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  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    by Chris Millard
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

If I wanted to know how I played, I awaited the next day's account in The Times. With what was therein written I was content, for here was the truth of things. I want nothing more than to be remembered by posterity in the words of Bernard Darwin.  J.H. TAYLOR




Ernie Els Eager To Make Rio In 2016

Tony Jimenez talks to Ernie Els who is growing eager to make the 2016 Olympics and maybe even allowing himself "the thought of carrying the South African flag into the stadium."

Jimenez writes:

"I never thought when I started playing this game that I would be standing here talking of playing in the Olympics but I'm really getting excited at being on the same international stage as those stars of track and field," said Els.

"It would be wonderful just to spend time with them in the environment of an Olympic Games."

Els is currently 24th in the Olympic ranking that essentially tracks who the field will consist of based on the criteria for eligibility. If you haven't looked in a while it's worth checking out.


GMac: More 9-Hole Par-3 Courses, Please

Graeme McDowell files his year-end column with the help of Iain Carter and covers an array of topics.

Besides his take on Rory, the Ryder Cup and Poulter, worth noting is his desire to see the game more kid friendly.

We have to make the game cheaper, more accessible, faster and more fun. Growing up in Ireland, one of the things was how cheap and accessible it was. Just look at how many successful players Ireland has these days and I don't think that's a coincidence.

When I go to different parts of the world I see that golf is still elitist. It doesn't encourage people who can't afford to play. We need nine-hole par-three courses like the one I grew up on. I don't understand why we don't see more of that, especially in the United States.

We need ways to bring the masses in and to do that we have to make it fun, sexy and cool. We have the young icons - the likes of Rory, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth - and now it is a case of leveraging that to boost the game.


Thanksgiving Re-Broadcast: "Jack's First Major"

On Thanksgiving day Fox is re-broadcasting the USGA documentary "1962 U.S. OPEN: JACK’S FIRST MAJOR.”

The documentary is narrated by Peter Coyote and from the highly-respected Ross Greenburg Productions, longtime producers of HBO's award-winning sports films.

Check your local listings. Mine has it listed for a noon PT airing.

A preview:


Como: “The idea of having a person rely on a teacher is bad.”

Great stuff in the Monday's Golf World from Tim Rosaforte profiling Chris Como, Tiger's new swing consultant.

No matter what happens with Tiger's game, Como is a refreshing story, rising from the range picker at Westlake golf course to driving the country in a beat up car worth a smidgen of his Trackman.



Video: Weiskopf Tours Back9 Around TPC Scottsdale

Architect Tom Weiskopf tours Back9 Network's Shane Bacon around his remodeled TPC Scottsdale in this video feature.

The story includes some drone footage of the course as well as Weiskopf taking us through the major changes to green complexes and tees. I have to say that I'm struggling to not judge until seeing it in person or during the (final?) Waste Management-sponsored Phoenix Open in 2015, but I have to say it does not look better. Weiskopf touts the new uber-white sand-flashed bunkers compared to the old desert brown grassed face pits built by he and Jay Morrish (who is not mentioned in the piece, sadly). But the new Augusta-style bunkers look gastly in the desert landscape where the old desert browns didn't jump out so blatantly.

The new par-3 4th looks particularly uninspired, with a Mickey Mouse-shaped fronting bunker that looks beemed in from Disney World. I really hope it looks better on the ground than it does from the air.

Anyway, on that positive note...


Pic: Luke Guthrie Tries The Beach Angle On Pebble's 18th

Scott Langley Tweeted this photo of fellow Illini Luke Guthrie playing a recovery shot from Pebble Beach's 18th Sunday when the tide was way down. It was the Callaway Invitational final round, where Tommy Armour III beat Lee Janzen in sudden death.

Guthrie, who struggled to a final round 77 in the Callaway, replied that "it was a great angle down there. Golf is all about angles Lang."



Graphic Images: Brookside Golf Course Day After UCLA-USC

Nice catch by Brentley Romine who saw Grace Lee's Tweets from Brookside Golf Course, where cars park for Rose Bowl games and where the trask crew still had a ways to go following UCLA's drubbing of USC Saturday night. (Lee is mother to LPGA player and Pepperdine alum Danielle Kang.)

Of course, alums of the two schools could also just not use the ground as their trashcan...that'd never happen at a Pepperdine game.

If we had a football team.

My favorite:




"This guy will try to get Tiger a putting coach, a statistician, a green reading guy, etc. It’s his worse choice ever."

Hank Gola filed for the New York Daily News on Tiger's announcement of a new swing "consultant" in Chris Como.

He tracked down a trusted tour caddie for thoughts on Como, who previously has worked with Aaron Baddeley. The review was not flattering.

But according to a veteran caddie familiar with Como’s teaching methods, Woods, who many feel got too technical and complicated under Foley, is headed down a similar path with Como.

Como, said the caddie, is “way worse than Foley, way too technical. This guy will try to get Tiger a putting coach, a statistician, a green reading guy, etc. It’s his worse choice ever. He can turn a guy from an athlete into a golf geek.”

I'm not sure if that's a fair assessment of either teacher, as Foley could talk a highly technical game but when looking at a student on Trackman and offering feedback, his instructions are shockingly basic.

James Corrigan noted that so little was known of Como, the world crashed his website...on a Saturday.

Como is relatively unknown within the trade as shown by the fact that when Woods announced on Twitter that “Chris will consult and work with me during the year”, the rush to discover more about the 36-year-old from Texas caused his personal website to crash.


Suzy Whaley Elected PGA Of America Secretary

This aligns the Connecticut golf instructor to be the first female president of the PGA of America in four years. But not before Derek Sprague and Paul Levy precede her. Honorary past president Allen Wronowski will serve another two years in that role after Ted Bishop's ouster, a move confirmed at the annual meeting.

Rex Hoggard's Golf Central report from Indianapolis, and the full press release:

Derek Sprague Elected
39th President of the PGA of America

Delegates Vote Paul Levy Vice President, Suzy Whaley Secretary

INDIANAPOLIS – (November 22, 2014) Derek Sprague of Malone, New York, was elected the 39th President of the PGA of America today at the Association's 98th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. Sprague is the PGA General Manager and Director of Golf at Malone Golf Club. Elected to PGA membership in 1993, Sprague has held leadership roles at both the National and Section PGA levels since 1998. Sprague previously served as PGA Secretary from 2010-12, and as Vice President from 2012 until Oct. 24, 2014, when he was named PGA Interim President. He also previously served as the District 1 Director on the National PGA Board from 2007-10.

Succeeding Sprague as Vice President is Paul Levy of Indian Wells, California, who served the past two years as Secretary and held the roles of Secretary and Interim Vice President from Oct. 24, 2014 until today.

Suzy Whaley of Farmington, Connecticut, was elected Secretary. Sprague, Levy and Whaley will each serve two-year terms.

The Board of Directors extended the role of Honorary President Allen Wronowski of Bel Air, Maryland, for two additional years.

In addition, three new members of the PGA Board of Directors were sworn in at the PGA Annual Meeting. The new PGA Board members are Jeff Drimel of St. Michael, Minnesota; Tim Fries of Kenmore, New York; and Kyle Heyen of Arvada, Colorado. The new PGA District Directors each will serve three-year terms.

The PGA Board of Directors is composed of the Association's President, Vice President, Secretary, Honorary President and 17 Directors. The Directors include representatives from each of the PGA's 14 districts, two Independent Directors and a member of the PGA Tour. New District Directors are elected by their local PGA Sections.

Whaley survived a potential misstep when she branded embroiled president Ted Bishop a sexist, then recanted her assessment.


18-Year-Old Posts Course Record, Within 2 At Aussie Masters

Mark Hayes with the outstanding story of 18-year-old amateur Lucas Herbert posting a course record 65 during Australian Masters third round play.

With host site Metropolitan near his home course Commonwealth, Herbert's move into contention for Sunday's final round had the place buzzing.

“I felt like I did them pretty proud today,” he said with enormous understatement before admitting is was the best he’d played in a pro event with his family in the gallery.

“I just tried to make sure they were not as nervous as what I was. They were trying to say, keep it going, but I said, `You don't have to tell me what to do too much, I've kind of got this one under control’.”

Herbert hugged his “great parents” after the round, then turned his attention to the rapidly emerging band of Golf Australia amateurs in the national squad, particularly the Victorian contingent with whom he’s so close."

Herbert trails Paul Spargo by two, with many others in contention, including Geoff Ogilvy three back.

The final round airs live on Golf Channel starting at 9:30 ET.


Tiger Has (Another) Coach! Tiger Has (Another) Coach!

Nothing like news to warm your wintery Saturday.

Woods Tweeted the news out on Saturday dashing the hopes of those hoping he'd go it alone for a while.

Steve DiMeglio at USA Today notes that a statement was also released:

In an email release, Woods said he was introduced to Como this summer by long-time friend and former Stanford teammate Notah Begay.

"Subsequently we had several good conversations about the golf swing," Woods said. "I've worked with him about a month since I started practicing. Chris will consult and work with me during the year."

The Tweet from Tiger: 

You can follow Como on Twitter and search past Tweets for deep, hidden meaning into how he'll influence Tiger's swing.

Anyone want to speculate on Como's inevitable Tiger knickname? Comosy? Comesy? Chrissy? Eh...need to keep thinking about this one.


“Have You Heard of Back9 Network?”

Pete Madden of SI/Golf Plus files the first in-depth look at the Back9 Network headquarters and the channel's vision since debuting last month on DirecTV.

The story covers quite a bit of ground, with quotes from CEO Charles Cox explaining how the channel intends to be different than Golf Channel by focusing on lifestyle content. They've also had to overcome image problems created the founder and his now former-wife.

“I think the brand has evolved a little blast 120 days,” he says. “Whether we knew it at the time or not, we were pretty polarizing. You’re Rodney Dangerfield in the clubhouse. You’re not winning the club championship. You’re just obnoxious and loud and you’re not even funny.”

Madden also previews on a cartoon "about a foursome of hapless hackers" debuting in 2015 and suggests that it may not help golf appeal to women.


Catching Up With Ted Bishop...

As the PGA of America holds its annual meeting in Indianapolis near former PGA President Ted Bishop's home golf facility, Alex Miceli travels to The Legends to catch up with the ousted leader.

Miceli finds an upbeat Bishop looking ahead to the 2015 golf season.

This caught my eye...

Bishop has heard from many in the aftermath of his removal, inside and outside of the PGA of America. Some of what he heard is disquieting, but he is committed to taking everything he hears in stride. Bishop says he learned who his friends really are, not just from the firing but also from what occurred at Gleneagles and the Ryder Cup.

“From a PGA member standpoint, it's been appreciation for what I did as president of the PGA of America and how I affected,” Bishop said. “I think, a lot of PGA members' lives, at least from a relate-ability standpoint.”

Bishop said he felt as if he were on an island on the plane ride back from Scotland.


Video: Even Rory Cold Tops One Now And Then

Yep, the world No. 1 did it. So take comfort. From round two of the European Tour broadcast of the DP World Championship in Dubai:


Today In The Fight To Stop The Rio Olympic Golf Course, Files

You may recall that 23 days ago the Associated Press in Rio reported that developers of the Olympic Golf Course had five days to comply with a judge's order to move three holes of the 2016 course. This was news to the parties building the course and remains so (full disclosure, as you know I've worked with architect Gil Hanse who has had to sadly watch this war on Rio golf).

Not surprisingly, the five days passed and the judge's order never was actually published, an event that went unnoticed by reporters in Rio. Yet the Associated Press has stuck to its story that the course is being built illegally, with Jenny Barchfield and Stephen Wade reporting that prosecutors in Rio have filed a brief to stop the course construction, even as the judge has refused to do so over the many days when the very same judge had been reportedly planning to shut down the project within days (but did not despite the AP report).

Meanwhile construction has continued and is near completion. Mercifully.


U.S. Open Train Arrival Option Ruled A No-Go

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that yet another element of the experience expected at Chambers Bay for the 2015 U.S. Open (clubhouse, ampitheater, dock) has been ruled out.

This time it was the USGA not feeling secure enough about a planned rail line drop off at the course that was hoped to handle 6,000 spectators a day. Instead, all will make a 17-mile shuttle bus drive.

“We couldn’t ensure a great spectator experience based on the limited amount of people we could get on the trains,’’ said Danny Sink, USGA’s on-site championship director for the tournament, scheduled for June 15-21 at Chambers Bay Golf Course in Pierce County.

Instead, the USGA will continue with its existing plan to have 11,000 parking spaces available at its main locations in Puyallup and Lakewood, Sink said. Golf fans will then be shuttled up to 17 miles by bus to the University Place course.

The inability to get a grasp on costs was a major concern for one of golf’s four major tournaments in the world.

“This is a tournament for profit,’’ Sound Transit board member Pete von Reichbauer said. “It’s not nonprofit. They want more knowns than unknowns.’’

Sink said Sound Transit “bent over backwards for us’’ and did all they could to make the plan work during 16 months of discussions.


TopGolf Looking For 450 Of San Antonio's Best

This MySanAntonio blog item says TopGolf is looking to hire 450 People-Americans for its new San Antonio location.

The spot opens in January and at 65,000 square feet and $15 million in cost, will surely be a popular place to check out for the 2015 GCSAA Show attendees.


Common Ground? Fuzzy Once Sued Over Satire

Thanks to reader Ken for the reminder of Fuzzy Zoeller's lawsuit against Florida Today columnist Peter Kerasotis, who used satire to put words in Fuzzy's mouth. The suit came just five months after he'd made his infamous remarks about Tiger Woods at Augusta National.

Mark Hyman had the story in Sports Business Journal, though I couldn't find a follow up on how the case turned out. I'm guessing not well, since satire is alive and well.

The golfer seeks unspecified damages from the defendants, claiming the column was an invasion of privacy and has harmed his "character, reputation, friendships, emotional state and financial interests." Lawyers for Zoeller and the newspaper did not return phone calls last week.

In court documents, Kerasotis and the Florida newspaper, who have asked the court to dismiss the suit, acknowledge that the columnist didn't interview Zoeller and that the golfer never uttered the quotes attributed to him. They include observations about amateur phenom Matt Kuchar ("You talking about the kid with the Howdy Doody smile?"), veteran Gay Brewer ("What kinda name is Gay for a man?") and Mark Calcavecchia ("Maybe if he won ...we can have spaghetti and meat balls at the Champions dinner next year.")

Maybe Tiger should call Fuzzy for some legal advice?


Feherty On Tiger, Jenkins, Mean-Spirited Satire

Ryan Lavner sums up David Feherty's appearance on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday where the CBS/Golf Channel funnyman who once dubbed Monty "Mrs. Doubtfire" suggests Dan Jenkins was mean-spirited in his column. (I haven't even begun to crack open his wonderful books where skewering takes place...sentence by sentence!).

Anyway, from Lavner's report:

“I think I would be upset,” Feherty said on the “Dan Patrick Show”. “It was mean-spirited and not particularly funny.”

On Tuesday, Woods penned an impassioned response to the parody, which he described as a “grudge-fueled piece of character assassination.”

He does go on to criticize Woods for not being good at representing himself well but is otherwise very much in Tiger's camp on this one.

Lavner posts the full clip of the appearance recorded in advance of Patrick taping an appearance on Feherty, set for airing in December.


Poll: American Golf's Most Appealing Network Broadcast Team?

Now that Fox Sports has rounded out their USGA broadcast team, we have a pretty decent idea where the four networks handling major championships stand heading into 2015. (Since Golf Channel has a rotating group it's hard to include them in this poll, so we'll stick to the major networks and men's major broadcast teams for now.)

Here's the breakdown of roles as far as I can tell.

Jim Nantz (CBS)
Dan Hicks (NBC)
Mike Tirico (ESPN)
Joe Buck (Fox)

Lead Analyst/18th hole
Nick Faldo (CBS)
Johnny Miller (NBC)
Paul Azinger (ESPN)
Greg Norman (Fox)

Analyst/17th hole
Ian Baker-Finch (CBS)
Gary Koch (NBC)
Curtis Strange (ESPN)
Brad Faxon (Fox)

Analyst/16th hole
Gary McCord (CBS)
Peter Jacobsen (NBC)
Scott Van Pelt (ESPN)
Steve Flesch (Fox)

On Course Reporter (lead)
David Feherty (CBS)
Roger Maltbie (NBC)
Andy North (ESPN)
Juli Inkster (Fox)

On Course Reporter #2
Peter Kostis (CBS)
Mark Rolfing (NBC)
Dottie Pepper/Bill Kratzert/Judy Rankin (ESPN)
TBD (Fox)

Others in the bullpen/interviews/studio roles
Verne Lundquist, Peter Oosterhuis, Matt Gogel (CBS)
Jimmy Roberts, Rich Lerner, Notah Begay (NBC)
Tom Rinaldi, Peter Alliss, Tom Weiskopf, David Duval (ESPN)
Holly Sonders, Corey Pavin, David Fay (Fox)

Back-up Play-by-Play
Bill Macatee (CBS)
Terry Gannon/Rich Lerner (NBC)
Sean McDonough (ESPN)
Shane O'Donoghue (Fox)

I don't want to sway the voting with comments for now because I'm curious what you all think (my views will be determined by an authentic match play my head...that's right, Tirico v. Buck and Nantz v. Hicks should be a doozies). 

So for now, you've seen the names, you've seen their work, which group on paper looks most appealing to you? Here's the poll:

Which network's broadcast team is the most appealing? free polls

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