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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
  • 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

  • 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 temptation around my house was to blame my poor play in the Colonial on the epidemic of wives in my gallery. They were all out there at one time or another, the Great Triumvirate. In another time and place they were known as Vardon, Taylor and Braid. At Colonial they were Cheryl, Alleene, and Terri. DAN JENKINS as Bobby Joe Grooves


    

Monday
Jan212008

Commissioner's Blog Debuts, Insomniacs Around The World Rejoice

As reported here last month, it's here and as devoid of interesting content as you might expect. Thanks to all of the readers who sent this link in with such enthusiasm.

 

Monday
Jan212008

"Let him get barbecued."

Jim Thorpe on Kelly Tilghman and the Golfweek noose cover:

"We know there was no racist intent. It was just a bad choice of words,'' he said. "But the guy from Golfweek? Let him get barbecued. That's just a major mistake on his part.''

Just a suggestion to the Golfweek staff: I would not put an image of Jim Thorpe barbecuing Dave Seanor on this week's cover. Just my advice.  

Monday
Jan212008

PGA Show Ecclectic

Gary Van Sickle returns from the PGA Show with a succinct overview of the more offbeat and obscure new things in golf gear.

 

Sunday
Jan202008

Golfweek Considering Sensitivity Training...For Bad Cover Design**

I wonder how those different fonts of SORRY looked on the preview boards? Jerry Potter reports:

Jeff Babineau, newly appointed editor of Golfweek magazine, has a simple task this week.

"We're going to say we're sorry," said Babineau, appointed editor of the magazine Friday. "We know we've offended a lot of people. We want to apologize."

And...
Babineau sidestepped comment when asked Sunday if the magazine's advertisers threatened to cancel advertising.

"That's not my side (of the magazine)," he said.
Here's a newsflash from the city:
Babineau said Golfweek would continue to cover the Tour, adding it would not "shy away" from controversy. However, he added the magazine would have to do better work to regain the public's trust.
And this is disturbing considering that this cover was Seanor's idea and he ran with it:
He said management was studying the issue of diversity and sensitivity training for his staff.
Sunday
Jan202008

Trahan Wins Hope; Hundreds Witness It

jan20_trahan_600x465.jpgSo much for easy freeway access and boatloads of parking translating to gallery participation...Mark Lamport-Stokes reports on D.J. Trahan's win, but I've yet to see an attendance number published.

Sunday
Jan202008

"I'm hitting it further with less clubhead speed."

Golf Channel did a nice segment during final round Bob Hope coverage where they asked Kenny Perry about changes he's seen during his long and successful career. Here's the text and the video for those who would like to insist the guys are just working out more!

I have seen a lot of changes. I led the tour I guess in '91 in driving distance, I averaged 291. And now Bubba's hitting it 350-360-whatever. It's funny, the clubhead speed I had, I had probably 4-5 mph hour less now clubhead speed I know for sure  than I did in 91. and actually I'm averaging 300, 299, so I'm hitting it further with less clubhead speed. So it tells me between golf ball technology, clubhead, driver, shafts, total package, we've got higher launch less spin on the golf ball, so the golf all just goes a long way now.

 

Saturday
Jan192008

Daly Withdraws, Bolstering Frivolous Lawsuit Claims**

jan18_daly_600x397.jpgIs it me or does that chronic pain specialist dude Jim Weathers actually look like Ian Poulter after a whole bunch of steroid injections? (Thanks htt for the image.)

Anyway, Mark Lamport-Stokes reports on the latest John Daly drama, this time at the Hope:
"It killed me today. I had a guy here with me and he popped it back in five times."

Daly's rib injury dates back to the Honda Classic last March when he was disturbed on his back swing by a spectator trying to take a photograph.

"A woman took a picture and I came down and separated my shoulder and fractured my rib," the 1995 British Open champion said. "I tried to play through it all last year and had to withdraw from tournaments because it kept popping out.

Speaking of that, Craig Dolch files a devastating blog post regarding Long John's potential lawsuit against the Honda Classic over his injury:
Why would John sue a tournament where most of the profits go to a children’s charity run in part by the Jack Nicklaus family?

One look at Daly’s golf bag may show why: There are no logos of an equipment company on his bag. Daly, who has the talent and the charisma to be one of the high-paid endorsees on the PGA Tour, is once again without a company.

So maybe that’s why he’s willing to gamble by possibly suing a tournament that gave him a sponsor exemption — Daly actually has asked for another sponsor exemption from Honda for this year!

Honda Classic tournament director Ken Kennerly has tried to remain low-key, saying he can’t comment on a lawsuit that hasn’t been filed. But when the Golf Channel reported last week that Daly has decided to file the lawsuit, other tournament directors took notice.

One, who didn’t want his name used, said as much as a draw Daly is with fans, there’s a limit to what you will put up with. “If I give him a sponsor exemption,” the director said, “should I make him sign a contract where he agrees not to sue me?”
Saturday
Jan192008

Let The Grand Slam Columns Begin!

John Huggan talks to Hank Haney about the state of Tiger's swing as the march toward what everyone seems to think is his best shot at a Grand Slam year, all beginning this coming week at Torrey Pines.
"Tiger is so good that he can find a way to win even when he's uncomfortable with his swing," continues the Dallas-based coach. "But he kept getting more and more comfortable with each new move we added and gained more command, which led to confidence to trust without worrying about the bad shot. He's been at that point in practice rounds for a while now, but it's a whole other mental challenge under the gun."

Friday
Jan182008

"No, not unless somebody hits me."

More for the Boo Weekley files. Following round 3 at the Hope:

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Could you just to start out, could you just go through your card on your birdies.
BOO WEEKLEY: I think I birdied, well, I birdied 1, then I birdied 2.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: But what did you do?
BOO WEEKLEY: Oh, really I don't even know. I don't remember all the holes.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Forget it.
BOO WEEKLEY: I'm sorry.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: That's all right. That's all right.

And this beautiful exchange: 

Q. How do you like this weather compared with Scotland?
BOO WEEKLEY: Compared to who?

Q. Scotland. You were in Scotland in July. Remember?
BOO WEEKLEY: Oh, yes, sir. It's all right. It's a little too dry out here for me. I'm waking up in the morning time early in the morning and nose bleeding and stuff, I'm a little chaffed, you know, I mean I got a rash and it's just a little dry for me. I like it a little more humidity.

Q. Your nose bleeds in the morning?
BOO WEEKLEY: Yes, sir.

Q. Only here?
BOO WEEKLEY: Well, I mean, yes, I mean it's just dry. I'm not used to this dryness.

Q. It doesn't bleed back home.
BOO WEEKLEY: No, not unless somebody hits me.
(Laughter.)

Friday
Jan182008

Tilghman Should Take Another Week Off

There has been no official word that Kelly Tilghman is returning to the Golf Channel booth for next week's Buick, but given the amount of press coverage that will be devoted to Tiger and Phil's first official event and Dave Seanor firing, it would be wise if Golf Channel gave her another week off.

The consensus in the Hope press center was that she's a good person who did not have any ill-intent, but if she were to come back next week it'll be a circus. A quiet return at Pebble Beach or Phoenix or Riviera would be the wiser strategy.

Friday
Jan182008

A Visit To The Hope

ClassicClubClubhouseBefore visiting The Classic Club for today's third round of Bob Hope Classic play, I caught some of Thursday's telecast featuring a quintessential Hope moment.

Host George Lopez was playing at La Quinta Country Club and after a tee shot, entered someone's home where a large, festive gathering had assembled to watch the groups go through. Lopez sampled some dips, hugged a few of the guests, then uttered "thanks for not calling the police" and was on his way.

I note this because it was just the kind of simple fun that the Hope should be all about. 

Fast forward to today where I visited the Classic Club to talk to players after their six hour round. Well, only five stuck around to hit balls, a couple of others hit putts, and the rest were out of there as soon as possible. Thankfully Jeff Sluman and his insights made the trip worthwhile. But I digress.

The Classic Club holes I walked were not horrific, but the overshaping combines with the excessive scale to eliminate any of the intimacy that you find on the old desert courses. You won't see George Lopez going in someone's backyard or even into the gallery without having to work hard due to the climbs.

Since fans and volunteers have to work hard to get around the course and most are well outside of the coveted demo, the atmosphere is anything but festive. It's a shame because the tournament is well run and so many volunteers are devoted to the cause. But they can only give so much before the host course situation dampens their enthusiasm.

Friday
Jan182008

"The forward-thinking PGA has agreed to allow GPS use across its tournament calendar in 2008"

Thanks to reader Nick for catching this latest cave-in on rangefinders (I know, we're back to the good old days of golf debates over distance devices instead of nooses...for now):

SkyCaddie today welcomed the PGA’s groundbreaking decision to sanction the use of GPS rangefinders in its professional events this year – including the Irish PGA Championship, Scottish PGA Championship and the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship.

The market-leading distance measuring device was made official rangefinder of the PGA earlier this year and was used to monitor pace-of-play statistics during the PGA’s prestigious Glenbrae Fourball eight qualifying rounds and final at Fulford Golf Club in October.

Now, following positive results, the forward-thinking PGA has agreed to allow GPS use across its tournament calendar in 2008 – a decision taken at its executive committee meeting on 15th January. Other leading golf bodies are now expected to monitor closely the success of the scheme.

 

Friday
Jan182008

"Categorically, none whatsoever"

Steve Elling weighs in on Golfweek's replacement of Dave Seanor, and his piece includes this item on the possibility that the PGA Tour threatened any kind of advertising boycott:
The magazine's decision to use the controversial cover was first reported Tuesday on CBSSports.com. Thursday, a tour official indicated that advertising from the World Golf Village and its merchants might be pulled from the magazine as a result of the inflammatory cover artwork. The tour itself does not advertise with the magazine, though the World Golf Village is run by tour employee Jack Peter, who noted that the ad agreement was being reconsidered.

Nonetheless, tour vice president Ty Votaw said Friday that the tour did not bring to bear any pressure, either editorially or economically, that helped precipitate Seanor's ouster.

"Categorically, none whatsoever," Votaw said.

He also told the Associated Press: "Jack was not speaking on behalf of the PGA Tour. I can categorically tell you the PGA Tour has not threatened any advertising pull."
Friday
Jan182008

Golfweek Fires Editor Seanor*****

Gary Van Sickle reports the news which comes in response to the dreaded noose cover. Jeff Babineau will take over.  Thanks to reader Tony for spotting the golf.com story.

Van Sickle reports that Tim Finchem's comments combined with a likely advertising boycott led to his undoing. One wonders what other boycotts might have been coming had Golfweek not made a change.

Thursday
Jan172008

"It's also frustrating for Joe Ogilvie and Brad Faxon and David Toms, and also our independent directors"

Mark Lamport Stokes reports that Stewart Cink is taking exception to players who take an exception to the exceptional new cut rule:
"It's frustrating to me knowing that I put in a lot of time personally into decision making with the policy board," Cink told Reuters after Thursday's second round at the Bob Hope Classic.

"It's also frustrating for Joe Ogilvie and Brad Faxon and David Toms, and also our independent directors," the 34-year-old American added, referring to his colleagues on the Tour's policy board.

"We put a lot time into these decisions, there's a lot of study that goes on and then when something comes around, a lot of players blow the whistle and say: 'Hey, we didn't know.'

"Well I don't know what else we can do. We tried to notify everybody in at least three or four different ways, and that includes managers and spouses.

"Somebody needs to get the message to these players of the changes that are going on on their tour. It is their tour. It is very frustrating."

Thursday
Jan172008

"The golf industry can lay claim to being a bigger American business than the motion-picture industry, newspaper publishing and the combined performing arts and other spectator sports."

Steve Elling reports on the seminar joined by Steve Mona, David Fay, Joe Steranka and Tim Finchem at the PGA Show to trot out some pretty wild numbers:

Orlando or not, the numbers sound like Disney fiction: The industry generates $76 billion annually in direct economic impact and can claim approximately 2 million jobs with a wage impact of $61 billion nationally.

The stage could not have been better to relay the splashy message. The PGA expo this year features 1 million feet of exhibit space and will draw an estimated 45,000 spectators for the week. So, from that standpoint, officials such as Mona and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who helped present the new data, were preaching to the choir.

The research was conducted by SRI International, which used federal government models to arrive at its estimates. This marked the second time the sport commissioned an economic study, and despite a broad slump in the sport's growth rate since the survey was conducted five years ago, the numbers have jumped markedly from the initial figure of $62 million.

And...

"We want to be able to quantify how big our industry has become," Mona said.

The primary indices used to measure the impact were from greens fee revenues, tourism, real-estate developments linked to golf, equipment sales, plus other money generated by courses (food, weddings, dances) and the like.

Don't forget Batmitzvahs...

"Golf generates more money than any other sport in the world that we know of," Mona said.

Now, wait a sec here. Don't people bet a fair amount on the NFL?

Thursday
Jan172008

PGA Tour and Friends Boycotting Golfweek?

Steve Elling reports on his CBSSports.com blog that Golfweek may face a boycott from PGA Tour related advertising, starting with the World Golf Hall of Fame:

Jack Peter, an official with the PGA Tour whose duties include running the World Golf Village in nearby St. Augustine, said tour officials on Thursday told Golfweek representatives that advertising might be withdrawn because of the tour's discomfort over the noose issue.

Peter said approximately $50,000 in ads for the World Golf Village might be canceled, creating the possibility that other advertisers could follow suit. He described the Thursday meeting with Golfweek representatives, which had been scheduled long before the cover-image controversy erupted this week, as "awkward."

"We have an (advertising ) agreement in place, but the contract has not been signed," Peter said. "I don't know that I am comfortable going forward with it."

Didn't Callaway put a huge dent in Golfweek budgets by pulling ads after ERC related commentary?

Wednesday
Jan162008

Finchem Blasts Golfweek

Jerry Potter reports that Commissioner Tim Finchem made the unusual move of issuing a statement on Golfweek's noose cover:

"Clearly, what Kelly said was inappropriate and unfortunate, and she obviously regrets her choice of words," Finchem said. "But we consider Golfweek's imagery of a swinging noose on its cover to be outrageous and irresponsible. It smacks of tabloid journalism. It was a naked attempt to inflame and keep alive an incident that was heading to an appropriate conclusion."
Jeese, tell us what you really think.
 

Meanwhile, Ryan Ballengee makes an interesting point about the irony and hypocrisy of it all:

Golfweek's own Jeff Rude was among the first asking fans to drop the issue and forgive Tilghman for her gaffe. His own publication is not dropping the issue, though. They are devoting a cover to it - a cover that contains the image of a symbol that is becoming reborn in the southern influenced parts of the country as notice of racial deference, e.g., the Jena 6 case.

In essence, the cover propagates the coverage of the comment. It is continuing the news cycle on this particular story. I think that is unfortunate and inappropriate. The media should not be in the business of continuing to cover itself. It happens in varying forms, from when ESPN says that their reporters are reporting a story that someone else broke, to a magazine drawing other ink for making a controversial cover about a controversial media story. It can be enough to make the average sports fan's head spin at times.

The irony of this post is that the ploy is working. Elling, myself, and others are writing about what is being written and shown as a symbol of what Kelly Tilghman said. Maybe I should be lumped in with the crew that I am lambasting, but I thought this issue deserved a special comment.

Wednesday
Jan162008

"The tour sent an e-mail when the change was approved in November."

Doug Ferguson follows up on the cut controversy with this item in his notes column:

The Player Advisory Council considered four options before approving the proposal that only the nearest number to 70 play on the weekend if the cut includes more than 78 players. The proposal passed by a 75 percent margin.
 
The other options were top 60 and ties; top 65 and ties, as is done in Europe; the nearest number to 70 regardless of how many players finishing top 70 and ties; and a Saturday cut of top 70 and ties which Jeff Sluman has advocated for years.

Hey, now there's a great idea.  And we know how much traction those usually have. 
The most bogus complaint of the weekend was that players didn't know about the new policy. That's their fault. The tour sent an e-mail when the change was approved in November. It was in the "green sheet" report they get in the mail and in lockers. It was available on "Tour Links," the players' web site. And it was attached as a cover sheet to the 2008 regulations everyone received.

I have no sympathy with the player's plight considering the above.

But more than that, how can you feel for them when they play so terribly slow? This rule was brought on in large part because of pace of play. Granted, distance advances have totally changed the pace of play dynamics on many courses by introducing longer walks to new back tees, automatic fairway waits on nearly all par-5s and long waits on short par-4 tees that never existed.

Still, PGA Tour players are horribly slow. So unless they adopt something like the USGA's new pace of play policy that actually penalizes slow play and read the memos sent their way, do they really have a gripe? 

Wednesday
Jan162008

"PGA Tour officials, though, said Lopez didn't have the power to promote the Hope in such a manner, thereby killing the diary."

L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers says he wanted to do one of his entertaining 24/7 column series where he follows a figure around and documents all. But he's claiming "PGA Tour officials" shot it down.  I'm not sure I'm buying it, but here's what he claims:

I HAD plans to attend the Bob Hope Classic this week in the desert -- thinking maybe somebody should go.

It's a dying PGA tournament, as you know, and aren't they all when Tiger isn't playing?

This one is so far gone it's not on network TV this weekend, has none of the top 20 players in the world, and will be competing for attention here with the NFL, Lakers and UCLA taking on USC.

But I still thought it'd be fun to shadow the Hope's celebrity host, George Lopez, like I did Oscar De La Hoya before his last two fights, and like the week-long trip to Nebraska -- write four or five Page 2 diary columns on the Hope.

Lopez, proving he's willing to do almost anything for the Hope, agreed to make himself available 24/7, including parties, dinners and an invite to caddy for him Saturday.

PGA Tour officials, though, said Lopez didn't have the power to promote the Hope in such a manner, thereby killing the diary. The concern, of course, what happens if one of the golfers is seen wearing a lampshade at one of the parties? How would it look on Page 2 if I couldn't put a name to a face of one of their players?

It was a legitimate concern since the tour is now loaded with players who lack identity -- the exception being JohnDaly, who wouldn't draw a second look if he was wearing a lampshade, because that's John Daly.

The PGA Tour's idea of hyping the dying Hope was to make three players available for interviews Tuesday, and if I told you three of the six names here belong to golfers -- Lane Frost, Charley Hoffman, Billy Bishop, John Ware, Anthony Kim and RichardJohnson -- could you pick them out?

Hoffman is Hope's defending champ, and was joined in the interview tent by Kim and Johnson. The other three names belong to men who really are dead.