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Savoring stuff from 2009

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While 01.01.10 can’t get here fast enough for many inside golfdom, 2009 gave us plenty to enjoy. Among the highlights:

-Automatic upgrades

-Window seats (because the economy is killing automatic upgrades)

-In-N-Out Burger (other than a round at Cypress Point or Torrey Pines’ North Course, it’s the best reason we can think of to be in California)

-Ballentine’s (Solana Beach, Calif., watering hole with a postcard view of Del Mar Race Track and the world’s best fish tacos)

-Breakfast on the veranda at Augusta National

-The road less traveled (which led to the hidden Scottish gems Shiskine Golf and Tennis Club and Dunaverty Golf Club)

-Starbucks

-Match Play Wednesday (best “hump day” of the year, official money division)

-Masters Wednesday (best “hump day,” unofficial money division)

-Heritage Monday (after the tension that is Magnolia Lane, Harbour Town is a welcome respite for players and press)

-Transitions Championship Tuesday (after the muddy mess at Bathpage, TPC River Highlands was a paid vacation)

-BMW Championship (because Chicago may have the greatest concentration of quality golf on the planet)

-Ford Focus rental cars (the Sync option combined with an iPod makes any drive bearable)

-ShotLink (enough numbers to feed the inner-baseball junkie in all of us)

-BBC Radio at the Open Championship (the only place you will ever hear this exchange – commentator No. 1 “Monty is putting on a sweater, is it getting cold out there?” commentator No. 2 “No, he’s just a wussy.”)

-Automatic presses

-PGA Tour Q-School (the most emotional week of the year comes without a cover charge)

-Courses that allow walking

-Non-conforming grooves (because the game is still hard for most of us)

-U.S. Golf Association senior director of rules and competition Mike Davis (because only Davis could have found a silver lining at Bethpage)

-Short-game practice areas (because it’s the best place for most amateurs to save two strokes a side)

-Four-hole playoffs (because if Lucas Glover stumbles at the 72nd hole at Bethpage we could still be there trying to crown a champion)

-Wednesday press conference at Memorial with Jack Nicklaus

Happy holidays.