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I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.



A Slow Play Penalty!

After hearing how horribly slow the NCAA regionals were last week, I was interested to see the Jeff Shain story reader Brian sent with the appropriate question wondering if this was the start of a trend.

Shain was reporting on the U.S. Open local qualifying at The Club at Emerald Hills where a playoff determined the final advancing spots. 

Ty Tryon, who has fallen on tough times since earning his PGA Tour card at age 17, was one of two golfers to miss the playoff when their group was penalized for slow play. He and Miami's Milko Brito saw their 75s turned into 76s.

''We played as fast as we could. We never even saw the group behind us, either,'' Tryon said. ``Whatever. It's over now.''

Does anyone know what slow play guidelines they would have been playing under? Was the USGA Pace of Play policy instituted for local qualifyings?


"But on initial examination, the layout would not constitute a links course and is certainly not a championship course."

Hardly a shocker here, nonetheless The Scotsman's Frank Urguhart reports that The Donald has rejected an alternate routing for his Scotland course by a gent named Mike Wood. The new sequencing of holes would have avoided the most sensitive portion of the site.

DONALD Trump last night rejected an alternative golf course design that environmental groups claimed would allow him to go ahead with his project without destroying the protected dune system at the Menie Estate.

RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) revealed they had commissioned Mike Wood, a respected golf course architect, to come up with a new plan for the Aberdeenshire resort.

They claimed the alternative showed Mr Trump could have a "championship level" course at Menie without damaging the vulnerable sand-dunes on the Foveran site of special scientific interest (SSSI) – the focus of the environmental objections to the £1 billion golf resort and housing development.

Mr Wood's design is to be formally submitted this week to the public inquiry into the Trump International Golf Links development as a potential way forward.

Anne McCall, the head of planning at RSPB Scotland, said: "The developers continually claimed they could not change the course design, but have said they might do so to take account of environmental destruction. Rather than the minor tweak that their new indicative plans would mean, we hope they will now agree with us that it's entirely possible for them to have a top golf course without building on the SSSI in the north or the sensitive dunes to the south."

Who is Mr. Wood you ask? 

Mr Wood, who chairs the environment committee of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, said: "I believe there is ample room on this site to accommodate a golf course designed to the highest modern standards without using the valuable mobile dunes."

But George Sorial, the Trump executive in charge of the Menie development, said: "We sincerely appreciate the RSPB's efforts at golf course design, but on initial examination, the layout would not constitute a links course and is certainly not a championship course."

Does not constitute a links eh? Someone's going to have fun with that remark. 


"Just as invested in seeing her brand succeed as we are."

2004416963.jpgThe Seattle Times business staff reports on Annika re-signing with Cutter and Buck, talking to Cutter's Ernie Johnson.

News this past week that the 37-year-old Sorenstam plans to retire when the season's LPGA Tour ends was not a shock to Johnson.

"We've known for sometime that starting a family was in her plans, so this didn't come as a surprise to us," he says. "We're very happy for her."

Under a multiyear contract signed in 2003, Sorenstam gets quarterly royalty checks based on sales of the Annika collection, Johnson says. In exchange, Cutter & Buck gets to use her name and image — and the exposure that goes with her appearances.

Sorenstam is "just as invested in seeing her brand succeed as we are," says Cutter & Buck spokeswoman Meghan Graves. Sales grew in double digits this past year, she says.

Isn't it touching to see a major brand putting someone else's brand above their own? Who says corporations don't have hearts?


"Professional golf is not about length. It is about firm greens."

golfer_182347t.jpgPaul McGinley questioned the Adare Manor/Irish Open setup, particularly some of the back tees, then posted a round in the sixties and was quoted in an unbylined Irish Independent's piece justifying his comments.

"I stand by what I said," McGinley insisted. "The greens were softer today, making the course play easier. Professional golf is not about length. It is about firm greens. That's what makes it tough for us. We can control the ball in the air but once it hits the ground and is rolling it's out of our control.

By the way, that's where they are playing the Irish Open? I look like something in Palm Desert. 


Seve: It Would Be Nice If The U.S. Would Win For A Change

Talking to the Daily Mirror's Neil Mcleman about the Ryder Cup:
"They need to win badly," said the five-time Major winner. "I hope the Americans win this year in all seriousness.

"I see the Ryder Cup getting very boring because we are beating them so badly. Everybody is losing interest. I think it will be good if they win the next one. It would give the Ryder Cup a lift.

"I just hope the matches are a little bit closer because they have been no-contests. My heart is always with the Europeans but my head is with the Americans for the good of the trophy."

"Because he's the first golfer who's jacked, and has the balls to show it off."

12272.jpgMen's Fitness names Tiger Woods the fittest man in America and the reasons, apparently penned by frat pledges.

Because he made us care about a sport we didn't think was, well, a sport.
Because he raised the bar and made pro golfers care about winning again.
Because he made himself better, even while he was clearly the best.
Because he's walking history.
Because even the icons say he's the best.
Because he loves the gym.
Because he's the first golfer we've ever thought of as an athlete.
Because he has a bangin' hot wife.
Because he has all the toys.
Because he's making all the money.
Because he's the first golfer who's jacked, and has the balls to show it off.
Because, quite simply, he kicks everybody's ass, and could probably have done it in any sport.
Because when the shot matters most, he just sticks it.
Because he gets even better when challenged.
Because he embodies the best in all of our cultures.
Because we love the fist pump. (Did we say he has a bangin' wife?)
Because we can't stop watching him.
Because he is the bar.
For all these reasons, we recognize Tiger Woods as the 2008 Fittest Guy in America.

Monty Wants Crackdown On Slow Play

monty_look_832763.jpgFrom an unbylined story:
"Five hours is an hour too long. There's no reason why we can't get round any course anywhere in the world in any conditions in four.

"The deterrents have got to be tougher - that works in any walk of life. If there is a serious one it's amazing how quick it could be.

"I think we are all working together on it and it's a matter of trying to get it all together and try to make it fair for everybody."

It was only two weeks that Montgomerie was on the same subject and he commented then: "I'm a quick player and there's no doubt that the slow play of others has hurt me over the years."

Old Macdonald Update

6178_1.jpgBlaine Newnham shares the backstory and an update on the progress of Old Macdonald at Bandon Dunes, though I'm not sure he meant Mike Doak, unless Tom's son has already moved into the business!

"Mitsubishi At The Masters?"

Thanks to reader Nick for this unbylined Sports Business Journal note on Augusta National polling fans last month about their interest in LED video displays being erected on the course.

Glenn Greenspan, Augusta’s spokesman, said last week that the private club is compiling the data and has made no decision as to whether to set up video boards for 2009.
The inquiry was among several questions fans answered at 30 kiosks set up throughout the course, where they were asked about the event experience.

“It’s a question that needed to be asked,” Greenspan said. “We’ve seen them evident at other tournaments.”

Mitsubishi Electric signed a three-year marketing deal with the PGA Tour in 2007 that allows the vendor to install 11 high-definition video screens at several tournaments. (The Masters is not part of the PGA Tour.) Thirty-seven PGA Tour events have used them since the boards made their debut at last year’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. At that event in May, 90 percent of the fans polled by the PGA approved of the boards’ content, said tour spokesman Chris Smith.
I know. I just loved seeing the FedEx Cup points list. Made my Northern Trust Open week one to remember.
“Otherwise, primary feedback has been more anecdotal,” Smith said. In addition to action highlights, the screens show up-to-date information on players and their individual scores, and are a tremendous upgrade over previous video boards the PGA Tour deployed, Smith said.



"Tournaments seem to be competing in a constant game of one-upmanship to see who can make their greens the toughest."

Great to see Peter Kostis calling out the higher-ups in the game over the race to the fastest green speed, though I'm sure I buy the argument that messing with pre-shot routines is really a major ramification compared to other side effects.

It's time for a rule change. Tournaments seem to be competing in a constant game of one-upmanship to see who can make their greens the toughest. In both the Masters and the Players Championship, players were penalized when their balls moved in windy conditions after they had grounded their putters. With greens rolling to 12 or 13 on the Stimpmeter and 35 mile-per-hour gusts blowing, it's going to happen. Folks, there is a reason why the greens at St. Andrews never roll very fast.

It's not fair that players have to adjust their pre-shot routines or risk getting penalized. The USGA should change the rule so a player can ground his putter and not be penalized if the wind moves the ball. The player would simply putt from the spot where the ball comes to rest. The current rule makes windy conditions a no-win situation for the players. Not grounding the putter can be just as dangerous because the wind can push the putterhead into the ball.

Tournament officials are making things hard enough by pushing greens to roll this fast. How about giving honest athletes a chance to make a good putt when things get tough?



USGA, RBS Happy To Be In Each Other's Portfolios

Doug Ferguson reminds us that the USGA survived for 113 years without a corporate partner and now they have No. 4 since November, 2006.

Financial terms of the agreement were not released, although two officials aware of the negotiations said it was about $3 million a year. RBS has long been involved with the Royal & Ancient at the British Open, and recently signed on with the PGA of America. It also has a licensing agreement to use the Masters brand in advertising for BBC coverage.

"I think we're happy with the portfolio we now have in golf," said Allan Watt of RBS.

And from Adam Schupak of Golfweek: 
Pete Bevacqua, the USGA’s chief business officer, said the association’s goal was to find four strategic partners.

“We’re very happy with the portfolio we now have,” Bevacqua said. “We have no intentions of moving beyond four at this time.”

Jack Nicklaus was part of the painful conference call and sounded completely oblivious to pretty much every question asked (Annika's retirement, the Arnold Palmer Center about to open at Far Hills, etc...).

He later appeared on CNBC with some rude twerp who kept interrupting him, including when he tried to explain why the ball going longer impacts pace of play. He did say this before he was interrupted:

One of the problems we have today with the golf ball going so far is that the game of golf is taking longer and longer to play. 



IM'ing With The Commissioners, Vol. IX, Goodbye Annika

My sources have been lacking, but after The Players and Annika's retirement announcement, they finally procured an instant message exchange between our beloved Commissioners.

DaBrandLady: tim, you there?

twfPGATour©: Yes, I'm still unwinding from a busy week. My sympathies Carolyn.

DaBrandLady: for what. i'm doing great! :)

twfPGATour©: Well one of your top-of-the-line products is deplatforming and discontinuing production.

DaBrandLady: oh annika?

twfPGATour©: Yes, what a shame. But I'm sure her Q rating will spike with a pregnancy and we know how that translates for your value streaming and interfacing.

DaBrandLady: hehe i know, it's great news all the way around. we're moving outdated product off the shelves and rollingout in fresh inventory that the targeted demo relates to! speaking of that, congrats on Sergio beating that frumpy non-demo guy.

twfPGATour©:  Thanks. But don't forget that she was is the greatest single product of our time in women's golf, I'm sure you'll miss her a little?

DaBrandLady: naw. her brand was tired, lorena's our macro brand now. more importantly, i wanted to tell you how I loved your 5 tips for managing well in last week's WSJ. it got me thinking that my staff and players might want to know my 5 tips.

twfPGATour©: They might.

DaBrandLady: may i run my 5 by you?

twfPGATour©: Do it now.

DaBrandLady: oh, are you in a hurry?

twfPGATour©: No. Do it now was my No. 1 tip for managing well, remember? I would put one of those eye wink smiley faces here but I don't know how.

DaBrandLady: oh i get it! hehe lololol

DaBrandLady: so okay here's my first tip:  brand it now.  

twfPGATour©: Hmmm...strong, to the point and sound strategy. You might think of punching up with some language on the qualitative analytics of measuring commercial inventory.

DaBrandLady: okay, dutifully noted!  here's no. 2: interface, interface, interface

twfPGATour©: Interesting, resembles the infrastructure of my tip No. 2, Communicate, communicate, communicate.  But I like it. Makes good business sense. I don't particularly care for interface with my players, but someone has to do it.

DaBrandLady: me neither. they can be such a problem. and so slow on the course!

DaBrandLady: moving right along, here's no. 3: seek brand strength at all costs, but recognize when to sacrifice value streams for cohesive platform interractivity.

twfPGATour©: That's strong. I haven't used interractivity in a long time. Such a vital concept.

DaBrandLady: i thought so too!

DaBrandLady: here's no. 4: remember that, as the leader of a charitable organization, you must also generate bench strength through constant refreshment of said organization.

twfPGATour©: That sounds much like some of the language we cooked up for last week's reshuffling press release?

DaBrandLady: well it is, i'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable. it's just such a great metaphor.

twfPGATour©: You can run with it. I wish I had thought of that for my tip number 5. But you know I had little time to prepare my 5 Tips For Managing Well because I had misunderstood what they wanted and instead concocted my list of 5 Tips For Managing Wellness. I should have known the WSJ wouldn't be asking about my thoughts on Omega-3s.

DaBrandLady: well i would still read them!

DaBrandLady:  okay, finally, no. 5: you can pick your friends, you can pick your brand, but you can't pick your brand's nose.

twfPGATour©: I might end it with "but you can't pick your friend's brand"

DaBrandLady: oh right! that's what i get for reading my old fortune cookies without glasses!

twfPGATour©:  Well I hope the WSJ gives you a shot. I'm having my five tips embroidered to framed placemats for the 8 EVPs, the 22 SVPs and on throw pillows for the 32 VPs.

DaBrandLady: very nice touch! that's a lot of pillows!

twfPGATour©: No kidding. Say, carolyn, I hate to cut you off, but it's been a long week. We had to do over 90 minutes on slow play at a player's meeting last week and I have to write a memo to pretend I am following up.

DaBrandLady: ironical that you would have a long, slow meeting on slow play!

twfPGATour©: I'm really not believer in irony.

DaBrandLady: i'm not sure i know what it means.

twfPGATour©: Say Carolyn, I suppose we will have to keep giving the impression we are worried about this slow play issue. I've crunched value modulations on our network telecasts running long and it's a huge bonus for us when it happens, always good for a solid Nielsen point. So I'm not in any hurry to see things speed up. Is that how you feel?

DaBrandLady: wish we had that problem, but we're not on any networks in the late afternoon.

twfPGATour©: Well, in time perhaps. Give my best to...

DaBrandLady: He would say hi back if he were here!


All Things Considered: No. 17 Sawgrass

gwar02_080516dye17.jpgBill Fields hangs out at No. 17 during The Players and files this look at the hole and the history of the island green.

Also included with the story is this wild photo I've never seen, credited to the "Golf Digest Resource Center" (is that where you pick up homeopathic remedies for your swing?).


USA Today Flash: Golf Ball Has Improved!

Jerry Potter does that informercial thing that only the USA Today has the cajones to try, this time with layering a monumental puff piece/suck up to advertisers with contributions from nearly everyone in the golf ball business. 

See if you can spot the theme here:

Garcia sealed the victory with a wedge shot on the par-3 17th island hole when the ball stopped 4 feet from the cup. Garcia's skill certainly was a factor, but all players are finding that the current generation of golf balls is far better than anything in the past.


Statistics can be misleading, but victories aren't. Titleist, which dominates the PGA Tour in players, has 11 wins this year; Nike has six, including Trevor Immelman's win at The Masters.

Callaway has two wins, but on the LPGA tour Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam have combined to give Callaway eight wins in 11 tournaments.

Clearly, the golf ball, whether a three-piece or a four-piece construction, is better than in past generations.

And finally...

As Nike's rep to the pro tours, Rick Nichols often pitches a new golf ball design to his father, Bobby Nichols, a former touring pro, who at 72 is all but retired from tournament golf.

"He always says, 'The ball is the same size as it used to be, isn't it? And, it's still round isn't it?' " Rick says.

The answer is yes to both questions, but today's golf ball is closer to perfect than at any time in the game's history.

And better than in past generations!

Come on Wally, even you had to find this one painful to read. 


Annika "Stepping Away" Stories

gwar01_080516sorenstam.jpgGolfweek's Evan Rothman paints a picture for us of the press conference scene while his colleague Beth Ann Baldry talks to Suzann Pettersen about her disappointment in hearing the news. Meanwhile Brian Hewitt offers a few predictions about how this may play out.

Steve Elling catches up with Kathy Whitworth about Annika's decision to go out while she's at the top. Golf For Women's Dave Allen gets Lorena's "surprise" reaction to the news and also explains how the timing of the announcement came about. (here) and (here) offer career retrospectives while Ron Sirak learned of the news Sunday and therefore had a little more time to file this career obit.

Sorenstam's mastery of emotional balance was so complete she gave no hint of inner turmoil. In 2004 she won eight LPGA events and twice more overseas as her marriage to David Esch was crumbling. Divorce papers were filed the following February. She similarly kept her father Tom's prostate cancer battle the last few years private, never using that distraction as an excuse.

And, of course, there was the transformation she made in dealing with the attention that came with being so dominant. As a rookie Sorenstam was so shy she took a month off after winning her first U.S. Open because she wanted to avoid the media. In 2003, the year she played in the PGA Tour's Bank of America Colonial, she handled the nearly four-month buildup to her appearance with aplomb.

Dan Jenkins, the Golf Digest writer who has witnessed virtually every significant event in golf for nearly 60 years, has said Annika's opening tee shot at Colonial -- a 257-yard 4-wood off the 10th tee -- might have had more pressure on it than any single shot in the game's history. It was perhaps the most important shot in the history of women's golf and her superb execution in an opening-round 71, combined with the classy way she handled the attention, earned women's golf new fans and enhanced respect.

"Colonial was my mission," Sorenstam said Sunday as she looked back over her career. "It was my path, my journey and I felt like people accepted that, 'Hey she's an athlete, and she wants to get better.' I've always let my clubs do the talking. And I felt like people accepted me for that."


"Makes you wonder how he got a job working there, huh?"

Steve Elling talks to the USGA's Mike Davis about finishing the U.S. Open on a reachable par-5 and the answer might surprise you.

"From a personal standpoint, nothing would please me more than to see giant swings in scoring on this hole," Davis told "A player eagling the 72nd hole to win would be a dream come true."

Somebody pinch me.

A day after Ogilvy had admitted he'd won the Open in ugly, cat-burglar fashion he'd not care to see repeated, Davis' surprising sentiments were relayed. A wry smile creased the Aussie's face as he though of Davis, an affable guy in his third year setting up the Open venue. Davis' tenure has been marked by innovation and an approach that players have broadly characterized as more conservative than his Draconian predecessors.

"Makes you wonder how he got a job working there, huh?" Ogilvy cracked.

Following U.S. Open media day, John Strege posts this item about the 7,643 yard golf course.
But Mike Davis, the senior director of rules and competition for the USGA, said that number is deceiving. "I feel very confident saying we will not play that length one day of the championship," he said.

Davis said the USGA will utilize the variety of tee boxes available to them, resulting in a course that will play "somewhere in the neighborhood of 74 [7,400 yards] and change up to 75 [7,500 yards] and change." That's a big neighborhood, notwithstanding the USGA's benevolence in backing it down somewhat.

"I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."

Reader Tim clearly wants to get me in trouble. From an unbylined AP story:

President Bush said Tuesday he was disappointed in "flawed intelligence" before the Iraq war and was concerned that if a Democrat wins the presidency in November and withdrew troops prematurely it could "eventually lead to another attack on the United States."
Don't worry, we'll get to the golf part. I just wanted to share that precious snowflake. 
In an interview with Politico magazine and Yahoo News, Bush also said he gave up golf in 2003 out of respect for U.S. soldiers killed in the war, which has now lasted more than five years.

"I didn't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," he said. "I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."

When you can go fishing off Kennebunkport, dance around like a fool and hold hands with the King of Saudi Arabia, golf would send the wrong message?

The sport is doomed!


Annika Retiring To Spend Less Time Playing Mediocre Courses

Doug Ferguson reports. Thanks to reader Greg for the link.


Green On Charlotte CC's Restoration

686-CHARLOTTE_COUNTRY_CLUB_01.embedded.prod_affiliate.57.JPGThanks to reader Barrie for Ron Green Jr.'s story on Charlotte Country Club's Ron Pritchard restoration of a Ross design.

Sounds like another happy club...if there is such a thing!


Greetings From San Diego: USGA Media Day Edition

sandiegogreetingsfrom.jpgThe USGA hosted its annual U.S. Open media day to give the region's newspaper assistant copy editors, middle-of-the-night radio sports talk show hosts and club newsletter columnists the chance to spend six hours slashing around Torrey Pines for free.230136-1561594-thumbnail.jpg
Jay Rains addresses the press (click to enlarge).

As part of the trade out for being comp'd and receiving a cap and bag tag, the moochers had to sit through a press conference hosted by media relations man Craig Smith, with speeches from president Jim Vernon (who made a great impression, as expected), executive committee member Jay Rains (it's okay to smile Jay!), Torrey Pines superintendent Mark Woodward (talks faster than Marty Scorsese on speed), championship committee chair Jim Hyler (the next Prez) and USGA competitions director Mike Davis (the main draw).

Each offered remarks you can read here, including some fresh golf course setup insights from Hyler and Davis.  Following was a short Q&A and on beamed in DVD, defending champion Angel Cabrera interviewed by Alex Miceli.

A transcript of the Cabrera interview was passed out before the play button was hit, which allowed everyone who remained to track every painstaking minute, which turned out to be 20 for those of us who stayed around. Nothing against Cabrera, but it became obvious within a minute or so that no one really wanted to hear each question translated in Spanish, followed by the answer in Spanish before we heard the interpretation.

Note to USGA: editing was invented for a reason.

As the interview progressed, it became hard to hear Cabrera above the chatter among those still in attendance. The droves filed out to prepare for losing ten balls and posting their three-digit scores.

While someone surely appreciated the journalistic integrity of showing us questions and answers in Spanish, next time let's chop that baby up and whittle it down to the English portion of the proceedings, eh?

I have to admit it was fun watching the blue coats nervously looking at the crowd filing out and amongst themselves wondering if they should pull the plug.

That said, I'm very excited about the Open's return to Southern California and anticipate that the combination of San Diego's fun coastal vibe, the magnificent arena the course should be (thanks to tree removal) and the exciting setup touches being cooked up by Mssrs. Davis and Hyler, that it's going to be a special week.

Some general thoughts and photos after spending the last two days walking around Torrey Pines:

View from grandstand behind No. 5. The classic Open look is taking shape (click to enlarge)
Golf Course - The South Course is in excellent condition. The heat wave we had a couple of weeks ago apparently made the kikuyu happy, so the fairways are excellent but not so thatchy that it'll prevent Woodward from speeding them up.  Even as wet as the course is right now with dense fog and some irrigating, I saw a lot of balls running.

The rough is dense, apparently a tad thicker than the USGA had hoped. Therefore they have slightly lowered some of the cut heights (see Davis's comments in the transcript). That said, it's predominantly rye and poa rough, with the occasional kikuyu lie. The first cut of rough will be reduced to 15 feet from 20 because Davis has decided that the course is already playing wide enough. 230136-1561660-thumbnail.jpg
Healthy crop of rough just waiting to be trampled by spectators (click to enlarge)

The greens are in fine shape, still rolling a couple of feet slower than they hope to have them for the Open where they are aiming for 13 on the Stimpmeter Monday-Sunday. They still don't have the firmness, but there's plenty of time to deal with that.

A newly cut approach improves No. 4 (click to enlarge)
The bunkering looks a lot better with longer rough, but not nearly as attractive or strategically placed as I'd like to have seen. Rees Jones decries the "collapsing" bunkers of Doak, Coore/Crenshaw and Hanse, yet he is okay with them at "seaside" courses like Atlantic. When I asked him why Torrey Pines didn't count as a seaside course, he reasoned that the public couldn't have handled such bunkers.

Oh yes, Rees and I chatted for a while in the midst of one of his on-course photo shoots...

Rees Jones (click to enlarge)
Rees: He made sure to let me know that he was not in fact the vandal of Chamber Bay's lone tree, so it's nice to know that Rees is surfing the web in between press conferences, photos shoots and exclusive interviews.

In general the Open Doctor is very excited about Davis's plans to vary the setup of more than half the holes and will probably taking credit for having built so much variety into the course by June. Though I don't sense he's too wild about encouraging players to go for the par-5s at No. 9 or No. 18 in two.

The merchandise hangar (click to enlarge)
Infrastructure: I paced off the merchandise pavilion as slightly over 100 yards long. And there's also a "satellite" location near the bus drop off by the 12th hole. The various corporate tent villages are coming along nicely and most feature great ocean views, though I did find the ones along No. 1 and near No. 2 tee to be a tad close to play. The Trophy Club (I don't know what it is, but I'm guessing it ain't cheap) sits in a stunning location on Torrey North's No. 2 hole, and just east of it is the media center which will feature an awesome patio and dining area overlooking the ocean. But it is surprisingly far from the drop off point, so scribblers bring comfortable shoes.230136-1561616-thumbnail.jpg
View from The Trophy Club (click to enlarge)

Speaking of the most important people in the world...

Media Hotel: I was bummed not to get in the Doubletree Del Mar since I've stayed there twice now at ridiculously low prices (thank you Priceline and Besides housing 300 scribes, it's where the media parking and shuttle is located.  After driving around the business parks surrounding the Doubletree, I realized how little there is around the it in the way of local dining in an area with so much great local faire.   Then again, how can you not love a hotel that asks you at check-in to initial a pledge to respect it's no-tolerance-for-smoking-anywhere-on-the-property policy?  

Let the "I hate California" columns begin!