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

    Kindle Edition

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

I am no lover of the habit of giving names to holes, but the trees and shrubs which give identity to the holes at Augusta are real enough: flowering peach, magnolia--the drive is alive with them, too; yellow jasmine, Carolina cherry, camellia--never was the iron gauntlet of challenge more skillfully concealed in velvet. BOBBY JONES


    

Wednesday
Nov072007

"When completed, it will be one of the finest of its kind anywhere in the world."

medium_trump.jpgJudy DeHaven reports that The Donald is going to build another self-proclaimed masterpiece in New Jersey, but someone needs to tell him to stop using Gary Player's line to describe courses he hates. Thanks to reader Tom for this:

Real estate developer and casino boss Donald Trump said today he has inked a deal to rescue the troubled Encap development project in the Meadowlands.

Trump will now hire a master developer, but he said he already envisions a world-class golf course designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio - akin to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster - as well as residential housing, open space and perhaps a hotel.

"I look forward to working on the development," Trump said this afternoon, hours after signing the agreement. "When completed, it will be one of the finest of its kind anywhere in the world."

Finest of its kind? The Donald is getting sloppy! 

Wednesday
Nov072007

Another Fall Finish Fan

Steve Elling expands on the Fall Finish field issue and makes a compelling case for the winners of these events to earn Masters exemptions as well as other perks that go along with winning.
 According to the numbers crunched this week by statistical guru Jeff Sagarin, who does rankings for Golfweek magazine, all seven Fall Series events had better fields than the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., and the John Deere Classic, both regular-season tournaments.

It's interesting to note that, in a move that was widely applauded, Masters chairman Billy Payne last spring reinstated the rule in which all PGA Tour winners will be offered automatic exemptions to Augusta National.

That is, everybody but the seven Fall Series winners and those who won events staged opposite the three remaining majors or World Golf Championship tournaments.

Sounds like the Augusta brass should revisit their plan, especially since two of the seven Fall Series winners, Stephen Ames and Mike Weir, had already qualified for the Masters via other means. Thus, had the fall winners been included in Payne's plan, it would have meant adding a maximum of five more players to Augusta National's limited invitational field in 2008.

Moreover, the Fall Series had a list of winners that was more familiar to fans than many of the names who won in the regular season. Included were Justin Leonard, Chad Campbell and Steve Flesch, who all have multiple tour victories. The seven winners have combined for 29 career victories, two majors and two Players Championship wins.

Hardly a bunch of complete stiffs, in other words.
Wednesday
Nov072007

"I have no desire to watch golf on TV and I don't read about it that much"

Craig Dolch catches up with Greg Norman who offered this:

"I have no desire to watch golf on TV and I don't read about it that much," he said. "But now that I'm chairman of the board of MacGregor, I'm going to have to keep my finger on the pulse of the sport to know what's going on with my business."

Uh, yes that would be a good idea. 

Wednesday
Nov072007

Snap Code

Tuesday
Nov062007

My Shot: The USGA and Jim Vernon**

nov6_vernon_299x442.jpgSI Golf Plus runs a My Shot by yours truly this week on Jim Vernon's relatively unnoticed nomination as the next USGA President.

**Oops, here's the link to the story. 

Tuesday
Nov062007

HSBC Champions Photo Caption Fun

From the GolfChannel.com, a Ross Kinnaird image taken at "preview day" of the H$BC Champions Trophy meet and greet. What's Phil hearing?

216438.jpg 

Tuesday
Nov062007

Fall Finish Fields Far From Flat

How about that alliteration?

Doug Ferguson's weekly notes featured this item, which hopefully will have Billy Payne reconsidering Augusta National's stance on the Tour's Fall Finish:

Four tournaments during the Fall Series had a stronger field than the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, which counts as a FedEx Cup event and whose winner (Brandt Snedeker) got an automatic invitation to the Masters.

 

Tuesday
Nov062007

In The Bunker With Stan

dataNice spot by Bob Carney at the Golf Digest editor's blog: the esteemed Michael Lewis has obtained ousted Merrill Lynch CEO Stanley O'Neal's scorecards, including notes to himself.

Good irreverent fun if you enjoy humor at the expense of a golden parachute recipient.  

Tuesday
Nov062007

"The fact is, I don't have anything else to do."

nov5_trevino_299x389.jpgLee Trevino, on golf.com, and brutally honest about his brief retirement:
That's why I'll be back for the 2008 season, my 43rd year in the game. I'll probably play about a dozen events, starting in Florida next winter. I really love seeing the guys, but the fact is, I don't have anything else to do. There's nothing wrong with wanting to retire. I wouldn't miss competing. I don't do that very well these days anyway. But I don't have anything else to fill my time. If I owned a golf course or a driving range in my hometown of Dallas, and I could get up, drop my kid at school and then spend five or six hours a day at work, that would be fine, but I don't have anything like that in my life.
Monday
Nov052007

Points Tweaks To Encourage Volatility**

According to Doug Ferguson, who reviews the 2007 PGA Tour season:

Tour officials are busy running hundreds of models to tweak the [FedEx Cup] points system, putting particular emphasis on players’ concerns the four playoff events were not volatile enough. In other words, they want more guys to have a chance, but it’s a tough balancing act keeping the regular season meaningful.

Any volatility would help quite a bit, much more so than reducing the field sizes. 

Monday
Nov052007

Requiem for a Country Club

214600.jpgThanks to reader Steven T. for catching Rich Lerner's memories of Berkleigh Country Club, which recently closed and auctioned off plenty of memories.

I thought this was particularly interesting since I've recently heard of a number of clubs having serious trouble attracting new members.

Berkleigh was 81 years old. People die at 81, not lush golf courses with rich history. At 81 they get curvier and prettier. So many clubs, though, struggle now, desperate for members and families. Who has time, what with kids and jobs and the Internet and TIVO and 300 channels? Who goes to dinner dances anymore? Dressing up these days means Lucky Brand jeans with a Banana Republic t-shirt.

My generation had kids later in life. And either because we really wanted to be better dads or were driven through societal pressure, we went to Little League baseball games and soccer matches on Saturday mornings, joining the fitness craze and the $70-a-month gyms instead of country clubs.
 
Today, I travel more than 20 weeks a year and because of my job get more than enough invites to quality clubs to keep me satisfied. Most guys I know play a couple of times a month, maybe at a high-end daily fee or as a guest at a nice club. Many of us know at least a few of the generous and fortunate who belong to great places, those with gilded reputations that put them beyond the reach of economic downturns.

Monday
Nov052007

Striking Writers Take Comfort In Jack Wagner Heading Golf Digest's List Of Actors With Too Much Time On Their Hands

maar01_jackwagner.jpgI know you are just dying to know how many shots it's going to take for Lucas Black to catch Jack Wagner, so here's the link.

Oh and please don't ask about the accompanying photo. Beats me what they were going for.
Monday
Nov052007

Mickelson Family Safari Makes Up For Otherwise Miserable Week In Singapore

Grant Clark reports that Phil Mickelson had his highest round in 3 years and is on antibiotics after inhaling California's ashen air.

But at least the kids had fun on the Singapore safari.

Sunday
Nov042007

Snap

I just installed a new little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

Sunday
Nov042007

Final Money Lists

pgatour.jpgThe final PGA Tour money list where the top 125 are fully exempt next year and the top 30 gets you in the Masters.

And the final Nationwide Tour money list reveals some familiar and new names in the top 25 earning a PGA Tour card.
Sunday
Nov042007

Gulbis Seeks To Shed Image As Hot, Athletic Babe

natalie_gulbis.jpgThanks to reader Jeff for this Jeffrey Kelley story on the planned "rebranding" of Natalie Gulbis.

I know I say this a lot, but really, you couldn't make this up...

Natalie Gulbis, the 24-year-old golfer best known -- at least until recently -- for her good looks, will be rebranded by Circle S Studios.

A 2008 calendar and day planner designed by the marketing shop in Old Manchester follows Gulbis' first LPGA Tour title at the Evian Masters in France in June.

The blonde Gulbis has done calendars since 2004. Pictures in her 2005 calendar -- in swimsuits or dresses -- were deemed provocative by the U.S. Golf Association. Though it was criticized for overreacting, the USGA banned the calendar's sale at the U.S. Women's Open.

The 2008 calendar, by contrast, is all golf and pushes Gulbis' game face.

"With the original stuff, she was in a beautiful bathing suit, tights and things and that certainly got the attention of a lot of people," said Circle S President and Managing Partner Susan Hogg. "But we're trying to scoot it more to who she is and where she wants to take [her career and name] . . . and being a role model, specifically to young girls and women in general. That's the brand we're trying to portray."

What a great idea. This is beautiful:

Hogg described the company's work as "a refinement of a truer image of who she is. Sometimes the media can start to control your brand, and we're trying to take control of the brand."

Just put some glasses on her, feature calendar photos of her signing her scorecard or taking a lesson from Butch, and I guarantee you'll have control of the brand as it heads right down the toilet. 

Still, it's not as though the tall, blue-green-eyed Gulbis will leave the minds of the males who know her. "They're still beauty shots. She's an attractive, wonderful athlete," Hogg said.

Whew, I was worried.

Ah, more #@&%!#$:

"The calendar is just one element of how you get perceived in the marketplace, so we tried to step back and look holistically in terms of how is she being positioned" in public, Hogg said.

That's why they get the big bucks. Helps pay for the therapy when they decide to look back at their life accomplishments and see quotes printed like that.

The firm, which occupies a converted box warehouse, is putting together "a series of recommendations, a strategic marketing plan" to Gulbis' sports-marketing firm, Octagon, Hogg said. Circle S is considering new merchandise and interactive features on the Web to help cater to the female teenage demographic -- conveying an all-American girl who eats well, exercises and works hard. "That's how you rise to the top, instead of the sex symbol, which is how it started out," Hogg said.

And it isn't doing so bad is she?

Sunday
Nov042007

Connery, Sherwood Settle Just In Time To Spare All Involved Of Fighting Over Embarrassing Details In Court

According to Marc Horne of the Scotsman, Sherwood Country Club settled a suit brought by Sean Connery that was due to be heard in court Tuesday where Joe Pesci and Craig T. Nelson were expected to testify.

Sunday
Nov042007

Gaffe Channel At Disney

Steve Elling notes a most unusual (well, silly) decision by the Golf Channel Saturday.

 

Saturday
Nov032007

Bubble Boys

PGATour.com has the bubble boys heading into Sunday's final round at Disney.

Bob Harig looks at some of the bubble players who missed the 36 hole cut.

And on the Q-school front all of the first stage sites have completed play. Here's a link to all of the various scoring pages.

 

Saturday
Nov032007

Bethpage Changes

bethpage.jpgBrad Klein of Golfweek details changes in progress at Bethpage Black in advance of the 2009 U.S. Open.

The work at Bethpage-Black is being designed by architect Rees Jones, with construction work carried out in-house and overseen by superintendent Craig Currier. The work, paid for by Bethpage (unlike earlier renovation work there, which was funded by the USGA) is already well underway, with new tees and at least one major bunker in place, and more slated in the next few months.
What a great use of state funds!
The par-70 course, which played 7,214 yards in 2002, is being stretched by 250 yards to 7,464 yards. Not coincidentally, the 3.5 percent additional length correlates closely to the 3.2 percent gain in average driving distance on the PGA Tour from 2002 (280 yards) to 2007 (289.2 yards).
Does that mean in 2018 they will...ah forget it.
The two biggest changes to Bethpage-Black are taking place on the only two holes that played to an average score of under par during the 2002 U.S. Open. The par-5 13th hole (avg. score in 2002 was 4.941) is being stretched from 554 yards to 605, with a new tee currently under construction adjacent to a new pump station that is being installed. The hole is also slated to get a new fairway bunker that will pinch the driving area from the left.
Glad we're correcting those defects!

This was interesting: 
During a site inspection by USGA officials to Bethpage on Tuesday, plans were also discussed by which Bethpage-Black would be develop a density of rough that was not quite as thick, lush and punitive as was the case during recent U.S. opens such as at Winged Foot in 2006 or Oakmont in 2007. Mike Davis, USGA senior director of rules and competitions, who was among those at Bethpage-Black this week, said “the goal would be to have rough that’s penal, but playable – not just chopping out, but would leave players with the chance to advance the ball, even if the spin were taken off and it would be difficult to control.”

That model of rough was first developed at Pinehurst No. 2 in 1999 and represents a refinement of the idea that primary rough ought to be simply a punishment. It remains to be seen how such a rough can be achieved on Bethpage’s notoriously dense, heavily fertilized ryegrass, with some Poa annua, bluegrass and fescue. But course officials have plenty of time to figure that out, as well as to complete installation of those new back tees.

Maybe Phil's wrist injury actually did hit home with the USGA and just maybe someone (well, Mike Davis) has the sense to start telling these courses to throttle back with the rough-on-steroids harvesting? 

Maybe Phil doesn't need to write that letter of apology to Oakmont, as Tim Rosaforte suggested