Oct 01, 2014 | 01:24 PM

Critical Mass

Attention golf-course architecture fans: You can finally order the new edition of Tom Doak’s Confidential Guide to Golf Courses—all five volumes!—by going to his website and ordering the self-published set for $280 (or you can order each volume separately for $60). The update will cover more than 2,500 courses written by Doak and three co-authors, Ran Morrissett of, Japanese architect and critic Masa Nishijima, and Planet Golf author Darius Oliver. Volume 1 is available now and includes 288 reviews of courses in Great Britain and Ireland. The four other volumes will focus on America (winter and summer destinations); Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, with one volume a year published through 2018. As any golf-course aficionado knows, the first edition is a cult classic, fetching four-figure sums as a collectible since Doak only self-published 60 copies in the mid-'90s (second and third editions totaled 13,000 copies). Readers loved his controversial (read: bluntly honest) take on some of the best courses and architects in the game (all the old reviews are included in the update, as well, though Doak admits to rewriting some since he had to retype them—all the files were on unreadable Mac floppy disks). But don’t expect that just because he’s a famous architect now, he’s gone soft or anything, including on his own designs. Said Doak, who will autograph all pre-ordered copies: “Rest assured that I do not plan to write and self-publish a book about all the great courses I have ever seen, only to leave all of my own work out of the book.”

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Sep 30, 2014 | 11:26 AM


Sadly, there was more excitement in the post-Ryder Cup press conference than the competition itself.  if you wanted to enjoy an electrifying  finish on Sunday, the show to watch was the Champions Tour telecast of the Nature Valley First Tee Open, where junior golfers played alongside the seniors for 54 holes in a competition of their own which was won by 17-year-old Christopher Meyers who pulled off an unprecedented feat—a walk-off double-eagle on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach. 
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Sep 29, 2014 | 06:32 AM

Ryder Recriminations

And now comes the worst part of the Ryder Cup, the interminable post-match sniping about what the losing captain did wrong, notably by his own countrymen. Should Captain Watson have rested Phil Mickelson Friday afternoon? Should he have kept the winning team of Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth on the course for the first-day foursomes? Why did the U.S. do so poorly (losing six, halving two) foursomes? Was Spieth prepared to be first out in the singles? And on and on and on. Then there were the nasty comments thrown around by others: Colin Montgomerie bemoaning the “hangers on” who get to walk inside the ropes during the matches; Nick Faldo saying Sergio Garcia had been “useless” during the 2008 matches; Phil Mickelson wondering out loud on TV why Paul Azinger’s system of pairing and preparing players (successful in 2008) isn’t still used. Every year, it’s the same old thing: The fiercest competition isn’t between the two teams, but among members of the same teams. Perhaps the next captains should do something about that.

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Sep 26, 2014 | 12:27 PM

Duel In The Sun

Having fought with the Scots and the Irish, Donald Trump may finally be messing with the wrong people: Floridians. Folks living next to Trump National Doral (that’s the old Doral Resort in Miami, for those of you with slightly longer memories) are complaining that a fence of tall trees Trump had planted along the edge of the property are blocking their views. According to the Miami Herald, “Trump says the idea is to give golfers a feeling of isolation from everything but the course. But neighbors say The Donald has taken away something valuable from them—their unobstructed views of the greens and fairways.” The residents are claiming legal rights to the views, and some say they paid extra for their homes because of the scenic vistas. Trump says planting the trees helps make the property better, and “If I can’t make it great, I don’t want to be associated with it in any way.” Having paid a reported $150 million for the resort a few years back, we find it unlikely The Donald will bow—or is it bough?—to pressure.

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