Friday, January 20, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) More Money Than God

Pretty much sums it up.

2) Ol Stomping Grounds

If could have played this course more often I would have stayed in Jersey!

3) Dornoch Does Good

Great course, great people.

4) New Podcast

Sean Zak talks to the Great White Shark.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Great Story

As the Careerbuilder nee Bob Hope Classic kicks off, Shack finds a great story about a previous winner.

2) Product, Product, Product

The golf year is still just beginning so there isn't a lot of news to be had. If you are a fan of TaylorMade irons, this might be something to get excited about.

3) Abu Music

Changes are afoot on the Euro Tour as the season really gets underway this week in Abu Dhabi.

4) New Podcast

Finally! State of the Game is up again featuring Dottie Pepper. A must listen!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sky Creek Ranch Golf Review

When you think of the DFW area your thoughts tend to bend toward Dallas in the East or Fort Worth in the West. In-between these two cities is a whole host of fascinating courses worth your time. Texas Star, the Cowboys Club, Vaquero, one of my very favorites (the Tribute Club) and now add Sky Creek Ranch into that mix.

The course was designed by RTJ Jr. and is a rarity amongst DFW-area courses featuring Bermuda grass fairways (which were not allowed to go dormant in the winter) and bentgrass greens. The picture above is emblematic of the course as a whole. The fairway sits on a shelf with the rough falling away on each side and the tee shot is the most important shot as the creek runs through the course, often forcing short drives or long carries depending on the hole.

The creek feeds into lakes which causes the throats of greens to be very narrow and for many a risk-reward shot.

The bunkering of the course is one of the most unique and schizophrenic features of the course. Some of the holes have a crazy amount of bunkering.

Then, on some of the holes, the bunkers feel like orphans.

The routing hole-to-hole are similar and the challenge in playing the course really comes in how the first shots are presented and how the approach shots are presented. Often I found straight drives resulting in beguiling approach shots or really thinking about what club I am using off the tee and then using the same approach shot.

The biggest plus for the course is the conditioning and the real feeling that you are out in nature. Sure there are houses and the occasional road but very few DFW courses allow you to feel the roots of Texas Hill Country like this one.

Most courses live and die by the grass that they choose. Different types of grasses have different types of benefits depending on the climate. Most DFW courses during the winter allow their fairway grass to go dormant and the greens to dry out which creates a hard and fast links-style course. Sky Creek went the other way with Bermuda and bentgrass. This has its pluses and minuses.

The pluses are a green look and very soft greens which will hold a variety of approach/chip shots. The downsides are that the fairways play very spongy and really reduce roll and the greens play pretty slow plus probably require much more maintenance (as evidenced by multiple groundskeepers working on the course and frustratingly ignoring golfers rather than stopping their efforts). Variety is the spice of life and I was happy for the change during my most recent Texas jaunt but whichever you prefer, I can't help but think this course would be better off with different types of grass.

I'm glad I got to play Sky Creek and it would be fascinating to play this course in the summer. I can't wait to get play more of the in-between golf courses in the DFW area.

For more info on Sky Creek, check out this link:

Morning Quick Links

1) The Kirkland Golf Ball Is Dead

Long live the Kirkland golf ball!

2) Desert Fantasy

The PGA Tour ramps up with its California swing. First up, PGA West and the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here is your fantasy breakdown.

3) By The Brooke

Brooke Henderson is a young gun and I got to follow her for a few holes during one of the last LPGA California swings. She can hit it a mile!

4) New Podcast

Golf Getaways is back with all new podcasts. This week they are checking in with Brian Oar about his travels.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Rory, Rory, Rory

Many a golf tournament was played over the weekend but the biggest news seems to be the health of Rory. Check out Shack's round-up here.

2) New Callaway Balls

What I find most interesting about this latest news is how much Callaway is flogging the various price points of their new balls. I imagine this is in direct response to the Kirkland ball.

3) Management Issues

Like many industries in modern life, golf courses aren't just owned by a longtime fan of the game but could be owned/managed by a national company. Troon, Kemper Sports, American Golf, etc. Some are doing better than others. Club Corp? Not so much.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Ask an Architect

The Fried Egg is all over golf course design and he gets the architects to answer some interesting questions.

2) Mr 59

You know the news by now but just in case you don't, here is all you need to know.

3) Callaway Eats Ogio

Folding one company into another on a day when Hopkins golf also seems to have closed, the golf industry is never static!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Trouble In Paradise

One of the most fascinating articles I have read in awhile was in the current Golf Digest about the tensions between the USGA and Fox over their mega deal. Geoff does a great job breaking it all down here.

2) Lee

If you have attended a major, or just have followed one online in the last decade, chances are you have come across the art of Lee Wybranski. GolfNewsNet catches up with the artist in a great article.

3) Sony Open

NoLayingUp has a great breakdown of all things Sony Open as the tourney is slated to get underway today.

4) New Podcast

Golf Unfiltered has a new podcast, talking with Mike Stachura.