Friday, July 29

The Day I Brought Home the Wrong Mayonnaise

After thousands of golf stories, I want to share on other topics. Thanks for reading.

I REMEMBER THE DAY I BROUGHT HOME a 30-ounce bottle of JFG Mayonnaise. Marriages can fracture over small things, but for many people mayonnaise is no small thing. Allegiance to the wrong brand can be an unpardonable sin. I was only trying it out, I sheepishly told my wife about the mayo from Knoxville, Tennessee.

My wife was, and always will be, on the Hellman’s bandwagon, despite now living in the South where Duke’s and other regional brands of mayonnaise are like religion.

“There is nothing more personal than mayonnaise,” said Ms. Robin Fisher in the New York Times.

Ms. Fisher would know. She works in accounts payable at Duke’s in Mauldin, South Carolina, where, according to the Times, 70,000 pounds of egg yolks and a million pounds of oil are made into mayonnaise products every day.

“People want their coffee a certain way,” Ms. Fisher added, “and they want their mayonnaise a certain way.”

That’s a perfect dollop of southern wisdom, right there.

Mayonnaise, of course, is a French word, and it’s known the world over as a creamy, white sauce that has been around for two centuries. However, it seems as if mayonnaise is something the South invented, sort of like grits, which have Native American origins but are unabashedly southern.

Southerners are fiercely independent, but they unite around comfort food – and that includes gravies and sauces. That might explain why mayonnaise crowds and flies off grocery shelves, whether a jar of Duke’s in Virginia and the Carolinas, JFG in eastern Tennessee, or Blue Plate Real Mayonnaise down in the Louisiana bayous.

Yes, mayonnaise is a staple of the southern diet and economy. Sandwiches as we know them – and an entire society that hinges on what you put between two slices of bread – would crumble without mayo’s creamy goodness.

Take pimento cheese and BLT sandwiches. Would they have achieved greatness without mayonnaise? (This is a rhetorical question.)

The Great Depression produced hard times. They would have been even harder without mayonnaise, which folks spread on their raw onion sandwiches, or with peanut butter. That’s right, southerners gobbled down peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches.

“Merita white bread, Duke’s, chunky Jiff, bananas & a little drizzle of honey,” commented one southern lady in a popular magazine. “Heaven!” she exclaimed.

And yet one person’s heaven is another person’s crusade. Sadly, there are movements against mayonnaise, including a website called holdthatmayo.com. They are misguided. They should find a new cause, something actually worthwhile. But you don’t have to be adopted southern daughter Taylor Swift to know that “haters gonna hate.”

It’s another reminder that mayonnaise is a controversial and divisive topic. You can almost hear a proud drawl in the words of Mr. Robin P. Little:

“Down here there are certain topics northern transplants learn to avoid bringing up if they want a conversation to stay civil,” Mr. Little commented in the Times, “and Hellman’s versus Duke’s mayonnaise is one of them. Below the Mason-Dixon line, Duke’s rules.”

By the way, I loved the tangy flavor of JFG, but I mostly keep that to myself around the house. I also make sure there’s a jar of Hellman’s in the fridge.

Thursday, July 28

2016 PGA Championship TV Schedule and Live Streaming

THE 2016 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP IS LIVE (I'm watching as I type this). Below is the TV schedule. You can also live stream the championship on your favorite device. Get started.

Thursday, July 28
TNT 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM ET

Friday, July 29
TNT 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM ET

Saturday, July 30
TNT 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM ET
CBS 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM ET

Sunday, July 31
TNT 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM ET
CBS 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM ET

VIDEO: A Brief Look at Baltusrol and A.W. Tillinghast



THE 2016 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP IS UNDER WAY at Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower Course) in Springfield, New Jersey.

In the above segment, Golf Channel and Matt Ginella profile Baltusrol's designer, A.W. Tillinghast, who was many things besides a golf course architect, including promoter, writer and drinker/reveler. Tillinghast is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, July 26

RICOH Women's British Open TV Schedule and Broadcast Notes

By Golf Channel Communications

WOBURN, England, July 26, 2016 – Historic Woburn Golf Club near London sets the stage this week for the women's fourth major championship of 2016, the RICOH Women's British Open, featuring a field that includes eight of the top-10 players in the Rolex World Rankings and 29 out of the top-30 in the 2016 LPGA money list. Golf Channel and NBC will air more than 20 hours of live tournament coverage Thursday through Sunday, the most number of live hours in the tournament's history and marking the tournament's return to broadcast television.

Twenty-two hours of live tournament coverage. Thursday and Friday, Golf Channel will air live coverage in two telecast windows (4:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. ET / 9 a.m.-Noon ET). Morning Drive, Golf Channel's daily news and lifestyle show, will air in between to recap the action and preview the afternoon wave. Saturday and Sunday, live coverage will begin at 9 am ET on Golf Channel and will continue on NBC at 11 a.m. ET.

RICOH Women's British Open / NBC Sports Group Airtimes (all times ET)
Thursday, July 28        4:30-7:30 a.m. (Live) / 9 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Friday, July 29            4:30-7:30 a.m. (Live) / 9 a.m. -Noon (Live)
Saturday, July 30        9-11 a.m. (Live, Golf Channel) / 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (Live, NBC)
Sunday, July 31          9-11 a.m. (Live, Golf Channel) / 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (Live, NBC)

Monday, July 25

Pelham Country Club: Playing Well and Blooming (Conclusion)

Following is the conclusion of a two-part series on Pelham Country Club. Read Part 1.

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.


MOST GOLF ARCHITECTS KNOW GOD designs the greatest courses; the planners' job is to uncover the divine handiwork, not interfere with it. 

That's what happened when the Pelham Country Club was designed. Its architect, Devereux Emmet, looked at Mount Tom, the highest spot in Pelham Manor, and recognized that he could not improve on God's work. He created two holes where Mount Tom comes into play, and I don't exaggerate when I say that playing them is pretty close to a religious experience.

But before I talk about Mount Tom, let me give you some local Westchester golf-course history. There are courses more famous than Pelham—Winged Foot, Westchester and Wykagyl, for instance. These private country clubs host PGA Tour and LPGA events, and members can dine out on the big names that have played their courses. 

Pelham's only claim is that their club is "family oriented" with a "congenial atmosphere," though Pelham did host the 1923 PGA Championship won by Gene Sarazen in a match against Walter Hagen—a match that many experts consider to be the greatest in golf history.

I don't belong to any private club, but I do appreciate old courses and their history. And while Pelham may be small and unpretentious, there are many who love it. And for good reason.

Pelham's Golf History

Golf in Pelham goes back to a Dr. Charles R. Gillett and his brother, Will, who, in 1900, started to play the game in a makeshift way on Prospect Hill in Pelham Manor. In 1908, a Pelham Country Club (PCC) was formed with a few tennis courts and five golf holes carved out of a cow pasture. Then, in the summer of 1921 two influential members, Mont Rogers and Edmund E. Sinclair, formed a company—200 members paying $2,000 each—to buy a stretch of virgin woodland in the rolling, low-lying hills below the village of Pelham Manor. 

Searching for a designer, Rogers and Sinclair discovered a genius of golf architecture, Devereux Emmet of Long Island, and asked the man to create a championship course. A descendant of a founder of New York's Tammany Hall, Devereux Emmet was listed in Ward McAllister's First Forty Families in America. He was a golfer and a hunter, but, most of all, he loved nature, and envisioned a course of tall oak trees and groves of beeches, much like an ancient English woodland he'd visited, Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire, west of London. 

Emmet's vision of the Pelham course endured until 1955, when the government, in its wisdom, cut through the front nine with I-95. Today, only six of the original 18 holes are still in play, including the two on Mount Tom.

The Pelham course covers only 119 acres and, even from the more difficult back tees, plays to just 6,358 yards. Too short for touring pros, but to those who play for fun, it's a lovely course that demands strategic golf if one wants to score.

Three Architectural Schools of Golf

Golf design has taken a different architectural approach since its beginning in 1414 on the dune-links of Scotland. Those were the days of what came to be called the Natural School, where existing sand dunes determined the location of the holes, and little was done to change the natural wild topography.  
By the mid-17th century, this first school of golf-course design evolved into the Penal School, which moved bunkers and other hazards off the fairways and good players were rewarded for driving straight down the fairways and avoiding trouble.

Then, in the 1920s came the architects of the Strategic School. These men linked the natural course with one that discarded the straight-down-the-middle Penal approach in favor of a design that created interesting challenges. Devereux Emmet was such an architect. The net result was the kind of course we are familiar with today—one that calls upon the player to consider his or her options, based on ability and courage, to match par in a rural setting that usually resembles a pleasant English countryside. 

Among Strategic School architects, Emmet is noted for building courses with severe side-hill lies, blind shots, plenty of water and craftily designed bunkers. He gave Pelham narrow, tree-lined fairways, small greens, and water hazards on 11 of the holes.

Emmet's original Strategic School design is most evident in two holes on Mount Tom, a famous glacier rock at the epicenter of the Pelham Country Club. The holes are the 402-yard No. 9, and its companion, the 400-yard par-4 No. 15. Both holes are stamped into the terrain much like the index and middle finger of God's own right hand. They are perfect examples of how a Strategic School architect would use the natural setting to create a challenging course.

Standing on the tee boxes of either hole, a golfer can't see over the high ridge of Mount Tom 200 yards away. The player also can't see the landing area in the fairway, or see the green, or pin placement. 

Of these two historic holes, No. 9 is the most demanding, for beyond the high protruding outcropping of Mount Tom is a narrow fairway that falls precipitously to the left. No. 15 (God's middle finger), which is to the right of the outcropping, has a level landing area, and is more forgiving of a badly hit drive, since its fairway stretches smoothly to an inviting green.

No. 9, however, is another story: a blind tee shot into its sloping fairway funnels dramatically to the left-side rough and into trouble. As Ben Hogan once said, in golf it is the tee shot that matters most. Hogan, who lived by his famous fade, would play the Mount Tom hole by moving his ball left-to-right so it landed on the high right side of the fairway, leaving a short iron to a large green nestled in a grove of shading oak trees. 

These two holes, plus No. 10 and No. 14, are clustered around Mount Tom and, on any given round, a player is spending 25 percent of the game near this ancient outcropping that Devereux Emmet was smart enough to leave alone. The Mount Tom holes are Pelham's version of the famously difficult Master's "Amen Corner."

Mount Tom and Devereux Emmet gave Pelham Manor one more benefit. After a heavy winter snowfall, No. 9 is full of kids sledding downhill. One player's summer headache becomes a child's winter joy. In all these ways, the fairway of the Mount Tom No. 9 is a scene for all seasons.

That's God and Devereux Emmet's way. So, Pelham Country Club members will have to weight that fact before tinkering with this golf course masterpiece.

They best remember, don't mess with God's work!

John Coyne is a bestselling author whose latest golf novel is The Caddie Who Won the MastersLearn more at John Coyne Books.

Friday, July 22

Trick Shot Video: 'How to Really Practice at the Range (and Break a Few Clubs)'



PLEASE ENJOY THE ABOVE TRICK SHOT reel sent to me by Cameron Thayan. And as they said, "Thank you to Stoke Park Golf Club for not throwing us out."

Thursday, July 21

Pelham Country Club: Playing Well and Blooming

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

WE HEAR AND READ A LOT TODAY about country clubs failing and fading into history as millennials turn their backs on a game that takes them away from their smartphones.

This "decline" in golf has happened before.

The USGA statistics show a dramatic decline in membership during the 1930s. Over 1,100 clubs belonged to the organization at the beginning of the decade, but by 1936 the number had dropped to 763. At the same time, Business Week estimated that there were one million fewer members in 1936 than in 1925.

Again, during the war years, there was another decline. The New York Times reported that gas and rubber shortages had reduced play by approximately 50 percent. The Times would go onto write, "The unprecedented current situation [war-time measures] hits clubs after a decade of violent readjustments. Only a minority have recovered from the shock of the depression which began in 1929. Many a proud course .... is now a suburban housing development."

In the 1970s, there was a great growth in the game, especially linking private clubs to housing developments. The housing bust of 2008 forced new players to rethink the cost of membership. 

Another problem was the aging of members. When my wife and I first arrived in Westchester, the town's golf course, Pelham Country Club, was facing this familiar problem. 

Pelham Country Club solved it by creating junior memberships for Yuppie parents. They built new tennis courts and a family swimming pool that attracted mothers with toddlers to spend most of the summer days at the club, waiting at the pool when dad came home from work and ready to play a quick nine holes.

Pelham, however, was not safe from trouble. Recently, the theft of $335,000 by their controller resulted in a sizable insurance payment. I'm told the insurance money will be used to improve this legendary golf course.

Having weathered depression, wars and theft, the situation is still serious at Pelham Country Club. In the concluding part, I'll explain why.

TO BE CONTINUED.

John Coyne is a bestselling author whose latest golf novel is The Caddie Who Won the MastersLearn more at John Coyne Books.

Wednesday, July 20

VIDEO: No Tiger Woods for Rest of Season



GOLF CHANNEL REPORT: "Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the PGA Championship and will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 PGA Tour season."

Monday, July 18

Jack Nicklaus: Stenson-Mickelson Eclipses 'Duel in the Sun'

WHAT DID JACK NICKLAUS THINK of the showdown between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson in the final round of the 145th Open Championship? He shared his thoughts on Facebook.

Via Jack Nicklaus on Facebook.
"I was fortunate to watch every second of today's final round of the Open Championship," the Golden Bear said, "and I thought it was fantastic.

"Phil Mickelson played one of the best rounds I have ever seen played in the Open and Henrik Stenson just played better—he played one of the greatest rounds I have ever seen. Phil certainly has nothing to be ashamed of because he played wonderfully.

"Henrik played well from beginning to end. He drove the ball well; his iron game was great; his short game was wonderful; and his putting was great. Henrik was simply terrific. To win your first major championship is something special in and of itself, but to do it in the fashion Henrik did it in, makes for something very special and incredibly memorable. I'm proud of and happy for Henrik.

"Some in the media have already tried to compare today's final round to 1977 at Turnberry, with Tom Watson and me in what they called the 'duel in the sun.' I thought we played great and had a wonderful match. On that day, Tom got me, 65-66.

"Our final round was really good, but theirs was even better. What a great match today."

Henrik Stenson: 'I Felt Like It Was My Time'

I'VE BEEN WATCHING MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF for a long time, and the final-round duel at Royal Troon between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson was the best I've ever seen. Stenson prevailed, of course, shooting an 8-under 63 that included 10 birdies. Winner of the 145th Open Championship with a total of 20-under par, the Swede is a major winner at last.

Stenson knew he had a worthy opponent in Mickelson, and it made a difference in his approach.

"In a way it makes it easy when you're up against someone like Phil," Stenson told NBC's Mike Tirico. "You know he's not going to back down and he’s going to try to make birdies on every hole. So I just tried to do the same and [I'm] just delighted to come out on top and [that I] managed to win this [Claret Jug]."

Mickelson was no slouch, carding a 65 on Sunday that would have won most majors going away. It was one of his greatest major championship rounds in a long career -- and it still came up short.

"I thought we played pretty good golf," Lefty said. "I hit a lot of good shots and Henrik made 10 birdies. He and I have been friends for quite some time and I really like and respect him. I'm really happy for him, as much as I'm disappointed with the outcome. He's a class act and he played phenomenal. He hit the ball so solid yesterday and today especially."

"I've been so focused this week, this day in particular," Stenson said. "I've just been trying to stay in the moment. I felt like it was my time. I believed it was my time and managed to pull through and have a great finish."

Friday, July 15

DarrenClarke.com Wanders Offline to Celebrate Open Victory



(A spoof from the 2011 archives.)

NORTHERN IRISHMAN DARREN CLARKE IS a self-described regular guy who likes to puff on a cigarette and have a drink or two or three. Now he's the highly improbable and popular Open champion whose head hasn't hit the pillow since Saturday night.

"I have not been to bed yet," Clark said at a Monday morning press conference at Royal St. George's. "I probably won't get any sleep until tomorrow at some stage. You have to enjoy it while you can. It's been a very good night."

And, like its namesake, DarrenClarke.com is a regular sort of website that enjoys its time away from the 24/7 pressures of the Internet. The site was in a celebratory mood after the final putt dropped and employer-hero Darren Clarke hoisted the cherished Claret Jug.

"Website will be back online soon," announced DarrenClarke.com shortly after publishing the above photo of Clarke kissing the silver trophy. "Just doing some maintenance."

Maintenance? Ha!

Sources have told ARMCHAIR GOLF that DarrenClarke.com was seen carrying on in the wee hours of Monday morning with RoryMcIlroy.com and GraemeMcDowell.com. RoryMcIlroy.com was described as the lightweight of the group. After a few drinks it slurs its links.

As far as the statement about being back online soon, don't bet a Guinness on it. DarrenClarke.com might just party on for a month or longer.

It really wouldn't matter much when you think about it. That homepage photo of Clarke kissing the Claret Jug pretty much says it all, don't you agree?

Thursday, July 14

Phil Mickelson's 63 at Royal Troon: 'It Was Kind of Easy'

PHIL MICKELSON GRABBED THE LEAD in the first round of the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon. The 2013 Open champion fired an 8-under 63, which included a lip-out on the 18th green that, had it dropped, would have been the first 62 in a major championship.

Mickelson had no bogeys on his card, hit a bunch of fairways and greens, and only needed 26 putts.

"I felt like it was kind of easy, like I didn't try to do too much," Phil told Golf Channel's Steve Sands.

"I just kind of kept the ball in play, and hit good shots and made some putts. I didn't feel like I was overworking… I knew walking up 17 if I could make [the putt] I've got a shot at the lowest round in a major. That 17th hole is a really hard par-3 and I hit one of the best 4 irons to have that putt at it and to see that ball go in."

As only he can (that is, a bit dramatically), Lefty also shared his thoughts on the missed putt on the final green. 

"It started on my line and it was right in the center of the hole with a foot to go. It breaks to the left and then it straightens out, and it went back to the right a little bit harder. [I] saw these highlights [from his round] and yet I feel like crying. I don't know what to say. I don't know how that ball missed because it was perfect speed in the center with a foot to go… As great a round as this was… I'm not going to have a chance to do something historical like that [again] most likely. Maybe if I'm lucky, one other time. That was a chance to do something historical right there. At least I could have hit a big old flail and not even had a chance, but that ball was right in the center. It's heartbreaking."

Martin Kaymer and Patrick Reed share second after 5-under 66s.

2016 Open Championship - Day 1 Review


THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP PODCASTS (via audioBoom). Richard Kaufman, Paul Eales and Raymond Burns look back on a dramatic first day at Royal Troon where Phil Mickelson almost made history, finishing with a 63 to take the first-round lead. Hear from the leader as well as from Zach Johnson, Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.

Monday, July 11

U.S. Women's Open: Brittany Lang Wins in Playoff After USGA Penalizes Anna Nordqvist

AS YOGI BERRA FAMOUSLY SAID, it was "deja vu all over again" for the USGA at the U.S. Women's Open. A late penalty was assessed on a player who had a chance to win the trophy and the USGA president botched the award ceremony.

Brittany Lang hoists the trophy at the U.S. Women's Open.
(Copyright USGA/John Mummert)
This wasn't Oakmont, though. This was CordeValle.

Brittany Lang defeated Anna Nordqvist in a three-hole aggregate playoff to win the U.S. Women's Open, her first major victory. A polite but displeased Nordqvist questioned the USGA's timing of the penalty. And USGA president Diana Murphy called the winner "Bethany" repeatedly. She later apologized.

It's unfortunate that Nordqvist's club touched the sand at such a crucial moment in the competition (apparently only visible on HD), but you have to wonder what else could go wrong for the USGA this summer?

Read the New York Times story by Karen Crouse.

Crouse wrote this about the penalty:
On the second hole of the playoff, Nordqvist touched the sand in the hazard while hitting her second shot, an infraction caught on the video replay. Nordqvist, who thought she was tied with Lang going into the third hole, was not informed of the two-stroke penalty until after she had hit her third shot on the par-5 18th. 
The violation effectively handed the tournament to Lang, who received the news before she hit her third shot, allowing her to play it safe and aim for the fat part of the green. Lang two-putted for an aggregate score of even par to win her first major title. A shaken Nordqvist made a bogey on the 18th to finish at three over.

Friday, July 8

A Good Neighbor

After thousands of golf stories, I want to share on other topics. Here’s an essay about the man who lived next door when we first moved to Floyd, Virginia. Thanks for reading.

BOB SHELOR TOLD ME HE FELT the best he had felt in six months, which said a lot for an 80-year-old with a damaged heart and other maladies.

What did Bob do when he had that six-month feeling? He mowed our lawn.

That might not sound like such a big deal except for one thing. Bob didn’t mow his own lawn—the lawn service did.

Bob Shelor owned an ancient Snapper,
similar to this one.
Yes, Bob was feeling especially spry and neighborly. So he lowered himself onto his Snapper—a faded red with faulty brakes and a flat tire—and he mowed our steeply sloped back yard, which was in a mild state of neglect while we vacationed for nine days in Seattle.

I thanked him profusely when we got home. Bob shrugged, as if it was nothing.

My family lives in a Shelor house, built circa 1953 by Bob’s brother, P.L., and P.L.’s wife, Pauline. We’re the second family and the first not named Shelor to reside in this 60-year-old brick home near the elementary school. When folks ask me where I live, I often say Pauline Shelor’s house. It makes perfect sense to say we live in her house because no one knows us the way people know Shelors, who have lived in these mountains for more than two centuries. We’ve barely been here a moment, a scant dozen years.

Not only did Bob and his brother live side-by-side, their businesses were side-by-side on Locust Street in downtown Floyd. Upon his return after the Second World War, Bob opened Bob’s Radio and TV with one new television to sell. His training and service in the Navy while stationed in Norfolk prepared him well for his new venture. After enlisting, Bob became an electrician who repaired and refurbished battle-damaged aircraft such as Hellcat fighter planes.

Bob could fix anything, and Bob’s Radio and TV turned into a long career. Jim Casteel told me Bob was a genius. Jim would know; he worked alongside Bob for 42 years. Bob sold enough products for RCA that he earned trips with his wife to Italy and the Caribbean. And, as the newspaper said, “He was friends with all his customers.”

Despite mowing my lawn as an octogenarian and dispensing other kindnesses, Bob was convinced that he didn’t measure up as a neighbor. He was always saying so, and would often tell me that he had never helped us in any meaningful way.

“Can I do anything for you?” Bob would ask.

“No,” I would reply. “But thanks—I appreciate it.”

He never seemed satisfied with my answer.

Actually, Bob was the best neighbor any person could hope for. When our family moved to Floyd in 2003, I selfishly thought, “I hope he lives next door forever,” despite his health challenges and advancing years.

Bob knew more about my house—the plumbing, electrical, everything—than I probably ever will. He also knew everything about Floyd County dating back to his childhood before the war. Bob would entertain me with stories when I joined him in the small den at the back of his house. Sometimes his memory failed him, but what he remembered was interesting and usually included a colorful anecdote or two.

I also wanted Bob to live next door forever because he was the kind of neighbor who brought my daughters ice cream when they were sick or dropped by with stuffed animals for no reason whatsoever. One day when my daughter Beth passed by on the way home from elementary school, he slipped her a few dollars for getting good grades on her report card.

The last time I saw Bob was at the Christmas parade in 2005. It was two days before he died in his den, sitting in his favorite chair, watching television. He had walked the parade route with fellow members of the American Legion. He didn’t notice my daughter Caroline and me standing on the opposite corner of East Main Street and Barberry Road. I wish I had crossed the street and said hello.

“I knew him for a long time to be one of the friendliest and most honest men around,” said veteran Connie Wood in the newspaper. “He went out of his way to help a lot of people in Floyd County.”

We miss our good neighbor.

Thursday, July 7

Ted Bishop's 'UNFRIENDED' Exposes Golf World

FORMER PGA OF AMERICA PRESIDENT Ted Bishop has published a book about his two-year tenure (minus 29 days) called UNFRIENDED: Power Brokers, Political Correctness & Hypocrisy in Golf.

The title says a lot and no doubt sets the tone for what's to come. Published by Classics of Golf, here's their book description:
Twice named by Golf World magazine as a Newsmaker of the Year as the President of the PGA, Bishop was impeached with 29 days left in his term by the PGA for remarks he made on social media which it deemed to be 'sexist' in nature. 
This new book, UNFRIENDED: Power Brokers, Political Correctness & Hypocrisy in Golf, is Bishop's opportunity to share his eventful journey for the first time ever. Hang on as UNFRIENDED takes you on a wild ride with some of golf's biggest events and personalities. UNFRIENDED exposes many things about many people as it takes you inside to the exclusive world of golf. 
Many viewed Bishop's two-year term as PGA President in 2013-14 as one of the most eventful in the 100-year history of the association. Golf World's Jaime Diaz says it best, "Ted Bishop's progressive tenure as president of the PGA of America seemed to pack 10 years into two and raised the profile and prestige of the organization."
The book is available in hardcover and Kindle editions at the usual places.

Wednesday, July 6

2016 U.S. Women's Open Fact Sheet and TV Schedule

The 2016 U.S. Women's Open starts on Thursday at CordeValle in San Martin, California. From USGA Communications, following is much of the need-to-know information about the championship.

CHAMPIONSHIP TICKETS
A variety of ticket options are available for purchase at 2016uswomensopen.com.

PAR AND YARDAGE     
CordeValle will be set up at 6,784 yards and will play to a par of 36-36—72. Based on the course setup, the USGA Course Rating™ is 70.2. Its Slope Rating is 150®. NOTE: yardages subject to change. 

HOLE BY HOLE
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Par 4 4 5 3 4 4 4 3 5 36
Yards 396 426 523 210 352 371 410 183 561 3,432
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Total
Par 4 4 3 4 4 5 3 4 5 36
Yards 407 360 191 382 429 471 166 418 528 3,352

ABOUT CORDEVALLE    
The name CordeValle is derived from the Spanish phrase "el corazón del valle," or "heart of the valley." Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and opened in 1999, CordeValle is located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The course sits on 270 gently rolling acres and incorporates natural elevation changes, streams and wooded areas into the layout.

WHO CAN ENTER    
The championship is open to any female professional and any female amateur golfer with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 2.4. The deadline for entries was May 4.

ENTRIES
The USGA accepted 1,855 entries for the 71st U.S. Women's Open Championship. This marks the second consecutive year the U.S. Women's Open has received more than 1,800 entries. The 2015 championship at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club holds the entry record with 1,873. 

CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD
The starting field of 156 golfers will be cut after 36 holes to the low 60 scorers and ties.
    
SCHEDULE OF PLAY    
Practice rounds will be played Monday, July 4, through Wednesday, July 6. Eighteen holes of stroke play are scheduled each day from Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10. 

If the championship is tied after four rounds, a three-hole aggregate playoff will take place immediately following the conclusion of the fourth round. If the playoff results in a tie, play will immediately continue hole by hole until a champion is determined.

TELEVISION COVERAGE
July 7 (Thursday) First round, streaming coverage   8-10 a.m. usga.org
July 7 (Thursday) First round, broadcast coverage Noon-5 p.m.   Fox Sports 1
July 7 (Thursday) First round, featured group Noon-5 p.m. usga.org
July 8 (Friday) Second round, streaming coverage 8-10 a.m. usga.org
July 8 (Friday) Second round, broadcast coverage Noon-5 p.m Fox Sports 1
July 8 (Friday) Second round, featured group Noon-5 p.m usga.org
July 9 (Saturday) Third round, broadcast coverage Noon-4 p.m. Fox
July 9 (Saturday) Third round, featured group   Noon-4 p.m. usga.org
July 10 (Sunday) Fourth round, broadcast coverage Noon-4 p.m. Fox
July 10 (Sunday) Fourth round, featured group Noon-4 p.m. usga.org

WHAT THE WINNER RECEIVES
The champion will receive a gold medal, custody of the Harton S. Semple Trophy for the ensuing year and an exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Women’s Open Championships.

PURSE
The 2015 purse was $4.5 million, and the winner earned $810,000. The 2016 purse will be announced following the cut.

TITLE DEFENSE
Since 1991, two players have successfully defended their championship (Annika Sorenstam, 1996; Karrie Webb, 2001), and only three other players have finished in the top 10 in the championship following their victory (Juli Inkster, 2002; Patty Sheehan, 1992; Meg Mallon, 1991).

CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
This is the 71st U.S. Women’' Open Championship. The first U.S. Women's Open, played at Spokane (Wash.) Country Club in 1946, was the only one conducted at match play. The Women's Professional Golfers Association (WPGA) conducted the inaugural championship, won by Patty Berg. The WPGA conducted the Women’s Open until 1949, when the newly formed Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) took over operation of the championship. The LPGA ran the Women's Open for four years but in 1953 asked the United States Golf Association to conduct the championship, which it has done ever since. 

The youngest winner of the U.S. Women's Open is Inbee Park, who won the 2008 championship at the age of 19 years, 11 months, 18 days. Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who won the 1954 Women's Open at age 43 years, 6 months, is the oldest winner. 

In 1967, Catherine Lacoste, daughter of French tennis player Rene Lacoste and 1927 British Ladies Amateur champion Simone Thion de la Chaume, became the only amateur to win the U.S. Women’s Open. Six other amateurs – most recently Brittany Lang and Morgan Pressel in 2005 – have finished as runner(s)-up. 

FUTURE U.S. WOMEN'S OPENS
July 13-16, 2017: Trump National G.C. (Old Course), Bedminster, N.J.
May 31-June 3, 2018: Shoal Creek (Ala.)
May 30 – June 2, 2019: Country Club of Charleston (S.C.)
June 4-7, 2020: Champions Golf Club, Houston, Texas
June 3-6, 2021: The Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif.

Tuesday, July 5

'Best Golf House Ever': The Oster Golf Houses on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail



This is another installment about Oster Golf Houses. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

WITH HIS CONCEPT FULLY DEVELOPED and tested at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Rick Oster needed to find another location to expand his custom golf houses.

"I searched the country for an ideal place to build my homes," he says. "That's when I discovered the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail."

Named after the legendary golf course architect who designed more than 500 golf courses worldwide, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is 468 championship holes on 26 scenic golf courses at 11 sites in Alabama, a year-round golf playground. Two of those sites are Oxmoor Valley (Birmingham) and Capitol Hill (Prattville), which today are the locations of three Oster Golf Houses.

"I tried to find property as close to the course as possible," Rick says. "I built a home right by the Oxmoor Valley clubhouse."

Oxmoor Valley is the home to three lush, rolling 18-hole layouts: the "Ridge," "Valley" and "Short" courses. "We had so much fun playing cards, pool and golf at the Oxmoor Valley courses," said Scott, a guest at Rick's Birmingham house. "We barely ventured off the property."

The Trail was a great find, not just for golfers but also for Rick. "Everyone I met along the Trail was a pleasure to work," he says. "Based on the success of the Birmingham home, I purchased an acre in Prattville at Capitol Hill overlooking the golf course."

The first Prattville home was completed in 2013 and the second home opened for guests in April 2015. The side-by-side homes share a practice putting green and are within a hybrid shot of "The Legislator," one of three 18-hole championship courses at Capitol Hill.

"Best golf house ever," wrote Paul about the second Prattville house. "Exceeds expectations. Everyone in our group rated this house the best in our golf getaways so far. You won’t be disappointed."

Preview Oster Golf Houses on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

One of two Prattville houses.
The Birmingham house at Oxmoor Valley and two Prattville houses (side-by-side with putting green in between) at Capitol Hill overlook championship golf courses. Each Oster Golf House accommodates eight people and is designed for comfort, fun and relaxation – "pampering" guests, as Rick Oster likes to say. Explore the floor plans, amenities, rates and reviews, plus view images and take a video tour.

Sponsored by Oster Golf Houses.

Friday, July 1

3 Handicap Ken Griffey Jr.: 'My Baseball Swing Messes Up My Golf Swing'

BASEBALL GREAT KEN GRIFFEY JR. is headed for the Hall of Fame, but he is also headed to the golf course because that's what he does in retirement. And he's good, real good.


From Ben Reiter's article, Griffey talked about his golf experience: "He plays golf— a lot of golf.  He had recently returned from a four-day, 121-hole trip to Bandon Dunes, in Oregon. He's yet to play Augusta, but not because of its exclusivity. "I can get there," he says. "I just ain't had a chance to go."

Griffey Jr. on his golf handicap: "I'm a 13… Am I a 13? No. But I want you to write that… [Later, he admits] I'm a three. But when you write this, it's gotta be a 13." [The USGA indicates that he is a three.]

Griffey Jr. on why he's reluctant to swing a baseball bat these days: "The whole thing is, my baseball swing messes up my golf swing… It'll take me literally three days to get it back."

Read the entire interview.