Jan 30, 2014 | 10:00 AM

Beach Views

In a state where the major league baseball team’s stadium has a pool just beyond the right field fence, why not watch golf from a beach? Select spectators at this weekend’s Waste Management Phoenix Open in Arizona will do just that. An area well left of the landing area on the TPC Scottsdale's 18th fairway has been newly christened “Thunder Beach,” complete with sand, lifeguard stands and rows of chairs overlooking a small pond. Expect the local scenery lounging there to get plenty of tv airtime when (or if) CBS cuts away from coverage of the infamous 16th hole. You'll need a coveted Greenskeeper badge to put your toes in this exclusive sand though—without a generous friend or solid connection, that will run you at least $3,500 for a package that includes four badges, free drinks and valet parking. But no sunscreen.

Share |

Jan 29, 2014 | 11:18 AM

Shark Eats Golden Bear

Golf Word just posted published its list of the 100 Best Modern Golfers on the PGA Tour and it's refreshing that the ranking didn't rely too heavily on majors to compute it, but how in the name of Bobby Jones did Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson come out ahead of Jack Nicklaus? Well, the list only goes back to 1980 and Jack's best years were in the '60s and '70s so that's the main reason. The ranking began with 1980 because that's when the Tour started keeping a database with complete scoring and performance statistics, which the magazine used to compute its ranking. The formula gives majors a 50 percent added value, but places an emphasis on week-to-week performance. It also places added importance on a golfer's best seasons, answering the age-old question, "How good was their good?"


    1.    Tiger Woods                                                          23.047
    2.    Greg Norman                                                         13.893
    3.    Phil Mickelson                                                        11.329
    4.    Jack Nicklaus                                                         11.281
    5.    Vijay Singh                                                             10.952
    6.    Ernie Els                                                                 10.702
    7.    Tom Watson                                                           10.318
    8.    David Duval                                                            9.733
    9.    Rory McIlroy                                                           9.728
    10.  Nick Faldo                                                               9.651

Share |

Jan 28, 2014 | 09:29 AM

Another Tiger-Rory Showdown

This weekend, if any of the players in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic should be stupid-lucky enough to bang a 325-yard drive onto the green and into the cup of the 325-yard 17th hole at the Emirates Golf Club, the tournament organizers—in celebration of the event’s silver anniversary—will write a check for $2.5 million. That’s equal to the entire purse for the event. A wounded Tiger, fresh off his ignominious 79 at Torrey Pines, will be there, not because of the hole-in-one gimmick or the anniversary or because he’s a former champion, but because the organizers have already written him a check in excess of the $2.5 mil simply for showing up. Nonetheless, it will be good drama watching him and Rory (who won his first pro event here) play head-to-head over the first two days, if for no other reason than to see if either of them can make an early statement about the year to come.

Share |

Jan 27, 2014 | 10:41 AM

Of Courses

The National Golf Foundation—the industry’s research arm—has published its final numbers on course openings/closings for 2013, and they aren’t pretty. According to the NGF, only 14 courses (in 18-hole equivalents) opened in the U.S. last year, while 157.5 closed. Break the numbers down and you see that of the 14 new courses, 8.5 (61%) were public and 5.5 (39%) were private; of the closures, 151.5 (96%) were public and only 6 (4%) were private. So public golf is taking it on the chin. The NGF report notes that while there were few openings, “some…are exciting additions to America’s golf course landscape,” citing Gary Player’s The Cliffs at Mountain Park in South Carolina (reviewed in the Winter 2014 issue of LINKS Magazine, out soon) and Tom Doak’s Red Course at Dismal River Club in Nebraska (shown above, and reviewed in our Fall 2013 issue, readable here). Perhaps, but those two high-end, out-of-the-way tracks, good as they are, don’t give us much hope for the future of course construction. By the way, if you’ve ever wondered how many courses are in the U.S., the NGF reports a total of 14,564.5, with public ones accounting 73% of the total (roughly 3.5-to-1 daily fee to municipal) and 27% private.

Share |

Discover South Carolina Golf
Villas of Grand Cypress

Follow Links Magazine