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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
  • 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
  • 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
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  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
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  • 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

There is nothing to do in St. Andrews but play golf and bathe.




Tiger's Pre-Masters Visits

After winning at Doral:

 Q. How many times in the years you've played the Masters have you gone to Augusta the week before you get there?

TIGER WOODS: Only when there's changes. Only when they decide to rebuild the place.

Q. So most.



"He can do "nice" if he wants to"

John Huggan on Vijay Singh:
Actually, not many media outlets print much of anything said by Singh, for the simple reason that he rarely says anything worth printing. Just this past week, your correspondent e-mailed one of America's most respected journalists to ask if Singh had ever commented publicly on the possibility of steroid use in golf. The response was short and to the point: "Has he ever commented publicly?"

He has, but not often. Two years ago, Singh was approached by a journalist - OK, me - on the practice ground at Pinehurst just prior to the US Open. He was asked to name his three favourite holes in Scotland, a subject that both surprised and intrigued him. Not only did he take a few minutes to ponder his decision, he was interested enough to ask what holes other players had offered up. It was, to my lasting shock, a pleasant little interlude.

So he can do "nice" if he wants to; it's just that Singh rarely seems to want to.


Sergio's Latest Brand Building Moment

Paul Forsyth reports from Doral, where the highlight of the day was Sergio Garcia spitting in a cup while cameras were rolling.

If any under the age of 35 were actually watching the telecast, we would already be reliving this great moment in etiquette history on YouTube.

His defense is priceless:

"But it (the spit) did go in the middle (of the hole) and wasn't going to affect anyone else. If it did, I would have wiped it off."

Ah right laddie. You would have been down on hands and knees with a towel mopping up the cup. Right! 


TiVo This!


Tiger Woods To Make His PGA TOUR Ad Debut; Phil Mickelson and Other Stars in Marquee Roles

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL (March 23, 2007) – Starting this weekend, the PGA TOUR will roll out a new set of ads featuring some of the TOUR’s top players, including the most recent No. 1 golfers in the world, Tiger Woods (2006) and Vijay Singh (2005). The campaign, created by the PGA TOUR and its advertising agency, GSD&M of Austin, Tex., is designed to show in a lighthearted fashion the players’ competitiveness and determination to win the new FedExCup.

The six new 30-second spots will air during network and cable golf telecasts, and in other sports programming on network and cable. The ads are part of an unprecedented year-long campaign promoting the inaugural FedExCup competition, which culminates with the first-ever four-tournament PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup beginning in late August. The campaign will be supported by print, online and radio executions throughout the season.

Highlighting the campaign in his PGA TOUR ad debut are two spots featuring Woods in support of the FedExCup. In the first spot, “Voices,” Tiger points out there is one significant accomplishment he hasn't won…yet. In Woods' second spot, called "Sign," he seeks a sign from the portrait of legendary golfer Bobby Jones to let him know if he has a chance to become the first-ever FedExCup winner. Mickelson, who also is featured in another “Voices” spot, relays that some challenges in golf are more fun than others, like becoming the first season champion.

“This campaign focuses on promoting the most exciting and significant change in the TOUR’s history – truly a new era in golf,” said Ric Clarson, PGA TOUR senior vice president, Brand Marketing. “From Tiger to Phil to Vijay and the more than 20 players featured in the campaign, the passion and desire to win the FedExCup is clear and evident in these humorous spots.”

Are they humorous spots because the players are exuding a passion and desire to win the FedEx Cup?

“We are proud to work with the PGA TOUR during this exciting time in golf,” said Roy Spence, president and founder of GSD&M. “The new work builds on our existing relationship with the TOUR and is the most compelling and inspiring creative to date. It connects the fans with the competitive edge of the players and their desire to win the FedExCup.”

Oh Roy wins this quote-off, hands down.

A further look at the campaign:
FIRST KISS – features a mix of young PGA TOUR stars, including Adam Scott, courting the coveted new FedExCup trophy by reciting lines of poetry in a Shakespearean style.

MIRROR, MIRROR – features 2006 Rookie of the Year Trevor Immelman talking to himself in a locker room mirror pretending to be interviewed after winning the inaugural FedExCup, when he’s caught by veteran Vijay Singh.

BELLHOP – features Retief Goosen and J.J. Henry being duped into forking over a hefty tip by the bellhop after arriving at a hotel for a tournament and being told they’re “his pick” to win the inaugural FedExCup.

Wow, there's a future staple of YouTube.

WINNING PUTT – features Stuart Appleby practicing on an empty course, whispering to himself and dreaming that his next putt is to win the FedExCup.

DO NOT DISTURB – features Ben Curtis playing a trick on Zach Johnson in a hotel the night before a tournament in order to get an edge in the FedExCup points race.

What, Chad Campbell was doing stand up that week and couldn't do the spot? 


Augusta National Tree Planting Looks Just As Bad From The Air As It Does From The Fairway

The April Golf Digest features several aerial overviews of Augusta National, and while the "second cut" continues to make the once wall-to-wall tight grass layout look like a thousand other inland American courses, it's the tree planting that says, this could be any country club you see flying into O'Hare.

Most shameful of all is the 15th/17th corridor, which I had to look at twice to convince myself that it wasn't the super narrow 7th hole, but in fact the 17th on the left. Look how narrow those landing corridors are.



Annika Looking Forward To Learning About Steroids...

...because the LPGA releases their banned substances list. Annika comments:

``I'm not very familiar with any of those substances, and I don't really know what they are other than caffeine (which is not banned) and cocaine, I think,'' she said. ``I have a lot of learning to do. But I think it's an important statement that we're making.

``It's a new era for the LPGA,'' Sorenstam said. ``We're standing behind it.''


Tiger At Dawn

SI's Michael Bamberger got up early to be there when Tiger teed off alone Wednesday morning and before the circus atmosphere kicked in.


"He's a phenomenon in the gym."'s Lorne Rubenstein, quoting Gary Player talking on Tiger Woods:

"I've seen him do a few things, and it's frightening," Player answered. "Tiger Woods is a phenomenon. He's a phenomenon in the gym. I'll tell you what I saw him do. I was in Dubai five days ago and he was playing in the afternoon. I was over there designing golf courses. I was in the gym. I turned around and he had two 25 pound weights." Player then went into some sort of pantomime while trying to show exactly what Woods was doing with the weights. It wasn't so much the weight Woods was lifting, because 25 pounds aren't much. It was more what he was doing with them, and, Player said, that he was working with them before playing that afternoon. "This is his warmup," Player said. His point was that Woods was being an animal in the gym before he would play a competitive round, and that he had no problem preparing that way. He was fit enough to handle the stress on his body."



It's Poppy Hills Meets Mount Rushmore Set In The Holy Land

April Fool's Day came early this year?

Here I thought reader Tuco was playing an elaborate hoax until I found the link. And no, it's not from The Onion.

Craig Copetas writing for Bloomberg News:

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- It's a soft 3-iron shot between miracles along the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus of Nazareth walked on water and New York-based Americas Partners LLP General Partner Joseph Bernstein is spending $46 million to build the first 36-hole championship golf course in Israel.

``This is God's proving ground and the most exciting deal I've done in my life,'' Bernstein says of the Galilee Golf Club seaside course atop Mount Arbel. Construction begins after the holy days of Passover and Easter, with celebrated golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. sculpting fairways from the ``green pastures'' that inspired the Jewish King David to compose the 23rd Psalm and where the multitudes gathered beneath myrtle trees to hear the Christian savior deliver his Sermon on the Mount.

``It took 10 years to get the Israeli government to approve the deal,'' says Bernstein, whose past real-estate developments include the Crown Building and Americas Tower in Manhattan. ``The project is unique,'' the 58-year-old attorney adds. ``It's like building a golf course on Mount Rushmore, and that doesn't get close to the historical significance of Mount Arbel.''

For Israel, the significance of a championship course with the cachet to lure marquee players such as Tiger Woods, stage professional tour events and host affluent corporate golf outings flows even deeper.

``Mount Arbel is the symbol for the booming Israeli economy,'' Bernstein says. ``The Galilee Golf Club is a leitmotif for a country that has rid itself of isolation to become part of the global economy.''

Leitmotif? Like coterminous and indices, I had to look that one up.

Although Hebrew University Professor Robert Aumann, winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics, politely suggests the God of Abraham might prefer a less secular tour guide for the Jewish state, Bernstein is right. International investors in 2006 pumped a record $23 billion into Israel, fueling economic growth by 5.1 percent and pushing unemployment down to a 10- year low in the fourth quarter.

Israel's central bank says foreigners purchased $1.4 billion of property last year and $262 million in the first two months of 2007, and that consumer spending rose 4.8 percent in 2006.

``Our economy certainly works best when everybody is looking out for themselves, but there are two big dangers,'' Aumann says while playing with his grandson in Jerusalem. ``Israel simply being physically wiped out is the first.

Such a minor detail. Why quibble?

The second is the lost character of the Jewish state. Idealism created the state, it's what we strive for, what makes us unique in the Western world. Yet the survival of Israel is paramount.''

Therefore, build a golf course!? 

On July 4, 1187, near the site of the Galilee Golf Club pro shop, Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt, Arabia, Syria and Mesopotamia, crushed the Crusader army dispatched to recapture the Holy Land. Today, Saladin's decisive victory at the Battle of Hattin arouses al-Qaeda, Fatah al-Islam and other jihad groups such as the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades to adulate his name and venerate Mount Arbel's soil.

Bathed in the angst and delirium of fanatics, the ancient battleground is a main terrorist target for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his satraps in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon. During Israel's 33-day war against Lebanon last summer, Iranian-funded Hezbollah terrorists to the north pocked what the Galilee Golf Club prospectus describes as ``a cozy citadel in the Promised Land'' with 20 Katyusha rockets.

``We'll convert their craters into bunkers,'' says Moshe Shapira, Bernstein's partner in the venture and general manager of Israel by the Sea Resort & Club, a sprawling estate of luxury golf villas and spa residences coordinated by Ritz- Carlton hotel chain co-founder Horst Schulze and scheduled to open in early 2009 alongside the first 18 holes.

Where can I book this now?

The club will accommodate 1,500 full-time and 100 founding members, including former New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams. Memberships range from $37,500 to $150,000, and Shapira says he isn't having trouble finding takers.

``I'm more concerned about what the government intends to do about a peace agreement with the Palestinians and continue Israel's economic growth into the future,'' Shapira says after whistling past the graveyard that doglegs left off a wheat field earmarked to become the 18th fairway.

``Israel must be a country that welcomes everybody's business -- Jews, Muslims, Christians -- and I want all of them to come to Mount Arbel for golf before visiting the holy sites in Jerusalem.''

Remember, 9 days until April Fool's.

``Jews now don't any longer know why they are here in Israel,'' the 76-year-old Aumann frets. ``What people want is a golf course. They pursue this and don't want to join the army and be bothered with all the conflicts. This is not a good thing.''

Says Bernstein: ``Nowadays, all young Israelis want to be Bill Gates. They have a mad sense of needing to achieve. It's not about money and the old stereotypes.''


“You’ll see some interesting creative in that regard in the next several weeks.”

The "IMG World Congress of Sports" included a Wednesday panel gathering that featured USGA CMO Barry Hyde, The Golf Channel's GOLF CHANNEL's Dave Manougian, Golf World's Geoff Russell and the PGA Tour's Ty Votaw. Oh, IMG's Mark Steinberg was also listed as a participant at The Pierre, but he's not included in this snippet of topics, intros and highlights (we've been mercifully spared the full transcript.) Instead a suit from FedEx named Bill Margaritas filled in (no, this is not an excerpt from Dan Jenkins' next novel).

Anyway, brace yourselves. Lots of product and growth references in "Growing The Business of Golf in the Years Ahead."

The issue: What is the state of golf?

The skinny: In an audience poll on the health of golf, only 14 percent said golf is healthier now than it ever has been; 28 percent said it was healthier than in 2000. Votaw: “All indices (prize money, sponsorship, TV partnerships) are up.”

Yes, he said indices. It's not coterminous, but it's pretty good!

Russell: “I half agree with what Ty said. The business of golf is pretty healthy, but it’s always a challenge to keep it going. That success is going to be hard to maintain.”

Most panelists agreed that fan interest in the game is up. Manougian: “We think the sport’s in great shape.” Russell: “It is for you, you’ve got the (cable) contract now.”

You know these writer types Dave, always ready with a pithy comeback to taint the brand.

Manougian later added, “We must take the necessary steps to becoming a true, fan-friendly sport.”

Margaritas expressed excitement about the changing demographics of fans and top players in regards to sex, nationalily and diversity.

Top players are changing sex? I mean, I know about Mianne Bagger, but who else?

Greatest hit: Votaw: “I’m not sure it’s healhier than ever, but I think it’s certainly healthier than it was in 2000.”

In 2000, did they have to scramble to find sponsors and fill spots on the schedule to replace tournaments that died? Help me, my memory is just not what it used to be.

The issue: Tiger Woods’ effect on the PGA Tour.

The skinny: Russell: “If you’re a sponsor of a PGA Tour event and you look down the road and you know you’re not going to get Tiger Woods you’ve got a real marketing problem. You’ve got to come up with another way to make your tournament interesting.”
Votaw grimaced during some of Russell’s comments, then said, “There are a lot of dymanics about whether sponsors sign with tournaments, and that’s beyond Tiger.”

Ah, the MBA's answer to squirming out of a tricky topic: dynamics. There are many dynamics involved and all you idiots just don't understand them! 

The issue: Measuring the success of the new FedEx Cup playoff format.

The skinny: Margaritas: “I think its going to be good with or without Tiger. It’s going to cast the spotlight on some other players.

Are we already conceding that Tiger is not going to be a full time participant in the playoffs?

Russell: “I’m waiting for Tiger Woods to say, ‘This is fantastic, I’ll be at all four events and I can’t wait to win the FedEx Cup.’ I don’t remember him saying that.”

Votaw: “You’ll see some interesting creative in that regard in the next several weeks.”

Some interesting creative. Oh goodie, more lame PSA's!

Russell: “I think when we do it once it will be interesting. But if Tiger doesn’t play then you’ve got a problem.”

Votaw: “If he does play every event are you going to write what an unqualified success it is?”

Russell: “You’ll probably see more positive words about it than if he didn’t show up.”

An audience poll found 45 percent of believe some top players won’t play more events this season.

Manougian: “When we get into the playoffs I don’t think there’s any question there will be more excitement about (those events) than ever before. People will debate the degree of success.”

Greatest hit: Russell: “For this thing to work you have to have those top players play.”

Glad we settled that.

The issue: The Tour as a TV product.
The skinny: Votaw addressed the type of the demographics of viewers watching Tour telecasts, saying, “I think you can say old is unnattractive, but you can say rich is very attractive. …The afflueunce, educational and income levels and executive levels make golf very attractive. We wouldn’t be fully sponsored or have the number of broadcast hours.”

And why is it again that you are consumed with youth and pandering to the 18-34 year olds? 

Hyde said, “When you’re talking to media buyers they’re saying they love golf because it’s the corporate office plus the high end consumer audience.”

Votaw said of the new cable TV deal with Golf Channel, “We’re not going to making short-term assessments or adjustments based on what’s a long-term deal. That’s why we made a 15-year deal.”

Oh that makes sense. A 15-year experiment to see how it works. 

The issue: Michelle Wie’s future in golf.

The skinny: An audience poll found 67 percent believe Wie should no longer play in men’s events. Most panelists agreed that she needs to find success on the LGPA [sp.] before attempting to cross over.

Russell said, “Being in the business of covering her, I don’t think it’s in her or our best interests when she doesn’t play well. It’s tough not to start to get jaded as a journalist to watch her withdraw from tournaments. … We’re in the business of being critical of people when they play like that.” Votaw said, “If that happens and you continue to be critical of her, the marketplace will catch up to that at some point and it will no longer be a compelling situation to have her in the field. The market will ultimately determine whether or not she should or should not play on the PGA Tour.”

Ah those market forces. And here I thought it was a matter of her breaking par.

And believe it or not there was one good suggestion on the panel.

Panelists where asked what they would do as LPGA or PGA Tour commissioner for a day.

Hyde said, “Create more difference week to week. Some alternative formats and work hard at creating a personality for every tournament.”

You see Barry, alternative formats require thought and for players to adapt. Same with varied course setups. Very dangerous ground we'd be on here. You risk engaging platforms that are very complicated like the Stableford scoring or match play. That distinct variety impacts the indices and delivers too many dynamics that might engender consumer confusion.

Manougian said, “Making the brand relevant to Gen Y.”

Greatest hit: Votaw said, “There’s no upside for me to answer that question, really.”
And on that note...

"It's just a shame that it's come to that."

This really just sums it all up so beautifully.

Paul Azinger, as quoted by Tim Rosaforte in this week's Golf World (no link): 

"I don't have a problem with [converting the holes], but it's more of a Band-Aid, really," said Paul Azinger. "The manufacturers have outsmarted the rules of the game and we don't have a commissioner in place who plays golf, so he has not clue what to do. It's just a shame that it's come to that."

I'll be setting up a Paypal option for those of you who'd like to help Paul pay the inevitable fine for this brilliance. 


Bob Murphy Retiring To Spend More Time With NBC Offering Inane Commentary

Larry Bush has the details...


PGA Tour's Gambuzza Heading Up New York Office...And Already Bloodied?

This landed in my email box today and appeared just as you see it below. Captions please...













March 21, 2007

Norb Gambuzza Named VP-Business Development
at PGA TOUR’s New York Office

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – Norb Gambuzza, a 15-year veteran in integrated marketing, media and sales, will join the PGA TOUR’s New York office as Vice President, Business Development and General Manager, effective March 26.

Gambuzza will be responsible for developing media and sponsorship relationships, with a particular focus on working with the TOUR’s network television partners, CBS, NBC and GOLF CHANNEL, to generate integrated advertising programs. He will report to Jon Podany, the TOUR’s Senior Vice President, Business Development.

“We are very pleased to have Norb join our business development team in the important role of leading our New York office,” Podany said. “Norb brings a diverse background with proven results in integrated media sales and sports marketing/sponsorship, and has a strong knowledge of the golf industry. We believe he will be a great representative of the PGA TOUR in New York.”

Gambuzza comes to the PGA TOUR after holding senior positions for the past five years with Golf Digest Publications in integrated marketing and events/sports marketing. Prior to that, he was with Fusient Media Ventures, where he was instrumental in developing the business plan for College Sports Television, as well as other consulting projects, including work with the TOUR and USA Network.

Gambuzza also has served as the Director of Sports Marketing at Sports Illustrated and held marketing and sales roles at ProServ Inc. and National Media Group.

“The portfolio of PGA TOUR media and marketing assets has never been stronger,” Gambuzza noted. “I look forward to representing the TOUR in New York and see great opportunity in putting those assets to work on behalf of marketers.”

The PGA TOUR office opened during the summer of 2004 with the purpose of establishing a New York City presence and enhancing the TOUR’s business development area, particularly in regard to integrated advertising sales to support its network partners. The office contact is Megan St. Germaine at 212-752-8687.

About the PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. Its primary purpose is to provide competitive earnings opportunities for past, current and future members of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour; to protect the integrity of the game; and to help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world.

In 2007, the three Tours will compete in approximately 110 events for approximately $340 million in prize money. Tournaments are being held in six countries outside the U.S. and in 36 states.

In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, TOUR events also generate significant funds for local charities. In fact, the three Tours have surpassed the $1 billion mark in overall charitable contributions. The PGA TOUR's web site address is and the company is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.


The Big Three Together Again?

Nick Seitz dreams of Masters honorary starter scenarios, including a Palmer-Player-Nicklaus trio. I think Middle East peace is more likely.

Where's The Brand Equity?

Doug Ferguson explains how Bay Hill and Memorial are spared the onslaught of FedEx Cup signage

Note that the version of the AP notes column omits this anti-corporate, anti-brand equity story all together. Touching to see the PGA of America looking out for their good, good friends in Ponte Vedra.

Vardon's Illegitimate Son Not Demanding Back Royalties For Success at Golf: Hints for the Player of Moderate Ability

John Hopkins has the story of Vardon's son emerging and a ceremony for the first greatest of them all.


USGA Purchasing Drivers For Testing!?

On the Nike Sumo2 driver mess, Gene Yasuda slips this in his story:

According to Nike officials, a competing manufacturer contacted the USGA and urged it to test the new Nike driver on suspicion that the Sumo2 was "hot." Upon inspection of drivers purchased from four retail shops in the New York-New Jersey area, USGA officials confirmed that some of them exceeded the CT (Characteristic Time) limit – a measurement that determines spring-like effect. Nike was notified in late February.

They had to buy four of those things? No wonder they have to cut employee benefits! 


Ammerman Speaks

Thanks to Steven T. for noticing this Joe Logan sit down with recently retired USGA Executive Committee member Craig Ammerman, who gets right to the point:

Q: What are the biggest issues facing the USGA and golf?

A: The USGA needs to find a new revenue source or two, which is why you've seen announcements about corporate sponsors (American Express, Lexus). Over the last 15 years, the staff of the USGA has more than doubled because we are doing things nobody thought of 20 years ago. To continue doing them is going to require additional sources of revenue because the single biggest source - TV rights fees - are declining.

Hey, I can think of oh, at least $500,000 in savings that could go to the recently scratched tuition assistance program.

This is interesting.

Q: The USGA has been criticized by some of the biggest names in golf, like Jack Nicklaus, for dropping the ball on the golf ball. Are they correct?

A: In 2002, the executive committee approved spending whatever was required to learn all there is to know about the golf ball. The staff and those they've retained have done that. The final piece, or a final piece, should be obtained this year when balls made by leading manufacturers to go 15 and 25 yards less than today's ball will be field-tested with players of all skill levels. Decisions that follow will no doubt be influenced by those field tests.

Now, why is that no one at the USGA can give that answer when asked about the ball testing? That wasn't so hard, was it?

Q: Any disappointments or business left undone?
A: The worst thing that happened in my five years was [the super-slick seventh green] Sunday at Shinnecock. It was embarrassing. I was supposed to be out on the course as a rules official that day. Once I realized what was going on, I spent the day in the media center, so I could give [USGA president] Fred Ridley and [championship committee chairman] Walter Driver a summary of what reporters and players were saying.

But they took that information and handled it so well!

What, they weren't able to see for themselves it was a disaster. Oh that's right, no, they couldn't.


News of the Weird, Vijay Edition: Vol. 91

From Craig Dolch, who outlined Vijay's problems with the media before sharing these antics from Bay Hill:

Another tale, albeit a minor one, occurred last weekend at Bay Hill. For some reason, Singh kept parking his car in a media parking spot instead of where the players park. Why? Who knows? A parking attendant told me Saturday morning how he and several of his fellow volunteers had gotten into a heated argument with Singh because after he was told he couldn’t park his car there, but he did so, anyway.

Singh did the same thing Sunday, even though a media official told the lady in his car it needed to be removed. She refused, saying they needed to speak to Singh, who at the time was starting his 67 that won Arnold’s tournament by two shots. Of course, this is a minor incident, but it says plenty about Singh. He never adheres to the philosophy that you should treat people the way you want to be treated.

There's a lede buried in this buried lede, but since this is a family values website, I ain't touching it!


"I'm having a tough time getting started on that one."

Brad Faxon, talking to Doug Ferguson about his post Bay Hill activities:
Brad Faxon was busy Monday morning, but he wasn't working on his swing.

"I'm writing notes to my pro-am partners," Faxon said. "And then I'm going to write Arnold and thank him for the invitation and tell him how much I liked the course. Although I'm having a tough time getting started on that one."