The hot golf news over the last few days is that there will be a pending winner take all golf exhibition between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The winner will take home a cool $10,000,000. That’s great and all, but there’s no thrill in this if the money is simply coming from sponsors of the event and advertising revenue.
People wonder how pro golfers can be so relaxed when playing for so much money. The reason is they’re playing for someone else’s money. The best way to make this Tiger/Phil event interesting would be to make each player bring $10,000,000 OF THEIR OWN MONEY to the event. The $20,000,000 pile of cash would then be on display for the fans to google over, and the players would (hopefully) get a little squirmy knowing that THEIR cash is on the line. The look would be cool. Security guys, Brinks truck…the whole deal.
I know I get nervous when I’m playing to keep my own money, especially when it is a $2.00 Nassau and there’s a press going on the final hole. Nothing makes your butt cheeks tighten up over a 3-foot putt like knowing it’s to save yourself from losing $4.00.
I’ve had some requests for advise for the best courses to pick in the Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona area for a golf buddy trip. I thought this would be a fun topic, and I plan on doing a few others too, like Nevada, Michigan, Oregon, Utah and so on. For now here are the Hooked on Golf Blog Phoenix/Scottsdale Golf Buddy trip recommendations below. Arizona is a great golf destination with great weather nearly all year round. If you can handle the very high summer temperatures, golf can be very inexpensive.
Troon North features two courses, the Monument course by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, and the Pinnacle Course by Tom Weiskopf. The Monument is rated the #1 public golf course in Arizona. Both courses epitomize Arizona/desert target golf. The Pinnacle course is rated the 3rd best course in Arizona.
Here’s a shot below of the Pinnacle course from the last time the HOG World Tour visited:
Troon North Pinnacle Course – Click for more images
Grayhawk also boasts 36 holes of fantastic Arizona desert golf in the Talon and Raptor courses. The Raptor course was designed by famed golf architect Tom Fazio and features large fairways and highly undulating greens. The errant approaches at the Raptor are often met by deep bunkering. The Talon Course was designed by David Graham and Gary Pranks. The Talon is ranked as one of the “Top 100 in You Can Play U.S.” Tee shots are very challenging at the Talon, especially in the back nine which features many holes in box canyons.
Grayhawk Talon Course
Grayhawk is also known as Phil Mickelson’s home course in Arizona.
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club offers 36 holes of highly popular and challenging Arizona golf in the Cholla and Saguaro courses. We-Ko-Pa is located on Indian land and the natural terrain is the foreground to views of the area’s mountains in the distance. No homes on the courses.
Cholla is designed by Scott Miller and provides a tough test with narrow fairways and thick desert to eat up errant shots. The Saguaro is the newest course, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. “Crenshaw and Coore” are two of the top modern golf architects whose style tremendously routes their courses through natural, rugged styling.
Boulders Golf Resort
The Boulders Golf Resort offers fantastic golf and resort accommodations, renowned as one of the best in the U.S.A. Boulders features 36 holes of golf, the North Course and South Course.
The North Course was designed by Jay Morish and features dramatic panoramas as it winds through huge boulder formations. The South Course, also Jay Morrish, is slightly more challenging than the North. The South requires more accuracy off the tee and better course management.
Quintero Golf Club
Quintero is a par-72 Rees Jones design roughly a 45 minute drive from Scottsdale. Rees Jones is the son of one of golf’s all-time greatest golf architects, Robert Trent Jones.
Quintero 9th Hole
Quintero is a mountainside course featuring challenging and scenic elevation changes. The fairways are generous but strategic bunker placement puts a premium on accuracy.
Golf in Phoenix/Arizona is some of the funnest, most challenging, and certainly most scenic golf in the U.S.A. Desert target golf is extremely fun. Check here for great Arizona Golf Packages.
Unreal. Phil Mickelson whiffed a shot:
Henrik Stenson holes out on #7 from the front bunker.
Rory McIlory nearly jars his shot on the par-3 4th.
Patrick Reed plays #15 very aggressively and chips in for eagle:
You heard it first from Hooked on Golf Blog. Everyone thought Phil Mickelson was crazy when he put two drivers into play at the 2006 Masters. One driver was draw biased for left-to-right holes, and was fade biased for right-to-left holes (remember he’s left handed).
Connections close to Hooked on Golf Blog have told me, under condition of anonymity, that Phil will be gaming three drivers at the 2018 Masters Tournament. The first two are fade and draw biased like before. The third driver is “straight biased.” It goes straight. This will be good for some of the more straight holes like the 7th, 15th and 17th holes.
Phil will be removing his gap wedge to make room for the third driver.
Stay tuned to Hooked on Golf Blog this whole week for more Masters news, Augusta National course information, apparel scripting, Masters betting odds, and apparel scripting analysis.
World number one Dustin Johnson heads to Pacific Pallisades this week to defend the Genesis Open title that he won by five strokes last year. Riviera is perfectly suited to Johnson’s game, thanks to his phenomenal power off the tee, and he has achieved T4 finishes in each of the last four years. Recent winners include Bubba Watson (twice) and James Hahn, both hit ferocious distances, so it is a course geared up for bombers. But the field is strong and deep, the presence of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy means four of the world’s top eight will be in the mix.
Watson, meanwhile, will be hoping for a strong comeback after having the worst year of his career in 2017. He missed the cut in three of the four majors and has not won a tournament since 2016, sending him plummeting down to 117 in the world rankings. Riviera is the perfect setting to launch his return to greatness as the two-time Masters winner claimed victory here in 2014 and again in 2016, when he was ranked second in the world. If he can rediscover his magic touch around the greens he will be a force to be reckoned with, but that is a big if.
Another man hoping for a return to glory is crowd favorite Phil Mickelson, who is now 47 years old and has not won since 2013. He has come mighty close on several occasions, and remains a magnificently talented player, but if he is to force his way into Ryder Cup contention he needs to secure a victory somewhere along the line. He won here in 2008 and 2009 and finished runner-up in 2012, so it is as good a place as any to return to the summit once again.
And then there is Mickelson’s old nemesis Tiger Woods, who will dominate headlines in the build-up to the tournament. He finished T23 on his return to action in the Farmers Insurance Open last month, and said he is looking forward to hosting and playing at the Genesis Open this week. After a long injury layoff, fans will be eager to see if he can recapture the sort of form that led him to eclipse Mickelson and hold down number one spot in the world rankings for many years.
But right now, it is the elite men that head the betting, and deservedly so. Make sure to look at Betonline for odds on the event, and you will see that Johnson is the clear favorite heading into the tournament. His record at Riviera is amazing: he won last year, finished runner-up in 2014 and lost a playoff in 2015. Last year, his five-stroke win catapulted him to the top of the world rankings and he consolidated his place by winning his next two tournaments, the WGC Mexico Championship and the WGC Dell Technologies Matchplay. He was the clear favorite heading into the Masters, only to fall down the stairs and find himself ruled out due to injury. But he has maintained his number one ranking, despite the ascent of Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm and the return to greatness of Jordan Spieth.
Riviera is a second shot test, where precision on approach is paramount to success. Spieth will be a danger here as he is turning a corner on greens and has three T25 finishes in five appearances at Riviera. He needs a win ahead of The Masters and will be going all out for victory. Thomas never knows when he is beaten, while McIlroy can win anywhere and has made a strong start to 2018, but right now Johnson is the man to beat.