Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
    Sports Media Group
  • 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
  • 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
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford

The player is tempted to try either to carry or to skirt a bunker. He is offered a reward for success and a penalty for failure. It is evident, however, that the reward and the penalty should bear a due proportion to one another. If the penalty is unduly severe, few players will feel tempted to take the risk; while if the penalty is almost negligible, no daring will be required and no thrill will be experienced. H.S. COLT

 

  

Monday
Nov092009

"I suggested to Tiger several months ago that now he's in the golf course design business that maybe he bring one of his guys down here to take a look"

There seems to be no shortage of talk about Tiger's appearance fee in Australia and a calculated effort to spin it as a chance for him to brush up on his design expertise, not for the $3 million he's reportedly receiving.

Mark Hayes and Michael Warner in the Herald Sun talked to Sunshine Stevie Williams and lived to write about it:

The golfing superstar was holed up inside his luxury Southbank hotel suite, but continued his pre-Masters reconnaissance mission by sending his caddie to inspect the course.

Steve Williams spent two hours recording distances on all 18 holes in a sign his boss is determined to earn his giant $3 million pay packet.

"I suggested to Tiger several months ago that now he's in the golf course design business that maybe he bring one of his guys down here to take a look," Williams revealed.

"And he's done that, because in such a small, concentrated area, you've got some of the best courses in the world. The design and the bunkering on this course is unique and very, very good.

"I'm sure he (Tiger) will be looking at it tomorrow."

Now, if he goes to see some other courses in his spare time like Crenshaw would, then we'll know he really is serious about this design stuff.

Meanwhile on the appearance fee, Peter Stone opened his story today with this anecdote:

TIGER WOODS is relentless in his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's record 18 major victories - with just four left to equal the Golden Bear. So, with a sense of mischief, let's suggest another way he could emulate the great Nicklaus.

We'll go back to the 1975 Australian Open, the first of four opens sponsored by the late Kerry Packer at The Australian, when Nicklaus headlined the field for a modest appearance fee.

Like Woods, Nicklaus was undisputed world No.1 at the time. Nicklaus asked Packer what prizemoney was on offer that week and, when told, Nicklaus immediately added his fee to the purse, which brought total prizemoney to $35,000.

So began the Packer/Nicklaus solution to appearance money. In following years, each invited player was paid $6000 and, in 1976, total prizemoney was lifted to $200,000.

This week, the Australian Masters purse is $1.5 million and Woods is reportedly receiving a $US3m ($3.3m) appearance fee.

Would Woods do the same as Nicklaus this week? Dream on.

But most of the fretting over the amount looks like it'll prove futile, because as Steve Elling notes, the event is looking like a hit, no thanks to Greg Norman:

But hand it to the Aussies, they had not seen Woods in 11 years, and he once again proved to be the game's ultimate show pony. Officials reported selling all 100,000 tickets (capped at $44 Australian dollars per round) for the week, and presumably, the Victorian government has a chance of finishing in the black once all the hotel stays, car rentals and incidentals are tolled. By the way, the tax hit in Australia is a shade under 50 percent in this bracket, so Woods will be contributing to the Oz coffers himself, too. Ah, economics in the 21st century, huh?

And judging by Patrick Smith's cranky reaction, someone in IMG's PR department has done a fine job overprepping the media for Tiger's arrival.

The reaction it must be said was childish and so fevered that normally sensible people lost the plot. Helicopters chopped above Essendon Airport, TV cameras covered this angle, that angle. Print journalists jotted down his every move. Even moves he might have made but didn't.
When he set his left foot on the tarmac, the world's greatest golfer said: "This is one small step for Tiger, one giant leap for golf". Or apparently words to that effect. Tiger's entourage is apparently colour-coded to make it easier to control them. It was noted who went into the different-coloured cars. Even the luggage van was described to radio listeners.

Monday
Nov092009

"I know the Tour has been sticking its nose into that as far as it possibly could"

The new Global Golf Post weekly digital magazine debuted today and included a couple of stories from Mike Purkey and Len Shapiro on the latest Olympic golf course design gig-chase. Based on the tone of the quotes in Shapiro's piece, I think we can cross Tom Doak off the list if the PGA Tour gets involved:

Certainly that's always been the PGA Tour model with its network of TPC courses, and Commissioner Tim Finchem even now has to be exploring ways his organization can also profit from Olympic golf. Some speculate he'd love to add to the current total of 19 TPC facilities (with licenses to name 12 more), and TPC Rio does have a nice ring to it.

"I know the Tour has been sticking its nose into that as far as it possibly could," said architect Tom Doak. "They're probably thinking it should be a TPC course. That would make sense to them. But their typical deal is to partner up with a developer that's already doing something, not to go develop something themselves. They don't take those kinds of risks.

"They want to be involved for sure, but it's still not their money. It's usually their decision who designs it to the extent they feel they can leverage the guy with the money, saying they'll only do it if one of these guys designs it. If they really want in there, they're probably going to be throwing their chips in with whoever looks like the leader."

Monday
Nov092009

Dottie Pepper Wants To Spend More Time Away From Brian Hammond

Jim McCabe notes Pepper's decision to step down from her Golf Channel duties and while she'll be missed during their major championship coverage, a commenter on the Golfweek notes that on the eve of the new LPGA television contract with Golf Channel, "the LPGA really needs her and good announcing now more than ever."

Sunday
Nov082009

Is Tiger Woods Still The Zenyatta Of Golf?

When Zenyatta proved Saturday that she's the Tiger Woods of race horses, it was only natural to see Tiger to stop toying with the elite HSBC Champions field and put them away with one of his trademark rise-to-the-occasion finishes.

Befitting his frustrating 2009 season, he failed.

It's been easy to resist joining the growing chorus suggesting the Tiger Woods aura has disappeared after his no-win 2009 major championship run. And yes, we're talking about the HSBC Champions with cell phones going off, cameras clicking on backswings and at the end of a long year with the next major six months away. Not exactly an ideal barometer of Tiger's future. It's always been amazing how consistently he brings his best to even meaningless events.

However, the site of so many oddball shots combined with the mostly outstanding final day play--sans a Mickelson wedge whiff and an Els hybrid whiff--makes it reasonable to wonder if the Tiger-is-unbeatable-aura has ended?

Tim Rosaforte says no big deal, Tiger has a few kinks to work out and it all adds up to a potentially epic year in 2010:

Tiger will process all this and come out in 2010 a better player, because that is his creed. But this run by Mickelson is more than just a two-month hot streak while Tiger fights his putter and shakes off the final pieces of rust. This is enough of a competitive message that the 2010 season, with majors at Augusta, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and Whistling Straits, could be epic, should Mickelson and Woods keep on their competitive tracks; and should Els build off his second-place finish in China, and not the 5-wood he fatted into the middle of the pond on the 72nd hole.

 But it was hard not to be struck by Peter Dixon's account of the final day and the on-course vibe:

 From the moment that Mickelson increased his lead with a birdie at the 3rd, things started to go downhill for Woods. The walk to the 4th tee provided a stark contrast. Woods kept his head down while Mickelson, smiling and nodding to the crowds, smacked hands as he went.

And then he slowed down to gather his thoughts. Following behind him was like walking with a boxer to the ring; he was going to make his challenger wait. This, after all, was psychological warfare as much as anything else — not a word was to pass between the two — and within four holes, Woods had gone.

Lorne Rubenstein noted that 2010 has the makings of a great year for Mickelson after his impressive win, but also observes:

Woods was barely off the course in the last round of the HSBC when he was looking forward, rather than backward, and that he just wanted to “get out of here.” Asked if there was anything wrong with his game, he said, “No, just one of those days.”

It was also one of those strange years. Very strange.

And as I knew they would, the SI gang had a few thoughts on the matter:

Shipnuck: Tiger will deservedly be player of the year in '09, but his shocking stumble out of the gate in Shanghai — ball in the water, flubbed chips, 4 over on the first 7 holes — is of a piece with his Sunday meltdown at the PGA, the missed putt on the last hole at Liberty National and the Sunday beatdown Phil administered at the Tour Championship. When it comes to Tiger, Phil has never felt this emboldened, and I'm guessing he's not alone.

And...

Morfit: You have to admit Tiger hasn't looked like Tiger lately. No majors in 2009 is not a huge deal, but the way Yang reeled him in at the PGA, the way he failed to make the big putt at Liberty, the way he backed into the FedEx Cup title, the way he took himself out of contention on the front nine at HSBC — uh, excuse me, my regular Tiger Woods has been replaced by Folgers crystals.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: The players are still in shock over the PGA, more in shock that Tiger didn't make that putt Sunday on 18 at the Barclays, and now this? It's a brand new day.

Saturday
Nov072009

"Think of the fun you would have, shaping shots to fit the contours of the land instead of mindlessly blasting away."

John Huggan offers nine ways Tiger Woods could improve. I'm partial to these two:

5. Use persimmon woods
Again, like the one-trip-a-year thing, you wouldn't have to do this too often. But my goodness it would be fun to see you taking on technology in such an overt way. Think of the fun you would have, shaping shots to fit the contours of the land instead of mindlessly blasting away.

6. Speak out more
Like everyone else who has been to even one of your press conferences, I'm bored to tears listening to you trot out the same old, trite phrases. You seem to think it is clever to give nothing away, but if I hear you say, "it is what it is," or "this course is all there in front of you" even one more time I will run screaming from the media centre. It isn't as if you have to be that controversial; I'd settle for interesting. So let's hear what you really think of the terribly predictable way tour courses are set up these days. Let's hear how you feel about the way modern technology has all but destroyed creativity and imagination at the top end of the game.

Saturday
Nov072009

Tiger And Phil In Last Group

First time since 2005, says Doug Ferguson. Golf Channel provides final round coverage starting at 7 PM Pacific.

Friday
Nov062009

Sharp Park Survives First Major Hurdle

Thanks to reader Dean for Rachel Gordon's SF Insider blog entry on the SF Park and Recreation report release (Friday-at-6:30 pm!!) recommending the salvation of Sharp Park as an 18-hole course, with some pricey design changes to accommodate the endangered species.

The entire report can be read here.

Friday
Nov062009

"Practice what you preach"

Hard as it is to believe, but someone is calling Gary Player out for not practing what he preaches. Shocking, I know. From Grahame Jones in the LA Times, writing about Gary Player hanging at Santa Anita's Clocker's Corner after receiving some sort of Breeder's Cup award.

"I'm a horse nut, so I come and see this every year," Player, who turned 74 on Sunday, said of the Breeders' Cup, whose 14 races take place today and Saturday in Arcadia. "All the best horses are here."

Player knows a thing or two about thoroughbreds.

"I just bred the best filly in our country, Lady Windermere," he said. "That happens once in a lifetime. She's won two Grade 1 races already. So it's big thrill."

Player, winner of nine major golf championships, not to mention owner of a 20,000-acre spread, including a stud farm, in South Africa, was presented with a bit of crystal by the Breeders' Cup folk in honor of his sporting achievements.

He also was presented with a blunt reality check.

After Player told onlookers the owners of top horses have an obligation not to duck the Breeders' Cup, he ran into Chip Woolley, the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.

"Practice what you preach," Woolley tersely told Player, noting Lady Windermere's absence from Arcadia.

 

Thursday
Nov052009

"Researchers found that golfers could reduce their handicap after a few months of using a night-time device that provides nasal positive airway pressure"

From The Irish Times...not The Onion:

GOLF: GOLFERS WITH the night-time breathing disorder obstructive sleep apnea can improve their game and cut their handicap by up to three strokes by treating their sleeping problem, according to a small US study.

Researchers found that golfers could reduce their handicap after a few months of using a night-time device that provides nasal positive airway pressure (NPAP) – a treatment that has been shown effective for curbing sleep apnea.

The study was based on 24 golfers and saw their average handicap fall significantly from 12.4 to 11.0. The effect was even more pronounced in better golfers with a handicap of 12 or under whose average handicap dropped from 9.2 to 6.3.

“The surprise was that the most significant improvement was noted in the lower handicap golfers, many of whom were older,” researcher Dr Marc Benton said.

Benton estimated that there are one to three million regular golfers in the United States who suffer from sleep apnea, and most are undiagnosed or untreated.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which the tissues at the back of the throat temporarily collapse during sleep, causing repeated stops and starts in breathing during the night. This leads to poor-quality sleep and, often, daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and cognitive impairment.

I'm guessing this isn't on the PGA Tour's banned list?

Thursday
Nov052009

Kostis Calls For Purse "Rollback"

Retired Tweeter Peter Kostis has never been a fan of a ball rollback but he believes the PGA Tour should immediately cut all purses 10%, sending five percent of the savings to charity and the other five back to sponsors.

I'm sure the stand-up guy he is, Kostis has offered CBS a similar deal. Cut 10% of his pay and give half to the Les Moonves's bonus fund and the other half back to CBS.

Everyone is down, and spending in golf is seen as a very bad corporate idea when people are being laid off.

We need to have an immediate 10 percent rollback in purse structures. Of that rollback, 5 percent should go to local charities of the event and 5 percent should go back to the sponsor.

The Tour is fond of two words: partners and charity, and both need some help, a lot more than Tiger Woods needs another $10 million. If we can highlight the Tour's good charitable work and make some short-term concessions to the sponsors, then maybe we can change the perception that golf is a rich guy's game isolated from the concerns and problems of regular working people. Because golf is the game of regular working people, as you can see every day at your local muni.

And as a country club member, Peter can attest!

Thursday
Nov052009

"Basically, I got to see Rickie Fowler paraded around like a well-groomed poodle at the Westminster Kennel Club."

It's fun to look at the contrast between the handling of Rickie 2.0 Fowler and Ryan Moore, who both made some news Thursday.

Stephanie Wei files an entertaining account of one of those "only-in-New-York" press junkets that help justify some CMO's overinflated salary. "Let's put him at Chelsea Piers!" "Spectacular idea!"

It was supposed to be “really informal” but after being there for five minutes it was obvious that “really informal” doesn’t exist within the Rickie 2.0 hype machine. Basically, I got to see Rickie Fowler paraded around like a well-groomed poodle at the Westminster Kennel Club.

Last week a PR rep asked me to give the general gist of what I was planning to ask him, so Rickie wouldn’t be caught off guard. Question 1: “Do you have a girlfriend?” PLEASE DO NOT ASK THAT. (But that was conveyed very nicely, of course.) Just “stay away from more personal stuff,” the PR lady explained, unless it “comes up naturally.”

I walked in the top deck of the driving range and I was greeted by the two PR people running the show. Small talk, small talk, nice-to-meet-yous ensued and then came Rickie, who politely introduced himself with a welcoming handshake.

“Hi, I’m Rickie.”

Meanwhile it was announced that the iconoclastic Ryan Moore, who coordinates his own outfits and sponsors himself, has signed a unique deal that will eventually give him a share of Scratch Golf.  Somewhere Jack Nicklaus is screaming to Ryan, "DON'T DO THAT!"

Michael Buteau reports for Bloomberg:

The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based custom clubmaker has an agreement with the 26-year-old Moore, who will use its irons and wedges beginning with this week’s HSBC Champions event in China. Moore, the 2004 U.S. Amateur champion, is tied for second at the World Golf Championship tournament at 6-under-par 66.

With many large club companies, such as Adidas AG’s TaylorMade brand and Callaway Golf Co., cutting back endorsement expenses as consumers reduce spending on leisure activities, Moore’s agreement is unique among professional golfers.

“Ryan is going to end up owning a portion of our company,” Ari Techner, Scratch Golf’s chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview. “This kind of speaks to the type of person he is. He likes to do his own thing.”

Thursday
Nov052009

"The guy in the grandstand basically did a photo sequence. I flinched on it and hit it straight to the right"

I feel like we've done this before...excessive and ill-timed photo taking of Tiger in China. No?

"There's certainly a lot of people out there," said Woods, after shooting a five-under-par 67 to stand three shots behind the early leader, American Nick Watney. "There was a lot of people ... moving and things. We had to stay focused. I think it's a disadvantage because there are so many people with cameras here. The other groups probably don't have to deal with it as much as we do."

Thursday
Nov052009

Taylor Made Appealing USGA Wedge Ruling

Jim Achenbach reports on Taylor Made's struggle to get its "exchangeable face technology" wedges approved by the USGA.

Frankly, I'm just shocked that a wedge where you the owner can easily exchange face plates from conforming to non-conforming grooves would cause a problem. Shocked!

TaylorMade immediately appealed the USGA decision, and chief technical officer Benoit Vincent traveled to USGA headquarters in Far Hills, N.J., in October to present his case. Vincent said he would discuss the wedges after Nov. 9, when a ruling on the appeal is expected.

The wedges, from 50 to 64 degrees, are scheduled for release early next year. A face plate can be removed and replaced in a few minutes, using the same torque wrench designed for TaylorMade drivers.

Equipment appeals are heard three times per year by the USGA, during regularly scheduled meetings of the Executive Committee and the Equipment Standards Committee.

TaylorMade’s argument is simple: Golf club manufacturers are allowed to produce wedges with larger, aggressive grooves during 2010, so TaylorMade should be allowed to sell face plates with the same grooves during the same period.

Thursday
Nov052009

"Sharp Park as golf course is best for everyone"

C.W. Nevius provides another high-profile endorsement for saving MacKenzie's Sharp Park as a golf course as a significant Park and Recreation recommendation for going forward is about to be released.

Thursday
Nov052009

L.A. Loses LPGA Event It Never Hosted To San Diego

Oh I know, it's all Southern California in some eyes, but the J Golf event was clearly announced by the Brand Lady as an LA tournament until event operators IMG apparently wised up and realized that their only option at Industry Hills would be a disaster. Obviously, they didn't take my advice about some other nice venue options.

Jon Show reports that the first J Golf Classic will be played at La Costa, and if you can't see behind the pay window like most of us, Tod Leonard shares some of the details.

Wednesday
Nov042009

Tiger Already Looking Forward To Kingston Heath

I know, I know, the HSBC event comes first and we should be celebrating a World Golf Championship event played outside the U.S. (Joel Shuchman shares some sights and sounds in this PGATour.com story). 

But we're also talking about a country that bans my blog and well, doesn't have a course like Kingston Heath. Which, incidentally, Tiger Woods is pining to play.

"As far as next week, I don't know a lot about the golf course other than the guys have generally said it's either one or two on their list of venues in Melbourne," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting down there for the first time and taking a look at it and seeing how it figures -- how to figure out how best to play the golf course."

He said what he liked best about Melbourne's golf courses was the bunkers, having previously played at the Royal Melbourne and the Huntingdale.

"Of all the courses that I've seen down there in Melbourne, I've always loved bunkering, some of the best bunkering in the world," he said. "From what the guys have said to me, Kingston Heath is no different."

Anticipation of Tiger's appearance may actually help pay off the big appearance fee since the Daily Telegraph reports that crowds up to 100,000 are expected to watch Tiger on big screens set up to help fill demand for the legions that can't get a ticket to Kingston Heath.

And for us here in the States, even better news: Golf Channel will be broadcasting the Australian Masters, starting Wednesday at 10 PM EST.

In other Australian golf news, Greg Norman pulled out of the Australian Open due to issues with his surgically-repaired shoulder.

Wednesday
Nov042009

And Then There Were 13 LPGA Events

Beth Ann Baldry reports that in spite of optimistic statements by LPGA brass in recent weeks, a preliminary 2010 schedule featured only 13 events "named specifically," with holes everywhere else you look.

LPGA officials keep assuring everyone that the 2010 schedule will be better than expected. Of course, they know expectations are extremely low, so it won’t take much to satisfy.

Players received a preliminary schedule awhile back that left more questions than answers. Only 13 tournaments are named specifically. The rest are noted as “On” or “Off” weeks, with three “Asia” tournaments sprinkled in next fall.

The schedule starts in Thailand on Feb. 15 and then goes to Singapore for the HSBC. There’s a three-week break, followed by the J Golf event (San Diego or L.A.?) in the last week of March and the Kraft Nabisco in Palm Desert, Calif.

Sounds like the event targeted for LA may be in San Diego now?

Rumored site Industry Hills does have a way of making people rethink their priorities.

Wednesday
Nov042009

Kim Diagnoses Himself With IMG Scheduling Fatigue

From Shanghai, via Doug Ferguson's story, Anthony Kim earns bonus points for only taking a year to recognize what some players took several to figure out--don't turn scheduling over to your agents:

"Next year, I just want to be prepared for our season," he said of the PGA Tour, where he failed to win this year. "The PGA Tour is my home tour, and it's where I need to play well. I've made it my priority to play well in the States. I was all over the place this year. I didn't do a good job of scheduling. Scheduling is half your job as a pro. I learned a lot this year."

And..

"Even if they don't have a Race to Dubai next year, I'm still going to sign up for European Tour membership," Kim said. "There's a different vibe out here, and it's good to experience it. I just need to do a better job with my schedule."

Kim would not be replaced in the Dubai World Championship.

Tuesday
Nov032009

"The country club has to evolve and become like piazzas in Italy, the town square where families—and not just the men who are golfing—meet on weekends"

Dean Foust looks at the demise of the second-tier country club in a Businessweek/Golf Digest collaborative piece.

The number of golfers belonging to clubs now is down to 2.1 million—900,000 below the peak in the early 1990s. Experts such as consultant Jim Koppenhaver, whose Buffalo Grove (Ill.) firm, Pellucid, monitors the industry, believes at least 400—and worst case, 1,000—private clubs will have to close, convert to public play, or be absorbed into healthier clubs before the carnage is over. "The whole country club model is at risk," says Koppenhaver. But "for a lot of golfers, the value proposition of belonging to a club is hard to pencil out."

Now this I'm not so sure about:

In the end, some industry insiders believe the long-term solution is to reinvent the country club, moving beyond golf to a broader array of services that meet the changing needs of younger members. In San Clemente, Calif., the once-bankrupt Bella Collina Towne & Golf Club has sold 120 new memberships in the past six months by adding pilates, karate lessons, and even a vegetable garden (for the restaurant) that members' kids help plant.

On the golf course, Bella Collina now offers a free junior golf program and permits members to take lessons from the club's instructors at no charge. That last move created turnover among the teaching pros, who viewed the cash from paid lessons as a perk of the job. But club officials say the gesture has helped get more mothers and children out on the course with their fathers.

I'm sure the PGA of America will be thrilled with that model.

"The country club has to evolve and become like piazzas in Italy, the town square where families—and not just the men who are golfing—meet on weekends," says John G. Fornaro, one of the investors who bought Bella Collina last year. That's good advice, but it may be coming late to clubs where the wolf is already at the door.

Is this the way to the future? Piazza golf? Don't men still need a place to go to get some alone time?

Tuesday
Nov032009

BCS Breathes Sigh: FedEx Cup To Retain Goofy Point System

Love this quote from Doug Ferguson's story on the PGA Tour retaining the FedEx Cup points system:

"We think the FedEx Cup did a lot of positive things and met the objectives we set for it," George said Tuesday. "We don't anticipate it changing."

Translation: we got Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson playing on Sunday of the Tour Championship. Objectives met!