Week In Review, Feb. 26-March 4: Crack In The Code

WeekInReview2.jpgJohn Huggan kindly spent a few minutes fielding intense questions for edition No. 2 of Taking Aim.

Geoff Ogilvy won the match play, but once again La Costa's design proved itself to be the most boring arena imaginable for match play, prompting me to regurgitate complaints about the lack of a "match play" course to host the event. And Ned Ludd wondered, "Wouldn't it be cool if the Golf Channel was able to telecast the Crump Cup? Match play at PVGC with the top ranked mid-amatuers would be great viewing."

But we learned new details about the future site of the WGC match play, including how much The Gallery is paying to host the event. That information provided an interesting contrast to the situation at Innisbrook, which is paid to host a Tour event.

Commissioner Tim Finchem talked to the media on Sunday at La Costa, and as always, offered several new terms and roundabout ways of making a simple answer sound, well, not simple.

Talk of the FedEx Cup and the effort to come up with a point system prompted Sean Murphy to point out that "Every race on the schedule is worth the same amount of NASCAR points. There are no "unimportant" races. I love this NASCAR philosophy. Damn, these guys have to put in their time, which allows their fans to actually get to see them more often, in order to receive the Big PAY-OFF."

Reader Macduff came up with a fairly simple points system and his own Top 70 through the WGC Match Play can be viewed here.

While the "Where's the Balance" thread set a new record for posts, Titleist's anonymous commentary calling out the Orlando Sentinel's Steve Elling and his "biased" take on technology led to this commentary by Ryan Ballangee. He followed up with a 19th Hole Golf Show interview with Elling.

And Elling rebutted the anonymous commentary in his weekly golf column, prompting Smolmania to note: "The media's starting to get on board. The question becomes, will the public?"

Speaking of bias against acting for the good of the game, Elling's in elite company. The King spoke out about distance this week. Surely the LA Times has been added to the "biased" list of publications daring to report the comments of a golfing legend who clearly regrets his stance on the ERC driver.

Golf World's Jaime Diaz looked at flogging, bringing the worst kept secret to a mainstream magazine from one of the game's top writers. The secret is really out, and when people look at the cause (distance, bad course setup), will they consider proper remedies?

Crankpot, apparently not content with posting on his own equipment manufacturer sponsored blog, gave us an insight into how the growing minority will be trying to shape the debate: "This - and almost every other article like it - ASSUMES that technology is the sole and driving (pardon the pun) reason behind increases in driving distance in some sort of self-justifying loop. Technology caused the boom in driving distatnce because of technology. Real logic doesn't work that way."
On a lighter note, Carolyn Bivens continued her push to make past LPGA commissioners look brilliant with her latest marketing nonsense.

And in the big story of the week that will continue to be discussed for the next month, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer criticized changes to Augusta National. Reader Steve wrote, "Before the changes, I always regarded AN as the 'ultimate members course' capable of having a major tournament without alterations or the growing of rough."

A spokesman for Hootie Johnson said that "Mr. Johnson has no opinion about their comments. Every past champion is entitled to his point of view." That prompted reader RThompson to write "Listening to Jack and Arnold, and becoming more and more educated by your blog Geoff, it would now seem inevitable that Chris [DiMarco] start experimenting with some of those Vijay length drivers, and soon."

And GeorgeM said, "Hootie should know better. This was not 'every past champion'. These are ANGC members and multiple winners of their little invitational."

Finally, Mark Brown, an important modern day writer whose founding of Links Magazine helped paved the way for someone like me to learn about architecture and write about it, passed away this week. Brad Klein offered this remembrance