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  • 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

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


    

Friday
Feb082008

"This is a course we can almost set up like a British Open. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it."

Steve Elling talks to Mike Davis about the selection of Chambers Bay. Lots of interesting stuff here, including comments from Ron Whitten, but the quotes about Chambers stand out:

 "We get calls all the time about places that think they might be a potential U.S. Open site," Davis said Friday. "When I got there, it was, like, 'Holy cow.' My jaw dropped. It was beyond spectacular."
And this ought to be neat... 
"There is no question, sometimes we have been a little cookie-cutter with regard to the set-up," Davis said. "This is a course we can almost set up like a British Open. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it."


Friday
Feb082008

Bobby Gets A U.S. Open Before Rees!

chambers03.jpgBradley Klein reports that the awarding of Chambers Bay near Tacoma makes it three muni's in the unofficial U.S. Open rota. Hopefully by 2015 the weird Close Encounters of the Third Kind dunes scraping look will have disappeared. Chambers also gets the 2010 U.S. Amateur.

More interesting is that Robert Trent Jones gets a U.S. Open awarded to one of his original designs before brother Rees. That ought to spice up an already heartwarming feud!  (Even though we all know Bruce Charlton and Jay Blasi did the real work on Chambers Bay, it's still going to enhance the brotherly dynamic.)

Also intriguing is the news in the press release print that Erin Hills gets the 2011 U.S. Amateur, which surprised me because only recently I've heard from USGAers that the course needed a lot of work before they would award a big prize there. So either the course will see some big changes, or the U.S. Amateur isn't a "big prize."

Here's the full release, which oddly is not up at USGA.org yet *now posted (but annoying videos that play unprompted now are!):

USGA AWARDS 2015 U.S. OPEN, 2010 U.S. AMATEUR
TO CHAMBERS BAY IN WASHINGTON STATE AND 2011 U.S. AMATEUR TO ERIN HILLS GOLF COURSE IN WISCONSIN
 
Far Hills, N.J. (Feb. 8) – The United States Golf Association has announced that it has awarded the 2015 U.S. Open Championship to Chambers Bay, the spectacular municipal links course located on the scenic lower Puget Sound in University Place, Wash.
          
The USGA also announced that Chambers Bay, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Bruce Charleton, will play host to the U.S. Amateur Championship in 2010.
 
Chambers Bay will be the third municipal course to play host to the U.S. Open, following Bethpage Black in New York (2002, 2009) and Torrey Pines in California later this year.  Chambers Bay will be the first golf course in the Pacific Northwest to hold the U.S. Open.
 
"We are excited to take the U.S. Open Championship and the U.S. Amateur to such an awesome site,” said Jim Hyler, chairman of the USGA Championship Committee. “This is the first time the U.S. Open has been to Washington and we are confident that the golf course will provide a challenging test for the best players in the world, as well as a great spectator experience for those who attend the event and watch it online and on television.
 
“The local leadership provided by Pierce County has been superb and we look forward to partnering with them and the great sports fans in Washington to host a truly unique Open Championship. And, the U.S. Amateur will give us great insight into the golf course architecture and championship setup. For the first time, the National Open will be played on fine fescue grasses, including the putting greens,” continued Hyler.
 
Chambers Bay, opened in June 2007, is the centerpiece of a 930-acre park purchased by Pierce County, Wash., in 1992 that today features scenic trails and coastline vistas where a sand and gravel quarry once stood.
 
“Our hard work has paid off as we have done everything possible to attract the attention of a prestigious championship,” said Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. “Even so, we never dreamed we’d be chosen by the USGA to host both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open championships. Especially not so close to the opening of the course. It is a true honor.”
 
“Chambers Bay golf course is a jewel for the entire state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest,” said Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire. “The U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur Championships will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase the natural beauty of our state and share it with golf enthusiasts from around the globe. I applaud County Executive John Ladenburg for his hard work on delivering the championship events to Pierce County.”
 
The USGA also announced that Erin Hills Golf Course in Wisconsin will play host to the 2011 U.S. Amateur. Erin Hills is located in Hartford, Wis., about 30 minutes northwest of Milwaukee, and is also home to the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2008 – a USGA championship awarded to Erin Hills before the golf course had opened in 2006.
 
Erin Hills is a links-style championship course designed by Mike Hurdzan and Dana Fry of Hurdzan-Fry Architects, and Ron Whitten, Architecture Editor of Golf Digest magazine. Golf Magazine named Erin Hills its Best New Golf Course in January 2007.
 
“Erin Hills is a wonderfully unique golf course that really takes a minimalist approach to the golf course design and architecture,” Hyler said. “The course is cleverly routed on a great piece of golf landscape. The venue will be a terrific test for the competitors in the U.S. Amateur.”
 
“On behalf of the entire state of Wisconsin, we look forward to the incredible opportunity to host the 2011 U.S. Amateur at Erin Hills Golf Course,” said Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle. “As a public course open to all, Erin Hills fulfills the USGA promise and is a world-class facility that showcases Wisconsin’s future as a premier golf destination.”
 
“Everyone associated with the journey of Erin Hills is pleased and we look forward to the unique opportunity to host the 2011 U.S. Amateur,” said Bob Lang, owner of Erin Hills.
 
The awarding of championships to Chambers Bay and Erin Hills was approved by the USGA Executive Committee at its Annual Meeting in Houston. The formal approval of all three championships is pending contractual agreement. 
 

Thursday
Feb072008

Undisputed Evidence That IMG Overworks Its Clients

Thanks to reader NRH for finding this Yahoo golf page shot of new IMG client Natalie Gulbis continuing her rebranding by appearing fully clothed while looping for IMG owner Teddy Forstmann.

capt.5e32f8fd37094c7bacaad546dc863061.pebble_beach_golf_caer116.jpg 

Thursday
Feb072008

"That process could nullify Callaway's victory."

Golf Digest has moved Banal and Gawky's online shtik to the print edition where in the March issue they pretend to argue in cutesy fashion over issues. Their first conversation went nowhere over USGA ball testing, but this bit on the Pro V1 lawsuit was interesting related to the prospects of Callaway landing a big award from Acushnet, even if I don't really understand what this patent laws stuff is about:
Nearly two years ago, Callaway Golf sued Acushnet (parent of Titleist) in U.S. District Court in Delaware, claiming the company's Pro V1 infringed on its patented golf-ball technology (patents that Callaway acquired when it purchased Top-Flite in 2003). In December, a jury found in favor of Callaway. Now the company wants monetary damages and an injunction against sales of the Pro V1. The case is intriguing not just because it went to trial and ball category leader Titleist lost. The court's ruling contradicts U.S. Patent and Trademark Office actions, which initially found the disputed patents invalid and during an ongoing review again has found one patent invalid. That process could nullify Callaway's victory.

"I'm sure there's a constitutional law professor scratching his head wondering how this will play out," says David Dawsey, a patent attorney in Columbus, Ohio, and founder of the website golf-patents.com. "Both sides know the risks. It wouldn't surprise me if Callaway discounted what it perceives to be its value in this case by 50 percent [settles the case], knowing the patents could be declared invalid. Acushnet knows it faces the potential for a huge damage award. But there's really no predicting it."

Thursday
Feb072008

Atwal Might Want To Stay In India After All

Steve Elling reports that Florida Highway Patrol investigators have recommended that Arjun Atwal, currently making a return to his home country for this week's European Tour event, be charged with vehicular homicide for his role in a fatal car accident.

Thursday
Feb072008

Nuts!

35316392.jpgToday's L.A. Times Page One column features an extensive Paul Lieberman story on what it takes to be a Golf Nut of the Year.

Thursday
Feb072008

Woods To Pass On Riviera; No Word Yet On Whether He Will Spend The Week Filming FedEx Cup Ads

Thomas Bonk reports in the L.A. Times the not-too-surprising news. You may recall last year that Woods chose not to play because he had made plans for the week.

Wednesday
Feb062008

"Staking your claim to 'one of the best TPCs out there,' is akin to being the most honest used-car salesman on the lot."

Rex Hoggard says that being on Tiger's pass list of tournaments doesn't equal a death sentence, pointing to creative, atmospheric events like at Scottsdale and Connecticut as prime examples of great tournaments making do.

“We would love to have Tiger and Phil,” said Nathan Grube, the Travelers Championship tournament director. “But we didn’t have Tiger and Phil last year and our charity dollars doubled. There are lot of different matrixes to measure success.”“The players will say it’s one of the best TPCs out there,” Grube said of TPC River Highlands.

Staking your claim to “one of the best TPCs out there,” is akin to being the most honest used-car salesman on the lot.

But you have to give Grube credit. In 1998, Pete Dye and Bobby Weed gave River Highlands an impressive nip and tuck, and officials further sweetened the pot with a 22-acre, state-of-the-art, $4.5 million practice facility. They had Vijay Singh at 22 acres.

The new and improved Travelers, which for nearly 40 years answered to the name Hartford Open, moved to a more family friendly slot on the calendar, treated the players who did show like kings and enjoyed what could arguably be 2007’s best Sunday shootout (between Hunter Mahan and Jay Williamson).

But maybe the best matrix to measure the Travelers’ success was at the turnstile, where ticket sales tripled in 2007.

The math is simple enough. If Woods continues to average 18 events per year, that means some 30 stops will enjoy something less than a must-see tee sheet.

The off-Broadway events can wave the “Where’s Woods?” flag like Vickers, or they can make lemonade out of their scheduling lemons, like Grube.

Wednesday
Feb062008

Shark: I Still Don't Like What Tim's Done With My Idea

Mark Lamport Stokes reports that like just about everyone else on the planet, Greg Norman isn't too wild about the direction the WGC events have headed.

"I am very disappointed with it," Australian Norman, 52, told reporters during preparations for Thursday's opening round at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

"I felt that the whole concept was a fair concept. It obviously was, or it wouldn't have been picked up and run with on another level.

"At the end of the day, my priority is the game of golf and hopefully we'll be able to get a true World Tour one day because then we can all share.

"Golf is a truly international game and we've been represented by great players on just about every continent on this planet," added Norman, who was a leading proponent of a global golf tour in the early 1990s.

"I always wanted to make sure that the general public and the other 24 million golfers had an opportunity to see the best players in certain locations around the world.

"We play all over the world, so it (a World Tour) does fit, it really does."

And hard to disagree with this as well... 
"There's a new direction on the European Tour where they actually start thinking about doing a global approach to the game to have an ultimate goal, which is the Road to Dubai."
Wednesday
Feb062008

Phil Inks Hat Deal So We Don't Have To Keep Wondering When He's Going To Get A Haircut

NYW124Going back to his roots with KPMG, Phil Mickelson vetted the tax-shelter fraud specialists before signing a three year deal.

“I’m equally proud to join with KPMG,” said Mickelson.  “After talking to its leadership, I came away convinced that KPMG is passionately focused on ‘being the best,’ through building a culture based on professionalism and integrity.  It’s that culture and the shared passion to be the best that drew me to this relationship. I’ll be bringing everything that I can to our relationship, both on and off the golf course. I want to be sure that KPMG, its partners, its professionals and its clients enjoy the full benefit of our relationship.”
“Phil commands a great deal of respect around the world and shares our dedication to giving back to the community, with a particular focus on education and improving the lives of children,” Flynn said. “And we are in good company when it comes to other companies that are associated with Phil – Rolex, Callaway and ExxonMobil.”
As part of his agreement, Mickelson will be available to appear at an agreed-upon number of KPMG-sponsored marketing events, client meetings and local office events, as well as advertising opportunities.

Oh yeah, he's going to earn his money. 

Wednesday
Feb062008

Membership Has Its Privileges...Redux

2008TorreyLogo.jpgReader Scott noticed this legitimate benefit of USGA membership (2008 U.S. Open tickets available), unlike the one we learned about earlier this week.


Wednesday
Feb062008

To The Linksland

425-LONG_WALK_CLARK_2a.embedded.prod_affiliate.57.jpgRon Green Jr. profiles David Clark, who returns to the linksland to remember his late daughter.

Wednesday
Feb062008

"But there are so many to choose from."

golfx.jpgThanks to reader Steve for this interesting Jerry Potter chat with Padraig Harrington about his thought process in selecting where he will play.

Harrington chooses based on whether he enjoys the event, and how it prepares him for a major. He says it is best for him to play just two events in a row leading into a major.

The March 20-23 CA Championship at Doral falls three weeks before The Masters. Harrington plans to play the two leading into Augusta National — the Zurich Classic near New Orleans and the Shell Houston Open.

"Maybe if there were half the number of tournaments, then they would be special," Harrington said. "But there are so many to choose from."

It is rather amazing that the purse amount means so little anymore. Of course, knowing that players go where they are treated well and the course is good makes you wonder how so many tournaments end up on mediocre courses.

Wednesday
Feb062008

Flash: They Don't Eat Monkey Brains In India!

monkey-brains.jpgArjun Atwal, talking to the media in India, site of this week's European Tour event:
Asked what sort of questions he gets asked by American players, Atwal replied: “Just generally, people who know India through Indiana Jones think we eat monkey brains, stuff like that. You’d be amazed.

“Guys like Tiger, they know everything about what’s going on in India and Asia. So I’m not generalising — there are quite a few guys who do know, as well.”

Meanwhile Golfweek's Alistair Tait probably wishes he was in Pebble Beach this week based on this assessment of life in New Dehli.

Tuesday
Feb052008

"Not a [bleeping] chance"

Bob Verdi's FBR Open Golf World game story features a couple of intriguing items. The first relates to the new cut rule:

The world's No. 2 golfer is precisely the type of marquee name who would be welcomed by a smattering of peers disgruntled about working conditions: specifically the new cut rule and the drug policy to be instituted July 1. But whether Mickelson would expend any energy on any form of a movement by labor against the tour's authority or administration is unclear. In fact, when Mickelson was asked to touch on reported grumbling among peers, he indicated he did not have sufficient information on the subject.

If one were to estimate the number of golfers sufficiently vexed to ponder action via an association, the hunch would be more than a few but fewer than enough. "About 30," said one player. But 30 guys banging their fists doesn't make for much noise, especially if the stars aren't aligned, and the proletariat isn't receiving much encouragment from the penthouse. In San Diego, for instance, Tiger Woods was asked about unrest over the controversial new cut policy (known as "Rule 78"). "Play better," he said. That doesn't provide much ammunition for the agents of change.

This is even more fascinating related to drug testing: 
But it also doesn't mean Woods would feel any different than a lot of players about a scenario whereby they would have to provide urine samples with an inspector in the same room. "Not a [bleeping] chance," promised Vijay Singh.

Am I reading that right? Vijay Singh is not too excited about playing by the rules? Now, I thought golfers would never use stuff because they were honorable, upstanding, rule-abiding, eh...

Concluded Tim Herron, "We need an association." He added, however, that the means toward that end requires a certain consensus among independent contractors with differing agendas. Meanwhile, at least one tour player has contacted a legal eagle about representing a group of the disenchanted. Ten years ago, there was an effort to organize a Tour Players Association, but it enjoyed a very short shelf life. Whatever happens, David Toms, one of four player directors on the PGA Tour Policy Board, supposes the next meeting will be "lively."

Wow, these guys really don't want to be tested.  

So much for the Tour's spin that the media will focus on the one positive test and ignore the fact that the rest are all clean.

If they resist testing, the media will be the least of the PGA Tour's concerns.

Tuesday
Feb052008

Previewing This Week's Events...

...Daniel Wexler does a nice job setting up this week's tournaments along with all of the relevant links. I love the links to the course aerial images, which this week come in extra handy if you're looking for that hidden design genius at Poppy Hills. Let me know when you find it.

Tuesday
Feb052008

B-Listers, CEO's Will Continue To Aid In AT&T Brand Messaging Through 2014

...

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Set to Continue Through 2014

Title Sponsorship Agreement Provides AT&T the Opportunity to Deliver Brand Messaging to 500 Million Households in 200 Countries

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 5, 2008 — AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), the PGA TOUR and Monterey Peninsula Foundation Inc. today announced that AT&T has extended the title sponsorship of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, one of the nation’s premier golf tournaments, through 2014. AT&T has been the title sponsor of the tournament since 1986. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which will be held Feb. 4 – 10, 2008, provides AT&T with a unique platform to showcase products and services to a worldwide audience. As the title sponsor, AT&T will receive benefits, including:


Exclusive naming rights. AT&T will remain the exclusive title sponsor of the event through the 2014 tournament.

Promotional Benefits. For each of the next six years, AT&T will receive on-site benefits, including name and/or logo placement on scoreboards, caddie bibs, tee markers, pin flags, tee back signage and the official tournament trophy; advertising in the tournament program and on daily pairings sheet and event tickets; and involvement in all press conferences and media events. In addition, the company will receive in-market promotional rights and technology integration throughout the tournament.

Media Exposure. AT&T will receive significant title sponsor branding within network and cable broadcasts, promotional spots and news coverage. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am will be broadcast to more than 500 million households in more than 200 countries.

The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is one of several golf tournaments sponsored by AT&T; others include the Masters Tournament and the AT&T National, hosted by Tiger Woods.

AT&T Masters? I didn't get that press release. Here I was just thinking they had the privilege of buying ad time on the Masters.

Tuesday
Feb052008

Taking Dead Aim At...The Green!

Note where J.B. Holmes is aiming in relation to the actual fairway bunker scheme created by Weiskopf and Morrish. He's teeing off Sunday on TPC Scottsdale's 18th in this Patrick Hagerty image, lifted from the latest Golf World:

gwar01_080208holmes.jpg

Tuesday
Feb052008

"The Americans on the PGA Tour seem to have given up"

From John Huggan's Golf World game story:

"The Americans on the PGA Tour seem to have given up," said one high-profile European on the eve of the 13-time major champion's now anual pilgrimage to the Dubai Desert Classic. "Look at the Buick [two weeks ago]. All Tiger has to do is turn up, give them a stare and they drop down dead at his feet. At least over here we take him on and give him a game. I mean, what have you really got to lose? You might as well go for it."

That's right, you guys give him a game before you fold like accordians. 

Tuesday
Feb052008

Gulbis Rebranding Commences With Exclusive Images Appearing Intensely Bored At New York Fashion Shows

feb4_gulbisfer_400x600.jpgFirst we learned she was going to lose the G-strings, then she said it was never her intention to deprive us of those irresistable anklet sock tan lines and then she fired her agent to assure us that such a scare would never happen again.

Yet in this lame-beyond-belief, page-view generating SI/golf.com slideshow, Jeff Zelevanksy follows Natalie Gulbis around New York's fashion scene where we see two sides of her: bored beyond belief and intensely glazed over while seated amongst life-like manneqins and the freaky fashion industry elite.

Oh, and all while fully clothed.

Sure looks to me like the rebranding has begun. Say it ain't so Natalie!