Tom Bendelow

Unheralded course designer Tom Bendelow left a few gems for us. One of them, Medinah Country Club, we’re enjoying this weekend at the PGA Championship.

ProFilesWhile Alister MacKenzie and Donald Ross are recognized designers in the world of golf, you may not have heard of a certain Scottish golfer and designer named Tom Bendelow. While you may not have heard of him, you’re likely watching the PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club, one of Bendelow’s designs.

The most prolific designer in North America, having designed over 800 courses, Bendelow’s contribution to American golf have been largely unappreciated. Designing in a time when earth moving was largely impossible Bendelow’s designs incorporated what the land gave him.

PGA Championship 2006

Sometimes you have to look at the past to look into the future. The PGA Championship in 1999 was mostly about Tiger and Sergio, but there were a few other guys that had good weeks back then that need it now.

The Numbers GameIt’s hard to imagine that it was seven years ago that Tiger and Sergio were paired in the final round at Medinah in the PGA Championship. It was supposed to be the start of a rivalry. It was supposed to be as if Jack and Seve were in their prime at the same time. Tiger lived up to his end of the bargain, but Sergio is still searching for the magic he once had.

There were a lot of other good golfers out there in 1999 that played some great golf at Medinah. This week in The Numbers Game, I’ll look at some of the other players that played seven years ago and see if it means good or bad things for each of them.

Golf Talk [Episode 033]

Will we ever go one week without talking about Michelle Wie or Tiger Woods? Highly unlikely.

PodcastTom Lehman almost makes his own Ryder Cup team, but falls short of Dean Wilson. Kimberly Kim becomes the youngest to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur (at 14) and Cristie Kerr gets back on track. Plus the usual Tiger and Wie stories along with Divotgate, bent grass gone wild, and PGA Championship previews. Tune in to this episode of Golf Talk for more.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 033 as an MP4 file. For those who want to subscribe to us in iTunes, click here.

For this week’s Show Notes – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information – just read on.

2006 PGA Championship Preview

The final major championship of the year returns to Medinah Country Club with a longer layout and deeper rough. Can Woods hoist the Wanamaker Trophy again, or will the 7,500-yard layout bring Tiger to his knees?

Medinah LogoThe chance of Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia pulling off another 1999 finish at Medinah is improbable; however, that doesn’t mean Phil can’t take over Sergio’s role and turn the 2006 PGA Championship into one of the best majors in golf history. As always, the TST staff is hard at work getting ready for Thursday with our major championship predictions and pairings.

The PGA may be the last major of the year, but I think we all know deep down that we’re going to be glued to our chairs come Sunday afternoon for another down-to-the-wire finish.

2006 PGA Championship Predictions

The Sand Trap staff members attempt to predict the outcome of the season’s final major championship.

Thrash TalkThe season’s final major championship has arrived, and it’s time for predictions. The 2006 majors have all provided great memories, and we can all hope the PGA Championship does as well. The top golfers in the world have victory on their mind, but many others are gunning to make the Ryder Cup team.

Phil Mickelson won The Masters in April, Geoff Ogilvy won the U.S. Open in June, and Tiger Woods won the British Open in July. These three will be in the same pairing for the first two days at Medinah. The PGA Championship winner could very well be one of these three men. A win for any of these golfers would likely solidify their bid for PGA Tour Player of the Year.

What’s a major championship at The Sand Trap without predictions? I was way out in left field with my British Open predictions, but the PGA shall serve up my redemption. I hope you all enjoy the predictions, and if you have anything to add, please comment below or discuss it in the forum.

Fit Factors: Club Fitting, Part One

No two golfers or golf swings are identical. Thus buying clubs off the rack with standard specifications is something of a crapshoot. If you’ve never had clubs fitted, here’s what you should be looking at.

Bag DropBack in the days before steel shafts and matched sets, Bobby Jones put together a set of clubs one by one over the course of his career based solely on feel. Toward the end of his time as a competitor – once swing weighting was invented – someone measured them and found them all identical, save one iron. Jones’ response? He’d never trusted that club.

Today it’s a whole other ball game. Club manufacturers, teaching professionals, and independent clubmakers and fitters all recognize the importance of fitting clubs to players to help them make the most of their abilities.

Volume Seventy-One

How the heck does Tiger use a baseball swing to hit the golf ball that far?

Hittin’ the Links is back again this week with another round of point and click golf. I know that you’re probably chomping at the bit for the PGA Championship to get here, but for now, sit back, relax, and get your weekly dose of links!

2006 PGA Championship Pairings

The 88th PGA Championship tee times are now available. Get the scoop on the groups to watch at Medinah CC.

The pairings for the 88th PGA Championship have been released. Traditionally, the winners of the first three majors are paired together, and that’s the case this year as well. Fortunately for golf fans, that means Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Geoff Ogilvy will be playing together for at least two days of the 2006 PGA at Medinah Country Club.

Woods and Mickelson

All the other pairings are listed below. Those with high star power are in bold face text (including a few pairings with three PGA Championship winners) while those with U.S. Ryder Cup hopefuls have been italicized.

Nine Holes on the Nationwide Tour

Take a peek at golf’s version of the minor leagues. This is where aspiring young players and Champions Tour hopefuls go to get used to the heat of competition.

ProFilesThe Nationwide Tour has become a clearinghouse for the world’s best players. While not every player who plies his trade on the Nationwide Tour makes it to the big time, many of them go on to successful careers on the PGA Tour.

Excellent events in their own right, purses have gotten bigger and the level of competition better in recent years. Many PGA Tour professionals would tell you that the talent gap between the PGA and Nationwide Tours has shrunk dramatically, making the Nationwide Tour the best place to hone your skills for the PGA Tour.