Twitter: GeoffShac
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    by Ken Bowden

I have always felt that Riviera Country Club has one of the greatest golf courses in the country. When I was on the tour in the 30s and 40s, wining the L.A. Open, especially at Riviera, was considered as important as a major.
BYRON NELSON

 

  

Thursday
Nov122009

"Hopefully Harry Colt is up there somewhere and looking down on us with a nod of approval"

Martyn Herman reports that a remodeled Wentworth is ready for the 2010 European PGA Championship. Unfortunately, Ernie Els violated the cardinal sin of restoration work: making major changes and declaring that the original architect would be pleased. He's just entered the Rees and Fazio division.

A new water hazard extending 90 yards down the 18th fairway and alongside a reshaped green will stiffen the challenge for competitors at the European Tour's flagship event won this year by Britain's Paul Casey.

First ugh. Second one:

New bunkers have also been added to "future proof" the course against the game's big hitters.

"Next year will be particularly exciting as it will be the first European Tour event on the Remodeled West Course," said European Tour championship director Jamie Birkmyre in a statement.

"The changes to the landscapes and the different challenges the greens will pose the players will surely make for a fantastic event."

And the killer:

The West Course, designed in 1926 by Harry Colt, has remained virtually untouched apart from alterations in 2005 and again this year which were overseen by South African triple major winner and local resident Ernie Els.

"Hopefully Harry Colt is up there somewhere and looking down on us with a nod of approval," added the record seven-times winner of the World Match Play at Wentworth.

First, the changes in 2005 were reviled by players and they usually don't notice much.

Second, adding a water hazard does not constitute "virtually untouched," so just maybe Harry Colt is not up there celebrating this. But that's just a guess.

Thursday
Nov122009

"I confess to finding the fact that Larry baptised Loren Roberts in the swimming pool of the Polynesian resort at Disneyworld almost beyond satire"

The Guardian's Marina Hyde isn't too wild about news of another golf movie and has a suggestion for someone wanting to give golf it's next Caddyshack.

And while there are many satirical ways in to the right-wing religious conservatism that has dominated American culture in recent years, you'd have to say that the PGA tour is right up there. It was that fabled man of God Tom Lehman who described Bill Clinton as a "draft-dodging baby-killer", yet he is but one of many players on the tour who sport those wristbands inquiring "what would Jesus do?" – a question to which the answer is "pay less tax, if any".

Then there are the well-attended tour Bible studies on Wednesday nights, taken by the PGA's official chaplain Larry Moody. I confess to finding the fact that Larry baptised Loren Roberts in the swimming pool of the Polynesian resort at Disneyworld almost beyond satire, but doubtless in the right hands it could be made to sing.

As for our mandatory Cinderella, that wouldn't be hard. Roberts himself described the European tour as "really a tough market to crack" for the born-again recruiters, so it has to be a cynical European who declines to be drawn into the Bible studies / Republican rallies / impromptu water-hole baptisms that characterise this bizarre subculture. I'm begging you, Hollywood, consider it – or at the very least, a moratorium on those tame club tie jokes.

On a more serious note, thanks to reader Scott for this nice bit of charity work by Loren Roberts.

Thursday
Nov122009

GCA's Clear Creek Review

With Kingston Heath on our minds, there's a nice reminder--in the form of Ran Morrissett's review of Coore and Crenshaw's Clear Creek--that we have architects and superintendents in the States who are building rustic golf courses. Yes, it is very green, but remember it's a mountain course. Instead, savor the bunkering and areas just off the maintained turf.

Wednesday
Nov112009

Australian Masters Opening Day Telecast Thoughts

What a delight watching Kingston Heath during round one of the JB Were Australian MastersTiger Woods posted a 66 in front of huge crowds and we were treated to several hours on Golf Channel here in the U.S.  Not only is the golf course so lovely to look at, but the flow of the telecast was far different than what we're used to hear in the States.

A few things about the broadcast stood out:

- Camera angles. Perhaps they were forced to have some alternatives, but a few holes featured a nice side view look at a green instead of the standard rear tower. It added variety and gave us a better sense of the architecture.

- No promos. It's amazing how much better the telecast flowed without the relentless plugs for NCIS and reality shows and...

- Made the announcing so much more enjoyable. Particularly the Ian Baker-Finch/Brett Ogle portions. Not having to read so many plugs allowed them to engage in some informative discussions about how holes had changed thanks to technology, what a great job Mike Clayton did adding the 11th hole (and why), and overall the better flow lent a relaxed, welcoming tone that made the telecast feel like we were merely listening in on a conversation among knowledgeable fans. IBF also ably explained the strategy behind some of the holes as we were treated to graphic flyovers.

- Focusing on two groups. What a joy to really study one group primarily (Badds, Appleby, Coltart) with select shots from others like Adam Scott and Matthew Goggin. This allowed us to take a tour of the course (aided by those great hole graphics) and to see a nice variety of shots, not just an onslaught of putts. Baddelay was all over the place, but his swing looks sensational and you get the sense he's making progress. Getting to see so much of his round made for more interesting viewing, even though he wasn't playing that well.

Not surprisingly, the golf course also came off beautifully. The sparse and dry roughs, the lay of the land feel of the holes and those wondrous bunkers jutting into greens with so little rough between the two: perfection!

For those who watched, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday
Nov112009

"I'm tired of Tiger Woods. Just totally fed up with him."

John Huggan is tired of Tiger Woods. Off the course.

For a man who has never been known to give up with a club in his hands -- one of his most admirable qualities -- the world's best golfer appears to do little more than go through the motions when it comes to his obligations elsewhere. And yes, obligations is the correct word; Tiger earns a lot of money from playing golf in public. One would think he'd try to give a bit more of himself to the people who ultimately fund his opulent jet-set lifestyle.

Take his pre-tournament press conference at this week's JBWere Masters in Melbourne. OK, so the whole thing was a bit of a farce, from the tedious and self-serving seven-and-a-half-minute monologue from John Brumby, the Premier of Victoria -- your typically vacuous and preening politician -- to the totally un-cool rounds of applause that both preceded and ended the proceedings. But, as per usual, Tiger (who more than once appeared to be on the point of nodding off during Brumby's bletherings) batted back questions, good, bad, tough and softball, with responses that at best could be described as predictable.

While I see Mr. Huggan's point, he forgets that America loves the non-answer, non-controversial, safe, middle of the road star. Frankly, I admire Tiger for detecting this and milking it to his financial advantage. It takes a lot of will power to pull it off!

Wednesday
Nov112009

“What I’m most proud of in my career is that I’ve built brands; I’ve built them globally, and I’ve left them significantly larger than when I joined them"

Beth Ann Baldry files this profile of new LPGA Commish Mike Whan (family man, Midwest values, looks you in the eye, yada, yada, yada). 

You know, I've read four or five stories on the hockey stick dude and I still couldn't tell you the name of this glorious brand he built. NCIS Hockey or some such thing.

Whan champions his ability to build brands. When he joined Mission Hockey in 2002, he says, it was an unstable roller-hockey business that was unprofitable. During his tenure, the company’s annual sales grew from $20 million to nearly $80 million.

“What I’m most proud of in my career is that I’ve built brands; I’ve built them globally, and I’ve left them significantly larger than when I joined them,” Whan said.

Yeah, but we can't remember their names! What kind of branding is that?

And I must apologize to the Brand Lady right now. Even you never dropped the B word this much, but when you touted your branding experience, we could at least remember the brand you last worked on (USA Today).

Wednesday
Nov112009

Where's Marty Hackel When You Need Him Files: Golf Bras For The Discerning Japanese Woman

Harriet Alexander introduces us to the best sign yet that we have hit rock bottom and that there are fashion designers doing their best to really make people hate golf. That would be after reading about the "new bra to appeal to Japan's busy golfing women."

The green corset-style garment can be removed and unrolled to create a 1.5m-long putting mat.
When the user sinks a putt into one of the cups, a built-in speaker pumps out a congratulatory "Nice shot!".

You know I could chime in here with a thought, but my mother reads this site.

The bra also features pockets for extra golf balls and tees, and a detachable flag pin that serves as a score pencil.

The bra set comes with a skirt with the words "Be Quiet" printed on the rear, which doubles up as a flag for use on the course.

Quite how the user is supposed to do cover herself when she removes the underwear is unclear.
Twice a year, Triumph unveils a new novelty bra in Japan to highlight social trends.

Japanese women needing to practice their putting is a social trend? Heaven help us.

Wednesday
Nov112009

"The golf establishment, especially in the United States, is full of venal, haunted little men--players, executives, sportswriters, broadcasters"

I'm reluctant to link the Matthew DeBord-authored Huffington Post piece that reader Rick sent, but it's so uninformed and off base that I just can't resist. The topic? The media and white men running the game of golf are to blame for Michelle Wie's 2006-2008 doldrums. (Yes, it's a timely piece, too!)

Why would golf do this to its most bankable star since Tiger Woods? Simple: She's a woman in a sport full of men who never stop being threatened. The golf establishment, especially in the United States, is full of venal, haunted little men--players, executives, sportswriters, broadcasters--who pledge allegiance to the spirit and dignity of an ancient Scottish game, but who in truth want to dismiss anything that disrupts their once-comfortable lock on the sport.

If only the golf establishment was an interesting as he suggests.

That said, we know the situation is quite the opposite in two ways. First, that the establishment was most definitely hoping (and continues to pray) she succeeds so they can profit off her success. And two, her parents have received the harsh treatment for career mismanagement and oddball things like wanting to live in her dorm and hanging with her on campus.

It's been forgotten now, but Tiger was assailed when he first arrived.

That's right, he was a tad rough around the edges and his dad made some ludicrous suggestions that, well, turned out to be about right.

Some called his epic 1997 Masters win a fluke.

Riiiiiggggghhhhhtttt!

Others suggested that he had been given unfair advantages by being allowed to skip the PGA Tour's qualifying school.

Maybe in a barber shop in Indonesia? Because after all he skipped Q-school because he made enough money to earn his card.

But over the ensuing years, through sheer brilliance, Woods wore down his critics. By the time he won the 2008 U.S. Open, limping through a Monday playoff on what was effectively a broken leg, all naysaying had been vanquished.

Yep, not until Torrey Pines in '08 had the naysayers been vanquished!

Arianna, this is embarrassing. Wait, there's more?

Michelle Wie had the potential to be bigger than the game and to provide women's golf with the worldwide explosion in popularity that it needs.

And last I heard, no one doubts that is still possible. I guess except DeBord?

But the best possible time for that to happen was two or three years ago, before she was buried under an avalanche of negativity and slumped. She's back now, and she seems like a more mature person and more complete player. But opportunity lost is still opportunity lost. And if women's golf continues to falter, golf will only have itself and its ridiculous, petty culture to blame. Wie was, and to a degree, still is the future. Her ascent was Tiger Woods crossed with the Williams sisters. Her decline was troubling. Her comeback is critical.

Well we agree that her "comeback" from brilliant talent is critical.

Wednesday
Nov112009

Counting Down: Golf Inc.'s Most Powerful People In Golf

Sorry Wally, Golf Inc. only puts you at #17, a slot behind someone named Joe Munsch from a company called Eagle Golf. But at least you're ahead of Mark King and George O'Grady. But Gary Player at #12? What an assemblage of talent. 

Wednesday
Nov112009

"Can't all those Chinese fans just watch the President's Cup live on TV, all the way from San Francisco?"

Lawrence Donegan digs into the ASAP archives to demonstrate how Tim Finchem has changed his tune on PGA Tour sanctioned events in China.

Wednesday
Nov112009

R&A Honors Seve

Nice move...definitely helped that he is not a woman.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
 
SEVERIANO BALLESTEROS ACCEPTS HONORARY MEMBERSHIP OF THE ROYAL AND ANCIENT GOLF CLUB OF ST ANDREWS
 
11 November 2009, St Andrews, Scotland: The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is pleased to announce that Severiano Ballesteros has accepted its invitation to become an Honorary Member.
 
Severiano Ballesteros first caught the attention of the golfing public when, as a 19-year-old, he finished in a tie for second place with Jack Nicklaus at the 1976 Open Championship, held at Royal Birkdale. He then went on to win five Major Championships between the years of 1979 and 1988, adding two Green Jackets to his haul of three Claret Jugs.
 
His three Open Championship victories came in 1979 and 1988 at Royal Lytham and St Annes, and in 1984 at St Andrews. His legendary fist pump, a reaction to holing the birdie putt on the final hole of the Old Course to claim his second Claret Jug, became famous the world over and is now used as a logo for his group of companies.
 
“I am greatly honoured to accept Honorary Membership of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews,” he said. “I have had, perhaps, the outstanding moment of my career at St Andrews and the town will always retain a very special place close to my heart.  I sincerely hope that I will be able to come back next year and be part of the 150th Anniversary of The Open Championship.”
 
Ballesteros competed for Europe in eight Ryder Cups and Captained the European team to victory at Valderrama in 1997. He was also instrumental in creating the biennial Seve Trophy match, now called ‘the Vivendi Trophy with Severiano Ballesteros’, between teams representing Great Britain and Ireland and Continental Europe. He was inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1999.
 
Earlier this year, Ballesteros launched the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, an organisation which aims to aid research into cancer, particularly brain tumours. Simultaneously, the Foundation also assists young, underprivileged golfers to develop their golfing careers.
 
Severiano Ballesteros joins an illustrious list of Honorary Members of the Club:
          
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT.
His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG, KCVO, ADC.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG, GCMG, GCVO.
The Hon. George Herbert Walker Bush GCB.
Peter Alliss
Tony Jacklin CBE.
John Jacobs OBE.
Kel Nagle
Jack Nicklaus
Arnold Palmer
Gary Player
Peter Thomson CBE, AO.
Lee Trevino
Roberto De Vicenzo
Tom Watson

Tuesday
Nov102009

In Praise Of Aged Bunkers

From Martin Blake's story, Tiger Woods talking about Kingston Heath:

''The bunkering is just phenomenal,'' he said. ''You never get a chance to see bunkering like this in any other place in the world.''

It's both funny and sad, but the characteristics making Kingston Heath's bunkering "phenomenal" to Tiger are precisely what most American courses try to avoid: the aged patina bordering on a look of deterioration; the irregularity of the shapes and sizes; the native plant material growing in and around the pits; the use of native sands even if they aren't bright white; the exposed dirt "lips" and finally, the lack of sand in the faces.

While the sandy soil, climate and natives lend certain characteristics to the Sandbelt look that would be tough to replicate in many places, there is still so much to learn from the look.(And thanks to the club website course tour, we have some photos to enjoy before play tees off at 7 p.m. Pacific Wednesday on The Golf Channel.)

Consider the functional side. While it's a less sexy topic, function is nonetheless a fascinating component to the Sandbelt bunker that needs to be exported ASAP!  Anyone who has played American golf wonders why the standard bunker contains inches of sand in the faces. (And usually a color not native to any region but Carmel's white sand beach).

The combination of the Sandbelt soil and a less vain golfing population unconcerned with Photoshopping every little bunker blemish, allows superintendents to keep the faces devoid of huge amounts of bunker sand. The floors are the only portion raked (with native sands) and the faces remain hardened sandy earth in a similar shade, though there are places of exposed dirt and bless them for not trying to cover those blemishes up!

While the elimination of buried lies in the face makes the bunkers seemingly less hazardous, note during the Australian Masters how the ball reacts when it lands in these firm bunkers. If the ball is coming in hot, a pinball effect is bound to send the ball anywhere, sometimes even into a nasty lie in the natives. The firmness effectively making the bunkers even more dangerous. Throw in the tight fairway mowing into the low side of most Sandbelt bunkers, and they effectively play much larger than the typical inland American bunker.

The eroded, weathered and rumpled "lips" are the other obvious stand out feature, adding deep shadowing and therefore a character-rich third dimension that only Mother Nature can shape. That naturalness makes what is an otherwise nasty hazard so lovable. Because even the best golfers in the world are not offended by what seems like a natural hazard. But clean 'em up, throw in full sand coverage, rake them meticulously, and the slightest misfortune becomes offensive.

That's the difference between a seemingly natural bunker versus the manmade and why no matter how broken down or dirty the Sandbelt bunkers may appear, they'll always be oh so lovable.

Tuesday
Nov102009

Phelps Goes Retro, Will A Golfer Be So Brave?

Amy Shipley reports that Michael Phelps decided to go retro early to prove his point that high-tech suits were helping swimmers and boy did he make the case.

He blamed Tuesday’s performance on not being sufficiently fit and failing to adapt to the increased number of turns in short-course meters (25-meter pools instead of 50), events in which he has rarely competed. Bowman acknowledged that Phelps’s choice of swimwear – he wore a textile, waist-to-knee “jammer” rather than a long, high-tech model that will be banned as of Jan. 1 – likely contributed, and U.S. officials who declined to be identified because they did not wish to appear to be poor sports said it was the suit choice, period, that slowed Phelps.

I wonder if we'll see anyone openly tout the use of new grooves during the Silly Season so that we can perhaps see some performance differences? I know Stephen Ames and some other Nike players made the switch a while ago, but it would be fun to know more specifically who is playing what.

And nice catch by Deadspin to get this photo of Phelps sporting facial hair and the new/old suit.

Tuesday
Nov102009

Rory Coming To America! 

Not a banner day for the European Tour as Adam Scott is not pleased about a possible rule change and Rory McIlroy finally made the decision to play 15 PGA Tour events in 2010, meaning he'll need to add four weeks to his 2009 schedule.

'I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea that I am just going away to  America because that is not what I am planning,' said McIlroy.

'I just feel that I will become a better golfer if I also play in  America.  I will be playing in world-class fields with more world ranking points on offer, and the only way for me to get better is to play alongside better players.

'And on paper at this moment there are 16 better players than me in the world.”

As a US Tour member McIlroy will have to play a minimum 15 events on  their schedule but they include the four Majors and three World Golf Championships that are currently held in the States.

Tuesday
Nov102009

"It’s a cross between a discount motel and a beachside nursing home!"

As if Tiger doesn't have enough on his plate, now he has the local gossip columnist bashing his wife's taste in home architecture.

It’s a cross between a discount motel and a beachside nursing home! But hey, from what I’ve been told, Woods’ Swedish missus, Elin Nordegren, is calling the shots on this one. Woods bought four adjacent properties on the tony island for a Martin County-record $44.5 million in 2006. He then tore down the existing homes on the 12 acres, including a classic-looking manse. The new 9,700-square-foot home is split between the living quarters (right on the photo above) and a gym (left side). Both sides will be connected with a glass-covered walkway, according to the blue prints. Good thing the plans call for so much foliage around the house that few passers-by will be able to see it!

Tuesday
Nov102009

Faldo Knighted; Queen Offers Address Position Advice?

Courtesy of Jay Busbee at Yahoo.

I think she's tell him to keep the right shoulder lower at address? Using a sword's a bit over the top, no? Or maybe that was all they had lying around? Wait, what? It's part of the ceremony? Oh, sorry.

Still, I'm not so sure about the right knee on the velvet stool that she bought from Liberace? Maybe an old Leadbetter drill?

 

Tuesday
Nov102009

No Loch Ness Monster, But Plenty Of Golf Balls

Thanks to reader Al for this CNN story on the Danish Golf Union discovering that it takes between 100 and 1,000 years for golf balls to decompose, and that an estimated 300 million are lost or discarded annually.

This was the most amazing part:

The scale of the dilemma was underlined recently in Scotland, where scientists -- who scoured the watery depths in a submarine hoping to discover evidence of the prehistoric Loch Ness monster -- were surprised to find hundreds of thousands of golf balls lining the bed of the loch.

Apparently the Loch is considered a driving range by locals. Lovely. The video evidence:



Monday
Nov092009

"I suggested to Tiger several months ago that now he's in the golf course design business that maybe he bring one of his guys down here to take a look"

There seems to be no shortage of talk about Tiger's appearance fee in Australia and a calculated effort to spin it as a chance for him to brush up on his design expertise, not for the $3 million he's reportedly receiving.

Mark Hayes and Michael Warner in the Herald Sun talked to Sunshine Stevie Williams and lived to write about it:

The golfing superstar was holed up inside his luxury Southbank hotel suite, but continued his pre-Masters reconnaissance mission by sending his caddie to inspect the course.

Steve Williams spent two hours recording distances on all 18 holes in a sign his boss is determined to earn his giant $3 million pay packet.

"I suggested to Tiger several months ago that now he's in the golf course design business that maybe he bring one of his guys down here to take a look," Williams revealed.

"And he's done that, because in such a small, concentrated area, you've got some of the best courses in the world. The design and the bunkering on this course is unique and very, very good.

"I'm sure he (Tiger) will be looking at it tomorrow."

Now, if he goes to see some other courses in his spare time like Crenshaw would, then we'll know he really is serious about this design stuff.

Meanwhile on the appearance fee, Peter Stone opened his story today with this anecdote:

TIGER WOODS is relentless in his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's record 18 major victories - with just four left to equal the Golden Bear. So, with a sense of mischief, let's suggest another way he could emulate the great Nicklaus.

We'll go back to the 1975 Australian Open, the first of four opens sponsored by the late Kerry Packer at The Australian, when Nicklaus headlined the field for a modest appearance fee.

Like Woods, Nicklaus was undisputed world No.1 at the time. Nicklaus asked Packer what prizemoney was on offer that week and, when told, Nicklaus immediately added his fee to the purse, which brought total prizemoney to $35,000.

So began the Packer/Nicklaus solution to appearance money. In following years, each invited player was paid $6000 and, in 1976, total prizemoney was lifted to $200,000.

This week, the Australian Masters purse is $1.5 million and Woods is reportedly receiving a $US3m ($3.3m) appearance fee.

Would Woods do the same as Nicklaus this week? Dream on.

But most of the fretting over the amount looks like it'll prove futile, because as Steve Elling notes, the event is looking like a hit, no thanks to Greg Norman:

But hand it to the Aussies, they had not seen Woods in 11 years, and he once again proved to be the game's ultimate show pony. Officials reported selling all 100,000 tickets (capped at $44 Australian dollars per round) for the week, and presumably, the Victorian government has a chance of finishing in the black once all the hotel stays, car rentals and incidentals are tolled. By the way, the tax hit in Australia is a shade under 50 percent in this bracket, so Woods will be contributing to the Oz coffers himself, too. Ah, economics in the 21st century, huh?

And judging by Patrick Smith's cranky reaction, someone in IMG's PR department has done a fine job overprepping the media for Tiger's arrival.

The reaction it must be said was childish and so fevered that normally sensible people lost the plot. Helicopters chopped above Essendon Airport, TV cameras covered this angle, that angle. Print journalists jotted down his every move. Even moves he might have made but didn't.
When he set his left foot on the tarmac, the world's greatest golfer said: "This is one small step for Tiger, one giant leap for golf". Or apparently words to that effect. Tiger's entourage is apparently colour-coded to make it easier to control them. It was noted who went into the different-coloured cars. Even the luggage van was described to radio listeners.

Monday
Nov092009

"I know the Tour has been sticking its nose into that as far as it possibly could"

The new Global Golf Post weekly digital magazine debuted today and included a couple of stories from Mike Purkey and Len Shapiro on the latest Olympic golf course design gig-chase. Based on the tone of the quotes in Shapiro's piece, I think we can cross Tom Doak off the list if the PGA Tour gets involved:

Certainly that's always been the PGA Tour model with its network of TPC courses, and Commissioner Tim Finchem even now has to be exploring ways his organization can also profit from Olympic golf. Some speculate he'd love to add to the current total of 19 TPC facilities (with licenses to name 12 more), and TPC Rio does have a nice ring to it.

"I know the Tour has been sticking its nose into that as far as it possibly could," said architect Tom Doak. "They're probably thinking it should be a TPC course. That would make sense to them. But their typical deal is to partner up with a developer that's already doing something, not to go develop something themselves. They don't take those kinds of risks.

"They want to be involved for sure, but it's still not their money. It's usually their decision who designs it to the extent they feel they can leverage the guy with the money, saying they'll only do it if one of these guys designs it. If they really want in there, they're probably going to be throwing their chips in with whoever looks like the leader."

Monday
Nov092009

Dottie Pepper Wants To Spend More Time Away From Brian Hammond

Jim McCabe notes Pepper's decision to step down from her Golf Channel duties and while she'll be missed during their major championship coverage, a commenter on the Golfweek notes that on the eve of the new LPGA television contract with Golf Channel, "the LPGA really needs her and good announcing now more than ever."