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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
  • 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
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

The golf architect, therefore, should look upon himself as an artist; and the colors of his palette are the various types of hazards which he employs to lend interest and bring out the features to holes which he either invents or interprets from the ground. MAX BEHR

    

Saturday
Oct202007

"We want to give them a solid option, where they have a choice and don't have to go to America if they don't want to."

John Huggan turns on his tape recorder and lets George "I'm prone to pissing people off" O'Grady share the European Tour's scheduling philosophy. And there are a few other jabs, including one at the President's Cup.

"We are looking at where we have really good courses, really good climates and a lot of money available," he continues. "Those are the areas we will be focusing on. We will shortly be announcing some of the things we are doing in 2009, at which time it will be obvious where we are headed. We will be looking to create clusters of tournaments that are attractive to the global players. We want to give them a solid option, where they have a choice and don't have to go to America if they don't want to."

While that is as much as O'Grady is prepared to say on the subject at this stage, the smart money is on the Middle East tournaments - those in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai - moving from their current early-season slots to somewhere near the end. China, too, is sure to figure large in the newly reconfigured European line-up.

"By the end of 2009 the new framework will be well established," reveals O'Grady. "It will be very clear what we are trying to do, although we will still have some work to do. I don't think we will ever have the schedule exactly the way we want it, so it is hard to put a time on how long it will take us to get there. We have to be aware of the whole world."

And on the Cups... 

"The American players are all very committed to the Ryder Cup," contends O'Grady, whose lack of cynicism on this subject is hardly shared by all informed observers. "There is such passion for the event. And the tension on the first tee is comparable to Sunday afternoon at a major championship. When Tiger Woods arrived on the first tee at the K Club last year, he was really tight. That tee-shot he hit into the lake was indicative of that.

"The Presidents Cup is very different. I sat on the first tee there this year and it was all very nice. There was plenty of banter and everyone was friendly. In contrast, you daren't speak on the first tee at the Ryder Cup.

"So I think the players would let the PGA Tour know if they needed a bigger gap between the Fed-Ex Cup and the Ryder Cup. But the Ryder Cup is far more important to me than it is to Tim Finchem. I'm not sure how aggravating he finds it that we are involved in the Ryder Cup and the PGA Tour is not, other than sharing a bit in the television revenue.

"If you take the view that whatever the PGA Tour does regarding the Ryder Cup is for the benefit of its membership, then it is a benevolent dictatorship. I don't think what has been done with the Fed-Ex Cup was done to hurt the Ryder Cup; it is merely a by-product."

Saturday
Oct202007

"In War's Aftermath, A Game Becomes A Lifeline"

PT-AG697_Golf2_20071019151525.jpgThanks to reader John (as usual) for John Paul Newport's WSJ column on Jim Estes and his efforts to help wounded Iraq vets take up golf.

There's also a podcast where Newport talks about the piece.

Saturday
Oct202007

CNN Segment On Trump Scotland Dispute

The Donald talked about his dispute with Larry King! Hopefully not for da full hour.  Here's an entertaining segment from CNN on the latest:

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Friday
Oct192007

The Ideal Club

Friday
Oct192007

Has The USGA Got It's Groove Study Results Back?

...on the news that the PGA Tour is honing in on a drug testing program and penalties for violators.

Who would have ever thought, based on Commissioner Finchem's reluctance, that the PGA Tour would adopt a comprehensive policy and appear close to putting it in place before the USGA officially deemed U-grooves non-conforming or finished its golf ball study?

Things sure have been quiet on the groove front considering the USGA first announced this in February.

Might the R&A be getting cold feet? Has a manufacturer (other than the Ping dudes) threaten to sue after reading the USGA's documentation? Or did all of the manufacturers actually use their brains and realize that what seemed like a fun idea (new irons and wedges for everyone!) was actually setting a disastrous precedent by rolling back equipment and opening the door for the end-of-the-world scenario: a ball rollback?

Thoughts? 

Thursday
Oct182007

Leaks On First FedEx Cup Tweaks

Golfweek's Rex Hoggard has the scoop on the changes under consideration, one of which sounds excellent, the other I'm not so wild about.

During an Oct. 16 meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., commissioner Tim Finchem told the 16-member PAC that the FedEx Cup, which he proclaimed a “success” in its first year, needed only “minor tweaks” in 2008. Sources told Golfweek.com one of those possible adjustments would be reducing playoff fields; the other would be altering the schedule so that the FedEx playoffs and the Ryder Cup Matches (Sept. 19-21 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.) would not be staged in five consecutive weeks.

Instead, under one proposal, top competitors would play the first two playoff events (The Barclays, Aug. 21-24, and Deutsche Bank Championship, Aug. 29-Sept. 1) as scheduled, have a week off, play the third playoff event (BMW Championship) and then the Ryder Cup. The Tour Championship, now scheduled for Sept. 11-14, would be moved to Sept. 25-28, on the heels of the Ryder Cup.
Okay, that's a winner. That off week should make it tough for guys to skip an event. Should. 
Among the changes for ’08, the Tour is considering reducing the number of players that qualify for the circuit’s four-event “playoff” series. The proposal presented to PAC members was to trim playoff field sizes to 120 players for The Barclays (144 were eligible this year); 90 for the Deutsche Bank Championship (from120); 60 for the BMW Championship (from 70); and the traditional 30 for the Tour Championship. That’s a reduction of 64 total spots from this year’s playoffs.

The trim from 144 to 120 is a no-brainer, but I don't know about you, but I'm growing bored with all of these limited field events, their typically lackluster finishes and reduced playing opportunities. Granted, Tiger's partially to blame for being so much better than everyone and blowing away those limited fields, but I'd vote for leaving the other field sizes as they were while ramping up the point system volatility.

Hoggard also details the first rumored drug policy penalties:

The Tour’s anti-doping policy is expected to have plenty of teeth. According to one PAC member who wished not to be identified, potential punishments for positive tests would be a $5,000 fine for the first offense; a one-year suspension for a second positive test; and a lifetime ban from the PGA Tour, and presumably all members of the Federation of PGA Tours, for a third strike.

The proposed anti-doping legislation announced late last month has  universal support among i the game’s  governing bodies. A positive test and resultant punishment would apply to all of the game’s major championships, as well as on all of the world’s primary tours.

Included among the Tour’s “model prohibited substances and methods list,” are anabolic agents, such as testosterone, as well as beta-blockers, which diminish the effects of adrenaline and narcotics. 

Thursday
Oct182007

More On Tiger's First U.S. Design

asset_upload_file452_3651.jpgLinks editor Hunki Yun pens the most extensive feature I've read to date on Tiger Woods's first U.S. course design at The Cliffs. The spread also features easily the best lit staged architect-developer photo of all time (left). Nice use of reflectors boys! Though way too much Dockers ad for my taste.

Anyway...

Anthony contacted Woods in February, and a major factor in Woods’ decision was the Cliffs’—and Anthony’s—emphasis on health and wellness, which mirrors Woods’ values. In the spirit of fitness, Anthony and Woods originally announced that High Carolina would be walking only. But in the only misstep of the day, they later clarified that walking will be encouraged but not required.

Oh well.

There remains the considerable task of building a course worthy of the hype, not to mention Woods’ fee, estimated to be more than $20 million including real estate sales incentives—nearly 10 times the highest previous going rate. The Cliffs is still working on the permitting for the site, which sits at about 4,000 feet and features 50-mile views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Meanwhile Woods’ design team, led by Beau Welling, formerly Fazio’s top man, has yet to finalize a routing—construction is not likely to begin until mid-2008 and the course won’t open for at least two years after that.

I'm sure we won't hear a thing about it between now and then.

Thursday
Oct182007

"Then I've done what should be done."

The architect press release quotes are getting more torturous every day.

Jack Nicklaus, on the Tucson course he's started that will reportedly land the WGC Match Play when it's done, assuming the design proves worthy...well, and that site licensing fee check clears in Ponte Vedra...

 "Golf course design has been a blessing for me," said Nicklaus. "It has allowed me to take what I learned playing the game of golf and apply it to a piece of ground to create a legacy that will live well beyond what I accomplished as a golfer. If I can design The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain to take advantage of its spectacular high desert setting and beautiful vistas, while integrating solid strategy and good, fair golf shots, then I've done what should be done."
Thursday
Oct182007

Knockdown Shots...CBSSports.com Edition

Steve Elling's much missed "Knockdown Shots" column is back...

 

Wednesday
Oct172007

"A yellow school bus idles in its parking lot; the driver collects ten dollars from those who board."

img10412091.jpgT&L Golf's Thomas Dunne covers the one day a year you can get in the gates to walk Pine Valley.
Clementon Amusement Park in South Jersey is not exactly a place brimming over with good cheer. Although it is celebrating its hundredth anniversary this year, Clementon carries a distinct aura of hard luck—all faded paint and sharp edges and arcane dangers.

But once a year, usually on the last Sunday afternoon in September, the park becomes a portal to another world. A yellow school bus idles in its parking lot; the driver collects ten dollars from those who board. The bus heads down a nondescript lane and then, minutes later, pulls up at the end of a gravel road, where local kids sell burgers and hot dogs off a grill and soft drinks from a cooler. Nearby, a small green-and-white building serves as both town hall and police station and hints that the territory beyond is a separate and sovereign place, far removed from the strip-mall tedium of the surrounding burbs.

A man in a blazer waits near a guardhouse and hands the visitor a scorecard. "Have a nice time," he says. And just like that, one steps, blinking in disbelief, inside the sylvan fold and onto the grounds of what's commonly regarded as the greatest golf course in the world: Pine Valley.

In a strange coincidence, a Links profile by the late, great Pam Emory was posted over at CBSSports.com.

Wednesday
Oct172007

"Just giving him the respect he deserves is really all it would take for Finchem to carve out a relationship with the No. 2 draw in golf."

In this week's "Quiet Please" column, Golf World's Tim Rosaforte writes:

Tim Finchem might learn a lesson from Phil Mickelson's appearance at this week's Fry's Electronics Open.  Mickelson is playing at Grayhawk GC for no other reason than he's a loyal guy. He's carried the club logo on his bag without re-upping his contract since 1994, has the grillroom named after him and is the front man and course designer at Whisper Rock, just north on Scottsdale Road. It's his way of paying back a community that has been supporting him since his days at Arizona State. The lesson: Phil is good to people who are good to him. Just giving him the respect he deserves is really all it would take for Finchem to carve out a relationship with the No. 2 draw in golf.

Now, off the top of my head, I can think of one embarrassment Finchem saved Mickelson from this year.

So I'm struggling to understand what it is that the Commissioner is supposed to do that he's not doing now for Mickelson? 

While we're on the subject of Whisper Rock, Tom Dellner profiles it for the current issue of Links. 

Wednesday
Oct172007

Rory's Mom: It's The Irish Blood That Makes Him Do It

maar01_sabbatini.jpgJaime Diaz profiles Rory Sabbatini in the November Golf Digest and gets to the bottom of the South African's easy going manner:
"You pass the genes on," says his mother, Sharon, by phone from South Africa. "I've got Irish blood in me, and I've got a very, very short fuse. And I also speak my mind, and it gets me into trouble as well. You get to a boiling point, and you explode, and obviously you regret it afterward. But most people appreciate me for being straightforward. I'm not one of these mundane, boring people, and neither is my son. I've always let him be himself."
Wednesday
Oct172007

"Which is why they’re going to wear full rain gear to practice Thursday, regardless of the weather."

chappell.jpgSean Martin's Golfweek.com excellent profile of the UCLA men's golf team and issues they are facing, starting with the fact they haven't played an event yet.

Then there's the team member who is playing round 1 of PGA Tour Qualifying school the day after UCLA finishes their first event (they call this amateur golf!?) and there's the incoming freshman who had a rough summer...after missing three PGA Tour cuts.

Oh and this reminder that college coaches have been known to overthink things from time to time.

Even the course that’s hosting the Bruins’ first tournament – Chambers Bay Golf Club in University Place, Wash. – is a mystery. The links-style layout opened just four months ago, but is already No. 2 on the recently-released Golfweek’s Best New Courses list. The late-October weather in Washington could throw another wrench in the Bruins’ debut, which is why they’re going to wear full rain gear to practice Thursday, regardless of the weather.

If they're playing Riviera, should be nice and warm in those suits. 

Wednesday
Oct172007

Gatorade Photo Caption Fun, Vol. 1

See, Tiger really did pick out the flavors himself.

I wonder what's being said here... 

Tiger-Testing-025_Web.jpg 

Wednesday
Oct172007

In Case You Missed It...TNT Notes From Grand Slam Day 1

Shocking as it may seem, but I elected to have baseball on instead of the Grand Slam of Golf. But thanks to TNT, we can still relive Bobby Clampett's most profound day one insights:

Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the 25th Annual PGA Grand Slam of Golf from the Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda

First Round – Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Clampett on Zach Johnson’s early-round struggles:  “(Zach Johnson) has been like a deer in headlights on these greens.  (The greens) have really spooked him.”

Like a deer in headlights? Never heard that one before.

Clampett on the different style of play at the Grand Slam: “Players are not used to playing in foursomes, so it’s a different pace of play.  That’s why I like a guy like (Angel) Cabrera who plays so quickly in this format.  The slower player feels like he is in everybody’s way if he takes extra time.”

Or the fast player gets itchy and cranky thinking that he picked the wrong month to quit smoking.

Clampett on Angel Cabrera’s physical fitness: “(Angel Cabrera is) a modern-day John Daly.”

I'm sorry, did I miss something? John Daly is still alive and playing isn't he?

Clampett on player’s hitting off the scenic 18th tee along the shoreline: “It’s a challenge to get set up on a hole like this with all this beauty around.”

Kratzert: “(Players) find (themselves) staring and kind of dreaming.”

Clampett: “Zach Johnson and (Angel) Cabrera (are) looking out in the ocean more than they are looking at (Jim) Furyk (hitting his tee shot).”

Boy am I sorry I missed that exchange when it happened. 

Wednesday
Oct172007

Oakmont East Closed...For Good?

230136-1097695-thumbnail.jpg
Oakmont East From Googe Earth (click to enlarge)
Mike Dudurich
reports on Oakmont Country Club closing it's neighboring 1938 Emil Loeffler public course, possibly for good.

The 18-hole public layout, which borders historic Oakmont Country Club's 3rd hole, was closed for play in the fall of 2006 as preparations began in earnest for the 2007 U.S. Open.

It has not opened in 2007 and, while no decisions have been made beyond 2008, the possibility exists that it may not reopen at all.

"With all of the considerations for the 2010 Women's Open (which will be held at Oakmont CC), at least for 2008, we are not going to open the Oakmont East golf course," said Oakmont CC general manager Tom Wallace. "It would require rebuilding the course so that it's safe again for play and then it would be put back in use for the Women's Open. We need a clearer picture about what the footprint will be for the Women's Open before we make any long-term decisions. We're reviewing all options."

If the USGA Executive Committee were in touch with reality, they might understand that the closing of a public course to make it a one week permanent tent village every few years or could ultimately reflect poorly on them and their all important corporate partners.

Tuesday
Oct162007

“I'm scared for her future.”

Lorne Rubenstein writes about Michelle Wie and features some strong comments from her coach, David Leadbetter.

“If she hadn't played those [men's] tournaments, then everybody would have considered 2006 her best season yet,” Wie's swing coach, David Leadbetter, who had made his opinions known to her and her family, said Monday from his home in Orlando. “It was absolute madness for her to play them. That started the whole debacle. Now with Greg Nared leaving, you feel like this is the Titanic.”

Wie has also been dealing with injuries. She'd developed tendinitis in her right wrist. Then, in February, she broke her left wrist. She came back too early.

“First, the wrist hadn't healed properly and she'd done very little rehab,” Leadbetter said. “You don't come back and play so fast. The injury has to heal and then you have to rehab it. Then you have to get stronger. When you don't use your wrist, the forearms and upper body atrophy. After you get stronger, you have to hit balls and get competitive. Then you play. Michelle bypassed the whole process.”

And... 
Wie is a wealthy young woman because of endorsements with Nike and Sony. For a time anyway, it seemed reasonable for her to play PGA Tour events. She had a dream, and she came close to making a PGA Tour cut when she was 14. But at some point, as Leadbetter said, her and her parents' approach became unrealistic.

“It's not even logical,” Leadbetter said. “I'm scared for her future.”
Tuesday
Oct162007

"Talk about a lost opportunity."

Alan Shipnuck notes in this week's Hot/Not golf.com column something missed by most in the announcement of ESPN as new Masters cable partner:
1. Golf Channel. First it misplaced its 'The.' Now the Masters has dumped USA for a new Thursday-Friday cable provider, but it snubbed the so-called home of golf in favor of ESPN. Talk about a lost opportunity.
Tuesday
Oct162007

"Woods even picked out the flavors himself"

This man is hands-on! And it's definitely a slow news day since I see nearly every paper online picked up this vital story.

Tiger Woods will have his own brand of sports drink next year under an endorsement deal announced Tuesday with Gatorade that marks a couple of firsts for the world's No. 1 golfer — his first U.S. deal with a beverage company and his first licensing agreement.

Gatorade said it will introduce "Gatorade Tiger" in March, with more products to follow. Woods even picked out the flavors himself, with the drink available in a cherry blend, citrus blend and grape.
That's so good to know!
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Golfweek magazine reported last month it was for five years and could pay Woods as much as $100 million, moving him closer to the $1 billion mark in career endorsements.

"There have been some licensing elements to things we've done," said Mark Steinberg, his agent at IMG, who cited video games produced by EA Sports as an example. "But everything he does with Gatorade is going to be creating new products. It's something Tiger and I and our licensing business has been looking at for some time."

Fascinating! 
"Gatorade has been part of my game plan for years, whether I'm training or competing, so this is an ideal match," Woods said in a statement. "I'm eager to launch my first signature product in a few months and look forward to developing additional sports performance beverages with Gatorade in the coming years."

It's almost like he said that himself. Almost.

Woods, with 61 victories on the PGA Tour and 13 major championships, joins a stable of star athletes at Gatorade — Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning and Mia Hamm. None of those athletes has licensing deals, which also is a first for Gatorade, a division of PepsiCo.

"His iconic nature resonates everywhere he goes," said Jeff Urban, senior vice president of Gatorade. "Bridging that iconic nature with his will to win, those things make this a big deal for us."

Urban said it was too early to say how Gatorade would market Woods and his new product line, especially since the drink will not be available until the spring.

On pins and needles here.

The company released video of Woods going through sweat analysis testing with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, which tested such things as his sweat rate and energy needs during exercise.

Woods has endorsed everything from sports equipment and apparel (Nike) to financial services (Accenture) to automobiles (Buick) to shaving products (Gillette). His first beverage deal comes after 11 years as a professional.

"We wanted to get away from a straight endorsement deal in the beverage category," Steinberg said. "We thought this would be the best fit for his first licensing deal. It's authentic to what Tiger does every day, as hard as he works out every day."

Okay I gotta cut this one off.

Tuesday
Oct162007

Angry About Bandon

Golf Digest's anonymous "Angry Golfer" isn't very pleased with the service at Bandon Dunes these days.