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West Virginia Golf Resorts and Tennis Guide West Virginia Golf Resorts and Tennis Guide
West Virginia Golf Resorts and Tennis Guide
West Virginia Golf Resorts and Tennis Guide
Golf News

Mon, 20 Sep 2021 06:52:00 GMT
The PGL’s Andy Gardiner

The PGL’s Andy Gardiner

All signs suggest the disruptor golf leagues declared dead multiple times by Tour toadies are, miraculously, still hanging around. There may even be a conversation or twelve this week between Vice Captains and players about who is in and where.

The Saudi’s and their SGL, a rip off of all things Premier Golf League only with a Middle East-heavy schedule?

Or will the new Strategic Alliance keep everyone a happy PGA Tour/European Tour camper?

Judging by Phil Mickelson’s remarks to Gary Williams, the PGA Champion is still very much interested in the proposals. Armed with major championship exemptions for another few years, his fearless jabs at the PGA Tour model suggest he’s open to the ideas.

Here is a link to the interview portion where Williams and Mickelson discuss the wraparound schedule, PIP and team league proposals merge:

A few curious and noteworthy comments by Mickelson:

  • He said of the wraparound, the Tour is “going away from that next year”. Not sure if that was a slip up or slip of the tongue regarding the 2023 schedule and beyond.

  • Mickelson lamented that only 26% of the revenue goes to the players and agreements requiring the Commissioner’s approval. He said that while players use the engine of the PGA Tour to be successful, “we don’t make a majority of our revenue from the PGA Tour” we don’t own our media writes, and YouTube “make millions” off it, citing Bryson’s 6th hole tee shot at Bay Hill earlier this year. The clip does have 1.4. million views and in YouTube money, that’s not much barring a massive sweetheart deal with the Tour.

  • He says “top guys are being taken advantage of” and believes the PIP money offered by Ponte Vedra “sounds like a lot” but in the “big scheme” doesn’t “even come close to being equitable.”

  • Mickelson said the “competition is going to be good” for all.

  • He said for the first time “the top players are being valued by the PGA Tour” and the players are “so far down the line on, kind of, the bullying tactics that have been used to suppress the top players on the PGA Tour,” that this will all come down to what’s best for fans.

  • He said it’s “tough when only 4 people have a vote” and of the PGA Tour, says “I’m not sure we have, internally, the structure to fix it.”

On the PGL side, co-founder Andy Gardiner gave an interview to Golf Monthly and reminded how this week’s event is the inspiration for the concept:

If you can bring any of the brilliance of the Ryder Cup into a more regular format, then it’s got to be a good thing.

It’s easier for a fan to have allegiance to a team than it is to an individual.

Some individuals can have it – that’s where Tiger was utterly brilliant because he was so dominant that you could fall in love with him as the dominant player, or you could be fascinated by him.

But what everyone else was doing was backing the underdog because everyone else was an underdog.

What he did was to ignite both sides.

You had one group who wanted to see him win everything and you had those who wanted someone else to win.

Mon, 20 Sep 2021 03:23:47 GMT
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Today’s Quadrilateral kicks off Ryder Cup week looking at course setup ploys dating to the 1950s and how in many ways the gamesmanship was taken to strange new places in the last two Cups.

Plus, I wonder not very subtly whether Whistling Straits a different beast for the home team? And round up some random preview reads and Tweets.

Two items I don’t want you to miss just in case reading about course setup ploys in one newsletter is asking a lot on a Monday: Ward Clayton has the stunning tale of Skip Alexander’s place in Ryder Cup lore. This was a totally new one to me and fascinating to learn about.

And The Fried Egg offered this vignette and discussion of the venue:

Sat, 18 Sep 2021 18:55:04 GMT
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Great stuff top to bottom in part one of Adam Schupak’s conversation with Johnny Miller, but his comments on the state of golf announcing and long broadcast windows is of particular note.

I’m sure sensitive flowers will be put off by the reference to himself as the “one Simon Cowell” in golf, but get past what is essentially true and read the full answer.

GW: Have TV golf announcers gotten too soft? 

JM:  Well, they’ve always been soft. There’s only been one Simon Cowell and you’re looking at him.

This is a really an important thing I’m going to tell you. The greatness of golf – whether you’re a 100 shooter or whatever – is how well you can finish off your milkshake bet or whatever. The greatness of golf is handling your nerves and your choking point and whether you can perform when you need to.

So to ignore that, which has been basically ignored by every golf announcer except for me, and say a guy has swung all over, he’s choking – my very first tournament, Peter Jacobsen has got this downhill lie over water in front of the green, and when you try to hit it over water on a downhill lie, like 15 at Augusta, and you try to hit it high off that downslope, you either hit it thin or fat, that shot. It happened to Seve when he hit it in the drink at the Masters. I said, this is like the perfect situation to choke on.

Now, I didn’t say that Peter would choke on that shot, but no one had ever said choke in the history of golf, OK. Now, I’m not bragging, but that’s the way I viewed the game. It’s how well can you handle the choke factor, and to sort of ignore that because it’s uncomfortable or – you don’t have to say choke, but to not talk about the pressure, that’s why people loved Tiger is because he could actually raise his level to win tournaments. He was the opposite of folding under pressure. He was the best ever at that, better than Jack even.

Fighting words!

Here’s the strongest case made by Miller:

The great champions can lift their game to get the job done or make the great shot, and I was willing to go there. Too many announcers want to be friends with their fellow players, even though they’re announcers. I don’t know, they just don’t talk about it.

The people are starving for the truth. They’re starving to know what’s really happening. But you can’t just say a guy is choking. You have to say the guy has played fades all week long, now all of a sudden he’s hitting hooks, you know he might be choking. Or he hasn’t missed a putt inside six feet, now he’s missed three in a row. In other words, you can’t just pick it out of thin air and say the guy is choking. I would never just say it without showing you why it’s choking. It would be unfair to say a guy is choking. A guy who’s never hit a hook and he starts duck hooking it on the last five holes, he might be choking. If you’re hitting shots you’ve never seen before or it’s not you, you’re not handling the pressure. You’re folding.

I don’t know if anybody will go there again. Maybe they don’t need to. But I think it’s part of the greatness of golf how well can you handle pressure.

I was glad to see him not shy away from questioning his longevity in an era of all day broadcasts since it highlights the issue of prioritizing showing a ton of shots over storytelling or drama.

I’d rather be going nowhere fast than somewhere slow. I like to be going fast, so for me to be on the air for the Ryder Cup for 11-12 hours straight was like – that was so not me, I can’t tell you. That’s where golf is going. It’s getting where the hours that they’re demanding to cover and all the coverage, I got out at the right time because that’s just – if they said, come on in and do the last four hours, that would be fine, but I don’t have the patience to – golf has gotten almost crazy compared to what I knew.

When I first started announcing, two-hour coverage was normal. At the Masters, they just used to do the back nine on Sunday, right? Or did they do it on Saturday, too? I guess they did. Yeah, it’s changed so much. But you know, I think it’s good. It’s just not good for me. I probably wouldn’t have lasted 29 years if I had to do that kind of schedule and not only just Saturday and Sunday, but now sometimes you’ve got Thursday and Friday of the events.

Sat, 18 Sep 2021 18:24:46 GMT

New USGA CEO Mike Whan continued his busy interview schedule, this time, appearing on the Fried Egg podcast with Andy Johnson to talk distance.

This is not going to please those who feel restoring lost skill or design dynamics is needed:

“I think we’re going to establish some guidelines. I think those guidelines are probably going to slow some of the pace of progress over the next 10 or 20 years.

But are [equipment manufacturers] going to figure ways around that to continue to push the envelope? I’m actually counting on it because I think that’s what makes the game exciting. I also think that I have a responsibility to make sure that, when you look at [this issue] over the next 50 years, the decisions we made to control some of that pace didn’t obsolete every course in the country.”

As previous generations of the USGA leadership have felt but ultimately were unable to back-up with action.

Regarding timing:

”I think at this time next year, next summer, we’ll be talking about some real specific suggestions, recommendations, and be going through the same process [of taking feedback]. In the beginning, we put out the distance results. We then talked about some of the areas we want to look at. We’ve listened to feedback. I think, come this off-season, we’ll take all that feedback in and try to determine some specific directions. And then we’ll do the same thing. We’ll put it out there and let people [give] feedback.”

The suspense is not killing us.

He’s taken an interesting tact on where courses are built going forward, which I think would have been practical for his predecessors some time ago to acknowledge. Today? I’m not sure enough are going to be built for this to matter, but the sentiment is appreciated:

“More importantly, do you think there’ll ever be an urban golf course built again if it needs 8,600 yards to build the golf course? People say to me, “Well, you don’t need 86 [hundred] unless you’re building a golf course for the top elite.” But I’ve never met somebody who’s got a plan to build a golf course who doesn’t want to have a course that can host major championships. I just don’t think we want to make this game only a suburban game, only a game for the wealthy.”

Whan also spoke of finding a place in the equipment rules that have engineers working hard to circumvent the rules in the spirit of innovation and “energy”. Kind of like they’ve been doing for the last thirty years.

“But I think my job is to make sure that there’s as much energy about the future of this game three years from now as there is today, and 20 years from now as there is today. I want engineers to wake up every morning and say, ‘I see the rules that he put in place, but I’m going to spend a lot of hours today working on how to get excitement even within that space.’ I can’t throw a wet blanket over that or I’ll lose one of the things that makes this game truly exciting and great. If I see a package under the Christmas tree that looks like a golf club, I’m just like anybody else: I get pretty excited about ripping it open because maybe there’s two strokes of handicap in that box. And I don’t want to lose that excitement.”

Shop to drop (your handicap)!

Of course, that’s been the approach of the last few decades and average handicaps have not dropped substantially but costs have gone up. And until the pandemic, the number of people playing has steadily dropped under this approach. One born out of feeding the desires of public-traded companies, not necessarily the majority of golfers.

You can listen to the full pod here:

Fri, 17 Sep 2021 05:50:50 GMT
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Once the Ryder Cup is behind us all signs point to the distance discussion heating up and Golfweek’s David Dusek added some fun grist with this story on Patrick Cantlay’s bag.

It seems the FedExCup winner is playing old stuff which is the endorsement industry equivalent of stepping on the first tee with dirty toilet paper stuck to your shoe.

In most other worlds it would be a compliment that something made not that long ago was still so functional it delivered a $15 million payday for its user. Heck, most timeless brands take pride in the timelessness of the product.

But this it a planned obsolescence business driven by appeasing perceived Wall Street demands and the whole permanence thing is bad for business. Always something to remember as the whining begins this fall about stifled innovation , the end of growing the game, infringing on the rights of athletes, blah blah blah…

It’s quite a sob story until you realize someone played great golf with what most manufacturers consider antiquated equipment.

Yet if they were offered some bifurcation to free up the opportunity to innovate? They won’t like that either.

Thu, 16 Sep 2021 17:14:39 GMT
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While golf’s CEO types greenlight ad campaigns to show they care about the women’s game, some in the sport are actually delivering what folks might find “worth watching” on occasion: a mixed competition.

While the European Tour pushes individual formats of interest, college golf’s Barbara Nicklaus Cup provides another intriguing blueprint for something like the Olympics or perhaps an event not yet created.

From Dave Shedloski’s report on Ohio State coach Therese Hession’s effort to create the event and its format:

Each school will field six players from each men’s and women’s team to compete in four mixed foursomes and four singles matches in head-to-head contests against each of the other three schools. Each match counts for one point with a maximum of eight points per contest. The school with the most points after the three separate rounds will be the winner.

Members of the winning school will receive Muirfield Village Golf Club pin flags signed by both Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, said Hession, who hopes that a trophy might be created for the occasion in the next few years.

And two days at Muirfield Village should make for some fascinating match play.

Thu, 16 Sep 2021 04:31:31 GMT
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This week’s free-to-all News And Notes hit the dreaded max-email length, but I got in all the fun stuff from today’s NBC conference call where Paul Azinger suggested Brooks Koepka should relinquish his spot if not 100% in.

Koepka responded, says he’s ago and Bryson has made a mess of his hands prepping for the upcoming Long Drive.

All of that plus TV notes and schedules, Golf Channel’s 2008 Ryder Cup doc and notes about cheap tickets and good eats in Sheboygan. It’s a doozy of a Quadrilateral so sign up or upgrade to paid so you don’t miss next week’s daily coverage of the Ryder Cup. And if you’re new to the whole newsletter thing, here is the Quad’s homepage.

Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:18:38 GMT
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Andrew Coltart’s a six-time European Tour winner, former Ryder Cupper, current Sky Sports commentator and proud Scotsman. He joined Rod Morri, Mike Clayton and yours truly to discuss all things Ryder Cup and a little Solheim Cup as well. I think you’ll really enjoy this one, especially some of Coltart’s insights into this year’s team.

You can give Andrew a Twitter follow here. He will be in Wisconsin next week covering the event for Sky Sports.

Links to your favorite podcast app landing pages for SOTG are here, or you can listen via this embed:

Wed, 15 Sep 2021 02:47:26 GMT
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Variety’s Matt Donnelly reports on Steph Curry’s “sweeping, first-of-its-kind talent deal with Comcast NBCUniversal” that will feature Curry all over NBC and Universal, including next week’s Ryder Cup.

The “high eight-figure” agreement includes Curry’s Unanimous Media and covers all of the conglomerate’s various businesses.

It’s an impressive, if not urgent, move from Comcast NBCU, led by Brian Roberts and Jeff Shell, to secure talent with mass appeal in a landscape littered with blank checks from the streamers. NBCU has always touted its vertical integration program “Symphony,” but the Curry deal looks and feels like an aggressive play to realize the full power of its portfolio.

First up for Curry on the sports side is joining NBC Sports’ Golf Channel for coverage of the ultimate team golf event, the Ryder Cup. He will create original content for the channel’s acclaimed “Live From the Ryder Cup” coverage and GolfPass, which will be featured internationally on Sky Sports.

In the New York Post story there was this B-speak gem:

Aside from the Unanimous deal, Comcast NBCUniversal said its been developing a “symphonic cross-portfolio approach” of entertainment content deals with talent like Meghan Trainor and Miley Cyrus, Seth MacFarlane and Justin Lin.

Wed, 15 Sep 2021 02:16:00 GMT

I reviewed the PGA Tour Player of the Year vote in the latest Quadrilateral and rounded up the Tweets puncturing the case for Patrick Cantlay deserving the award over Jon Rahm.

Nothing against Cantlay’s season, but for players to so openly ignore major success, prompted the question and attempted answer: do they put cash ahead of majors?

Anyway, for posterity and some laughs from the case for Cantlay (seven top tens when Rahm had 15 in 22 starts), here is the full Player Of The Year press release:

FedExCup Champion Patrick Cantlay voted 2021 PGA TOUR Player of the Year

California native earns Jack Nicklaus Award after four-win season 

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – The PGA TOUR announced today that FedExCup Champion Patrick Cantlay has been named the 2021 PGA TOUR Player of the Year as voted by the TOUR’s membership for the 2020-21 season. Cantlay won four times on the season including back-to-back victories in the FedExCup Playoffs. 

Cantlay, who will receive the Jack Nicklaus Award for winning PGA TOUR Player of the Year, was selected for the honor over (alphabetically) Bryson DeChambeau, Harris English, Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm.

“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I would like to congratulate Patrick Cantlay on being honored as the 2021 PGA TOUR Player of the Year,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “Receiving this award through a member vote reflects the respect his peers have for Patrick. His play throughout 2020-21 was phenomenal, and in stepping up to win consecutive FedExCup Playoffs events and the FedExCup, Patrick was at his best when it mattered most in our season.”

With wins at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, BMW Championship and TOUR Championship, Cantlay (4) was the only player with more than two during the 2020-21 season. The last player with four or more victories in a single season on the PGA TOUR was Justin Thomas in 2016-17.

Cantlay shot a final-round 65 to win the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP by one stroke over Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas, with his second win of the season coming via a playoff against Collin Morikawa at the Memorial Tournament. At the BMW Championship, Cantlay set the record for most Strokes Gained: Putting during the ShotLink era (14.577) en route to defeating Bryson DeChambeau in a six-hole playoff. He beat Rahm by one stroke at the TOUR Championship the following week. Every player that finished runner-up to Cantlay in his four wins either won a major championship or THE PLAYERS at another point in the season (DeChambeau, Morikawa, Rahm, Thomas).

In all, Cantlay made 24 starts and recorded seven top-10s, with top-five finishes at The American Express (2nd) and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (T3) complementing his four titles. He was the only player to finish in the top 30 in the four major Strokes Gained categories (Off the Tee, Approach the Green, Around the Green, Putting).

Cantlay joined the PGA TOUR as a member for the first time in the 2013-14 season but made just six starts over the next three seasons as he recovered from a back injury. In 2016-17, Cantlay qualified for the TOUR Championship despite making only 13 starts and finished 29th in the FedExCup standings. He won twice on the PGA TOUR before the start of this season (2017 Shriners Children’s Open, 2019 the Memorial Tournament) and has now qualified for the TOUR Championship in four of the last five seasons.

PGA TOUR members who played at least 15 official FedExCup events during the 2020-21 season were eligible to vote.

Tue, 14 Sep 2021 18:51:17 GMT

Longtime Golf Channel host Gary Williams has launched a new chat pod/YouTube show with a strong “get” in Phil Mickelson. The pod can be obtained through your favorite podcast app.

There’s lots of great stuff here on course setup, the Ryder Cup, his career, upstart leagues and more. I’ll dig in later on a few of Phil’s remarks but wanted to share this and wish Gary the best with his new venture!

Tue, 14 Sep 2021 06:47:09 GMT
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Steve Stricker had his second small ding in as many days. First it was Billy Horschel not being on his radar and now it’s the “entire team” practice session lacking three key players.

As I note in this Quadrilateral for paying subscribers, there is a legit excuse for two but Koepka’s no-show has to be causing concern about his ability to play. Particularly given the violent nature of his wrist collision with an East Lake tree root.

I also cover the uniform unveiling for Europe on Monday and they appear both strange and embarrassingly expensive.

Mon, 13 Sep 2021 19:49:01 GMT
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Needing a little therapeutic viewing? To a remote Scottish locale where the ground is incredibly firm and fast?

The Average Golfer has posted two lovely trips around Shishkine and Machrihanish Dunes. Enjoy!

Sun, 12 Sep 2021 23:30:41 GMT
Fri, 10 Sep 2021 05:46:16 GMT
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This week’s News and Notes went out to paid subscribers only after I sent a few free ones early this week reviewing the Solheim Cup and Steve Stricker’s picks. My apologies in advance, but there is always the option to subscribe for the price of one Starbucks latte a month.

Today I look at the unreal bit of “Like” punching by the Reed Twitter account, some grand Whistling Straits preview coverage, more on 2023 Ryder Cup host Marco Simone and a note on Royal Portrush getting the 2025 Open.

Thu, 09 Sep 2021 19:58:15 GMT
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I realize that a variety of metrics are used to justify a $46 million payout and the many millions FedEx pays to sponsor the season-long chase. Still, when you look at the 2021 Tour Championship ratings and the zilch-buzz factor in the golf community last weekend, they’ve got to handle a lot of packages to justify the tab.

Amazingly the payout will go up next year. At least the ratings stand a chance of inching up a shade when they aren’t going against Alabama football, as they did this year and prompting Saturday’s meager 1.14/1.85 million viewers.

According to Showbuzzdaily.com, the 2021 final round drew a 2.30/3.97 million for part of the telecast which, for the second year in a year, was broken up in the ratings listing. Presumably the average audience size for the 1:30-6 pm window would drop below a 2 if they tallied the numbers in more traditional fashion. And I’m going to guess that a rating below 2 causes the purple and orange phone to ring in Jay Monahan’s office.

Sunday’s first ninety minutes drew a 1.36 with only U.S. Open tennis and the Solheim Cup as early sports viewing competition.

The 2020 Tour Championship finished on Labor Day Monday and drew a 2.42/4.00 million. That telecast’s ratings were also broken up into two numbers to goose the average. The early window drew a 1.51.

As for the far more satisfying Solheim Cup, Saturday’s NBC window drew a .41 and Sunday’s garnered a .59, with an average viewership of 878,000 on NBC. The four-hour Saturday afternoon coverage on Golf Channel drew a .28 and a 432,000 average viewers.

Monday’s singles spread out over a six-hour window on Golf Channel averaged 588,000 viewers.

**Paulsen at Sports Media Watch broke down both the Tour Championship and Solheim Cup ratings and noted this about the PGA Tour’s numbers:

Dating back to the start of July, 16 of 18 PGA Tour windows on broadcast television declined from the last comparable year.

Thu, 09 Sep 2021 02:27:50 GMT
Wed, 08 Sep 2021 13:52:41 GMT
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After all those years we heard it couldn’t be done, Royal Portrush will host its third Open Championship—and second in six years—with today’s announcement. The course and region were huge hits so it’s a fitting statement to make the unusually quick return.

For Immediate Release:

THE OPEN SET FOR TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO ROYAL PORTRUSH AND NORTHERN IRELAND IN 2025

8 September 2021, Portrush, Northern Ireland: The Open is set to make a triumphant return to Royal Portrush in 2025, marking an exciting new chapter in the history of golf’s original championship and providing another outstanding showcase for golf in Northern Ireland.

Following the success of The 148th Open at Royal Portrush in 2019, the First Minister for Northern Ireland Paul Givan MLA, Junior Minister Declan Kearney and Economy Minister Gordon Lyons joined Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, and Dr Ian Kerr, Captain of Royal Portrush Golf Club, at the renowned links on the Antrim coast today to announce that the Championship will be played there from 13 – 20 July 2025.

The Open generated more than £100 million for the economy of Northern Ireland two years ago, attracting a record attendance for the Championship outside of St Andrews of 237,750 fans throughout the week. More than 5,400 hours of television coverage were broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers globally as Irishman Shane Lowry performed superbly to become Champion Golfer of the Year and lift the famous Claret Jug.

The return of the Championship to Royal Portrush for only the third time in 74 years has been wholeheartedly supported by the Northern Ireland Executive and Tourism Northern Ireland as well as the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

Martin Slumbers said, “We could not be more thrilled to be bringing The Open back to Royal Portrush in 2025. There will be huge excitement among golf fans around the world to see the best men’s players facing the challenge of this magnificent links once again.

“The Open in 2019 was a massive success and showed just how much collective enthusiasm, passion and commitment there is to make Royal Portrush one of the leading venues for the Championship and to build a distinctive golf tourism brand for Northern Ireland. We greatly appreciate the support we have received from the Northern Ireland Executive, our partner agencies and, of course, from the Club and its members. We look forward to working with them to deliver another fantastic celebration of golf in four years’ time.”

First Minister Givan said, “Following the outstanding success of The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019 I am thrilled to welcome the return of the championship in 2025. It has been a key aim of the Executive to bring The Open back to Northern Ireland quickly and as we start our preparations to host the championship again I am certain that it will provide a platform on which to build a global golfing destination brand for Portrush and Northern Ireland to complement that of St Andrews and Scotland, in partnership with The R&A, as well as an opportunity to stimulate additional private sector investment in the COVID-19 recovery era.”

Attending the event on behalf of Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, Junior Minister Declan Kearney said, “I wholeheartedly welcome the return of The Open in 2025 along with the anticipated business and jobs that it will bring to these shores. We are an island with a wonderful golf product and in a normal year we welcome hundreds of thousands of golf visitors. 2019 was an exceptional year for golf here when we staged The 148th Open at Royal Portrush and attracted almost 240,000 spectators over the course of the week. Following a tumultuous period that has greatly affected travel, tourism and events I now look to the future with greater optimism as well as look forward to welcoming our international visitors back to the north coast to explore the very best of what we have to offer.”

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said, “As the home of some of the world's best golfers and the location for some of the finest golf courses that can be found anywhere in the world, I am determined that Northern Ireland should make the most of its golfing assets and achieve strong economic benefits from them. The benefits to Northern Ireland in excess of £100 million from The Open in 2019 demonstrate the sheer scale of our success and are a reflection of what can be achieved through collaborative working across public and private sectors, focusing on a shared and common goal.”

Dr Ian Kerr, Captain of Royal Portrush, said, “We are delighted to see the return of The Open to Royal Portrush Golf Club. This is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and to see it return to Northern Ireland and Royal Portrush so soon, is a recognition of the excellent work done by all involved in 2019. The Open in 2019 created a positive festival atmosphere in the area and we look forward to hosting this wonderful event once again.”

Mayor Councillor Richard Holmes of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, added, “The Open will be etched in the memories of those people who either live, work or were fortunate to be visiting the borough between the 14th to the 21st July 2019, so I am delighted to learn that we will again be hosting and enabling the largest sporting event on the island of Ireland.

“Based upon the way the whole of Northern Ireland embraced The 148th Open, I have no doubt that in collaboration with The R&A, Royal Portrush Golf Club and the other delivery partners, we will honour this incredible event and build upon the achievements of 2019.”

An independent report produced by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University found that The 148th Open delivered a direct economic impact of £45 million to the Northern Irish economy. An additional £37.3m of Advertising Equivalent Value (AEV) was generated by global television coverage and Tourism Northern Ireland assessed £23.7m AEV in other media coverage.

Royal Portrush joins a formidable line-up of venues for The Open in the coming years with The 150thOpen being played at St Andrews in 2022 and then Royal Liverpool and Royal Troon hosting the Championship in 2023 and 2024 respectively.

Wed, 08 Sep 2021 09:30:00 GMT
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Club Pro Guy recently surprised the golf world with the publication announcement for his new book, Club Pro Guy’s Other Black Book.

Authored with Paul Koehorst, CPG’s already placing it in the pantheon of American golf literature with Scotland’s Gift-Golf and Hogan’s Five Fundamentals.

A Mexican Mini-Tour “legend” who is believed to have made 17 cuts, CPG is a former Lynx Ambassador and founder of the 7-4-7 Swing Thought System®. Despite an ugly losing streak in the Thursday Afternoon Men’s League and what appear to be labor shortage issues while building Three Jack National, CPG carved out a few minutes from his busy schedule to answer my questions. (Full disclosure: I bought a Yucatan National membership and am sorry to report they are not currently available.)


GS: The book cover looks suspiciously like
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book. Do you share any similarities with Mr. Penick in your life or teaching philosophies?

CPG: Mr. Penick was faithfully married to the same woman for 74 years and abstained from alcohol. I’ve been thrice divorced and can’t start my Miata without blowing into a court mandated breathalyzer, so our life philosophies couldn’t be more divergent. From a teaching perspective, I feel like Harvey was very one dimensional. Was he a great teacher? Yes. But he never played the game at an elite level and I think that limited his ability to get the most out of his students. It’s also probably the reason Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw only won 3 majors between them. As for me, I’m a classic dual-threat. Meaning I can teach the game at a high level as well as play the game at a high level. Which is extremely rare. Not only can I give players the knowledge to be great, but I can also tell them what to expect when they become great.

GS: What are some of the “Other Black Book” topics we can expect and are there any chapters that you’re particularly proud of?

CPG: The topics are all over the board and I think that’s what makes this book so unique and so valuable. In one chapter you might learn how to develop a rock solid pre-shot routine, and in the next you're getting valuable tips on how to avoid shitting your pants on the course. Instruction, travel, dating, technology, you name it. It’s all in there. The chapter I’m most proud of is probably the one where I list my complete cache of private swing thoughts.

GS: What topics ended up getting cut?

CPG: I had a 68-page chapter devoted exclusively to the Medicus Golf Club that my editor convinced me to scrub. It started out as an instructional piece, then it meandered into a product review of sorts and by the time the chapter ended, I had somehow delved deep into Mark O’Meara’s personal life. It got pretty dark.

There was also a "travel and destinations" chapter that focused on the Sioux City, IA that didn’t make the book, as well as a chapter detailing the 79 I fired in the 2nd round of the 1993 Yucatan Masters where I attempted to walk the reader through my round, shot by shot.

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GS: Where do you actually do your writing and what kind of environment do you like to create when doing so and do you have any advice to aspiring writers?

CPG: Most of my writing is conducted on the back of cocktail napkins during shift changes at Bottoms Up. One of my big pet peeves about strip clubs is when random dancers just come and sit by me, totally uninvited. Don’t get me wrong, I understand they have a job to do and I appreciate the hustle, but I have a special type. I like brunettes with some meat on their bones. So when a super skinny blonde starts walking toward my table I have to look preoccupied and uninterested. That’s when I start jotting down random golf thoughts on a cocktail napkin. Not only does it help me finish such an ambitious project like this one, but it also keeps girls with tons of tats away from me. Did I mention I hate tattoos?


GS: Yes, thanks. Good to know. Now, I see you have a co-author, can you give us a sense of your writing process?

CPG: That's a perfect follow up to your last question. The ideas I jot down on cocktail napkins are sent to my co-author and he brings them to life. Sometimes it’s detailed notes, sometimes it’s unintelligible gibberish because the DJ (Alan) talked me into doing a line of coke, and sometimes it’s a graph or a formula with little to no meaning. I’ll never forget one night I drew a stick figure holding a golf club and wrote the words “custom shaft” under it. My co-author took that and turned it into a complete chapter on how big of a rip off Club Champion is.


GS: You are the publisher of The Other Black Book, why did you choose to go this route instead of going with a big New York house?

CPG: I tried, but I couldn’t get a meeting with anyone. I’m actually glad. Publishers like Simon & Schuster are dinosaurs anyway. Everything is digital nowadays. When is the last time you thumbed through a porno magazine? It’s been over a year for me. Truth be told, I would have put my book out as a Kindle version only if I hadn't known how good of a coffee table book it was gonna be.


GS: Do you have any favorite bookstores? Any plans to do a signing at one?

CPG: I’m not a huge reader, but if I had to pick a favorite bookstore it’s probably The "Lions Den”, which is a little place off I-70 just east of Kansas City. I used to stop by there a lot on my way to St. Louis to visit one of my step-dads. Last I heard the adult arcade is open but the video booths are still closed due to Covid. They have a huge truck driver clientele so I’m not sure an in-person signing for a book about golf would move a lot of units.

GS: Any other promotional plans? Mike Stone took out ads on Golf Channel for his latest album. Could that be an option?

CPG: Why did you have to mention Mike Stone! Now I’ll never get the tune One Week in April” out of my head! It’s interesting, after the debut of Shotmakers I thought it would have been impossible for the Golf Channel to embarrass themselves further, but the emergence of Mike Stone proved me wrong. He kinda reminds me of a poor man's “My Pillow Guy”. I actually feel sorry for the people who work at that network.

My promotional plan for the book is two-pronged. The first is to tweet about it so much that I either sell 100,000 books or lose 100,000 followers, and the second is to pay Instagram models to post about the book as it rests on their tits.

GS: Sounds smart. If this is successful, might you consider publishing the other Black Book? And what’s in that book?

CPG: I won’t rule out anything, but my original Black Book probably wouldn’t be appropriate for public consumption. It’s a book I used to carry around Mexico in my Nickent Staff Bag that was filled with beeper numbers, course yardages and old soccer lines. At its apex my original black book coulda got you laid or high from Albuquerque to Zihuatanejo but sadly most of the numbers don’t work anymore or have blocked me.

GS: How many people did you approach about writing the Foreword before you landed on Scott McCarron?

CPG: I can honestly say zero. Scott McCarron was my first and only choice because he has been the only player on tour to fully embrace my teaching methods, he’s also one of those rare guys who truly understands what it means to “Live Under Net Par”. He’s got a hot wife, he loves to party, and no matter how many snarky comments you guys in the media make about it…..he DGAF that you think he’s anchoring.


Here is The Other Black Book’s ordering information and embedded below is CPG’s Tweet announcing this unique buying opportunity. Apologies to my pal John Feinstein:

Wed, 08 Sep 2021 04:14:33 GMT
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The Age’s Noel Towell and Samantha Hutchinson report on Royal Melbourne’s first-in-Australia (and anywhere I know of) with a “no jab, no play” policy.

Club captain Andrew Kirby alerted the membership in an email obtained by The Age and he did not soft-pedal the renowned club’s stance on receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.

“We got incredibly strong support from the members, an amazing number of notes and passionate support from staff and from other clubs,” Mr Kirby said.

“We’ve got lots of rules in golf and here’s another one. If you want to play, you’ll have to be vaccinated. At least one jab, then two and of course there’ll be a system of registration.”

Kirby, whose day job is commercial litigation barrister, says Royal Melbourne expects most if not all clubs in the state to introduce no-jab no play mandates as the sport continues its efforts to convince Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and Premier Daniel Andrews that courses can re-open safely.



West Virginia Golf Resorts and Tennis Guide
West Virginia Golf Resorts and Tennis Guide
West Virginia Golf Resorts and Tennis Guide West Virginia Golf Resorts and Tennis Guide
West Virginia Golf Resorts and Tennis Guide


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