PRESS PASS
The panel around board table at Aronimink 
 
State of Golf in Philadelphia
Monday, April 26, 2010
By Joe Logan

In the past hour I posted six stories from a project I am calling the State of Golf in Philadelphia.

 

There is a lot of stuff there, and I hope it helps shed some light on where things stand right now.

 

I cannot write another sentence without thanking the folks who lent their time and expertise thatt enabled me to pull this thing together:  Mark Peterson at GAP, Geoff Surrette at the PGA Section, Donna Horvath at Honeybrook GC, Tony Gustaitis at Whitemarsh Valley CC and Dick Naumann at Aronimink GC.

 

I went to Mark Peterson first with the concept.  He liked it, and so we began to kick around ideas for a format and who we might invite to participate.  Geoff,  executive director of the Section, was obvious.   Tony has been a reliable and articulate source for me for years when it comes to the maintenance side of the game.  Dick is a real pro at one of the top clubs in the country, let alone in Philadelphia.  And Mark and I almost simultaneously suggested Donna because we know her to be smart and forward thinking, plus she is one of the few women at or near the top of a golf course or club. 

 

Once we all convened around the board room at Aronimink (thank you very much), each member of the panel delivered exactly what I was hoping for – their particular perspective on where the game stands going into the 2010 season.

 

You’ll notice that in their presentations, some were brief succinct, some were longer and more detailed.   That was fine by me.  All were good.

 

Again, thanks to everyone involved.


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Tiger Woods 
Tiger at Aronimink
Thursday, April 22, 2010
By Joe Logan

Even with Tiger Woods’ severely stained image, the announcement that he will play in the AT&T National over the July 4th weekend is great news for the tournament, Aronimink GC and sports fans in the area.

 

Say what you will about him as a husband, father and man, but Tiger is still the best golfer in the world and the biggest attraction in the game.  Without him, the AT&T would have been like throwing a party and having the guest of honor be a no-show.

 

With Tiger in, the buzz around the tournament will increase, ticket sales will get a good bump and whatever hospitality packages remain unsold will become a lot easier to sell.  Best of all, for the first time in his storied 14-year career. Philadelphia sports fans will finally be able to see him do what he does up close and personal.

 

If you’re wondering where Tiger will stay during the tournament, don’t expect him to occupy the Presidential Suite of a luxury hotel.  The talk is that he has already rented the home of an Aronimink member in the vicinity of the course.   That’s fairly common for Camp Tiger.

 

An unannounced visit to Aronimink by Tiger in the coming weeks is not out of the question.  So far as I can tell, he has never played the course, and he might like to sneak in a preview round or two.

 

Staff and members at Aronimink talk of only one previous visit by Tiger.  That was more than a year ago, shortly before the announcement that the AT&T was temporarily relocating to Aronimink for 2010 and 2011.

 

That, too, was unannounced, catching even Aronimink staff off guard.  Tiger and a staffer from the Tiger Woods Foundation, which runs the tournament, showed up at the Newtown Square club, took a tour of the course in a golf cart, then left as quietly as they arrived.


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Steve[4/22/2010 2:34:09 PM]
This will be a difficult trek to get to with offsite parking(for a fee) or public transit not very close to Aronimink. Iíll have to parachute from a helicopter.

Brian Davis and rules official 
The unforgiving rules of golf strike again
Monday, April 19, 2010
By Joe Logan

I’m a big believer in the rules of golf and the honor of golfers, but what happened  to Brian Davis on the first playoff hole against Jim Furyk in the Verizon Heritage leaves me shaking my head.

 

If you haven’t yet seen the videotape, in his quest to claim the winner’s check and that hideous plaid jacket, Davis left his approach into the 18th at Harbour Town Golf Links short and left of the green, in the waste area hazard.

 

Considering how nasty that waste area can be, Davis caught a break.  He had a little flip wedge shot up and out of the sand and weeds; saving par was definitely not out of the question.

 

That didn’t happen, however, because Davis, an Englishman looking for his first victory on the PGA Tour, called a two-shot penalty on himself for grounding his club in the hazard.  Game over.

 

As Davis told the rules official, he wasn’t positive he deserved the penalty.  Out of the corner of his eye, he thought he might have seen a piece of grass or straw move slightly as he drew back his club to begin his backspin.

 

Davis and the rules official reviewed the videotape and, sure enough, a piece of grass that was nestled just behind the ball did move slightly on his backswing.  If that piece of grass had been growing out of the ground, no problem, no penalty.  But because it was loose, it was technically a "loose impediment," meaning Davis had a problem under the unforgiving rules of golf.

 

As much as Furyk wanted the win, he felt awful for Davis, and he said so.  Today, Davis is being hailed for his honesty and integrity, as he should be.

 

Me, I realize the rules of golf see the world only in black and white, no shades of gray.  You broke the rule or you didn’t, regardless of whether you meant to or not.  No excuses about the "rub of the green," the unwanted intervention of Mother Nature or extenuating circumstances.

 

I don’t know, it just seems heartless and unfair to me.  And I sure hate to see such a minor infraction determine the finish of a golf tournament.


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Gus[4/19/2010 1:37:40 PM]
I also agree with you, Joe. Itís not like Brian Davis tried to touch the twig, or like it had any affect whatsoever on the outcome of the shot. Of course, this rule is no dumber than that rule that penalizes a player when a gust of wind causes the ball to wobble while he is addressing a putt.
mjs[4/19/2010 12:27:07 PM]
Joe: I couldnít agree more. I am an avid golfer but one who thinks there is no honor in applying the rules of golf blindly. There was obviously no advantage gained from this inadvertent touch of a broken reed. I think a no harm/ no foul policy is "honorable" approach. All this harrumping about the nobility of this tight-assed, inflexible, application of the rules of golf is silly.

Phil slipping on Green Jacket No. 3 
Best Masters in years
Monday, April 12, 2010
By Joe Logan

Wow, what a Masters.  Best in years, maybe since Tiger won in 1997.  A few other thoughts and observations about this week:

 

--Golf doesn’t get any better than that 45-minute long thrill ride during Saturday’s third round, when Phil went eagle-eagle-birdie. 

 

-- If this week demonstrated nothing else, it was that people are sick and tired of hearing about the Tiger Woods’ sex scandal.  For a lot of people it was TMI (too much information) from the get-go, and now they just want it to go away.  They want to get back to golf.

 

-- Just because people have had it up to their earlobes with details about Tiger’s infidelities doesn’t  mean they ever will forgive him.  The revelations about his infidelities – and by extension about his character – have cost Tiger a ton of fans permanently, especially among women. He can win all the golf tournaments he wants, but they will never look at him the same.

 

-- On Wednesday, on the eve of the Masters, I sat down to write a blog post picking Phil to win.  But the phone rang, I got distracted and I never finished it.  Seriously. I’m not kidding.  I had Phil to win.

 

-- There was a time when Sergio Garcia was part of any discussion of "best player who hasn’t won a major."  Not any more.  Now 30, Garcia is no longer an up-and-coming kid – in fact, he’s neither a kid nor up-and-coming.  He finished next to dead last.

 

-- Lee Westwood is going to win a major sooner rather than later; I’m betting on the British Open at St. Andrews in July. 

 

-- Anthony Kim won’t be far behind him.

 

-- I’m no fashion expert, but I don’t know whose hats look more ridiculous: Ryan Moore and Ricky Barnes in those goofy-looking painter’s caps or Rick Fowler with his cap pulled-down-over-his-ears.

 

-- As long as we are on the subject of fashion, Phil Mickelson needs a fashion intervention.  Those shirts he wears now are not only ugly, they are way too form-fitting.  They only accentuate the fact that he is a middle-aged man in a losing battle against gravity. A few days ago, he wore one that had white piping, one step removed from wearing a 1970s pastel leisure suit.  Not even Tiger could look good in Phil’s shirts.

 

-- What to make of the fact that when he walked off the 18th green after winning, Phil immediately found his wife Amy and gave her a big, tearful hug, but he didn’t seem to even acknowledge his mom and dad (wearing the Sportscope cap), who were standing next to her?   But moments later, he did hug his swing coach, Butch Harmon.

 

-- If you thought this year’s Masters was more exciting than any in recent years  -- Phil finished at 16-under par --  credit the softening of Augusta National to allow birdie fests on Sunday.  One story called it the de-Hootification of the golf course.

 

-- If one shot can define a player’s career and style, for Phil it will be his second shot at 13 on Sunday: From behind a tree, on pine straw, 6-iron from 207 to four feet.

 

-- Despite all his smiles, swashbuckling style and stellar career, Phil Mickelson has a lot of detractors.  The most common knock on him is that he is a phony.  One major piece of evidence to the contrary is his long and lasting relationship with his caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay. 


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Bill[4/14/2010 8:20:05 PM]
Phil is a phony but Tiger is a philanderer.
Steve[4/13/2010 12:13:56 PM]
Phil is now the "good guy" and Tiger is the "bad guy,"particularly in light of his terrible interview with Peter Kostis. He hasnít learned how to be gracious in defeat.

Nikeís new ad 
That new Nike ad just ainít right
Thursday, April 8, 2010
By Joe Logan

Come on, that new Nike commercial with Tiger staring into the camera, with straight-from-the-grave voice-over by his dad Earl is downright creepy, not to mention in poor taste.

 

They turned this whole tragic, humiliating, disgraceful episode into just another marketing opportunity.  It just ain’t right.


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Steve[4/14/2010 8:47:01 PM]
Elin didnít like the commercial either.
Flynnís First[4/9/2010 10:08:58 AM]
Joe, couldnít agree with you more. Attempting parlay the events of the past 5 months into a NIKE aided comeback story is in poor taste and disingenuous. Exploiting his dead father to do it is grotesque. To make it even worse, Woods compared himself to Hogan during the interview after thursdayís round. When the wounds are self inflicted, you donít get to make that analogy.

Tiger Woods 
Tiger, one more question
Monday, April 5, 2010
By Joe Logan

You buying the Tiger Woods Penance Tour at the Masters?

 

I TiVoed his press conference and I’ve watched it twice now, and I’m still not sure what to think.  Imagine what it must be like for his wife, Elin.

 

He’s saying all the right things, and he looks truly contrite and humbled.  But as we know now, you never really know for sure what’s going on inside Tiger Woods.

 

For starters, I’ve got a few questions and follow-ups I wish somebody had asked Tiger during his Monday press conference:

 

Q: In response to an earlier question, you said of your behavior, "I was rationalizing and denying and in total denial at times. Whatever I did, I lied to myself, I lied to others."

 

Was it that, or was it just that it you were having a great time running wild and you were getting away with it?

 

Q:  You didn’t quite answer to the previous question about who in your management team knew about your escapades, how much they knew, and whether any heads will roll.

 

Specifically, I’m wondering if your agent, Mark Steinberg, did in fact "handle" the problem, as Mindy Lawton claims, after you two were spotted by the National Enquirer having sex in your Escalade in a parking lot?

 

Q.   You are correct in saying that your car accident is a "closed case," but that still doesn’t answer the question of, "Did Ambien play a role in car crash?"   Did it?

 

Q. Tiger, 14, 15, 19 women -- whatever the total was -- and no condoms with any of them?  Aside from the infidelity, didn’t you worry about contracting some nasty or deadly disease or getting one of these women deliberately getting pregnant so as to extort you?

 

Q.  Despite all the shame and the financial cost, are you in some way glad you were finally exposed and caught?

 

Q. If your father were here today, what would he say to you?  And what would you say to him?

 

 

 


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Inniscrone No. 3 
My Dream 18 in the Philadelphia Inquirer
Friday, April 2, 2010
By Joe Logan

Back home from my golf trip to Scottsdale, I took a peek at GolfClubAtlas to see if there was any discussion of my public and muni Dream 18 that ran in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer.

 

There was and, not surprisingly, a few posters took me to task for including holes they believed to be unworthy and excluding holes they believed belonged on the list.

 

One poster argued the Dream 18 was more of a Mid-Atlantic list, because I included a hole from Bulle Rock in Havre de Grace, Md., and the Architects Club in Lopatcong, N.J.

 

Because I deliberately made the Dream 18 a mix of upscale, mid-priced and lower-end daily fee courses, one poster suggested it would have been nice to have come up with three separate lists from the three different prices ranges.  I found that suggestion particularly amusing, considering that the single story I turned in was trimmed for space reasons.

 

Among the stuff that got cut was the passage about how I could have easily come up with three lists that didn’t duplicate a hole.  And the part about the story being due while there was still two feet of snow on the ground, precluding any revisits to courses I hadn’t played in years.

 

And don’t get me started on the holes that fell out of contention because, not only could I not revisit the courses, their websites didn’t have photos that might enable me refresh my memory. 

 

The Dream 18 story also generated a bunch of emails from readers, many of whom offered excellent suggestions for holes that might have been on the list.  One fellow took me to task for being "generous" in including holes from Walnut Lane and Cobbs Creek.

 

I offer no apology in that regard.  In my golfing travels, I have been very fortunate to play the likes of Pine Valley and Merion many times, and rub elbows with the folks who inhabit that world.

 

But I also have a foot firmly planted in the other end of the golfing spectrum, where avid and enthusiastic golfers are happy and appreciative playing the lowliest muni.  Those courses and those golfers are also a legitimate and integral part of the game.  I, for one, wouldn’t think of ignoring them or their corner of the game, especially not in a Dream 18 for a general circulation newspaper like the Inquirer.

 

So, for better or worse, I am happy with the list I compiled for the Inquirer. 

 

 

 

 


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Mike[4/20/2010 8:46:54 AM]
There was an article written by Tony Leodora back in the 1980ís written in the Times Herald that had the Dream 18 and it had only 1 hole per course from all the local courses. You should find it and revise.
Tyler[4/3/2010 4:33:41 PM]
How about your Dream18 for local private courses
Charles B.[4/3/2010 7:34:40 AM]
Why nothing from Twisted Dune or Sand Barrens?
Frankie[4/2/2010 11:48:21 AM]
Thanks for getting Walnut Lane and Cobbs Creek in your Dream 18.


 
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