At the end of each year I like to go through the previous year’s posts and do a summary of all the interesting news nuggets, happenings and such. Needless to say 2012 was amazing, from going to the Masters to shooting my lowest score EVER. Let’s look at the first third of the year. Not all of the posts are mentioned, just a few select ones. You can click the links in the descriptions or click the date headings to go to the archive of that month.
January 2012 – 56 Posts
My usual January features the yearly trip to golf’s biggest worldwide trade show, the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. During the week of the show I did many interviews with top golf companies and their staff as well as showing all the new gear, apparel and accessories in the golf world.
I also got to tour Golf Channel’s facilities, and even get a shot of myself behind the Golf Central desk. Fun stuff.
January was also when Hank Haney released his book about is six year relationship with Tiger Woods.
I set some goals for my golf game in 2012, some of which I achieved and some which I did not.
Sadly, the great golf announcer Jim Huber died. I met Jim once and he was very nice and friendly to me.
February 2012 – 59 Posts
I posted a review of Kingsbarns Golf Links, one of the best courses I’ve ever played. Location: St. Andrews, Scotland.
I’m not a big fan of very many “made for golf network TV shows” on Golf Channel, but Feherty won me over. Feherty debuted in February 2012. I even talked with Feherty and Hank Haney on a conference call. Fun stuff.
Nike Golf once again provided the grand prize for HOG Space fantasy golf, a $1200 set of VR_S Forged Irons.
A golfer was stabbed on a golf course over a slow-play argument.
March 2012 – 45 Posts
After the LPGA updated their web site, no more barf bags were needed.
I picked up a Nikon D7000 camera for better golf photography.
TaylorMade bought Adams Golf.
I posted my first review of a deserted miniature golf course in the middle of the desert. “Free High Speed Wireless Internet Mini Golf” was a hell of a track.
My 2nd and 3rd article were published in Utah’s Fairways Magazine. Cool.
After withdrawing from the WGC Cadillac, Tiger Woods’s vehicle was eerily slow-chased by a blimp. Anything for ratings I suppose.
Golf architect Gil Hanse was named the designer for the Rio 2016 golf course.
The Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour traveled to Mesquite, Nevada.
Rory McIlory moved up to #1 in the world golf rankings.
April 2012 – 56 Posts
Luke Donald knocked Rory McIlory out of the #1 spot in the world golf rankings.
I posted my Nike Golf VR_S Forged Irons review.
I upgraded the Hooked On Golf Blog theme, hopefully improving the site…haha.
100’s of websites selling counterfeit golf clubs were shut down. GOOD.
A drunk “patron” was arrested for attempting to steal sand from Augusta National Golf Club at the Masters Tournament. Think they revoked his badges? 🙂
I attended two practice rounds of the 2012 Masters Tournament. My comments and some photos of the 2012 Masters can be found here.
Speaking of the Masters, here is a selection of some unique images from the Masters. Not stuff you see every day.
Speaking of speaking of the Masters. I spent a couple of hours walking Augusta National’s par-3 course with my new Nikon D-7000. I know of NO better and more complete image gallery of Augusta National’s par-3 course than my own. Cool.
END OF PART ONE – PART TWO POSTED TOMORROW!
17th Road Hole Changes Underway – click to see more
I keep close tabs on happenings at the Home of Golf, the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. Having gone there in 2011, I feel I have a close tie to the course and the town of St. Andrews. I’ve got a couple of friends there, including my good friend John Boyne who is a caddie there as well as a St. Andrews tour operator with his company Caddie Golf Tours, helping folks just like me arrange their dream golf trip of a lifetime.
John has provided HOG readers with fantastic photographs of the Old Course, now undergoing some changes this winter as part of “improving” the course in preparation for the 2015 (British) Open Championship. I’ve quoted the news release text from the Open Championship website below. Click read more link below to see it.
In a nutshell, the plan is to “enhance the challenge for elite players without unduly affecting club and visiting golfers while remaining true to the special character of the Old Course.” Changes are detailed below, with the most debate regarding the 11th hole, where the green is to be altered to add a new pin position.
What’s your take?
As would be expected, there’s a large debate between those who think the course is sacred ground and should not be changed, and those who think that it is fine for the course to change over time to accommodate changes in technology. That argument is one which has been going around for a long time now, still with no resolution. They’re not going to “roll the ball back.”
I’d like to hear your opinions on this. There’s a fairly heated discussion going on over on Geoff Shackelford’s blog. I have a few questions to start it up:
Is tweaking the Old Course “repainting the Mona Lisa” as some have said?
Can we really expect golfers and golf manufacturers to buy into rolling back equipment, thus “saving” classic courses?
Do courses really need to make these tweaks to challenge pros who play there four days a year or in the case of the Old Course every five years?
The vibe I gathered when in St. Andrews is that the locals don’t like it when low scores are dropped on the Old. Is the R&A Championship committee doing this to keep the Old Course respectable and prevent it from giving up low scores, 59’s or even 58’s? If so, why care if the best in the world shoot super low scores? Why does the course have to be changed because of that? In talks on Twitter with Robert Thompson, I liked his quote, “Or we can just stop worrying about some guy shooting 60. Why the need to protect par at the expense of courses?”
And perhaps the best question to ask is, “what would Old Tom Morris do?”
On my recent Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour stop in Washington (state) and Vancouver, Canada, I had the chance to play a new course called Salish Cliffs. Salish Cliffs is located in Shelton, Washington, about 1.5 hours southwest of Seattle. The course opened in September 2011 as part of the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Little Creek Casino/Resort. I’ll be posting my golf travel review of Little Creek’s resort soon.
Salish Cliffs Golf Club #2 Tee – click for more
Salish Cliffs Golf Club Overview
Gene Bates is the course architect for Salish Cliffs. I’ve played many Bates designs, and I can honestly say this is the best one I’ve played so far. The previous Bates designs I’ve experienced don’t have the dense forest and interesting terrain that Salish does. Bates did a fantastic job utilizing the terrain to make a fun, challenging and beautiful track. (more…)
The Michigan golf posts just keep rolling in. This is the last course review on the list from my trip to northern Michigan last month. For links to all related reviews from my recent Michigan Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour stop, see the related heading at the end of this article.
Elevation changes are a key feature at Otsego Tribute. Click to zoom.
Today I’m reviewing the Otsego “Tribute” course. I have to make a confession on this review though. I only played the back nine. Unfortunately my schedule didn’t quite allow for me to get the entire 18 in before heading to the airport to head home. I DID however, tour every hole of the front as well as capture images of the entire course. Having seen the front, I truly regret not being able to play it. What a fun track! (more…)
Alright. I’ve finally completed my reviews of the courses I played at Treetops in northern Michigan. Links to each of the reviews is at the end of this article under the “related” heading. Now it is time to talk about where to stay when traveling to the quaint town of Gaylord, Michigan, home of Treetops golf courses and the Treetops Resort.
Treetops Resort Lodge – click to zoom
My focus for this review is the Treetops Lodge (pictured above), where I stayed for part of my time in Michigan a few weeks ago. (more…)