Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • 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

There are, of course, advocates for stroke play as the better format for identifying a champion. I prefer match play, particularly for amateurs, and if the decision were to be based on amateurs' preference reflected in the numbers who compete with each other at match play compared to those who chose stroke play, the vote for match play would be so overwhelming as to make counting votes a waste of time.
SANDY TATUM

 

  

Monday
Aug102009

Tiger Fined For Paramor Slam; Exclusive Details Here!

Doug Ferguson reports the stunning news that Tiger Woods will be fined for criticizing guest official John Paramor after Sunday's WGC Bridgestone. Ferguson writes:

Section VI-D in the PGA Tour’s player handbook reads, “It is an obligation of membership to refrain from comments to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage tournaments, sponsors, fellow members, players of PGA Tour.”

I managed to tap a few sources in Ponte Vedra and landed a copy of Tiger's weekly fine summary, confirming our worst fears that he is indeed making a charitable donation in the name of John Paramor.

 

To: mark.steinberg@img.com, tw@tigerwoods.com 

From: Steve.Tawdry@pgatourhq.com

Subject: WGC Bridgestone Fines

Date: August 10, 2009 4:05:48 PM PDT


Gentleman,

Congratulations on another exciting win at Firestone in the World Golf Championships Bridgestone.

As always, it wasn't without offenses as enforced via the PGA TOUR© Player Handbook Rules and Regulations governing player conduct.

I know you have a quick turnaround with the PGA Championship and more importantly, the PGA TOUR© PLAYOFFS fast approaching. So without further ado, this week's offenses and fines where applicable:

- Multiple and profane usage of the word starting in f and ending in k, a.k.a. F-bomb. Six such finable offenses, as limited to verifiable offenses as outlawed pursuant to Section V-A, code 41.23: $1000 a piece, total $6000 donation to charity of your choice, as selected at year's commencement (Tiger Woods Foundation).

- Use of the Lord's name in vain, as heard by standard bearer (name withheld to protect the anonymous), 16th tee, round 2, pursuant to Section V-A, code 121.6, The Jesus Clause: $500 donation to charity of Zach Johnson choice.

- General douchebaggery in final round press conference as enforceable by Commissioner's Discretionary Clause, pursuant to but not limited by Section VI-D, code 32.91: $5000

- Gross violation of Section VI-D, code 41.7 related to disparaging comments directed at and limited to visiting European Tour rules official John Paramor: $10,000

As always, I remind you that when imposing a fine pursuant to the provisions as laid out above and detailed in the PGA TOUR© Player Handbook, the PGA TOUR© shall consider the profit gained by defendant's conduct on behalf of charity and determine whether the amount of said fine is disproportionate to the conduct in which the defendant engaged, its impact on the PGA TOUR © processing department, the defendant's place in the PGA TOUR© FedEx CUP Points Standings and any other extenuating circumstances. Should the PGA TOUR© determine that said fine is directing a disproportionate capital extension to charities as pre-selected by defendant, the PGA TOUR© reserves the right to retain 50% of collected capital for basic operations and collection processing expenses.

I'll get this week's tally ($21,500) taken out of your Bridgestone winnings and directed to the appropriate charities.

Thanks again and best of luck in the PLAYOFFS!

Yours In Discipline,

Steven C. Tawdry

SVP Fines and Conduct Unbecoming Of the PGA TOUR©

Monday
Aug102009

"Not only did it lose its shark-like persona, nor threaten litigation, but it showed all those characteristics of a long and grateful business associate: appreciation, empathy, compassion."

Rich Skyzinski looks at the difference in the PGA Tour's treatment of Buick and Ginn. I wondered about the difference last week and mistakenly thought Ginn had filed for bankruptcy. Seems that would be the difference in the tour's compassion toward Buick and its lawsuit against Ginn.

Reaction by the Tour could not have been more disparate than how it responded to Ginn’s decision six months earlier. Not only did it lose its shark-like persona, nor threaten litigation, but it showed all those characteristics of a long and grateful business associate: appreciation, empathy, compassion.

On one hand, it’s not difficult to understand why the Tour took a tough stand against Ginn. Had it permitted the company simply to walk away, the number of CEOs lining up at Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., looking for renegotiated deals to help keep their companies solvent would have stretched 50 miles down the coast.

That’s where they used to play the Ginn sur Mer Classic, and where a savvy shopper still might be able to pick up a new home for six figures.

Monday
Aug102009

"For some reason, golf fans don't want the underdog to win"

Thanks to reader Tommy for catching this John Feinstein blog post (uh, FeinsteinOnTheBrink.com?!) about Frank Chirkinian's odd but definitely correct theory that golf fans don't really root for the underdog.

"For some reason, golf fans don't want the underdog to win," he said. "They don't mind if he contends, he can even lead after 54 holes, but on Sunday afternoon they want the stars to win--the bigger the star the harder they pull for him. In other sports, people tend to root for the underdog."

Chirkinian made the comment to me in 1994. He was talking soon after John Daly had won in Atlanta, beating my friend Brian Henninger down the stretch. Henninger might as well have been invisible that day. Chirkinian was baffled. "Skinny little kid just trying to get a chance to play on tour against a millionaire who has been given a dozen chances by the public already," he said. "Nothing against Daly. He's great for us. But I don't get it."

I don't either. Chirkinian was right then and he's right now. The only player golf fans MIGHT pull for in a battle against Tiger Woods is Phil Mickelson. When Mike Weir, who was then a skinny kid trying to find his way on tour, was paired with Woods in the last round at the 1999 PGA Championship, he felt invisible too.

Isn't a big part of this the desire to have a "brand name" win at your home course or home town event?

Monday
Aug102009

"There were other players out on the course playing for large amounts of money and they still managed to play within the time schedule we set."

As expected, John Paramor's defense of Sunday's on-the-clock warning to Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods, as told to Lawrence Donegan.

By the time Harrington and Woods stepped on to Firestone's 16th tee the group in front had just left the green 670 yards ahead. After Paramor's warning to speed up, the Irishman ran up a triple-bogey eight, which turned his one-shot lead over Woods into a three-shot deficit and all but ended the tournament as a contest.

"I'm sorry Padraig hit the ball in the water. I wanted a grandstand finish like everyone else,'' the rules official said. "I was simply carrying out the policy we have on slow play. If as a consequence of me doing what I am employed to do was that Padraig hit a poor shot then I am desperately sorry for him. There is no way I wanted that to happen. In fact, I would have liked the ball to have gone in the hole because it would have saved a great deal of time."

Zing!

And this is beautiful:

To the exalted list of those who have been unable to intimidate Paramor, the world of golf can now add the illustrious name of Woods.

"When we were on the 17th fairway Tiger said to me "Are we still on the clock?" and I said to him "Yes",'' said Paramor. "He then pointed to the group in front and asked me if I could see them. I said yes, but I think he thought they were closer than they actually were. In fact, they were on the 18th hole. You can't put anyone off the clock when the group in front are a hole ahead."

Monday
Aug102009

Uh Oh! Paramor Is Talking

And it doesn't sound like the rules official who told Padraig and Tiger to pick it up is going to go quietly! Lawrence Donegan Tweets...

I'm assuming we'll see more on Donegan's blog and in the Guardian by day's end.

Monday
Aug102009

"I like things organized. But everything doesn't need to be at a right angle."

There's a very enjoyable profile of Lucas Glover by Tim Rosaforte in Golf World's preview issue. There's nothing actually newsworthy, just several fresh anecdotes about someone who is more complicated than he lets on.

Monday
Aug102009

"The rhythm is crucial, and the timing of this had to have an effect on Padraig."

Brad Faxon joined the SI/golf.com/Golf Magazine weekly roundtable and was involved in this exchange about the Padraig-on-the-clock incident at Firestone.

Bamberger: Is that very uncommon, Brad, for a final group to be put on the clock?

Faxon: Yes, very unusual. Especially since their finish was a perfect 6 p.m. ending just like the network likes. I doubt either would ever get fined or given an extra shot in that situation.

David Dusek, deputy editor, GOLF.com: Brad, how important is it to stay in a rhythm that you've naturally established on the course?

Faxon: It's ABSOLUTELY important. Think of a baseball pitcher when he is pitching well, or a hot basketball shooter when he gets the ball. The rhythm is crucial, and the timing of this had to have an effect on Padraig.

Farrell Evans, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: Paddy's rhythm wasn't the problem. He just didn't have that shot out the rough under pressure. Rhythm is important, very important, but he's a slow-playing Tour pro who is accustomed to being put on the clock and playing in front of large crowds.

Sunday
Aug092009

"I'm sorry that John got in the way of such a great battle."

Where to start with the Woods-Harrington-John Paramor "on-the-clock" incident Sunday? CBS downplayed it but the post round comments indicate it was the story of the day.

Here's Steve Elling with the lowdown:

Harrington, always a deliberate player, held a one-stroke lead over Woods as they stood on the 16th, nicknamed The Monster decades ago by Arnold Palmer after he made an awful eight on the hole (the symmetry is duly noted). Then Paramor, who had issued a warning to the pair on the sixth hole to speed up, informed them they were being timed with a stopwatch.

The result was a monstrosity, all right.

Harrington blew his tee shot into the right trees and rushed his way through a series of uncharacteristically sloppy shots -- the three-time major championship winner had made a steady 14 pars and a birdie to that point in the round -- and the match was effectively over when he stumbled to a horrific, hurried triple-bogey.

Harrington was fairly diplomatic about the issue but repeatedly described his shots on the 16th as "rushed."

"It wasn't, 'pick up the pace,' it was, 'on the clock,'" Harrington explained of the 16th tee conversation. "It's an awkward situation. There are rules and the players make the rules and we've got to apply them.

"Obviously, it was a difficult situation, and you don't want to get out of position."

Doug Ferguson noted that Tiger suggested the incident helped him win.

Woods took particular umbrage at how fast Harrington was effectively forced to play the flop shot that sailed into the water. Bluntly asked whether he won the tournament because he'd hit the perfect 8-iron into the 16th or because a rules official put their group on the clock, Woods never hesitated.

"Both," he said. "I think I hit a good shot that put a little heat on him, but then again, I think the worst he would have made would have been bogey."

When they reached the 16th green, Paramor said Woods and Harrington were 17 minutes behind schedule.

"The 16th hole had opened up before they cleared the 15th green," he said. "And therefore, we had no choice but to put them on the clock at that stage."

It's interesting to see that Tiger, who craves controversy about as much as he embraced Turnberry, was the one to bring the warning up in the first post round interview question. And not in a subtle way:

Q. Congrats on No. 70, amazing number. What was it like standing there on the 16th green? He hit five shots while you were standing there, six if you count the penalty stroke. Have you ever seen the tournament in the throes of the last few minutes go down like that for you?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know if you guys know it or not, but we got put on the clock. I don't think that Paddy would have hit the pitch shot that way if he was able to take his time, look at it, analyze it, but he was on the clock, had to get up there quickly and hit it --

Slugger White was brought in to the press center to defend the move.

They were told early in the round, I don't know what hole on the front nine, that they were in danger of losing the group ahead of them. When they got to 15 tee, they were 18 minutes over their allotted time, and the par-5 16th was open. That's basically just regulation is what that is. We're doing our job.

ESPN.com's Bob Harig reviewed the incident in this piece and equated it to this:

But to put it in American sports terms, it was akin to calling a ticky-tack foul in the late stages of a basketball game.

Elling wrote:

Bottom line was he was on his heels and hurrying, he said, which is an unenviable position when facing the top player in the game down the stretch at one of the tour's richest events

Facing deadlines, some of the Euro beat writers did not mention the incident in their stories (here, here, here). And you may recall Paramor's name. It's been a busy year. He was quoted in Lawrence Donegan's story that broke the Kenny Perry-FBR incident open and very nearly called Richie Ramsay a cheater this summer.

Alright, so this is a tricky one.

It's wonderful to see officials doing their job and dishing out on-the-clock warnings. Harrington is very slow and he needs to be nudged more often.

But on the 70th hole of an exciting duel, when CBS surely isn't complaining about having Tiger in a battle with Harrington to provide a nice lead-in for local news? Was this really the time to make a statement when you haven't dished out slow play a penalty shot since 1992?

In his defense, that is not Paramor's job to worry about. He's battling an awkward dilemma because the tours and governing bodies having decided not to take slow play seriously. In the PGA Tour's case, there has been a failure to give the rules officials adequate support to more diligently police slow-pokes with penalty shots, so when moments like this occur, naturally it is a shock to the player's system.

Your thoughts?

Sunday
Aug092009

Woods Win Overshadowed By Unfortunate Extension of Bridgestone Contract; We're Stuck With Firestone Until 2014

Lucky us, five more WGC events at Firestone. Goose bumps here.

Saturday
Aug082009

"I would like to win a World Golf event, yes"

That's Padraig Harrington as he carries a three shot lead over Tiger WoodsWGC into Sunday's finale at Firestone.

I don't know about you, but I'm watching this one. Well, setting the DVR at least.

You may be shocked to learn that viewing was in doubt. Turns out, I had to receive a doctor's clearance. (Thankfully Dr. Conrad Murray works weekends.)

You see, I'm prone to breaking out in mysterious rashes at first glimpse of the inevitable blimp shots from Firestone. Something about those super-slender dark green fairways running monotonously back and forth, finished off by forgettable green complexes and even blander bunkering placed with not a whiff of strategic care. The situation is usually made worse by someone at CBS lavishing praise on the very architecture some of us weirdos think represents everything that's wrong with American golf.

But I digress.

Doug Ferguson writes that this showdown is fascinating on any number of levels. The most obvious being that Padraig has a chance to finally shake loose the swing demons that helped him win three majors in two years. Perhaps he can finally prove that the new and improved Irishman is better than the one who won those silly Open Championships and a PGA.

And there's Tiger, aiming to win for a seventh time at Firestone and who has managed to carve out 69 wins despite struggling to catch guys when not leading after 54-holes. Throw in the fact that they are playing his favorite "it's all right in front of you" tournament venue with the fourth of golf's four majors lurking, and even sleepy CBS will struggle to make this one hard to watch.

Friday
Aug072009

Butch Harmon Takes Over Helm At Golf Digest!

Friday
Aug072009

PGA Of America ID's Major New Revenue Stream: First To Charge For iphone App!

Michael Buteau reports that the folks at Turner say "“It’s something that’s not exorbitant. It’s a cup of coffee.”

Think about how much revenue this will bring in. Tens, maybe hundreds of dollars. Enough to buy a coffeemaker.

Thursday
Aug062009

"However, once again Mr Trump has made himself look as ridiculous as the thatch he wears on his head."

Severin Carrell reports that an anonymous package featuring a 14-year-old Donald Trump documentary and interview with Selina Scott has made its way to "all 68 councillors on Aberdeenshire council." The package was labeled, "Know who you are dealing with."

Incensed by the implied attack on his integrity, Trump again attacked Scott – who had no known link to the DVD's distribution.

"Selina Scott was a third-class journalist who is now ancient history and she treated me unfairly," he stated. "It was a boring story then and she has since faded into obscurity where she belongs."

Scott replied in kind, telling the Scotsman: "Whether beautiful, protected, wild country should be ploughed up for hotel accommodation in order to enhance Trump's corporation in America is a matter for the good citizens of Aberdeenshire.

"However, once again Mr Trump has made himself look as ridiculous as the thatch he wears on his head."

The package seemed to be timed for an important family visit.

Today, Trump's son Donald Trump Jnr flew into Aberdeen for a two-day long series of business meetings and press events to promote the golf resort. He said his father was anxious to proceed with the development.

"We have put in over $50m to where we are today, pure cash, and unlike everyone else we are in the fortuitous position to not have to go to talk to banks – we can do this project without them," he said.

Thursday
Aug062009

"The First Duffer"

Thanks to Michael Walker for catching Michael Sherer's update on Barack Obama's apparent golf addiction. Naturally, it's fun to read some more anecdotes about his rounds and who he's playing with.

Whereas Clinton was known to shout, curse and rehit balls until he liked his shot, Obama never cuts a corner in golf, say his companions. No mulligans. No five-foot gimme putts on the green. "I've never seen him get to the point where he just picks up," says Marvin Nicholson, the White House trip director and a regular partner. "I've seen him write a 10 down. I've seen him write an 11 down."

Looks like Tiger has some work to do:

Most of the President's longtime golfing buddies say the First Game is improving. After a brief flirtation with a new Nike driver, Obama has returned to his Titleist and is still struggling to master his new hybrid woods. He putts solidly and is working on his bunker shots, once an Achilles' heel.

Thursday
Aug062009

"It is almost postseason time, but it is also open to debate as to just what sort of motivation that provides players."

Everyone has their own barometer for the arrival of fall. Maybe it's the sun at a little lower angle or a simple glimpse of the sun if you happen to be vacationing in the Hamptons. For others, it's receiving the first of five SI covers devoted to the spellbinding world of NFL training camp coverage.

For me, it's the first FedEx Cup bashing column.

Jim McCabe kicks off this favorite fall tradition by pointing out that players are not really playing more to get themselves in the hunt for East Lake and the finale.

It is almost postseason time, but it is also open to debate as to just what sort of motivation that provides players. Consider, for instance, the playoff push these marquee names have unleashed:

• Garcia has played in 11 PGA Tour tournaments this year, including just five of the past 13 weeks.

• Scott has played 14 times, but just three of the past nine.

• Els has 13 tournaments to his PGA Tour credit, but only four of the past 13.

That’s not exactly a sense of urgency resonating, is it?

Well, right. Except this fascination with the “limited-field” concept has led officials to trim back the Barclays to 125 from 144, the Deutsche Bank from 120 to 100, while BMW stays at 70 and Tour Championship at 30. If that were supposed to inject playoff mentality into the drama, what it has seemingly done is ensure that a lot of crowd-pleasing names won’t be there. Granted, the Tour never could have imagined that so many great names would play like journeymen for months at a time, but any tournament director will tell you that having 144 players is more consumer-friendly when you’re dressing up a 200-acre stage and trying to bring in tens of thousands for day-long golf.

Wednesday
Aug052009

"Once the contract is extinguished, you can call and ask, it would be a good conversation, but nothing would come of it."

Tim Finchem and others held a limited audience (translation: yours truly wasn't invited) conference call to announce the new Greenbrier event and to close the door on Buick...for now. It was nice to see Finchem give some props to C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor. And impressive they locked an event in for six years, though as I noted yesterday, not too many people outside of PGA Tour headquarters are so sure this is going to be a success for a number of reasons, most of them logistical.

Only part of the Finchem transcript made it up online at PGATour.com and ASAP, but I was able to get the long version which, like a lot of ASAP transcripts lately, was a complete mess.

Still this was interesting:

Q. I was just curious, the two Buicks each had a year left. Did the bankruptcy void the contracts, or do you guys wait for your pennies on the dollar on the settlement? How does that work?

TIM FINCHEM: They set aside the contracts were extinguished during the bankruptcy proceeding. Of course they come out of bankruptcy, they can do whatever they want. But they are also very much in a movement of downsizing and reducing of budgets, and they had to make some decisions. And in fairness to the time to get a new tournament ready, they went ahead and made a call on the Buick Open. Although we were talking to them right up until very recently about that because it's interrelated with some other arrangements we have with Buick.

But we determined to move ahead today, and it then allows us with Buick to focus our attention on these remaining issues we have and see if we can bring those to a head the next two or three months.

Q. So is there a buyout, per se, to get out of those?

TIM FINCHEM: No, the bankruptcy, once the contract is extinguished, you can call and ask, it would be a good conversation, but nothing would come of it.

I'm not sure if this was just a semantics issue or a contractual misunderstanding at PGA Tour HQ, but this talk of "extinguishing" seems odd considering this was the tour stance on contracts last October when Ginn and Jeld Wen were withering up.

“There’s no technical ability to get out,” said Jon Podany, head of sales for the PGA Tour. “The contract is ironclad.”

Odd that the PGA Tour folded so quietly with Buick yet put up a fight with Ginn. Hopefully this speaks to their desire to get Buick involved again sooner rather than later. Or maybe the contracts technically are not ironclad?

Meanwhile, Bob Harig offers an updated assessment on the state of various events and sponsorship money.

Wednesday
Aug052009

Even Monty Doesn't Want To See Sandy Lyle Fined For Telling The Truth

Well, maybe that wasn't his motivation, but it in a "bizarre" twist, Mark Reason reports that Monty apparently intervened to see to it that Lyle was not fined for his suggestion that Monty cheated.

Wednesday
Aug052009

"Mindful that global warming could provoke more and longer dry spells, state governments are increasingly consulting golf courses on water strategies."

Nice to see Leslie Kaufman's positive story about golf's contributions to helping better understand water management in a New York Times "Environment" section.

It took a while, but from the South to the arid West, their wish is coming true. Mindful that global warming could provoke more and longer dry spells, state governments are increasingly consulting golf courses on water strategies.

In Georgia, golf course managers have emerged as go-to gurus on water conservation for both industries and nonprofit groups.

And...

Water is just one area where golf courses and environmentalists may find a rapprochement, said Anthony L. Williams, director of grounds at Marriott’s Stone Mountain public courses just outside Atlanta.

As metropolitan areas sprawl outward, golf courses may be the only large-scale green space for miles around, offering crucial potential habitat for migrating birds and other wildlife.

Unfortunately I doubt that will help offset the lousy ink golf's been getting thanks to the embarrassing press coming out of Rochester, Indiana, where they're taking a little too much pride in killing off Canada geese inhabiting a golf course in the way suggested by Kaufman.

From an NPR commentary:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A golf course in Rochester, Indiana will be giving a whole new meaning to the sentence, I got a birdie. Up to 1,000 Canada geese spend their winters on the golf course making a mess. Golf course management blasted air horns to scare the geese away. The geese ignored that. They fired starter pistols and the geese were unimpressed. So this winter five fully armed off-duty cops will organize a golf course goose hunt.

And we wonder why some people despise golf.

Wednesday
Aug052009

Slow Play Leads To Another Assault Arrest

Thanks to reader NRH for the latest slow play blow up and assault story. This time Donald Sauvageau, 57, was charged with felony aggravated assault after smacking a slow golfer with his sand wedge, knocking 55-year-old Albert “Sonny” Skar out. Sauvageau did this in front of his wife, who was playing with him.

Skar’s golfing partner, Ethan Olson, told police that Sauvageau and his wife had been golfing behind them and had argued with them about how fast Skar and Olson were playing and said that they were slowing them down on the course intentionally.

Skar went to return the golf cart and told police that Sauvageau then asked if he had something to say to him.

Skar said he told him, “I don’t like your attitude. You pester everyone and you push everyone.” Skar said he also told Sauvageau, “One of these days I’m gonna knock you out.”

Sauvageau and his wife told police that Skar threatened to kill Sauvageau.

Sauvageau’s wife told them to grow up and knock it off and Skar told her to shut up.

Skar said Sauvageau then struck him in the head with a golf club, saying he saw stars and thought Sauvageau was going to hit him again.

Sauvageau told police he was upset that Skar yelled at his wife and reached in to his golf bag and took out a sand wedge. He said was holding it up half way the length of the club and made what he called a tomahawk chop motion trying to hit Skar on the right shoulder because he felt threatened by Skar.

Sauvageau said he accidently hit Skar in the head, causing him to fall to the ground. He said he immediately went up and apologized and told police it “was a stupid thing to do. I had no right to smack him.”

Wednesday
Aug052009

“Golf needs to reinvent itself"

Lorne Rubenstein considers the collapse of the golf architecture and course development business and raises some wonderful points. First this from architect Tom Mackenzie:

“Golf needs to reinvent itself,” Mackenzie suggested. “It has become too expensive and too slow and perhaps this uncomfortable period will prove there is a market for shorter and more enjoyable courses that can be designed, built and managed more affordably. This may mean dropping course lengths beginning in 7 [7,000 yards], and perhaps even pars below 70 – shock, horror.”

I wonder how it got too expensive, too slow and too long? The grooves?

With the course architecture business all but frozen, developers and architects will have to respond with imaginative ideas. We’ll soon learn whether they’re equal to the task, and whether golfers themselves will be open to the game reinventing itself.

Are golfers really open to shorter, browner, funkier courses that cost less to build and maintain?

I'll believe it when I see more than 30 courses on the Golf Digest Top 100 list that you'd actually want to play more than once.