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

    Kindle Edition

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

I do not believe the Augusta National will impress anyone as a long course, as although undulating, it is not hilly. There are no irritating walks from greens to tees and moreover it will be so interesting and free from the annoyance of searching for lost balls, that players will get the impression that it is shorter than it really is. ALISTER MACKENZIE


    

Tuesday
Mar102015

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
Mar102015

Champions Challenge Returns At 2015 Open Championship

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
Mar102015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
Mar102015

PGA Tour Resists Blood Testing Due To Performance Effects!?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
Mar102015

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

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

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

For Immediate Release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
Mar102015

Video: Matty Golfs Inside The Golf & Ski Warehouse

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

Monday
Mar092015

Anchoring Overrated? Adam Scott's Putting At Doral

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

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

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

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

Monday
Mar092015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday
Mar092015

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

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

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

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

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

Monday
Mar092015

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

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

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

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


Monday
Mar092015

Time To Revamp The WGC's?

Golf World's Jaime Diaz takes what was readily apparent to most golf fans last week and works the no-cut, WGC-apathy into a rational case for re-imagining the World Golf Championships.

While he makes many points about the possible opening the new match play format brings in allowing for the discussion, he appears mindful of the Commissioner's reluctance to give in to criticism.

As hard and well as the PGA Tour has sold its product in the world of big time spot, sometimes it oversells. In 1999, the WGC concept might have seemed like an idea whose time had come. But things change. Now it’s time to adjust again.

Monday
Mar092015

Finchem Whiffs, Phil Closes Him Out 3&2

The behind the scenes tug-of-war between Phil Mickelson and Tim Finchem elicited an unprecedented admission of error from Commissioner Tom.

Doug Ferguson reports on Finchem's reponse to news that fall PGA Tour events will not be part of the Ryder Cup chase:

"It's particularly annoying to me that I missed it because we had just been wrestling with this on FedEx Cup points for the last number of years," Finchem said. "We would like to see them included ... because I think it's good for those tournaments. I honestly I don't think it makes any significant difference in the final compilation of the team, either.

"So moving away from that in any particular degree, even though it may not be all that important, it is important," he said. "So we're going to have more conversations about that but we will be speaking out to the PGA on that question."

Mickelson stood his ground when asked about the commish's comments. Rex Hoggard reports:

“We’ve have been trying, the last two years, to have a wraparound schedule and I’m not really a big fan of it. It’s hard for spectators to understand it. I can’t understand it,” Mickelson said on Sunday at Doral.

“After playing eight out of 10 or eight out of 11 weeks the guys are going to take time off and from the Ryder Cup standpoint it doesn’t make sense to have points assessed on those events when none of the top players, or few of the top players, are playing and maybe the FedEx Cup should look at it as well. Maybe that’s not the best place to start [the season] out.”

The full Mickelson transcript is here, if you have nothing else today besides reveling in first world tug-of-wars.

Of more interest was this item from Hoggard on Finchem explaining why the tour broke from its no comment policy to deny the recent claims by a former PGA Tour player suggesting Tiger was a PED user.

“When there is an off-the-wall comment by a player that incites the PGA Tour and there is absolutely no merit to it, from time to time we say and that’s what we did in this case,” Finchem said. “It’s the one area that gives us some trouble from time to time.”

So when there is some merit, and there is no response from the tour, does that mean there is something to the story?

Sunday
Mar082015

Nike May Own Tiger's Name & Other Greater Jupiter Dining Notes

Michael Bamberger, filing for golf.com, tracks Tiger's movements around the greater Palm Beach area and suggests that the world's most famous golfer is pretty into the creation of his new restaurant.

So much so, he brought a special guest by to scout the locale...

“Tiger was behind the wheel,” a reporter told Mastroianni on Thursday. The surname is pronounced MAS-tree-on-eee. “Who do you think was riding shotgun?”

“Lindsey?” the developer said, referencing the skier Lindsey Vonn.

“Michael Jordan,” he was told.

“Yeah,” Mastroianni said, registering no surprise. He’s a mid-80s shooter at Old Palm and Trump Jupiter, two South Florida courses known to Jordan. “They’re friends.”

And they're probably hitting each other up to support restaurants and new golf courses. There's a duel to protect the wallet no one should interfere with.

Mastroianni said he has worked directly with Woods, with the CFO of ETW, Chris Hubman, and not at all with Mark Steinberg, Woods’s agent.

Poor guy! Who is going to lie to him?

He said Woods is spending $1,000 per square foot in the construction of the restaurant, about 30 percent more than most upscale restaurant owners spend. “He’s got marble from Italy, granite from another country,” he said. Mastroianni said he expected cocktails to cost about $15 each.

If I were your accountant I'd have to strongly advise against it. If I were your accountant.

He’s been impressed by Woods’s business acumen. “He’s very diligent,” Mastroianni said. “Everything he says, he thinks about it first.”

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

They own his name?!

Sunday
Mar082015

Golf Gods Alive & Well Files: DJ Wins WGC At Doral

I believe I mentioned that J.B. Holmes ripping the course he was leading on is just the kind of thing our friends upstairs notice (a.k.a. the Golf Gods). And Bubba Watson griping about how he can't play a course after a 69? Noted upstairs.

Oh sure, Dustin Johnson didn't three putt all week (!!!) on frighteningly fast greens and you say that's why he won. But we know better. The Golf Gods have always been architecture buffs. When players complain about the course they are shooting low scores on, they place a few calls!

Doug Ferguson on Dustin Johnson's first win after his six month vacation from golf to regroup.

Bob Harig of ESPN.com on how this sets up Johnson as one of the Masters favorites. Until the questions turn to DJ's leave.

"I would drink and drink to access,'' Johnson said in the ESPN interview. "The change I made is I just don't do that anymore. I definitely have given up hard liquor 'cause that was the thing that I went to ... it's been a big change.''

On Sunday, Johnson was asked point blank if ever flunked a tour drug test. "No. Thanks,'' he said.

Another question he dealt with why he hasn't been more forthcoming about his issues.

"It's personal and frankly ... it's not really anybody's business.''

Fair? Maybe. But still curious, especially when a top talent is gone for so long. If he entered some sort of rehab program, it wouldn't seem to have been for very long.

It would be easy to say Holmes and Watson handed this one to Johnson, but as Jim McCabe notes, DJ on this with his play.

Especially if you could play your weekend 36 in 69-69, hitting 26 greens and offsetting just three bogeys with a hole-in-one and seven birdies – which is exactly what Johnson did.

Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald says whatever criticisms that the fans-dressed-as-empty-seats vibe all changed with Sunday's finish. I'm not sure my remote would agree, since it was switching over to the more interesting Spotlight coverage on Golf Channel or spring training, but at least she gives the Commish reason to remember he's not a star in everyone's eyes.

A climax packed with high-stakes golf shots on every hole injected intensity into the atmosphere at Trump National Doral. The vibe had been a little too mellow over the first three days, maybe because too many fans were chilling inside the various cocktail lounges and corporate suites arrayed around the grounds, or maybe because Holmes built a cushy lead, starting with his incredible opening-round 62, which prompted Donald Trump to ask for tougher pin placements on his revamped course.

Even PGA Tour commissioner Tom Finchem acknowledged he’d heard the tournament described as “flat” and lacking “buzz.”

He heard it, but I'm sure it didn't sink in for Tom.

The highlights from PGA Tour Entertainment:

Sunday
Mar082015

Reed Intends To Challenge Claims Of Forthcoming Book

And he's got lawyers, affidavits and a nice bank account to fight the claims made by author Shane Ryan.

Rex Hoggard reports.

While it's not clear what about Reed made the book and what was just material gathered during the book's research effort by Ryan, the issue in question relates to what was published on tobaccoroadblues.com.

The book, entitled “Slaying the Tiger: A year inside the ropes on the new PGA Tour,” was authored by Shane Ryan who wrote in an excerpt published on Jan. 30 on the website tobaccoroadblues.com that, according to anonymous sources, Reed stole a Scotty Cameron putter and $400 cash, and that he cheated during a qualifying round while he played for the Bulldogs.

Reed told Lewis his lawyers intend to send a letter to Ballantine Books, which is part of Random House Publishing Group, and Ryan requesting that portion of the book be retracted.

“I was shocked. That was the first time I heard about it. To read something like and see how degrading and false it is, to have someone say something like that without coming to me first and asking me, it’s shocking,” Reed said.

Reed denied the allegations and said he has affidavits from Chris Haack, the head coach at Georgia, and Josh Gregory – who was his coach at Augusta (Ga.) State, where he transferred after two “drinking incidences” in Athens, Ga. – that contradict Ryan’s claims.

Reed comes off very credibly in this explanation talking to Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

Saturday
Mar072015

Poll: If Tiger Had Tossed A Club Into A Doral Lake...

Several commenters here immediately reacted to Rory McIlroy's funny-but-childish club toss into a Doral lake by immediately pointing out that Tiger Woods would not have gotten the free pass that young Rory enjoyed (especially from the fawning British press!). ESPN.com's Bob Harig suggested a Woods chuck into water would have prompted "indignation" that "would have blown up the Internet." I don't think he's wrong.

Curtis Bunn went a step beyond and openly questioned the praise for McIlroy's passion and humanness, while Woods, even though he's never heaved a club so blatantly into a lake, would not have gotten the same free pass.

Rory McIlroy, who holds Woods’ old position as the No. 1 player in the world, was so upset with himself that he tossed a three-iron into the lake Friday at Doral outside of Miami. But here’s the kicker?

Everyone laughed.

There was no protests from players, no complaints from golf legends. No nothing—except platitudes to McIlroy, actually, that he showed himself to be a regular guy.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Woods tosses his club back to his golf bag in anger, curses under his breath, and he’s the angry Black man. Tom Watson says, “He needs to clean it up.”

McIlroy slung a club into the water…and everyone laughed.

This is what Watson said a few years ago about Woods: “He really shouldn’t be setting that sort of example for kids. His swearing and his club throwing, that should end. I think he needs to clean up his act and show respect for the game that people before him have shown.”

So that leaves us a poll question to settle this life-and-death matter (I realize that's a bit strong but do think this is worth exploring):

If Tiger had tossed a club in the water at Doral...
 
pollcode.com free polls

 

Saturday
Mar072015

Video: Rory's 3-Iron Recovered On National TV

Recognizing that the WGC Cadillac Championship hasn't exactly been drawing in much buzz despite the claims of The Donald ("attendance through the roof"), someone gave a diver a cart and, while third round play was ongoing, allowed for golf's most-scrutinized recovery effort since Carl Spackler's pool-doodie Bushwood pool removal.

This, just a day after young McIlroy donated his club to the lake, remarkably to great acclaim from the UK press, though to the dismay of Rory his ownself.

Nice work by the diver...and nice work by J.B. Holmes, who Rex Hoggard says just needs to set his clock forward an hour to capture the coveted WGC win. (Beware though, the Golf Gods tend to punish course complaining when in the lead!)

Saturday
Mar072015

Video: Two Aces At Doral's 4th In A Matter Of Minutes

Dustin Johnson on the 227-yard 4th, Trump National Doral, third round WGC Cadillac:


Third round leader J.B. Holmes a few groups later, wins the reaction beauty contest 5&4...

Saturday
Mar072015

Entitlement Gone Awry? A Par-5 Green Not Holding Second Shots!

Bubba Watson posting a 69 at Doral and then declaring he can't stand the course because it's too tough for him was weird, in a Bubba sort of way. (Rex Hoggard with the Bubba-being-Bubba talk.)

Even more bizarre is 36-hole leader J.B. Holmes, 9-under-par through two rounds, criticizing the par-5 first green because he doesn't feel he can hold a second shot. At 606-yards, apparently the concept of laying up is foreign to J.B. (but not to some ofhis peers).

Brian Wacker with a PGA Tour report on the different views of Gil Hanse's redesigned first that played as the fourth easiest at Doral on Friday. Not easy enough though for J.B.

"It's pretty bad that you can hit two perfect shots and the ball can go in the water because of just a ridiculous green design that's really just terrible," said Holmes. "The shape of the green is fine, but it's not that wide anyways. And why you would put a giant hump in the middle of it to make a ball go in the water is ‑‑ it's stupid. Golf course is hard enough. You don't have to do that."

Mercifully, Adam Scott has a less entitled view than J.B.

"I think we often expect to hit a par 5 in two just because we can reach it. I'm not sure that's necessarily the right thought but you know, (course designer) Gil (Hanse) is certainly asking the question of you down the first if you want to have a go. Even with a wedge in there, it's a pretty tough shot."

So to recap, a player is 9-under through two rounds, the hole is averaging under par, it's 606 yards and the first is terrible because you might have to not go for it in two shots. You might have to ponder another way to the hole. Worse, it may not let you golf your ball exactly as you want to golf it. Terrible!

Friday
Mar062015

Hyde On Doral: "There's no buzz at this event now, no electricity"

The Sun-Sentinel's Dave Hyde explains what came through on television during early rounds of the WGC Cadillac: Doral's lack of energy and fan attendance at an event once so well-attended and buzzworthy.

Hyde plays off of Thomas Bjorn's WD after nine (for personal reasons) but still earning the Dane $42,000 of unofficial money. Hyde digs deeper and gets to the lack of edge: limited-field events with no cut do not have the same urgency as a traditional full field event. He even invokes socialism late in the piece.

Once upon a time, golfers were the most capitalistic athletes of them all. They walked onto an unruly course like a lion onto the Serengeti plain, needing to kill their next meal to eat compared to the guaranteed money of other sports.

But now? With endorsement deals and faux-tournaments like these World Golf Championship affairs? No wonder everyone's happy. Even Stephen Gallacher, the resolute Scot hit two shots into the water and managed to shoot 4-over par – just on the 18th hole.

He was 12-over for the day. Last place. And, sure, he was upset with his game. But being upset comes with parameters at this tournament.

"The good news is I can work through this weekend,'' he said.

That's because there's not just guaranteed money for showing up at World Golf events like this. No one gets cut. Do they all get trophies for participating, too, like a Little League team?

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