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    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
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    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
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    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
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    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

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    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
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Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

Don't worry about your caddie. He may be an irritating little wretch, but for eighteen holes he is your caddie. ARNOLD HAULTAIN


    

Thursday
Mar062008

Tripp Isenhour Cements Lead In Lowlife Of The Year Award Race

Thanks to reader Tony for a fine reason, courtesy of Sarah Lundy in the Orlando Sentinel, to hope Tripp Isenhour never breaks 75 ever again.

And people wonder why golf has a lousy reputation with environmentalists.

Thursday
Mar062008

Player Wives Not The Only Ones Who May Turn To Botox

dataThanks to reader James for Bloomberg's Michael Buteau report on the exciting news that the yips may have a medical cure: Botox.

Well, news might be a stretch. Let's rephrase that: interesting information gleaned from a drug company study. The same drug company that wants to sell their stuff:

The study is the first to include analysis of brainwaves and muscle activity in hands and wrists, Adler said. Researchers monitored 50 golfers, 25 of them yippers and 25 non-yippers.

It was financed by a $193,000 grant from Allergan Inc., of Irvine, California. Botox is Allergan's biggest product, with $1.2 billion in sales last year. The drug is best known for reducing skin wrinkles and also is used to treat muscle cramping in musicians and Parkinson's disease.

The yips, commonly described as an involuntary movement, or jerking, of the putter before striking a golf ball, have long been thought to be caused by anxiety or stress.

``Your brain is sending you a message and your body just kind of backfires,'' said Louise Simpson, 50, of Tempe, Arizona, who took part in the study.

And now the body will send a message that because you don't have those forehead wrinkles anymore, you can make this three footer? Oh, sorry...

If the study shows yips are primarily caused by muscle cramping, Adler said the condition could be treated with small injections of Botox. The drug isn't considered performance- enhancing and isn't banned under golf's new subtance policy, said U.S. PGA Tour Executive Vice President Ty Votaw.

That'll change!

Meanwhile, noted yipper Doug Sanders isn't so sure...

Sanders, 75, who missed the British Open putt, says he knows one proven cure: ``It's called vodka tonic.'' Alternatively, he says, ``Sometimes if you have three or four beers, it really helps a lot.''

Alcohol can be a short-lived treatment, Adler says. Yips sufferers can become tolerant of the drink and will eventually need more to get the same effect. Over time, the movement disorder often gets worse, he said.
The movement disorder. Now there's a euphemism for yips!
Wednesday
Mar052008

Toshiba Classic: One Event That Gets It

toshibagolf.gifThe Valiant Competitor's Champions Tour has reversed it's Southern California stops this year, with the Toshiba Classic kicking things off followed by next week's AT&T something-or-other at Valencia. It's always amazing to witness the contrast between the two.

The Toshiba is played in the heart of Newport Beach at the sporty William F. Bell designed Newport Beach Country Club. The combination of the course's ideal location at the heart of a significant population base, it's ability to be played with relative ease (but it's no pushover) and a strong volunteer base make the event a real delight. It was day one of the pro-am and it would not be a stretch to call it festive.

Hanging out on the range today collecting quotes from select players, not only was most of the field out in force their pro-am rounds, but they were in great spirits. Hale Irwin smiled at me. Really, he smiles! Another highlight was Fuzzy Zoeller (not a surprise) heckling Tuesday qualifier Mac O'Grady about his hair, while Andy Bean (who knew?) strolling by the 10th tee and yelling out to Mac that his pro-am partner's swing was just fine and to leave him alone.

Then there's next week's event at Valencia, a monstrous Robert Trent Jones Sr. design next to the 5 freeway in that massive slice of over-development hell known as Santa Clarita, a solid 25 minute drive from a decent population base and 45 minutes from the heart of LA (mid-morning, with a police escort). The rough is always hideously dense, the course a brutal grind, the crowds tiny and the weather iffy. Players rarely hang around the range and every year I leave the place intensely depressed about what the game has become. Particularly since this same event was a huge success when played at Rancho Park and Wilshire Country Club in the city. You know, fun golf courses. Near where people live.

So just in case you were wondering, I probably won't be going out to Valencia this year.

According to Steve Eubanks, they expect 85,000 this week in Newport Beach, which would probably surpass what the regular tour drew at Riviera a few weeks ago.

Amazing how far a little fun will take you.

Wednesday
Mar052008

"Like fairways."

Steve Elling follows up on his report about Bay Hill's greens with this item:

Daniel Chopra, a Bay Hill member and resident, was asked to describe the shape of the greens and quipped, "Like fairways."

And..

There’s a formal PGA Tour notice hanging this week in the Innisbrook locker room about Bay Hill, explaining the massive mouth-to-mouth they have given the greens. The second paragraph reads as such: “On a more positive note, the overseeding of the tees, fairways and rough has excellent density and uniformity, and is holding up quite well to the high volume of winter play.”

So the greens are in such sketchy shape that a formal tour advisory was issued to players, but the course is still open to resort and membership play? Yikes.

Wednesday
Mar052008

Atwal Cleared...Wait, No He's Not...

1830.jpgA wire report last week announced that Arjun Atwal had been cleared in the street racing manslaughter case and included this quote from him:

"The (investigation) report went to the state attorney's office two weeks ago and last week I got a call from my lawyer saying they have thrown all the charges out. So, I am clear," Atwal, who is in Gurgaon for the Johnnie walker Classic told reporters on Thursday.

Steve Elling placed a call and it sounds like Atwal either needs to get a new attorney, or he had a really bad cell reception over in India:

Danielle Tavernier, a spokesperson for the State Attorney's office, said the overseas reports were inaccurate. "It's an open, active case," she said.

 

Wednesday
Mar052008

Zach Johnson Closing In On Champions Dinner Menu; No Word Yet On Who Will Say Grace

Jim Moriarty reveals which Iowa-themed food items the defending champion is leaning towards, while Scott Michaux reports that Zach tried to outsource the cooking to a chain best known for throwing a slab of meat in a plate of sizzling butter, but thankfully the club stood by their staff.


Wednesday
Mar052008

"Why has no one been assessed a one-stroke penalty in 16 years?"

Doug Ferguson tackles the recent slow play grumblings and offers a few very interesting points:

As slow as it can get on the PGA TOUR, why has no one been assessed a one-stroke penalty in 16 years?
 
Or been disqualified?
 
“We’re more intelligent than people think we are,” the ever-sarcastic Paul Goydos said.
 
By that, he means slow players tend to play faster when told they are on the clock. Fulton Allem once compared this to a state trooper who pulls over a motorist for going 100 mph. Instead of writing a ticket, the trooper says he will follow the driver for the next five miles to make sure he doesn’t speed.
 
“You have to be crazy to get two bad times,” chief rules official Mark Russell said. “People don’t get one bad time.”
And this...

Drug testing starts in July. How will anyone believe the tour will suspend someone for one year and fine him $500,000 for a doping offense when it won’t assess a one-shot penalty for taking too long with a 5-iron to the green?

Tuesday
Mar042008

Game Before The Game: Random Thoughts

230136-1389284-thumbnail.jpg
John Mutch rolls balls to possible 3rd round hole locations at Riviera's 10th (click to enlarge)
I began working on this story for Golf World back in December at the Target World Challenge. The tour kindly granted me access to tournament director Mark Russell who then introduced me to John Mutch, the unlucky chap who would be stuck with me tagging around with him for three days at Sherwood, and then again at Torrey Pines and Riviera

The idea was not to do the typical story we see a few times a year where a writer tags along with an official and explains the official's every move, from the cherry Danish he ate to the time his bowels typically move. Instead, I hoped to better understand the big picture approach to tour course setup in the face of technology advances and in light of player frustration boiling over at Firestone. While I'm not sure the story ever settles the direct question of who is advocating an increase in rough, narrowed landing areas and tucked pins (because it doesn't appear to be in response to any specific directive), I hopefully convey the sense that surprised me somewhat: the amount of pressure the field staff faces from host courses.230136-1389292-thumbnail.jpg
Mutch charts out hole locations and refers to last year's selections in a constant quest for balance and variety (click to enlarge)

Easily the No. 1 player gripe surrounded the increase in new back tees and the use of all too many, no matter how silly the tee seems to be. The rules officials are clearly expected to embrace those tees (as well as silly other little pressures like having to lock in a tee placement for ventures such as the tour's new Trackman thingy). I saw the pressure (subliminal and up front) both at Sherwood and Riviera, where the host courses were asking whether new tees recently constructed would be in use. At Riviera, there were questions directed at the staff about not using the two new hole locations (and the staffers are too gentlemanly to simply say, they stink!).

230136-1389317-thumbnail.jpg
Mutch sets a tee at Sherwood. The PVC alignment tool to the left is his own homemade device to ensure the tees are properly aimed. (Click to enlarge)
The most surprising player beef, and one I wholeheartedly agree with, revolved around par-3s and the lack of variety in yardages from day to day on specific holes. The players also pointed out that there is often not enough variety within a round. Mutch did his best to vary the numbers, but sometimes they can't use an interesting forward tee because it's too beat up with divots (and we know how the players would react to that!). Other times it would be nice to see some outside-the-box thinking that really throws the player a curve by playing a hole at 210 one day and 150 the next.

Also surprising were the number of players who now connect course setup tactics with the technology revolution. Compared to a few years ago when they would defend the use of setup to offset distance gains, most I talked to seemed to have soured on using rough and tucked pins to offset distance. Even more amazing, every player I spoke to was in favor of regulating grooves. Nearly all brought it up without prompting. Now, the rationale's varied. Some want to see rough take on more meaning. Some buy the USGA's idea that it will make guys throttle back off the tee. Most (thankfully) want to see firm greens and preferred sides of fairways mean something again. They all hope it leads to fewer absurdly tucked hole locations and less injury inducing rough, and as I noted in a sidebar to the story, Russell says eliminating U-grooves would influence his thinking on rough. 230136-1389332-thumbnail.jpg
Tee Square and Paint: Mutch's two most important tools. (Click to enlarge)

I can't convey enough how devoted the field staff is to equity and running a great event. Few people realize the hours they put in, and while the course setup part of their job is arguably the most interesting aspect, it's disturbing how many babysitting tasks they have which potentially get in the way of doing their course setup work. I never saw it with Mutch, and the guys I spoke to downplay that they would ever get distracted, but you just don't see officials in other sports having to tend to some of the things the field staff handles. Considering how much their thinking influences what we see on television, it's an unusual situation.

It's also difficult to put into words just how good the players and their equipment are these days. I saw some incredibly firm greens at Sherwood and Riviera, yet saw scores I could not have imagined based on what I knew firsthand about that day's setup.

230136-1389335-thumbnail.jpg
Mutch paints a ball drop for the ages, Sherwood's 18th (click to enlarge)
Actually, someone I spoke to for the piece summed it up best.

David Eger, who was widely respected for his setup work during 14 years with the tour and praised by several of the rules officials for his work, offered this line. Due to space constraints it couldn't make it into the final piece:

"I watch on TV and see some of those hole placements on the regular tour and I think I wouldn’t have put it within 5 yards of that thing when I setup the course. And then the next thing you know, not only Tiger, but half-a dozen other guys are hitting it in there 5 feet and I’m thinking, how in the hell did he do that?"

Tuesday
Mar042008

The Wie Files: Stanford Dorm Edition

Steve Elling offers the latest and most frightening example yet that Michelle Wie's parents need serious help.


Tuesday
Mar042008

Mac Qualifies! Mac Qualifies!

I've been searching my email box for a PGA Tour press release celebrating Mac O'Grady's first ever Champions Tour appearance (he played in the U.S. Senior Open in '05, but come on, that's not the CHAMPIONS TOUR).  

Thankfully, the good folks at Brener-Zwikel delivered the news on the eve of...two shotgun pro-am starts, with Toshiba Classic play starting Friday at Newport Beach Country Club:

2008 Toshiba Classic Qualifying Tournament
At Goose Creek Golf Club (Par 71, 6,676 yards)
Mira Loma, Calif.
Tuesday, March 4
(Top 7 players qualify to play in the Toshiba Classic Friday-Sunday at Newport Beach CC)

Pos.    Player  Hometown                    Score
1.      Jim Ahern       Phoenix, AZ     64
T2.     Phil Blackmar   Corpus Christi, TX      65
T2.     Boonchu Ruangkit        Bangkok, Thailand       65
T2.     Mitch Adcock    Apopka, FL      65
T5.     Mac O’Grady     Palm Springs, CA        66
T5.     Mike Goodes     Reidsville, NC  66
T7.     Kenny Knox      Monticello, FL  67
(NOTE: Knox won the final qualifying spot with a par on the first playoff hole.)
Alternates
T7.     Jimmy Powell    La Quinta, CA   67
T7.     Mark Morrison   Holualoa, HI    67
T10.    Dick Mast       Forest, VA      68
T10.    Gary Trivisonno Aurora, OH      68

Tuesday
Mar042008

Ted Robinson, R.I.P.

tedrobinson.jpgThe prolific Californian passed away at the age of 84. Here's the ASGCA news release.


Tuesday
Mar042008

"I mean, it's fixed for the tournament."

Steve Elling reports on what is sure to be a much discussed and revolutionary sounding last minute greens fix at Bay Hill, where an unidentified fungus took hold:
The root structure of the greens was so meager and the surface grass was so sparse, club officials three weeks ago elected to remove the sod in the affected sections, replace the sand base, then re-seed the greens with winter rye grass, a PGA Tour official said Tuesday.

The root of the crisis, if you will, remains unclear. The tournament begins March 13.

"It stumped a lot of people," said tour rules official Jon Brendle, who took a first-hand look at the ailing Bay Hill Club & Lodge greens on Monday. "They brought in a lot of people to look at the problem and they didn’t have a clue."

Emergency surgery or not, Brendle said the greens have grown in nicely and should present better surfaces than those seen at some of the West Coast stops, like ever-bumpy Pebble Beach, he said.

"I can tell you they have come a long way in 2 1/2 weeks," he said. "I mean, it's fixed for the tournament."

Tuesday
Mar042008

The Game Before The Game

gwar01_080307setup.jpgMy Golf World story on PGA Tour course setup has been posted.

Tomorrow I'll post some further reflections (because I know you can't wait) on the time I spent with the rules officials and players that I spoke to for this, as well as some photos to supplement the images captured by J.D. Cuban.

Tuesday
Mar042008

"They don't do comedy at the Masters. The Masters, for me, is like holding onto a really big collection of gas for a week."

350066.binCam Cole in the National Post ably documented David Feherty's  appearance at the PGA of British Columbia's breakfast at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre. Thanks to reader Tony for this:

-On the 14 years since CBS colleague Gary McCord was banned from the Masters: "They don't do comedy at the Masters. The Masters, for me, is like holding onto a really big collection of gas for a week. It's like having my buttocks surgically clenched at Augusta General Hospital on Wednesday, and surgically unclenched on Monday on the way to Hilton Head."
And...
-On McCord's recent revelation, at the annual JCC Sports Awards banquet in Vancouver, that Tiger Woods' caddy Steve Williams and Feherty often try to outdo one another on the course in the area of flatulence, Feherty said Tiger is no slouch himself: "He can lay 'em down like a crop duster."

-On Gary Player's unsubstantiated suggestion last year about use of performance-enhancing drugs in pro golf: "Gary thinks he invented fitness because he used to do pushups on the airplane. He's just upset because you can't win a major any more with a low, flat hook and a Napoleon complex."

Ouch.

-On the poor life advice Michelle Wie's parents have given the teenage phenom: "She could be adopted by Britney Spears and be better off. I want my 16-year-old daughter to have an enormous phone bill, a case of the giggles and to be pissed off at me for killing her first three boyfriends. I do not want her out on Tour under that kind of pressure."

-On Phil Mickelson: "Phil is brilliant, but he's nuts. There's something not quite right about that boy. Phil is watching a movie that only Phil can see.  His mother told me, 'Phil was so clumsy as a little boy, we had to put a football helmet on him until he was four because he kept bumping into things.' I told her, 'Mary,

Mary, I'm a writer, you can't keep handing me material like this.' So the next time I saw Phil I said, 'You didn't really wear a football helmet in the house until you were four, did you?' He said, 'It was more like five.' "

-On televised golf 's obsession with Tiger: "I've had people say to me, 'It's amazing Tiger Woods can make a swing with you hanging out of his [butt].' "

-The first time he ever watched Woods play, Feherty examined the lie Tiger had in the trees, where he'd hit the ball into deep rough alongside a large root, and said on-air that the only available play was to wedge out sideways. Tiger promptly hit a towering 200-plus-yard, sweeping slice with a 2-iron that rolled to within 12 feet of the flag.

"I just stood there watching him walk past," Feherty said, "and thinking, 'I don't know what that is, but I know there weren't two of them on Noah's Ark.' "
And I know this one has appeared elsewhere, but it's still a good one. 
-As an example of an expert opinion on just how great Woods is, Feherty recalled a shot Tiger hit several years ago at Firestone, out of high rough just off the 18th fairway, when he was paired with Ernie Els.

Feherty and Els had looked at the horrible lie Woods had drawn as they walked past en route to Els' tee shot. Tiger's ball was not visible from directly above.-As an example of an expert opinion on just how great Woods is, Feherty recalled a shot Tiger hit several years ago at Firestone, out of high rough just off the 18th fairway, when he was paired with Ernie Els.

Feherty and Els had looked at the horrible lie Woods had drawn as they walked past en route to Els' tee shot. Tiger's ball was not visible from directly above.

"Shame," dead-panned the big South African.

Standing side by side in the fairway, Feherty and Els saw Williams hand Tiger a wedge, then watched as Woods took a violent swing that removed a divot "like a bag of Donald Trump heads" and launched the ball nearly 200 yards, over a pair of trees and onto the green, landing eight feet behind the flag.

Feherty, after a bout of speechlessness, had just opened his microphone to comment on the shot when Els, not aware that the mic was live, turned and said, quite audibly on-air: "F---me!"

"Was that Ernie?" the CBS producer said into Feherty's earpiece.

"Yes, it was," he said. Pause.

"Fair enough," said the producer.

 

Monday
Mar032008

Slow Play Bandwagon Starts Rolling...

0,5001,5918672,00.jpg...Adam Scott joins in:

"People play way, way too slow," the Australian said at the Johnnie Walker Classic in India.

"They need to hurry up. They should start penalising people. Just penalise them."

Monday
Mar032008

“We don’t need to grow for growth’s sake, only if it’s good for the portfolio and the brand.”

Gene Yasuda and Scott Hamilton look for an explanation about the recent TPC naming deal to the game's master of inane doublespeak (is that repetitive?), the PGA Tour's David Pillsbury:

“Every TPC we will do going forward is either built or operated with the idea that ultimately it’s going to host competitive golf on one of (our) three tours,” Pillsbury said. “That’s the core purpose of the brand.”
That's good to know what the core purpose is. 
The AT&T contract complements the Tour’s recent mission to upgrade its TPC network. According to Pillsbury, typical naming-rights deals will run for five to 10 years. The majority of the proceeds will be earmarked to improve the sponsor’s property, but some funds may be allocated to aid other facilities within the TPC network.

 Is that a nice way of saying to redo the other dogs in the network?

The Tour owns 17 TPC locations and is developing three others: San Antonio, TPC Treviso Bay in Naples, Fla., and TPC Cancun in Cancun, Mexico.

“We’re focused on growing with the right assets,” Pillsbury said. “We don’t need to grow for growth’s sake, only if it’s good for the portfolio and the brand.”

And don't forget the share price! 

Monday
Mar032008

"But does that make it fun? No. It makes it a kind of algebra.”

Tom Mackin catches up with architect David Kidd for the NY Times Play Magazine. I enjoyed this:
“As human beings and golf-course designers, we want perfection. And because of equipment and technology, we can go in and create that. On the perfect golf hole, I would have framing mounds everywhere and bunkers that set up the perfect strategy and line of sight, all making it conform to every single rule of thumb ever written about course design. But does that make it fun? No. It makes it a kind of algebra.”

Monday
Mar032008

UAE Dubai Prepping Bids For Future Open, Ryder Cup Venues

Thanks to reader Edward for the story, broken by The Observer's Richard Wachman:

United Arab Emirate Dubai is teeing up bids worth at least £400m for three premier Scottish golf courses: Turnberry, Gleneagles and Loch Lomond.

It is understood that Dubai World, a state-owned business with interests in leisure, property, financial services and container ports, is in advanced talks to acquire the Turnberry course and adjacent luxury hotel from its US owner, Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Turnberry, which is hosting the Open Championship in 2009, was put up for sale at the end of last year. Starwood is selling on condition it retains the right to manage the resort after a sale is agreed.
And...
A source in the Gulf says: 'Dubai is seeking trophy sporting assets. It wants to be behind leading golfing tournaments, which would help it to promote its own Dubai Desert Classic competition.'
Oh this ought to be fun.

 

Monday
Mar032008

"And Monty’s chums in the media have, it must be said, been doing their level best for their man."

Monty79895715.jpgGolfobserver's John Huggan catches up on the state of Monty. Buried deep was this...

Elsewhere, Monty’s propensity for self-promotion has seen him looking further into the future, first to this year’s European Ryder cup side and then to 2014 when the biennial contest with the Americans will make only its second ever visit to Scotland, at Gleneagles. Monty, not surprisingly, has been talking himself up as a possible wild-card pick for later this year – given his current form, he is unlikely to qualify directly - and then non-playing captain for 2014, when the event will take place just down the road from his soon-to-be marital home in leafy Perthshire.

On the face of it, that second scenario would seem to represent a perfect fit: In Scotland, with a proud nation’s finest-ever Ryder Cup player leading the European hordes into battle. And Monty’s chums in the media have, it must be said, been doing their level best for their man. Over the last few months, a procession of pro-Monty pieces has appeared in friendly publications (not coincidentally, at least two golf correspondents, both with right-wing English newspapers, have been invited to the upcoming Monty nuptials) openly and rather blatantly promoting just such an eventuality.

Significantly, few if any of those glowing articles have included quotes from Monty’s fast-depleting band of chums on the European Tour. Yet again, the spectre of Indonesia - and that dodgy replacement of his ball in a spot barely reminiscent of where he should have played from - hangs over the Scot’s rapidly greying head of hair. Call him ‘Colin No-mates.’

They don't forgive or forget. 

Sunday
Mar022008

Els Wins Honda; NBC Announcers Slip In Only Two Million "Bear Trap" References

1927184.jpgHow about that Bear Trap, the work of PR gurus!

You know I still get trapped trying to figure out which is No. 15 and which is No. 17, but that's another story.

Mercifully, Greg Stoda in the Palm Beach Post explains why some of us spent most of our time watching UCLA-Arizona and the Lakers-Mavs:

Hey, it's as rugged track as re-designer Jack Nicklaus intended it to be. The 15th through 17th holes aren't called the Bear Trap for no reason. And it gets windy in these parts. But what would have been wrong with a couple of more accommodating pin positions late in the test? There simply was never a sense someone would, or could, do something sensational.

And...

There just wasn't an opportunity make a closing rush under pressure. Green's birdies at the 16th and 18th holes don't qualify, and neither does Robert Allenby's finishing birdie that got him a quiet share of fourth place with Jones and Calcavecchia.

They weren't contenders.

The 77-player field managed all of 30 birdies across the final five holes in the fourth round. The field made 25 double- or triple-bogeys across the same stretch. The finishing five holes, in order, ranked as the sixth, third, fourth, first and seventh toughest statistically in the final round.

"You're just trying to make pars," Jones said.

Without question, the most pitiful element of it all is No. 18, potentially a compelling risk-reward hole that is mostly a whole bunch of risk. Would it have killed them to play the tee up today at least? Or has the old tee been bulldozed?