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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
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    by Chris Millard
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • 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 architect, therefore, should look upon himself as an artist; and the colors of his palette are the various types of hazards which he employs to lend interest and bring out the features to holes which he either invents or interprets from the ground. MAX BEHR



Sam Explained!

From a truly painful press conference transcript read:

Q. I believe Sam was a name that your dad used to call you when you were young.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, Sam, we wanted to have a name that would be meaningful to either side of the family, my side or Elin's side, because she was born basically an extension of Father's Day, it just happened to fit. My father had always called me Sam since the day I was born. He rarely ever called me Tiger. I would ask him, "Why don't you ever call me Tiger"?
He says, "Well, you look more like a Sam."
I said, "All right, that's cool." (Laughter).

And this was wild:

 Q. This is kind of a three-part question, but they are all related. Can you talk about what your autograph policy is personally at tournaments, No. 1; and will it change at a tournament like this --

TIGER WOODS: Stop. No. 1, I sign. Only thing I don't sign are golf balls. (Smiling).
No. 2?

Q. Will that change at a tournament like this, with a tournament with your name on it, will it be more opportunity for you to do PR because the tournament has your name on it?

TIGER WOODS: No. We just sign. That's our responsibility as players; we sign an inordinate amount.

Q. And will it be tough for to you walk past a kid that wants an autograph now that you're starting to have children of your own?
And just a follow up before you start that answer, now that you are a father, will you be saving each and every child in Darfur too? Oh sorry, continue...
TIGER WOODS: That's a good question. I haven't really experienced that yet. You try and sign as many as you can for kids. Sometimes it gets a little dangerous because they start getting run over, get pinched up against fences and stuff like that, and that's when you just have to call it quits because it becomes unsafe.

But as far as signing, you try and sign as many as you can because they are coming out and they want to get something that they can take home and something that they can cherish.



Europe Invades Korea!

Well, it's the European Tour "colonizing" Korea, and it seems the Asian Tour isn't too happy again. So good to see the World Federation of Tours all on such good terms. Thanks to reader Phil for this...


The European Tour continues to proceed on its expansion programme to colonise Asia with the announcement of a Korean event today without the official involvement of the Asian Tour.

This represents the European Tour’s blatant disregard towards the Asian Tour, which is the official regional sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia.

This invasive action clearly goes against the principles of the International Federation of PGA Tours which main goals are to promote cooperation between Tours through the joint-sanctioning of significant competitions.

The Asian Tour will table a motion at the next meeting of the International Federation of PGA Tours which takes place during the Open Championship in Scotland later this month, This will reflect our serious concerns as we feel that the European Tour has stepped out of its boundary.

While we fully welcome the creation of new tournaments in Asia, the Asian Tour is totally aghast at the European Tour’s actions in not following protocol and respecting our position as the governing body for professional golf in Asia.

Last month, the European Tour announced a new Indian event to take place in New Delhi in 2008 without the involvement of the Asian Tour and subsequently, the Asian Tour engaged the European Tour in discussions to seek an acceptable solution to this Indian tournament as well as the Korean event.

However, these discussions proved futile as the European Tour are clearly dictating terms without giving consideration towards the Asian Tour’s efforts to promote golf in the Asian region.

Kyi Hla Han

Executive Chairman

Asian Tour

Oakland Hills Finisher Remains...There

Carlos Monarrez reports that the R&A setup of Oakland Hills teetered on the edge of absurdity for Monday's Open Championship qualifier. But this that stood out about Rees Jones's rees-toration of his father's bludgeoning of Donald Ross's masterpiece:

Sean O'Hair, who recovered from a triple bogey on the first hole to shoot 68, wasn't a big fan of the 238-yard uphill par-three 17th or the 498-yard uphill par-four 18th. Both holes require an approach shot with a long iron or lofted wood to a narrow green.

"The last two holes are ridiculous," O'Hair said. "I hit five-wood into 17, the par three. And 18, it's like where do you hit it? If you're a little bit right, you're screwed. If you hit it down the left side, it's going to release through the fairway and you've got nothing."

So nice to know some things haven't changed. Steve Jones will be pleased. The lamest finishing hole in major championship golf remains intact.

Seriously, how is it that this hole was not addressed? Didn't RTJ II add the fairway bunker down the left that caught Lehman in the 1996 Open?


The South was lengthened about 350 yards under the recent update, and Monday it played its new full length of 7,445 yards. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, which conducted the qualifier, chose the pin placements.

"These are very, very tricky greens," said R&A director Michael Tate. "We have not put them in the most difficult places. Some greens it's very difficult to find anything less. I think also this is a qualifier event for a major championship. It's not a regular tour event. This goes directly into a major, so you might reasonably expect that things are a little tougher."

“It’s not rocket science not to put the flag where it was."

This one includes a wrinkle I've never heard of before, and I'm a connoisseur of course setup debacle stories!

Golfweek's Alistair Tait reports.

International Final Qualifying for the Open Championship at Sunningdale, England, turned into a farce when players couldn’t get near the pin at the par-3 fourth hole.
It brought back visions of the seventh at Shinnecock Hills during the 2004 U.S. Open, when no player could hold the green even with a perfectly struck shot.

But remember, Furman Bisher says that was just because that darn rain that was not in the forecast never came! 
Martin Kippax, the R&A’s championship chairman, set up the pins at Sunningdale.

Why did that sentence not come as a shock. 

Most of them were fine, with the exception of the fouth on Sunningdale’s Old Course.
Eight players completed the hole before Kippax realized he’d messed up. Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez five-putted, and Australian Brett Rumford four-putted. Four-putting isn’t unusual, but Rumford had hit his tee shot to 2 feet.
Play was suspended so the hole could be repositioned. The eight players who had already played the hole were carted back out after they had finished 18 holes so they could replay the hole.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, they got a replay! I wonder what would have happened if they made a higher score than before? Do they get to pick the lowest!?

The result was a mixed bag. Gonzalez made par the second time and his score changed from 70 to 67. England’s Richard Bland made birdie the first time around but parred the hole the second time to move his score from 72 to 73. Sweden’s Fredrik Anderson Hed was affected the most. He parred the hole on his first attempt but double bogeyed the hole on his second to change a 66 to a 68.
“I chose the pin positions because of the weather we’ve had and the forecast we had for today,” Kippax said. “I was then made aware by a referee on the course that we had a potential problem. I went out and saw that it was in an unplayable position.
“So, after consulting with various people – certainly the European Tour – I suspended play and moved the pin position.
“I admit it was a mistake and the responsibility lies on me and me only. I apologized to the eight, and Richard Bland said it was not in his interests and asked, ‘Why was it there in the first place?’
“They were perfectly justifiable things to say, but I told them it was only going to be equitable if everybody had to play it again whether it’s good or bad for them.”
Plaudits go to Kippax for putting his hand up and admitting his error, but I tend to agree with Anderson Hed.

Oh yes, big plaudits!

“I think the European Tour should do the pins,” he said. “Every time I’ve played in an event run by the R&A there have been one or two that were barely playable.”
Bland was just as caustic in his condemnation of the R&A. “It’s not rocket science not to put the flag where it was. Anything with a small bit of speed that didn’t go in was going to roll off the green.”

"In the seventh-, eighth-, ninth-largest market in the country, we weren't comfortable with that."

Tarik El-Bashir and Marc Carig file a lengthy Washington Post story on the evolution of Tiger's new D.C. event. Thanks to reader Sean for this, which includes one nice ironic bit.

Finchem said last week that he kept Booz Allen in the dark to avoid a leak of the Tour's planned schedule changes. But he also was less than generous in his assessment of the tournament's performance.

"All of this happened in the backdrop, candidly, of recognizing that the event in Washington had not performed over the years at the level we want to see a PGA Tour event perform generally, but particularly an event that we want to see perform in the nation's capital," he said. "In the seventh-, eighth-, ninth-largest market in the country, we weren't comfortable with that."

Asked for his response to Finchem's comment, Shrader said: "I felt we tried hard to earn a world-class event here in Washington. I feel that the event we had at Congressional in 2005 was a world-class event that demonstrated given a golf course and a date, we could have a world-class event here in Washington, one that the city and the people deserve. I'm happy Tiger and AT&T have come and I look forward to it being a big success."

Somehow I'm having a hard time believe Booz Allen was the problem here. It can't be all technology driving the $20 million being put into TPC Avenel.  


"I'm killing it, and it doesn't go anywhere"

PH2007070100981.jpgThe Washington Post's Eli Saslow asks PGA Tour pro Steve Marino, used to manicured greens and exquisite fairways, battles public course hazards at East Potomac.

Thanks to readers John and Phil for this fun story.

The more I watched Marino play, the more convinced I became that golf, for us, involved little common ground. When I asked Marino about the obstacles I considered daunting on PGA Tour courses -- long holes, imposing water hazards, gigantic bunkers -- Marino said they never bothered him. Similarly, at East Potomac, Marino obsessed over details I had never noticed. Overgrown fairways made it impossible, he said, to generate substantial spin on iron shots. Stiff sand traps caused the ball to release on a flat trajectory, negating the importance of touch.

I guess Marino hasn't gotten the USGA memo that U-grooves function better out of light rough than they do from tight fairways! 

The greens bothered Marino most. After six months spent on greens that ran as fast as tiled kitchen floors, Marino now felt like he was putting along the bottom of a filled swimming pool. No matter how hard he hit it, the ball almost always slid through sand or water and grinded to a halt short of the hole. After Marino left two consecutive putts short on No. 11, he dropped his putter on the green.

"I'm killing it, and it doesn't go anywhere," he said. "I might just start putting with my driver."


"‘What we’re trying to do, like all other championship courses, is modernize it and fit it to today’s golfers"

Chay Rao looks at TPC Avenel's pending renovation and featured this from course superintendent Chad Adcock.

‘‘It will be a much better layout,” Adcock said. ‘‘I know that Tiger said that he would like to stay at Congressional, but if they can’t host the [AT&T National] in ’09 and ’11, and they look for another venue, we would like to be that venue.

‘‘I know that the membership here was proud of their Tour stop, and was disappointed to lose it,” he said. ‘‘They want it back.”

One of the major changes to the course will be to its ability to handle extreme weather.

‘‘We are going to restore Rock Run Stream [which runs through the course] to the size and status that it had a few hundred years ago,” Adcock said. ‘‘We are also going to add about 12 to 14 acres of wetlands, so that the course can handle the once-in-a-generation storm, like the one we had last year.”

The PGA Tour has set aside $20 million to make extensive changes to a course that has received poor reviews from several PGA Tour players since it opened in 1987. The Booz Allen Classic — once known as the Kemper Open and FBR Capital Classic for a year — was held at Avenel annually from 1987 to 2006 with the exception of 2005.

Due to the lack of enthusiasm, Avenel’s signature event, the Booz Allen Classic, failed each year to draw many of the top players in golf. That lack of star power was one of the contributing factors to the tournament’s demise.

‘‘The game changed considerably over the last 20 years,” Dennis Ingram, the former superintendent at Avenel told The Gazette last year. ‘‘The landing areas, as they were designed to be, are basically obsolete. ... It becomes an unfair advantage for longer players versus the normal players.

‘‘What we’re trying to do, like all other championship courses, is modernize it and fit it to today’s golfers,” he said.

$20 million in part because these guys had to go and be better athletes! Glad that steroid testing will be starting soon.


Southern Hills Weathering The Floods

Despite almost daily rains, it sounds like the combination of the "PrecisionAire" system under the greens and Perry Maxwell's good old fashioned surface drainage are allowing Southern Hills to remain ready for the PGA.


"I don't know if slighted was the right word; maybe overlooked a little bit"

192098.jpgDoug Ferguson writes about Christie Kerr's clutch performance en route to winning the U.S. Women's Open and notes:
Kerr had been left out of most conversations about top young American players, with most of the attention going to Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and Pressel. No one can ignore her now, not with her name ready to be engraved right below Annika Sorenstam on the biggest trophy in women's golf.

"I don't know if slighted was the right word; maybe overlooked a little bit," Kerr said. "But the media is the media, and they'll write that they want to write. I know in my heart of hearts who I am and how many wins I have and what I've done. And that's good enough for me."

"Talking about myself as a brand comes naturally now"

Nick Greenslade in The Observer files a lengthy profile of Nick Faldo (complete with sidebar listing his ex-wives), and focuses on his, gulp, rebranding.

'Talking about myself as a brand comes naturally now,' he says after he has driven me round the circuit at the Brooklands car museum in Surrey, where he is promoting his relationship with Maybach, the luxury-car manufacturer. 'But I had to create the right team first, and that's where Ian came in.' He is talking about Ian Forsyth, his manager. In 2002, Faldo broke with his long-time agent John Simpson. This was used by Faldo's many disparagers as further proof of his inability to maintain relationships.



Warning To Network Executives: Brand Lady To Come Knocking While You're On Vacation

...but at least she's presenting at the time of year when so many executives are vacationing in the Hamptons excited to hear pitches: August. Alan Blondin of The Sun News reports:

Bivens inherited cable contracts with ESPN and Golf Channel, and larger events are on ABC, NBC and CBS. Broadcast times vary greatly.

The tour will begin making presentations to network and cable stations in August. "The most important thing for the LPGA is to have a consistent television schedule," Bivens said. "It's very difficult for our fans to find where we are from week to week."

Since events in international locations aren't generally televised in the U.S., Bivens will try to group those to include dates when the LPGA would normally be dark, such as the weeks of the Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship.

That should ensure they'll never make it on American airwaves too. 
The events are important for exposure and lucrative deals with international television stations in which the LPGA is paid for broadcast rights - similar to the PGA Tour TV agreements. Right now the LPGA buys time on ESPN and the three major networks and has to sell commercial spots itself. It has other agreements with the Golf Channel.

Bivens said for 2010 and beyond she'll either seek rights fees or develop an LPGA production company that would buy time and produce the programming itself. "If you have a brand that is still forming like the LPGA, being able to control your production is worth a lot of money," Bivens said.
Wait, the brand is still forming? Well, how is it a brand if it hasn't formed yet?
"Especially in terms of educating the audience as to the personalities behind the athletes. We're a society where fans develop behind personalities."

Ahh...translation: lots of fluff!

But I'm back on this brand formtion stuff. Branding experts, could you tell us how you know a forming brand officially becomes a brand? 


"The USGA should be ashamed of itself for allowing this nonsense to happen despite the evidence of the Andrea Jaegers and Jennifer Capriatis of this world."

The trials and tribulations of Michelle Wie along with the appearance of Alexis Thompson prompted some interesting essays over the weekend.

01lpga.1.600.jpgSteve Elling put together the most powerful and entertaining summary of Michelle Wie's troubles while John Paul Newport weighed the pros and cons of the youth movement in women's golf.

Meanwhile Mark Reason in the Sunday Telegraph came out firing at the USGA, though I'm not entirely sure what he wanted them to do, other than not invited the 12-year-old Thompson into the press center.

The girl is portrayed as a smiling, pigtailed Disney character without a care in the world. Maybe she is or maybe she is a disaster waiting to happen, like so many other American sports-girls who were hot-housed at a ridiculously young age. I am just a year younger than Alexis's father Scott and I too have a daughter - but the thought of her playing in the US Women's Open before she is even a teenager makes me feel physically ill.

Does it sound normal to you when Scott Thompson says things like: "I gotta go tune up my daughter." Or when Alexis says: "I like seeing kids my age coming up to me asking for my autograph. It's really cool."

No it's not. It's absurd. Imagine other girls coming up to your 12-year-old daughter in the playground and asking for her autograph. Only Alexis isn't in a playground, because she's schooled at home. The USGA should be ashamed of itself for allowing this nonsense to happen despite the evidence of the Andrea Jaegers and Jennifer Capriatis of this world.
191269.jpgBut it's worse than that - some USGA officials are even trying to prompt answers out of the girl in order to promote their sport. For pity's sake, isn't there anyone out there who is going to impose a sensible minimum age, like 16, and put an end to these potentially damaging freak shows?
You might have thought that the sad sight of Michelle Wie would alert American officials to their insensitivity. Here is a girl who has been shamelessly marketed and now she is floundering.

Do you all think there should be an age limit for Open qualifyings?


"The national media is a bit jaded because the PGA Tour is doing a big marketing push."

Ed Sherman looks at the FedEx Cup's effect on the Western Open BMW Championship and talks to tournament director John Kaczkowski about criticism of the format.
 "A lot of the criticism is all based on speculation," Kaczkowski said. "The national media is a bit jaded because the PGA Tour is doing a big marketing push. But it has to do a big PR effort to educate the fans. Otherwise, it won't work."

My guess is the fans won't get caught up in the actual points race. The formulas seem confusing, and it is going to be hard to get excited about Woods or Phil Mickelson adding to their retirement accounts.

See how jaded? Sherman couldn't even wait a paragraph or two to drop that uh, speculation.

Van de Velde Pulls Out of Open Championship Qualifying...

...with a serious-sounding stomach ailment.

Perhaps he was dreading fielding hundreds of inane questions about 1999?

Hope he gets well soon.


God Issues Early Demolish Permit For Tiger's Jupiter House


Wie Withdraws Again

Six over through nine holes.

Let's hope she takes the rest of the summer off. Somehow I'm afraid that won't happen.


Monty Fumes For French; Lays Groundwork For 2026 Captaincy

Perhaps sensing that he may be passed up as Ryder Cup captain by more popular anyone with a pulse, Colin Montgomerie lashed out at his fellow Euro Tour mates members for skipping the French Open this week.

Gordon Richardson reports in The Guardian that the merry Scot slyly laid the groundwork for an inevitable showdown with Thomas Levet and Jean Van de Velde over who will be selected to guide the Euros should some wealthy developer come along and blatantly bribe offer to host for a Ryder Cup at France's National Club.

"It's very, very disappointing because this event starts the run up to the Open Championship and it deserves a stronger feel - the National Club is one of the best if not the best we play in Europe and it's certain to stage the Ryder Cup one day.

"There are stadium holes everywhere and a wonderful finish - imagine the carry-ons there would be in match play situations here. Sadly it will probably be 2026 before it can happen, with Sweden and Germany probably coming in first."



"It seems likely an 18-or even 36-hole playoff would have been arranged."

Leonard Shapiro considers whether they would have played a U.S. Open playoff had Tiger tied Cabrera and Elin went into labor the Monday after.

If there had been a playoff, he would have been in Pittsburgh, likely asleep, when the call came. It has always been assumed that if one of the players doesn't show up at the first tee for an Open playoff, no matter the reason, the player who does is declared the champion.

Apparently, that's not necessarily so.

On Wednesday, U.S. Golf Association Executive Director David Fay said it was not that simple, and that the USGA would have faced a dilemma had Woods been unable to play on Monday.

The organization faced the same potential scenario at the U.S. Open in 1999, when Phil Mickelson's wife, Amy, was in the final stages of her pregnancy. She also delivered their child on the Monday after that Open. Mickelson missed a playoff by a shot in a tournament won by Payne Stewart, and like Woods, also had said he would leave the Open at the first indication his wife was ready to deliver.

"I really don't know what we'd do," Fay said. "I'll hide behind the fact that it's a hypothetical. But I suspect that [if their opponent didn't show up] Angel [Cabrera] and Payne [Stewart] probably would have said, 'I'm not going to show up for the playoff either.'
Ouch! I have to stop rolling my eyes when I have my contacts in.

Yes, a man who is trying to win his first major, who has worked most of his life to reach that point, is going to pass up the chance to have the trophy handed to him and accept a postponement so some billionaire with 12 majors can be at the hospital when his wife is screaming untoward things as she delivers their child. Right!

When they ask, that's when Angel says, "no habla English!"

"That would have forced our hand. And I can tell you we would not have said, 'We're not going to have an Open champion this year.' The good news is that it didn't happen. And the most important thing is that Sam Alexis is doing fine."

Oh, nice we're already a first name business with Tiger's daughter!

While neither Fay nor anyone else in the USGA was publicly prepared to say what might have happened, it seems likely an 18- or even 36-hole playoff would have been arranged.

36? Is that a new by-law?  When Tiger or Phil are having a baby, we'll play a special 36-hole made-for-TV playoff at a future date?

I'm sure NBC would love to come back in two weeks and setup their gear again.


Staff Shakeup Fails To Boost USGA Shares

June 28 – United States Golf Association (U$GA) shares fell on news of an organizational shakeup and a less than appealing U.S. Women’s Open leaderboard.

Shares declined $1.82, or 7.5 percent, to $22.37 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the biggest drop since February when USGA CEO Walter Driver announced a delay in planned staff benefit cuts, breaking an earlier shareholder pledge to trim unnecessary expenses.

Wall Street found little to be enthusiastic about when the Far Hills, New Jersey-based governing body of North American golf said in a statement today that the position of Championship Agronomist would be "eliminated" to help cut 3% of the organization’s 2007 projected $5 million deficit.

Shareholders expected deeper cuts from the 63-year-old Goldman Sachs executive and soon-to-be-retiring USGA President Driver, who was brought in to create a leaner USGA while promising to boost shareholder value.

One analyst, citing a leaderboard topped by Angela Park, In-Bee Park, Jee Young Lee, Karine Icher, Amy Hung, Jiyai Shin, Joo Mi Kim and Shi Hyun Ahn but minus draws like Michelle Wie or Annika Sorrenstam virtually guaranteed weak television ratings for this weekend’s U.S. Open on NBC.

“Who are these people, I mean?” said Chad Upside, a New York-based analyst at Slash & Gouge, who is revising his “dump” rating on USGA stock to “unload as fast as you can.”

“And it doesn’t get much better next week with the Senior Open, hardly a positive cash flow opportunity.

“Simply put, they have taken a bigger hit than we thought they would.”

Upside says resistance from the USGA Board to trim fat off the company bone or to simply eliminate its staff must change “immediately because these rising staff and championship operation costs may not reverse when interest rates come down.''

Despite nearly $300 million in cash reserves, Standard & Poor's Rating Services in London revised its USGA outlook to “yikes” from “eh” and said the governing body has failed to deal with its “restricted capacity to manage through a more testing market environment.” S&P retained the organization’s C+/C-1 counterparty credit ratings.


U.S. Women's Open Photo Caption Fun, Vol. 1