Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Year in Review – Part Three – The Highlights!

Top Golf Architecture Story

No question the number one story in Golf Architecture is Tiger Woods Golf Design. I think this story represents the culmination of Tiger Woods as a brand. He will be paid more to design courses than anyone else in history without ever showing and any aptitude for the art…unless hitting a ball well counts. Golf continues to get more expensive and more exclusive as a result.

The Course You Hope Never Gets Built

I always wanted to see waterfalls and sand dunes combined and now I may finally get my wish. But wait there’s more…. “The Donald” has already suggested that this yet to be designed course will eventually hold a British Open! Wasn’t the K Club for the Ryder Cup bad enough? Trump claims his mother is distantly Scottish and that is why this is the perfect place for Trump International; all I can say is thank god he has no Canadian heritage. Here’s hoping the environmentalists or bankers kill this before he destroys another patch of prime landscape.

The Article that moved me the most

“For me Golf is at its best when I can feel the ground and the wind and here the swish of the clubhead, when my mind is pliant, ready and open, when I’m in tune with my surroundings. That’s when I have my perfect moments.”

Taken from a paragraph from Lorne Rubenstein’s piece called “On the Edge” printed in Travel + Leisure Golf. The story had a profound effect on me much like James Dodson’s “Final Rounds.” I got me thinking about what was important and what were the moments and places that I enjoyed the most. I enjoyed them a little bit more after reading his elegant prose.

Best Investigative Article

Robert Thompson’s expose of the RCGA was fascinating for what it brought to light, but even more so for the reaction it caused from the RCGA. It came at a time where people were openly questioning the RCGA and Stephen Ross in particular. Some of the quotes were startling and the revelations were often stunning even for me. It certainly stirred up Canadian Golf like no other article has in a long time; funny enough I think this was good for the RCGA because they are trying to become a more transparent organization.

The One I Didn’t Believe

The IPSOS Reid participation survey that the RCGA trotted out to say the game was growing ran flat into the face of an obvious decline in golf in Ontario. With most courses reporting a major decline in rounds this made most people question the results. When 25% of all players play in Ontario and all courses were feeling the pinch, how could they have got the result they did. Unless….the sample was small and represented every region equally which did not give proportional representation…..which created a convenient result.

Consistently the Best Golf Web Site

This will be renamed the Geoff award! I honestly don’t think there is a better source of information on golf. When you add in his sharp wit and terrific research, you get a wonderful dose of what’s going on a daily basis combined with hilarious opinion. Geoff is the USGA’s “inconvenient truth” writing about what ails the game, he is the voice of reason when the ruling bodies have lost their way.

The Confidential Guide to Canadian Golf

No blog is like Robert Thompson’s “Going For the Green” which provides more inside information into the going’s on in Canadian Golf than any other source. I find him funny, maddening, informative, and fearless. You won’t always agree with what he writes, but it certainly never boring to read either.

Best Architectural Quote I read all year

From Geoff Shackelford’s daily quotes: “when he is continually made to feel the birch-rod of the rough with its bunkers for every wayward shot, golf becomes an exercise of caution rather than of courage.” Max Behr

Tomorrow: a look back at the year with my blog

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