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  • 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

Anyone who has been privileged to play such courses as Prestwick, St.Andrews, Dornoch or North Berwick in Scotland cannot forget the joys of tantalizing little hummocks and the golfing appearance they give those courses. Over and over again, my American friends who have played those British courses remark to me on the charming variation one gets in lies on fairways and the shots up to the hole where hummocks exist.  DONALD ROSS

    

Friday
Jan182008

Golfweek Fires Editor Seanor*****

Gary Van Sickle reports the news which comes in response to the dreaded noose cover. Jeff Babineau will take over.  Thanks to reader Tony for spotting the golf.com story.

Van Sickle reports that Tim Finchem's comments combined with a likely advertising boycott led to his undoing. One wonders what other boycotts might have been coming had Golfweek not made a change.

Thursday
Jan172008

"It's also frustrating for Joe Ogilvie and Brad Faxon and David Toms, and also our independent directors"

Mark Lamport Stokes reports that Stewart Cink is taking exception to players who take an exception to the exceptional new cut rule:
"It's frustrating to me knowing that I put in a lot of time personally into decision making with the policy board," Cink told Reuters after Thursday's second round at the Bob Hope Classic.

"It's also frustrating for Joe Ogilvie and Brad Faxon and David Toms, and also our independent directors," the 34-year-old American added, referring to his colleagues on the Tour's policy board.

"We put a lot time into these decisions, there's a lot of study that goes on and then when something comes around, a lot of players blow the whistle and say: 'Hey, we didn't know.'

"Well I don't know what else we can do. We tried to notify everybody in at least three or four different ways, and that includes managers and spouses.

"Somebody needs to get the message to these players of the changes that are going on on their tour. It is their tour. It is very frustrating."

Thursday
Jan172008

"The golf industry can lay claim to being a bigger American business than the motion-picture industry, newspaper publishing and the combined performing arts and other spectator sports."

Steve Elling reports on the seminar joined by Steve Mona, David Fay, Joe Steranka and Tim Finchem at the PGA Show to trot out some pretty wild numbers:

Orlando or not, the numbers sound like Disney fiction: The industry generates $76 billion annually in direct economic impact and can claim approximately 2 million jobs with a wage impact of $61 billion nationally.

The stage could not have been better to relay the splashy message. The PGA expo this year features 1 million feet of exhibit space and will draw an estimated 45,000 spectators for the week. So, from that standpoint, officials such as Mona and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who helped present the new data, were preaching to the choir.

The research was conducted by SRI International, which used federal government models to arrive at its estimates. This marked the second time the sport commissioned an economic study, and despite a broad slump in the sport's growth rate since the survey was conducted five years ago, the numbers have jumped markedly from the initial figure of $62 million.

And...

"We want to be able to quantify how big our industry has become," Mona said.

The primary indices used to measure the impact were from greens fee revenues, tourism, real-estate developments linked to golf, equipment sales, plus other money generated by courses (food, weddings, dances) and the like.

Don't forget Batmitzvahs...

"Golf generates more money than any other sport in the world that we know of," Mona said.

Now, wait a sec here. Don't people bet a fair amount on the NFL?

Thursday
Jan172008

PGA Tour and Friends Boycotting Golfweek?

Steve Elling reports on his CBSSports.com blog that Golfweek may face a boycott from PGA Tour related advertising, starting with the World Golf Hall of Fame:

Jack Peter, an official with the PGA Tour whose duties include running the World Golf Village in nearby St. Augustine, said tour officials on Thursday told Golfweek representatives that advertising might be withdrawn because of the tour's discomfort over the noose issue.

Peter said approximately $50,000 in ads for the World Golf Village might be canceled, creating the possibility that other advertisers could follow suit. He described the Thursday meeting with Golfweek representatives, which had been scheduled long before the cover-image controversy erupted this week, as "awkward."

"We have an (advertising ) agreement in place, but the contract has not been signed," Peter said. "I don't know that I am comfortable going forward with it."

Didn't Callaway put a huge dent in Golfweek budgets by pulling ads after ERC related commentary?

Wednesday
Jan162008

Finchem Blasts Golfweek

Jerry Potter reports that Commissioner Tim Finchem made the unusual move of issuing a statement on Golfweek's noose cover:

"Clearly, what Kelly said was inappropriate and unfortunate, and she obviously regrets her choice of words," Finchem said. "But we consider Golfweek's imagery of a swinging noose on its cover to be outrageous and irresponsible. It smacks of tabloid journalism. It was a naked attempt to inflame and keep alive an incident that was heading to an appropriate conclusion."
Jeese, tell us what you really think.
 

Meanwhile, Ryan Ballengee makes an interesting point about the irony and hypocrisy of it all:

Golfweek's own Jeff Rude was among the first asking fans to drop the issue and forgive Tilghman for her gaffe. His own publication is not dropping the issue, though. They are devoting a cover to it - a cover that contains the image of a symbol that is becoming reborn in the southern influenced parts of the country as notice of racial deference, e.g., the Jena 6 case.

In essence, the cover propagates the coverage of the comment. It is continuing the news cycle on this particular story. I think that is unfortunate and inappropriate. The media should not be in the business of continuing to cover itself. It happens in varying forms, from when ESPN says that their reporters are reporting a story that someone else broke, to a magazine drawing other ink for making a controversial cover about a controversial media story. It can be enough to make the average sports fan's head spin at times.

The irony of this post is that the ploy is working. Elling, myself, and others are writing about what is being written and shown as a symbol of what Kelly Tilghman said. Maybe I should be lumped in with the crew that I am lambasting, but I thought this issue deserved a special comment.

Wednesday
Jan162008

"The tour sent an e-mail when the change was approved in November."

Doug Ferguson follows up on the cut controversy with this item in his notes column:

The Player Advisory Council considered four options before approving the proposal that only the nearest number to 70 play on the weekend if the cut includes more than 78 players. The proposal passed by a 75 percent margin.
 
The other options were top 60 and ties; top 65 and ties, as is done in Europe; the nearest number to 70 regardless of how many players finishing top 70 and ties; and a Saturday cut of top 70 and ties which Jeff Sluman has advocated for years.

Hey, now there's a great idea.  And we know how much traction those usually have. 
The most bogus complaint of the weekend was that players didn't know about the new policy. That's their fault. The tour sent an e-mail when the change was approved in November. It was in the "green sheet" report they get in the mail and in lockers. It was available on "Tour Links," the players' web site. And it was attached as a cover sheet to the 2008 regulations everyone received.

I have no sympathy with the player's plight considering the above.

But more than that, how can you feel for them when they play so terribly slow? This rule was brought on in large part because of pace of play. Granted, distance advances have totally changed the pace of play dynamics on many courses by introducing longer walks to new back tees, automatic fairway waits on nearly all par-5s and long waits on short par-4 tees that never existed.

Still, PGA Tour players are horribly slow. So unless they adopt something like the USGA's new pace of play policy that actually penalizes slow play and read the memos sent their way, do they really have a gripe? 

Wednesday
Jan162008

"PGA Tour officials, though, said Lopez didn't have the power to promote the Hope in such a manner, thereby killing the diary."

L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers says he wanted to do one of his entertaining 24/7 column series where he follows a figure around and documents all. But he's claiming "PGA Tour officials" shot it down.  I'm not sure I'm buying it, but here's what he claims:

I HAD plans to attend the Bob Hope Classic this week in the desert -- thinking maybe somebody should go.

It's a dying PGA tournament, as you know, and aren't they all when Tiger isn't playing?

This one is so far gone it's not on network TV this weekend, has none of the top 20 players in the world, and will be competing for attention here with the NFL, Lakers and UCLA taking on USC.

But I still thought it'd be fun to shadow the Hope's celebrity host, George Lopez, like I did Oscar De La Hoya before his last two fights, and like the week-long trip to Nebraska -- write four or five Page 2 diary columns on the Hope.

Lopez, proving he's willing to do almost anything for the Hope, agreed to make himself available 24/7, including parties, dinners and an invite to caddy for him Saturday.

PGA Tour officials, though, said Lopez didn't have the power to promote the Hope in such a manner, thereby killing the diary. The concern, of course, what happens if one of the golfers is seen wearing a lampshade at one of the parties? How would it look on Page 2 if I couldn't put a name to a face of one of their players?

It was a legitimate concern since the tour is now loaded with players who lack identity -- the exception being JohnDaly, who wouldn't draw a second look if he was wearing a lampshade, because that's John Daly.

The PGA Tour's idea of hyping the dying Hope was to make three players available for interviews Tuesday, and if I told you three of the six names here belong to golfers -- Lane Frost, Charley Hoffman, Billy Bishop, John Ware, Anthony Kim and RichardJohnson -- could you pick them out?

Hoffman is Hope's defending champ, and was joined in the interview tent by Kim and Johnson. The other three names belong to men who really are dead.

Wednesday
Jan162008

"If the tour can change courses to get Tiger, they could do the same for Phil. It would save The Hope."

Tim Rosaforte says he'd rather hang in Abu Dabi than the desert this week, offering this Classic Club related quote from Joe Ogilvie:
"What's somewhat frustrating is that the player directors have almost zero power over venue," Ogilvie said. "No matter how much we say we feel like we're making a mistake going to these golf courses, it kind of falls on deaf ears."
More powerful though was Rosaforte pointing out the irony of this week's Westchester-to-Ridgewood-to-appease-Tiger-move, and the likely permanent loss of Mickelson from the Hope as long as they stay at the Classic Club:
If the tour can change courses to get Tiger, they could do the same for Phil. It would save The Hope.
Wednesday
Jan162008

"Is this worse than the original offense?"

noosecover.jpgSteve Elling blogs about Golfweek's latest cover (which follows, help me here, a pill and some other strange stock photo recently?).

Traditionally conservative Golfweek magazine, one of the game's two national weekly magazines, is courting considerable controversy by putting an image of a hangman's noose on its next edition.

As civil rights activists grumble over Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman's comment Jan. 4 about Tiger Woods, the magazine is unveiling a series of follow-up stories on the issue, which includes feedback from former network broadcaster Ben Wright, who was canned by CBS several years ago for making sexist comments and lying about it to his superiors.

But is emphasizing the noose, given its racist connotations and galling symbolism, a form of intentional journalistic pandering?

"There was a great deal of debate over it," Golfweek editor Dave Seanor said Wednesday of the magazine's in-house deliberations. "But it was the news of the week, no question about it. That's what everybody in the game is talking about."
Tuesday
Jan152008

Tour Comments On Ridgewood Letter...Sort Of

From Golf Central's January 15 edition, reporting on the Ridgewood Country Club letter first reported here:

Tuesday
Jan152008

Hawkins To Rory: You've Got A Friend

After this latest rendition of the "The Angry Golfer" column, I see James Taylor-Carole King style duet with John Hawkins and Rory Sabbatini perhaps opening the GWAA dinner at Augusta belting out a heartfelt rendition of You've Got A Friend:

When Sabbatini bailed out of last month's Target World Challenge with 18 holes to play, the anti-Rorys found their pigeon on a silver platter. No one seems to mind when John Daly quits on a tournament. Tour pros whip out lame excuses to withdraw from events all the time. We want these guys to be unboring, to speak their minds and show us some personality, then batter them like piñatas when they show their true colors or reveal a bit of candor. Call it the game's hypocritical oath.

 

Tuesday
Jan152008

"Golf teaches us to have vision. The great players all have a plan โ€” look to the future."

woodsx.jpgThe USA Today's Steve DiMeglio writes about why Tim Finchem is a great humanitarian and all around savior of the game. Nothing too earth-shattering in the piece, but a few of the numbers mentioned got my attention:
"I've learned to take the long view of things," says Finchem, who got a six-year extension in 2006 from the Tour's board of directors at $4.5 million a year. "Golf teaches us to have vision. The great players all have a plan — look to the future."
Brilliant. Sounds likes the Commish read Golf In the Kingdom one to many times. Oh and I think that $4.5 million a year number is a bit dated, right?
But Finchem, who presided over the last three TV negotiations, worked out a six-year, $3 billion contract with CBS and NBC that runs through 2012 and a 15-year deal with The Golf Channel.
Has anyone ever seen that $3 billion number before? I don't remember that one.
The Golf Channel's reach is growing, from 68 million homes when the deal was signed to 80 million homes this year. TV exposure overseas is rising, too, with revenue increasing 36% in 2007 and providing more than $50 million a year.
That's good to know. Should help pay some salaries.
Tuesday
Jan152008

Western Am Moving...Sort Of

Phil Kosin has the details at Chicagoland Golf.

Tuesday
Jan152008

Deeply Bronzed, Incredibly Well Rested and Never More Ready To Anchor Even The Grey Goose 19th Hole, Cellini Returns

Bad news for Big Break fans though: it's too late for The Golf Channel's Vince Cellini to regain his spot hosting whatever numbingly painful season they're in now.

Tuesday
Jan152008

"The B.C. Open. The International. The Kemper Open. All three were tournaments that didn't fit into Woods' schedule. All three have since disappeared from the schedule."

Started the day of with a nice warm chuckle courtesy of Doug Ferguson AP's Jeff Gold quoting Ty Votaw on the Westchester situation:

A tour spokesman insisted Monday a final decision had not been made.

``I would say that no decision has been made to terminate our agreement with Westchester,'' tour spokesman Ty Votaw said, adding talks with Westchester are continuing. ``Those discussions may or may not result in a joint decision to keep The Barclays at Westchester.''

Reports that the 2008 edition would be moved to Ridgewood were ``premature,'' Votaw said.

Premature to about 40 people in Ponte Vedra!

Meanwhile Sam Weinman is full of great points in this post-mortem on the prematurely reporting:
The B.C. Open. The International. The Kemper Open. All three were tournaments that didn't fit into Woods' schedule. All three have since disappeared from the schedule.

"This is a factor with a lot of tour events. They all want him as a competitor because he brings crowds, he brings attention, and he obviously brings ratings," said Neal Pilson, a Chappaqua resident and former president of CBS Sports who now has a private consulting business. "Tiger has a greater singular influence on golf than anyone in the era of television, and that includes Jack Nicklaus or Tom Watson or Greg Norman. He's a phenomenon unto himself."

Granted, The Barclays scenario would not be one of a tournament disbanding, but a tournament simply looking to relocate from its longtime home. For the people who have long considered this tournament their own, though, it might as well be the same thing.

What's interesting to note is that if The Barclays remained in its customary June spot either before or after the U.S. Open, much of this would have been avoided. There still might not be any Woods, but the set-up time in the quiet spring months wouldn't be such a point of contention.

Throw in the problems with the Western and now this, and it really is remarkable how much turmoil these little playoffs have created...off the course.

Tuesday
Jan152008

"Rev. Al has more juice than Tiger Woods"

Loved this perspective from Alan Shipnuck's Hot List, which shows just how absurd our little world can be sometimes:
2. Al Sharpton. One of the lessons from the Kelly Tilghman situation is that Rev. Al has more juice than Tiger Woods, who seemed to have saved his friend until the Golf Channel brass caved within minutes of Sharpton entering the fray.
Monday
Jan142008

Letter To Ridgewood Members...

...with phone numbers deleted to protect the innocent.

Considering the tour's efforts at Westchester to improve the corporate tent situation, this letter leaves me with the impression that the tent stuff was just a stalling tactic. Not that there's anything wrong with that...well, you be the judge.

Subject: 2008 Barclays

January 14, 2008

Dear Fellow Member,

This letter was scheduled to go to you sometime during the 4th week of January, but events of the past few days have caused us to send it now. The purpose of this communication was to have been to announce that our club had reached an agreement with the PGA Tour to host the 2008 Barclays Classic, the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoff. Word of our discussions with the PGA Tour was leaked to Golf World and perhaps other media. A story appeared on the Golf World website last Friday and on the Golf Channel on Saturday. Neither we nor the Tour had a hand in the leak. We do not yet have a final Agreement. However, we expect that it will be finalized and signed in the near future. Following is some information regarding the event that I am confident you will find exciting.

“Guess Who’s Coming to Ridgewood” was the headline on the MGA Magazine cover in 1990 when the “Big 4” of golf were about to compete in the 1990 US Senior Open at RCC. Now again we can ask the same question. Except that this time it refers to the best professional golfers in the world, who will be coming to our Club to compete in the Barclays Classic which will be held from August 18th to the 24th.

As many of you know, over the years our Club has hosted a number of important golf tournaments, including the 1935 Ryder Cup matches, the 1974 US Amateur, the 1990 Senior US Open and the 2001 Senior PGA Championship. Late last summer, the PGA Tour asked the Board if it would consider hosting the 2008 Barclays Classic. After holding PGA tournament events at the Westchester Country Club for some 40 years, including the 2007 Barclays, the Tour wanted to make a change in the venue.

At first, we were skeptical. Would our great Tillinghast course stand up to the test? Could we pull it all together in less than a year? Could we handle the crowds if Woods and Michelson both played and were paired in the final group on a sunny Sunday afternoon? Would the disruption to our member’s enjoyment of their club be worth the money? However, when all the facts came together, it became readily apparent that given the nature of the event and the immediate and residual benefit that could accrue to our club, it was an offer that we should not refuse. And so, after several negotiating sessions with the TOUR and three special meetings of the Board, where the upside and downside considerations of hosting the event were debated, the Board voted overwhelmingly to accept the Tour proposal, subject to a formal Agreement. This is where we stand today. Once we do have an executed Agreement, the news will be posted on our website and we’ll get the word out to you as quickly as we can.

Let me summarize what this event will mean to our Club and our members. First, the Barclays will be played over a special Championship course described on the attached. At par 71 and stretching 7,304 yards, the layout should provide a good and fair test for the golfers.

For a 30 day period preceding the event, play will be limited to members only and cart use will be restricted on the Championship course to rope designated paths. From the 16th to the 24th of August, the golf course will be closed to member play. The practice range will be closed from August 17th thru the 24th. Regular member play will resume on August 26th. Special member events over the Championship course are being planned and more information will be forthcoming.

The set-up of tents and sky-box pavilions will take about 6 weeks prior to the event but this construction will largely be limited to the perimeter of the five finishing holes and care will be taken to minimize the imposition on the play of members and guests. No construction will take place during special event days like the Club Championship, Clambake, etc.

For the tournament, our members will be able to purchase a special Ticket Package to watch play during the tournament week. Arrangements for ticket holders will be made to provide parking in a designated VIP area and access to the Champions Bar and Grille and Patio which will be designated for members only use.

And finally, the club will benefit financially. The package, although not overly generous, is acceptable. We have a minimum financial guarantee and a cap on our out-of pocket expenses that will ensure a reasonable profit. In addition, there is significant upside profit potential that is largely dependent on hospitality sales and attendance. One of the special things that the Tour does is to donate profits from their events to charity. Such is the case with the Barclays where an expected $850,000 will be donated, with a minimum of $350,000 of that total going to local charities to be selected jointly by RCC and the Tour.

The PGA Tour is not the same organization as the PGA of America that ran the 2001 PGA Senior Championship. The Tour runs a number of important PGA events and has a full-time staff of professionals dedicated for this purpose. Among this staff are the individuals who have conducted the past events at Westchester CC and they will be responsible for the bulk of the work related to putting on the Barclays. Therefore, we are confident that we will see an outstanding, well organized event that will showcase our great Ridgewood Country Club. Members who wish to volunteer their services during this event will be given a priority.

Our club will likely be in the national golf spotlight for a time after the Tour issues its press release and the news becomes more wide spread, and we should be prepared. I will be acting as the spokesman for our club for any information about our club or the club’s hosting this event. Inquiries by any media should be directed to me so that we can provide a concise and uniform response.

We will keep you posted on news and information and on the progress of the preparations for the event but I know that there will still be many questions. Please feel free to direct your questions to me or any member of our Board of Directors.

Sincerely,
Alex Khowaylo
President

 

Monday
Jan142008

"We did not have the kind of success that we expected given that we were elevating The Barclay's to a Play off event."

In the letters covering the demise of Westchester CC as a PGA Tour venue, you will note that Ed Moorhouse expresses his concern about the corporate hospitality potential. Below is the Tour's letter to the club dated just over a month ago laying out the new parameters expected by the Tour.

It's interesting that in such a short time Ponte Vedra determined that the newly outlined specs were not going to be met by the club, and voila, they were off. Or was this just a clever, lawyerly way of getting out of the deal in a quest to leave a course that Tiger Woods won't play at (and one that was a giant headache for the Tour)?

WestchesterLetterPGATourgeorge 

WestchesterLetterPGATourtents
 

Monday
Jan142008

"We made substantial changes at Classic Club which are hard to see, but we are up to close to $500,000 in changes."

bildeLarry Bohannan documents the Bob Hope rotation woes.

"The frustration was the focus when we talked to many of the designers who came in to bid on the design, we wanted a PGA-qualified golf course," Adolph said. "And when it was done, it was not PGA-qualified. That was frustrating."
You are writing that down right? A PGA-qualified course. Let me know if you are aware of what that means.
The city received explanations and even a letter of apology from Palmer Course Design.

"We apologize for the way things came out," said Erik Larsen, lead designer at SilverRock, in the June, 2005 letter to the city. "The bottom line is that I think this golf course is terrific and with a year of changes, we'll have one of the most striking courses in the valley."

The changes began when the council approved $1.4 million in work in the summer of 2005 after flooding and erosion problems from uncharacteristic heavy rains earlier in the year. That money went toward improved drainage on the course, additional landscaping, installation of a drainage pipe to divert flood waters along Avenue 52 and additional workers.

Another $600,000 was approved in August 2006 for decomposed granite to cover and stabilize 40 acres of desert, a specific request by the tour. As recently as last month, the council approved $80,000 to repair wind damage to bunkers and downed trees.

"It just seems every time the council meets, they are voting more money for that golf course," said Steve Simpson, 53 and a part-time La Quinta resident. "I know the golf tournament is a big deal, but is it worth what the city is spending?"
This was interesting...
John Foster, a member of the executive board of the Hope tournament, says the added expenditures at SilverRock are typical of PGA Tour venues. An example is the work done at the tournament-owned Classic Club in Thousand Palms since last year's Hope event.

"We made substantial changes at Classic Club which are hard to see, but we are up to close to $500,000 in changes," Foster said. "A lot of times people don't hear about it because they are private venues. It's not very unusual, but people may not know how much that goes on. The golf course developers know."

Yes, the golf course developers who build lousy courses. 
With potentially more changes and additional costs still in the course's future, Adolph prefers to think about how the course can put forward a good impression of the city for the players, the gallery and the viewers across the nation.

"I hope so. The beauty of the area is going to be something that, in most cases, people don't see on their television sets," Adolph said. "I hope so."

There's always hope! 

Monday
Jan142008

"There's no way that rule should be in effect.โ€

 I suspect we'll hear more in Doug Ferguson's weekly notes column on the "Rule 78" disaster, but in the meantime he documents this ridiculous example related to Kenneth Ferrie, while over at Golfbrief a staff report quotes Paul Azinger and Tom Lehman as suggesting the rule has Ryder Cup implications, among other problems.

“I think the Tour should change the rule immediately,” said Azinger, who with the PGA of America changed the automatic selection process for the U.S. Ryder Cup team to an earnings basis and has seen the new cut rule compromise that system. “This has an impact on the Ryder Cup and an impact on the FedEx Cup. They’re going to pay you not to play … I think that’s awful.”

Said Lehman: “I would think that Paul was not happy to see this. It will affect the Ryder Cup. Overall, I think it’s simply unfortunate is the best way I can say it. I understand why they chose to do it, but I’ve never been a promoter of doing something because it’s easier. Let’s not err on the side of convenience. We should be maximizing a player’s ability to make a living and move up in the game.

“I think this looks bad, and we should find a way to change it. There are ways of getting things done with a vote of the players. There’s a way to make it happen. Things can be changed.”

And this was fun...
Jerry Kelly, a new member of the Player Advisory Council, said Saturday that he’s been hearing from a lot of players at the Sony Open.

“Every single person I talked to wondered who voted for it and how it got passed. I knew it was coming,” Kelly said. “I totally disagree with (the new rule). There's a bunch of guys in there who said this is terrible.”

On Saturday afternoon, Kelly was the first player who signed his name to a crude, makeshift petition hanging on the bulletin board in the lockerroom that asked the simple question at the top: ARE YOU IN FAVOR OF THE CURRENT CUT POLICY? The unidentified player who posted it, using the reverse side of a paper placemat from the club, left 42 lines in the “no” column and 22 in the “yes,” anticipating a certain outcome. At day’s end not one player had put his name in the second row.

Kelly wouldn’t say who posted it, but he was with that person when it was created.

“I signed my name and said, go ahead, write it up. I would be happy to be the first one, if that breaks the ice, I'm on the PAC, whatever, that's fine.”

He added that the rule, “should be repealed by the first meeting. Let’s change the rule. They made the rule, you can change the rule … bottom line. There's no way that rule should be in effect.”