Latest From
To Get Posts Delivered To Your Inbox Enter Email Address Below:

Powered by FeedBlitz
  • 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
  • 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

Pits which day after day in practice rounds are passed unnoticed, suddenly assume terrible aspects on tournament days, but generally it is the fear of the hazards which in reality is more terrifying than the hazards themselves. A.W. TILLINGHAST



"Not a [bleeping] chance"

Bob Verdi's FBR Open Golf World game story features a couple of intriguing items. The first relates to the new cut rule:

The world's No. 2 golfer is precisely the type of marquee name who would be welcomed by a smattering of peers disgruntled about working conditions: specifically the new cut rule and the drug policy to be instituted July 1. But whether Mickelson would expend any energy on any form of a movement by labor against the tour's authority or administration is unclear. In fact, when Mickelson was asked to touch on reported grumbling among peers, he indicated he did not have sufficient information on the subject.

If one were to estimate the number of golfers sufficiently vexed to ponder action via an association, the hunch would be more than a few but fewer than enough. "About 30," said one player. But 30 guys banging their fists doesn't make for much noise, especially if the stars aren't aligned, and the proletariat isn't receiving much encouragment from the penthouse. In San Diego, for instance, Tiger Woods was asked about unrest over the controversial new cut policy (known as "Rule 78"). "Play better," he said. That doesn't provide much ammunition for the agents of change.

This is even more fascinating related to drug testing: 
But it also doesn't mean Woods would feel any different than a lot of players about a scenario whereby they would have to provide urine samples with an inspector in the same room. "Not a [bleeping] chance," promised Vijay Singh.

Am I reading that right? Vijay Singh is not too excited about playing by the rules? Now, I thought golfers would never use stuff because they were honorable, upstanding, rule-abiding, eh...

Concluded Tim Herron, "We need an association." He added, however, that the means toward that end requires a certain consensus among independent contractors with differing agendas. Meanwhile, at least one tour player has contacted a legal eagle about representing a group of the disenchanted. Ten years ago, there was an effort to organize a Tour Players Association, but it enjoyed a very short shelf life. Whatever happens, David Toms, one of four player directors on the PGA Tour Policy Board, supposes the next meeting will be "lively."

Wow, these guys really don't want to be tested.  

So much for the Tour's spin that the media will focus on the one positive test and ignore the fact that the rest are all clean.

If they resist testing, the media will be the least of the PGA Tour's concerns.


Previewing This Week's Events...

...Daniel Wexler does a nice job setting up this week's tournaments along with all of the relevant links. I love the links to the course aerial images, which this week come in extra handy if you're looking for that hidden design genius at Poppy Hills. Let me know when you find it.


B-Listers, CEO's Will Continue To Aid In AT&T Brand Messaging Through 2014


AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Set to Continue Through 2014

Title Sponsorship Agreement Provides AT&T the Opportunity to Deliver Brand Messaging to 500 Million Households in 200 Countries

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 5, 2008 — AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), the PGA TOUR and Monterey Peninsula Foundation Inc. today announced that AT&T has extended the title sponsorship of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, one of the nation’s premier golf tournaments, through 2014. AT&T has been the title sponsor of the tournament since 1986. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which will be held Feb. 4 – 10, 2008, provides AT&T with a unique platform to showcase products and services to a worldwide audience. As the title sponsor, AT&T will receive benefits, including:

Exclusive naming rights. AT&T will remain the exclusive title sponsor of the event through the 2014 tournament.

Promotional Benefits. For each of the next six years, AT&T will receive on-site benefits, including name and/or logo placement on scoreboards, caddie bibs, tee markers, pin flags, tee back signage and the official tournament trophy; advertising in the tournament program and on daily pairings sheet and event tickets; and involvement in all press conferences and media events. In addition, the company will receive in-market promotional rights and technology integration throughout the tournament.

Media Exposure. AT&T will receive significant title sponsor branding within network and cable broadcasts, promotional spots and news coverage. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am will be broadcast to more than 500 million households in more than 200 countries.

The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is one of several golf tournaments sponsored by AT&T; others include the Masters Tournament and the AT&T National, hosted by Tiger Woods.

AT&T Masters? I didn't get that press release. Here I was just thinking they had the privilege of buying ad time on the Masters.


Taking Dead Aim At...The Green!

Note where J.B. Holmes is aiming in relation to the actual fairway bunker scheme created by Weiskopf and Morrish. He's teeing off Sunday on TPC Scottsdale's 18th in this Patrick Hagerty image, lifted from the latest Golf World:



"The Americans on the PGA Tour seem to have given up"

From John Huggan's Golf World game story:

"The Americans on the PGA Tour seem to have given up," said one high-profile European on the eve of the 13-time major champion's now anual pilgrimage to the Dubai Desert Classic. "Look at the Buick [two weeks ago]. All Tiger has to do is turn up, give them a stare and they drop down dead at his feet. At least over here we take him on and give him a game. I mean, what have you really got to lose? You might as well go for it."

That's right, you guys give him a game before you fold like accordians. 


Gulbis Rebranding Commences With Exclusive Images Appearing Intensely Bored At New York Fashion Shows

feb4_gulbisfer_400x600.jpgFirst we learned she was going to lose the G-strings, then she said it was never her intention to deprive us of those irresistable anklet sock tan lines and then she fired her agent to assure us that such a scare would never happen again.

Yet in this lame-beyond-belief, page-view generating SI/ slideshow, Jeff Zelevanksy follows Natalie Gulbis around New York's fashion scene where we see two sides of her: bored beyond belief and intensely glazed over while seated amongst life-like manneqins and the freaky fashion industry elite.

Oh, and all while fully clothed.

Sure looks to me like the rebranding has begun. Say it ain't so Natalie!


Acushnet Sets Brand Records!

Golfweek's Adam Schupak reports the heartwarming news, which I know will help me sleep better tonight.

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, Fortune’s golf business – which includes the Titleist, Cobra, FootJoy and Pinnacle brands – generated net sales of $1.41 billion, up 7 percent from $1.31 billion in 2006. Operating income dipped slightly to $165.5 million compared with $166 million the previous year.

For the fourth quarter, Fairhaven, Mass.-based Acushnet reported a 12.6 gain in net sales to $245.1 million, up from $217.6 million in the same period of 2006. It posted an operating loss of $6.7 million; Acushnet had an operating loss of $4.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2006. bills?
Acushnet does not provide specific financial details for each of its brands. However, Bruce Carbonari, president and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands, cited some of them in a news release about the year-end fiscal results.

Said Carbonari: “Successful innovations helped Titleist, FootJoy and Cobra achieve individual brand records, as we also attained sales records in every product category and in all major markets for the year.”

Golf ball sales increased at a high-single-digit rate, benefiting from a favorable product mix shift to the next generation Titleist Pro V1 and NXT families launched in 2007, said Craig Omtvedt, Fortune’s chief financial officer.

A favorable product mix that's a work of art.


Atwal Looking To Put India Golf On Map; And Possibly Flee There Permanently

Lewine Mair writes that the America resident and India native is hoping to establish India as a golfing mecca, but as Steve Elling reports, Atwal might just want to stay there because he may face serious charges on his return to Orlando.


AT&T Amateur Field Reveals Who's Who List Of Who Has Too Much Time And Disposable Income On Their Hands posts the listing of major Hollywood talent and CEOdom taking part in this week's AT&T National Pro-Am. Not a single name jumped out to me as even remotely interesting until the very last man: Jerry Yang.

Somehow I think the Yahoo founder and current CEO is going to have to WD so he can figure out whether to fight Microsoft's hostile takeover bid.  If not, expect a major shareholder revolt. 

By the way, which Golf Channel/CBS announcer will be the first to refer to a CEO as Mr. (Fill in name)? 


"But working with guys such as Pete and Greg, and considering how much I can learn from them, I think it is nice to get a head start like this."

02.02.08-A_sergio.jpgEmirates Business caught up with Sergio Garcia to ask about his Dubai design gig with Pete Dye and Greg Norman, among other vital topics:

You are the co-designer of the Wind course here. Have you made a site visit over there lately?

—Not yet, because we are still working out the design of it. We haven’t done any groundwork yet, so we haven’t been able to go and see. I’ve seen how the project site looks, but we haven’t started with the work. I think we will get going sometime later this year, or the start of next year.

Time permitting!
How excited are you to work with two of the proven masters of golf course design – Dye and Norman?

—Yeah, two of the very best, no doubt about it. I think it’s a great opportunity for me, great learning experience. Golf course design is something that I want to get into very seriously later in my career.

But working with guys such as Pete and Greg, and considering how much I can learn from them, I think it is nice to get a head start like this.
Think the "dream team" will ever be in the same room other than at the announcement press conference and opening day? 
Can you tell us about your course design philosophy and which course you really like playing around the world?

 —Well, I’ve always liked challenging courses; courses that have several doglegs that make it tough for you on your driving and ones that usually have small targets, small greens. That’s probably why two of my favourite courses have been Valderrama and the TPC of Sawgrass.

See, I always knew someone liked Valderrama. 


Membership Has Its Privileges...

The big news for USGA members is posted at

Far Hills, N.J. – The United States Golf Association is pleased to announce a new partnership with the ESPN Golf Schools, presented by American Express, that will offer special rates and benefits to USGA Members.
What, no room for Lexus, RBS and IBM in there, too?
ESPN Golf Schools, which were launched in 2003, provide instruction for golfers of all ages and abilities at premier golf courses and facilities around the country. The programs consist of three-day resort schools and one-day touring schools for adults and juniors at more than 50 sites across the U.S.

As a result of the partnership between the USGA and ESPN Golf Schools, a discounted rate of $375 will be exclusively offered to USGA Members for an education-only version of each one-day touring school:

    * 3-Club Tour™ – Visiting more than 50 U.S. cities, this one-day program focuses on three clubs: driver, putter and wedge. ESPN brand representative Chris Berman will demonstrate how to throw each club while reeling off a list of obscenity laden tirade that would make Tommy Lasorda blush.

    * The Power Tour® – A one-day program that aims to help students hit the golf ball farther by applying the key elements of fitness and flexibility. Executive Director David Fay will explain how distance advances only come through better conditioning, not thanks to technology in any way, shape or form.

    * Beginners Tour® – A one-day introduction to the game of golf that provides basic instruction for novices, including grip, posture, scoring, golf etiquette and other fundamentals. Included will be a clinic by ESPN technical staff on how to bring a beginner's feel to Open Championship coverage by cutting away at the key moment to show a clip package on Jean van de Velde that had already been played to death.

Okay, I fleshed the curriculum out just a bit.
"We’re very excited to announce this new benefit to USGA Members," said Fiona Dolan, director of the USGA Members Program. "Many of our Members have indicated that a top priority is the desire to improve their game. We believe this partnership with ESPN Golf Schools will give our Members better access to useful instructional tools such as swing assessment and Rules and etiquette education."
Reasons like that this make me so happy I'm not a member! 

"AT&T Oaks and AT&T Canyons Courses to Open with JW Marriott Resort in 2010"

To call this the tackiest thing the PGA Tour has ever done would not be a stretch...


AT&T Oaks and AT&T Canyons Courses to Open with JW Marriott Resort in 2010

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 4, 2008 — The PGA TOUR and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced that AT&T will be the naming rights sponsor of the two new TPC golf courses, which are located at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.

The long-term sponsorship agreement will incorporate AT&T into the names of the courses at TPC San Antonio. The courses will be known as the AT&T Oaks Course (designed by Greg Norman, with player consultant Sergio Garcia) and the AT&T Canyons Course (designed by Pete Dye, with player consultant Bruce Lietzke). The golf courses and the adjacent 1,002-room JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa are schedule to open in early 2010.

Let the quote pile-on begin...

“AT&T is pleased to associate our brand with these courses,” said Cathy Coughlin, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and Global Marketing officer. “We also look forward to working with the PGA TOUR, TPC San Antonio and JW Marriott to assure that the golfers and resort guests enjoy access to the latest AT&T broadband, voice and video services.”

Yep, that's why you go to play a golf course. Good broadband connection.

The adjacent residential development, Cibolo Canyons, already is an AT&T Connected Community. Details of specific applications to be made available at the resort and golf facility will be available closer to opening.

Just as soon as we figure out what that means.

“AT&T, a long-standing partner of the PGA TOUR, has been a tremendous supporter of this exciting project and has played an important role in bringing the TOUR and TPC brand into the fold,” said David Pillsbury, President of PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties, which oversees the TOUR’s network of 25 TPCs. “Through its brand and technology, AT&T will very much be at the forefront of creating a unique, world-class golf experience at TPC San Antonio. We’re very excited to work with AT&T at TPC San Antonio.”

Nice, could have been a bit more succinct and dropped at least on platform, so we'll give you a 7 David.

"AT&T played an integral role in making the TPC development at Cibolo Canyons possible," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. "We are grateful to be home to one of the world's most environmentally friendly golf course development projects, and we congratulate AT&T and the PGA TOUR on the naming rights announcement."

Wait, there's another...

"We are excited that AT&T and the PGATOUR created this sponsorship and we are pleased to have AT&T as a partner in this quality development," added Jim Miller, President of Miller Global Properties.  Miller Global is the developer of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa, which will be owned by Miller Global in partnership with Principal Real Estate Partners.

TPC San Antonio will feature 36 holes of golf on 2,800 acres of contrasting topography.  Norman’s AT&T Oaks Course will feature rolling terrain and majestic native oak trees. Dye’s AT&T Canyons Course will showcase dramatic elevation changes with beautiful views of the surrounding AT&T Texas Hill Country.

Just slipped that last one in to see if you were still reading.


Holmes Wins Playoff; Mickelson Unable To Regroup From Kostis Football "Reference"

I searched the transcript but apparently the scribblers did not think to ask Phil if his mind was racing in a desperate attempt to figure out what it was that Peter Kostis was getting at with his post round interview football "reference."


What Did Els Hit On 18?

On the American Golf Channel feed of the Dubai event, the announcers were pretty sure Ernie Els used a hybrid of some sort instead of a 3-wood for his second shot. His post round press conference doesn't answer the question: 

Q. 3-wood on the last?

ERNIE ELS: I had 240 to the last. I mean, it's very in my range. But the gust, as I said, there's a gust that came up and caught it.
Lawrence Donegan reviews the week but seemed to not get the question answered... 
Woods's charge pushed him into second place but the South African could still have forced a play-off with a birdie on the par-five 18th. Instead he hit his second shot into the water and finished with a bogey to drop into third behind the 23-year-old Kaymer, who eagled the same hole for a six-under round of 66 and a 72-hole total of 275, 13 under - one shot behind the winner's 274.

I ask because it would be nice to know if (A) he left 3-wood in the bag as the announcers said and (B) since there is a corporate hospitality structure over the green, it would seem logical to blow it over the green, take your drop and chip back. Or is the chip back to the water too difficult?


Apocalypse Now: Ames and Johnny Form Design Dream Team!

Lorne Rubenstein's latest Globe and Mail column reveals the dream design pairing between Stephen Ames and Johnny Miller

The background here is intriguing. Calgary-based Windmill Golf Group hired Miller's design firm to do a course as part of a new community at Harmony, on the northwest corner of Springbank Airport, in the city's western suburbs. Windmill has done a few well-received courses in the province.

"We pride ourselves on doing master-plan communities," Miller's son, Scott, who works in his father's firm, said during a telephone interview this week. "We feel it's fairly unique, our ability to take a project from raw land to the end."

Unique is certainly way of putting it. 
The Millers have visited the site twice.

The devotion these player architects have to their craft...

They weren't considering a course that could stage the Canadian Open until Ames suggested the idea. He was aware of Windmill's other projects in Alberta, including the Elbow Springs course near his home. He got wind of the project, contacted Miller and offered to get involved.

"We heard about it through the grapevine," Ames said the other day while having breakfast at a restaurant in Calgary. "My guy [Kim Koss] looked into it and approached Johnny. He just wanted to build a course, but I asked about a course that could hold the Canadian Open."

Miller liked the idea, and Ames came aboard. Ames said, "It's been a treat working with Johnny and Scott. Johnny's been very obliging. For me, I want to learn to build courses. When I mentioned the idea of a Canadian Open, their eyes opened up."

So you'd put them to sleep prior to that?

Ames said plans are to build a course that can stretch to 8,100 yards. Calgary's altitude, along with how far players are hitting the ball today, means that's not a ludicrous length. It doesn't mean the course will play that long should the Canadian Open come there. But it doesn't hurt to have the yards available.

No, at 8,100 it's already a lost cause, so what's another few hundred unnecessary yards?


Holmes Take Lead At Scottsdale; CBS Crew Set To Make Absurd Tiger Comparisons Again?

Quite possibly the best reason to watch the FBR is the opportunity to hear the CBS maestros make breathless comparisons between J.B. Holmes and Tiger Woods. You may recall that David Feherty all but declared his fellow Cobra staff member Holmes the second coming of you-know-who when Holmes won in 2006.

So hopefully they'll be more restrained Sunday should third-round leader J.B. win.


Irish Love Their Golf 2% More Than Scots!

Well, something like that. David Owen (presumably not the Golf Digest/New Yorker Owen?) reports on a new, utterly meaningless KPMG study that found the Irish, be the judge...

Golf is now more popular in Ireland than in the sport's traditional home of Scotland, according to new figures from KPMG which reveal that 7% of Irish people are affiliated to their national golf union via club membership, compared with only 5% in Scotland.

The success of Irish golfers, as epitomised by Padraig Harrington's victory in last year's Open Championship at Carnoustie, is helping to spark a golf boom on the Emerald Isle, with the sport now more popular there than anywhere else in Europe.

The Nordic countries come closest to matching Ireland's participation rating, with Sweden scoring 6% and Iceland 5.3%. Wales, the prospective host of the 2010 Ryder Cup, has 2.4% participation, with England on 1.9%.


"So he's No. 2 in the world rankings now."

By the time you read this they'll be well into round 2 in Dubai, nonetheless an entertaining game story holds up any day of the week. First, Lawrence Donegan reporting on day one for The Guardian:

Not only did he find the middle of the fairway, he did so some 50 yards in front of his playing partners, Colin Montgomerie and Niclas Fasth, great players both but made to look at times like club pros in comparison.

Montgomerie, in particular, bore a look of humiliation. The Scotsman holed a birdie putt on the 4th green - their 13th - to pull level with Woods on four under par, yet took seven shots more than the world No1 over the final five holes. He looked inconsolable afterwards, although he might have been gladdened to hear that Woods enjoyed his company. "There are certain guys I always enjoy playing with and Monty is one of them," Woods said. "He usually drives the ball on a string but he missed a couple today."

Wow, I almost felt bad for Monty there. Nice going Lawrence.

Oh and this priceless:
Poulter's reputation for saying what is on his mind was established long ago - it is what makes him such an appealing figure - so the game's historians are unlikely to dwell too long on this latest furore. One person who is unlikely to forget in a hurry, however, is Tiger Woods, who took time out of his busy schedule to pass comment on Poulter. "So he's No2 in the world rankings now." The world No1 is not a fan of overtly confident players, even those who claim to have been misquoted, and relishes every opportunity to remind them of their station in life.
pga_a_woods_580.jpgMeanwhile Bob Smiley has been sent to Dubai for and files an entertaining take on the sights and sounds. Love the photo that went with the story too (left).
The one rule that no one seems particularly worried about (except for Tiger's caddie Steve Williams) is the fact that almost everyone in the gallery has cameras. And not the little cameras people hide in their pockets in the U.S. I'm talking about big ones with 12-inch zooms. The most egregious rule breaker was the guy next to me on No. 10 who filmed Tiger's tee shot with both his video camera and still camera … at the same time.

But to be fair, what can you expect when the crowd is almost 100 percent tourists? Unlike every other tournament in the world, no one here is actually from Dubai. People from India and England make up most of the crowd, but over the course of the round I pick up German, French, Chinese, even Russian. According to Ali, a Dubai-based Brit I meet along the 13th hole, golf is gaining popularity in Dubai, but at the end of the day most Arabs find golf "completely boring."

The comment reminded me of my taxi driver from the airport. When he asked why I was here, I said, "to watch Tiger Woods," which was met with the surprising answer of "Who?" "Tiger Woods?," I said. And then, not believing I had to add it, "The golfer?" Finally, it clicked. "Ah. Yes," he said, then kept driving. It wasn't exactly the exciting response Nike, Gatorade and Buick expect to be generated by their biggest spokesman.

"It doesn't make a hill of beans to me one way or the other which way they do it; you still play the same golf course."

Jack Nicklaus answered questions for a conference call plugging the upcoming Wendy's Senior Skins and was asked about the change of par at U.S. Open venues.

Q.  As we go back to Torrey Pines this year for the U.S. Open, it will go as a par 71.  If a course like Torrey or Pebble Beach has been at 72 since it opened, why does it need to be anything less than that just because the U.S. Open's in town?  Any thoughts on that?

JACK NICKLAUS:  The USGA seems to do that with every golf course.  I don't know why they do it.  They seem to do it.  And I don't know if it makes it 18 under par, you get 10 under par with the same golf course if you make it a par 70.  I suppose it takes 10 under, so it looks better and sounds better.

Frankly it doesn't make a hill of beans to me one way or the other which way they do it; you still play the same golf course.  They've made changes at Torrey Pines, and I don't really know what they've done, and I don't really remember the golf course that well.  But the thing that would be different for the guys is that Torrey Pines will more than likely not have any rain after probably March or maybe even February.  And the golf course will have a chance to get fast and hard.

The rough will be probably pretty high.  My guess is the ball will run off.  There's a lot of pitch in those fairways.  Run off the fairways pretty easily.  It will certainly be a different golf course than they played a week ago. I haven't seen it at all since they made changes in the golf course.


This Is Your Host For The First Two Rounds Of U.S. Open Play

Thanks to the Deadspin dudes for posting this headed-for-classic status tirade by Chris Berman, your host for the opening rounds of ESPN's U.S. Open coverage.