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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
  • 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
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

Golf is a game in which attitude of mind counts for incomparably more than mightiness of muscle.  ARNOLD HAULTAIN

 

    

Thursday
Nov132014

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.

Thursday
Nov132014

Mickelson-Manchester Pull Out Of Fairbanks Ranch Takeover

John Strege with the report you probably won't see in Doug Manchester's U-T San Diego, which first reported the planned takeover of Fairbanks Ranch by Phil Mickelson and Manchester.

From Strege's report:

“It was a mutual parting of the ways,” Jeff Woolson, managing director of the golf and resort group for CBRE, said Thursday. “They wanted to do a lot of things to the property, which required they go back and request a lease concession with the city. Members didn’t feel like they wanted to go down that road.”

Wednesday
Nov122014

Commissioner Finchem: "Everybody talks about playing faster; that doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

As Commissioner Moonbeam enters the final two years of his reign heading the PGA Tour, we've officially enter the weird phase where he randomly says things that remind you it's time to start spending more time counting his millions.

Rex Hoggard quotes the Commish talking about the oddity of Team USA's Ryder Cup foursomes woes even as they dominate in Presidents Cup foursomes. The talk turned to how nice it would be if more foursomes was played in the U.S., in part because rounds are faster when played that way (not to mention it serves as a great social round). Great stuff!

But then the Commish just couldn't leave well enough alone...

To Finchem, however, the endless quest to make the game faster – even at the highest levels where it took more than five hours last week to play a round at the WGC-HSBC Champions … in threesomes – is akin to making molehills out of mountains.

“If you go to Augusta or Pine Valley or Cypress Point and you’re playing with some single-digit handicaps how long does it take you to play? Four hours,” he answered. “If it’s 4:15 (hours) or 4:20, you’re going to worry about shaving 10 minutes off [a round]? It’s not a driving factor. Everybody talks about playing faster; that doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

This is true Commissioner, when you and your golf cronies play a once-in-a-lifetime course, why yes, you aren't in a hurry, but since that represents .01% of the rounds played in America, you have merely confirmed you've been in the bubble just a bit too long!

Couple this with his unspoken edict blocking your rules staff from issuing slow play penalties, and it really has become clear that Tim Finchem is the enemy of speeding up rounds.

Wednesday
Nov122014

When Tiger Put His Best Move On A Young Johnny Football

I went in with low expectations going in and came away pleasantly surprised by by Johnny Manziel's interview with Golf Digest's Craig Bestrom.

Besides an obvious love for the game, the Cleveland Browns backup QB talked about the time he tried to get his hero Tiger Woods' autograph. Naturally, the big guy game through with an epic tale of evading the dreaded youth of America who might, I don't know, take the autograph and worship it? Sell it on ebay?

Is the story true about Tiger disappointing you by refusing an autograph request?

[Laughs.] Yeah, that happened. My dad played in a member-guest at Isleworth every year with a friend, and we'd take our family vacation to Orlando. One day I ended up playing with a bunch of kids at the house of Thurman Thomas [Pro Football Hall of Famer], of all people. I think he was friends with some of our family friends. Somehow we heard that Tiger was out playing on a nearby course [The Golden Bear Club at Keene's Pointe], so another guy and I ran out there looking for him.

Were there other people out there watching him?

No, it was a really quiet day. Tiger was playing a practice round all by himself.

How old were you?

About 9 or 10. At that time, Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods were the biggest people in the sports world—in my sports world, anyway. We saw Tiger on the 16th hole and asked for his autograph, and he said to catch him right after the round. I was sitting about 100 yards from the 18th green, and he drove by in a cart and was pulling his hat really, really low. I remember him saying, "No autographs today."

Were you crushed?

I was really bitter about it for a day, but today I don't really think much of it. I'm sure there are stories about me, maybe not in the same fashion, but maybe someone has asked, "Hey, can I take a picture with you?" And I say, "Sure, I'm gonna use the restroom, and I'll be right back." Then, something comes up. If I ever run into Tiger at Nike or somewhere, it'll be a funny story.

Wednesday
Nov122014

"TopGolf Lights Up The Night"

Add Global Golf Post’s Steve Eubanks to the list of TopGolf believers after taking his 13-year-old daughter Liza to the location in Alpharetta and seeing what an alternative (successful) form of golf looks like.

Wednesday
Nov122014

TPC Scottsdale Gets A Coffin Bunker

GolfDigest.com's Stephen Hennessey toured the TPC Scottsdale in advance of its re-opening November 15th following Tom Weiskopf's renovation and while most of the changes sound logical, I can't wait to see how the new "coffin" bunker works near the par-5 13th green.

It looks deep, goofy and penal. Perfect for eliciting PGA Tour player moaning!

And even better to learn of more nods to the Old Course in use.

Wednesday
Nov122014

Golfing Con Man Arrested After His Mother's Funeral

You may recall the viral story from a year ago when an aspiring mini-tour pro was supposedly dropped by his sponsor because of a bible verse on his bag and professed love for talk show host Glenn Beck.

The story was eaten up by The Blaze, an online publication devoted to socially conservative causes which, amazingly, still has the story posted even after Ryan Ballengee exposed Cochran as a serial con man who had made his way through golf in multiple states from Florida to Nebraska, including a stint at The Prairie Club.

Ballengee reports that nearly a year after the above mentioned incidents, Cochran was arrested after his mother's graveside service in Michigan.



Wednesday
Nov122014

Video: Wild Car Chases And SoCal Golf Courses

Nothing says Veteran's Day like...taking your high speed pursuit onto a golf course.

How the Palm Springs and Corona incidents actually ended up on the links isn't clear, but as I note on The Loop it was a busy day for law enforcement here and thankfully, all the officers involved went home safe. The minivan driver who had golfers scurrying at Eagle Glen Golf Course, was not so fortunate.

A new report from NBC 4 LA includes even more amazing footage shot by golf course employees capturing the sheer madness from the Eagle Glen golf course:

Tuesday
Nov112014

European 2016 Ryder Cup Captaincy Stakes: Miguel Angel's English, Darren Clarke's Unpredictability

While most of the world focuses on the American response to a Ryder Cup loss, the first signs that Europe has concerns about their lead driver options in 2016 is highlighted in a couple of recent stories.

Sergio Garcia is quoted by Bernie McGuire as suggesting the most interesting man's English is poor enough that communication issues could be an issue when serving as a Ryder Cup captain.

“Becoming captain is different. From the time you get appointed there is more than a year-and-a-half of activities, engagements, interviews and so on that a new captain has to deal with.

“So it is important that everyone he speaks to over that period understands exactly what he is saying because words can be misinterpreted.

"Being a Ryder Cup captain is being the spokesman for the Tour and its sponsors – and then when competition gets under way there’s so many speeches he will have to handle.”

It wasn't an issue for Jose Maria Olazabal, who not only didn't communicate well with his players and exhibited questionable sportsmanship judgement, but lived to tell about it and is considered to have been a fine captain.

Meanwhile, Fleet Street has been quick to declare Darren Clarke the overwhelming favorite for the 2016 captaincy decision early next year, but Brian Keogh files one of those columns that we'll look to in a few years if a Clarke captaincy turns out to be a mess. Asking the "real Darren Clarke to please stand up," Keogh writes:

Few golfers have shown as many personas to the world as Clarke - genial and fun-loving one moment, laughing and smiling with cigar in hand as the people’s favourite, only to be transformed into a walking volcano for the waiting press, a brooding presence whose mood varied depending on his score.

So who’s he real Darren Clarke? The bleach blonde amateur in the two-tone golf shoes? The cigar-chomping, beer drinking lad with the gut, beloved of the lads down at the pub? The widower, the hard-worker or the hothead? Or the thin, white-haired Duke of our TV screens during the recent Ryder Cup?

Keogh goes on to detail Clarke's revisionist take on former buddy Paul McGinley and what that says about Clarke.

Tuesday
Nov112014

Was George O'Grady's Step Down Actually An Ouster?

In his weekly Telegraph golf notes column, James Corrigan slaps the European Tour board chair for its pathetic send-off quote upon George O'Grady's decision to step down as Chief Executive.

Corrigan implies the stepping down was more like a shoving off.

The number of European Tour chairmen who should be embarrassed with his official response on the resignation of long-time chief executive, George O’Grady last week. David Williams’s statement basically consisted of thanking the Ulsterman and saying “George has played a key part in building global relationships and developing the Tour”. It was left to Tim Finchem, the PGA Tour commissioner, to afford a fitting send-off, declaring: “George’s true measure as a leader is reflected in the fact that he leaves The European Tour in a vastly better position than when he began his tenure.” Yes, he does. And even those who ousted him should be humble enough to recognise it.

Considering that O'Grady leaves the tour in about as healthy a condition as possible considering the state of European economy, with maybe only his Sergio Garcia slip up as a low point (I bet you forgot!), Corrigan appears spot on in highlighting the PGA Tour's more respectful send-off.

Williams began his board tenure just this January.

Tuesday
Nov112014

Finchem: Player Banned For Cheating An "Individual Thing" 

Whenever anyone accuses PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem of lacking a sense of humor, I will come to the man's defense. After all, who could be faced with a player suspension from a partnering golf association that will impact status on the PGA Tour's Web.com Tour, and claim what the Commish did?

From Doug Ferguson's story on the infancy of golf in China, where PGA Tour China leading money winner Xin-Ju Zhang was recently suspended six months for multiple scorecard incidents.

The one setback on PGA Tour China was the other Chinese winner — Zhang Xin-Ju, whom the CGA banned for six months after he was disqualified for the second time for turning in an incorrect scorecard. He is leading the money list on the PGA Tour China, though the ban means Zhang cannot play on any tour until the middle of March. The PGA Tour will not comment on whether it plans its own sanction.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem described it as an "individual thing" and said the topic did not come up in two days of meetings with Chinese golf officials.

Didn't come up in a meeting, therefore it's like it never happened! It's an individual thing!

Remind me again which country the Commissioner is based in? Communist China or the Land Of The Free?

Tuesday
Nov112014

Dr. Klein Named 40th Donald Ross Award Recipient

Congratulations to Bradley Klein, architecture editor at Golfweek, who will receive the 40th ASGCA Donald Ross Award a year after Major Dan Rooney, whose contributions to the course design world aren't quite comparable to Dr. Klein's work.

For Immediate Release:

Award-winning writer, past PGA caddie and college professor 
joins illustrious list of Ross Award recipients


BROOKFIELD, Wis. – Bradley S. Klein, “Golfweek” magazine’s architecture editor, has been selected by the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) as the 2015 Donald Ross Award recipient, the 40th winner since the award was introduced in 1976. The award will be presented in March 2015 during the 69th ASGCA Annual Meeting in La Jolla, California. The award is named for ASGCA’s first president, and is presented to an individual who has made a positive contribution to golf and golf course architecture.
 
A former PGA Tour caddie and 2006 inductee into the International Caddie Hall of Fame, Klein has written and lectured widely on golf course design, the golf development industry and sports media. The New York native joined “Golfweek” in 1988.
 
Klein holds a Ph.D. in political science, spending 14 years as a university professor in international relations, political theory and media studies before devoting himself full time to golf writing. He has published seven books on golf course architecture and history, including “Discovering Donald Ross,” winner of the USGA 2001 International Book Award, and “Wide Open Fairways.”
 
Klein joins an impressive list of journalists who have received the Ross Award, including Herbert Warren Wind, Peter Dobereiner, Charles Price, Dick Taylor, Ron Whitten, George Peper, and James Dodson.
 
“Brad has traveled the world studying and reporting on golf course architecture,” ASGCA President Lee Schmidt said. “His articles and books have informed golfers and non-golfers alike, telling the story of courses and those who design them.
 
“His critiques keep architecture in the public eye, and start conversations about how design contributes so much to the essence of the game. ASGCA respects his knowledge and perspective. We appreciate his skill in describing what we do and all that golf courses bring to our communities.”
 
Klein and his wife, Professor Jane Nadel-Klein, live in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
 
The Donald Ross Award is presented by the ASGCA Awards Committee, co-chaired by ASGCA Vice President Steve Smyers and 2013 Ross Award recipient Rees Jones, ASGCA.
 
Past Donald Ross Award Recipients
2014    Maj. Dan Rooney, founder, Folds of Honor Foundation
2013    Rees Jones, ASGCA, golf course architect
2012    Bill Kubly, golf course builder
2011    James Dodson, golf writer/editor
2010    Tim Finchem, PGA Tour Commissioner
2009    Ron Dodson, sustainable golf advocate
2008    George Peper, golf writer
2007    Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, golf course architect
2006    Jim Awtrey, chief executive officer, PGA of America
2005    John Singleton, irrigation pioneer
2004    Thomas Cousins, philanthropist, urban golf developer    
2003    Bill Campbell, president, USGA, captain, Royal & Ancient Golf Club
2002    Byron Nelson, professional golfer
2001    Jack Nicklaus, ASGCA, professional golfer, golf course architect
2000    Jaime Ortiz-Patino, owner and president, Valderrama Golf Club
1999    Arnold Palmer, professional golfer
1998    Judy Bell, president, USGA
1997    Gene Sarazen, professional golfer
1996    Ron Whitten, golf writer

Tuesday
Nov112014

USGA Debuting Pace Of Play Monitoring Tool

Slow pokes look out!

Ryan Herrington reports on the flagstick tool developed by the USGA and debuting this week at the Pace of Play Symposium in Far Hills. The USGA's Matt Pringle, who has developed the Tru-Firm device and who has been working on the pace of play study, will unveil the flagstick attachment.

According to Pringle, the USGA began looking into developing the flagstick tool to give course operators an inexpensive but practical way to measure pace of play at their facilities. "It's our feeling that there are a lot of golf courses that are going blind," Pringle says. "They have no means of measuring, and therefore controlling, pace in any way, shape or form. The thing is, you really just can't leave it to chance."

Herrington reports that the USGA has already tested out the device on will be reporting their findings this week.

Tuesday
Nov112014

Golfweek: Phil Working As ASU "Interim Assistant Coach"

Great stuff from Lance Ringler explaining how Phil Mickelson can be making recruiting calls on behalf of Arizona State, where his brother Tim is the head men's coach. (Australian junior golf Ryan Ruffels got a call recently, reported David Polkinghorne in the Sydney Morning Herald).

Turns out, Phil is beefing up his van-driving skills under the rarely used "Interim Assistant" role. Ringler writes:

The appointment will place the older Mickelson on the coaching staff and allow him to operate under the same rules as a staff member or a coach – they are different rules than those of an alumni. It allows Phil Mickelson to be more involved with the program in areas of recruiting, and even allows him to be with the team on a daily basis. Don’t expect to see Mickelson driving the cart and handing out snacks, but this does allow him to be involved in the same way any coach can – including making phone calls to recruits. The extent of Mickelson’s coaching responsibilities are uncertain.

Please, please someone Tweet a photo of Phil in a cart handing out waters to the lads!

Monday
Nov102014

The Bake-Off Comes To Architecture! Sand Valley Edition

Unlike other forms of big-commission architecture, it's rare for a golf course design project to ask those hoping to win the commission to present a detailed preliminary vision to get the job. In golf architecture that actually matters (non-housing developments), there's no more important component to the end product than the routing.

So it's fascinating to see Mike Keiser and his investors in Sand Valley asking for specific routings from the candidates, which will then be walked and voted on by the evaluation committee, reports Joe Passov at golf.com.

Speaking exclusively to Golf.com, Keiser explained that routings have been submitted by Tom Doak, David McLay Kidd and the team of Rod Whitman/Dave Axland. Following an evaluation of all three, a winner will emerge from the bake-off.

“We’re considering all three entries equally,” Keiser said. “On November 15, I’m going to walk the routings, along with a group of advisors. After we’re done, we’re going to blind rate them. We’ll know more after the weekend.”

Monday
Nov102014

Trevino: "Somehow we've got to get the caddie ranks back"

Golfweek's Adam Schupak attended the Western Golf Association's 4th annual Green Coat Gala and reports that former caddies turned stewards of the game look back at their looping days with increasing fondness.

This year Mike Keiser, Lee Trevino and Peter Jacobsen represented the past-caddie ranks, while Michigan State junior Jacob Mosley talked on behalf of the 870 students currently on Evans Scholarships.

For years, the caddie yard was the academy from which the likes of Trevino, Lee Elder, and 1985 Western Open champ Jim Thorpe graduated as professional golfers. Changing social patterns, and the golf cart, eliminated many of the caddie shacks making Trevino one of the last celebrated alumni of that hard school.

"Somehow we've got to get the caddie ranks back," Trevino said.

Monday
Nov102014

Auction Alert: 2014 Lot Includes Jack Fleck Memorabilia

TheGolfAuction.com is featuring many items but most of the standout nuggest are from the late great Jack Fleck's collection.

For those still undecided what to get me for Christmas, I have a spot in the east wing of my mansion that would love this 1930 Bobby Jones signed Currier & Ives print.

Original limited edition lithograph 1930 Bobby Jones signed Currier & Ives print. Titled "Robert Tyre Jones Jr. Winning the British Open Golf Championship". First edition of 999 prints published and copyrighted by Currier & Ives, Inc., 1930. This exceptional piece depicting Bobby Jones sinking the winning putt in the 1927 British Open at St. Andrews carries a full signature from Robert T. Jones Jr. which is spectacular in its self. What takes this highly sought after item to the next level is that the fountain pen signature comes in uninscribed format with nine out of ten of these prints, when autographed by Bobby Jones, coming with a personalization. Print is laid down on framing matte,and is deluxe framed with U.V. protected glass. James Spence Authentication (JSA) has reviewed this signature of Bobby Jones, and their letter of authenticity will come with this item. Print measures 16 1/2" x 11 1/2", framed overall size is 21 1/4" x 16". This is truly a piece that even the finest of collections would be deemed incomplete without ownership of this prized signed print.

Monday
Nov102014

George W. Bush On Wounded Warriors, Presidents Who Play Golf

As part of Golf Digest's "Golfers Who Give Back" issue, Jerry Tarde interviews the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush.

Talking about Wounded Warrior Chad Pfeiffer, who played in the Tahoe celebrity event after qualifying in a Wounded Warrior event...

GWB: He's a really good player. It's remarkable. One of the most fun things I did was at the Presidents Cup. Tim Finchem asked me to come to the cup. Or maybe I invited myself, I'm not sure.

No one invites themselves to a Presidents Cup, Mr. President! We'll put you down for, returned Finchem's fourth phone call.

Anyway, I went. And I asked him if I could bring the winner of the Warrior Open. And he said sure. So Pfeiffer and I fly up to Columbus, Ohio. And at the opening ceremony, there are two captains, the commissioner, myself and Pfeiffer introduced to the crowd as a winner of the Warrior Open. And it was just awesome. I mean awesome to see this kid, you know.

Tarde asks about golf's impact via Monday charity events and golfers giving.

GWB: It's interesting. First of all, golf is a game of integrity. And golf is a game of forgiveness. I think the high standards of golf remind people of how lucky they are, or how fortunate they are, to be able to play the game. And many people, when they have this sense of good luck or good draw of the cards, know they have an obligation to give back. And plus they're doing good leadership with golf.

As for Presidents playing golf, the answer isn't any different than past answers he's given on the topic.

And I chose not to play because during my presidency after a period of time, a short period of time. I chose not to play because my view was I could find other ways to be by myself, like mountain biking. And I didn't want to send a signal to mothers whose sons were in combat that while they were sacrificing, I was on the golf course. And as much as I missed it, I didn't view it as a sacrifice at all to give up golf. And the reason you have to do that when you are president, or at least I did, is because [the media is] on the first tee and the 18th green. And there's no way you escape the press, and I didn't want to try. And so I chose not to do it. But I agree with the sense that, as the president, you're pretty much in a bubble. And golf is a good way to get out of the bubble. And as I said, in my case, it was mountain biking. And our presidents have used golf, our current president uses golf, Bill Clinton used golf, Eisenhower used golf, Dad used golf to a certain extent, but he also loved to fish. So there are multiple ways to escape. It's important to clear your head as best as you can. So Eisenhower's advice is good advice.

Monday
Nov102014

Charlie Sifford To Receive Presidential Medal Of Freedom

The highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States will be given to Charlie Sifford

The White House ceremony will take place on November 24th.

Steve DiMeglio, writing for USA Today, recounts Sifford's story and the congratulatory Tweet from Tiger Woods.

The list of all 19 honorees.

Monday
Nov102014

While We Were Sleeping Files: 76 World Class Players Took A Really Long Time To Play Golf Saturday

Reduced field sizes are always declared the only cure for PGA Tour slow play, which, according to Daniel Hicks of APF, hit a new low for Saturday's third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions when the 76-player field featuring a sizeable portion of the world top 100 golfers, took 5 1/2 hours to play.

There were complicating factors: high, wet rough, split tee threesomes and reachable fours and fives for everyone because the ball goes too far. Still, just 76 players. 76! And they aren't looking for lost balls.

The leader at the time, Graeme McDowell, called the situation "ridiculous."

"We've got threeballs, a lot of people out there and a couple of driveable par fours and a couple of two-shot par fives. Just a slow golf course. A long day," said McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion.

Ryder Cup star Poulter was less diplomatic in his assessment of the day after a level-par 72 left him four behind McDowell.

"There's no excuses. We need to be pressing and making sure people are keeping up to pace," Poulter told AFP.

"Five and a half hours is too long to play golf. End of story."

Bubba Watson suggested what he always does: penalizing players. Silly him!

"You have to penalise people," he told reporters after the first three rounds at the Phoenix Open earlier this year took well in excess of five hours.

"Give them a stroke (penalty). It could cause you to win or lose. I think strokes is the only way to do it."

Neither McDowell or Poulter took to Twitter to gripe, perhaps knowing they'd be fined for pointing out the obvious.

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