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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

If the golfers don’t need a day of rest, the greens surely do.
TOM MORRIS on closing the Old Course every Sunday


    

Thursday
Nov082007

The World Tour...Is Here?

Several interesting stars aligned Thursday to form what seems to be the makings of a "World Tour" in...Europe. Well, and maybe Asia. And Dubai.

Jim Gorant recaps the wacky week in Singapore and how it overshadowed the PGA Tour, while Lawrence Donegan reveals that the good folks in Dubai are ponying up even more money.

Details are to be announced in Dubai later this month but the Guardian has learned that the event, to round off the 2009 season, will have a prize fund of $10m (£4.95m) for the tournament itself with the other half to be divided as "bonus" money among the highest-ranked players at the end of the 2009 season.

Donegan also blogs about the European Tour's efforts to expand and offers this:

Beyond that there is the strong possibility the tour will change its name - a move that meets with the approval of another of the big names in European golf, Guy Kinnings, Montgomerie's manager and head of IMG's European golf division. "The name 'European Tour' has definitely got some value but in the long term it remains to been seen whether it is really necessary to keep it, especially if the tour is travelling more and more around the globe."

I guess the only question I'd ask is, what's taken so long?

Thursday
Nov082007

"How much is Rory getting paid and how much is he worth?"

I think it's safe to say that Stuart Appleby and Rory Sabbatini will not be talking cars anytime soon after Appleby's backlash over Rory's Australian PGA appearance fee. Yes, that's right, someone paid Rory Sabbatini to be at their golf tournament.

Many of Australia's best golfers are said to be unhappy about the reported $200,000 appearance fee being paid to the cocky South African and Stuart Appleby underlined this fact on Thursday when he questioned Sabbatini's worth.

"To me the question is: How much is Rory getting paid and how much is he worth? "That's what I want to ask the Australian PGA," Appleby, who has slipped back to No 38 in the World this year, told the Telegraph

"If a player is being paid ten times as much as someone with comparable standing, we want to know whether it's a good investment.

"I don't know if $200,000 is the correct figure. That's something I want to find out."
And if that wasn't enough...

"He is maybe not as well known for his golf as he is for his words ever since he said Tiger was vulnerable (in June)," Appleby continued.

"The thing about Rory is that he has not based his career purely on golf equipment. He's a really streaky player and maybe he needs his golf to speak louder than his words.

"I'm not sure that should be the type of player we are looking for. They've had John Daly there before. What do we want: a talented golfer or a loose cannon?"

Wednesday
Nov072007

TPC Las Colinas Update

An unbylined Dallas Morning News story looks at the TPC Las Colinas redo by D.A. Weibring, with plenty of insights into the project. Most interesting of all is this note, which would seem to indicate that the PGA Tour is taking its architecture seriously these days.

 PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem stamped his approval on the project's status last week after touring the facility with Henry Hughes, the Tour's chief of operations. Officials from EDS, Four Seasons and the Salesmanship Club also gave a thumbs-up.

 

Wednesday
Nov072007

Gulbis Not Ready To Start Dressing Like Juli Inkster Yet

Craig Dolch asked Natalie Gulbis whether the shocking news of her rebranding was really true. Gulbis thankfully assures us that she will continue to show as much as humanly possible without revealing her most private parts and that news of her "rebranding" was premature.

“That’s not true at all,” she said of a story that originally appeared last week in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “I haven’t tried to tweak my image at all. I’ve been proud of everything I’ve come up with.”

Gulbis said what happened is a PR person for a Richmond-based branding agency that produces her calendar, Circle C Studios, overstepped her boundaries when she said Gulbis was trying to downplay her sexy image.

And...

“My calendar is a lot of different shots,” she said. “It’s a golf calender (with) no glamour shots. We’re just trying to do something different. You can’t do the same pictures every time.”

Oh I don't know about that. Looking tan in a skimpy bikini?

Wednesday
Nov072007

2007 PGA Tour Final Driving Distance Numbers

pgatour.jpgTyped too soon. Two weeks ago I pointed out that the driving distance average was finally going to top the 290 mark, but as that lovely state is prone to do, Florida messed things up.

The final 2007 PGA Tour driving distance average landed at 289.1, compared to 2006's 289.3.

In 2007, 18 players averaged over 300 yards, while 20 players averaged over 300 in 2006.

This season saw 26 drives over 400 yards and, courtesy of the stat gurus in Ponte Vedra, we know there were 1748 of 350 yards or longer.

In 2006, there were 30 over-400 tee shots and 2,183 drives of 350 or more.

Now before our friends at the USGA start patting themselves on the back, let's remember a few things.

The premise of a U-groove ban says that players will throttle back to hit more fairways because V-grooves won't save them from the rough. But if their driving distance average is flat lining, it's hard to make the case that this is really necessary. But there's still that pesky Statement of Principles authored when the guys were 10 yards shorter on average, though one probley, they also had U-grooves back in 2002. Why weren't guys flogging it back then?

Wednesday
Nov072007

"When completed, it will be one of the finest of its kind anywhere in the world."

medium_trump.jpgJudy DeHaven reports that The Donald is going to build another self-proclaimed masterpiece in New Jersey, but someone needs to tell him to stop using Gary Player's line to describe courses he hates. Thanks to reader Tom for this:

Real estate developer and casino boss Donald Trump said today he has inked a deal to rescue the troubled Encap development project in the Meadowlands.

Trump will now hire a master developer, but he said he already envisions a world-class golf course designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio - akin to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster - as well as residential housing, open space and perhaps a hotel.

"I look forward to working on the development," Trump said this afternoon, hours after signing the agreement. "When completed, it will be one of the finest of its kind anywhere in the world."

Finest of its kind? The Donald is getting sloppy! 

Wednesday
Nov072007

Another Fall Finish Fan

Steve Elling expands on the Fall Finish field issue and makes a compelling case for the winners of these events to earn Masters exemptions as well as other perks that go along with winning.
 According to the numbers crunched this week by statistical guru Jeff Sagarin, who does rankings for Golfweek magazine, all seven Fall Series events had better fields than the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., and the John Deere Classic, both regular-season tournaments.

It's interesting to note that, in a move that was widely applauded, Masters chairman Billy Payne last spring reinstated the rule in which all PGA Tour winners will be offered automatic exemptions to Augusta National.

That is, everybody but the seven Fall Series winners and those who won events staged opposite the three remaining majors or World Golf Championship tournaments.

Sounds like the Augusta brass should revisit their plan, especially since two of the seven Fall Series winners, Stephen Ames and Mike Weir, had already qualified for the Masters via other means. Thus, had the fall winners been included in Payne's plan, it would have meant adding a maximum of five more players to Augusta National's limited invitational field in 2008.

Moreover, the Fall Series had a list of winners that was more familiar to fans than many of the names who won in the regular season. Included were Justin Leonard, Chad Campbell and Steve Flesch, who all have multiple tour victories. The seven winners have combined for 29 career victories, two majors and two Players Championship wins.

Hardly a bunch of complete stiffs, in other words.
Wednesday
Nov072007

"I have no desire to watch golf on TV and I don't read about it that much"

Craig Dolch catches up with Greg Norman who offered this:

"I have no desire to watch golf on TV and I don't read about it that much," he said. "But now that I'm chairman of the board of MacGregor, I'm going to have to keep my finger on the pulse of the sport to know what's going on with my business."

Uh, yes that would be a good idea. 

Wednesday
Nov072007

Snap Code

Tuesday
Nov062007

My Shot: The USGA and Jim Vernon**

nov6_vernon_299x442.jpgSI Golf Plus runs a My Shot by yours truly this week on Jim Vernon's relatively unnoticed nomination as the next USGA President.

**Oops, here's the link to the story. 

Tuesday
Nov062007

HSBC Champions Photo Caption Fun

From the GolfChannel.com, a Ross Kinnaird image taken at "preview day" of the H$BC Champions Trophy meet and greet. What's Phil hearing?

216438.jpg 

Tuesday
Nov062007

Fall Finish Fields Far From Flat

How about that alliteration?

Doug Ferguson's weekly notes featured this item, which hopefully will have Billy Payne reconsidering Augusta National's stance on the Tour's Fall Finish:

Four tournaments during the Fall Series had a stronger field than the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, which counts as a FedEx Cup event and whose winner (Brandt Snedeker) got an automatic invitation to the Masters.

 

Tuesday
Nov062007

In The Bunker With Stan

dataNice spot by Bob Carney at the Golf Digest editor's blog: the esteemed Michael Lewis has obtained ousted Merrill Lynch CEO Stanley O'Neal's scorecards, including notes to himself.

Good irreverent fun if you enjoy humor at the expense of a golden parachute recipient.  

Tuesday
Nov062007

"The fact is, I don't have anything else to do."

nov5_trevino_299x389.jpgLee Trevino, on golf.com, and brutally honest about his brief retirement:
That's why I'll be back for the 2008 season, my 43rd year in the game. I'll probably play about a dozen events, starting in Florida next winter. I really love seeing the guys, but the fact is, I don't have anything else to do. There's nothing wrong with wanting to retire. I wouldn't miss competing. I don't do that very well these days anyway. But I don't have anything else to fill my time. If I owned a golf course or a driving range in my hometown of Dallas, and I could get up, drop my kid at school and then spend five or six hours a day at work, that would be fine, but I don't have anything like that in my life.
Monday
Nov052007

Points Tweaks To Encourage Volatility**

According to Doug Ferguson, who reviews the 2007 PGA Tour season:

Tour officials are busy running hundreds of models to tweak the [FedEx Cup] points system, putting particular emphasis on players’ concerns the four playoff events were not volatile enough. In other words, they want more guys to have a chance, but it’s a tough balancing act keeping the regular season meaningful.

Any volatility would help quite a bit, much more so than reducing the field sizes. 

Monday
Nov052007

Requiem for a Country Club

214600.jpgThanks to reader Steven T. for catching Rich Lerner's memories of Berkleigh Country Club, which recently closed and auctioned off plenty of memories.

I thought this was particularly interesting since I've recently heard of a number of clubs having serious trouble attracting new members.

Berkleigh was 81 years old. People die at 81, not lush golf courses with rich history. At 81 they get curvier and prettier. So many clubs, though, struggle now, desperate for members and families. Who has time, what with kids and jobs and the Internet and TIVO and 300 channels? Who goes to dinner dances anymore? Dressing up these days means Lucky Brand jeans with a Banana Republic t-shirt.

My generation had kids later in life. And either because we really wanted to be better dads or were driven through societal pressure, we went to Little League baseball games and soccer matches on Saturday mornings, joining the fitness craze and the $70-a-month gyms instead of country clubs.
 
Today, I travel more than 20 weeks a year and because of my job get more than enough invites to quality clubs to keep me satisfied. Most guys I know play a couple of times a month, maybe at a high-end daily fee or as a guest at a nice club. Many of us know at least a few of the generous and fortunate who belong to great places, those with gilded reputations that put them beyond the reach of economic downturns.

Monday
Nov052007

Striking Writers Take Comfort In Jack Wagner Heading Golf Digest's List Of Actors With Too Much Time On Their Hands

maar01_jackwagner.jpgI know you are just dying to know how many shots it's going to take for Lucas Black to catch Jack Wagner, so here's the link.

Oh and please don't ask about the accompanying photo. Beats me what they were going for.
Monday
Nov052007

Mickelson Family Safari Makes Up For Otherwise Miserable Week In Singapore

Grant Clark reports that Phil Mickelson had his highest round in 3 years and is on antibiotics after inhaling California's ashen air.

But at least the kids had fun on the Singapore safari.

Sunday
Nov042007

Snap

I just installed a new little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

Sunday
Nov042007

Final Money Lists

pgatour.jpgThe final PGA Tour money list where the top 125 are fully exempt next year and the top 30 gets you in the Masters.

And the final Nationwide Tour money list reveals some familiar and new names in the top 25 earning a PGA Tour card.