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The Greatest Moments in Pebble Beach History!

The Greatest Moments in Pebble Beach History!

The Greatest Moments in Pebble Beach History!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

This week is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.  A tournament we all look forward to, like this week, all the golfing celebrities come out and mingle with the pros and the crowd.  A fun time is had by all in the midst of a 72 hole stroke play event that has been won by every great golfer that has ever set foot on a golf course.  Here are some great golfing moments presented by Swing by Swing

Pebble Beach Golf Links has seen its fair share of great golf over the years. From unbelievable performances to incredible hole-outs, to of course the celebrity pro-am, there’s been no shortage of excitement on the Monterey Peninsula. Here is a look at 10 of the best moments in Pebble Beach history.

Tiger Woods – 2000 U.S. Open

Tiger Woods at the 2000 U.S. Open put on one of the greatest golfing displays of all time. Shattering multiple records en route to lapping the field by 15 shots, he went on to claim his second major title. In fact, he was the only player under par the entire week.

Jack Nicklaus – 1972 U.S. Open

Jack Nicklaus hit one of the most famous shots of all time on the 71st hole of the 1972 U.S. Open. His one-iron hit the flag stick nearly dropping for an ace on the famed par-3 17th. He had to settle for a tap-in but it gave the Golden Bear the spark he needed to go on and win his third U.S. Open title.

Tom Watson – 1982 U.S. Open

Who can forget Tom Watson’s chip-in on the 17th hole during the 1982 U.S. Open? After leaving himself with an impossible shot in the deep rough, Watson managed to knock it in for the unlikeliest of twos. He went on to win his only U.S. Open title.

Tiger Woods – 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Tiger Woods was seven shots off the lead with seven holes to play during the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, when lightning struck on the par-4 15th hole. Tiger jarred his approach from 97-yards for eagle fueling a comeback win for the ages.

Johnny Miller – 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Johnny Miller’s win at the 1994 AT&T was remarkable considering he took a break from his broadcasting post on the 18th tower to compete in an event he won 7 years prior. “I play young at Pebble,” the 46-year-old said and did he ever.

To see the rest of the Top 10 Greatest Moments in Pebble Beach History, go here!

Source: Swing by Swing

Pictures: Getty Images    John Mabanglo    Phil Sheldon/Popperfoto    Andy Lyons    Gary Newkirk   Ted Durian Collection, courtesy Pebble Beach Company

Thanks for reading – The Greatest Moments in Pebble Beach History!  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I.

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Is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in need of a Facelift?

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What is going on behind the scenes at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am?

Is it worth the money to play Pebble Beach Golf Links?

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US Open Courses You Can Play Everyday - All 14 of them!

US Open Courses You Can Play Everyday – All 14 of them!

US Open Courses You Can Play Everyday – All 14 of them!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

14 golf courses have hosted the US Open that is available for public play.  

The USGA is considering more and more public courses for their plethora of tournaments throughout the year.  I love the fact that we can watch the US Open at Chambers Bay, and the following week tee it up on the same course!  I think this removes an element of elitism from the championship arena, and the regular golfer can enjoy the same course where Tiger, Rory, and Jordan teed it up last week!

US Open Courses You Can Play Everyday - All 14 of them!

2015 US Open venue – Chambers Bay.

The USGA takes its share of heat over various golf issues, but you have to give the Far Hills fraternity credit for at least one of its recent initiatives.

Its stated goal to open up the US Open was more than just talk. This week, golf’s national championship will be contested over a public-accessible course for the second straight year: Chambers Bay Golf Course (more on that below).

But it wasn’t always this way.

Consider this:

From its start in 1895 until 2000, the U.S. Open was played almost exclusively on private courses.

Since 2000, it has been played eight times on publicly accessible courses (munis and resort courses alike) and it’s scheduled to be played at three more of these sites in the next six years.

Here’s what you need to know if you want to play the distinguished group of public US Open golf courses:

Pebble Beach Golf Links (1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2010, 2019)
Pebble Beach, Calif.

US Open Courses You Can Play Everyday - All 14 of them!
In 1972, Pebble Beach became the first publicly accessible course to host the US Open, and it’s nice to see the USGA repeatedly return to this venerable venue. If and when you make your pilgrimage, definitely walk this easily walkable course and take a caddie (they’re worth every penny and carts are confined to the cart path). When scheduling your tee time, keep in mind that playing in the afternoon often yields the best scenery, because there’s less risk of fog. Players who have “taken it all in” on previous trips often choose to play earlier in the morning, which can result in speedier rounds.

Here are more tips on taking a Pebble Beach golf vacation.

Bethpage Black (2002, 2009)
Farmingdale, N.Y.

US Open Courses You Can Play Everyday - All 14 of them!

The course that upped the ante on publicly accessible US Open courses was Bethpage Black. Not only is it public, as part of the State of New York parks system, it’s essentially publicly owned, too.

As you can imagine, tee times are snapped up fast, making it difficult — but not impossible — to score one.

You basically have three options: 1) use Bethpage’s tee time reservation system, 2) try to walk-on at the crack of dawn, which often involves camping out in or near your car, or 3) pay a lot of money to a little-known company that may be able to get you a tee time on the day you want to play.

All three methods are explained in detail here: How to Get a Tee Time on Bethpage Black.

Pinehurst No. 2 (1999, 2005, 2014)
Pinehurst, N.C.

US Open Courses You Can Play Everyday - All 14 of them!

The ahem, major renovations by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw were very well-received by both the men and women who competed in their respective US Opens last year. And believe it or not, the course got even better afterward last summer when the resort closed No. 2 to convert the greens from bentgrass to bermudagrass.

The biggest changes by C&C? The rough is gone; they stripped out nearly every inch of it, replacing it with the natural sand, wiregrass, and pine straw areas Donald Ross originally designed into it.

This rough removal / natural area replacement actually increased fairway widths to an average of 50 to 60 yards, opening up more “strategic playing options.”

You can read our more in-depth analysis of the changes here.

One more tip: when making reservations, ask if the “252” package is available; it includes a round on No. 2, lodging, and breakfast for $252 (a round on No. 2 alone can cost more than $400).

Torrey Pines Golf Course (2008, 2021)
La Jolla, Calif.

US Open Courses You Can Play Everyday - All 14 of them!

Like Bethpage Black, Torrey Pines is a municipal golf course, and most of its tee times are for locals.

Unlike Bethpage, however, Torrey Pines offers easier ways for out-of-state visitors to secure tee times.

If you want a guaranteed, advanced tee time, all you have to do is book a stay-and-play package at the Lodge at Torrey Pines, a treat in and of itself. Replacing the old, no-frills travel lodge that sat directly behind the 18th green of the South Course, the Lodge at Torrey Pines is, “an enchanting architectural marvel,” according to the hard-to-please editors of Golf Odyssey. “Secluded from La Jolla’s tony boutiques and congested traffic, it is an inspiring sanctuary for a grand tour of Torrey Pines’ two golf courses.”

The secret to saving a lot of money, however, is to take advantage of Torrey Pines’ walkup system and twilight fees, which can bring the price of a round on the South Course down from $300 to $110.

Most people assume their chances of scoring one of these discounted slots is slim and none, so the real secret here is that the availability of these off-peak rates is quite good and the walk-up system works pretty well.

Chambers Bay (2015)
University Place, Wash.

We usually don’t recommend taking a golf vacation to a given state for the sole purpose of playing one of its golf courses, but Chambers Bay Golf Course near Tacoma, Wash., is good enough to justify such a trip.

This linksy municipal course landed the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the 2015 US Open after only seven months in existence and will bring America’s championship to the Northwest for the first time ever.

If you go, make sure you’re in shape: it’s a long, expansive layout and it’s walking only. If you’re looking for recommendations on where to stay, read this post.

Erin Hills (2017)
Erin, Wisc.

This is another public course that caught the USGA’s attention even before it opened.  And despite the need for significant architectural tweaks since its debut and an ownership change that might have run it off the rails, we’ll be watching the US Open from Erin Hills in 2017.

Going to be in or near Milwaukee and want to play here? You can stay overnight on the second floor of the clubhouse or in the new, on-course cottages. The accommodations are comfortable and well-appointed, but nothing over-the-top (reminded us of Bandon Dunes). Alternatively, many golfers stay at the Delafield Hotel, located 20 minutes away in the town of Delafield. Golfers with advance tee-time reservations at Erin Hills receive discounted room rates.

To see the rest of the 14 Courses available for public play and have hosted a US Open, read here.

Source: Tim Gavrich  Golf Vacation Insider

Pictures: Flash and Mel   Mike Renlund

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20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros – #15 is my Favorite!

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros – #15 is my Favorite!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

 It is 35 years since Seve Ballesteros won his first green jacket at Augusta National! 

The Master of Magic thrilled us all with his infectious smile, and his unbelievable ability to get it up and down from the ball washer.  I am sorry that I never had the chance to see Seve live, and I am poorer for that.

The European Tour has put together 20 gorgeous photos of Seve in a memorandum of this golfing genius.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros – #15 is my Favorite!

To celebrate 35 years since Seve Ballesteros became the first European to win the Green Jacket, in the build-up to this year’s Masters Tournament europeantour.com takes a look at some rare photos of the Spanish legend.

1. Young Seve.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

Seve competing in the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth Club in 1976. While he didn’t win that week, he did go on to claim 50 European Tour titles over the next 19 years.

2. Seve and Ollie.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

An early photo of Seve sheltering from rain alongside his good friend José María Olazábal. Three years later they would pair up together for the first time at The 1986 Ryder Cup. The duo went on to play 15 Ryder Cup matches together, winning 11, drawing two and losing two. The most successful partnership in Ryder Cup history.

3. On the range at Augusta.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

Seve, his coach Mac O’Grady and his caddy Billy Foster prepare on the range at Augusta ahead of the 1994 Masters. The video technology might have changed but the caddy outfits haven’t!

4. Escaping from the crowds.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

A 22 year old Seve emerges from the crowd on the final hole of The 1979 Open Championship at Royal Lytham Golf Club. Two shots later he would secure his first Major title, beating Jack Nicklaus and Ben Crenshaw by three shots.

5. Leftie.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tony Weaver/ANL/Shutterstock (1061046a)

6. Receiving some bad news.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

Seve was often in need of a ruling and he knew the rules better than most players but in this instance at Wentworth, European Tour referee John Paramor is the bearer of bad news.

7. The rake shot.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

Seve was never shy when it came to entertaining the crowds. Seen here at the EMC Skills challenge before the 1999 Volvo PGA Championship, Ballesteros showed off by escaping a green side bunker with a rake.

8. Fairway bunker, fairway wood.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

Few players could hit the escape shots that Seve hit but even fewer would even attempt them. At the 1997 Canon European Masters Ballesteros found this lie in a fairway bunker. Many may have just wedged back to the fairway but not Seve, he used a fairway wood and took aim at the green.

9. The miracle escape.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

A few years before at the same event, Seve hit one of the most incredible escape shots of his career. Having birdied five holes in a row to tie the lead, Seve drove his ball on the last hole in the trees behind a wall. Despite Billy Foster, his caddy at the time, urging him not to Seve took on the impossible, hit it under the tree, over the wall, and just short of the green. He then, of course, chipped in for birdie. “There is not a chance in the world that anybody else would have considered that shot let alone played it,” Foster said. ” It was simply miracle stuff. Genius”

10. Seve at St. Andrews.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

Perhaps the most famous victory of Seve’s career came at the Home of Golf. He entered the final round two shots behind Tom Watson and Ian Baker-Finch but by the time he walked across the Swilcan Bridge he had a one shot lead. One famous birdie putt and celebration later and he had won his fourth Major championship.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros – #15 is my Favorite!

11. Seve at Pebble Beach.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

There are very few photos of Seve at Pebble Beach but this one is pretty special. He and caddie Billy Foster take a moment to enjoy the the view from the fairway on the par four eighth hole during the 1992 US Open.

12. Captain Seve.

20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros - #15 is my Favorite!

No one enjoyed the Ryder Cup more than Seve Ballesteros and this photo shows a moment of celebration between him and Ian Woosnam as they toasted a famous victory at The 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill Golf Club.

13. Seve in a crowd.

Seve was beloved by British golf fans. They would flock to Open Championships and European Tour events to see the matador-like flair of the Spaniard. This photo was taken during the first round of The 1988 Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club.

14. All eyes onSeve.

Thousands of fans gather for the play-off at the 1991 Volvo PGA Championship on the first hole at Wentworth, where Seve battled Colin Montgomerie for the title. This five iron from 220 yards would finish three feet from the hole and secure the win for Ballesteros. Many consider it one of best shots in European Tour history.

15. An intimate lesson from Nick Faldo.

Nick Faldo helping Seve Ballesteros on the range at the 1992 Johnnie Walker World Golf Championship at the Tryall Golf Club in Jamaica. We’re not too sure why Seve isn’t wearing any trousers.

16. Seve the magician.

Ballesteros entertains guests at a clinic ahead of the 1988 European Open at Walton Heath Golf Club.

17. Between the legs.

And if you thought off the knees was too easy, here’s Seve during a practice round at The 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale escaping a green side bunker between his legs.

18. Seve in the gym.

In an effort to keep fit Seve installed a personal gym in his home in Pedrena in Spain. Here he is at 38 years old running on his treadmill preparing for the 1996 European Tour season.

19. Victory for Seve.

A young Jesper Parnevik looks on as Seve celebrates holing the winning putt at the 1992 Turespana Open de Baleares at the Golf Santa Ponsa in Spain.

20. Farewell to the Open.

In 2006 Seve bid an emotional farewell to The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club alongside his son, Javier, on the bag. He finished his career having won the Claret Jug three times with 28 appearances in total at The Open.

Source: European Tour

Pictures: Getty Images

Thanks for reading – 20 Memorable Shots of Seve Ballesteros – #15 is my Favorite!

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The Best Golfing States in the Land - My State came in #5!

The Best Golfing States in the Land – My State came in #5!

The Best Golfing States in the Land – My State came in #5!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Where Does your State Rank in “Golfiness” ?

Jim Moriarty has written a terrific story for LINKS Magazine called ‘The Best Golf States.”  Jim says each state’s “golfiness” is considered. That means that the following factors are studied and tallied to decide how ‘golfy’ your state is.

               1. percentage of estimated golfers per the current population

              2. number of facilities

               3. state’s place in the record book of American golf

(examples: the Masters is in Georgia and California has Pebble Beach)

               4. Weather and Commute

Read more about this first-ever “best-golfing states” ranking, and find out where your state came in!

 

Believe it or not, there has never been a ranking of the best states in golf. Until now.

By: Jim Moriarty

In a preview of our spring issue cover story on the golf ranking of all 50 states, here’s a sneak peak at the first 10. How do you define best? Ultimately, the answer came down to one elusive word: ‘golfiness.’

We also took into consideration a number of benchmarks gleaned from statistical information obtained from the National Golf Foundation and elsewhere: where each state ranks in terms of percentage of estimated golfers, number of facilities, total rounds and rounds played per estimated golfer, in addition to the somewhat more amorphous measurement of passion which the NGF has posited on a 1-to-5 scale, with 1 the highest. Weather and golf history were also factors.

Let the 19th-hole debates begin.

1. FLORIDA.

You are my sunshine. Not the only one, just No. 1.

2. MICHIGAN.

The state where Hogan brought the Monster to its knees.

3. OHIO.

Giving us Jack Nicklaus is reason enough to be in anyone’s top five.

4. CALIFORNIA.

And if Jack had just one more round to play, it would be at Pebble Beach.

5. SOUTH CAROLINA.

The Lowcountry is where golf washed ashore in America.

6. TEXAS.

Hogan, Nelson, and Babe Zaharias alone make it a six-shooter.

7. ARIZONA.

Holy Leaping Cactus, it’s a dry heat and prickly good golf.

8. WISCONSIN

A Midwestern state on the ascendency: Whistling Straits, Erin Hills.

9.. GEORGIA

In April there is no golfier place on Earth. One out of 12 ain’t bad.

10. ILLINOIS

Like the Western Golf Association, once more major than it is now.
To read the full cover story and see the complete ranking, click here.
 
Pictures : LC Lambrecht   Jim Mandeville    Evan Schiller    
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Great Blind Holes - Do you Love them or Hate them?

Great Blind Holes – Do you Love them or Hate them?

Great Blind Holes – Do you Love them or Hate them?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I love this story by Jeff Silverman, who wrote ‘Site Unseen: Terrific Blind Holes’ for Winter 2015 LINKS Magazine.

Great Blind Holes – Do you Love them or Hate them?

To hit a shot where you cannot see over the hill in front of you or around a corner presents adventure, but it’s all about trust and faith. We must believe in ourselves & our swings and then enjoy the dash up the hill to see what awaits on the other side. To see the ball soar and then disappear sparks youthful hope within. As Silverman says, “Who isn’t a child in the face of surprise?”

I know that some golfers feel only disdain and resentment when they encounter a blind hole. From the mid-20th century, architects stopped including them, and golfers saw far fewer of them playing golf. But Pete Dye and a few other notable architects discovered the fun and the mystery of blind holes while playing in Scotland and incorporated them into their newer designs.

A word to the Naysayers: “It’s only blind once,” said Bobby Weed, an early Dye disciple who designed the Golf Course at Glen Mills near Philadelphia.

Trust your swing, folks, because good shots on blind holes will create extra pleasure.

 Some golfers can’t see the thrill, the pleasure, and the all-around goodness of a blind hole. Maybe this will open their eyes.

By: Jeff Silverman

Appeared in Winter 2015 LINKS

Far be it from me to cross swords with the good doctor, but in this case, Mac, en garde!

Though I steadily creak toward Medicare, there are still a few activities in life that manage to keep my fires roaring, and one remains the sanguine dash up a hill, around a corner, or over the rainbow if necessary to find the outcome of a shot that’s not only withstood the swing I put on it but has also stood up to the most maligned of golf’s myriad challenges—the blind hole.

In the very act of watching a ball soar and then disappear, hope ignites the spark of youth within. Who isn’t young in the face of adventure? Who isn’t a child in the face of surprise?

But blindness on a golf hole—whether off the tee or in the approach—is about more than adventure and surprise. It’s about trust and faith. It’s about believing in ourselves and our swings and in what we don’t have to see to know. Its implicit dare provokes us: Can we overcome uncertainty, exorcise doubts, exercise memory, and stir imagination? Blindness—by Big Bang or man’s hand—is designed to test our core and golfing character. Which is why blind holes never get old for me. I didn’t always think this way.

For ages, I recoiled from the thought that golf could play hide and seek with me. Whenever I battled—say Newport’s 5th, the 3rd at Yale, the 8th at Pebble, and the finales at Riviera and Merion—I could feel the resentment and disdain bubbling up before I even reached the tee. By second visits, I knew what lay over the hill—the tectonic plates hadn’t rebelled that much since the last time I dropped by—but I still launched my shots apprehensively, as if sailing with dread toward the ends of the earth. I had yet to train my mind’s eye. I hadn’t embraced the mystery.

Or the cunning.

Great Blind Holes – Do you Love them or Hate them?

Growing up in the game at Aberdovey in Wales, Bernard Darwin revealed in the puzzle of its 3rd hole, called Cader.

A par three requiring a tee shot over a massive dune that Bernardo deemed “immortal and immutable” and “as good a specimen of the blind short hole as is to be found.”

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

A view from behind the green on the 173 yards, par 3, 3rd hole at The Aberdovey Golf Club on September 17, 2010, in Aberdovey, Gwynedd, Wales. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

At least part of what Darwin considered “the art of golf” consisted of “hitting a ball over a sandhill and then running up to the top to see what happened on the other side.”

Because the thrill and fear at the heart of a blind shot is a visceral one. Dive into the psychological miasma we collectively share and we bump into its antecedent in all those regaling games of peek-aboo we began mastering in our cribs. In one instant, the universe
beyond us vanished before thankfully reappearing in the next. How we would laugh, but we were learning, too: Just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. It fostered our internal bearings and taught us to trust what was beyond ourselves.

For generations, golfers accepted that as they navigated through the Himalayas and Alps at Prestwick, the Sahara and Maiden at Royal St. George’s, the Klondyke and Dell at Lahinch, and, of course, the Road Hole, with its tee shot over the railway sheds on the Old Course at St. Andrews. But with golf’s migration to the New World, the game—and course design—would change. American golf didn’t have dunes to play over, and we had bulldozers to take care of the rest.

By the mid-20th century, blindness became virtually extinct in design and remained that way for the balance of the millennium.

Part of it had to do with liability issues, part with the alien concept Americans asked of an inherently capricious game: fairness. With our inbred sense of manifest destiny, we Yanks preferred the tour from tee to green as open as the prairies. Transparency, as we saw it, delivered justice, not bad bounces.

But at a price.

“For a long time, and to the detriment of golf course architecture,” explains Gil Hanse, “there
was a correlation between design and fairness, and both architects and golfers associated blind holes with being unfair and quirky. There was a loss of character in design because of that.”

Not surprisingly, Pete Dye broke ranks on that. “I used to hate blind holes,” he once told me. “Then I played all these golf courses in Scotland where it was fun to go over the hill
and see where you went.” Peek-a-boo. “But over here it was different. It was like fighting City Hall.”

By late 2000, when Bobby Weed, an early Dye-sciple, was finishing the Golf Course at Glen Mills, a public track on an expanse owned by a reform school a few miles from where I live near Philadelphia, a new wave of architects—including himself, Hanse, Tom Doak, and the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw—had returned to the past to chart golf’s future and blindness was back in the architect’s vocabulary. Weed wasted no time with it at Glen
Mills. The opening tee shot is blind.

“I know it creates a little apprehension,” he says, “but that’s fine. It brings a level of mystique and intrigue to an otherwise straightforward golf hole.”

And? “It’s only blind once.”

Which is precisely what Tommy Armour explained to Dye himself decades ago, that a hole is only blind to a golfer with no memory, or without the wherewithal to climb the hill and
see what awaits.

That’s what I’d failed to accept the first time I played Glen Mills hundreds of rounds ago, but, in time—and it took time—I came to look forward. Literally. And figuratively.

“I never want my courses to unleash all their secrets in one or two rounds,” says Weed.”There’s only one way to crack the nut, and that’s to come back.” Which we do.

Indeed, the more I have come back, the more I accept Weed’s corollary: “Good shots on those holes create pleasure.” And the more comfortable I’ve gotten with them, the more I’ve learned to accept their other gift. “Blindness,” Weed continues, “sharpens intuition.”

With intuition comes insight, and with insight comes freedom.

“If you can’t see the target,” Weed asks, “what do you concentrate on? Trust…trusting your swing.”

And what better light in golf is there to see?

Source : Jeff Silverman   LINKS Magazine.

Pictures : LC Lambrecht  Mel Sole

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Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses - But there's a Catch!

Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses – But there’s a Catch!

Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses – But there’s a Catch!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

All golfers have favorite courses to play, and most of us have a bucket list of courses we would like to play.  So here’s the catch. 

I want you to choose the Top 10 Golf Courses you have ever played, BUT, they have to be in the Top 100 Courses in the World.

As both Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine publish top 100 course lists, you can choose from either.  Just click on the links to find out which courses you have played.

Golf Digest List

GOLF Magazine

Here are my Top 10 Courses in the  World that I have played.

1. Ballybunion (Ireland)

Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses - But there's a Catch!

18th at Ballybunion taken from the clubhouse!

2. Augusta National (USA)

Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses - But there's a Catch!

Amen Corner consists of the 11th, 12th, and 13th tee shot!

 

3. Cypress Point. (USA)

Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses - But there's a Catch!

16th at Cypress Point!

4. Royal Country Down (Ireland)

Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses - But there's a Catch!

Royal County Down 18th and the mountains of Mourne in the background.

5. Pebble Beach (USA)

Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses - But there's a Catch!

The tee shot on the 18th at Pebble Beach. Stillwater Bay on the left, OB on the right. Pretty Scary!

6. St. Andrews Old Course (Scotland)

Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses - But there's a Catch!

17th Tee shot at St. Andrews Old over the “Railway Sheds!”

7. Shinnecock (USA)

Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses - But there's a Catch!

Shinnecock Hills 18th Hole.

8. The National Golf Links(USA)

The National Golf Links is on Long Island, NY.

9. Old Head (Ireland)

The par-3, 199yard 16th hole at the Old Head Golf Links near Kinsale, Ireland.

10. Durban Country Club (South Africa)

The 17th at Durban CC has enjoyable memories from my tournament playing days in South Africa.

What are your Top 10 Courses you have played throughout the world?

Let me know.  In a future post, I will list my Top 10 Courses in the USA.

Source: Mel Sole

Pictures: Dan Perry (Augusta)   schnaars (Cypress Point)  David Hilgart n(Shinnecock)  Golfclubatlas.com (Durban CC)  Tiare Scott (St Andrews Swilcan Bridge)  Mel Sole (the rest)

Thanks for reading – Name your favorite Top 10 Golf Courses – But there’s a Catch!

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Is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in need of a Facelift?

Is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in need of a Facelift?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I must admit, when I saw the headline, I had to agree.  The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am has become the same old, same old. 

I skipped my usual schedule of watching golf on a Sunday afternoon and only tuned in at 3.pm to watch the conclusion, although, with Brad Snedeker’s 4 shot victory, even that was a little ho-hum.

Martin Kaufmann of Golf Week seems to have the same opinion.  Here is his take on the tournament.

Is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in need of a Facelift?

Pebble Beach’s 18th Tee!

Pebble Beach has the odd distinction of being perhaps the PGA Tour’s best venue and the site of its worst tournament.

Let’s first consider the course and setting. Pebble Beach arguably – some would say inarguably – is the best stop on the Tour’s regular schedule. What else comes close? Augusta National? Sure. St. Andrews, which is in this year’s major-championship rotation, would get a lot of support. Whistling Straits, the PGA Championship site, might get thrown into the mix. Same, too, for Kapalua and Sea Island. But that’s it. That’s where the conversation ends.

So last week, you had a great course hosting a completely unwatchable golf tournament.

And here’s the thing: Those of us who have been watching Pebble for decades know it’s going to be unwatchable even before we turn on the TV. If ever there were a tournament where viewers should mute their TVs and just look at the pretty pictures, this is it.

We know that CBS is going to give viewers an unhealthy dose of Chris Berman and Kenny G and Craig T. Nelson and Michael Bolton and Chris O’Donnell and Huey Lewis and Ray Romano and more. These guys are like Masters champions – they apparently have lifetime exemptions into the event. Huey Lewis noted Saturday that he’s been playing in the tournament for 25 years. Has he even had a hit in the past quarter century?

And we also know we’ll have plenty of fawning praise for entertainers who probably didn’t get fawning praise even when they were in their primes. At one point Friday, Golf Channel’s Matt Gogel referred to “the great Tom Dreesen” as the comedian was putting. Now, I vaguely recall that Dreesen, who made his bones as a warm-up act for Frank Sinatra, could be mildly amusing in some of his appearances on late-night talk shows. But that was more than 30 years ago.

And poor Phil Parkin had the hapless task of doing on-course interviews, including a FedEx executive on Thursday and a Dallas car dealer on Friday.

Was it a coincidence that FedEx is the Tour’s most prominent corporate sponsor or that the Dallas businessman helps organize the Byron Nelson Championship, which (another coincidence?) has a new sponsor in AT&T, which also sponsors the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Who knows? Perhaps I’m just being cynical.

Is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in need of a Facelift?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Charles Knight/Shutterstock (8325858g)
Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Murray and Huey Lewis
ATandT Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf Tournament, Celebrity Challenge.

So the question is: How to fix this mess? Tournament organizers could start by getting some fresh blood in this event and reminding viewers why they loved the old Crosby Clambake. Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee had a good suggestion when I spoke with him after the first round on Thursday: Bring in some real celebrity firepower such as Hollywood golfers George Clooney or Jack Nicholson.

That would be a good start. I’m sure all of the B-listers and faceless millionaires who show up each year are fine folks, but only their families and friends want to watch them play golf. The Clambake has deteriorated into a glorified corporate outing with a few entertainers mixed in.

This event needs two booster shots of energy and spontaneity.

The nadir of golf broadcasting comes on Saturday, when moving day becomes snoozing day. (Seriously – I napped during the round, then watched it on the DVR later.) It’s all so formulaic. CBS’ Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo sit near the par-3 17th and the celebrities stop by to have their swings analyzed by Peter Kostis. (Did you ever notice how many of these celebrities – O’Donnell, Lucas Black, Josh Duhamel – appear on CBS prime-time shows? Is it odd that we didn’t see any actors who appear on ABC, NBC or other channels? I’m sure that’s just another coincidence.)

I’m not sure how the Clambake got this bad or how to allot blame. If you want to point fingers at the culprit, you probably would need a lot of fingers, aimed at, among others, tournament organizers, AT&T and other sponsors, the Tour, CBS and perhaps a few other entities that I’m forgetting.

Years ago, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am was one of the biggest events of the season. Now, for TV viewers, it’s just a white-hot mess of utter unwatchableness. Can it ever recapture its former glory? Perhaps, with some fairly obvious changes, such as more fresh faces and less corporate backslapping. Will it? Probably not. Sadly, at this stage, I suspect there are too many entrenched interests – the sponsors, the Tour, CBS – that like it just the way it is.

Source: Martin Kaufmann   Golf Week

Pictures: Christina Lauren

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What is going on behind the scenes at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am?

What is going on behind the scenes at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am?

What is going on behind the scenes at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

To celebrate the 30th year of this iconic event, AT&T is going to give four golf fans an exceptional behind-the-scenes view of the event.

These four include a wounded military vet, an African-American woman who helps other minority women learn the game, an average guy who quit his day job with ambitions of playing the Tour, and a teenager who golfs to gain confidence and other bashful girls.

What is on this program for this fortunate foursome?  A course historian takes them on a private tour of the famous pebble beach course, they receive a lesson from a top academy, they learn what’s involved in fundraising $120 million for charity. They get to watch the tournament from AT&T’s skybox.

Meet this special foursome and follow their journey.

1. Tiffany Fitzgerald

2. Dan McLaughlin

3. Tim Lang

4. Katie Horsford

Source: AT&T

Picture: Secret in the Dirt

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Is it worth the money to play Pebble Beach Golf Links?

Is it worth the money to play Pebble Beach Golf Links?

Is it worth the money to play Pebble Beach Golf Links?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Not everyone can afford to play the renowned Pebble Beach, but if you get the opportunity, grab it!

 

Is it worth the money to play Pebble Beach Golf Links?

An incredible thrill if you get to play Pebble Beach. Here is the 18th.

I am lucky enough to be hosting three Amateurs for the 2015 Mizuno ProAm in the third week of February, following the AT&T Pebble Beach National ProAm. We get to play Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay, and Spyglass Hill. Of the 3 courses, I love playing Spy Glass Hill, rated one of the world’s most challenging courses from the Championship tees.

The scenery is spectacular… much more exciting to witness it ‘live,’ rather than on TV. Pebble Beach Golf Links hugs the USA’s rugged west coast and features wide-open views of Carmel Bay, plus it opens to the Pacific Ocean on the south side of the Monterey Penninsula. Easy to see why it is regarded as one of the most beautiful courses in the world.

Green fees are also regarded as among the highest globally, currently just over $500USD with cart.

But if you are going to go to Pebble Beach, you might as well play Spanish Bay.

 

Is it worth the money to play Pebble Beach Golf Links?

Links at Spanish Bay is a pleasure to play.

and Spyglass Hill as well.

Is it worth the money to play Pebble Beach Golf Links?

Spyglass Hill is one of the most challenging courses in the area.

But, yes, I feel it is worth putting aside some spending money for this incredible experience!

Source: Mel Sole

Pictures: Dan Perry  Gary Denham   Phil Denton

Read up on the colorful history of Pebble Beach and view spectacular pictures . . . . .CLICK HERE.

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