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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
  • 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

  • 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
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

Every golfer is inclined to have very decided views upon the merits of a course or the merits of a hole. Sometimes it may be that his exceptional abilities for playing a particular stroke assist him materially in forming his opinion, and possibly – although no doubt one may be wrong in this suggestion – his want of skill urges him to decide with no uncertainty that a particular hole is not golf at all, and that a particular bunker is the creation of a madman or of an ill-natured idiot. H.S. COLT


    

Monday
Nov192007

Skipping The Masters

The Australian version, that is. Trevor Grant criticizes Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy for skipping this week's Australian Masters, apparently unaware that Ogilvy's wife, Julie, is pregnant and due soon.

Monday
Nov192007

"How, for instance, did Taylor manage a four-round total of 295 in 1909 over a course measuring 6,500 yards? Sheer brilliance is the answer."

TTS197201CM385_238185a.jpgPeter Dixon plays Deal with hickories in uncomfortable clothes and comes away impressed by the golf of yesteryear as well as the club also known as Royal Cinque Ports.

Monday
Nov192007

Jimenez Platforms His Brand

The PGA Tour fines for behavior like this, don't they? From golf.com, Miguel Angel Jimenez after winning the Hong Kong Open. Thanks to reader Christopher for the heads up:
JimenezHKSun_600x450.jpg

Monday
Nov192007

"I'm hoping to make it for the opening."

Thanks to reader who spotted this post on The Golf Forum. Apparently a Herald-Sun piece on golf included this list (not available online):

'In one of the centre spreads, [Robert] Allenby lists his top five favourite golf courses'

1 - Royal Melbourne (Sandringham)
2 - Augusta National (Georgia)
3 - St Andrews Links (Fife)
4- The Forest Resort (Creswick)
5 - Riviera Country Club (Pacific Palisades)

I couldn't help but notice the explanatory paragraph for number 4 on the list

"It's in this list because I've just designed it. I based it on Royal Melbourne. I can't wait to play it. I'm hoping to make it for the opening. It's about an hour's drive from Melbourne, near Ballarat, just a lovely part of the world."

 

I'm constantly astounded by the devotion of these players architects!

Sunday
Nov182007

"Never, ever touch a Tour player's clubs."

Golfweek's November 10th Forecaddie writes that some USGA staffers were at the Ginn sur Mer Classic to check out the grooves of PGA Tour players.

The USGA has spent almost three years collecting data on grooves and some see the testing at Tesoro as the next step in possible rules changes to modify grooves.

The USGA tested roughly 30-40 sets of clubs by making a small plastic mold impression on the face of the irons and wedges. The tests were random and were not supposed to involve the players, although some bristled at the procedure.

"I'm on the putting green and this guy comes up and starts messing with my clubs," said Tour player David Branshaw. "I don't know what they were looking for, but they got that blue stuff [the substance the USGA used to take the mold] all over the grips. Took me an hour to rub all that stuff of."

The USGA must have forgotten the three "don'ts" in life. Don't tug on Superman's cape; don't play money games against someone with a "traveling handicap;" and never, ever touch a Tour player's clubs.

They're such consensus builders!

Way to get players on board with a controversial rule change.

Sunday
Nov182007

"Keep trying seemed to be the consensus."

Ken Klavon at the USGA blog reports on the PGA Tour's now-annual excuse to gather everyone in Ponte Vedra to try out the latest MBASpeak they've picked up in Forbes (and yes attendees, I'm still awaiting a transcript in my email box...chop, chop!).

Judging by the tone of Klavon's piece, not much progress was made in improving media access to players. Then again, PGA Tour players are pretty accessible one on one. Dealing with their agents is another story.

More interesting was the context in which Klavon put the decline of newspapers as compared to Internet numbers. Granted, I still wonder if these U.S. Open and PGATour.com page views include those automatic leaderboard refreshes, but even cutting the numbers, the are staggering.

In my humble opinion, online journalism still isn’t being fully embraced. For those of us who have made the transition from traditional media to the digital age, there is an element of credibility that has been brought along. But that wasn’t the crux of the question. It was based on the following: (and this is where I throw dazzling stats at you):

Consider that in 1990 the total U.S. newspaper circulation equated to roughly 60 million readers. Now chew on this: this year that figure is down to 40 million. Why is this significant? Because the advent of the Internet, with its slew of deliverable content platforms over the past 10 or so years, has overtaken this fossil. (And you’re talking to someone who worked in newspapers and continues to hold it dear to his heart).

Last year usopen.com gleaned 265 million page views. The year before the number came in around 112 million. The reach of the Internet seems limitless. Those figures are more than the entire newspaper circulation combined in the United States. Incredible. Yet some still are having a hard time embracing it. Hate to say it but the ship is sailing. Or has it sailed?

To get back on track, few of the panelists except for Bob Harig, a golf writer at ESPN.com, had much in the way of a solution to my question. Keep trying seemed to be the consensus.
Sunday
Nov182007

Ochoa Caps Off Another Classic ADT Championship

lorena.jpgDoug Ferguson captures the excitement that the NBC announce crew kept suggesting was almost inevitable: Lorena Ochoa and Trump International's perilous 17th hole:

Despite being the No. 1 player in women's golf, Ochoa has a short history of blowing tournaments, and this would have been a doozy. After blowing away the seven other players who qualified for this 18-hole shootout, she had a four-shot lead with two holes to play.

But she butchered the par-3 17th with an 8-iron over the back of the green, a putt that got hung up in the fluffy rough, and three more putts from 20 feet for a double bogey. Gulbis made a 7-foot birdie putt, narrowing the lead to one shot with one hole to play.

It was about the only drama of the balmy afternoon, certainly more than Ochoa needed.

"It was fun for the fans and for all of you," she said, "but it didn't feel very good."

Ochoa hammered a tee shot over the corner of the lake and the bunker, but it wasn't enough to hop out of the rough, and the ball sank to the bottom of the grass. Gulbis hit first, a hybrid 3-iron that covered the flag and put even more pressure on Ochoa.

"Lorena was spending a lot of time looking at her lie, so I was assuming that the lie was not very good," Gulbis said. "She's the best player in the world, so I thought that at least we'd get kind of an eye-for-an-eye putt at it."

Steve Elling considers Ochoa's 8-win season and offers these incredible numbers along with her place in the game:

Most impressively, she finished in the top 10 in 21 of 25 starts and won five of her past nine starts. It was her eighth victory of the year, or for those who like their news with a lyrical bent, ocho for Ochoa. It has been a long, productive year.

"It's time to go home," Ochoa said.

As further testament to her emergence, the tour is doing likewise with its events. Next year, Ochoa will become the second active player to host her own tournament, one of a trio of events scheduled in Mexico in 2008. In 2004, there were nada.

Not that pesos are the best yardstick of success, since the purses only continue to head north, but Ochoa obliterated the old earnings mark, set by Annika Sorenstam during her 11-win season in 2002, by $1.5 million. She finished the season with $4,364,994, roughly 2½ times what runner-up Suzann Pettersen took home.

"It's been amazing from the start to the end," Ochoa said.

Saturday
Nov172007

"I'm not Rain Man, so I wasn't able to calculate whether it was actually $1 million"

ADTFinal8Halleran_600x450.jpgDoug Ferguson seems to be warming to the ADT Championship, which again proved incredibly compelling. It doesn't hurt that Sunday's final 8 chasing $1 million includes Ochoa, Webb, Creamer, Kerr, Gulbis, Mi Hyun Kim, Sarah Lee and the charismatic Christina Kim.

Especially impressive is how well the LPGA seems organized when it comes time for the sudden death playoffs, starting them on the 17th hole as soon as the last group is in.

Another nice touch is the $1 million in cash sitting by the 18th green (pictured, left, courtesy of golf.com).

Kim was asked about it:

As if they needed additional pressure, the LPGA Tour placed $1 million cash -- or what looked like it, anyway -- in a glass case with a big lock and big bodyguard nearby, a reminder of what's at stake.

"I'm not Rain Man, so I wasn't able to calculate whether it was actually $1 million," Kim said. "You always see in the movies they've got the $1 million, and it's a very think briefcase. I don't know. Maybe there's just a lot of air packed in there. It's awesome."

Saturday
Nov172007

Second Stage Roundup

Rex Hoggard does a nice job summarizing who made it and who missed at PGA Tour Qualifying School.

Friday
Nov162007

ADT Day Two Roundup

Ron Sirak reports on the ADT Championship's exciting Friday cut that included a Gulbis-Sorenstam-Miyazato playoff and now a clean slate for tomorrow's round of 16. Sirak writes:
Unlike the FedEx Cup, which extends playoff drama over four weeks, the ADT Championship compresses it into four days. There are some players -- make that quite a few players -- who don't like the $900,000 difference between first and second place, feeling that is too severe of a punishment for what could be a one-stroke loss. But it is exactly that drama that gives this event its identity.

While it seems odd that the goal of the first two days is to finish 16th and Saturday's mission is to be no worse that eighth, that's part of the charm of this tournament. And with the quality of the players that advanced, it seems certain that Sunday will be a scintillating shootout for a million bucks.
Meanwhile Greg Stoda misses the point of the ADT and laments the entire thing, longing for rewards to those who play well along the way.

Friday
Nov162007

Where's Marty Hackel When You Need Him, ADT Championship Edition?

Mi Hyun Kim probably could have lost the ear muffs for this interview. Where's the LPGA brand team monitoring their own  product to prevent fashion boondoggles like this?

mihyunkim.jpg 

Friday
Nov162007

"I believe the commissioner mis-spoke"

Shocking as it may seem, apparently the Brand Lady was not entirely accurate in her Wednesday remarks about control of the ADT Championship's television production. Craig Dolch reports:

Who's calling TV shots?: When LPGA Tour Commissioner Carolyn Bivens said Wednesday that for the first time her tour would be producing all nine hours of television for this week's ADT Championship, that was news to NBC Sports executives. Especially executive producers Tommy Roy and Tom Randolph.

"We are doing the production of everything," Bivens said. "That means we are covering the nine hours of this tournament. We've worked in combination with the Golf Channel and with NBC, but for the first time the LPGA will be guiding what is seen on television."

Jon Miller, executive vice president of NBC sports, said Thursday that's not the case.

"I believe the commisisoner mis-spoke," Miller said. "They are producing some of the below-the-lines aspects of the telecast on site and the LPGA did oversee the productions of some vignettes on some players.

"But clearly the television you see this week, the guys calling the shots and having the final say will be Tom Randolph (Thursday-through-Saturday on Golf Channel) and Tommy Roy (Sunday on NBC). No golf ever goes on air of our 29 golf telecasts without our executive producers doing the producing."


Friday
Nov162007

To The Far Hills Affiliates...

...I'm wondering if you are still able to read this site? I understand that in rapid response to dreadful events from earlier this century, the webmasters have finally gotten around to restricting USGA staff access to MySpace, YouTube videos and some blogs.

While traffic from the greater Far Hills area has remained steady here, I am curious if this web site made the, uh, cut? 

Friday
Nov162007

Turfnet Print Edition Folds

Brad Klein reports that publication formerly known as Superintendent News will continue exclusively online.

 

Friday
Nov162007

“The classic model of houses ringing a golf course is dying"

16golf600.1.jpgSallie Brady of the New York Times looks at emerging trends in golf course housing development and lists some of the cutting edge communities of note.

Got to love the frank lede:

There's never been anything terribly sexy about living in a golf community. Imagine cookie-cutter spec homes dotting yet another dull par 4 in Myrtle Beach, and you get the picture. Even if you like the game and are in the market for a vacation home, you may never have considered buying in one of these old-style resorts.

Fast forward...

“The classic model of houses ringing a golf course is dying,” said John Kirk, an architect with the New York firm Cooper Robertson & Partners, who designed homes at WaterSound, a beachside golf community in the Florida panhandle. “Instead the golf course is like a big public green,” he said, adding that “people want to be able to walk to the post office or to get their morning coffee.”

Vacation home buyers continue to get younger — a median age of 47 in 2006, down from 52 in 2005, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors — as more families move in next to the retirees at golf communities. Developers have responded by offering more design options, holiday kids’ clubs and summer camps, and myriad recreational activities beyond the driving range.

But the question is whether there are enough buyers for these new golf retreats. “The long-term demographics are favorable,” said Walter Molony, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors. “It would not be surprising if we saw the vacation market hold its own while the rest of the market declines.”


Thursday
Nov152007

"Somebody's built a better mousetrap already."

Okay, the George O'Grady line about testing Tiger first and if he's clean, why does it matter, was cute. One of those fun comments that seems so clever at the time, and upon further reflection, remarkably short-sighted.

Sadly, Jim Litke of AP (who normally gets it right) takes the bait again in wheeling out the tired argument that pro golfers are God's gift to integrity because they call penalties on themselves, therefore, they would never pop a pill or light up a joint. And furthermore, there really aren't that many benefits to using performance enhancing drugs in golf.

I'm going to get political for a moment, so you know where to send your hate mail.

Climate change. Let's assume cynics are right and it's all a bunch of malarkey. Yet, the only people against adopting cleaner energy to help with the problem and perhaps even make it harder for our friends in Dubai to build another mile long shopping center, are those who stand to benefit from the status quo. To a majority of folks, cleaner energy is both a common sense solution to the problem and simply the right thing to do.

Now, if the folks in professional golf love children as much as they claim, isn't drug testing the right thing to do if you want to deter kids from using potentially harmful performance enhancing drugs, even if everyone on the PGA Tour is clean as a whistle and always has been? 

I continue to be amazed that in debating this issue, the notion of discouraging the next generation from harming themselves consistently gets missed.  

Thursday
Nov152007

ADT Day One Casualties

Doug Ferguson's game story from day one of the ADT Championship illustrates all of the fantastic dynamics involved in this unique format. For those of you not familiar, Friday sees the field cut to 16, Saturday starts with a clean slate that cuts to 8 and Sunday is one more clean slate with $1 million on the line.

Thursday
Nov152007

Gulbis Never Intended To Be Anything But Totally Hot

Brian Hewitt reports that Natalie Gulbis' rebranding reps deny ever telling Jeffrey Smith that she was going to be turning in her G-strings for slacks.

It was reported in this space last week that Natalie Gulbis and her representatives were unhappy about a story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch saying, among other things, that Gulbis was changing her image. The newspaper based much of its story on quotes from a Gulbis marketing representative.
 
A spokesperson for Gulbis subsequently told GOLF CHANNEL that Gulbis was not re-branding and that the newspaper had gotten the story wrong.
 
For the record, the Times-Dispatch says it has a tape recording of the interview with the Gulbis marketing representative and stands by its original story.

Stay tuned! 

Thursday
Nov152007

Turnberry Up For Sale

This has to be the most tortured way of saying the 2009 Open site can be yours for £100m...

Yesterday, a spokeswoman said: "In line with Starwood's asset strategy, the Westin Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire, has taken the decision to source an investment partner to realise the development potential of the resort, where there are 300 acres of undeveloped land."

Thanks to reader Ed for this story. 

Thursday
Nov152007

“Maybe 20 million isn’t so much after all.”

Brian Hewitt scored an exclusive "one-on-one" with the PGA Tour Commish and as you can see by the breadth and length of the Finchem quotes, it probably occurred when they ran into each other at the World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony buffet line. One fun highlight pertaining to Lawrence Donegan's Dubai-$20-million-purse exclusive from last week:
Regardless, $20 million is a staggering sum to play for in one week. “The world of golf’s going to change massively in the next few years,” said one highly-placed European source with knowledge of the Dubai deal.
 
But maybe $20 million is not so staggering when you consider that the six gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have made a reported $1.5 trillion from oil in the last four years. That’s $1.5 trillion as in a 15 followed by 11 zeroes.
 
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said he was “delighted” at the reported size of the purse because, he said, the compensation levels for the world’s top golfers still “trail” those of athletes in the major team sports.
 
As to the $1.5 trillion figure, Finchem cracked, “maybe 20 million isn’t so much after all.”