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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
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • 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
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 first two or three years I played in the Doral I actually thought it was named for a cigarette or a flower you put on a wreath. Of course I eventually found out the name came from humans. It came from Al Kaskel, who built the resort, and his wife, Doris. I guess Al Kaskel could have called it Aldor, but putting his wife's name first obviously made it sound better, and may have prevented an argument at home.  DAN JENKINS as Bobby Joe Grooves


    

Thursday
Sep272007

Thomson Makes Case For Norman; Finchem's Heart Warmed

From Doug Ferguson's story on Royal Melbourne landing the 2011 Presidents Cup:

Five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson, captain of that International team who famously introduced the American team at opening ceremonies as “the greatest collection of golfers in the world,” said he was not interested in returning as captain.

“I’m a has-been and I’m happy to be that, instead of a could-have-been,” Thomson said.

But he said he would favor Greg Norman leading the International team, especially with the matches being held in Australia. Norman, perhaps the most popular golfer to emerge from Down Under, played on that ‘98 and lost a singles match against Tiger Woods.

Norman and Finchem have been at odds for much of the last decade, however, and it was not clear if he would be interested.

“I hope one day he will be captain,” Thomson said. “He was a giant figure in the game for so long, I think it’s appropriate that if he wants to be, he should be captain of this team.”

Thursday
Sep272007

“Captain Nicklaus was right."

Doug Ferguson on the most "poignant" moment of the U.S. domination on day one of the President's Cup, when Captain Jack Nicklaus intervened:

Despite a leaderboard covered with American red numbers, perhaps the most poignant moment of a gray afternoon was Nicklaus instructing Phil Mickelson and Woody Austin to concede a 3½-foot par putt on the 18th hole that assured Mike Weir of Canada and his International team its only point of the opening session.

In a tense battle with only six holes halved, the match was all square going to the 18th when both sides missed the green. Mickelson blasted out to 12 feet, while Weir chipped to 3½ feet above the hole. Austin made the par putt, and before Vijay Singh spot his ball, the match was conceded.

“Captain Nicklaus was right. It was the right thing to do,” Mickelson said.

And he followed up, saying, "If it was anyone other than Vijay, I would have thought to do the same thing myself." 

Steve Elling breaks down the conceded putt and Nicklaus's reasoning. (Warning for those who should not be rolling their eyes: it was for Canada and Mike Weir).

Thursday
Sep272007

Prez Cup Headed To Melbourne

It's no Royal Montreal, but it'll work...

Royal Melbourne Golf Club to host The Presidents Cup in 2011

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada – Just prior to the start of the seventh Presidents Cup this afternoon at Royal Montreal Golf Club in Canada, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that another “Royal” venue – Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia – has been named host site of the event in 2011.

Royal Melbourne Golf Club becomes the first golf course outside of the United States to host the prestigious match-play competition more than once, as the 1998 event was also held there.  In April, the PGA TOUR announced that the ninth staging of The Presidents Cup, which is slated forNov. 14-20, 2011, would be held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, but a host course was not named until today.

“I’d like to congratulate and thank Peter Sutherland and the leadership and membership of Royal Melbourne Golf Club on the return of The Presidents Cup in 2011,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem.  “As we saw in 1998, Australia has some of the best golf fans and best courses in the world. The selection of Royal Melbourne as the site of the next international Presidents Cup is affirmation of what the golf club has meant to thehistory of The Cup.”

The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, which has existed continuously since 1891,is one of the most highly regarded golf clubs in Australia.
You don't say! Who knew?!
“Royal Melbourne is both pleased and excited to have been awarded the 2011 Presidents Cup,” said Peter Sutherland, captain, Royal Melbourne Golf Club. “Having hosted the event in 1998, we believe it will once again be an outstanding venue for what has now become a much bigger and internationally recognized competition.  We are proud that Australia has a number of golf clubs which would well have staged The Presidents Cup, and look forward to welcoming the players, their families, guests of the TOUR and fans in 2011.”

And because those two quotes weren't enough...

“We are obviously delighted that The Presidents Cup will be returning to Australia in 2011 and certain that Royal Melbourne will once again be an outstanding venue for the world’s best players ” said Ben Sellenger, Chief Executive Officer, PGA TOUR of Australasia. “The excitement and anticipation for this event will build exponentially over the next four years, and the PGA TOUR of Australasia looks forward to supporting the return of The Presidents Cup in 2011.”

“I’m thrilled to see The Presidents Cup return to Melbourne, which is my hometown,” said Peter Thomson, who captained the International Presidents Cup Team in 1996, 1998 and 2000.  “The 1998 event was so successful, and The Presidents Cup has only grown in stature and importance since then.  I have no doubt that it will be another fantastic competition.

Nothing from Greg Norman?

Thursday
Sep272007

Querencia

Querenciatitle.jpgAdded to the lefthand column is a page devoted to Querencia where I will be helping Gil Hanse add a second course to the Los Cabos, Mexico development. There is an interview with Gil on the club site, a press release and my own site photos with descriptions of the land.

Wednesday
Sep262007

"If Tiger Woods' test comes back negative, what does it matter what the rest of them are on?"

The European Tour's George O'Grady held court at Royal Montreal and dazzled writers with some prime one-liners on various issues, including the performance enhancing drug issue. Steve Elling reports:

O'Grady estimated that drug tests will cost $1,000 per player, which makes the possibility of testing an entire European Tour field all but impossible. The PGA Tour will have that luxury, conversely, if it elects to head in that direction. Many of the particulars on testing and penalties are still in flux and financials will doubtlessly play a huge role in how much urinalysis is done on the various worldwide circuits.

"So it's not so simple as pissing into a pot and moving on," O'Grady said. "We cannot write off a million pounds. We don't have that kind of money."
And this beauty...
 Prodded by a reporter, O'Grady also unleashed a half-serious zinger with regard to the drug testing program, which is being initiated as much to protect the sport's reputation as it is to catch what's assumed to be a tiny handful of cheaters, if any.

Just test Tiger Woods and be done with it.

"From what I understand, he would be the first in line to volunteer for testing," O'Grady said. "If Tiger Woods' test comes back negative, what does it matter what the rest of them are on?

Can you imagine the notoriously cautious and professionally stiff Finchem uttering any of the above? Didn't think so.

 

Wednesday
Sep262007

Elling: Nicklaus Open To Ryder Cup Captaincy

Take that Faldo and McGinley!

Talk about a juicy Ryder Cup story on the even of the President's Cup. Steve Elling explains

The game's most revered figure was shooting the breeze with a handful of writers when the subject of future captaincies was broached. Nicklaus has served as the American captain of the past three Presidents Cup teams, but hasn't so much as attended a Ryder Cup in years. He last captained a Ryder team in 1987. For the past few years, the Americans have gushed about how Nicklaus' managerial style keeps them loose but focused on the task at hand, vs. the micro-managing of other captains. So maybe the best way for the Ryder Cup to move forward after absorbing consecutive losses by record margins to Europe is to move backward first.

"If I happened to get asked, would I do it again, sure," Nicklaus said. "It's very flattering. I didn't expect to do it again this time (at the Presidents Cup), as you know."

After winning the Presidents Cup in Washington, D.C., in 2005, the U.S. players practically insisted that he return.

"I love being involved in the game of golf," Nicklaus said. "I love being around these young guys. That's something money cannot buy."

I guess that pretty much rules out Larry Nelson for consideration in 2010 at that dreadful course in Wales. 

Wednesday
Sep262007

R&A Insists They Knew Exactly What They Were Doing...

Though as Mike Aitken's piece suggests, it's not clear why they are playing the Open in England two straight years other than they were anxious to not stay away from Lytham for too long.

Not just a question of serendipity, David Hill, the R&A's director of championships, explained how the impact of the London Olympics in 2012 had forced a break with tradition. "It wasn't just coincidence that the Open will be in England two years running," he acknowledged. "We didn't want to hold the championship at Royal St George's in 2012, the year of the Olympics in London, and didn't think going there the year after was a particularly good idea either."

One of the most popular venues on the rota - 183,000 spectators came through the gates when Ben Curtis thwarted Thomas Bjorn in 2003 - Sandwich is the only links in the south east of England which stages golf's most venerable event. Drawing spectators from London as well as Kent and the surrounding area, St George's was a hugely successful Open four years ago and the R&A didn't want to cloak it's appeal in the shadow of the Olympics.

Bearing in mind that Lytham last held the Open in 2001 when David Duval was in his pomp, the Lancashire venue will have had to wait 11 years for the championship to return by the time the event goes back to St Anne's in 2012.

Wednesday
Sep262007

"Eiregate"

As expected, England's finest pounced on the Paul McGinley Vice Captain resignation story with glee. Really, anything to not have to pen a Seve Trophy preview story.

McGinley assuredly wrapped up some sort of media relations award for this act of kindness.

Mark Garrod and Peter Dixon file pieces (here and here) looking at the sequence of events while Derek Lawrenson comes out and says what most assumed:

Faldo became dead meat in Ireland from the moment he overlooked their sporting hero Paul McGinley for one of his Seve wild cards. With Padraig Harrington having withdrawn, it meant no Irishman in the team.

'Eiregate' duly escalated yesterday when McGinley, privately furious at not being chosen, announced his resignation as one of Faldo's vice-captains for next year's Ryder Cup at Valhalla, Kentucky.

Wisely, the Dubliner chose not to make it personal in his official statement, saying: 'It was a great honour to be chosen by Nick but, on reflection and after careful consideration, I feel it is in my best interests to concentrate on playing my way into the team.'

McGinley will be a great asset if he can find his true form once more. But, equally, Faldo can hardly be blamed — outside Ireland, anyway — for feeling that he knows everything about the 40-year-old's estimable qualities and plumping instead for two young guns in form in Simon Dyson and Marc Warren, recent winner of the Johnnie Walker Championship.

And Lawrence Donegan weighed in with this...

The timing was also curious, coming as it did on the eve of the Seve Trophy match between a team from Great Britain and Ireland, captained by Faldo, and a European squad led by Seve Ballesteros. There have been suggestions in golfing circles that McGinley was bemused by Faldo's decision not to select him as a wild-card pick for his squad, especially as it would have given the Irishman some valuable insight into the European captain's thinking on team matters before next year's Ryder Cup.

For all his greatness as a golfer, Faldo has long had a reputation for being a high-handicapper when it comes to personal relations. McGinley's departure in such circumstances will have done little to change the mind of those who suspect there will more upheaval within European ranks before a ball is struck in anger in Kentucky.
Wednesday
Sep262007

ESPN VPs Make ESPN List Of Most Powerful Figures In Sport

BusinessWeek and ESPN the magazine got together to determine the most powerful figures in sport. Golf's four contributions to the list:

2. Tiger Woods

34. Tim Finchem

74. Mark Steinberg 

76. Arnold Palmer 

Shockingly, the list includes four ESPN VP's, ESPN EVP's and of course, an ESPN SVP. 

 

Wednesday
Sep262007

Euro Writers Rejoice: McGinley Resigns As Vice Captain, First '08 Ryder Cup Controversy Will Prevent Having To Cover Seve Trophy

From Reuters, and almost assuredly, with excessive follow ups for weeks to come...

Paul McGinley has resigned as Europe's 2008 Ryder Cup vice-captain, team skipper Nick Faldo said on Wednesday.

Faldo denied the Irishman's decision had anything to do with him not being chosen as one of the Britain and Ireland Seve Trophy wildcards by Faldo, who is also the team's skipper this week in Ireland.

"I spoke to Paul last week and he said 'I've got a lot of events coming up'. I can sense the rumblings and then we spoke this morning and he decided to withdraw his position," Faldo told a news conference.

This is fun... 
"He told me he was really concerned about the workload that will be involved as vice-captain, because he wants to play himself into the team for Valhalla.

The workload?

"Good luck to him. The man holed a winning putt on the Ryder Cup and that's the sort of player I want on my team."

Asked if his decision to overlook McGinley for the match against Seve Ballesteros's Europeans might be linked to the Irishman's move, Faldo said: "No, not at all. Playing is his priority. We chatted well together."

There was no fistfight, no name calling. It's all good. Well, almost...

Faldo did admit McGinley had demurred when he asked the Irishman to accompany him this week at the Heritage, where the action gets underway on Thursday.

"When I said to him 'did you want to come?' he said 'No, I'm preparing to play' (in the Dunhill Links Championship).

And...

In a statement, McGinley said: "It was a great honour to be picked by Nick but, after careful consideration, I feel it is in my best interest to concentrate on playing myself into the team.

"I've played the last three matches and I want to play at Valhalla. I want to play for Nick and bring the Cup back to Europe again."

Faldo chose McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabal as his vice-captains. Olazabal has indicated that he too wants to play at Valhalla.

"I might be on my own," Faldo joked. "But I've got big enough shoulders."
Wednesday
Sep262007

CEO Musical Chairs

Steve Mona is leaving the GCSAA to run the World Golf Federation and join the growing list of those in line to take on Tim Finchem's massive salary when the Commish finally decides to spend more time with his family. Meanwhile, David Fay will be the first "CEO" to head the World Golf Federation board and all of it makes for great Presidents Cup cocktail party talk.

And so nice to see Peter Dawson sounding like he just got his MBA:

"The World Golf Foundation is providing a platform to establish an open line of communication that is critical to effectuating meaningful change on a global basis," Dawson said. "It is important that the international golf community come together in a strategic manner to address issues that affect us all and the sport we love."

Except that annoying distance issue. 

Tuesday
Sep252007

Charity Is At The Heart Of The PGA Tour: Presidents Cup Opening Ceremony Not Televised!

It's hard to imagine the Golf Channel could pass up on Wednesday's festivities at Royal Montreal in favor of Playing Lessons with Arron Oberholser, but alas, you don't have to set your TiVo's for the big event where Vegas oddsmakers have posted 5-1 odds on a Kenny G cameo, 3-1 on a Celine Dion ear-piercing medley of O Canada and My Heart Will Go On, and 2-1 odds on either one headlining Sunday's Closing Ceremony/site evacuation session.

From The Golf Blogger:

This isn’t to say that even officials of major golf organizations will be welcome everywhere. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be host of a private dinner on Tuesday for the teams, their captains, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, and visiting dignitaries, including PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. Quebec Premier Jean Charest will attend the event.

Wednesday’s entertainment will be rather splashier. The lavish opening ceremony will take place at the Royal Montreal at 4 p.m. The event’s opening gala will occur that evening in the ballroom at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

Harper and Charest will be on the stage during the opening ceremony, as will Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay and former U.S. president George Bush.

Ward & Ames, a Houston-based company, has choreographed the opening ceremony for the six previous Presidents Cup tournaments and will do so again. Area boys and girls choirs will sing the U.S. and Canadian anthems.

The national anthems of every country with a player will also be played. That evening, at the gala, called Celebration of Nations, food stations representing the cuisine of the various countries will be set up. This means stations representing the United States, Canada, South Africa, Fiji, Australia, Argentina and South Korea.

 

Tuesday
Sep252007

"I think it will be great if Mike Weir played Tiger this time. I think that would be a great match."

Shockingly, I did not pour through the Tuesday transcripts from Royal Montreal, but it's become apparent what the scribblers will be focusing on in Wednesday's editions. For a sample, check out The Golf Channel's Ian Hutchinson writing about the potential "dream match" between Tiger Woods and Mike Weir.

It’s a concept that American captain Jack Nicklaus finds intriguing, but needs the cooperation of his International counterpart Gary Player and Weir himself to pull it off.
 
“I think Gary and I will have to talk about it. I think it will be great if Mike Weir played Tiger this time. I think that would be a great match. I think it’s the logical thing to try to do, but Mike might not want to play him,” said Nicklaus.
 
“I have no idea if Gary wants to do that or not and I have no idea if Tiger wants to do that.”

The idea definitely does have its appeal from an entertainment point of view, something both Nicklaus and Player deem important. With 28,000 paid customers per day expected at Royal Montreal, the buzz would be electric, but attention on that one match could be overwhelming.

I don't know about you, but the dream match is Tiger Woods vs. Rory Sabbatini.  Oh, and playing right in front of Phil Mickelson vs. Vijay Singh.

Tuesday
Sep252007

"Golf is the most democratic of games. It should have no national boundaries and nor should it be used as collateral for anti-American, Canadian, European or Argentinian sentiments but that is what those who are new to golf want."

The Principal is mad as hell about all of this exploitation of nationalism at "cup" events and he pens an interesting take on the state of team events.

The President’s Cup is the biggest golfing event ever to be staged in Canada and while the wonderful Canadian Open struggles with scheduling and audience issues, the rah-rah men and politicians will be using this flag waving fest as an opportunity to make snide remarks while increasing political profiles.

Is this what golf has become in the 21st century? A season of three majors, the USPGA and repetitive annual team events that create the opportunity for dummies to shout and scream that your country (or in the case of really sad dummies, your continent) is the best in the world!

Golf is the most democratic of games. It should have no national boundaries and nor should it be used as collateral for anti-American, Canadian, European or Argentinian sentiments but that is what those who are new to golf want. These team games are meant to foster good relations but instead are often hi-jacked by those competing or watching as an opportunity to teach someone a lesson. Has it become so ugly that representing your country or continent or part of the world is more important than what the founders of our great game envisaged? The chance to test oneself and your inner demons, the opportunity to meet new friends and enjoy a beer or two, the gift of travelling the world and meeting other tortured souls who share your love of the game or simply enjoying a few holes on your own on piece of windswept linksland!

Tuesday
Sep252007

"Any golf course where you automatically pull out a driver ... that's a weakness in my book"

bildeRobert Bell takes a peak at Kris Spence's restoration of Donald Ross's Sedgefield Country Club design. You may recall the course has been eyed recently as a new site for the Greensboro event and Bell seems to confirm that progress is being made on that front.
Sedgefield's $3 million renovation, which includes rebuilt greens, tees and fairways, as well as repositioned bunkers, began in November and was expected to be completed by August. But heavy spring rains followed by a hot, dry summer delayed the reopening by about a month.

Monday, three days after the course reopened, members said the wait was worth it. The gorgeous fairways with beautiful rolling contours and the smooth greens have members gushing over one of the area's most impressive golf course renovation projects.

"It's a new course, but it still has a Donald Ross feel to it," said member Mark Speckman, who played the course Monday. "Every shot makes you think, which I think is what Ross would want."

That's certainly what Greensboro golf architect Kris Spence was aiming for when he agreed to refurbish Sedgefield's aging course two years ago. Spence, whose specialty is renovating Ross-designed courses in North Carolina, spent the past 18 months bringing back many of the traits Ross created in 1926.

Greens have been expanded to their original size, allowing for pins to be tucked into corners. Rolling fairways slope from side to side, requiring every tee shot to be one of thought rather than mere brute strength.

And while the renovation was designed with club members in mind, Spence said the course would make a perfect venue for the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship, which has been played in recent years at Forest Oaks Country Club.

Sources this week said Wyndham officials have begun discussing a buyout of their long-term contract at Forest Oaks with the intent of moving the tournament to Sedgefield. PGA Tour agronomy officials were at Sedgefield last week to look at the progress of the renovation.

Spence's renovation added another 400 yards to Sedgefield, bringing its length to 7,130 yards. Sedgefield's par is 71 for members. If the Wyndham were to move there, par would be 70, with the 505-yard, par-5 18th hole likely shaved to a par-4.

Sedgefield would be one of the shortest courses on the PGA Tour, but Spence, like Ross, is not concerned with length.

"Any golf course where you automatically pull out a driver ... that's a weakness in my book," Spence said. "The twists and turns and the natural topography here make this course very special. I really believe that over time this is going to be one of the top courses in the country."
Tuesday
Sep252007

Presidents Cup Photo Caption Help

Wonder what Phil and Woody are trying to figure out? Courtesy of golf.com:

sept25_philwoody_600x423.jpg

 

Tuesday
Sep252007

"It's not going to be set up like a Canadian Open, with deep rough."

120070-40223.jpgRandy Phillips looks at the records of various President's Cup participants at Royal Montreal, and briefly explores the recent renovation. He also drops a very encouraging comment from Mike Weir about the PGA Tour's setup, which sounds much more promising than recent Ryder Cups and mini-majors where excessive rough seems to be a foregone conclusion.
The Blue course has changed since 2001, undergoing a major renovation by renowned course designer Rees Jones. In addition to being lengthened from 6,982 to 7,153 yards (it remains a par 70), the most significant change has been the reversal of the 12th and 13th holes, formerly a par 3 and par 5, respectively. The 12th is now a 570-yard par 5, while the 13th is a 224-yard par 3.

Weir, who is playing in his fourth Presidents Cup, played Royal Montreal a few weeks ago and liked what he saw.

''The driving areas are better now,'' the native of Bright's Grove, Ont., said. ''A few changes on the greens seem to be pretty good. It's not going to be set up like a Canadian Open, with deep rough. They want some scoring. So I think it's going to be a good golf course."
Tuesday
Sep252007

“By partnering with Colin and his brand, we are certain we will achieve that, and give the marketplace something it just hasn’t seen in this country to-date.”

Why satirize when you can just copy and paste...

Montgomerie-designed course taking shape along Central Coast

DA NANG, Viet Nam (25 September 2007) — Course construction is well underway here amid the tropical dunescape of Vietnam’s fastest growing resort destination, where a Colin Montgomerie design will soon stand as the area’s first 18-hole layout.

Located just off famed China Beach and minutes from Da Nang’s international airport, The Montgomerie Links Vietnam has been routed to capitalize on its close proximity to both the warm, tranquil South China Sea and striking Marble Mountains, which are clearly visible from various points on the course.

And where the morning Napalm smells so nice...

All-time European Tour money winner Montgomerie—better known as Monty to his worldwide fan base—has worked with this stunning setting of casuarina pines and scruffy dunes to create what will be a true links experience. The front nine opens for play next summer.

“The land is absolutely spectacular,” said Jeff Puchalski, Vice President of Golf Operations for Danao International Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Indochina Capital, developer of The Montgomerie Links Vietnam. “Hoi An is known for being a UNESCO World Heritage site but what people don’t know is that it has an amazing beachscape, which makes the perfect palette for a links style course. I believe it will give everyone who plays it the feeling of being in Ireland or Scotland—without the cold temperatures you find in the British Isles. It’s got the terrain golf purists dream about.”

It’s also got something very few courses can lay claim to: a pedigree bearing the words “The Montgomerie,” which is verbiage reserved for designs where the site and development partners were personally chosen by Monty himself. Only four other layouts in the world can boast these qualities.

“I am very selective about applying my special design brand,” Montgomerie explained. “Indochina’s The Montgomerie Links Vietnam has a spectacular site and I am proud to be doing my first and only Montgomerie in Vietnam with Indochina Capital.”

My first and only Montgomerie. Talking about ourselves in the third person now. Always a healthy sign.

Indochina Capital is familiar with grandly distinctive projects. In fact, it has already made a splash in the same vicinity, with The Nam Hai, Vietnam’s first super-luxury resort. This collection of 100 freestanding villas on nearby Ha My Beach opened on 1 December 2006 but has rapidly earned a prestigious reputation. Less than a year old, it’s already been recognized by some of the most influential magazines in the world in recent months, including Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler.

“The whole idea with the golf course is to provide an experience that is right in line with The Nam Hai,” said Peter Ryder, CEO of Indochina Capital. “By partnering with Colin and his brand, we are certain we will achieve that, and give the marketplace something it just hasn’t seen in this country to-date.”

A product of Royal Troon in Scotland—a British Open rotation mainstay—Monty has implemented classic, Old World design elements into the Da Nang course, such as rolling, treeless fairways, thick rough,

Oh yeah, that's classical...sorry...

massive greens and tight chipping areas. Among the holes sure to be memorable are Nos. 7 and 13, a pair of par 4s with some of the deepest bunkers on the course.

How novel!

The only departure from tradition comes in the form of several lakes and streams, a must when considering the region’s seasonably high water table.

True true. And so linksy.

“Players will be amazed and, I believe, impressed with how we have routed this collection of holes through an incredibly natural formation of dunes and seaside vegetation,” said Montgomerie. “This is as close as you can get to true links golf in Vietnam. It will be a treat to experience.”

In addition to the course, the development will include 60 sleek residential units, a stylish clubhouse and a comprehensive driving range/practice facility, which is slated to open by the first of the year.

IMG is providing the design team, and managing course construction. IMG, also Montgomerie’s agent, is best known in Vietnam for its designs at Ocean Dunes, Dalat Palace and the newly-opened Tam Dao, just north of Hanoi.

“Until now, no course has been built in Vietnam outside the orbits of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi,” said Ryder. “What golfers are going to find here is a course not to be missed, etched by one of the real legends of the game.”

IMG is a legend of the game?

Tuesday
Sep252007

Two Opens In A Row For England

Take that, Scotland...

ROYAL ST GEORGE’S AND ROYAL LYTHAM & ST ANNES TO HOST THE 2011 AND 2012 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
 
The R&A has named Royal St George’s and Royal Lytham & St Annes as the venues for the 2011 and 2012 Open Championships.
 
Royal St George’s last hosted The Open Championship in 2003, when Ben Curtis, from the United States, won after a final round 69 that was good enough to hold off Thomas Bjorn, who led for most of the final day, and Vijay Singh by 1 stroke.  This will be the fourteenth time that The Open has been staged at Sandwich, the southern-most venue on The Open rota.
 
On the two previous occasions when the Championship was played at Royal St George’s the Champions were Greg Norman in 1993 and Sandy Lyle in 1985, a victory that catalysed the most successful period in European golf.  Indeed, Open Championships at Royal St George’s are steeped in the history of the game with previous winners including J H Taylor, Harry Vardon, Walter Hagen, Henry Cotton and Bobby Locke.
 
Royal Lytham & St Annes most recently hosted The Open in 2001 when David Duval of the United States shot a closing round of 67 to record a three shot win over Sweden’s Niclas Fasth.
 
That was the tenth time The Open had been played over the testing Lancashire Links since the legendary amateur Bobby Jones won the first there, in 1926.  In the subsequent nine Opens at Lytham, Tony Jacklin, in 1969, remains the only British winner.
 
Over the years, both courses have been used extensively for R&A Championships, with Royal St George’s playing host to The Amateur Championship in 2006 and due to hold the Boys Amateur Championship in 2009, while Royal Lytham & St Annes was the venue for this year’s Amateur Championship in June.
 
Commenting on the announcement, David Hill, Director of Championships for The R&A said:
 
“We are delighted that The Open is returning to Sandwich and Lytham, both outstanding championship courses that have produced a succession of worthy champions.
 
“The Open is a huge undertaking for any club and The R&A would therefore like to thank both clubs for their cooperation, which has enabled the Championship to return to these two fine venues.”
 

Monday
Sep242007

Tiger Announces Target Field; Editors and Writers Plot Interview Possibilities

Tiger's event at Sherwood has become a media favorite, but surprisingly not because it brings them close to Rustic Canyon and one of their favorite public golf courses in the land. No, it's because it's the one week the players are jovial, the days are short and the is range incredibly close to the media room. In other words, it's an ideal opportunity for the monthlies to stock up on inanities for the upcoming year, so send out East Coast types already bitter about the onset of winter who will gladly ask Padraig Harrington about his favorite soccer football futbol team and grill Luke Donald about what he loves most about America.

Otherwise, no one else should really care who is playing. But in case you are wondering, Mark Lamport-Stokes breaks down the field.