Half Moon Bay undergoes metamorphosis to links

By Erik PetersonFebruary 7, 2011, 9:57 pm

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. – In these difficult economic times, golf courses have had to get creative in order to stay competitive.

In November I wrote about the Fast & Furious at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. an event that required its golfers to finish a tournament round in fewer than four hours, on a browned-out golf course. The purpose was to remind golfers that even tournament golf can be played quickly, on a less-than-perfectly-green golf course. Kudos to PGA West.

In another example of outside-the-box thinking, the Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links is undergoing a metamorphosis to links. The changes include adding more native grass, firming up the Poa annua greens, and creating shaved areas around the greens. They’re even adding several pot bunkers.

Instead of emulating a course like Pebble Beach, host of this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the Ocean Course is taking more of a Bandon Dunes approach. But the changes, led by general manager Bill Troyanoski, is more about function than fashion.

Though he didn’t give specific numbers, Troyanoski is confident the conversion to firmer conditions will significantly reduce the facility’s dependence on water. As we chatted in the clubhouse he referenced a framed photo of the course that hangs on the wall. It was taken before the 2008 LPGA Samsung World Championship.

“It’s too green,” he said. “It’s not the way a true ocean course should look.”

Troyanoski’s belief in firmer and browner led to the changes, though he was quick to note that they were only able to execute this plan because the course has a solid links framework.

“Arthur Hills designed the course as a links course, but we haven’t maintained it that way,” he said. “The routing is outward then inward like a true links course, which is rare.”

The changes are expected to be complete by spring 2012, but if you want to visit before then, go ahead. Unlike most course renovations, this one is hardly intrusive. You’d really have to look to notice where the changes are happening.

Designed by Arthur Hills and opened 1997, the Ocean Course is one of two 18-hole courses at this seaside resort along the jagged coastline of northern California. The neighboring Old Course (an Arnold Palmer design) is a parkland layout winding through a high-end residential community, with its final two holes opening up to the ocean.

The par-4 finisher at the Old Course hugs a dramatic cliff, with the Ritz-Carlton hotel serving as an impressive backdrop. Behind the 18th green is a popular spot for hotel guests to sit fireside while they watch golfers finish their round.

A scenic 35-minute drive from San Francisco International Airport, Half Moon Bay is one of those rare seaside golf courses that’s also near a major airport.

If you have the links itch, Half Moon Bay is a sure bet.

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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 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