Monday, September 30

Tiger Woods Is Back on Top

It wasn't too long ago that some people said Tiger Woods wouldn't win again on the PGA Tour, or win much. Woods is certainly back to winning, including five times in 2013, propelling him to his 11th player of the year award (both PGA Tour and PGA of America). The majors, however, are still an open question.

By PGA of America

Tiger Woods (Allison)
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour this year, has captured his 11th PGA of America Player of the Year Award and ninth Vardon Trophy, The PGA of America's premier season-ending awards for excellence by a Tour professional. It was the first time since 2009 that Woods earned both PGA of America awards.

Completing his 16th full season as a PGA Tour professional, Woods won The Players Championship and two World Golf Championships among his five victories; finished as the No. 1 money leader; and won the Vardon Trophy by posting the lowest adjusted season scoring average (68.98).

Woods collected 100 overall points, while Masters Champion Adam Scott was next with 64. Henrik Stenson, winner of the Tour Championship and FedExCup, shared third at 54 points, along with U.S. Open Champion Justin Rose and Open Champion Phil Mickelson.

Friday, September 27

8 Naff Golf Cliches

By Kevin Markham

Copyright © Kevin Markham. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

GOLF HAS MORE CLICHES THAN YOU can shake a stick at. Some are naff, some are incredibly naff. Here are my top eight.

Beware if all 14 see action. (Kevin Markham)
 1. You'll use every club in the bag.
Used to describe a golf course. If you're rubbish then yes, you'll probably use every club in your bag ... and a shovel. If you're any good, you will be too focused to notice.

Naffness: 9/10

2. I left a few putts out there.
Ah, no you didn't. You finished every hole and you're standing here with a golf ball in your hand. Where did you leave the putts would you mind telling me?
Naffness: 7/10

3. Overall, I'm very happy with the way I played.
"Overall" is it! In other words, you're about to gripe about a couple of missed putts or a tree that jumped into the fairway ... which prevented you from, what, breaking 60?
Naffness: 6/10

4. I just wasn't able to play my game today.
Seriously! And whose game were you playing exactly!
Naffness: 7/10

5. It's on the dance floor.
No it's not. If it's on the 'dance floor' then you're in serious trouble and you'll be paying damages for the broken window.
Naffness: 7/10

6. Shaved the hole.
I'm not even going to go there. If you call missing the hole by six inches 'shaving' then you need glasses and a better barber.
Naffness: 9/10

90% air? (Kevin Markham)
7. Trees are 90% air.
You know and I know that if the ball's heading for a tree then it's hitting woodwork. Maybe it's Murphy's Law, Sod's Law or Darwin's Theory of Evolution, but trees were designed to be hazards on a golf course and they're damn good at doing their job. 90% air, my arse.
Naffness: 10/10

8. Keep your head down. You lifted your head.
The king of erroneous advice. It's the fallback, isn't it? Somebody fluffs a shot and someone else quips: 'you lifted your head'. I guess my response to that is: for exactly how long do you want me to keep my head down? Surely I have to come up for air sometime. Never give advice. Ever. Or someone else might start giving it to you.
Naffness: 9/10

Your turn. What are your best or worst golf cliches?

Kevin Markham is the author of Hooked: An Amateur's Guide to the Golf Courses of Ireland and writes about Irish golf courses and related topics at his blog.

Thursday, September 26

Leo Luken, 95, Shoots Age for 1000th Time

Leo Luken is an avid golfer.
LEO LUKEN DIDN'T TAKE UP GOLF until he was 45. Even so, the South Carolina man has played golf for a half century. Playing the George Fazio Golf Course at the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Tuesday, the 95-year-old Hilton Head resident put together a sweet little 92. That's three shots under his age. Mashed potatoes! You da man!

But perhaps it wasn't such a big deal for Luken. You see, Leo has shot his age an even 1,000 times. He plays three times a week. His handicap is 21. He's "humble, gracious and fiercely competitive," according to his golf buddies.

"My [playing] partners told me I would have to swim across the lagoon on [the par-3] 17th if I hit it in the water," Luken was quoted as saying after his 1,000th age-tying or age-bettering round.

"On my previous attempt at Jones I hooked one out of bounds on No. 17."

The first time Luken shot his age was 24 years ago when he was 71. His lowest round is a 68 at a golf course in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Luken is a former world-class softball pitcher (fast pitch). They called him "Leo the Lion-hearted." He won 511 games and landed in both the Indiana and Kentucky Sports Halls of Fame.

Did I mention that Leo didn't take up golf until he was 45? Yeah, I guess I did.

Y'all keep working on your games. There's still time.

(Visor tip: Press Tent blog)

Wednesday, September 25

VIDEO: Centennial of Ouimet Stunner at 1913 U.S. Open

"IN PLAY WITH JIMMY ROBERTS" on Golf Channel produced the above segment on Francis Ouimet's improbable playoff victory over British titans Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at the 1913 U.S. Open.

"He was a nobody," said Mark Frost, author of The Greatest Game Ever Played. "And he had this irrepressible sidekick, this 10-year-old, Eddie Lowery, who he picked up as his caddie .... And together they were irresistible."

Photo gallery of 1913 U.S. Open Reenactment

Ouimet, of course, was a 20-year-old amateur. Vardon and Ray were professionals. One David against two Goliaths, as Jack Nicklaus read from a newspaper account in the segment. (Arnold Palmer also makes a cameo appearance.) Ouimet's stunning win helped popularize golf in America.

Last Saturday The Country Club, the site of Ouimet's historic victory, hosted a reenactment of the 18-hole playoff. More than 250 people attended dressed in 1913 attire. John Dean, a Cornell University golfer, played Ouimet. Scott Dabney, a 1, was Vardon. Robert Manice portrayed the large and colorful Ted Ray. James Sanford, a club caddie, played the role of Lowery.

Ouimet won again, and all three players made their 1913 speeches on the clubhouse steps.

Tuesday, September 24

Tiger on Stenson: 'It's Good to See'

VIDEO: Henrik Stenson talks about his torrid summer run.

TIGER WOODS WON FIVE TOURNAMENTS IN 2013 and has the inside track on the Player of the Year (POY) Award, which he has won 10 times.

Other POY nominees are Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar and Henrik Stenson, winner of the FedEx Cup, including the Deutshe Bank Championship and TOUR Championship along the way.

Woods acknowledged Stenson's late-season dominance and extraordinary playoff run.

Larry Dorman reported in his column for
Woods carried a big points advantage into the FedExCup Playoffs, finished T2 at The Barclays and then relinquished the No. 1 spot to Stenson after cooling off with a T65 at the Deutsche Bank Championship but regained it after a T11 at the BMW Championship and was No. 1 going into the TOUR Championship. There he again ran into Stenson, whose resurgent game had peaked at precisely the right point.

At the end of the week, Stenson's overwhelming consistent ball-striking prowess had put him at the pinnacle. He hit 218 of 288 greens for the FedExCup Playoffs—a stunning 76 percent.

Although never happy to lose, Woods was OK overall with his five-win season—which should be more than enough for him to win his 11th Player of the Year award—and with Stenson winning the season-ending jackpot.

"He's played incredible," Woods said. "From basically the British Open on, he's put it together, and he's played so consistently, while at a high level. He's hit it great, made his share of putts, but he's just been so consistent day in and day out. It's good to see.

"He's a good guy. We all like him. It's good to see."
PGA Tour members vote for the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards. Voting ends on Thursday; winners will be announced on Friday.

Jordan Spieth is considered to be a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year.

Monday, September 23

Henrik Stenson Eyes Race to Dubai

HENRIK STENSON IS THE MAN. FRESH OFF his double victory in Atlanta that lined his pockets with $11.44 million, Stenson will now set his sights on winning the European Tour's Race to Dubai. And yes, the Swede is currently in the lead. reported:
Henrik Stenson will aim to wrap up a magnificent season by winning The Race to Dubai after becoming the first European to win the FedEx Cup on the US PGA Tour. The Swede triumphed in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola to seal the FedEx Cup title and with it the US$10million bonus.

It was a fitting climax to a summer during which the 37 year old has climbed back to the sharp end of the Official World Golf Ranking and moved to the summit of The Race to Dubai.

Back to his previous career best as World Number Four, Stenson has also confirmed he will compete in all four events in the inaugural European Tour Final Series, a consecutive run of tournaments offering a prize fund of US$30.5 million and culminating in the US$8 million DP World Tour Championship to be staged on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 14-17.
First things first, though. Stenson will take a needed break.

"It was great to have a week off after winning Deutsche Bank, and now I've got a month off after winning these two trophies," he said on Sunday in Atlanta.

"It's going to take a little time for this to sink in. I'm going to be busy, I know that much. Phone's going to go pretty hot, I think. And then have some time to get back into get some good practice down before I head out to the BMW tournament in Shanghai there on the 19th of October.

"Yeah, I'm in a great position for winning the money title in Europe. Again, it's going to take some good play. I've got Justin [Rose] and Graeme [McDowell] chasing me down there. There might be another couple of guys by that time up there. So it's going to take some good play.

"I'm going to try my hardest to accomplish that. No one's won the FedEx and The Race to Dubai."

The Race to Dubai Leaders

1. Henrik Stenson, Sweden
2. Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland
3. Justin Rose, England
4. Richard Sterne, South Africa
5. Matteo Manassero, Italy

Friday, September 20

'Doctor' Jones Made Pros Take His Medicine

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

(Another installment in a series on Hall of Fame golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr.)

Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
NOT ALL PLAYERS, ESPECIALLY PGA PROS, appreciated Robert Trent Jones, Sr.'s "doctoring" of golf courses. Beginning in the 1950s, the USGA and PGA asked Jones to make the sites for their championships true competitive tests. And he did!

Jones's most famous confrontation with professionals over his doctoring came in the remodeling of Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, for the 1951 U.S. Open. Jones rebuilt the bunkers, reshaped the greens and narrowed the fairways to such an extent that Sam Snead complained the players had to play the course Indian file.

So difficult was the new layout that only two rounds were below par, one being a final round of 67 by Ben Hogan, which even today is considered one of the greatest single rounds of competitive golf ever played. Immediately after winning the Open, Hogan, still angry at the toughness of the course, complained to Jones's wife, Ione, "if your husband had to play this course for a living, he'd be in the poorhouse."

Four years later, however, Ben Hogan was praising Jones, saying at a luncheon in Dallas, "You know, if I played more of your courses, I'd probably be the only man in history to win five Open Championships."

What Jones did to bring the Oakland Hills club up to competitive standards was as simple as it was ingenious. Oakland Hills, built in 1916, had been overrun by modern golfers with their better equipment. Hazards, such as fairway bunkers, no longer came into play. Jones had studied the driving distances of golf professionals from previous Opens and saw that all the pros, with only one exception, drove the ball in the air at least 230 yards, and, therefore, carried over the existing fairway bunkers. (Remember, we are talking early 1950 players and golf equipment.)

Jones constructed new traps on both sides of the fairways between 230 and 260 yards from the tees, forcing the long hitting pros to drive with accuracy.

While Jones penalized good players, he watched out for the average golfer. Most good players when they hit a bad shot will pull the ball, or hook it to the left, while the average golfer tends to slice the ball to the right. Whenever possible, Jones set his water hazards and out-of-bounds to the left, leaving the duffers plenty of room on the right.

He also helped out the average players in other ways. There was no rough between the tee and the fairway, or bunkers 150 yards out to catch short drives, slices or hooks. Nor did he have any long carries over water.

"In building a course," Jones said, "I worry more about the average golfer's game than making it tough. It's easy to make a course tough, but where will the average player drive the ball with his limited ability?"

Not all average players would agree with Jones either. Even members of a famous club, and where Jones played often, had plenty to grumble about until Robert Trent Jones, Sr. showed the membership that not only could he design golf courses, he could play them.

Robert Trent Jones, Sr. on Heroic Golf
Bobby Jones, Robert Trent Jones and Peachtree Golf Club
The College-Educated Golf Course Architect
PGA Returns to Home of Robert Trent Jones, Sr.

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

Thursday, September 19

2013 Tour Championship TV Schedule and Tournament Notes

THE 2013 TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, the finale of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, is under way at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. Tiger Woods is the points leader heading into the event. The winner of the FedEx Cup will receive $10 million.

Purse: $8 million
Winner's share: $1.44 million
Defending champion: Brandt Snedeker

2013 Tour Championship Leaderboard

Tee times
Tournament overview
Tour report
Tournament news


TV coverage of the 2013 Tour Championship is on Golf Channel and NBC.
All times Eastern.

Thu, 9/19

Fri, 9/20

Sat, 9/21
10 AM-12 PM GOLF
12-3:30 PM NBC

Sun, 9/22
12-1 PM GOLF
1-6 PM NBC

PGA Tour Radio coverage

Wednesday, September 18

TOUR Championship: Winning $1.44 Million AND a Vintage Coke Machine

THE WINNER OF THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP by Coca-Cola will go home with one of collector Terry Kimble's restored vintage 1950s Coca-Cola vending machines. Watch the above video to learn about Kimble's TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola trophy, including the painstaking process that restores the vintage vending machine to its former glory.

* * *

Thousands of tiny details go into making a culminating PGA Tour event like the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola a success. No one knows this more than Terry Kimble of Grayson, Georgia.

If you're a golf or stock car racing enthusiast and haven't heard of Kimble, you're likely not alone. Though his name doesn't circulate through PGA Tour or NASCAR circles, his work does. Twice a year, his machines take center stage, standing in the winner's circle at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and on display at the entrance to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

Kimble is the maker of the trophies—the gleaming, fully restored, vintage, 1950s-era Coca-Cola vending machines awarded to winners of the Coca-Cola 600 and the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

This year, Kimble took Coca-Cola Journey behind the scenes at Remember When Collectibles, going step by step through the process of fully restoring a 1956 Vendo 44 machine to make it trophy-ready for the 2013 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

(Source: Coca-Cola Journey. Used with permission.)

Tuesday, September 17

Suzann Pettersen Is Moving Up

Suzann Pettersen is ranked second in the world. (

WITH HER MAJOR WIN AT THE Evian Championship, Suzann Pettersen continued a hot streak that has seen her notch two victories and record three other top 10 finishes in her last five starts on the LPGA Tour. As Ward Clayton reported at, Pettersen, with three 2013 titles, is in the midst of her best season since 2007.

Photo Slideshow: Suzann Pettersen

Pettersen leads the LPGA Tour in scoring average (69.7) and greens in regulation (76 percent), and is second in earnings at $1,721,342. Pettersen's most recent win vaulted her to No. 2 in the Rolex Rankings. Stacy Lewis dropped to third. Trailing world No. 1 Inbee Park, the 32-year-old Pettersen is eyeing the top spot. She has never been No. 1.

"I think hopefully this can kick start my action towards No. 1," Pettersen said. "Inbee kicked off a pretty fantastic year winning this tournament last year. Hopefully I can feed off that and do the same."

Monday, September 16

Zach Johnson Is Golf Boss of Chicagoland

Zach Johnson (jrodmanjr)
THIRD-ROUND LEADER JIM FURYK may be the newest Mr. 59, but Zach Johnson was the boss on Monday at the rain-delayed BMW Championship. Johnson shot a bogey-free 65 to overtake Furyk and win the third leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Johnson said it was his best round in a long time. He posted 64, 70, 69 and 65 for a total of 268 and a two-stroke victory over hard-charging Nick Watney, who closed with a 64.

The Iowan and 10-time PGA Tour winner now heads to Atlanta with a chance to win it all. Moving up 23 spots thanks to his 16-under performance at Conway Farms, Johnson is fourth in the FedEx Cup points race.

Here's how things stand:

1. Tiger Woods (4,352)
2. Henrik Stenson (4,229)
3. Adam Scott (4,122)
4. Zach Johnson (3,843)
5. Matt Kuchar (3,330)
6. Steve Stricker (3,180)
7. Graham DeLaet (3,011)
8. Phil Mickelson (2,939)
9. Justin Rose (2,842)
10. Brandt Snedeker (2,726)

Any of the top five players can claim the $10 million FedEx Cup by winning this week's finale, the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club.

"I'm not sure I fully grasp it," Johnson said about his 10 wins in 10 seasons on the PGA Tour.

"The parity on the Tour and in the world is second to none. I'm just thankful it has been 10 years, and hopefully many more."

Sunday, September 15

Jim Furyk Talks About That 59

ABOVE: Highlights of Jim Furyk's 59 at the BMW Championship.

GONE CAMPING IN THE NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS, I missed the weekend excitement at the BMW Championship, beginning with Jim Furyk's 59 (nines of 31 and 28) on Friday, the sixth 59 recorded in PGA Tour history. Other members of the 59 club include Al Geiberger, Chip Beck, David Duval and Paul Goydos. Geiberger was the first, shooting his 59 in 1977 at the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic.

Furyk sank a 3-foot birdie putt on his final hole (the 9th) to get it done. Here are comments from the media conference that followed his record-tying round.

Q. Did anyone from the 59 fraternity reach out to you, get in touch with you?

JIM FURYK: Russell Knox from the Tour. He's a friend of mine and he left me a text about welcome to the club, and I thought it was great.

Q. Anybody else that you hear from that kind of ...

JIM FURYK: Goydos, as well. I heard from Paul. I got a text from Paul.

Q. What did he say?

JIM FURYK: His was just real simple. It was nothing about him. I texted him back and then said, hey, happy to join you. But Paul got a hold of me. But I don't know Al real well or I don't have Chip's number and I didn't hear from David. David is a good friend. I'm going to see him pretty soon here in a couple weeks.

Q. He's in Italy.

JIM FURYK: Good for him. That's one of my favorite spots to be. I'm jealous.

Q. After Al shot his 59 he got a phone number with 5959 as the last four digits. Chip got 59 in his email address. What, if anything, might you do to immortalize your 59?

JIM FURYK: I don't know. That's a good question. I haven't thought about it. I had a lot of people call me Mr. 59 today, and it just feels wrong. That's the best I can say. I always think of Al Geiberger as being Mr. 59, so I guess I'll have to come up with something else creative, because he was the first and should be the only probably.

Q. You said you were going to celebrate and enjoy the round last night. How did you spend the evening?

JIM FURYK: I was worn out. By the time I got out of here and did some more media and got in the car and drove back, I had probably twice as many emails and texts last night than I have ever had after winning a golf tournament. I answered all of them. A lot of them were very short replies, thank you and such, but I answered all of them and just had some room service and watched some football on TV, which is difficult on Boise State's field.

Thursday, September 12

2013 BMW Championship TV Schedule and Tournament Notes

THE 2013 BMW CHAMPIONSHIP, the third event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, is under way at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. The Tour Championship, the big finale, will follow. Henrik Stenson is the current points leader.

Purse: $8 million
Winner's share: $1.44 million
Defending champion: Rory McIlroy

2013 BMW Championship Leaderboard

Tee times
Tournament overview
Tour report
Tournament news


TV coverage of the 2013 BMW Championship is on Golf Channel and NBC.
All times Eastern.

Thu, 9/12

Fri, 9/13

Sat, 9/14
3-6 PM NBC

Sun, 9/15
12-1:30 PM GOLF
1:30-6 PM NBC

PGA Tour Radio coverage

Wednesday, September 11

Evian Championship: Karrie Webb on 5th Major

THE EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP, THE LPGA'S NEWEST MAJOR, begins on Thursday. Several LPGA players, including Karrie Webb, talked about the long-running Evian Championship and now its major status. Webb was not initially supportive of the change.

Defending champion Inbee Park is gunning for her fourth major victory in the 2013 season.

Tournament Notes

Purse: $3.25 million
Defending champion: Inbee Park
Format: 72 holes
Evian Masters Golf Club
Evian-les-Bains, France
Par 71, 6,428 yards

TV Coverage

The Evian Championship starts tomorrow. All four rounds will be televised on the Golf Channel. NBC will also have final-round coverage.

The first and second rounds will air from 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST. The third round will air from 6:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Golf Channel will cover the final round from 8:30 a.m. - noon EST. NBC will broadcast the tournament conclusion from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Tuesday, September 10

Luke Donald Has a New Swing Coach

Luke Donald (Allison)
AS PGATOUR.COM'S HELEN ROSS REPORTED from the BMW Championship, Luke Donald has made tough moves before. He let go of a faithful caddie, who also happened to be his brother, Christian.

This season Donald has made a coaching switch, relieving instructor Pat Goss of his long-game duties. Goss has coached Donald since the late 1990s when the Englishman came to the United States to play at Northwestern University.

While Goss will still have Donald's ear on the short game, Chuck Cook has become Donald's new swing guru. Donald commented about the coaching change in today's media conference.

"I've had a lot of success with Pat, and I got to No. 1 and certainly would never take anything away from what we did together. But ... as a player you always know what you feel inside, and I want to just feel a little bit more in control of my ball when I'm over it. Hopefully the switch to Chuck, that will come about.

" ... It was a tough decision. He understood it perfectly. He's always wanted me to be as good as I can be and make those decisions that I think will make that difference in my career. It's just one of those things that was very tough but I felt like I had to do. I felt like if I didn't at least try something different, I would have regrets."

Donald is still searching for that first major win. He said a "light went off" as he watched Justin Rose stripe the golf ball in the final round of the U.S. Open at Merion and go on to become the first Englishman to win America's national championship since Tony Jacklin in 1969.

Donald began working with Cook at the PGA Championship and is happy with the results so far.

"I think it will take some time, but I feel like I'm taking it on board pretty quickly."

Monday, September 9

A Golf Day at Olde Mill Resort

I PLAYED GOLF TODAY (MONDAY) AT Olde Mill Resort in Laurel Fork, Virginia, not far from my home in Floyd.

This is noteworthy for at least two reasons. One, I haven't played much golf this year. This might have been my third outing. Not very good for a golf writer, but the state of my game at the moment. I hope to get out again fairly soon. Second, I've long wanted to play Olde Mill. It's so incredibly scenic. So, after living 10 years in this heavenly part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I finally played a round there.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Olde Mill was designed by Ellis Maples. There's a lot of water, including a 54-acre lake that is a centerpiece of the layout. And like a lot of golf courses in southwest Virginia, it's hilly, the front 9 in particular. The greens are exceptional. Olde Mill plays over 7,000 yards from the back tees. We played from the white tees, about 6,300 yards.

I enjoyed the 18-hole round with my friend Shep, who along with his wife Angie is the owner and innkeeper of the nearby Woodberry Inn, which is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 174.1).

Friday, September 6

Robert Trent Jones, Sr. on Heroic Golf

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

(Another installment in a series on Hall of Fame golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr.)

Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
A HEROIC GOLF COURSE OFFERS A GREAT reward for a tremendous shot. It also means disaster for a misplayed shot. As Robert Trent Jones, Sr. explained it:

"A player stands on the tee and weighs risk against benefit. If he decides to bite off a slice of pond on a par-5, so that he has a chance of being on the green in two, he assumes the responsibility of perhaps a 230-yard carry dead straight, and a terrible penalty if he doesn't make it. The position of the traps, tilt or contour of the fairway, as well as the width or narrowness of the fairways, are all factors to be considered."

Jones used the 13th hole of the East Course of Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico, a dogleg left par-5, to explain what he achieved.

"The player may hit straight out to a relatively wide fairway, but to the left there is a pond of considerable width. Does the player attempt to take the short route, thereby placing him in a good position for a try at the green? Suppose he does, and makes it, is he going to be home safe in two?

"Here again, he is faced with a decision. The green is elevated, and protected in front by another pond about 75 yards wide. Behind the green, about 30 yards away is the Atlantic Ocean. And the green is well surrounded by traps as well. The courageous and capable golfer can reach it, but he will have to have made two thoroughly superb shots.

"Or the hole may be played conservatively. If he doesn't try to carry the first pond, but hits straightaway, he has an excellent chance of making par. In this case, however, he has no opportunity to try to make the green in two. His second shot must be played to the left which is the only approach by land to the green.

"The hole is fair to all, demanding to be sure, but it demonstrates clearly the rewards and penalties that should be innate to all great golf holes. What I also try and do is create a hard par and an easy bogey."

With a shy smile, Jones added, "Not everyone who plays golf appreciates this, however."

Bobby Jones, Robert Trent Jones and Peachtree Golf Club
The College-Educated Golf Course Architect
PGA Returns to Home of Robert Trent Jones, Sr.

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

Thursday, September 5

2013 Presidents Cup Teams Set

THE TEAMS FOR THE 2013 PRESIDENTS CUP have been finalized. U.S. Captain Fred Couples added youth with his two captain's picks, selecting Webb Simpson and 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, the youngest player to make the U.S. squad in the history of the event.

"I feel like [Spieth] is one of our top players," Couples said, "even though he is only 20. I'm excited to have a young kid on the team. I left Keegan out two years ago, and that was a killer decision, and he has become one of the best young players in the game. It's a team game, and everybody I talked to on the team wanted Spieth. He definitely deserves it."

International Captain Nick Price picked two Presidents Cup rookies: Marc Leishman and Brendon de Jonge. Seven of twelve players on the International team are first-timers.

"[Monday] was one probably one of the toughest days of my life," Price said. "I had it down to three guys—Marc, Brendon and Tim Clark....This is one of those times when you wish there were 13 members of the team."

United States

Fred Couples (captain)
Tiger Woods
Brandt Snedeker
Phil Mickelson
Matt Kuchar
Jason Dufner
Keegan Bradley
Steve Stricker
Bill Haas
Hunter Mahan
Zach Johnson
Webb Simpson (captain's pick)
Jordan Spieth (captain's pick)


Nick Price (captain)
Adam Scott
Jason Day
Charl Schwartzel
Ernie Els
Louis Oosthuizen
Hideki Matsuyama
Branden Grace
Graham DeLaet
Richard Sterne
Angel Cabrera
Marc Leishman (captain's pick)
Brendon de Jonge (captain's pick)

The Presidents Cup will be played October 3-6 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

Wednesday, September 4

Amateur Mistakenly Uses Tour Pro Chris Kirk's Golf Clubs in Pro-Am

Chris Kirk (
THIS IS KIND OF FUNNY. AND KIND OF DUMB. You would think a pro-am player would know the difference between the pro shop and the locker room. You would also think he might know the difference between a set of rental clubs and a set of tour pro clubs.

In this particular story, though, the answers are no and no.

AP golf writer Doug Ferguson filed this report after the Deutsche Bank Championship:
Turns out an amateur in the afternoon needed rental clubs and was sent to the clubhouse. He went to the locker room instead, and next to his temporary locker—right below [Chris] Kirk's—was a Callaway staff bag with a full set of clubs, balls, gloves and even a pair of shoes. The words "Chris Kirk" apparently meant nothing to him. He grabbed the bag and headed out to play.

His pro in the group was Merrick, who found it odd that an amateur would have a staff bag belonging to Kirk.

"It takes a hole or two to get your bearings, get the names right," Merrick said. "I noticed the Chris Kirk bag. I was thinking he got it at an auction or something. Guys get new bags all the time. I didn't think anything of it. But he hits this drive on No. 2 and popped it up into the trees on the right. He turned the club over and goes, 'This rental set has a driver that says 'prototype.' And I'm thinking, 'Prototype for a rental set? There's no way.'

"I asked him where he got the bag and he said, 'It was next to my locker so I grabbed it.'"
Merrick got a hold of a PGA Tour official to get the confused amateur some clubs and a pair of size 11 shoes. That's right. He was also wearing Kirk's golf shoes, the only ones the pro had brought to Boston that week.

Kirk texted Merrick when he learned about the situation.

"He was like, 'Get that guy out of my shoes,'" Merrick said.

Actually, the amateur didn't use all of Kirk's clubs. He apparently didn't care for Kirk's driver and a hybrid. So he replaced them with some clubs he found leaning against the locker.

Tuesday, September 3

Henrik Stenson Pulls Off Deutsche Bank Job

HENRIK STENSON SHOT A 66 ON LABOR DAY to win the Deutsche Bank Championship by two strokes over runner-up Steve Stricker. Stenson's 22-under total (67, 63, 66, 66) tied the tournament record. Fifty-four-hole leader Sergio Garcia faltered on Monday and finished T4 after carding a 73.

On August 23rd I said (on Facebook) about Stenson: "This guy is due to win." Nothing brilliant about that. Stenson has been tearing it up since the U.S. Open in June. Here are his finishes in his last six starts:

T21 - U.S. Open
2 - The Open Championship
T2 - WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
3 - PGA Championship
T43 - The Barclays
1 - Deutsche Bank Championship

The breakthrough finally came on a soggy, overcast day at TPC Boston.

"Today was my turn," Stenson said about his first PGA Tour win in four years. The victory boosted the Swede to No. 6 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

More importantly, Stenson is now the leader in the FedEx Cup race with two events remaining, this week's BMW Championship and the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. The lead is slim, though. Tiger Woods trails by only 14 points. Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar and Graham DeLaet round out the top five.

"I've always been a pretty good front runner," Stenson said.

"I always liked to think that the other guy is going to have to play better than I do. I'm just going to continue to try to play my best, and that's gotten me a very long way."

Monday, September 2

Rocco Mediate: 'I Liked It When I Saw It'

ROCCO MEDIATE FIRED 63, 64 AND 64 to win the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic by seven strokes. Mediate's 191 total tied a Champions Tour record for a 54-hole event. It was Mediate's second win in 17 starts on the 50-and-over circuit. I guess you'd say he liked the Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club, which is located in Calgary, Alberta.

"I liked it when I saw it," Mediate said about the tree-lined layout. "It's just that you've got to drive real straight. I like that feeling, not that I drove straight all the time, but most of the time I did."

Tom Byrum finished second. Duffy Waldorf and Kirk Triplett tied for third.

Fred Couples closed with a 67 to tie for tenth. What did Freddie think?

"This is not a pitch and putt golf course. If you could just tone down Rocco, you'd have a hell of a tournament out there. There's about 10 guys that could win."

The key word being "could."