Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • 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
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution
    Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution
    by Matthew Futterman

There should be names for golf holes, but let them be significant and unique. The plains Indians never named their children until some incident in the child's life suggested fitting one. Frequently the real name waited until the individual was advanced in youth, or even a warrior, as was the case with Plenty Coups and Young Man Afraid of His Horses…there must be some outstanding feature or incident that will give to a hole an individuality that none other may enjoy.  A.W. TILLINGHAST


    

Thursday
Dec112008

Padraig Makes It Official: No Xmas Card For Sergio Anytime Soon

Lawrence Donegan gets 2008's two-time major winner Padraig Harrington to admit that he and Sergio Garcia will likely not be featured in a future Golf Digest "Buddies" issue. Thanks to reader Lee for this:

"We have zero in common, bar the fact that we both play golf. He is the antithesis of me, and I am the antithesis of him," said Harrington, who was yesterday named the European Tour's player of the year in recognition of his two major victories in 2008, at the Open Championship at Birkdale and the PGA Championship in Detroit. The Irishman edged out García on the final green of the PGA and had also defeated the Spaniard in a play-off to win last year's Open at Carnoustie — an occasion remembered as much for the frostiness of their interaction as it was for the excellence of their golf.

At the time many observers believed their evident lack of personal warmth was a by-product of what was a fiercely contested tournament but Harrington conceded their antipathy was more deep-rooted.

"We play the game in exactly the opposite way. He is destined to find the long game easy and the short game hard, and I am the opposite," he said. "We're also competitors who for the last few years have been vying over who is the No1 golfer in Europe. I think in the hearts and minds of a lot of people García would have been No1, while I have been ranked No1. As you can imagine, no quarter is given. It is not as if we have ever had a row or a run-in. I have had plenty of run-ins with people and we would be friends but [with Garcia] it is just, well, we are just so much the opposite of each other."

Thursday
Dec112008

"I throw this stuff out there to get Tim Finchem a little bit worried."

Mark Soltau chats with Fred Couples about the President's Cup and other matters. Here's something you don't hear everyday:

Golf Digest: You won a million dollars this year and cracked the Top 125 on the money list, all before your recent 49th birthday. You have to feel pretty good about that?

Couples: I do. I have one goal for next year -- I've got to get into the Top 50 in the world rankings. That's the only way I can get into the Chevron World Challenge. It would take an unbelievable year.

And...

GD: Do you have a backup for Robin Williams?

Couples: Apparently, he lives five minutes from Harding Park, which I had no idea. What we're hoping he will do is come into the player's lounge one night. I didn't know he does a golf skit, which I hear is unbelievable. He's my favorite comedian. I throw this stuff out there to get Tim Finchem a little bit worried. I like to keep the PGA Tour on their toes. Hopefully, Robin will come and give us a little skit one night.

Wednesday
Dec102008

Grading The Golf News Sites Week: Golfweek.com

Thanks so far for the stellar comments on favorite golf sites, golf.com and golfdigest.com/golfworld.com. If you haven't weighed in, please do.

Now onto our next subject. Golfweek.com is probably the most vital of all the golf sites for the serious golfer and fan of tournament golf. However, more than the other sites poses one of those love-hate situations for me:

  • Love the exclusive online content and guaranteed daily wrap up of important tournaments in easy to digest ways.
  • Hate the slideshow music and other lame cutesy stuff prone to pop up on GolfweekTV (though I notice much less since a certain editor with lousy taste in cover art has moved on).
  • Love the content of the blogs. Short, snappy, fun little items that probably wouldn't mean much by the time Golfweek hits the presses, but which work perfectly online.
  • Hate the complete and totally inexplicable lack of real blog features: reader comments and permalink or emailable options for posts. If I can set up a real blog, so can you Golfweek.
  • Love the simple design and ease of use when I get home and just want to get a quick hit of news.
    Columns are easy to find, as are many other things like the top 100 lists and the player rankings.
  • Hate the difficulty of finding news stories that appeared more than a week ago.

Overall I think they do a great job making their print publication still valuable while also delivering as much original online content as any site. It would be nice to see some more print items appear a month after appearing in Golfweek in order to build up a nice archive (and hits!).

That said, many of the columnists are particularly strong and seem to offer up offbeat stuff online, which I love and feel is lacking at times elsewhere.

What do you all think?

Wednesday
Dec102008

Daly Pays Homage To Stevie Down Under: Smashes Spectator's Camera

However, unlike Stevie "I gladly chuck Nikon or Canon" Williams, Australian Open contestant John Daly offered to pay for the trashed camera. Sort of like when John Belushi bashes that folk singer's guitar in Animal House, and then shrugs and says sorry. Hey, that's at least two things Daly has in common with Bluto. Well and the drinking part too, so make it three.

After pushing his tee shot wide on the ninth hole -- his last -- Daly walked into a clump of trees, where spectator Brad Clegg tried to take a picture at close range.

Daly reportedly snatched the camera and smashed it against the nearest tree, telling the man, "You want it back, I'll buy you a new one."

Asked if he would seek compensation, Clegg told the Australian Associated Press: "I don't think I'll be chasing him for the money. He's a big bloke!"

Wednesday
Dec102008

Ryders Brace For Pavin Captaincy By Ordering Up Heavy On The Azinger Nostalgia, Well Done

You can already sense that they're clamoring for those earth-shattering one-on-ones with about-to-be-announced Captain Pavin.

John Hopkins in the Times:

There is some surprise in the selection of Pavin, 49, to be the man to lead his team at Celtic Manor Resort, near Newport. The PGA of America is believed to have wanted Azinger to repeat his role, but the man who masterminded the first US victory since 1999 decided against it. “All I can say, boys, is it’s not going to be me,” Azinger said on Monday.

Did anyone else read Azinger's comments that way? I thought it was more resignation at being passed up?

Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com:

The PGA may have pulled the plug on Azinger, but it was a surgeon’s scalpel that cost him his ultimate Ryder Cup experience. When Tiger Woods’ season ended shortly after his historic U.S. Open victory at Torrey Pines it robbed Azinger of his chance to captain a team that included the world No. 1.

“It’s one of those things I’m going to miss the most. Not being able to spend time with the likes of Tiger Woods . . . it’s unfortunate,” Azinger said before the matches.
For the man who didn’t leave a blade of Kentucky bluegrass undisturbed in his quest for Ryder Cup gold, the PGA’s decision and Woods’ season-ending injury are particularly painful rubs on an otherwise agreeable green.

Mark Reason in the Daily Telegraph:

If they do overlook cap'n Azinger, the PGA of America will prove that they are serious rivals for "the 57 old farts" of the RFU once lampooned by Will Carling.

Four years ago Tiger Woods and many others wanted the smarts of Mark O'Meara, but the PGA of America wouldn't have him because O'Meara had once suggested that some of their Ryder Cup profits should go to player-nominated charities.

Now, if Azinger has it right, the officers of the PGA are set to refuse to reappoint their first decent captain since Tom Watson in 1993. The hot favourite to replace Azinger is the 49-year-old Pavin. 

Wednesday
Dec102008

"A difficult-to-navigate Jack Nicklaus-designed course"

I can't say this is the most flattering golf course adjective I've ever read, especially since it arrives in a press release from Tiger's crew plugging next week's Chevron World Challenge.

The scene is a classic, the 7,027-yard Sherwood Country Club, a difficult-to-navigate Jack Nicklaus-designed course that will test 16 of the world’s greatest players in a 72-hole stroke play format, Dec. 17-21. 

Wednesday
Dec102008

Classic Club Returned To Its Rightful Owners

The final chapter in the boondoggle that should never have been allowed to happen had anyone involved thought this one through...

CLASSIC CLUB RETURNS TO H.N. & FRANCES C. BERGER FOUNDATION

Bob Hope Classic Charities/Desert Classic Charities and The Berger Foundation Working Together Toward Shared Charitable Goals

La Quinta, Calif. (December 10, 2008) - Due to the current slowing economy, the Bob Hope Classic Charities/Desert Classic Charities and the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation have decided the responsibility of the Classic Club operations and ownership shall be returned to the Berger Foundation.

“The Classic Club golf facility has always been dedicated to charitable endeavors in and for the Coachella Valley,” said John Foster, president of The Bob Hope Classic Charities, Inc. and Desert Classic Charities, Inc. “We believe that goal can best be accomplished by the Berger Foundation in this economic climate.”

The Classic Club was formally gifted by the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation to the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January 2005. The Bob Hope Classic Charities/Desert Classic Charities recognize ownership and management of the Classic Club operations by the Berger Foundation at this time will enable better charitable options for the course and facility. The Classic Charities and the Berger Foundation are committed to the success of the Classic Club and the charitable benefits it can bring to the Coachella Valley.

“Our commitment and association with the Bob Hope Classic Charities and the Desert Classic Charities has been a gratifying experience for all involved through the years and will continue,” said Ronald M. Auen, president and chief executive officer, H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation. “As we move forward into the next phase for the Classic Club, we will strive to achieve even greater charitable success and long term benefits for the entire community.”

Wednesday
Dec102008

"So why is it Americans can't wean our golf courses off most chemicals..."

I was thrilled to see GolfDigest.com added Ron Whitten's December issue story on two organic golf courses and the issues they face (none really!). I think it's the most important story I've read this year, assuming you think it's time to see more courses lean on sustainable practices.

A couple of highlights:

Like Applewood, Granby River has bluegrass fairways and bent-grass greens. Tees and greens are cut a little higher than at Applewood, but the turf is lush and sparkling green, juxtaposed against large areas of tall, tan native grasses, conditions certainly suitable to its green fee ($40 Canadian). Again, it's hard to believe a golf course can look and play this good using homemade remedies and witches' brews. But it's true.

"We haven't used an ounce of any pesticide, herbicide or fungicide," Thevenaz says. "We fertilize fairways using composted turkey manure. We fertilize our greens with a compost tea that's a blend of bone meal, blood meal, kelp and humate, a refined carbon to encourage root growth. We brew the tea, supplied from a firm in New Brunswick, for 24 hours, then mix in the organics and apply it in liquid form.

"To fight disease on the greens, we apply a solution of garlic extract. It's not that expensive, about the same price per gallon as a pesticide. To fight grub worms, we apply rock glacial dust. It's abrasive; the worms choke on it."

And...

So what do they do if a problem does break out? Isn't there a strong temptation to spray a quick application to nip the problem? No, they say, mainly because they have no chemicals on hand.

"If a disease hits one of my greens," Rusch says, "I'll mow it with one of my walk mowers, to keep the disease from spreading to other greens, I'll apply a little ammonium sulfate to get the grass growing aggressively, and I'll either add water or back off the water, depending upon the disease."

"Weed control is the one thing that organic management hasn't conquered," Carlson says. "If we do anything, we hand-pick them, even in the rough. Golfers just don't like weeds anywhere in their line of vision."

So that's the big trade-off with organic golf? It's much more labor-intensive. It'll drive up the cost of the game.

Not really. Rusch's maintenance budget at Applewood, including payroll, is just $350,000 (considerably less than comparable 18-hole public courses). Granby River's is even less, $247,000 Canadian, including equipment leases. Carlson says his Vineyard budget is in the mid-range for New England private courses, spending a little more on labor costs.

So why is it Americans can't wean our golf courses off most chemicals, particularly when it could have a positive impact on the water we drink, the air we breathe and the wallets we carry?

You go Ron!

Tuesday
Dec092008

Music To Their Ears? "Faldo decries changes to Augusta National"

In the unbylined wire story (thanks reader Chip) on Nick Faldo decrying the changes to Augusta National, I couldn't help but think that the club and Tom Fazio's one-dimensional approach to a once multi-dimensional risk/reward design was validated by the comments. In other words, the braintrust might consider this a compliment:

In comments that probably won't be repeated from the CBS tower during the Masters, Faldo lamented how difficult Augusta National has become, suggesting that it has caused even the most skilled players to become conservative with a smaller chance of being rewarded.

"If you don't have an opportunity to reward yourself, it switches off the best players,'' he said last week at the Father-Son Championship in Orlando, Fla. "They've got the flair and the skills to go for it, but going for it is suicide.''

Faldo won in consecutive playoffs in 1989 and 1990, but his third green jacket was the most memorable. Trailing by six shots to Greg Norman, he closed with a 5-under 67 and won by five shots when Norman shot 78.

"That was the best of the weekend,'' Faldo said of his 67. "Yeah, that's what you really are looking for. Augusta was always the one where ... you can shoot your 65. If you play really well, you're shooting 3 and 4 under. You get rewarded. That's what you got to be careful of. Bottom line is you got to reward the guys. You've got to be given the opportunity to hit career shots.'' 

Tuesday
Dec092008

Grading The Golf Websites Week: Golf Digest and Golf World

hanks for the feedback on your favorite sites and on golf.com. One of the interesting points arising on the golf.com comment thread involved free online content and the decision of some to no longer subscribe to the print edition due to online availability. This has to be one of the trickiest areas for a publication, but I've long been a believer that paying magazine and/or web subscribers should have access to special content and print archives (the NYTimes.com model until recently) and while it would be deadly for a blogger, only breaking news pieces or original content be open to all online readers. It seems to me that ESPN.com/ESPN The Magazine has done a fine job of handling with this balance (of course I say this as a non-subscriber to the "Insider" service!).

This brings us to the dilemma for GolfDigest.com and GolfWorld.com, who share their site in partnership with ESPN.com and of course, with highly successful print operations. Obviously I am in an awkward position because I have contributed to GolfDigest.com and Golf World this year, but I still would like to offer a few comments to kick off the discussion.

The new layouts are greatly improved over the previous site layout, though I would like to see a larger text font (which explains why you get the big letters here at GS.com...what can I say, I'm an old man). The Golf Digest blogs are excellent in concept.  The three blogs covered by those who also file prints stories delicately balance the fine line between offering complimentary yet still-distinct coverage from their print work. So while I would love to see more from Frost and Nixon on the equipment blog and less hemorroidal discomfort induced by the sheer pain of sitting through Matty G's "Ambushes," their online work along with Ryan Herrington's excellent college golf blog prove that there is a place for blogs that compliment the print editions.

Both sites offer a terrific amount of content from the magazines. But sometimes I wonder if it's too much? Might they be better served putting more of it behind a subscriber only wall to enhance the value (oops, there I go all Tim Finchem on you) for the paying customer? Or would that only scare you away?

I know as a reader I would like to see more podcasts and writer Q&A's similar to what the New Yorker has been doing, would you? Any blogs you would like to see and by which writers?

Okay, enough about me, tell us what you'd like to see on the GolfDigest.com/GolfWorld.com sites.

Tuesday
Dec092008

"Who would recommend any youngster to go into journalism these days?"

Since we know the only safe jobs in media are on Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, Alistair Tait reports the somber mood in Britain as an admired colleague (Lewine Mair) and respected paper (Daily Telegraph) ominously part ways. And in such dignified fashion.

“It was horrible the way it was handled,” she said. “I was called to a meeting on my return from China (where she was covering the World Cup) but it wasn’t held anywhere near the sports department, presumably in case I caused too much of a fuss. I was taken to an office where someone from human resources told me I was being made redundant in a tone that was completely cold and officious.

“I got no thanks for 20 years of hard work. It was all over in about 15 minutes.”

Mair’s departure has shocked newspaper writers over here. That’s why there was such a somber mood at today’s lunch in London to celebrate Padraig Harrington’s award as European golfer of the year.

If any newspaper was expected to hold onto its golf writer, it was The Telegraph. Arguably no British paper in recent years has given as much in-depth coverage to the game than this broadsheet. The general view is that if it could happen at The Telegraph, no one is safe.

Meanwhile, the street gossip is that The Times is set to ditch 10 percent of its work force. It has two excellent golf writers in John Hopkins and Peter Dixon. However, as Mair’s example shows, quality doesn’t matter when the bean counters start looking at ways to cut back.

These are worrying times. Who would recommend any youngster to go into journalism these days? Not me.

Tuesday
Dec092008

With Edgy Lopez Out Of The Way, D-Listers Return In Droves To Hope Classic

George Lopez opened up his Rolodex to lure some surprising celebrity names in recent years to the moribund Bob Hope Classic, but now that he's been run off for being too edgy and Arnold Palmer is temporarily in his place as host, here return the has beens, lightweights and Classic Club haters.

BO JACKSON, LONGORIA, LEWIS AND BOLTON AMONG EARLY CELEBRITIES AND ATHLETES PLAYING IN THE 50th BOB HOPE CHRYSLER CLASSIC HOSTED BY ARNOLD PALMER, JAN. 19-25

D.J. Trahan returns to defend his second PGA TOUR title

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Former Major League Baseball and National Football League standout Bo Jackson, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman and 2008 American League Rookie of the Year Evan Longoria, and famed musicians Huey Lewis and Michael Bolton are among the initial celebrity athletes and entertainers joining golf legend Arnold Palmer for the 50th Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Hosted by Arnold Palmer, Jan. 19-25, 2009.

Other early celebrity participants for the Classic, a desert tradition since 1960, include: musicians Alice Cooper, Don Felder (formerly of the Eagles), Josh Kelley and country singer Clay Walker, actors Kurt Russell, Chris O’Donnell, Thomas Gibson, Oliver Hudson and Jeffrey Donovan, actor/comedian Kevin Nealon, actor/game show host John O’Hurley, timeless New York Yankees baseball legend Yogi Berra, comedian Tom Dreesen, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and sportscaster Dan Fouts, Hall of Fame sportscaster Keith Jackson, television financial host Joe Kernen, Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson, former Green Bay Packers wide receiver and NFL analyst Sterling Sharpe, and former Vice President Dan Quayle. The celebrity field’s schedule is as follows: Wednesday, Jan. 21, SilverRock Resort; Thursday, Jan. 22, Bermuda Dunes Country Club; Friday, Jan. 23, Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West; Saturday, Jan. 24, Arnold Palmer Private Course at PGA WEST.

Monday
Dec082008

Grading Golf News Websites Week: Golf.com

As I explained yesterday, the holidays allow for reflections on the sport we love. And since we're seeing a major shift toward an online presence for most publications, it seems like an appropriate time to think about where the emerging world of online news coverage is headed. And it beats watching the news.

So to kick off the week, let's start with SI Golf Plus and Golf Magazine-controlled golf.com.

I admire the meticulous look, organized structure, nice use of imagery and prominent-without-being-onoxious placement of ads. The news items are easily found in and ESPN.com/NYTimes.com way and updated rapidly, though I wish they'd leave the wire story author's name on all pieces they post (it's a blogger thing). Their columnists are solid, with Alan Shipnuck's weekly Hot List just the right balance of snark and information, while Gary Van Sickle reliably posts items worth reading. It'd be nice to see more content from Alan Bastable, Paul Mahoney, Michael Walker and Peter Kostis among others.

Okay, now that I have that off my chest, any golf.com readers care to tell us what they like and don't like?

Monday
Dec082008

28 Advance To PGA Tour And Begin Praying For At Least Three West Coast Starts

Sean Martin offers a quick summary of the Q-school graduates broken down into various categories and shares this about media darling Brian Vranesh:

Vranesh was working as a waiter until this time last year. He spent this year on the Gateway Tour, and had only previously made the Q-School finals once since turning pro in 2000; he earned partial Nationwide Tour status after finishing back in the pack. He’s never played in a PGA Tour event.

Vranesh’s cousin, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Jon Garland, was on hand to see Vranesh earn his Tour card.

“I guess I’m like Joe the Plumber,” said Vranesh, 31. “I want people to see that if you work hard you can make it out here.”

John Strege fleshes out Vranesh's decidedly un-Joe The Plumber story (for instance, Vranesh sounds like he'd do anything to not go on welfare like Big Joe!) and also shares some of the other highs and lows from day six.

Helen Ross also focused on Vranesh's story in her PGATour.com story.

Rex Hoggard talks to the brutally honest Gary Woodland and Jay Williamson, a Deere Classic playoff loser earlier this year who retained his card.

Despite a career year that included a playoff loss to Kenny Perry at the John Deere Classic, his first trip to the British Open and a start in the BMW Championship which was played in his home town of St. Louis, Williamson finished 137th in earnings.

"It's not so much a mental thing. It's an emotional thing," said the endearing veteran who was slowed late in the season by a back injury and missed his last six cuts. "I know too much. I need to get dumb for a little bit because the last two days were brutal."

Like Stuard, Bryce Molder dropped out of the top 25 on Monday, but Molder had already secured his status on Tour with his top-25 finish on the 2009 Nationwide Tour money list.

Jason Sobel breaks down and ranks the 28 who earned cards, offering all sorts of little info nuggets.

Mark Williams files notes for PGATour.com, including the players who went through all three stages, and even digs up the list of who started at the pre-qualifier and made it all the way to the finals (none earned cards, but nonetheless one mighty impressive accomplishment).

And if reading isn't your thing but hot blondes are, PGATour.com offers up some young lady named "McMurry" (Ty, could we get a graphic with her name and Facebook profile information) who will take you through the highlights in under 3 minutes.

Monday
Dec082008

“It ain’t gonna be me"

Doug Ferguson reports that Paul Azinger will not be the 2010 Ryder Cup captain.

“It ain’t gonna be me,” Azinger told The Associated Press on Monday. “I am not the captain.”

I love Azinger's passion but this is for the best. He did a super job. He will be remembered as the captain who proved Captains matter and for having pulled off one of the great wins in Ryder Cup history.

Monday
Dec082008

Grading The Golf Websites Week!

Golf Channel has Bay Hill week, I have grading the golf websites week. Hey, as the kids say, it is what it is.

Since this is a slow news time and we appear to be in the developing stage of websites surpassing their print counterparts in importance, I thought it would be fun to analyze a golf news-website-a-day over the next seven days or so.

I'll offer a few quick comments but mostly this is about your insights as a web user. The people involved in these sites may be looking in, so try to keep things constructive, please. Think about what you like, don't like and what you'd like to see more of from the sites.

To kick things off, I'd love to hear you rank your top 5 golf news-related websites. If you'd like to offer up a few comments about why certain sites earn regular visits, that would be even better.

Sunday
Dec072008

"I’ll do my yoga in the morning and get out here and see if I can keep it going.”

To track the final day of PGA Tour Q-School online, you can watch scores here. To prepare us for the finale, Sean Martin leads with Notah Begay's 63 Sunday to jump 74(!) spots.

Begay’s bogey-free round Saturday moved him up 74 spots on the leaderboard and into a tie for 21st at 15-under 345. The top 25 and ties after Monday’s final round will earn PGA Tour cards.

“I hit it great the last two days,” Begay said. “(In the fourth round), I had 11 looks inside 15 feet and only made one. I didn’t know if it was going to happen today or tomorrow or next year, but I knew I was going to have a good round at some point.”

Begay will have to tackle PGA West’s tougher Stadium Course in Q-School’s final round while most of the contenders play the Nicklaus Tournament Course.

“I won’t change anything,” Begay said. “I’ll still make dinner for my brother tonight and we’ll still do our same routine. I’ll do my yoga in the morning and get out here and see if I can keep it going.”

Martin's piece also offers easy to read capsules on various players and lists all scores through four rounds.

John Strege profiles another great story, former Ryder Cupper Chris Riley who enters the last day in a tie for 16th. 

Sunday
Dec072008

"It's unfortunate that the very top percentile, which is so minuscule, has really benefited."

The Orlando Sentinel's Josh Robbins talks to some of the geezers playing in the Father/Neerdowell Challenge about biggest changes to the game. My two favorites:

Raymond Floyd: Technology. Equipment and technology. ... It's unfortunate that the very top percentile, which is so minuscule, has really benefited. The masses have also benefited, but not to the [same] extent, because they've developed the ball and the club for the high swing speed. So that makes the ball go so much farther. However, the lighter club, the perimeter weighting, has benefited the masses as well. So, where do you draw the parallel? It's benefited everybody, but it's almost making old golf courses obsolete because of what happens exponentially with head speed, the distance the ball goes. ... I'm 66 years old, and I hit the ball farther than I did when I was probably 55.

But you workout Ray, don't discount that!

And Fuzzy...

Zoeller: I'd like to see the USGA step in and calm some things down, or some of these golf courses that have been over the years are just going to be obsolete. Personally as a player, I don't think they're doing their job. That's just the way I feel about it. ... [The technology and the equipment] has gotten out of hand. It seems like the manufacturers are light years ahead of the USGA. I think they need to stop it and put a cap on it somewhere. It's like a runaway dog right now.

What, no love for the groove rule change? I'm shocked!

Sunday
Dec072008

"I've kind of had the door shut on me a couple of time. But they can't do it anymore."

Eric Soderstrom talking to David Leadbetter about Michelle Wie qualifying for the LPGA Tour:

“She needs the LPGA; I think the LPGA needs her,” Leadbetter said. “I think you can see by these crowds here. I don’t think that would have been the case if she wasn’t playing.

“So I think it’s wonderful for all concerned.”

Steve Elling on the final day scene:

LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens watched a few holes from her electric cart, no doubt deliriously happy that Wie and fellow American Stacy Lewis, who was the medalist by three strokes at 18 under, were earning their cards. Page Thompson, the head honcho at the Golf Channel, drove up from Orlando to watch Wie's final round. Media on hand included the New York Times, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, both weekly golf magazines and a slew of writers from various sports websites.

"You ask whether the LPGA needs Michelle?" Leadbetter said. "Look around here."

Ron Sirak offers this about medalist and all-around amazing story Stacey Lewis:

While not as extensive as Wie's run-ins with the LPGA, Lewis, a scrappy 23-year-old who endured a nearly decade-long battle with scoliosis, has had a couple odd brushes of her own. In 2006, she led an LPGA tournament in Arkansas that was washed out after one round and was erased from the record books. A victory that wasn?t.

Then this year she earned enough money by finishing third in the U.S. Women?s Open to have secured her card for next year off the money list, but the tour has a rule saying U.S. Open money does not count because the purse is so much larger than normal LPGA tournaments. Thus she had to come to Q school.

"I've kind of had the door shut on me a couple of time," Lewis said. "But they can't do it anymore."

In less positive news, Elspeth Burnside reports on Vikki Laing's DQ:

Laing had posted a 76 on day three and was tied for 56th place on one-over par, but she signed for a six instead of a seven at the 14th hole. The error was only discovered after she had left the scorer's hut. Laing, who held non-exempt status for the LPGA Tour in 2004 and 2005, had been hoping to gain one of the fully exempt cards for the 2009 circuit. But she now faces another season on the secondary US Futures Tour. 

Sunday
Dec072008

"Imagine the long-term impact on the kids who would want to pick up golf clubs just because Tiger hit it."

Geoff Ogilvy used his Australian PGA win to mention what a Tiger appearance would mean to Australian golf. From Reuters:

"We could stack some pretty good players against him, it would be a pretty stunning tournament," the former U.S. Open champion told reporters.

"Imagine the long-term impact on the kids who would want to pick up golf clubs just because Tiger hit it.

"Imagine 25,000 people leaving the golf course telling everyone they watched Tiger Woods play and the amazing impact it could have."

We imagine the same thing here in Los Angeles these days, but I don't think anyone coming to Riviera for the Northern Trust Open will get the pleasure again. Sorry Aussies, Tiger doesn't add to his schedule. He only subtracts.