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

Hazards should not be built solely with the idea of penalizing bad play, but with the object of encouraging thoughtful golf and of rewarding the player who possesses the ability to play a variety of strokes with each club. WILLIAM LANGFORD

 

    

Wednesday
Aug012007

Mickelson Committed To Not Answering Anymore Questions About Playing All Four Playoff Events

Sam Weinman reports that Phil has signed up to play at Westchester, making it possible he'll play all four playoff events and more importantly, to stop the inkslingers from those repeated questions about his FedEx Cup playoff plans.

Tiger has taken the same wise route, noting his "intent" to play all four events.
Wednesday
Aug012007

Women's Open Championshp Photo Caption Fun, Vol. 1

Let's keep these G rated. Well, okay, PG-13 maybe. From the Golf For Women blog, Paula Creamer at St. Andrews:

blog_creamer080107b.jpg 

Wednesday
Aug012007

That's St. Andrews?

Reader Jordan found this ESPN.com golf homepage photo a big confusing. The caption says its St. Andrews, but unless they painted the Old Course Hotel white and moved it, I think it looks an awful lot like Carnoustie

230136-948591-thumbnail.jpg
(click image to enlarge)

 

Tuesday
Jul312007

"Their deplorable arrogance and stunning lack of judgment has left most...pondering how in the world the USGA got into such a situation."

Golf Digest's Local Knowledge blog did a little follow up on Golf World's Chris Millard authored cover story on USGA President Walter Driver, with this major chink in the groupthink armor:

Attorney and journalist Gary Galyean, as a longtime USGA volunteer on the rules committee (he officiates at most USGA championships), possesses  an insider's perspective on the workings of the USGA and its volunteer network. He also authors "Gary Galyean's Golf Letter," a bi-monthly newsletter about the golf industry, and in the July/August issue, he penned a no-holds-barred assessment of the present state of USGA affairs:

Media Center
Anyone who has spent time around the press, particularly when they are concentrated in one media center covering one event, knows that they are a tough crowd. That's their job. Attempting to control what they write or broadcast always backfires. GolfWorld's June 8th cover story -- Can the USGA survive Walter Driver? The tumultuous reign of the association's controversial president -- set the early tone in the U.S. Open Media Center. There was blood in the water. No matter how it was spun, Mr. Driver's standing with the press was built by him and his performance on and off stage during his years as vice president and president. Post-championship columns continue to reflect an assessment that refuses to be spun by glad-handing or verbal dexterity.

Oh that was just a little warm-up graph. Now the fun begins. 
USGA Volunteers
The volunteer base serving in various capacities at the Open were nearly universal in their dissatisfaction with the direction the USGA has taken under the presidencies of Fred S. Ridley and Walter W. Driver Jr. Corporate jets, corporate partnering, an arrogance of power, an attempt to stifle open discussion, packing the Executive Committee, and the general turning away from the association's traditional values were topics continually at the center of whispered discussions during the Open.

 You mean, everyone wasn't talking about what a tall, handsome, well constructed man Walter Driver is?

A fractured fissure grew wider between those who have served for years in order to extend and improve golf in America and those who are either new to the USGA culture, or, like the current and immediate past president, simply don't get it.

Ouch. Now here's a very important point:

As distasteful as the past three and a half years have been, of greater concern is the impact both Mr. Ridley and Mr. Driver will have as rising, successive chairmen of the Nominating Committee. Mr. Ridley will serve two years as vice chairman (2008, '09) and two years as chairman (2010, '11). Mr. Driver will vice chair Mr. Ridley's chairmanship and follow with two years in the chair (2012, '13). For six years they will influence the selection of those offered positions as USGA officers, Executive Committee members and Nominating Committee members.

Oh I don't know, you don't think 15 vulture capitalists with MBA's or law degrees from Stanford can right this ship?

Their deplorable arrogance and stunning lack of judgment has left most of the senior volunteer base disappointed, disoriented, weighing the future donation of their time and expertise, and pondering how in the world the USGA got into such a situation.

Following the Nominating Committee debacle of 2004, the past presidents were blamed for exerting too much influence often without explanation or accountability. Executive Committee members with proven, effective records were sometimes dismissed without explanation, while weaker substitutes were elevated for, once again, unexplained reasons. For outsiders, it was like forecasting the political landscape of the Soviet Union based on who was sitting where at the annual Politburo banquet.

Oh boy, insinuating communist activities. That ought make for some good water cooler conversation at Goldman Sachs.

The public and press outcry in 2004 to what appeared to be yet another arbitrary and unwarrantable change to the Executive Committee precipitated a monumental change in the nominating procedure. The emotional goal was to eliminate vagarious, capricious, out-of-touch control by the powerful past presidents. The effect, however, in reality lessened the influence of those who, regardless of sometimes fickle or unexplained political maneuvering, understood the culture of the USGA.

The lessening of the influence of those who "get it" created a political vacuum into which strutted those who don't. And their influence will be felt until 2014 unless the nominating system is amended again.

Very truly yours,

Gary A. Galyean

Whoa. It's about time somebody from the inner circle speak out.  

Tuesday
Jul312007

We Love You Natalie! We Really, Really Love You!

gw20070803cover_sm.jpgWow, I had no idea how desperately the golf publications were clamoring for a chance to milk a Natalie Gulbis win!  Golf World buried a PGA Championship preview for an action shot of Gulbis and all 6 feet of her legs. 

Meanwhile at golf.com's homepage you can't miss the soft core porn shots.

And I, being a total hit whore as much as the next blogger, am only posting this so that I can join in and exploit her smooth, tan, toned legs after this site welcomed 6000 new unique visitors in a three hour stretch yesterday thanks to Deadspin.

But just to show you I have standards, first, here is a teleconference call transcript helmed by Brian Robin. And second, to remind you what a first class operation this is, note that I did not not type the words "Natalie Gulbis nude photos" to attract hits from the inevitable 1000 daily unique Google searchers who truly have nothing to do at the office. Nope, I have standards. 


 

Tuesday
Jul312007

“It’s just so amazing. It’s just breathtaking."

You have to give Michelle Wie points for this one liner, talking about the Old Course, as quoted by Alistair Tait at Golfweek.com:

“It’s the most interesting golf course I’ve ever played,” Wie said. “You actually aim to hit another fairway. This year I’ve been doing that by accident – now I’ve been doing it on purpose.
And of course, you know I'm swooning reading this. Big points:
“It’s just so amazing. It’s just breathtaking. It’s quickly become one of my favorite golf courses.”

Tuesday
Jul312007

Wow, you’re a lot shorter than you look on TV."

AP's Scott Sonner scribbled this down from 5'1" Tadd Fujikawa, who is making his pro debut at the Reno-Tahoe Open:

“Maybe I will grow. If I stay short, that’s OK,” he said. “A lot of people say, ‘Wow, you’re a lot shorter than you look on TV. That’s the main thing, as long as I look taller on TV.”

Tuesday
Jul312007

"Would anybody watch a Grand Slam of Golf without Tiger?"

That's what the Naples News's Tom Patri asks.

I would ask, did anybody watch a Grand Slam of Golf with Tiger?

Tuesday
Jul312007

"One more time, it's not technology that makes golf courses obsolete. It's a lack of imagination on the part of the architect."

Blooper and Gaffe over at GolfDigest.com apparently had nothing better to do so one of them put together a "Ryder Cup-like" team of short hitters to compete with the other one's team of semi-bombers to prove that, uh, apparently a Ryder Cup squad can include any nationality!

Oh, and it's a completely useless opportunity for their bi-weekly subliminal message that distance isn't harming the game, we don't need to regulate the ball because our friends in the equipment industry must be free to create more products to boost third quarter earnings.

Of course, it's fascinating to read B&G they break out their pom-poms for the new USGA groove regulation, which is being forced on the golfing public because the USGA claims there is no correlation between success and driving accuracy on the PGA Tour (remember that when you buy a new conforming wedge in 16 months).

Even more fun is this post about how it's all the architects fault that courses are becoming obsolete, not the equipment.

The model that architects should be following to allow grown men to continue to shop unfettered by common sense regulation?

Brown Deer Park! Where they say some Parks and Rec dude had the vision to see it all coming and designed a bunch of holes that take driver out of your hand.

One more time, it's not technology that makes golf courses obsolete. It's a lack of imagination on the part of the architect. You don't need 7,400 yards to test the best. Last week, 6,759 proved more than enough.

Yes, legions of viewers will tune in to watch the Brown Deer Parks of the world. That'll really lift the PGA Tour ratings to new heights!

Oh, and Tiger doesn't play the Brown Deer Parks of the world boys. So give it up.

Tuesday
Jul312007

Another Castle Stuart Video From YouTube...

Tuesday
Jul312007

Blogging The Women's Open Championship

hofl01_ochoa0731007.jpgThanks to The Golf Chick for catching John Huggan's post from St. Andrews on the Golf For Women blog, which has really become a lively and interesting spot in the blogosphere since the last time I looked. (And a very readable look too.)

Ron Sirak is also filing posts on the Local Knowledge blog and he has some early reaction from players who are in awe of the place. No Scott Hoch's in this bunch.

Tuesday
Jul312007

I Wonder If The Green Bay Packers Could Have Skipped A Playoff Game If They Wanted To?

Yes, I'm that taken with Ric Clarson's metaphor.

Especially since Chris Lewis notes that Phil Mickelson's online schedule does not list this year's first playoff event, the Barclay's at Westchester. And Tiger never has listed the Barclay's on his web site.

Of course Tiger also doesn't list the Western BMW or The Tour Championship TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP (maybe he didn't want to look to presumptuous about his expected FedEx point tally!).

Are these playoffs if they are not mandatory?

Monday
Jul302007

"No Jeans, training pants or hot pants."

Reader Steve was checking up on the Russian Open, this week's European Tour event, and stumbled on this spectator's etiquette guide. Some of the more intriguing recommendations:

Turn your camera flash off. If you can't, refrain from taking any photographs while a player is taking a shot. Also, if your camera automatically rewinds at the end of the film, be aware of how many shots you have left before you snap away.
It's great to hear digital cameras still haven't made it somewhere on the planet. And what a shame Stevie's not there with Tiger. 
Golf promotes a specific Dress Code. Please dress appropriately when attending the golf tournament. The Dress Code is as follows:

No high heels are allowed, flat soled shoes only. To avoid damage to the course and for your safety.

Shirts with collars only must be worn at all times (no bikinis/swimsuits).

No Jeans, training pants or hot pants.

No hot pants? What does Ian Poulter do?

Monday
Jul302007

"I wonder if the members of the Green Bay Packers when they won the very first Super Bowl in 1967.."

The bigwigs gathered to plug the upcoming Deutsche Bank event at TPC Boston, and they even included my pal Gil Hanse to talk about the course architecture. Even though you and I know we'll be watching to see those exciting FedEx Cup point permutations unfold.

RIC CLARSON: I wonder if the members of the Green Bay Packers when they won the very first Super Bowl in 1967, which wasn't even called the Super Bowl then, realized their place in history. The fact of the matter is they knew it was a big game and an important game, but they didn't realize that the way that New England's fans realized it when the Patriots won the Super Bowl. Thus we embark on a new era in golf called the FedExCup.
Wow Ric, how long did you spend sculpting that gem? 
Adam Scott, the very first winner of the Deutsche Bank Championship, you never get a second chance to be first, and we're delighted on behalf of the PGA TOUR after 24 years to actually have a season now that is structured like other sports where our athletes have the chance to not only perform over a 33-week regular season but a four-week Playoffs.

Some of the greatest moments in sports come from Playoffs. Some of the greatest moments in golf have happened right here at the Deutsche Bank, and when you combine those two ingredients, we think we're in for a great new era in golf.

Some of the greatest moments in golf have happened at the Deutsche Bank? And you say you don't learn things coming to this website?

BRAD FAXON: I just want to say here, I've been part of the TPC since day one when we broke ground here. It's been six or seven years ago we broke ground. We always needed a facility like this, and I'm proud to say that the TPC of Boston is the best TPC in the country, especially now with what's been done, with everybody partnering now to make this tournament, the Deutsche Bank tournament, Seth, the TPC, the PGA TOUR, to go ahead and let us make changes to make this tournament-worthy golf course.

Easy Brad, let's break 'em in slow!

Like Seth said, everybody knows Deutsche Bank is on Labor Day. We're going to have an unbelievable field, and I'm pretty excited to see the reaction of all the players when they come here and see a course that was maybe liked but not super-well-liked, and hopefully the changes that you're going to get to see now, you're going to say, wow, this is different, this is a New England-style golf course, this looks old, it looks like it's been here. The bad lies and the bad shots that you get today are going to be Gil's fault (laughter).

And from Gil:

As Brad mentioned, what we were really hopeful of doing was trying to create a golf course that looked and felt a little bit more like New England. So I think the touches that you'll see out there will really be reflective of we borrowed literally and liberally from The Country Club, places that are close to our hearts, great old New England golf courses, drop mounds, some blind shots, fescue edged bunkers, fescue out in the rough areas. So hopefully the golf course will feel and look a little bit more rustic and a little bit more like New England.

From a playability standpoint, these guys are so good that I'm skeptical that there's anything we can do from a physical standpoint to limit or restrict what they do. You can always make bunkers so deep, you can only grow rough so thick and tall and you can only have greens so fast.
But what we really tried to concentrate on is the place where I think is the most vulnerable is the mental aspect, trying to make them have to think significantly of different options and different ways to play golf holes, making them feel uncomfortable over shots because they can't quite see the bottom of the flagstick or they might have been in a bunker or on an island and they don't quite have a perfect lie. I think these are the things that architects are going to have to rely more and more on as we go forward with technology and as good athletes as these gentlemen are and the way they play the game.

So hopefully you'll find more strategy, more areas -- I think Pete Dye has a phrase, "Once you get these guys thinking, they're in trouble." I think that's what we're hoping for is we can make them think a little bit more as they go around the golf course and explore different options and opportunities.

Tiger then joined in at this point and he artfully sidestepped questions about the course changes he hasn't seen yet.

Monday
Jul302007

Stupples Ditched For Pursuing Radical Heterosexual Lifestyle

stupplestrophy.jpgRemember the good old days when sponsors would love to have a pregnant LPGA golfer on staff? Not anymore, reports Lewine Mair:
Karen Stupples, the former British Women's Open champion, claims that she was ditched by two sponsors because she became pregnant.

Stupples, 34, whose son, Logan, was born in April, says she is still owed £20,000 by Hi-Tec, the sports shoe manufacturer.

According to Stupples, Hi-Tec were meant to give her a cheque for £10,000 in January and another cheque for £10,000 this month but have not done so.

Stupples also claims that another of her sponsors, the Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girdeau, Missouri, wanted to cut her annual fee of $40,000 in half, on the grounds that she would be playing less than in a normal year.

"I felt so hurt because I considered these people to be friends," said Stupples, who claims she turned down more lucrative deals to stay loyal to her sponsorship partners after she became British champion in 2004.

No one at Hi-Tec was available for comment yesterday but they have told her managers, IMG, that they are concentrating their resources on Padraig Harrington and Ian Woosnam.
Ian Woosnam? He still plays?
Monday
Jul302007

"He's got the wrong swing coach, that's for sure."

It's always dangerous when otherwise excellent sports writers try to cover golf, but at least you can sympathize with their plight. And then there's Mike Lupica, who really isn't excellent and who is frequently paid to write about golf. And I'm always left wondering why.

Case in point, from his New York Daily News column, courtesty of reader Tuco:

It will be interesting to see how Tiger Woods does at the PGA in Tulsa next month, because there are smart, informed golf guys I know who say he is burned out right now.

He's got the wrong swing coach, that's for sure.

Yep, that's a given. No Grand Slam under Hank's watch!

 

His knee bothers him more than he lets on.

But this guy I talked to said that the biggest problem is that Tiger is simply a little burned out, after the long run he's had being ... Tiger!

Turns out it was Jerry Corzzinni, a runway technical supervisor at Teterboro who spotted Tiger rubbing his finger between his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose during a particularly nasty post-FedEx Cup ad campaign launch luncheon in New York City. 

Lupica gets all of the scoops.

Seriously, is must be nice to be burned out and still nearly win two majors! 

Monday
Jul302007

"I originally thought the piece was a parody out of The Onion."

Hey, I'm not the only one mystified by the USGA or Furman Bisher's swooning. Ryan Ballengee thought Bisher's column was produced by The Onion!

Monday
Jul302007

"I've been told by the family not to talk to the press."

wieandcaddie.jpgIs that Luca Brasi talking about the Corleone's? No, just another caddie (not) talking about the Wie family. 

Ron Sirak serves up that and several other interesting Michelle Wie observations from the Evian Masters:

Want an indication of the tension level surrounding the Michelle Wie Camp as she continues to struggle with her game? David Clarke, who is about the 14th person to caddie for Michelle - and I'm being serious with that number - was approached by a reporter after Saturday's round and asked what club she hit on the 115-yard par-3 17th hole and replied: "I've been told by the family not to talk to the press." Hardly seems like revealing club selection is divulging a state secret. Clarke should know how to handle these situations. He toted luggage for Justin Rose on the men's tour before swing guru David Leadbetter hooked him up with Wie. At least Clarke finished the Evian Masters. Two years ago, Brian Smallwood, a long-time caddie for Betsy King, quit after one round here, fed-up with second-guessing from Wie's parents. And last year, Wie fired Greg Johnston after she finished T-26 in the Women's British Open the week after the Evian. Why caddie for Wie? The possible upside is too great - and there is that six-figure guarantee.

 

Sunday
Jul292007

Is That Anyway To Treat A Flag?

Reader NRH noticed Natalie Gulbis's lack of American flag etiquette, but perhaps since she won the Evian Masters on French soil she was entitled to treat the flag as a stool cover? 

Now boys and girls, let's try to keep the photo captions PG-13 rated...photo courtesy of golf.com:

july29_gulbistrophy_425x600.jpg 

Sunday
Jul292007

Romero!

Phil Casey reports on Angel Andres* Romero's impressive comeback from his Open catastrophe to win the Deutsche Bank Players Championship, earning a 5-year European Tour exemption.

Romero began the final round two shots ahead of Scotland and was five strokes clear after four birdies and a bogey in the first seven holes. His attacking approach is always likely to lead him into trouble and it duly arrived on the 9th when he went for the island green from heavy rough but came up short in the water.

Unlike his double bogey on the 17th at Carnoustie, however, he still had plenty of time to recover and he birdied the 11th to move four clear again. However, Wilson then birdied the 16th to cut the gap and it was down to two when Romero bogeyed the same hole 30 minutes later.

Two shots clear with two to play once more, Romero this time made no mistake and sealed victory in style with a long-range birdie on the 18th.

*It was late!