Mark Nessmith This Week at September 6, 2005

In Katrina relief, golf biz leaders'
pace of play has been pathetic

Golf is seen by many as the ultimate "establishment" game. Don't know if that's the case or not but the golf world, at its highest levels, certainly seems to be following the Washington, D.C. establishment with a sluggish response to the catastrophe in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast.

Scanning the Internet, I saw report after report of athletes and entertainers donating significant sums. Realizing I wasn't reading much from the world of big-time golf, I went over to the PGA Tour's Web site where I found a press release saying that the major U.S. golf organizations have joined forces to create a fund to provide support. "The U.S. Golf Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund has a goal of raising $5 million for the relief efforts," reads the press release.

The fund "gives the major golf organizations, along with tournaments, sponsors, players, fans, and even The First Tee network of facilities an effective way to make a meaningful contribution to ease the suffering," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is quoted as saying.

Gives - an - effective - way - to - make - a - meaningful - contribution.

Maybe I missed something but I hadn't heard that ways to make a meaningful contribution are in short supply. I mean, every idiot with a blog is posting the "how to donate" link from the Red Cross!

The major U.S. golf organizations alluded to include the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, PGA of America, USGA and the Masters Tournament. Let's see, the very pillars of professional golf in America are rolling up their sleeves to "raise" $5 million.


You know what, I have an easy way for these organizations to raise a cool five mill: Write some checks!

George Steinbrenner himself donated $1 million. Lance Armstrong ponied up $500,000. NASCAR driver Carl Edwards is donating his winnings from the Ameriquest 300. Oakland Raiders QB Kerry Collins will make a $1,000 donation for every touchdown pass he throws and every game the Raiders win this year. Celine Dion is giving a million bucks. Rappers Sean "Diddy" Combs and Jay-Z, two of my favorites, have made a joint pledge of $1 million. The examples go on and on.

Finchem is quoted as saying, "Many in the golf community have expressed a strong desire to provide assistance." Well, while the self-professed leaders of the golf community appear to be doing diddly thus far, real golfers are doing just that. Finchem's golf pals may have "expressed a strong desire to provide assistance," but golfers and golf courses all over the United States are getting off their butts and doing it! There are countless stories in the press of local courses and golfers' groups banding together, raising money and sending it off to the people in need. They don't need "an effective way to make a meaningful contribution," they need cash. And what they can't afford to give themselves, they're raising and sending to help Katrina's victims.

In golfer terms, Average Joe is out there hacking, while the big boys are still standing around the country club parking lot waiting for some kid to carry their bag to the clubhouse so they can have a martini in the grill room before making their afternoon tee time.

As always, welcomes your comments.

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Magnolia Greens Golf PlantationTravelers still finding the deals
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With tourism ingrained into the local psyche, Myrtle Beach knows how to treat tourists. And with millions of them pouring into the Grand Strand area each year, golf courses, restaurants and merchants are always working to give visitors what they are looking for, as cheaply as possible. From package deals, to equipment to lodging, everything is on sale for those looking to explore the beauty of Myrtle Beach while saving a buck or two.

Full story | The Cheap Bastard's the master at finding golf deals!

The Signature At West Neck Signature at West Neck: Swing away if
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The Arnold Palmer-designed Signature at West Neck in Virginia Beach, Va., gives golfers everything they expect from a Palmer course with beautiful landscaping and accepting fairways. Unfortunately, the homes are built so close to the course that an errant shot will very likely break someone's window. While the playability of the course is top-rank, the housing has some irked. "Palmer screwed up," said member Dave Camion. "He built the houses too close to the course."

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The U.S. Women's Open Michelle Wie mania defies
tradition in Newport, R.I.

They're talking golf in posh Newport, R.I. but it isn't the normal have-you-played-there, did-you-see-what-Tiger-Woods-did chat of the idle rich. No, with the U.S. Women's Open coming to town in June 2006, they're talking women's golf - about a 15-year-old Asian-American golfer to be exact. When this is the talk of Newport, a town as old money as tobacco plantations, you know the Michelle Wie mystique has hit overdrive, writes West Coast Bureau Chief Chris Baldwin.

Full story | Paula Creamer a force in LPGA golf - present and future