Rubenstein back on topic; the greatness of Riviera

The Globe and Mail’s Lorne Rubenstein is back on topic, speaking about Mike Weir’s meltdown with Ernie Ball, a pro golfer who may need a walker, but actually played in the first Masters. All jokes aside, it is pretty amazing — though I would love to have read more about Ball and less about Weir’s inability to hit a wedge or putt.

Apparently Ball thinks Weir has still got the right stuff:

As for Errie Ball, the 95-year-old professional who still teaches, he concluded his observations about Weir with emphasis on the positive.
“Mike has a great golf swing,” he said. “He handles himself well and I think he’ll win a lot of tournaments. He’s in his prime.”
Case closed, for Ball anyway. And who’s to argue with a 95-year-old professional who competed against Hogan and Bobby
Jones, just to name a couple of golfing supermen?

Who indeed? Well, I will. Weir is playing a different game than those that are currently dominating the tour. He’s short off the tee and that puts a lot of pressure on the rest of his game. Witness Sunday, when he hit 13 of 14 fairways, but shot 78. If courses keep getting longer, it’ll only be a few years before Weir is considered the Corey Pavin of our time.

However, Mike likes Riviera, the historic site of this week’s tour stop, where he has won twice before. There’s a good piece on his own website, written by Chris Cook, about the course and its history. Not sure who Cook is, though. The only reference I could find was to a media relations pro who worked at Texas Tech. Anyone know who Cook is?

His piece sets up nicely:

You can�t buy much for $243,827.63 these days. But back in 1926, that was enough for one of the greatest American golf course architects to carve a classic design out of a wild, overgrown canyon. Now, over 80 years later, you�d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn�t think it was money well spent.

In fact, I think $243,827.63 is about the cost of recontouring the first fairway at Angus Glen’s North Course, so I’d say George Thomas did a pretty good job with his budget, even if it was 1927.

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Jeff Lancaster

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