Beyond FedEx Cup sites, public golf can be found in the northeast

By Mike BaileyAugust 24, 2011, 3:19 pm

It's playoff time on the PGA Tour, and the FedEx Cup playoffs take us to the northeast part of the country, where you'll find a large percentage of America's greatest private clubs. And while the perception is that in order to play golf in the Northeast, you have to belong to one of them, that isn't exactly true.

Yes, there are options, and probably more than you think.

Everyone knows about Bethpage Black in Farmington, N.Y., just outside of New York City. Playing the Black, which has played host to two U.S. Opens, usually requires an overnight stay in your car to grab a coveted tee time on this physically grueling A.W. Tillinghast design. But the other munis at Bethpage aren't a bad choice either, including the Blue that's always in good shape, cheaper and probably a lot more enjoyable for the average player.

But besides Bethpage, there are other choices in New York, including the Mike Hurdzan-designed Harbor Links in Port Washington, Robert Trent Jones Jr.'s Long Island National in Riverhead, and the forgiving Rock Hill Golf Club on the east end of Long Island. And if you head up to central New York, there's the site of a former FedEx Cup host site, Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, which features among its challenging tracks the Tom Fazio-designed and tour-tested Atunyote Course.

Column: New York City could have been America's great golf destination 

The first FedEx Cup event of 2011, however, will be played across state lines, with the Barclays at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. The Garden State has plenty of public offerings, including Crystal Springs Resort, which has seven -- count 'em -- golf courses in Hamburg about an hour from the NYC metro area. You also might want to try out the Architects Club in Phillipsburg, which reflects the design work of the great American classic architects. Or head over to Flanders to play Flanders Valley Golf Course, a terrific muni and value that offers 36 holes of pure golf with no frills.

After the Barclays, the FedEx Cup playoffs head to the TPC Boston and the Deutsche Bank Championship. No surprise, the area has plenty of great private clubs, but the daily-fee golfer does have some options. For example, there' Granite Links at Quarry Hills, a magnificent course built on an old quarry with terrific views of the Boston skyline. If you're in Plymouth, be sure to check out Pinehills Golf Club, especially the Rees Jones Course, a difficult course with stunning views from elevated tees. (The other option, the Nicklaus Course, is pretty good, too.) Or for one of the better values, head over to Lakeville south of Boston to take on Poquoy Brook.

Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

Getty Images

PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.


We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

Getty Images

Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.

Full-field scores from the Joburg Open

Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm