Week In Review, November 12-19, Bivens One Ups Finchem?

WeekInReview2.jpgAnother lively week in golf, starting with Robert Allenby blasting PGA Tour architecture, prompting this reply from Scott Stearns: Please, lets stop with the "European tour courses demand all these different shots" garbage. Last week's venue in Shanghai was a lot like last week's silly season venue in Naples, FLA. The Grove is as american a venue as there is. Wentworth (one of the better courses on the euro tour) looks more like the Wachovia tour stop than it does a classic English course like Swinley forest or Sunningdale. Lets not even discuss the K club, Celtic Manor or Loch Lomond. If anything, the Euro Tour plays WORSE courses than the PGA Tour.

Regarding Bomb and Gouge's disregard for Augusta National and St. Andrews a important venues in the game, DBH writes, "In the process of lengthening and growing and 'toughening' they're redefining their essential character. So that 'the great unwashed', no sorry, the '99.9999 percent of us' won't actually have a chance to experience their true nature. They'll be relics of two of the greatest venues in golf. Maybe analogous to too much plastic surgery."

On the delicate subject of the USGA's desperate attempts to pad its membership, Four-putt writes: My wife and I have been USGA members ever since I can remember... but I didn't bother to send in the check this year. I didn't write them a letter, either, because any words fall on deaf ears. I'd rather see some change at the top, rather than get a free year.

Regarding the LPGA's announced drug testing program for 2008, Glyn writes: Wow Bivens one upped Finchem. I wonder if this will force him to do the same or will he downplay it. Because you know someone will bring it up with him.

Pete the Luddite wrote: It's not just steroids that should be of concern. We all agree that Lefty does not look like Adonis. Other drugs that can be abused by the younger players trying to make it (or the older players who want to hang around a bit longer) can include mood stabilizers and the like. There is more pressure than ever to perform with the paychecks being so much larger than in the past.

LEFTY writes: Bravo, Commissioner Bivens! I think this will finally get Finchem to start drug testing on the PGA Tour. Call me an optimist, but I bet fewer golfers take drugs than one may think, and those who do are not anywhere near elite.

And on the news that the PGA Tour has decided to reduce fields in its FedEx Cup "playoffs" (including the Western Open where they'll get 70 players instead of 144), Four-putt writes: Let me speak on behalf of the millions of voiceless golfers and spectators of the Chicagoland area who have supported our local PGA Tour stop for eons. Regarding this latest format change in the FedEx Cup playoffs, we do not feel any less screwed. Give us back our Fourth of July Western Open, Timmy.

And jneuman notes: The format can't win. If it eliminates players quickly, it runs the risk of losing the marquee names. If it skews too heavily to the season results, its first week or two is pretty much irrelevant. I don't think fans are going to care any more than they have about the Tour Championship -- it's not like anybody considers it the fifth or sixth major, do they?

What's wrong with having a season that works differently from those in other sports? Golf has its own rhythm, and doesn't necessarily peak at the end in the fall. So what? Why does it have to make the same mistake as baseball, failing to value its long season in order to chase TV money for an illegitimate short season at the end?