Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
    Sports Media Group
  • 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
  • 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
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford

Golf is the one game in which the player’s ball is not subject to the interference of the opponent. It is a question of supremacy of accurate strokes without human interference, but there exists interference, nevertheless, and its name is "hazard," which is golfese for trouble.   A.W. TILLINGHAST

 

  

Thursday
Mar162006

Two Views On Golf Industry

Blaine Newnhan writes about the struggles of the Pacific Northwest golf business while Chad Graham paints a different picture of the situation in Arizona, where they feel the slump has ended. If nothing else, check out the Newnhan story to see the pictured golf hole and its subtle mounding.

Thursday
Mar162006

Huggan On Musselburgh

John Huggan files a lengthy dispatch on the Musselburgh Links situation, which doesn't sound so hot if you are in that strange camp that has a hard time envisioning how floodlights and an all-weather track will improve the setting.

Here's the "Hands Off Our Links" web site with the latest on today's vote by the East Lothian planning commission. 

Thursday
Mar162006

Golf "Wife Swap"

Ah, nothing like a little reminder that the Big Break is harmless, shoot, even classy compared to this, which came courtesy of the Golf Nuts Society:

CASTING CALL FOR ABC'S "WIFE SWAP" TELEVISION SERIES
 
The hit show Wife Swap is currently casting amazing families with huge personalities that are incredibly passionate and dedicated to the sport of Golf! (must be married with kids 5 or older) Ideally our candidate, loves to play and its something the whole family can do together! There is also a $20,000 honorarium offered to the family that is selected! Any additional exposure you can bring to this project would be greatly appreciated! So, if you or anyone else you know is up for the experience of a life time, please feel free to contact me on how to apply for the show today!

Best regards and many thanks,
Daniel Markell
Casting Producer
Wife Swap
212-404-1441

Thursday
Mar162006

Another Norman Flashback

Ron Sirak writes in Golf World that he hopes Greg Norman's threatened lawsuit is not about petty vengeance.

This July, 2003 Golf Magazine interview with Peter Kessler may indicate what Greg Norman wants to know about the PGA Tour's financial dealings.

How do you think the Tour is doing these days running the business end?

I still am unhappy about it. I really don't think we know the entire story. Because when I speak to some of my business friends about certain ways the Tour operates, they say they couldn't do that in their world. It always intrigues me that they have this huge business. It is hard to be a master of everything and if you dilute yourself too much, sometimes you lose a little focus.

That is the most careful response I have ever heard from you.

When I spoke out on this at the end of last year, the message I was sending was to the 21-year-olds, not the 30- or 40-year-olds. I wanted them to think: OK, everything is great right now and your future looks fantastic, but where will you be when you are 45 or 50? Where will the Tour be? There is no business in the world that can sustain that growth curve that the PGA Tour is on. If there is a correction, how are they going to manage it?

Put your mind to it. Find out where the money is going. Find out how big the administration is. Find out what actually goes on. It is very difficult to get an answer, but if you are young enough and you ask the questions, you eventually will get the answers. It is the players' Tour. It is not one administration person's Tour. The players have every right to do all they can do to understand the internal workings.

If you were appointed commissioner for a day, which three things would you tackle first?

I would take a look at the players' pension. The retirement plan is an asset of the Tour. But let's just say there is another Ping scenario. [The company sued the Tour in 1989.] That asset is vulnerable. The Tour's so-called retirement plan goes poof. It is not a true pension plan where it is protected.

I would like to really understand the structure of the TPCs [Tournament Players Clubs], how profitable they are. I see the annual report, but it is not a full-blown, in-line report.

In all the years I have been involved in golf, I have never been asked to give my opinion. Yes, we have these forms to fill out. And we have our players meetings, our Players Advisory Council, and our player directors. That's wonderful, but still I think you need to tie into the best players because they do have some good sense. I'm talking about four or five players. The problem with the Tour is that it's one man, one vote. A vast majority of the players are happy with the security blanket instead of saying they want to build this thing to be a better, safer, longer-lasting organization.

Thursday
Mar162006

The Future Is...?

Rex Hoggard wonders if the Tour is making it too difficult for young players to break through. And this is 2006. Starting next year, it's going to get even tougher for Q-school grads to play a full schedule.

Thursday
Mar162006

It'$ In The Name

Joe Passov looks at the architects who enhance real estate value. The list might surprise you..at least the low end of the Top 5.

Passov also has this bit about his brother-in-law:

Choosing a name architect is often more about marketing than the course. Just ask Ken Kavanaugh. He was two weeks from starting construction on a course in Sedona, Ariz., when the property was sold and the new owners bounced him in favor of Tom Weiskopf. "There's a niche out there which shops exclusively for designer labels, whether it's Gucci, Prada or a golf-course architect," Kavanaugh says. "A Timex and a Cartier both keep the same time, and I think there's room for both in the marketplace, but some folks aren't going to buy unless it's a Cartier."

Thursday
Mar162006

Not The Smoothest Transition...

Thanks to reader Scott for the link to this John Davis story on Carolyn Bivens' rocky start.

It began with the world rankings, which had Michelle Wie No. 3 even though she hasn't won an LPGA title and only one significant amateur championship. She has since climbed to No. 2, based on 16 events. That puts her ahead of Paula Creamer, the 2005 Rookie of the Year, who has won two tour titles and four worldwide.

"I was a little surprised," top-ranked Annika Sorenstam said Wednesday. "I do think it needs to be tweaked a little bit."

Bivens said the new media regulations fall in line with those of other pro sports and give the LPGA more control over its own property and player images.

But, as a result, the season began with virtually no media coverage of the new Fields Open in Hawaii as writers and photographers refused to sign credential forms. After two revisions, AP agreed to sign the new forms, but Golf Digest refuses to do so. That's no small loss for the tour because it also publishes Golf World and Golf for Women magazines.

Fields Open Executive Director Tim Humes wasn't happy about the lack of coverage, telling Golfweek magazine, "We felt like we delivered. How do you have this good a product and not allow it to be covered? My disappointment was more towards the LPGA for not thinking about the impact this would have on our tournament."

Four of the tour's top executives have resigned in the past six months, but Bivens dismisses that as the normal fallout that comes with new leadership.

"That often is what an organization does from one administration to another and from one stage to another," she said. "I look back on my career at USA Today, and there was a wonderful group of people who were part of the launch. There were people who were so critical for the first five years that didn't make the transition to the next for a variety of reasons.

"It's not that unusual for people to leave, and I have maintained friendships with a number of those who have left the LPGA."

Wendy Ward had this to say about Bivens:

"She has ruffled some feathers because she has a different way of going about things, and some people don't like change," Ward said. "But I wish I had another year left on the board because I see her as someone who is confident in her ability and not afraid to do things her way."

I'd love to know how keeping Golf Digest/Golf World/Golf For Women from covering your Tour is a good thing? 

Wednesday
Mar152006

Hard Equals ?

Ernie Els at Bay Hill, talking about The Masters:

 "If we have tough weather conditions, it's going to be a very tough week," the world number five said. "It's becoming one of the toughest of the majors now.

"Where it used to be the most fun of all the majors, it's becoming the hardest one now."

I know a lot of people take pleasure in seeing the pros struggle because it makes them feel better about their own feeble golf games.  And I have no problem with that once a year at the U.S. Open.

But I keep wondering if it ever occurs to the folks running the game that when a course is set up just tough enough and still vulnerable to attacks by the best players, it translates to fun for the players, and most likely fun for the fans.  

The point here is rather simple and not a new one, but as you can see, I feel it's worth repeating:  the folks at way too many golf courses make setup about them, and not about the players. It's about producing a certain score, and producing a post-event reaction that has 20 handicappers patting each other on the back for putting those spoiled Tour boys in their place.

Nothing new here, just kind of sad when you realize how intensely selfish it is. 

Wednesday
Mar152006

Ferguson On Flogging (Or Lack Of?)

Doug Ferguson warned me that he wasn't buying into the flog branding that has been sticking to certain players, and he wrote about it in this dispatch from Bay Hill.

"If you hit the ball a long way, you should be reasonably accurate," [Ernie Els] said. "Not one player on tour has the philosophy of just going out and hitting all over the place. It might work out that way, but we try and aim and get it in the fairway and give yourself the best opportunity to make birdie."

It looks that way at times, especially considering the driving statistics.

Woods is hitting 47.9 percent of his fairways, which puts him at No. 179 in driving accuracy. The feeling is that big hitters blast away, believing it's easier to hit the green with a wedge in the rough than a 7-iron from the fairway.

But that isn't always the case.

Woods had a solid week off the tee at Doral, even if the statistics don't bear that out. He rarely missed the wrong side of a fairway, sometimes dribbling into the first cut or barely into the rough, but usually leaving himself the perfect angle to approach the pin.

He and his caddie, Steve Williams, went over his drives and found that Woods was in the first cut 13 times.

"If you add that into the fairway mix, it's not that bad," Woods said. "So it depends on your perspective. I feel like I'm driving the ball much better now than I was earlier in the year, because things we've been working on are starting to come together."
 

Wednesday
Mar152006

Tiger On Augusta: Interesting, Very Interesting

Translation: yuck, very yucky.

Amazingly (or is frighteningly), I read all of Tiger's press conferences and continue to marvel at his ability to answer the same questions over and over again. He's also become quite good at acting like he's enjoying some lame question about a player he's played with twice. And he can be so positive when talking about a course he probably thinks is mediocre at best.

So I think it's safe to say--lacking much in the way of complimentary talk--that this is a not-so-flattering assessment of Augusta:

Tiger at Bay Hill:

Q. Speaking of The Masters, now that you've had a chance to play the course firsthand, what do you think of the changes?

TIGER WOODS: Interesting, very interesting.

 Hey, at least he didn't say it was the best of its kind! Sorry, continue...

I didn't hit enough club to No. 4. I needed wood to get to 4. 7 is certainly changed. It's a totally different hole now. 1 is 300 yards just to get to the bunker now. If we get any kind of cool north wind like we have today, you won't be able to see the flag. You won't be able to see the green. Some of the changes are pretty dramatic and certainly going to be very interesting if the wind ever blows.

Q. Do you think they accomplished (inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: I've talked to some of the older guys who played there back in the '50s, '60s and '70s and they never had to hit wood into 4 before, but you'll see a lot of guys hitting wood in 4 this year.

Q. What do you think will happen if there's rain?

TIGER WOODS: It will be brutal because now you're hitting some really long clubs into the holes. Again, we haven't seen the greens hard and fast either. With the rain, with or without rain last year, we were thinking in the practice rounds that over par is going to win the tournament. If you can keep it around even par, you're going to win it easily.

So, you know this, year, if it stays dry, probably the same thing.

Q. Did anyone ask you about Jack's comments, and do you agree that there's only ten or a dozen or so guys that are capable of winning because of the changes, because of the length?

TIGER WOODS: It eliminates a lot of guys, yeah. If you hit it low and rely on your game that way to get the ball out there and hit your irons not so high, if you have a flatter ball flight, you're going to be struggling there.

Q. If even par were to win there, is it a shame in a sense that you guys already have a U.S. Open?

TIGER WOODS: It's just different. I think it they should get rid of that second cut and get rid of and bring the pine needles and the pine trees back into play. But they see it differently than a lot of us do as players.

I remember pulling that ball off the first tee and it's going straight through the pine trees. Now you have a chance of it stopping in that second cut. They think it's harder to play out of that than it is out of the trees.

Q. Ernie was saying how The Masters used to be most fun major and now it's become the toughest, do you think it has gotten up to that?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt, it's gotten so much more difficult now. With the added length, with those greens being the way they are, it just makes it so hard out there. You're hitting clubs that, granted, they are trying to get you to hit clubs like the older guys used to hit, and yeah, but the greens were not running at 13 on the Stimpmeter either. So it just makes that much more difficult now.

With the speed of these greens now, each and every year, it all depends if they are firm. I mean, if they are firm, that golf course is probably the most difficult golf course you'll ever play.

Q. Could you have imagine them dialing some of those changes back a little bit, get rid of the rough or move the tees forward a little bit?

TIGER WOODS: They may move tees around. I think that's what they did with some of the tee boxes. Like on 4 and 7, they are really long tee boxes, so they have the ability to move it around and play with the tee markers a little bit. Because if you get soft, yeah, you can go ahead and move the tees up a little bit and give the guys a chance. So I think that's one of the smart things they have done. 

 

Wednesday
Mar152006

The Commish and The King

The Commish dropped his usual stuff about enhancing the texture and fabric of the Tour (are we making quilts here!?), while Arnold Palmer was mostly asked about the Augusta changes. He sounded like he was trying to back off some of the remarks he made to the Golf Digest Panelist Summit.

The final question was the most interesting, albeit way too long. 

Q. You and Jack obviously have a unique relationship with Augusta National, as architects, champions and members there, and you exerted some influence on the chairman a couple of years ago with regards to the age limit there, do you think that if they feel like maybe they have gone too far on some of these changes on the course, would they be willing to dial it back a little in the future and maybe restore a little less length in places or maybe cut a tree down here or there? And if you had had any influence on the changes what kind of ideas would you have to make it a course that could keep up with today's golfers without just adding length?

ARNOLD PALMER: (Turning, looking at Commissioner Finchem.)

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Don't look at me. (Laughter).

ARNOLD PALMER: I think I'll stay out of that. (Laughter).

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us.

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Thanks for rescuing us Joan. 

 

Wednesday
Mar152006

Great Tournaments On DVD?

Commenting on Guy Yocom's oral history of Nicklaus's 1986 Masters win, Intermurph raised the question of why can't we buy a DVD of the '86 final round as CBS televised it.

While that event has always been a natural for such a release, few other majors would probably be worth buying as they were aired.  

But what if majors were given a similar treatment that films receive when going to DVD? Perhaps there is a player commentary option where we hear the eventual champion or another track with contenders talking over the telecast?

Or say, in the case of the '86 Masters, a commentary by Frank Chirkinian and some of the announcers discussing that epic telecast? Other extras could include the daily highlight shows, tournament preview shows, post round news conferences, etc...

For instance, the 2004 U.S. Open could include Walter Driver's press conference where he blames the mystery roller  For instance, the ESPN or Golf Channel  Sunday night interviews with the winners, or perhaps with certain events, the views of writers or announcers about the day.

Thoughts? As Garth Pancake says in The Ladykillers, it's just a trial balloon.

Oh, and what events would you put at the top of a dream major you'd like to see with bonus commentary?

Off the top of my head, the must-Masters would be 75, 86, 87, 95, 97, 04 and 05. 

 

Wednesday
Mar152006

Latest Bunker

The latest edition of Golf World's "Bunker" is now posted and includes the Greg Norman item by Tim Rosaforte, a few new insights into the Deepdale situation and Stu Schneider's always entertaining TV Rewind column.

Wednesday
Mar152006

Even More Of Jack On Augusta

Several writers filed comprehensive stories on Jack Nicklaus' criticism of changes to Augusta National.

Some of the comments appeared in Doug Ferguson's story yesterday, and all came from a press conference Nicklaus held at The Bear Club to plug (I think) something related to the 20th anniversary of his Masters win.

Showing just how highly he thinks of these inkslinger gatherings, Jack donned shorts with loafers and no socks.Q-15NJACKSC-5658_o.jpg

Anyway, here is some of the new stuff, including bits that David Westin of the Augusta Chronicle picked up from Tiger's web site and from Mike Weir at Bay Hill.

Woods, a four-time Masters champion, played the latest "new" course for the first time Sunday and shot 2-under-par 70, he said.

"It definitely played longer," Woods said on his Web site. "It will be a big challenge if the golf course plays fast."

"I love Augusta, don't get me wrong," Nicklaus said. "And all I want for Augusta is to be Augusta and be the best it can be because it's such a great event.

"But when they take the golf course and limit the number of people who have the ability to win ... their intention is not to do that, but they're doing exactly that."

"They're making the long holes really, really long," Nicklaus said. "They are frustrated, as I am doing my courses. They're trying to figure out how to compete with the length of the golf ball."

Weir played Augusta National the "last few days," he said Tuesday at the Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando, Fla., and also had an issue with No. 7.

"I didn't think they needed to do anything to it (the course), but I don't mind the added length," Weir said. "The only hole I don't think they needed to lengthen was No. 7. That green is not built for a 4-, 5-, or 6-iron."

Safe to say that No. 7 sounds silly. Of course,most people could have told Hootie this change was a bad idea. Except apparently, Tom Fazio.
 

Jeff Shain in the Miami Herald was there and put this answer into context:

As Nicklaus discussed his charge from four shots back, he was asked if the ''new'' Augusta could produce a similar run.

He suggested ''about 10 guys'' could pull it off.

''Could Tiger [Woods] do that, or Ernie Els or Vijay [Singh]? Yes, because they have the length to do that,'' he said.

"Could a Mike Weir or José María [Olazábal] or Bernhard Langer or one of those guys of moderate length? Probably not. Not with the golf course today. That's the change at Augusta I have a hard time with.''

 And Ray McNulty had this story on the gathering, with remarks you probably won't read in many other places:

...should the men of Augusta, if only to preserve their course, if only to protect the integrity of The Masters, take the lead in placing limits on the golf ball?

"They would be the only place that could," Nicklaus said.

If you listened closely enough, if you looked into his eyes as he uttered those words, you knew that he wanted Augusta to take a stand.

Even though he didn't actually say it.

 

Tuesday
Mar142006

Norman Flashback

If you are wondering why Greg Norman is so interested in opening the PGA Tour's books, a bit of the dreaded backstory might be worth re-reading.

Here's Norman talking to Bob Verdi in the April, 2002 Golf Digest:

You went across the grain in 1994 with an idea for a world tour for the best players -- an addition to the PGA Tour -- and it blew up in your face.

Each event was to be for $3 million, for the top 40 players in the world. Start with eight events a year, building to 12 down the line. We had an agreement with Rupert Murdoch of the Fox Network for $120 million. That's what turned the sirens on at PGA Tour headquarters. That caught their attention. How did they do that? Why can't we do that? They still haven't figured it out.

Arnold Palmer and [PGA Tour Commissioner] Tim Finchem came to the Shark Shootout in 1994, my own event, to talk to the guys about this evil concept of mine. I was done. I listened to the whole spiel, sitting in the boardroom of Sherwood Country Club, and I was feeling worse and worse.

Their spin was that it was my deal, about me and for me. But we had agreed to subsidize the [PGA Tour] events we were up against. If a world-tour event went against, say, the Milwaukee Open, we would subsidize the Milwaukee Open. "You can't do that," I was told. Well, what have they got now but their own world-tour events? And what are they doing for tournaments up against them but subsidizing them?

Apparently, my bad idea wasn't such a bad idea. And as our president [of Great White Shark Enterprises], Bart Collins, says, all these other golf federations from other countries march to whatever the PGA Tour wants, like puppets.

But when you were inducted into the Hall of Fame last November, Finchem credited you with the vision for the world-golf concept.

It was sad. I wish he had never said that. Cut a guy's legs off, then give him a pair of shoes.

What took so long? In 1994, I was tarnished tremendously, being branded as someone who was trying to hurt the game of golf. It couldn't have been too strong a PGA Tour if one guy could destroy it. But Finchem knew he couldn't control it. It was all about control. So it was portrayed as a money-making scheme for Greg Norman.

I was devastated. I was angry, really angry. I didn't care about golf, and I was angry at my peers, who hung me out to dry. They said they would support the idea. But where were they? Slay the dreamer. I was alone on an island. I was the Bird Man of Alcatraz. I was a maverick.

Then, last November, Finchem says this about me at the induction. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. We were all sitting up there. I looked at Laura and Bart, and we were all amazed. What the hell was that all about? Thanks, but no thanks for the pardon.

I still haven't forgotten what he did to me, and I never will. Never, ever will I forgive Tim Finchem, and he can induct me into a Hall of Fame once a week.

What about the proposed idea of a players' union?

I took an interest in it, but I told them [the organizers] it was best for them if I wasn't on their roster. I never joined.

I could do them more harm than good, given my reputation. The PGA Tour propaganda machine did a masterful job of sweeping that under the rug, too.

But why don't we have an association as players? I've talked to Phil [Mickelson] about this. He's got a lot on the ball. But a lot of guys are content, making a handsome living. They're nonconfrontational. I'm for thinking outside the box.

And here is Norman a year ago, again talking to Verdi:

Norman is asked whether he would consider spending part of the rest of his life as commissioner of the PGA Tour.

After all, incumbent Tim Finchem, whose administration Norman frequently disparages, will retire eventually, presumably creating a vacancy for someone who has done it all--like winning 88 tournaments worldwide, presiding over a robust corporation, and rubbing elbows with business, political and entertainment icons. All while managing to remain a doting husband and father, whether at home or on a 228-foot yacht that was sold last year to Wayne Huizenga for the ungodly sum of ...

"Sorry, no financial figures," says Norman, chuckling. "Now, PGA Tour commissioner. Have I thought about it? Absolutely. Of course, have I also thought about becoming president of the United States? Yes." But there is no rule against an Australian-born multimultimillionaire becoming boss of golf's biggest league. "I understand," Norman says, "though I'd bring a completely different mind-set to what exists on the PGA Tour."

He cites a top-heavy organization that encourages a pack mentality resulting in a "quagmire" (his word). "I would love to know what really happens on the inside of the tour," Norman says, "but to do that, I would have to give up what I have here, and also give up playing, which I still love."

I guess this means we won't be seeing more of Greg on the Champions Tour? 

Tuesday
Mar142006

No DMD's In PGA Events

pga_t1_logo.jpgThe PGA of America joined just about every other governing body in prohibiting distance measuring devices for their events.
Tuesday
Mar142006

1986 Masters Redux

nicklaus861.jpgGolf Digest's Guy Yocom compiled an oral history of the 1986 Masters, and from the parts I've skimmed, it's a must read.

Yocom also answers questions from and unnamed interviewer about how the project was put together, including who cooperated, who didn't and who turned out to be the best source of fresh insight into the greatest golf tournament ever. 

Tuesday
Mar142006

The Not So Simple Art of Reviewing A Golf Course

Chris Baldwin at TravelGolf.com tackles the tricky subject of reviewing golf courses.

Tuesday
Mar142006

Norman Threatening Legal Action Against PGA Tour

Golf World's March 17 issue is reporting that Greg Norman is threatening legal action against the PGA Tour.

In a story by Tim Rosaforte that first appeared on ESPN.com(!?), Norman says he wants to see the books and the minutes of all meetings.

"It's their fiduciary responsibility," he said. (He also has a business relationship with the tour as a golf course architect for a handful of sites that host tournaments.)

"The past never goes away," Norman said last Friday from his office in Jupiter, Fla. "Even now Scott McCarron stays at my beach house and we work out last night and the conversation comes up about the FedEx Cup. The wound gets ripped wide open."

Okay that's waaaaayyyyyy more detail than we needed!

Anyway, Rosaforte also writes:

Decof, the longtime legal nemesis of the tour -- he represented Ping in the famous square-grooves case -- believes so as well. The posturing has been ongoing for months, but Norman decided to go public after his demands were circulated in a memo to members of the Players Advisory Council, Policy Board and Independent Board of Directors.

PGA Tour co-COO Ed Moorhouse confirmed the tour has been in touch with Norman and Decof. "We've offered to sit down and answer any specific questions," he told Golf World Monday. "To this point he has not availed himself of that, but we are ready to sit down and discuss any questions he has."

See, the Tour is trying to cooperate. They would be happy to sit down in a windowless room with no one taking notes and discuss any questions Greg has, completely off the record and without any documentation!

 You can't make this stuff up.

"They're looking for a way to compromise," noted Decof. "They want us to submit our questions, and they'll answer them. That's not what we want. Under law, every person has [the] right to access the books. It's an absolute right. The players don't know what's going on. They go to those meetings and they get mumbo-jumbo. Greg wants to know what's going on in a corporation that he's a member of. You can't do that by answering questions."

Tuesday
Mar142006

More Nicklaus Comments On Augusta

Jack Nicklaus makes some more interesting comments about Augusta in this AP story that reader Tim forwarded.

On Tuesday, he discussed the last of his 18 professional majors, and he was asked whether a back-nine charge was still possible.

"I know what Augusta is trying to do," Nicklaus said. "Whether they've gone overboard, I'm not sure. But they've eliminated a lot of guys who are able to do that. Could Tiger (Woods) do that? Or Ernie Els? Or Vijay (Singh)? Yes. Could Mike Weir or Jose Maria (Olazabal) - one of those guys of moderate length - could they do that? Probably not. That's the change at Augusta I have a hard time with."

And...
Nicklaus didn't mind the change at No. 4, saying it was always a 2-, 3- or 4-iron shot, and that's likely the club that will be used at this year's Masters.

"But No. 7? Wow," Nicklaus said. "I had dinner with Ernie the other night, and he played 4-iron and 7-iron. A 4-iron into that green? Ernie Els? What is Mike Weir playing, a 4-wood? That's the issues I've got."
And...
"I love Augusta. Don't get me wrong," Nicklaus said. "All I want is for Augusta to be Augusta, because it's such a great tournament. But when you take a golf course and limit the number of people that have the ability to win ... Their intention is not to do that. But they're doing that."