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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

The golf holes on the best links in Scotland and England have several different ways of playing them, and because they do not present just one and only one way to everybody, the interest in the game increases with the diversity of its problems.  DONALD ROSS

 

    

Monday
Nov262007

"And if it's not top of the list for the players, it is for their managers"

Nick Mulvenney talks to Mission Hills' David Chu about the World Cup and the resort. Chu is one of the founders of the massive resort, which aspires to be the Augusta of China. Really...

The Mission Hills Golf Club is hoping to become synonymous with the World Cup by building up a tradition like that surrounding the U.S. Masters and its Augusta National venue.

The World Cup has already had a varied history since Canadian industrialist John Hopkins founded it as "an Olympiad of golf" in 1953 but its home for the next dozen years will be the $650-million complex hewn out of the hills of southern China.

Since the first 18 holes were completed in 1994, 11 more international standard courses have been built in the resort with a list of designers that reads like a "Who's Who" of international golf -- Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, David Duval.

And some of them have even been there!

 

However, it was the heavily bunkered Olazabal course that hosted the 53rd World Cup at the weekend and that is where it is likely to stay for the forseeable future, according to Tenniel Chu, son of the founding father of Mission Hills, Dr David Chu.

"We have the luxury to play on a different course each year but at the same time, what we want to try and create is somewhat similar to what Augusta has done," the resort's executive director told Reuters in an interview.

"Every year, same course, same venue, same time. For the audience watching around the world, they will grow familiar with it and become emotionally attached to it."

Uh huh...

"But I think as the game is growing here, there is more interest in coming to China. The next frontier for players is to come and showcase themselves is Asia.

"They've more or less hit the ceiling in Europe and North America. And in areas like sponsorship or course design, China is definitely top of the list.

"And if it's not top of the list for the players, it is for their managers," he laughed.
Monday
Nov262007

"The news of an alliance between the Japanese, Asian and Australasian Tours should be another warning to O’Grady."

Alistair Tait points out why the possible union of the Japanese, Asian and Australasian Tours could create a strong rival to the European Tour, when they really all could have been working together. But Lewine Mair reports that everyone may be getting along better soon.

Monday
Nov262007

"Each home will be between 367 and 700 square metres, with turf and pebble roofs."

2007-6-25-the-hills-house-credit-mark-hill2.jpgSarah Matheson in the Epoch Times looks at this week's New Zealand Open host site and developer Michael Hill's planned underground housing, along with its almost entire underground clubhouse. Almost.

Meanwhile, Craig Better at Golf Vacation Insider questions the wisdom of the concept and says it gives new meaning to "living in a bunker."

According to GolfChannel.com, coverage begins with the first round Thursday morning at 6:30 a.m. Pacific.
Sunday
Nov252007

"Now that a sound and defensible system is in place, maybe Tim Finchem will show some courage and business sense."

Outside of some of Darwin's rants on the topic, Links Magazine's George Peper pens the best slow play column I've read in a long time, tackling all of the key points and asking all of the right questions. He explains the USGA's promising new pace of play, something I wrote about for the L.A. Times earlier this year (naturally, it's disappeared from their archives!).

Thankfully George presents it here much better than I did, then takes it a step further and questions why this has not been implemented already.

OK, the system isn’t perfect. So what? Golf isn’t an exact science. In fact, it’s not a science at all, despite the proclivity of some tour players to treat each shot as an exhaustive experiment in physics, geometry, agronomy, meteorology, kinesthetics and psychology. Say the USGA comes down hard on a few players. What’s the downside? A whine or two from the likes of Ben Crane? I suspect they’d be drowned out by the chorus of approval from their peers. Besides, the system has a built-in appeals process, so every accused offender has the opportunity for a postround hearing.

Moreover, when it comes to pace of play, there is no reason for the USGA or R&A to be as fearful as they are of regulating equipment—imposing a limit on time will not bring a billion-dollar lawsuit from Rolex. Nor can they hide behind the other rationale they’ve used on equipment—that most amateur golfers want to keep the status quo. Most amateurs may want to hit the ball longer, but they don’t want to stay on the course longer.

Still the sense is that the USGA is taking the same timid stance as they have on the question of throttling back the golf ball: Let the PGA Tour take the lead.

Fine. Now that a sound and defensible system is in place, maybe Tim Finchem will show some courage and business sense. Seven years ago, the commissioner challenged the game’s movers and shakers to transform golf into America’s No. 1 spectator sport. Instead, television ratings are down and golf participation over the past decade has been flat at best. One big reason: Golf is slow, both playing and watching.

I remain convinced that if the PGA Tour's VP's and players ever paid to go to one of their events and tried to spectate, they would quickly launch an emergency initiative to do something about pace of play.  

Sunday
Nov252007

NGF's Best Public Golf Cities

Reader/blogger Rob Matre points out that this Golf Magazine/National Golf Foundation ranking of the "10 Best Golf Cities" inexplicably left out one major city that many consider the best anywhere for public golf.

I'm sure it won't take long (after going through the clunky page view format the list is posted in) for some of you to nominate the glaring omission.


Sunday
Nov252007

"I have always liked Jack Nicklaus, mainly because his designs work well for me as a player. We both hit a high fade, and you can see that this shot is rewarded on courses he designs."

Mandarin Media sent out this not-totally-horrible press release/Q&A with Colin Montgomerie, though I did have to share this with you:

MM: What designers do you most admire, and what about their designs do you value so much?
 
CM: I have always liked Jack Nicklaus, mainly because his designs work well for me as a player. We both hit a high fade, and you can see that this shot is rewarded on courses he designs. What Tom Weiskopf has done at Loch Lomond (in Scotland) is also very impressive to me. Understanding that guys like this are both major champions and accomplished architects allows you to see what they have incorporated into their designs. And of course, I always find TPC at Sawgrass (in Florida) a fantastic challenge. What Pete Dye has done there makes every shot a demanding one, and in reality danger lurks around every corner. There is no letting up.
 
MM: You’ve got a handful of designs under your belt now, and a good dozen more in the works. What kind of comment do you strive to bring forth from those who play your courses? Why?
 
CM: There has always been some debate regarding the value that professional golfers offer when it comes to course design. I think that because we have had the opportunity to play the best courses in the world, with some of the best players in the world, who is better positioned to help design golf holes with great shot values and memorable features? I like to integrate the natural terrain wherever possible, and consider the course not only from the pro’s perspective but also from the perspective of those who are just playing for enjoyment and the love of the game. You will see I select grasses that allow for the best conditioning, because this is important to me. You will see that I like green complexes with options, and often incorporate little chipping and pitching areas around them. And, of course, you can always count on having several fairways receptive to nice high, faded drivers!

At least he's honest about his narcissism. 

Sunday
Nov252007

"I've learned after 11 years to let Tiger speak for himself."

I filled my November press conference reading quota so thankfully reader Steve forwarded this rare beauty from Tim Finchem's session in China last week:

 Q. Could I ask a quick follow-up; could you ever envision today where because of this Tiger Woods would be a member of The European Tour and would you welcome that?

COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: I've learned after 11 years to let Tiger speak for himself. (Laughter).


Sunday
Nov252007

Ames Win Ensures Another Year Of Calls To Put Skins Game Out Of Its Misery

I almost feel sorry for the folks running the Skins. Almost. But this is clearly punishment for exempting the Players Championship The PLAYERS winner two years ago.

Saturday
Nov242007

Couples Rakes In $75K On Skins Day One; Equals Interest Earned This Week On His PGA Tour Retirement Account

I believe the coverage was pre-empted by fire coverage here in Southern California, but I'm not entirely sure because I forgot to turn it on. However, Freddie picked up some nice tip money.

Friday
Nov232007

More Boo From China

After round 2 of the World Cup, more from Boo Weekley...

Q. You've been to a couple tournaments outside of the U.S. this year already, this is your third event outside the U.S., and now the season is over on the U.S. Tour. Would you like to come out more, especially after this experience in China, maybe this part of the world? Would you like to come out this way and play more events this year or maybe in the future?

BOO WEEKLEY: Yes, I like to travel. It's just a long ways from home. But you know, I'd like to come over and play different golf courses. I'd like to see a little more of what the actual culture of how they built the courses -- I know they all ain't like this out here. It would be interesting to go see something more of a links style or something that they had them over here.

Q. What about outside the golf course, would you like to see more?

BOO WEEKLEY: Oh, yeah. I'd like to go see where like The Great Wall, just look and see what all this place has to offer. You know, just kind of like you live in the south where we live at, you know, it's a bunch of rednecks. And then you go north, you got the Yankees. So it's different. I know it's different over here, too.

Friday
Nov232007

Johnson Arrives At Skins Game; No One Mistakes Him For Club Company Rep...Yet

The excitement appears fully contained for the 25th Skins. I'd list the TV times, but do you really care?

Friday
Nov232007

Norman Lists Jupiter Home; $65 Million Will Buy You War Of Roses Vibes

The Wall Street Journal (thanks reader John) says Greg Norman paid $4.9 and is now offering it at $65 million, while the New York Post (thanks Tuco) says the Normans are moving closer and closer to Oliver and Barbara Rose territory. Get this man a brand coach.

Thursday
Nov222007

"It's a problem we always have and that is we issue a supplementary local rules sheet to all players but they just don't read it"

Bernie McGuire with a fun story on Rory McIroy knowing the local rules better than his veteran Australian playing partners...

Thursday
Nov222007

"No, sir. Rice."

Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum fired 61 to open the World Cup in China which gave them the lead, but more importantly, meant a press room visit for Boo.

Anyone know what this means?

BOO WEEKLEY: We played pretty solid today. We just brother in lawed it very well, kept it in play and kept us it front of us.
Love this exchange:
Q. What did you know about China before you came here?

BOO WEEKLEY: Not much.

Q. Anything?

BOO WEEKLEY: No, sir. Rice.

Q. The Wall?

BOO WEEKLEY: Sir?

Q. The Wall.

BOO WEEKLEY: Oh, yeah, I know The Great Wall of China, but I thought it was closer to where we're at, and I found out it was a lot further away. But yeah, I knew the Wall was here.
Shockingly, Boo is not out and about much...
Q. And what have been your impressions of China so far?

BOO WEEKLEY: We ain't been ever doing nothing. We go straight to the motel and straight here, but I know the people here are friendly. It's very nice, they always say hey and they are polite and stuff, and that's always a plus when you show up somewhere, especially in a foreign country and they are polite and nice. That's a plus for me.

For more Boo, check out his My Shot in the latest Golf Digest

Wednesday
Nov212007

"Man in the middle" Planning To Stay

Looks like the Donald will be designing around Scotland's Michael Forbes and his farm.

Wednesday
Nov212007

One More MacKenzie Design Out There?

Granted, it needs to be built, but...

Thomas Dunne pens one of my favorite stories of the year in the November/December T&L Golf on an Alister MacKenzie design that was never built.

The course that the Good Doctor drew up for Anchorena turned out to be something special, even by MacKenzie’s standards. Though it would bear many hallmarks of other great courses he designed, it was in one way compellingly different: It features nine double greens of the sort that distinguish the Old Course at St. Andrews. The routing was an ingenious intertwining of two nine-hole loops, somewhat similar to that of Muirfield. MacKenzie apparently scouted the grounds, drew up the plans, handed them over and presumably collected a fee—but then the course was never built.

Why MacKenzie’s design for El Boquerón wasn’t executed remains a mystery. Instead, Anchorena hired Dentone to build a nine-hole course on the estancia grounds that, although situated in the location that MacKenzie had in mind, was only loosely based on his design. It too was called El Boquerón, it had a clubhouse, and golf was played on it for a generation by the Anchorena family and their friends. But after the patriarch’s death in 1951, the property was divided among his heirs, and the course gradually disappeared.

One of those heirs was Enrique Anchorena Jr., who turned the clubhouse into his permanent home and kept the original MacKenzie plans in a frame above the fireplace. There the document languished for the rest of the century, a faded star in the Englishman’s glittering career.


Wednesday
Nov212007

Knockdown Shot Follow Up

You know I got something wrong here the other day.

I pointed out that the various British writers gushing over the European Tour's "Road to Dubai" announcement also happened to have their way paid by the Tour.

Actually, that was not the case. It seems to have been much worse.

From Elling's Knockdown Shots:

News item: Members of the British press corps on Monday were flown to Dubai on the personal jet of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates in order to attend the announcement regarding the mega-money 2009 event.

Wednesday
Nov212007

Knockdown Shots: LPGA Edition

Steve Elling is back with another edition, this time punching knockdown shots at the LPGA's season ending madness.

Here's the link to the printer friendly version in case you don't want to wade through four pages of someone brilliant way to generate page views. Or if you work in Daytona Beach and need to print this out for next Monday's staff meeting when the Commissioner asks who this Elling guy is.

My favorite:

News item: As one of the new wrinkles in the ADT Championship, the LPGA's quirky shootout with $1 million awarded to the winner, those advancing to the final eight were allowed to pick their playing spots for Sunday's round. One by one, before a crowd of perhaps 1,000 fans, players placed their names into openings in the four scheduled twosomes.

Knockdown shot: As the field filled out, the last available slot was in the pairing opposite prickly princess Cristie Kerr, who laughed aloud to the crowd, "Nobody wants to play with me, apparently." Actually, it was no joke. Minutes earlier, a very prominent player noted how she didn't want to play with the reigning U.S. Open champion, who is, to put it kindly, on the snooty side of condescending.

Oh and it's not all LPGA. Here's the YouTube clip he referenced where there is a special moment 29 seconds in... 

 

Wednesday
Nov212007

Sweet Home Chicago**

Essentially, it appears the PGA Tour is admitting in its own special way that it made a mistake taking the Western BMW out of Chicago:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2007

       BMW CHAMPIONSHIP TO MAKE THREE-YEAR CHICAGO RUN (2009-2011)

     Crooked Stick Golf Club to host PGA TOUR Playoff event in 2012

(PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL) — The PGA TOUR, Western Golf Association (WGA) and BMW of North America today announced that the BMW Championship, the third event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, will play three consecutive years in the Chicago area beginning in 2009.

Crooked Stick Golf Club, outside Indianapolis, originally scheduled to host the BMW Championship in 2010, will now host the event in 2012. The previously announced 2008 schedule remains unchanged as the event will be played Sept. 1-7 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.

The  Dubsdread  Course  at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club, located 30 miles southwest  of  Chicago and the site of the 2007 BMW Championship, is set to undergo  a  re-design by Rees Jones in 2008. The tournament is scheduled to return to Cog Hill G&CC in 2009.

BMW entered a six-year partnership agreement in June 2006 with the PGA TOUR and  the  WGA  to sponsor the third of four PGA TOUR Playoff events for the FedExCup.  Tiger Woods won the BMW Championship at Cog Hill G&CC in 2007 en route to capturing the inaugural FedExCup. Woods is a four-time champion of the BMW Championship.

“The  PGA  TOUR is delighted with the support of Crooked Stick, the WGA and BMW  for  this  schedule  change.  We believe this new sequence for the BMW Championship  will only enhance the tremendous appeal of this great event,” said  PGA  TOUR  Commissioner  Tim  Finchem.  “The BMW Championship will be exceptional  next  year  at  Bellerive  Country Club in St. Louis, and then Chicago-area  golf  fans  will  enjoy  four  straight years of watching the world's  best  players  through  three  consecutive  playings  of  the  BMW Championship followed by the 2012 Ryder Cup.”

“The  new  schedule  for  the  BMW  Championship  is  a  plus for everyone, especially  the  golf  fans  of  Chicago and Indianapolis,” said Tournament Director  John  Kaczkowski  of the Western Golf Association. “We’re looking forward to playing three consecutive years in Chicago beginning in 2009. It also makes sense to move the BMW Championship to Crooked Stick in 2012 with Chicago  set  to  host the Ryder Cup that year at Medinah Country Club. Our partnership  with  BMW  and  the PGA TOUR allows us to generate significant funds for the tournament’s sole beneficiary, the Evans Scholars Foundation, and this schedule will enhance that commitment.”

“Chicago  is a tremendous sports town, and 2007 marked an outstanding debut for  the  BMW Championship at Cog Hill,” said Tom Purves, Chairman and CEO, BMW (US) Holding Corp. “We look forward to returning to Chicago for another three  years  and  are  already  working on ways to further enhance the BMW Championship experience for fans over the coming years.”

“We’ve  been  looking  forward  to  the  arrival of the BMW Championship in Indianapolis,  but with our club already hosting the 2009 U.S. Senior Open, the  2010  date  would have presented some challenges in preparation,” said Doug  Cook, Crooked Stick Golf Club president. “With the club now scheduled to  host  the  BMW Championship in 2012, we have some breathing room to get ready.  We’re  expecting  great  support from Indiana golf fans for the BMW Championship,  and with the extra time to prepare, that support should only grow.”

Tuesday
Nov202007

"The players are open to something that's new and exciting and fun."

071123newsmakers_gwindex.jpgIn Golf World's year-end "newsmakers" issue, I pitch an alternate scenario the PGA Tour should consider for the conclusion to the FedEx Cup. Granted, I'm simply advocating that they adopt an ADT Championship-like format for the finale.

Based on some of the post ADT comments here and here, I think some of you would agree. But, I'd still love to hear what you all think even though we've probably covered the FedEx Cup enough!

Oh and on the ADT front, Craig Dolch reports that no major changes are in order. And why should they be?