Tom Doak Taking On Old Rival, Your Notions With New Course

Tom Doak waited more than 35 years for the opportunity that was presented to him this summer, ever since he first saw Swinley Forest and Rye. Those two Harry Colt courses in England – renowned for being short on yardage but long on challenge – are the genesis of Sedge Valley, Doak’s recently announced course at Wisconsin’s Sand Valley Resort.

Great architecture exposes weaknesses in skill or judgment, and Doak’s proposed design probes the psyche even before a shot is struck. Sedge Valley is just 6,100 yards, par 68, guaranteeing that some will dismiss it sight unseen as too short to bother with, while others will assume it’s a pushover.

Continue reading “Tom Doak Taking On Old Rival, Your Notions With New Course”

Is It A Hall of Fame or a Mausoleum?

When the World Golf Hall of Fame announced its “Class of ‘19,” the inclusion of Peggy Kirk Bell illustrated much of what’s wrong with that noble but misbegotten institution.

It’s not that she isn’t worthy of induction. Quite the opposite: She deserved it years ago. Bell lived 95 years, but the Hall waited until two years after her passing to bestow its grace.

Thus can an intended honor seem like a clumsy insult. She deserved better.

Screen Shot 2018-11-01 at 11.56.01 AM
Peggy Kirk Bell, finally a Hall of Famer, two years after her death.

Continue reading “Is It A Hall of Fame or a Mausoleum?”

Patrick Reed Will Save the PGA Tour—Seriously!

Golf has marketed the virtue of its players for so long that you’d be forgiven for assuming PGA Tour cards come with certificates of moral rectitude.

Until we recently began living under par, “These Guys Are Good” was recited with an almost evangelical fervor. The slogan wasn’t intended to refer only to the quality of play evident on Tour, but also to the not so readily apparent qualities of its members: sportsmanship, humanitarianism, charity.

That branding has two potential snares: Even a trivial divergence from the righteous narrative is magnified, and it denies golf fans the manufactured hatred that thrives in other sports. After all, it’s tough to hate a guy when you only hear about his decency and kindness to puppies.

Screen Shot 2018-11-01 at 11.49.18 AM
“Table for One.”

Continue reading “Patrick Reed Will Save the PGA Tour—Seriously!”

Buddy System Of Choosing Ryder Cup Captains Bad For U.S. Business

American victories in the Ryder Cup, rare as they are, seldom get the recognition they deserve. There’s always some celebratory chest thumping, of course, but one can only cheer so much when you’ve been told that defeating Europe should be a foregone conclusion anyway.

When the champagne is drained, the trophy is largely forgotten for two years. But on the more regular occasions of an American loss, those two years are filled with autopsies and blame games. The aftermath of 2018 will be no different.

Paris will not have witnessed so many disheartened elite leaving town since the Bastille was stormed.

Continue reading “Buddy System Of Choosing Ryder Cup Captains Bad For U.S. Business”

Impact of Tadd Fujikawa Coming Out Remains to be Seen

Several things tend to happen when an athlete becomes the first man in his sport to publicly acknowledge he’s gay. Progressives cheer, pearl-clutchers jeer and reaction to the announcement is rapidly conflated with its lasting impact.

So it was last week when Tadd Fujikawa came out in a deeply personal Instagram post, making him the first golfer with even a whiff of name recognition to do so.

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 10.58.25 PM

Continue reading “Impact of Tadd Fujikawa Coming Out Remains to be Seen”