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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
  • 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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

The true links have an intimacy with the waves; they are much on the same level, in close relation, almost cousins and part of the ocean if you can imagine sea turned into land or the land suffering sea change into something rich and rare.  H.N. WETHERED




Video: Old Course Fifth And Sixth Hole Flyovers


Get Used To It: Tillinghast Going Into The Hall of Fame!

As Monday's big ceremony looms, the long overdue arrival of A.W. Tillinghast is finally hitting home with features like this one starring Tony Parker, World Golf Hall of Fame historian, talking with Todd Lewis about Tillinghast on Morning Drive.

The segment:

Monday's ceremony will come from historic Younger Hall in St. Andrews!


Holly Sonders "Reassigned" To Postgame Show Role

I always thought Holly Sonders was hired by Fox Sports to be their Erin Andrews in the studio and sidelines, and after tough reviews for her U.S. Open interviews along with the horrible effort by Curt Menifee, the former Golf Channel star is headed back to the studio. Where she was always meant to be?!

Aaron Kasinitz reports.

"We're not reassigning Holly because she did a bad job," Fox's coordinating producer Mark Loomis said. "I think Holly's been great for us. It's just that she can't do both the postgame show and the interviews."

The show Sonders is set to host will be on-site at the Lancaster Country Club.


Caddie Excused After Photographing USGA Course Setup Doc

The caddie to KPMG PGA Championship runner-up Sei Young-Kim lost his USGA-issued credential after taking photos of course setup documents while visiting the U.S. Women's Open rules trailer.

From a GolfNewsNet item on Paul Fusco.

“Paul Fusco was removed from the premises after being found taking photos of an internal USGA course set-up document,” said the USGA in a statement to Golf News Net. “The player for whom he is caddieing, Sei Young Kim, is still in the championship field.”

Fusco has been working with the 22-year-old Kim since the LPGA Q-school back in December.


PGA Of America Pulls Grand Slam Of Golf From Trump L.A.

A statement issued by the PGA of America:

PGA of America Statement regarding PGA Grand Slam of Golf
The PGA of America met with Donald J. Trump yesterday and the parties mutually agreed that it is in the best interest of all not to conduct the 2015 PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National -- Los Angeles.  The PGA of America is in the process of exploring options, including a venue for its annual PGA Junior League Golf Championship, and will comment further at the appropriate time. 

 Here's my take earlier this year when it was announced.


Rory McIlroy On Playing Football In 2014: "Probably not a good idea to play anymore"

Several stories noted Rory McIlroy's comments after spraining his ankle during a "kickabout" in late 2013.

Here's the full transcript from the March, 2014 WGC Cadillac Championship:

Q.  When you went over in that game of associated football, was it a worry?

RORY McILROY:  No, it wasn't a worry.  It was a worry, I went over on it, and I went to net and I shouldn't have went to net either; I was standing up about half an hour and it really hurt.  It was fine.  I stayed off it for a week and it was okay.

Q.  Did you ban yourself from playing now?

RORY McILROY:  Yeah, sort of‑‑ probably not a good idea to play anymore (smiling).

McIlroy's silly ways earned him a free pass from Fleet Street.

Kevin Garside for The Independent:

McIlroy was engaged in nothing more than downtime, the kind that prevents him going mad as a result of the demands associated with the goldfish bowl in which he is required to spend his working life.

He was unlucky, that’s all. Clearly, if he hadn’t played, he wouldn’t be injured. But take that argument to its logical conclusion and he would never leave his house.

Two weeks before The Open at St. Andrews with his game in top form? I'm fine with house arrest.

Ewan Murray for The Guardian:

Would Jack Nicklaus, or Woods, have stopped playing other sports? The answer is of course no. Woods, his former coach Hank Haney revealed in a detailed account of the 14-times major winner’s character, would be more prone to dangerous expeditions with navy seals.

Nicklaus’s downtime was more quietly spent. He, though, lived in an era and environment far detached from the global superstar of 2015 where every move is closely monitored. In an endearing attempt to defy such interest, McIlroy makes it his business to try to lead as normal a life as possible. It is what makes him such enjoyable company.

He attended a Neil Diamond concert in Belfast last week with friends he has retained since childhood. Rather than being criticised for the supposed recklessness of his Saturday pursuits, McIlroy should be credited with continuing to behave like every other 26-year-old would like to.

No 26-year-old I know would be caught dead at a Neil Diamond concert. But I'm sure the Sweet Caroline singalong was fun.

James Corrigan of The Telegraph sounded the least enthused about McIlroy's injury.

Predictably, question marks flashed across the internet as to why he was playing football so soon before a major. It is not the first time McIlroy has injured himself in a kickabout. In December 2013, he sprained his ankle, but was only sidelined for a week. But when asked soon after whether he would ban himself from playing he replied: “Yeah, sort of - probably not a good idea to play anymore.”

However, McIlroy has always expressed his wish “to live as normal a life as possible” and his down-to-earth attitude is regarded as one of his charms. Alas, it seems his desire to stay real will come at a huge cost.

Philip Reid offered a rundown of other golfer freak injuries.


Gullane And The Scottish Open Arrive!

The Scotsman's Martin Dempster sets the table for the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, which kicks off Thursday at historic Gullane Golf Club on Scotland's Golf Coast. The East Lothian three-links complex hosts the Scottish Open for the first time, and though it'll take a day or two to recover from the blow of losing Rory McIlroy to dumb injury luck, plenty of star power will create enough intrigue along with the joys of big-time European Tour golf at Gullane.

Dempster writes:

The history of the Royal & Ancient game in the picturesque East Lothian village dates back to 1650. Then, it was the weavers of Dirleton and Aberlady who played there in an annual match. Now, it’s some of the world’s best golfers trying to weave their magic in one of the European Tour’s biggest events.

Gullane, of course, is no stranger to hosting top-class tournaments. It has staged Final Qualifying for the Open Championship on numerous occasions, while a whole host of leading amateur events, both for men and women, have also been fought out over this iconic chunk of golfing terrain. This, though, will be by far its biggest week in the sporting spotlight and what an exciting event is in prospect.

One of the big concerns going into the week: how will the course play? Historically, Gullane has had robust roughs since the rabbits haven't been around to keep them tidy, and in a follow up to his first story filed, Dempster reports on early rave reviews for the course and says that the fertile soils and ideal weather has sprouted native grasses a tad denser than hoped for (at least by some).

I’m surprised he didn’t comment on the rough because it is certainly on the juicy side. Not necessarily planned, though. It was actually quite light until a mixture of wet and warm weather in the past week or so changed its appearance. It’s almost waist-high in bits, in fact, though not in the areas where these boys will be hitting it.

“The rough has stiffened up over the last couple of weeks, but it looks denser than it actually is,” said tournament director Mike Stewart. “You’ve got the tall fescues, and that gives the impression of it being 
really thick. Once you are in it, though, it is more wispy than dense until you get further out into the long stuff. If you miss the fairway and are in the second cut, apart from the odd pocket here and there it’s not too bad.”

By the sounds of things, the locals will be happy that the course is going to be a tad tougher than was perhaps planned, bearing in mind that the European Tour – rightly so – don’t want players feeling as though they are being hammered into submission the week before the Open Championship.

The club's official website is worth a look and links to this flyover preview of the course:

My photos from 2012 and 2014, including Archie Baird's museum, the Old Clubhouse and The Golf Inn...


“Golf Should Dump Trump—And Do It Now”

That’s Global Golf Post editor Mike Purkey’s take in this week’s issue, taking an unusually strong stance for the normally conservative publication. Purkey is suggesting golf’s governing bodies get out of their contracts with Trump owned courses because Trump “deserves to lose his seat at the table of world golf.”

Meanwhile Gawker has compiled a list of lost business for Trump, which now includes ESPN after the Worldwide Leader became the second charity fundraiser to leave Trump National Los Angeles.

We talked Trump on Morning Drive and as I note late in the interview with Gary Williams, the impact this is having on Trump's children, who have worked hard to build the family golf business behind the scenes, has to be profound.


R.I.P. Jerry Weintraub

One of Hollywood's last moguls was a huge golf nut too. He held court at places like Madison Club and produced several popular films, including the Ocean's Eleven franchise. He golfed with Presidents Bush and Reagan and Sinatra too.

Jerry Weintraub died of heart failure at age 77.

Jerry Tarde recently wrote in Golf Digest about playing in a sixsome with Weintraub at Madison Club.

Golf in America's Jim Gray profiled Weintraub and talked to him about his storied career and philanthropy along with his love of the game.


Video: Old Course Flyover, Third and Fourth Holes

After the start it's easy to get careless on these two deceptive holes.

Cartgate (Out) is so named for the Cartgate bunker guarding the green shared with the fifteenth hole. The hole is really the boilerplate of all good strategic holes: flirt with the hazards and boundary down the right, improve the angle to the green. Bail out left toward the fifteenth fairway and the approach becomes more difficult.

The flyover:

Ginger Beer was named for Daw Anderson (who oversaw the Old Course and had a shop next to Old Tom). He operated a ginger beer cart on the 4th for approximately 20 years. Daw also sold balls and food and clubs.

You can read about Daw here a bit and see a stellar photo of his stand. Take that, cart girls!

The 419-yard hole features a lay-up for today's players and mercifully, no changes to the mound short of the green which was under assault during the recent planned changes to the Old Course.

The flyover:


Video: Jordan Talks Playing St. Andrews On His Simulator

I'm not sure how the Golf Gods will view this revelation.

We'll know in a couple of weeks, I suppose!

Talking to Golf Channel's Angela Hamann at his AJGA event as he kicks off his run for the Grand Slam after winning the year's first two majors.

“Obviously, it’s not the same as being there,” he said in a Golf Channel interview, “but at least I get to see some of the holes so when I get there I’m not too surprised.”


Some Pre-St. Andrews Open Championship (Podcast) Listening...

I've been preparing for The Open Championship by reading Kevin Cook's Tommy's Honor and the new Roger McStravick new book on Old Tom Morris and St Andrews, while supplementing the reading with various podcasts. Whether you're going or not, there is simply no excuse for not embracing the occasion to read, listen and consume all things St. Andrews.

If you aren't familiar with Ru Macdonald's Scottish Golf Travel podcast, make sure you subscribe wherever podcasts are subscribe to so you can get all the latest on Scotland golf.

If you want some St. Andrews aura in advance of The Open, check out his show about playing there as a single.

In episode 52, he talks to recent U. of St. Andrews graduate Graylyn Loomis about the St Andrews courses.

Graylyn also appeared on this show to talk about a trip to St. Andrews.

And on Tom Morris Day, Ru talked to David Joy about the fouding father of the modern game. In case you didn't know it, Old Tom's kind of a big deal there.

Also, we had Scott Macpherson on State of The Game to talk about his book on the Royals and about his interest in the evolution of St Andrews. Scott also took part in Q&A's here around the last Open to enlighten us on his St. Andrews book. Here and here.

This should keep you busy class. And best of all? There's no quiz to take. Just listening pleasure.


McIlroy Ruptures Ankle Ligaments, Open In Doubt

New contract language phrase of the year: no kickabouts before a major.

A Sky report on Rory McIlroy rupturing his left ankle ligaments during a "kickabout" with friends over the weekend.

He's not ruling out The Open at St. Andrews.


Streb Putts Into Playoff With A Wedge, Then Putter Gets Shut Out

Alex Myers has a nice wrap-up on Robert Streb's amazing Greenbrier Classic run using his 56-degree Vokey to hole huge back nine putts, only to get into the three-man playoff with a replacement putter where he never got the chance to use the backup blade.

The wrap up from The Loop and video of one of Streb's wedge-putts, this one at the 13th hole:

Danny Lee bested David Hearn in the playoff, earning both spots in The Open Championship. James Hahn and Greg Owen also earned spots.


SI Confidential Not Too Impressed With Golf's Reaction To Trump

The SI/ Confidential roundtable tackled The Donald this week and the reaction wasn't pretty.

With the golf world moving its attention to the Scottish Open (where Trump is rumored to be a future site host) and The Open (possible future Trump Turnberry date), the issue won't go away for the four families that issued a statement lightly scolding the Presidential candidate for his less-than-inclusive comments.

The entire thing is worth reading as always, but this was particularly fun:

LYNCH: Trump's conduct calls to mind a zoo chimpanzee that delights in throwing its feces at anyone unwise enough to pause and pay it attention. One can't really be surprised at the actions of the chimp, but it does make one question the judgment of those willing to stand next to it in their smart blazers, hoping not to get spattered during the spectacle.

BAMBERGER: Insufficient. You get thrown out of the NBA for far less.

PASSOV: For now, that statement is sufficient. Donald Trump has been very good for golf in the past several years. During a time of waning popularity, he has helped prop it up with mostly positive publicity. He's such an easy target right now. Let's give it a little time to see if he clarifies, retracts or otherwise amends his position on the country of Mexico and its citizens. Otherwise, there's going to be massive collateral damage between Trump and the USGA, PGA of America and the PGA and LPGA Tours.

VAN SICKLE: Trump will get enough sanctions in the court of public opinion, which will shortly end his pretend presidential run.

SENS: It's the milquetoast response of an industry that would probably like to forget that Trump has become such a major player in it. Whether he actually believes everything he says is hard to gauge, because his entire brand is built on drawing attention to himself, no matter how much ridicule he attracts. Trump the person and Trump the persona have become so intermingled that you wonder whether he even knows where the line between them lies. In terms of the Tours and the USGA, the right response would be a distancing of business relations. But the most satisfying response would be if the entire world ignored him. Trump can withstand all kinds of other sanctions. But he might not be able to endure that.


Video: Old Course At St. Andrews First & Second Hole Flyovers

The opener is all on Old Tom Morris, who made the first hole into what we've come to know as one of the game's great starts with its wide fairway and green guarded by the burn. Old Tom widened things out to the right in course modifications that also included some bizarro burying of old ships to shore up the course from flooding (let's agree to not go there).

The flyover:

And the second hole features two new absurd jacuzzi bunkers on the epic green that I am happy to predict will make this hole play easier (scoring average-wise) in The Open (here are the 2010 averages). Give modern players definition where they didn't have it before and you almost guarantee making things easier for them.

The flyover:


Video: Kostis On Tiger's Swing On Range Vs. Course 

Here's a fascinating look at Tiger's swing on the 2015 Greenbrier Classic's range and then on the course by CBS's Peter Kostis.

Take a look:


Minnesota Balking At Trade Outs For Extra Ryder Cup Security

AP’s Brian Bakst has obtained emails, notes and other documents that demonstrate a wariness by Minnesota state officials.

It seems--shocking as this may seem--they are weary of putting up as much as $2 million worth of security overtime and other costs related to the Ryder Cup in exchange for private chalets or other promotional considerations.

Although their efforts fell short — the Legislature concluded its session after passing a budget without any money for the prestigious tournament — organizers are expected to continue to push for state assistance before next year's event.

Their pitch — detailed in a private meeting held days before lawmakers adjourned their 2015 legislative session — ran from $600,000 to $2 million depending on the state's involvement and willingness to absorb security costs. Potential benefits would range from the use of a private chalet for tourism and business promotion to Minnesota-themed ads run on international TV to hundreds of event tickets.


"Homage to a Special Kind of Caddie From a Special Kind of Era"

Michael Bamberger pays tribue to Dolphus Hull, aka Golf Ball, who caddied in a different era.

Bamberger writes at

In his prime, he ran Calvin Peete’s golf game, just as surely as Jack Welch ran G.E.

He had a long, fruitful, volatile relationship with Raymond Floyd—and Raymond’s wife, Maria—going back to the 1960s. “I fired him six times,” Floyd once told me. “Maria hired him seven.”

The caddie-player relationship was different then. The caddie was less of a technocrat and more attuned to the emotional state of the golfer. At least, Golf Ball was like that, as was his running mate, Herman Mitchell. You could fit three Balls in Mitch, who caddied for Lee Trevino for years. They were Mutt and Jeff, but they both could play and they both had the empathy gene—the ability to really understand another person’s plight—embedded in their DNA


Tournament Pulled From A Trump Course...

It's not a major or even a professional event, but perhaps something even worse for the Trump organization's future: a paying customer. The L.A. Galaxy Foundation's annual event at Trump National Los Angeles to benefit the Hispanic Scholarship Fund is no more.

Tom Hoffarth reports in the L.A. Daily News on the lucrative event pulling out of its annual day following Donald Trump's comments about immigrants and his thoughts on the "mealy-mouth joint statement" by the PGA Tour, USGA, PGA of America and LPGA Tour.

It continues an ominous trend of companies and individuals trying to find higher ground as Trump’s tongue continues to tie up his business dealings.

So what’s the next FootJoy to drop?

It might seem like it’s a slam dunk for The PGA of America to yank its Grand Slam of Golf scheduled for October at the Trump estate. Along with it goes the PGA Junior League Golf Championship set as the lead-in event. And then put Trump on notice that they’re about to rethink the 2022 PGA Championship that’s scheduled to be played at his self-named New Jersey course.

The game that values sportsmanship and self-regulation of rules — written or otherwise — still can’t put the pencil to the scorecard until it fully gauges how its sponsors will react. That’s just how business, and life, really works.

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