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Books
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

On the golf course, a man may be the dogged victim of inexorable fate, be struck down by an appalling stroke of tragedy, become the hero of an unbelievable melodrama, or the clown in a side-splitting comedy--any of these within a few hours, and all without having to bury a corpse or repair a tangled personality.  BOBBY JONES


    

Friday
Mar132015

Ex-Teammate Says Reed Misreported Augusta State Scores

I'm not sure what's more startling, that Patrick Reed misreported scores while at Augusta State or that the team didn't turn in scorecards to the coaches.

Stephanie Wei talks to a former teammate of Reed who does not want his name used, and who reveals major issues from Reed's Augusta State days.

2. Before the team’s first tournament, during a qualifying round at the Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Reed was playing with a teammate. It was normal for the players not to use score cards, and to relay their scores to Josh Gregory, the coach, when the round had finished. Reed texted his score, and the teammate noticed that it was the wrong score—one shot lower than Reed had actually shot. He said nothing at the time, but told his teammates. The teammates took no action at that point.

3. In the very next qualifying round, either the next day or two days later, Reed was playing at Goshen Plantation, this time with Mitch Krywulcyz, Taylor Floyd, and Brendan Gillins. Krywulcyz was responsible for relaying their scores to Gregory, and once again, Reed told him a score that the team believed to be incorrect. After the round, the teammates discussed the score and confirmed what they believed, that Reed’s announced score had been lower than the actual score. Krywulcyz called Reed, who backed up the score he had given Krywulcyz. At that point, the players agreed that something strange was happening—given Reed’s reputation, two false scores in a row raised suspicions.

This does not take away from any of his PGA Tour success. However, Wei reinforces issues with Reed's on-course integrity during his formative years and first raised by Shane Ryan's story.

Mostly, this reminds us that whoever advised him to go public with non-affidavit affidavits as the story had faded may not have given Reed the best public relations or legal advice.

Thursday
Mar122015

Meet Your Ordinary Member Files: Claire Dowling Edition

An unbylined item in the Midweek Herald introduces us to one of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews' new "ordinary" female members, Claire Dowling.

The East Devon Golf Club member has a long resume of volunteer duties with the R&A and is a four-time Curtis Cupper.

Most impressive of all, and kind of a stunning accomplishment that never hurts to bring up: "She also captained the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team in 2000, having played for the team four times; including in the memorable victory at Prairie Dunes course in Kansas in 1986 - the first time any British or European golf team, male or female, had won on American soil."

And there was this revelation:

Claire still plays off a two-handicap, but has never played a competitive round at St Andrews during a distinguished career. Her only experience of the Old Course was in a friendly four-ball with three men when she was a member of the R and A’s Amateur Status Committee 15 years ago.

Getting a tee time should be a lot easier now. Ordinary does have its privileges.

Thursday
Mar122015

Video: Daniel Berger From Golf Course To The Tennis Court

This Week On Inside The PGA Tour isn't usually on my DVR list but this segment of Honda Classic runner-up Daniel Berger, son of the USTA's Jay Berger, shows him meeting up with tennis legends Bob and Mike Bryan, the enormous John Isner and showing off his training as the son of a tennis instructor. And also why he made the right move to focus on golf despite his family ties to tennis.

You can check it out here.

Thursday
Mar122015

Kelly On Finchem: "What the heck was he thinking?"

Thanks to ol Harv for the heads up on Jerry Kelly's appearance with Matt Adams on Sirius/XM. The tour veteran and new geezer is asked about the recent move to not include fall events in the Ryder Cup points race.

Though I'm not sure about Kelly's assertion that Patrick Reed would have missed the team had it not been for those fall events, I did enjoy hearing him all but question the competence of Commissioner Tim Finchem, wondering how he let the change happen and suggesting that he "Better rewind make those changes back. Otherwise you’re going to have some very unhappy sponsors."

Here is the interview.

Thursday
Mar122015

Innisbrook's Copperhead To Get Refresh After This Year's Valspar

The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook has that tired look going, especially with two-dimensional, volcano effect bunkers. But not to worry, the late Larry Packard's design won't be changed, just refreshed and made more sustainable with a new irrigation system in time for the 2016 Valspar Championship.

For Immediate Release...

PALM HARBOR, FL (March 12, 2015) – Salamander Hotels & Resorts today announced comprehensive enhancements to its famed Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort that will honor the guiding principles of legendary Course Architect Larry Packard.
 
The six-month restorative work will take place from May through October this year and includes replacing all fairways and rough, rebuilding each green, and reshaping bunkers to stay true to Packard’s masterful design. The announcement was made on the first day of the 2015 Valspar Championship presented by BB&T, an official PGA TOUR event, which is held annually at Copperhead. The tree-lined layout features rolling terrain and is rated by many professionals as one of the finest courses they play.
 
“Our vision is to respect and protect the vision of Larry Packard and his signature design, and continue to elevate the golf experience for our guests, members, partners and playing professionals,” said Sheila C. Johnson, Founder & CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, and owner of Innisbrook. “Our exciting restoration will accomplish this goal in an environmentally sensitive fashion and help maintain Innisbrook’s reputation as a one of America’s top golf destinations for years to come.”
 
Copperhead has hosted a professional golf tournament for the past 25 years and is home to the Snake Pit, which is one of the toughest closing stretches of holes in golf. It opened in 1972 and is one of four layouts at the resort designed by Packard, who passed away last year at the age of 101. An architect of over 600 courses, Packard lived at Innisbrook for more than 40 years while the resort’s steakhouse even bears his name. Innisbrook’s three other Packard-designed courses: Island, North and South will allow the resort to continue to provide excellent alternatives for its members, groups and guests. In fact, many local residents rank Island as their favorite Innisbrook course and it is often played by professionals tuning up for the Valspar Championship.
 
"I've always enjoyed playing The Copperhead,” said Luke Donald, who won at Innisbrook in 2012.  “It is one of my favorite weeks of the year. I'm very glad to hear that Innisbrook is doing so much to make sure that it remains a great test of golf for years to come."

"As players, you judge a tournament by the course, by the facilities and by the people involved,” said Stewart Cink, the 2009 Open Championship winner. “The Copperhead is very well-designed.  There is a resistance to low scoring, but it is very fair.  The course is in great shape with pure greens and uniform fairways.  It makes for great golf and with this news, it sounds like Valspar and Innisbrook are doing their part to make sure it stays that way for years to come.

As part of the plan to faithfully restore the intent and characteristics of Packard’s timeless design, Wadsworth Golf Construction Company – which was the original course builder – has been engaged to oversee the project work. Each green will be rebuilt to United States Golf Association specifications with TifEagle Bermuda grass, while several will be restored to their original size to allow for additional pin placements. Fairways will be replaced with Celebration Bermuda grass and a number of viewing areas around the greens will be modified to allow for larger tournament galleries in the future.
 
“This makes a significant statement by Salamander and Sheila Johnson to elevate this event for the Tampa Bay area, and is an important step toward ensuring our long-term commitment to this great event,” said Gary Hendrickson, Chairman and CEO of The Valspar Corporation.
 
The restorative project will also include the reshaping and rebuilding of Copperhead’s strategically placed bunkers. All tee boxes will be rebuilt and laser leveled, several will be expanded, and the forward tee length will be shortened to enhance the experience for junior, senior and women golfers. The length of the course for tour professionals, however, will remain at a challenging 7,340 yards.
 
“The Copperhead Course is a jewel on the schedule and this restoration will only enhance its standing among our players,” said Andy Pazder, Executive Vice President and Chief of Operations for the PGA TOUR.
 
In the spirit of recent sustainability initiatives by the United States Golf Association and the PGA of America, a new state-of-the-art irrigation system will be installed that will save 11 million gallons of water per year – enough to fill 1,100 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Prior to this year’s Valspar Championship, Salamander also added new sand to Copperhead’s bunkers, extended a number of tee boxes, and conducted multiple course aerifications and fertilizer applications.

Wednesday
Mar112015

Jaime Diaz's "The Story Of Rory"

Jaime Diaz traveled the globe trailing Rory McIlroy for the kind of magazine story we all relish heading into the Masters.

While the April Golf Digest cover is getting all the attention, this portion early on in the piece should prove interesting fodder for punters heading into the year's first two majors:

But there is evidence to support why McIlroy might not win at Augusta. In his six Masters, last year's T-8 is his best finish (see chart). In those 22 rounds, he has made an astounding 11 double bogeys and three triple bogeys. Just as amazing, considering McIlroy's length, his cumulative total on the par 5s is only 21 under. Although scattershot short irons have been responsible for most of his big numbers, McIlroy has had trouble on the iconic greens, consistently finishing in the bottom half of the field in putting.

"A firm and fast Augusta, or a typical U.S. Open setup, is probably the most difficult test for me," he says. "It requires so much discipline and precision, and that's something I'm still learning. I won a U.S. Open, but it was much wetter than normal, and even Hoylake was soft for a links. So if Augusta is fiery, winning there would get me closer to being a complete player, because I don't think I'm there yet."

Wednesday
Mar112015

Steiny: Tiger Woods Owns The Name Tiger Woods

In Michael Bamberger's story detailing progress on Tiger's new Jupiter restaurant, the developer was asked about the weird name of the place that sounds like a housing development (The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club).

Bamberger wrote:

He referred to it as Woods Jupiter and expects that’s what most people will call it. Mastroianni said he was told that Nike “has the rights to the name Tiger Woods,” which prevented Woods using his first and last name in the restaurant name. (Nike and Greenspan, Woods's spokesman, did not immediately respond to inquiries about the rights to use Woods's name in commercial ventures.)

Multiple outlets picked up this portion of the story, seizing on the fascinating notion of someone selling the rights to their name to a corporate partner.

After the story picked up steam, agent Mark Steinberg issued a statement to select news outlets denying the naming rights issue.  Rex Hoggard writes for GolfChannel.com:

“I can’t imagine how this could have been communicated this way. It is wholly inaccurate and categorically false,” Steinberg said. “Tiger owns his own name and always had. He can use his name in any form he chooses. Nike would confirm that if asked.” Later Wednesday, a Nike spokeswoman did just that, saying, "Nike does not own the name 'Tiger Woods.' We can confirm that Mark Steinberg's comments are accurate."

Startling words to see in print! "We can confirm that Mark Steinberg's comments are accurate."

Of course, we don't know how long Bamberger gave Nike and Steinberg to reply for comment, but had they replied promptly the story might have been different.

Wednesday
Mar112015

Video: That Pre-Historic Gator Sauntering As Golfers Play

Much was made of the gator hanging out at Englewood, Florida's Myakka Pines Golf Club and for good reason: look at that tail! (They call that a tail right?)

The course posted some nice shots, reposted here by GolfDigest.com's Luke Kerr-Dineen.

A video surfaced later in the day of the reptile.

Naturally, the best part is seeing how undisturbed the golfers appear.

Wednesday
Mar112015

One Southern California Course Closes, One Opens (Again)

Montesoro Golf & Social Club, once known as Rams Hill, has reopened after the beloved-by-all-who-played-it eastern San Diego County course closed due to water issues. Taking its placed on the inactive list is Malibu Golf Club, sitting on old Bob Hope-owned-acreage between the Pacific Ocean and Thousand Oaks, California.

Tod Leonard with the good news on the old Rams Hill (thanks reader Scott), bought for just $842,000 by investor and golf fan Bill Berkley, and resurrected for $10 million after the prior owners allowed the course to go to seed and sold off the irrigation heads.

Why would Berkley invest in such a troubled property?

“It’s just a very, very special place,” Berkley said. “If you play golf here, especially at dusk, and you look up at the shadows on the mountains, it’s such a beautiful backdrop.

“When I leave San Diego, I want to get out of the city and put that in my rear view mirror. Borrego gives you that. It’s those things, combined with a fabulous golf course that I think is one of the best in San Diego County.”

Samantha Masunaga of the LA Times reports on the closing of Malibu Golf Club, an 18-hole public course that has gone through various iterations, owners and visions for the future. The current ownership group filed for bankruptcy after severely over...something.

In its filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the central district of California, Malibu Associates said it had about $76 million in assets and about $47 million in liabilities. The club, which the company acquired in 2006, was valued at $75.9 million, according to the filing.

Wednesday
Mar112015

David Feherty: Tiger Gets No Privacy Or Respect

Heartwrenching comments from the CBS and Golf Channel announcer David Feherty, especially if you set them to Ave Maria.

Talking to AL.com's John Talty:

"For the last 18 years he has had a camera meet him in the parking lot and follow him to the parking lot when he's done," Feherty said. "It's a great shame, really, that we haven't given him any privacy or any kind of respect. Even this last episode when he was so bummed and deflated, and for the first time he gave the impression he felt like a basket case, we still followed him to his car and watched him struggle to get his shoes off and drive away.

"I mean, really? Enough. I never thought I'd feel sorry for him, but I do."

I felt sorry for the guys in the fitness trailer 40 feet away, whose path the media blocked, apparently preventing Woods from getting immediate treatment on his deactivated glutes.

Feherty also reveals his contract is up at the end of this year but, thankfully, he's not suggesting he wants to end his entertaining run of announcing and shows just yet.

Feherty: All of my contracts are up at the end of this year with the Golf Channel and CBS so I don't know where I'll be or what I'll be doing. It's kind of a strange time, but no matter what happens, I'll think of something. I've got to a stage in my life having been through what I've been through and gotten sober and healthy for the last eight-and-a-half years, nothing matters to me except the time I have left and how I spend it. It's nothing to do with money or anything else. It's just about time, it's all that matters. If I can spend that time enjoying myself, but helping other people, then I'll grab my hat and be happy."

AL: If you are still having fun, would you want to stay with CBS and the Golf Channel?

Feherty: Absolutely, I enjoy doing it. I'm constantly surprised. Can you believe I get paid for this shit?

Tuesday
Mar102015

Tour Players Love The Courses Favoring Their Games...Still

Not much has changed since Golf World published its poll/ranking of PGA Tour courses by players. They just love their "traditional" courses like Colonial and Harbour Town and Innisbrook, and have less affinity than you'd think for layouts that make them think like Augusta National and Doral. But mostly, they like the designs that fit their eye, not so much the ones they can separate their all important "I" from.

Rex Hoggard surveyed players for GolfChannel.com in the wake of all their Doral moaning. Making their complaining all the more troubling is how few book stops at their favorites.

Despite an impressive bump in field quality for this year’s event – five of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are playing the Valspar Championship – the event traditionally struggles to attract top players. Still, it was included on every player’s “dream” list.

Tuesday
Mar102015

Champions Challenge Returns At 2015 Open Championship

Cancelled in 2010 due to adverse weather, the R&A has announced they will be bringing back the Champions Challenge at St. Andrews this year. Played at 4 pm on the eve of The Open Championship, headliners include Tom Watson and Peter Thomson, who is celebrating the 60th anniversary of his Open win at The Old Course.

A wire story on the event, a four-hole team based shootout that plays 1, 2, 17 and 18. A concert will kick things off (I'm feeling bagpipes, but don't hold me to that).

Golf fans will also be delighted to see three-time Champions Gary Player, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods playing in the event alongside the 1963 and 1969 Champions, Bob Charles and Tony Jacklin, and more recent winners such as Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington.

Among the other champions confirmed so far are Louis Oosthuizen, who won The Open in 2010, the last time it was played in St Andrews, Stewart Cink, David Duval, Paul Lawrie, Mark O`Meara, Justin Leonard, John Daly and Sandy Lyle.

The occasion will also be used to pay tribute to Australia`s Kel Nagle, who won the Centenary Open in 1960 at St Andrews and who passed away in January at the age of 94.

Tuesday
Mar102015

Patrick Reed's Name-Clearing Affidavit: “Please note that this is not an affidavit.”

Patrick Reed and his lawyers cooked up a sitdown with Golf Channel's Todd Lewis to put to bed allegations by writer Shane Ryan of unlawful behavior while in college (theft namely).

The key to his name-clearing effort: affidavits from his former coaches at Georgia and Augusta State which, it turns out, weren't exactly sworn statements of fact.

Stephanie Wei, obtaining the documents through the Georgia Open Records Act, writes:

Well, the “affidavit” from Coach Haack has been obtained under the Georgia Open Records Act, which was made possible because Haack used university counsel. Note that when the document was sent, the Georgia legal affairs representative wrote, “Please note that this is not an affidavit.” (Emphasis mine.) According to a legal affairs officer, the distinction is that an affidavit would have to be sworn officially under oath and notarized for use in court—this document is far more informal. Haack himself confirmed that this is the only document he signed for Reed’s attorneys."

Wei goes on to reveal some word-parsing by Reed's Georgia coach that takes game-playing semantics to a new level, at least for college golf.

Tuesday
Mar102015

PGA Tour Resists Blood Testing Due To Performance Effects!?

While one can make a case for the PGA Tour's aversion to drug testing over the years since image is sales point #1, their case for not moving to blood testing is tied to performance impact, reports SI's Pete Madden.

Without blood testing, there is no way to detect the use of HGH, easily the most attractive possibility for a golfer seeking to recover faster from injuries or simply to look as young as Dr. Galea, Tiger's rehab man of choice. Though as of May that testing will take place because of the Olympics. Still, the reason for no blood testing obtained by Madden from Andy Levinson of the Tour is pretty funny. Especially since drug testing occurs after rounds.

“Taking blood draws from golfers’ arms might impact performance if it caused a hematoma or a player suffered anemia given the fine motor skills required on certain golf shots,” Levinson said.

And WADA isn't buying it. Never a good thing.

David Howman, WADA's director general, was skeptical of the PGA Tour’s rationale on not blood testing athletes.

“We’re not talking about a transfusion,” Howman said. “It’s a very small amount of blood. If any of the arguments against collecting blood had strong scientific or medical rational, I think we would have heard about it long before now.”

Tuesday
Mar102015

PGA's Grand Slam Moving To Trump National L.A.

With a major international airport just twenty-minutes away maybe the PGA of America's Grand Slam of Golf stands a better chance of luring the major winners to the toughest ticket to punch in golf. Most exciting of all is the showcasing of the PGA Junior League Championship on the same course the weekend prior.

Golf Channel replaces TNT a year before the contract expired, offering some hope that the annual telecast of the PGA Championship might get moved away from Turner's properties sooner than later.

For Immediate Release:

33rd PGA Grand Slam of Golf to be hosted by Trump National Golf Club – Los Angeles

Showcase of Major Champions Week to also feature PGA Junior League Golf Championship

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. (March 10, 2015) – Trump National Golf Club – Los Angeles, one of the most spectacular golf courses in the country, will host the 33rd PGA Grand Slam of Golf, Oct. 19-21, 2015. The showcase of major champions is part of a multi-year agreement between the PGA of America and the Trump Organization.

It marks the event’s first return to the U.S. mainland since 1993. Golf Channel will televise the event beginning this year.

In addition, PGA Grand Slam week at Trump National Golf Club – Los Angeles will feature the 2015 PGA Junior League Golf Championship, Oct. 17-19.

“The  PGA of America begins a new chapter in celebrating the winners of the Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship through an exciting partnership with The Trump Organization, the owner and operator of a large portfolio of exceptional golf properties,” said PGA of America President Derek Sprague. “The PGA Grand Slam of Golf has always been a showcase for the best in our game. We are pleased that Trump National Golf Club – Los Angeles will provide a great challenge to the game’s finest players.” 

The PGA Grand Slam of Golf features the most difficult qualification requirement in the game – a major championship.

“We are thrilled to welcome the PGA to Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles--- the perfect location for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf,” said Donald Trump, Chairman and President of the Trump Organization. “It’s an incredible course situated on dramatic bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and will be a challenging and exciting test for the best players in the world. The combination of the course itself and stunning location will no doubt be a major draw for spectators and television viewers alike.”

Golf Channel’s coverage of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf will air live on Tuesday, Oct. 20 and Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET and include primetime replays. Golf Channel’s coverage will be led by 29-time Emmy Award-winning producer Tommy Roy. Additionally, Golf Channel will cover Monday’s Pro-Am, as well as live news coverage on Morning Drive and Golf Central for both the PGA Grand Slam of Golf and PGA Junior League Golf Championships.

I'll be reporting both developments on Golf Channel's Golf Central at 6 pm ET.

Tuesday
Mar102015

Video: Matty Golfs Inside The Golf & Ski Warehouse

The mononymous Matty is back with his now-signature post putt reactions. As the Vermont spring takes its time arriving, Matty stays indoors and enlists Shaun Cayhill of the Golfskiwarehouse.com to help curb the winter blues. (Matty's previous epic is here.)

Monday
Mar092015

Anchoring Overrated? Adam Scott's Putting At Doral

During the debate over anchored putters, many wondered how the final year would play out: should players transition after milking their long putter, or should they throw in the towel and make the transition ASAP.

The number of odd-ball grips turning up at PGA Tour events suggests most are laying down and giving in to the forthcoming ban. No players in the WGC at Doral employed the long blade, according to a report by James Corrigan and Cam Cole.

While it's only one week, Alex Myers reports on Adam Scott's strong start with a standard-length Odyssey.

Over 72 holes at Doral, Scott only three-putted once, and he made 87 percent of his putts from inside 10 feet. That included a perfect 52 of 52 from five feet and in -- a range where anchoring, in theory, helps a golfer. But Scott was good from any range as evidenced by his daily average of holing more than 84 feet worth of putts, which put him 15th in the field.

Monday
Mar092015

Writers Rushing To Rory's Defense In His Time Of Imperfection!

My tooth hurts reading these moving defenses of Rory McIlroy and a sense of unease envelopes me as I sit at my glass desk, but I can't figure out why?

Anyway, The Scotsman's Martin Dempster offers the most level-headed defense of the club hurler against charges that the World No. 1 gets a free pass while Tiger Woods would be villified if he ever threw a club in a lake.

For starters, the 25-year-old was immediately self-deprecating. He knew he shouldn’t have done it, held up his hands and injected some humour as he was questioned about what had happened. It was exactly the way the matter needed to be handled, even though there has been whining from some of our American cousins about how the reaction would have been different if Tiger Woods had been at the centre of such an incident when he was world No 1.

Unlike Woods, McIlroy doesn’t have a history of inappropriate behaviour on the golf course. He doesn’t spit on greens and shows a more human side to youngsters – the ones who need to be influenced at a time when the game is fighting with other sports and pastimes more than ever – than Woods has done at any time in his career.

I’m not saying Rory is an angel. He’s made mistakes and will make more in years to come. It’s nonsense to suggest, though, that what he did in a fit of pique on Friday is harmful for golf.

Derek Lawrenson was more blunt in his assessment of American journalists suggesting there was a double standard.

Sections of the American press are wondering why Rory McIlroy was given a largely free pass for tossing his three-iron into the water last week while the criticism that would have followed Tiger Woods, if he’d done it, ‘would have blown up the internet’.

So let’s see if we can explain the difference. At the age of 25 Woods never engaged with spectators, rarely signed autographs, was frequently seen spitting on the side of greens and treated the press with barely concealed contempt.

McIlroy acknowledges the crowds, devotes hours of his time to signing autographs and spends way longer than he needs trying to give an insight to the media. Reap what you sow, it’s called.

So remember kids: give good press conference, don't spit, sign a few autographs and you can act like a child and be loved. Got that Sergio (in non-Ryder Cup years) and Tiger?

With nearly 1000 votes, 85% of you said Tiger would have been villified had he committed a similar offense.

Monday
Mar092015

Doral Ratings Down 24%, Still Weekend's Second Most-Watched

Paulsen at SportsMediaWatch.com notes that while WGC Cadillac at Doral was down from last year and down even more from two years ago (41%), the Sunday telecast still was the weekend's second most watched.

It finished runner-up to the NASCAR telecast and tied with Duke-North Carolina, which was broadcast over a shorter 2-hour window.

The item also includes an interesting graph showing ratings for this WGC event over the last thirteen years.

Final round coverage of the WGC-Cadillac Championship drew a 2.6 overnight rating on NBC Sunday afternoon, down 24% from last year (3.4) and down 41% from Woods’ victory in 2013 (4.4). The 2.6 is the lowest for final round coverage of the tournament since 2011, and the third-lowest since it moved to Doral in 2007.

Monday
Mar092015

Our Game Isn't So Dull On TV Files...Disc Golf Telecast Edition

We hear a lot about how dull golf is to watch and even us longtime watchers get irritated when telecasts show an endless reel of players knocking in three-footers.

But after watching a few minutes of the 2015 Disc Golf Memorial Championship final round--a solid production and fascinating variation on the game--I will stand by golf's ability to be interesting. Especially when you see disc golfers knock in a three footer (just watch a bit and you'll see).

Anyway, no need to watch it all and as I said, kudos to the production team and announcers for the passion. But this is a nice reminder for those who want to suggest the millennial reinventions of the sport are guaranteed to be more exciting.


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