Week(s) In Review, November 19-Dec. 2: Miscellany

WeekInReview2.jpgCatching up on a couple of weeks of posts, the most spirited discussions took place under posts on the LPGA's ADT Championship, the FedEx Cup, steroid testing and the various assaults on classic courses.

After seeing the ADT play out, RB made a great point on the FedEx Cup: It's been brought up before but it's worth repeating given the NASCAR season is now complete: The FedEx Cup will likely diminish winning the Tour Championship. I don't know about your paper, but mine had a man-on-moon headline trumpeting Jimmie Johnson winning the Nextel Cup. You had to read to the seventh paragraph to get this little nugget: Greg Biffle won the race for a third consecutive year. What happens when Tiger and Phil are dueling down the stretch for next year's Tour Championship, but three holes back FEDEX Cup leader Furyk is struggling to finish in the top 10 to win the Cup? Where's the story? Who do the network's train their cameras on? Who came up with this silly race anyway?

CBell on the ADT:  As for the telecast, I agree there was little buzz - hardly a hum - but for that I blame the crowds and the course. You need either a wall-to-wall crowd or a, uh, storied venue (okay, anything with a bit of history) to create much electricity, and this lacked both. A year from now, though, even a Trumped-up course like this has a chance, given the Webb-Ochoa meltdowns on #17 which created sort of an instant legacy.

Regarding my Golfdom essay on catch basins and generally schlocky drainage design work in golf architecture, Kris Spence weighed in with this:  I was recently asked by a member what I thought of a newly renovated fairway and hole on an old Ross course in NC that had 9 very symetrically positioned basins within the fairway cut. My answer, this hole has more catch basins than all of the other 400 + Ross designed courses combined.

On the PGA Tour's reported $5 million price tag for performance enhancing drug testing, JohnV countered with this: According to an article I found on the internet, it costs about $105 to do a steroid test. If they tested the champions, nationwide and pga tour players it would be about 500 players. With 4 tests a year, it would only be $210,000.

After USGA president Walter Driver's latest Q&A where he suggested that he would like to beef up the USGA website, reader Chuck suggested this: one of the ways that the USGA could better communicate with its members is to publish some of this data that they are apparently sharing with the manufacturers, data that was been developed with such care and with such expense by the USGA. According to the USGA itself. As Mr. Driver indicated to one of my questions, the people who criticize the USGA "don't have the facts that we [the USGA] do..." Well, okay. Use the internet. Give us 'the facts that you have.'

And NRH on the PGA Tour's latest attempt to enhance its media coverage: I'm glad the Tour isn't shoved down the throats of Joe Sports Fan like the NFL and all of its ESPN fueled drama. Nothing can really be done (or measured) beyond the majors, Ryder Cup or Tiger in the field to attract the fringe fan. Maybe free tickets for pre-teens. Of course the exceptions are Phoenix, the Nelson and Warwick Hills, where the lure is a good party. Does the Tour want more of that?