Talk about a letdown. Friday’s big surprise announcement by the Rio 2016 committee selecting a golf course architect for the Olympic Games is that it has put off a decision for a month.
You can bet this won’t be the last delay. Missed deadlines are just part of the process -- with any golf course and with any Olympics. That doesn’t bode well for getting the course up and running for a planned 2015 tournament test run before the Olympic Games begin the next summer.
After two days of listening to a total of eight 45-minute presentations, the four-man selection committee apparently has its hand full and can’t come to an agreement. Let’s hope that’s a testament to the PowerPoint skills of the finalists and not a function of backdoor politicking and influence peddling. Not that such issues ever have been a factor in previous Olympiads.
Going into today’s stall, the favorite surely was Jack Nicklaus, who enhanced his considerable global presence by teaming with Annika Sorenstam. That move seemed to make sense on a site destined to hold competitions for the men and women on consecutive weeks in 2016. Other finalists also found ...
Gordon Dalgleish and his brother, Colin, co-founded PerryGolf in August 1984. Since then, their company has organized overseas golf trips for nearly 50,000 travelers – mostly to Scotland and Ireland, but also to more far-flung destinations such as New Zealand and South Africa.
During the PGA Merchandise Show, Gordon Dalgleish discussed the golf travel market with Golfweek.
Golfweek: How is 2012 shaping up in the golf travel category?
Dalgleish: 2010 was a bad year, 2011 was slightly disappointing because it started stronger but finished off weaker. 2012 is shaping up with some level of optimism. My sense is that we’re going to have a good improvement over ’11. One trend that we’re seeing is that a lot of repeat customers from 2005, ’06, ’07 – guys who were maybe two- or three-year-cycle travelers – missed a cycle. They’re now resurfacing. They’re thinking, “OK, the world isn’t perfect, we’re not getting any younger, we want to get back to doing things we enjoy as a group.” It’s a fairly noticeable trend when I see bookings come through.
Golfweek: What’s the state of golf travel to Scotland and Ireland?
Dalgleish: Scotland continues to come back faster ...
LA QUINTA, Calif. – The quest to dramatically change Q-School will continue next week when the PGA Tour’s staff presents its latest proposal at a mandatory players meeting. The changes are starting to seem inevitable.
The greatest criticism of the proposed qualifying system is that it keeps players from making the leap from college or the mini-tours to the PGA Tour. Many players would be required to spend a year on the Nationwide Tour, even though many of the PGA Tour’s biggest stars bypassed the secondary circuit.
Under the proposal, PGA Tour cards would be awarded through a season-ending series of events. Players would gain entry into that series through performance on the PGA and Nationwide tours. No PGA Tour cards would be available through Q-School, which would award only Nationwide Tour status.
I propose that radical Nationwide Tour changes – changes that would make the secondary circuit more accessible – should accompany the modifications to Q-School. It seems only fair that if one route to the PGA Tour were closed that another should be opened.
Making the Nationwide Tour more accessible would make the secondary circuit more intriguing. The tour would gain the charm that Q-School would be losing. It ...
EA Sports made a few big announcements Tuesday about the upcoming version of its popular Tiger Woods video game.
The Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 version of the game, which hits stores on March 27, will include integration for the Kinect on XBOX 360, allowing players to operate the game without a controller. The Kinect uses a system of cameras to track body movement and mimic gamers’ actions inside the game through their character. Players can cycle through the game’s menus and options by using either voice commands or hand motions.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 will be the first-ever Kinect for XBOX 360 sports simulation title.
Also announced was a new swing mechanic, which will take the game’s shotmaking to a new level. Gone are the days of the no-thought, back-and-through swing, as players will now have control over their swing tempo, ball position and stance, allowing players to replicate countless swing combinations used by actual PGA Tour players.
“Our fans asked us to deliver a new level of fidelity and authenticity to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, and our team delivered with the ability to literally choose millions of shot combinations through our new swing mechanic ...
Early in Friday’s telecast of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, anchor Dan Hicks referred to the ad hoc pairing of analysts Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo as “the yin and yang of golf” – sort of like Oscar and Felix sharing the 18th tower.
If Miller and Faldo were a sit-com pairing, they would have been canceled after the second week – if they had made it out of pre-production.
As much as Hicks and co-anchor Terry Gannon tried to engage the pair, there was no spark between Miller and Faldo. They seemed to get along fine, but they didn’t have a rapport. They were individuals on the course, and they’re apparently more comfortable working solo in the booth.
For Hicks’ benefit, Miller briefly tried to play along. “I was kind of crazy like Lanny Wadkins going for every pin, and Nick was more of a cerebral, percentage golfer,” he said during the opening round. “So we have different slants on the game.”
Alas, those interesting “slants” didn’t translate to the broadcast booth. There were no memorable exchanges, no great laugh lines, and few, if any, noteworthy insights. In short, Miller and Faldo had worse chemistry ...
Adams Golf, which has struggled to recover its shareholder value after the worldwide equity collapse of 2008, has retained investment bank Morgan Stanley to explore options that could include a sale of the company.
Chip Brewer, Adams Golf’s chief executive officer, told Golfweek in a phone interview from his office in Plano, Texas, that Adams’ board of directors voted unanimously in late December to hire Morgan Stanley.
“The board felt the share price doesn’t correctly reflect the prospect of the business,” Brewer said. “We’re pretty optimistic there will be a whole range of options out there.”
Those options could include:
• issuing a dividend to shareholders
• repurchasing shares
• selling the company
• taking the company private.
On the news that Adams hired Morgan Stanley, Adams stock (ticker symbol ADGF on the NASDAQ exchange) jumped 13.5 percent, or 85 cents, to $7.16.
Adams, founded in 1987 by Barney Adams, found success with its Tight Lies fairway woods. The company went public in 1998, topping $70 per share in its initial offering. By 2000, the share price had dropped to less than $1.
The stock steadily recovered in recent years and was up to $8.80 in January 2008 ...
Reflecting on another year that has come and gone, my mind gravitates to an unsettling thought: Why did I play so little golf in 2011?
Borrowing runners' jargon, I didn't set a "PR" – or personal record – for rounds played. In fact, I guess you could call it a "PW," or personal worst.
At first blush, the story of my absence from neighborhood courses could lead any local newscast depicting the economy's impact on consumer spending. Frugal might as well be my middle name for a variety of reasons: Spiraling college costs (one kid in school, another getting ready to go next year). Unexpected health-care bills. My plummeting home value. All of these factors make me want to stuff my savings under my mattress and sit on it – a symbolic, and likely futile, protest to preserve what I have.
My love of the game, however, certainly hasn't diminished. So, I'm convinced if course operators had given me greater encouragement and incentives to play I would have overcome my economic handicap. But for the most part, they didn't. Which leads me to golf's biggest issue in 2011 and one that's sure to top the agenda ...
Competitive bidding for plum course-design assignments is nothing new for golf architects.
But it’s fair to say that the industry never has seen a bigger project pursued by so many distinguished teams as is the case now with golf’s return to the Olympics for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
What began as an open call for qualified designers that drew more than two dozen applications has been narrowed to an elite eight: Tom Doak, Gil Hanse, Martin Hawtree, Robert Trent Jones II, Gary Player and the design teams of Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam; Greg Norman and Lorena Ochoa; and Peter Thomson and Ross Perrett.
The applicants signed confidentially agreements. As a condition of the project, the three-man team representing 2016 Rio Olympics has set a fee of $300,000 – a fraction of the normal design rate most of these architects receive. The big prize here will be the prestige of having designed a showpiece for the global game.
The site itself is an undistinguished, virtually flat, land-locked parcel on the far southwest side of Rio de Janeiro near the planned Olympic Village. Technical specifications, as well as budgets, environmental issues and timeline, will be shared ...
I just can’t get into this week’s World Cup in China. Seems I’m not alone. I’m not convinced it resonates with much of the golfing public, either.
I’m all for events that are different from the run-of-the-mill, steady diet we get of 72-hole stroke-play tournaments. So the World Cup should be right up my street. It isn’t.
How many sports have a World Cup or championship that clashes with other tournaments? Think about it: the football (soccer, for my American friends) World Cup doesn’t clash with anything in the sport. It stands alone because it is the pinnacle of football.
The World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, The Ashes and Rugby World Cup stand alone because they are the premier events in their respective sports. Not golf’s World Cup. This week, there are tournaments in South Africa (the SA Open Championship) and Australia (the Australian PGA Championship).
Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen shouldn’t have to choose between playing in their national championship and representing their country in the World Cup. Yet that’s the absurd position they find themselves in. They’ve both opted for China.
There is a pretty good ...
SHANGHAI - The PGA Tour is continuing to fine-tune its plan for growth in Asia, commissioner Tim Finchem said while visiting China during the WGC-HSBC Champions.
The status of the WGC-HSBC Champions, which counts as an official victory for winner Martin Kaymer but not official money, could change as soon as next year but more likely in 2013, Finchem said.
Full status for HSBC would be in conjunction with changes proposed for the Nationwide Tour and Q-School (click here for more details on this proposal), which would allow the new season to start in the fall.
“That’s the road I'd like to go down,” Finchem said of the Nationwide Tour proposals. “But there are issues with it, and the players need to support it. I don’t know anybody that has a huge problem with the specifics, but change is change.”
Should the Tour's Policy Board approve the plan, HSBC would become a full-fledged event on Tour, with official money. If the board doesn’t OK the changes, Finchem said there are options, without elaborating.
“We’ve been at this a year, and I think it's mainly getting players to understand the details,” Finchem said. “We have ...
Anyone else feeling a little uneasy about the amount of money swishing around in professional golf these days?
While many are struggling in these austere economic times, big-name tour professionals still seem to be coining it in. They don’t seem to be living in the same world as the rest of us.
How many of us can point to a salary increase in recent years? Very few. Even those lucky enough to get salary increases won’t be much better off, because it’s almost a sure bet the increase won’t match inflation.
Yet look at the money lists of the professional tours, and you wouldn’t know we were in dire economic times.
Eighty-nine players on the PGA Tour earned more than $1 million this year. D.J. Trahan took the 125th card, the last guy to qualify for 2012 Tour membership. Trahan earned $668,166 for finishing last. How many people reading this would gladly take that sort of money to finish last?
Bobby Gates earned $666,735 for finishing 126th and isn’t guaranteed a steady job next season. Imagine telling friends and family you earned $666,735 and failed!
The money in ...
Finally, golf’s official rulebook will look the same in golfing countries around the world.
On Oct. 24, the U.S. Golf Association and the R&A, announced identical formatting worldwide for the newest Rules of Golf, the 2012-2015 edition.
In anticipation of golf’s return to the Olympic Games in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro, the layout and format of the Rules of Golf will be the same in every country. For example, the content of page 62 in the United States will match the content on page 62 in Britain or Asia or South America. All will contain identical rules, illustrations and photographs.
The only differences will be in the native languages.
This is unprecedented for golf. In the past, the rules were the same around the world, but individual countries or golf associations often created their own layouts and formats.
The rulebook is reissued every four years by the USGA and R&A, the two governing and rules-making bodies that oversee golf around the globe. This time, they vowed to produce a uniform rulebook.
“Well, it may sound easy, but it wasn’t,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s director of the Rules of Golf. “It was ...
The Nationwide Tour announced Oct. 13 the creation of the Chile Classic presented by Pacific Rubiales, the first official PGA Tour event in the South American country.
The Chile Classic, which will be played March 8-11 at Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago, is part of the Tour’s further expansion into Latin America.
“With golf being added to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the Chile Classic takes on additional significance in contributing to the growth of the game in the region during the run up to the Games,” Nationwide Tour president Bill Calfee said.
The Chile Classic will likely be part of a Latin American swing to start the next Nationwide Tour season. The Nationwide Tour has large gaps in its early-season schedule, a problem it hopes to address with additional events in Latin America.
The Nationwide Tour added an event in Colombia, the Bogota Open, in 2010. The tour also conducts events in Mexico and Panama. The Panama and Colombia events kicked off the 2011 season in February and March. Adding the stop in Chile allows the Nationwide Tour to begin with three consecutive events, giving the tour a “more stable, more impactful” start to ...
In little more than two years as a professional, Rickie Fowler has appeared in Tiger Woods’ video game, a feature-length film and a music video. No one will say Fowler, a favorite of fans and media, has received too little exposure.
And yet, the biggest moment of his career was nowhere to be found Sunday on TV.
The fact that Fowler’s first professional victory, at the OneAsia circuit's Korea Open, wasn’t broadcast in the United States shouldn’t lessen its significance. He wrapped up his six-shot win over Rory McIlroy before many Americans woke up Sunday morning.
After his victory, Fowler tweeted, “First win...@KOLONKOREAOPEN feels really good!! Now time to get my first on the @PGATOUR!!”
Fowler, who's twice failed to convert a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, led after each round in Korea. He pulled four shots ahead of the field with a third-round 64, then finishing things off with a closing 68.
No, the Korea Open wasn’t the strongest tournament this week. Yes, Fowler needs to win on the PGA Tour to appease his critics. But the fact that Fowler so handily defeated McIlroy on Sunday adds something to his accomplishment ...
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and golf equipment makers are taking steps to raise awareness and provide financial support for the cause.
Since 1995, Pinnacle has been associated with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. And the long-time partnership takes a new twist this month as Pinnacle unveils its new Gold Ribbon ball.
The packaging for the latest Pinnacle product showcases the Komen for the Cure icon, and each ball is stamped with the Komen pink ribbon logo – the universal symbol for breast cancer awareness and a reminder to pursue early detection.
Acushnet Co., parent of the Titleist, FootJoy and Pinnacle brands, makes a significant financial contribution to the foundation and has been recognized with the Komen Award for Corporate Philanthropy.
In a statement, Mary Lou Bohn, vice president, golf ball marketing, advertising and communications, said: “This is just one way for us to generate exposure and support for the Komen Foundation in its effort to provide funds for breast cancer research and education to eradicate this disease.”
Wilson Sporting Goods has been a steadfast ally, too, in the fight against breast cancer. It has supported The Breast Cancer Research Foundation since 1998, donating more than $2 million ...