Daily fee golf courses missing from PGA rotation
That’s still not as much as Pebble Beach.
Even so, there is a difference in public play between resort courses, such as Pinehurst or Pebble Beach, and true public courses, such as Bethpage Black and Torrey Pines.
The PGA Championship is lacking in the latter.
This came to mind last week during the PGA of America’s annual news conference, in which president Jim Remy shifted the focus to public golf. He noted there are more 9-hole courses than 18-hole courses in America, and that 75 percent of the rounds played in the country are on public courses. He cited the average fee at just under $30.
“There are availability of reasonably priced golf courses, and I think that we need to get the message out that there is a real value to a family to be involved in a sport,” Remy said.
So why isn’t the PGA Championship going to such a course, which can provide a proper test and have room to stage a big event? It has been more than two decades – 1989 at Kemper Lakes outside Chicago – that the PGA Championship was held on a daily fee course.
“We’ve had discussions with a number of daily fee facilities, along with traditional clubs,” PGA chief executive Joe Steranka said. “We’ll step out of the box every now and then and try something. And right now, the USGA is doing a great part in taking it to the Bethpage Blacks and Torrey Pines.”
Also on the U.S. Open rotation is Chambers Bay outside Seattle in 2015.
The PGA Championship is booked through 2016, and this would be a good time to look at a public course anyone can play. Steranka said that is a good possibility, although such a public course might first go through a rehearsal at a smaller event, such as the Senior PGA.
“The challenge we have short-term is we are booked out so far in advance,” he said. “When looking at adding a new site, we want to be able to predict with a degree of certainty that it will be able to stand the test of the top players.”
Steranka said the recession has caused the PGA of America to think anew about the model it uses in finding courses and running a major championship. He noted that going to private clubs gives the PGA access to influential business leaders who might be members of the club, which helps build corporate support. That’s not as easy when dealing with state or municipal governments.
“Our investment in government relations is laying the groundwork to show us a model of how to build community support outside of relying on the old model,” he said. “This latest recession is making us all look at the old business model. The daily fee course can help us from a marketing perspective of the game.”
The USGA has done its part.
NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times
The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.
- Quarterfinals: Alabama def. Kent State, 4-1
- Quartefinals: USC def. Duke, 3.5-1.5
- Quarterfinals: UCLA vs. Arizona
- Quarterfinals: Stanford def. Northwestern, 3-2
- Individual stroke play
TV Times (all times ET):
11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals
Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock
With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.
Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.
Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.
"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.
"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."
Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.
"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."
UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year
UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).
Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.
Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:
WGCA First Team All-Americans
- Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
- Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
- Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
- Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
- Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
- Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
- Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
- Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
- Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
- Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
- Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
- Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament
Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.
Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.
Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.
The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.