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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
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • 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
  • 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

Once you've had 'em, you've got 'em."  HENRY LONGHURST on the yips




Reconsideration Of Olympic Format A Possibility

Bob Harig talks to some of the five families leadership about the progress of 2016 Olympic golf and the USGA's Mike Davis gave the best answer I've read in some time about the format's purpose and sustainability.

While no one expects at change in 2016, he at least signaled that the International Golf Federation will examine some tweaks before presenting the IOC a vision for the 2020 games and beyond.

"I think one of the things the IGF will look at in the future is can we somehow get match play involved, can we get a team aspect, can there be a way that maybe men and women could play together. But first we want to have a great Olympics in 2016, and then our board will look at that and I think it's something we'll explore."

Davis is leaving Buenos Aires on Saturday to meet Dawson in Rio and view the course. Both are scheduled to be at an IGF event next week in Orlando, Florida, during the PGA Show.

He said he would love for there to be more than 60 players per event, but the IOC was concerned about having too many players, due to the challenges of housing so many of them throughout the Olympics.

That dilemma took on an interesting twist when at first the IOC balked at the players using caddies during the competition. "Could you imagine them having to carry their bags?" Davis said.

Oh but it would have been more athletic!


Video: Boy Gets Golf Clubs, Declares Best Christmas Ever

Great spot by the Golf News Net crew with this Christmas 2014 video posted just this week of a wee lad watching his present get opened, only to see they were golf clubs. What followed as an epic declaration...


Video: Rory McIlroy's 177-Yard, 9-Iron Hole-In-One

Just a stock 9-iron from 177 and Rory McIlroy's first career ace in competition.

From the European Tour's YouTube channel:


DVR Alert: "The Making Of A Champion" On Fox Sunday

Jack Nicklaus kindly took media questions this week (kindly because he took multiple Tiger questions) to promote the USGA documentary, "The Making Of A Champion." The film, by Ross Greenburg, airs Sunday at noon ET prior to NFL pregame coverage.

From an unbylined story previewing the film.

This is the eighth film the USGA has released and the third produced by Greenburg’s team. Nicklaus, not surprisingly, has been a popular subject. In 2012, Greenburg made a film for the USGA on Nicklaus’s first U.S. Open win, in ’62, when he toppled Arnold Palmer at Oakmont. Nicklaus says he has enjoyed the process and flipping through his mind’s scrapbook.

“I think it's kind of neat,” he said. “I never really paid a whole lot of attention to what I did, but to have somebody sort of exaggerate, glorify it you might say, is very flattering. It's been years since I've done any of that stuff. To go back and look at it and see some of it and see some of the shots you played, it's kind of fun.”

A preview:


Green Jackets Off Property & The LAAC's Big Price Tag

If you've seen any coverage of the Latin America Amateur Championship brought to you by the Augusta National Golf Club, USGA and R&A, you've noticed Chairman Billy Payne sporting his green jacket off club grounds.'s Bob Harig covers the very calculated call to wear those coats at both the LAAC and the Asia Pacific Amateur.

And he also notes the club's hospitality, even another continent away.

Putting on such an event is no small financial undertaking. Specific figures are not disclosed, but it is no stretch to say that the costs run significantly past the seven-figure mark.

Each of the players in the field is given airfare, accommodations and food. Even the caddies are provided. With more than half the players coming from U.S. colleges, flights to Buenos Aires add up. A price tag of near $500,000 would seem reasonable just for that aspect of the tournament alone.

Then there are all the other elements that go into running an event. Undoubtedly the Masters, the R&A and the USGA have leaned on their corporate partners such as Rolex, AT&T, Mercedes and others to help defray the costs. But it is a significant commitment nonetheless.

"We have the time, we have the resources, and we believe it to be completely consistent with what our founders believe," Payne said.

There's currently a four way tie for the lead in Buenos Aires with a Masters berth on the line. Ron Driscoll reports.


Video: Randolph's Shaped-Shot Around The Trees

I haven't a clue who Jonathan Randolph is but he's playing the Sony Open this week and he hit one of the cooler shaped-shots we've seen in a while because, well, it is so rare to see people shape shots. I knew all of those trees at Waialae could serve a positive purpose!

Posted by PGA Tour Entertainment:


"The Tour seems to be missing the key component of an affective testing program--transparency."

Rex Hoggard at explains why the revelation of Bhavik Patel's PED violation was not only unsatisfactory, but strangely lacking in the primary detail: what PED was used.

Since we learned that information in the Doug Barron case, why not in this one?

Although the Tour’s original PED manual in 2008 stated, "... the PGA Tour will, at a minimum, publish the name of the player, the anti-doping rule violation, and the sanction imposed,” for a performance-enhancing violation, that policy was amended in January 2009 when “the anti-doping violation” wording was removed from the policy.

However subtle the reworded policy may seem, it only serves to further extend a cloak of secrecy that has defined the anti-doping program since its inception.


Video: Extreme Golf At Fair Isle Lighthouse Keepers GC

Thanks to the team over at The Big Lead for spotting what will be the closest I need to experiencing hurricane-like conditions on a golf course.

In this case, a course claiming to be the northernmost in the UK.

The clip:


Teeth Of The Dog Lands 2016 LAAC

There had been hope from some quarters that the 2016 Latin America Amateur Championship, underway in Buenos Aires, would be played as the new Olympic Course in Rio's test event.

But going to Pete Dye's legendary Teeth Of The Dog isn't a bad alternative.

Kevin Maguire reports on the announcement.


Augusta, Baltusrol, Muirfield & Troon In Two Weeks!

Okay, in doses and through the lens of Ron Garl, but still...

Randall Mell at reports that 49 of the top 50 LPGAers are set for the new season-opening, 120-player Coates Golf Championship in two weeks at Golden Ocala, which I'd forgotten is a theme course. And unless you count Augusta National with its Old Course inspired holes as a theme venue, this may be the first true tribute course to host a major tour.

Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club is a course designed by Ron Garl that features eight “tribute” holes, replica holes modeled after iconic holes at Augusta National, St. Andrews, Royal Troon, Baltusrol and Muirfield. The replicas include Augusta National’s 12th, 13th and 16th holes, Royal Troon’s postage stamp hole and the Road Hole at St. Andrews.

“I can’t wait for fans to see the Tribute holes,” Lincicome said. “They really look like famous holes all around the world.”


Masters Berth On The Line In Buenos Aires

The first-ever "LAAC" brought to us by the Masters, R&A and USGA kicks off Thursday from The Pilar Golf Club in Buenos Aires. The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship earns a spot in the 2015 Masters.

Bob Harig reports from Buenos Aires on the latest effort to grow the amateur game, piggy-backing on the already hugely successful Asia-Pacific Amateur.

The field consists of 109 players from South and Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. The World Amateur Golf Rankings were used to fill the field, but every country in the region is represented by at least two players, including places such as the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and Barbados. And all of it is funded through the efforts of the Masters, the R&A and the USGA (and their corporate sponsors), which is taking part in this grow-the-game initiative for the first time.

Andy Hall talks to ESPN's Sean McDonough who along with Andy North and Dottie Pepper, have an entirely new field of players to get to know and a short time to get there.

“When I first was assigned it, I honestly couldn’t name anybody who was in the event,” he said. “That’s the biggest challenge, but we’re getting a lot of help.

You can follow the proceedings online here.

The telecast times. (Note the Saturday shift to ESPNEWS.)

First Round: Thursday, Jan. 15, 1 p.m. (ESPN2, WatchESPN)
Second Round: Friday, Jan. 16, 1 p.m. (ESPN2, WatchESPN)
Third Round: Saturday, Jan. 17, 10 a.m. (ESPNEWS, WatchESPN)
Final Round: Sunday, Jan. 18, 11 a.m. (ESPN2, WatchESPN)
Final Round Highlights: Sunday, Jan. 18, 5 p.m. (ESPN2, WatchESPN)


Mickelson Skipping Pebble Beach And Riviera

James Raia reports that Phil Mickelson will skip two of his favorite events to spend more time with his kids on their spring breaks. Without Mickelson at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the Northern Trust Open, the two west coast events lose their headliner.

Without the WGC Match Play anchoring the West Coast Swing and the overall schedule spreading the wealth, both events may struggle more than ever to lure many stars. This, despite being the two best courses on the PGA Tour and when ratings spike without NFL competition.

“These are two of my favorite events,” Mickelson said on his website overview for the 2015 season. “But with the kids in two schools with two different spring breaks, I’ll take that time off. They’ve accommodated my schedule enough over the years. It’s time for me to accommodate theirs.”


Matsuyama's Star Rising...Without A Swing Coach!

Sean Martin of asks some great questions of Hideki Matsuyama, rising star, Asia-Pacific Amateur past champion, current Memorial Tournament defender, and just 22. And still too slow on the course (at least based on last weekend's Hyundai TOC).

One of the best swings on the PGA Tour is refreshingly doing it on his own.

PGATOUR.COM: You're one of the best ballstrikers on TOUR (Matsuyama was sixth in strokes gained-tee-to-green in 2013-14). Do you have a swing coach?

MATSUYAMA: No. I do it myself.

PGATOUR.COM: What are the benefits of teaching yourself?

MATSUYAMA: I’ve always liked to find out things for myself and to have that freedom to search out and try different things and see what works best for me, rather than have someone tell me what is best for me. So far, not having a full-time coach has been an interesting journey.

It’s been good for me. But I’m sure in the future, there will be a time when I need a coach and I look forward to talking to different coaches and finding one who sees the game and my swing the same way I do.
PGATOUR.COM: How do you learn about the swing? Do you read about the swing or watch videos, or watch players on the range?

MATSUYAMA: I use videos of my own swing and check them daily.

PGATOUR.COM: Is there a favorite swing you try to emulate?

MATSUYAMA: Every one of the players out here has great swings and has their own strengths, but for me, Tiger has always been the example that I have tried to follow and emulate, the way that he swings the golf club.

I'm curious which swing iteration of Tiger's that would be?

Matsuyama goes on to talk about the role the Asia Pacific Amateur played in launching his career and his desire to win the Masters.


Patrick Reed's Song Of Choice, In Case You Were Wondering

For the six of us still watching the Hyundai Tournament of Champions sudden death playoff as the College Football Playoff's Championship game was playing, you probably saw eventual winner Patrick Reed put on his headphones prior to the playoff. The move also might have gotten more notice if not for his egregious hat tan line.

Apparently Reed is a big fan of one song by the Imagine Dragons, Radioactive, reports D.J. Piehowski. And he's not alone, it's been viewed 278 million times on YouTube. But it's his song of motivational choice...

“Radioactive (by Imagine Dragons),” he said. “That’s what I listen to before every round and that’s what I listened to before the playoff.”


Would R&A Leaving BBC Remove Golf From The Mainstream?

That's the question asked by The Guardian's Ewan Murray as the UK ponders the possibility of The Open telecast leaving BBC after more than a half-century for Sky.

With the USGA having grabbed huge money from Fox Sports it seems inevitable the R&A will do the same. But Murray warns that such a move will only merely serve to show golf to an even smaller audience.

With a fierce battle for the capturing of attention in a sporting context a notable component of this era, golf would suffer from further removal from the mainstream. The R&A will know that, hence a shift to Open coverage by Sky would sit uncomfortably with some within the organisation. Rightly or otherwise, it would also be seen as a key Dawson legacy as the chief executive prepares to hand over the post to Martin Slumbers later this year.

The solution may well be an agreement that replicates that of the Masters, where the BBC shares an element of live coverage with Sky. Even that, though, would be seen as the beginning of the end for a television relationship between the R&A and the BBC which stretches back to 1955.

From an American perspective, a move to Sky could also set up a move for The Open in 2018 away from ESPN to Sky's pseudo-partner, Fox Sports. Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Dawson is currently in Buenos Aires for the LAAC, so I'll be on high alert for a Friday news dump!


Sang-Moon Bae's Plight: “Call To Duty”

Kudos to Golf World's Dave Shedloski for a strong and much-needed definitve piece on Sang Moon Bae and the pressures the Korean star faces with looming military service in South Korea.

Shedloski gets into the ramifications for Bae if he returns to Korea to serve for two years (he'll have his Past Champion status and that's about it) and one of the top Korean golfer draws for a Presidents Cup in Korea would be on the sidelines.

Oh, and the story includes a photo I'd forgotten about: K.J. Choi in his military garb.


FBI: Boehner's Country Club Bartender Wanted To Poison Him

I can't imagine this will do much for F&B sales at Wetherington Country Club even though the suspect is headed to the funny farm. Still, having a bartender wanting to poison the Speaker of the House's vino might make some members think twice about ordering that fourth glass of pinot.

WCPO’s Maxim Alter and Jason Law report that Michael Robert Hoyt was charged specifically with the threats on House Speaker John Boehner's wine orders.

Hoyt served drinks to Boehner for more than five years at the Wetherington Country Club in West Chester and was known as “Bartender Mike” to employees there.

Hoyt called police on Oct. 29, a week after being fired from the club, and blamed Boehner for his woes, police said.

When officers visited Hoyt at his home on Matson Avenue in Deer Park, they said the plot thickened.

“Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola,” United States Capitol Police (USCP) Special Agent Christopher M. Desrosiers said. “Hoyt advised he had a loaded Beretta .380 automatic and he was going to shoot Boehner and take off.”

It just goes on and on from there. Loved this club spirit from Hoyt. Hope this helps him in the sentencing...

Hoyt: “Mrs. Boehner, I was fired. I could not email Mr. Boehner directly because of the zip code block on his email. It doesn’t matter anyway. If he took a real interest in anything he would insure his Club was better than the Country, but they are exactly the same and life goes on SSDD. Sincerely, Mike. Mike, your former bartender.”

Uh, Dwayne, I'm due back on the planet Earth now.


Video: The Down Under (Water) Hole In One

Nice spot by Jason Crook at who posted this trick shot by the self-proclaimed brothers "How Ridiculous," who are enjoying their Aussie summertime goofing around on the beach with GoPros.

Bear with this one, because the initial effort isn't visually overwhelming. It's the replay use of underwater cameras that raises the trick shot bar.


Happy 82nd Birthday, Augusta National

The opening was announced with a postcard noting the January 13th, 1933 opening, as many of the available-at-auction postcards over the years remind us.

My personal favorite from the Green Jacket Auction team was mailed and postmarked. It also only sold for $203 last month. Ugh!


Commish Killjoy Strikes! Bans Throwing Items To Phoenix Fans

Two years ago he put a stop to caddy races for reasons only a fun-loving guy like Tim Finchem can understand, and now with the Waste Management Open looming as a huge week, Commissioner Boilerplate returns in the latest episode of his long-running drama, Taking Ourselves Too Seriously (TOTS).

Alex Miceli Tweeted the locker room bulletin to players which was accompanied by a little graffiti from a less-than-enthusiastic admirer. (This document is no doubt on its way via FedEx to the PGA Tour's VP of Handwriting, whose sole job is to analyze the source of efforts to defile PGA Tour locker room memos). 

Dare I boldly suggest this to be yet another sign of the PGA Tour's lack of comfort with the Waste Management Open antics and the once-a-year show put on by the folks in the greater Phoenix area. I'm also quite positive this one lands in the top 400 of reasons why the PGA Tour has never reached the level of NFL popularity, as Commish Killjoy once so happily dreamed out loud. Still, to point miss on such a grand scale takes a special person!

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