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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 Nature the golf architect has in mind is linksland upon which golf has been played for hundreds of years, and remained through a major part of this time uncontaminated by the hand of man except for the cutting of the holes. Whatever beauty such land possessed was inherent in it, and those today who have played golf amidst such primeval surroundings are conscious of a certain charm wholly lacking upon a palpable man-made golf course. 
MAX BEHR

 

    

Tuesday
Mar112008

"If ever there was irrefutable proof that we long ago reached the saturation point on golf instruction, it is the knowledge that even Tripp Isenhour is involved."

GolfBrief.com's Jim McCabe offers this entertaining take on the Tripp Isenhour hawk killing fiasco:

top07.jpgWith this story still having shelf life, part of me just can’t get away from one angle that continues to amaze. That is, the endless stream of infomercials, books, videos, and gadgets which promise to make you a better golfer. I’m not sure any of them have made improvements upon “Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf,” that came out more than 50 years ago, but needless to say, the flow of money being poured into whatever quick fix is thrust into public view hasn’t evaporated.
   
“Practice Like a Pro” is a DVD collection offered for “3 easy payments of $29.98” — plus the infamous shipping and handling, of course — and if you Google it, whose face pops up but that of Tripp Isenhour. He’s there with a big grin on his face, so we assume the photo was taken before the red-shouldered hawk fell into his world with a resounding thud. Standing next to Isenhour is Dr. Bob Rotella, who knows a thing or two or three or 20 about books and videos that promise better golf. Isenhour is billed as a “PGA Tour pro,” which begs the question: Does anyone know of any “PGA Tour amateur?”
   
Reportedly, the Dec. 12 session was to film a video in the “Practice Like a Pro” series and you’d be wise to wager that there won’t be anything about a drill on taking aim at feathered creatures in trees. As to whether or not these videos are “revolutionary” or truly reveal “secrets of the short game,” as the advertisement states, that’s for you to decide.

This is America and thanks to our precious capitalism, Isenhour, for sure, is free to cash in on his status as a professional golfer and pitch products like the “Practice Like a Pro,” just as you are within your rights to purchase the Medicus dual-hinged Driver, the Brush-T, the Heavy Putter, the Swing Glove, or any magazine that announces on its cover that you can cure your slice or hit your drives 20 yards further.
   
Getting better at golf is a huge industry, but I guess it took the unfortunate death of a migratory bird to make me realize once again just how huge it is. I mean, Tripp Isenhour offering help with golf instruction? I hadn’t heard much of him since he won the Trinidad Open.

Tuesday
Mar112008

"You're looking at the shortest golf window along the entire North Sea."

gwar03_080314trump.jpgGolf World's John Huggan weighs in on the viability of The Donald's Scotland project moving forward. This lept off the page...

All of which presupposes that the course actually will be built. While the odds are currently heavily in favor of the project gaining official approval, nothing yet is certain. Indeed, the story of Trump and the Menie Estate already has taken many twists and turns. As a "Site of Special Scientific Interest" that is home to many varieties of plant and wildlife, the area always was going to be difficult from a planning standpoint. American Mark Parsinen, who developed the highly acclaimed Kingsbarns course near St. Andrews, was one who previously rejected the site because of possible environmental restrictions. "I looked at this location, but it is on a Site of Special Scientific Interest," says Parsinen, who is now building another project at Castle Stuart, near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. "These things take a lot of time. I settled here with my family to slowly build up relationships with the local community. I want them with me, not angry with me."

Meanwhile in last week's Golfweek, Bradley Klein writes of the project:

Didn't any of The Donald's consultants tell him that the site for this proposed 36-hole golf resort and real estate spread north of Aberdeen is on the East Coast's coldest stretch of land? Between the frequent morning "haar" or fog and the early afternoon shadows cast by the Grampian Mountains to the west, you're looking at the shortest golf window along the entire North Sea.

 

Tuesday
Mar112008

"We’re the electives. And there are lot more requirements now.”

Doug Ferguson looks at Tiger Woods' increasingly picky schedule and features this epic quote from Wachovia Championship tournament director Kym Hougham on the impact of Woods essentially locked in to the majors, three WGCs, three or four (!?) playoff events and The Players Championship The PLAYERS:

“It’s a dwindling opportunity because of the majors, the WGCs, and now the playoffs,” Hougham said. “It’s like in college, when you have requirements and electives. We’re the electives. And there are lot more requirements now.”

Tuesday
Mar112008

Harmon Revokes Daly's Hall Pass

Tim Rosaforte's original February note on John Daly and Butch Harmon resurfaces in the April Golf Digest, and includes this from Harmon:

"I told [John] to look in the mirror to see the guy who's causing all the problems. On tour, he needs to stay on his bus, stay out of the Hooters and the bars. I told him, 'If you can't do that, we don't have a deal."

Harmon added, "I gave him one hall pass. One is all I'm going to give him."
ALeqM5i2UuMmncnsQYJESYshumcAw7XCWgNot surprisingly, Daly's well documented weekend foray into the Hooter's pavillion did it for Harmon. From a Doug Ferguson wire report:
"My whole goal for him was he's got to show me golf is the most important thing in his life," Harmon said from his golf school in Las Vegas. "And the most important thing in his life is getting drunk."
No one can accuse Butch of holding back. 
"I've let him know that after his actions of last weekend, we are no longer together," Harmon said. "In all honesty, I'm a very busy person. I'm willing to help the kid, but until he helps himself and makes golf his No. 1 priority, I'm not his guy.

"Jon Gruden caddying, I thought was ridiculous. I thought he made a circus out of the whole event."

Daly, who is playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational on a sponsor's exemption, could not be located for comment.

Tuesday
Mar112008

One Golfer Left...

ObamaBarack.jpgI'm not sure where, but I do recall someone writing or saying that with Mitt Romney's departure from the presidential race, the next occupant of the White House would not be a golfer. Where, I can't recall. Hey, it happens.

Anyway, I was pleased to see this in Lisa Furlong's introductory story to the Golf Digest ranking of Washington golfers:

We haven't seen President Bush playing golf in a while, but he's still considered a 15. Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who's about a 16, weighed his decision to run while playing golf in Hawaii in 2006.
Tuesday
Mar112008

"Holmes resembles a preying mantis painstakingly stalking its lunch as he goes through his staccato pre-shout routine."

Karl MacGinty offers the latest slow play rant and it's a beauty. A few highlights:

Okay, O'Hair's not as mind-numbingly slow as JB Holmes, the mega-hitter from Kentucky who pounded Phil Mickelson into submission on the first tie hole at last month's FBR Open.

This guy is utterly infuriating. Holmes resembles a preying mantis painstakingly stalking its lunch as he goes through his staccato pre-shout routine. I lost count of the number of times I ended up screaming "hit it, for God's sake" at the TV screen.

Yet Holmes and O'Hair are good enough golfers to make it onto the US Ryder Cup team at Valhalla. Maybe they're America's secret weapon...
And I didn't see this second line from J.B. Holmes...
There seems little chance of Holmes following suit. "A lot of old habits kick in when you're under pressure," said the Kentucky native recently.

"You're playing for $1m. If someone thinks I'm slow or taking too long, I don't care."

Holmes would care if the same fate befell him as Angela Park when she was docked two shots at last month's SPG in Hawaii. No warning. No appeal.

When it comes to slow play, America's LPGA Tour has balls, while their male counterparts clearly do not!

We have the makings of a trend here: the LPGA is trying to get a grip on slow play and the PGA Tour is not. Note in the recent slow play pieces here, here and here how the focus is on the PGA Tour's refusal to penalize players. 

Tuesday
Mar112008

Golf Digest Provides Best Reason Yet To Get Rid Of All The Lobbyists...

raar01_politicalranking.jpg...yhey and the people who employ them are taking up valuable space on the latest edition of my favorite ranking, the Washington Top 200.
Monday
Mar102008

"The fact, is golf isn't hungry. It talks hungry."

It's been too long since I've read an honest to goodness rant, but Bob Carney delivers on the GolfDigest.com editor's blog.

I'd just hate to have been Carney's keyboard after he and a buddy got turned away from Montauk Downs on a perfectly playable day (well, to Easterners anyway):

The fact, is golf isn't hungry. It talks hungry. It issues press releases as if it's hungry. But if it were really hungry, there would have been no question about golf on Sunday at Montauk Downs. If it were really hungry, there would be free clinics for kids every month at every public course. If it were really hungry, there would be after-school junior hours where kids could get access to local courses. If it were really hungry there would be nine-hole leagues for every conceivable human subdivision, from singles to sorority sisters, heck, maybe even six-hole leagues. If it were really hungry, I'd be writing about a crazy, gale-swept, laugh-out-loud, triple-digit round at Montauk on Sunday.

Golf ought to take a lesson from the Mom and Pop owners of the courses we grew up on who created couples outings, hit-and-giggle clinics, breakfast leagues, free hot dogs with rounds, you name it, to fill their "inventory". Or from Frank Thomas, the former USGA official whose new book, "Just Hit It", echoes this back-to-basics theme. "Golf really should be a simple and pleasant experience," says Frank. "The game began in nature," says Frank. "That's where we found satisfaction." Not in perfect conditions. Not even in big-name designs. That's all we wanted on Sunday, a little tussle with nature. Folks who understand why people play don't find reasons to shut their gates. They might warn us about the wet spots. But they enjoy crazies like Rich and me who would want to play in a 40-mile-an-hour wind. We're they're customers.
On the subject of participation levels, thanks to reader John for spotting Michelle Coursey's piece about dwindling numbers in New Zealand.


Monday
Mar102008

"But things are OK with you and him now?”

I know I should never delete the digital recording of a tour telecast until the dust has settled, but I just didn't want that Pods disaster clogging up space. Now I see on the HookedOnGolf blog that I missed one of the epic boondoggles in post-round interview history and a chance to share it with you via YouTube.

Note to Tommy Roy: rush Jimmy Roberts to an Orlando ear doctor and have those canals steam cleaned.


Monday
Mar102008

Shocker: Pods Ratings Down

This isn't really of much significance except for the face we see ratings published so rarely. Thomas Bonk reports:

The combined overnight ratings for the PODS Championship on NBC were down slightly from last year. Saturday's rating was a 1.7 and four share, up 21% from a 1.4 and four share last year; but Sunday's were down 10% to a 1.9 and four share, compared to a 2.1 and four share last year.

 

Monday
Mar102008

"Nice job, dumbass."

On the post about Tripp Isenhour's unfortunate decision to hunt down a harmless hawk and make a fool of himself (not to mention, break the law), I noted that this will not help golf's cause with environmentalists. Reader Adam Clayman wondered what I meant.

Well, Pat Jones answers the question in a short rant that probably violates the number of times you can call someone a dumbass in such a short span.

All I can add is this: for at least the next five years (and probably longer), everytime a golf architect or superintendent is dealing with an environmental group over an issue related to wildlife, this incident will come up.
 

Monday
Mar102008

Els Worn Out By PGA National, Innisbrook?

Citing fatigue, he pulls out of Bay Hill.

You have to wonder if the new-look, U.S. Open style Florida swing is a good thing. 

Monday
Mar102008

Where Will Tiger Play?

march4_oldpalm_299x193.jpgMichael Bamberger speculates on Tiger's limited golf options when he moves to Jupiter. The Dye Preserve would be his best choice in terms of seclusion and golf, but the drive is way too long from his new home.

If I had his millions, well, I wouldn't live in Florida, but not withstanding that minor issue it would seem the wise choice would be to build his own practice facility. That was the rumor when I was there last fall, and Lord knows there's plenty of swampland just waiting to be converted.

Sunday
Mar092008

Golfweek's Classical and Modern Rankings

cover_030808.jpgI really have little to say about the latest Golfweek ranking. The same things I like from last year are there and the same bizarre choices by the panel remain.

Golfweek.com does not yet have the new lists up, nor even Gil Hanse's guest commentary which the print edition promised would be online.

You can view the issue here in the online digital edition format, or check out the lists and bantor at GolfClubAtlas here and here.

And I'm pleased to note Rustic Canyon remains on the Modern list at No. 99, moving up only a notch despite improved conditioning that had reportedly caused it to slip down the list.

Sunday
Mar092008

A Day At The Hooter's Owl's Nest With John Daly!

img10697926.jpgAnwar Richardson reported on John Daly's visit to the Hooter's Owl's Nest, which included this bizarre photo slideshow and accompanying audio where you can hear John sloshed.

The Richardson piece prompted Steve Elling to suggest that Tim Finchem be Dean Wormer to John Daly's Kent Dorfman.

From the Richardson write-up:

Daly, whose best finish this year was tied for 60th in the Mayakoba Golf Classic, and his associates gave a news photographer who tried to take photos of him the middle finger. One member of Daly's group mooned the photographer, resulting in boyish laughter from his group.

The golfing Buddha also willingly autographed Trinity resident Kim Geiger's jeans, who bent over and offered her backside as his canvas.

"I go, 'Here I am again. I'm your worst nightmare.' He goes, 'Oh no you're not, honey. As a matter of fact, I like it when you walk away,'" Geiger said. "He goes, 'I like your butt. I'm an butt man.' He goes, 'And you have a nice butt.' Yeah baby, he likes my butt."
Sunday
Mar092008

12-Player Pile-Up At Innisbrook; Maybe It Would Be Better If They Don't Find A New Sponsor

capt.590e270706a74204bd62aa552da509a6.pods_championship_golf_flmc101.jpgI know some people watch NASCAR to watch the cars crash and that some dizzying amount of readers (76%) voted for protecting par in last week's Golf World/ESPN.com survey, but sheesh was that final round at Innisbrook painful to watch.

Anyway, congrats to Sean O'Hair for making it out of turn three ahead of the pile-up and winning under that yellow flag.

Now the PGA Tour needs to find a sponsor for the event. Or would a quick death be such a bad thing.

Oh right, the charity.  

Sunday
Mar092008

Good Week: Atwal Wins In Malaysia And Is Cleared Of Charges

He's got status on the European Tour and the state of Florida seems to have finally made up its mind about his case. The bad news: back to the Nationwide Tour.

Saturday
Mar082008

Lobbyists, Get Your U.S. Open Passes

I'm not really sure why it's relevant other than as an entertaing look into mooching, backstabbing, hornswoggling ways of politicians in San Diego dealing with U.S. Open tickets. The Union Tribune's Matthew T. Hall breaks down the mess.

Saturday
Mar082008

Fly and Spy

Thanks to reader John for John Paul Newport's column looking at various golf course related aerial image web sites and DVD's.

Friday
Mar072008

If Old Tom Morris Were Here Today...

askernish_18773t.jpgThanks to reader Stan for this Mark Hughes story on the resurrected Old Tom Morris design at Askernish that's opening this summer, and the controversy surrounding it's rebirth.
It has already been described as the "jewel in the crown of world golf". But this isn't Carnoustie, Prestwick or any of the other famous Tom Morris courses. It is the tiny Askernish Golf Club – a one-time nine-hole pitch and putt course on South Uist, an Outer Hebridean island with a population of less than 2,000.

But, while the golfing world has been vocal in its appreciation of the resurrection of Old Tom's lost course, and many of the islanders say it is a chance to provide a much-needed boost to the island's flagging economy, not everyone on South Uist is pleased about the proposals to restore the links course of Askernish to its 18-hole glory.

A small band of local crofters has started legal proceedings against the golf club, claiming that the expansion of the course will leave them with less land on which to graze their animals. They say that their rights to the land on which the golf course is situated – known as Askernish machair – were enshrined in 1922.

The club claims that isn't correct and that the golfers have more rights to the land than the crofters. The argument over who has the better claim has divided the small island community and has now spilled into the courts.

Both sides are confident they will win, the golfers so confident that they have already set a date for the official club opening – 22 August – and have named an honorary president, the former Liverpool and Scotland footballer Kenny Dalglish.

The crofters, meanwhile, are vowing to go to the highest courts possible to stop the golf course going ahead on land they believe is rightfully theirs.

It's fair to say that the rugged but beautiful island of South Uist, a tiny, windy speck on the north-west corner of the UK map, has never seen such a bitter divide.