Monday, November 23, 2009

Fifty More Places to Play Golf Before You Die

All golfers dream about playing famous golf courses, historic courses, exotic courses or finding a hidden gem that's Off the Beaten Cart Path. Let's face it, we would all like to play just one round at Pebble Beach and St. Andrews both of which are open to the public. This would assuredly be golf nirvana. But the cold, hard truth is that most of us will never set foot on such hallowed links. Time or money seems to hinder our best intentions.

But let's just imagine that we win the golf lottery and have virtually unlimited resources with which to travel and play any courses we so desire. Which ones do we select? Where can we go to whet our golfing appetite? Fifty More Places to Golf before You Die will help to answer these questions.

Written by freelance writer Chris Santella as a sequel to his successful Fifty Places to Play Golf Before You Die, Fifty More … takes us on a world wide journey to familiar and not so familiar courses. Familiar courses include Pebble Beach, Harding Park in San Francisco (site of the recent President's Cup) and Pinehurst #2. Courses that are perhaps little known to us in the United States include Devil's Paintbrush in Ontario, The Machrie Golf Links in Scotland, and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club in China. Santella catalogues these six and forty-four more around the world.

Each course has been recommended by someone who knows the golf course well and provides insight for playing the course. You will recognize many of the names of those who have shared their stories for this volume. Consider Amy Alcott, Bob Charles and Ian Baker-Finch for starters. And if you do just happen to get the inclination to go, Santella has provided us with “If You Go” information at the end of each chapter that includes Getting There, Course Information, and Accommodations.

Santella has hit a successful niche with this style of book - Fifty “Whatever” Before You Die. He has penned five other titles in this series. And Abrams Books is a master at publishing these picturesque and entertaining coffee table-style books. This volume is well appointed with forty pictures from the fifty chosen courses.

Fifty More Places to Play Golf Before You Die is an engaging read and well worth consideration as a Christmas gift for all golfers. It will stir the wanderlust of your favorite golfer.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Phoenix not on 2010 LPGA schedule

The LPGA schedule for 2010 was announced just a couple of days ago in Texas. And guess which golfing mecca has been left off of the globe trotting schedule. Go ahead. You get three guesses.

Phoenix, Phoenix and Phoenix. Right. Good guess. For the past thirty years the LPGA has held a tournament in Phoenix. But not next year. For thirty years Arizona golf fans have supported the LPGA event as it moved around the valley. But not next year.

It's not like we didn't see this coming. We all knew the 2009 event at Papago was a one year shot. Yet we all held out hope that the new wizards at the LPGA would pull off a miracle. Apparently the change is not what we hoped for. It's a sad time for golf in Phoenix.

Here's a couple of good articles on the LPGA schedule and an insightful take on the LPGA dumping Phoenix in favor of the Far East.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Idiot golf scribe of the week

There is one dynamic about Tiger Woods that cannot be denied. Whatever he does, be it on or off the golf course, is closely followed and scrutinized and people quickly form opinions. By now most golf fans have heard of the Tiger temper incident in Australia last week in which a Nike driver found its way into the gallery. Opinions have been formed.

We here at Eye On Golf have ours. Quite simply an incident like this is bad-bad-bad for golf for a number of reasons. It's a bad image for the sport especially since Tiger is the face of golf. There is a high possibility of danger involved for gallery members. It make for a terrible role model. Young golfers mimic Tiger. Do you want young golfers behaving as such on your golf course? Bottom line is there is no excuse for such actions.

Now, as we said, everyone has an opinion on this incident. Golf writers have ponied up their thoughts on this in pretty good numbers. But, we believe we have found the worst and, unfortunately, he works for a national publication, GolfWeek. Check it out right here complete with video and comments. Bear in mind, we think Mr. Soderstrom has an excuse or two just like he makes for Tiger. He is young, impressionable and has no concept of proper demeanor and etiquette on the golf course.

Therefore he has been awarded this ignominious distinction. Hopefully in the future he will think before he writes.

Editors note: This will not be an award that is handed out with any regularity - hopefully - rather, it will be held in reserve for those special moments of journalistic ineptitude.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tiger and Michelle save the golf world

Just when you thought the golf season was over the most important week of the year occurs less than two weeks before Thanksgiving. Mark down this date – Sunday, November 15, 2009. On this one Sunday the game of golf which has been pretty much gasping for air the past few years finally got the revitalizing treatment it needed. It got the shot in the arm to cure all ailments.

The treatment: Tigers Woods wins in Australia and, although this is not earth shattering in the United States, it is life saving for the game in Australia. Not to mention that this is another continent conquered by “The One.” This was the first victory for Woods in the Land Down Under. And if you're keeping such statistics, he has now won on every continent save Antarctica.

But, Wood's victory was only half of the medicine. The life-giving dose came from Michelle Wie, the Hawaiian child prodigy who everyone expected to be the savior of the women's game. Problem was Wie had accomplished virtually nothing – until Sunday. Sometime late in the twilight, long after Woods had given the Australian golf world its biggest thrill since Greg Norman, Michelle Wie finally kicked ass and took names. And the names, which are some of the top female players in golf, include Creamer, Kerr,Shin and Pressel. Wie has now established herself as one of the preeminent players in the game not just one of the best known personalities.

Who wins here? Right now, Santa Claus. It has already been reported that boys and girls from Brisbane to Cabo San Lucas are right now changing their Christmas lists to include golf equipment from Nike. In the future it should be everyone who loves the game.

The burden of responsibility for the revitalization of the game now falls on the few who fancy themselves as the leaders in golf. The credibility of such organizations is at stake.