This Week at TravelGolf.com: August 2, 2005
Even usually ruthless USGA
pities the old farts on Champions Tour
The United States Golf Association is usually resolute in its scoring ruthlessness, determined to "uphold the sanctity of par" the way a Pope is determined to uphold Church dogma. Ernie Els became so unhinged by the setup at Shinnecock Hills for the 2004 U.S. Open, you half expected him to demand that President Bush go into the USGA offices and search for Weapons Of Meeks Destruction.
One thing to love about the USGA is how democratic they are in approach. USGA head David Fay and course conniver Tom Meeks are just as comfortable making Michelle Wie lose it as they are Retief Goosen.
Man, woman or child, the USGA does not care. They are going to make you work -- and cry -- for a trophy.
Well, except if you're a geriatric geezer golfer. For even the iron hearts at the USGA apparently feel sorry for all the would-have-beens, has-beens and never-will-bes that make up the so-called Champions Tour. The USGA made the course so forgiving for the U.S. Senior Open this past weekend that even Billy Casper, he of the Masters' 106, is kicking himself for not coming out to plop a few into the pond.
Heck, TravelGolf.com's own Old Man McDonald could have probably gone out there and broken par with the way the USGA had the NCR's South Course set up Friday - even if they gave McDonald an afternoon tee time that made him miss his standing 3:30 p.m. dinner reservation.
I don't want to say it was easy, so I'll let Tom Watson say it.
"If the kids were playing here, they (the USGA) would probably have the greens a little faster," Watson told SI.com.
By "the kids," Watson means the 30-something guys on the PGA Tour with receding hairlines, multiple homes and daycare bills of their own. You know, the guys who actually play golf at its highest level.
Shame on you, USGA, for trying to make the old farts look like reasonable shadows
of their long gone selves. Those greens were as a forgiving as falling into Pamela
Anderson's bosom. If Jack Nicklaus had played on this setup, he would have suddenly
announced he was giving up the celebrity
architect gig and heading back out onto the PGA Tour full time to challenge
And what great, unforgettable champion did this setup produce? No faithful, loyal readers, not a beer truck driver. This time, it's even better. We give you your 2005 U.S. Senior Open Champion: a former practice range operator who started playing "pro" golf at age 47.
That's the background of Allen Doyle, who put up a record eight-under 63 final round. (A Sunday 63! Is this a USGA championship event or a Stableford scoring system special?)
Doyle is one of those guys who used to order pimply-faced kids to get into those golf ball scooper-upper rigs and clean up the range as happy hackers tried to ding them. If that's not a "We salute you, Mr. Driving Range Operating Man" beer commercial waiting to happen, I don't know what is.
When even the heartless USGA pities you, you know your tour is pathetic.
As always, TravelGolf.com welcomes your comments.
Win a FREE Vacation for 2
From incredible, value-priced accommodations, to first class and deluxe all-inclusive resorts, to some of the world’s most elegant, posh hotels, the Riviera Nayarit offers perfect accommodations for every taste and budget!
Ready to Visit the Newest Riviera? Book Now!
Coral Ridge Country Club harkens back to a time when building Florida golf courses was a graceful affair, when architects had the luxury of routing layouts compatible with the tropical landscape, instead of bending to the demands of condo developers. This Robert Trent Jones classic in Ft. Lauderdale is one of a handful of old-time Florida courses that transport you back to the 1950s, when the experience was more to the point than selling real estate.
Full story | From The Rough - A graying Shark looks at 50
While the golf industry on the Monterey Peninsula does cater to an affluent crowd, there is an absurd amount of quality, cheap golf to be played out here. Not so-so munis that just happen to reside two hours south of San Francisco, but excellent courses that have long been popular with the locals and will forever be overshadowed by the high-dollar likes of Pebble Beach, Spyglass, Poppy Hills and Links at Spanish Bay.
Full story | Blog: Help a UK reader plan his U.S. golf vacation
Dates: June 1, 2007 - September 30, 2007
Play 3 of the top golf courses in Palm Springs including PGA West Stadium, PGA West Nicklaus, PGA West Norman, La Quinta Mountain, Trilogy Golf Club and Classic Club. Challenging desert courses together in one great package, starting from $179.
Call Now! 1-800-767-3574
For more information visit >>
When it comes to golf, there is nothing to laugh about in Kalamazoo, the town with the funny name. Just saying it - K-a-l-a-m-a-z-o-o - brings on a smile; certainly a big grin for golfers. This area may be one of the best in Michigan for good, affordable golf and that's no joke. You'd be hard-pressed to find this many good golf courses within just a few minutes of each other for such comfortable prices.
Full story | For golfers in Chicago, west is the best