Those interested in a piece of the real estate action should know this:
Cliffs officials havent determined how many on-course lots (if any) will be available at Tigers course which will be called The Cliffs at High Carolina. Moreover, Cliffs officials told me, any properties on Tigers course will be offered first to home owners in other Cliffs communities.
That line, I am also told, is already forming.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE:
Phil needs the reps.
Thats the simple explanation coming from the camp of Phil Mickelson on why he will be playing two events in Asia -- one in Singapore and one in China -- later this year at a time when he normally shuts his game down for the season.
So off Mickelson will go to play in the Singapore Open the first week in November followed by the HSBC Champions the week after in China. The purses for the two events are $4 million and $5 million, respectively.
Hes never been there, said a source in the Mickelson camp. It will be an adventure.
More important, the source said, it will give Mickelson more time to work, under the gun, on the changes he and teacher Butch Harmon have been implementing ever since Mickelson and Harmon became a team earlier this year.
Mickelson lost much of the middle of the summer due to a wrist injury sustained during preparations for the U.S. Open, where he missed the cut in June.
Also expected in the field at Singapore are Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Angel Cabrera, Darren Clarke and Adam Scott, who has won the last two Singapore Opens.
Mickelsons last victory outside the U.S. was the 1993 French Open. He is not expected to use this trip as a scouting mission for future golf course design opportunities. But, the source said, his eyes will be open.
Saturday, Mickelson will be hosting a $300,000 back-to-school shopping spree in San Diego for deserving students. The program, in conjunction with Wal-Mart, is designed to provide children with a head start on supplies for the coming school year.
DESIGN ON DESIGNS:
Keeping up with the Joneses has always been a full-time job when it comes to golf course design.
Robert Trent Jones Jr. is generating a lot of buzz these days with Chambers Bay near Tacoma, Wash. Already, USGA officials are said to be drooling over it as a potential U.S. Open site down the road.
The course features ribbons of teeing areas. Jones told me the intent is to present players with uneven lies on the tee box. The idea, Jones said, is to make them think and to put integrity back into the tee shot.
Jones believes the first shot is the last line of defense on many golf courses. One things for sure: if this becomes a trend, a lot of TOUR players will be doing a lot of adjusting.
Meanwhile the worlds best players will find a bulked up Oakland Hills courtesy of Rees Jones -- RTJ Jr.s brother -- when they return for next years PGA Championship.
Rees Jones has, in no particular order, lengthened 15 holes, narrowed several fairways, altered multiple bunkers and added 346 yards. Oakland Hills can now top out at 7,450 yards while still playing to a par of 70. This means, among other things, that Tiger Woods will almost certainly be forced to hit more drivers than he did last week at Southern Hills.
The biggest difference at Oakland Hills will be the seventh hole which has picked up 40 yards of length and an enlargement of the adjoining pond. PGA set-up guy Kerry Haigh is set for a site visit next month.
Like Oakmont, Oakland Hills is notorious for its treacherous putting surfaces. The greens, Haigh assured me last week at the PGA Championship, havent been -- and wont be -- touched.
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