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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
  • 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

I believe in pros and I believe in greenkeepers and I do not for one minute wish to imply that they are all equally unfit to design golf courses. One of the best-known golf architects in the country was formerly a pro. One of the best-known golf architects in England was formerly a practicing physician. But, for every pro, and for every greenkeeper, and, likewise, for every doctor that has natural gifts in this direction there are hundreds who have not. 



Poll: Should Haas Pick Haas For The Presidents Cup Team?

There have been a few suggestions of nepotism should Bill Haas, after a closing 72 at the Deutsche Bank will be just outside the 10 automatic spots for the Presidents Cup, be one of dad Jay's two Captain's picks.

Randall Mell presented all of the scenarios before Monday's final round. The situation is certainly an intriguing one.

Knowing how much the family loves sports, it was no surprise Bill was almost distraught after his round Monday. But unless there is pressure to add a veteran star, it's hard to see how Jay does not pick Bill.

Or does it look bad?

What say you? You get two votes...

Who would be your two Presidents Cup picks? free polls


Where Does Jordan Spieth Go From Here?

The more meaningless-than-usual "playoffs" continue on Monday with the conclusion of the Deutsche Bank Championship. A potentially fun finish awaits but as a sporting event, the PGA Tour's ill-timed playoffs continue to fall somewhere well behind even NASCAR and college football injury updates on the Labor Day sports radar.

But more on that scheduling debacle later.

Of far greater concern is the short and long term well-being of Jordan Spieth, who at 22 has suddenly proven to be human with two missed cuts and a very good reaching World No. 1 status again Monday (thanks Brian Wacker on Twitter) even though he's posing rebelliously for family Christmas cards in Newport Beach.

The correspondents on site in Boston clearly didn't see a whole lot wrong with this physical game, just an obvious underlying fatigue.

Karen Crouse in the New York Times after Spieth's opening 75:

With his runner-up finish to Day at the PGA Championship, Spieth ascended to world No. 1, becoming the first American not named Tiger Woods to reach the top since 1999. The crown proved heavy, and Spieth staggered under the weight of the extra attention and added demands. At the Barclays, he failed to break par in consecutive rounds for the first time in 2015, and on Friday he extended the streak with a 75.

When Spieth carded a three at No. 15, his sixth hole of the day, it was his first birdie in 13 holes, dating to last week. He had a couple of tough bunker shots on his first nine, and when he failed to hole them, he looked stricken. With expectations that high, 12 holes without a birdie must seem like forever.

Like Day, Spieth put in the work, and it has paid off. But fatigue has frayed his patience, which has caused his confidence to fray.

After Spieth missed the cut, Jason Sobel at offered a simple assessment: Spieth's mental game was off. How does Sobel know this? Spieth confirmed.

"Normally my mental game is a strength of mine," he explained. "And it's something I feel like I have an advantage over other players on. These past two weeks, it was a weakness for me. And I've just got to go back and reassess how to remain positive."

Where does this leave the game's most important young player?

Sam Weinman
opines that Spieth finds himself at a crucial juncture with player of the year on the line and the overall good vibes from 2015 in danger of being harmed.

It's a curious thing to say, but for a guy who headed to St. Andrews this summer with a chance to win three consecutive majors, it might actually be Jordan Spieth's next tournament that counts as the most important of his year.

Spieth has now missed two consecutive cuts. He hasn't broken 73 in four rounds. Plenty of players on tour endure these sorts of dry spells, but rarely is it a guy who won two majors that year and is just days removed from being the No. 1 player in the world. How would we assess his year if it ends with such a thud?

For starters, there is the once open-and-shut Player of the Year Award debate. Perhaps Spieth still deserves it based on his otherworldly record in majors. But consider the scenario if Spieth flounders through the FedEx Cup playoffs, and Jason Day -- already with one major and four wins for the season -- cruises to the $10 million bonus and claims the top spot in the world ranking? Shouldn't we at least discuss it?

Beyond that, though, there is the larger question of how Spieth handles adversity.

I agree that Spieth's next event is crucial, which is why he ought to pass on the BMW Championship, put himself in some tropical place where he can Instagram cool photos from, and show up at the Tour Championship a bit refreshed. Then get the Presidents Cup over with, and go back to the same tropical place or to some UT football games, only to resurface in Australia in December to defend your title there.

Nothing will be gained from playing Conway Farms and the BMW. Zilch. Nada!


David Feherty Surfaces In Sioux Falls; Has No Comment

David Nicholson of the Argus Leader talks to David Feherty, free agent and appearing in Sioux Falls for the Symetra Tour’s GreatLIFE Challenge as a favor to CEO Tom Walsh. (Thanks to reader Tom Herron.)

The obvious question for the 19-year CBS veteran who was not renewed last week just days after the network's final broadcast of 2015.

Q: There are questions circling about where you’ll go and what you’ll be doing. To cut through some of that, what voice would you like to have in the live broadcasts moving forward?

A: I’m just happy to be a voice. I can’t really talk about that at this point.

Q: With respect to your show Feherty on The Golf Channel, it’s been a massive success in large part because of your ability to connect with people and to follow a format that seems like an honest, open conversation. Do you consider that a talent?

A: I’m not sure that’s a talent. If anything I think I’m probably a good listener. I ask the first question that I have on my sheet and then I just listen from there on, which drives the producers berserk. They like to have it in sections; easy to edit. I’m interested in people, and I generally have people on the show whom I like. I can’t think of an interview that I haven’t enjoyed, and in that sense I’ve just been really lucky. I think I mentioned before, I’ve always been lucky.

Where will Feherty be "lucky" to land? Who knows, but the behind-the-scenes chatter has been fascinating because of how much golfers are talking about the shake up and the potential for new vibes at any number of networks covering the game.


Trump Say Politics The Opposite Of Golf: "I find great dishonesty"

In the wake of the Washington Post's story considering Donald Trump's on-course antics and suggestions he cheats at the game, Golf Digest's Jaime Diaz sits down with the presidential candidate for a Q&A on a range of topics.

I believe this is his first one-on-one with a golf journalist after having made incendiary comments about illegal immigrants, prompting the end of his Palos Verdes course hosting the Grand Slam of Golf (now defunct).

This is fun:

What have you learned from the presidential experience?

Well, I had no idea it would be this big, number one. Because when you look at what’s happened in terms of the level of popularity and the polls, I didn’t think it would be that fast. And once I announced it was like a rocket ship. Nobody thought I was going to run, and once I announced, it’s gone very fast.

Number two, it’s a nasty business. It’s nasty. I find great dishonesty. Sort of the opposite of golf, I find great dishonesty in the world of politics.

Interesting characterization he has of the five families in the wake of their public scolding:

I was little disappointed because I didn’t think it was necessary. But at the same time I know it’s part of a process. And I have great respect for Pete Bevacqua, Mike Davis, Tim Finchem. And I understand that the statements I made were very incendiary. And they had to be made, because they turned out to be true. And there was a period of one month where there was a lot of what I call incoming. Golf was very mild in comparison. And I understood the golf. I got it. I understood it.

And he defends Bill Clinton as a golfer:

By the way, he doesn’t cheat. He will drop a ball, but he doesn’t make any bones about it. If he misses a shot -- he doesn’t get to play very much -- so he’ll drop a ball and hit a second shot. But he’s not saying he got a par if he didn’t get a par. It’s not like he’s trying to hide anything. I think he’s been treated unfairly.


Video: Two Quite Stellar Trick Shots From Wes Wright

I don't know who Wes Wright thinks he is, but judging by his Instagram account (highlighted by Sam Weinman at, there's a lot to not like: young, athletic, good at every sport he tries, hair like a Kennedy and creative to boot!

Now, I'm not generally a fan of the walk off trick shot, Wright really sells the beauty of this one by not running around in shock, but instead, acting like "of course" I was going to do this.

His tagline is that he's "trying to not be 'one of many'" and if I had to vote, grudgingly, I'd say he's right.

The first looks like your run-of-the-mill trick shot until he caps it off with a shocker ending:

So @golf_gods featured this on their page today. ๐Ÿ˜ˆโ›ณ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‹ #igetbored

A video posted by Wes Wright (@e_wwright) on

And then a few days back he went all glow in the dark, with obvious lighting assistance. Next you know he's going to be directing a Marvel movie.

A.M. ๐Ÿ‘ฝ @golfgrinders

A video posted by Wes Wright (@e_wwright) on


State Of The Game 60: Grant Waite

New Zealand's Grant Waite won $4.5. million on the PGA Tour, transitioned to instruction and is now playing the Champions Tour. His natural curiousity makes him one of those fascinating figures in the game we need to hear from more often, which is why State of the Game is here. Waite can also be found on Twitter.

You can listen to the show here, download the MP3 or go to iTunes to listen/subscribe/etc.


The Amazing My Shot With Peter Oosterhuis

As some grim Alzheimer's-related news surfaced in North Carolina in Josh Shaffer's in-depth look at former pro golfer and architect Gene Hamm's murder of a care facility roommate, effects of the terrible disease are being felt by someone we all "know".

Guy Yocom talks to Peter Oosterhuis for a September Golf Digest My Shot in the wake of the English golfing great announcing that he has the disease.

It started like this. I've had OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder] since I was a young man. I used to keep super-detailed logs of every shot at every tournament. That statistics program they have on the PGA Tour--what the devil is it called, again?--I invented an early version of that many years ago. When I moved to commentating, the OCD worked to my advantage. I'd study facts, statistics and tendencies and then run them into my commentary. A couple of years ago I found I was coming up blank on this information. When an OCD person can't obsess the way he used to, he starts to obsess about his inability to obsess. The anxiety isn't pretty. Over the years I was prescribed medications to manage the OCD, but there came a day when the drugs stopped working. So I went to a neurologist here in Charlotte, and in July of 2014 I got the diagnosis: early-onset Alzheimer's disease.


Fantasy: It's Never Too Late To Enter Golf's Playoffs!

As Rory McIlroy enters his first of two playoff chases late (the other one on the back of new European Tour Commish Dr. Keith Pelley), I say it's not too late to enter our Fantasy League with three events in play.

Many of you did and I thank you for that, and hopefully Chris (JACKSONTALIAH) got his free one day rental from Avis just for entering (let me know if not) and Jonathan (Double Eagle Dobiash) got his free one day rental for being the week one points leader (1702 points!).

A reminder on how it works: join the league or be in the league already. Be eligible for a weekly prize for most points (1-day rental from Avis).

Most points from the overall wins an Avis two-day rental certificate and the new Great Big Bertha from Callaway, while second place wins an Odyssey putter.

Remember, the game is ShotLink-based and designed to emphasize every shot counting. You pick four players, two alternates each week. Simple as that, though if you want to dig in on stats and do some extra homework, you can. The system is very good about sending an email to remind you about filling out your lineup. โ€จโ€จHere's the league, so sign up now and we'll get through these playoffs...together. As a league.

And if you entered last week, you've already played one more playoff event than Rory!


Even Rory Looks For The Remote When That Ad Comes On

At that tail end of his Deutsche Bank Championship presser Thursday, Rory McIlroy was asked about the dreaded, petition-worthy relentlessness of the Omega "Hall of Fame" ad and he showed his lovable side by joining the rest of us in...not liking it.

Alex Myers has the ad embedded for cruelty purposes, and this:

"I'm sure I will. I'm not sure when. But I think that one went quite well for them, that's why we didn't have to shoot another one this year. If they could just change the music that would help."

YES. Is that too much to ask?

Even McIlroy indicated he's sick of the ad. When asked what he does when it comes on, this was his response:

"Turn it off. I've seen it too many times."

If only Omega would listen! The petition is at 549. Surely we can get a few more signees.


WaPo (Style): Trump Cheats At Golf; The Donald Bites Back

I wasn't sure if this was a serious investigative piece by Ben Terris until the Style section placement helped make this seem less Onionesque and took some edge off. Some.  (Thanks to Tim who sent this.)

Talking to three former Trump golf partners--Mark Mulvoy, Alice Cooper, Rick Reilly--Terris concludes Donald Trump plays by his own rules on the course. A similar taint dogged Bill Clinton and still does, but as Commander-in-Chief no one was about to call him on it. The same situation seems to be part of the Trump matter.

Naturally, The Donald was not pleased with the comments, not even remembering Mulvoy and throwing a few jabs at Reilly's writing.

Reilly told The Washington Post about an afternoon when Trump wrote down scores he didn’t actually achieve on his scorecard, conceded putts to himself by raking the ball into the hole with his putter rather than striking it properly (“He rakes like my gardener!”), and even called a gimme — something a player might claim for a two-foot putt — on what should have been a chip shot.

“He took the world’s first gimme chip-in,” Reilly said. At one point, Trump, after taking a number of second shots, told Reilly to “make sure you write that I play my first ball. You don’t get a second ball in life.” In life it may or may not be true that a person gets a second chance; and yet, as Reilly wrote, on holes 1, 13 and 17, Trump did indeed get a second ball.

Naturally, Reilly's writing came under fire from the Presidential candidate.

Trump disputes Reilly’s entire story as well: “I always thought he was a terrible writer,” he said. “I absolutely killed him, and he wrote very inaccurately. I would say that he’s a very dishonest writer. . . . I never took a gimme chip shot. . . . I don’t do gimme chip shots. If I asked his approval, that’s not cheating, number one. Number two, I never took one.”

And to be clear, Reilly wasn't complaining.

But Reilly noted something else about playing with Trump that is echoed by others who have played with him: He had an amazing time. Trump played with confidence and bravado, he tipped the caddies, he gave great pointers that helped his comrades with problem swings. So what if he cheats? The guy is a lot of fun!

“It’s his limo ride, his golf course. The guy paid for lunch — what are you going to do?” Reilly said. “He’s exhausting, but I want to be clear: I really liked him. It was just like being in a crazy carnival for a day. Though I’m not sure it would be so much fun when it starts to count.”


Trumped: PGA Cancels Grand Slam Of Golf

After Donald Trump's comments prompted the PGA of America to yank the Grand Slam of Golf from Trump National Los Angeles, the event has been quietly cancelled for 2015. Points for the PGA not dropping this news tomorrow, Friday of Labor Day weekend, the biggest Friday news dump day of the year.

The official statement:

Due to the timing and logistics needed to stage the PGA Grand Slam of Golf to the highest standards, we are disappointed that we will not be able to conduct the event this year.  This was a memorable year for major championship golf and the PGA of America congratulates Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson and Jason Day on their impressive wins. We look forward to conducting the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in 2016.

One also has to wonder if Mssrs. Spieth, Day and Johnson indicated they were unavailable, expediting the 2015 demise.


Where Will David Feherty Land?

The intrigue continues after SBD's report of CBS not renewing David Feherty after 19 years with the network's golf team.

As one of the more recognizeable and beloved figures in the game, it's understandable to want to know where the funnyman will take his talents. Or if he'll continue broadcasting golf at all.

Martin Kaufmann at considers the possibilities and had me thinking he had a pretty credible "TV executive" until a prime time show on Fox Sports 1 would offer Feherty a "bigger platform." Then I knew who it was and I could only giggle.

Still this is worthwhile analysis.

For Feherty, the more interesting move would be to join Fox, which recently completed the first year of its 12-year contract to broadcast U.S. Golf Association championships.

“He’s such a natural fit at Fox, and they need the legitimacy so bad,” said the TV executive.

Temperamentally, Feherty would seem to be a better fit with Fox, which is more open to risk-taking and a cheekier tone from its announcers. Fox also has a lighter tournament schedule than those at CBS and NBC. And Fox has been known to spend freely on talent, while NBC recently has been cutting costs.

Fox has a lot of bodies on its announcing crew, but only a few clear-cut keepers. Feherty instantly would provide a dramatic upgrade for Fox.

“If I was Shanks/Neal/Freer, I’d offer him a blank canvas and a blank check,” said the producer, referring to Fox Sports executives Eric Shanks, David Neal and Randy Freer.

Anyone going to check with Loomis?

The Dallas Morning News' Barry Horn says CBS was happy to call him to talk good ratings news yesterday (best in six years for golf), but along with Feherty, went quiet on the topic of the moment.

In the end, there appears to have been a divorce. But what if the final decree is not in?

CBS isn’t talking. A network spokesperson offered a blunt “no comment” Wednesday morning. That’s a comment. Even the benign “we wish him the best of luck in the future” would be more cordial. Feherty isn’t answering his phone.


Royal Visit: The U.S. Walker Cup Team Goes To Latrobe

Alex Miceli reports on the U.S. Walker Cup team going to Latrobe to visit with Arnold Palmer and hear from the legend before other team bonding exercises.

Palmer was, of course, accomodating.

"OK, boys. Ask me anything you want. Anything you want to talk about, let's talk about,” Palmer said in an open-ended invitation when he met the team on Aug. 28, Miller said via conference call from New York.

“It was unreal," Miller said. "If I tried to plan it, it couldn't have gone better.”

Ryan Lavner at with this about one element of the visit. Imagine the Queen tapping shoulders with a sword and bequeathing knighthood status. Only better.

Last Thursday, the group met for the first time as a team in Pittsburgh and stayed at Latrobe Country Club, where they received their apparel and went over a few other housekeeping items. 

The next morning, the team toured Arnold Palmer’s office and shed, and then met with the 85-year-old for more than an hour, listening to stories about Palmer’s time on Tour and what allowed him to remain relevant even well after his playing days were over.

After a round at Laurel Valley, they ate dinner with Palmer and his wife, Kit, and had a team-building exercise in which each member was assigned a nickname by Palmer. “I expect one or two to stick,” Miller said with a laugh. They played Latrobe the following morning, under Palmer’s watchful eye, and then headed home after lunch.

It took some hunting, but I did manage to find a video of the nickname ceremony. Enjoy!


Blue Monster Changes To Appease The Wee Knockers

This is sad but not unprecedented given the location of Doug Ferguson's byline: Trump National Doral is seeing several fairway bunkers changed to appease the tour's shorter hitters who have been the biggest complainers about the revamped Blue Monster. The same gripes were registered about Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner's TPC Boston redo, though the PGA Tour largely held its ground against those complaints.

At Trump National Doral, the "fair" word was dropped after the 2015 WGC Cadillac leaderboard was dominated by those able to drive the ball a long way with enough accuracy to separate themselves.

Ferguson writes:

Andy Pazder, chief of operations for the PGA Tour, said a shorter bunker is being removed and another bunker is being added further out on the left.

''That makes the tee shot more fair,'' he said. ''And even the long hitters who can't quite carry the bunkers on the left and still hit 3-wood comfortably.''

That was just one example. The other changes are mainly about covering over some bunkers that were in play only for the medium hitters and extending or moving bunkers that would challenge the longer hitters.

Pazder described the changes as a result of ''continuous feedback we've received over the last few years after Gil's redesign.''

''This is designed to create a little more of a level playing field as it relates to those who carry it 300 yards and those who don't,'' he said.

Of course the suggestion of rolling back the ball to lessen the distance disparity will be met with skepticism, so just change the courses. And of course, we all know that if the long hitters keep driving it relatively accurately, the chances won't mean a thing.


New Euro Tour Chief Has Studied The Medical Files And Determined Precious Rory Deserves Very Special Treatment

I've been doing this blog thing a decade now and some real whoppers have come my way, but I must say in the annals of utter malarkey, pathetic gobbledygook, and chutzpah only if it was even slightly believable, new European Tour Commissioner Keith Pelley takes the prize.

We get it Elton, you want Rory McIlroy to play in the Race to Dubai without playing enough events to qualify. Just say it. Don't lie. You're sacrificing your credibility, the believability of doctors, and even the street cred of a certain Northern Irish golfer.

But the dance is oh so fun!

To recap, McIlroy blew out his ankle in a "kickabout" designed to make sure he retains a sense of his roots as he's CEO of Rory Inc., a multi-million dollar operation. He returned to the PGA Championship, where he was constantly running up totally unstable dunes and touting how he was pain-free, running 20 minutes a day. Ankle seems to be great. So great that with nine starts in the eyes of the European Tour, he just needs four more on a schedule with eight to go to qualify for the season-ending Race To Dubai. But the lad's ankle apparently can't handle back-to-back weeks in the eyes of doctors, except of course when he does play the Race's back-to-back events.

So to be eligible to collect the lucrative bonus money, he would have to play four more times on the European Tour before the "Race". There's the reborn British Masters in England and the Dunhill at St. Andrews, along with a Porsche and a KLM and a UBS in there that may not be brand-synergistic, plus a required Open appearance to fulfill a PGA Tour request. And PGA Tour playoffs. Definitely too much meaningless golf.

So Commissioner Forgetabouttherules Pelley enlisted doctors to suggest McIlroy is not sound enough to play in consecutive weeks in granting an exemption into the Race To Dubai and the ability to cash some more checks at the expense of the rules. According to the statement issued, McIlroy doesn't have to add to his total of 9 starts to qualify for the race to Dubai, which normally takes 13 starts.

Voila, problem solved! Making the rules up as we go.

From Alistair Tait's Golfweek story:

“These are exceptional circumstances and I have taken this situation and the resulting decision very seriously,” Pelley said in a European statement. “I have spent the last two weeks examining every angle and every possible solution, and I have spoken with Rory and his team, as well as independent medical advisers and some prominent players.

“After reviewing and discussing all the medical reports and recommendations from orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Adair, physiotherapist Dr. Steve McGregor and our Chief of Medical staff Dr. Roger Hawkes – while at the same time recognising that Rory is a world golfer with global commitments – I am convinced that he could not commit to any further tournament participation without risking further injury and persistent weakness to the ankle in the future.

“Therefore, after lengthy discussions, I have given him approval to play a minimum of 12 European Tour events this year.”

Living in the Hall of Fame, and the world's going to know your name so we'll let you skirt the rules!

And there was this from the medical people...

Dr. Roger Hawkes said: “From the evidence presented to me, in my view this is a potentially serious and significant injury. There is a risk of permanent instability of the ankle which could seriously affect both his golf swing - you need stability in the left ankle during the follow through – and for walking safely on uneven surfaces.

“Although he played again after a few weeks, he will need close attention for about a year. The suggestion of a reduced schedule and, wherever possible, avoiding back-to-back events is, in my opinion, sensible and important to allow adequate healing and reduce the chance of the complications mentioned which could clearly jeopardize his career.”

He left out the part about avoiding sprinting up fake dunes. Guessing that's not advisable either under this new scenario of ankle instability.

If all of this nonsense is to be believed, McIlroy's 2016 sounds very iffy. Of course it's not to be believed, but the Irish Golf Desk's Brian Keogh humored the Commish and looked ahead.

The Telegraph's James Corrigan opened his story this way:

In what many will view as a bending of the rules for the superstar,

No, not many will view it as a bending, just a total making-it-up-on-the-fly move...

the European Tour has granted Rory McIlroy special permission to compete in the final stages of the Race to Dubai despite the world No 1 planning not to play the minimum required number of events.

However, it is the Tour’s reason for invoking the “exceptional circumstances” clause, and the statement of its medical expert, which will worry McIlroy’s many admirers, who had been led to believe that his recent injury would not be a long-term concern.

In this world of make believe, Rory's ankle will only get better playing back-to-back weeks when it's a playoff scenario. Oh, and running up dunes.


SBD: CBS & Feherty Split Over His "Role" After 19 Years?

John Ourand's Sports Business Daily exclusive revealing a CBS and David Feherty break up after 19 years is intriguing on a number of levels.

Ourand writes that the two sides "could not reach an agreement on Feherty’s role on the network’s golf coverage."

He's been doing the same job for 19 years! What confusion could there be?

Perhaps Feherty asked to do less on course reporting or work fewer events. After all, it's hard to imagine CBS wanting to rid themselves of someone who is arguably their most recognizeable face and voice (just go to a PGA Tour event). Feherty's possible departure also leaves a huge void in their major championship coverage, where he always stepped up his game and somehow, some way, managed not to offend the Lords of Augusta from the 15th hole perch.

Then there is the timing.

CBS just wrapped their 2015 at The Barclays last weekend. If the two sides actually were wanting to work together going forward there was time to work things out. Or if this is actually an official split and not just a negotiation hiccup, leaking the news so soon after the last telecast of the year suggests a fatal blow in the partnership. After all, the next CBS golf telecast is not until late January 2016.

If this is not just a breakdown in talks, Feherty is a free agent at a good time: Fox is coming off a widely panned start to their 12-year USGA deal where Corey Pavin was their lead on-course announcer, while NBC/Golf Channel just added R&A events starting in 2017.


Ex-First Minister Salmond: Trump's Odds Of Landing The Scottish Open "Lengthening"

The former First Minister of Scotland was instrumental in pushing for investing in the Scottish Open and protecting its now important spot on the European Tour. While he's no longer in charge, Alex Salmond is still clued in to the proceedings.

So it's somewhat telling he's suggesting to The Scotsman Martin Dempster that the time separation from comments made by Donald Trump this summer, to the scolding he received, to now leading in polls, has not helped the chances of Trump International landing three of the next five Aberdeen Asset Management sponsored Scottish Opens.

“It’s not my decision, but I would have thought Mr Trump’s odds are lengthening as far as these matters are concerned,” he replied to being asked about the American hosting the tournament before adding, jokingly: “But he might become the president of the United States of America. He might say, ‘do it or else’!” His tone becoming serious once more, Salmond continued: “Look, let’s talk positively. There’s absolutely no doubt it’s an absolutely great golf course. But there are things to consider in the fullness of time, and I’m sure Aberdeen Asset and the Tour will be considering these matters. Obviously the PGA of America made a decision, a quite understandable decision. Politics is a rough, old trade, as Mr Trump will find out. Sometimes you can say things when you’re a television star, but not necessarily when you’re a politician.”

Earlier this year Trump suggested his Aberdeen area course would be getting the 2017, 2019 and 2020 Scottish Opens and there were indications an announcement was postponed at Gullane during this year's event.

The R&A downplayed Trump's comments as an issue for Turnberry's future Open Championship hopes.

As for Trump National Los Angeles' Grand Slam of Golf, the PGA of America tells me they are still working on a replacement venue and will let us know as soon as they have something. The event is six weeks away.


Historic? Varner Earns PGA Tour Card Via

Symbolically it's a start, but I admire that's Kevin Prise downplayed Harold Varner's race in reporting that the Tour player earned his card and is eligible to tee it up in The Show starting at the Open.

Considering how few African American players have even made it to the tour, Varner's story should be celebrated. As Joel Beall noted for, this is historic in a number of ways for a sport that has an lousy track record of developing a diverse group of players.
More notable than his skin is Varner's story as a product of municipal golf, a tale we need to hear more about.

Farrell Evans wrote about this when the North Carolinian played the Northern Trust Open last year on a sponsor's exemption.


Forward Press: Looking Ahead To Golf's Light Labor Day Week

We do a lot of looking back on the web, so with that in mind check out my column at looking ahead to the week.

Granted, it doesn't seem like the best week to preview tournaments and other goings on, but as you'll see the lack of Thursday PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, or Champions Tour golf means some fun Golf Channel programming.

And how to find Patriot Golf Day-friendly golf. That, and more in the Forward press.

(BTW this is the first of hopefully many, so the themes and content will vary, but I'm open to suggestions and tips for this early week table-setting-minded column.)


There's A 2015 Player Of The Year Debate?

Normally MVP's and Player of the Year awards aren't of much interest, so it was surprising to see the reaction to the chat we had on Morning Drive.

Damon Hack took the view that Jason Day has entered the Player of the Year debate, while I just can't see how Jordan Spieth's 2015 can be overlooked considering his 2015 performance in the majors goes down as one of five best of the modern era alongside efforts by Hogan, Nicklaus and Woods.

Day could win the next three playoff events--Deutsche Bank, BMW, Tour Championship--but he still won't be remembered by history the way Spieth will be. Yes, Day would be very rich, the leading money winner and the player of the year most years based on wins and capturing the PGA. It might cause the vote to not be unanimous, yet perhaps in a nod to dwindling attention spans, the idea of overlooking Spieth winning the Masters, U.S. Open and missing The Open playoff by one, is still hard to fathom.

Then again, we are in a "what have you done for me lately culture," so maybe Spieth's going to be old news if Day keeps up the amazing golf. After all, memores for some suggest Tiger beat nobodies!

Doug Ferguson took on the topic and got this from Day:

“Right now, Jordan Spieth gets my vote,” Day said. “Winning two major championships at such a young age is big. Winning four tournaments overall is great.”

Then again, there are still three FedEx Cup playoff events remaining, including the Tour Championship that determines the $10 million bonus. It’s already been a banner summer for the 27-year-old Australian, and he’s not done yet.

“I think winning the FedEx Cup and maybe one or two more tournaments, that could put my name in the mix for player of the year,” Day said. “I’m not sure. I’m going to leave that to the peers, to the people. That will definitely throw my name in the mix.”


And your vote right now for Player of the Year, with an option to wimp out...

Who Is The 2015 PGA Tour Player Of The Year? free polls