Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Sergio Relents

Perseverance pays off with a fan tweeting at Sergio to caddie for him, good stuff!


2) Round Up

GNN has a nice round up and reasons for excitement for the upcoming 2017 season.


3) Power On

Golfweek brings you the latest power rankings from the LPGA.


4) New Podcast

Swany talks all things golf with Zak.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Rahm Wins

I have been hot and heavy and Jon Rahm for awhile, I think this guy is going to be a star in this game for awhile. Torrey Pines is one of my favorite stops on the Tour and got to see Rahm in person on Saturday. This win is well deserved.


2) Lincicome Brings It

It was a shootout in the Bahamas and a race against mother nature but ultimately Brittany reigned supreme. All the top guns were in the mix with Lexi, Stacey Lewis and Pillar all factoring into an entertaining Sunday.


3) Water water everywhere

Arguably the most important piece of any golf course is water and there is interesting legislation surrounding water that may be implemented that you should catch up on:


Friday, January 27, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Torrey Torrey Torrey

Its one of my favorite tournaments of the year so of course Quick Links is going to have some roundups for ya! Here are a good 5 thoughts:


2) Cheeseburger in Bahamadise

Day 1 is complete in the Bahamas and Golfweek breaks down all the cheeseburger action.


3) Glory's Last Shot

Everyone seemingly wants the PGA Tour's schedule to change but the only way that is going to happen is if the PGA Championship moves. Will it?


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) PGA Inner Workings

As the PGA kicks off at Torrey Pines, here is an interesting article that illuminates some of the inner workings of the Tour.


2) Course Preview

A pretty nice overview of the North and South courses at Torrey Pines.


3) Bahama Me

The LPGA kicks off their season in the Bahamas and here are some great power rankings to get you set for the season.


4) New Podcast

Shane meet Rory. Rory meet Shane. Rory Shane. Shane Rory.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Angeles National Golf Review

Angeles National occupies a unique niche in Los Angeles golf. The only Nicklaus track in Los Angeles, ANGC is higher priced than most public courses and has conditioning similar to private courses making a high end public course. So does it live up to the hype?

The 11th hole is emblematic of the course as a whole. Scrub brush surrounds the fairway and you can't enter into it to retrieve errant shots due to environmental concerns so there is a premium on accuracy. Nicklaus took his bulldozer "scalpel" sloping the fairway and then adding in a sand trap directly in the most scoreable line on the hole.

The course puts a premium on having high, accurate iron shots or wedge shots as the throats of the greens are so narrow and sculpted by bunkers that you may as well shoot for the flag because a miss 5 yards right or left will leave you with a difficult pitch shot.

When you finally get to the green, you find out that the greens are much smaller than you would imagine which, after navigating the bulldozed undulations, means you need to play this courses several times before you can start scoring.

My favorite hole on the course was 18, a long par 4 that start off over a pond and going uphill with a blind shot.

After that shot you have a long iron shot to a green guarded on three sides by another lake and some ducks (ducks are all over this course, hi guys!). The hole is a bear but really fun.

What wasn't fun was the poor tee time management. We were sent out the backside with groups going out every 8 minutes and while the pro shop staff and especially the cart guys were all super friendly, there were no marshalls on the course and boy did it need it. One of the par 3s had 3 groups stacked on it.

Don't get me wrong, the course is beautiful and in pretty good shape considering the recent rains (although due to poor design choices by Nicklaus, many of the sand traps became drainage spots with standing water in them). It does force you to think off the tee, do you take an aggressive line and flirt with disaster with major sandtraps or take an easier drive but then have almost an impossible second shot to the green.

I wanted to like ANGC more, I really did. The landscape is fantastic, the staff friendly. However, the tee sheet and lack of marshalls, the insistence on carts only and the tricked up unfairness of Jack's design left me ambivalent about the whole experience. I have always felt ANGC was about 20% too expensive, a small price reduction could make a big difference and now having played it, I wholly endorse that. That and more spaced out tee times.

For more information about ANGC check out this link! http://www.angelesnational.com/

Morning Quick Links

1) Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

Tiger chooses TaylorMade rather than buying them. What a world we live in.


2) Pines of Torrey

One of tourneys I look forward to most in attending is the Farmers Insurance Open. GolfWeek breaks down the field.


3) Pasa Review

Alex checks out Pasatiempo.


4) New Podcast

Alan Shipnuck has launched a new golf site, The Knockdown and his first podcast is the very entertaining Lefty.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Fantasy

Torrey Pines is one of my favorite venues in golf. What could make it better? Maybe fantasy golf projections?


2) Tour Confidential

One of my favorite continuing features on the web, TC breaks down all the stories from the last week.


3) New Podcast

No Laying Up has a great new podcast with Alan Shipnuck.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Fried Egg Breakdown

The Fried Egg has a great summary of all the tourney action from the last weekend.


2) Get Your Wallets Ready

The PGA Merch show kicks off in Orlando. Gold brands from all over show off their 2017 wares to make your golf game better and lighten that wallet!


3) LPGA Gets Going

The LPGA has a true offseason but they get going this week in the Bahamas. LPGA.com breaks down everything you need to know.


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: http://www.skycreekranch.com/

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.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Stevens Park Golf Review

Every once in awhile, a muni course shows you that golf courses designed for the public can be fantastic and quirky. The course has a long pedigree, designed originally in 1922 and with a recent facelift, the course goes over hill and dale (a rarity for North Texas) and offers the golfer a variety of shots.

The first hole is emblematic of the whole day. A rolling fairway with bunkers strategically placed with a blind green featuring a tight throat and a square green. Personally I was tickled pink by the layout and even though I was playing like a blind person being bothered by a mosquito the course is short enough to give any puncher a chance.

From the back tees, the course loves to force you to hit through chutes of trees and over streams and unlike other short muni courses, you have to trust your driver or your 3 wood implicitly (marrying it if you have to).

The par 3s on this course were fantastic, none moreso than the one above. Its short but left is death and there is a ton of bailout to the right but good luck negotiating the undulations.

Also, these greens really were square. How square were they you ask? This square.

Of course, not EVERY green was like (most notably the 18th which was a great two tiered green) but most were of the variety above.

The best part of Stevens Park are the views of Dallas from several of the holes. Worth the price of admission alone.

As you can see, the grass was dormant and some of the bunkering was a bit unfair around some of the greens and some of the doglegs were a bit TOO severe but these are really minor quibble. I came away from Stevens Park a believer and so will you if you get a chance to play.

For more info on Stevens Park, check out the link: http://www.stevensparkgolf.com/

Morning Quick Links

1) Another Sale

There have been so many golf companies folding (Nike and Hogan) or being sold lately (Miura) that its hard to keep track. There is at least one sale that sounds good though, a sale to golf enthusiasts.


2) Golf Week er Monthly

Well just as soon as I subscribed to GolfWeek, they turned into Golf Monthly. Still great though!


3) More Hawaii

Kapalua is done but the Hawaii Swing continues at the Sony Open. If you are into fantasy golf, here is a great breakdown for ya.


4) New Podcast

The Fried Egg has burst onto the scene as one of the go-to golf sources and the new podcast is no different.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Shorter Season

As my wife would say, "when is golf over?". Thankfully the new PGA Commish is talking about shortening up the season which I am fully in favor of!


2) Change Is A Coming

GolfNewsNet does a good job breaking down all the change in the 2017 air.


3) Euro Puzzle

I love the European Tour. It is like the cool uncle compared to the PGA Tour but like Uncle Rico, they have their issues as well. GolfWeek breaks down what is up with them.


4) New Podcast

The Golf Getaways guys talk to Shane Bacon about Pelican Hill.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Justin Thomas knocks off a top field at Kapalua to win.


2) Crazy Weather

Looks like the Web.Com guys got off to a rough start in the Bahamas.


3) Top 50 Courses

The Mobile Golfer has been counting down the top 50 courses you can play. Here is the top 10 list.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Kapalua Day 1

GolfWRX breaks down the action from Hawaii on Thursday. Next up on Friday's telecast, more whales and surfing footage, bring it!


2) Minors

The Web.com Tour is slated to kick off its season this Sunday and The Fried Egg breaks down all the guys you need to watch this season.


3) Don't Ask Why

The season is slowly unfolding so there aren't too many news stories out there. Thus, you have to read something like this to get you through.


4) New Podcast

Shane Bacon is back again with another podcast, this time talking to one of my favorite guys in the golf writing game, Kyle Porter.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Hawaii Time! 

My favorite golf course (so far) is the Plantation Course at Kapalua. That just happens to be where the pros are this week and PGA Tour has a great first look at all the proceedings:


2) Tortoise Time

Slow play has infected all the tours but because the PGA is the big dog, their issues are currently in the spotlight. Geoff does a great job breaking it all down.


3) Furyk Time

Whenever you see articles from multiple golf publications all speculating like they are that Jim Furyk is going to be the next US captain of the Ryder Cup it is probably a done deal.


4) New Podcast

John Swantek is back with a brand new podcast!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Hogan No More

The first set of professional irons I owned (and still own) were the Hogan GCD Edges. Great clubs and I was so happy to see the company come back. Sadly, that is all over now, they have gone under.


2) Change Is A Coming

Looks like the new commish of the PGA Tour is finally making changes to the schedule. I applaud these efforts, as my wife would say, "when is golf over?".


3) Architect Corner

I am getting more and more into golf course architecture and the Fried Egg recently put together a great column about a quirk of Tillinghast's designs.


4) New Podcast

Shane Bacon gets his podcast on with Mr. Single Length Clubs, Bryson DeChambeau.


Trinity Forest Reviewed

Every course has been great on my quest to play all the Coore/Crenshaw designed courses but some are more great than others. Check out my review of Trinity Forest!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Kevin Markham is the man with fingers on the pulse of Irish golf. He breaks down all the latest and greatest from the Emerald Isle here:


2) Lydia Switches

The worst kept secret in golf was officially confirmed this morning as Lydia Ko switched to PXG. Whether anyone can afford PXG is another matter.


3) One Last Prediction

Golf Digest weighs in on what will happen in 2017.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Morning Quick Links

1) New Year, New Equipment

Most people seem to make new year's resolutions and golf news at this time of the year is slow. Thus you get breaking stories about golfers choosing new equipment. If you are interested in this sort of thing, Geoff breaks down the movement of the PGA pros to new sponsors.


2) Dye Time

GolfWeek has been looking at Pete Dye's golf courses and have come up with a Top 10 list. Love his design style or hate it, you have to admit, this list contains a bunch of good courses.


3) Kapalua

Kapalua remains my favorite course that I have played so I am more than amped up for the tourney there this week. The last 2 months have been really rainy on Maui and it looks like the wet weather is continuing.


4) New Podcast

The Talking Golf Getaways guys keep pumping em out. Here are the latest ones if you want to have a listen.