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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

The Scots say that Nature itself dictated that golf should be played by the seashore. Rather, the Scots saw in the eroded sea coasts a cheap battleground on which they could whip their fellow men in a game based on the Calvinist doctrine that man is meant to suffer here below and never more than when he goes out to enjoy himself.  ALISTAIR COOKE

 

    

Tuesday
Dec182007

"He had to go to the pro shop to buy golf balls before the playoff"

Doug Ferguson's weekly notes column features a fun bit on Tiger seeking and getting only his second autographed piece of memorabilia from Dodgers great Sandy Koufax, and these anecdotes from Open Championship winner Padraig Harrington's new book:
He used three drivers during the British Open, going from a 9-degree loft in practice to a 7.5-degree loft in the first two rounds to an 8.5-degree loft on the weekend. The latter, which he used to drive into the Barry Burn on the 72nd hole, is still in his bag.

He had to go to the pro shop to buy golf balls before the playoff because he couldn't find the extra balls he had set aside, although he located them moments before he teed off against Sergio Garcia.
Tuesday
Dec182007

41's Bobby Jones Award Win Overshadowed By Buddy Bill

George H.W. Bush wins the Bobby Jones Award, and as AP noted, "It was only the second time the award was given to a non-golfer. The USGA recognized Bing Crosy [SP] and Bob Hope in 1978."

However, the onslaught of media coverage that would have ensued--Today Show, Nightline, etc...--will be overshadowed by Bill Clinton's bizarre campaign gaffe.

Tuesday
Dec182007

"The entire business 'smelled of sleaze'"

I'm not well versed in Scotland's political system, but by the sounds of this Kate Devlin story in the Telegraph, The Donald's victory in Aberdeenshire is going to be scrutinized and could unravel.

The SNP leader is accused of breaking regulations by meeting representatives of the developer the day before his ministers announced they would make the final decision on the project, previously rejected by Aberdeenshire county council.

Damagingly, the proposed development is in his Gordon constituency and Mr Salmond claims he met the Trump team only in his capacity as MSP.

He also insists that he had no knowledge that his ministers were about to "call in" the application because, as a local MSP, he is barred from knowing anything of the process.

It also emerged that members of the Trump Organisation were in the office of Scotland's chief planner when he called the council to discuss ways to resurrect the application.

Last week Mr Stephen, himself an MSP for the Aberdeen area, told the First Minister that the entire business "smelled of sleaze".

 

Tuesday
Dec182007

Issue Three Of Tillinghast Journal

tilly-illustration.jpgNow posted on Tillinghast.net is the latest issue, including an interview with architect Keith Foster.

Monday
Dec172007

Rory's Courtesy Car Spotted!?

The La Habra branch of this web site's vast art department was passing by LAX and nearby Hawthorne's classy Bare Elegance en route to a Monday evening church service when he caught a glimpse of this Target World Challenge-logoed courtesy car parked in front of the club.

Why, could that be Rory Sabbatini's lost courtesy car, ditched after the great one couldn't get an airport ride following his WD from the Target World Challenge? You be the judge...

Rory.jpg 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday
Dec172007

"Golf is unprepared for its first big scandal, and maybe it will never come."

Michael Bamberger wonders what golf would do if a drug scandal comes along and whether fans would really care.

Donald Trump, the budding golf impresario who would own a baseball team in a New York minute if he thought he could make money at it, said a while back, "Do you care if these ballplayers are using steroids? I do not. I just want to see them hit home runs." Trump has a knack for saying what others are thinking, which may explain why baseball set attendance records in 2007, steroid scandal and all.

For golf fans, the question is really the same. It's the answer that makes all the difference. When a professional golfer clocks a drive 360 yards and straight, it's an awesome sight, right? But would you find it less awesome if you suspected the golfer was juiced?

The equipment has been juiced and most just want to know where they can buy the same fix. However, attendance in golf most certainly isn't setting records. Either way, the authorities have known the equipment was juiced and chose to do nothing, therefore the cost, pain and degrading nature of drug testing is the result. No need to sympathize.

On another note, the PGA Tour is already suggesting privately that writers will declare the testing insufficient or not-credible after no one tests positive.

It's a clever bit of spin, perhaps even dreamed up by the Powell-Tate folks, designed to make scribblers feel guilty when they sit down to write a column wondering why no one flunked the testing.  I'm of the school that the mere introduction of testing will serve the most important purpose: stopping kids from trying something that could do serious harms to their bodies.

I also believe that drug testing in golf will go the same way driver testing went: right off everyone's radar screen.

Thoughts? 

Monday
Dec172007

“There would be no Bandon Dunes if it weren’t for Howard McKee"

John Gunther reports on the passing of Howard McKee, probably best known to readers of Steve Goodwin's book on Bandon Dunes.

“There would be no Bandon Dunes if it weren’t for Howard McKee,” Keiser told me in a phone interview this week.

The two met nearly two decades ago, when Howard was the land planner for the proposed 1992 World’s Fair in Chicago, home of Keiser’s Recycle Paper Greetings business.

They became fast friends, and when Howard learned Keiser was looking for property on the East Coast to build an Irish-style links golf course, he suggested Keiser also look at the West Coast.

“I had never considered Oregon,” Keiser said.

They looked at various properties, and after choosing the site near Bandon, Howard took on the entire burden of the challenging land permit process that led to approval of the site for the resort.

A GolfClubAtlas.com thread includes remarks from Tom Doak. 

Monday
Dec172007

Add A Courtesy Car To Rory's Stolen Loot!

Rory's right, the media is to blame for his lousy reputation. They report his most basic activities!

From Doug Ferguson's story we learn he not only made off with $170,000, but also seems to have taken his Buick Enclave to LAX without telling anyone. Think he left it at the curb? Lot C? The In-and-Out parking lot?

A locker room attendant, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information, said Sabbatini cleaned out his locker on Saturday afternoon and gave away sweaters and shoes. He told them he was headed to Hawaii, where he spends his Christmas vacation.

His agent, Bud Martin, said Sabbatini told him he withdrew because of shin splints.

``He had shin splints that were bothering him yesterday,'' Martin said after talking to Sabbatini on Sunday. ``He went home overnight and worked on them with his trainer, and they weren't getting any better. He said he wasn't going to risk it.''

Tournament director Greg McLaughlin wasn't informed until 8:30 a.m., although he had a hunch Sabbatini was leaving when he was checking out of the hotel and overheard the concierge trying unsuccessfully to book Sabbatini a limo for eight to get to the airport.

``We're disappointed that he withdrew,'' McLaughlin said. ``It's the first time in the history of the event that we've ever had a professional not complete four rounds of competition.''

By Sunday afternoon, McLaughlin still could not locate Sabbatini's courtesy car. Paul Casey said he saw the South African loading up the car in the hotel parking lot.

 

Sunday
Dec162007

Rory's Shins Will Be Split If He Keeps This Up **

Karl MacGinty reports on Rory's latest brand-building moment.

Yet Rory Sabbatini was the talk of the Target World Challenge as he became the first player in nine years not to finish this end-of-season benefit for Tiger's Foundation. Sabbatini, who irked Woods a couple of times this year with controversial public comments, cleared out his locker on Saturday, saying he was heading for Hawaii, his usual Christmas retreat.

A third round 76 had left him in last place on 10-over and while PGA Tour officials announced he'd withdrawn for "personal reasons", Sabbatini's management later said he had shin splints.

Tiger simply shrugged when asked of Sabbatini's non-appearance but Fred Couples commented: "He (Sabbatini) is messing with the wrong guy."

Sabbatini's entitled to $170,000 for last place but Couples said "he should give that back to the Foundation."

Not our Rory!

Sunday
Dec162007

My "Can you break 100?" Entry

content_left_pic_a.jpgAccording to NBC's Dan Hicks, Golf Digest has received over 4000 entries now for the pre-U.S. Open reality show.

Well, I've decided to enter and need your help. Here's the challenge:

Can you break 100? Tell us what you think you would shoot, and why you should be the Golf Digest reader in the foursome with three celebrities. Max 100 words.
So here's what I wrote: 
Yes, I can break 100. I feel a 99 is definitely possible, particularly if I'm inspired by playing with one of my heroes, such as Donald Trump or Danny Gans. I should be the Golf Digest reader playing because (A) I love famous people and what little they stand for, (B) I can explain to viewers how Torrey Pines is one of the great missed opportunities in golf course design history, pointing out the remarkable sameness of the bunkering, the horribly insufficient use of the clifftop edges, and the almost completely lack of risk-reward opportunities, and finally, (C) I can tell viewers about all of the great things the USGA should be doing but is afraid to try.

What do you think? How would you touch it up before I hit the send button? 

Sunday
Dec162007

USGA Finds Next PR Director For Walter Driver To Blame**

His name is Chris Wightman, and while I'm still waiting on the USGA release, GolfDigest.com has an unbylined story that reads eerily like a press release about the poor bastard lucky recipient of Marty Parkes' old job.

Following a comprehensive national search, the United States Golf Association has named Christopher P. Wightman to the position of Managing Director, Communications. In this newly-created position, Wightman will oversee all communication functions and work across the organization to integrate the growing initiatives of the USGA.

"The addition of Chris, with his talents and experience, will help the USGA in identifying and presenting new, creative approaches to our programs and services," said USGA Executive Director, David Fay.

With 25 years of media expertise, Wightman brings the USGA a diverse and sophisticated background in publishing, broadcast, digital media, marketing and media relations. Wightman recently completed five years as Publisher of GOLF Magazine, one of the largest media companies serving the golf category.
Publisher of Golf Magazine to figuring out where to seat Art Spander in the press room? What an ascent!

Time for the quote pile-on:
"Our communication efforts at the USGA are expanding rapidly and Chris has a unique blend of communications, marketing and business skills that will help take our efforts to new and diverse venues," USGA Chief Business Officer Peter Bevacqua said. "As we continue to transform our approach to communications, public relations, branding and other related initiatives, his leadership and strategic guidance will be critical. Chris is exactly what we need and we are confident that his knowledge of the game, business acumen and rich professional experiences will help improve our approach to everything we do throughout the game of golf."
That ought to please the shareholders.
"My past 15 years serving the golf market gives me an important level of confidence as I join one of the most trusted brands in the world of sports," said Wightman. "To be part of the team that is driving the evolution of this historical organization and to build out dynamic new paths to its future success provides an inspirational challenge. And, as a life-long golfer, I am honored to be given the chance to enhance the incredible reputation of the USGA."
There's reputation to be enhanced?

 

Sunday
Dec162007

The Donald Can Help You Make Millions In Foreclosures!

34219486.jpgL.A. Times business columnist David Lazarus is in trouble with The Donald!
The column in question involved a seminar held recently at the Pasadena Hilton. It was one of a number of such events held in the region by Trump University, Trump's online business school, founded in 2005.

An ad in this paper quoted Trump as saying that "investors nationwide are making millions in foreclosures . . . and so can you!" It also promised two hours of "priceless information . . . all for free."

Yes, the USGA should definitely do business with this man!
The column included a pretty flattering photo of Trump standing before a poster of himself at a recent event.

In his letter, Trump seemed particularly upset with my observation that his "primary claim to fame these days has been hosting 'The Apprentice' on TV." He wasted no time rebutting this notion.

"I am worth many billions of dollars, am building large-scale developments all over the world, am considered by many to be, by far, the hottest name in real estate," Trump wrote, "and I have to read an article by a third-rate reporter in your newspaper that my 'primary claim to fame' is hosting 'The Apprentice.' "

Show of hands: How many people think of Donald Trump as, by far, the hottest name in real estate? How many think of him as the guy who fires people on TV?

Thank you.

"Unlike many other people that make their money giving seminars," Trump continued, "I made my money in real estate and, as your reporter should have known, I never filed for bankruptcy."
Look what his first...so sorry...Trump card was:
He noted that his Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes is "one of the most successful and highly rated golf courses in the state of California," and that he bought it for "a mere fraction of its current worth."
Wow, no better than Pebble Beach reference. The Donald is off his game.

Anyway, read the rest of the column it's a beauty.
Sunday
Dec162007

"This entire exercise exists to bring you the 20 least interesting things they pick up."

Intrepid L.A. Times NBA columnist Mark Heisler pens a fun look at the league's mike-the-participants idea and I couldn't help but think that golf is the one sport that would stand to benefit from such an idea, assuming that the sanitizing wasn't excessive. Because as Heisler notes, we never hear the good stuff and therefore, these exercises are not translating into increased viewership numbers.

With all this interactivity, everyone's ratings continue to decline, even the NFL, which this season had the five lowest-rated Monday night games ever.

Despite the new insights from its managers, Major League Baseball just saw the World Series post its three lowest ratings ever in consecutive seasons.

Now for the exciting debut of babbling coaches with the Denver Nuggets in Dallas!

Denver Coach George Karl:

"OK, Marcus Camby, get in the game, babe!"

Johnson:

"Way to go, Stack!"

That would be Jerry Stackhouse. Talk about participating in the experience! Then there was Karl's memorable interview on the bench, in which he concluded: "I really think the key to our team is passing the ball."

It may be the key to his team, which doesn't pass the ball much after it's inbounded. Everyone else already knew it was good to move the ball.

Not that it was a total waste of time. In that night's second game, Portland's Brandon Roy told the sidelined Greg Oden that Miami's Shaquille O'Neal said to tell him, "You're lucky you're sitting out tonight."

In the high point, Utah Coach Jerry Sloan was caught telling his team there were "four @#$%^&! minutes" left during Wednesday's loss in Phoenix.

Unfortunately, this was a mistake on the part of someone at ESPN, who may not be at ESPN anymore.
If ESPN and TNT actually showed the interesting stuff, it would be great. But as NBA partners, their first obligation is to see that nothing too interesting goes out over the air.
In other words, this entire exercise exists to bring you the 20 least interesting things they pick up.

 

Sunday
Dec162007

Awtrey On McClure

Stan Awtrey profiles the USGA's Joe Dey award winner, Gene McClure. Thanks to reader Rob for this.

Sunday
Dec162007

"8 out of 9 of Callaway’s patent claims are valid!"

David Dawsey does a superb job breaking down each claim in the Callaway v. Acushnet suit.


Saturday
Dec152007

"The handling of this case has raised a number of matters of principle."

As shocking as it may seem, turns out that the sudden approval of The Donald's Scottish golf course may not have been entirely on the up and up.

Eddie Barnes reports for Scotland on Sunday:

In a highly unusual move, the national director of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has written to Finance Secretary John Swinney, reminding ministers of the need to be "politically impartial" and "transparent" when handling planning applications. Dr Veronica Burbridge warns Swinney that her members have been in contact to "express concerns" about the way the case has been handled.

The move follows a week of turmoil after ministers decided they, not the local council, would decide whether plans by American tycoon Donald Trump to build a huge golfing complex in Aberdeenshire should go ahead.

It emerged that a day before the decision, First Minister Alex Salmond, who is also the local MSP for the area, met two of Trump's representatives to discuss the case.

It then emerged that the pair had also met the Scottish Government's chief planner on the day the decision was made.

The matter led to a bitter political row which continues to rage, with opposition parties accusing Salmond of "sleaze", while the SNP accused them of risking an investment of up to £1bn.

In the RPTI letter, Burbridge states: "The handling of this case has raised a number of matters of principle. Members of the institute have expressed concerns that the manner in which this case is handled should not appear to damage the integrity of the planning system."

It adds: "They stress the need to ensure that procedures are transparent, respected and clearly understood by all those involved. Members of the institute are concerned that the approach to scrutiny of this case should be politically impartial and according to planning law and planning policy."

Opposition parties seized on the letter last night, claiming it supported their own concerns.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Nicol Stephen said: "This is an exceptional move which underlines the seriousness of the institute's concerns. This matter has grave implications for the conduct of Government.

"Ministers are ultimately responsible for the actions of Government and there is a fundamental lack of transparency and openness in the SNP Government's approach to this issue."

Swinney is expected to make a statement to Parliament this week answering questions about the Government's handling.

No one was available for comment from the Scottish Government.
Saturday
Dec152007

Callaway v. Titleist Spin, Round 1

AP's story on Callaway prevailing over Acushnet features quotes from the company flacks:

"We have now established in court that our golf ball patents are valid, and that Titleist Pro V1 golf balls infringe those patents," she said. "We will immediately start the process of requesting an appropriate remedy, including injunctive relief and damages."

And from Fairhaven...

"The jury's mixed decision has created ambiguity that will have to be resolved post-trial," said Joseph Nauman, an Acushnet executive vice president.

 

Friday
Dec142007

Tiger Tops Rory By 19, Setting Up Monty-Sabbatini Dewsweepers Pairing

Since it was 29 degrees in Malibu Canyon this morning and 31 when I pulled into Sherwood, you can imagine how many people will be rushing out to see Rory Sabbatini attempting to repeat his trio of triple bogies while Monty sees if he can run faster than Rory and perhaps even catch the hole cutter during Saturday's round at Sherwood.

Oh, by the way, Tiger fired 62 and said the greens were soft.

Q.  How would you characterize the course setup today, and what do you think of the job the field staff does in general?

TIGER WOODS:  Well, the field staff set it up probably a little bit more difficult today pin wise, but the greens were soft.  I mean, that's the thing that allows us to be aggressive.  I fire at pins that I normally don't fire at here.  One, we had no wind, and we had greens that were backing balls up.  We had to watch out for spinning the ball back too much with 9 irons and wedges.  They did all they can do to hide the pins and make it a little more difficult, but when you've got receptive greens then the guys are going to shoot good scores.

I walked on all 18 of them while touring the course with John Mutch of the PGA Tour field staff and while the greens may not have been brick hard, to call them soft is an exaggeration. Several were frozen until nearly 10 a.m.

Admittedly, Sherwood's greens and today's locations did allow for shots to be funneled to the hole, but soft?

If those are soft and guys are spinning it back, then maybe U-grooves do have to go. I'd hate to think what Tiger considres to be a firm green.
 

Friday
Dec142007

Callaway Prevails In Pro V1 Patent Suit

From the wire...

Callaway sued Acushnet last year in a Delaware federal court for patent infringement relating to Callaway's three-layer golf balls. Acushnet acknowledged that its Titleist Pro V1 balls had infringed the Callaway patent, but claimed that those patents were not valid.
Clever!
A jury found that four of Callaway's contested patents were valid, while one was invalid, Bloomberg News reported today. An additional trial is expected to be held to assess damages.
Friday
Dec142007

"I believe, if you are going to be fair, you need to be consistent in setting up a course"

Newly engaged and already feisty, the Shark lashed out at the different condtions during round two in South Africa.

The 52-year-old Australian carded a 70 to finish in a six-man group on 145 that also included Britain's Darren Clarke.

But Norman was critical of the way the course was set up for the second round.

"It's been two totally different courses, the course was more difficult yesterday," he told reporters.

"They made a few adjustments to the tees and they did 100 percent irrigation last night so the greens, which they also did not cut, were softer and there was not as much release on the fairways.

"I believe, if you are going to be fair, you need to be consistent in setting up a course," added Norman.

Ah, the dreaded fair word.

Tournament director Mike Stewart defended the changes.

"Yesterday was very windy and the course was incredibly difficult as you could tell from the scores," Stewart told Reuters. "Some holes were exceptionally demanding.

"We felt we had to do something based on the weather forecast for today, which had wind speeds 5-mph stronger all day with gusts of up to 30-mph."

Stewart said the changes were made in order to make the course play as it did on Thursday.

"When we brought tees forward it was to make it play like it did on the first day," he said. "Despite the stronger wind players would be able to use the same club off the tee.

"We also had to slow down the greens because the ball was moving around in the afternoon yesterday. The possibility of an even stronger wind today put us in a very difficult position.

"If balls were moving around we may have had to stop play and we would look very silly if we brought the players in glorious sunshine."

Conditions were so difficult on Friday there were only 17 sub-par rounds, leader Kingston calling it a day for grinding out regulation figures.

"I was so solid on the back nine, I only missed two or three greens, but the wind was gusting so hard it was pushing you in all directions," said the South African.

"With the ball oscillating on the greens and the wind pushing you from behind it was so tough making a decent putt. It took a lot of energy just to stand still."