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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

Greens should be an adventure. The game should not end when the ball is safely on the green. Up to 1953, there was one set of rules for golf. It was called "through the green" and you didn't touch the ball until it was to lift it out of the cup, unless perhaps, it was in somebody's way and you moved it to allow them to putt….Today you hit a ball onto the green, mark it, pick it up, put it in your pocket, wipe it, even change it. Then, when it's your turn, you put it back. If there's a pitch mark, you repair it. None of this happens outside the green and it shouldn't happen on the green. PETER THOMSON

 

    

Tuesday
Jun262007

Mac Agrees With USGA: The Grooves Must Go!

bildeThe USGA Executive Committee will be comforted to know that Mac O'Grady wholeheartedly agrees that V-grooves must be returned to stop the flogging we've seen a recent majors.

The Detroit News' Krysten Oliphant turned on her tape recorder and let Mac do this thing after Monday's Buick Open qualifying. First, on Tiger's driving and grooves.

"When Nicklaus and Palmer played, when (Ben) Hogan played and Sam Snead played, on a scale of zero to 10, they were a nine-plus," he said. "Tiger Woods is not even a one-plus."

O'Grady said technology is the reason for players' success today. A change in the drivers' grooves from a V shape to a box shape allows golfers to hit the ball farther with more spin.

When in the rough, players go straight for the hole instead of just trying to reach the green. This, he said, has ruined golf.

"The reason why (Woods) can hit it on the green is because he has square grooves," he said.

"He doesn't have that, he's dead. He cannot do it -- it's impossible. For him to go after Nicklaus' records is cheating. This is like steroids."

Mac, do you really think that Tiger would have approached Augusta or Oakmont differently this year had his grooves been V-shaped? Maybe he wisely lays up on 15 at Augusta Sunday(he was in the second cut, right?)? Maybe.

Anyway, Mac then talks about the ball.

"Balls used to have what he called a concentric arc dimple configuration, meaning their indentions were in a circular shape and each dimple was the same size, allowing for even dispersion of air across them. Now dimple sizes and positions vary, eliminating the balls' curve.

"It allows all these guys to come into the game that ordinarily couldn't do it," O'Grady said.

"This ball is designed for the 30-handicap. It's not designed for the pro tour. The 30-handicapper hits the ball and it goes up to the apex, it comes down straight. It doesn't slice. So when the Tour pro gets it, it's robbery. It's not fair."

And he'll be glad to know he shares this opinion with his good buddy, Deane Beman:

He said there should be a special ball for PGA Tour players with the concentric arc dimple pattern, which he said showed who had natural ability and who did not.

"The degree of athleticism has changed," he wrote in notes he took during qualifying. "What was humanly impossible is now technologically possible."

Come admit it, no matter what you think of Mac, you have to love his honesty...

"I still love the game," he said.

"I don't enjoy the technology because what's happening is these kids now are shooting 63s, 62s. What Michelle Wie is doing is not humanly possible. It's technologically possible because the balls go too straight, they go too far."

O'Grady said in the Champions Tour, what he called former "powderpuff" players such as Jay Haas, are defeating "dinosaur guys who had the best technique."

"All those big players, they can't say anything because they're being paid by the manufacturers (for sponsorship). But they know it's wrong. This is the worst dark chapter in the history of professional golf with this technology.

"Steroids (are) not in the athletes today -- (they're) in the balls and the drivers. Guys don't have to hit it far. The equipment is going to do it for them."

Monday
Jun252007

Getting In The Mood For Pine Needles

PN11t.jpgPine Needles hosts its second third* U.S. Women's Open this week and Ran Morrissett updates his GolfClubAtlas.com profile with recent course photos (left) and praise for John Fought's restoration. It looks like a vastly improved course compared to the one we saw in 2001, highlighted by a lot more short grass around the greens and more sandy scrub areas.

Stuart Hall reminds us how old we are by writing about Morgan Pressel's return to Pine Needles six years after making her national debut there. Wasn't it just...ah forget it.

Steve DiMeglio writes about the 12-year-old playing this week, Alexis Thompson. And PGATour.com notes that her Nationwide Tour No. 2 on the money list brother, Nicholas, is lending his support this week.
Monday
Jun252007

Champions Tour To Crack Down On Performance Enhancing Drugs; Fill In Cialis Joke Here

Apparently Rick George did one of those state of the Champions Tour things, and after assuring everyone that the old geezers would show up so that we can see more of charisma junkies Jay Haas and Loren Roberts, he reported that the Champions Tour would be adopting the PGA Tour's performance-enhancing drug policy.

Speaking of testing, George might want to be checked out this delusional take on the state of the Champions: 

The tour has resumed its growth after struggling during the early part of this century, George said. Low-performing events were weeded out, which had the added benefit of improving the remaining fields by building weeks off into the schedule.
Ah yes, anything to get Hale Irwin, Lanny Wadkins and Curtis Strange more starts. The people are heartbroken when they don't tee it up.

This is fun... 
Television ratings are up 20 percent and attendance is up 35 percent midway through the schedule.

"It's probably never been in as good a position as it is today," George said.

Right!

Monday
Jun252007

Monty Selects Next Caddie To Be Unceremoniously Dumped For No Good Reason

Craig Connolly, the caddie who worked with Paul Casey until the US Open at Oakmont, clearly enjoys punishment.

Monday
Jun252007

“Pairing our players with well-known champions from other sports and seeking their playoffs advice allows us to demonstrate this point in a humorous, memorable and effective way."

 At least we were warned...

PGA TOUR STARS AND OTHER SPORTS LEGENDS FEATURED IN AD CAMPAIGN FOR FIRST-EVER PGA TOUR PLAYOFFS FOR THE FEDEXCUP

Tiger Woods Ad Highlights Campaign; Jim Furyk, Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia
Star in Spots with Jerome Bettis, Phil Simms and Albert Pujols


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL (June 25, 2007) – The PGA TOUR begins to roll out a humorous, star-studded ad campaign this week to promote the first-ever PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, which comprise four tournaments beginning August 23 and concluding September 16. The new ads will feature four of golf’s biggest names – Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia – alongside three playoff heroes from other sports: 1987 Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms, 2006 Super Bowl Champion Jerome Bettis and 2006 World Series Champion and 2005 National League MVP Albert Pujols.

“I thought it was kind of nice that Jim came to me for advice,” said Bettis, now an NBC Sports analyst who stars with Furyk. “He didn’t seem interested in any swing tips from me, but winning big in the playoffs - I know a little something about that.”

“Late this summer, our players will experience the excitement, pressure and drama of a true ‘playoffs’ for the very first time and we wanted to put that into perspective for our fans,” said Ric Clarson, PGA TOUR SVP, Brand Marketing. “Pairing our players with well-known champions from other sports and seeking their playoffs advice allows us to demonstrate this point in a humorous, memorable and effective way."

The four 30-second spots, created by the PGA TOUR and its advertising agency, GSD&M of Austin, TX, will air during network and cable golf telecasts, and in other sports programming on CBS, NBC and GOLF CHANNEL. The Playoff ads are the culmination of a year-long campaign focused on promoting the inaugural FedExCup, a season-long points competition. The $40 million campaign has been supported by print, online and radio executions throughout the season and featured Tiger Woods’ PGA TOUR advertising debut earlier this year.

Woods once again shows off his creative side as he headlines this new set of ads in a spot called “Whistle.” In the ad, Tiger is seen lacing up his spikes and exiting a locker room while whistling the popular sports anthem “Eye of the Tiger,” made famous by the 1982 film Rocky III.

“This is a thrilling time in golf and these spots truly illustrate the excitement of the Playoffs while having fun at the same time,” said Roy Spence, Founder and President of GSD&M. The campaign also includes:
      PRE-GAME MEAL – Super Bowl champ and former Pittsburgh Steelers star Jerome Bettis explains to Pennsylvania native Jim Furyk that the key to performing well in the Playoffs is a proper pre-game meal.

      GAME FACE – St. Louis Cardinals slugger and 2005 National League MVP Albert Pujols shows six-time PGA TOUR winner Sergio Garcia how to put on an intimidating game face for the Playoffs.
      PREPARATION – Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms offers tips to two-time U.S. Open Champion Ernie Els on how to get psyched up for a big playoff game.

These three ads are now available to view at: http://www.pgatour.com/media/playoff/commercials/. The Tiger Woods spot will be available next week.
Monday
Jun252007

Perez Hilton Scoops The Golf Press?

Assuming it's real, the cheesy gossip site seems to be the first with the must see, life changing photo of Tiger and Elin's baby?

The best I could find was this odd golf.com photo spread of the parents, which really means it's just an excuse to show pictures of Elin.

Monday
Jun252007

Lewis On Travelers and 84 Lumber Dynamics

Sexy header eh?

The Scorecard Always Lies author Chris Lewis offers some intriguing insights into Traveler's birth at the expense of the 84 Lumber Classic, something Bruce Berlet commented on in a recent SI Golf Plus. Oh and Dave Marrandette review's Lewis' book here.

Monday
Jun252007

Klein on Chambers Bay, Municipal Golf

bizmuni.jpgGolfweek's Bradley Klein looks at the evolution of municipal golf in the context of $20 million Chambers Bay and also reviews the new RTJ Jr./Bruce Charlton/Jay Blasi design in Tacoma, writing:

Chambers Bay is the most carefully crafted and well-designed municipal golf course to open since Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in 1936. The big difference is that Chambers Bay, perched on the windy shoreline of Washington’s lower Puget Sound, has a better natural setting and makes for a more exciting walk.

 

Sunday
Jun242007

"It’s been made worse by technologically advanced golf equipment that makes golf balls go farther — and farther sideway"

24golf2.650.jpgThe New York Times' Bill Pennington officially becomes a member of the technophobic, liberal biased, anti-corporate bottom line agenda writers of America with this (front page!) piece on increased safety issues at golf course residential communities.

 The intersection of errant golf shots and private property is not a new phenomenon. But with new gear that enables average golfers to hit a ball 250 yards, and with golf communities sprouting nationwide — 70 percent of new courses include housing — it is becoming an increasingly prominent problem. Most homes built near this country’s 16,000 golf courses may not be in the cross hairs of slicing duffers, but thousands are.

“It’s not only an ongoing problem, it’s been made worse by technologically advanced golf equipment that makes golf balls go farther — and farther sideways,” said David Mulvihill, a managing director at the Urban Land Institute, who has studied golf course development.

“So homes that have been on a golf course for decades without incident are suddenly in the path of guys whacking giant-headed drivers. The golf course designers are trying to adjust with wider fairway corridors, but because of liability issues, no one is willing to put on paper what the acceptable setbacks are.”

But don't worry, with V-grooves on the way, all will be well! 

Sunday
Jun242007

"Will they be talking about the 2007 US Open in 2042?"

Uh, that's a no!

The New Zealand Herald's Peter Williams is bored with excessive major setups and issues a warning that will inevitably go ignored because it's way too nuanced.

Golf, like all sports, is in the entertainment business. Its money comes through being an exciting spectacle on television.

The best TV sport is always when the best players perform at their optimum in conditions fair to everyone. I don't think those conditions prevailed at Augusta in April and certainly not at Oakmont last week. In two major championships this year, nobody has finished under par. That's entertainment? Give me a break. It's survival and not much fun to watch or play.

The story goes that after Johnny Miller shot 63 to win the 1973 US Open at Oakmont, the USGA and Oakmont membership vowed that never again would they be embarrassed by somebody ripping a championship course apart.

Embarrassed? That was brilliant play; engaging, exciting and still talked about 35 years later. Will they be talking about the 2007 US Open in 2042? About the greatest player of all time not able to make a birdie in his last 32 holes because of greens so fast you couldn't hit a putt firmly enough to hold the line?

 

Sunday
Jun242007

Only 9 Weeks Left To Accumulate Vital Cup Points!

I don't believe you'll read this anywhere because, frankly, it's just hard to swallow. But if the final 144 teed it up today, Chris Stroud would not be in the FedEx Cup playoffs. I just do my part to keep you up on breaking news.

Meanwhile, Chris Elsberry in the Connecticut Post actually finds some players who claim they're thinking of ways to earn more FedEx Cup points. This, on top of the Commissioner's understandable excitement. Understandable, because he's the one who signed off on this stinker of a concept.

"The FedEx Cup itself, we're just real pleased with the way it's come along," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said this week at the Travelers Championship. "The real impact this first year will occur in the playoff event, and that will set the base for next year. But it's shaping up to be an excellent playoff schedule, and hopefully, if it meets our expectations, it will have a greater impact on what (tournaments) players enter next year."

Without question, the Travelers benefited from its increased status of being a FedEx Cup event, according to Finchem.

"We are seeing some changes. There are a number of players here this week that hadn't been here in a while," he said. "That was an important thing to happen ... the biggest thing coming out of this week for the future is word of mouth. A lot of people call it buzz or whatever. Quality of the event, that's happening here. That's a good development. So we're real pleased."

 Yep, I'm sure they flocked to the Travelers because of the FedEx Cup!

The top point earners sure didn't... 

1 1 Tiger Woods 9 19,524 DNP 3 6
2 2 Phil Mickelson 14 15,818 DNP 2 5
3 3 Vijay Singh 18 15,723 4 2 5
4 4 Zach Johnson 15 12,405 CUT 2 4
5 5 Charles Howell III 16 11,922 DNP 1 5
6 6 Rory Sabbatini 16 11,238 DNP 1 5
7 7 Adam Scott 11 10,357 DNP 1 5
8 8 Jim Furyk 14 9,537 DNP
5
9 9 K.J. Choi 17 9,089 DNP 1 4
10 10 Aaron Baddeley 14 9,024 DNP 1 5
11 11 John Rollins 18 8,701 CUT
3
12 12 Scott Verplank 14 8,305 DNP 1 5
13 13 Luke Donald 14 8,241 DNP
5
14 14 Mark Calcavecchia 16 8,221 T54 1 4
15 16 David Toms 16 8,106 T6
7
16 15 Boo Weekley 19 8,099 DNP 1 3
17 17 Sergio Garcia 12 7,249 DNP
4
18 18 Geoff Ogilvy 14 7,179 DNP
4
19 89 Hunter Mahan 18 6,990 1 1 2
20 19 Steve Stricker 15 6,830 DNP
4
21 20 Henrik Stenson 8 6,618 DNP 1 2
22 21 Robert Allenby 15 6,569 DNP
6
23 22 Bubba Watson 16 6,542 DNP
5
24 24 Jerry Kelly 17 6,468 T15
6
25 23 Nick Watney 16 6,235 CUT 1 2

 

Saturday
Jun232007

First American To Win British Amateur In 28 Years...

weaver.jpgDrew Weaver of Virginia Tech is the man, as Alistair Tait reports for Golfweek.

 

Saturday
Jun232007

"It is making us look like fools."

I didn't catch these comments from Michael Campbell during the U.S. Open coverage:

"It is on the edge of embarrassing some of the guys," Campbell said.

"It wasn't much fun out there, put it that way. I used to enjoy coming to major tournaments and playing them.

"But when you are out there grinding your butt off for bogeys and pars it is not very nice.

"We felt that at Augusta this year. Normally you get a guy charging on the back nine and shooting 30 like Jack Nicklaus did in 1986. To me that is exciting TV and for the players and the spectators, too.

"But now there are just guys making bogeys and it is making us look like fools."

But don't you see Michael, that's the very point. You and your cohorts had to go and make all that money, get the babes and worst of all drive the ball 350 yards, making these governing body dudes look bad. You must pay! 

Saturday
Jun232007

"Standing around in a towel is a great way to enjoy the view."

OB-AM042_golfcl_20070622160444.jpgJohn Paul Newport visits The Bridge and chats with founder Robert Rubin about his club and what he sees as the future of clubhouse design.

Easily the most dramatic expression of the club's idiosyncratic nature is the clubhouse, which opened just this month and occupies the highest point of land on the eastern end of Long Island. It has four angular glass-and-steel "blades" that swirl outward from a central hub and feels more like a postmodern museum perched in the hills above Los Angeles than it does anything traditionally associated with golf.

According to the architect, Roger Ferris, the blade-like design picks up on both the "dynamic tempo" of a golf swing and on the impeller assembly of a turbo-charged racing engine.
OB-AM043_golfcl_20070622160623.jpgGosh I love the Hamptons.
In any case, the 280-degree views of the Rees Jones-designed golf course, which has been open for several years, and Peconic Bay beyond are spectacular.
"The world has enough shingle-style, McMansion clubhouses," says Mr. Rubin, who effectively controls all but 25% of the shares in the club. (The rest are held by his acquiescent business partner, Gary Davis.) "What we're creating here, we think, is a model for the 21st-century golf club."

The basis for that model is Mr. Rubin's interpretation of how people actually use golf clubs these days.

"The clubhouse at Shinnecock Hills perfectly reflected its time and place," Mr. Rubin observes, referring to the famed 116-year-old golf club only seven miles away and its classic Stanford White structure. Messrs. Rubin and Ferris consciously imitated the way the Shinnecock clubhouse dominates its landscape and is grandly visible from many locations on the course. But functionally, Mr. Rubin contends, the old clubhouses are no longer relevant, even though a lot of new clubhouses still reflexively ape them.

And...
Another thing that Mr. Rubin noticed is that modern golf-club members like to sit around in their locker rooms after a round and schmooze, so he decreed that the locker rooms should have the nicest views. As a result, the entire front walls of both the men's and women's versions are floor-to-ceiling glass, 24 feet tall in places, and they open out directly onto the club's wraparound stone terrace. Standing around in a towel is a great way to enjoy the view.
And just think of the clubhouse view for golfers.

 

But none of this has kept him from finding members, even at $750,000 a pop (the earliest memberships went for a mere $500,000). Mostly they are self-made men (and a handful of women) in finance, hedge funds and real estate, with a couple of doctors and lawyers thrown in (he calls them his "scholarship guys," although they get no discount) and a few in entertainment (including hip-hop mogul Lyor Cohen and artist Richard Prince).

"It can sound like a ridiculous amount of money, but a lot of members justify the cost by thinking of the club as the extra room they don't have to add onto their house," Mr. Rubin says.

OB-AM044_golfcl_20070622160719.jpgYou know it's funny, but I just budgeted an add-on to my second home in Malibu. Low and behold, $750,000 for that extra room. Which is why I could see where Newport was going with this:

In an area where houses routinely cost $5 million, and the really good ones near the ocean go for $10 million or more, this argument holds some logic, especially since membership will cap, at least for the time being, at 150. Currently the count is 129. He describes the club, with its cool, minimalist architecture, and its astounding views, as a place to appreciate the more meditative aspects of golf, which too much traffic would spoil.

Traffic? In the Hamptons? No! 

Saturday
Jun232007

"America's ruling body closed their minds to what would have produced a fascinating test of golf, and buried the aforementioned angles beneath the same old sea of rough."

John Huggan with this On Sunday Scotland Scotland On Sunday observation about Tiger and the USGA setup at Oakmont:

This time he hit more fairways and more greens than the eventual champion - supposedly the secret to winning US Opens - and lost again.

Such statistics are just another indication that the USGA are failing in their supposed and much-repeated mission to identify the "best" player. Their mantra used to be "fairways and greens" in the style of Ben Hogan, but now fifth-placed Bubba Watson-like "rough and scramble" would seem to be more appropriate.
And on Oakmont... 
Oakmont prides itself on being the toughest course in America, with a good part of that difficulty stemming from what must be the most fiendish and interesting set of greens anywhere. Sadly, that aspect of the Oakmont test was largely lost because of the mindless one-dimensionality of the USGA's set-up.

Rather than let the players decide for themselves the angles at which they would most like to approach the putting surfaces, and so hopefully take strategic advantage of their slopes, America's ruling body closed their minds to what would have produced a fascinating test of golf, and buried the aforementioned angles beneath the same old sea of rough. So we are left to imagine just what sort of score (given the same level of ball-striking) that Woods could have managed in that already-superb third round. Or by how much he could have separated himself from the field. What a waste.
Saturday
Jun232007

"The issue: Who will pay for the tax liability on the couple's ownership of private jets?"

You know, I've stayed away from the Greg Norman divorce because this is, after all, a golf blog and not a Perez Hilton wannabe site. However, this is just too good to pass up. From Jose Lambiet in the Palm Beach Post.

 

After months of bitter legal wrangling, golf legend Greg Norman and his soon-to-be ex-wife announced Friday they have worked out a divorce settlement.

Their actual divorce, however, wasn't finalized at a court hearing in Martin County just yet because the two may be headed back before a judge for a two-day trial in September.

The issue: Who will pay for the tax liability on the couple's ownership of private jets?

Key word there, jets. Not jet. Jets. Oh the problems these two have!

 

This is fun:

"It's over. We signed a settlement agreement, but we also signed a confidentiality agreement and I can't talk about it," a beaming Laura Norman said outside the Stuart courthouse. "The trial is not a big issue, but they wanted a trial."

 

She can't talk about it, but she can tell us they signed a settlement agreement!

Meanwhile this Daily Mail story features pictures of Norman and "mistress" Chris Evert along with various dollar figures that don't really add up. Because if they did, we'd be seeing Greg out playing the Champions Tour...for the first time.

Saturday
Jun232007

Vick's Passion For Dogfighting Claims Charity Golf Tournament

Ah how fun would it be to blog about the NFL!

Why can't PGA Tour players be this sleezy every once in a while?

Friday
Jun222007

Hawkins On State Of The Game

Finally got around to John Hawkins' essay on the state of the game, which artfully sidestepped a few sticky issues while also offering some good, solid honest assessments about the golf industry. (And nice to see Golf World not simply devote its 60th anniversary issue to patting itself on the back).

He's especially good in this piece when taking on the question of whether the game needs to grow and produce new players.

Of course, one man's game is another man's business. Without growth, you're standing still, and if you're standing still in a public sector, some guy in a striped tie won't be getting his obese year-end bonus. You can't rightfully begrudge a man for driving profit margins--the dude wants to retire early so he can, ahem, go play golf--but the organizations that want most to grow golf have an obvious financial stake in their message. The PGA of America on a recreational level, the PGA Tour in terms of spectators and TV viewers--both operations regularly compromise the game's essence and integrity to generate additional revenue for themselves.
But do they really have to compromise the game's essence in this pursuit?

On a smaller point, I thought this was a great observation. 
Woods' greatness brought golf a fleeting burst of mainstream presence for a couple of years, but the novelty has long since worn off, and now we've returned to the second row of the sports hierarchy.

We saw the same thing happen in the early '90s with the Senior PGA Tour. A sexy mix of clock-punching club pros (Tom Wargo, Larry Laoretti) and silver superstars (Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino) created a ton of buzz, prompting former commissioner Deane Beman to make a 40-week schedule out of the concept. By the time Woods began reconfiguring the game's competitive landscape at the far end of the decade, Geritol Ball was just a cute little fad whose meter had expired.

Which is why it's crucial to close off the Champions Tour Q-school to more of those clock punching club pros and other non-PGA Tour lifers so that we can see Mike Reid gets in 25 starts! 

Friday
Jun222007

"But just as her father is chasing Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 majors, he'll also be measured against Nicklaus as a family man."

I think we have our GWAA winner in the Daily-Columns-Oy-Vey Division thanks to Dave Anderson's take on the birth of Tiger's daughter, including excessive piling on from Jack Nicklaus.

Whatever she does, Sam Alexis Woods will always be Tiger Woods's daughter, which won't be easy. But just as her father is chasing Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 majors, he'll also be measured against Nicklaus as a family man. Not that he and Elin need to have five children and 20 grandchildren, as Jack and Barbara have.
But just think about the possibilities on the design business side? Just a thought.

On this measured against Nicklaus thing, how would one measure this exactly anyway? 
"Tiger's career, as bright as it has been, can only be enhanced by marriage and now by parenthood," Jack Nicklaus said in a statement of congratulations. "I have always felt that family adds a significant level of balance to your life and it gives you greater incentive in your professional life."

Yeah, Tiger really needs incentive! He's such a slacker!

Changing Sam Alexis' diapers may just turn around this shoddy 1-1-2-2 record in the last four majors! 

Friday
Jun222007

ESPN Hires Seven VP's; Still Has Long Way To Go Before Catching PGA Tour

John Dempsey in Variety notes the VP hiring binge, which I think (seriously) speaks to where media is headed in the coming years with the iphone and other devices rendering print just that much more...ah you know.

ESPN, striving to stay ahead of the flooding of sports programming to Web sites, cell phones and iPods, has created a new brain trust of seven top content execs who'll report to the top dog John Skipper, ESPN's exec veep of content.

The seven, all of whom will be much more cognizant of burgeoning new-media platforms, are Norby Williamson, exec VP of production; John Wildhack , exec VP of program acquisitions & strategy; David Berson, exec VP of program planning & strategy; and John Walsh, exec VP and executive editor.

Also, Keith Clinkscales, senior VP of content development & enterprises; Marie Donoghue, senior VP of business affairs and business development; and John Kosner, senior VP and GM of digital media.

ESPN singled out Clinkscales because he'll take charge of the expansion of ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE) into what the network calls "a multi-platform -- TV, Internet, print, wireless, broadband and radio -- creative-content-development unit."

Wow, that's a lot of hyphens and commas!