General Views of Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

Check this item

General Views of Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

Nothing beats a classic.

That’s the conclusion of Golfweek’s course raters, whose four favorite courses on the 2017-18 PGA Tour schedule rank among the top 18 on the Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses list (those built before 1960). This underscores a schedule in which most of the season’s biggest events will be played on some of the game’s most time-honored designs.

After a dubious flirtation with untested modern designs two of the past three years, the U.S. Golf Association will take the national championship to Shinnecock Hills, about as safe and reliable an old-school test as one could ever find. It would be impossible to start the major-championship season with a better one-two punch than Augusta National (No. 4 on the Classic list) and Shinnecock Hills (No. 3). (They’re bettered only by Pine Valley and Cypress Point, which won’t host any Tour events, major or otherwise, anytime soon.) A British Open at austere, uncompromising Carnoustie all but ensures a memorable major season.

Similarly, adding two Golden Age venues – Ridgewood and Aronimink – to the FedEx Cup Playoffs (along with annual staple East Lake) should add some much-needed flavor to that season-ending competition.

Without question, the most interesting addition to the 2017-18 schedule is Trinity Forest, a Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw collaboration that is the new home of the AT&T Byron Nelson. Our raters seem generally approving of this venue, placing it at No. 20 on our list – not shabby given the quality of the schedule.

There are two other noteworthy additions to the list. The Champion Trace course at Keene Trace in Kentucky is the new home for the event opposite the British Open. The other is France’s Ryder Cup course, Le Golf National’s Albatross, a watery stadium venue created expressly to host the biennial competition.

There are three caveats on this list. Two of the Tour stops – TPC Kuala Lumpur and Chapultepec in Mexico – have not generated enough votes to be ranked here.

A tournament site has not been confirmed for The National in July, but indications are the event will return to TPC Potomac.

Finally, this list includes two courses – Coco Beach CC’s Championship and International – that were scheduled to host the Puerto Rico Open again this season. That tournament is taking a year-long hiatus while the island continues recovery efforts after being hammered by two hurricanes in September. An unofficial charity tournament will be held that week at TPC Dorado Beach to raise relief funds.


No. 15 at Augusta National Golf Club. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

Golfweek’s Best: Tour Courses 2018

Courses ranked by Golfweek raters using multiple criteria that focus on playability, conditions, memorability, walk-in-the-park factors and others. Courses are listed with location, year opened, architect(s) and its Golfweek rating average.

1. Shinnecock Hills Southampton, N.Y. – 1931 – William S. Flynn, Howard C. Toomey – 9.37

U.S. Open: Arguably the top Open venue, though 2004 visit is remembered for runaway green. Let’s hope USGA doesn’t overreach with narrow fairways.

2. Augusta National Augusta, Ga. – 1932 – Bobby Jones, Alister MacKenzie – 9.32

The Masters: No. 1 at ANGC was the toughest opener on Tour in 2017 (+0.462). The slick greens generated the Tour’s highest three-putt percentage (5.76%).

3. Pebble Beach – Pebble Beach, Calif. – 1919 – D. Grant, Jack Neville – 8.90

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: America’s most-iconic resort course – ranked No. 1 by Golfweek’s Best – also is the shortest on the Tour schedule at 6,816 yards.

4. Riviera  Pacific Palisades, Calif. – 1927 – William P. Bell, George C. Thomas, Jr. – 8.13

Genesis Open: Perhaps the most-beloved venue among regular Tour stops. The drivable 10th might be the most confounding hole on Tour.

5. Muirfield Village – Dublin, Ohio -1974 Jack Nicklaus 7.98

The Memorial Tournament: Jack Nicklaus always draws a great field. Tough closing stretch starts at No. 16, the Tour’s toughest par-3 (+0.367) in 2017.

6. Carnoustie (Championship) Carnoustie, Scotland 1839 Old Tom Morris, Allan Robertson, James Braid 7.84

British Open: If 2007 Open is any indication, better start fast; front nine played much easier. No. 18 played the toughest (4.611 average), with GIRs of just 27%.

7. TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium) – Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. – 1981 – Pete Dye – 7.74

The Players: The island-green 17th gets most of the attention, but it’s the par-4 18th that played as the Tour’s toughest closing hole (+0.486) last season.

8. Spyglass Hill Pebble Beach, Calif. – 1966 – Robert Trent Jones Sr. – 7.66

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Sitting in Pebble Beach’s shadow, it’s ranked No. 11 on Golfweek’s Best Resort Courses list and No. 23 on Best Modern.

(Getty Images)

9. Monterey Peninsula (Shore) – Pebble Beach, Calif. – 1961 – Robert Baldock, Jack Neville, Michael Strantz 7.50

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Modern classic (No. 37 on Golfweek’s Best Modern list) from the late Strantz had Tour’s easiest fairways to hit (75%) in ’17.

10. Kapalua (Plantation) – Maui, Hawaii – 1991 – Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw – 7.42

Sentry Tournament of Champions: Tour’s easiest course (-2.625) in ’17, with easiest greens to hit (80.73%). But, oh those views.

11. Ridgewood (Championship) – Paramus, N.J. – 1929 – A.W. Tillinghast – 7.40

The Northern Trust: The FedEx Cup Playoffs start with this 1929 Tillinghast gem, ranked No. 52 on Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses list.

12. Aronimink Newtown Square, Pa. – 1928 – Donald Ross – 7.34

BMW Championship: The third FedEx Playoff stop, a 1928 Donald Ross design, ranked No. 56 on Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses list.

13. Harbour Town Hilton Head, S.C. – 1970 – Pete Dye – 7.30

RBC Heritage: Annual cooling-off stop after Masters. Perhaps that (and small, subtle surfaces) explain Tour’s lowest three-putt percentage (2.03%) in ’17.

14. Quail Hollow Club – Charlotte, N.C. – 1961 – George Cobb, Tom Fazio – 7.28

Wells Fargo Championship: As PGA host in August, it was the Tour’s toughest venue (+2.468), with the toughest greens to hit (54.79%) in ’17.

15. Colonial Fort Worth, Texas – 1935 – John Bredemus, Perry Maxwell – 7.28

Dean & DeLuca Invitational: Marvin Leonard founded Hogan’s Alley, No. 61 on the Golfweek’s Best Classics list, to bring Bentgrass greens to Southwest.

16. East Lake Atlanta, Ga. – 1915 – George Cobb, Rees Jones, Donald Ross – 7.23

Tour Championship: Xander Schauffele won despite outperforming field in strokes gained: approach-the-green by +0.062, worst by a Tour winner in ’17.

17. Corales Punta Cana, D.R. – 2008 – Tom Fazio – 7.15

Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship: Site on island’s east coast ranks No. 7 on Golfweek’s Best Courses of the Caribbean and Mexico.

18. Sea Island (Seaside) St. Simon Island, Ga.2000 Charles H. Alison, Harry S. Colt, Tom Fazio, Joe Lee7.06

The RSM Classic: Final full-field event of calendar year takes place on a classic design refurbished by Fazio in 2000. Ranked No. 23 on Golfweek’s Resort list.

19. The Club at Nine Bridges Jeju Island, South Korea2001Ron Fream, David Dale6.85

The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges: In its first time on the Tour schedule, it produced a memorable playoff finish, with Justin Thomas getting his sixth win of 2017.

20. Trinity Forest Dallas2016Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw6.84

AT&T Byron Nelson: New Coore-Crenshaw design joins the Tour schedule, presenting players an homage to classics of the Northeast and Great Britain.

21. The Greenbrier (Old White TPC) White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. 2015 Lester George, Charles Blair MacDonald, Seth Raynor 6.84

Greenbrier Classic: After remarkable post-flood recovery, it produced the year’s best strokes gained: approach-the-green performance (Kelly Kraft, +2.718).

22. Bellerive St. Louis 1960Robert Trent Jones Sr.6.83

PGA Championship: 100th PGA, the club’s third major and first since 1992, comes to course known as the “Green Monster of Ladue” when opened in 1960.

(Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

23. Torrey Pines (South) La Jolla, Calif.1957William F. Bell6.79

Farmers Insurance Open: This William F. Bell design, renovated by Rees Jones in 2001, is the highest-rated municipal course on Tour’s regular schedule.

24. Sedgefield – Greensboro, N.C. – 1929Donald Ross6.61

Wyndham Championship: Oldest regular-season Tour stop. Last season, Sedgefield’s Ross Course produced highest “Going for It” percentage (86.37%).

25. Bay Hill Club Orlando, Fla. 1961Arnold Palmer, Dick Wilson6.60

Arnold Palmer Invitational: You had better hit it straight at The King’s place. Last season it was toughest Tour course to make birdie or better from the rough.

26. Mayakoba (El Camaleon) Maya Riviera, Mexico2006Greg Norman6.60

OHL Classic at Mayakoba: Striking design, through mangroves and canals, has Tour’s easiest greenside bunkers (61.1%) and easiest par 3 (No. 8, -0.312).

27. Firestone (South) Akron, Ohio1929Robert Trent Jones Sr., W.H. Way6.59

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: Dubbed “The Monster” by Arnold Palmer, it was home to the Tour’s longest hole – the 667-yard 16th – last season.

28. PGA West (Stadium Course) La Quinta, Calif.1986Pete Dye6.53

CareerBuilder Challenge: Ranked No. 51 on Golfweek’s Resort list, this is Pete Dye’s Sawgrass West, with island-green 17th and water lining left side of 18.

29. La Quinta CC La Quinta, Calif.1959 Lawrence Hughes 6.5

CareerBuilder Challenge: La Quinta is back for a 53rd season. Was easiest course in ’17 for scrambling (68.9%); Adam Hadwin torched it in third-round 59.

30. Sheshan International Shanghai, China2004Robin Nelson, Neil Haworth6.48

WGC-HSBC Champions: Justin Rose shot back-nine 31 to rally from eight back Sunday for victory at Sheshan, home to the Tour’s toughest par 5 (No. 8, +0.173).

31. Austin CC Austin, Texas1983Pete Dye6.39

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: This club dates to 1899, though it relocated to its current site, north of downtown, in the mid-1980s.

32. Innisbrook (Copperhead) Tarpon Springs, Fla.1974Edward Packard, Lawrence Packard6.38

Valspar Championship: The rolling topography and pine tree-lined fairways are unusual for Florida, and it has become a sleeper favorite of Tour players.

33. Montreux G&CC Reno, Nev.1997Jack Nicklaus6.32

Barracuda Championship: This opposite-field event, on a layout 5,500 feet above sea level, is the only Tour event that uses Modified Stableford scoring.

(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

34. PGA National (Champion) Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.1981Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus6.30

The Honda Classic: Redesigned by Nicklaus in 2014, course is known for imposing back-nine par 3s; ShotLink data indicates it is the easiest on Tour to putt. Beware of the alligators. 

35. TPC River Highlands Cromwell, Conn.1991Bobby Weed6.28

Travelers Championship: Date right after U.S. Open might not seem ideal, but it produced memorable finish with Jordan Spieth’s hole-out victory in playoff.

36. Glen Abbey – Oakville, Ontario, Canada1976Jack Nicklaus6.28

RBC Canadian Open: The national championship returns to Glen Abbey for the 30th time in 2018, though there’s talk the course is headed for redevelopment.

37. Le Golf National (Albatross) Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France1990 Robert von Hagge, Hubert Chesneau, Pierre Thevenin6.27

Ryder Cup: Built nearly 30 years ago by the French Golf Federation to host a Ryder Cup, it finally will get the chance to do that.

38. TPC Boston Norton, Mass.2002Gil Hanse, Arnold Palmer6.26

Dell Technologies Championship: Justin Thomas effectively wrapped up Player of the Year honors with his fifth victory of the season here.

39. Country Club of Jackson Jackson, Miss.1963John Fought, Dick Wilson6.23

Sanderson Farms Championship: Opposite-field events are opportunities for players such as Ryan Armour, who earned first Tour win here last season.

40. TPC Scottsdale (Stadium) Scottsdale, Ariz.1987Jay Morrish, Tom Weiskopf6.21

Waste Management Phoenix Open: Amid rowdy atmosphere, Graham DeLaet posted 2017’s best strokes gained: off-the-tee (+3.313) in first round.

41. Torrey Pines (North) La Jolla, Calif.1957William F. Bell, Tom Weiskopf6.19

Farmers Insurance Open: In 2016 renovation, Weiskopf flipped nines to put the most scenic holes on the back side, and widened fairways and greens.

42. TPC Deere Run Silvis, Ill.2000D. A.  Weibring6.12

John Deere Classic: Bryson DeChambeau used strong iron play – he hit 17 of 18 greens in the final round – to capture his first Tour victory in ’17.

43. TPC Potomac* Potomac, Md.2009Jim Hardy, Steve Wenzloff6.07

The National: Kyle Stanley won despite losing strokes to field on the greens. (Note: Tour has not confirmed event will return to TPC Potomac.)

Steven Bowditch lines up a putt on the 18th hole at TPC San Antonio during the second round of the Valero Texas Open.

(Associated Press)

44. TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks) San Antonio, Texas2010Greg Norman6.06

Valero Texas Open: Cameron Smith posted the season’s best strokes gained: around-the-greens performance (+2.640 per round) last season.

45. TPC Summerlin Las Vegas1992Bobby Weed6.01

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open: The drivable 15th, 320 yards, was the easiest par 4 on Tour (-0.407) last season.

46. TPC Southwind Memphis, Tenn.1988Ron Prichard6.00

FedEx St. Jude Classic: Little wonder explosive player such as Daniel Berger went back to back here; 87 hole-outs last season were most on Tour.

47. Waialae CC Honolulu, Hawaii1925Seth Raynor5.96

Sony Open: Justin Thomas made a statement with an opening-round 59 on a course with the easiest hole on Tour, the par-5 ninth (-0.786).

48. Silverado Resort (North) Napa, Calif. 1957 Robert Trent Jones Sr., Johnny Miller 5.94

Safeway Open: Brendan Steele won back-to-back titles on a course redesigned by host Miller, a part owner of the resort.

49. TPC Louisiana Avondale, La.2004 Pete Dye5.93

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: This tournament differentiated itself by switching to two-man teams playing alternate-shot and best-ball formats.

50. Coco Beach CC (Championship) Rio Grande, Puerto Rico2007 Tom Kite5.92

Puerto Rico Open: 2017 winner D.A. Points led the field in driving accuracy and GIR, including hitting 40 consecutive greens.

51. PGA West (Nicklaus Resort) La Quinta, Calif.1987Jack Nicklaus5.91

CareerBuilder Challenge: Known for its two island greens, the “Nick Tourney” has been a regular Tour Q-School host over the years.

52. Sea Island (Plantation) St. Simon Island, Ga.1928Walter J. Travis, Dick Wilson5.76

The RSM Classic: Local resident Davis Love III will oversee a 10-month renovation of the Plantation starting in December 2018.

53. Coco Beach CC (International) Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 2008Tom Kite5.57

Puerto Rico Open: Following two hurricanes, Coco Beach CC is open, but the tournament will take a one-year hiatus.

54. GC of Houston (Tournament) Humble, Texas – 2005Rees Jones5.50

Houston Open: Will host again despite hurricane damage. Russell Henley won here with season’s second-best strokes gained: total (+4.924 per round).

55. Keene Trace (Champion Trace) Nicholasville, Ky.1987Keith Foster & Drew Rogers5.43

Barbasol Championship: This course is new to the Tour, but not to tournament play; it has hosted major collegiate and statewide championships

Other 2018 Tour courses not yet rated

TPC Kuala Lumpur (East) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia1991Robin Nelson & Rodney Wright

CIMB Classic: Produced back-to-back champions in 2014-15 (Ryan Moore) and 2016-17 (Justin Thomas).

Chapultepec GC Mexico City1921Alex & Willie Smith

WGC-Mexico Championship: Caution on the slopes: Chapultepec was the toughest to putt inside five feet (94.5%) and from 5-10 feet (52.4%).

*Course for The National, June 28-July 1, has not been officially announced, but TPC Potomac is expected to remain host site.

(Note: This story appears in the January 2018 issue of Golfweek.)

[Read More …]

Spiderman plays golf, a gator wrapped in a snake & Spieth’s 91-footer

Check this out

Spiderman plays golf, a gator wrapped in a snake & Spieth
SUBSCRIBE to PGA TOUR now: http://pgat.us/vBxcZSh

Did you know Spiderman plays golf?! PGA TOUR host Teryn Schaefer recaps the Good, Bad & Unusual from this week in golf, where Jordan Spieth made the longest putt of his career at the Sony Open, a fan captured a snake wrapped around a gator on a golf course and Spiderman showed us his golf skills.

Welcome to the official YouTube channel of the PGA TOUR.
Here you can find everything you need to stay up to date with the world’s foremost golf tour. Check in for highlights from every tournament plus player interviews, player profiles, tournament previews, swing analysis and all the greatest shots and amazing moments. Teryn Schaefer presents the best social media posts from around the world of golf in ‘Good, Bad & Unusual’ and after each day’s play brings you the biggest talking points in ‘The Takeaway’.

Check out https://www.pgatour.com for complete coverage along with all the latest news, scoring, and stats!

Follow PGA TOUR online:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/pgatour/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PGATour
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PGATOUR
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/pgatour

Sign up for exclusive coverage – http://www.pgatourlive.com
PGA TOUR Superstore – http://www.pgatoursuperstore.com/
[Read More …]

PhilTiger

This is cool

PhilTiger

If Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal can still win majors, why can’t Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson?

Practically ancient in the world of tennis, legends Federer and Nadal reasserted themselves in 2017. And that’s a sport where no one is supposed to win majors in their thirties.

With both Woods and Mickelson seemingly healthy, 2018 will tell us if modern science, coupled with status and experience, will present us with fortysomethings battling twentysomethings for major glory.

Golf has typically honored late-career runs by those of a certain vintage, but not since Hale Irwin at Medinah in 1990 have we seen a genuinely resurgent late-career win. That suggests the golf gods have decreed this is a young man’s (and young woman’s) game. Yet watching Woods lash away in December’s Hero World Challenge with speed, torque and a carefree aggressiveness we haven’t seen from him in years, there is an inclination to think time hasn’t completely run out on the 42-year-old who ushered in today’s power-friendly playing style.

Coming off a fourth back surgery in April, the last a vertebrae fusion, Woods finished T-9 in the 18-man Hero World field. The swing and swagger appeared back. There didn’t seem to be anything the Big Cat couldn’t do.

“I’m excited the way this week has gone,” Woods said afterward. “I’m excited with not only the competitive rounds but also all the functions at night. I still got my training in. It was a very good week.”

What about Mickelson, the shockingly flexible 47-year-old who is still one of the top three players from 100 yards and in? He seems unfazed by psoriatic arthritis and a pair of hernia surgeries. Who’s to say Lefty can’t ride the momentum of a Presidents Cup 3-0-1 week to right a ship that was understandably disabled by some pretty big distractions? Say, FBI agents showing up at your place of work.

Before the 2017 Masters, Mickelson indicated he believes age is but a number.

“I don’t think much about age right now,” he said. “I think that guys’ careers are being extended a lot longer because of the way fitness has taken over. And it’s not like I’m a pillar of fitness, but I spend a decent enough time to be able to physically perform and practice and play the way I’d like to play.”

Young gun and reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year Justin Thomas made it clear. It would be foolish to count out Woods or Mickelson.

“The golf ball doesn’t know how old you are,” said Thomas, 24. “There’s no reason that because you’re a certain age or you’re this or that, it doesn’t mean you can’t do something.”

As with tennis in the 1990s, golf has shifted to an era where power has consistently prevailed over finesse and extreme accuracy. The days of old guys using smarts and experience could be lost to the Trackman-infused, technology-supported aggressiveness that Thomas and most other young players employ. But then Jordan Spieth comes along and spoils the argument with his savvy strategy, great iron play and brilliant short game to hang around some weeks, while completely dominating others.

If all goes well in 2018, these contrasting approaches will deliver us generational crossroads.

Thomas rightly believes Augusta National is the most likely spot for Tiger and Phil to surface atop a major championship leaderboard. The Masters has provided many instances of old sages chasing down the youngsters – Hogan and Nicklaus to name two. Nicklaus’ 1986 championship was one for the ages. Then there was the 58-year-old Golden Bear with a stunning final-round charge in 1998. A 53-year-old Hogan made waves in 1966. The precedent has been set.

“There’s a reason that Freddie [Couples] played well there for so long and Bernhard Langer and Larry Mize have had great rounds there the last couple years,” Thomas said. “It’s just such an advantage in knowing the course; the more you play it, it really just makes a world of difference.”

In Thomas’ developmental years on the PGA Tour prior to his breakout 2017 Player of the Year season, he often argued with his golf professional father about the role of experience. Maybe a bit caught up in the youth-superiority hype, Thomas was often surprised to see how old-fashioned experience could make up for talent deficiencies.

“The thing is, all these veterans they have so much experience and they know the places so well to where they are always going to be there if they are putting the work in and their game’s good,” he said.

But as Thomas notes, “you just don’t know if the motivation is exactly the same” for some.

We will find out soon enough if Woods and Mickelson are as motivated as Federer and Nadal. For golf history’s sake, let’s hope so. 

(Note: This story appears in the January 2018 issue of Golfweek.)

[Read More …]