City Park may help revitalize New Orleans, Zurich Classic

By Rex HoggardApril 26, 2012, 5:54 pm

There is something deeper to this week’s PGA Tour stopover in New Orleans than a 72-hole sprint to fame, fortune and an oversized paycheck. Always is.

As a general rule, the Tour leaves a place better than they found it via charitable programs, but New Orleans is different. More so than any other slot on the Tour calendar, the “City That Care Forgot” needed help in the post-Hurricane Katrina abyss and  – however slowly – golf has delivered.

It’s taken time and there still are no guarantees but if all goes according to script sometime next year crews will break ground on a Rees Jones-designed championship golf course in New Orleans’ City Park and by late 2014 the layout could be open to the public.

What happens after that depends on who you ask. A Tour wonk, like your correspondent, would be curious how the Jones design is viewed by players as a possible replacement venue for the TPC Louisiana.

City Park is just minutes from downtown and the French Quarter and would be a dramatic upgrade over the Zurich Classic’s current home on the wrong side of the Mississippi River on a course few players like.

Back to NOLA: City Park's place and the aftermath of Katrina

“One of the courses (in City Park) are going to be designed as a championship venue,” said Joe Ogilvie, who has been involved in the City Park initiative since his days on the Tour Policy Board. “I’m guessing that’s the city’s goal (to host the Zurich Classic at City Park). It would be a big bonus if the Zurich moved to City Park, but the project is going to get done either way.”

In many respects, the plan – at least the truly meaningful parts – are already completed in the image of the East Lake prototype in Atlanta, a mixed-housing initiative with a focus on community involvement and greatly expanded educational initiatives.

At East Lake, the mixture of low- and higher-income housing gave way to a neighborhood school that regularly exceeds state testing standards. The refurbished Donald Ross course and annual Tour Championship have simply become smaller elements of the greater good.

The City Park plan has been mirrored off what East Lake patriarch Tom Cousins & Co. accomplished in Atlanta. “It will truly be an East Lake-type model where the golf course pays for much of the education model,” Ogilvie said.

The mixed housing element around City Park, which was flooded during Hurricane Katrina, has already been completed and the Bayou District Foundation, the fund-raising group behind City Park’s restoration, has already started the educational phase of the plan.

“That was our objective from the beginning to create a model that could be replicated around the country,” Cousins told during last year’s Tour Championship. “It’s hard to do. Just talk to the folks in New Orleans. That should have been the easiest place to do it. City Park and all that went on with (Hurricane) Katrina and all the international and federal interest in the area after Katrina.”

But it was anything but easy. At issue are the sometimes competing interests of state, local and parish officials for a complex plan that calls for the Jones-designed championship course where the current East and West courses are, at least one other 18-hole golf course along with a First Tee chapter. There is also a $3 million funding gap that must be bridged.

“The nature of the project certainly presents some hurdles,” said Ogilvie, who pointed out that Jones dramatically reduced his fee to design the City Park course and the Tour also is donating resources to the project. “(But) it’s going to happen.”

The truth is nothing is ever easy in the Big Easy. But the City Park initiative sure was worth it.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

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