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Books
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    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
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • 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

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

The tournament [The Masters] had one thing going for it -- Bobby Jones. He was its sole raison d'etre. If it was assailable, he was not. Golf genuflected before the name of Bobby Jones. It was as if God put together the tournament. Let no man put asunder.  JIM MURRAY


    

Tuesday
Sep252007

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
Sep252007

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
Sep252007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Presidents Cup Photo Caption Help

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

sept25_philwoody_600x423.jpg

 

Tuesday
Sep252007

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

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

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

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

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

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

Montgomerie-designed course taking shape along Central Coast

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

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

And where the morning Napalm smells so nice...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How novel!

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

True true. And so linksy.

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

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

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

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

IMG is a legend of the game?

Tuesday
Sep252007

Two Opens In A Row For England

Take that, Scotland...

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

Monday
Sep242007

Tiger Announces Target Field; Editors and Writers Plot Interview Possibilities

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

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

Monday
Sep242007

"So why, oh, why, did I start now?"

070918_HGP_GolfTN.jpgThanks to reader Lara for passing along Emily Yoffe's entertaining Slate.com piece on taking up golf. Usually these types of essays aren't particularly original, by Yoffe brings a fresh perspective to the table.
During my brief immersion in the world of golf, I determined that gloom is an essential golf component, as befitting a game that started on the moody moors of Scotland. When tennis players get thoroughly beaten, they come off the court sweaty and smiling. Their endorphins have shot up, and they look cute in their outfits. Even skiers being carried off the slope on a stretcher seem bizarrely thrilled about the elemental encounter between body and mountain. But golf induces despair. Take the observations in the book The Bluffer's Guide to Golf, by Peter Gammond, "The golfer [is] a miserable wretch at the best of times." "A golf match is designed to make as many people as possible unhappy." There are very few golf jokes, he writes, that do not mention "death and destruction."
Monday
Sep242007

Knost Chooses Q-School First Stage Over Masters, Wouldn't You?

coltcolt.jpgRex Hoggard has the details and repeated use of a quote nicely crafted by his handlers.

“Foregoing my invitations to their championships was a very hard decision. But I feel like now is the time to begin my professional career,” said Knost, who ends his amateur carrer [sp] No. 1 in the Golfweek/Titleist Amateur Rankings.

“I hope to play in many of their championships in the years to come.

I guess it would have been tacky if he said toon-a-mint. 

Monday
Sep242007

Tiger Already Easing Sam Into The Family Design Business

Jeese, even Jackie didn't get started this young.

From today' press conference to plug the Target World Challenge:

Q.  A question for both of your tournaments.  We had news last week about '09.  I wondered if you're getting closer to maybe anchoring your tournament to Congressional.  The other thought is, with two golf tournaments to play, and a golf course design business developing, how are you going to juggle all those things with time?

TIGER WOODS:  Well, as far as Congressional, we're still working on that.  We'll have a better idea for you probably towards the end of the year and early next year, what we're going to do.

As far as the two tournaments, then juggling the golf course design business, I think the golf course design part of it is something I'm really looking forward to, I'm really excited about.  It's been a lot of fun and eye‑opening to be involved in that.  Something I've always wanted to do.

As far as the time commitments, that's something that I've been trying to work.  Obviously some things are going to have to probably go away to make time for that.  My most important thing right now is my family, being around Sam as much as I possibly can.  The golf course design stuff, the reason why I like it so much, is I can hop in, hop back, still be at home.  A lot of stuff that we do, I can actually take her to these sites, walk the golf course with me, walk properties.  I think that's been a lot of fun for all of us.

Poor thing, having to stomp through the Dubai desert before her first birthday! 

Monday
Sep242007

Apathy Builds On Eve Of Presidents Cup

sept23_prezcup_299x322.jpgYou can just sense the underwhelmed enthusiam in the various Presidents Cup preview pieces.

Lorne Rubenstein offers the Canadian perspective while Doug Ferguson previews the Cup by considering its recent history.

golf.com's Michael Walker says the world isn't watching and offers this interesting comment from Rubenstein about the future of the matches:

"The one problem I could see is if Tiger or Mickelson decided not to play," Rubenstein said. "They'll play as long as Nicklaus is captain because they're not going to snub Nicklaus. But if there's a new captain and Tiger decides not to play, then I think the Presidents Cup would have a real problem."
Gary Van Sickle says "few serious international golf competitions have received less buildup than this week's Presidents Cup, to be played in Montreal," then rants about the FedEx Cup ad saturation.
 

But as he notes in his entertaining look at the teams and possible scenarios, it may all be worth it if we can get this on Sunday...

1. Tiger Woods vs. Rory Sabbatini: The mouth of the south against the king of the hill.

If the Captain's have any heart at all, they will give us the pleasure of watching these lovebirds in singles play. 

Sunday
Sep232007

Order Now, Operator Standing By

And you say this blog isn't handy. Imagine if you missed out on this pre-ordering opportunity...

The 2007 Presidents Cup Official Film presented by Rolex now available for pre-order DVD will feature behind-the-scenes footage, highlights, interviews from 2007 event

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL –The 2007 Presidents Cup Official Film presented by Rolex, which is produced in high definition television by PGA TOUR Productions, gives golf fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes ticket to this world-class competition and is now available for pre-order.  The documentary will allow fans to relive the intensity, passion and excitement of what promises to be the most competitive Presidents Cup yet through behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive interviews and event highlights.

The 2007 Presidents Cup, to be held Sept. 27-30 at The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, will mark the seventh playing of the event and the third time it has been contested outside the United States. World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will reprise their roles as captains of the U.S. and International teams, respectively.

Are they actors signed up for a sequel?! Well, actually...

Two years ago in Price William Country, VA, the U.S. and International Teams came to The Presidents Cup with “unfinished business,” as the 2003 event in South Africa ended in a tie after Tiger Woods and Ernie Els battled in a twilight playoff.  But Chris DiMarco ensured the two teams would not share the Cup in 2005, as he sank a 15-foot putt on the 18th hole of his singles match to defeat Stuart Appleby and clinch The Presidents Cup for the United States.  The U.S. Team holds a 4-1-1 overall record in the event.

From the opening ceremony to the trophy presentation, The Presidents Cup Official Film presented by Rolex will take fans inside the ropes for an exclusive look at of all the pageantry and competition that makes The Presidents Cup one of the premier team events in any sport. 

Yep, right up there with the MLB playoffs, World Cup, Olympic hockey, NFL...

From the International Team’s arrival to the captains’ press conferences to the captain's consultations with their assistants to remind them the name of that guy in the team uniform who he can't remember picking to the final celebration, fans will experience first hand why The Presidents Cup has set the standard for sportsmanship and competition.

Just wanted to see if you were still reading. I know it's tough to concentrate when you just want to get to the 800 number...

The Presidents Cup Official Film presented by Rolex will be available for shipment on Nov. 30.  DVDs can be pre-ordered now for $19.95 by calling 1-866-216-7965 or visiting  www.pgatour.com/presidentscupdvd.  Also available for purchase is the 2005 Presidents Cup Official Film presented by Rolex, which captures the incredible excitement of the 2005 event – one of the most dramatic in golf history.

The highlights I saw on Sportscenter were great!

Sunday
Sep232007

Wiebe Defeats Quigley!

I tell you, this Mark Wiebe win in his first Old Geezers Tour appearance could be just the shot the fledgling circuit needs. You know, kind of like this lethal injections they give death row prisoners from time to time.

Saturday
Sep222007

"Of the 24 players in this week's top 30 in the world golf rankings who were members of the U.S. tour last year, eight have played in more events in 2007."

Steve Elling challenges the Commissioner's assertion that the FedEx Cup led to an increase in top-30 player appearances. Of course Finchem's definition of top-30 probably differs significantly from Elling's, not that we'll ever know how he defines top-30...
"We're pleased by the support the players have given the playoffs, in particular, and the FedEx Cup throughout the year," Finchem said. "During the year, total starts of our top players -- whether you look at top 30 in the world rankings, the top 30 from last year's money list, the top 50 -- the total starts players have made this year compared to last year is up and moving in the right direction. So we're pleased to see that."

He won't be pleased to see this. Because we did look, and unless the "right direction" is downward, these assertions are pure myth.

In fact, of those who finished in the top 30 on the 2006 money list he cited, only six had played in more events through the completion of the FedEx Series last week. The series, mind you, signaled the end of the season for many top players, including the guys who sell the majority of the tickets and drive TV ratings.

Let's do some verifiable math, so that there's no gray area here. Using Finchem's own yardstick, a review shows that the top 30 in earnings from '06 have combined to play in 60 fewer events this year, an average of two starts per player. Since those in the current top 30 in earnings have averaged 20.2 starts this year, that's a dropoff of nearly 10 percent across the board.

But what do I know? I attended public schools.

The only scintilla of credibility to his 90-degree verbal shank is that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have combined to play three more times than in 2006, which can be partly attributed to Woods skipping two months last year while mourning the death of his father. The big hitters? As a group, Woods, Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, Adam Scott, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen have combined to play in two fewer events this year than in 2006. Still, it's a slight drop.

Let's apply a more current measure. Of the 24 players in this week's top 30 in the world golf rankings who were members of the U.S. tour last year, eight have played in more events in 2007. A total of 13 have played fewer times and three had no change in total starts. All told, those 24 players have competed in 27 fewer events vs. their combined 2006 total.

While we're spouting trends here, let's back up another year and get a bigger dose of reality.

The star-filled group of Woods, Mickelson, Furyk, Goosen, Garcia, Scott and Singh have made 16 fewer starts this year compared to 2005, or more than two per player. (We did not include Els, because he suffered a major knee injury and made only 11 starts).

Note to the corporate spin artistes in Ponte Vedra: Sometimes when you bother to actually crunch the numbers, the numbers can crunch you.

Saturday
Sep222007

"When we talked to Tom Fazio, he said that he would like to make this the Augusta of the North"

Chris Wagner of the Syracuse Post-Standard proves that there are still people who aspire to build the Augusta of their neighborhood, even if it's at a casino in the middle of nowhere.

Atunyote, on the other hand, came wired for the future. Made-for-TV fiber-optic cable was installed to every hole designed by Tom Fazio, considered by many to be the top golf course architect of this era. He also is the person responsible for this decade's facelift at Augusta National, home of the Masters.

The clean, classic, country-club look of Atunyote was a polar opposite of Shenendoah's and Kaluhyat's wild-nature, wild-fescue appeal. Even Atunyote's state-of-the-art practice range was better than Shenendoah's, which was lost when Kaluhyat's 18th hole was built over it.

None of it was by mistake.

"When we talked to Tom Fazio, he said that he would like to make this the Augusta of the North," Halbritter said. "And we liked that. We liked the sound of it. We liked the quality of it. We liked the history and the legacy of it. ... So, that was part of the whole process of thinking, for people to think of our Atunyote as the Augusta of the North."

You know what P.T. Barnum said...  

Saturday
Sep222007

Going To Stack and Tilt

Robert Grant looks at the origin of Aaron Baddelay's decision to shift to a Stack and Tilt swing.


Saturday
Sep222007

Bubble Boys

Brett Avery looks at the players on the money list bubble and the unique way that today's players are informed of their current money total.

 

Saturday
Sep222007

Broken Heart Clubs

From the wire story on round two of the British Masters, courtesy of reader Steve...

Robert Karlsson (75) broke two clubs, an 8-iron and a 6-iron, trying to hit a ball next to a tree on the third hole. He took an eight.

Karlsson sent for his clubs to be repaired and had them back by the sixth hole.

Also, Alastair Forsyth shot an 11 at the revamped sixth hole and missed the cut. The Scot drove into the water, put a 3-iron into the water, then hit two 2-irons into the water.

Then he threw the 2-iron into the water.

Friday
Sep212007

"Four hours should be the limit to play a round in a three-ball - fine everybody that takes over that."

Monty's complaining about an under-5 hour round! I guess he forgot the PGA Tour would kill for a round that speedy on a Thursday or Friday.  Mark Garrod reports:

After an opening 70 in the Quinn Direct British Masters at The Belfry that took only ten minutes under five hours, Montgomerie called for a clampdown on slow play.

"It's a problem every week," he said. "Four hours should be the limit to play a round in a three-ball - fine everybody that takes over that. We're given too long to play the course.

"I was brought up on a three-hour game of golf and the pace of play out here is too slow."

The eight-time European No.1 was delighted to hear that two players - England's Gary Lockerbie and Brazilian Alexandre Rocha - had been fined £4000 for taking too long yesterday. But he will be happier still if others get the message and get a move on. And that includes Ryder Cup team-mate Robert Karlsson and English pair Ross Fisher and Edward Rush, who were the three players immediately in front of him again today.

Montgomerie was paired with South African Richard Sterne and Spain's Santiago Luna and commented: "Richard only took 65 and is very quick, Santiago is another quick player and I'm one of the fastest out here.

"So it felt slow. We had a very fast group behind a very slow one!"