Twitter: GeoffShac
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    by Ken Bowden

The audience in the theatre, looking over the footlights, view the play as do most of the gallery following the experts of golf. However, back-stage, there are a few eyes critically regarding the play from an entirely different angle. For many years I have preferred to observe golf shots from backstage, as it were. Seeing a man whack a golf ball is of little interest to me, and frequently it is a performance that had better be missed. That which concerns me most is where the ball lands and what it does after. A.W. TILLINGHAST

 

  

Tuesday
Oct062009

"please jump out of your own arse and don't insult my intelligence you ignorant, simple, dense little man."

Some people were meant to Tweet, and then there's Ian Poulter. He's been a Twitter trainwreck since starting up this summer, which started promisingly with his rant on the groove rule change, then highlighted by his shrewd decision to post a photo of his famous mates flipping off the camera and his rebuttals to Captain Monty after skipping the Seve Trophy to get drunk with his son's agent. And now he's getting into nasty feuds engaging in spirited interaction with his followers.



Monday
Oct052009

Letter From Saugerties, Wally Uihlein Edition

Former USGA Executive Director Frank Hannigan emailed this letter in response to Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein's recent interview with John Huggan. I emailed Mr. Uihlein to ask if he wished to respond but have not heard back as of this posting.

What a week of glory it was for Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein!

First, he gives an interview to the always entertaining golf site, "Golf Observer."  What it amounts to is a tribute to himself and his company.  It is longer than "War and Peace."

Then, better yet, the man accused of blackmailing David Letterman wears a Titleist cap in various photos that surfaced. The whole world sees "Titleist" and it doesn't cost Acushnet a dime. (By the way the USGA handicap processing system shows one Joe Halderman, a resident of Connecticut, as bearing a 16.8 at the Longshore Golf Course,  a muni in the posh town of Westport).   

Wally is special.  He would like it thought that he was found in a manger outside the door of the dean of the Harvard Business School.  In fact,  he was a left-handed New England golfer with a modicum of talent who became somebody's assistant pro.  The USGA welcomed him back by granting him reinstatement to amateur status.  He jumped over to Acushnet where he displayed a tremendous ability to sell stuff.

His company owns more than 50% of the golf ball market plus Foot Joy shoes and a couple of lines of clubs.   It is now more than a billion dollar operation.  Wally is not satisfied.  He thinks he should BE golf.  There is nothing he is unwilling to foresee. He predicts there will be no more successful incursions into the golf equipment business by outsiders.  That's an expression of resentment toward the late Karsten Solheim and the late Ely Callaway who came from nowhere to dominate the club business and kick Acushnet's butt in the process. 

I will now present an abbreviated list of items worthy of comment from the interview:

  • On the prospect of rolling back distance,  he says any change is bound to be good for some tour players and bad for others.  How come he didn't weep for the prospective losers when he dramatically changed his ball to the HD line in the early 2000s?
  • Wally says there is no precedent for rolling back performance - not in golf or any other sport.  Excuse me, but in 1931 the USGA changed the minimum diameter of the ball in its rule to 1.68 inches - up from 1.62 inches. Writing in the late 1930s, Bobby Jones reckoned that the 1.68" ball was about 5 yards shorter than the ball he played with during the 1920s.
  • He says the distance explosion is due in part to bigger and stronger people.  Look, distance was stable on the Tour between 1980 and 1995.  It then shot up every year until 2002 when it again became stable - after the horse left the barn with an overall driving distance increase of about 9%.  For the size of people to matter, you'd have to believe that something dramatic happened to the species for an 8 year period only.  Darwin wouldn't buy that.
  • He hints at the possibility of litigation on the heels of any equipment rules change by the USGA. That's odd because a few years ago he told me personally that suing the USGA is very bad for business.  Wally said that both Ping, which did sue, and Callaway, which threatened to sue, were singed.

Is the USGA frightened by threats of an anti trust suit?  Perhaps, even though I make them about a one touchdown favorite in such a clash.

What does scare the USGA is the fear of general non-support, which would render the USGA irrelevant. Just suppose the USGA did muster up the courage to do what it knows is right - roll back distance.   If that were to happen I am sure that Wally and other manufacturers would continue to turn out today's balls.   What would the customer do - buy the ball announced as being shorter?   Sure, the pro shops at Seminole and Cypress Point might only carry the new ball.   How about WalMart?  I can't envision the boys from Arkansas acting on the basis of what the USGA says is good for the game.  There would, for a time at least, be chaos, the exact opposite of the uniformity prized above all by the USGA.

The ongoing tension between equipment makers and the USGA is both sad and unnecessary.  It wasn't always so. I remember the day when an earlier CEO of Acushnet, John Ludes, came into my office at the USGA bearing a $10,000 check as a gift for a USGA building fundraiser.  Mr. Ludes understood that the USGA had created a climate in the sport that put all manufacturers on a level playing field and was doing so without any ax to grind. Naturally, I could not accept the check.    

Equipment gets nearly as much play as instruction in commercial golf media because of ad budgets.  Nothing gets the attention of a publisher quicker than a message saying, "You didn't give us enough space last month.  My money is itching to go elsewhere."

So the consumer is led to believe that his or her search for a driver counts more than the choice of a spouse. The truth of course is that equipment does not determine outcomes in golf on every level of the game. If it were otherwise you would see only one brand of ball in use on the Tour. Hostility is meaningless in that equipment simply doesn't matter.  By that, I mean that the choice of equipment on all levels of golf does not determine who wins or loses.  The performance of today's clubs and balls is remarkably similar with minute variations that are almost impossible to discern.   Why is it you never see blind test results in golf?  Because even the greatest of players can't tell one ball from another if the markings on the balls are wiped out.

For reading this far, I reward you with a tip.  The plastics used in modern golf balls do not decompose.  So if you are in a pro shop that has used balls in a bucket for $1.25 each, don't hesitate to reach down for a few. As for the decay issue,  I do not fear climate change.  My fear is that eventually the surface of the earth will consist of nothing but Pinnacles.

Uihlein says no Tour player will use equipment he does not favor. Right on. Tour players are influenced by how much they can extract in endorsement fees.

Remember when Tiger Woods turned pro in the fall of 1996?  He quickly scored a deal with Acushnet granting him $4 million per year.  In no time at all he was recognized as the best player in the world.  Fast forward a few years.  Nike, which dwarfs Acushnet, snatched Tiger away by doubling or tripling Tiger's fee. Tiger remained the best player in the world.  The same would happen if he developed a yen for Callaway or Taylor Made or whatever.    
 
It's astonishing how much attention is paid to equipment now.   The truth is if Acushnet was gobbled up tomorrow by Nike or Adidas nobody would care other than the players on the Titleist staff.

We have to put up with manufacturers since the game requires clubs and balls. But we shouldn't pay much attention to them and it surely doesn't matter which of them prosper and which fail.

Frank Hannigan
Saugerties, New York

Monday
Oct052009

Orender: A Non-Denial Denial?

Ron Sirak shares this email statement from Donna Orender that does not sound like a full denial that she's out of the LPGA Commissionership running:

"I was flattered by the widespread support of the industry who strongly encouraged me to look at this opportunity and the prospect of working again with so many people who I respect and with whom there is a history of success," Orender told GolfDigest.com in an email. "The WNBA Is in the midst of it's most successful finals in the leagues history and to continue to work with the dedicated team who is passionately committed to it's future is a good fit for me."

Monday
Oct052009

If You Can't Build 'Em, Sign Licensing Agreements

Since the PGA Tour probably won't be in the TPC building business for a while, they're adding some nice courses to the network via licensing deals. I'm not sure what this means beyond new logos and business for signmakers in Miami and La Quinta, but it is nice to see PGA West rejoining the fold after the last licensing agreement end. Maybe this increases the likelihood of the tour moving the match play to PGA West TPC Stadium Course at PGA WEST when they get tired of Tucson's small galleries and goofy greens?

Doral’s Blue Monster, PGA WEST’s Stadium Course Join TPC Fold
Famous courses will become part of TPC Network through licensing deals


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL                                                                    October 5, 2009

Two of America’s most recognized resort golf courses, the Blue Monster at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami and the Stadium Course at PGA WEST in LaQuinta, CA, are joining the PGA TOUR’s TPC Network through licensing agreements that were announced today.

The changeover becomes effective November 1 with the name and logo changes occurring immediately. They will become the TPC Blue Monster at Doral and the TPC Stadium Course at PGA WEST. Other aspects of course re-branding will be integrated over time.

“We are extremely pleased to bring these two outstanding golf courses into the TPC family through new licensing agreements,” said David Pillsbury, President of PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties, which oversees the TPC Network. “This marks the beginning to a licensing strategy to bring select resort and destination facilities into the TPC fold. The relationship provides for preferential access to PGA TOUR business partners, marketing partners and TPC Network membership base, while further benefiting the Network with the addition of such highly respected golf courses. We also believe this sort of partnership will benefit each golf course by affiliating it with the PGA TOUR through the TPC brand, thus allowing the facility to promote itself as part of the most respected network of golf courses in the world.”  

Pillsbury said the strategy is to grow the number of licensed golf courses over the next several years, focusing on high-profile domestic and international facilities that will provide and receive benefits from the TPC affiliation.

The Blue Monster has played host to PGA TOUR tournaments since 1962 and now is the site of the World Golf Championships-CA Championship.

“We’re excited about expanding our affiliation with the PGA TOUR and joining forces with the TPC Network,” said Mark Jeffrey, general manager of Doral Golf Resort & Spa, a Marriott Resort. “The Blue Monster has a longstanding history as a host venue with the TOUR and this new partnership undoubtedly will further elevate the visibility and award-winning reputation of Doral’s marquee golf course.”

The Stadium Course at PGA WEST, designed by Pete Dye and previously a licensed TPC course, has held various PGA TOUR and specialty events over the years. PGA WEST remains the western venue used in alternate years for the finals of the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament.

“This new partnership is an extension and enhancement of a former affiliation the Stadium Course had with theTPC Network,” said PGA WEST Executive Director Mike Kelly. “We look forward to working with PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties on creating exciting new packages and playing opportunities for the TPC Stadium Course at PGA WEST.”

For more information about the PGA TOUR’s TPC network of resort, daily fee and private clubs, go to www.tpc.com.
 

Monday
Oct052009

Why Does NBC Draw Much Higher Ratings For Golf?

Jon Show looks at the PGA Tour's number averaging a 2.0, back to 2007 levels with Tiger's return to regular play. But I find it more interesting that NBC averaged a 2.4 while CBS a 1.9...

NBC benefited the most from the return of Woods, boosting its year-over-year rating for 18 windows from a 2.0 in 2008 to a 2.4 this year, which is flat with 2007. NBC aired the highest-rated non-major of the year, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Woods’ first win after he returned in February.

NBC and CBS each aired coverage of six non-majors that Woods played. He won four events on CBS and two on NBC.

CBS earned a 1.9 rating for 39 telecasts in 2009, up from a 1.6 in 2008 but down from a 2.0 in 2007. The network posted the four lowest Sunday ratings this season with coverage of the FBR Open, Verizon Heritage, HP Byron Nelson Championship and Zurich Classic. CBS was also hurt by a rainout at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and Woods’ absence at the Buick Invitational, an event that normally marks the start of his season.

Why do I suspect this will come up the next time rights fees are discussed?

Monday
Oct052009

"That would be nice."

Ron Green Jr. reports on Tiger's latest site visit to The Cliffs, where they're clearing and preparing to break ground.

Woods, in conjunction with his team, is not just designing the par-71 golf course. He's also involved in planning the overall community, which has already sold 30 home sites at an average price of $1 million apiece. Membership at High Carolina will include access to the other Cliffs communities.

"We never anticipated he would be involved to this level," said Jim Anthony, who has developed the six, private Cliffs golf communities in western North and South Carolina.

Asked Saturday if Forbes magazine was correct in reporting he earns more than $10-million per course design, Woods smiled and said, "That would be nice."

The story also features an extensive photo gallery by John Simmons with detailed captions explaining what you are looking at, including the future 18th hole and Dom Furore photographing from atop a ladder.

And Green follows up with his post with more thoughts on his golf blog where he says The Cliff's "still takes some serious vision to see what will be Tiger Woods' first U.S. golf course design."

Monday
Oct052009

IGF Calls on International Golf Stars Who Won't Push Their Design Services For Final Olympic Bid Presentation

Last time they took Monty, Jack and Annika to Lausanne where each sprinkled their design business cards throughout IOC headquarters, but this time they're wisely taking some younger stars less likely to appear with a set of blueprints underarm:

IGF Calls on International Golf Stars to Take Part in Final Olympic Bid Presentation at IOC Session on October 9.

Harrington, Pettersen, Wie, Manassero confirmed for Copenhagen
 
Copenhagen, Denmark (October 5, 2009) – The International Golf Federation has announced that professional golfers Padraig Harrington of Ireland, Suzann Pettersen of Norway and Michelle Wie of the United States, as well as 16-year-old (British) Amateur Champion Matteo Manassero of Italy, will participate in the final presentation before the International Olympic Committee membership on Friday, October 9 during the IOC’s 121st Session.
 
The four golfers will join Ty Votaw, Executive Director of the IGF Olympic Golf Committee, which has coordinated golf’s Olympic bid, and Peter Dawson, chief executive of The R&A and joint secretary of the IGF. Golf and rugby sevens, the two sports recommended for the 2016 Olympic Programme by the IOC Executive Board, will present their final case to the full IOC membership before it votes that same day on whether to accept one, both or neither sport.
 
“We have demonstrated to the IOC Executive Board throughout the evaluation process that golf’s bid to become an Olympic sport has received unprecedented support from both amateur and professional golf organisations around the world and leading international players,” Votaw said. “Now, we must reaffirm this support before the full IOC membership and we couldn’t be more pleased than to have Padraig, Suzann, Matteo and Michelle help to communicate this support during our final presentation.”

In June, when the IGF presented to the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland, Votaw and Dawson were joined by Global Ambassador Annika Sorenstam, 2010 European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and LPGA of Japan President and World Golf Hall of Fame member Hisako “Chako” Higuchi.

Leading up to Friday’s vote, golf and rugby sevens emerged from a year-long evaluation that included formal presentations by seven candidate sports, the submission of a Detailed Questionnaire and responses to questions raised by both the IOC Programme Commission and the IOC Executive Board. The IOC Executive Board announced its recommendation of golf and rugby sevens following a meeting in Berlin, Germany on August 13.

On Friday, October 2, the IOC selected Rio de Janeiro as the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Sunday
Oct042009

Orender: "Basketball is what's in my future."

Donna Orender blabs on and on to Mechelle Voepel about the bright future of the WNBA, sending the no-so-subtle message that she's unwilling to take the LPGA Commissionership. Brand Lady 2 is not happening. My loss as a blogger, but the LPGA Tour's gain if Orender's buffet line manners were any indication of her potential for Commissionership buffonery.

"I believe in the promise of what everyone thought this league could be when it started 13 seasons ago, and it's going to continue to grow," Orender said Sunday. "The impact basketball has on young girls and the society at large is incredible. I've invested a lot of time in this, and have worked with really great people. I want to keep being part of that growth."

Thank Heaven, for little girls...oh sorry, and?

"There are longer-term plans about … how we continue to grow and keep moving in a positive direction," Orender said. "I anticipate next year we'll be focusing more on that."

Orender is enjoying these Finals but already looking ahead.

Wait, what finals? Oh, the WNBA finals. Silly me.

No wonder the PGA Tour can't get anyone to watch the FedEx Cup. It's up against the WNBA playoffs!

Sunday
Oct042009

The Hits Just Keep On Coming!

What a great night on 60 Minutes!

There was the opening story of Marc Dreier, swindler and golfer who is seen in photos throwing charity golf tournaments and watching golf on television as he dines from his now-former penthouse.

That was followed by Lesley Stahl's look at coal ash that included the Virginia golf course built over the toxic stuff and, brace yourselves, evidence that the golf course contractor did not properly cap the ash, exposing neighbors to the stuff (notice the report didn't seem to care much if the golfers were being harmed).

(Frankly I'm just shocked to think that a golf course contractor might have cut corners. Baffling I tell you.)

At least the third segement of the show wasn't about avid golfers like the Craigslist killer or David Letterman's black mailer, who appears to own more Titleist hats than Adam Scott.

Sunday
Oct042009

"I saw one of the most remarkable sights I have come across in 50 years of playing and watching the sport."

Photographer Rob Matre just opened an exhibition where some of the proceeds go to the Jordan Thomas Foundation to benefit children in need of prosthetics. And for more inspiration, the one-legged Manuel de los Santos just played in the Dunhill Cup and plays to a three handicap. John Hopkins profiled de los Santos and courtesy of reader Jeff, there's this video of his swing:



Sunday
Oct042009

Absolute Stunner: "Trump ‘threatened to sue’ over refusal to back golf resort"

I know, I know. I don't believe it either. Must be some sort of misunderstanding! Or miscommunication. It's just not the way our Donald does things.

Saturday
Oct032009

"There is nowhere in the world I would rather play golf."

John Huggan catches up with Brad Faxon about his latest visit to Scotland for his favorite type of golf.

"The first time I played the seventh hole on Gullane No.1 I drove the green," he smiles. "One day later I had to hit a driver, 3-wood. Yardage means nothing over here; it's just a starting point. There is nowhere in the world I would rather play golf.

"I came over to my first Open in 1985. The practice days at Littlestone were great, sunny and calm. I remember taking a 2-iron off the first tee and knocking it on the first green, more than 300 yards away!

"Of course, for the first round of qualifying it blew a gale. I was hitting 4-iron, 7-iron to par-5s, then driver, 3-wood to par-4s and not reaching the greens. I played with Tony Johnstone and DJ Russell. They were so funny. DJ shot 28-49 for a 77. And Tony was tomahawking clubs down the fairway. He threw one into a bush and we almost lost the club!

"I appreciated sleeping in a tiny bed and having a huge English breakfast. I could never understand why so many of my compatriots didn't feel the same way. Anyway, I qualified but shot huge numbers at Royal St Georges. But that just made me more determined to come back and play. I still have Pringle cashmere sweaters I bought at that Open and they are still in great shape."

Saturday
Oct032009

"Why not Rio?"

Ty Votaw tells us about vote day for the 2016 Olympics and shares some insights into the lobbying effort for this week's vote on golf. Meanwhile Bob Smiley looks at one of the early frontrunners to host the golf, El Course Crappo. Smiley says Rees Jones has already been approached about touching it up.

Saturday
Oct032009

"A course like this sends a message that the city of New York has made a huge effort to build something very special"

John Paul Newport looks at the $123 million Jack Nicklaus-designed New York muni, Ferry Point. Brooklyn's Tom Dunne follows up with some thoughts on the potential impact of the course which Jack says could host a major. Didn't someone say that about Liberty National too?

I just hope it doesn't turn out like the artist's rendition.

Friday
Oct022009

Chicago Golf Courses: Blame It On Rio!

Still waiting on Ty Votaw's blog post from Copenhagen to tell us why he'll be happy to rack up some monster miles flying to Rio in search of a golf course for the 2016 Olympic Games. But based on Garry Smits' post, the options are slim unless you roll back the ball.

Hey I know! Since 6,600 yards is outdated now and the manufacturers love the idea of the Olympics growing sales the game, how about they all pitch in to build Rio a proper length course for the modern game?

Friday
Oct022009

Chrissy Will Do Anything To Get Out Of Attending The Presidents Cup

Leave her man? The same week he has shoulder surgery?

It wasn't long ago she was looping in the Augusta par-3 contest, suggesting Greg's ex "get a job," instilling "different thought processes" in Greg, filming nauseating Golf In America segments, buying back Greg's old house, then visiting the White House and taking all of the attention away from Tim Finchem. I suppose in that light, the Presidents Cup would be a letdown.

Doug Ferguson reports the surprising split between Christine Marie Evert Lloyd Mill Norman and Greg Norman and says it was announced on a Friday afternoon to help squelch any rumors when Chrissy didn't show next week at Harding Park.

Oh yes, this will really put the fire out.

And to think it was just three weeks ago she was taking Tim Rosaforte's money and consulting on Adam Scott's selection to the team.

Thus began the exercise of going through a process of elimination that started with me blurting out, "Well, you'll never take Adam Scott. He's playing like ..."

Greg never flinched, but I should have known looking at Chris' raised eyebrows and the way she shifted and looked out of the window that Scott was going to be one of Norman's choices. I even mentioned that Adam was dating the Serbian tennis star Ana Ivanovic and they were both slumping. Shortly after this awkward moment, a straight-faced Evert made the bet.

"You're going to be surprised," she said.

I'll say!

Thursday
Oct012009

R&A Contemplating Out-Of-Bounds Tee For Road Hole

Earlier this week it was noted here (courtesy of Trevor Immelman's Tweet) that the Road Hole still features a silly roadblock of rough about 310 yards off the tee.

Now we learn this from John Hopkins' Spike Bar column:

An intriguing whisper was circulating in St Andrews recently. The Royal and Ancient have asked a leading player his thoughts on the positioning of a new tee on the 17th, the famous Road Hole. The tee would be 40 yards back from the existing one and therefore over the fence, which used to be the line of the old railway line from Leuchars. Clearly, the 2010 Open, the 150th anniversary of the event next July, is on the minds of the R&A.

First, as a blogger who has made a study of the R&A's emasculation of rota courses in place of regulating distance, this one will be particularly fun since it's only the most famous hole in golf.

Second, isn't it a bit late in the game to be scouting out a possible new tee for a major that is only ninth months away? Particularly when the tee in question will be off the property and driving over a stone wall and a billboard for the Old Course hotel? I can only imagine how tastefully it will erupt out of the landscape.

At least we know the R&A has experience now with this hole off-course tee thing when it went over so well last time in 2005 when they couldn't really figure out the whole OB thing on No. 2.

Thursday
Oct012009

Could This Mean Johnny Miller Will Have To Work Weekdays?

Thanks to reader Sam for this on the rumored merger of Comcast's cable holdings with a spun off NBCUniversal, a move that would surely impact the Golf Channel, the PGA Tour and maybe the LPGA Tour:

Comcast is currently in talks to merge its content arm, composed of cable channels such as E! and Versus, with NBC Universal after the entertainment company is spun off from its parent, General Electric ( GE - news - people ), according to a report on CNBC's Web site. (Comcast denied prior reports that it was buying NBC outright but has neither confirmed nor denied reports of the spin-off plan; NBC hasn't commented publicly.)

Under the reported scenario, General Electric would spin off NBC into a separate, publicly held company, with GE shareholders receiving shares of the new vehicle. Comcast would then turn over its cable channels, plus "as much as $7 billion in cash" in exchange for a 51% stake in the new company.

Anyone care to speculate on how this could impact the upcoming PGA Tour television contract negotiations? It would seem positive to me since Comcast has shown a great interest in golf...but what do I know?

Thursday
Oct012009

"But it is often these small things that make the biggest impression, especially at the margins."

I must say the 74 comments (at blog posting time) on the Jerry Tarde editorial calling for loosening of cell phone rules made for great reading. Thanks for all of the great remarks. I'm sure Jerry was tickled at all of the kind remarks about his stance and the state of Golf Digest. (Note to self: don't send Jerry that email with story idea for a while.)

Lawrence Donegan noted the story on his Guardian blog and echoed the comments many of you made and put the issue into the context of golf club's current problems:

Golf clubs are in trouble. Why are they losing members? Obviously, the economy is the main problem but they don't help themselves with their insistence on maintaining petty restrictions that exist, it seems to me, only for the benefit of those who take pleasure in, well, maintaining petty restrictions. This is not an original point, and it might be a small one. But it is often these small things that make the biggest impression, especially at the margins.

And...

On a grander philosophical level (a speciality of the Guardian golf blog, as regular readers will know), it would be better if golf clubs - and Golf Digest - focused their attention on those things that harm the game far more than any jeans-wearing, car park shoe-changing, hat-wearing reprobate ever could - extortionate joining fees (especially in the States), insidious bigotry (or every shape and form) and slow play.

Thursday
Oct012009

"All those turrets and towers!"

It's shocking, I know, but as the Scots get to know The Donald and see his plans for Trump International Aberdeen, they aren't liking what they are seeing. John Hopkins uses the latest news of campaigns and unveiling of more plans for the clubhouse to again tell the Donald to scrap the project.

No one in their right mind, no matter how mad you are about golf, can honestly say that what the world needs at this moment is another links golf course - and certainly not a high end one such as this is, one that will cost so much and appeal to so few.

There was also this priceless anonymous quote:

"There is a degree of support for his project in the area because of the good it could bring by way of investment end employment," one Scotsman who lives near Aberdeen, said. "But there is no support for the way he has gone about it. We also are not sure about the clubhouse's design. All those turrets and towers!