Wednesday, December 30

TODAY Show: Greg Norman's 'Harrowing Struggle' With COVID-19


AUSTRALIAN GOLF LEGEND GREG NORMAN is a very fit man for 65. Nonetheless, the Shark was laid low by COVID-19 as he details in the above interview with the TODAY Show. Norman said he wouldn't wish his experience on anyone.

Another reminder to be careful as we await the vaccine.

P.S. A commenter at Geoff Shackelford's site said, "I’m 55, in very good shape, have great access to healthcare, have been extremely vigilant with all protocols and it's been 17 days since I tested positive for COVID 19. My symptoms are worse than ever."

Monday, December 28

Common Courses: Knoxville Municipal Golf Course Wins 2020 Favorite Public Golf Course Award

They're not Pebble, Kiawah, or Pinehurst. Common courses are the modest 9- and 18-hole munis and semi-private clubs that many golfers play. Here's good news about "Knox Muni."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Knoxville Municipal Golf Course – the D.J. Devictor-designed gem in the foothills of the Appalachians – has been voted by readers of the Knoxville News Sentinel as a "favorite public golf course" in 2020.

The ballot was conducted via public inquiry by the Knoxville News Sentinel from Aug. 4 – 31. Knoxville Municipal Golf Course is one of two municipal courses owned by the city and this is the first time "Knox Muni," as it's known by many, has been selected as the public's favorite golf course.

"It's an honor to be recognized by local golfers for all the hard work our team has put in throughout 2020," says Justin Smedley, general manager.

"I'm incredibly proud of how we have gone the extra mile to provide a fun, enjoyable and safe experience for our guests. To know our efforts are appreciated by the local community is an incredibly gratifying feeling."

Opening in the spring of 1984, the course was designed by architect D.J. Devictor and built by the Roberts family, whom upon leasing the land to the city made sure it would only be used for golf. The 6,413-yard layout meanders through rolling hills, running streams and home to natural wildlife. Knoxville Municipal features Bermuda fairways and bentgrass greens making for a perfect setting amid scenic views for players of all abilities.

Knoxville Municipal Golf Course has a long-standing history of being a community asset and providing affordable golf for all its residents. The course plays host to a variety of school, church, non-profit foundation and other organizational fundraising events on an annual basis. Knoxville Municipal also graciously hosts many junior golf camps and clinics in partnership with the First Tee of Greater Knoxville, along with serving as a home for numerous middle and high school golf team practices and matches.

More common courses:
Balboa Park Golf Course (San Diego, California)
Bethpage Red (Long Island, New York)
Desert Aire Golf Course (Palmdale, California)
Mangrove Bay Golf Course (St. Petersburg, Florida)

Thursday, December 17

Bucking Trend of Cutting Athletics During COVID-19, Tiny Averett University Adds Women's Golf

By Drew Wilson / Director of Athletics Communications

DANVILLE, Va. — Averett University announced the addition of a varsity women's golf program,  which will begin play during the 2021-22 academic year.

"We are excited to add a women's golf program, which will help us provide additional opportunities for  female student-athletes," said Meg Stevens, Averett Vice President, Director of Athletics and Campus  Operations. "The addition of a women's golf program here at Averett will benefit our University by  reaching into a new demographic and increasing the opportunities for women to compete in college  athletics, as well as positively impact our established men's golf program."

Stevens also announced that men's golf head coach Ben Potter is being named the director of golf for  the men's and women's golf programs. In addition, Averett will hire a graduate assistant coach to work  with both golf programs.

Women's golf is the latest sports addition for Averett in recent years. Since 2016, the University has  added men's lacrosse and men's wrestling, brought back women's lacrosse and added two club sports  and a competitive dance team.

"We are proud to announce a sports expansion during a time when many institutions have eliminated  athletics programs," Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks said. "At Averett, we have focused on  balancing the effects of the pandemic while continuing to look outward and stay the course with  strategic enrollment growth. This addition will increase our national and international footprint, as well as demonstrates how Averett is poised to respond to the growing interest in the sport."

The women's golf program will compete within the USA South Athletic Conference, which began  sponsoring women's golf in 2019-20. Averett will be the ninth institution within the conference to  sponsor a women's golf program.

(H/T Golfweek)

Tuesday, December 15

Unheralded A Lim Kim Triumphs in U.S. Women's Open Thanks to a Birdie-Birdie-Birdie Finish


By USGA

TWO YEARS AGO, A LIM KIM registered her first LPGA Tour of Korea victory at the Se Ri Pak Invitational. It came 20 years after that tournament's namesake produced a seminal moment in women's golf for the Republic of Korea, a victory in the 1998 U.S. Women's Open. Now the 25-year-old will have her name etched on the same iconic trophy.

Kim closed out the weather-delayed final round of the 75th U.S. Women's Open at Champions Golf Club on a chilly Monday in southeast Texas with three consecutive birdies to edge countrywoman and world No. 1 Jin Young Ko and Amy Olson by one stroke. Her 4-under-par 67 matched the lowest round of the championship and gave her a 3-under total of 281. Hinako Shibuno, the 54-hole leader, finished two strokes back.

The No. 94 player in the Rolex Rankings became the 10th different Korean to claim the Harton S. Semple Trophy since Pak's breakthrough moment 22 years ago at Blackwolf Run. That win also came on a Monday, in what became a 20-hole playoff victory over amateur Jenny Chuasiriporn.

Kim also became the third Korean in the last 15 years to win the oldest major championship in women's golf in her first start, joining Birdie Kim (2005) and In Gee Chun (2015). Only two others – Patty Berg in the inaugural event in 1946 and Kathy Cornelius 10 years later – had managed to win this title in their first start. In fact, this was Kim's first-ever competition in the United States and her first women's major.

When the result became official, defending champion Jeongeun Lee6 and another Korean competitor gave the new winner a celebratory shower in the Player Hospitality tent.

"Can't really describe it in words," said Kim through a translator. "I never expected that I was going to appear in the U.S. Women's Open. I still can't feel what it's like right now, but I'll probably feel it when the ceremony and everything wraps up today."

The championship had to be completed on Monday due to nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain that saturated the Cypress Creek Course on Sunday. Only twice before had a non-playoff round of the U.S. Women's Open been completed on a Monday: 1987 at Plainfield Country Club, where a Tuesday 18-hole playoff was required, and 2011 at The Broadmoor, where fellow Korean, So Yeon Ryu, prevailed in a three-hole aggregate playoff over compatriot Hee Kyung Seo.

With temperatures hovering in the 40s and a wind chill that felt like the mid-30s, players arrived at Champions Golf Club dressed more for a day on the ski slopes. Many competitors donned wool caps, wore earmuffs and used gloves to keep their hands warm. Some even put on parkas in between shots.

Kim covered her face with a mask all week to protect herself and others from COVID-19, the virus that forced the U.S. Women's Open to be moved from June to December and kept fans from enjoying the competition in person.

Thursday, December 10

U.S. Women's Open at Champions Golf Club: Complete Broadcast Schedule

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THE U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN IS UNDER WAY at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. It's the last major championship of the year. 

The 75th edition of this tournament includes defending champion Jeongeun Lee6 and the top players in the women's game, including seven Texans competing in their home state. One of them is Angela Stanford, last week's winner at the Volunteers of America Classic and the runner-up at the 2003 U.S. Women's Open.

NBCUniversal is airing 25 hours of live coverage on NBC, Golf Channel and Peacock.

BROADCAST SCHEDULE
All times Eastern.

Golf Channel
Thursday, Dec. 10 – 12:30-6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 11 – 3-6 p.m. 
Saturday, Dec. 12 – 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 13 – 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Peacock
Thursday, Dec. – 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 11 – 1-3 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 12 – 1-2:30 p.m.

NBC
Saturday, Dec. 12 - 2:30-6 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 13 - 2-5 p.m.

Streaming
NBC Sports App
golfchannel.com 
Peacock

Find more information including tournament updates at the USGA site for the U.S. Women's Open.

Tuesday, December 8

Golf Legend Peter Alliss on Why the Ryder Cup 'Mattered Like Hell'

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PHOTO: That's Peter Alliss in back row, second from left.

BRITISH GOLF COMMENTATOR PETER ALLISS died over the weekend. He was 89.

In many tributes, Alliss is lauded as the "Voice of Golf" for his long and exemplary broadcasting career with the BBC. It was a career that earned him a spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

But what's easily overlooked is his playing career that produced 23 worldwide titles and eight appearances in the Ryder Cup. I delved into Alliss's playing career during my work on DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World, which published in September 2014.


Alliss kindly granted my interview and answered all my questions about the 1969 Ryder Cup, where he served double duty at Royal Birkdale. He played on the Great Britain and Ireland team and in afternoons announced on the BBC broadcast team. Imagine that!

Here's an excerpt from DRAW IN THE DUNES (p. 195) on Alliss, including what made him the kind of Ryder Cup player who, among other successes, beat Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper and Ken Venturi in singles:

No player on either team had more Ryder Cup experience than Alliss. The Ryder Cup "mattered like hell," he later said, partly because of family pride. (His father Percy was a Ryder Cup player.) There was more to it than the Alliss name, though. Country, captain, and teammates motivated the Englishman to always bring his best.

"I think it was having the experience of making a mess of it in 1953," Alliss said more than forty years later. "I was in a way so terrified of letting the side down again that my concentration levels went up."

And on Alliss's match-play tactics:

"Many people," Alliss said, "including Bobby Jones, said you play the course. I never did that -- I played the man. If he went out-of-bounds, I made sure that I didn't go out-of-bounds. I always felt that all you had to do in match play was to be one shot less than the other fellow on each hole. It didn't matter if you were around in 76 if you won."

To learn more about Peter Alliss and the 1969 Ryder Cup, see my special offer on DRAW IN THE DUNES.

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Monday, December 7

A Slightly Upbeat Tale About Irish Golf Courses in a Devastating Year

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By Michael Kilcourse

Guest contributor Michael Kilcourse is the club captain of Castlebar Golf Club in Co. Mayo, Ireland.

WHEN THE WORLD LOOKS BACK on 2020, very few will remember the affect it had on our sport of golf. Unless, of course, like me you are an avid golfer and spent several months of that year walking the course but not being allowed to actually play on it!

Covid-19 will rightly be remembered for the devastation it brought to the world. But allow me to tell a slightly more upbeat (albeit trivial in the grand scheme) tale of how many golf clubs around Ireland actually prospered.

Whilst a small number of clubs didn't survive and were forced to close their gates, our club, and many that I know of, experienced an influx of new members not seen for many years.

Ireland went into lockdown in March and restrictions were not lifted until mid-May when golf clubs reopened to a mass wave of fresh faces and badly wanted new income.

My own club of Castlebar said hello to over 150 new players thanks to a combination of several factors. Chiefly, most sports were still cancelled and thirty somethings who played ball sports had nothing to do as their sporting year had been wiped out entirely. Golf was a ready-made outlet. This invasion of players left clubs financially better off than they had been in years, despite a calendar which had the places closed for half their peak income window.

As I write this, Castlebar just opened our gates from the country's second lockdown of the year. The scramble for tee times is like nothing we have ever experienced. Add to that the shortage of daylight and there are simply not enough hours in the day to get everyone on the golf course. Something not thought possible even twelve months ago.

The challenge now for the clubs is to keep their new-found friends. Life will eventually get back to normal and other options in the sporting world will be available. The inevitable drop in numbers must be kept to a minimum. Castlebar offered 18-month membership specials to new players after the first lockdown in the hope that after 18 months we will have them for keeps. Many clubs did similar.

Having just been installed as our club captain for 2021, I wonder what my term will bring:

Will we see another lockdown?
Will the vaccine get here in time for the busy summer schedule?
Could it just be a "normal year"?

Unlikely "normal," but I, like so many more, will enjoy Christmas in the hope that January will bring a fresh start and fresh confidence that our clubs will plan a year and be able to execute that schedule of events without interruption.

Sometimes when the big things are so much bigger than us, it's the little things that give us the most!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 4

USGA Advances Pivotal Work to Chart a Sustainable Future for Golf Courses and the Game


LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – The United States Golf Association (USGA) has embarked on a new collaborative body of work in its ongoing efforts to sustain the economic and environmental viability of golf courses and improve the golfer experience – elements critical to golf's future.
 
Driven by the global release of the February 2020 Distance Insights Report and independent from a review of equipment standards, the work focuses on evolving the game's approach to factors such as golf course setup, maintenance and tee placement/selection, while improving golfer satisfaction and reducing course operating costs. It will be led by a team of experts within the USGA Green Section with collaboration from several national golf organizations.
 
"This critical work has implications for the entire game – from golfers to architects to course operators, as we come together to solve golf's challenges, including the present and future availability of land, increasing scarcity of water, and the growing capital costs owners face as they feel the pressure to lengthen their golf courses," said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA.
 
Over time, the work will mature into industry-wide recommendations and best management practices designed to serve and benefit golf courses and golfers. Outcomes will be released throughout 2021.
 
"Many golfers and golf courses already are directly impacted by longer rounds and increasing costs, and our research shows that many of our public courses are facing real economic challenges related to golf course maintenance that are simply unsustainable," Davis added.

"Through active industry collaboration championed by the USGA, combined with the direct input of golfers and golf course operators, this work will provide guidance on best practices as we chart an economic and environmental path in which the game can thrive."
 
Current and ongoing work will build upon research delivered earlier this year related to increased playing distance and the documented lengthening of golf courses over time.

As owners feel the pressure to lengthen courses, they face significant capital expenditures and larger areas to maintain, which have contributed to an average increase of 6.7 percent in maintenance costs. At the same time, other published research shows that only 8 percent of U.S. golf courses offer a shorter playing length that would correspond to an average driving distance of about 150 yards. This work aims to provide guidance and solutions to address those issues moving forward.

Wednesday, December 2

Kingdom Magazine on Lee Trevino at 81: Blind Putters (Including One Named Mrs. Mayberry) and Much More

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LEE TREVINO WAS THE HARDEST TO BEAT, noted Jack Nicklaus, who faced many tough competitors over a long career that produced 18 major wins and even more runner-up finishes (19).

That tidbit is included in Kingdom's feature interview with Trevino, now 81. The "Merry Mex," as he was called back in the day, doesn't play much golf anymore.

But he talks golf better than ever.

Trevino has a theory about putters that altered his outcome at the 1974 PGA Championship in North Carolina.


"Listen, let me explain something to you about putters, okay?"

Absolutely.

"Kittens are born blind. A lot of people don't know that," continues Trevino, who turned 81 on December 1. "When kittens are born they can't see for a week and their mother takes care of them and feeds them. Putters are the same way. A new putter is blind. You can go in the pro shop and there will be 20 putters. You take two of them out to the putting green, you pick one and with that putter you make every putt in the world. So you buy that putter but after seven days it opens its eyes, it recognises you, sees you putt and from that moment you putt just as bad with that putter as with your old ones. This is what happens.

"So back in 1974 I was looking for a blind putter. If I could find that blind putter then I just hoped I could get the tournament over with before it opened its eyes and recognised me. That is exactly what I did that week and there is a lot of truth to that."

As some of you might recall, Lee Trevino won the 1974 PGA Championship by a stroke. Jack Nicklaus finished second.

Saturday, November 28

EXTENDED TRAILER: 'Tiger Woods: America's Son' to Air November 29 on ESPN


THE UNDEFEATED WILL PRESENT "Tiger Woods: America's Son" on Sunday, November 29 at 7 ET on ESPN.

Here's their description of the film:

"The one-hour documentary will examine Tiger Woods' complex racial identity and the meaning of the golfer's success in America.

"Additionally, the program will explore how Woods' historic win at The Masters in 1997 – becoming the first African-American golfer to win a major tournament – influenced perceptions of the golfer across racial and ethnic lines.

"'Tiger Woods: America's Son' will also chronicle Woods' legacy as a pioneer in a sport where it is historically more difficult for Black Americans to break through."

The Little-Known Englishman Who Invented the Modern Golf Swing (Part 2 of 2)

 By John Coyne

James Douglas Edgar was an undertalented English golf pro who won the admiration of his famous peers: Tommy Armour, Harry Vardon and Bobby Jones, to name a few. This is the conclusion of a two-part series about how Edgar created the golf swing still being used a century after his death. (Read Part 1.)

WHAT CHANGED DOUG EDGAR'S LIFE was marriage and a child. He came to realize he couldn't drift along as a home pro, not without improving his game. And he focused on how to outplay the great Open champion Harry Vardon. And he did.

James Douglas Edgar
Even Vardon agreed, saying of Doug Edgar at the peak of their careers, "This is a man who will one day be the greatest of us all."

While both Vardon and Edgar were alike as poor kids, that's where the similarities ended. Vardon was big and strong; Edgar was short and physically handicapped. Vardon's forearms were the size of Doug's calves. His shoulders as wide as a doorway. 

Watching Vardon play in a match at the Northumberland course, Edgar was left in awe. He would never be as big and strong as Vardon. He could not overpower the Northumberland course with 200-yard drives in the age of hickory. If he was going to be the best golfer in the world, there had to be another way for Doug Edgar. And there was.

It was not until 1910 that he discovered "The Movement" while hitting mashies around a gate, hitting one curving to the left, landing the other to the right. His hip was giving him trouble, so he didn't take full swings. In fact, he didn't move his hips on the backswing. Distance wasn't an issue. He only wanted to catch the ball solidly on the clubface without collapsing in pain.

On a lark, Edgar decided to take an abbreviated swing, locking his upper arms against the muscles in his chest. He wanted to see how well he could hit it without turning his ailing hip on the backswing at all.

The moment the club clicked, Doug knew it was solid. What he didn't know until a second later was just how remarkably he had hit it. Not only did the ball fly exactly as he had intended, it went farther than any shot he'd hit in a year. 

Doug tried the shorter, tighter swing again, and again, and again. 

The restricted hip turn was not a detriment: it was the catalyst, the Rosetta stone that had finally decoded the golf swing for him.

A bad hip led to the birth of the modern golf swing, a swing so out of place in its day that the nicest thing people called it was "unusual."

Today it is the swing seen on every tournament driving range in the world, the swing that has been taught by every top-shelf pro since World War II. It has been called "the coil" and "the X factor," the "swing connection" and the one-plane swing. Doug called it "The Movement."

"The Movement," as Steve Eubanks writes in his book To Win and Die in Dixie: The Birth of of the Modern Golf Swing and the Mysterious Death of Its Creator, "was actually an elimination of movement from the conventional swing. By cutting down on the hip turn and restricting the length the club traveled on the backswing, he was able to store energy like a wound catapult; energy that would be unleashed at the moment, as he put it, 'when the clubhead meets the ball.'

"To help restrict the hips, he widened his stance a few inches beyond shoulder width, well beyond normal for the day, and splayed his left boot counterclockwise. Such simple adjustments caused the ball to spring off the club with jarring velocity."

The rest is history. Golf history.

Epitaph


"J Douglas Edgar is buried in Westview Cemetery, Atlanta. His epitaph was quite an accolade from his peers in the world of professional golf."
















Bestselling author John Coyne became a caddie at Midlothian Country Club near Chicago when he was 10 and oversaw the caddie yard as a teenager. Learn about his golf novels aet JohnCoyneBooks.com.

Thursday, November 26

The Little-Known Englishman Who Invented the Modern Golf Swing (Part 1 of 2)

By John Coyne

Bestselling author John Coyne became a caddie at Midlothian Country Club near Chicago when he was 10 and oversaw the caddie yard as a teenager. Learn about his golf novels at JohnCoyneBooks.com.

I HAD NEVER HEARD OF DOUG EDGAR and I have been following golf all my life. I'm not the only one who never heard of him. Former PGA Tour pro and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger never heard of him.

John Feinstein, sportswriter and commentator, wrote, "An English professional [James Douglas Edgar] of whom a great majority of British golfers have never heard was a player who might have been the greatest of the twenties, greater than Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen."

What?

Well, thanks to an old college buddy and player, Bill Vicars, I now know it was Doug Edgar who gave me the golf swing I have. Yes, and Doug Edgar gave you the swing you have. None of us have heard of him or know that he created the golf swing that was first called the "Edgar Movement."

A few weeks ago my friend sent me Steve Eubanks' To Win and Die in Dixie: the Birth of the Modern Golf Swing and the Mysterious Death of Its Creator.

It is a biography of J. Douglas Edgar, telling his story from being the first pro at Northumberland Country Club in England, to his mysterious and tragic death after midnight on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia.

It is the story of the man who invented the modern swing, coached the great Bobby Jones and Alexa Stirling, the finest female player of her day.

It is the story of a player Tommy Armour said was "the greatest of them all, and taught me the most."

It is also the story of a golfer who could drink you under the table and pick up any woman in the bar. And that, not his innovative golf swing, led to his death in America.

In his book, author and journalist Steve Eubanks tells how Edgar was born in 1884, a poor kid in the northeastern edge of England, and discovered golf when he was a precocious thirteen-year-old watching players at the Northumberland Golf Club.

Eubanks writes, "It never occurred to him that he would ever be any good. He had from birth a bad right hip and the game did not come easy. Standing close to him, you could hear his joints pop whenever he bent over to take his ball out of the hole. He felt pangs with every backswing, and the rotation of the backswing was like propping his right leg against a grinding wheel."

Nevertheless, by the age of fifteen, working as a caddie at Northumberland, golf had become his obsession, and to him, even with the pain of looping double, working at the country club was a better life than life on his family farm.

In the spring of 1904, the club members at Northumberland hired eighteen-year-old Doug as their first home pro, assuring him, Eubanks writes, of second-class citizenship in England,= and giving Doug the chance to play golf for the rest of his life.

"He saw the game," Eubanks writes, "as his way to stay off the farm and out of the mines. A chance to achieve glory and riches."

By eighteen, he already had a reputation, not for golf, but for being charming, charismatic and a bit mischievous. Members liked him, and he was especially popular with the women at the club and in town. The only place where he wasn't successful was with his golf game. While he was a great instructor, he wasn't much of a player. 

At the time, the most famous golf pro in England was Harry Vardon (you've heard of the Vardon grip), who like Doug was a poor kid who came out of the caddie ranks to become, by 1903, the most important player in England.

Vardon revolutionized golf by changing the mechanics of the game. Prior to him, players gripped the club with all ten fingers, often splitting their hands apart as if holding an ax.

Through experimentation, Vardon realized that moving his thumbs down the shaft, gripping the club more in his fingers than his palms, and overlapping the pinky finger of the right hand with the index finger of the left, his big hands could work as a single unit, and he could generate a tremendous amount of clubhead speed with a light grip pressure. The "Vardon grip" changed the game forever.

Next time, in the conclusion: What changed Edgar? And how did he, like Vardon, change the game of golf forever?

Thursday, November 19

A Life in Pictures: Remembering Legendary Golf Photographer Leonard Kamsler


EARLIER THIS YEAR LEONARD KAMSLER became the first recipient of the PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Photojournalism. Kamsler died on Tuesday. He was 85.

Kamsler's contributions were vast. From Sam Snead and Ben Hogan, to Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, to Tiger Woods and more, this man brought golf to life with a sharp eye and steady camera.

The above video is a worthwhile tribute.

Tuesday, November 17

SPECIAL OFFER: My 1969 Ryder Cup Book Featuring Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin Can Be Yours for a Small Price

THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING. Do you need a golf-related gift for yourself or someone on your list?

I'd like you to have my book, DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World. And I'll make you a special offer only available here:

Only $15 for a signed (or unsigned) hardcover edition. That includes postage.*

Here's a little about the book.

DRAW IN THE DUNES
tells the dramatic story of the 1969 Ryder Cup, which ended in the first tie in the 42-year history of the biennial matches between the United States and Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I). The Americans were the overwhelming favorites, but GB&I, led by new Open champion Tony Jacklin, were youthful and bold. They were determined to win back the Cup even when few people (including their own countrymen) thought they had any chance. This tense Ryder Cup came down to the last singles match between Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin. It ended with a famous act of sportsmanship.

DRAW IN THE DUNES was nominated for The Herbert Warren Wind Book Award, an annual USGA award that recognizes outstanding contributions to golf literature. Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin contributed the foreword.

"Neil Sagebiel brings the memorable tournament to life…Mr. Sagebiel's narrative is strongest when he reports the hole-to-hole proceedings, which is all the more remarkable since only three minutes of television footage were archived. He teases out drama and puts the reader on the green." Wall Street Journal

"Draw in the Dunes recounts the times, the circumstances and perhaps best of all, the background needed for readers to put the 1969 Cup and Nicklaus' concession into perspective….Bottom line--if you are interested in golf, the Ryder Cup, its history and its personalities, you will enjoy this book and give it a permanent spot on the shelf." ―New England Golf Monthly

Interested? Contact me at armchairgolfer@gmail.com.

*While supplies last. I have a small surplus I'd like to share with readers and friends.

Monday, November 16

Masters Champion Dustin Johnson: 'I Dream of Winning a Lot of Majors'


IT'S HARD TO WIN A MAJOR, even when you're as talented as world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. And especially when the major is the Masters, the one Dustin wanted the most.

On Sunday, Johnson finally got a monkey off his back and a Green Jacket draped over his broad shoulders.

Going into the final round with at least a 4-shot lead over a handful of players lacking Masters experience, DJ was 0 for 4 as a 54-hole leader at a major. (He won his one major championship, the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont, coming from behind.)

After a couple early hiccups, this time Johnson got it done with a closing 68 and set the Masters scoring record in the process -- 20 under par -- shattering the 18-under mark set by Tiger Woods in 1997 and matched by Jordan Spieth in 2015.

"No one wants to be perceived as the player who can't hold a lead," Doug Ferguson wrote for the Associated Press. "Johnson could sense that was the reputation he was developing. He said as much in his news conference when he began with, 'I'm sure a lot of you all think' before he switched gears to say 'there were doubts in my mind, just because I had been there.'"

Now Johnson is part of that heady Green Jacket club for life, ending the possibility of being one of those tragic marquee players who never won at Augusta National: Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Lee Trevino, Nick Price, Johnny Miller, Davis Love III.

Part of an athletic family that excelled in multiple sports, Johnson grew up in neighboring South Carolina, just an hour from Augusta, Georgia. Winning the Masters was his dream. But the distance between him and a Green Jacket seemed too far at times, despite an easygoing demeanor and the raw power and shotmaking that produced more than 20 titles on the PGA Tour.

Today, Johnson has silenced some of those doubting voices, both in the golf world and in his head. The future looks better when you're wearing a Green Jacket.

"I dream of winning a lot of majors," he said. "Just hasn't quite happened yet. Hopefully, this one will help give me a little spring."

Saturday, November 14

Tiger Woods at the Masters: 'I Can Walk All Day. The Hard Part Is Bending and Twisting'

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TIGER WOODS' REIGN AS DEFENDING Masters champion will end on Sunday when he slips the Green Jacket over the shoulders of ... ?

On Saturday night, it sure looks like it will be Dustin Johnson, who shot a 65 on moving day to open up a 4-shot lead on three talented non-major winners named Im, Ancer and Smith.

Johnson showed his world No. 1 prowess on Saturday. Frankly, DJ made it look rather easy. November Masters is a poor substitute for April Masters, especially after so much rain.

Meanwhile, Tiger's Masters title defense stalled in a third round that added up to a lackluster 72.


While [Tiger Woods] looked limber and fit while completing the second round under overcast skies and in brisk temperatures, Woods looked stiff and troubled starting late on the front nine of his third round. He looked to be in pain as he removed balls from the holes and picked up tees after letting loose with his tee shots. He grimaced on occasion. Toward the end of the round, however, Woods looked a tad better.

"These are long days," said Woods, who won his fifth green jacket and 15th major championship last year at Augusta National. "I had my day off yesterday, which was nice. Today was not the case. We've been at it for quite some time. It's just part of the deal. If you have long days like this, I'm going to get a little bit sore, which I definitely am.

"I can walk all day. The hard part is bending and twisting. I think that's part of the game, though, and so that's always been the challenge with my back issues and I guess will always continue to be."

The Masters will conclude earlier than usual on Sunday. Beginning at 7:50 a.m. Eastern time, threesomes will go off both 1 and 10. The last groups tee off at 9:30 a.m.

Will DJ finally don the Green Jacket?

Tuesday, November 10

2020 Masters: Thursday and Friday Tee Times

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THE 2020 MASTERS TEES OFF THURSDAY at Augusta National Golf Club. The field of 91 men that includes six amateurs will play for the green jacket on the storied course that measures about 7,500 yards and plays to a par of 72.

Tiger Woods is the defending champion.

Following are tee times for Thursday and Friday.

THURSDAY, ROUND 1, FIRST TEE
7 am: Lucas Glover, Corey Conners, C.T. Pan
7:11 am: Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Jazz Janewattananond
7:22 am: Larry Mize, Andrew Landry, Lukas Michel
7:33 am: Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood, Kevin Na
7:44 am: Xander Schauffele, Jason Kokrak, Henrik Stenson
7:55 am: Charl Schwartzel, Jason Day, Abel Gallegos
8:06 am: Vijay Singh, Lanto Griffin, Tyler Duncan
8:17 am: Mike Weir, Rafael Cabrera Bello, Matt Wallace
11:05 am: Sung Kang, Erik van Rooyen
11:16 am: Danny Willett, Rickie Fowler, John Augenstein
11:27 am: Phil Mickelson, Abraham Ancer, Bernd Wiesberger
11:38 am: Adam Scott, Collin Morikawa, Tyrrell Hatton
11:49 am: Justin Thomas, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Brooks Koepka
Noon: Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy
12:11 pm: Zach Johnson, Justin Rose, Cameron Champ
12:22 pm: Victor Perez, Sungjae Im, Brendon Todd

THURSDAY, ROUND 1, 10TH TEE                
7 am: Sandy Lyle, Jimmy Walker, Yuxin Lin
7:11 am: Webb Simpson, Marc Leishman, Hideki Matsuyama
7:22 am: Kevin Kisner, Adam Hadwin, Scottie Scheffler
7:33 am: Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen
7:44 am: Patrick Reed, Paul Casey, Tony Finau
7:55 am: Tiger Woods, Shane Lowry, Andy Ogletree
8:06 am: Jordan Spieth, Gary Woodland, Ian Poulter
8:17 am: Graeme McDowell, Si Woo Kim, Nate Lashley
11:05 am: Justin Harding, Shugo Imahira, Nick Taylor
11:16 am: Chez Reavie, Sebastian Munoz, Byeong Hun An
11:27 am: Bubba Watson, Matthew Wolff, Tommy Fleetwood
11:38 am: Francesco Molinari, Billy Horschel, Cameron Smith
11:49 am: Bernhard Langer, J.T. Poston, Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Noon: Fred Couples, Max Homa, Dylan Frittelli
12:11 pm: Jose Maria Olazabal, Andrew Putnam, James Sugrue

FRIDAY, ROUND 2, FIRST TEE
7 am: Justin Harding, Shugo Imahira, Nick Taylor
7:11 am: Chez Reavie, Sebastian Munoz, Byeong Hun An
7:22 am: Bubba Watson, Matthew Wolff, Tommy Fleetwood
7:33 am: Francesco Molinari, Billy Horschel, Cameron Smith
7:44 am: Bernhard Langer, J.T. Poston, Christiaan Bezuidenhout
7:55 am: Fred Couples, Max Homa, Dylan Frittelli
8:06 am: Jose Maria Olazabal, Andrew Putnam, James Sugrue
11:05 am: Sandy Lyle, Jimmy Walker, Yuxin Lin
11:16 am: Webb Simpson, Marc Leishman, Hideki Matsuyama
11:27 am: Kevin Kisner, Adam Hadwin, Scottie Scheffler
11:38 am: Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen
11:49 am: Patrick Reed, Paul Casey, Tony Finau
Noon: Tiger Woods, Shane Lowry, Andy Ogletree
12:11 pm: Jordan Spieth, Gary Woodland, Ian Poulter
12:22 pm: Graeme McDowell, Si Woo Kim, Nate Lashley

FRIDAY, ROUND 2, 10TH TEE
7 am: Sung Kang, Erik van Rooyen
7:11 am: Danny Willett, Rickie Fowler, John Augenstein
7:22 am: Phil Mickelson, Abraham Ancer, Bernd Wiesberger
7:33 am: Adam Scott, Collin Morikawa, Tyrrell Hatton
7:44 am: Justin Thomas, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Brooks Koepka
7:55 am: Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy
8:06 am: Zach Johnson, Justin Rose, Cameron Champ
8:17 am: Victor Perez, Sungjae Im, Brendon Todd
11:05 am: Lucas Glover, Corey Conners, C.T. Pan
11:16 am: Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Jazz Janewattananond
11:27 am: Larry Mize, Andrew Landry, Lukas Michel
11:38 am: Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood, Kevin Na
11:49 am: Xander Schauffele, Jason Kokrak, Henrik Stenson
Noon: Charl Schwartzel, Jason Day, Abel Gallegos
12:11 pm: Vijay Singh, Lanto Griffin, Tyler Duncan
12:22 pm: Mike Weir, Rafael Cabrera Bello, Matt Wallace

Monday, November 9

Lee Elder, the First Black Man to Compete in the Masters 45 Years Ago, Will Join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as Honorary Starters


LEE ELDER WILL JOIN JACK NICKLAUS and Gary Player as Honorary Starters for the 2021 Masters, which begins next April at Augusta National Golf Club.

Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, announced Monday that Lee Elder, the first Black man to compete in the Masters Tournament 45 years ago, will be honored by establishing scholarships in his name and inviting him to be an Honorary Starter for the 2021 Masters.

At a press conference at Augusta National, Ridley revealed the creation of the Lee Elder Scholarships at Paine College, a Historically Black College and University located in Augusta. Two scholarships will be awarded annually, one each to a student athlete who competes on the men’s and women's golf team. 

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Saturday, November 7

'Rise and Shine' VIDEO: Ladies European Tour Pro Inci Mehmet Inspires Twin Sisters and Highlights Women's Game in Dubai


LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR PRO Inci Mehmet met twin sisters Salma and Latifa to emphasize the importance of female role models in inspiring more young girls to take up the game. 

Thursday, November 5

Golfworld: 'The Critical Ways Augusta Will Play Differently in November Versus April'

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THE 2020 MASTERS BEGINS IN A WEEK. How will Augusta National Golf Club play in November?


Here's a snippet:

The most fundamental question will be: How will Augusta's notoriously fast greens play compared to a normal springtime Masters?

The answer, barring an extreme rain event, is they'll play the same.

Here's why: Bentgrass greens, like those at Augusta National, thrive in cooler weather.

Fall already provides ideal growing conditions, but the club has the added ability to control each green's climate and moisture content via sub-surface air systems. The systems can vacuum water from the greens if they're too moist, and they can also adjust the temperature of the root zone, cooling the grass during excessively hot days and warming it to promote growth during cold (morning) periods.

The ability to manipulate temperature and moisture levels is critical at Augusta National because the greens are located in vastly different microclimates. Think of the disparity between the small 12th green, located along a shaded creek at the lowest section of the property, and the large 18th green, exposed and situated at its highest point. The incredible range of temperatures, sunlight, size and contour throughout the course means that each green needs an individual program, which they receive whether it's April or November.

Tuesday, November 3

When War, Not a Virus, Kept Pros Off the Tour

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By John Coyne

Bestselling author John Coyne became a caddie at Midlothian Country Club near Chicago when he was 10 and oversaw the caddie yard as a teenager. Learn about his golf novels at JohnCoyneBooks.com.

THE COVID-19 VIRUS HAS THROWN a tough hazard at the PGA Tour this year, having to play a short season without spectators. But it is nothing like what World War II golf professionals had to deal with when they were on the tour.

Here is a short list of some professionals and their experiences playing golf and fighting in a war.

Ben Hogan. Ben's prime years were from 1938 through 1959. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces from March 1943 to June 1945, stationed at Fort Worth, and became a utility pilot with the rank of lieutenant.

Lloyd Mangrum. Lloyd joined the tour in 1937 and won 36 events. He might have won more but for his tour being interrupted by WWII. While training for the D-Day landings, Mangrum was offered the professional's job at the army's Fort Meade golf course, which would have kept him out of combat, but he declined. He was awarded two Purple Hearts and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge.

Jack Fleck. Jack worked as an assistant golf pro before WWII. During the war, he served in the Navy and participated in the D-Day invasion from a British rocket-firing ship off Utah Beach. Within two weeks after separation from the Navy, Fleck was on the PGA's winter golf tour. He is best known for winning the 1955 U.S. Open in an 18-hole playoff against Ben Hogan.

Ed "Porky" Oliver. Porky won eight times on the PGA Tour in the 1940s and 1950s. He lost several years of playing time while serving in the Army during WWII.

Jay Hebert. Jay won seven times on the PGA Tour, including the 1960 PGA Championship. He served in the Marines in WWII, rising to the rank of captain. He was wounded in the leg at the Battle of Iwo Jima and received a Purple Heart.

Herman Keiser. Herman won five times on the PGA Tour, including the 1946 Masters. In 1942, he joined the U.S. Navy and served aboard the USS Cincinnati during WWII.

Ted Kroll. Ted won eight times in his 34-year PGA Tour. In WWII was awarded three Purple Hearts and was wounded four times.

Walter Burkemo. Walter won his first PGA Tour event at the 1938 Southern Florida Open. After that he was drafted into WWII and served as an infantry sergeant in the European Theatre. He was seriously wounded twice during the war; the second time during the Battle of the Bulge. His best years on tour were in the 1950s. He won the 1953 PGA Championship and finished as runner-up in 1951 and 1954.

Friday, October 30

1969 U.S. Open Champion Orville Moody Wearing a Surgical Mask While Playing Golf

NO, THIS IS NOT A JOKE.

Masks are ever-present during this global pandemic. And so when I saw a face covering in a different era and context, it caught my attention. I noticed it on Tuesday night while watching highlights of the 1972 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (won by Jack Nicklaus).

There was Orville Moody, wearing a surgical mask like in the image at right.

It turns out Moody had chronic hay fever. "Ol Sarge" wore a mask on the golf course on several occasions, whether while practicing or playing in big tournaments.

Here's what Sports Illustrated writer Barry McDermott wrote about Moody in June 1979 in "The Putter God Forgot":

Actually, things do look better for Moody. His performance and check at Houston gave him a little cushion, and his hay fever is under control now thanks to a shot he receives twice a year. In the past, Moody sometimes had to play tournaments wearing a surgical mask because of his hay fever. Naturally the newspapers ran pictures of him, and they had a lot of fun with captions of the Who's the Masked Man kind.

Moody was a character, one of the many interesting characters I met on the golf legends trail while working on my two books.

Ol Sarge endured a lot. He was down, up, down, up, down -- in golf and life. He kept at it.

McDermott captured that theme in his opening:

In the last decade or so, Orville Moody's life has been a catalog of calamity and bizarre occurrence. Among other things he lost his life savings in a business venture, escaped from a burning house, employed a caddie who routinely waded through water hazards, and had one of his golfing pay checks snatched away by an insurance company. He endured two divorces, a burglary and chronic sniffles. He also won the U.S. Open, which might have been the worst misfortune of all.

Thanks to the now-outlawed broomstick, Moody, an awful putter, would rise again on the Senior Tour.

Thursday, October 29

Callaway and Topgolf Announce All-Stock Merger Valued at $2 Billion

CARLSBAD, CA and DALLAS, TX — Callaway (NYSE:ELY) and Topgolf Entertainment Group ("Topgolf") [on Tuesday] announced that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Callaway and Topgolf will combine in an all-stock transaction creating a global golf and entertainment leader. The number of shares to be issued is based upon an implied equity value of Topgolf of approximately $2 billion, including the 14% already owned by Callaway.

Topgolf is the leading tech-enabled golf entertainment business, with an innovative platform that comprises its groundbreaking open-air venues, revolutionary Toptracer technology and innovative media platform with a differentiated position in eSports. Topgolf generated approximately $1.1 billion in revenue in 2019 and has grown at a 30% compound annual rate since 2017. Callaway is a leader in the global golf equipment market with a scale position in active-lifestyle soft goods and a proven ability to deliver strong returns, including company growth that has exceeded golf market growth for seven consecutive years.

"Together, Callaway and Topgolf create an unrivaled golf and entertainment business," said Chip Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Callaway. "This combination unites proven leaders with a shared passion for delivering exceptional golf experiences for all – from elite touring professionals to new and aspiring entrants to the game. We've long seen the value in Topgolf and we are confident that together, we can create a larger, higher growth, technology-enabled global golf and entertainment leader. Callaway's strong financial profile will enable the combined company to accelerate innovation, develop exciting new products and experiences, and create compelling value for shareholders, while providing the dedicated teams of both companies more opportunities to showcase their talents and complementary capabilities."

"We are excited to join the Callaway family and strengthen the experiences we create at the intersection of sports and tech-driven entertainment," said Dolf Berle, Chief Executive Officer of Topgolf. "Fueled by a tremendous team of associates and a diverse offering across our venues, Toptracer, and media platform, Topgolf is truly changing the landscape of the industry by making golf more inclusive and accessible to people of all ages, demographics and skill levels. As part of Callaway, we plan to grow our leadership position by leveraging Callaway's brand reputation, industry relationships and financial strength to connect more communities around the world to the Topgolf experience."

Monday, October 26

PGA TOUR VIDEO: 'It's Really Great to Win at Home' for Patrick Cantlay Who Collects 3rd PGA Tour Title at Zozo Championship


PATRICK CANTLAY FIRED A 65 in the final round to win the Zozo Championship at Sherwood Country Club in Thousands Oaks, California. Cantlay finished at 23 under for the week to edge Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas by a stroke. It was Cantlay's third title on the PGA Tour and first in California.

"It's really great to win at home," Cantlay said. "I look forward to hopefully winning at Riviera, and anytime you win close to home it just feels a little sweeter. I felt comfortable all week. I like this cloudy California weather. I'm used to it; it's what I grew up with."

Tiger Woods won his record-tying 82nd PGA Tour title at last year's Zozo Championship in Japan. But Woods and Phil Mickelson, playing together in the final round, finished near the bottom of the leaderboard at Sherwood. Tiger closed with a 74. Phil carded a 78.

The Masters starts in less than three weeks.

Saturday, October 24

USGA: 2020 U.S. Women's Open at Champions Golf Club to be Conducted Without Spectators

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LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – The USGA announced that due to ongoing health and safety concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 75th U.S. Women's Open Championship, scheduled for Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas, will be conducted without spectators on-site.

"Following extensive consultation with health officials, we have decided that hosting the U.S. Women's Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved," said John Bodenhamer, the USGA's senior managing director of Championships. "While we are disappointed that we won't be able to welcome fans and their unmatched energy at Champions Golf Club, we know this is the right decision for the community and players."

The USGA announced on April 3 that the 75th U.S. Women's Open, initially scheduled for June 4-7, would be moved to Dec. 10-13. To account for reduced daylight, the Jackrabbit Course at Champions Golf Club will be used in conjunction with the Cypress Creek Course, which was originally slated to host all four rounds of championship play. In June, it was announced that the championship would be conducted without traditional qualifying.

"We are thankful to Champions Golf Club for its continued flexibility and dedication to making the 75th U.S. Women's Open possible,” said Bodenhamer. "Jack and Robin Burke and the rest of the club have been true partners as we navigate these unprecedented times."

Tickets purchased directly through the USGA will be automatically refunded to the method of payment used to purchase the tickets. Additional information on U.S. Women's Open ticket refunds can be found here.

Fans will be able to experience the championship by watching on NBC/Golf Channel, following along on uswomensopen.com, downloading the U.S. Women's Open app, following @uswomensopen on social media and downloading the USGA streaming app for connected devices.

Friday, October 23

MORNING READ: Pinehurst's New Hickory Club Rental Program

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"ALTHOUGH PINEHURST'S OLDEST COURSES have persevered for more than a century," reported The Equipment Insider (at MORNING READ), "the resort's new hickory club rental program allows golfers to experience a round as it was played in a bygone era."

New England-based journalist Shaun Tolson had the good fortune to play Pinehurst No. 3 with a set of hickories and write about it for MORNING READ.

Here's a sample:

"It's a fun experience for individuals who have never done it and also for people who might play hickories once or twice a year," [Pinehurst head pro Matt] Barksdale said of renting a set and playing the No. 1 course, the No. 3 course, or The Cradle, Pinehurst's nine-hole short course. (Although the hickory clubs can be rented for play on any of Pinehurst's course — even the resort’s revered No. 2 layout — it's on the resort's aforementioned shorter courses that Barksdale and his team encourage their use.) 

"They go out there with no expectations whatsoever and simply enjoy the game. It really does give you an appreciation for the early years of golf and how talented those individuals really were."

Renting a set of hickory clubs for a round at Pinehurst, which costs $50, can impact more than just a singular round of golf. The simple act of carrying those clubs to the driving range can pave the way for noteworthy introductions and interactions.

Read the story.

Recently, in the midst of a move, I considered playing a round with a handful of vintage golf clubs I've collected through the years, including a few made of hickory. But then I lost my motivation. Maybe someday.

Thursday, October 22

Golf Entrepreneur Barney Adams on Extreme Distance as the Future of Championship Golf: Not So Fast

By Barney Adams

Barney Adams is the founder of Adams Golf and is currently the CEO of Breakthrough Golf Technology.

THE ANNOUNCING CREW AT THE 2020 U.S. OPEN seemed obsessed with "The Bombers" -- players who drove the ball extreme distances with little regard for the occasional tee shot into the rough. TV has selected Bryson DeChambeau as their representative given his length and victory.

Barney Adams
I thought I'd wait a bit to see what the industry sources had to say. I can't say it's unanimous because I haven't seen everything, but the theme is: Get Ready for The Golfer of Tomorrow:

  • 350 yard carry
  • Clubhead speed which tears through the rough allowing the ball to launch high and carry to the green.
  • The "new" instructor who teaches distance be it ground up or whatever new method is used
  • Gym sessions producing athletes who look more like football players
  • And last, a whole new shelf of steroids for golf

At the same time the USGA and its organizational allies are planning meetings focusing not if the ball will be rolled back, but when. Clearly, influenced by visual evidence from a great Winged Foot course in our national championship. 

Let's look deeper!

A hypothetical -- go back a few months. You are on the planning committee for the U.S. Open to be held at Winged Foot, one of America's great venues. This year because of Covid there will be no galleries, something never experienced at a USGA major golf event. I repeat, your committee is planning for the U.S. Open. That implies "Open rough" a term that is significant on its own. You don't play from Open rough, you escape... maybe.

The nature of Open rough is a thick chunky base with long tendrils reaching skyward. These make it very difficult to find your ball in the best of circumstances and when attempting to advance these tendrils wrap themselves around your hosel closing the face, sending your ball deeper into hostile territory. That's if you can even find it.

Open rough has "disappeared" many balls over the years and done so within full view of gallery spectators aiding course marshals. The rule of thumb for competitors has always been to find the most reasonable patch of fairway and get out.

But this is the year of Covid. No galleries. Marshals, but relatively few because of no galleries.

Now, considering that normal U.S. Open rough will produce many searches where marshals are important, the shortage of them will cause endless searches which don't make for great TV viewing. So, a decision is made, cut the rough down so shots can be found. Still in the rough but sitting on the chunky base and very often can be played. A tough call for the purist but an objective economic evaluation leaves no choice.

The announcers regale us with astonishing distances and swing speeds that allow escape from Open rough that used to be impossible. The golf publications jump on this theme and predict that the golfer of tomorrow will be "DeChambeau like," not sweet swingers but physical hulks rewriting the book on distance strongly influenced by no fear of the rough.

My point here is those publications and instructors, jumping on the "longer and slightly crooked is better" bandwagon, have added 2+2 and gotten 5 when using the 2020 U.S Open as a premise.

DeChambeau is a great and powerful player. However, I don't think he's known for his putting. He should have been. It was terrific, probably influenced his score! He is our national champion, an unsurpassable honor. But his style has me betting that the USGA is working on dates to discuss changing the golf ball, as in making it shorter.

I'm 100 percent against such a move. Golf is a game where amateurs can go to the same course and play the same clubs and given a huge difference in skill achieve some measure of affiliation with the pros. A birdie is a birdie, not a long or short ball birdie. From a business perspective, the overwhelming majority of those golfers financially supporting golf are 50 plus.

And we want them to hit it shorter?

Well, Mr. Adams, what would you do?

I know zero about golf ball manufacturing, but keeping the distance the same I'd change the dimples to increase curvature just enough so it doesn't affect slower swings that much but very high swing speeds so it's in the player's head.

More thoughts. As an admitted TV viewer, get rid of those yardage books. Fine for practice rounds but when the bell rings it should be player and caddie, not an "on green" conference. What's next, a staff meeting?

I'll conclude with a note to the PGA Tour and, importantly, an admonition.

To the PGA Tour: The minute a tee goes into the ground on No. 1 every player is on the clock. Stroke penalties, not fines, will get their attention.

To the rest of the golfing world: Let's not blindly pursue the "new golfer" concept without considerably deeper study.