Which public course deserves a PGA Tour event

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 9, 2011, 8:03 pm

Several factors are in play when considering a host site for the next PGA Tour venue – issues like


It bothers me that the Straits Course at Whistling Straits steals all the big-time golf events at the Kohler Resort, like last year's PGA Championship and the upcoming 2020 Ryder Cup.

A few miles down the road, the River Course at Blackwolf Run is too good not to have the game's best players take it on for all of us to watch.

I don't think everything Pete Dye builds is genius, and I think the Straits Course, while undoubtedly a remarkable vision from Herb Kohler and Dye, is over-built – who's to say it couldn't have been even better moving only half the dirt?

On the flip side, the River Course, set to host the U.S. Women's Open in 2012, is a more traditional parkland play that is probably my favorite Dye design. The River Course has railroad ties, big water hazards, tough green complexes and plenty of visuals that will scare the stuffing out of you from the tee. But it's still a delightful, scenic walk with better hole variety than the mostly grueling Straits.

It's as good of a risk-reward design as I've seen in the game. One shot after another will have the tour pros thinking, 'Do I gamble? Can I fade it around that tree? Can I carry that pond?'

There are some fabulous TV-friendly holes that would surely cause some players to find trouble and make big numbers. One of my favorite short par 4s anywhere in the world is No. 9, which can be driven if you play over the Sheboygan River and through a narrow chute between trees. That's not the only proposed gamble Dye presents that's not for the timid.

Additionally, the two Blackwolf Run courses have been under renovation the last couple years and will be fully back in play for the 2011 golf season. Knowing Kohler and Dye, it should be better – and tougher – than ever.

And surely, with the right deal, someone as golf-nuts as Kohler would be interested in sponsoring a regular PGA Tour event to show off even more of his resort than just the demonizing Straits during a major every few years.


While I'll concede that the River Course at Black Wolf Run compares favorably to its neighbor, the Straits Course at Whistling Straits, it doesn't keep pace with the Bayonet Course at Bayonet Blackhorse in Seaside, Calif., on Monterey Bay – especially after the course was renovated in 2008.

The Bayonet already has history on its side, having hosted professional events back in the 1950s and '60s. It was considered tough back then, and it's still a beast today. More recently, the course hosted a U.S. Open qualifier and stage II of PGA Tour Q school. It's a great shot-maker's course, even if it wasn't meant to be in the beginning.

This former military course at the old Fort Ord Army base, which opened in 1954, was designed by Army Gen. Robert McClure, a left-handed player who laid out many of the holes to accommodate his right-to-left ball flight. As it turned out, Nos. 11-15 are some of the best sharp dogleg left holes in golf. Coupled with a great piece of land on Monterey Bay and a $13 million renovation by architect Gene Bates, it's also scenic and extremely well conditioned.

As part of the renovation, brush and trees were scaled back to expose views of the blue waters of the Pacific. The new bentgrass fairways and greens surrounded by fescue roughs dotted by rugged bunkers is striking. And if you set the course up firm, like it can be in the summer and fall, even the best players in the world will have to come in off the fairways to hold Bayonet's tricky, undulating greens.

At just over 7,100 yards, Bayonet isn't long by today’s PGA Tour standards, but its rating/slope of 74.8/141 is a testament to its difficulty. Plus, it's on Monterey Bay, and as far as I'm concerned, there's never too much golf played in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

This would be the perfect site for a late summer PGA Tour event right before the PGA Championship. You'd have a scenic course, mild temperatures and Pacific Ocean breezes at a course that's walkable and spectator-friendly. Talk about a recipe for success!
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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.