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PGA Tour: WGC:Cadillac Championship / Puerto Rico Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 04 Mar 2015, 2:47 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Congratulations to Padraig Harrington.
What a way to liven up an otherwise boring Monday. And what a bizarre final round - can't think of anything more extraordinary since Paul Lawrie's Open Championship.
We'll hear about Poulter failing to close out a tournament and Casey's driver and putter going cold, but Patrick Reed put a dent in his cocky/brash young-gun image by foozling his chances just as surely, but less spectacularly, as Poults. Interesting to see how Top Five does next time he's in contention. Maybe as soon as this week.
Padraig has this week off before he honours a string of sponsors' exemptions that he now doesn't need, but will show his gratitude by playing the tournaments anyway. What a guy!

2).We see Harrington most years at The Travelers, in Hartford, and whether he's playing well or playing poorly he's always among the most popular golfers in the field, guaranteed a following whether he's grouped with "A" rated players or the proverbial Joe Blow from Windy City. The affection for him is genuine, and it appears his appreciation is heartfelt also. And now, at last, he has a performance to match his popularity.

3).No Harrington in this week's field at Doral, but Ireland will be represented by Shane Lowry. It's Lowry's first look at Doral so an Irish double might be asking for too much, but the Shane of San Diego and Pebble Beach can certainly win on Tour.

4).A couple of Ryder Cup thoughts before going back down the Interstate to Miami.
Lots made about Couples not getting a captaincy chance, but Jaime Diaz's article in GolfWorld contains some interesting observations from Fred's Vice Captain act at Medinah:
~Attendance and input all week at "Captain's Meetings" was "erratic".
~For too long he was "inaccessible" when needed on the course, "not reachable by walkie-talkie or cell-phone", and was therefore not available to "soothe nerves" on the course when Love was handling Sunday singles first tee duties.
~And his texting Furyk to tell him he wasn't a Captain's Choice for his 2013 President's Cup Team instead of calling him or speaking to him directly was thought to count against him.
Fred being Fred.

5).Another snippet from the Ryder Cup Task Force small print was the news that Love, Mickelson and Woods are to be the players on a 6-man "PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee" charged with selecting Vice Captains, future Captains "and other duties". Lunatics hired to run the asylum. Only surprise is that Rickie Fowler is not on the Committee.

6).No surprise here, but Davis Love has also been named a Vice Captain (alongside Couples of course) of Jay Haas's Presidents Cup Team in Korea; Tony Johnstone & McNulty assisting Nick Price for the Internationals.Surely there'll be some sort of Korean presence?
EDIT: Apparently KJ Choi is also a VC; didn't see that in the original report.

7).Terrific news about the revival of the "British Masters" tournament  at Woburn this October. Thanks Poults, and looking forward to seeing where Donald, Rose and Westwood take the tournament through 2019.

8).Hopefully this will be part of new initiatives by the European Tour, perhaps learning something at last from the genius that is Tim Finchem's management of the PGA Tour. His latest coup is getting Dell Computers (they of the utterly useless technical and customer service agents) to sponsor the WGC:MatchPlay, in Austin, Texas, starting March 2016.
Finchem manages tournament scheduling as if he's finding pieces for a giant jigsaw that embraces a decade or two, witness his recent long-term sponsorship agreements with Waste Management and Charles Schwab (for the Seniors).

9).Last year's Cadillac tournament was marred by high winds on a course that wasn't built for them. Or was it?
Anyway, hundreds of waterballs ensued, no windmills necessary when water hazards are everywhere.
As Rob Bolton describes his fantasy team strategy for the new, unfortunately not improved, Doral: Choose "brutes (he chose Rory, Bubba, Dustin and Reed) in a big-boy field on a big-boy course".
I'd be very surprised if Bubba and DJ were not in Sunday's shake up. At least the winds will be fresh and not gale-force, and the weather looks fine for Rounds 1 and 2, possible rain on Saturday and Sunday.

10).Finally, a truly horrendous field takes their clubs to Puerto Rico for their Open. The top sixty-odd players are competitive enough, buttressed as the field is by some European Tour players. But holding an "opposite field" event on the same week as a web.com tournament is just plain daft, especially as the Champions Tour has the week off.
I wonder whether they'd be better off choosing the field from all three U.S. Tours and taking the top 44 from each?
Still, this week represents a great opportunity for a win and just the same 2-year exemption as Padraig Harrington earned for last week's miracle.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Wed 11 Mar 2015, 1:10 am; edited 3 times in total

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Post by LadyPutt Fri 13 Mar 2015, 11:24 am

super_realist wrote:Did you look into Lundin LP?
Yes - but as men and women don't play together (the ladies play at the 9-hole Lundin Ladies and I prefer mixed golf) it's a non-starter. Also their £880 entry fee is prohibitive. There are plenty of other courses for us to look at once we've moved. We won't be making a hasty decision.
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Post by raycastleunited Fri 13 Mar 2015, 12:03 pm

Leven next door is nice too, and a great finishing hole. I preferred it to Lundin.

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Post by raycastleunited Fri 13 Mar 2015, 12:06 pm

BlueCoverman wrote:It's not somewhere I've played a huge amount kwini but yes it is lovely and very pretty. Not the longest course in the world by any means, but accuracy is essential as unforgiving gorse and heather awaits anything that is a little wayward.

Like most of the Suffolk courses it is sandy based and so drains really quickly. There are some gems in that part of the world there is no doubt, along with Woodbridge favourites of mine are Purdis Heath, Thorpeness and Aldeburgh to name just a few. Not forgetting my own second club Felixstowe Ferry, which has just been voted one of the top three Links courses in East Anglia the other two being Hunstanton and Royal West Norfolk.

I drove past Thetford last year and popped in. Looked lovely - heathland feel with holes running through the forest.

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Post by raycastleunited Fri 13 Mar 2015, 12:19 pm

Davie wrote:Ray - I've been at Sand Martins in Wokingham for the last six years

This is a perfect illustration of how we get a tough deal in the south! I've never played there, and I'm sure it's a nice place, but it is probably no more than an "average" course compared to the competition in the area from the Berkshire, Bearwood Lakes etc.

Had a look on the website - the links 9 looks interesting Davie.

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Post by LadyPutt Fri 13 Mar 2015, 12:45 pm

raycastleunited wrote:Leven next door is nice too, and a great finishing hole. I preferred it to Lundin.
I've looked at the websites of Leven Thistle and Leven GS - possibilities certainly. Being links courses they will probably be reasonably flat (for someone like me with dodgy knees and hips) and playable all year round (snow, rain and wind permitting). I think we're going to have fun trying them all out first!
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Post by McLaren Fri 13 Mar 2015, 12:55 pm

Ladyputt

There is always the Braids.  (easily accessible by bus to boot  Wink )


Have you decided which town you will move to, or does it depend on what club you decide to join?
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Post by Davie Fri 13 Mar 2015, 12:58 pm

raycastleunited wrote:
Davie wrote:Ray - I've been at Sand Martins in Wokingham for the last six years

This is a perfect illustration of how we get a tough deal in the south! I've never played there, and I'm sure it's a nice place, but it is probably no more than an "average" course compared to the competition in the area from the Berkshire, Bearwood Lakes etc.

Had a look on the website - the links 9 looks interesting Davie.

It's certainly only "average" in terms of prestige when compared to the likes of Berkshire, Swinley and even Bearwood .. though I've said it before on here Bearwood is vastly overrated IMO and nowhere near the money it costs. Unfortunately we lose some of our better juniors to Bearwood as it has the length that Sand Martins can't offer them (plus good juniors get very cheap rates at Bearwood)

I know I'm a little biased but I think we are a little more than "average" compared to non-prestige courses though - we are just around the corner from East Berks, and other non-prestige courses in the area include Wokefield, Pine Ridge, Blue Mountain, The Downshire, Windlesham, Hartley Whitney etc .. and in my biased opinion we are head and shoulders above them. The only other comparable courses in the near vicinity I can think of are Camberley Heath and Calcott Park

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Post by LadyPutt Fri 13 Mar 2015, 1:05 pm

McLaren wrote:Ladyputt

There is always the Braids.  (easily accessible by bus to boot  Wink )


Have you decided which town you will move to, or does it depend on what club you decide to join?
We're considering around the Leven area and have been to Balbirnie Park, which has a lovely clubhouse and the senior men and ladies play together which is great for LordPutt and me, but someone said it was very wet in the winter - and I think it's a bit hilly, too. As I said, options are very much open but it is unfortunately down to money in the end.
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Post by McLaren Fri 13 Mar 2015, 1:18 pm

If you are near Leven, be sure to head up the road and check out Anstruther fish bar. There is also a little 9 holer on the cliffs edge.


I notice that Balbrinie Park is in Glenrothes, and would have to strongly advise against living there. Others may know better, but from what I have seen Glenrothes would be a grim place to live.
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Post by raycastleunited Fri 13 Mar 2015, 3:17 pm

Yes Leven is very flat, ideal for you, but Lundin climbs up out of the linksland for a few holes on the back 9.

Lovely fish and chips at Anstruther! And the 9 holer there has a truly terrifying par 3 of 240 yards right along the cliffs where you need to hit the ball out to sea and let the breeze bring it back.

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Post by super_realist Mon 16 Mar 2015, 8:23 am

LadyPutt wrote:
McLaren wrote:Ladyputt

There is always the Braids.  (easily accessible by bus to boot  Wink )


Have you decided which town you will move to, or does it depend on what club you decide to join?
We're considering around the Leven area and have been to Balbirnie Park, which has a lovely clubhouse and the senior men and ladies play together which is great for LordPutt and me, but someone said it was very wet in the winter - and I think it's a bit hilly, too. As I said, options are very much open but it is unfortunately down to money in the end.

If I was moving to that area LP, i'd recommend the East Neuk (Elie, Cellardyke, Anstruther, Crail, Pittenween) as a really lovely part. Kingsbarns, Elie, Leven, Lundin, Crail, Aberdour, Thornton, Burntisland all within very easy reach.
Balbirnie/Thornton/Balwearie/Pitfirrane are all terrible in winter.

Crail is extremely good value for money. 2 courses for about £400 a year, beautiful clubhouse too.


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Post by LadyPutt Mon 16 Mar 2015, 11:27 am

Thanks for all the tips everyone. A great help thumbsup
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Post by super_realist Mon 16 Mar 2015, 11:34 am

LadyPutt wrote:Thanks for all the tips everyone. A great help thumbsup

BY the way LP, Leven is flat, but the condition of the course has deteriorated greatly within the last few years and isn't anywhere near the standard it used to be, two clubs run out of there, so it's pretty busy (though if I was going to join one, it would be Leven GS).
Another issue is that it's a common venue for Fife events, so quite a lot of disruption to availability. One of the best closing holes in golf though.

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Post by raycastleunited Mon 16 Mar 2015, 2:57 pm

There used to be a guy on here who was a member at Crail.

Great 36 holes. The original course is short and quirky but tremendous fun.

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Post by super_realist Mon 16 Mar 2015, 3:05 pm

Used to hate the new one, played it a few months back and really enjoyed it.

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