Did you know?

It’s widely known that CBS pumps in bird noises during its telecasts to make Augusta National seem even more of a natural paradise during the Masters. The network has admitted doing this for other golf events as well. Curiously, many people who attend the tournament observe very few actual birds on the grounds.
Source: Golf Digest

Possible changes to Amen Corner?

The Tale of Augusta National and Donald Ross

Did you know…
The Tale of Augusta National and Donald Ross

Donald Ross had agreed to design a Georgia golf course for Bobby Jones. But then Bobby Jones lost a match. And that changed everything.

read more…

“Arnie” The Club Collector

Is Chaos at TPC Scottsdale’s 16th good for game?

Whether you love it or hate it, the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale is sure to draw a crowd every year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
But is this the avenue that you would choose to mainstream golf if you were the PGA Tour and PGA of America?
What say you?

Tour Sponsorships


Jim Furyk’s game has a blue collar feel to it. He does things his way and ultimately gets the job done. He’s won 17 times on the PGA Tour and holds the record for the lowest score in PGA Tour history with a 58 which he shot during the final round of the 2016 Travelers Championship. A native of Pennsylvania, Furyk’s approach is reminiscent of another Pennsylvanian from Latrobe. (Arnie)

Ace Hardware announced this morning a multi-year partnership with PGA TOUR legend, Jim Furyk. Furyk and Ace Hardware seem like a good fit, which made us think.

If we could match players with brands at will, here are a few we would like to see:

  • Boo Weekley: Tink’s #69 Doe-in-Rut Buck Lure Deer Attractant
  • Fred Couples: Pure Calamus Root Essential Relaxation Oil
  • Tiger Woods: Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy S4 4G LTE Prepaid Smartphone
  • Fuzzy Zoeller: Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Craig Stadler: Holdup Suspender Company
  • Sergio Garcia: Black MudJug Portable Spittoon by Mud Jug
  • Jeff “Ol-Pro” Hunt: Waffle House

If you could pick your sponsor, who’s logo would you be wearing?

Through this partnership, Ace will serve as Furyk’s exclusive home improvement retailing sponsor and Furyk will appear in dedicated advertising, digital and social content, as well as have a presence throughout Ace’s nearly 5,000 neighborhood retail stores. Furyk will also wear the Ace logo on his golf apparel during professional competitions and tournaments throughout the duration of the sponsorship.

Source: Worlds Best Golf Destinations

What do you think?

Odds on Tiger Woods doing much of anything grow longer

I was looking for odds on Tiger Woods at the 2017 Masters and couldn’t find any.

Odds on Woods to win the 2017 Masters? Oh, I found those, no problem. One Las Vegas sports book has him at 100-1 to win, a big slip from 20-1 after he played the Hero World Challenge in December without hurting himself. There were no odds to be found (at least by me) on Woods simply to play this Masters. After his latest physical setback, that is a more pressing question and, therefore, a more interesting wager.

All that my web search came up with was something from early 2010 when British bookmaker William Hill offered 1-4 odds on Woods playing in Augusta, which was to be his first appearance since the fire-hydrant incident the previous November and the subsequent global media frenzy that followed.

I hope I’m wrong, but I am not overly optimistic about seeing Woods on Magnolia Lane. Here is what we know: Woods, who had returned from a 16-month layoff to compete in the Hero World Challenge in December, played his first two rounds of the 2017 season at Torrey Pines and missed the cut. He flew to the Middle East, appeared to be hurting late in the first round in Dubai (although he claimed that he wasn’t in pain), shot 77 and withdrew before the second round, citing back spasms. He announced last week that those “spasms” will sideline him for this week’s Genesis Open and next week’s Honda Classic, too.

The mainstream golf media immediately started triangulating where Woods might play in order to get his game sharp for Augusta National in April. There is the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook, where he never has played; the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he has won eight times; and the Shell Houston Open, scheduled the week before the Masters, a date on which Woods never has competed. He even could play the Puerto Rico Open, the second-tier tournament held opposite the Dell Technologies World Match Play Championship since his world ranking — 674 before today’s update — means he won’t be among the top 64 players who earn berths.

Forget about getting sharp for Augusta. Those back spasms, if that’s all they really are, qualify as a red flag for a 41-year-old man with four major knee surgeries and three back procedures. Although Woods was able to produce a handful of competitive shots in his two recent appearances, his swing wasn’t recognizable and looked like the action of a man who had to be careful because of physical limitations. That’s not the Tiger Woods we knew.

The question has to be asked whether his spasms actually are part of a more serious injury or worse, a re-injury of his thrice-repaired back. You might take another athlete at his word, but Woods has a long history of providing inaccurate (or incomplete) information about his health. Part of that may be because he is competitive and has an athlete’s mindset that injuries aren’t an excuse. Part of it also may be that he has had so little privacy since he was a child that he resents every little intrusion that comes with his worldwide fame.

Any professional golfer is always one swing away from a career-ending injury. Maybe you noticed former Masters champion Trevor Immelman on Golf Channel’s “Golf Central” set during the recent AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Injuries curtailed his career. After making just three cuts in 18 worldwide tournaments last year, Immelman suddenly is doing TV commentary. He is 37.

Backs are the worst, though, and if Woods has re-injured his back in any significant way, that could be career-ending.

Maybe he is suffering only from back spasms. That would be good news. I hope his odds of recovering and playing in this Masters are at better than 50-50. Until I get more information, though, I’m not taking that bet.

Source: Morning Read

Spieth Wins at Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Jordan Spieth soaked up every step of scenery on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach, one of the prettiest places in golf and even more spectacular on a Sunday when the only work left is to hoist the crystal trophy.

All that was missing from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am were the highlights.

That’s just how Spieth wanted it.

Staked to a six-shot lead, Spieth never gave anyone much of a chance by putting for birdie on all but one hole. The lone highlight was his 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, and by then it was already over.

“Played a lot of boring golf today,” Spieth said, “which was exactly what we needed.”

He closed with a 2-under 70 for a four-shot victory over former U.S. Amateur champion Kelly Kraft, a close friend from Dallas who couldn’t get a putt to fall that might have put a little pressure on Spieth.

As easy and clinical as Spieth made it look, it was no less special.

“This is a bucket-list place to win — here, Augusta National, St. Andrews, there’s only a few in the world. It feels really special. It was amazing walking up the 18th green knowing that we were going to win. It’s just such a unique position. I tried to soak in.”

It was his first 54-hole lead on the PGA TOUR since the Masters, where he lost a five-shot lead on the back nine. On this day, Spieth thought back to the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and the way Tiger Woods closed out his record 15-shot victory by trying not to drop a shot in the final round. Woods didn’t make a bogey over the final 26 holes in severe conditions. On a course saturated by rain, Spieth played the final 28 holes without a bogey. His longest par putt Sunday was 5 feet.

“That’s a dream round when you’re leading by a bunch,” Spieth said.

Jordan Spieth shows off his putting game at AT&T Pebble Beach

The 23-year-old Texan won for the ninth time in his PGA TOUR and became the first player since Woods with that many victories before turning 24. Woods won 15 times. Equally impressive is that Spieth won for the fifth time by at least three shots.

“He didn’t have his best stuff, but he did exactly what he was supposed to do and played a great round of golf,” said Brandt Snedeker, a two-time Pebble winner who played in the final group with Spieth and shot 70 to finish fourth. “Sometimes those are the hardest rounds of golf, when you have the lead that he had. It was fun to watch him do his thing out there.”

Kraft, who closed with a 67, settled for a couple of consolation prizes. The $777,600 for second place was nearly double his earnings from his rookie season last year. He also earned a spot at Riviera next week in the Genesis Open.

U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson closed with a 68 to finish alone in third, enough to have a chance to reach No. 1 next week if he were to win.

Spieth’s only other birdie was on the par-5 second when he two-putted from 12 feet.

One day after he took only 23 putts on the bumpy greens of Pebble Beach, he didn’t make hard anything, and didn’t look to be trying to make them from above the hole to avoid putting himself in a position to drop shots.

No one could put any pressure on him over the opening seven holes, which is where rallies begin at Pebble Beach.

If there was a key shot for Spieth, it came on the eighth hole. He tugged his tee shot into the wet rough to the left, facing a 210-yard shot over the ocean and into the breeze to one of the toughest greens at Pebble. It came out perfectly, 20 feet from the cup for another routine par.

“I was very, very excited once that ball landed on the green,” Spieth said. “That was really avoiding a big number there. That could have been a double or triple very, very easily, if that doesn’t come out the right way. So that was the shot of the day for me.”

Spieth became the seventh straight PGA TOUR winner in his 20s, and he got back into the hunt for No. 1. He had fallen far enough behind that even by beating a strong field at Pebble Beach, it will not move him from No. 6.

Jason Day, the world No. 1, bounced back from his 75 on Saturday with a 67 to tie for fifth with Gary Woodland (65) and Torrey Pines winner Jon Rahm (68).

Spieth has four top 10s in his four starts this year and already appears to be peaking as the Masters gets closer. He has shot under par in all 16 rounds he has played this year, 17 in a row dating to the TOUR Championship last fall.

The only disappointment for Spieth was not winning the pro-am with country singer Jake Owen. They tied for third, four shots behind Ken Duke and Carson Daly.

Source: Associated Press  February 12, 2017

Proposed 5-acre deal could alter Augusta National’s iconic 13th hole

Proposed 5-acre deal could alter Augusta National’s iconic 13th hole

All parties to the proposed land deal involving Augusta National Golf Club and Augusta Country Club are keeping quiet this week. But the nearly yearlong negotiations between the two clubs are likely to resume after the green jacket is handed out Sunday at the Masters.

There’s a lot at stake, including a proposed payment of upward of $25 million for what amounts to 5 acres. That would account for ACC’s present par-4 ninth hole, a straightaway, slightly uphill 392-yarder. That hole sits left of ANGC’s 11th and 12th greens, with the boundary line marked by Rae’s Creek and a dense stand of pines.

Luckily for ACC, there’s plenty of room essentially to pick up the existing ninth hole and move it 50 yards to the south, as a 420-yard dogleg right. There would be no disruption of the routing, only a slightly longer walk back to the 10th tee.

As for ANGC, it would mean being able to lengthen the legendary par-5 13th hole by 50 yards, to 560. That would dramatically change the hole, in the process restoring it to the original design intent of being reachable in two after a powerful drive – but not driver/short iron, as it has become in the hands of the game’s bombers.

Equally important for ANGC, the acquisition of those 5 acres on the southeast side of Rae’s Creek would provide club access for maintenance and tournament infrastructure, perhaps even spectator circulation, to areas left of those two holes that are beyond reach. It also would enable ANGC to conduct heavier tree clearing around the 12th green, encouraging more air movement and morning sun for a green – the smallest on the course – that is in a difficult micro-climate for sustained quality turf maintenance.

There’s a lot to be worked out, not just the terms of land transfer. Any work in that area would require approval by environmental regulators, given the impact on stream flow and embankment stabilization of Rae’s Creek.

One thing is clear: The folks running ANGC harbor ambitious long-term visions. No aspect of the golf course and its surrounds has escaped meticulous planning. Recent work has involved converting a parking lot into a world-class practice facility, reworking Berckmans Road west of the course for better traffic flow and opening Berckmans Place as an upscale entertainment facility.

Acquisition of a 5-acre parcel on the perimeter of ANGC would give it considerable space to upgrade the golf course in terms of maintenance, challenge and presentation.

How much is 5 acres worth on the market today? When the buyer is ANGC, apparently a lot.