On Architecture

Random quotes by some of the more famous golf course architects.

Donald RossAs beautiful as trees are, and as fond as you and I are of them, we still must not lose sight of the fact there is a limited place for them in golf. We must not allow our sentiments to crowd out the real intent of a golf course, that of providing fair playing conditions. If it in any way interferes with a properly played stroke, I think the tree is an unfair hazard and should not be allowed to stand. – Donald Ross, from “Golf Has Never Failed Me”

Every hole should be a demanding par and a comfortable bogey. – Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

Mickelson Fires 59, Wins Grand Slam of Golf

Phil Mickelson misses a six-footer for 58, taps in for 59, and wins the 2004 Grand Slam of Golf.

Phil Mickelson IronPhil Mickelson, Masters winner, has joined the ’59’ club and won the 2004 PGA Grand Slam of Golf. The event, which features each of the year’s major winners, was played over two rounds at Hawaii’s Poipu Bay Golf Course – no easy challenge at par 72, 7,081 yards.

Phil’s round features birdies at 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, and 18 and an eagle at 6. He parred the other six holes. Phil had a six-footer for 58 on the last, but slid the putt just past the hole. He had a tap-in for the 59.

Members of the ultra-presigious “59 Club” now include the following

Al Geiberger           1977
Chip Beck              1991
David Duval            1999
Annika Sorenstam       2001
Phil Mickelson         2004

Phil ended up at -17. Vijay Singh finished second at -12, birdieing the last to secure that spot, while Retief Goosen finished at -11. Todd Hamilton finished with a 75 to end up at +1 for the tournament.

Is Phil’s switch to Callaway finally starting to pay off!!!

P.S. A day later, ESPN and The Golf Channel provide coverage.

Big Break II Round-Up

Two weeks since the last BB2 update, which means two golfers gone. David’s gone after Double-D was able to hit it longer and straighter, and Colonel John’s out after losing a one-hole playoff (which took three holes) to Kip.

bb2_david_teeing.jpgIn a way, it’s a good thing that it took me so long to write up a summary of the seventh episode of Big Break II – in the week that I’ve been busy, there’s been another episode!

Last we tuned into BB2, the field of men looking for the four Nationwide Tour exemptions had been whittled to five, and we had watched as my favorite – Big Mike – had his putter fail him against Kip in the elimination challenge. I fully expected David to get eliminated during that episode; how would he and the rest of the field fare over the past two episodes?

Play it Down

Playing the ball down teaches you these things, and allows you to more easily face obstacles when they present themselves to you in tournament play.

Many golfers are tempted to play “winter rules” when inclement weather rolls around. Instead, we suggest playing the ball as it lies. Get creative – hit the shot with a little mud, or sitting down in some damp grass. Play out of the bare spot or off of the slightly soggy ground. See what you can do.

Playing the ball down teaches you these things, and allows you to more easily face obstacles when they present themselves to you in tournament play. Besides, posting a score two or three strokes over your normal score can’t hurt your handicap too much. And if this tip helps you take another five bucks from your buddies, it was worth it.

He Cheated

Gary Player a cheat? What’s the world coming to?

Gary Player cheated, so they say:

Recent conversation on RSG about Gary Player. What started off as a fairly innocent question – “Just how did he win all those majors?” – became colored instantly when someone dropped the hammer with two words.

“He cheated.”

Gary Player, a common cheat? I didn’t want to believe it. This same Gary Player

…is a firm believer in doing things the right way. He recalls a time when he could have gotten away with a minor rules infraction. Instead, he reported his innocent error and was disqualified from a tournament he easily could have won. “If I had not turned myself in, I would have had to live the rest of my life with the knowledge that I had cheated… Much better is the feeling I have today that even though I left a trophy and check behind… I still have my dignity and honor.”

What’s going on here?

Sorenstam Loses Exempt Status

Swedish sensation Sorenstam earned only $29,643 in her 7th year on tour, with 0 top-10s in 22 tournaments. What happened? Oh, we were looking at the wrong Sorenstam.

Swedish sensation Sorenstam earned only $29,643 in her 7th year on tour, with 0 top-10s in 22 tournaments. Coach Henri Ries says “I don’t know what happened, she’s a talented player.” She did well at the University of Arizona.

Indeed Charlotta Sorenstam is talented, but apparently not as talented as her older sister. Charlotta finished 139th on the money list and is now non-exempt on the LPGA Tour.

By the by, here’s another impressive statistic for the Sorenstam elder: 18 starts, 8 victories, and 16 top-10s. ESPN may be able to compare Annika and Tiger’s last five years, but Tiger’s 2004 can’t hold a candle to Annika’s sweltering season.

Skins Game Returns to Thanksgiving Weekend

Fred Couples, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, and Annika Sorenstam tee it up this year in Palm Beach for this year’s Skins Game.

Skins GameDefending champ Fred Couples will make a record-setting 11th appearance in the 22nd Skins Game this year. Sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Freddie will compete against Tiger Woods (5th), Adam Scott (1st), and Annika Sorenstam (2nd).

The first nine holes will be played this Saturday at 1pm ET and the holes will be played Sunday at 11:30am ET. ABC will broadcast the event from 4:30-7pm ET on Saturday and 3:30-6pm on Sunday. The $1 million purse is split into $25,000 for holes 1-6, $50,000 for holes 7-12, and $70,000 for holes 13-17. The 18th hole is worth $200,000 itself. Players will donate 20% of their earnings to charity.

Crocco Concho!

The Crocco Concho belt by Footjoy is hot on tour and in college.

Being a fashion–plate, as well as an avid watcher of golf on television, I have noticed that many of the pros seem to wear a similar distictive belt. You know the one, it’s black with the silver pointy tip and some small metallic plates around the side. Well, I finally stumbled across the hottest accessory on tour. The Crocco Concho belt, by Footjoy.

It appears that Tiger wears the Crocco belt as well as some of the other PGA top guns. Not only is it popular on the big boy tour, even these snot-nose college pukes are getting into the act. It’s practically part of the uniform now.

Winter Fitness

Heading into winter? Exercise, ya lazy fool!

Golf FitnessGolfers in many parts of the world are about to be hit – or have already been hit – by a plague collectively known as “winter.” Winter golf is what it is: if you live near an indoor driving range, you can hit balls. You can watch golf on TV, you can swing in your basement, and you can putt on your living room carpet. But what if you want to stay fit?

The Sand Trap .com will soon be reviewing the Golf Fitness Guide. We’re impressed with the virtual weight of the eBook: 240 pages. If you are looking for a fitness program to keep your game in shape through the snowdrifts of winter, you may want to check out the ebook. Or wait for our review in a week or two… Or try golf pilates, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Thanks, Aaron.