"Alister MacKenzie's Masterpiece: The Augusta National Golf
Club"- Stan Byrdy
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Edited by Art McCafferty-Producer/Publisher, GLSP
MGN ON THE ROAD
2005 Masters Report by Terry Moore
In his traditional "state of the Masters" press conference on Wednesday of
tournament week, Augusta National's Chairman Hootie Johnson was asked about the
return of commercial sponsors to the storied event after a two-year hiatus.
"Well, I guess order is restored, and we are happy to have them back." Four
days later on Sunday, Johnson could well have said the same thing about Tiger
Woods and the world of competitive golf. In winning his fourth green jacket,
Tiger restored order (at least for now) and returned to his pre-eminent and
lofty perch atop the game.
But it wasn't a walk in the parkland for Tiger as runner-up Chris DiMarco showed inspiring grit and determination in a head-to-head battle down the stretch. And Tiger wobbled on the last two holes allowing DiMarco to make up two shots and take it to a playoff. But as the game's ultimate closer (he's now 9-0 when leading a major after 54 holes) Tiger always seems to get it done. Golf fans root for and identify with good guys like DiMarco who play with a lot of heart and desire. They want DiMarco to win (as they wanted Phil Mickelson to win last year) because guys like him deserve to finally break through and win their first major. But they also root for Tiger in spite of his fame, his riches, his celebrity status and his over-marketed image. They're awed by his powerful game, his stunning shotmaking, his concentration, and yes, his pure and elemental greatness. Tigerís chip-in on the 16th hole was another signature moment, one that epitomizes how he manages to transcend the p
ressure with incredible execution. And it surely contributed to making this year's Masters a most memorable and exciting tournament. Here are some other highlights and observations from the week.
Jack Nicklaus: In an emotional farewell, compounded by the shared family grief over the recent loss of his grandson, on the ninth green on Saturday morning with his son Jackie on his bag, the greatest player in the history of the Masters and golf bid affectionate adieu to his competitive golf days at the Masters. Refusing to be a ceremonial competitor, an oxymoron for the ever proud Golden Bear, Nicklaus decided to end his playing reign so as "to get out of the way and not clutter up the field." Afterwards, he offered a worthwhile suggestion for the tournament next year: a special event, possibly even a team event, held on Tuesday or Wednesday morning whereby past champions play from shorter tees and in a format where "they're not going to embarrass themselves."
"Official Masters golf ball": This matter received well-deserved attention at Nicklaus' Tuesday press conference and again at Hootie Johnsonís press conference. Nicklaus said he played a recent practice round at Augusta and after his round, Johnson approached him asking, "Jack, what are we going to do with the golf ball?" Nicklaus said that the only tournament where a universal or official ball could be adopted was at the Masters. "This is the only tournament that could get away with saying: 'Hey, do you want to come to play in the Masters? Here's the ball, go play with it.'"He went on to urge for a ball that goes "10 percent shorter or 12 percent or whatever it might be". What difference does it make if a guy hits it 330 or 290 if everybody has the same relative differences?
On Wednesday, Hootie Johnson was asked about the golf ball and distance issue. Obviously well-prepared for the inevitable query, Johnson replied in careful diplomatic fashion: "We are hopeful and we are encouraged that the governing bodies and the Tour are addressing this problem. It is a problem for the game and not just for Augusta National and the Masters tournament," said Johnson. Johnson's right on this point. In hindsight, the governing bodies such as the PGA Tour and the USGA were tardy and deterred --largely by the threat of litigation by manufacturers-- from putting the brakes on technical advances of the ball and equipment. Augusta National should not have to intervene on the golf ball issue. An apt analogy for golf on prudently balancing out the interests of traditional venues versus technology is surprisingly Major League Baseball. MLB prohibits aluminum bats in its ballparks and also tightly monitors the manufacturing specs of the official baseball. An aluminum
bat and a jazzed up ball could cause havoc with history-laden ballparks and their traditional dimensions. Unlike the steroids issue, Major League Baseball got it right in terms of holding back technical advances on the ball and equipment. Though it may be too late, golf's governing bodies must take note and act.
Augusta National and Martha Burk: At Johnson's Wednesday press conference, he was asked by a reporter if he ìcould foresee at some point in the future if the club would admit its first woman member? Hootie calmly replied, "Well, we've adopted a new policy. We don't talk about club matters, period." When the reporter pressed him again, Johnson simply repeated his previous statement. Period. And that was end of any public discussion on a membership matter that embroiled the private club and hence the Masters two years ago in a controversial and highly politicized affair.
Hank Haney and Tiger's swing: I happened to chat with Tiger's well-regarded teacher Hank Haney while we were both following Woods during his Saturday morning round. Iíve known Haney since I invited him to Grand Rapids in 1989 as an instructional headliner at the inaugural West Michigan Golf Show. He's a class guy with no pretensions or airs. Haney told me that driving accuracy stats are virtually meaningless nowadays. And he's right. The top five players in the world are not even in the top 120 for driving accuracy. As Nicklaus observed, it's a different game now, a power game at which Tiger excels. Tiger finished 49th out of 50 golfers in driving accuracy at this year's Masters. But he led the Masters in total birdies with 24 while finishing runner-up to Vijay Singh in the all-important Greens in Regulation statistic, hitting 54 out of 72 greens. Yes, Tiger might be wayward at times with his "cut" driver off of the tee (doesn't it just seem he's simply swinging too fast and
hard at times?) but he's hitting it so long it hardly matters, especially at Augusta National with its modest "rough". Meanwhile Tiger's iron play is rock-solid as he's hitting a soft high fade on command (Okay, excepting the 72nd hole.)
The 69th Masters ended on the putting green at dusk where it was reported a teary-eyed and choked up Tiger Woods dedicated his hard-won victory to his ailing father. "This is for Dad," said Tiger seeping out his emotions like none have ever seen before. This iconic world-beating golfer, so usually stoic, laser-focused, and controlled in all of his mesmerizing actions on and off the course, is indeed human and vulnerable. That shouldn't come as any surprise. Nor should the news from Georgia that Tiger is back at the top of the game. Order is restored. Period.
* * * *
East Lansing-Forest Akers-
MGN stopped by to do a remote of Michigan Golf Radio for the Shawn Peterson Show, and met up with Ken Horvath, the Forest Akers GM. Forest Akers, a 36-hole Michigan State University layout, features a solid 18 designed by W. Bruce Matthews and the second nine by MSU alumna Arthur Hills. Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest are currently working on some redesign ideas for the complex, that could include an 18 hole layout that will actually be three six hole courses.
Forest Akers has it all; a terrific hotel, conference center, available business meeting rooms, pool, saunas, massage rooms and the golf courses. Their pro shop is first rate and the photo covered walls yield the rich history of the course, MSU golf teams and other MSU memories. They have a great teaching center which is headed up by John Dal Corobbo, the 2005 Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year.
Ken Horvath is assisted by Steve Ruthenburg, Operations Manager, Sean O'Connor Golf Course Superintendent, Mark Trombly, Food and Beverage, Denise Bavery, Stephene Benkert, Proshop Manager and Anne Bellinger, Office Manager. Ken has been. Of late Ken is stoked about the new Spartan phenom, Ryan Brehm. As he told Shawn Peterson, "If his drive goes 300 yards, he must have missed it."
All you want to know is on their very informative website: http://www.golfmsu.msu.edu/
GOLF DIGEST ANNOUNCES THE WORLD'S GREATEST GOLF-MICHIGAN
Golf Digest 100 Greatest Golf Courses 2005-2006
11, Crystal Downs C.C., Frankfort-Alister MacKenzie & Perry Maxwell, (1931)
12 Oakland Hills C.C. (South)-Donald Ross (1918), Robert Trent Jones (1950)
56. Arcadia Bluffs G.C. Rich Smith and Warren Henderson, (2000)
Golf Digest 100 Greatest Public Courses 2005-2006
10. Arcadia Bluffs G.C. Rich Smith and Warren Henderson, (2000)
24. Tullymore G.C. , Stanwood, Jim Engh
25. Black Lake G.C. Onaway, Rees Jones
35. Bay Harbor, Bay Harbor, Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest
43. Shepherd's Hollow, Clarkston, Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest
47. Gailes, Lakewood Resort, Oscoda, Kevin Aldridge
66. Red Hawk G.C.East Tawas, Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest
Golf Digest Best Courses -Michigan
1. Crystal Downs, Frankfort
2. Oakland Hills C.C., Bloomfield Hills
3. Arcadia Bluffs G.C., Arcadia
4. Lost Dunes G.C., Bridgeman
5. Wuskowhan Players Club, West Olive
6. Forest Dunes G.C.,Roscommon
7. Timberstone G.C. ,Iron Mountain
8. Tullymore G.C. Stanwood
9. Black Lake G.C. Onaway
10. Point O'Woods G.and C.C., Benton Harbor
11. Bay Harbor G.C., Bay Harbor
12. Shepherd's Hollow, Clarkston
13. Treetops, Gaylord
14. Radrick Farms G.C., Ann Arbor
15. Gailes at Lakewood Resort, Oscoda
16. University of Michigan G.C., Ann Arbor
17. Red Hawk G.C.,East Tawas
18. R &S Sharf G.C., Rochester
19. Elk Ridge G.C., Atlanta
20. The Kingsley Club, Kingsley
21. Franklin Hills C.C., Franklin
22. TPC of Michigan, Dearborn
23. Oakland Hills C.C. (North) Bloomfield Hills
24. Oakhurst G.& C.C., Clarkston
25. Indianwood G.& C.C.
Golf Digest Best Golf Resorts 2004
23. The Inn at Bay Harbor, Bay Harbor
48. Treetops Resort, Gaylord
Golf Digest Best New Upscale Courses- 2004
Eagle Eye G.C., East Lansing
THE LOON GOLF CLUB HAS BEEN SOLD
Details were a bit sketchy at our deadline, but an informed source indicated
that The Loon Golf Club in Gaylord has changed hands within the past month.
Wes Morgan, formerly the assistant professional at The Loon, is now the new
Director of Golf. Dave Bebbie will continue his duties as the Superintendent.
Mike Husby, former GM, was one of the partners that was bought out.
PHIL JONES, OF SHANTY CREEK RESORT AND CLUB, IS "HOTELIER OF THE YEAR".
Phil Jones, Vice President of Lodging & Sales at Shanty Creek Resort & Club was recently awarded "Hotelier of the Year". This award was presented by the Michigan Hotel, Motel & Resort Association at their annual convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jones has worked at
Shanty Creek for 20 years, and was nominated by his associates,staff and selected by his peers.
COLDWATER CC IS UP FOR AUCTION
On April 29, the 142-acre Coldwater CC will be offered at auction by Sheldon Good & Company. The suggested opening bid for the course is $1.65 million. For further information on this 85 year old course, click on to http://sheldongood.com
NEPOTISM ALERT--- MIKE MCCAFFERTY TO APPEAR ON "THE SHIELD"
You have been warned; so I will dive right in to this shameless plug for Mike McCafferty, graduate of EMU and son of your fearless editor. Mike who portrayed Walter Hagen in our 2004 Ryder Cup series, will be appearing this coming Tuesday evening, April 19 at 10:00PM on the FX Network's highly rated show, "The Shield². The show starring Michel Chiki and Glenn Close, has been highly rated since its debut a few years ago.
Mike will also be appearing later this summer in a new Mike Judge film, "3001".
Additional information on his career at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0564530/
BOOK NEWS AND REVIEWS
"GOLF'S SHORT GAME FOR DUMMIES"
By Mike Shields
Michigan-based golf writer Michael Patrick Shiels has authored his fifth book, ³Golf¹s Short Game For Dummies,² published by Wiley, Inc., creators of the popular ³For Dummies² series. The book was released this month in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Shiels, in previous titles, has chronicled the lives of luminaries J.P. McCarthy, Ben Wright, and Arthur Hillsand collaborated with Donald Trump in an upcoming book. This time, however, Shiels turns his focus to average players in an effort to help them improve their golf scores and better enjoy the game.
³Fifty per cent of a golf score is made up of shots taken from 50 yards or closer to the green. No one likes to hear this because they prefer to practice hitting big drives, but players can almost immediately improve their performance and lower their scores by understanding the short game and spending more time working on it,² says Shiels. ³I tried to make this book simple and lighthearted nobody wants to read a dry, boring textbook.²
Michael Kernicki a PGA member for over 25 years s a head golf professional at some of America¹s finest golf clubs, including Bloomfield Hills Country Club. supplied the technical assistance with the book.
Taken and edited from a Resort and Golf Marketing release
"Alister MacKenzie's Masterpiece: The Augusta National Golf Club"
By Stan Byrdy with Illustrations by William Lanier III
Everything that you wanted to know about the Augusta National is within the covers of this masterful book on the course of The Masters For those that really get into golf course architecture, it is an important read. While the golf world heralds the work of Alister MacKenzie, he might find Augusta National, a tad changed from his original layout. The book highlights the following changes to the course.
1931-Alister MacKenzie lays course out
1932-Clifford Roberts changed ninth fairway
1937-Perry Maxwell redesigned a new seventh green and elevated the tenth green
1947-Bobby Jones/Robert Trent Jones redesigned the sixteenth hole
1950-Robert Trent Jones created a new tee box for the eleventh hole
1956-George W. Cobb redesigned the eight green
1957-Ben Hogan suggested changes to the right side of the fifteenth green
1979-Joe Finger, reconstructed the eighth green to original MacKenzie specifications
1979-Byron Nelson oversaw reconstruction of mounding on the eighth green
1998-Tom Fazio performed alterations to holes 2, 11, 15 and 17
2002-Tom Fazio performed major renovation to nine holes prior to Masters
Sports Media Group-Ann Arbor, Michigan
GLSP INTERNET TELEVISION NETWORK ATTRACTING COMPUTER VIEWERS
From March 30, 2004 to April 1, 2005, 189,833 people around the world watched one of
the many shows that have appeared on one of the GLSP Internet Television Network.
The network is comprised of The Michigan Golfer, Michigan Skier, Michigan Runner
and Michigan Travel Shows. When launched at the March 2001 Michigan Golf Show,
it was the first Internet Television Network in the world. Statistics authenticated
Top 10 Countries watching GLSP Internet Television
1 United States 86.8 %
2 Canada 4.3 %
3 United Kingdom 1.5 %
4 Japan 1.0 %
5 France 0.8 %
6 Germany 0.7 %
7 Netherlands 0.4 %
8 Korea, Republic 0.3 %
9 P. R. China 0.3 %
10 Sweden 0.3 %
DECLINE IN NUMBER OF GOLFERS, WATER RESOURCES TOP GOLF INDUSTRY CONCERNS
The 2005 Golf Industry Outlook Survey, conducted by the Golf & Resort
Industry Team of Foley & Lardner LLP, reveals that despite a positive growth
forecast in course development, industry leaders are concerned about the
declining number of golfers and rounds played as well as a lack of player
Three of the most revealing findings show that 95% of industry leaders are
concerned about the declining number of golfers. When asked to rank the top
issues most likely to impact their business in 2005, 71% cited the declining
number of rounds, while 68% indicated player retention.
The Golf Industry Outlook Survey found 77% of respondents selected water
management as the predominant environmental issue impacting the industry.
As a result of the ongoing battle for water resources, more than half of
respondents have been forced to make sizable investments in their irrigation
systems, install drought-resistant grass and/or investigate reclaimed water options.
The survey indicates that although the majority of industry leaders who
responded are concerned about the declining number of golfers, they foresee
a 13% increase in the development of golf courses during the next five-year
period. Respondents are also optimistic that course development will continue
to expand at an even higher rate over the next ten-year period.
During February 2005, Foley & Lardner conducted a survey of 669 golf course
architects, developers, general managers, directors of golf, financiers,
and other industry professionals. The survey was distributed and completed
via an interactive Web site, and had a 12% response rate.
LESSON AND JACOBS TO REPRISE MICHIGAN GOLF WEEKLY
Jeff Lesson and Janina Jacobs will kick off their season of Michigan Golf
Weekly on Saturday, June 2, at 6:00PM on WWJ, CBS Detroit, Channel 62.
Their first show will be at the host site of the Ann Arbor Bank Futures
Golf Classic, Lake Forest GC.
MICHIGAN GOLFER TELEVISION SHOW
Gene Sarazen and Shell's Wonderful World of Golf
Vanessa Bell chats with the former producer of Shell's Wonderful World
of Golf, Al Barkow and Gene Sarazan's daughter, Mary. Shell's Wonderful
World of Golf was a breakthrough program on television.
Michigan Golf Architect Harley Hodges
MGTV host, Bill Shelton interviews one of Michigan's less known golf architects, Harley Hodges. Harley designed, Jenkins, Oakridge, Reed City, Whiteford Valley and Rustic Glen to name just a few of his works.
THE MICHIGAN GOLFER INTERNET TELEVISION SHOW
COMING IN MAY
"ARCHITECTS AND THEIR GOLF COURSE DESIGNS" -A SERIES
THE WORK OF JERRY MATTHEWS
"THE NATURAL GOLF COURSE-WITH JERRY MATTHEWS AND LARRY BOWDEN"
"THE MAJESTIC AT LAKE WALDEN-WITH JERRY MATTHEWS AND BILL FOUNTAIN"
* NOW PLAYING*
WILD BLUFF GOLF COURSE-WITH MIKE HUSBY AND BILL SHELTON
THE LOON GOLF COURSE-WITH MIKE HUSBY
THE TRIBUTE GOLF COURSE-PREVIEW SHOW-WITH RICK ROBBINS AND BILL SHELTON
TREETOPS WITH ROBERT TRENT JONES, JACK BERRY, TERRY MOORE, RICK SMITH AND BILL
SUNDANCE GOLF COURSE-PREVIEW SHOW-WITH JERRY MATTHEWS
PHEASANT RUN GOLF COURSE/THIRD NINE-PREVIEW SHOW-WITH STEVE FORREST AND BILL
ROSE CREEK GOLF CLUB-WITH ARTHUR HILLS AND STEVE FORREST
THE BULL AT PINEHURST-WITH JACK NICKLAUS AND DAVID BACHMANN
THE GLSP INTERNET TELEVISION NETWORK http://www.golfthechief.com/tournament/
MICHIGAN GOLF CALENDAR 2005
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