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Books
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

In June of 1956 Wentworth hosted the Canada Cup (now the World Cup). Professional pairs from twenty-eight countries competed. Sam Snead and Ben Hogan were heavily favored to win. On the flight to London, Hogan, who had never played in England whose painstaking preparation for important competitions is legendary, took advantage of the long hours aloft to ask his partner to brief him on Wentworth's West Course. For a considerable time Snead silently weighed Hogan's request, giving him the clear impression that he was about to present a thorough analysis of the course. Finally he turned to Ben and said, "It's a sonofabitch."  JAMES FINEGAN


    

Sunday
Oct072007

FedEx Cup Suggestion Box

fedexcuplogo.jpgI'm on the road the next few days so posting will be light. But I thought it would be a good time to get some views on the FedEx Cup and PGA Tour "playoff" now that it's been a few weeks since the conclusion.

Granted, it's hard to judge it with the Fall Finish still ongoing. And personally, my favorite element of the playoff concept is that it gets golf off the national radar for a few months like other major sports (but for whatever reason, PGA Tour officials can't just say that). And since we have just begun that element of the new tournament structure, it may be early to tell if that is such a great idea.

Of course, if you read Steve Elling's latest piece, the prospects for the Fall Finish aren't so hot, meaning this off season could grow in the coming years and that's not necessarily a good thing.

Nonetheless, I'm curious what you all think of how the playoffs worked out and what you would do to "tweak" it

Personally, I think there's way too much emphasis on protecting the season long points leaders and not enough of a "playoff."  

But enough about me. Work that comment button! Big brother is watching in Ponte Vedra. 

Sunday
Oct072007

"The sport that already lost complete control of the equipment manufacturers who have juiced the tools and taken a certain element of skill out of the game is now trying to regulate what its performers put into their bodies."

Scott Michaux in the Augusta Chronicle is the first major columnist to note that we have equipment on steroids and golf is opening up a major can of worms with drug testing first. He doesn't quite go all the way and ask why the folks in charge aren't taking a look at equipment in conjunction with the drug testing, or perhaps asking if they may be encouraging performance enhancing drug use by attributing distance gains to athleticism, but he still earns big points for at least noting that it got away from certain governing bodies.
In short, golf was forced to act like every other sport in the modern era.

One simple question - why?

It doesn't make much sense. The sport that already lost complete control of the equipment manufacturers who have juiced the tools and taken a certain element of skill out of the game is now trying to regulate what its performers put into their bodies.

If this was just about illegal steroids, it would be understandable. The whole idea of creating artificial strength - at a potential cost to personal health - is unseemly. Since other sports are failing every day to try to regulate that brand of performance enhancers, why not join the club for appearances sake.

But golf is stepping into an even murkier realm trying to regulate drugs that decrease heart rate, sharpen attention or increase stamina - basically all the things the pharmaceutical companies have trained us to do in our everyday lives. This is where the whole system leaves the rails.
Saturday
Oct062007

TV Execs Thrilled With FedEx Cup Sales

Golfweek's John Steinbreder talks to a few network suits who say the sales numbers were up on the PGA Tour and in particular, the FedEx Cup.

More important, the FedEx Cup likely will help make the first year of the Tour’s new TV deal profitable – at least for some of its TV partners, says a network executive speaking confidentially. (CBS and NBC as a matter of policy do not comment about contract finances.)

Another network source confirmed the improved fiscal performance, saying “the rights fees we are now paying are probably 10-15 percent less than they were before, while our sales revenues are up 10 percent.” Such gains, in part, came from a “slight” advertising premium charged for FedEx Cup events, new business from pharmaceutical companies and continued support from the financial services and auto industries, according to the source.

The turnaround in golf viewership is significant, considering the networks reportedly lost millions during the final years of the previous TV deal that expired following the 2006 season.

Said NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer in an e-mail: “Golf advertising sales were very strong for both our PGA Tour and USGA packages. We were delighted with how the first year (of the new TV contract) went. Our numbers were strong, overall interest was high, and the public seemed to like it.”

Steinbreder then details the less than large ratings numbers and how that may impact perceptions of the Cup. 

Saturday
Oct062007

"The judge marveled at how "crowded" the art of golf ball manufacturing is -- that is, how subtle the differences often are from one patent to the next."

Thanks to reader John for John Paul Newport's Saturday Wall Street Journal column on the recently settled Bridgestone-Titleist suit. I'm sure our Fairhaven readers were tickled by this:

The public filings in these cases, although carefully stripped of trade secrets, are filled with fascinating tidbits, including testy exchanges between lawyers ("Bridgestone is asking for a Mulligan here"). Who knew, for instance, that Titleist got its start when an avid amateur in Massachusetts missed a 3-foot putt to lose a match in 1932? Convinced that his ball had wobbled, he X-rayed it afterward at a friend's dental office and discovered that indeed the core was off-center, and immediately set out to build a better ball.

In one exchange in the Bridgestone suit, the judge marveled at how "crowded" the art of golf ball manufacturing is -- that is, how subtle the differences often are from one patent to the next.

This strikes me as good news for golfers, and helps explain why golf balls, especially at the high end, are virtually indistinguishable for everyone except the very best players.

Which is even better reason that a little rollback won't hurt anyone, right?

Not that this will stop us from wanting to play the Pro V1s of the world. In golf, what you believe about a product is at least as important as what you know.

Saturday
Oct062007

"Architects like Robert Trent Jones and his regrettably prolific scions dotted the American landscape..."

Thanks to reader Mark for Dean Barnett's wonderful look at the rise of the minimalist movement in architecture, highlighted by his look at Sand Hills, Bandon Dunes and Ballyneal. But it's the setup and conclusion that prove just as  entertaining:

But there followed several decades of golf architecture dreck. Architects like Robert Trent Jones and his regrettably prolific scions dotted the American landscape with courses that were difficult and unpleasant to play--largely because they deviated from the tradition born in St. Andrews. Instead of letting each player figure out his own route from hole to hole, they funnelled all into a single narrow path.

Rees Jones, Robert Trent Jones's son, is still one of golf's most prominent architects. He describes his theory of golf architecture as follows: "My style emphasizes definition. I work hard at giving the golfer a concept as he stands over the ball. I want him to see the intended target and be able to visualize the shot." What Rees Jones omits from his reckoning is that some golfers, indeed most golfers, may be incapable of pulling off the shot that he compels them to see. Golfers have enjoyed finding their own way around St. Andrews for over 500 years. Speaking on behalf of the modern golf architecture establishment, Rees Jones in essence insists that he has discovered a better way: He will officiously preside over each and every golfer's each and every shot.

Jones family members haven't been the only architects guilty of committing affronts to golf history and ignoring the imperative that the game be fun. Perhaps the most serious offender has been Jack Nicklaus, arguably the greatest golfer ever. Nicklaus has had a hand in designing 207 courses. While some of his courses are picturesque, few are fun unless you're able to play golf as well as Jack Nicklaus. On many of his courses, the average player will lose half a dozen balls a round, many of them having found a watery grave in one of the man-made water-hazards of which Nicklaus is so fond. As a player, Nicklaus probably wouldn't even notice many of the water hazards that litter his courses. But the typical golfer does.
And the conclusion to the piece...
There remains the pressing question of what long-term impact places like Sand Hills, Bandon Dunes, and Ballyneal will have on golf architecture and the game itself. The early attempts at golf-course design by Jack Nicklaus's successor as king of golf, Tiger Woods, may offer a clue.

For his first project, announced in 2006, Woods took a commission to build a course on a piece of flat desert in Dubai. It was a move right out of the Nicklaus school: Put a golf course where nature didn't intend there to be one, substituting one man's limited imagination for nature's infinite variety. The "Tiger Woods, Dubai," its website says, "will feature 20 palaces, 75 mansions and 190 luxury villas that offer the perfect blend of exclusivity and luxurious community living"--about as far as conceivable from the austere fun to be had at a place like Sand Hills.

For his second commission, Woods undertook to build a golf course on a piece of rolling terrain outside of Asheville called the Carolina Preserve. When the project was announced a few months back, Woods insisted that the land is perfect for golf, and that no man-made lakes or waterfalls will blight his first American design. The course will be walking only.

So has Tiger undergone a conversion? Only the finished product will tell. But this much we know: When someone asked him to describe his design philosophy, Tiger Woods used the magic word: "I'm more of a minimalist," he said.

 

Saturday
Oct062007

Annika Turns Down Exemption Created Just For Her

That new exemption created for Annika Sorenstam to get into the Samsung? It looks like the LPGA once again was not prepared for the backlash.

Mark Steinberg, head of the golf division at IMG and Sorenstam's agent, said the Swede became concerned last week upon hearing that some players were told the top 18 on the LPGA Tour money list would get in to the event at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif.

The rest of the field is comprised of the defending champion, four major champions, leader on the Ladies European Tour money list, one special exemption (Michelle Wie), and the rest coming from the money list.

"She didn't want the perception that she was taking a spot," Steinberg said. "She decided to do what's best for the LPGA."

This is also rather incredible regarding Michelle Wie's exemption: 
Wie, who has made only two cuts on the LPGA this year and just began her freshman year at Stanford, accepted the special exemption in March. This will be her fourth straight year playing the tournament.

If not for Wie getting a special exemption, the last spot in the field would have gone to Evian Masters champion Natalie Gulbis.
Friday
Oct052007

Duval and The Family Crisis Rule...

As much as I understand the premise behind the new PGA Tour family crisis rule, and as much as we all wish this was never a topic for debate, something still bothered me about the announcement. It took all week, but I now know what it is.

First, here's Doug Ferguson's story on the announcement.

The result is "family crisis" being part of the medical extension regulations, and both Duval and Hart will be eligible.

"He's treated as if he had a back injury," said Andy Pazder, the tour's vice president of competition.

Duval returned to competition last week at the Viking Classic, where he tied for 44th, and he plans to play one more event in the Fall Series. His schedule next year will be based on the average number of starts among the top 125 on the money list this year.

"It's the right thing," Duval said last week. "I actually got thanked for bringing this up. I said to them a couple of months ago, whether they make it retroactive or not, it needs to be done."

As for other situations that might arise? Pazder said like any medical extension request, the decision lies with Finchem.

"It's got to be a serious family crisis," he said. "It's a hardship caused by the illness of immediate family."

As reader Chris noted, a litany of excuses will come up and it could be a nightmare for the Tour to sort through. Let's hope that's not the case. Because the Tour deserves credit for showing compassion and heading off a potentially awkward situation should, God forbid, there be another tragedy like Heather Clarke.

But something about this spoke to a larger question of reducing playing opportunities on the PGA Tour, as well as the top 125 rule gone slightly awry? Namely, why is David Duval getting yet another chance?

Just for some background, let's recall his comments about Ben Crenshaw in Golf Digest last year.

Duval: There were a few guys who felt they should be paid for playing a Ryder Cup, which is fine; that's their position. I didn't want to get paid, but I got beat up. I got a kick out of some of the other players who weren't on the team giving me crap for talking about Ryder Cup money when they actually got paid for doing stuff at the Ryder Cup, like clinics for companies during the matches. The only guys who don't get paid at the Ryder Cup are the players in the Ryder Cup. The captain makes money. That's a problem I had with Crenshaw in 1999.

Q. Explain.

Duval: Well, he talked about the purity of the Ryder Cup, and what he did with all that purity is make a bunch of money off the thing. He wrote a book about it; he had his clothing company involved. He kept saying how it burned his ass, us talking about charity dollars and hurting the sanctity of the event. But after he took his big stand and sold everybody else down the river, he did what we did with the charity money. I asked him point blank, "If you were so against this, why would you want anything to do with that charity money?" He took his $100,000 and sent it to the charity of his choice. Where's the purity in that?

Fine, fair point.

However, as someone who portrays himself as ferociously independent, strong-willed and "pure" --the PGA Tour's Howard Roark--he is now accepting his second less-than-pure exemption to play for essentially another year on the PGA Tour? One was entirely within the rules, one is a new rule created retroactively with Duval and Dudley Hart in mind.

It seems that if your actions in golf are all about purity, wouldn't you accept that your wife had a rough pregnancy and that's the tiny price to pay for having a large, wonderful family life?  Furthermore, thanks to the PGA Tour, he still has the chance to play Fall Finish events in hopes of keeping his card. And if not, he can head to Q-school like all of the other independent contractors?

No? Thoughts?

Friday
Oct052007

Wild Dunes 18th RIP (Again)

wild+dunes+web.jpgThanks to reader Mike for this local news segment on the unfortunate loss of No. 18 at Wild Dunes...again. This time not to a Hurricane, but "beach erosion."

Worth watching to hear the main part of the piece: that the course is still great even though it's a par-70 instead of a par-72. 

It never ends! 

Thursday
Oct042007

"Despite having recently signed a new five-year deal, they are still underpaid and overworked."

oct07_feherty_299x359.jpgWhile doing my traditional power flip through October's Golf Magazine, I managed to slow down enough to avoid a paper cut and stumble on David Feherty's column celebrating the career of retiring PGA Tour rules offical George Boutrell.

While the column is classic Feherty, repleat with several plum fart and hemorroid jokes, he isn't too wild about the Tour's treatment of its officials.

One reason George retired early was his compassion for the people who sat beside him in coach after a week of dealing with prima donnas who wanted drops from lies where the grass wasn't growing in the right direction, viewers calling in with idiotic rulings, missing and presumed stolen courtesy cars, and frequent cavity searches at airport security.

After years of being seated next to hideously cheerful "Isn't flying fun? What do you do for a living?" nimrods, he knew that eventually he was going to kill and eat one of them. In an age during which professional golf is rolling in cash, Rules officials still have to fly in the back of the airplane.

The Tour is lucky to have such great officials. Despite having recently signed a new five-year deal, they are still underpaid and overworked. Now it seems the ones with the most experience are becoming an endangered species.

Thursday
Oct042007

Kuehne Win Confirms Golf Digest's Ability to Rank Wall Street Golfers

kuehne.jpgThey were criticized for lumping Trip Kuehne in with America's richest, whitest men who get their company to pay for a NetJets fractional share, but with his U.S. Mid-Amateur win, look for Golf Digest to consider ending its week-long Local Knowledge blog sabbatical by noting this historic rankings validation.

Golfweek's Ron Balicki reports on the win but fails to give us Kuehne's final Adidas-Taylor Made logo count. Looks like he has a hat-shirt-glove-bag-irons-driver-ball deal.

Oh and what's with that trophy? 

Wednesday
Oct032007

Monty Studying Faldo's Mistakes In Preparation For Own Ryder Cup Captaincy

330_Colin_Montgomerie_Seve_Trophy_576967.jpgWonder if Monty's picking out uniforms for 2010 yet? No, he's not presuming. No, not at all.
Colin Montgomerie has admitted he will learn from the controversy surrounding Paul McGinley's resignation from the Ryder Cup vice-captaincy when his own chance to lead the European team eventually comes round.

Irishman McGinley withdrew from his role as one of European skipper Nick Faldo's right-hand men in the build up to last week's Seve Trophy after declaring his intention is to focus on playing his way into the team for the 2008 clash with the US in Kentucky.

Montgomerie, speaking ahead of Thursday's £2.5million Dunhill Links championship at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, is being touted as a favourite to land the captaincy role when the biennial joust returns to European soil in 2010.

And the 44-year-old former European Tour number one, a veteran of eight Ryder Cup contests, said: "There are lessons to be learned, yes.

"One of the best selections we've had in the past 10 years was Thomas Bjorn in 2004.

"He didn't make the team a month before the event and was given an assistant captain's role and did a brilliant job.

"That to me is when the vice captains should be selected, when we know the team and when we know that certain experienced Ryder Cup players have maybe missed the team. They can then help the captain at that stage.

"There is little a vice-captain can do at this early stage to be honest. If I was in the captain's role I would hopefully select a Ryder Cup captain a month before the event."
Prepare yourself. This is frightening:
Monty tees-up at Carnoustie in the opening round in company of amateur partner Ray Romano, star of US sitcom 'Something About Raymond' with Faldo and musician, Huey Lewis, making up an intriguing fourball.

Montgomerie, who won the Dunhill Links title in 2005, added: "I started watching 'Something About Raymond' recently and I found it very funny.

"Ray is obviously keen on golf and he's on the PGA Tour's website explaining his love of the game. With Nick and Huey also playing with us, it should be very interesting."

Wednesday
Oct032007

'08 Open Tickets Available And You Don't Have To Buy A Lexus Or Charge It To Your AmEx Card!

In case you want to experience really awful San Diego traffic, here's the link.

 

Wednesday
Oct032007

"I don't know why you are asking me about this"

gwar01_071005jackgarydiaz.jpgGolf World's Jaime Diaz considers the future of the President's Cup in this week's issue...
Meanwhile, the game's second most viable star, Mickelson, could potentially use the threat of not playing in future Presidents Cups as a lever to persuade the tour to make some of the changes he is seeking in the implementation of the FedEx Cup.

In an effort to head off such an insurrection, the tour has been predictably sensible. To create some breathing room for team play that did not exist this year nor will for the Ryder Cup in 2008, the 2009 Presidents Cup at San Francisco's Harding Park will be held Oct. 5-11. The 2011 event in Melbourne, meanwhile, is scheduled for November.

But while San Francisco offers enough star-quality resources, Australia will be a litmus test of the Presidents Cup's true growth. The same site in 1998 produced the most desultory American performance to date -- a 20½-11½ pasting. If Woods and/or Mickelson decide against the trip, it could start the Presidents Cup the way of the once proud, now in shambles World Cup.

Asked about the future of the event, the assessments of several principals ranged from defensively optimistic to non-committal. The former stance, not surprisingly, was taken by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. "I saw the enthusiasm, and I don't know why you are asking me about this," he said Sunday after the matches. "All I see are guys who love this competition. It's hard for me to imagine a situation where a guy wouldn't make every effort to participate because I know how much they care. Based on that, my comfort level for the Presidents Cup is high."

Ty Votaw, the tour's vice president of communications and international affairs, seemed even more comfortable. "I think in terms of the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup, the players really don't have a choice," he said. "They can't skip them. It's God and country."

Wednesday
Oct032007

Men's Mid-Am Final Set

Trip Kuehne vs. Dan Whitaker, reports Craig Smith from Bandon.

Wednesday
Oct032007

Gggggggg's Baaaaack!

kennyG_T1.jpg Kenny G is back at Ontario's Nationwide event to take up a spot that could be used by someone trying to make a living at this nutty game. But as Jill Painter reports, Kenny's got an album to plug.
Kenny G used to own a plus-.6 handicap, but he's played only four or five rounds this year. He has used 2007 to focus on music and will release an album - "Rhythm and Romance" - on Valentine's Day next year. It's his first Latin album.

"I'm super excited," said Kenny G, who's sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. "When I made my first Christmas record, I made it because I couldn't find a Christmas record I liked. It's the same thing with the Latin record. There were a lot that I liked but not a lot I could put on and get into a certain vibe.

"This is very romantic and very rhythmical. It has a lot more tempo than most records I've done."

That's saying a lot.
The tempo of his golf swing isn't Kenny G's only thing this week. He was scheduled to play a charity concert Tuesday night as part of the week's golf activities.

"I'm totally flattered they think I can add some value to the tournament," he said. "My music performance raises money for charity, and I'm good enough (golfer) to not embarrass them by using a sponsor's exemption."

Wow, and you thought the last Monday charity event you played in was a long day. Imagine 6 hours at Empire Lakes followed by a Kenny G concert?

Wednesday
Oct032007

The Power Of The Swoosh?

What do these logos have in common? Why, it's a forward or upward moving swooshy kind of solid line. Can our graphics experts please fill us in if this is synonymous with a brand that's moving forward? Or just the same person designing logos for the PGA and LPGA Tour?

 

FirstTeelogo.jpgWGCAmExLogo05.gifchampionstour.gifLPGA07logo-c_125px.gifnationwide%20logo.jpg 

Wednesday
Oct032007

LPGA Unveils Green-Haired, Yellow-Rumped Brand Vision

LPGA07logo-c_125px.gifThey've taken Tiger's old follow through, morphed it with the World Golf Championship and First Tee logos, and voila, leveraged brand equity is born...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 3, 2007 -- The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) today unveiled its new logo, a contemporized version of its classic “swinging lady” mark. Working with SME, the world leader in strategic sports branding and design, the LPGA brought the vision of its dynamic future to life with a series of bold brushstrokes designed to stand the test of time.

“We designed a logo that represents the power, strength and athleticism of our LPGA athletes, and with the use of the bold colors, highlights our international membership and global business,” said LPGA Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens. “This new logo underscores the changes in women's sports and the LPGA in recent years, and communicates the LPGA's bright future.”

That's not what I got from it. I got: why does she have a green ponytail?
The sleek new logo, which features an effortless, bold stroke-form of a female golfer, was designed to reflect the power, energy and contemporary lifestyle of the LPGA athlete. For the first time in the association's 58 years, the LPGA's primary mark will not be enclosed in a frame, representing a future with limitless potential.
LPGA07Logo-solid_125px.gifOh nice symbolism. And time for the traditional quote pile-on...

 

"Throughout the creative-design process, we sought a logo that offered a balance between the classic and traditional nature of the sport, but also captured the passion and drive of today's LPGA members," said Bill Susetka, the LPGA's chief marketing officer. "We also needed a logo that we could easily reproduce on merchandise, billboards and signage, and one that could carry its meaning to all points around the world. We've achieved this with our new logo."

"Of all the prestigious brand development assignments that we've been fortunate enough to work on over the years, the LPGA is among the most exciting," said Ed O'Hara, SME's chief creative officer and senior partner. "The new logo is a dramatic expression of the special and unique attributes of the brand, and truly symbolizes the LPGA's brand promise of showcasing the very best in women's golf."
And there's even more good news... 
Fans do not have to wait until the ADT Championship to catch their first glimpse of the striking new logo. A wide array of official LPGA merchandise and golf related items are available for the first time today via the LPGA's new online pro shop: www.LPGAproshop.com. A wide array of LPGA-branded apparel and golf-related items are now available on the Web site.
300730.jpgI think I know what I want for Christmas: the hat pin and hat clip ball marker combo platter. Though I wouldn't be upset if you got me a "These Girls Rock" hat too.
The logo redesign, the first since 1992, and LPGA Pro Shop launch are part of the organization's on-going branding initiatives that reinforce the LPGA as one of the world's most dynamic sports brands.

Just looking at the logo, I feel better about the LPGA already. 

On a serious note, it is an improvement. Seriously, it is. 

Tuesday
Oct022007

Where's Marty Hackel When You Need Him? Vol. 397

Accidentally clicking on a link in an attempt to get another broken link to work, I stumbled upon one of those CBS-Golf Digest Rules of the Game deals and was thoroughly impressed with the look cultivated for Bobby Clampett, though I'm guess it wasn't the handiwork of Golf Digest's intrepid style guru Marty Hackel.

The sagging green shirt he picked up at a Las Vegas Golf factory store, complete with a circa 1997 below the elbow cut. Then there's the fully branded, certificate of authenticity verified Dale Earnhardt Commemorative Edition shades straight from Walmart (to cut down on glare), and of course, the sweat stains for a touch of Central Florida post-Villages golf outing gritty.

Please, I know Marty's on the road too much as it is, but can we get him to do one of those fashion rehab things with Clampett (minus the $520 belt).

BobbyClampett 

 

Tuesday
Oct022007

"Without Davis Love III, Fred Couples, Jay Haas and other U.S. mainstays from the pre-Tiger era, Woods and Mickelson seemed far more comfortable"

gwar02_071005philwoody.jpgA few interesting observations from Golf World's John Hawkins regarding the U.S. triumph at Royal Montreal:

From a personnel standpoint, however, the pieces here all fit perfectly. Without Davis Love III, Fred Couples, Jay Haas and other U.S. mainstays from the pre-Tiger era, Woods and Mickelson seemed far more comfortable, not only as team leaders, but with each other. Nicklaus' light touch has never imparted a more positive effect -- when you've won 18 majors, there's no need to break chalkboards. Furyk, Toms, Stricker and Zach Johnson are gentle, easygoing guys, low-maintenance types and dependable putters. It's easy to say now, but this team was a lot better in person than on paper.

Then there's Woody. "He brings exuberance, and it [rubs] off on everyone," said Mickelson, who manhandled Vijay Singh in Sunday singles and lost just once in five matches, countering his poor performances at the '03 Presidents and '04 and '06 Ryder Cups. "We've played these things every year since '94, and guys like Woody and [Mahan] remind us how fun and exciting it is. That gets us focused."

On past U.S. squads Jerry Kelly and Chris DiMarco auditioned for the role of emotional catalyst. Both are high-end grinders whose relative lack of talent has been overcome by high levels of intensity, but neither was all that successful when it came to translating that vibe throughout the roster. Their intentions may have been admirable, but the message came across in a foreign language.

Meanwhile, because I know they love having their work lumped together, don't miss Alan Shipnuck's golf.com Hot List for this week. I've included the Presidents Cup list-makers here:

1. Rory Sabbatini. On a team of disappointments, he stood out with a homely 0-3-1 record, including a loss in the leadoff single match, which is supposed to set the tone for the team. Not only that, but Woody Austin has now usurped him as golf's biggest dufus, an honor Sabbo seemed to treasure.

3. George O'Grady. The Euro tour's executive director used a Presidents Cup press conference to pooh-pooh drug-testing as unnecessary and too expensive. Earth to George: ask Bud Selig how costly denial can be.

5. Vincent Chase. He used to be the most famous Aquaman, but now Woody Austin has stolen this title, too. Funny thing about Austin, as goofy as he is, you can't deny he's got a ton of game. 

I also hoped to read Brett Avery's typically entertaining player scorecard but couldn't get the link to work. Is  it just me or anyone else having the same problem? **

** Now working! 

Tuesday
Oct022007

“Barb has always stood out as someone who epitomizes all that is good about the game of golf."

I make a point to read as many press releases as possible so that I can remain thoroughly jaded. Imagine my pleasant surprise at the Oregon Golf Association's announcement that Barb Trammell had been hired as their CEO.

You may recall that Trammell was the highly respected LPGA official fired early into the Biven regime for placing tournament rules over marketing priorities.  

The OGA release features the usual nonsense and stiff quotes from the parties involved, but what caught my eye were the two endorsements Trammell received in the official release.

David Fay, Executive Director of the USGA commented, “Barb has always stood out as someone who epitomizes all that is good about the game of golf.  She emanates class and integrity, and believes that the golf business, championship operations and the application of the Rules of Golf should be administered with the highest level of excellence.  I am particularly pleased that the OGA will be able to benefit from her wisdom and talent.”

Former LPGA Commissioner Ty Votaw, who worked with Trammell from 1999 to 2005, stated that Trammell is “a consummate professional who is respected throughout the golf industry.  The LPGA was extremely fortunate to have Barb Trammell working for it and I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for so many years with a person of such integrity and talents.”

There's something you don't see every day. The Executive Director of the USGA and a high ranking PGA Tour official endorsing a regional golf association hiring.

Their comments would seem to speak to the esteem others in executive circles have held for Trammell's work. And perhaps it's a statement about what other higher-ups think of Bivens' decision to fire her.