). But the Rolex Series sounds more like an effort to make the strongest pockets of the schedule a bit stronger, with nice add-ons inspired by a longtime and loyal golf sponsor.

Essentially the European Tour is going to offer enhanced purses at four key events and three  former "Race to Dubai" playoff events which already drew decent fields. Maybe that's why Chief Executive Keith (Elton) Pelley won't shift to some Rolex-green frames until a few more events are added to the rotation.

Pros?

-Rory's Irish Open, the Scottish Open and the Italian Open all become stronger.

-Elite player pocketbooks (and maybe wristwatches winners) are improved.

-Each event should draw enhanced fields (though the BMW PGA already does fine), with more incentive for non-European Tour stars to appear in the UK especially. Each event should get more media attention, at least from what media remains.

Cons?

-Creates greater separation between events in the Rolex Series and those not in, making the already bloated European Tour schedule look like it's carrying even more dead weight.

-Strengthens events that stars were already likely to play instead of events needing a boost.

-Ensures the World Golf Championship events are stuck in neutral as a four-tournament, mostly U.S.-centric concept * How could I forget, a second WGC heads to Mexico City next year! Players are SO excited too!

The full press release: 

EUROPEAN TOUR LAUNCHES THE ROLEX SERIES

The European Tour is proud to officially announce the Rolex Series, an exciting new alliance of leading tournaments which will strengthen the golf schedule from the 2017 season onwards.

The innovative concept — launched today with the European Tour’s longest standing partner, Rolex — is one of the most significant advancements in the Tour’s 44 years and will enhance both the competitive and entertainment experience for members and fans around the world. 

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are delighted to unveil the Rolex Series today and we are committed to developing and building on it over the coming years.

“The Rolex Series will celebrate the highest quality of golf and the international spirit of the game; values that Rolex and the European Tour strengthen with this announcement. We are tremendously proud to have Rolex as our partner in this exciting new venture and we thank them for their continued support.”

Today’s announcement deepens the historic bond between Rolex and the European Tour, which has seen the Swiss company be the proud partner and Official Timekeeper of the Tour since 1997.

Rolex Director of Communication & Image, Arnaud Boetsch, said: “It is with great enthusiasm that Rolex will reinforce its longstanding partnership with the European Tour by supporting the Rolex Series, an innovative advancement in professional European golf.

“Rolex has enjoyed a unique alliance with golf for over fifty years and this is the most recent development of Rolex’s enduring commitment to the game. 

“Across junior, amateur and elite levels, Rolex is devoted to golf’s development worldwide, and we look forward to being a part of the flourishing future of The European Tour.”

In 2017, the Rolex Series will feature a minimum of seven tournaments in seven iconic golfing locations across the world, all offering minimum prize funds of US$ 7 million, with the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai featuring a prize fund of US$ 8 million. Plans are in place to increase the number of Rolex Series tournaments in future seasons as part of the multi-year commitment made to the European Tour by the world’s leading Swiss watchmaker.

As the scope of the European Tour expands around the world, golf fans will be brought closer than ever to the leading professionals on the world’s best courses thanks to significantly enhanced television and digital production as well as increased hours of coverage distributed worldwide.

The 2017 Rolex Series will begin in May with the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in England and will be followed by two tournaments in July: the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Portstewart; and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald.

The fourth tournament of the Rolex Series next year will be the Italian Open at the Olgiata Golf Club in Rome in October while the final three Rolex Series events will be in November, comprised of the Turkish Airlines Open at Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort; the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in South Africa; and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

The news prompted this Instagram image from Dubai:

 

Monday
Nov142016

9th In The World: Who Is Alex Noren?

With the European Tour limping toward its Race To Dubai conclusion and featuring a Masters winner who "wants his life" back (according to Derek Lawrenson), attention will turn to Alex Noren.

Noren's won four times since July and has risen to 9th in the world after being outside the top 100 in June according to Will Gray, yet he never received any Ryder Cup consideration and would probably need ID to walk onto any major championship range. He's at least dropped to 80/1 in Masters futures odds, but is still behind Jon Rahm and Tiger Woods.

Finding a good profile on Noren was tough, but maybe because he's done it best on by his very ownself. Sure, his blog hasn't been updated since 2012, but Noren's website includes his first person life story if you click on "My Story" in the lower left.

I forgot that the 34-year-old--that's right millennials, you can like him!--went to Oklahoma State and unlike many Euros, stayed for four years. But with all of the talk about short courses, Himalayas greens and growing the game (including today on Morning Drive), this really stood out:

My fight to reach my dreams began 23 years earlier at my home course Haninge GK in Sweden.

The putting green served as a natural kinder garden and it was located in the middle of two straight lines of oak trees. The green was narrow and long and gave us enough creativity to try the craziest shots when having chipping contests. The bet was always ice cream to the winner. We played golf all day. Our parents had to bring food out on the course because dinner wasn't our first priority; lowering our handicap was. We usually played together; sometimes we let our parents join up if we weren't enough kids around. I think the opportunity to play around and not being instructed by anyone gave us the complete joy and love for the game. We could not get enough of it.

Monday
Nov142016

Kansas Course Adopts Ancient Sustainability Program

John Green of the Hutchinson News reports on Crazy Horse Sport Club and Golf Course turning their native roughs over to three goats who will eat any weed, including poison ivy.

Green writes:

“They love the weeds,” said Matt Seitz, general manager of the now Crazy Horse Sport Club and Golf Course, 922 Crazy Horse Road. “Especially the poison ivy. I saw them running along and they just stopped and started gobbling it up. It’s like candy to them.”

Jon Mollhagen, the Lorraine rancher and businessman who bought the course earlier this year, obtained the three female animals from a friend, said Seitz, who did not know their breed.

“This a good way of controlling the weeds without chemicals,” Seitz explained. “We used to spray it, but it’s hard to control and we’d rather do it without all the herbicides and stuff.”

Besides, Seitz said, “they’re good at getting people talking. It’s something new.”

Of course it's not actually news, but the way many links once had their roughs maintained. In fact, quite a few could borrow the Crazy Horse practices and maybe give us healthier natives while saving a few balls.