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

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

 

    

Sunday
Nov092014

Botanic Garden Or Golf Course? Houston Chooses The Latter

Considering I was just reading last week (thanks reader Kevin) how one San Franciscoan has the short-sighted view that golf courses could be turned into affordable housing, it was refreshing to read that Houston chose to stick with golf over a botanic garden.

Granted, both are very open space but still, as Mike Morris details in the Houston Chronicle, it was a big fight over the old Houston Country Club site turned Gus Wortham Golf Course. The golf course and Houston Golf Association won, meaning the course will be spruced up and green space will be cherished for the forseeable future in Houston.

If the city cannot reach terms with HGA, the mayor said, she will seek proposals from private golf operators rather than hand the site to the botanic garden backers, as previously planned.

Parker also said a definitive vote was needed so that both nonprofits – the Houston Golf Association and Houston Botanic Garden – would not be held back in making fundraising pitches to potential donors about their plans.

Houston Golf Association President Steve Timms echoed those thoughts after the vote, which deviated from the body's typical silent yes votes and spoken "no" votes by having members proclaim "golf" or "garden."

Sunday
Nov092014

Keiser Closes In On Ireland's Inch Strand For Upcoming Project

Joe Passov has the backstory and details behind Bandon Dunes developer Mike Keiser's project in Ireland 30 miles east of Killarney.

Arthur Spring is listed as the architect if/when it happens.

He has chosen Ireland’s Arthur Spring to design the course, a name completely unfamiliar to Americans. Yet, he’s designed more than a dozen courses since 1989 and was a strong enough player to have gained his European Seniors Tour card in 1997.

Most importantly to Keiser is that Strong has had routings done on the property for 20 years and has already had at least one approved that precedes the EU (European Union) restrictions about building golf along the coast. Keiser is confident that they are in compliance with all of the relevant EU statutes, but is a very aware that a litigant could step forward, sooner or later, and delay the project further.

Sunday
Nov092014

Video: Bubba Golf's Wacky Finish At The HSBC Champions

The WGC-HSBC finished late for us west coasters and while it was the typically surreal scene in China (awkward fan vibe) the finish featured an anyone-can-win-it scenario coming to the rough and water infested 18th, capped off by Bubba Watson holing a bunker shot, then beating Tim Clark in sudden death.

Scheduled re-airs are aplenty on Golf Channel today and tomorrow.

Doug Ferguson on site in Shanghai:

He stood on the 16th tee with a two-shot lead. He trudged off the 17th green facing a one-shot deficit behind five players suddenly tied for the lead. And right when it looked as though Watson had blown it, he delivered a finish that not even the creator of “Bubba golf” could have imagined.

The hole-out from the 18th green bunker was a doozy, with water behind the hole on a long bunker shot. Oh, and fans taking photos at the wrong time.


And the final round highlight package:

Sunday
Nov092014

Nash: "Incredible difference" Between NBA & Golf

Nick Schwartz reports that Steve Nash defends an Instagram posting of his golf swing (since deleted) after Lakers fans wanted to know how the gimpy guard is able to aggressively swing a golf club even though he has been unable to compete for two years due to injury (yet has refused to retire to collect his check).

This may be hard for people to understand unless you’ve played NBA basketball, but there is an incredible difference between this game and swinging a golf club, hiking, even hitting a tennis ball or playing basketball at the park. Fortunately those other activities aren’t debilitating, but playing an NBA game usually puts me out a couple of weeks. Once you’re asked to accelerate and decelerate with Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving it is a completely different demand.

While the clip was taken down by Nash, a local ABC news report captured what annoyed the already miserable Lakers fans staring down years of ineptitude thanks in part to the Nash acquisition:

Saturday
Nov082014

Rickie Defends Captain Watson, Looks Forward To Task Force

Oliver Brown reports that not only is Rickie Fowler looking forward to "getting together with the guys" as part of the Ryder Cup task force Task Force "Task Force", he's coming to the defense of his captain.

Regular Rickie practice round partner Phil Mickelson will have something to say about this at the meeting.

“I thought Tom did a great job of talking to the guys. He had been there plenty of times, and I enjoyed the time I got to spend with him. I respect him, he is a legend within the game. Some things may have got blown a little bit out of proportion. But obviously we didn’t play as well as we needed to in order to win.”

Saturday
Nov082014

New USGA Spokesman Arrives From The Manufacturing Side

The USGA naming a new Communications Director has almost no bearing on your lives and it's debatable whether anyone in the golf media thinks too much about the position other than one week a year. However, of note is Adam Barr's background as a journalist and current president of Miura Golf.

His hiring will be announced Monday and it's easy to read into this that the USGA wanted someone in the position who not only knew which end of the club you grip, but how to deal with sensitive matters related to equipment on the remote chance those ever arise. You know, like when the ball study moves into year 12 next year and it inevitably concludes in this lifetime.

Jim Achenbach with the report.

Barr, 53, worked as a business reporter and editor for Golfweek and the Golf Channel prior to joining Miura in 2010. Miura is a Japanese golf club manufacturer famous for its forged irons.

A University of Pennsylvania graduate with a law degree from Duquesne University School of Law, Barr is a self-described golf nut who "loves the traditions of the game."

Saturday
Nov082014

Fox Sports Adds Juli Inkster To USGA Coverage

Randall Mell with the news that Fox Sports is adding 54-year-old LPGA legend and 2015 Solheim Cup lead cart driver Juli Inkster to its announce team.

Presumably Inkster's primary role will be on the U.S. Women's Open and she marks another quality voice for the network after the most recent additions of Brad Faxon and David Fay.

Friday
Nov072014

Detroit Golf Club (Kind Of) Rips Down The Great Denim Barrier

An unbylined item in the Detroit News says Detroit Golf Club's Board of Directors has emailed members notifying them that denim is no longer completely evil on club grounds.

With caveats.

Jeans "cannot be ripped or torn," the email states, and "any denim worn must be tasteful and appropriate for a club environment."

Denim is not allowed on any of the golf facilities, and it also is banned in the ballroom and other banquet/meeting facilities.

Finally, DGC members and guests may not enter the clubhouse through the front entrance in jeans: "The Professional Shop or side entries may be used."

But other than, wear those jeans! Just carefully.

Of course, the longtime issue of denim's subversive qualities at clubs has always been a mystery and now as the clubdom universe considers bending the rules, a new generation is coming along and telling us they like the classy apparel component of golf. Furthermore, the true annoyance of club's banning denim has more to do with being able to change into them after a round on your way to a night out. No one really wants to play golf in them, do they?

Friday
Nov072014

Justin Timberlake Sold Mirimichi For Just $500k

Ryan Poe at the Memphis Business Journal reports that Justin Timberlake sold his Mirimichi Golf Course for just $500,000.

The pop star and actor had said he put as much as $16 million into renovating the Memphis area course.

The public deed transaction confirms the sale price.

Memphis-based Aircon Corp. CEO Fred Edmaiston purchased the course and plans to restructure the membership.

Friday
Nov072014

Guy Kinnings Tops List To Replace George O'Grady?

That's what Oliver Brown writes in the Telegraph.

Kinnings is the head of IMG golf's global division, has a law degree, surely knows where countless bodies are buried and is thought to top the list of the European Tour insiders to replace the retiring chief executive George O'Grady.

With his close connections to all the leading European players, Kinnings, who has worked at IMG for 20 years since his time as a lawyer at Freshfields, has been on the Tour’s radar for some time. He is believed to have recently turned down the opportunity to become chief executive of the R&A, after an approach to find a successor to Peter Dawson.

O'Grady reflected on the job, his tenure and where he feels he has left the tour. Sky Sports has the extensive quotes.

"Comparisons with the PGA Tour are a bit unfair in a sense - they have riches beyond ours and we've had to go and look for them over the world.

"They have four networks fighting to show the golf and a 24-hour golf channel, but Sky and other broadcasters have been tremendous partners for the European Tour."

Ewan Murray, featured this quote from Justin Rose on O'Grady:

“It is a shame that George is stepping down,” said Justin Rose, on the eve of the HSBC-WGC Champions tournament in Shanghai. “But I think he’s had a good reign, he’s had a lengthy reign, obviously, at the top. There’s no doubt there have been challenges. The economy and the markets in which the European Tour has been involved have been difficult, mainland Europe especially, so there’s been some challenges.

Martin Dempster on one of O'Grady's best legacies, the resurgence of the Scottish Open.

However, O’Grady shared the duo’s joy and enthusiasm about the event’s profile being raised another notch as Justin Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, triumphed in the Granite City in July and, likewise, echoed their excitement about it being held at Gullane next summer then, after a return to Inverness in 2016, heading to the West of Scotland the following year.

Together, the trio have been responsible for the Scottish Open going from strength to strength, with discussions having been opened in August to extend Aberdeen Asset Management’s title sponsorship by another three years until 2020.

According to Salmond, his pending departure will have no impact on that and O’Grady’s successor certainly won’t mind stepping into a job where a contract is in place for one of the Tour’s top events for another six years.

And confirmation of that extension came today, with Aberdeen Asset Management locked in through 2020.

The Scottish Government have pledged their support to the tune of £1 million per year through to 2020, while Aberdeen Asset Management will continue their title sponsorship of the tournament to the same date, both partners therefore adding three further years to their current contracts which run to 2017.

Under the new extension, the tournament prize fund will rise from £3 million in 2014 to £3.25 million for years 2015 and 2016; increasing to £3.5 million in 2017 and to a minimum of £4 million in 2018. The prize funds for 2019 and 2020 will be confirmed at a future date.

Friday
Nov072014

Planked! TPC Sawgrass 17th Gets Temporary Walkway

I've always hoped we'd see more of the Pirates of the Caribbean aesthetic return to the TPC Sawgrass.

But after hearing rumors of a weird contraption attached to the world famous 17th green, my hope was dashed because the pirate ship motif lands in the form of a temporary wooden plank-and-roped-walkway. This is designed to spread out walking wear-and-tear during the winter months and mostly, according to the PGA Tour's Ty Votaw, "might be able to use a back left pin placement during the PLAYERS." And you know that came directly from him because Players was in all caps.

I'm not sure how that's going to look in photos for those paying a premium to get the once-in-a-lifetime chance at the iconic hole, but guessing not great. Still, we should be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt if it leads to a better hole location option during the tournament.

Image courtesy of a reader:

Thursday
Nov062014

"The game will not be damaged by two sets of rules!"

We haven't talked bifurcation for a while, but I enjoyed Phil Blackmar's consideration of various ways pro and amateur golf have become so different to the detriment of the both.

Here is his ultimate conclusion, but it's the points on the topics prior (anchoring, grooves, clubhead size, ball) that are worth your time if you are interested in the concept of special rules for the professional game.

It’s now time for the rules to catch up with the game and with the reality of the 21st century. The game is no longer growing; it’s a hard game for the average player and it takes a great deal of time. The time has come to create two sets of rules, one for professional and national amateur competitions and one for the average player. Let the average player enjoy the aid of technological advancement but require the best players to develop the skill sets required in years gone by which have been replaced by technology. The game will not be damaged by two sets of rules! Any person, or any golf association conducting a contest could still chose to play under the more stringent set of equipment rules if they so chose. Forcing everyone to play under the same set of rules doesn’t make the game better, it makes it out of date and eventually out of fashion.

Thursday
Nov062014

Bollards! No More Wrong Turns Down Magnolia Lane

John Boyette with resounding evidence that any plots to make a wrong turn down Magnolia Lane may be foiled by the installation of bollards, those terrorist (and tourist) stopping posts.

The installation was hidden from view even though the entrance sits on busy Washington Road.

A large, green screen was put up at the entrance while the work was completed.

The installation is just the latest upgrade Augusta National has made to club security in recent years, which has included enhancements at all of the major entrances and new routes for pedestrians and vehicles.

Last month a South Dakota couple was banned from club grounds after an attempted trespassing. The report from the Chronicle.

Wednesday
Nov052014

Bubba's Mom Tells Him To Stop Acting Like A Jerk

Bubba Watson spoke to reporters at WGC-HSBC in Shanghai and now says he loves when the media calls him out on his pouty behavior because it reminds him of mom Molly. Who he says "could write for the media too" based on her lectures.

Ryan Lavner with the quotes that will be forgotten at some point very soon by someone who has professed not to even read the internet anymore as he logs on to Twitter to post stuff.

“Any time that somebody writes bad press, the only way I’m going to improve as a human being, improve as a husband, improve as a dad, is when you get people that call you out,” he told reporters. “When I make mistakes, when your friends call you out, when the media calls you out, when my wife calls me out, when my mom calls me out, when those people call you out and tell you you’re doing something wrong, it’s not to punish you. It’s not to get on you. It’s to help you improve later in life."

Noted!

Wednesday
Nov052014

You've Been Warned: Captain Paul McGinley's "Diary" Arriving Just In Time For The Holidays

As if the official Ryder Cup highlight DVD weren't enough to have you clearing space on a basement shelf to collect dust, it seems Santa may also deliver a copy of the Lunesta-killing "Ryder Cup Captain's Diary."

At least, that's what this preview video suggests and with the word official in the title, it's pretty easy to assume the diary will be short on juicy insights and heavy on the mundane details of being one of the world's two most famous golf cart drivers for a week.

That said, insomniacs have something to rejoice about this holiday season. And Captain McGinley does deserve his moment for managing the team to glory, especially when you see how things went for the other squad.

The lavish preview video:

Wednesday
Nov052014

Photo: 2-Year-Old As John Daly For Halloween

Nice spot by the Golf News Net and thanks to reader Steve for sending along this gem of a Halloween costume. It seems one Jonathan Trunk entered his 2-year-old son into Rock Bottom Golf’s John Daly Halloween dress-alike contest.

Wednesday
Nov052014

And Patrick Reed Was Doing So Well, Too, Files…

Deadpan posts video of an image setback or sorts for the American Ryder Cup star, playing the first round of the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Children and those with a sensitivity to insensitive, foul language should not hit the link.

These guys are good!

Tuesday
Nov042014

Guardian: George O'Grady Stepping Down As Euro Tour Head

Ewan Murray reports from Shanghai that George O'Grady will be stepping down as European Tour chief executive.

Murray notes that the 65-year-old O'Grady has been a "notably peripheral figure" in public recently despite holding the tour together admirably while Europe is mired in the economic doldrums.

The Guardian can reveal he has decided that both he and the Tour are in need of a fresh start, with a formal announcement thought to have been scheduled for the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai this month. The European Tour refused to comment on Tuesday but may be forced to issue clarification before this week is out.

Tuesday
Nov042014

Bishop The Blogger Is Back: "First Day of the Rest of My Life"

John Strege summarizes former PGA of America president Ted Bishop's first blog post since losing his job over a Tweet and Facebook posting.

And in the ultimate kumbaya moment, Bishop says he's received strong support from former USGA President and anchored-putter rival Glen Nager, who walked away from all future USGA activities after attempting to change how that organization approaches its affairs.

Bishop credits a former adversary, former USGA president Glen Nager, who “helped me turn the corner and start the rest of my life,” he wrote. Nager advised him to “look forward,” “to “appreciate my wonderful family,” and “to enjoy going to work every day at my golf course.”

Nager further told him, “those who are fearful of mistakes don’t take the opportunity to make change. You should be proud of what you accomplished and the lives that you impacted. You have a forum in your writing and I encourage you to stay public and use it for the betterment of everyone who enjoys golf.”

Bishop's full post is here.

Meanwhile one time Bishop backer and PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua’s Twitter account appears to have succumbed to unnatural causes around October 24th, 2014.

Tuesday
Nov042014

The Open Unveils New "Brand Identity" Which Is A Nice Way Of Saying They Finally Dumped That Awful Logo

Sam Weinman gives the new Open Championship logo a thumb's up in reporting on the R&A's unveiling of a new "brand identity" and I'd go a step further and say the move goes form a genuinely hellaciously awful logo to something that, with a simple font change, finally captures the aura of The Open (and that you wouldn't be embarrassed to wear on a cap).

The R&A's release on the new logo. The rationale:

Designed to capture all the defining attributes of The Open and to communicate the Championship's unique heritage to golf fans the world over, the new brand identity was delivered by two London agencies, teamup and Designwerk, who have created brand identities for some of the world's leading sporting properties.

It took two agencies to figure out a better font? Oh well, whatever it takes as long as we aren't paying for it.

Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We know that fans of The Open share a tremendously strong connection with the Championship.  The new branding celebrates the values long associated with The Open, the inspiration provided by great champions, the authentic and unrelenting challenge of links golf and the openness of our unique championship.

“The Open has enjoyed great success for more than 150 years and strengthening its brand will help to ensure its appeal continues to grow over the decades ahead.  We believe the new branding will reflect an enhanced experience for the millions of golf fans who support The Open.”

Strengthening the brand=new and improved font. What a world.

There's some other particularly juicy jargon in the release about brand equity, the brand story, brand expression...oh screw it, you don't believe me do you?

Fred Popp, Chief Executive of teamup, said, “The Open has tremendous brand equity and is one of the world’s most cherished sporting events.  Through its steadfast commitment to identifying the Champion Golfer of the Year, The Open is a celebration of golf in its purest form.

“As The Open’s lead brand agency, our work included the development of the brand story, definition of the brand expression and the resulting logo that delivers on the Championship’s rich history and heritage, fit for audiences in the digital age.  teamup is thrilled to have played a part in helping The Open further strengthen its ambition and unshakable commitment to the sport and fans of golf everywhere.”

Just a babbling brook of...

Anyway, The Open is sporting a new and much improved font. We're in!

The old one, lest you forget...

If you have three minutes of your life you'd like to never have back, there's also a brand identity launching video.

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