Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos

The object of inventors is to reduce the skill required for golf. If it were not for the counterskill of architects, the game would be emasculated.
JOHN LOW


    

Thursday
Sep112008

Ike Wreaking Havoc On Media's Early Week Ryder Cup Golf Plans

Those Monday and Tuesday rounds at Crooked Stick aren't looking so good thanks to Hurricane Ike. Also appears Valhalla may get quite a drenching.



Thursday
Sep112008

Langer: Get Some Help, Nick

Peter Dixon reports that Bernhard Langer becomes the second former Captain to say that Nick Faldo is making a mistake by not having assistant captains.

“I think he [Faldo] is making a mistake by not having somebody with each group,” Langer said of Faldo's assertion that he and Olazábal have enough experience to cope, echoing Sam Torrance, another former Europe captain, a week earlier. “Once you have four teams on the course, I know, as captain, that I would like to have one person with each group. I can't be everywhere and I need information.” 

Expect the media to pounce the first time Faldo is asked about how someone played and he gives them "I didn't see enough of the match to say."

Wednesday
Sep102008

Vijay Supports Vijay's Decision Not To Comment On FedEx Cup Victory**

His hastily arranged teleconference is a total bore to read (what else would you expect), but Vijay Singh did take a second to halt his monotone accented answers to fire a shot at his old pal and fellow Annika Sorrenstam admirer, AP reporter Doug Ferguson.

You know, there's one thing I want to say to the press. I'm sure all of you guys are listening. It was a very unfair comment that Doug Ferguson put on the USA Today that I more or less did not speak to the media. I had not wrapped it up. When I left the golf course on Sunday, Jimmy Furyk was in the lead, and if he had won, it was wide open. There's no way to celebrate something that I have not won, so I think that was a very unfair comment that USA put out there, and I think that was very unfair to even do that.
On that note, I'd just like to say to whoever is listening, Doug if he's there, this is the second time you've created this, and that's not right.
Unfortunately NBC didn't see it that way, nor did the rest of the press. Gary Van Sickle in Sports Illustrated this week notes that Vijay did talk when essentially cornered:
You can only imagine Singh's reaction to this historic feat. Really. You can only imagine. Because in FedEx Cup Defining Moment Number 1, Singh declined to be interviewed about his then-still-probable title. A Tour media official and a determined international wire-service writer chased him down later in the locker room, where Singh obliged with a few comments that included criticism of Bellerive's greens but nothing about his likely FedEx Cup windfall.

Out of respect for his fellow competitors, of course. He's so considerate.

Wednesday
Sep102008

"It’s time to bury the FedEx Cup."

The FedEx Cup reviews aren't getting any kinder. In fact, Brad Klein of Golfweek becomes the first to use the "failure" word and says it's time to end it.

There was always something false and manufactured about the FedEx Cup playoffs. The PGA Tour tried to ram them down the throat of the American public and to use the golf media as their mouthpiece in the process. But when it comes to consumer markets and audiences, folks can pretty much figure out for themselves what’s worthwhile and what’s not.
And...
In a transparent effort to brew up relevance as if it were a cup of coffee, the PGA Tour has gerrymandered events and tried to hoodwink the public and the players themselves. It’s not working. It’s time to bury the FedEx Cup.

Jason Sobel of ESPN.com notes the dilemma facing the commissioner (outside of the massive loss of face that he's going to be coping with).

The easy answer is to steal a page from the LPGA's season-ending ADT Championship, in which eight players reach the final round, all slates are wiped clean, then they compete for 18 holes with the low score taking home the grand prize. Based on most PGA Tour players' comments, however -- there's been grousing for a month about the first 37 weeks on the schedule becoming irrelevant this time of year -- that's the exact opposite of what they'd like to see happen.
Which really sums up the problem for the PGA Tour. The players want a four-week coronation of the season points list, apparently oblivious to just how boring such an event would be to the fan trying to stay awake on television.

But I say humor them. Revert to last year's no-volatility points, create a wild and wacky Tour Championship format and many of your biggest problems are solved.
Wednesday
Sep102008

The Azinger Cut And Other Course Setup Ploys

That's what I write about for Golf World to kick off the Ryder Cup countdown.




Wednesday
Sep102008

19th Hole Golf Show

Ryan Ballengee has me on the show to talk about the Ryder Cup. Brace yourselves.

Tuesday
Sep092008

Cranky Coverage Coming?

First there was Tim Dahlberg's AP column. Then a salty game story by Bob Harig hinting at bloated-ego-player fatigue within the press ranks. Followed by the start of what will be many columns questioning everything about the FedEx Cup. And it was all capped off nicely by the Vijay being too busy to issue a few quotes about winning $10 million. Throw in the weird police lineup room at the Bellerive media center and what does it all add up to?

The press has seen enough of golf without Tiger Woods and they aren't liking what they are seeing.

Golf has morphed into men's tennis of the 90s. Too much power, too much money, too much indifference and too much emphasis on stars instead of the game's inherent brilliance.

Golfweek's staff says we're looking at "drab days ahead."  No, we're in for months of cranky, and at times downright ugly stories about the state of professional golf and the golfers themselves.

You may recall last week that I wondered what Deutsche Banks CEO Seth Waugh--a certified golf nut who is wired into the game and the corporate world but by no means is he a Wall Street drone--meant about the tour needing to fix its product.

I've since learned his views can be summed up this way: the players have lost touch with who is paying the bills. They are coddled, entitled brats (my words, not his). Some hint of Waugh's views came out in Golfweek's September 6th issue when he commented on Mike Weir's much appreciated appearance at a fundraiser for the John Mineck Foundation, calling Weir a "class act" and then noting, "There are a lot of guys who are like that. You can't take these sponsorships for granted."

Apparently many who follow and cover the tour are mystified that a bunch of guys who can't beat Tiger, who can't play in under 5 hours as a threesome and who can't top the Little League World Series in the ratings department, continue to act like entitled brats. From my own experience, it's getting harder and harder to talk to a player on the range unless you know him. Even though galleries are dwindling in size, it's tougher for kids to get autographs and pro-am rounds are getting less personal than ever (there's one prominent player who speaks perfect English, except to pro-am partners).

Outside of a handful of players, most of today's PGA Tour players just aren't very interesting or engaging. At least, based on what they chose to share with us.

Of course, this would not matter that much if the PGA Tour had not made stars the emphasis over the game itself. Yes there are small signs of life in the departments of course setup, TPC architecture and site selection (Ridgewood, Sedgefield), but the damage done by the distance race (slow play, tight fairways, high rough, injuries, boring golf) and the refusal to do anything about it is being felt: the PGA Tour "product" just isn't as interesting to watch as it should be. Power doesn't translate well to television, except on short par-4s. And it's little wonder why they've joined Tiger as the tour's most reliable draws.

I keep hearing people say the game will always be bigger than the people in it and that these tough times will pass. But as I devoted a book to the complete fire sale of the sport and the desertion of core principles that matter, I'm not so sure. It's hard to envision the folks running the game or those playing at its highest level to care enough to start doing more for the health of the sport. They've made their money and they're just riding it out, leaving the problems for someone else to fix.

The dwindling press corps is feeling pressure from several sides, and with less player cooperation, no Tiger to write about and a better understanding of how leadership has failed the sport, they are liable to start sharing some of the stories they used to sit on and asking tougher questions of the game's leadership.

Tuesday
Sep092008

"The biggest issue is not the players, it's their parents, their guardians and their agents"

Now that the dust has settled on the LPGA rescinding their proposed learn-English-or-else policy, a few intriguing items have popped up.

Brian Hewitt of TheGolfChannel.com says the incident has put Carolyn Bivens on notice.

To be sure, the LPGA needs to get everybody on the same page before it can expect everybody to speak the same language. And that means doing a better job judging the impact of its decisions before those decisions are made public.
Len Shapiro in the Washington Post analyzes the fallout and offers this from an LPGA Tour insider:
"The biggest issue is not the players, it's their parents, their guardians and their agents," the source said. "Many of them are 18, 19 years old and the players are not making their own decisions. They're being told to spend all their time working on their games and don't worry about learning English. Our feeling was that if there was no teeth to the policy, we'd never change the culture. That's all we were trying to do."
But as Shapiro then notes...
Still, if only a dozen players were involved in the first place, there had to be another way than a heavy-handed suspension to stress the importance of learning English. Suspending a player essentially would have amounted to preventing them from earning a living in their chosen profession. Perhaps fines might have been appropriate, or mandatory attendance in English classes, with fines levied for missing a session.
And thanks to readers Eric and Chris for this Eric Adelson ESPN The Magazine piece that I'm not sure how to characterize. It's just a very good read and the kind of insightful look at the issue from both the LPGA and player's perspective.

Tuesday
Sep092008

"You know the Wies, they like to make a big splash"

Steve Elling's exclusive on Michelle Wie likely entering LPGA Q-school appears to be good news, until you read this:

Wie is already in the Palm Spring area practicing for the first-stage event at Mission Hills Country Club on Sept. 16-19. The deadline for entry is Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

A source close to the Wie camp who asked not to be identified said it was unclear whether the family would make a formal announcement about Michelle's new career path.

"You know the Wies, they like to make a big splash," the source said.
Hopefully they will not make a fuss. Playing Q-school is tough enough without a media herd following your every move.
Monday
Sep082008

"We don't want to talk about the FedEx Cup, do we?"

The scribblers, already fired up about having an execution chamber viewing area and Vijay choosing not to talk to them, are declaring the demise of FedEx Cup. Of course that assumes it ever reached a peak before declining. Let's face it, the entire thing was flawed for two reasons: Tiger and Phil. The system was designed to ensure they would be eligible until the finish, and as long as the points gurus have to gear the entire thing about guiding the tour's two biggest draws to the weekend at East Lake, it will always be flawed.

Here are some of the reviews and other complications being raised, starting with Gary Van Sickle:

Then Villegas was asked if it was disappointing that he tied for third at the Deutsche Bank Championship (at which Singh won after a closing 63) and won at Bellerive but can't take the FedEx Cup as long as Vijay simply finishes four rounds in Atlanta. Villegas put on a solemn face. "We don't want to talk about the FedEx Cup, do we?" he asked plaintively.
Let's see, the FedEx Cup winner doesn't want to talk about the FedEx Cup. Neither does the BMW Championship winner. The intensity of FedEx Cup buzzkill is apparently at Category 4 strength.
Cameron Morfit, also on golf.com:
Unless you subscribe to the idea that sex appeal is a pocket protector and a calculator, the Tour's current math-heavy approach is a big part of the problem, even ignoring its terrible results.
Bob Carney at GolfDigest.com shares reader letters while Thomas Bonk reveals the disastrous ratings (at least the public knows a soulless golf course when it sees it):
The third round Saturday of the BMW Championship had a 1.1 overnight rating on NBC, down from a 2.6 in 2007; and Sunday's fourth round had a 1.2 overnight rating, down from a 3.2 in 2007.

Steve Elling questions why the top 30 to reach East Lake are getting Masters and U.S. Open invitations.

The FedEx points structure was re-jiggered this season to weight the playoff performances more strongly and to de-emphasize the overall season. Thus, journeymen pros like Kevin Sutherland and Dudley Hart, who each finished second in one of the three FedEx Cup series events to date, have cemented a spot in the first two majors next year.

It borders on absurdity. If I were a decision-maker at Augusta or the USGA, I'm not sure I'd listen to another self-serving pitch from the tour ever again. After months of foot-dragging, the tour revamped the FedEx rules in March, well after the Open and Masters exemptions had been re-upped for another year. Thus, if the tour can change its rules in midseason, then the USGA and Augusta National should do likewise by flushing the FedEx exemption category completely, effective immediately.

Broadly, the Masters traditionally required non-winners from the previous year to finish the season in the top 30 on the PGA Tour money list or inside the top 50 in the final world rankings in order to secure an invitation. There are five players in the 30-man field in Atlanta who don't appear likely to accomplish either, having taken the farcical FedEx freeway to Augusta and Bethpage Black, the U.S. Open site next summer.

In the span of 21 days -- or even less time for one-week one-offs like Hart and Sutherland -- a half-dozen players have cracked the Masters and Open field, barring the rescinding of the two major-championship exemption rules, which will soon be reviewed by their governing bodies.

Augusta National officials already have indicated that the club is keeping an eye on the FedEx exemption provision, while the USGA Championship Committee will conduct its next meeting Oct. 31. Speaking as a USGA member, the issue had better be on the agenda.

Monday
Sep082008

Vijay To Finally Speak About Trauma Of Winning $10 Million**

Only two days after passing on interviews with NBC or the assembled media, Vijay Singh has gathered his thoughts and is finally prepared to discuss those those heartfelt thoughts that the immediate aftermath of his T44 at Bellerive precluded him from sharing.

HASTILY ARRANGED MEDIA ALERT
Vijay Singh Teleconference

Members of the media are invited to take part in a teleconference with Vijay Singh.

DATE: Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

TIME: 4:30 p.m. ET
Monday
Sep082008

The Making Of The Horse Course, Volume 1

Now that we have a week off from the playoff excitement, I have posted my first 4-minute "video diary" from the site of a golf course project. In this case, it's Volume 1 from the Prairie Club where Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner and I have layed out a par-3 course called "The Horse Course." You can read more on the Prairie Club on the page I've devoted to it (with some early construction images posted), or at the Destination Golf Ventures website.

Volume 1 centers around our trip (Gil, Jimand yours truly) to work with developer Paul Schock and his team on the clubhouse area land plan. You can view a slightly wider angle version here or hit the play button on the embedded version below.

And as you will soon see, I'm no Steven Spielberg in the editing bay and certainly no Morgan Freeman in the voiceover booth. But hopefully you'll enjoy the images and great music, which in this case appears courtesy of Lloyd Cole from his excellent album, Antidepressant.


The Making of the Horse Course Vol. 1 from Geoff Shackelford on Vimeo.
Monday
Sep082008

Faldo: "He will be in."

I think reader Colm is correct in noting that Matthew Jones makes a strong case that Nick Faldo was picking Ian Poulter no matter what, citing an interesting exchange from Gary Van Sickle's late July golf.com interview with the Captains.

As for Poulter, he was none too pleased when asked after missing another cut in Boston last weekend if handling the pressure of trying to make the team was a sign that he would be able to handle the pressure of the Ryder Cup itself. "Do you know what? I'm sick and tired of this nonsense. I'm absolutely spent, I can't waste any more energy on this. If I get the call, I'm ready to play. And trust me, I'll do my job."

If the truth will never out, it now seems that by staying in the States and turning his back on the chance to qualify at Gleneagles, Poulter was certain he was going to be picked. If you're still not sure that a deal was done, consider this exchange between Faldo and Azinger on the golf.com website when the two captains were asked who they expected would score the point that clinched the cup at Valhalla.

Azinger: "Kenny Perry."

Faldo: "Poulter."

Azinger: "Ian Poulter? He's not even on the team. You just tipped your hand. You must be picking him."

Faldo: "He will be in."

That conversation took place in July. So, now you know.
Just a little more Louisville dinner conversation for the Euros!
Sunday
Sep072008

"He is sending the tour a letter formally requesting the use of a golf cart, as Casey Martin did."

Jim Moriarty in the new Golf World files a must read profile on Erik Compton and his amazing story. Though I was surprised this was buried near the end, because it seems like we're headed for a controversy if the PGA Tour is as stubborn as it was with Casey Martin:

He is even thinking about the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School. "I know when I return to golf, it's not going to be the same as it was. People are going to be looking at me like I'm some kind of bionic guy," he says. Now, the first week of September, not even a full year after his near-fatal heart attack, Compton is already practicing, trying to recover his game. He has sent his application for Q school. Fortunately for him, the first stage is in Florida.

"You have to do something good again to get back into the game," he says. "Nobody's going to hand me anything. I'm going to have to go out and work and get good again, get my body in shape, and that's going to take some time, for sure."

At this point Compton doesn't know what his limitations will be. While his golf swing has returned, his stamina hasn't. At the suggestion of his doctors, he is sending the tour a letter formally requesting the use of a golf cart, as Casey Martin did. And, of course, passing one of the tour's new drug tests would be an utter impossibility. So much remains unknowable.

Sunday
Sep072008

Vijay Can Crawl Backwards Around East Lake And Still Win FedEx Cup

Doug Ferguson breaks the bad news to all six fans of the current FedEx Cup structure: the playoffs are over and they still have the Super Bowl to play.

With one Playoff event remaining, the FedExCup essentially is over.

Vijay Singh, who won the first two events, tied for 44th and earned enough points that all he has to do is complete four rounds at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola in two weeks to collect the $10 million payoff.

Villegas, a 26-year-old Colombian in his third year on TOUR, finished at 15-under 265 and collected $1.26 million
.
Bob Harig puts it in even more brutal perspective:
Singh can show up in Atlanta, play left-handed one day, blindfolded the next, shoot 100 during each round -- but as long as he completes four rounds he will be crowned the FedEx champion, receive a cool $9 million in cash, with $1 million deferred, and pocket some Tour Championship tip money as well.

How easily can Vijay Singh win the $10 million playoff bonus? Even if he didn't break 100 any of the four days at the Tour Championship, as long as he plays all 72 holes and doesn't get disqualified, the money is his.
But at least Vijay expressed his joy at clinching the $10 million.
Yep, Singh declined interviews with NBC, Golf Channel, print reporters. No words of thanks to FedEx or BMW or the PGA Tour or even Camilo Villegas, who won his first PGA Tour event and basically made it impossible for anyone to catch Singh -- unless he misses his tee time in Atlanta, gets disqualified or decides to stay at home and begin practicing for next year.
Speaking of next year, might this be a bad time to bring up the story I wrote last year for Golf World recommending a true playoff ending to prevent this little mini-debacle from happening? Or that I argued my case with Steve Dennis, FedEx Cup points guru who helped develop the increase volatility (which I think should stay...they just need a new way to end the fun at East Lake)?

Geoff Ogilvy was asked what he thought of the state of the FedEx Cup.
"If I make the Tour Championship I make it. If I don't, I really don't give a f...," the 2006 US Open champion said after the third round.

"I'm not going to lie in bed tonight thinking about what I have to do tomorrow to get in. It's not the Tour Championship it used to be.

"It probably meant more before than it does now, because it was a reward for 40 weeks.

"Now it's a nod to the year and making the cut at (the first two play-off events). The four weeks (of play-offs) are as important as the 40 preceding them."
Okay I'll give a little. They can just go back to last year's points to retain regular season relevancy, make East Lake an ADT-like finish and everyone wins! Including, let us not forget, charity.
Saturday
Sep062008

"Unfortunately, this is what the post-Tiger golf world will likely look like."

I've wondered when we'd see a mainstream media rant about the state of golf. It seems the LPGA's boneheaded moves combined with the PGA Tour's odd green-lighting of the media room execution chamber lit a fire under the AP's Tim Dahlberg.

Remember, this went out on the wires...a sampling:

With TV ratings plunging even before the start of the NFL season and the concept of the FedEx Cup still lost on millions of golf fans, the tour apparently thought that putting a few rows of seats behind mirrors in the media tent so people could watch the sweaty media ask a few questions to equally sweaty players would be a great way to allow fans to bond with their favorite players.
What they didn't count on was that reporters might not like the idea of being on display like criminals in a police lineup. One packed up his stuff and left, while others are boycotting the interview room all together, taking a cue from players who try to escape it whenever they can, too.
Too bad, because there's nothing like listening to Singh regale the media with tales of great 7-irons and putts that were so good they had to go in.
What a guy, that Veej, clearly enjoying himself so much that even the folks in the cheap seats could see he could barely tear himself away after five minutes of going over birdies and bogeys to head back to the range.
Imagine telling your buddies about that the next day at the office.
"He was close enough to touch, if we hadn't been behind the one-way mirrors, that is. You know, I've never noticed how he takes his visor off and wipes his brow when he sits down, either. And the look of exasperation he gave when a reporter dared ask him about his 3-putt? Priceless."
Unfortunately, this is what the post-Tiger golf world will likely look like. Boring players who make no effort to connect with the fans going through the motions only because they have to.

Here's what I don't get about the media room viewing area. It may not sound like a big deal to most, but consider that Tim Finchem did not sit in there for his chat with the media for obvious reasons. There's a bit of privacy lost. Now, players are already careful with the media as it is, but these press sessions are still where we learn the little details that humanize them to the average fan. But with an audience behind mirrored walls, the players are just a bit more unlikely to open up.

Is that something the Tour really wants?

Saturday
Sep062008

"Faldo clearly didn't want anyone in the team room with the potential to rock his boat"

John Huggan on Faldo selecting Poulter over Clarke:

Nick Faldo did exactly what we should have expected of him when he named Paul Casey and, more particularly, Ian Poulter as his two finishing touches to this year's European Ryder Cup side. Faldo's oversized ego was never going to be comfortable choosing someone with Darren Clarke's strength of character. Nor, for similar reasons, did he shed any significant tears over not picking the dreadfully off-form Colin Montgomerie.
"Faldo clearly didn't want anyone in the team room with the potential to rock his boat," points out one former Ryder Cup player who prefers to remain anonymous. "The 2004 Ryder Cup was all about Monty and his divorce; 2006 at the K Club was all about  Darren and the tragic death of his wife; Nick wants Valhalla to be all about him."

I just love how the Euros are beating themselves up. At this pace we might even have a match.

Friday
Sep052008

"If you’ve been reading the blogs, you know that it has not just been heat. We’ve also been praised for being leaders."

It's interesting to note that as soon as a major sponsor like State Farm was on the record questioning the LPGA's speak-English-you-pesky-Koreans-or-its-안녕, they rescinded their proposed penalties. Before we get to some reaction and the major question here, consider these two interviews from the last couple of days.

Michael Bush of Ad Age talked to Libba Galloway who held firm even after the State Farm comments. That was yesterday.

Steve Eubanks, in a Yahoo interview with Commissioner Bivens dated Thursday at 12:14 p.m., gets some interesting responses considering Fridays rescintion.

Bivens: Well, I’ll start by saying that, if you’ve been reading the blogs, you know that it has not just been heat. We’ve also been praised for being leaders.
See all of you who supported the commissioner in previous posts here, you provided someone comfort.

Eubanks asked about why only Koreans were targeted:
We currently don’t have any Spanish-speaking players who don’t speak English. We don’t have any Swedish players who don’t speak English, and we didn’t have any Japanese players in the Portland event, which is where we talked.
A couple of times a year, when I meet with the Korean players, they ask that I meet with the parents and guardians or their agents. That’s a group that has a unique culture and unique needs, just as the Spanish speakers or others that we don’t happen to have right now.
And here's where you have to question why she gets paid the big bucks:
Question: Were you surprised by the negative reaction this has gotten?
Bivens: Sure, when the headline is that we’re mandating English only and we’re going to suspend players, people are going to react to that. That’s not the program. Ninety-five percent of the program is about education and focus; 5 percent deals with the penalty, and we don’t expect to ever have to apply it. We’re providing all of the resources. Based on the headline and misinformation, we shouldn’t have been surprised.

This was not an announcement. This was a work in progress, and it came third-hand from a private meeting.
And wouldn't you just expect that something so clearly controversial would get out?

In an ESPN.com piece, Ron Sirak says the LPGA should have seen this coming.
This entire mess, which is embarrassing for the LPGA at best and potentially damaging to its efforts to do business in Asia at worst, could have been avoided if that "valuable feedback" had been sought before the rule was unilaterally imposed at a meeting with the Korean players in Portland, Ore., in late August. The decision to rescind the penalty was the right one, but is it a large enough eraser to eliminate the memory of the original insult?
These are huge points I don't think has been mentioned anywhere else:
The tour's single biggest revenue stream is Korean TV money. What is to be gained by offending that community?
The ultimate silliness about this entire situation is the small number of players it really affected. A well-placed source within the LPGA hierarchy said there were "perhaps a dozen" Korean players on tour who did not possess the English skills the LPGA desired. A caddie who works for a Korean player placed the number at "about five to seven."
This all seems to go back to the same point: who at the LPGA Tour is thinking about the big picture and understanding how the world might react to new policies? Clearly not Bivens or anyone she has brought in. Consider what John Hawkins wrote before Friday's news:
Blog Nation has been serving up a ton of related opinions, many of which castigate commissioner Carolyn Bivens for her sloppy handling of the matter, as if anything this administration does is executed in tidy fashion or is universally well received.

You know what I like about Bivens? Neither do I. A vast majority of the story­lines coming out of women's golf in recent years have come with a built-in negative hook, and not because the media is guilty of piling on. The language-barrier issue is a classic head-vs.-heart argument: what's good for business as opposed to what's morally right. There are a bunch of reasons not to like the LPGA's demand that its players speak English and just one obvious reason to validate the cause—so a bunch of South Korean girls can chat in the pro-am with the guy who owns the local supermarket chain.
How does she keep her job?


Sadly, for the LPGA Tour, she's a blogger's dream.That should tell the LPGA board everything it needs to know.

Friday
Sep052008

LPGA Backs Down: "관심사를 들어서 후에, 우리는 각 투어 선수를 위한 사업 기회 지원하고 강화하는의 우리의 공동 목적을 달성하는 다른 방법이 다는 것을 믿는다."

According to the AP story, the death of the penalty provisions for not passing an English exam came two hours before a press conference and a day after a California lawmaker started raising serious questions.

Here's the statement from the Commish:

Statement credited to LPGA Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens regarding the LPGA's policy on effective communication in English

The LPGA has received valuable feedback from a variety of constituents regarding the recently announced penalties attached to our effective communications policy. We have decided to rescind those penalty provisions.
After hearing the concerns, we believe there are other ways to achieve our shared objective of supporting and enhancing the business opportunities for every Tour player. In that spirit, we will continue communicating with our diverse Tour players to develop a better alternative. The LPGA will announce a revised approach, absent playing penalties, by the end of 2008.
During that time we will continue to provide support under the three-year-old Kolon-LPGA Cross Cultural Program. This popular program provides all LPGA members with the best cross-cultural training in the form of tutors, translators, Rosetta Stone®, the official language-learning system of the LPGA, as well as assistance from LPGA staff and consultants.

And for our Korean-speaking readers...

계산서는 LPGA 감독관에게 Carolyn F. 신용했다. 영어로 효과적인 커뮤니케이션에 LPGA의 정책에 대하여 Bivens는

 우리의 효과적인 커뮤니케이션 정책에 붙어 있던 최근에 알려진 형벌에 대하여 다양한 성분에서 LPGA 귀중한 의견을 받았다. 우리는 그 형벌 지급을 폐지하는 것을 결정했다.

관심사를 들어서 후에, 우리는 각 투어 선수를 위한 사업 기회 지원하고 강화하는의 우리의 공동 목적을 달성하는 다른 방법이 다는 것을 믿는다. 저 정신에서는, 우리는 우리의 다양한 투어 선수에 더 나은 대안을 개발하기 위하여 교통 계속되. LPGA는 2008년 말까지 수정한 접근, 결석한 노는 형벌을, 알릴 것이다.

그동안 우리는 Kolon-LPGA 3 년 오래된 교차하는 문화적인 프로그램의 밑에 지원을 제공하는 것을 계속할 것이다. 이 보급 프로그램은 LPGA 직원과 고문에게서 원조 뿐만 아니라 가정교사, 통역, Rosetta Stone® 의 LPGA의 공식적인 언어 배우는 체계의 모양으로 제일 cross-cultural 훈련을 모든 LPGA 일원에게, 제공한다.

Thursday
Sep042008

"The stroke that followed will go down as the greatest final-hole putt in the history of major-championship golf."

This passage from Jaime Diaz's definitive account of the Tiger Woods knee saga would generate some fun debate, and since the news has been so dark lately...

The stroke that followed will go down as the greatest final-hole putt in the history of major-championship golf. There are plenty of candidates: grinding mid-rangers by Bobby Jones at Winged Foot, Payne Stewart at Pinehurst, Gary Player, Mark O'Meara and Phil Mickelson at Augusta, Seve Ballesteros at St. Andrews; no-brainer bombs by Jerry Barber at Olympia Fields, Hale Irwin at Medinah and Costantino Rocca at St. Andrews. But none of them surpassed Woods for the blend of setting, situation and reaction. And only Jones, arguably, had as much disappointment to face by missing. Never in golf has such a dramatically set stage had such a fulfilling resolution. As a final validation of a true stroke at the moment of truth, a close-up, slow-motion replay revealed that the alignment line on Woods' ball never wiggled until it fell into the hole.
I'm biased because I was standing there and thought the whole thing was pretty swell, but does Jaime have it right? Greatest final hole putt?