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  • 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
  • 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

Pits which day after day in practice rounds are passed unnoticed, suddenly assume terrible aspects on tournament days, but generally it is the fear of the hazards which in reality is more terrifying than the hazards themselves. A.W. TILLINGHAST



Sunday Dramatics: Andy North Wins; Vows To Keep Lulling Us To Sleep With His Commentary

pga_g_clarke_300.jpgAnd I missed all of it attending the LA Times Festival of Books (yes, we read here in southern California).

This NY Times wire service compilation covers the basics, including Adam Scott's win at the Nelson and the team of Tom Watson/Andy North winning the Legeds.

This AP story explains how there's life in the old Swede yet. Annika even had Paula Creamer shaking. Literally.

And there's and report summing up the most exciting win of the day, Darren Clarke's Asian Open win.

For those of you who watched, anything we should know about? 


"Cobbs Creek was once a "must-play" course for visitors to Philadelphia."

20080427_inq_cobbs27-d.JPGJoe Logan profiles the GolfClubAtlas gents working to research and restore Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek, which has an amazing history.

The driving force behind building Cobbs Creek was not the city or the park commission but rather Robert Lesley, then president of the Golf Association of Philadelphia and a member of Merion, who preached the need for a quality course open to all golfers.

To goad the city into building a municipal course, Lesley appointed a committee to find a suitable plot in Fairmount Park that included Wilson; George Crump, designer of Pine Valley; and A.H. Smith, a member of Huntingdon Valley and the first Philadelphia Amateur champion. To further pressure city officials, Lesley appointed another committee made up of movers and shakers, namely the presidents of several local country clubs.

Although Wilson spent six months designing Cobbs, it's evident that he had help from Crump, Smith, George Klauder of Aronimink and J. Franklin Meehan of North Hills, all accomplished players. George Thomas, who designed White Marsh Valley, Riveria and Los Angeles Country Club, also spent time on the Cobbs site "learning."
20080427_inq_cobbs27-a.JPGCobbs Creek was once a "must-play" course for visitors to Philadelphia. Ty Cobb and Connie Mack were among the regulars.

Donald Trump played Cobbs Creek often during his time at the Wharton School of Business in the late '60s.

Maybe he'll write a check and then not say a word? I know, I can dream.


If you want to help or get involved, you can email the group at


Who Needs Lorena?

When you have an Annika-Paula Creamer final pairing?

Now, I don't want to sound like Kramer yearning for a catfight, but the history between these two does make Sunday's final round more appealing than watching Adam Scott and friends plodding around TPC Las Colinas.


65 Hitting 2 of 14 Fairways?

Fairways hit has become an overrated stat with the landing strips so hard to hit these days. Not to mention the fact that any decently designed course likely rewards side angles of approach that are now covered in rough, but I still did a double take at some of Alex Turnbull's ShotLink highlights following third round play at the Nelson: 

Sergio Garcia – 4 under par
• Sergio shot the low round of the day (5 under 65) despite hitting the fewest fairways in the field in the 3rd round (2 of 14).  He ranks 2nd to last in the field for driving accuracy (38.1%) for the week yet ranks T3rd in the field for greens in regulation (70.3%).

Our friends in Far Hills may want to copy and paste that for the ban U-grooves presentation. That is, whenever you get around to that. Then again, maybe Sergio's finally putting better thanks to Stan Utley:

• Of the 16 greens Garcia has missed thus far, he’s successfully salvaged par 14 times ranking 1st in the field for scrambling percentage.  Entering the week, Garcia ranked T107th on TOUR for scrambling from around the green (58%).

• Sergio Garcia’s 128 ft of putts made in the 3rd round was more than both his 1st and 2nd round distance of putts made combined.


"I hear the club might be making some changes next year to give us a break."

Thanks to reader Chris for noting Tiger Woods' newsletter comments where he reiterates what he said to a D.C. radio station about his belief that Augusta National will be undoing some of the course changes:

The course was very difficult. I didn't hear as many roars as I usually hear, especially on the weekend. It did play like a U.S. Open course, which is fine. But I think the galleries are used to seeing birdies and eagles. On Sunday, the way the wind was blowing, it was tough to make pars. I hear the club might be making some changes next year to give us a break. We'll see what happens.

"If it’s so hard to find accessible pin placements on these two tracks, then why bring amateurs here?"

waiting.jpgRandell Mell reports from the Stanford International where an excessively difficult setup mixed with a pro-am format to create 6 hour rounds Friday.

"Just silly tough," Sorenstam said.

It wasn’t a bad day for Sorenstam, whose 2-under-par 68 on the Miller course left her just one shot off the lead, but she felt for all the amateurs struggling in high winds and on undulating greens with tough pin placements.

"It was way too tough," Sorenstam said. "Some of the pins, it’s U.S. Open. These guys are intimidated. They want to help out. It’s long, it’s tough, it was just way too difficult. They’re tucked behind bunkers, they’re tucked in the back."

Sorenstam and her amateur partner, Stanford Financial advisor Russ O’Brien, played a 5-hour and 50-minute round teamed with Natalie Gulbis and her partner, IMG Chairman Ted Forstmann. That was about the average round on both courses. The average early rounds with threesomes on the LPGA Tour is about 4 hours and 40 minutes, according to LPGA Tour officials.
Great to see Ted Forstmann supporting the LPGA Tour.
"It would be fun if it was a little more friendly for them, so they can enjoy it," Sorenstam said of the amateurs. "You can see they’re dragging in the end because they’re focusing so hard and want to help."

LPGA Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Chris Higgs said the pro-am setup is a work in progress. It’s the first LPGA pro-am within tournament competition in seven years.

"We have to make sure the course setup is worthy of a championship round of golf in an LPGA tournament," Higgs said. "And at the same time, you have amateurs playing as well, so there’s a balance you have to reach."

The tees, pin placements and overall course setup must remain the same today on both courses so everyone plays the same setup, but Higgs said the tournament staff will reassess for future consideration.

"It’s a necessary evolution of a format like this," Higgs said.

Beth Ann Baldry catalogs the slow play issues in more detail, sharing Young Kim's slow play related knickname and the disaster of a difficult par-3 second hole on one course. It's enough of a design flaw to have a par-3 so early in the round, and then to stretch it out and tuck the pin takes real talent!
Let’s start with the par-3 second hole on the Miller Course. Weighing in at 210 yards, it ranks as one of the longest par 3s LPGA pros will face all year. Add the element of amateur players into the equation and it’s no wonder players were waiting 45 minutes to an hour on the tee. (I’d tell you the hole’s scoring average for the week, but the tour didn’t keep stats on the Miller Course.)
Sounds like they're reading from the Tom Meeks School of Course Setup manual...


LPGA COO Chris Higgs convened the media Friday afternoon to revisit a conversation on course setup that took place the day before. He stuck by all of his comments from Thursday, adding that six-hour rounds were “normal” for this type of format. He also said tucked pins on these undulating greens were sometimes easier for players to get to than those sitting in the middle of these rather severe greens.

If it’s so hard to find accessible pin placements on these two tracks, then why bring amateurs here?


2008 U.S. Open Entries And Exemptions

After Monty's little Masters invite tirade (and, sadly the not totally unreasonable point he was making) something about reading the news of only 58 U.S. Open exemptions reads so beautifully. Throw in the lack of special exemptions and it gets even better.

Here is the list of exempt players, preceded by the highlights from the qualifying entry pool, courtesy of the USGA's Craig Smith

Far Hills, N.J. (April 25) – The United States Golf Association has accepted 8,390 entries for the 2008 U.S. Open, to be played June 12-15 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif., including those from the 58 golfers who are currently fully exempt into the field
Ninety-two percent of the total entries were received online, including 1,192 in the final two days applications were accepted (April 22-23). The USGA received 102 entries online in the final hour. The last entry to arrive was from Keith Stone, a 39-year-old amateur from Chelmsford, Mass., who beat the 5 p.m. (EDT) deadline by 56 seconds. The first entry received was from Joseph Tumpach, a 31-year-old professional from Naperville, Ill.
The youngest golfer to enter was 12-year-old Rico Hoey of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The oldest applicant was 79-year-old Harris Moore Jr., a professional from Los Angeles, Calif. Overall, the USGA received entries from golfers in all 50 states and 68 foreign countries.
Among the foreign applicants were professionals Dawuda Mahama, 40, of Ghana; Lawan Mallam, 28, of Nigeria; and Alejandro Villavicencio, 28, of Guatemala. To be eligible, a player must have no higher than a 1.4 Handicap Index®, or be a professional.
Eight past champions are already fully exempt from having to qualify for the upcoming Championship. They are: Angel Cabrera (2007); Michael Campbell (2005); Ernie Els (1994, 1997); Jim Furyk (2003); Retief Goosen (2001, 2004); Lee Janzen (1993, 1998); Geoff Ogilvy (2006); and Tiger Woods (2000, 2002). An Open champion receives a full exemption into the field for the next 10 years.
The number of fully exempt golfers will increase with the inclusion of the top 50 players from the World Golf Rankings, the top 10 money leaders on the 2008 PGA Tour and the top two money leaders on the 2008 European PGA Tour as of May 26. The winner of the Players Championship (May 8-11) also receives an exemption.
Local qualifying at 111 sites will begin May 5. Sectional qualifying at 13 sites will be conducted on June 2, including one in England. A 14th sectional qualifier will be played May 26 in Japan. It is the fourth consecutive year that the USGA has offered these two international sectional qualifiers. 

The Open is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA. Other championships include the U.S. Women’s Open, the U.S. Senior Open and 10 amateur competitions.
A list of the 58 golfers who are already fully exempt into the U.S. Open follows.
April 24, 2008
Robert Allenby                         9,10
Stephen Ames                        8
Woody Austin                          9,10
Aaron Baddeley                       8,9,10
Brad Bryant                             7
Jonathan Byrd                         10
Angel Cabrera                         1,8,11
Mark Calcavecchia                 9,10
Michael Campbell                   1
Paul Casey                             8,11
K.J. Choi                                 9,10,13
Daniel Chopra                         13
Stewart Cink                           9,10
Tim Clark                                9,10
Ben Curtis                               4
Luke Donald                            9
Nick Dougherty                       8,11
Ernie Els                                 9,10,11
Niclas Fasth                            8,11
Steve Flesch                           9,13
Jim Furyk                                1,8,9,10
Sergio Garcia                          9,10,11
Retief Goosen                         1,11
Todd Hamilton                         4
Soren Hansen                         11
Padraig Harrington                  4,9,10,11
Charles Howell III                    9,10
Trevor Immelman                   3
Lee Janzen                             1,8
Zach Johnson                         3,9,10
Shingo Katayama                   15
Jerry Kelly                               8
Hunter Mahan                          8,9,10
Shaun Micheel                        5
Phil Mickelson                         3,5,9,10,13
Colin Montgomerie                  11
Geoff Ogilvy                            1,9,10
John Rollins                            9,10
Andres Romero                      11
Justin Rose                             8,9,10,11
Rory Sabbatini                        9,10
Adam Scott                             9,10
Vijay Singh                              5,9,10
Heath Slocum                         9,10
Brandt Snedeker                     9,10
Henrik Stenson                       11
Richard Sterne                        11
Steve Stricker                         8,9,10
Toro Taniguchi                        15
*Michael Thompson                2
David Toms                            8
Scott Verplank                         8,9,10
Camilo Villegas                       10
Bubba Watson                        8
Boo Weekley                           9,10
Lee Westwood                        11
Brett Wetterich                        9,10
Tiger Woods                           1,3,4,5,8, 9,10,13
Key to Player Exemptions –
1)         Winners of the U.S. Open Championship for the last 10 years.
2)         Winner and runner-up of the 2007 U.S. Amateur Championship.
3)         Winners of the Masters Tournament for the last five years.
4)         Winners of the British Open Championship for the last five years.
5)         Winners of the PGA of America Championship for the last five years.
6)         Winner of the 2008 Players Championship.
7)         Winner of the 2007 U.S. Senior Open Championship.
8)         From the 2007 U.S. Open Championship, the 15 lowest scorers and anyone tying for 15th place.
9)         From the 2007 final official PGA Tour money list, the top 30 money leaders.
10)       Those 30 players qualifying for the 2007 season-ending Tour Championship.
11)       From the 2007 final official PGA European Tour, the top 15 money leaders.
12)       From the 2008 official PGA Tour money list, the top 10 money leaders through May 26.
13)       Any multiple winners of PGA Tour co-sponsored events whose victories are considered official from April 25, 2007, through June 1, 2008.
14)       From the 2008 PGA European Tour, the top two money leaders through May 26.
15)       From the 2007 final Japan Golf Tour money list, the top two leaders provided they are within the top 75 point leaders of the World Rankings at that time.
16)       From the 2007 final PGA Tour of Australasia money list, the top two leaders provided they are within the top 75 point leaders of the World Rankings at that time.
17)       From the World Rankings list, the top 50 point leaders as of May 26, 2008
18)       Special exemptions selected by the USGA.


Should Ochoa Tee It Up With The Men?

img10795500.jpgSteve Elling reports that Lorena Ochoa has twice turned down sponsor's invites to the PGA Tour's Mayakoba Golf Classic, staged in her native Mexico. And while it's not the Colonial in terms of exposure, it's hard to fathom a negative in this should she accept what sounds like an open invitation to play anytime.

Moving up a league seems downright logical, since tedium could set in at any moment -- if not for her, then her growing fan base. She's has won her five LPGA starts this year by an average of 7.6 strokes, including a pair by 11. Yeah, a touchdown, field goal and two-point conversion amount to a pretty big deficit in golf.

When Annika Sorenstam played against the boys at Colonial in 2003, it created a three-tiered public-relations boon for her career, the event and the LPGA. Ochoa last year supplanted Sorenstam as No. 1 in the women's rankings, and though the notion of females competing against men has since been relegated to the stuff of desperate publicity stunts (see: Michelle Wie), Ochoa's presence in a field can be justified on a competitive level.


Don't Close Down Those Courses Just Yet

bildeThanks to reader Scott for what we can only hope does not become a trend: golf courses closed for housing developments, only to sit there festering due to the sudden downturn in the real estate market.

Gerald Carroll in the Visalia Times-Delta reports on the abandoned Sierra View Golf Course, once slated for development and now going to seed.


Golf Invited To Vie For 2016 Olympic Slot

I know, stunning news, but it's official: all of the rejected sports from 2005 have been asked to make their pitch for the 2016 games, and golf is one of them.


Challenging The "Conventional Wisdom"

augusta15trees.jpgBob Carney summarizes and supports two stories suggesting that nothing is wrong with Augusta National and that those who feel the course changes have radically altered the soul of the Masters are just not getting it.

Interestingly, Carney notes the "conventional wisdom" that the course has become a U.S. Open style, defensive test. The notion that the majority of views have turned on the course changes is telling considering that the renovation has been praised, even passionately defended by media folks like this one who like many, has changed his mind after seeing how it plays.

There is no doubt that the latest accounts noted by Carney make great cases using statistics while noting select highlights from the last few years to seemingly write off the criticism.

However, two areas remain problematic for those trying to claim all is well at the revamped Augusta.

First, the people actually playing the course are telling us that something intangible has been lost. Touring professionals aren't always the best judges of architecture, but the critics have played the course many times and remember the unique tension of the old Masters. They are consistently telling us things are not the same.  Keep in mind too that there is one tournament that players are reluctant to criticize, it's the Masters.  A celebration of golf, as Ben Crenshaw once said.

We are no longer hearing many (any?) players defending the direction it has headed.  So you can bet that if we are hearing critical statements publicly, imagine the nature of the comments made over corn fed beef at the Champions dinner.

The other issue going against the remaining course change supporters is the pace of play disaster. We can argue all day long about roars, birdies and what's exciting, but there is overwhelming evidence that course now takes way too long to play. This speaks to the excessive difficulty of the design, which is now unplayable in any significant wind. But more than anything, the once perfect ebb and flow of the routing has been lost. The segments of the course that once provided some let up have all been altered, eliminating the catch-your-breath nature of holes such as 7 and 8 or 15 and 17.

More intriguing will be the steps they take to address the dismay of patrons, players and (probably) members? The actual task to fix the course is remarkably simple (tree removal, installing alternate tee options, restoration of width). However, politics and other sensitivities involved will make it one tough job for Billy Payne.

But he does have conventional wisdom on his side.


"This is the place for my anatomy links"

theswing_main.jpgThanks to reader Rob for Jolee Edmondson's Delta Sky profile of French golf architect Robert Berthet, who is taking the art form to new, uh, places.

Take, for example, the time in 1986 that he presented a plan to build a golf course in the shape of a woman. “They stopped breathing,” he says, recalling the reaction.

As perhaps only a Frenchman would, Berthet (pronounced “bare-TAY”) had long entertained the notion of imposing a female figure onto an appropriate parcel of land, with elevations, bunkers and rough representing anatomical features mentionable and unmentionable. His vision was realized when he was commissioned to fashion an 18-hole layout in the white wine–rich Mâcon region of Burgundy. It was amour at first sight when he surveyed the rolling, verdant, vineyard-framed property. What better canvas for his fairway femme than this lush, sensuous wine-growing hub?

“I suddenly told myself, ‘This is the place for my anatomy links,’” recalls Berthet with the intensity of a master sculptor. “‘It is here. I have to do it here.’”

The project’s board of directors fell silent when he proffered his blueprint, their faces etched with bewilderment. “But in 15 minutes,” he says, “I got them to grasp my concept. I had to prove to them that it was not a complete madness of sexuality.”

Or just madness.

And good news...

“I will someday do a butterfly course,” says Berthet, who feels that such a layout would be ideal for Taiwan, known as the “Kingdom of Butterflies,” where these creatures have special meaning. “The clubhouse will be the body of the insect, and the holes will spread out from there like wings, with round greens symbolizing the ocelli, or eyespots.”

butterfly.jpgDamn, I always dreamed of doing one of those!

So unconventional is Berthet’s philosophy on golf course design that he turns up his nose at the works of revered American counterparts Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus and the late Robert Trent Jones.

Well, he's not so bad after all.

“You can instantly recognize their golf courses by certain characteristics,” he says dismissively. “That, I think, is a weakness.”

Uh, Robert, I think they could say the same about you. The guy who makes Desmond Muirhead look rational?

Among the avant-garde designer’s current projects is an 18-hole course in the flourishing aerospace center of Toulouse in southwestern France, long known as “Ville Rose” (Pink City) for its distinctive brick architecture. Berthet’s reluctance to divulge his intended theme for the Toulouse track sparks a flurry of wild imaginings. Will there be bunkers filled with pink sand? Or maybe tees resembling launch pads for space capsules? Fairways shaped like the Concorde and a clubhouse that serves as air traffic control for flying golf balls?

One thing’s certain: It won’t be like any golf course France has seen before.

Don't You Wish There Were More Places Like This...

bildeDave Hackenberg tells the great story of 3 couples buying and turning around Cherrywood Golf Course in Ottawa Lake, Michigan.

Three months after Germain got his tip, Cherrywood had six new owners. They also are Cherrywood’s only six employees — Ben and Kara, the Germains, and Hire and his wife, Kathy.

It’s a 24/7, sunup to sundown thing for Ben and Kara, who live on site and run the show. But it’s truly a second home for the other four. Everybody takes turns behind the counter, or pulling weeds, or servicing machinery, or grabbing a paint brush, or planting flowers, or washing down the carts, or spreading fertilizer, or cleaning the clubhouse, or picking up brush after a storm, or, well, you name it. You tend to take things seriously when you’ve taken a deep dip into your savings account and there’s a mortgage call every month.


Golf World Jumps Into Rankings Game...

readerschoicev2_150.gifBut it's probably not what you think...a reader's choice ranking. No stinking panels, and politics. Instead, it's all about you!

(Which reminds me, because you are wonderful, don't forget to vote for your favorite public golf course in southern California, more specifically, the one in Moorpark not designed by Peter Jacobsen.)


The 72 Club

Thanks to reader Al for passing along Alistair Tait's rant on slow play, which includes a description of his home club's 72 Club getting in 72 holes in a day thanks to 3 hour rounds.

Then he turns his attention to the Masters pace of play.

Immelman and Brandt Snedeker teed off at 2:25 p.m. in the final round, and I clocked them completing the 18th hole at 7:26 p.m. Five hours for a round of golf? Are you kidding me?

I know conditions were tough at Augusta. I know both players were chasing their first major, but five hours for a two-ball is unacceptable. It’s so unacceptable that many people on my side of the pond didn’t see Immelman slip on the green jacket.

I conducted a quick straw poll of members of my club and found many of them turned off the television and went to bed. With the five-hour time difference, it meant staying up past midnight to watch the drama unfold.

There was a common refrain from everyone I spoke to: Play was too slow.

Yet neither Immelman nor Snedeker was penalized for slow play. That’s not surprising. It’s been 16 years since a player on the PGA Tour was handed a one-shot penalty for slow play. Dillard Pruitt holds that distinction. He’s now a PGA Tour rules official, with responsibility for making sure players get in a round in good time.

You couldn’t make that up, could you?

EDS, PGA Tour Back In The Saddle Again

I know, I know, they were never that far apart.

But it's fun to see EDS CEO Ron Rittenmeyer talk about being "jerked around" on Monday and re-upping Nelson Classic sponsorship through 2014 on Wednesday.

"We believe in this tournament and appreciate the tremendous impact it has in the Dallas community, and we are excited about the opportunity to play a key role in its future," said Ron Rittenmeyer, chairman, president and chief executive officer of EDS.



"When the time comes, McKenzie will have the fairways like slender ribbons around the 320 to 340-yard mark with a view to throwing the longer-hitting Americans."

sgmair123.jpgLewine Mair reports on the re-perfection of Celtic Manor, 2010 Ryder Cup site and where they already seem to know the makeup of the U.S. team.

Ross McMurray, the architect, yesterday admitted that he had already had conversations with the European Tour and Jim McKenzie, the course manager, about how it will be set up to the Europeans players' advantage.

When the time comes, McKenzie will have the fairways like slender ribbons around the 320 to 340-yard mark with a view to throwing the longer-hitting Americans.

Isn't that impressive? What soul, what integrity, what vision!

Again, he will be leaving the area around the greens so shorn that they will not be able to play any of their usual flop shots if they fail to find the target. Instead, they will have to do as the Europeans do in improvising with long putts and chip-and-runs from the swales which will swallow up anything even marginally off line.

"We need to concentrate on getting more affordable golf for people to play.”

I'll pass on Doug Ferguson's numbers-heavy case that the Masters is pretty much the same because he didn't even acknowledge the avalanche of negative player feedback. So instead, let's focus on the positive from this week's column.

From Tom Watson:

FINAL WORD: “We have our Olympics – we have our major championships. And to add another layer in the Olympics, I think is the wrong thing to do. We need to concentrate on getting more affordable golf for people to play.”

"It is a tribute to the incredible bench strength of our executive team that we can quickly assign responsibilities when opportunities for change are created."

Wednesday was VP promotion day in Ponte Vedra. Let's see who can't ride on the same Falcon as Tim Finchem any longer. (You know, protecting that line of succession stuff should, God forbid...).

The PGA TOUR Announces Executive Appointments

April 23, 2008(Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) — The PGA TOUR announced today that Ron Cross, Executive Director of THE PLAYERS Championship, has accepted a position as Director of Corporate Affairs for Augusta National Golf Club.

Take that Cliff Roberts!

“Ron Cross has significantly impacted each of the areas he has worked in at the PGA TOUR over the past 19 years,” said Tim Finchem, PGA TOUR Commissioner. “His contributions have helped the PGA TOUR immensely. He served at a time of great momentum and growth for the tournament. We are delighted this opportunity has been presented to Ron and although we will miss his leadership role with THE PLAYERS, we wish him well in his new position with Augusta National.”

And we really hope he can get us on the course from time to time.

The PGA TOUR further announced that Henry Hughes has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of THE PLAYERS Championship, where he will continue to report to the Office of the Commissioner.  Hughes’ responsibilities will include long-term positioning for the event, as well as chairing the search committee to select Cross’ replacement.

Boy, that sounds fun. By the way, I thought we were lower case on The and all caps on Players. Did I miss a press release?

“Henry and I have been discussing a succession plan for the PGA TOUR for some time,” said Commissioner Finchem. “With Ron Cross’ departure we saw an opportunity to execute an effective change in the management of THE PLAYERS and maintain Henry’s key position as a member of the Executive Committee.

Henry will focus on the development of a management strategy to ensure the continued growth of the event. For 25 years, Henry’s leadership and vision have made an indelible mark in every department he has led.  He is held in the highest regard by everyone in the golf industry, especially the players, the tournaments and the sponsors. His appointment as CEO indicates the significant magnitude we place on the future of THE PLAYERS and the role we have asked him to take on with the event.”

Well, I think we need to hear from Henry about how thrilled he is with this uh, C-level restructuring.

“It’s been thrilling for me to witness the significant growth and expansion of THE PLAYERS Championship over the course of my career,” said Hughes. “I look forward to providing the leadership and strategic development of the TOUR’s flagship championship.”

And now, drum roll please, who has just moved into chair No. 2 where he can dream of someday raking in the millions as Commish?

With the appointment of Hughes as CEO of THE PLAYERS, Rick George, currently serving as President of the Champions Tour and Executive Vice President Championship Management, will move into the PGA TOUR Chief of Operations position, formerly occupied by Hughes. With George’s move to the PGA TOUR, Mike Stevens has been promoted to President of the Champions Tour. David Pillsbury, currently serving as President, PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties, will expand his operational oversight leading the Championship Management team.

Two of my favorite corporatespeak specialists will have even more opportunities to humor us. All in all, a good day for the blogosphere. Especially with sports -metaphor laced gibberish like this:

“It is a tribute to the incredible bench strength of our executive team that we can quickly assign responsibilities when opportunities for change are created,” said Finchem.

Wow, that was special. Sorry, continue.

“I want to commend Rick George on the exceptional job he did elevating and growing the stature of the Champions Tour as well as the leadership he provided to Championship Management. He brings an array of talents and experience to his new role with the PGA TOUR. The work Rick and Mike Stevens have done together on the Champions Tour will result in a seamless transition. David has performed admirably as the President of Golf Course Properties, strategically repositioning the operations of the PGA TOUR’s Tournament Players Clubs and overseeing the complete renovation of the TPC Sawgrass facilities. David brings with him a creative vision, marketing and operational expertise that will propel Championship Management events to new heights.”

These appointments are effective June 1.

Got all that? 


The Hardest Mile(s) In Golf?

In the post about Greg Norman's new Dubai course ripping off La Costa's unofficial distinction as the hardest mile in golf, I was wrong.

It seems the Shark is stealing from himself!

Just to remind those of you who haven't memorized it yet, here's what the press release for Jumeirah Golf Estates's "Earth" course says:

The last four holes will measure exactly a mile, 1760 yards.  I expect it will be considered one of the most challenging and exciting miles of golf, in terms of risk and reward."

golf_norman_course.jpgHowever reader Rich noticed this website claim for Lansdown Resort's Norman-designed course in Virginia:

The last four holes measure exactly 1,760 yards—equal to one mile—creating, according to Norman, “the hardest mile in golf.”

It's a wonderful world.