Latest From GolfDigest.com
Latest From The Loop
Twitter
Feedblitz
To Get GeoffShackelford.com Posts Delivered To Your Inbox Enter Email Address Below:


Powered by FeedBlitz
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
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • 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
  • 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
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2014: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2014: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
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

The construction of hazards, their place in the scheme of the hole, the artistic blending of their contours with the character of the ground and their relation to the scenery as a background are things of the first importance if a harmonious and satisfactory result is to be obtained. TOM SIMPSON 

 

    

Thursday
Mar012007

The Nicklaus Golf Digest Article, Vol. 4

Some more comments of interest from his co-authored piece with Jaime Diaz:

I hope we’re not running people out of the game. As it has become an easier game to play for the pros, the trend toward more severe courses has made it harder for the amateur.

In most cases, the farther the amateur is able to hit the ball, the farther the ball goes off line. The old average drive was in the 190-yard range, but now it’s more like 210 to 220. And on many of the newer courses, off line means searching for golf balls. It’s making the game slower, and a lot less fun.
Oh and don't forget Jack, more dangerous for the townhomes on the rim. Sorry, continue...
The game is more popular than ever among avid golfers with the income and leisure to play a lot, but most people have less free time than ever. The current generation of younger parents spends a lot more time supervising their kids than previous generations, and it means they find it harder to justify a weekend round of golf. Leaving for the course at 7 in the morning and coming back at 3 in the afternoon is a hard sell for a family man. But getting back in time for lunch wouldn’t be.

That’s why we should consider the possibility of making 12 holes a standard round. It might mean breaking up 18-hole facilities into three segments of six holes. Of course it would meet resistance, but eventually it would be accepted because it would make sense in people’s lives.
And this is the best part, addressing the ridiculous attacks made against him over the years by folks who, if confronted by the greatest of them all, would never dare to question his motives and would blabber all over him about being their hero. But behind his back...he's just bitter...right!
Those who say that my comments are intended to help my course-design business are wrong. As a designer, I benefit financially from more land used, more renovations, more penal features. As for people thinking I favor a rollback in equipment because I don’t want Tiger to break my record, going back to older-style equipment would help, not hurt, Tiger because his skill level would make a bigger difference. If we took equipment back today, he might win 30 majors instead of 20.
I’m more interested in the game of golf than in my records. I did what I could do in my time, and it was the best I could do. Now I just want what’s best for the game.
Thursday
Mar012007

Rack Up A Perfect Club Rerun...

...because another hour of the Honda isn't worth it?

This is an odd one, reported by Craig Dolch in the Palm Beach Post:

TV air times returned to three hours: A week after saying it would cuts its Thursday and Friday telecasts of Honda by an hour, Golf Channel officials announced Wednesday it has returned its air times to 3-6 p.m.

Last week, the network announced the air times had been changed to 4-6 p.m. in the first two rounds, without giving a reason. The Palm Beach Post reported the reason for the change was Golf Channel was trying to persuade American Honda to buy more advertising, but the car company balked.

A source Wednesday said the Golf Channel made its change after receiving a phone call from PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, who didn't want to lose two hours of golf coverage.

 

Thursday
Mar012007

USGA Groove Change Question, Vol. 3

Do any of you know someone who has heard this announcement on grooves and who has seen it as anything other than a backdoor way to deal with distance?

I ask because the initial reaction to this announcement does not seem to be, "oh they are finally going to do something about guys not caring about hitting fairways." The reaction I hear is, "when are they going to do something about distance?"

Check out Jim Furyk's comments at the Honda Classic yesterday.

JIM FURYK: I could give you a good stat. Back in I think it was in '02 and '03, the Top-5 guys on the Money List each year, only one of them were in the Top-100 in driving accuracy. So why it's become an issue in 2007 is probably my biggest wonderment. You know, we haven't started hitting longer overnight. Didn't happen yesterday in '06. But probably trying to figure out a good way to combat the distance has probably been more the issue.

Being a player, I would just follow the rules and figure out a way to play the best I can within them and won't worry about it. The good players are still going to play the best no matter what they do with the rules. I guess they are just trying to separate, make more separation. I don't know, our game has become a power-oriented game. If my kids want to learn to play or if they want to play competitively, I'm going to teach them to hit it hard, if I can, because I still don't really know how to.
But I'm going to teach them to hit it hard, and we'll figure out how to hit it straight later. Basically that's how my career went. When I was young I hit the ball far. When I was in college I used to hit in the long drive contest for my college team. Obviously it doesn't look like that now and I don't have the ability to move it like I used to. But, you know, my game was kind of long and crooked as a junior, and now it's shorter, more controlled. But if I have a son or a daughter that wants to play, I'm going to teach them to bomb it because that's the way the game is going and we'll teach them to hit it straight later.

 

Wednesday
Feb282007

"It's the chair off the Titanic"

Jack's really, really excited about the the groove rule change impacting distance gains from the ball really good stretching programs. Plugging the President's Cup with Gary Player, he was asked about adjustable equipment.

JACK NICKLAUS: I need one every day anyway, so that's all right. I need an adjustable driver. You never know what swing I'm going to bring along. I don't think either one of them mean very much, but it's -- I guess it's a start, I suppose. But it's the chair off the Titanic, I guess (laughter).

Q. Jack, this is another regulatory question. I enjoyed your comments in Golf Digest with Jaime Diaz on many subjects, but the suggestion about rolling back the ball 10 percent, which I know both of you had advocated. Jack, where would most of the opposition to doing this actually come from? And the other question is for the average player, would they -- what would be the benefit, potential benefit, of doing that?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, there's several things. We don't have time for all of it. But one, if you take the ball and roll it back, whatever the percentage might be, you really are bringing about 17,000 or 18,000 or 19,000 golf courses in the United States that are basically obsolete to the professional, you're bringing those back into play for a possible event or something where the professionals can go play.

If you have the average golfer, now has a golf ball that is so high tech and clubs that are so high tech that they may hit the ball on the face of the golf course maybe one out of ten shots, and when they hit one out of ten shots on the face, they say, wow, look how far that goes, and they love it. But the other nine shots, because it is so high tech when they miss it, it goes much shorter than it would have if they didn't have such a high tech piece of equipment or ball. So learning how to play golf -- part of this whole thing is to bring people in the game and keep them in the game. And if you have a golf ball that you don't know whether you're going to hit it on the face or not hit it on the face and there's 50 yards of difference between a good shot and a bad shot, it's hard to learn how to play golf.

This is fun...

Back when we were playing, granted, the ball didn't go as far, the clubs didn't hit it as far, but the difference between me and the club champion in most places was 15 or 20 yards at max. I could go to any course and play an exhibition, and I'll bet Gary can say the same, we'd go to play an exhibition and the club champ was playing, in the old conditions the club champ had a chance of beating us. Today, 7,400, 7,500 yards, 7,600, that the pros have to play it from to be competitive, the club champ has got no chance. I'd love to see the game be brought together for the average golfer and the pros together.

Ah...that makes a lot of sense Jack. We can't have that! Oh you weren't done...

Now, you say what's the advantage to the average golfer? Well, the average golfer, they have the ability to always move back on the golf course, the pros don't. Likewise, they have the ability to move up on a golf course, and so do the pros. If you're playing the average golfer at 6,500 yards and it's too long for them, they can move to 6,400 or 6,300 pretty easy. I just think making a game, playing it -- I sort of liken it to the small ball and the large ball 35 years ago, whatever it was, in Britain. They took the large ball and made a condition for competition and made it the same as a U.S. ball. And after about a year or so, they left the small ball and all the conditions that the small ball had for the average golfer.

Well, after about a year or so, they found that the college players, the junior golfers, the amateur golfers, anyone who wanted to play competition were playing the large ball, and the rest of the golfers were left out by playing a golf ball that was not the same. So they actually legislated -- I think the legislature came more from the average golfer than from the pros to bring the large ball for everybody. I would rather see the same thing here. If you decided -- if we only did it for the pros and made the conditions for competition, then all of a sudden I think that would be a step in one direction, and then all of a sudden the average golfer is always going to play to want what the pro plays.

It's going to be fun when one of the companies actually sells one of these balls at a Pine Valley or Merion and it just snowballs from there. I'd hate to be a shareholder in one of the companies that doesn't adjust!

Right now all they advertise on television is, "play what the pros play." Well, they can't play it. They just don't have the clubhead speed to play it. But if we brought everything back -- we could get everything back relatively the same. If you left the golf ball for the average golfer in conditions for competition, I think the average golfer in a year would ask for the other ball and the other condition. The whole point of that whole thing is to try to bring the average golfer or the good single-digit player and the pro closer so when they're watching it on television or they're watching the game that they feel like they're watching the same game that they might have a chance to play.

Q. Where does most of the opposition to doing that come from?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I wish I knew, really. I suppose there are probably -- I don't know. Could be ball manufacturers probably, but not -- I never really spoken to any ball manufacturer who has actually told me that they're against it. I've spoken to quite a few who are for it.

Hmmm...

Well, that's just a rally that needs to be killed...

Q. This question is for both you. With Tiger and Phil getting into the golf course design business, I wonder if you can tell me to what degree does being a great golfer help you become a great golf course designer?
Wednesday
Feb282007

Now That's A Waterfall!

Thanks to reader Rob for this epic course entrance...

arbor_f2703.jpg 

Wednesday
Feb282007

Golf's Best Interview

Jaime Diaz in this week's Golf World says Geoff Ogilvy is the best interview in golf:
Ogilvy's figuratively old head, perhaps made wiser by growing up next to Royal Melbourne, startled me the first time I asked him a question. "Golf was better before," he said in October 2005. "There was more art. It doesn't create a really rounded golfer." At a time when the shortcomings of the emerging twentysomethings were still well below the radar, Ogilvy captured the issue in three quick sentences.

"The complicated thing is making it simple, if that makes any sense," he said, offering as good a definition of a first-class mind as any. Indeed, in quotes over the last year including an upcoming interview with John Huggan in Golf Digest, Ogilvy produces one pearl after another.

Of Woods: "I mean, Tiger is the angriest player on tour. He's also the best at controlling it."

Of Sergio Garcia: "When he starts making putts again -- which he is going to do -- he's going to win 10 times in a year. He is the best ball-striker in the world, probably. … But he is so analytical about his putting and not about anything else. … He's like Seve, only in reverse."

On golf architecture: "I like there to be a relationship between the quality of your drive and ease of your second shot."

Wednesday
Feb282007

"If the course is good, it’ll attract players"

Steve Elling, writing about the new look Florida swing, offers this from Luke Donald:

 “If the course is good, it’ll attract players, and that’s the bottom line,” said 10th-ranked Luke Donald, who won the Honda last year at nearby Country Club at Mirasol.
Tuesday
Feb272007

USGA Groove Change Question, Vol. 2

Having failed to try and make a point the first time, I'm going to take another crack at this.

In the press release announcing their proposed rule change, the USGA goes out of its way to note that it is not impacting the average player. In the same announcement, they are bending the rules on adjustable equipment for the average player. And then there's the language about conditions only for "highly skilled players."

Reader Michael in the original post on this gets to the essence of my point much more succinctly than I:

According to the language of the proposal, clubs that conform to the new standards would be required in “…competitive events conducted after Jan. 1, 2009…” with the USGA recommending that this “…Condition apply only to competitions involving highly skilled players.” If implemented as written, would this proposal not amount to a defacto bifurcation of the rules of golf as they apply to golfers of differing skills?

The proposal also raises the question of just how the USGA and other sanctioned Competition Committees will determine what constitutes a “skilled player.” Looking at the handicap requirements for golfers attempting to qualify in various USGA competitions, one can’t help but notice that it will be quite a chore. Persons wishing to compete in the US Open, US Amateur, US Amateur Public Links, or the US Junior Amateur, for example, are required to have handicaps of not less than 1.4, 2.4, 8.4, and 6.4, respectively. Will all of those competitors be considered skilled players?

What about events for Seniors and Women, whose minimum handicap requirements are much higher? Are they all skilled players or will there be some bifurcation of the rules to account for differing skill levels? Will the NCAA rule that all college golf competitors are skilled players? Under this proposal, a situation in which Division I players would be required to carry 100% conforming clubs, while Division II and III players would carry differing numbers of conforming clubs –a trifurcation of the rules - is not as far-fetched as it seems at first glance.

So is the USGA, which has long scoffed at bifurcation of the rules, in effect bifurcating the game with the groove announcement?

Wouldn't a bifurcation via a rolled back "highly skilled" player ball spec be simpler than this? 

Tuesday
Feb272007

"When Tiger's foundation is involved, he has a pretty good track record of playing in the event"

Len Shapiro on the new Washington D.C. stop benefitting Tiger's foundation:
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced yesterday that the tour had reached a long-term agreement with the Tiger Woods Foundation, the educational charity established by Woods and his father in 1996, to be the host organization and beneficiary of a tournament in the Washington area July 5-8. The site of the event is undetermined, but the tour is in negotiations with Congressional Country Club, site of the 2011 U.S. Open, to host the event in 2007 and 2008.

Woods is expected to be a regular presence at the tournament, though his participation this year might be affected by the birth of his first child. Woods and his wife, Elin Nordegren, have not announced a due date, but he has said he might not play in the British Open July 19-22 because the baby is due around that time.

"When Tiger's foundation is involved, he has a pretty good track record of playing in the event," his longtime agent, Mark Steinberg, said yesterday. "This year, it may be something of a wild card because his wife is expecting at around that time, so everything is pretty much up in the air. But I can tell you he's very excited about the Washington event."

Tuesday
Feb272007

"Stirring the embers of the fire"

John Hopkins writing about the USGA/R&A groove annoucement in the Times:
The proposal to re-emphasise skill over power is to be welcomed, but it will not silence critics of the modern game. They say that the game’s rule-makers are stirring the embers of the fire caused by the present problem — the distance the ball travels — when they should be putting out the fire itself.

Tuesday
Feb272007

USGA Groove Change Question, Vol. 1

So let's just ignore the whole ban-grooves-to-distract-from-distance-issue for a moment and consider that the USGA has come out with this proposed ban on U-grooves to restore skill, and at the same time, in a pathetic pandering to manufacturer marketing departments, announced changes in the rules for adjustable equipment.

(Pathetic pandering: The USGA believes these changes regarding adjustability can help many golfers obtain clubs that are well suited to their needs without causing any harm to the game.)

So the USGA is touting its defense of skill in changing the groove rules, where equipment was overcompensating for a lack of skill, yet bending the rules to help those with less skill by easing the rules on adjustable clubs.

Contradiction? 

Tuesday
Feb272007

Newsflash! Harding To Get President's Cup

The PGA Tour confirms what Ron Kroichick dared to report a few weeks ago:

Under the terms of the agreement, Harding Park will serve as the host venue for The Presidents Cup in 2009; the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the Champion’s Tour season-ending event, in 2010 and 2011; an event from the four-tournament PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup series in either 2013 or 2014; and one additional event in the period 2014-2019 to be selected from among The Presidents Cup, a Playoff for the FedExCup event or a World Golf Championships event.

“We are absolutely delighted to reach this agreement with the City, ensuring that Harding Park will continue to periodically serve as the site for some of the TOUR’s premier events,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “As our experience with the World Golf Championships - American Express Championship proved in October, 2005, the golf course is a wonderful venue for the world’s best players, and San Francisco is a terrific host city. Our players and sponsors had a tremendous experience at Harding Park, and we are eagerly looking forward to our return.”

Not to be picky, but shouldn't the Commissioner have referred to the American Express Championship as the CA Championship? After all, that's what it's called on the 2005 schedule, even though it was played as something else. You know, for brand consistency.

Tuesday
Feb272007

The Boy Who Beat Tiger

ESPN.com's Jason Sobel tracks down one of Tiger's rare childhood losses in match play. Thanks to reader John for catching this.

Tuesday
Feb272007

Tour and Tiger Return To D.C.

 Does this mean Tiger really hates Denver's altitude that much?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2007
PGA TOUR, TIGER WOODS FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE
NEW TOURNAMENT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Finchem, Woods to Announce Event Details at March 7 Press Conference

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - The PGA TOUR, in conjunction with the Tiger Woods Foundation, announced today that the TOUR will return to Washington, D.C. as a result of the two organizations reaching a long-term agreement to create a new PGA TOUR event in the nation’s capital, beginning in July, 2007.

The new tournament will be held the week of July 2-8 with the Tiger Woods Foundation serving as the event's host organization and primary charitable beneficiary. A press conference is scheduled for March 7 in Washington, D.C. where PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and Tiger Woods will announce further details of the tournament, including the title sponsor, total purse, and the charitable vision for the event.

"After an extensive search, we are very excited about our partnership with the Tiger Woods Foundation to bring a PGA TOUR event back to our nation’s capital over the 4th of July holiday celebration," Finchem said. "We are delighted to be able to work with Tiger and his Foundation, and I look forward to joining him on March 7 to announce a very strong title sponsor and additional details of the tournament."

"This is a wonderful opportunity to expand awareness and interest in the work we're doing for millions of kids across the country," said Woods, founder of the Tiger Woods Foundation. "I'm grateful the PGA TOUR selected us as partners and am very excited my Foundation will host another amazing event, this time in our nation’s capital. I'm delighted to think of all the young people this will help us reach."

Additional information on the time and location of the March 7 press conference will be released later this week.


Tuesday
Feb272007

The USGA Makes It Official...

...a U-groove ban has been proposed.

The key lines from the press release:

The proposal calls for two key additional groove specifications for clubs. One would call for groove edge sharpness to be limited to an effective minimum radius of .010 inches. The second would limit the total cross-sectional area of a groove divided by the groove pitch (width plus separation) to 0.0025 square inches per inch.

The changes in grooves required under the USGA’s proposal would have very little effect on the performance of Surlyn balls favored by most golfers.  More than two-thirds of golf balls sold in the U.S. are Surlyn covered.  The impact of this proposal would be felt primarily by highly skilled players using urethane-covered balls.  

The USGA proposes that these new groove rules become effective for all new clubs covered by this rule change that are manufactured after Jan. 1, 2010. A related Condition of Competition would be added to the USGA Rules of Golf to become effective Jan. 1, 2009. This Condition would allow a Committee to require the use of clubs that conform to the new groove rules for competitive events conducted after Jan. 1, 2009.  Similar to other equipment-related Conditions of Competition, the USGA would recommend that the Condition apply only to competitions involving highly skilled players.

Monday
Feb262007

Golf Digest: Groove Announcement Coming Soon

The Brood and Gloom guys at GolfDigest.com report that the USGA's pathetic backdoor attempt at not dealing with the real issue elimination of the U-groove is about to be announced, and someone at the R&A seems to have confirmed so.

Still, several industry sources contacted by Golf World believe the ruling is coming sooner rather than later. The R&A's David Rickman commented recently that a rule proposal was in the offing. "We are in the throes of various meetings and wouldn't want to pre-empt their outcome,” Rickman told The Scotsman newspaper. “But all the signs are that we're very close to going out with 'notice and comment.’ ” When asked about Rickman’s statement, USGA senior technical director Dick Rugge did not dispute that a proposal could happen in the near future, although he declined to offer a specific timetable.
Bowel and Groin also address how this might affect the average golfer. 
The good news for average golfers? You won’t have to buy all new conforming stuff by next year. I’m guessing old stuff will be grandfathered for a pretty significant period of time (minimum five years is my guess). The other good news? It’s either going to make everybody a better golfer (increased pace of play) or half the golfing population quit (plenty of tee times for the rest of us). You start flying greens or having short chip shots run 30 feet by, and you either learn to hit fairways and greens or you throw your clubs in the woods. Whatever you do, though, buy a urethane-covered ball, which is the real hidden gem in the USGA's 180-page report on grooves research.

Okay, they lost me there. Anyone know where we can read up on this urethane stuff in the 180-page report?

Meanwhile, for more on what actually goes on with the grooves and why the USGA sees this is a backdoor approach to the distance issue, check out Mike Stachura's (is he Bulldoze or Gravel?) recent Golf Digest story on grooves.

Monday
Feb262007

The Nicklaus Golf Digest Article, Vol. 2

Has there ever been a more conscise summary of what the distance issue is all about?

We have about 16,000 courses in the United States. Almost all of them are obsolete for tournament play. For them to become relevant, we need to roll back the ball about 40 yards. That or rebuild all the fairway bunkers at 300 yards. Which is what we’re doing, and it costs a fortune. Instead of changing equipment, we’re changing golf courses. It’s great for my business. I’m making a living redoing my old courses. But the game should be able to go back to the classic courses just as they are. Why should we be changing all those golf courses? It’s ridiculous.

Trying to build great courses today is more complicated than ever. I’ve decided it’s best to basically design for the enjoyment of the average golfer. That’s what works best for the owners, who are selling memberships and selling their land. I was once accused of designing courses that were too severe. A lot of that was because I was designing a lot of tournament courses.

Creating a true challenge for the best professional players for one week of golf makes it too tough for the average player who is going to play it the rest of the year. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to make the game better for more golfers is to take the driver out of the hands of the elite player. So I tighten up the landing areas for them. It’s kind of a sad compromise, but I think it’s the only solution we’ve got. 

Actually, it's not a sad compromise if we could just make driver absolutely worthless on all championship courses. Then driver sales would plummet and just maybe some of the companies would say wait a second we need to roll back the...ah forget it, what was I thinking?

Monday
Feb262007

Invite The Women

Cameron Morfit says the match play is in need of a lift, so he recommends inviting the LPGA Tour to contest their own match play at the same time.

The Accenture is golf’s version of a tennis tournament: single-elimination, with most everything resting on the quality of the semifinal and final. One of the things tennis has going for it is that men and women play concurrently at the same venue. Right away you double your chances of having at least one star in a final, and of getting at least one compelling match in the prime viewing hours Saturday and Sunday.
Now I don't know about this next point, since I don't believe it's accurate. 
The LPGA, in fact, bettered the PGA Tour with its most recent match play event, the season-ending ADT Championship, won by Paraguayan pixie Julieta Granada, who pocketed $1 million, the largest purse in women’s golf, and promptly bought herself a new Range Rover. (A million bucks still means something on the LPGA.)

It was stroke play wasn't it?

Anyhow, the concept seems interesting since even with a great final match, the WGC Match Play is a dud on television. As much as I love match play, if it's going to be played only at real estate developments willing to pay for the privilege, then they need more, uh, "product" to distract us.

Sunday
Feb252007

"Some questions need to be asked, and some solutions need to be found."

Ron Sirak on the match play and state of American golf:

What we saw at Tucson was the world. And there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, there is everything right with that. Much of the rest of the world has caught up to the United States in golf. And if the Americans are going to keep from falling farther behind some questions need to be asked, and some solutions need to be found.

Too bad Big John, Eyebrows, Tillie and Sham aren’t around to help sort this out. They may not have the answers, but I’m pretty sure they would identify this problem: America needs to figure out how to get better at golf. Maybe in defeat motivation will be found.

Hey I have a thought. How about no longer embracing mediocrity as something to be proud of?

Sunday
Feb252007

"That's exciting (laughter)."

We've got a new FedEx Cup streak going. For the second straight week Joan Alexander has noted a player's FedEx Cup point pickup, and once again it led to a brand-tarnishing reaction.

From Geoff Ogilvy's post WGC final press conference:

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Geoff, thank you for joining us in the media center for a few minutes at the Accenture Match Play Championship. I know you're disappointed right now, but you've got to be really proud of yourself for the way you've played in this tournament and as far as you've come.
Along with your second place finish today, you earn 2,835 FedExCup points.

GEOFF OGILVY: That's exciting (laughter).