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."