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he spring season brings a renewed sense of optimism, new beginnings, and a fresh start for many, and appropriately, “new” was the theme on TOUR this spring, especially for the TPC Network clubs that hosted several events. New winners, a new team format, and several new course changes were all in the line-up this past April and May as golf’s best competed at four of our premier clubs. TPC Sugarloaf kicked us off April 10-16 with the PGA TOUR Champions’ Mitsubishi Electric Classic, where the former 2006 PLAYERS Championship winner Stephen Ames held off some impressive names including Bernhard Langer and Fred Funk to shoot a bogey-free 6-under 66 in his final round to take home the trophy. This was the first win on the PGA TOUR Champions for the Trinidad and Tobago native. The following week saw TPC San Antonio host the 95th annual Valero Texas Open on the AT&T Oaks Course, welcoming Kevin Chappell into the winner’s circle as he captured his first PGA TOUR victory. Next up was a trip to the Big Easy where TPC Louisiana hosted the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, which introduced the PGA TOUR’s first team format on the regular season schedule in 36 years. The format featured alternate shot and best ball, and after a rain delay pushing the final round to Monday morning, the team of Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith took home the trophy. For the 23-year-old Smith, it was his first PGA TOUR victory. After a week’s break, the TOUR schedule brought us to our home base TPC Sawgrass for another thrilling PLAYERS Championship that saw plenty of drama and incredible ‘how did they do that?’ golf shots. Starting on Thursday with Sergio Garcia’s ace on 17, and ending with Cabrera Bello’s albatross on 16, followed by runner-up Ian Poulter’s unbelievable third shot out of the pine straw, which nearly holed for a walk-off par, both within minutes of each other during the final round – did we mention how great the golf was? THE PLAYERS Stadium Course showed its teeth as well after undergoing major renovations last year. Pete Dye’s gem has challenged the very best in golf, and this year was no exception. The newly-redesigned par-4 12th hole had
players deciding to go for the green and potentially make eagle or play it a little safer and lay up for a shot at birdie or par, which certainly added to the drama on the back nine. Overall, the changes to the course were very well-received, and we look forward to hosting our guests this summer to follow in the footsteps of their favorite TOUR players. In the end, it was the youngest active player on the PGA TOUR, Si Woo Kim, who remained calm and steady over the course of the tournament, shooting a bogey-free 69 in the final round to take home the crown, the youngest PLAYERS champion in the tournament’s history. His second TOUR victory, you can bet we’re going to see plenty more from him in the future. As exciting as April and May were, June and July look to be even better as TPC clubs will host five events on TOUR. You’ll definitely want to tune in to the following in chronological order: FedEx St. Jude Classic (TPC Southwind), Travelers Championship (TPC River Highlands), Quicken Loans National (TPC Potomac), Greenbrier Classic (The Old White TPC), and the John Deere Classic (TPC Deere Run). We are especially excited to welcome a TOUR event back to TPC Potomac for the first time since 2006, as well as seeing the changes to the rebuilt Old White TPC after it suffered extensive damage from flooding last June. Take a look inside for more on the changes made and the complete team effort of all involved to get the Old White TPC ready to host the Greenbrier Classic again this year. No matter where you are this summer, I invite you to make our Network yours, whether by attending or tuning in to one of the many tournaments we host, or by enjoying a PGA TOUR-approved round of golf at one of our 33 properties. It certainly is an exciting time to be a golf fan, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with golf at the highest level from the PGA TOUR’s TPC Network.
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y best Fourths of July as a kid were spent with my mother’s family in Nebraska, dutifully climbing the porch to honor Aunt Ruth, the aged matriarch of our clan who held court in her farmhouse, before being freed to run around in the woods with my cousins and a hundred or so relatives, eating BBQ, sneaking beers and blowing things up with homemade fireworks—an American childhood, to be sure. With a few butchers and meat-packers in the family the BBQ was always top-notch, and with veterans among our blue-collar ranks it’s safe to say that everyone stood at attention when the anthem played. Today I still stand, hand on heart, but my understanding of patriotism has broadened; my pride in America is complemented by an understanding of our place in the greater world at large and the fact that physical borders mean far less than they once did. Case in point: The 2017 Acura NSX (p56). The original 1990 version was a Honda designed and built in Japan—i.e., a Japanese car from a Japanese company, albeit with tweaks from a Brazilian. But while the new NSX is still a Honda, it’s designed by an American and manufactured in Ohio, so is the 2017 NSX a Japanese car or an American car? What about Ford’s new GT, which is being built in Canada? It’s enough to make any apple pie-eating patriot’s head spin. One company that’s long understood global business is KitchenAid, with its parent firm Whirlpool (p160). A maker of high quality appliances (I have them in my kitchen and they are fantastic), the company has ensured that something like 85% of each product sold is manufactured in the country in which it is sold. More than just products, KitchenAid and Whirlpool have been exporting the American spirit of cooperation,
hard work and quality—a rising tide raises all ships, after all—and I’m proud that KitchenAid is an American firm. Closer to home, the Folds of Honor Foundation provides scholarships to the families of veterans disabled or killed while serving (p148). I first had the honor of speaking to its founder, Maj. Dan Rooney, some years ago, and his group’s mission is tremendous, simultaneously addressing the future of the country, the importance of family, and the responsibility we all bear to honor those who have paid the ultimate price. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, I’d ask each of you to visit foldsofhonor.org and to contribute. The group, the NSX, KitchenAid and so many other examples are all reminders that while freedom isn’t free and while we should be incredibly proud of our nation, we’re all in this together. The future of our country, the future of our world, and even the future of the game we love so much all depend on global cooperation and understanding, and so I’m giving an extra thought to the meaning of “American” as I tee it up this summer, even as I get ready to tuck into some great BBQ—and to keep an eye on the beers at the party, lest some fireworks-wielding kids decide to get clever. Have a great summer,
The Giving Game
elcome to this special Majors edition of TPC Signature. It was Arnold Palmer, on his way to his first [British] Open in 1960, that selected the four Championships that are now known as the Majors. He failed to win that year at St Andrews but triumphed the following year at Royal Birkdale, an Open we cover from an unlikely “youth” angle on page 90. In addition to the wonderful work of his Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation, Palmer’s legacy for youth golf, the Arnold Palmer Cup, is continuing apace. Not only does the event get bigger with each set of matches, but it also provides collegiate players with a career-enhancing experience. As I write this four of the winners of the last seven PGA TOUR events have been Arnold Palmer Cup team members, and there have nine wins on TOUR already this season by Arnold Palmer Cup Alumni. On the subject of youthful promise fulfilled, I was delighted that Sergio Garcia (page 72) finally landed a Major back in April. His iron play has always contained magical elements, but it seemed his temperament would fail him at the last. He has finally laid that bogey to rest and shown he can forge his way through the fiercest heat of competition. This May more youthful promise came of unexpected age when the 21-year-old Korean Kim Si-Woo captured the hearts of golf fans by becoming the youngest-ever winner
of THE PLAYERS Championship, with a faultless 69 on his final round. With drama aplenty he displayed a wonderful calmness of mind. The fact he then flew home not only in “coach” but also in the middle seat shows he has feet on the ground as well. Golfers form a special community, whether that be to play the game in friendly competition or to come together for the greater good. To that end I should mention two worthy programs: Folds of Honor (page 146) who run a nationwide Patriot Golf Day every year to help deserving military families, and First Tee, a program backed by the PGA TOUR to get the young and disadvantaged into golf and by so doing to introduce them to life skills and character that golf can help develop. As the TOUR and others have shown, golf gives back, and that begins with each and every one of us. Get involved in one of the above programs if you’re not already. Wishing you a great summer of great TPC golf,
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Issue 12 Summer 2017
The Old White TPC
West Virginia’s premiere golf property rebuilds and recovers
School’s in at the PGA TOUR’s Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass
Luddites and antiquarians need not apply, this is the cutting edge
38 50 64 71 72 78 84 90 94
Future Golf Big holes, shortened tourneys, and live DJs: where the game is going Kelly Tilghman From family course to the heights of network TV Clubs, Cups & Hammers The highs and low bids of a sports auction Majors Section Worth the Wait Sergio Garcia finally breaks through Three to Follow Whatever the odds, we have our eye on these guys Whitewash & Windows Love it or hate it, Birkdale’s clubhouse is epic Breaking Into Birkdale One man’s tale of adventure at the 1961 Open Major Holes We build a Dream 18, picking and choosing from major-hosting tracks
Issue 12 Summer 2017
106 123 146 148 150 152 156 160 162
We celebrate the incredible fields of play within the TPC Network
Smooth voice and great game: the story of Bing’s love of the fairways
California’s Central Coast offers old-school living and great wines
In the Dunes Is there anywhere better than England’s Golf Coast? Gift Guide Things you’ll want, all summer long Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody The Army’s first female four-star general on life and leadership Folds of Honor Ten years of honoring those who paid the highest price Summer Soundtrack Outdoor audio with Bowers & Wilkins Just Go Top travel accessories for discerning globetrotters Pitcher Perfect Party libations aren’t built by the glass Summer Table A Mediterranean option for warm nights Last Page Never, ever, ever count out John Daly
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ASK YOUR DOCTOR if Myrbetriq® (mirabegron) may help you manage your overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms of urgency, frequency, and leakage If you’re dealing with urges, frequency, and leaks on your own, or if you have ever taken an OAB medicine and stopped, ask your doctor if Myrbetriq may be an appropriate treatment option for you.
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In clinical trials, those taking Myrbetriq made fewer trips to the bathroom and had fewer leaks than those not taking Myrbetriq. Your results may vary.
USE OF MYRBETRIQ Myrbetriq® (mirabegron) is a prescription medicine for adults used to treat overactive bladder (OAB) with symptoms of urgency, frequency and leakage. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION Myrbetriq is not for everyone. Do not use Myrbetriq if you have an allergy to mirabegron or any ingredients in Myrbetriq. Myrbetriq may cause your blood pressure to increase or make your blood pressure worse if you have a history of high blood pressure. It is recommended that your doctor check your blood pressure while you are taking Myrbetriq. Myrbetriq may increase your chances of not being able to empty your bladder. Tell your doctor right away if you have trouble emptying your bladder or you have a weak urine stream. Myrbetriq may cause allergic reactions that may be serious. If you experience swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, with or without difficulty breathing, stop taking Myrbetriq and tell your doctor right away. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including medications for overactive bladder or other medicines such as thioridazine (Mellaril™ and Mellaril-S™), flecainide (Tambocor®), propafenone (Rythmol®), digoxin (Lanoxin®). Myrbetriq may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how Myrbetriq works. Before taking Myrbetriq, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney problems. The most common side effects of Myrbetriq include increased blood pressure, common cold symptoms (nasopharyngitis), urinary tract infection, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, and headache. For further information, please talk to your healthcare professional and see Brief Summary of Prescribing Information for Myrbetriq® (mirabegron) on the following page. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Myrbetriq is a registered trademark of Astellas Pharma Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2016 Astellas Pharma US, Inc.
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Myrbetriq® (mirabegron) extended-release tablets 25 mg, 50 mg Brief Summary based on FDA-approved patient labeling Read the Patient Information that comes with Myrbetriq® (mirabegron) before you start taking it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This summary does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or treatment. What is Myrbetriq (meer-BEH-trick)? Myrbetriq is a prescription medication for adults used to treat the following symptoms due to a condition called overactive bladder: • urge urinary incontinence: a strong need to urinate with leaking or wetting accidents • urgency: a strong need to urinate right away • frequency: urinating often It is not known if Myrbetriq is safe and effective in children. Who should not use Myrbetriq? Do not use Myrbetriq if you have an allergy to mirabegron or any of the ingredients in Myrbetriq. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in Myrbetriq. What is overactive bladder? Overactive bladder occurs when you cannot control your bladder contractions. When these muscle contractions happen too often or cannot be controlled, you can get symptoms of overactive bladder, which are urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and urinary incontinence (leakage). What should I tell my doctor before taking Myrbetriq? Before you take Myrbetriq, tell your doctor if you: • have liver problems or kidney problems • have very high uncontrolled blood pressure • have trouble emptying your bladder or you have a weak urine stream • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Myrbetriq will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Myrbetriq passes into your breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take Myrbetriq or breastfeed. You should not do both. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Myrbetriq may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how Myrbetriq works. Tell your doctor if you take: • thioridazine (Mellaril™ or Mellaril-S™) • flecainide (Tambocor®) • propafenone (Rythmol®) • digoxin (Lanoxin®) How should I take Myrbetriq? • Take Myrbetriq exactly as your doctor tells you to take it. • You should take 1 Myrbetriq tablet 1 time a day. • You should take Myrbetriq with water and swallow the tablet whole. • Do not crush or chew the tablet. • You can take Myrbetriq with or without food. • If you miss a dose of Myrbetriq, begin taking Myrbetriq again the next day. Do not take 2 doses of Myrbetriq the same day. • If you take too much Myrbetriq, call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. What are the possible side effects of Myrbetriq? Myrbetriq may cause serious side effects including: • increased blood pressure. Myrbetriq may cause your blood pressure to increase or make your blood pressure worse if you have a history of high blood pressure. It is recommended that your doctor check your blood pressure while you are taking Myrbetriq. • inability to empty your bladder (urinary retention). Myrbetriq may increase your chances of not being able to empty your bladder if you have bladder outlet obstruction or if you are taking other medicines to treat overactive bladder. Tell your doctor right away if you are unable to empty your bladder. • angioedema. Myrbetriq may cause an allergic reaction with swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat with or without difficulty breathing. Stop using Myrbetriq and tell your doctor right away.
The most common side effects of Myrbetriq include: • increased blood pressure • common cold symptoms (nasopharyngitis) • urinary tract infection • constipation • diarrhea • dizziness • headache Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away or if you have swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, hives, skin rash or itching while taking Myrbetriq. These are not all the possible side effects of Myrbetriq. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. How should I store Myrbetriq? • Store Myrbetriq between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Keep the bottle closed. • Safely throw away medicine that is out of date or no longer needed. Keep Myrbetriq and all medicines out of the reach of children. General information about the safe and effective use of Myrbetriq Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in the Patient Information leaflet. Do not use Myrbetriq for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Myrbetriq to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them. Where can I go for more information? This is a summary of the most important information about Myrbetriq. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about Myrbetriq that is written for health professionals. For more information, visit www.Myrbetriq.com or call (800) 727-7003. What are the ingredients in Myrbetriq? Active ingredient: mirabegron Inactive ingredients: polyethylene oxide, polyethylene glycol, hydroxypropyl cellulose, butylated hydroxytoluene, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, yellow ferric oxide and red ferric oxide (25 mg Myrbetriq tablet only). Rx Only PRODUCT OF JAPAN OR IRELAND – See bottle label or blister package for origin Marketed and Distributed by: Astellas Pharma US, Inc. Northbrook, Illinois 60062
Myrbetriq® is a registered trademark of Astellas Pharma Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2016 Astellas Pharma US, Inc. Revised: August 2016 16A006-MIR-BRFS 057-1331-PM
THE GREENBRIER RENAISSANCE
The restored 6th hole on The Old White TPC, photographed in May 2017
Life was good at The Greenbrier at the beginning of June 2016. Summer had arrived and the famous Greenbrier Classic was scheduled for July. But then West Virginia was struck with the heaviest rainfall in memory and the flooding was devastating. What happened next is a remarkable story of resilience, team spirit and recovery
Dan Murphy | STONEHOUSEGOLF.COM
Dan Murphy | STONEHOUSEGOLF.COM
W When the rain started in late June last year in White Sulphur Springs in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, it felt like it would never end. In a 24-hour period, 11 inches of rain fell in parts of the state and Greenbrier County took the brunt of it; 25 percent of the area’s average annual rainfall arriving in one terrible day. The flooding was devastating. Thousands of people lost their homes and 24 lost their lives. President Barack Obama declared it a major disaster, a state of emergency was announced in 44 counties and the National Guard was drafted in. The Greenbrier—owned by Jim Justice, the mining and agriculture billionaire who was voted in as state Governor this year—was immediately closed for business but open for shelter. Despite some damage to the resort’s buildings and extensive destruction across its five golf courses, the 710 hotel rooms were opened up free of charge to locals who had lost their homes. The PGA TOUR’s Greenbrier Classic was scheduled to start less than a fortnight after the floods, but in the aftermath it was a side-note that it was cancelled. The Old White TPC, The Greenbrier’s original masterpiece—designed by the legendary Charles Blair
Macdonald and opened in 1914—was a wreck. The Greenbrier Classic was supposed to be played on The Old White TPC, but not only was the 2016 tournament out of the question but at the time even the 2017 event was thrown into doubt. “I’ve witnessed a lot of natural disasters to golf courses, but nothing to this extent, nothing even close,” said Cal Roth at the time, senior vice president of agronomy for the PGA TOUR. Burt Baine is Director of Golf at The Greenbrier and he sits in the same office chair that Sam Snead once occupied when he was head professional at The Greenbrier and the resort’s first Professional Emeritus. “I saw the flooding with my own eyes,” says Baine, who is in his seventh season at The Greenbrier, having previously
[Top left] The new 18th hole on The Old White TPC; [above & below left] The flooding and destruction at The Greenbrier in June 2016
“Mr. Justice insisted we re-build all 18 greens, re-build every bunker on the course and re-seed every fairway” worked as General Manager at TPC Piper Glen. “We will never forget it. What happened in West Virginia was a tragedy, but the community here is strong and so is The Greenbrier. We have put that behind us and we are looking forward. “Your story from here starts with Mr. Justice. About seven holes of The Old White TPC were significantly damaged and they had to be rebuilt, and about 11 holes suffered less extensive damage. “Mr. Justice immediately took the decision that we were not going to do a patch-up job. He did not want us to rebuild six or seven holes, only to have them play inconsistent from the remainder of the golf course. That was not satisfactory. Before we even knew what the financial ramifications were going to be with the insurance claim, Mr. Justice insisted that we re-build all 18 greens, that we re-build every bunker on the course and re-seed every fairway. That was the only way to guarantee that the restored course would play with consistent quality from the first tee to the 18th green.” With that bold decision, a golden opportunity emerged from adversity; to restore The Old White TPC to how Charles Blair Macdonald laid it out in the first place,
more than 100 years before. Inevitably, golf courses change over time, whether superintendents and golf directors want them to or not. The borders of greens and fairways can alter with the single sweep of a lawnmower, tee boxes lean in to new angles, trees come and go, and bunkers can be a rule unto their own without the most painstaking of disciplined care and attention. Architect Keith Foster—an expert on Macdonald’s work—was brought in to ensure the rebuilt golf course would be entirely to the old master’s approval, a responsibility with added weight given that all other Macdonald courses in the United States are carefully guarded behind the gates of private members clubs. The Old White TPC is the only one open to public play. “Keith is very highly regarded,” says Baine. “He has worked on lots of historic restorations and he is an expert on Macdonald. When Keith was out there making decisions it was not a case of what Keith Foster would do, but his interpretation of what Macdonald would have done. “Keith developed our plan, starting with the greens surfaces, then re-laying the fairways. I’ll tell you one thing about Keith: he is a meticulous craftsman. He is all about detail. Nothing is approximate with him—every detail on the course is exact. He did a marvelous job and was very hands-on, working closely with our staff and contractors.” So Foster cleared the path for The Old White TPC, but getting the golf course rebuilt and ready for July 2017 took a colossal effort. “We have had guys working here seven days a week to get the course back to where it is now,” adds Baine. “At the time, when you are doing the work, sometimes the progress
can look slow and it’s laborious and you feel impatient to get the restoration finished and to get golfers on the course again, but now, looking back at what we have achieved here over the past 11 months, it has been an incredible achievement. The golf course now looks immaculate and an incredible amount of work has been done by a lot of people working extremely hard. “Not only has The Old White TPC been restored, but The Meadows golf course has been completely rebuilt and so has The Snead, so three golf courses have been under re-construction simultaneously. “You look at the fairways on The Old White TPC now and they are absolutely perfect. There is not a single divot out on the fairways of that golf course or a ball-mark on a green. They are completely pristine and that is how they will stay until the TOUR players get here in July. I’ll tell you, the TOUR players are going to be shocked at the quality and condition of this restored golf course. It is going to be a lot of fun for them.” A new course is also being built as the centerpiece of Oakhurst, which is the newest neighborhood planned for The Greenbrier Sporting Club Subdvision, the private community at The Greenbrier. Designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino, the course sits high up on a ridge, so the flood damage there was much less than on The Greenbrier’s existing courses in the valley. Yet with resources diverted to cope with the flood recovery, the opening of the Oakhurst ciurse is being postponed to 2019. As for the Greenbrier Classic, it will return to The Old White TPC on July 6. The return of the PGA TOUR to this corner of West Virginia will be an emotional moment for many, and so it should be. Restoring The Old White TPC to its original glories as envisioned by Macdonald, and to complete the job in the space of less than a year, has been a modern golfing miracle.
“There is not a divot out there or a ball-mark, and this is how it will stay until the TOUR players get here”
[Left] The Old White TPC underwater in June 2016; [below] the restored third hole
Dan Murphy | STONEHOUSEGOLF.COM
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TOP PERFORMANCE Ever the touchstone for excellence in golf, TPC Sawgrass adds to its arsenal with one of the top performance centers in the game
Scenes from the PGA TOUR’s Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass
ome to the PGA TOUR Headquarters, THE PLAYERS Championship, two great golf courses, and one particularly famous Island Green, TPC Sawgrass is to many the pinnacle of the game. With a stunning clubhouse, a great restaurant and bar, museum-quality examples of golf history adorning nearly every wall, and local amenities that include some of the best dining, shopping and beaches in North Florida, it’s no wonder that the club is a dream destination for nearly everyone who’s ever wielded a club. Now fans have one more reason to visit, as the new PGA TOUR’s Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass is open. “We’re going to have elite players coming from all over the world to work with us,” says Todd Anderson, the newly-appointed Director of Instruction at the Performance Center and 2010 PGA of America Teacher of the Year. “We’ll also have local people and visitors who stay at some of the area hotels, like the Sawgrass Marriot®. Basically, we want
anyone to come who’s interested in improving their golf and in utilizing some of the amazing technology that we have.” Of course, none of it means a thing without proper guidance, and in Anderson the TOUR has one of the best instructors around. Named as the Director of Golf at North Carolina’s Elk River Club at the age of 25, he left after seven years to take the same position at Old Marsh Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Former Director of Instruction at The Breakers in Palm Beach, an instructor at the Golf Digest Instruction Schools, the 1999 South Florida PGA Teacher of the Year and the 2003 South Florida PGA Horton Smith Award Recipient, Anderson was also Director of Instruction at the Sea Island Golf Performance Center, where he worked with FedExCup Champions Billy Horschel (2014) and Brandt Snedeker (2012), among others. Throughout his career, he’s taught more than 100 PGA TOUR, Web.com, PGA TOUR Champions and LPGA Tour professionals, and he’s long been listed among Golf Digest’s 50 Greatest Teachers and among Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Instructors. At the new Performance Center, his expertise combines with the technology at his disposal to create a fantastic resource for golfers at any level. Rounding out the Performance Center’s exceptional instructional team are instructors Andrew Lanahan and Jordan Dempsey as well as club fitter Josh Gumlia, and fitness specialist Alex Bennett. The Performance Center’s technology is indeed amazing, and includes an array of the top systems available for club, ball, body and swing analysis and more
The new Performance Center is a step up from what was a great facility already
[Above] The amazing clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass
(see sidebar: Technology). It’s a step up from what was already a great instruction facility, with two new bays added (for a total of four hitting bays) along with the significant tech update. Combined with top instruction, club fitting and fitness, it all comes together to create a resource to help improve any game at any level. “We have cameras, where we can get up close to show impact with the putter and full-length shots from all angles,” says Anderson. “And we have fitness equipment, along with cable machines that are specifically designed to help people work on golf swing mechanics. We can take a student through an assessment period, get some initial numbers, initial data, work in different areas, such as club fitting, swing instruction, and fitness. Then make some modifications to whatever they’re doing, and quantify where they improved.” This is key to the Performance Center experience, Anderson says: quantifying improvements in a demonstrable fashion to help students appreciate performance gains that are resulting from the instruction given, rather than just “taking a lesson” and looking for overall improved scores, which would be the long-term goal.” As an example, Anderson tells of a corporate group that recently booked the Performance Center, with genuine results. “We worked on fitness and stretching, then ran them through a few exercises with different weighted sticks from Super Speed golf,” he explains. “We also made a few swing adjustments and fit them to a new driver. After this, average
Todd Anderson working with students
The PGA TOUR’s Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass features the latest and greatest tech to help you improve your game, including: BodiTrak BodiTrak force sensing mats give you real time force and pressure data on how the student interacts with the ground and insight on how to improve. Foresight Sports GCQuad Four cameras look at four different perspectives at the golf ball and club. K-VEST 3D K-VEST 3D is a wearable biofeedback device and the industry’s only human motion learning system. The all-in-one wireless system instantaneously measures players’ power signatures and 3D data. The system assesses player characteristics and generates insightful reports. Quintic Ball Roll Quintic ball roll software utilizes a high-speed camera tracking the golf ball and putter during impact. The software automatically provides all the information you need regarding the putter and ball, both graphically and numerically, in a way that was formerly only available in full-swing analysis software. SAM PuttLab SAM Puttlab is the complete solution for professional putter fitting. Most equipment manufacturers are working with SAM Puttlab as their R&D tool for putter development. Swing Catalyst 3D Motion Plate The Swing Catalyst 3D Motion Plate measures the amount of rotational force created in a golf swing. Rotational force is based on both the horizontal and vertical forces applied to the ground. The force factor is an indicator of how efficiently the golfer is using his or her body weight to create rotational force. All 3D Motion Plate data is perfectly synchronized with our high-speed video images and data from our ball/club tracking devices. TrackMan 4’s Dual Radar Technology One radar system tracks everything the club does before, during, and after impact—from commonly known parameters like club path and face angle to swing direction and spin loft. The second radar system tracks the full ball flight—from launch to landing and everything in between; including launch angle, spin rate and curvature. V1 Pro HD V1 Pro is the preferred video analysis of the Performance Center capture, compare and improve the performance of their students.
[Above] A redesigned range complex and top tech [left] make for an incredible Performance Center
club head speed went up over 4mph for the whole group, and average carry distance went up something like 30 yards. “That’s what we’re trying to show. We want to quantify things we’re doing to where you see you’re actually hitting the ball further, actually hitting it higher, generating more club head speed, improving contact, etc. It helps us with our teaching and with our training to illustrate that you definitely are getting better—and here’s the proof.” When students leave the Performance Center, he says, they’ll have a wealth of data and media (like printed Trackman data and swing analysis information) they can take back to their pro at home, with recommendations on a program for advancement. They could also have a new set of clubs, as the Performance Center is also fully capable of doing a comprehensive club fitting and adjustment. “We have all of the equipment the pros are using,” says Anderson. “Our club room is almost like a TOUR van. We can stamp wedges with people’s initials, we have lie and loft machines, we can do whatever they’re doing on TOUR at our facility. We don’t want there to be anything our guests need that’s not available. “When people talk about great destinations, we’re going to be in that conversation. The TOUR has made a commitment to that, to me, and to this new facility they’ve built, and our job now is to create one of the best learning environments in the world—world-class instruction at a world-class facility with top notch teachers who know how to create a fun experience. We want it to be fun and energizing; we want people to walk away saying ‘this is great.’ We want them to leave motivated and then come back and show us their improvements.” Learn more about the PGA TOUR’s Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass at tourperformancecenter.com
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You may not remember Catcher in the Rye from your high school days, but J.D. Salinger’s character of Holden Caulfield had something to say about Well, that’s how some people see golf golf: “Certain things, they should stay anyway. For others, golf is “a boring, the way they are. You ought to be able antiquated game played by old people to stick them in one of those big glass who have outdated beliefs,” as one [presumably young] reddit user had cases and just leave them alone.” it in an online discussion. And so it seems that we have a problem.
The editor, Andy Farrell and Tony Dear look forward
from the 1400s to the present, it has been a continuous story of evolution. One of the traditions of the game is the fact that it embraces technology, embraces cultural change, embraces societal change. It reacts to the world around it in a very dynamic and flexible way, otherwise we’d still be playing with long-nose woods and feather golf balls, and only on the links in Scotland.” Even with the idea of shortening courses, there’s nothing sacred about 18. When golf began, it was up to the course to set the length: St Andrews originally had 22 holes, Montrose had 25 (in 1562), while Musselburgh had seven when Queen Mary was hitting it around, in 1567. The Old We all know the story: participation rates are down, revenues down, viewers down, courses closing, water hazards red with blood and apocalyptic horsemen riding over the fairways… Last year, when the Physical Activity Council, which tracks recreational pursuits in the U.S., asked non-golfers under 65 which ten activities they’d like to try, golf didn’t even make the list. For those 65+, golf was No.10 out of ten. Birdwatching was No.1. A few years ago, hoping to attract more fans and players, the industry made changes, and the results are starting to show: the European Tour staged a GolfSixes tournament this year in which two-man teams from 16 nations competed on a six-hole course. Sprint6Golf came into its own, a smartphone app-based approach to the game in which players play six holes, hitting each shot to a 30-second shot clock. The Topgolf phenomenon took off, with the targeted driving range/sportsbar/nightclub experience opening new locations seemingly everywhere. Similarly, simulators have taken off, especially in South Korea. And someone again dusted off the idea of a 12-inch hole—or was it 15 inches? Or 8? In fact, they’ve all been suggested. Courses consisting of 12 holes; 6-hole loops within existing 18-hole courses; four-hole designs; eight-hole designs; golf by the hour (a Missouri property is trying it); nine random holes in a field (e.g. the HORSE Course at Nebraska’s Prairie Club)… The only thing not tried is a giant windmill on the 15th—but who knows.
For many, changes are long overdue, while others might feel more like “JNC Lyon,” who offered this in 2010 in a chat on golfclubatlas.com: “Suddenly, in the last 50 years or so, we have all decided that the game needs to change with the times… The world of golf needs to stand up to this change. Golf should NOT change with the rest of the world. Golf is an escape from the rest of the world, a return to traditionalism and integrity in a time of unrelenting change.” If you’re retired, have ample free time and enjoy your 19th hole where it is (after 18, not 6), all of this might seem like so much bother: “There’s nothing wrong with golf,” you might think. “Give it time.” But it seems inevitable that changes are coming, not least among who’s playing. If numbers are down among white males, participation among women and minorities is up, and that’s a good thing. As for new tournament formats, new layouts and the like, whether you’re excited about the changes or horrified, take heart: when it comes to golf, change is par for the course. “Most people think of golf as this game that is deeply rooted in its past and clings tightly to tradition and thus resists change,” says Rand Jerris, the USGA’s Senior Managing Director of Public Services and former USGA Historian. As the author of books on golf history and with a doctorate in art and archaeology from Princeton, the former USGA Museum Director knows a thing or two, and it’s reassuring: “The reality is, if you look honestly at the sport
Course reduced its layout to 18 in 1764 and, for the most part, everyone liked that. But it’s not as if golf stopped changing. “The fundamental principle—‘I strike a ball with a club and get it into a hole in the ground’—that hasn’t changed, that’s what’s core,”Jerris says. “And those core elements of honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, those haven’t changed; the culture’s been, in a lot of ways, constant. But the equipment, the surface on which the game has been played, what existed around the sport in a way… I believe that ‘golf resists change’ is a story that’s sort of self-perpetuating, but which sort of breaks down under scrutiny.” As an example of golf ’s ability to adapt he points to the period following the Great Depression, in which socioeconomic factors led to rather dramatic cultural shifts in the game.
“You hear of things today like 12-inch holes. Gene Sarazen in the 1930s was a huge proponent of 12-inch holes for the same reasons: participation is hurting. If you played in the ’30s you were probably from an upper-middle or upper-class family... probably lived on the East Coast or in the Northeast. It was tied to a particular socioeconomic class, that class was suddenly under pressure. As memberships declined, private clubs closed, equipment sales slowed, people thought that golf isn’t going to survive, we need to have radical interventions. It took five or six years, but then you see some interesting stories. For one, the number of women playing golf
cultural changes, social changes all seem to be accelerating. It’s always responsive to society and culture, and so it’s logical golf might be going through a period where the change—or the feeling of change—is accelerating, but that’s not inconsistent with what’s happened before. With golf participation, look at things like Topgolf…” Ah, Topgolf. Basically a driving range that features microchipped balls hit towards electronic targets (which light up at night), Topgolf was invented by a couple of brothers who were bored with the typical driving range. Friends can gather in lounge-like settings, order drinks, watch sports on TV, listen to a live DJ and play
[Above left] a bigger hole; [Above] sports, drinks and crowds at Topgolf
from 1930 to 1936 increased 25% every year. Roosevelt’s New Deal agency went out and built golf courses, there were 350 courses built. Golf went from being part of a private, male world to being a public sport with much greater participation by women. The community adapted. What came out of the back end of it after the Depression and into WWII, golf looked very different after 12 to 15 years of change... People alive today don’t have that memory but the sport’s experienced that on several occasions.” If anything is different now, Jerris says, it’s the pace of change, and that likely will have an effect on course. “Are we at a place where the changes and the pressures are maybe coming more rapidly than in the past? Probably,” Jerris says. “But that seems to be the case in society in general: technological changes,
the game as a kind of complement to a night out—not unlike bowling. Beyond that, certain Topgolf locations have become hotspots, like the multi-level Topgolf Las Vegas, for example, which features five bars/lounges, 11 cabanas, a concert stage, more than 300 TVs, two swimming pools, and regular parties. No word on how many pool-goers use the on-site Callaway fitting center. According to the company, the majority of participants are between 18 and 34 and 37 percent of visitors overall are non-golfers. With locations all over the U.S., some in the UK and more to come in Mexico, it’s the hottest thing in golf—if you consider Topgolf to be golf. “I’ve never been to one,” says Golf Channel broadcaster Kelly Tilghman. “Here at Universal Studios [in Orlando], I believe there’s an NBA cafe. There are, I’m sure,
football places around, I’m sure there are NASCAR restaurants around. People who are fans of those respective sports gravitate toward those places to feel comfortable and to have fun in the process. Golf is different, because what Topgolf might do is make it accessible to people who were otherwise intimidated to play the game…. Topgolf, GolfSixes, things like this, they do the game a favor by making it even more relatable, less intimidating. If one more person picks up the game because they had a martini and hit a bucket of golf balls, that’s good for golf.” Perhaps, but will these new formats translate to the green-grass game? Time will tell. And if people do head out on course, what will keep them there? Here, Jerris is optimistic, speculating that “golf by the hour,” for example, currently being tested at the Lake of the Ozarks Resort in Missouri, might benefit the economics of clubs as much as it does golfers’ schedules. “I haven’t looked at this, and this is total speculation,” he says, “but if you had a GPS device and you were somehow tracking every single golfer or group of golfers, knew where they were at any time, then a guy could show up and say ‘I’ve got an hour and a half, I want to play.’ You may be able to look and say, ‘Head out to 13, there’s going to be a two-group gap, slide in right there, get in your five holes in an hour and a half.’ Data and technology will help monitor and model the way groups move around a golf course, and as a manager or facility operator, you can say well this group is going to play here, they’ll play six holes then drop off, so I can put a group in there, and their hour may be 7 through 12… It’s not necessarily how you lay out the routing and design, but technology is going to allow you to manage the inventory on that platform.” Still, he says, course design could change as well, perhaps evidenced in the popularity of Prairie Club’s HORSE Course, in which golfers grab a wedge and a putter and hit it where they like across nine holes laid-out in a field, attempting to re-create each other’s shots (lest they get an “H”, and so on). Whether or not a professional game of HORSE will ever be staged is another question, but competition is changing, too.
by Andy Farrell For golf fans looking ahead, this spring was less about the Masters and more about seeing something different at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. As much a step back in time as it was a “new” format, the tournament became the first official pairs event on the PGA Tour in 36 years—and it wasn’t alone in providing a break from typical 72-hole stroke-play events. The men’s European Tour showcased GolfSixes in May, pitting two-man teams from 16 countries against each other in a six-hole tournament that lasted two days. The LPGA staged its first individual matchplay event in five years (though it wasn’t televised), a few other matchplay events found their ways onto various schedules and suddenly people are talking about other ways to showcase the game in competition. Were these glimpses of golf’s future or mere novelties, nothing more than blips on golf ’s timeline? It’s anyone’s guess, but one thing’s for sure: the pros liked it. “How would you not want to be here for this event?,” asked Bubba Watson of the Zurich Classic. “For them to step out of the box and do something creative like this is pretty amazing.” The Classic drew six of the top 10 players in the world, and though a Jason Day–Rickie Fowler team didn’t show, nor did an Olympic pairing of gold and silver medalists Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, it didn’t matter. The finale was sufficiently exciting—Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown forced a playoff, then lost to Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt—and if reviews are anything to go by, it’s more than probable that we’ll see more like it. “A hit,” declared Jeff Ritter of Sports Illustrated Golf Group. “A blast,” declared the magazine’s Alan Shipnuck. “I’m happy to jump on the bandwagon,” offered Jessica Marksbury from GOLF.com, adding that “A fall co-ed event would be completely fantastic.” And why not. It’s not co-ed, but the European Tour staged its first ever GolfSixes event this year. Featuring six-hole greensome matches, the
Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark tees off on the 3rd hole during day two of GolfSixes; [Below right]: the team of Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes at the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana
event took roughly an hour each day. BBC Golf correspondent Iain Carter said that golf had “gained ‘six appeal’” and that the tournament could be a “blueprint” for things to come. “This is just what golf needs with the current perception that it is increasingly losing out because it takes too long to play and watch,” he wrote. “Traditional professional golf becomes genuinely absorbing ‘down the stretch.’ Golf Sixes catapults us straight to that point with no preamble.” Golfers were encouraged to mix it up with the fans, loud music was played and the atmosphere perhaps was more college party than staid club event—not least due to a 40-second shot clock on one hole, which worked so well that it was reduced to 30 seconds on day two. But is this kind of thing good for golf, reducing tournaments to an hour, fast-forwarding to the “down the stretch” bit, blasting music and having pros high-five fans? “I think there’s a fine line you need to pay attention to,” offers Kelly Tilghman. “Keith Pelley [CEO] at the European Tour, I think he understands there’s a delicate balance between thrilling and
progressive competition and maintaining the integrity of the game. I think he gets it. From everything I’ve seen and heard, the European Tour loves the feedback they’re getting.” Of course the debate isn’t limited to new formats, but also to stroke-play vs matchplay—a long-running discussion. Earlier in the year the World Super 6 in Perth featured a final day of six-hole knockout matches. Brett Rumford, who led the 54-hole qualifying by five strokes, survived the cut and thrust of matchplay to take the title. The mano-a-mano format is how the game first evolved, but in the 1950s writer Henry Longhurst noted, rather scathingly, that while British golfers would readily head out for a foursome match, their American counterparts would play a fourball with each holing out at every hole and keeping individual score, “the whole infinitely dreary business taking a minimum of four hours and being one of the greatest wearinesses of the flesh ever voluntarily imposed upon man in the name of recreation,” he wrote. The slow, relentless grind of modern professional golf can feel like that at times.
But ever since the Open Championship began in 1860 with three 12-hole rounds, expanding to 72 holes in 1892, stroke-play has become the paradigm for golf tournaments, accepted as the truest test for determining the best player of the week even as other formats endured: The PGA Championship switched from matchplay to stroke-play in 1958, The Miami Fourball ran for three decades, and The International in Denver used a modified Stableford points system for many years. Britain used to have its autumn classics of the World Match Play at Wentworth and the Dunhill Nations Cup at St Andrews, while the so-called “silly season” in America after the end of the tour featured events like the JC Penny mixed team tournament, last won by John Daly and Laura Davies in 1999.
More recently any unofficial events have been squeezed out with the “wraparound” schedule, meaning one season starts virtually the moment the last has finished. Players want to play for official money to boost their FedEx Cup status and for world ranking points to qualify for the biggest tournaments. Stroke-play events give
more players the chance to play. And with their investments sky high it is little wonder that sponsors like to stick to a trusted formula. All of which begs the question of whether alternative formats are good for players, even if they’re good for golf. “As it relates to the Zurich Classic, I’m a huge fan of that city, that tour stop and that tournament,” says Tilghman. “I think they were trying to do something to set themselves apart—they’re a great sponsor for the PGA Tour and a great friend of the players—and they did that. But I don’t think their champions get Masters invitations. When you go down this line, you have to sacrifice certain things; major championships are going to take precedence.” Rather, she says, why not expand the notion of alternative format: could she see Spieth vs McIlroy at a Topgolf location, for example? “I think that’s a completely separate event from anything related to professional golf from a tour standpoint,” she says, “but independently there is a big business to be had on this side of the industry that’s untapped. These guys are independent contractors, they can accept these kinds of things left and right. I do believe it’s an untapped market. “Remember the Battle at Bighorn? Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf? Slot it on a
Friday night under the lights, or Saturday late afternoon, give it a good run. But I don’t know that you would necessarily need to make it part of a tour schedule. Make it a standalone event, put them in prime time. As a broadcaster, I think that would be so much fun to be part of something like that if it was presented in the right way.” Such an event (or such events) could be hugely popular among fans, but fan interest hasn’t necessarily been at the front of mind when formats have been decided, as was the case with the Olympics. Although he won his share of matchplay titles, Tiger Woods became the ultimate golfing marathon runner, often leading by Saturday night and controlling his own destiny on Sunday. Accordingly, it was only natural that he should advocate for 72-hole stroke-play to be the format when golf returned to the Olympics in Rio, and so it came to be, despite calls for a team or matchplay element. It likely will stay the same for Tokyo in 2020, but a lot could happen between then and now, and if short-form matchplay picks up in popularity (and if golf remains in the Olympics), there could be changes eventually. A genuine mixed-team World Cup (three men, three women; three foursomes followed by six singles) could be a possibility, utilizing six-hole matches. As for individual matchplay, a little more of it would help identify its own stars—perhaps a Patrick Reed or Ian Poulter—who are different from the stroke-play champs. Certainly, with the NCAA team championships embracing matchplay in recent years, the new breed of PGA Tour players seems to welcome a little variation. Going back to the Zurich Classic, Jordan Spieth said: “I think it would be fun if we had a couple of these events a year,” and newly installed PGA TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan hasn’t said no: “We’ll be open to formats that we think will be interesting and compelling to our fans and will drive growth. Our work is not done. We will continue to think about what that next change might be.” The next question, then, might be what sorts of changes could come to the courses on which the new formats would appear.
by Tony Dear The 2008 financial crisis hit golf hard, devastating beloved old courses and golfrelated businesses everywhere. But if there’s anything to be said for recessions, they do tend to cut the wheat from the chaff. Have you seen or used a genuinely bad piece of golf equipment in the last few years? Not likely. Changed spending habits, the spread of technology, and improved access to information have more or less ensured that questionable equipment never sees the light of day. The same is true of golf courses, hence it becoming readily apparent that the profligate course construction of recent decades gave us plenty of poor layouts. While a mediocre course undoubtedly has opened in recent years, today’s ratio of new good to new bad is lopsided in a positive way. Gone are the routine openings of yet another dreary residential course in Florida/Arizona/California/Nevada. Now it’s stunners like Cabot Links, Cabot Cliffs, Sand Valley, Lost Farm, Streamsong, Cape Wickham, Tara Iti, Trinity Forest, Gamble Sands, and Sweetens Cove. The last was designed by Tad King and Rob Collins, part of an emerging class of young(ish) designers whose work honors Golden Age architects, favoring strategy and fun over length and difficulty. Sweetens Cove’s nine holes are 25 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee, on the site of an existing course Collins described as one of the worst he’d ever seen.
“Sweetens Cove was a labor of love for us from day one,” he says. “Our intent was to build an inland links inspired by the 1932 version of Augusta National and a number of our favorite U.S. and UK courses. We had a blank slate and a client who trusted us, so it was a great opportunity to put our beliefs about the game on full display.” The result is a course that was built for less than $1m (the owner supplied many of the materials), which costs $20 to play, and which Golfweek recently ranked as the 59th best modern course (post-1960) in the country, as well as the best in Tennessee. If it’s any indication of things to come, the future looks bright indeed. And if you can add a community aspect, one that fosters local involvement, then so much the better. In late 2015 Keith Rhebb, a course designer who started in course construction before becoming a lead shaper and associate with the celebrated design duo of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, teamed up with Riley Johns to rebuild the tired nine-hole Winter Park CC, eight miles north of Orlando. Working with municipal employees and a $1.2m budget, Rhebb and Johns restored the city-owned layout, introducing variety and strategy with the goal of making the new course enjoyable for everyone. To gain the community’s trust and to give locals a sense of ownership, Rhebb and Johns used the city’s maintenance crew for construction work and invited locals to two “sprigging” events in May 2016. “We saved a significant amount of money,” says Rhebb, “and invested the
savings back into the community by adding an 18-hole community putting course that anyone can play at no cost.” Again, the results have been positive, and Rhebb says he hopes the trend of short courses and community putting courses continues as design and development evolves: “They often provide an opportunity for people to connect over a mutual interest, from friends making time for a quick round together, to parents who introduce their children to golf for the first time,” he says. JJ Murphy agrees. City Manager of Hobbs, a town of 45,000 in the southeast corner of New Mexico, Murphy was an instrumental part of the team that commissioned Scottsdale designer Andy Staples to transform the city’s old Ocotillo GC into a 27-hole Community Links where everybody is welcome. The 18-hole Rockwind layout and nine-hole “Li’l Rock” opened in May 2015, and the facility, which also includes a park and cycling/walking trails, has become a focus of community activity, with multiple revenue streams besides green fees. Beyond that, Staples says that Rockwind is a great example of how responsible design can change people’s perception of the role a golf course can play: “By using reclaimed water and minimizing the amount of irrigated turf, we showed the people here you can build a sustainable course in the desert,” he adds. “And by providing the short course, practice area, and First Tee facility, participation numbers have soared. It is a
valuable community asset that I hope will become a model for course development in the future when the design business will evolve to focus on golf as a social, healthy activity with huge personal benefits.” That’s a vision shared by Thad Layton, Senior Course Architect and a Vice President of the Arnold Palmer Design Company. “The Scots were culpable for establishing golf as an 18-hole affair,” he says. “But they also had the good sense to create ‘wee links’ for new golfers to learn the game. Relative to a full 18, these smaller facilities use less land and water, cost less to build and maintain, are more affordable to play, take less time to play, promote fitness through walking, and are less intimidating for the beginner, increasing the chances that they’ll return.” Iceland architect and course consultant Edwin Roald, author of the website why18holes.com, loves it: “I firmly believe golf will return to its age-old but sadly-forgotten tradition of allowing the number of holes on a golf course to be determined entirely by the terrain and other resources,” he says. “We need to break away from the constraints of having someone else determine how many holes we must build. It is the same as writing books, or making movies. Imagine if all books had to be exactly 200 pages or a film had to last 95 minutes. Would they be as good?” By making the very most of what land is available—not squeezing-in 18 mediocre holes, but rather building however many good ones—Roald believes a new culture, based on golf’s roots, will eventually emerge. Rockwind [above] and Castle Stuart [below]
“These facilities will cost less to construct and therefore cost less to play. They’ll be accessible to everyone and provide more fun for more people,” he says. Another who concurs is Mark Parsinen, the American businessman who developed two of Scotland’s great modern links courses earlier this century: Kingsbarns and Castle Stuart. Parsinen says he left off playing golf in the 1980s due to time constraints but returned to the game in the ’90s and discovered how much it had changed. “Golf had seriously lost its way,” he says. “The courses I had enjoyed playing so much in my youth had become long and narrow with deep rough. They just weren’t very enjoyable anymore.” Parsinen points out that golf’s fields of play originally were wide open, giving golfers the opportunity to plot their own paths to success or failure. “Golfers weren’t dictated to by an architect telling them they had to hit this or that type of shot,” he says. “When I returned to the game I found
golfers were standing on the tee sphinctertight, not looking for the best route to the hole or plotting their next few moves, but worried about losing another ball.” Golf, says Parsinen, has been failing to satisfy its customers for years, and the recent trend toward more forgiving courses must continue. “The game will continue to shrink,” he says, “until the business understands how to satisfy the customer. When I play the Old Course with friends, we invariably come off the 18th excited and animated about what just happened. We had a great time, and we’re just full of conversation and cheer. That sort of thing doesn’t happen often enough nowadays. So the game loses people to other things where they feel their time is better spent.”
Layouts, tournament formats, nightclubs... As golf faces challenges, there will be those who side with Salinger’s Holden and seek to keep the game locked in a glass case, preserving it exactly as it is. But the museum-minded might consider a different sort of character, Coco Chanel, who said that “fashion changes, but style endures.” How far the fabric of the game can stretch and remain recognizable is a question that some will say has yet to be answered, while others will insist it was answered already in 1764 at St Andrews. However you feel about it, if enough like-minded people come together with a club, a ball and a target, it’s a fair bet they’ll be playing something. As to where they’ll play it, how long it will take, and what it will be called, well, we’ll let the next foursome decide.
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Kelly Tilghman Words Reade Tilley Photography Della Bass
“I thought it wasn’t going to happen, so I’d given up hope. And then, I think we were about a week out, I got the call that Mr. Palmer wanted me to caddy for him at the Masters.” The oldest of five children and the only girl, Kelly Tilghman is a Golf Channel star. The first female lead announcer for the PGA TOUR and a former pro golfer herself, she’s navigated the predominantly male world of network television with grace while raising a 4-year-old daughter and, occasionally, surfing. She also found time to caddy for Arnold Palmer over several years of the Masters Par-3 contest—just one more once-in-a-lifetime experience for a woman who’s made a career out of them.
“[Palmer’s associate] Cori Britt invited me to meet him in the parking lot to go over the way that Arnold likes to have his bag run, and so I went to get my caddie jumper, my hat, got my ‘Palmer’ name to put on the back of my jumper, and immediately I went over to the parking lot to meet with Cori,” Tilghman remembers. “He’s walking me through the bag, where the golf balls are, where he has his tees—‘They have to be in these pockets in case Arnold goes there himself; they need to be there.’ And then Cori said, ‘OK, I’ve saved this pocket for last because this is where he keeps his pins, his umbrella pins; this is the most important pocket in the bag. He wants you to help him give a pin out to every possible patron that he can, so they can have a little piece of him at the end of the day, hand out as many of those pins as possible.’ There were hundreds of them in there. “At the very end of all this, Cori said ‘You good?’ I said I’m nervous but I think I’m good. Then he said, ‘Oh by the way, little change of plans…’ Arnold was originally supposed to play with Mike Weir and Vijay Singh. But Arnie and Jack and Gary had lunch and thought, ‘what the hell, let’s do this!’ So they were playing together. My stomach dropped. I mean, I was thrilled, but I was way more nervous now.” Tilghman handled herself brilliantly with the Big Three (she even hit a shot during the round, at Nicklaus’ suggestion) and it became the tradition that, while Palmer was in the Golf Channel booth on air with Kelly during the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he would invite her to caddie for him at the Masters again. Those invitations weren’t just the result of Tilghman’s friendship with Palmer, they were evidence of
how far she’d come—and Kelly Tilghman came a long, long way. All the way from a family-owned golf course in North Myrtle Beach, just off a South Carolina highway. “The suspension in the Cherokee Chief was terrible, but I was getting a big kick out of the bumps,” she remembers. “I watched [the course] come up from the ground up, from dirt to fairways. It was so impressionable for me as a kid.” Kelly’s dad used to drive her over the grounds of what would eventually be Gator Hole Golf Course, which her family built and owned for many years. The track was one of Rees Jones’ earliest designs, and Tilghman says it provided the foundation for her success in the game. Additional credit, she says, goes to the fact that she grew up in a house on the third tee of Surf Golf & Beach Club, where her grandfather was a founding member. “It was the perfect recipe for a little female golfer being born,” she says, “It was in the bloodline and in the business line; it was the perfect storm.” Indeed, two of her relatives are in the South Carolina Hall of Fame as golfers: her grandfather Melvin Hemphill was a noted teaching pro who was coaching Jack Fleck when Fleck beat Ben Hogan in the 1955 U.S. Open at Olympic Club, and her great aunt Kathryn Hemphill was a dominant amateur who played on the 1938 Curtis Cup team with Patty Berg
Golf was slow and terribly disciplined and very individual and lonely at times... And that really wasn’t me and Glenna Collett-Vare. Kelly’s parents were accomplished as well: her charismatic mother Kathryn made a successful career in media sales and her father Phil was Mayor of North Myrtle Beach and a businessman. The two were also pro Shag dancers (her mother is in the dance’s National Hall of Fame), making for a full life in their full house. A young Kelly didn’t dance—“I can do the basic shuffle step, and that’s where it ends”—but she was on board with her family’s legacy of achievement, even if the discipline preached by her father, a Citadel graduate and former Army captain, didn’t take, not at first anyway. Sports did, however, and especially golf—kind of: “I didn’t like to practice. My two best sports growing up were golf and basketball, though I played other sports [including football; she was the only girl on the team]. I loved basketball more because it was such a reactionary sport. I loved the team aspect, loved to sweat, loved everything about
it. Golf was slow and terribly disciplined and very individual and lonely at times, and that really wasn’t me. I was more outgoing, and at the time I thought I was athletic and I didn’t think golf was tapping into that, wasn’t moving fast enough for me. But my father kept reminding me that this was where my real talent and my real future path lay, and I trusted him and continued to go to the course.” Success in junior golf led to a partial scholarship offer at Duke University and full rides at other schools. For Kelly’s father, she says it was one of the last teaching opportunities he would have before his daughter left home. “He told me OK, you want to go to Duke. You can go for free to one of these other schools or you can help me pay for it. A lot of people are taken aback maybe by something like that, but I’m thrilled. He was teaching me a lesson: If I wanted it more, then I needed to kick it in more.”
The hard work paid off. From 1988-1991 as a Blue Devil, she earned one victory, three top-20 finishes and a tie for 33rd place in the 1991 NCAAs, taking Duke to 13th place overall with the best score on her team. That particular tournament also saw her paired with a young phenom from the University of Arizona named Annika Sorenstam, who’s now a friend. The same year, she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and History and set off to find herself. Perhaps surprisingly, she didn’t go looking on a golf course. Instead, she followed her college boyfriend to his hometown of Phoenix, where he’d secured a job teaching at the lauded Brophy College Preparatory high school. “When I graduated I’d had it with golf,” Tilghman says. “I realized I didn’t want to be that tour player my dad always wanted me to be. I was going to be a rebel, pursue this relationship and find whatever came my way. My dad accepted my decision and bought me the plane ticket to go out there and get started... I tried to get a job with the telephone company. Tried to get a job at any office that would take me. This Duke education I had gotten, I was throwing it out the window.” She ended up as the assistant JV basketball coach and as a substitute teacher at Brophy’s sister school, Xavier College Prep, where Cheyenne Woods went,among others.
I thought, ‘I’m getting in way over my head here.’ He said, ‘Trust me, you’re going to make money today,’ And so I grabbed my clubs And off to Duke she went, where says she found life to be incredibly liberating, if a little distracting. “I’d sleep through classes, didn’t take it seriously. I was going to late-night frat parties… There were so many things that were new to me… I definitely drifted. I was quickly and easily distracted from golf, so much so that my college golf coach held up my scholarship papers in one hand and my report card in the other and said, ‘You gotta choose here. You’re not making good choices.’” The conversation struck a nerve and Tilghman turned it around, buckled down and says she started making “dean’s list grades” from her sophomore year on. “‘It’s not going to be given to you anymore,’ and I learned that the first two semesters when my coach held up those papers… I learned to dig in, something I never did in high school.”
“That didn’t last very long,” Tilghman says, “maybe a couple of months. Then I did the unthinkable: I resorted back to golf, because it’s all I knew.” Kelly used a Duke connection to grab a job at McCormick Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, answering phones and booking tee times. She says she felt like she had no choice, but at least celebs like Phil Mickelson would come by. Still, Tilghman mostly golfed with some guys from a local college. “We’d play for Big Macs or Happy Meal money, we were all pretty broke... My boyfriend and I didn’t make it, and I started to date one of the guys. He and his friends, every time I would play, they would say, ‘You owe it to yourself to try and turn pro.’ I’d say, ‘That’s not what I want guys.’ I was way too young to understand what I needed to do.” One day, bored and pensive, Kelly says she was on a practice green in Phoenix contemplating her next move when a man came over and asked if she’d like to join his foursome.
“He told me what the stakes were: $20 skins and $10 closest to the pin. I thought, ‘I’m getting in way over my head here.’ He said, ‘Trust me, you’re going to make money today,’ and so I grabbed my clubs and headed over.” The group included NBA Hall of Famers David Robinson and Charles Barkley, who was in the driver’s seat of Kelly’s cart: “He said, ‘Throw those clubs on here young lady. You’re playing from the tips today, I don’t care who you are!’” Nervous at first, the day could not have gone better for Tilghman, who didn’t hold back. “I made $220 off Barkley,” she says, laughing, adding that the two became friends and that he even became a mentor of sorts. The victory also triggered something in Tilghman, who says that—following a great dinner with her boyfriend thanks to her winnings—she dug deep and decided that she was ready to attack the pro game: “I was doing it for me this time, that was the beauty of it,” she says. Two attempts to qualify for the LPGA at Q School didn’t work out and so she headed for tours in Europe, Asia and Australia, and the 1994 Women’s Australian Open in Royal Adelaide, which ultimately saw Sorenstam’s first professional victory. Tilghman was off and running, facing a tough field that included the Swede, Karrie Webb, Laura Davies, Catriona Matthew and other top pros. For a girl who’d grown up in a town of 7,000, it was exhilarating, win or lose. “I was 24, 25, 26. I was doing it. I was doing it by myself, I was doing it for myself. I went out of my way, tried to pick up a couple of languages, tried to learn German, to improve my Spanish. I wanted to be one with the people, wanted to take it all in. That is when I feel I truly began to evolve as a woman.” “Priority ‘A’ was to make the cut. Priority ‘B’ was, if you didn’t make the cut, head to all the historical sites, to the riverfront, get drunk while lying on a blanket and contemplate life with your best friend who also missed the cut. I had drinks at the top of what was then the highest hotel in Singapore, saw castles in Antwerp, waterskied on Lake Zurich, snow skied in the Swiss Alps... I got drunk on the Thames, celebrated New Year’s between the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, just standing between the two. Took a gondola down a river in Bangkok, went to a snake farm, saw the Emerald Buddha, went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, surfing in Brisbane, wine country in Adelaide. Once I got caught in a stampede of kangaroos while I was looking for my golf ball in Australia.... It was one of the most fulfilling times in my life.” Fulfilling maybe, but not lucrative. Tilghman says she was one-for-five making cuts by the end of the Asian tour in 1996 and so she decided to hang it up: “At this point I have come to the understanding that this is not going to happen for me, and so I did what I thought was the right thing. Certain sponsors were willing to give me more money, but I said no, keep it. I felt satisfied. I felt like I’d seen enough. It was time for me to start making money.”
Clockwise from top left: Caddie duties with the King at Augusta; at work on Golf Channel; with two of the Big Three at the Masters; with Scott Van Pelt; on air with Sir Nick Faldo
Again searching for a next move, Kelly once more turned away from the game: “I decided to quit golf,” she says. “I’d played every day since I was 12. It was a hard decision, but I knew it was the right decision.” For awhile, anyway. Perhaps inevitably, Tilghman eventually found herself on a range hitting balls and contemplating life. A man watched her for awhile, then came over and asked if she was a pro. She said she was done with that, he asked what came next, she said she didn’t have a clue, and he suggested broadcasting. “He said, ‘you have what I consider to be an authoritative voice. I used to have a broadcasting firm in Palm Beach, let me give you my card. Maybe I can introduce you to somebody.’ You take everyone’s card, ‘Nice to meet you,’ and you walk off. But I kept that card and after a few days I decided to call him.” The man made good on his offer of help and set her up with an unpaid internship at a station in Palm Beach, where she shadowed reporters and made coffee. Later, they put her on $5 an hour for four weeks and she took advantage of every learning opportunity she could find, even piecing together a demo tape of herself “broadcasting” using bits of footage she shot when the reporters had finished their spots.
one. He put a contract in front of me, a two-year contract. He said, ‘There’s a lot of fine print here. I would strongly suggest you not really be concerned with what’s written here and just sign it. I might be the only person in this business who believes you could be a star someday.’ That was Mike Whelan.” As the old saying goes, the rest is history. At the time Kelly joined, she says Golf Channel had an audience of roughly 100,000. Today it’s available in more than 200 million homes in 84 countries and 11 languages across the globe. Gator Hole Golf Course is now Gator Hole Plaza, complete with a Home Depot and other stores, and many of Tilghman’s relatives, including her father, eventually found their ways to the nearby highway and left town as well. But the family commitment to excellence remains as a legacy
I was like, “What? Hold on: There’s a place that has television and golf?!” Though she says the tape was bad, she eventually found a chance to use it following a meeting in Port St. Lucie. “This man told me he worked for something called the Golf Channel and I was like, ‘What? Hold on: There’s a place that has television and golf?!’” The man—Scott Van Pelt, now at ESPN—took Tilghman’s tape and off he went. Not long after, Golf Channel called and offered her a job working as a video librarian. From there it was production assistant, then graphics, then, finally, a shot at being on air. “As fate would have it, it was at LPGA Tour qualifying,” she says, “Q School. The very tournament that denied me as a golfer was my gateway to success as a TV host. I saw a lot of my fellow tour players still trudging away, trying to get those tour cards. When I looked at them I saw them differently this time, I saw myself when I looked at them. Of course I immediately went back to the frustration and defeat I had felt in their spikes. It actually doubled down on my decision emotionally. I felt that I was doing the right thing. I was happy for my friends who played well and got through, but I didn’t have one ounce of jealousy.” As for her TV career, she says it was a rocky start. “I was terrible on air! But my VP of production saw something in me, and I think he might have been the only
that Kelly is passing along to her daughter. Recently, she created more space in her life to do just that. “We were asked to pick a motto for ourselves in high school, a phrase that best summed up our attitude to life. Mine was ‘Never surrender.’ Absolutely it still is... I always say to my daughter, who’s only four-and-a-half—she’s frustrated easily—when she wants to quit something, I tell her it’s not a mistake if you learn from it, it’s not a failure if you tried... The mantra in my house is ‘I can do it.’ You can ask her, ‘What does your family always say?’ She’ll tell you: ‘I can do it.’ She utters it now by heart, I love it. “We were at a park one day recently, she was trying to walk up the slide backwards like all kids do. She kept slipping at the steep part, slipping and slipping. I told her, what do we say in our family? She said ‘I can do it!’ Then she stood up, and she did it.”
Credits Photographer: DELLA BASS Stylist: KAREN SCHIJMAN Makeup: LESLIE CHRISTIN Hair: BRIANA CHAPMAN Assistant: KORNELL SAMUELS
CATCH In our complicated globalized world, one might expect to see an American-made Japanese hybrid supercar with Brazilian pedigree in every Malibu driveway. So why does the 2017 Acura NSX seem like it’s from the future? Maybe because you’re parked in the past. The editor plays catch up…
f you were in Maranello in 1990, you’ll remember the screams. That’s the year Acura released the NSX, setting off much waving of hands and raising of voices in a certain Italian factory better known for red cars than for red faces. Matching or besting its European targets in nearly every category—and more reliable than anything rolling out of Italy at the time (except perhaps anelloni pasta)—the Japanese street weapon with an F16-inspired cockpit was also far cheaper, sticker priced at $58,000 when a base Ferrari 348ts cost $101,050 and a
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 listed for $77,800. Beating the Ferrari to 60 by nearly a second (5.2 seconds vs 6.0) and winning Car and Driver’s September 1990 “Eroticars” shootout over the 348, the Porsche, a Lotus Esprit Turbo SE and a Corvette ZR-1 (still more expensive than the NSX at $58,995), the Acura was a big deal. “This car makes a hard-wire connection between you and the joy of driving. What more could you ask?,” offered Car and Driver before proclaiming, “The NSX will make a profound change in the market for Eroticars.” And so it did.
THIS SUMMER 2017
Fast forward to 2017 and, amidst a vastly different automotive landscape full of sophisticated automatic transmissions, high-tech engines and 0-60 times that essentially have been cut in half since 1990, a new NSX has appeared. This one is built in Ohio, not Japan, making it the only supercar currently made in America (Ford’s new GT is being manufactured in Canada). It’s also the only supercar to have a female lead designer; American Michelle Christensen helmed the exterior design team. As for how it stacks up against the Italians, it’s still cheaper by some measure, with a base price of $156,000. Beyond that, one might assume that the NSX is “just” another supercar: fast, attractive and supremely capable. All of that is true—but not in the way you might think, as a friend and I learned over three days driving the new car (optioned to roughly $199,000) from near San Francisco to Los Angeles as part of a Drive Toward a Cure event, raising money to combat Parkinson’s disease (see sidebar: Drive Toward a Cure). If you want the short of it: (A) we loved the new NSX and (B) it took us more than a day driving to reach that opinion. But if a date with the car is more dinner than a quick drink, that’s only because there’s a lot here to get to know. When I settled in and pressed the starter button, the full force of 573 horses… didn’t make a sound. It’s a hybrid, remember? As for being one with the car… Well, yes, kind of, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Rather than comparing it to its predecessor or to any of its contemporaries, it’s better to approach the NSX with an open mind, to regard it as something altogether new. And that newness, the array of astounding technology and innovations, is exactly why the car absolutely is an NSX. In fact, in many ways it is the very embodiment of the “New Sportscar eXperimental” spirit envisioned by original Chief Designer Masahito Nakano and Executive Chief Engineer Shigeru Uehara, who drove the first generation’s effort from the mid 1980s until the end of its production run in 2005. Re-branded “New Sports eXperience” and having undergone plenty of shifts since it was first teased back in 2007, today’s NSX is exactly that: a new experience, and one well worth having.
Worthy of bearing the NSX name, the new car embodies the adventurous spirit of the original
DRIVING Made in the Midwest, one could argue that the 2017 NSX was built for California, with the state’s fantastic combination of twisty roads and epic views. Both were in fine supply as we left Danville and the excellent Blackhawk Museum (which holds all three of Alfa Romeo’s original “BAT” concept cars) on our way to the Central Coast town of Paso Robles, about 200 miles to the south—pleasantly more if you’re taking back roads. One by one, a parade of modern exotics and classic showpieces fired up their engines and filed out, howling, rumbling and gurgling past a small group of bystanders and other participants who nodded approvingly as each car left
to join the course. In contrast, we started in “Quiet” mode (one of four that also includes Sport, Sport Plus and Track) and made nary a hum as we rolled to the start line, windows down, hearing only the squeak of the tires over the road tiles. Pausing to hand the starter our time sheet, I saw a few people chuckling and at least one shaking head. “We’re stealthy,” we told ourselves, and we were. Around the corner, though, things changed when we turned the dial from Quiet to Sport. Here, the longitudinally mounted 500hp twinturbo V6 kicked in a little, delivering a pleasant though not overly throaty murmur from behind us, tucked-in as it is
Large Brembo brakes, a beautiful body and the solid 500hp V6
behind the driver and passenger. In Sport Plus, where NSX owners will spend a lot of time we think, the engine and performance are more dramatic, and by the time you get to Track mode from Quiet, the sound pressure level range in the cabin has increased by 25db—both an audible and a visceral shift—rendering the engine’s power, and the car’s status, undeniable. You get no such howl from the three electric motors, of course. The first is mounted directly to the crankshaft and brings 47hp and 109lb-ft of torque to the V6’s already significant 406lb-ft, contributing to a 0-60 time of near 3 seconds flat. Additionally, the two electric motors up front—one per wheel—make up the Twin Motor Unit, adding another 36hp and 54lb-ft of torque per wheel. Conservatively aggregated, all of this comes to 573hp and 476lb-ft of torque. With all of the power mated to a sublime 9-speed dual-clutch transmission, there’s a top speed of 191mph and a driving experience unlike any other—a fact we were about to learn.
Once we got off the main drag and headed into a paradise playground of paved backroads free of stop signs, stop lights and anything else labeled “stop,” the fun started. Like the original, even if there’s not a lot of storage there is ample room in the cockpit in terms of body position; plenty of space for elbows and legs, great headroom, and good distance between the passenger and driver. Likewise, the seats are incredibly comfortable for being so race-inspired, and multiple days in the car posed no issues whatsoever. Considering the mileage—21mpg—the NSX would make a great tourer, but it’s likely a better weekend car given the trunk space of 4.4 cubic feet—though that was good enough for our [admittedly compact] bags and photo gear. Getting slammed back in straight-line driving was great fun, and as the numbers climbed [quickly] from double to triple digits the NSX never felt anything but solidly stuck to the ground. But when we came to the curves, we immediately realized how little we actually knew about the car.
FINE HOMES & LUXURY PROPERTIES
The seemingly race-ready interior is surprisingly comfortable
DRIVE TOWARD A CURE Over two days driving a supercar from San Francisco to Los Angeles, my photographer and I couldn’t help but discuss the importance of control and how much we take it for granted, especially in modern performance vehicles. How appropriate, then, that our drive in the fantastic 2017 Acura NSX was part of a Drive Toward a Cure event to raise money for Parkinson’s research. A long-term degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system, most obviously impacting control of the motor system but also causing other issues, Parkinson’s is misunderstood by many, and misconceptions about the disease mean that it doesn’t get the same amount of attention as some others, despite it affecting more than 6 million globally and being responsible for more than 100,000 deaths each year. Chief among the misconceptions is that it only affects the elderly. Actor Michael J Fox was 29 years old when he was diagnosed, and the Drive Toward a Cure event benefitted both his foundation and the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center, which is leading the fight against the disease. To learn how you can participate in a Drive Toward a Cure event—enjoying great driving and camaraderie for a great cause—or to learn more about what you can do in the fight against Parkinson’s, visit drivetowardacure.org
With its sophisticated systems and architecture, handling on the new NSX is incredible
In addition to driving the front wheels, the two electric motors up front have other tricks. Torque vectoring is already part of Acura’s standard lineup in the form of its Super Handling-AWD (SH-AWD) system, which allows the vehicle to evaluate traction needs and to distribute torque to whichever wheel needs it most. But because each front wheel is independently controlled by an electric motor on the NSX, both torque and counter-torque can be applied, with the latter essentially allowing a wheel to be dragged, resulting in pivot-like turns. This, the Integrated Dynamics System and and a mechanically-based limited slip differential all make great use of a very stiff chassis and body/frame with serious torsional rigidity to create handling that is almost beyond comprehension. And here’s where we get into why the new NSX might be an acquired taste for traditionalists: There’s a lot “by wire” on this car. That is, computer controlled. Steering feedback reminded us of flying lessons we’ve taken, and the brake pedal is something of a brilliant illusion, with programmed feel to simulate resistance. You tell the car where you want to go and it goes there. You tell it you want to brake and it brakes—very well in fact, courtesy of the large mechanical Brembos and the electric front motors,
which also help to slow things down, gathering energy for the battery in the process. Because of the “by wire” aspects of the car, at first we weren’t quite sure we liked the feel of the NSX. But over time—and after flying through an untold number of turns at incredible speed and with great precision—both I and my companion learned to trust, and then to like, the onboard systems. The car was never going to feel like another car because it isn’t like any other car. Once we got past comparing it, we began to love it. Furthermore, beyond the satisfaction that more dramatic feedback provides in traditional vehicles, the NSX collects more information every second than any human driver could ever comprehend and makes better use of it than anyone ever would. My associate and I are both capable drivers, but the car’s ability to manage its own systems outpaced our abilities rather quickly, allowing us to take turns at greater speeds than I would have otherwise done, managing downshifts into turns far more quickly and with better timing than I likely would have, and so on. The paddles are there and you can use them to manage things manually, but why? For a rather large group of drivers, we suspect the new NSX will allow them to experience a level of performance, handling and speed that they otherwise would be unable to achieve—you’re faster in this car, though I’ll pause to mention that it doesn’t make you a better driver, exactly, even if it yields better performance. This, really, is the point. If you’re a decent enough driver, you’ll get a lot more experience for the money than with other options. If you’re a world-class driver, I suspect your experience will be that much greater. The amenities you’d expect are here: a top ELS Studio audio system that makes any driving soundtrack sound that much better; sophisticated navigation and smartphone integration; all manner of customizable features; incredible displays; dual-zone climate control with humidity control and air filtration; and on and on. We’ve never been in a car in which the various modes present such different experiences (this is a good thing), and the “wow” factor is such that we’re sure there’s a photo of the car on every phone on the West Coast. Add to that the facts that we were able to last longer playing on the backroads even as we watched others in our group peel off to refuel; that we drove more than 500 miles on a mix of surfaces and never felt uncomfortable or that the car was challenged (even on loose gravel); and that we came to the car skeptical and left impressed and you have a tremendous vehicle in the new NSX. Will it redefine the supercar category like its predecessor did? We don’t know. But whatever you think of the drive-by-wire systems, the technologies at play and the fact that it could prove an acquired taste for traditionalists, it’s a strong bet that the supercars of the future will more closely resemble the 2017 NSX than they will anything else currently on the road. For those who want to drive on the cutting edge, this is it.
SENNA’S NSX In February of 1989, Ayrton Senna was fresh off winning the previous year’s F1 championship over his main rival and McLaren-Honda teammate, Alain Prost, and he was gearing up for the next season. While the Brazilian was testing his race car at Japan’s Suzuka Circuit, Honda engineers asked him to take a few laps in their new production effort, the NSX, which was near to launch. Expecting accolades, they were stunned when Senna returned with a verdict of “a little fragile,” according to a 2014 Brendan McAleer article in Road&Track. Determined, they headed to a company research facility at Germany’s Nürburgring, where Senna was invited to offer additional input. The end result was a 50 percent increase in chassis stiffness and numerous other Senna tweaks that resulted in one of the finest production cars ever released. The vehicle proved particularly bothersome to Ferrari, which rather hastily had brought the 348 to market once it became clear the NSX would dominate that car’s predecessor, the 328, and for far less money. If that wasn’t enough for the Italians, Senna used his Honda engine to take the 1990 Formula One championship over Prost, who’d left McLaren in 1989 to drive for Ferrari. The track where the championship was decided: Suzuka.
Senna and Austrian teammate Gerhard Berger (right) with the McLaren team at the Mexican Grand Prix; the original NSX
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Clubs, Cups & Hammers
An unsold treasure and more at Bonhams
If you’re thinking of getting into golf collectibles, there has never been a better time. The market is full of fascinating, historic and rare items—and as Robin Barwick found at a recent auction, even the most precious of golfing treasures doesn’t always fetch a championship price Photography: Leon Harris
e knew the quite grand and slightly austere auction room at Bonhams in Edinburgh might be relatively empty for its Sports Sale on May 23; that is the nature of auctions in the 21st century. Many potential buyers like to bid via phone lines— nothing new there—and live online bidding, streamed into the auction room, is conducted at the click of a mouse or the dab of a smart phone. You could be hitting a $5 golf ball up the fairway on the Monterey Peninsula while simultaneously bidding thousands for one made by Old Tom Morris in an auction in Scotland. At Bonhams, a Sports Sales was on and about a dozen seasoned auction-goers sat quietly in the room at the 11am start, when a series of old paintings of British horses and fox hunts served as the warm-up act. Then it was fishing, and a “British record salmon” caught in 1922, now staring back at us from inside its glass case, went for £9,000 (call it US$11,500). We were waiting to see the final segment of the sale, a selection of golf items, the highlight of which was undoubtedly a silver cup—actually a pitcher—which was won by a 14-year-old Bobby Jones in 1916. Engraved on the cup are the words: “CHEROKEE COUNTRY CLUB – INVITATION TOURNAMENT – 1916 – WINNER – CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT – R.T. JONES, JR.”
The auction kicked off with a superb collection of paintings
The Bonhams catalog promoted the cup as “considered to be the earliest known prize won by the renowned golfer.” It explained that Jones won this three-day, match play tournament at Cherokee CC in Knoxville, Tennessee. Jones reportedly defeated Simpson Dean—like Jones, from Georgia—by a score of 5&4 in the final. The expected price for the 22cm-tall pitcher was listed as £20-30,000 ($25,600-38,400). “It is a star item,” promised Kevin McGimpsey, golf consultant for Bonhams in the UK, as we admired the Cherokee cup in Bonhams’ viewing room on the eve of the auction. “It is such an important trophy, won by such an important golfer, and when he was just 14, so that makes it very appealing. “The pitcher was last sold in an American auction a couple years ago at around the level we are expecting here, so that last sale gives us a pretty good steer on its market value. Whether we get it or not, who knows, but there is every chance.”
The cup was expected to fetch up to $38,000, but nobody bought it
Photos and clubs proved more popular than cups at the auction
Under the hammer The auction room had emptied a little by the time the Cherokee cup came up—lot number 216—meaning the room was almost empty. Four collectors sat in the back row. The auctioneer, Charles Graham-Campbell, opened the bidding at £12,000, rising in a flash at £1,000 intervals to £15,000. It sounded like a good start. “Fifteen thousand we’re up to now, 15 thousand,” he called. “16 thousand, 17 thousand, at 17 thousand then, do I hear it? [Pause] Still here then at 17 thousand pounds, [Pause] one last look around then at 17 thousand.” The hammer knocked and it was over. To the uninitiated it looked as though the cup had gone for a disappointing, premature £17,000, but in fact the reserve on the cup was £18,000 and so it didn’t even reach the starting line. The cup didn’t sell at all. Those early bids may have been “the room bidding against the wall,” as its known, when, if the bids are slow to start, the auctioneer fabricates bids to try and stir potential buyers into action and reach the reserve price at the very least. Not today. Rhod McEwan is a dealer in antique golf memorabilia based in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. After the auction he told Kingdom: “I am surprised it didn’t sell because Bobby Jones is one of the names that does still continue to generate high figures. Given that it was his cup, it was not expensive.” There were some successes at the sale: An elegant “middle spoon” club made by the renowned Hugh Philp in the 1840s shot past its catalog top estimate of £3,000 and went for £4,750 ($6,118, including premium). A signed photograph of Jones went for £800 ($1,030), meeting the bottom of the Bonhams estimate. “It was the low estimate but it is the kind of money it should be making,” said Henry Baggott of Bonhams, the specialist running the sale. The photo is a fantastic black-and-white, reportedly bought by a spectator at the 1927 Open at St Andrews and signed by the golfer at the time.
A Hugh Philp “middle spoon” was a success at $6,118
A buyer’s market Auctions have gone a long way since the late 1990s and the turn of the millennium—a long way down—and for people with space on the mantelpiece for something of real value and rarity, there has never been a better time to invest. “Sales are still happening privately, but on the open market there is too much supply for the demand,” explains McEwan. “The market has dropped a long way since the late 1990s and values are coming down. Auctions are getting smaller and smaller and people don’t collect like they used to. Younger people are more mobile, they travel and have different priorities these days. They don’t want ‘stuff’ weighing them down. They are happy with smart phones and Ikea furniture. “The market is much stronger these days for post-war items. The market has collapsed for what people call the ‘Origins of golf’—pre-First World War—and to an extent for the era between the wars too. There is a new brigade of buyers and they are not interested so much in long-nosed clubs and Old Tom Morris and that era. Memorabilia from the Open still tends to sell well and the Masters attracts interest, particularly in the United States.” Take the great story to unfold earlier about an authentic Masters Green Jacket that was bought in a thrift store in Canada for $4 in 1994. Green Jacket Auctions put the 1950s jacket up for sale earlier this year and it went to a private bidder in the United States for $139,349. “Now is certainly a buyers’ market for traditional golf memorabilia,” adds Baggott. “Prices of period clubs and related material have throttled back from the heady prices achieved in the 1990s, making them all the more affordable for new collectors. The key to any collection is to collect the very best examples available and that is why our sales only include select items.” Confirms McEwan: “It is a buyer’s market, certainly. You just need to have a discerning eye and the money to buy.”
You just need a discerning eye and the money to buy
A modest, if elegant, auction at Bonhams
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The Majors They are golfâ€™s finest tests, rich with tradition, drama and opportunities for disaster. But if the hands are steady, the shots true and the day right, there are no greater victories to be found than in these four championships
THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
At one point in the recent past there was so little hope of Sergio Garcia claiming a major title that he gave up on himself. He couldn’t putt under pressure, couldn’t handle it. Then in his 74th major appearance the Spaniard finally broke through. Dave Shedloski reflects on a career of incredible promise, utter dejection and ultimately, glory in a Green Jacket
hen it was over, when the last putt was buried and he tried to absorb what had just happened, Sergio Garcia crouched down and planted his fist emphatically on the firm turf of the famous 18th green at Augusta National Golf Club. In the past, this might have seemed like another petulant act from the emotionally wobbly Spaniard, whose equanimity had never quite matched his golfing talents. But on a gorgeous late afternoon in Georgia, Garcia was merely placing his own punctuation mark on a career accomplishment that had so long been expected and yet was an enormous surprise. Sergio Garcia had won the Masters. He did it with the tools he has always used so naturally—great ball striking, impeccable wedge play, imagination. And he did it with things he seldom has revealed—heart, resolve, grit and resilience. In the end, it was just enough as El Nino outlasted his good friend and Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose on the first hole of a sudden death playoff. After the
two men matched closing 3-under-par 69s in the final round to complete 72 holes in 9-under 279, Garcia beat Rose, the reigning Olympic Gold Medalist and 2013 U.S. Open champion, with a birdie on Augusta’s par-4 home hole. The ball slipped in the left side and Garcia crouched and let out a primal scream that came not just from within his 5-foot-10 frame but from the depths of a soul that had carried nearly two decades of desperate anguish. No player had ever gone longer before winning a major title than the 74 starts Garcia needed to secure one. But with his 10th PGA Tour title, no Spaniard had ever won more in America—not his idol Seve Ballesteros or his friend and mentor Jose Maria Olazabal, both two-time winners at Augusta. Olazabal sent Garcia a text on the eve of the Masters telling him to believe and as Garcia put it: “To not let things get to me like I’ve done in the past.” Until his victory—on Ballesteros’ 60th birthday— Garcia’s past seemed to repress a flourishing professional career. Not that 28 worldwide wins, including the 2008 Players Championship, isn’t superb. But since 1999, when he was low amateur at the Masters and scissor-kicked his way into pushing Tiger Woods to the limit in the PGA Championship at Medinah, Garcia had clearly underachieved. (It should be wryly noted that among his 12 European Tour titles are wins in the Mallorca Masters, Omega European Masters, Castello Masters, Andalucia Masters and Qatar Masters.)
Holed it: Sergio Garcia’s moment of realization on the 18th green at Augusta National
The nadir arrived in 2012 when Garcia declared himself unfit for major championships
Growing up in Borriol, Spain, Garcia learned the game from his father Victor. The elder Garcia had grown up a caddie but never aspired to more, and he became a teaching pro at Club de Golf del Mediterraneo. His wife Consuelo helped run the pro shop. Sergio learned his signature swing— slightly laid off at the top, late release into the ball that generates enormous power for a player of Garcia’s modest stature (5 feet 10, 180 pounds)—by first using a broom and a feather duster to mimic his dad’s swing. The only coach Sergio has ever known, Victor has helped his son retool from time to time, including after a low patch in 2010, when Garcia failed to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team but begged Captain Colin Montgomerie to add him to his stable of vice captains. Of course, that wasn’t his low point. Neither was his loss to Padraig Harrington in a playoff at The Open in 2007 at Carnoustie, nor complaining about having to overcome more than just his playing competitors.
No, the nadir arrived in 2012, on the same hallowed grounds of Augusta National, after a third-round 75 blew him out of contention, when Garcia declared himself unfit for major championships. “I’m not good enough and today I know it,” he whined to reporters. “I’ve been trying for 13 years and I don’t feel capable of winning. I don’t know what happened to me. Maybe it’s something psychological. After 13 years, my chances are over. I’m not good enough for the majors. That’s it.” A day later, he hadn’t changed his mind or back-pedaled. “Everything I say, I say it because I feel it,” he said. “If I didn’t mean it, I couldn’t stand here and lie like a lot of the guys do. If I felt like I could win, I would do it. Unfortunately, at the moment, unless I get really lucky in one of the weeks, I can’t really play much better than I played this week. And I’m going to finish 13th or 15th. [Actually, he tied for 12th.] What does that show you?”
It showed absolute capitulation, a stunning admission for a player with still so much game and time ahead of him. But in the midst of that rant lay the answer to his problems. It was, indeed, a psychological issue, one that has been repaired by his relationship with former University of Texas golfer Angela Akins, whom Garcia is scheduled to wed in July. Apparently Akins brings all sorts of positive energy to the formerly self-pitying Spaniard. Her father Marty was an All-American quarterback for the Longhorns in the 1960s and her grandfather, Ray Akins, is a legendary Texas high school football coach. Her cousin is NFL All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. “They are all very competitive,” Garcia, a huge soccer fan who owns his hometown club, CF Borriol, said of his future in-laws. “That’s the really positive background the whole family has.” Somewhere along the path to deciding he should walk down the aisle with Akins, Garcia began to eschew the negativity that had been choking his spirit. At last year’s U.S. Open at oppressive Oakmont Country Club, near Pittsburgh, Garcia climbed within one stroke of eventual winner Dustin Johnson with five holes to play, but three bogeys relegated him to another disappointment as he ended up tied for fifth. And what did he say about that? “Obviously, there’s a lot of nerves, but I really enjoyed it,” he told Spanish reporters. “I handled it quite well, and unfortunately, came up a bit short. I’m still happy with the week. I’ve just got to keep putting myself in this situation and, you know, at some point in time, I’m sure that the coin will end up… will fall on heads instead of tails.” Later in the year, at the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minnesota, Garcia engaged Phil Mickelson in one of the most epic matches in the history of the biennial series. Each player shot what would have been a 63, with Mickelson converting 10 birdies, while Garcia was bogey free and scored nine birdies, including a 15-footer at the last to secure a half. Garcia always has been a strong Ryder Cup player, owning a 16-8-4 record in six appearances and scoring 18 points for Europe, seventh-most in history. “I’ve been reminded that I haven’t won a major probably 300 times this week, but I love these moments. I love being in Ryder Cups. I love playing for my teammates. I love playing for Europe,” an effusive Garcia crowed in the aftermath. “Even if I never get a major, it doesn’t matter, because these moments, nobody can take away from me.”
[Previous page] Garcia at his home village of Burriana, Spain, in 1999; [top left] at The Open in 1996 as an amateur with his father Victor caddying; [center left] with fiancé Angela Akins at the 2017 Masters; [bottom left] with Phil Mickelson in the 2016 Ryder Cup singles
Clearly, El Niño had changed, which he showed again at Augusta when his miracle par at the 13th, after taking a penalty from a bush, kept him close enough to Rose when in the past the adversity would have left him crestfallen. Without that resolve, Rose would have a second major title. “I’m disappointed, but hopefully it’s a Masters that is remembered fondly,” Rose said wistfully. “You don’t want to lose, but it hurt less to lose to him.” Other players chimed in with congratulations via Twitter, including Woods, with whom Garcia has not always been on friendliest terms. And Harrington, who vanquished Garcia at Carnoustie and in the 2008 PGA at Oakland Hills— leading to a frosty relationship between the former Ryder Cup teammates—couldn’t help but offer kudos after Garcia delivered that straight right down into the turf, a knockout blow to his years of frustration. “I was delighted to see the emotion,” said the Irishman, who worked at the Masters for Sky Sports. “Maybe I’m a bit harsh that I look at it and say, ‘Well, everything comes easy to Sergio.’ But clearly, it hasn’t come easy to him. It really hasn’t. You could see in that moment that he paid his dues.” He had, indeed. The learning curve was steep for Victor Garcia’s talented son, the kid with the effervescent smile and once incendiary temper. But at 37 he had learned, and he realized that as the throng of Masters patrons, clearly pulling for him, bellowed “Seer-gee-oh!” “A lot of things came through my mind, and some of the moments I’ve had here at Augusta that maybe I haven’t enjoyed as much, and how stupid I really was, trying to fight against something that you can’t fight; and how proud I was of accepting things. And this week, I’ve done it better than I ever had, and because of that I’ve looked at the course in a different way throughout the whole week.” Now he, and others, can look at his career differently, too. Weird, but winning doesn’t give anyone a burst of perspective. It doesn’t work that way. Perspective is what initiates success. “I have a beautiful life. Major or no major, I said it many times,” Garcia said as the warm day receded at Augusta, evincing the maturity he had attained. “Obviously, this is something I wanted to do for a long time. But, you know, it never felt like a horror movie. It felt like a little bit of a drama maybe. But with a happy ending. “It’s been an amazing week,” El Niño added, no storm clouds, real or imagined, obstructing his view, “and I’m going to enjoy it for the rest of my life.” [Top right] Garcia lines up a putt with caddie Glen Murray during the final round of the 2017 Masters; [center] teeing off on the 12th as Justin Rose watches; [bottom] Garcia in his new Green Jacket
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MA JOR CONTENDERS Of professional sports, championship golf might be the hardest to predict. The strength of the fields in the majors is so deep that picking winners is a task almost certainly destined to fail. But that is not going to stop us trying, and we are looking beyond the obvious
ould Dustin Johnson—world No.1 at the time of writing—add to his single major triumph so far, at the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont? Of course he could, as long as he doesn’t slip down the stairs again. Could Jordan Spieth find a third major success in 2017? Don’t bet against it. Could Hideki Matsuyama make the step up? If his putting can match his iron play in a major then he’ll be hard to beat. But here are three different names, winners on the PGA Tour all, one of them a major winner already, who we think are primed to take home one of golf’s most cherished titles in 2017. The odds may be stacked the wrong way, but we wouldn’t bet against them—and we love surprises...
illy Horschel rose to the top of the game in a hurry in 2014, then faded. But in 2017 he’s back to his winning ways and looking like he could be better than ever. Horschel, 30, turned pro in 2009, joined the PGA Tour in 2010 and won for the first time in 2013, setting a new scoring record in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana. In September 2014 Horschel found the hottest streak of his life. Going into the Deutsche Bank Championship he was ranked 82nd in the FedExCup Playoffs and in danger of elimination, but four rounds in the 60s earned him a runner-up finish. Horschel wouldn’t score higher than 69 over his next eight rounds, winning the BMW Championship and then claiming the Tour Championship to take the FedExCup ahead of Rory McIlroy. Horschel lost consistency in 2015 and 2016, but now playing PXG clubs he is back to his best in 2017, winning the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Four Seasons in Irving, Texas. We think he’s ready to take the next step.
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utside the South Korean contingent on the PGA Tour, Si Woo Kim was little known and underrated until May 2017, when he burst to global prominence with his spectacular victory in the Players Championship. Kim, 21 and from Seoul, turned professional in 2012, and in his first full season on the PGA Tour in 2016 he gave the world a glimpse of where he could go with a victory in the Wyndham Championship. At TPC Sawgrass in May, Kim handled the windy, difficult conditions with exemplary composure and one heck of a short game. All players were missing greens, but in the final round Kim went 10-for-10 in getting up and down for par saves. That is the kind of performance that might work particularly well if the winds pick up in July at the Open at Royal Birkdale. Kim is the youngest golfer to win the Players, and only three other players have won on the PGA Tour twice before their 22nd birthday: Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth. That is some serious, major-winning company. Kim is the real deal.
late developer by PGA Tour standards, ever since Jimmy Walker got the taste for winning he has been hard to stop. He didn’t get his first win until his 188th start, at the Frys.com Open in October, 2013, but then his second and third titles followed in January and February 2014. Walker made his major breakthrough with his sixth career win at the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol. Walker shot 65-66 in the first two rounds for a nine-under-par 131 at the halfway stage, to lead with
a tie for the lowest 36-hole score in the history of the PGA Championship. Walker showed his depth of mental strength in keeping his form and composure through the final two rounds, which he had to play in one day after weather delays. Walker posted scores of 68-67 to beat Jason Day—world No.1 at the time—by a single shot. Walker held at least a share of the championship lead in all four rounds. Despite suffering from Lyme disease this year, Walker has a stubborn streak and if he can get within reach of the lead in a major this summer, don’t count him out.
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Whitewash & Windows Like much of the worldâ€™s finest architecture, the clubhouse at Royal Birkdale splits opinion. Some love it, some donâ€™t, but one thing is for sure: it is one of the most recognizable clubhouses in golf Photography by M AT T H E W H A R R I S
T The art deco clubhouse at Royal Birkdale is eye-catching. Maybe it is the sunlight reflecting off its symmetrical window formation, or gleaming off the bright, whitewashed walls that are re-painted ahead of The Open every time it rolls into town. One long-standing member tells us: “It started off as a liner sailing through the sand dunes… but now it looks like a container ship.” He could not have put it better. The Birkdale clubhouse is not like other clubhouses, particularly those at other courses which host The Open. There is something impressive about it from certain angles—its geometry, expansive bay windows, sharp lines and all-white brightness—and then from a different take it can look less than ordinary, like a functional boiler unit everyone ignores in a parking lot. As for being a liner sailing through the sand dunes, that was the intention of local architect, George E. Tonge, when he won a competition to design the clubhouse. According to Birkdale’s archives, Tonge said, “I visualized the kind of clubhouse that I thought ought to intrude itself onto this lovely course. I imagined the lines of a liner at sea; the perfect balance of the ship at whatever angle and from whatever side it was seen.” Tonge had imagination in waves, you have to give him that. There is brilliance in his geometric concept and it is fitting not only because of the surrounding landscape, with the rolling sand dunes of Birkdale meeting the heaving waters of the Irish Sea, but because of the famous shipping traditions of nearby Liverpool, an industry spurred by the prolific Lancashire cotton trade that evolved out of the industrial revolution. The clubhouse opened on July 6, 1935, with the turn of a ceremonial golden key.
“You either love it or you hate it. The art deco style is not to everyone’s taste but it is distinctive” [Above] George Tonge’s painted impression of his design prior to construction, which today hangs on a wall inside the clubhouse; [below] the new clubhouse in 1935
Back then, railings along a first-floor viewing gallery and around the central clock tower embellished its resemblance to a liner. These were removed in the early 1960s as safety concerns mounted, and gradual expansion of the clubhouse on all sides over the decades has leant further away from the liner and more towards that container ship. “You either love it or you hate it,” says Jonathan Seal, a past captain at Birkdale who is chairing the club’s championship committee for The Open in 2017, the 10th on this famous Lancashire links. “The art deco style is not to everyone’s taste but our clubhouse is certainly distinctive. When golfers see pictures of it they instantly know it’s Birkdale, and that has to be worth something.” Tonge talked of “the kind of clubhouse that ought to intrude itself onto this lovely course”, and he stayed true to his word by incorporating as many windows as he could muster on the western outlook, over the course and out to the sea. “One of the great features of the clubhouse is its windows,” adds Seal, “which allow fantastic, panoramic views over the golf course and the sea in the distance. The first-floor dining room, which in itself is a relatively standard room, offers tremendous views.” Birkdale’s original clubhouse had been a converted, wooden hospital building by what is today the fourth green, and which was the 18th at the turn of the 19th century. This tatty clubhouse was not in keeping with the intentions of the club and its council landlords to develop a club of international standing, and the old building was demolished before Tonge’s replacement opened.
The spirit of Tonge’s design has been loyally preserved One omission from original Tonge’s creation—built at a cost of just over $10,000—was a professional’s workshop, so as a cost-effective solution the council decided to re-locate the tatty old wooden shed in which the pro had been previously housed. Tonge was horrified, telling the club it was “not in harmony with the new clubhouse”. But this was between the World Wars, the economic climate was bleak and Birkdale and the council had already stretched themselves to build the new clubhouse in the first place. To protect his masterpiece Tonge did the gentlemanly thing and designed a new workshop and caddie shelter in keeping with the clubhouse, free of charge. The entire extension cost $385, although a new pro shop and locker rooms were built in time for The Open the last time it was at Birkdale, in 2008. No doubt Tonge would take issue with some of the clubhouse extensions that have followed over the course of time, but they have all been made—painstakingly and expensively—in keeping with his original design. The spirit of Tonge’s design has been loyally preserved, and much more so here than at one of his other celebrated art deco creations, the Garrick Theatre, prominently located near Birkdale, on Southport’s Lord Street. That eventually became the Mecca bingo hall, so Tonge should be grateful to the efforts of Birkdale’s membership.
Royal Birkdale Golf Club 1889 On July 30, nine men agreed unanimously to form Birkdale Golf Club 1890 Ladies section established at the club 1894 Club moves location to the Birkdale Hills 1909 Ladies’ British Open Match Play Championship played at Birkdale 1922 Fred Hawtree & J.H. Taylor employed to redesign golf course 1935 New clubhouse opens 1951
Club receives royal command and becomes Royal Birkdale GC
1954 Birkdale hosts the Open for the first time, with Peter Thomson winning, also for the first time
Breaking into Birkdale
Play postponed at The Open at Royal Birkdale on Friday, July 15, 1961
Richard Wax came to Kingdom with a fantastic story. It was July 1961 and the carefree 18-yearold was at The Open, although the final day of the championship did not go exactly to plan. Here is Wax’s story in his own words
Kel Nagle [left] and Arnold Palmer share an umbrella at Birkdale on the final day of The Open, but not much conversation
hree shillings and sixpence! That was the price on the gate to watch the final two rounds of The Open at Royal Birkdale on Saturday, July 15, 1961 [Call it a US dollar, Ed]. Hardly a king’s ransom but my school friend Dave Broadbridge and I were 18, fresh out of school and clean out of cash after our week at the championship. As we saw it there were two options: break into the golf course or return home to Manchester and watch the meager coverage of the last rounds on black and white TV. We opted for the first solution on the grounds that the worst possible scenario was a momentary humiliation of getting thrown out. On approaching the militarily dressed security man I opted for using the
name of a member of my home golf club, Major Carr (in fact he wasn’t even a real major but this was how he was known). Major Carr was waiting for us with the appropriate passes… Rather than being rapidly dismissed we were given a military salute. It could not have been easier. I feel a little guilty about this yet also incredibly grateful. No sooner had Dave and I trodden on the firm turf of Birkdale than we were confronted by a stern and slightly flustered lady official. “Do you boys know anything about golf?” she demanded. We feared
our game was up already but answered innocently that we did know about golf. Two scorers for the pair going out in the third round at 10.56 had let her down, and she asked if we could mark the scores for the players. We were not particularly excited about this prospect—we had gate crashed The Open to see if the American hero Arnold Palmer could win—but feeling conspicuous without spectator badges and slightly intimidated, we agreed. To our amazement, the 10.56 game was Arnold Palmer. Before we knew it we were festooned with armbands and
Rather than being rapidly dismissed we were given a military salute
accreditation and were standing on the first tee with the great man. There was Palmer, Australia’s Kel Nagle—the defending champ who had defeated Palmer by a shot the previous year at St Andrews—their two caddies, and us; two schoolboys who had lied our way into The Open. We knew Palmer’s reputation as a cheerful crowd pleaser but there is a time and a place for chatting. Contending for the Claret Jug with 36 holes to play at Royal Birkdale is not the time. When the R&A had threatened to cancel The Open due to the atrocious weather that had blighted most of the week up to this point, Palmer famously stated: “If necessary I’m prepared to play in a rowboat.” His intentions were clear and Palmer was a model of poise and silent concentration on the first tee that morning, and that is how it largely remained for the rest of the day. There was no conversation between Palmer and Nagle at all, and exchanges between Palmer and his caddie “Tip” Anderson were limited to brief words on club selection. At the end of the third round we handed in our cards and the lady official was most appreciative. We were given vouchers for a restorative hot soup and sandwich lunch, which was just what we needed after our morning on the blustery links.
Dave and I were on a roll, we were fullyaccredited cogs in The Open machine
[Above] Palmer lifts the Claret Jug at Birkdale; [left] on his return to Birkdale for the 1965 Ryder Cup, Palmer admires the commemorative plaque by the 15th fairway
Flag bearers Dave and I were asked if we would be available to carry pennants for the afternoon’s final round. The duty involved carrying a flag behind a particular golfer as he progressed around the course, so marshals and the police could easily locate them all. This was towards the end of the era of The Open being staged without fairway ropes to keep spectators at bay (the surging, uncontrollable hordes surrounding Palmer at The Open in 1962 at Royal Troon would force the R&A to put an end to such freedom of movement for spectators). We gladly agreed to flag carrying. Dave and I were on a roll, we were fullyaccredited cogs in The Open machine and this afternoon duty would grant us a close-up view of the final round of The Open. To my great fortune and delight I was designated as Palmer’s flag-bearer and I would spend the afternoon surrounded by galleries of an ever-increasing scale, as it gradually became apparent that the winner would be Palmer or Welshman Dai Rees, who was playing in the pair after Palmer’s. During that final round I witnessed at
very close range one of the most remarkable shots ever played at The Open. Palmer was leading by one shot from the dogged Rees but the American’s drive on the par-four 15th had faded into gnarly gorse and blackberry bushes. The spectators found the ball, which was only partially visible. Having hitched up his trousers in his inimitable fashion, Palmer took a six-iron and the shot he delivered drew gasps from the crowd. His club scythed through Lancashire sand and roots and the rest is history. His ball found the green, Palmer saved his par and went on to win The Open for the first time by a single shot from Rees. It was a momentous achievement for Palmer and it was for Dave and I too. We had no right to be there at all, yet the day ended with us both attending the prize giving and speeches, still proudly wearing our armbands, of course. We enthusiastically applauded Palmer as he lifted the Claret Jug. He was a truly great champion and it was such a thrill to witness so closely one of his greatest and most famous triumphs.
[Left] Richard Wax with Palmer in St Andrews. Wax was delighted to be able to share with Palmer his story of that fateful July day; [above] an 18-year-old Wax is circled as he carries the flag during the final round at Birkdale
WHERE HISTORY UNFOLDS There are not four majors each year in professional golf, there are 14— to bring in the women’s game and the senior men—from Augusta to Evian, where golf’s only major in continental Europe is played. In our latest fantasy course, an imaginary golf course made up of real golf holes, we travel around the major venues of 2017 to create a layout of such exceptional quality, history and variety that it’s impossibly fantastic. Oh that dreams were real... 94
Dinah Shore Tournament Course, Missions Hills, Ca.
Par 4, 377 yards, Handicap 17 We begin at a logical point, where the majors tee off each year, at the LPGA Tour’s cherished ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills. This is the spiritual home of women’s pro golf in the United States, and has been home to the ANA Inspiration—or the “Colgate Dinah Shore” as it was originally named—since its inception in 1972. Old-schoolers still call it the “Dinah” after the singer-TV personality who founded the tournament, which got major status in 1983. The first hole of the Dinah Shore, lined by palms in keeping with much of the course, is a straight-away starter giving golfers a chance to find their stride. It reaches 450 yards from the back but we will go with the LPGA’s yardage of 377 in the spirit of fairness and majors authenticity. This is really a second-shot hole, with a green protected by three broad bunkers. Pin position makes all the difference.
Augusta National, Georgia
3. Erin Hills, Wisconsin
Par 5, 575 yards, Handicap 9
Par 4, 476 yards, Handicap 1
Some readers might be surprised that this is the only hole from the Masters in our 18. This is Augusta National after all—in a rush of Masters sentiment we could have included about a dozen of its holes—but in a quest for variety and in recognition of some other exquisite challenges on the majors circuit this year, we are holding back. Like our first hole on the Dinah Shore, the second hole of this masterpiece by Alister MacKenzie and Bobby Jones— Pink Dogwood—presents an excellent scoring opportunity. This is such a naturally stunning par-5, with a broad, generous, sweeping dogleg turning from right to left and down the hill towards the heart of this golf course. If we could choose, the pin position would be that Masters Sunday spot, behind the right-hand bunker, but to which the ball feeds down from the middle of the green.
The 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship was staged at Erin Hills—when Texan underdog Kelly Kraft ultimately defeated Patrick Cantlay in the final—the success of which convinced the USGA that the course is up to the test of staging its professional pride and joy this summer. The long par-4 third hole is typical of the distinct test posed by Erin Hills. It runs uphill and doglegs from right to left, demanding that golfers cut-off as much as they dare over the corner of wetlands. Go in there and there is no coming out. Yet there is plenty of room on a generous fairway so greed on the third tee is your enemy. The challenge of the hole can be altered dramatically with pin position, with a raised green that has three distinct tiers and lots of options. Any birdie opportunities here in the U.S. Open will only be the result of two very assured strikes.
Greystone (Founders), Alabama
Evian, Evian-les-Bains, France
Par 3, 155 yards, Handicap 15
Par 3, 188 yards, Handicap 11
The 29th Regions Tradition—the first major of the year on the PGA Tour Champions—was held at Greystone Golf & Country Club for the second successive year in May, with Bernhard Langer successfully defending his title for his eighth senior major win. The course was designed by Robert Cupp with two-time major champ Hubert Green and opened in 1991. Its heritage with seniors golf began almost immediately, hosting the Bruno’s Memorial Classic from 1992 to 2005, in which Green himself was among the winners, along with fellow major champs Larry Nelson and Hale Irwin. The par-three 4th hole is a beautiful challenge as long as right-handed golfers can avoid a hook off the tee. Anything more than a draw is in the lake and the allure of the hole is rapidly replaced by regret. It reaches 180 yards from the back but we are going to hop forward to a blue-tee yardage of 155, to give us the best chance of finding the green. Bunkers wait beyond the green but there is a clear run up to the green for anything that lands short.
The dramatic Evian Resort course—home to the final major of the women’s season each year, the Evian Championship— sits majestically on a hillside far above the shores of Lake Geneva, at an altitude of 500 meters. The Evian golf course winds through 148 acres of verdant woodland, the first nine holes of which were built by the Evian mineral water company in 1904, making Evian one of the oldest golf courses in continental Europe. The nine became 18 in 1922, and Cabell B. Robinson renovated the course in the late ‘80s, before the Evian Masters—the predecessor of the Evian Championship—was first played there in 1994 on the Ladies European Tour. The course was lengthened in 2003 and the Evian was played there as a major for the first time in 2013. The 5th hole at Evian is one of beguiling beauty, with views to the left of the green opening up across Lake Geneva and far beyond. Water in front of the green demands golfers strike a true tee shot, with bunkers in wait to the left and right of the green. We will stick with the championship yardage of 188 yards to grab golfers’ attention on the tee.
Royal Birkdale, Lancashire, England
Royal Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan, Wales
Par 5, 488 yards, Handicap 5
Par 3, 122 yards, Handicap 13
Like most mortal golfers on a daily basis, we are going to play Birkdale’s mighty sixth hole as a par five, the way it should be, rather than calling it a 499-yard par-4, which is what golfers in The Open are faced with. Ultimately it does not matter in The Open—the golfer with the fewest shots wins whatever the par—but in The Open of 2008 the scoring average here was 4.77 and this left-to-right dogleg has been the hardest hole on the course in both The Opens of 2008 and 1998. Expect much gnashing of teeth here in July. Thinking about trying to reach this green in two is how a golfer loses sleep. With the hole playing slightly uphill, and with a trio of pot bunkers positioned short of the green, this is a three-shotter all day long, and all night too if you value your rest.
A truly great British links, Royal Porthcawl was established in 1891, and by 1895 it had become the first 18-hole course in South Wales. The championship heritage at Porthcawl began in 1951 when the R&A took the [British] Amateur Championship to Wales for the first time, and among many other famous events at Porthcawl, it staged the 1995 Walker Cup when Tiger Woods lost in the singles to Englishman Gary Wolstenholme. The Senior Open presented by Rolex returns to Porthcawl in July, three years after last being there, when Bernhard Langer posted one of the most dominant performances of his entire career in winning by 13 shots. The seventh is the shortest hole at Porthcawl, at 122 yards from the back tee. But like the very short ‘Postage Stamp’ 8th at Royal Troon, the green here is small and has stronger protection than a medieval Welsh castle; a battalion of six bunkers surround the front half of the putting surface, which is all too easy to miss.
Royal Birkdale, Lancashire, England
Caves Valley, Baltimore, Maryland
Par 4, 413 yards, Handicap 3
Par 4, 400 yards, Handicap 7
Returning to The Open venue Birkdale, golfers who can strike their ball long and straight have a decent birdie chance here, but for the rest, take a four if you can, be happy and move on. At The Open the golfers will play the eighth to a yardage of 458, slightly uphill, but we are going to play off the member’s medal tee at 413 yards, which is plenty as the fairway bends round to the left and up to a raised green. Four bunkers are placed precariously around the elbow of the hole to catch drives which are offline, with three more awaiting approach shots which fall short on the left and right. As a reminder of just how long and straight most golfers in The Open can hit the ball, the eighth was ranked the 16th hardest hole at Birkdale last time around in 2008, when Padraig Harrington successfully defended his title. There were 46 birdies that week over four rounds, with a scoring average of 4.13.
The fourth of the PGA Champions Tour’s five majors, the Constellation Senior Players Championship in July, heads to the stunning Caves Valley, outside Baltimore, for the first time. Caves Valley offers a Tom Fazio design which opened in 1991, and which held the 2002 U.S. Senior Open—won by Don Pooley—and the LPGA International Crown in 2014, a team event won by Spain. From tee to green on Caves Valley’s ninth a stream accompanies golfers, snaking in front of the green from right to left, before heading back to the right-hand side ahead of the fairway, where it remains for the remainder of the hole—not a good location for a right-handed slice off the tee or into the green. For golfers who stray left and away from the stream, five bunkers lie in wait up the left-hand side, towards a green shrouded in forest. The hole can play up to 435 yards, but there is plenty of golf from the blue tee at 400.
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10 Olympia Fields (North), Chicago, Illinois
Par 4, 429 yards, Handicap 2
Our back nine begins at an American classic, the North Course at Olympia Fields. Originally named the “No. 4 Course,” it was designed by two-time [British] Open champ, Scotsman Willie Park Jnr. The course opened in 1923 and Park went as far as to later write to the club to declare, “your number IV course is the equal of any golf course I have ever seen.” Park had good reason to show some bias towards his own design of course, although he has since received plenty of back-up from leading magazine rankings and the North Course will serve as a weighty challenge for this year’s Women’s PGA Championship. The 10th hole is tree-lined although it opens up around 235 yards off the tee. Then the hole drops dramatically to a green which is surrounded by a horseshoe-shaped lake, so club selection is critical. Two bunkers also protect a green which demands unerring accuracy. The 10th can play to 444 yards but we have edged forward to the championship tee at 429 yards.
Royal Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan, Wales
North Course, Olympia Fields, Illinois
Par 3, 180 yards, Handicap 16
Par 4, 389 yards, Handicap 6
Compared to the other links course in this collection of majors golf holes—Royal Birkdale—Porthcawl is a much flatter challenge, without the rocking and rolling of the Sefton Dune system which envelopes Birkdale. The dunes frame each hole at Birkdale, yet the trade-off at Porthcawl is the far-reaching panoramic views that the gentler topography affords. The course slopes down towards the Bristol Channel, with Somerset and Exmoor in England visible to the south, and Swansea Bay and the Gower Peninsula to the northwest. The par-3 11th plays from 184 yards but we are taking four steps forward to the White tee and a distance of 180 yards. This is a real stunner of a links par-three, with a ridge to clear that runs diagonally in front of the plateau green. The ridge is armed with a strong of five pot bunkers so the instruction here is quite simple: don’t play short.
The USGA and PGA of America rate the North Course at Olympia Fields very highly, and past champions here include Walter Hagen (1925 PGA Championship), Johnny Farrell (1928 U.S. Open), Jerry Barber (1961 PGA Championship), and Jim Furyk (2003 U.S. Open). The club has worked hard to maintain the original features of its North Course, as it stretches over naturally rolling parkland and brings the babbling Butterfield Creek into play wherever possible, and nowhere more so than on the par-four 12th, where golfers need to be on their wits to avoid the creek from the tee and again before the green. At 432 yards from the tips—which is from where the LPGA’s finest will begin—we are opting for a more civilized 389 yards from the old tournament tee. There is enough room for most golfers to take driver off the tee before the creek cuts across ahead of a well defended, raised green.
Salem CC, Peabody, Massachusetts
Trump National, Washington DC
Par 4, 344 yards, Handicap 8
Par 4, 419 yards, Handicap 4
This jetpack journey next lands in Salem, which sits amid a rich line of grand old clubs of Massachusetts. The club was founded back in 1895—two centuries after the famous Salem Witch Trials that inspired the club motif of a witch on a broomstick—although the golf club didn’t find its existing home in the Peabody countryside until 30 years later, where a Donald Ross design has provided sufficient golfing magic to ensure no further relocations were required. A longstanding alliance with the USGA has seen Salem host a variety of national-level championships and next up is the 2017 U.S. Senior Open. Salem’s 13th is its signature hole. It does not look like much on the card—just up to 344 yards from the back today and 297 from the men’s tee—and a bowl shaped fairway could not be more inviting from the tee, with a long iron or fairway wood. But don’t be fooled—this hole had the highest stroke average on the course in the 1984 U.S. Women’s Open. Golfers need to be well placed from the tee as the fairway doglegs to the right and leads up to a three-tiered green that is well protected by a trio of bunkers.
May’s 2017 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship was the first major held at Trump National, Washington D.C. The club previously was called the Lowes Island Club until Donald Trump bought it in 2009 and gave it a wholesale renovation. The 7,693-yard Championship course, branded a “Donald J. Trump Signature Course” (designed by Tom Fazio) is built alongside the Potomac River. Some 465 trees were removed to open up river views. The par-four 15th hugs the Potomac to the right, so any tee shots that are sliced by right-handers are in grave danger. The uphill hole is straight and a fairway bunker waits on the left for balls played too cautiously away from the water. It is the same at the green, with a front-left bunker. It plays up to 476 yards from the back but we are opting for the more generous blue tee and a yardage of 419. One curiosity, a controversial plaque by the tee, reads: “Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot. The casualties were so great that the water would turn red.” Compelling as it is, a number of Civil War historians concur that the claim is false.
14 Greystone (Founders), Alabama
Par 3, 165 yards, Handicap 18
We return to Greystone, Alabama and the signature hole of its Founders Course, the par-three 14th. Surrounded by woodlands and water, the hole stretches to 197 yards from the back and even though it is downhill, there is so much danger in store for inaccurate tee shots that we are stepping forward to the blue tee at 165 yards. A stream that meanders right across the hole, separating the green complex from the approach, ensures this hole is a striking challenge, utterly unforgettable yet also treacherous. Over the stream a pair of bunkers offer stern protection for tee shots that are slightly short, while another bunker at the back ensures that golfers need to know their numbers and play to them. If golfers have to miss anywhere, make it back left, but a downhill up-and-down from there requires a deft touch.
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Kingsbarns, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland
Quail Hollow, Charlotte, North Carolina
Par 5, 504 yards, Handicap 14
Par 3, 190 yards, Handicap 10
There was a theory that truly great links had to be ancient— an argument supported by the R&A’s policy of only taking the Open to the most seasoned courses—but this argument was smashed emphatically when Kingsbarns opened. It occupies a spectacular stretch of Fife coastline on Scotland’s east coast, seven miles south of St Andrews. Kingsbarns is built on a hillside that rises from the sea, with each hole laid out in front of the golfers and with far-reaching North Sea panoramas that St Andrews can’t match. While the original Kingsbarns Golf Society was formed in 1793, the championship course as it stands today was designed by Kyle Phillips and opened in 2000. The 16th at Kingsbarns epitomizes this great course. The crescent shaped par-five hugs the rocky beach and golfers in the RICOH Women’s British Open in July must play their tee shots over the beach. The Black tee extends the hole to 565 yards, although in the name of clemency we are playing off the White tee at 504 yards. If any kind of breeze picks up from the northwest this will be a long walk.
In preparation for hosting its first-ever major—the 99th PGA Championship—a few changes have been made to the 7,469-yard course at Quail Hollow, including the removal of an estimated 1,000 trees as part of a remodeling process that has opened up the golf course and allowed for new spectator areas. The front nine will be tougher for the PGA than it has been in the past. The 17th hole is a famous par-3, in the middle of Quail Hollow’s notorious “Green Mile” of closing three holes, with golfers required to clear the lake and its surrounding rock wall to reach the green. There is also a bunker front and center to clear so a clean strike is all that will work here. The hole can play to 223 yards from the back, but we wouldn’t do that to you, we’ll go with what remains a decent stretch at 190. Traditionally home to the Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour, the event will return to Quail Hollow for 2018 and 2019–at the very least—with the Presidents Cup arriving in 2021.
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Royal Birkdale, Lancashire, England
Par 5, 473 yards, Handicap 12 Famed for its magnificent sand dunes, Royal Birkdale was the scene of Arnold Palmer’s first victory in the [British] Open in 1961 and the club owns an Open heritage that stretches far beyond. The Ryder Cup was played here twice, in 1965 and 1969, and it was on this 18th green where Jack Nicklaus made golf’s most famous concession, picking up opponent Tony Jacklin’s marker for a two-foot putt that the Englishman needed to secure a half in their decisive singles match. The halved point also halved the overall score for the first time in Ryder Cup history, at 16-16. Birkdale has one of golf’s toughest finishing holes. Played by the members as a par-5, is what we are going with, but as a par-4 in championship play Birkdale’s 18th offers a true test of nerve. The best line off the tee is down the right of the fairway, but out of bounds also lurks. Playing safe with a 3-wood leaves a lengthy approach through a narrow entrance to a backwardly sloping green guarded by three bunkers.
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In the Dunes For a concentrated cluster of vintage links golf, you canâ€™t beat the Lancashire trio of Royal Birkdale, Hillside and Southport and Ainsdale, which lie side by sideâ€Ś by side
Sir Nick Faldo—the last Englishman to win The Open three times (Muirfield 1987, St Andrews 1990, Muirfield 1992)—has played virtually all the great British links courses at one time or another, and on contemplating The Open’s return to Royal Birkdale this July, Faldo goes as far as to say: “For true links, the trio of Birkdale, Hillside and Southport and Ainsdale would be tough to beat. There are great runs of courses down in Melbourne, Australia, in the Sandbelt, but for true links, those three are pretty darned good.” And even better, the three courses are literally next door to each other. Just ragged, weatherworn picket fencing separates Birkdale and Hillside, while a railway line runs
between Hillside and Southport and Ainsdale. The three courses are all part of the UK’s largest dune system—the Sefton Dunes—which rise and dip over an 800-acre expanse of Lancashire coastline, flattening out into a broad swathe of golden beaches to the west, and into the Irish Sea. From north to south, the top of the dune system is at the southern reaches of Southport, and that is where the golf starts, at Royal Birkdale. Hillside is across the fence, to the southeast, with Southport and Ainsdale down again, in the same southeasterly direction and slightly further away from the shore. Heading two miles south from “S&A,” keeping the sea on the right, delivers golfers to the gates of Formby Golf Club. Formby Point represents the southern reaches of the Sefton Dunes, after which they settle as the coastline turns south-east towards the Liverpool Docks and another truly classic links challenge at West Lancs, which in fact is older than all its northerly neighbors, dating back to 1873. It is little wonder the regional tourism office brands this “England’s Golf Coast.”
Poster produced for the Cheshire Lines Railway to promote rail travel to Southport; Nick Faldo in action during the 1983 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale
Within the Sefton Dunes, Birkdale came first, with its earliest nine holes laid out in 1889. The entire course covers approximately five percent of the dune system, but even within Birkdale’s boundaries, 80 percent of the land lies between the golf holes and is left to its own devices, at nature’s will. Herein lies the secret to the singular beauty of Birkdale: so much magnificent duneland yet only 18 holes of golf winding through the broader dune valleys. “Perhaps the greatest feature of Royal Birkdale’s golf course is that the dunes shape every hole into a self-contained golfing proposition, each one completely separate from the next,” says Jonathan Seal, a long-standing Birkdale member, past captain and chairman of the club’s championship committee for The Open in 2017. “Every hole is very different and each one follows a path that is dictated by the dunes. That is a huge part of the visual majesty of this golf course.” Intertwined with the golf holes at Birkdale is one of the UK’s most important nature reserves. The area is hugely popular with a variety of wading birds including the grey heron, and is home to a number of rare animals such as the red squirrel, natterjack toad, great crested newt, sand lizard, a host of dragonflies and even a rare breed of orchid, the marsh helleborine.
The dunes shape every hole into a self-contained golfing proposition
[Above] Par-4 hole at Royal Birkdale Golf Club; [below] Hillside 18th
Over the fence Hillside is a contender to be the finest links in the UK not to have held the Open
The majesty of Birkdale is matched, step for step, by the back nine at Hillside. Having played there in the European Tour’s 1982 PGA Championship, Greg Norman wrote to the club and famously said: “The back nine holes are the best in Britain.” The front nine at Hillside serves as a gentler introduction to what follows, although the short par-3 seventh is a particular highlight of its flatter first half. While the club was established in 1911, its seminal moment came in 1967 with the purchase of the duneland that borders Birkdale, and which is now home to the renowned back nine. Noted links specialist Fred W. Hawtree was hired to re-route the course and he brought the right pedigree to the job, as it was his father—Fred G. Hawtree—who laid out the Birkdale course as we know it today in the 1920s, in collaboration with five-time Open champ, JH Taylor. (The third generation Hawtree, Martin, is responsible for the recent, highly acclaimed renovation of Turnberry’s Ailsa course.) Hillside is a contender to be the finest links in the UK not to have held the Open, although it is regularly used as a qualifying course and has staged the [British] Amateur Championship twice, in 1979 and 2011.
Hillside 7th hole
Walter Hagen at the 1933 Ryder Cup; the official program for the 1937 Ryder; James Braid circa. 1905
Three in a row Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club, or “S&A” as it is commonly known, is the southernmost of the Sefton Dunes’ great triumvirate. Like Hillside, it has never hosted the Open so it does not carry the same kudos as Birkdale, but as the venue for the fourth Ryder Cup in 1933 and the sixth edition in 1937, S&A is a treasure trove of history in its own right. Scotsman James Braid—the first golfer to win the Open five times—laid out the S&A links in 1925 and immediate acclaim was confirmed when the course staged the Ryder Cup just eight years later. The Great Britain and Ireland team—as it was at the time—leveled the series versus the United States at 2-2 with victory in 1933, before Walter Hagen returned to lead the visitors to their first Ryder Cup win in the UK in 1937. It would be 20 years before GB&I would win back the cup.
S&A’s 1st [above], 16th [right]
The most famous hole at S&A is its mighty 16th—also known as “Gumbleys” after one of the club’s founding members. The outstanding feature of this hole is what must be negotiated with the second shot, as a band of rugged sandhills and mounds cuts right across the fairway, in the middle of which lies a bank of railway sleepers above two bunkers. The sleeper-armored sandhills rise up over 20 feet, rendering the second shot blind, and a mishit shot played into the sleepers is a dispiriting experience to be avoided. Knitting together the great links of this Lancashire coastline is the Merseyrail line between Southport and Liverpool. After a southbound departure from Hillside station, Hillside GC appears on the right almost immediately, with Birkdale visible over the dunes. S&A looms to the left of the line, even before the train rolls into Ainsdale station, and then Formby GC appears to the immediate right on the approach to Formby station. Hall Road station then comes just after West Lancs GC, also banking up to the line from the right, between the railway and the sea. The entire journey time from Hillside to Hall Road? All of 16 minutes, including stops.
A mishit shot played into the sleepers is a dispiriting experience best avoided
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TPC S I G N AT U R E HOLES TPC properties open a whole world of superlative lifestyle experiences for their members and guests, and chief among them is tournament level golf. With courses and clubs that are among the best anywhere, there are venues to fit every personal taste, budget and style of play. In this issue we look at three classic signature holes from the TPC collection, all of which require solid golf to make par and a combination of strategy and exceptional ball striking to go under
TPC RIVER HIGHLANDS
TPC TWIN CITIES
TPC JASNA POLANA TPC DEERE RUN TPC STONEBRAE TPC SUMMERLIN TPC HARDING PARK TPC VALENCIA
TPC COLORADO (Coming Soon)
TPC POTOMAC THE OLD WHITE TPC AT THE GREENBRIER
TPC RIVERâ€™S BEND
TPC LAS VEGAS TPC SCOTTSDALE
TPC WAKEFIELD PLANTATION TPC PIPER GLEN
TPC MYRTLE BEACH
TPC CRAIG RANCH TPC SUGARLOAF TPC FOUR SEASONS TPC SAN ANTONIO
TPC TAMPA BAY TPC PRESTANCIA
TPC EAGLE TRACE
TPC TREVISO BAY
RESORT/DAILY FEE PROPERTIES PRIVATE CLUBS
TPC CARTAGENA AT KARIBANA
TPC DORADO BEACH
TPC KUALA LUMPUR
TPC Sawgrass, THE PLAYERS Stadium Course HOLE 12 No longer measuring 358 yards, the newly renovated 12th Hole has been redesigned as a risk/reward, drivable par-4 at 302 yards. Part of an expansive course-wide renovation project, the 12th hole now entices players to take on the risk of challenging the water hazard left of the green, with an eagle putt waiting as a possible reward. The large mound on the left side of the hole has been replaced with a large bunker and a water hazard, so even the best players in the world playing in THE PLAYERS Championship will need to take caution if they try and drive the green.
TPC Twin Cities HOLE 7 Dubbed “Tom’s Thumb” in reference to PGA TOUR player and course consultant Tom Lehman, the green on this 318-yard par-4 may be reached with a long and accurate tee shot that carries the lake on the left side and avoids the massive bunkers short and right of the green. A conservative tee shot into the fairway will often render an approach of less than 100 yards to the two-tiered green.
TPC Deere Run HOLE 16 The first of three thrilling finishing holes, the par-3 16th tests both skill and concentration. Despite being the shortest hole at TPC Deere Run, exposure to wind and the undulation of the green challenges even the best golfers in the world each year at the John Deere Classic. A dangerous tee shot over the ravine should be played safely, towards the center of the green. The Rock River to the left is more than just a picturesque backdrop; it has been known to influence putts. Always play for an eastern break towards the river. Golfers are thrilled to walk away from 16 with a par.
DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE.
THE PATH TO THE PGA TOUR
Every player’s path is different. Watch their journey unfold on the Web.com Tour.
PGATOUR.COM/WEBCOM ©2017 PGATOUR, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Player appearance subject to change.
All Summer Long
Persol Calligrapher Collection
We are fans of Persolâ€™s off-the-cuff, free-wheeling style. This sporty but practical pair come from Persolâ€™s Calligrapher collection. Solidly designed, the sunglasses have slightly larger lenses than the norm, an oval tortoise shell frame, thin but sturdy metal arms and a polarised filter for effective protection from the sun.
Gifts to keep you in the game, both on and off course
Rolex YACHT-MASTER 40 The Rolex Yacht-Master and YachtMaster II models embody the true spirit of the ocean-going sailor. Inspired by the rich heritage that has bound Rolex to the world of sailing since the 1950s, the Yacht-Master blends function and style, while the Yacht-Master II brings together the finest in Rolex technology to create a regatta chronograph built for proper competition at sea. rolex.com
Personal Coffee Maker
Mornings aren’t always about sharing, and sometimes you’re the only one who really needs that cup of coffee. Brew your favorite coffee quickly and easily with this one-touch operation Personal Coffee Maker from KitchenAid. The coffee goes directly into the included 18oz thermal mug so you can grab and go, or into the vessel of your choice should you be staying put. Either way, this is the perfect way to ensure you get the perfect cup of coffee—for you. Available in a range of colors.
The untucked shirt, a straightforward look but one that’s rarely thought through. UNTUCKit have a solution: a shirt that’s made to fall at the perfect length every time. Designed for comfort, not convention, UNTUCKit’s philosophy is that “the untucked man, though laid-back in demeanor, expects and deserves the highest quality possible.” From wrinkle-free, to performance, to linen, and the classics, the product is wellconstructed and strategically engineered, enabling the wearer to “ditch the ordinary and adopt the upgrade.” Casual perfection for summer.
Big Green Egg Kamado-style cooker Based on the ancient Japanese Kamado but made with space shuttle ceramics, the Big Egg is a longtime Kingdom favorite, and for good reason—they simply cook better. They also seemingly last forever, heat up superfast and keep the flavor and moisture of food in. Available in seven sizes (MiniMax pictured), they’re made by good people for good people. bigggreenegg.com
Stoli elit 2&3 Liebherr – wine cooler 2&3 Arinzano – white wine 2&3 Untuckit 4,5,6
Liebherr HWg 1803 Wine cabinet Fine wine deserves fine storage, and Liebherr’s HWg 1803 wine cabinets are among the best. TipOpen technology partially opens the door when tapped, while tinted, insulated safety glass ensures protection against damaging UV rays. Untreated beechwood shelves store up to 18 bottles vertically, horizontally, or at different angles. Virtually silent, the units are ideal for the premium wine collector. liebherr.com
Gran Vino White
The ancient Kingdom of Navarre lies between Bordeaux and Rioja, and its prize winery, Arinzano, has recently commenced distribution into the USA with a range of wonderful wines. Featured here is their Gran Vino Chardonnay. Complex but refreshing, the fruit is grown at high elevation and the wine aged for 11 months in French oak barrels before further in-bottle ageing. Expect a nose of brioche, citrus and mineral, followed by intense but well-balanced flavors and a lingering, moorish finish.
If the question of price is irrelevant what is the best vodka in the world? This writer would suggest you don’t look to France, Holland or Texas for the answer. Instead consider Elit, from a distiller with true vodka heritage. Using a patented “freeze-filtration” technique, Stoli have produced a vodka of both unparalleled taste and purity. Put simply, Elit represents the zenith of the company’s distillation technique—and given how long they have been making authentic vodka, that means it certainly is among the world’s best.
PXG Sugar Daddy 0311t wedges PXG continues its rapid ascent with its 0311T milled wedges— another innovation that will stop the golf industry in its tracks. PXG promises that every line, curve and angle of its sole designs on these wedges is produced to exacting specifications to ensure consistent performance and to boost advanced shot-making. The wedges are forged from 8620 soft carbon steel, they are 100 percent CNC milled and they are available in Chrome and Xtreme Dark finishes.
A talented precision engineer—Ian Raybon—and his PGA pro golf partner, Gary Hunter, were unhappy with their mass-made putters, so this dynamic British duo combined their passion and expertise to produce some of the finest custom putters available anywhere in the world. We have seen the results and the visual impact, feel and performance of Raybon Putters are stunning. Customizable, golfers can choose between club head finishes and a range of options covering hosel, sight lines, personalized markings, shaft length, grip and paint fill color. Buy and hole a few more putts.
Raybon custom putters Britain’s best
A journey worth making
The RG-1 Mallet
Technically excellent, the Long Island Toulon Putter offers a slightly longer length with a high toe and H6 hosel. The high toe allows the CG to be positioned in line face and cavity’s face center, contributing to great feel. The flow of the H6 hosel makes for a soft and smooth transition into the head. Two-thirds shaft offset and 50-degree toe-hang encourages an arcing swing path. Comes with a pre-installed Aluminum sole plate (7g) for a total head weight of 350g.
Line up your putt, then set Bloodline’s putter down on the green: The club will stand on its own, and from behind it it’s possible to see the club, ball, target line, and hole without having to tilt your head or use peripheral vision. Stand-up putters have been produced before but never with a club head that has the feel, roll, control, and style that even pros want to use. Conforming to the Rules of Golf, the RG-1 Mallet has a CNC milled head that combines high-grade aluminum and stainless steel. An ultra-lightweight carbon fiber shaft and integrated grip are available in 33”, 34”, and 35” lengths.
Vertical Groove Driver
The new face of golf
Simple solutions are best, and yet so often they are overlooked. Nearly every golf club today uses horizontal grooves, but VGT Technology flips that on its side. The physical properties of this new technology push concentric shock waves away from the shaft, giving a crisp, clean response in the hands of the golfer. Additionally, VGT encourages more forward rotation than clubs with horizontal grooves, increasing accuracy even when the head of the driver is slicing across the ball. Try it, drive it.
Dean Snell, co-creator of the original Titleist Pro V1 and other award-winning balls of the last two decades, has recently started his own direct-to-consumer golf ball company in an effort to help make the game more affordable for consumers. After being a trusted ball designer for the best players in the world, Dean now puts his years of R&D acumen to work for you, delivering pro-level performance at a fraction of the cost of other brands. Snell Golf’s MTB is a 3-piece, Cast Urethane construction golf ball designed to provide optimum tee-to-green performance. snellgolf.com
Arnold Palmer Apparel
Love to walk the links but hate to carry or push? The Stewart Golf X9 Follow is a cart that does the work for you, setting you free to roam the fairways. As well as the automatic following feature, the X9 Follow also has full remote control functionality, a stable robust chassis and even comes with a stabiliser so it won’t tip over on slopes. Every X9 Follow is built by hand in the UK, so you can be assured of its design, technology and quality. If you have won big on the 18th just don’t dive into the lake in celebration...
Designed to perform on course with a full range of motion, built with fabric rated a minimum of UPF20 and with moisture-wicking capabilities to provide enhanced comfort, AP Apparel looks great off course, too. What’s more, every purchase funds Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. arnoldpalmerapparel.com
X9 Follow cart
Hardgraft Gym bag A nicely sized gym bag with superb pocket detail and comfortable herringbone handles finished off with anti-scratch premium zippers. Made in Italy of subtle veg tan leather—because workouts shouldn’t mean that you stop being stylish. hardgraft.com
The Oceanum Dry Bag
Keep your powder dry
Whether you’re running at the beach or lifting in the gym, the LifeActiv Armband with QuickMount keeps your phone at arm’s length—literally.
The Oceanum Dry Bag combines 500D PVC, which is known as the toughest waterproof material known to man, with the ability to roll down as needed and secure your items, keeping all of your valuables safe and dry. Perfect for kayaking, traveling, boating, white water rafting, camping, hiking, hunting, skiing, snowboarding and more, this is a great bit of kit for any outdoor adventure.
Arabesque Colnago Bicycle A steel work of art in an age of space-tech frames, this superb design is a masterpiece of workmanship from a storied Italian manufacturer. With its stunning looks comes epic performance, long a hallmark of one of cycling’s best names. colnago.com
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Swinging on a star
Sportswriter Art Spander used to listen to Bing Crosby’s music. Crosby used to read Spander’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle. One created his own golf tournament and the other covered it, year in, year out. Here, Spander reflects on the life and times of Hollywood’s most dedicated golfer
Residing some 20 miles south of the City by the Bay, the Crosby family received the Chronicle daily, and one day back in January 1976, Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby was on the phone with the then-golf writer from the paper—blush. The phone conversation followed the usual question and answer format about amateur invitees; who was coming, who wasn’t—movie stars, athletes, others—when Bing said, “I have this 14-year-old son who seems to be a pretty good As a matter of coincidence but of no real meaning, Bing player and I’m thinking I might put him in the field, but I Crosby and I both arrived in Northern California from the wonder what others might think.” Los Angeles area in the same year, 1965. What? Stammer, stammer. The response, diplomatic He was, of course, singing, swinging—show business and, naturally, respectful from someone in awe of Crosby, couldn’t compete with golf, he often reminded—and was something like, “It’s your tournament. If you think he’s certainly he was devoted to running the tournament on ready, invite him.” Which he did, either that year or the next, Monterey Bay, which he helped create and which carried in 1977—my advice surely having no bearing on the decision. his name. Even though it is now known as the AT&T Pebble Nathaniel Crosby, indeed, could play, winning Beach Pro-Am, it used to be the “Crosby Clambake”— championships at Burlingame Country Club where the and they did bake clams—and old-timers today still family belonged and at the 1981 U.S. Amateur at Olympic in affectionately call it “The Crosby.” San Francisco. For luck that week in ’81, he wore the medal I was pounding a typewriter and the fairways in search Bing earned for qualifying for the 1941 U.S. Amateur. In of stories. The beauty of being a sports journalist is that even the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Nathaniel won more the greats—Bing, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Kobe Bryant, silverware by finishing as low amateur. Serena Williams, Tom Brady—are occasionally at your beck Like his son, Bing could really play. He learned the and call because of their position (not yours). Interviews game as a caddie in his hometown of Spokane, Washington, are part and parcel of their line of work, as much to sell and after leaving Gonzaga University and entering the themselves—sometimes literally—as the event in which movie business in Hollywood in the 1930s, he went after golf they’re involved. And Bing had a tournament to promote. enthusiastically, lowering his handicap to two.
Five times he won the championship at Lakeside, located near the studio lots in Burbank, one of 75 clubs around the world to which he belonged. Crosby even had one of the three holes-in-one ever recorded at Cypress Point’s glorious 16th, the 230-yard par-3 set among the crashing waves of Monterey Bay. His swing was as smooth as his crooning, patterned after that of his boyhood golfing idol McDonald Smith, the youngest of five brothers who emigrated from Carnoustie and who was one of the most successful pros in America during Crosby’s childhood. A contented Bing Crosby would be on a golf course, smoking a pipe, wearing his familiar felt hat, as graceful as he was on screen.
Bing’s priorities In a 2016 biography, co-authored by John Strege, 18 Holes with Bing: Life, Golf and Lessons from Dad, Nathaniel wrote that everything Bing accomplished as a singer was a “distant second” to golf. Bing was the world’s first multimedia star—across the radio, TV and silver screen—and in the early 1950s he was described as the second most popular man in America. But he had his priorities. The story goes that Crosby was supposed to audition for the title role in the TV detective series, Columbo—which would belong to Peter Falk—but Bing had a tee time he didn’t want to miss. Bing’s plaque at the World Golf Hall of Fame in Florida carries this quote: “If I were asked what one single thing has given me the most gratification in my long and sometimes pedestrian career, I think I would have to say it is this tournament.” That would be the pro-am, which started in Southern California in 1937—not far from the then new Del Mar racetrack in which Crosby had an interest—before moving in 1947 to the Monterey Peninsula. The celebs brought attention—and the pros. Ben Hogan (who even teamed with Bing), Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and others were ecstatic to play there each winter, usually in late January, and it would later become one of Arnold Palmer’s high-priority tour stops. Crosby not only founded the tournament, he subsidized it in the formative years when banks were failing and the bread lines were growing, and when Hogan and his
wife, Valerie, picked oranges off trees for food. Snead won the first Crosby in 1937 and when he was handed the $700 winner’s check he told Bing, “If it’s all the same to you I’d rather have cash.” (Snead liked to keep his money where he could see it.) There was a period in the late 1960s and early ‘70s when first the PGA of America, and subsequently the PGA Tour, tried to revise the format and realign the dates for the Clambake, despite tradition and strong opposition from Bing and others on the tournament committee. That’s when he told me, in effect, “If it weren’t for the money it raises for charity, and because so many organizations on the (Monterey) Peninsula are so dependent on it, I’d drop the whole thing.” Fortunately he didn’t. It can be argued that in America the three people responsible for golf’s popularity were Crosby, Palmer and Tiger Woods, the generation of one overlapping the next. Bing’s tournament was one of the first televised nationally, starting in 1958, and Crosby worked as a commentator. Broadcasts always began with a recording of him singing, “Straight Down the Middle,” a song originally in the 1948 film Honor Caddy with Bob Hope, Hogan and Snead. Crosby was a man of the people, despite his status and wealth. He would talk to fans along the gallery ropes; he would drop into the posttournament hangouts. He and the late singer-comedian Phil Harris, a frequent amateur entrant in the 1950s and ‘60s, would swap one-liners and occasional one-putts. Still today, the incessant storms during the tournament are known as “Crosby Weather.” Harris filled in for Crosby as host in 1974, a brutal weather year at Pebble, when Bing was in hospital, and according to the huddled masses Crosby was quite better off to be there, warm and dry. But Harris added his own inimitable charm to proceedings. After one downpour, Harris told the press, “I have to get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini.” After watching a beautiful wedge shot, Harris sighed— in a remark still repeated to this day in some corners—“He did that as gracefully as a man reaching inside the top of an evening gown.” Crosby loved all sports. He was a part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. Unable to attend the
Crosby was supposed to audition for Columbo but had a tee time he didn’t want to miss
[Top left] Bing Crosby in 1975; [top right] Crosby with Grace Kelly on the set of High Society; [right] Crosby, Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra at a promotional photocall; [above] Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper and Crosby share a joke at a charity event
1960 World Series—in which the Pirates defeated the New York Yankees—because he was working in Europe, Crosby arranged to have the NBC broadcast of the final game, the seventh, video-recorded. In 1960 that was not your everyday household request. The recording, rediscovered in 2010 in Crosby’s basement, is the only complete video recording of that game, which was decided with unrivalled drama when Bill Mazeroski skied a walk-off home run. Always involved in horse racing, Crosby met Lindsay Howard, the owner of Seabiscuit, the equine star when a country in the throes of the Great Depression of the 1930s was seeking any reason to cheer and smile. Eventually Crosby and Howard formed Bing-Lin stables. Howard had an estate in Northern California where Seabiscuit would be buried. When Crosby—remarried and with a new, young family—grew tired of the Hollywood scene, he bought the estate, which contained a 32-room chateau where Nathaniel, Harry Lillis Jr. and Mary Frances were raised. It was Mary Francis, later acting in the TV series Dallas, who would be the answer to the biggest question in American television in the 1980s: “who shot J.R.?” As a member of Cypress Point, Burlingame and Olympic, Bing had golfing partners and friends among the area’s elite, including Charles de Young Thieriot, who
was publisher of the Chronicle, the paper for which I then worked. Only in retrospect, from a distance of half a century, do I comprehend all the links of those on the links and in the boardrooms. Crosby lived for golf. “In the battle against par or against your opponent,” he told Golf Digest magazine, “you can’t think about much else, and the result for me at least is good therapy. For me, golf has been kind of a passport to relaxation and happiness.” It may be appropriate he died just after finishing a round of golf, in October 1977, outside Madrid. Crosby’s legacy is entwined in the very game of golf, and in particular, that tournament at Pebble Beach.
“For me, golf has been kind of a passport to relaxation and happiness” Jack Nicklaus plays out of a bunker on the eighth hole during the 1993 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Tralee Golf Links
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Room to Breathe The Santa Ynez Valley offers an abundance of great food, wine and sunshine, but itâ€™s the valleyâ€™s people and its relatively untouched way of life that makes it one of the best places to discover the real California by Meghan Glennon
There’s wine in California’s Santa Ynez Valley, but Napa this is not. There are no limestone monoliths set into the hills or tasting rooms built in the style of grand palaces or, for gourmands, any Michelin-starred restaurants (though Michelin might have good reason to shoot a star into the valley at some point soon). There are millionaires and billionaires tucked away in the hills in stunning estates, but mostly you’d never know they were there—and when they’re walking around the small community of Los Olivos they’re in jeans and maybe even dusty cowboy boots. There are horses—lots of horses—and quiet valley towns that look like perfect re-creations of dappled old California daydreams. There are flowers everywhere and the sky is almost always cerulean, framing the rolling golden hills that are themselves decorated with seemingly endless green lines of grape vines. Ancient oaks, parks, a beautiful waterfall and friendly, open people sharing some of the best wine you’ve ever tasted; this is a hidden valley where you can find some of the relaxed California perfection that just doesn’t seem so easy to come by anymore.
When my husband was just starting out as a journalist and working at the Lompoc Record in Santa Barbara County, he lived in Solvang. His apartment had a Dutch door and was located above a quilt shop behind a windmill. There was a speaker outside his bedroom window that started belting something resembling polka music early every morning, one of many in the town (though his mysteriously went silent not long after he moved in) and white Christmas lights in all of the trees, which are still there. Horse-drawn trolleys for tourists, shopkeepers in Danish-ish costumes, a Hans Christian Andersen Park, stores selling Christmas ornaments year-round or offering the insanely sweet aebleskiver pastry on almost every corner, salty herring candy, office buildings disguised as quaint thatched-roofed cottages and busloads of tourists… Solvang is what Danish Disney dreams are made of, but somehow, incredibly, it all works and its charm manages to break through its kitsch. The new Landsby hotel is a beautiful embodiment of modern Scandanavian design, and shopping at The Copenhagen House feels closer to being in a top modern design studio than it does to being in Hansel and Gretel’s cottage. Beyond that, it’s in Solvang that you’ll find some of the best food in the valley—you’ll have to wait in line to get it, and you’ll eat it outside and under a windmill, and it’s glorious. At Bacon & Brine, Chef Pink and Courtney Rae are serving up absolutely heavenly food—with authority (baconandbrine.com). Chef Pink, aka Crystal DeLongpré, is a 17-year food and restaurant industry veteran who worked in New York with Chef April Bloomfield at both The Spotted Pig (one of my favorite restaurants) and The Breslin, and in Oakland at Camino Restaurant with Chez Panisse alum Chef Russell Moore. Working with her is her wife and partner, Courtney Rae DeLongpré, aka Fermentation Goddess, who’s responsible for all things brined, fermented or otherwise
Typical view in the stunning Santa Ynez Valley
Bacon & Brine would be right at home in Brooklyn or LA; here, it elevates the entire valley
probiotic. Together they’re on a mission to deliver hyperlocal (nothing except spices is sourced from more than 10 miles away), organic and sustainable food, and so far their mission is a serious success. Courtney Rae’s skills bring such items as spiced pickles and kimchi, and with Chef Pink’s creativity and chops in the kitchen, the menu is an inspired selection of new experiences. I tried the fried Brussels sprouts with ponzu and sesame and the Not So Ramen sandwich with dashi-braised pork loin, togarashi, scallion, sesame and egg. I kept putting it down thinking I was too full to eat another bite, but kept picking it She fell in love with cheese while working at a up again until it was all gone. Incredibly, just a few hours later, creamery in Vermont. She also worked as a midwife and as I was craving another one. My husband had the BLK sandwich a welder, but she kept coming back to geology and to cheese, with house-made bacon, heirloom lettuce and kimchi, which traveling for the former and engaging with the latter in he ate so quickly I didn’t manage to get a bite. There was even such places as Patagonia (sheep’s milk cheese) and Nepal a kind of donut+bacon dessert that was sinfully wonderful. (yak’s milk cheese). Now, the Massachusetts native has Bacon & Brine would sit just fine among the high-standard brought her knowledge to the Santa Ynez Valley, where she’s modern eateries in so many cutting-edge Brooklyn or LA sourcing some of the best cheeses from around the world neighborhoods; by siting it here Chef Pink and Courtney Rae and presenting them beautifully for local tasting rooms have elevated the entire valley, and the long lines at lunchtime and in custom gift baskets for consumers. A storefront in don’t lie. We’ll definitely be back. Solvang slated to open this summer and we can’t wait to Another great foodie resource in the area is Cailloux visit. For now, people can order a basket or schedule a wine Cheese Shop. Currently tucked into a rented commercial and cheese-pairing event at www.caillouxcheeseshop.com. kitchen in Buellton—across from the perpetually packed Industrial Eats, which serves incredible artisan pizzas and River Course at Alisal Ranch; other great food— Janelle McAtamney is quietly building a small selection of stores at her dream. The cheese monger has a master’s degree in Cailloux Cheese Shop geology and a passion for cheese, and she sees the two as connected. “Cheese is tied to the earth,” she says. “And both geology and cheese are slow, processoriented things, with geology a great lens through which to see the world.”
Fans of the movie Sideways will find much to love in the Santa Ynez Valley—much of the movie was filmed here, and the restaurants, tasting rooms and specific sites often have signs indicating they appeared in the production. Golfers in particular will remember that, in the film, the two lead characters spent some time on course—on the River Course at the Alisal Guest Ranch, as it turns out, not far from Solvang’s downtown. The course plays along the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains and features four lakes among its 6,830-yard layout. Following the path of the Santa Ynez River, gently rolling fairways are framed by mature Live Oaks, native sycamores and elderberry trees. With vineyard views as well, the course is as inspirational as it is fun to play; just please don’t re-enact the scene from the film, in which the protagonists turn and start hitting golf balls at the foursome behind them after receiving complaints of slow play—effective perhaps, but not advised. From Solvang, if you head toward the town of Ballard (which still has a still-functioning one-room schoolhouse, originally built in 1882) you’ll find Quicksilver Ranch, which breeds and sells miniature horses. Drive in and treat yourself to the joy of petting one of the cutest animals in the world. Not as cute, perhaps, but certainly interesting, if you head the other direction out of Solvang, west on the way to Buellton, you’ll find OstrichLand USA. Exactly as you’d expect, it’s a sprawling paradise for the strange two-legged descendants of dinosaurs. You can get roughly as close as you’d like to them (they’re behind fences) and even feed them. The birds can get pretty aggressive with the food and might try to rip the feed bowls out of your hand, so the bowls are stuck to dust pans, which offer great handles for gripping. There’s a gift shop for all of your ostrich-themed needs that also sells fresh ostrich and emu eggs and which features a curious case full of autographed eggs, including one signed by Jane Seymour.
Karen Steinwachs of Buttonwood; Janelle McAtamney of Cailloux Cheese Shop; Buttonwood
Karen Steinwachs Karen Steinwachs did what most people in high-power, pressure-cooker jobs only dream about: She quit. Then she decided to make wine. She went from the male-dominated world of tech to the male-dominated world of winemaking and found success in both. When she first decided to stop staring at a screen and start getting her hands dirty, she called many of the friends and acquaintances she’d made in the wine industry—this time she wasn’t asking about her wine club membership, she was asking for a job—and the response was less than positive. “They were thinking, ‘she’s a girl, she’s old and she doesn’t know what she’s doing,” Steinwachs said. “I could hear it.” When she called Norm Yost, winemaker at Foley, he offered her a harvest job and then tried to dissuade her from taking it by saying it would only pay $7/hour, it would be intense work and it would only last six weeks. Karen was undeterred. “It was hard work, shoveling pinot noir stems all day,” she explains. “I had blisters on my feet and I discovered that you can’t buy women’s work boots—you have to buy small men’s. At the farm supply store here they have some in pink, but I didn’t want pink.” She turned a temporary job into a three-year position before moving to Fiddlehead Cellars as an assistant winemaker to Kathy Joseph. She honed her skills there before striking out on her own and becoming the winemaker at Buttonwood, which is also a working farm. Perhaps unsurprisingly considering her determined career shift, Karen is fearless in her winemaking. Besides producing phenomenally delicious pours, she’s constantly experimenting with new ideas. One example: she comes from a brewing family and decided to bring her passion for wine and her family history together in Hop On, a hopped Sauvignon Blanc that captures all the hoppy aromatics of an IPA without any of the bitterness. It is refreshing, fantastic
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and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. I think it would be amazing with BBQ. Beyond that, she organized the valley’s first women’s winemaker dinner: “There were 30 women, and it wasn’t all of us,” she said, immediately causing me to wonder if I could somehow tag along at next year’s. I don’t make wine, but I’m happy to enjoy it—and the company of some amazing women. Here’s hoping.
Pool at Fess’ Inn; Tessa of Tessa Marie Wines; the excellent Bear and Star restaurant
Los Olivos Los Olivos is idyllic. There are no gas stations, supermarkets, billboards or chain restaurants. This is the place you want your kids to grow up, and where you want to grow old. Everywhere you look is a perfect photograph waiting to be taken. It’s a small town, but not small-minded, and the people here like it just the way it is—so do we. This is where we stayed on this trip, at the lovely and luxurious Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn and Spa. The room was wonderful, the service excellent and the pool area is the perfect place to spend a lazy warm afternoon. The spa here is top-notch, but the latest star of the property is the new restaurant: The Bear and Star. Chef John Cox has taken fine dining in Los Olivos and the entire valley to the next level here. He’s growing his own mushrooms on site, raising vegetables and catfish in aquaponic
For discerning travelers, Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn is the only choice harmony, employing local craftsmen and women in the decor and other aspects of the experience—and then there’s the ranch. The 714-acre Fess Parker Home Ranch is located in Foxen Canyon, seven miles from the inn, and is home to Wagyu cattle, chickens, quail, rabbits, pigs and bees as well as heirloom and organic fruits and vegetables. This is Chef Cox’s supermarket and he puts it to exceptional use. The smoked Wagyu carpaccio appetizer and steelhead trout entrée were extraordinary, for example, and there’s so much more to sample. A beautiful menu of savory options joins brilliant cocktails—including the first mezcal-based drink that I actually enjoyed (my husband has always liked it)—elegant desserts, and a very well-considered decor to set the bar very high indeed for local cuisine. Even breakfast is a treat, with house-made yoghurt and genuine attention to detail in dishes that might otherwise be considered “standard.” We had a sneak peak at the new room service delivery boxes, which are charming, and it’s details like that which put this restaurant and the inn itself on a completely different level. For travelers to the area who demand the absolute top in accommodations and fine dining, this is it. That’s not to say that Los Olivos doesn’t have other great eateries—it has plenty, starting with the charming Sides
Los Olivos is a sophisticated small town, and the locals like it that way
Hardware and Shoes (located in the old hardware store) and the Los Olivos Wine Merchant and Café, a longtime staple. Don’t miss a wander through the whimsical garden fantasy that is J Woeste or a game of bocce in the garden behind the Coquelicot tasting room. There’s also a treasure box of a store at the back of the garden selling artisan goods. Los Olivos is tiny, but there are more tasting rooms than you could visit in a weekend. One of our favorites on this trip was Dreamcote, which feels like the creative space of a haute Malibu hippie. Winemaker Brit Zotovich offers great whites and, should you want it (and you might after a weekend of tasting), a respite from wine altogether in the form of her hard cider, which is excellent. We also stopped in at Tessa Marie where we met Tessa and tasted her Italian varietals; the Vermentino was beautifully bright and we liked the Sangiovese as well. As a side note, my grandfather Bert Glennon was the cinematographer on the Davy Crockett miniseries that helped to cement Tessa’s grandfather Fess Parker as a star, so when I took her portrait maybe something came full circle. Or maybe that was just the wine wondering…
Connected As a girl growing up in the LA area, the Santa Ynez Valley was simply a freeway exit that we always passed on the way to my family’s property in Sonoma County. It was quirky billboards that counted down the miles to “Pea Soup Andersens,” a restaurant and inn that is still open in Buellton and still serving pea soup. We never stopped, not even for gas. There was a long weekend at Zaca Lake when I was around 10, which is nearby, but the cabin we rented was supposedly haunted and definitely run-down, so we never went back. Years later when a new boyfriend—now my husband—suggested a long weekend in Solvang, I scoffed but decided to humor him. Then I fell in love with the place (and the man). We returned many times over the years while we were dating and watched the valley blossom into what it is today. We’ve stayed in the cheapest hotels there and the best, and we’ve never had a bad time. In 2010, we decided to make our love affair with the valley official and got married at a local winery, Gainey Vineyards, under the magnificent Live Oak on their grounds. We’ve been back to the valley many times since then, and in recent years we’ve enjoyed re-discovering it with our daughter, Beatrix, watching her pet the miniature horses, stare wide-eyed at all of the charming madness in Solvang, laugh at the ostriches and even play under our favorite tree. Sometimes, out of nowhere, she even asks to go to the place we got married, “the place with the big tree.” Considering the great food, great wine and top accommodations, we rarely say no.
Clockwise: Beatrix under the oak; Los Olivos’ downtown; rosé at Sunstone; ornery ostrich
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Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody The U.S. Armyâ€™s first female four-star general on golf and leadership
Dunwoody salutes during her retirement ceremony in 2012 [top]; at her promotion ceremony in 2008 with Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. ; cannons fired during her retirement ceremony; Dunwoodyâ€™s excellent book
“Being an athlete you think, ‘I can do this: swing fast, swing hard, kill it.’ But that doesn’t really work in golf,” says retired Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, the first woman in the history of the U.S. armed forces to become a four-star general. Following her retirement in 2012, Dunwoody now enjoys well-deserved time with her husband, retired Air Force Col. Craig Brotchie, traveling, writing and working on her game, among other pursuits. While golf didn’t necessarily come easy for her, it hardly would be credible to say she’s found it “tough,” considering her incredibly hard-fought and distinguished career in the military, which included deployment to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm. When she joined in 1974, the Army still had a separate division for women, the Women’s Army Corps. By the time she retired in 2012, the U.S. armed forces had been integrated, women were serving on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, and ever more women were rising through the ranks into leadership positions. A trailblazer as the first woman to achieve the rank of four-star general, Dunwoody comes from a long line of veterans: her father and great-grandfather were West Point graduates, and members of her family have served in every war since the Revolutionary War. Despite that, she says, “I had no intention of ever going into the military, even with that legacy. As far back as I can remember, I was a tomboy. I loved sports, and I kind of grew up knowing that I was going to be a coach.” A high school and college athlete in gymnastics and tennis, among other sports, Dunwoody says it was a college program that first introduced her to military service. “Vietnam was winding down, and they were trying to recruit more women into the military,” she says. “They offered me $500 a month, which was lot of money back then. It was two years’ commitment, and you come out commissioned as a second lieutenant. Well you can do anything for two years, I can stand on my head for two years! I figured it was a detour en route to my coaching profession.” As it turned out, Dunwoody loved soldiering. In the Army she found a disciplined and principled environment like the one in which she’d been raised by her strong-willed mother and her father, Army Brig Gen. Hal Dunwoody, who fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. “Two years turned into five, turned into 10… I loved being a soldier and leading soldiers,” she says, and lead them she certainly did. A parachutist who served with the 82nd Airborne and who got her start as a supply platoon leader at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Dunwoody served at every level
of command. Over her 38-year career she rose to become commander of the Army Material Command, a post that had her overseeing more than 69,000 employees across all 50 states and 145 countries, managing a budget near $60 billion and being responsible for the Army’s global supply chain. In a speech at Dunwoody’s retirement in 2012, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told her that her promotion to four stars had nothing to do with her gender: “It wasn’t because you were a woman, it was because you were a brilliant, dedicated officer, and you were quite simply the best logistician the Army has ever had. You have set the shining example for all soldiers, especially our young leaders.” While her gender didn’t affect her performance, which was exemplary, it certainly affected her experience in the military. Dunwoody says that in her early days women weren’t always well received, especially single women, and that she was challenged on her way up both in terms of having to prove herself more than most and in terms of fielding unacceptable behavior. Her experiences and what she saw in the service led her to work hard on addressing the problems of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the Army. Working with the likes of Gen. George W. Casey, she became well known for her progress in this area, and her efforts yielded improvements. In recent years, she’s been able to focus more on family and on finishing a book, a copy of which she presented to Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill in 2015, not long after it was finished. A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America’s First Female Four-Star General, is a fantastic and inspiring work—which is a good thing, considering the effort Dunwoody says she and her husband put into it. “It’s consumed us more than we ever imagined,” she says. “It might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” She’s also taken to improving her golf game, also not easy but certainly more fun (we hope). “Being in the military I didn’t have time to play a lot, but I enjoyed it. It frustrated me. I thought, ‘I’ve got to figure it out. I can run, do gymnastics, play tennis…’ It’s been something on my list that I wanted to figure out how to do. “It wasn’t until I retired that I thought, ‘I’m going to get some real lessons.’ I was tired of hitting the ball on the ground, hitting it like croquet. So here in Florida I started lessons, and for first time I really do know what I’m supposed to do—I can’t always do it, but I know what I’m supposed to do... We just played [TPC] Sawgrass this past weekend. I didn’t play well, but it’s still fun. I really love it.”
“You have set the shining example for all soldiers, especially our young leaders”
Gen. Dunwoody’s book is available at anndunwoody.com
Moving Forward Folds of Honor Foundation marks 10 years of honoring those who have paid the highest price
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear,” wrote C.S. Lewis, and certainly the former begets the latter more readily when children are involved and a family has lost its bread-winner. For grieving military families, some fears, at least, need not be faced alone. Over the last ten years, The Folds of Honor Foundation has stepped up to help offset the cost of education for surviving dependents of veterans killed or disabled while in service. More than a simple scholarship program, Folds of Honor (FOH) is a living reminder that freedom isn’t free, and that the future of our country is a shared responsibility. For the man who started it and for those who work for FOH, both the message and the work comprise a critical mission, one that begins and ends with honoring those who have paid the ultimate price. “I call them moments of synchronicity, chance with a purpose…when God puts you in places in that change your path,” says Maj. Dan Rooney, a fighter pilot with the in 301st Fighter Squadron at Tyndall AFB in Florida. He is going into his 19th year of
service and is a seasoned combat veteran with three-tours in Iraq, and he’s CEO and founder of Folds of Honor. Shortly after returning from his second tour in Iraq, Maj. Rooney was on a commercial flight. When it landed in Grand Rapids, MI, the pilot announced that the body of Corporal Brock Bucklin was going to be removed from the aircraft. The pilot asked passengers to remain seated out of respect but sadly, more than half the plane disregarded the pilot’s request and went about their business, gathering bags and de-planeing. “In Iraq I’d certainly seen firsthand the reality, the tragic sacrifices that make you understand that freedom isn’t free,” says Maj. Rooney, “but I’d never seen the other side of war. I watched the Bucklin family on the darkest night of their lives, including his identical twin brother, Corp Brad Bucklin and his four-year-old son watching as his dad’s American-flag-draped coffin inched down the cargo ramp. I walked off that plane with a new calling in life.”
The result was the nonprofit Folds of Honor Foundation, which Maj. Rooney launched in 2007 in collaboration with the PGA of America. Its mission is to provide educational scholarships to the families of fallen and disabled American service members and to serve as an active reminder that everyone who enjoys freedom is dutybound to honor the sacrifices of those who preserve it. The effort combines several things near and dear to Maj. Rooney’s heart: service to his country, family, and the sport of golf, which forms the basis for much of the fundraising key to FOH’s mission. More than just a golf enthusiast, Maj. Rooney is a proud father of five girls and a PGA Professional who played at the University of Kansas and who competed in the 1995 U.S. Amateur. His level of commitment to his pursuits is intense; it’s also longstanding, going all the way back to childhood. My dad always reminded me that the key in life and what will make you successful is to be one of those rare individuals who identifies his passion and
By The Numbers: 2.3 lbs: The official weight of a folded American flag of the size given to families following the death of a loved one who served in the military 86 cents: The amount of each dollar given to Folds of Honor Foundation that goes directly to funding scholarships for the families of the fallen 12,000: The number of scholarships given out so far by Folds of Honor Foundation to the dependents of veterans who have paid the ultimate price $85 million: The value of those scholarships to date 1: Number of rounds of golf it takes for you to make a difference Call your club, make sure they’re signed up for Patriot Golf Day, then get out there and tee it up. One round of golf—or an online donation—is the least you can do to honor those who preserve the freedoms we all enjoy, both on and off course.
Not long after Maj. Rooney saw Corporal Bucklin’s remains being removed from a plane and decided to do something to help military families, the Major held the first ever Patriot Golf Day. “We had 67 golfers, at the Grand Haven Golf Club in Michigan,” Maj. Rooney says, citing the club that he co-owns with his father, Dr John Rooney. They raised $8,513, and it got the Major thinking. “If every golfer in America knew about this, who wouldn’t want to participate—to come out and to celebrate our freedom for a day? That grew, and I started Folds of Honor Foundation.” Then-President of the PGA of America Brian Whitcomb got on board early and was instrumental in growing both the organization and the Patriot Golf Day fundraiser. According to a 2012 interview with the Bend Bulletin, Oregon-resident Whitcomb suggested the FOH event be modeled on National Golf Day, a Memorial Day tournament that had been held at participating courses in the 1960s and 1970s as a fundraiser for golf programs.
This is our way to say “thank you” to the families who have given so much has the faith to pursue it with reckless abandon,” Maj. Rooney remembers. “I told him, ‘I know what I want to do; I want to be a golf pro and a fighter pilot.’ I was a 12-year-old kid. His response was profound; ‘Can you tell me which way an airplane takes off?’ I answered ‘is it into the wind?’ That’s absolutely right. He was preparing me for these inevitable headwinds that stood between me and these two huge dreams. Be prepared for those headwinds, but be thankful because ultimately that is what allows your dreams to take flight.” Today Folds of Honor has handed out more than 12,000 scholarships and raised more than $20 million last year alone. But FOH faced its own headwinds getting off the ground in 2007 when Maj Rooney started it in a room above his garage in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
“We didn’t reinvent the wheel,” Whitcomb said in 2012, “we basically brought the wheel out of the back portion of the garage and brought it up front.” Held over Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 2–6), Patriot Golf Day asks golfers to donate as little as $1 more for their greens fees, with proceeds going to fund scholarships for dependents of fallen or disabled veterans. Courses can sign to be a host site (www.patriotgolfday.com) to accept donations. Annually more the 5,000 courses have participated, and Jack Nicklaus is the honorary chairman of Patriot Golf Day 2017. “There are approximately 1.5 million dependents that have had a service member killed or disabled,” says Maj Rooney. “The vast majority do not receive any federal education assistance. This is our way to say ‘thank you’ to these families that have given
so much for the freedoms we enjoy each and every day.” Patriot Golf Day is a key part of the FOH mission, but it’s not the only part: There’s the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR race, held at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March; a National Gala Memorial Day weekend; an effort this summer during which Budweiser will be available in camouflage cans with donations going to FOH with every can sold; a Freedom Rally drive on Route 66 in June; and much, much more. Inspired by a soldier who paid the ultimate price, started above a garage in Oklahoma by a man who continues to serve and supported by everyone who takes the time to show their appreciation for the freedoms we have, Folds of Honor is the living monument to service that Maj. Rooney always intended, and its future— and the futures of those it touches—looks bright indeed. “We have over 500 kids in school right now that are the first ones to ever go to college in their families,” Maj. Rooney says. “That changes the legacy forever in these families. It’s the most dark situation you can imagine, and we are committed to be a light of hope that helps them move forward. Obviously we can’t undo what has happened to their parents or to their spouse but we can certainly help them carry the 2.3 pounds—that’s the official weight of an American flag draped over a casket. This weight is crushing to so many of these families, and we are honored to come alongside these families and to help them carry that weight. It would be my biggest concern, that my daughters are able to get out there and pursue their dreams, to have the means to pursue their education. We don’t tell them what the dream is, just that we’re committed to helping them to fuel that dream. The sacrifices these families have made for freedom... And if we’re not free, then none of this exists. Freedom is the underpinning of everything in America, and so it is our duty to take care of these families.” Find out what you can do at foldsofhonor.org
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There was a moment (a brief one) when we looked on in awe and appreciation as the bearded 20-something worked like a Swiss watchmaker, carefully stirring the responsibly organic tonic into the small-batch gin with no bruising from the ice, etc. And then we threw a party and remembered that people don’t like to wait for drinks, and if you want a work of art go to a museum. House parties in the 1950s and 1960s were exactly that—parties. No one came for the show, which is why martinis and the like were served by the pitcher and not by the carefully crafted glass. Here’s to summers by the pour, then. Now hold out your mug
Summer isn’t built by the glass
Martinis by the pitcher is an old-school way to kick the party into high gear. We like Stoli for the kick because it’s an unassailable original, but we suggest you chill things out with a little chilled water because the sight of a pitcher tends to promote prolific pouring, and martinis are no joke… Feel free to loosen your tie. ɒ ɒ ɒ ɒ
2 1/2 cups of Stolichnaya vodka 1/2 cup oz dry vermouth 4-6 dashes orange bitters 1 cup water or less (preferably bottled) ɒ Garnish with lemon twists Pour everything into a pitcher and chill for a couple of hours at least. If the party’s hopping, pour the mix over ice and strain with a spoon while serving
A serious summer classic, this 1915-ish drink of dubious origin has no set recipe. Consider the below a suggestion, and adjust according to personal taste. Only one thing’s for sure with this: Singapore Slings are better shared with friends you trust.
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1 1/2 cups Tanqueray Gin 1/2 oz Cherry Liqueur 1 1/2 tsp Cointreau 1 1/2 tsp Bénédictine 1 tbsp Grenadine 1/2 cup Pineapple juice Squeeze of fresh lime juice 1 dash Angostura bitters
Pour all ingredients into pitcher filled with ice and stir. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a smile
My Lord aren’t the Brits proud of themselves when Wimbledon’s on, wearing white, waxing on about tradition and drinking Pimm’s Cups in the sun. Never heard of a Pimm’s Cup? Most Americans haven’t, but like a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby, this is the drink for the pinstriped backand-forth crowd when the tennis gets hot in London. Elevate your backyard party or just appreciate that, in a land better known for rain, the Brits really do know how to chill out when the weather gets warm. Cheers! ɒ ɒ ɒ ɒ ɒ ɒ ɒ ɒ
Greyhounds are so passé. Give us the Paloma instead, a grapefruit/tequila mix with some bubbles, to lift summer past its scorching mean days and into pure, golden bliss. ɒ 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice ɒ 6 tbsp sugar ɒ 2 cups fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice ɒ 2 cups tequila ɒ 1/2 tsp salt ɒ 8 ounces soda water Stir the lime juice, sugar and water until it’s all dissolved, then add the tequila and salt and refrigerate. Pour into ice-filled glasses and top with soda water.
1 part Pimm’s 1 slice of orange 1 slice of lemon 2 slices cucumber 1 strawberry, sliced Sprig mint Ice cubes 3 parts lemon or lemon-lime soda
Put the Pimm’s in a pitcher and add the fruit, then pour into ice-filled glasses, top with soda and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Light fare in a warm season, served with a cool wine—perfect
hough many Americans might regard pasta as a rather heavy thing to set on a summer table—more comfort food than sunny lunch—it’s worth remembering that Italians eat it year-round. In fact, some of pasta’s best expressions are particularly enjoyable in the hot season, with visions of cool Mediterranean waters kept front of mind. Accordingly, it’s to the Med that we head for inspiration with this take on shrimp linguine. You’ll want to keep the sauce simple, few ingredients, lest it become too
thick, while linguine makes an excellent base as its sizing ensures that it holds up well enough to carry a protein while still being light enough to enjoy when a T-shirt and shorts are appropriate. Our preferred grill is the Big Green Egg, which we believe yields the best flavors, while for the sauce we like KitchenAid’s 48-inch commercial-style range, which allows for precise temperature control on the stove, critical to making a perfect sauce. Whatever tools you use, remember to bring a chilled rosé, which will both enhance the flavors of the dish and keep temperatures down. Enjoy!
MEDITERRANEAN GRILLED SHRIMP LINGUINE Serves 4-6 Ingredients:
• 2 pounds uncooked, large wild-caught shrimp, peeled and de-veined • 3 bell peppers (mix of colors) de-seeded and quartered • 1 pound linguine
• Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl and add the shrimp. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours • If using charcoal, light your grill and get it to 325F • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil • To make the sauce, set a large saucepan on medium high heat and add olive oil. Let oil heat until it’s fragrant and beginning to ripple, but not smoking. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium. Cook 8 minutes then add the white wine and ¾ of the minced garlic. Reduce heat to low and cook 5-7 minutes more or until sauce thickens. Add water if it gets too thick. Stir in the rest of the garlic and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place. • While the sauce is cooking, add the linguine to the boiling water and cook according to the instructions on the box—or until al dente • While the sauce and pasta are cooking, lightly brush the peppers with olive oil and place on grill. Remove the shrimp from marinade, salt to taste and put on skewers. Cook the peppers 5 minutes and then flip to cook 5 minutes on the other side. Add the shrimp to the grill, sprinkle with salt to taste and cook until pink—approximately 2 minutes per side. When peppers are tender and charred, remove from the grill and peel off any loose skin. Slice the peppers into strips • Toss linguine with sauce and add the shrimp and peppers. Top with torn basil and parmesan to taste
For the sauce: • 1 pound sweet grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise • 3 cloves garlic, minced or micro-planed • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • ¼ cup dry white wine • 6-8 large fresh basil leaves – roughly torn • Parmesan cheese to taste • salt and pepper to taste
For the marinade: 2 cloves garlic, minced or micro-planed 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste
Winning, his way Not long ago he seemed down for the count, selling T-shirts out of a tour bus— but if there’s one lesson golf has learned, it’s that you can never count out John Daly
t was shaky, but 13 years without a win can do that to you. “Long” John Daly, now aged 51 and playing a starring role on the PGA Tour Champions, was cruising through the final round of the Insperity Invitational until a closing trio of bogeys boosted the drama and whittled his victory—at the line—to a single shot at The Woodlands in Texas. “It wasn’t pretty at the end,” Daly said. “But I got it done and that’s all that matters.” Indeed. It was Daly’s first victory since the 2004 Buick Invitational, and as a golfer who famously has made and [more famously] has lost fortunes over his tumultuous career, the winner’s check of $322,500 means a lot. “Now, I can say I’m a champion on the Champions Tour, which is really cool,” Daly said. “Hopefully, I can keep this confidence going.”
Daly pauses to kiss the Arnold Palmer umbrella on the fairway before putting out for his first victory in 13 years
Follow-through is everything
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