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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
  • The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    by Chris Millard
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • 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
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

No matter with what heights he is faced or with what winds assailed, the sportsman in battling with nature makes no complaint. But immediately he is faced with problems of human origin, he feels justified, if he finds them too difficult, in turning upon their creator with murder in his heart.
ROBERT HUNTER

 

    

Tuesday
Apr242007

"The field was so weak that more world ranking points were awarded to the winner of the BMW Asian Open."

Doug Ferguson in his weekly notes column, writing about the Viking Classic's (don't ask) disappointment at not getting their winner in the 2008 Masters:
Even so, fall tournaments must have been wondering about Nick Watney's victory in New Orleans last week. That was a full FedEx Cup event, but the field was so weak that more world ranking points were awarded to the winner of the BMW Asian Open. Watney earned 28 points, only four more points than the winner of Mississippi tournament last year.
Tuesday
Apr242007

"From the moment Woods stepped onto the first tee..."

Mike Dudurich filed this Pittsburgh Tribune Review story on Tiger's day at Oakmont:
From the moment Woods stepped onto the first tee and pulled the Sasquatch Sumo Squared driver from his bag and launched his Nike One ball approximately 330 yards to the middle of the fairway...
Now I know it's not for me to offer writing suggestions, but I really think the future of journalism will be more informative for us consumers.  Dudurich could have filed something like this:
From the moment Woods woke up in his NikeFitTherma jammies, slipped on his Seamless S/S Colorplay Mock, adorned his SP-8 TW Tour shoes in the hot new black and Del Monte white (available May 3rd), slipped on his Custom Crested Tech Xtreme Glove, Nike's brand focus stepped onto the first tee and pulled the Sasquatch Sumo Squared driver from his bag and launched his Nike One ball approximately 330 yards to the middle of the fairway...
Tuesday
Apr242007

"It's very open. You can see all the holes from the clubhouse."

Gerry Dulac filed a few more anecdotes and quotes from Tiger's Oakmont round. He managed to focus on--perish the thought--the golf, instead of plugging the "surprise" clinic for some rich AmEx customers.

The greens were running at 10.5 on the Stimpmeter the past two days, not nearly as fast as they will be for the Open. And they were not as smooth as usual because they had recently been aerified.

"They said they're extremely smooth," Woods said. "Granted, they do have a lot of movement to them, a lot of pitch to them, but people seem to hole a lot of putts here. After playing it, it was hard for me to see that because I was seeing balls bouncing all over the place."

Woods did not play in the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont because he failed to qualify as amateur. And he had never even been to the course until Sunday -- a strange fact given Woods' love for the game and the way he embraces the history and tradition of the sport. Nonetheless, Woods said he really enjoyed his first visit to Oakmont, though he admitted it was different than what he envisioned.

"I just remember seeing all these trees everywhere and you get down here and all of sudden there's nothing there," he said. "It's very open. You can see all the holes from the clubhouse. It's very different than what I envisioned."

I guess he hasn't been reading the tree removal stories

Tuesday
Apr242007

"So we feel that there is good opportunity for us, not only with our wine, but also obviously the golf"

I really want to root for Ernie Els, but it's hard to feel like he's committed to winning majors at this point when you read this...

New Delhi: The past couple of years haven't been great for World No. 5 Ernie Els, but he has, for sure, kept himself in contention in most of the tournaments. CNN-IBN caught up with him recently while he was on a short visit to India.

When he's playing well, Ernie Els is a joy to watch. What's more, he's one of the nicest people you will ever find. But these days, playing golf is not the only thing that keeps him busy. He has his own wine label and is ensuring it is noticed everywhere.

"We are looking around a little bit to look at golf course design opportunities, some developments around the region, I think the interest in golf is really growing in the region. So we feel that there is good opportunity for us, not only with our wine, but also obviously the golf," Ernie Els says.

 

Tuesday
Apr242007

"Uniquely suited for the advanced player"

bildeDebra Gruszecki in the Desert Sun reports on the latest links course to open in the Palm Springs area. Thanks to reader Todd for torturing me--and therefore you all--with this story.

But first, the caption for the story's accompanying photo on the left: "Golf course architect Clive Clark designed the course, which resembles links in the rolling hills of Scotland."

That backdrop looks so linksy doesn't it? And when did links start appear in the rolling hills of Scotland.

I know, so picky.

Anyway, the piece:

The Eagle has landed for the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians.

The Cabazon celebrated their "soft opening" Friday for Eagle Falls Golf Course, a new amenity linked to its $200 million Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and Special Events Center.

The 18-hole, par-72 championship course designed by noted golf course architect Clive Clark is "uniquely suited for the advanced player,'' said Willie Maples, Eagle Falls' director of golf operations.

"It offers a challenging and friendly golfing experience for the average player,'' Maples said.

Ah yes, bet that was heavy on the accent! 
John James, tribal chairman, said the golf course is a great addition to Fantasy Springs.

"It's one thing they don't have in the east end of the valley, a golf course - and it's a classic course," he added.

And a links to boot!

"It's very impressive that the Cabazons have taken a good portion of their land, and connected the golf course to it to make it more of a resort destination,'' Maples said.

Such philanthropists.

Robb Mihelic, head golf professional, said Eagle Falls is creating a buzz in the Coachella Valley.

"We've probably had close to 1,000 rounds already,'' he said of the course that replicates the links, stone walls and bunkers one sees on the rolling hills of Scotland.

"We've had a lot of locals," so far, he said, but that is expected to change soon.

Play-and-stay packages are being formulated by Fantasy Springs. Golf pros also envision a "comp" program for high-rollers down the road, along with golf incentives for local residents.'

What about panelists?

Tuesday
Apr242007

Skipping The Nelson

Ron Sirak vents a bit about the number of no-shows at the Byron Nelson in the year they will be honoring the great man.

I'm finally glad someone made this point, though I think Sirak could have been even more blunt:

Why the are players staying away?

The easy answer is the scheduling-conflict excuse. But the irony there is that in an era when all of the top players travel by private jet they are finding it more difficult to get to tournaments than the guys back in the days when Byron and the boys drove four to a car from tournament to tournament.

Irony, hypocrisy, it's a fine line! 

The more complicated answer -- and probably the correct one -- is that very few of today's millionaires appreciate the fact that it was guys like Nelson who struggled to make ends meet that made today's PGA Tour possible.

There is a sense of entitlement among contemporary players that is totally out of proportion with both their achievement and their sacrifice. That sense of entitlement tends to view the world through me-colored lenses. Just as last year the one PGA Tour event all players should have been tripping over each to enter was in New Orleans, the one must-make tournament this year should have been the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. And it had nothing to do with prize money or scheduling. It had everything to do with what was right.

There will be a golf tournament this week at Las Colinas and Cottonwood Valley. There will be a party at the TPC Four Seasons Resort. And there will be tributes to the life and career of Byron Nelson at the tournament that bears his name. And knowing the first-class way the Salesmanship Club does things, it will be a celebration that will not only be worth remembering, it will be so compelling there will be no choice but to remember it.

One of the things that keeps the LPGA an organization that respects its past is that it has help remembering that past because a half-dozen of its founders are still alive to remind the young players that it was not always as nice and easy as it now is. The PGA Tour, being about 20 years older than the LPGA, has lost most of its direct connection to its roots. In Byron Nelson, it lost one of the most important.

Nelson was not the kind of guy who would grab a player and say, "Hey, don't ever lose appreciation for what you have." Or, "Don't ever forget that the game made you, you didn't make the game." Byron didn't have to use words like that. His actions said it much more eloquently. It seems, however, that not all the players were listening.


Tuesday
Apr242007

TPC Las Colinas Greens

Jimmy Burch explains why they might not look so hot this week. Assuming you watch.

Tuesday
Apr242007

Golfchick Interview Part 2

gse_multipart58081.jpgKristen Williams (aka The Golfchick) posts part two of our Q&A on her blog.
Monday
Apr232007

"I can't recall many golf courses where you don't see the fairway and green on the same hole."

Wow, imagine the coincidence of Tiger Woods practicing at Oakmont and just spontaneously deciding to give a clinic to American Express suckers guests on U.S. Open Preview Day. And lo and behold the AP writer is there to cover it.

Praise the Lord!

Woods spent the last two days at Oakmont, the premiere championship golf course in America that had been somewhat of a mystery to him. He didn't qualify for his first U.S. Open until the year after Ernie Els won at Oakmont in 1994, so this had been a course Woods only knew from newspaper clippings and television highlights.

"I like it," he said. "I can't recall many golf courses where you don't see the fairway and green on the same hole. Maybe at St. Andrews, but that's about it."
I guess that's a nice way of saying "it's all NOT right in front of you."
Monday also turned into quite a mystery for the 82 people who didn't know they would get to tag along.

They were American Express card members who paid $900 for an event called "2007 U.S. Open Preview Day," not realizing that it would include more than a round of golf and free lunch until Woods entered the room from a back door to stunned silence, followed by high-fives and then a standing ovation.

They were told they would get a seminar on how to prepare for a U.S. Open.

They had no idea their instructor would be the world's No. 1 player, with ABC Sports anchor Mike Tirico as the emcee.

"I hope you guys didn't get slaughtered out there," Woods told them before inviting them along for his third and final practice round.

 

Monday
Apr232007

Par-3 Shootout Takes A One-Year Break To Give Rick Smith More Time In The Grieving Process

Well, and to find a new sponsor.

Oh and here's the Mickelson-Harmon-Smith break up/marriage press release where everyone makes it official that they love and admire each other as the great humanitarians that they are. 

Monday
Apr232007

A Potpourri of Putting Greens

My March Golfdom column has been posted.

Monday
Apr232007

"We don’t reach everyone. Just the people with all the money"

23golf-600.jpgThe New York Times's Michel Marriott files a piece on the PGA Tour's cool-looking new scoreboards which unfortunately provides a chance for one of the Vice Presidents to say something obnoxious. This time it's Tom Wade:

Although much of the PGA Tour’s fan base remains mature and affluent, Wade said, significant numbers in that group are “heavy technology adaptors.”

“As we say: We don’t reach everyone. Just the people with all the money,” Wade said.

 

Ugh.

Monday
Apr232007

"He hit a lot of 'stingers'"

Michael Dudurich talks to Oakmont's Bob Ford about Tiger's practice round.

This item would seem to be bad news for anyone hoping to watch him spray that lovely Nike driver all over the lot:

For the most part, Woods hit 5- and 3-woods off the tees.

"There aren't too many driver holes for him out there," Ford said. "He hit a lot of 'stingers' with both of those clubs. He's a very strategic person, no doubt about it."
Monday
Apr232007

If It All Ended Today...

...I don't believe anyone else has noticed this, but if the FedEx Cup playoffs started this week, Parker McLachlin would be on the outside looking in.

Just thought you'd want to know. That 144 number is going to be one cruel cut-off point.

Sunday
Apr222007

"I refuse to hit driver. It's against my religion."

About the only highlight of Tiger's first tour around Oakmont was his refusal to use driver on the 8th hole's absurd 288-yard tee. Someone from AP spills the beans on his practice round...

Woods played the back nine early Sunday morning with members and swing coach Hank Haney, then stopped for lunch and played the front nine in the afternoon.

The U.S. Open, to be played June 13-16, returns to Oakmont for the first time since 1994. It is one of the few classic championship courses in the United States that Woods had not played. He first qualified for the U.S. Open in 1995 as an amateur.

Woods said he thought Oakmont as a members' course was far tougher than Winged Foot, where last year he missed the cut for the first time in a major as a pro.

On the par-3 eighth, he played the back tee at 288 yards, and hit 3-wood to the middle of the green.

"I refuse to hit driver," Woods said, smiling. "It's against my religion."

Sunday
Apr222007

Vijay Withdraws From Design Project So He Can Spend Less Time Mailing It In

Thanks to reader John for the sad, sad news that Vijay Singh will not be lending his name to a pair of former IMG Design Services masterpieces in his native land.

IMG Worldwide Inc, the manager of Fiji's star golfer, last week cancelled its design contract for the championship golf course at Natadola Resort.

In a statement today, Renee Lal, legal representative for IMG, says the Natadola Bay Resort Ltd (NBRL), a subsidiary of the Fiji National Provident Fund will no longer have the right to use Vijay Singh's name to promote the course.

No comments could be obtained immediately from NBRL's chairman Felix Anthony.

Last month, the FNPF, the financiers of the multi million dollar project, had said it had cancelled the Natadola project manager's, Asia Pacific Resort International (APRIL's) contract after Anthony claimed that Interpol reports showed that APRIL chief executive Gerard Saliot had a criminal record, which he did not disclose when obtaining a work permit.
A show of integrity from IMG? Eh...
APRIL, which is the founder of the Natadola scheme, says its contract is still in force and has not been legally terminated.

Golfer Singh had said he would withdraw from the Natadola Golf Course project in Fiji if APRIL and Saliot are removed.

"I thought that (the statement) was a bit irresponsible," Anthony had later said in a press conference.

Lal says Singh has indicated publicly his trust and confidence in APRIL and Saliot, its chief executive.

Singh in association with IMG, has been personally involved in the design and development of the course.

Well...let's not get carried away here. 
Lal says she received a message from Singh through IMG expressing his concern at the circumstances that led to the contract cancellation.

"His actual words were that what had happened 'has caused great disappointment to me as my dream is now altogether gone to provide this masterpiece for the people of Fiji'.

"I have been instructed to say that criticisms of Singh by FNPF and NBRL board member, Felix Anthony, are completely false," Lal says.

She claimed that they were made without as much as a "phone call to Mr Singh or an offer of discussion".

Lal says that any suggestion that Singh does not fully understand the situation between the FNPF and APRIL is untrue.

"He is well informed and is in regular contact," she said.

Lal claims FNPF's contractual default has led to a new crisis.

She said IMG had exercised its right to terminate the course design agreement with immediate effect and that the NBRL was informed about this late last week.

Lal claims that despite repeated requests, the NBRL had failed to pay outstanding sums of about $103,000 to IMG.

She claims that there was a clear and unequivocal breach of the design agreement.

Lal says that IMG may proceed without further notice to take legal action against NBRL to recover the full amount due, together with costs and interest.

According to her, the IMG is also making a demand for payment of sums due under a separate management agreement which she said at March end totaled about $275,000.

In IMG's view, the NBRL's failure to pay these amounts was also a clear breach of agreement, Lal says.

She said that although the design agreement had been terminated, it was still possible to negotiate a new agreement.

"The option is still there if matters can be resolved."

Lal who also represents APRIL says it was estimated that the interruption of the golf course contract alone could involve additional expenditure of some $5 million.

She claims the FNPF is now exposed to a number of legal problems with potentially far-reaching consequences.

Well if you can make sense of that, please feel free to explain in the comments section. 

Sunday
Apr222007

Van Sickle On Schulz

Gary Van Sickle catches up with Ted Schulz, the 1991 L.A. Open champion at Riviera who has taken a "real job" and loves it.

Shoot this piece was so enjoyable I'd tell Gary to nominate it for a GWAA award even though it does not involve a death or disease.
Sunday
Apr222007

"Or that Tiger Woods will ever play tournament golf again in Texas?"

The Star-Telegram's Gil Lebreton realizes that if Tiger isn't coming to the Nelson this year, he probably won't be coming back ever again.

The message this time, though, seems unmistakable. If the tributes planned for Byron weren’t enough to lure Woods back this year, what makes anyone think that he’ll come back next April? Or the year after?

Or that Tiger Woods will ever play tournament golf again in Texas?

His first and last appearance at Colonial came in 1997. A disappointing final round left Woods steamed and tied for fourth place, and he has never returned.

He played in the Texas Open, a fall tour event in San Antonio, in 1996 and came in third. He has never returned.

Woods has never played in the Shell Houston Open.

The Nelson, however, was supposed to be Woods’ tournament. The tournament where Fergie, the Duchess of York, once came to see Tiger play. From 1997 to 2004, Woods played in the Nelson Championship seven times, shooting a combined 77 under par.


Saturday
Apr212007

"DVD of the 2007 Masters could, and should, be marketed as a 100% guaranteed cure for insomnia."

Sunday on The Scotsman's Scotland on Sunday's John Huggan notices a trend since 1997: majors gone awry. Seven "dodgy" majors to be exact. Which he revisits in detail.
Ever since the greatest golfer the world has seen annexed his first major title at Augusta in 1997 - blitzing the field by 12 strokes and wedging seemingly every approach on to what used to be distant greens - those in charge of the four most important events seem to have engaged in an unofficial contest to host the daftest Grand Slam event in history.

Unofficially at least, they call it "Tiger-proofing". I call it golf's so-called administrators attempting to disguise their incompetence over the shameful non-regulation of the modern ball.
You know I've suggested it many times, but Huggan gets the credit for actually coming out and saying it.

And bad news for the "so-called administrators." More and more people are making the connection between extreme setups and faulty equipment regulation. And that's before I they even hear me ramble on!
Most were consciously ruined in order to deflect attention away from the men who were 'asleep at the wheel', when they should have been paying closer attention to the dangerous and unlit technological road that golf was travelling. The rest were merely the playthings of those who take a one-dimensional delight in watching the best players suffer.

And so, golf at the very highest level is today too often a pedestrian and penal game designed to punish even the slightest indiscretion. Forget the spectacular and interesting prospect of watching a skilled practitioner attempt a risky recovery shot. They are long gone. Veer from the increasingly straight and narrow fairways, and the only option available is more than likely the chip back into play: penalty one stroke.

How tedious. Tennis anyone?
Saturday
Apr212007

Phil Proposes, Butch Accepts!

mickelson_harmon2.jpgGolf World's Tim Rosaforte has the details, Dom Furore's photo still says it all (left):

But sources have told Golf World the Mickelson-Harmon alliance will be made official before the EDS Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Tex. By then, Mickelson and Harmon will have worked at an undisclosed location in preparation for The Players Championship and ultimately the U.S. Open.

Yes, we want to make sure they nail the details of the prenup!

Sources have also told Golf World that Harmon and Smith have spoken and will remain amicable.

 Ah and I was hoping for a pay-per-view cat fight!

Harmon had no comment. Smith did not return calls. Friends of Mickelson have said this is the toughest professional decision he's had to make. He and Smith have evolved as close friends and partners in golf course design.