Streamsong Red — The Colors of the Wind Part 1

it good

MD Mueller

Don’t be confused by the title of this post because the courses at Streamsong Resort have nothing to do with Pocahontas. But the courses there have colors as names (Blue and Red), and when Mike and I played there recently it was super windy thanks to a cold front coming through. Also, GOTM went to a Disney-themed trivia night at a bar at home and we knew none of the answers other than the one about Colors of the Wind, the main song in Pocahontas. Also also, my sister and girlfriend sang that song using the karaoke system that was at our AirBnB the night after we played. So if you want to listen to that song while you read about how great the Streamsong courses are, here’s the link for listening on youtube. If you watch that music video, Pocahontas and John Smith do go swimming in a stream at one point, so that’s also a Streamsong.

At first I planned to review both the Red and Blue courses in one article, but I had too much to say and too many cell phone quality pictures to share, so I ended up breaking them into two posts. If you’re looking for part 2 of the review, meaning of Streamsong’s Blue course, check out the review here.

With that being said, here we go with Streamsong Red!


It’s incredibly modernly classic, and totally worth paying and playing. If you don’t want to read this awesome but very long article, that’s cool, but the pics are worth it and provide a good summary.

The Beginning

The day after I played 36 holes out at World Woods, MD Mueller flew down to Florida and and we drove an hour from our AirBnB on some highways, some back roads, and a somewhat long tiny road where the speed limit is 20 mph, and made it to the courses at Streamsong Resort.

Many modern resort courses, such as Bandon Dunes, Cabot Cliffs, and Sand Valley, require similar drives. All these places are decently far from any big city, and each of them has a large amount of beautiful land on which to build some of the best modern courses in the US – Streamsong included.

Similar to Victoria National in Indiana, Streamsong is built on what used to be a mine, creating plenty of hills and valleys and even lakes. When you walk out the back side of the Red and Blue courses’ pro shop / clubhouse  you see a few holes and the lakes and sand hills from left to right.

There are currently two open courses — the Blue designed by Tom Doak and the Red designed by Coore-Crenshaw. The course routes are close to each other and slightly intertwine. Actually, the sixth hole of each course returns to the clubhouse, allowing golfers the option to play a 12-hole course made up of the first six holes of each Blue and Red. And they even have a scorecard for the 12-hole option!  As of now, the Black course is almost done and will be open for play in the fall of this year.

The Red and Blue clubhouse is absolutely beautiful and looks almost like a modern apartment building. It’s made mostly of glass, is somewhat tall, and includes a restaurant / bar and a pro shop on the inside.

We were able to play 36 of the 37 holes currently open (with the 37th being the bye hole, a par 3 near the clubhouse to help groups that need a playoff hole to settle their bets) right after a cold front came through, leading to highs of mid 70s and super windy conditions with gusts around 25 mph. During the main season for the Florida resort, they have rules about no carts on the courses meaning that we were walking the entire day. This wasn’t an issue for me because apparently I’m in good shape, while Mike was riding the struggle bus at the end.

The first round on either costs about $225, and if you play 36 holes in one day like we did, the replay rate is around $150. Considering how highly ranked these courses are, we found the cost to be expensive but fair. The most expensive courses I remember hearing about are Pebble Beach for around $500, Pinehurst #2 for about $400 (Mike and I get to play there a couple times for free this year after qualifying for the US Four Ball this May), and I think Doral raised its price to about $400 as well for some reason which is dumb since that course isn’t that amazing. I digress.

Before our morning tee time for the Red course, we hit a few balls on the driving range with well-maintained bermuda grass. The range is downhill so you can see where every ball lands. Next to the driving range, we hit a few pitch shots on the very high quality pitching / chipping green  – super large with plenty of flags, which reminded me of Michigan’s practice area from back in college. In case you’re wondering, that’s exactly the type of green that you should look for if you want to get better at chipping and pitch shots.

As for the putting green next to the first tees, there was great grass again which did end up matching all the greens on the course, but for some reason there were no holes, only those wooden sticks they put in the green that have a like a real hole, but really don’t do much for you. After hitting a few putts at these sticks, it was time to head to the first tee.

The Tee Time

Here’s a pic of that first tee shot. See those bunkers? The one on the right is about 400 yards out – talk about depth perception issues. Also see how the entire right side of the landing area is open? I thought that too, so I hit a slice off the first tee to avoid the left side bunker. Turns out one of the few lakes on the course is actually just hidden by the mound to the left of the tee. A cut is still the type of tee shot to hit on the first in case you were wondering, just don’t slice it too much.

Butter cutters, always

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World Woods — Odd name, worth the trip

In general, all Florida courses are the same — they’re flat, have mini lakes everywhere with cattails everywhere, and they have houses on all sides of every hole. World Woods is not like that.

The club is based an hour north of Tampa, meaning that the land is as hilly as a course in North Carolina. There are a few lakes, but definitely not a main part of the course. And luckily, you’re not able to see any houses to the side of any hole (incidentally, they do have stay and play villas, but they’re 6 miles from the courses). Oh, and Tom Fazio knows how to build unique and tournament-esque courses, both of which you’ll find at World Woods.

Despite the name of the club, I was a huge fan of playing out there. Being a single player, I got paired with a father and son in the first round who were really friendly. We were one of the first groups off in the day and we cruised around so quickly, never had to wait, and we never cause the group behind us to wait either. We got along so well that we even decided to flip tee times for the second round of the day so we could play together again. Unlike the first round however, the afternoon round was packed and slow. However, this was not a big deal because the weather was (somewhat) warm, and we were in carts which makes 36 holes super easy.

I’ll admit, I’d never heard of World Woods at all before I got a suggestion to play there from the guy I played with earlier in the week that Palm Beach par 3 course, the first full day in Florida. I hadn’t heard of the club before, and wasn’t exactly sure about the quality considering how unique, and frankly odd, the name of the club is. Which is funny because there’s another famous club in Florida with an odd name, but more on that in a later post.

Now, if you ever talk to someone who’s played the courses there, expect the following quote where the player tries to make it obvious that they’ve played there, and that they know what the designs of the courses are.

Oh yeah, World Woods, I’ve played there before. Really cool courses. One of them is designed like Augusta National, and the other like Pine Valley. I could totally tell that was the case on my own when I was playing the courses, because I know a lot about what those top courses are designed like. And I’m definitely not claiming that because I was told about the comparisons before I played. I figured that out on my own.

This quote is a lie. If anyone ever talks about playing World Woods, the first thing they’re going to say is that Rolling Oaks looks like Augusta National, and Pine Barrens is designed to look semi like Pine Valley. Which means that 1) they’re only saying it to try to seem smart, and 2) make you think that they know course designs better than you. Incidentally, this is also the first thing that I’m writing about the courses here, so I guess I fall into that bucket of “being smart about course design” as well. My bad.

Though these differences are actually the case, Rolling Oaks does look like Augusta National does on TV cause I haven’t actually played there unfortunately. They both have wide and beautiful sloping fairways, wavy greens the way that basically every MacKenzie course is designed like, and bunkers that have the same edges that you’ll see at the Masters. Pine Barrens on the other hand has slightly tighter fairways, surrounded by more pine trees along with smaller greens, and more wide and semi-waste area bunkers, which I assume Pine Valley is like because I’ve never played there either.


  • Two courses
  • both different enough to be distinct
  • slightly far away from main areas in Florida
  • cheap enough to be a great deal compared to other courses in Florida, ~$170 for playing 36 in one day
  • and if you go, plan on playing 36 holes in one day. You get a cheaper replay rate and can bolt afterwards.

Considering I hadn’t heard of World Woods before, and also wasn’t exactly sure when I’d be close enough to that area, I just called them a few days before my round and was given a tee time on both courses within less than a minute of talking to a guy behind the desk. I rolled up early in the morning, went in and paid for the first round. Like I mentioned above, the courses themselves are really cool and in great condition, but damn did that clubhouse look like one at a not-too-expensive municipal course. Or maybe a clubhouse that courses build cheaply while constructing their fancy / giant clubhouse that most courses of this nature have. I’ll take great courses over a great clubhouse however, so I didn’t mind that at all.

I hit some balls, went over to Pine Barrens course before the starter realized they told me I was playing Rolling Oaks for the first round, so I drove over to Rolling Oaks…

Rolling Oaks

… aka Augusta National. We started on the 10th hole and I instantly I agreed that the course very much has a look like Augusta. 10th hole is a long par 5 with giant fairway, which is good for an opening drive, that slopes down and to the right, all the way until you have a 100 yard uphill third shot to a green that has two bunkers on both sides of the front part of the green which make it look very much like the 2nd hole at Augusta National. Check out the green in this instagram post.

I also took a picture from the back of the 10th green that shows what the fairway was looking like from.

Smoothness on smoothness

Not only did the first hole look like something that could be at Augusta, but pretty much every other hole did too. For example, here’s the 15th hole with another bunker and green combo that shouts “you’re not in Florida, you’re at Augusta”.

If you ever play this hole, don’t worry, there’s tons of green behind the bunker so going long is probably better than short and in the bunker.

The signature hole of Rolling Oaks here is frankly a little odd in my opinion. It’s the 8th hole, our second to last of the morning, a downhill par 3 with a mini lake that looks added into the hole for funsies. The rest of the holes looked natural and similar, and this hole green was just thrown in there because why not.

Fake looking lake IGOTMO

Couple notes about the course. None of the bunkers have rakes surrounding them, instead you’ll have a mini rake in your cart that you’re supposed to bring to every bunker shot. Luckily, I only forgot to bring the rake back to my cart once.

The greens on the course are super smooth, look great, but are decently slow. Half of that is based on how slopey the greens are and greens that are too quick would make putting annoying, and I’ll assume the other half of that is Flo-rida based courses with tons of play and people walking all over. Here’s a tip though if you’re on the course: play more break on your putts. The final three feet of basically every putt we hit snapped at the end and we kept missing low. If you know this about the greens, and you make some more putts when you’re playing RO, hit us up on twitter and give us the assist.

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Golf Course Design Identifiers — Pete Dye

Pete Dye is just one of the most distinct modern day architects. It’s possible to play other courses and know who was the designer based course features, but Pete Dye courses are the most simple to recognize.

Recently I was in Florida and played a few courses around there. The second to last course I played was the Pete Dye course at PGA Village. During the Instagram story , I started commenting on what to expect from a Pete Dye course because of the obviousness of his design. In the image I posted after that round (below) I mentioned some of those same things and compared him to Pablo Picasso which is somewhat random.

Because of how easy it is to know you’re playing a Dye course, I figured it would be useful to write down and add some pics of all of the features of a distinct Dye course. Some of the pictures here are mine, and other I found just poking around on the internet. All of them have links back to where I found them, along with who gets credit for the image itself.


  • Wood Planks / Railroad Ties
  • Long fairway bunkers between fairway and hazard
  • Plenty of Mini Bunkers
  • Greenside bunkers with giant lips
  • Double dogleg par 5s
  • Difficult 18th holes

If you have other pics from Dye courses and want them in this post, hit us up on twitter with them, I’ll post them in here if they’re good and link back to your twitter account as well.

Keep in mind here that these things are not the case with every Dye course in existence. Dye’s original courses were different from the most recent ones, and many of the different parts of his courses came about by copying the ideas from designers before him. He has an interesting article here from a book he wrote outlining his design philosophies. One of his first comments about his philosophy is about Radrick Farms course in Ann Arbor, which I played so many times back when I was on Michigan’s team with practice rounds and even a tournament there my freshman year. When I first thought of Dye courses, I knew that Radrick Farms didn’t exactly fit with these current features, and his comment about the course proves that true.

When we began to build our first important course, the one at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, we favored the style of Robert Trent Jones, the leading architect of the time. We copied his technique of building long tees and large bunkers alongside big sloping greens at the university’s Radrick Farms course.

In another quote from that article he discusses his designs of Crooked Stick where he takes greens from UofM’s main course, an Alister McKenzie design, and uses them on Crooked Stick.

So I got a chance to build back in Indianapolis. Nobody else would hire me, so Alice optioned some ground and raised some money, and we started Crooked Stick. So I brought the two greens from the University of Michigan out there to Crooked Stick, that’s the 14th and 15th, that belonged to Mr. McKenzie

Wood Planks / Railroad Ties

Starting with probably the most well known feature on so many Dye courses is him (or his wife) using planks of wood all over his courses.

Starting with the 13th hole at Harbour Town Golf Links, and using a quote from his speech, Dye made a comment about the start of him using boards on the bunkers.

Going behind all this, I was getting a little back, and my bride was there, Alice was there, and I said, Ally, we’re getting behind and this tournament is coming down the line. I said, there’s a good bulldozer operator named T.P., can you take him over to the 13th hole and do something. So she disappears and goes over there, and I came back three or four days later and here the tees are built and the bunkers are built. And she was smarter than I was, she didn’t use those railroad ties, she put cypress boards outside of the bunker.

And here’s an image of that 13th hole at Harbour Town Golf Links, by Golf Course Gurus.

Considering Harbour Town was one of Dye’s first courses back in 1969, him using boards on the course appear everywhere. Very often in bunkers, but also on greens and fairways as well.

Here’s the 11th hole at Whistling Straits, giant bunker in front of the par 5’s green with wood on the face of the bunker. Note the size of that giant greenside bunker, description of that coming later.

How about the third hole at The Golf Club, New Albany, Ohio? Multiple bunkers, and even space between bunkers is guarded by wood planks.

There are plenty more bunkers on basically every course Dye designs, so again, send pics over on Twitter if you have them from your favorite Dye courses.

Long fairway bunkers between fairway and hazard

Another big, common feature about Dye courses, that isn’t seen too often with other designers, are long and thin fairway bunkers that are between the fairway and a water hazard to one side of a hole. The idea of these bunkers, first off, is that they look very pretty. And second, they somewhat act as a both a guard for a ball not going in the water if it’s rolling in the direction away from the fairway, and acts as a penalty if the ball is landing just in safety after flying over the water.

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#GolfRules2019 — What the USGA and R&A are Thinking

Here we are folks! New rules that are suggested by USGA and R&A! A little ago, there was some info on possible changes and we wrote an opinion piece on the rules that were leaked. Now the full information of rules changes for 2019 just came out online and on the Golf Channel, however, when looking through USGA and R&A websites, neither of them had a web page that just straight listed the changes. Each of their sites made you click a bunch, and had odd images along with the words.

So figured, to help everyone out on this Wednesday morning, I’d copy and paste the info for the possible changes so you don’t have to click a lot. If you do want the full info however, go here for the R&A coverage, and look here for the USGA. Otherwise, just quickly read the possible changes that I copied and pasted. Look for opinions from GOTM coming soon as well.

When Things Happen to Your Ball in Play

Ball at Rest Accidentally Moves

  • Accidentally moving your ball while searching for it: There is no longer a penalty.
  • Accidentally moving your ball or ball-marker when it is on the putting green: There is no longer a penalty.
  • New standard for deciding if you caused your ball to move: You will be found to have caused your ball to move only if that is known or virtually certain (that is, it is at least 95% likely that you were the cause).

Replacing a Moved or Lifted Ball

  • New procedure when you don’t know the exact spot where your ball was at rest: You must replace the ball on its estimated original spot (rather than drop the ball at that spot); and if the estimated spot was on, under or against growing, attached or fixed objects (such as grass), you must replace the ball on, under or against those objects.

Ball in Motion Accidentally Deflected

  • Your ball in motion accidentally hits you, your equipment, your caddie, someone attending the flagstick for you or a removed or attended flagstick: There is no longer a penalty (such as when your ball bounces off a bunker face and hits you).


Taking Relief

Dropping a Ball in a Defined Relief Area

  • Relaxed dropping procedure: The only requirement is that you hold the ball above the ground without it touching any growing thing or other natural or artificial object, and let it go so that it falls through the air before coming to rest; to avoid any doubt, it is recommended that the ball be dropped from at least one inch above the ground or any growing thing or object.
  • Defined relief area: The ball needs to be dropped in and played from a single required relief area (whereas today you are required to drop a ball in one area, it can roll away and you need to re-drop if it rolls to any of nine specific places).
  • Fixed measures define the relief area: You use the fixed distance of 20 inches or 80 inches to measure the relief area (no longer using one or two club-lengths); this can readily be measured by using markings on the shaft of a club.

Lost Ball

  • Reduced time for ball search: A ball is lost if not found in three minutes (rather than the current five minutes) after you begin searching for it.

Embedded Ball

  • Relief for embedded ball in the general area: You may take relief if your ball is embedded anywhere (except in sand) in the general area (which is the new term for “through the green”), except where a Local Rule restricts relief to the fairway or similar areas (this reverses the default position in the current Rules).

Ball to Use in Taking Relief

  • Substituting another ball: You may continue to use the original ball or substitute another ball, whenever you take either free relief or penalty relief under a Rule.


Rules for Specific Areas of the Course

Putting Green

  • Putting with flagstick left in the hole: There is no longer a penalty if you play a ball from the putting green and it hits the unattended flagstick in the hole.
  • Repairing damage on the putting green: You may repair almost all damage (including spike marks and animal damage) on the putting green (rather than being limited to repairing only ball-marks or old hole plugs).
  • Touching your line of putt or touching the putting green in pointing out target: There is no longer a penalty if you or your caddie does either of these things, so long as doing so does not improve the conditions affecting your stroke.
  • Replacing your ball if it moves only after you had already marked, lifted and replaced it: Anytime this happens on the putting green, you replace the ball on its spot – even if it was blown by the wind or moved for no clear reason.
  • Your caddie marks and lifts your ball on the putting green: There is no longer a penalty if your caddie does this without your specific authorization to do so.

Penalty Areas

  • Penalty areas expanded beyond water hazards: Red- and yellow-marked “penalty areas” may now cover areas the Committee decides to mark for this purpose (such as deserts, jungles, or lava rock fields), in addition to areas of water.
  • Expanded use of red penalty areas: Committees are given the discretion to mark all penalty areas as red so that lateral relief is always allowed (but they may still mark penalty areas as yellow where they consider it appropriate).
  • Elimination of opposite side relief option: You are no longer allowed to take relief from a red penalty area on the opposite side from where the ball last entered the penalty area (unless a Committee adopts a Local Rule allowing it).
  • Removal of all special restrictions on moving or touching things in a penalty area: There is no longer a penalty if you touch or move loose impediments (such as leaves, stones and sticks) or touch the ground with your hand or your club in a penalty area.


  • Removal of special restrictions on moving loose impediments: There is no longer a penalty if you touch or move loose impediments in a bunker.
  • Relaxed restrictions on touching the sand with your hand or club when your ball is in a bunker: You are now prohibited only from touching the sand (1) with your hand or club to test the condition of the bunker or (2) with your club in the area right behind or in front of the ball, in making a practice swing or in making the backswing for your stroke.
  • New unplayable ball relief option: For two penalty strokes, you may take relief outside the bunker by dropping a ball back on a line from the hole through where your ball was at rest in the bunker.


Equipment You’re Allowed to Use

Damaged Clubs

  • Use of damaged clubs: You may keep using any club that is damaged during the round, no matter how it happens (for example, even if you damaged it in anger).
  • Replacement of damaged clubs: You may not replace a damaged club, unless you were not responsible for causing the damage.

Damaged Ball

  • Substituting another ball for a cut or cracked ball: You may substitute another ball if your ball in play on a hole has become cut or cracked while playing that hole; but you are no longer allowed to change balls solely because the ball has become “out of shape.”

Distance-Measuring Devices

  • DMDs allowed: You may use DMDs to measure distance, except when prohibited by Local Rule (this reverses the default position in the current Rules).


How You Prepare to Make a Stroke

Alignment for a Stroke

  • Expanded restriction on caddie help with alignment: Your caddie is not allowed to stand on a line behind you from the time you begin taking your stance until you have made your stroke.


Promoting Faster Pace of Play

  • Encouraging you to play promptly: It is recommended that you make each stroke in no more than 40 seconds – and usually more quickly than that – once it’s your turn to play.
  • Playing out of turn in stroke play (“ready golf”): This has always been allowed without penalty, and now you are affirmatively encouraged to do so in a safe and responsible way for convenience or to save time.
  • New alternative form of stroke play: The Rules recognize a new “Maximum Score” form of stroke play, where your score for a hole is capped at a maximum (such as double par or triple bogey) set by the Committee, so that you can pick up and move to the next hole when your score will be at or above the maximum.
  • Other changes to help pace of play: The simplified dropping procedure, reduced time for ball search, expansion of penalty areas, greater use of red penalty areas and ability to putt with the flagstick in the hole should all help pace of play as well.


Standards of Conduct and Trusting Players Integrity

Insisting on High Standards of Conduct and Trusting Player Integrity

  • Playing in the spirit of the game: New provisions are added to reinforce the high standards of conduct expected from all players on the course and the Committee’s discretion to disqualify players for serious misconduct.
  • Code of player conduct: Committees are given authority to adopt their own code of player conduct and to set penalties for the breach of standards in that code.
  • Elimination of need to announce intent to lift ball: When you have good reason to lift your ball to identify it, to see if it is cut or cracked or to see if you are entitled to relief (such as to see if the ball is embedded), you are no longer required first to announce to another player or your marker that you intend to do so or to give that person an opportunity to observe the process.
  • Reasonable judgment standard: When you need to estimate or measure a spot, point, line, area or distance under a Rule, your reasonable judgment will not be second-guessed based on later evidence (such as video review) if you did all that could reasonably be expected under the circumstances to estimate or measure accurately.

2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open — #wampo

This week’s PGA Tour event is the Wampo! which is the shorter acronym, and hopefully what the twitter hashtag will be for anyone tweeting about the tournament.

Another interesting note is that if you go to their website, they mention that the two words are either “The Greatest Show on Grass” or “The People’s Open”. But then if you go look at their twitter, they use the hashtag #greenestshow for every tweet (and unfortunately not #wampo yet). So many phrases and words that they want associated with their event.

Here are the links to the GOTM twitter, instagram, and weekly email sign up. Follow them all, press play on the song below, and then read about what to watch for this week.

This week I really wanted to post a song from Run the Jewels new awesome album that was released on Christmas, but pretty sure I can’t exactly post one here since every song on this album has a bunch of swear words. So guess I’m going to go with an old Arcade Fire songs from 2010.

The 16th Hole

If you hit the green, the fans will cheer for you. If you miss the green, the fans will boo. This glorious simplicity allows for maximum cheering because most everyone watching at that hole will be drunk all day!

Currently, the 16th hole looks like this, which is an awesome pic from last year by GOTM correspondent Wyatt when he was at the event. The entire hole is surrounded by so many seats it basically looks like a colosseum, which is also what a bunch of people nicknamed the hole at this point!

Interesting that pretty much every seat there these days are boxes, paid for by sponsors, meaning there are only a few normal seats. So if you have a standard ticket and want to watch the 16th hole, you gotta get there early in the morning and just be prepared to sit there until players come through. And probably drink a lot cause that’s what everyone does all day.



Besides how cool the hole looks now, it’s actually interesting to look back on older versions of the hole to see what it looked like before. The most interesting thing to note is how TPC courses designed by Pete Dye are all built with hills on the side of the holes so every fan who’s at that hole watching would be able to see easily above the person in front of them. TPC Sawgrass is like this, so when you watch the Players Championship in May, you can check out some of the same little hills that everyone can see off of.

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How good are the possible changes to the Rules of Golf?

A couple weeks ago, according to this Golfweek article here, the R&A director of rules talked with European Tour players before their tournament in Abu Dhabi and mentioned the new rules that the R&A and USGA are talking together about changing for 2020. Now we’re not sure if these are exactly the rule changes, or what the specific wording in the rule books would be since the phrases aren’t concrete, but we definitely have enough information here to talk about if we think they should change the rules or not. Note that each of the heading sections of this article are the phrases copied directly from that article, not my words. Here we go!

Who is that? Paula Creamer?

Who is that? Paula Creamer?

Reducing the search time for lost balls from five minutes to three

The easiest way to explain this is by pasting the tweet by Kyle Nathan:

Like, are they trying to change this rule to make rounds quicker? If you’re playing in a tournament and have to look for a golf ball, that two minute difference isn’t going to make the pace of play that much shorter. The pace of play in tournament rounds is long either because people’s attitude change and they take too long before hitting a shot, or because the course is set up way more difficultly than normal and everyone has way harder shots and shoots a bunch a more.

If you’re just playing for fun, don’t spend an entire 5 minutes or more looking for your ball. Look quickly, and if you can’t find it, toss a different one on the ground and keep playing.

Verdict: Dumb

Allowing players to repair spike marks on greens

Ooh here’s an awesome change.  There’s no reason not to allow people to fix any random big bump they find on greens. Those could be new ball marks, ball marks that were crappily fixed by someone who created them, or bumps that came from someone who doesn’t know how to walk correctly.

I remember playing tournaments in the past where everyone in our group would have to look at a giant bump on someone’s putting path and figure out if the person is allowed to fix it. That’s just super annoying, and for the most part, we all just tell the person that they can fix it because who cares where the bump came from. If this rule does get implemented people should be able to fix any of the giant bumps they want to.

This also would help any tournament on Tour since the players mostly use super spiked golf shoes which create a bunch of bumps that the putts of the players with the latest tee times have to roll over. You know how you don’t step in the putting lines that the players in your group are putting through? Probably good odds that someone in the group behind you will putt through where you actually stepped.

That being said, I think there are two issues to consider. First, I can see this as being super annoying to play with people who would spend a ton of time trying to flatten every little bump on the green on the entire path of their putt. Second, imagine someone has a 3ish footer, and they take their putter, and pound the green so hard that you have like a ravine where the ball can’t move out of it on the way to the center of the hole. As long as the rule talks about how light you need to flatten the spike marks, or just how fixing the spike marks is to flatten the green rather than create that ravine, then we’ll be all good. Overall though, good rule change here for sure.

Verdict: Ooh awesome

Allowing players to drop a ball from any height when taking relief rather than the current stipulation of shoulder height

I’m a little confused about this one here, because this change could create a couple problems, and I’m not really sure why they wanted to change this rule. For example, when you’re in a hazard you’re not allowed to have the club touch the ground (which is also an odd rule), but you’re allowed to have the club touch the grass. So you can almost have the club touch the ground. If they change this rule then, and it doesn’t matter how high to drop the ball, would you be able almost have the ball touch the ground before you “drop” it? If that’s the case, than you can get the ball so close that you’re basically putting it on the ground where you want and having great lies no matter what.

I’m guessing this is a possible rule change since shoulder height is different for a bunch of players, and letting you decide how high to drop it from will make that equal for players. Though really, the difference from dropping it like 6 feet compared to 4 feet isn’t too different since the ball’ll be moving fast either time before it hits the ground. Since dropping it really close to the ground can make drops not act like drops, we really gotta wait for more info and description of the change to see if this could be a good idea.

Verdict: Meh

More of an emphasis on using red stakes for water hazards while still allowing yellow stakes in some cases

Excellent, excellent, excellent. Last night, my brother-in-law and I were trying to sit and explain to my mom the differences between the rules of red stakes and yellow stakes (and even red stakes with green tops) since she wasn’t exactly sure, even though she’s been watching golf for 25 years

Quick info here: yellow means you can replay the shot, or drop the ball on the line that the flag and the point where the ball first went into the hazard creates as far back as you want. Red staked hazards are the same, except also you can drop two club lengths in any direction from where the ball entered the hazard, or on the other side of the hazard, just no closer to the hole. If that doesn’t make sense, check out this article which also describes the difference.

This doesn’t seem exactly a rule change, but rather advice for golf course designers or greenskeepers too tell them to just make pretty much all their hazards red instead of yellow. Just make every water hazard have the same rules and be done with it.

There are so many rules in golf that knowing the rules and not messing up when playing in a big tournament is somewhat tough. I’m a big fan of simplifying the rules, and getting rid of the yellow stakes for most hazards is a great idea.

Now that I’ve said that, there still might be the case for allowing some yellow stakes on a course. For example, having red water hazard stakes on the 17th green at TPC Sawgrass would be a little weird, and probably not what I’d want. Like if you hit it in the water over the green, you’d be able to drop it on the green for the most part, assuming you can find a place on the green that isn’t closer to the pin than where it went into the hazard. Same if you had too much spin on the ball, and it landed on the green and spun back into the water. As of right now with the yellow stakes, that means that if you miss the green in the water, you’re dropping in the drop area. Much more standard and easy to know than if it had red stakes. But really, that’s the only case I can think of that means yellow stakes are better. Use red for the rest.

Extending this rule actually makes me want to talk about this other rule I thing they should change to make golf better, but I’ll hold off here and probably write an article about all the rules golf should change to make it better. Look for that next week.

Verdict: Excellent x 3

Eliminating the use of club lengths for taking relief

Hey! I think this rule change is similar to the reason for the possible change of how high you can drop a ball that I talked about above. They want to make it similar for people of different heights, and in this case, similar for people with different lengths of their longest clubs. Time for some math.

Looking at putter lengths here, a long putter can be up to 54 inches if you’re tall (not Bernhard though). So two of those putter lengths for a drop would be 108 inches. Now Jimmy Walker’s driver is currently 42 inches after he made it 3 inches shorter than everyone else’s driver, and two of those lengths for a drop would be 84 inches. The difference is 24 inches meaning two feet! Now that’s a big difference.

So how exactly would this new rule tell players how to figure out how long they can go for their reliefs? Would tell players exactly how long their drops could be? Would players need to walk around with measuring tapes? Maybe just say they have to use their drivers and not putters since drivers are pretty much the same length and a couple inches won’t make that big of a difference.

I’ll admit here, that the first time thinking about this rule change didn’t really seem like a good one. But after the math, and thinking about the difference between longest club lengths from guys on tour, it seems like a reasonable change.

Verdict: Decent

Last comment here overall — all these rules in golf are for tournaments. Remember, if you’re just playing with your friends for fun, you can do whatever you want. Drop balls after hitting it in a hazard wherever you want, look for your crappy shots for as long as you want, drop the ball from as high as you want, from how far away from the hazard as you want, and fix whatever you want on the greens. Play quick, and have fun.

2017 Farmers Insurance Open — Being played at a course Tiger has won 8 times

We’re back! No more tumor in my brain, and starting to feel better from the surgery, so time for more weekly previews. Though the fourth tournament of the year, this southern California event is by far the best full field tournament thus far and is on our first NFL-less weekend since September 2016 (we don’t count preseason or Pro-Bowl). A tournament with a lot to watch for coinciding with our first football-free weekend makes for an extra fun preview. But first, music:


Yes, Tiger Woods is playing. And if you didn’t know that before reading this, then you really need to follow golf more because everyone’s been talking about him playing this week. This is his first tournament in 17 months! So get excited.

It’s really going to be interesting watching him and seeing how he plays. Back a few weeks ago when he played in the Hero World Challenge, Tiger had the most number of birdies, but still finished T15 (30 players total).

Basically he’s like Brett Favre. Brett really was a great quarterback when he played in the NFL, tons of touchdowns, tons of great passes, but anytime he had the lead going into the 4th quarter, all us Packer fans would sit there worried that he was going to mess up, throw an interception, and we’d lose the game because of it. Oh Brett.

Same with Tiger it seems now. He hits a bunch of good shots, makes putts, and had the most number of birdies in the field. But I was so nervous watching every tee shot he was about to hit in that last tournament because it seems like his bad shots are so far away from the fairway and end with the possibility of him trying to avoid doubles and triples. Oh Tiger.
Anyway, I can’t wait to watch Tiger and root for him. He’s won 8 different tournaments at Torrey Pines (7 Farmers Insurance Opens and 1 US Open) so he knows the damn course as well as he can. And for real, it’s going to be great to see him compete again.


Oh yeah, the other thing about Tiger is his new clubs selection! Nike’s decision to get rid of making clubs meant two things. First, they decided to increase the number of clothes they’re going to make with the Nike swoosh, so Tiger, Rory, and now Jason Day will all be wearing that. Second, all the Nike sponsored players need to find a new brand for all their golf clubs! For example, Rory switched over to Callaway equipment a while ago before his injury. Tiger however, hadn’t told people what clubs he was switching to until this (Wednesday) morning! Drumroll please….

TaylorMade!!!!!! What’s interesting is what he claims to have done to determine which club brand to go with. Apparently he tested all different brands for several months and eventually chose TaylorMade because those clubs were “better” for him. But why did he actually choose TaylorMade? Like was it the quality of the their clubs that really made him decide to use those from now on? Or did it also have to do with the amount of money and advertising that they’re going to give to him?

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2017 CareerBuilder Challenge


Just a quick little write-up about the CareerBuilder Challenge as Jack is still on the mend. The old Bob Hope remains a pro-am at heart with celebrities competing alongside the pros this week. We’ll see three (3) not terribly memorable courses over the first three rounds (La Quinta, Nicklaus Something or Other, and TPC Stadium West) that showcase brown rough, green fairways and greens, mountain views, and stupid low scores. Honestly, it would not be at all surprising to see another #59watch or two, even with the “bad weather” that is supposedly in the area. Also, it’s a three-day cut, so get ready for a rare weekend Bowditch sighting and a near double-digit under par cut-line.

Looking through the field and it’s… abysmal. Well, maybe not that bad, but not good by any stretch. Phil Mickelson has committed to play the event at the last minute, having played fewer than a handful of rounds since multiple back surgeries in the off season. Lefty also has duties as Tournament Host to look forward to, so his success outlook is worse than Kenny Pigman’s (a real player in the field and totally not just a made up name). In all reality, Patrick Reed is the best player in the field, and having won here in the past is a definite favorite to win this week. Other potential top finishers this week include Bill Haas, Charlie Hoffman, and David Lingmerth, who have all enjoyed past success in this event.

That’s enough about the CareerBuilder Challenge, whoever wins better be ready to shoot -25 if past results are any indication.

European Tour – Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Jack’s Summary: DJ, Fowler, Euro guys, but no Rory. Much better tournament to watch. Better players.

Mike’s Summary: Jack is correct. Rory’s out with a stress fracture in a rib, but he is still ferocious on Twitter, brutally mauling Brandel Chamblee with this:

The field over in the Middle East this week has a far superior field compared to the CareerBuilder, and it’s good to see a couple top Americans making the trip to compete against the world’s best. I’m still disappointed I didn’t pick Jordan L Smith (who will be eligible for WGC events and majors this year, mark my words) with my final pick in the fantasy draft. He’ll probably take top 5 this week in Abu Dhabi.

PGA Tour Rookie C.T. Pan is on Instagram:

He has cool pictures, and also uses the video of a day to show where he’s traveling. Follow him at @ctpan63

GOTM 2017 Fantasy Golf — The Draft


The 2017 fantasy golf season is upon us and the best part (the draft) has already come and gone. Beginning last year, six GOTM contributors have competed against each other in a year-long total money fantasy game with a single draft prior to the Sony Open. Each contributor selected 25 players via a snake draft. As usual, things got interesting once the upper echelon of PGA Tour players had all been selected. Also not surprising, a healthy Tiger Woods garnered early interest, but can’t believe how long it took to actually be selected.


Below are the draft results for each of the six contestants as well as short recaps about how each of them feel the draft went.


Dustin Johnson
Justin Rose
Jon Rahm
Jim Furyk
Ryan Moore
Gary Woodland
Charl Schwartzel
Charley Hoffman
Daniel Summerhays
James Hahn
Jon Curran
Adam Hadwin
Patton Kizzire
Graham Delaet
Bud Cauley
Aaron Baddeley
Brian Stuard
Seamus Power
Michael Kim
Billy Hurley III
Ricky Barnes
Jonas Blixt
Andrew Loupe
Cameron Smith
Peter Malnati

I (unwillingly) took the first pick in the 2017 draft and had to go with Dustin Johnson.  From there my picks just kept getting better and better.  All joking aside I’m very happy with my 11 rounds and then things got dicey.  It seemed like we ran out of good players to draft earlier than last year.  I’m banking on James Hahn, Adam Hadwin, John Curran continuing to play well and hopefully getting wins in 2017.  I also took a flyer on Bud Cauley who was out on medical last year and Graham Deleat who had a terrible 2016.  I think I finished the draft strong with my last 4 picks (Jonas Blixt, Andrew Loupe, Cameron Smith, Peter Malnati).  2017 will be my year!

Player on my team I’m excited about is Jon Rahm.  I took him arguably way too early (3rd Round) but I’m hoping he plays in a lot of events and I almost positive he will get his first win this year.

Best value: I’m really banking on Graham Delaet have a turnaround from last season because last year he was absolute garbage.  Doesn’t help having the yips but towards the fall he seemed to be on the mend.  Getting him at the 84th pick may be a great call by me… or absolute garbage.

My biggest regret is not a player that I didn’t pick but rather some that I just missed.  I really wanted Ollie Schneiderjahns as I had him last year and he made me a whopping $0.  Now he actually has his card and I think he’ll make some serious cash.  I also missed on Danny Lee and Harold Varner III who I think will have good years and they play in like 30 events.

Best pick on any team: Jon Rahm – He’s better than everyone else at golf.

Worst pick on any team: Xander Schauffele – Probably a good rookie with great potential if he wasn’t a made up German children’s book protagonist.


Hideki Matsuyama
Adam Scott
Rickie Fowler
Zach Johnson
Kevin Kisner
Thomas Pieters
Smylie Kaufman
Danny Lee
Patrick Rodgers
J.J. Spaun
Ollie Schniederjans
Luke Donald
Martin Kaymer
Wesley Bryan
Matt Jones
Victor Dubuisson
Byeong-Hun An
Matthew Fitzpatrick
Andy Sullivan
Bernd Wiesberger
Thongchai Jaidee
Max Homa
Rick Lamb
Joel Dahmen
Kevin Tway

If you look up our article on what’s to watch for in 2017 golf, I said there’s a great chance H-dek would be the best, and if not, second best behind DJ. And since I selected second, and Pat took DJ with the first overall selection, pretty easy for me to pick H-dek here.  I got to keep Byeong-Hun An from last year with my 17th round pick, which seems to be a pretty good deal for someone who’s going to be playing in the majors and WGCs.

Also shoutout to Sara for making my last four picks while I was knocked out getting my temporal surgery done last week (I gave her a list to go off of). Max Homa is a good pick, but besides him… yeesh. I literally have no idea who Joel Dahmen is, so gotta be a big fan of his from now on. Very excited about Dahmen.

Most excited about (my team): Joel Dahmen, for obvious reasons.

Best value pick (my team): Dahmen, Joel. Late rounds = great rounds, baby.

Biggest Regret (my team): J. Dahmen. I should have taken him far earlier.

Best pick (any team): The Dahmster, hard to beat this pick regardless of round.

Worst pick (any team): Joel Dahmen.


Jason Day
Brooks Koepka
Matt Kuchar
Tiger Woods
Emiliano Grillo
Chris Kirk
Kevin Na
Keegan Bradley
Tony Finau
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Danny Willett
Jamie Lovemark
Russ Henley
Pat Perez
Andrew Johnston
Luke List
Hudson Swafford
Grayson Murray
Chez Reavie
Lucas Glover
Anirban Lahiri
Robert Streb
Jason Bohn
Beau Hossler
Robert Garrigus

I know way less about golf and am way worse at golf than the other members of the league. I make up for this knowledge handicap by having irrational confidence in certain players. Even though I got 5th last year I went with a strategy of loading up on players I had last year. Question: If you have a high opinion of a player and he underperforms your expectations in one year then does that mean that, based on the law of averages, said player has to overperform in the following year? Answer: ABSOLUTELY! Of my 25 players, 8 of them were on my team last year and drafted based on that completely logical reasoning. On the very low likelihood that sound logic doesn’t turn out in my favor I have a guaranteed 5+ Tiger(!!!) victories this year as a nice fall-back.

Player on my team I’m excited about: Tiger!! 4th round– I almost took him a round before I actually pulled the trigger on him. I had to have him. I’m already fully in the tank on cheering for his success this year and to not have had him on my team would have been tragic. I have no idea if the value is correct where I got him but I’d rather lose this league with Tiger than win it without him.

Best value: Robert Streb 22nd round– I drafted Streb in the 6th round last year and he woefully underperformed for me. However, given that he made $4M two years ago I feel great about the potential value to be offered as a 22nd round draft pick if Mr Vertical Follow-Through can find get any closer to that 2015 form.

Pick I liked least/regret: Chris Kirk 6th round– By the time we got to round 6 I had run out of top guys I was excited about and wasn’t yet ready to jump into my sleeper/breakout guys. I did a little research and felt like Chris Kirk might be decent value. However, he bores me and I immediately regretted this pick. The only thing I could find interesting about this guy (who I don’t believe even has an Instagram account – c’mon man!) is that he was somehow listed by Golfweek as one of their best dressed golfers of 2016 for this meh look at the Dean & Deluca Invitational last year.

Best pick on any team: Daniel Berger 6th Round by Mike– I hate his swing but feel like he’s a great breakout candidate this year. He’s the guy I was planning on taking in round 6 before Mike sniped him 2 spots before me and I ended up with the ‘stylish’, missed-the-cut-in-every-2016-major Chris Kirk

Worst pick on any team: JJ Spaun 10th Round by Jack – He was the first guy drafted who I had not previously heard so when he was drafted I looked up his pgatour player card and, other than bearing a striking resemblance to actor Michael Pena, I couldn’t find any information to make me think he will be good this year.


Jordan Speith
Henrik Stenson
Branden Grace
JB Holmes
Jimmy Walker
Scott Piercy
Jason Dufner
Roberto Castro
Jhonattan Vegas
Jason Kokrak
Richard Sterne
Francesco Molinari
Sean O’Hair
Steve Stricker
Cody Gribble
Lee Westwood
Colt Knost
Mackenzie Hughes
KJ Choi
Kyle Riefers
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Ryo Ishikawa
Geoff Ogilivy
Shawn Stefani
Alex Cjeka

“If there was any strategy, it was to identify players who would play a lot in the states, or could at a minimum conceivably do some monetary damage in the majors. I also had the first pick [Jordan Speith], which was pretty hard to screw up this year.” – Zach Zangl on his 2016 Fantasy Golf Draft

Holy Trap! How off base was that quote?!?! – I managed to draft a lot of guys who didn’t play much in the states, specifically picking three guys who didn’t make a single dollar. Further I had the worst pick in 8 of the 25 rounds, and had the second worst pick of the first round going with Speith. That’s some hot stuff right there.

So my motto for 2017 is that I can only go up from here. I continued to try and pick folks I like to watch and hence have some retreads from last season (Speith, Dufner, Aphibarnrat). My other thought was to target players who made big jumps in the world rankings over the course of last season (Stricker, O’Hair, Kokrak, Dufner). Even though Speith wasn’t much of a #1 last year, he is still one of the best and worth the 4th pick in the draft. Took some early risk with Stenson and Grace, as they play a modified tour schedule, but I couldn’t pass up on Hank in the second round and I think Grace is eventually going to win a major (this year would be a big help for me). I don’t know a lot about a number of cats I took in the later rounds so I am excited to learn about some “new” players…players actually playing in PGA tour events.

A) Player on your team most excited about: Jason Dufner – I like watching him play golf.

B) Pick on your team with most value: Lee Westwood – Normally not one of my favorites, but I think this is a rebound season for him and he’ll contend in a major or two. If he wins $2m in earnings, I would be overjoyed.

C) Pick on team we like least/regret: Colt Knost – he is physically tough to look at.

D) Best Pick on any team: I loved Grant’s early move on Brooks Koepka. He is one of my favorites.

E) Single Worst Pick on any team: Rory McIlroy – wish he’d just give up the game already.

Rock N Roll,



Rory McIlroy
Paul Casey
Bubba Watson
Brandt Snedeker
Russell Knox
Daniel Berger
Marc Leishman
Louis Oosthuizen
Brendan Steele
Charles Howell III
David Lingmerth
Webb Simpson
Alex Noren
William McGirt
C.T. Pan
Kevin Streelman
Tyrrell Hatton
Fabian Gomez
Jerry Kelly
Bryson Dechambeau
Martin Laird
Ben Martin
Thorbjorn Olesen
Xander Schauffele
Curtis Luck

Draft Recap: As the reigning league champion (*waving hands like I just won an Olympic gold*), I was awarded the 5 pick for the draft. Initially I thought I’d be screwed into having to choose between an oft-injured Jason Day, a hit-or-miss Jordan Spieth, or an un-root-forable Patrick Reed. Luckily Rory fell into my lap, so there’s a guaranteed $10 million. From there I tried to be pretty stock as far as proven players. Disappointed that Bubba fell to the end of the 3rd round so I had to take him with a frown on the outside. Other than Rory, Russell Knox was my favorite value-wise pick in the first 10 rounds. On the other hand, Paul Casey was a bit of a stretch early in the second round, but his recent form and the number of events he plays in leads me to think he’s prime for a win or two. In the later rounds, Alex Noren and Thorbjorn Olesen are going to dominate WGC’s and Majors, while C.T. Pan and Curtis Luck (am) are going to let me down like elevators. Thorbjorn is team Captain.

Most excited about: Thorbjorn Olesen. Thunderbear. My dude. Came on strong after some injuries in the past few seasons with a win in Turkey and looked exceptional at the World Cup of Golf last month.

Best value: Alex Noren. Ranked 9th in the in the world at the time of the draft, the Swede had four wins on the European tour last season. He dropped to the 13th round, likely due to a limited U.S. tour schedule, but c’mon… 9th in the world in the 13th round.

Biggest Regret: Curtis Luck. I waffled on the 25th round pick and was disappointed with my selection immediately. I really wanted to take Jordan L. Smith, who just took 3rd in South Africa in a Euro Tour event. Didn’t trust my gut and regret it. Also Luck is an amateur and is likely to remain so until after the U.S. Open. Hoping he gets enough sponsor’s exemptions after turning pro to make some money.

Best pick on any team: Lee Westwood. The guy can flat out roll the rock. In fact he rolls the rock far more often than he should.

Worst pick on any team: Richard Sterne. Zach… I’m sorry.


Justin Thomas
Patrick Reed
Phil Mickelson
Sergio Garcia
Bill Haas
Billy Horschel
Kevin Chappell
Harris English
Ryan Palmer
Harold Varner III
Graeme McDowell
Ian Poulter
Nick Watney
Brian Harman
Shane Lowry
Cameron Tringale
Jim Herman
Soren Kjeldsen
Bryce Molder
Si-Woo Kim
Blayne Barber
Bobby Wyatt
Freddie Jacobson
Trey Mullinax
Brandon Stone

First off, I missed out on Rory. I chose to pick in the 6th spot over 5th thinking that McIlroy was a lock in the top-4 and would be gone. However, I’m not complaining about ended up with Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed. I think there is major success this year. Moving on, I really like my squad’s selection from round 13 on. I honestly was disappointed the draft ended when it did as I had a few more guys ready to go waiting to be selected. I love the mix of PGA Tour veterans who cash checks like Harman, Herman, Molder, and Jacobson. I love the mix of risky young guys like Barber, Wyatt, and Stone. Brandon Stone is a multiple European Tour winner, top 100 in the world and picking up a few starts in 2017 on the PGA Tour. I love the mix of Europeans who are planning on playing more in US in 2017 like Lowry and Kjeldsen. Oh yeah, I love one of my keepers, Si Woo Kim. There wasn’t a better value pick than him in the entire draft.

A: player on my team most excited about: Justin Thomas slightly over Soren Kjeldsen. JT already has two wins on the season and is poised for more.  Kjeldsen plans to play a lot in US this year so I like his prospects.

B: best value on my team: Freddie Jacobson in round 23 was a steal.

C: least favorite pick on my team: Ian Poulter is round 12 was a bit of a reach as he is on medical extension but one good start sets him up for the year.

D: best pick overall: Rory McIlroy falling into your lap at the 5th  spot overall is definitely up there but that was too easy so I’ll give credit elsewhere. Francesco Molinari in the 12th round is pretty good. A guy that gets his PGA Tour starts and is top 35 in the world in the mid rounds is going to be fruitful.

E: worst pick overall: Other than choosing to pick 6th overall and thus missing out on Rory in the draft, my worst selection is probably going to be Richard Sterne in the 11th round by Zach. It was such a shock, that don’t even know why it was bad other than it wasn’t good.

Top 5 New Courses I Played in 2016

First off, sorry for the click-baity title there, but how else was I supposed to describe a list of golf courses? With that apology out of the way, I won’t waste time introducing this post since I’m sure people never read anything other than the titles in list posts. Also, this article isn’t meant to be full reviews of the courses, that would take up too much space. Rather, this represents a quick hit on some of the notable courses I got to play this past year. They aren’t ranked against each other, but instead listed in the time order I played them. First up, Alabama.

Ross Bridge

This past end of January 2016, so coming up on a year ago now, I had a week off and went to play some solo golf down in Alabama on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. And if you didn’t see some of my comments from back then, I highly highly recommend the trail.

None of the courses I played were below average, and what was great also was that it was the “offseason” which meant that it was cold enough to keep the locals away, but warm enough for me and my resistance to cold weather when golfing.

Of all the courses, I’ll highlight Ross Bridge. Mostly because it tips out at 8,191 yards, with a rating / slope of 78.5/135. It was also great because I was literally, and I mean literally in the literal sense, the only person to play the course that day.

The cloudy sky, and lack of overseeded rough also made for some cool pictures.

The one thing that happens with an 8,000 yard course is there’s very little variation in the lengths of the holes. The par threes were all about 225 yards, and likewise on up with the par 4s and par 5s. I can’t imagine having a course that long with a drivable par 4 or something, though I think Erin Hills can claim that honor, which is over 8k and has a drivable par 4 on the second hole.

A few notes on the other courses I played on the trail: The ones at Capitol Hill were awesome, only issues were that it was in the 30s to start (cold to even me), and also that the cart ran out of juice on my second 18 of the day around the 13th hole. Oxmoor Valley was also baller, with the Ridge course being on a ridge. Scroll through those pictures on the link and check out that elevation. It was great. Also great that I got 54 holes in that day with only having to play through 2 groups. Now that’s the best.

Sand Valley

If I only played 13 of the holes at a course, does it still count as playing a full round? Definitely not handicapwise, but in terms of this post, it sure as hell does.

The newest of the Coore Crenshaw production courses only had the front 9 officially open when we played in July, with 10, 16, 17, and 18 open for play, but without tee markers, which made finding the tees on number 16 very difficult.

The course was so new when we also played it that they were in the process of digging out grass that had grown its way into the newly sanded bunkers. The expression on the face of this high school aged dude who was doing the digging showed that he really really didn’t want to be there. But hey! That’s what summer jobs are supposed to be right?

It’s very hard to describe this type of dry, links golf when most people are used to the tree lined country club style courses with lush rough and round greens. Coore Crenshaw do use some of the “template” holes that you’ll see on those old school courses (like the punch bowl 17th, or the redan 3rd), but a lot of their green designs are novel. I think my favorite example of this is demonstrated in the second hole, with a wide fairway to the left, and an offset green to the right. Challenging the right side leads to an easier approach shot, both visually and slopewise, but there’s also a pack of trees to that side which can screw you if you veer too close.

The new Coore Crenshaw courses also feature the hip runoff areas without rough that are becoming more and more popular. Think the Olympic course by Gil Hanse, or any of the British Open rotation courses. Rough is out, runoff areas are in.

I was also a fan of the elevation change on the property out there. A lot of design has to do with the piece of property you’re given, and unless you pull a Pete Dye at Sawgrass where he made a course out of swamp, it’s hard to get that super highly ranked course design unless you have some elevation.

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