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Answers to your G4G questions…. CPGA Champ ends

I’ve received a lot of comments on posts lately, so rather than answer them in the comments section, I thought I’d take the time to try to deal with some of them here:

Patrick Swayze Says:
May 24th, 2006 at 3:24 pm e

Rob does this mean to say that Augusta National is now a Tom Fazio course?? Certainly the revisions it has seen over the years would make it such..I THINK NOT! Coppinwood IS the first true TOM FAZIO course in the country. To say the National is a Tom Fazio design is clearly a loose statement, Mr. Euan is right.

Oh, Mr. Swayze. Done any dancin’ lately? Loved you in Road House.Mr. Euan is a great golf pro, and a talented fellow, but I still think he’s wrong here. I actually spoke with Tom Fazio yesterday and we had some discussion about the National. Fazio said while his uncle’s name is on the course, the design and course are his work. He and Andy Banfield have renovated it since, though I’m hearing mixed comments on the most recent changes. Oh, and Tom only acts as the consulting architect at Augusta. Everyone knows it is really a Hootie Johnson design now….

KC Says:
May 24th, 2006 at 12:55 pm e

I heard about this magical place called Sand Hills GC and seen pictures of it; It looks an awful lot like Eagles Nest. But I suppose Carrick couldnt resist the temptation to put some water in play – see the 10th and 18th, thus rendering it a bit of the essence of the true link course out.

I haven’t seen Sand Hills either. To me it appears as one of those mystical places — just like Pine Valley was before I played it. I agree the water on the 18th is out of place on Eagles Nest, though I think it is hardly an issue on the 10th. In fact, I think Eagles Nest is among the best modern courses to be built in the past 20 years, though I also feel that Doug’s use of two different bunker styles doesn’t help the design, especially since the “blowouts” still look too clean and artificial.

Rob Says:
May 24th, 2006 at 9:10 am e

If not already mentioned, what about the par 3 13th at Devils Paintbrush.

Good point. A private course, but surely one of the tougher par threes in Canada.

Dennis says: I know you have commented on this project in the past and I had taken a look at the website for it a while back and thought it was pretty neat to see the pictures associated with the layout and the routing. Not too often that one gets to see the “before” pictures – would be nice if they keep the before and after. If others want to see this, go to: http://www.sagebrushclub.com/links.shtml and select the “Click for a larger view” – then select any hole and a popup will display the envisioned hole.

As a typical public golfer, though, my interest in this project can only go so far as it won’t be something I will ever have the opportunity to play. I can understand the vision for the project but for the vast majority of us, it will just be a great Canadian project that we will read and hear about, but never anything more.

Having recently toured a site in Lloydminster with Bill Coore, I agree that seeing “before” images can be intriguing, especially if you can make out where the golf course will be. And you’re right — the shame about Dick’s course in BC is that so few will see it. That was the great thing about Redtail hosting the Ontario Am last year — so many people finally got to see what all the hype was about. On to the CPGA Championship. It’s dead. Yeah, we knew it was on life support, but I don’t think anyone expected it to simply expire.

“This is a sombre day but also a day of hope,” said Stephen Carroll, the CPGA’s executive director. “We’re not saying goodbye, but stay tuned.” CPGA officials tried to find a slot this summer on the Canadian Tour and also considered staging the championship as an independent event, but were unable to pull either option together.

That comes from a Canadian Press story from yesterday. Last week I had lunch with Rick Janes, the commisioner of the Canadian Tour. Janes made a play for the CPGA, which had been part of the Nationwide Tour in recent years, but could not strike a deal with the organization. He actually thought an arrangement was set, but according to Janes, the CPGA got greedy, wanting a bulk of the revenue while accepting little of the risk. This is a loss for Canadian Golf. Bob Weeks says it is Canada’s second most important golf tournament. I disagree — I think that’s the Canadian Am — but it was still significant. It is a shame the CPGA couldn’t get their act together to stage this event. The CPGA says it represents the “3,000 club professionals” in Canada. Maybe it is time those club pros chimed up about what has gone on with the CPGA Championship and started asking some tough questions of its leadership.

Ian Andrew has a neat blog about the emails he receives from members at the clubs with which he does restoration work for. The ignorance of some members of private golf clubs never fails to astound me. In this case, the member of an unnamed private club critiques Ian for making bunkers that apparently aren’t flat and dull. This fellow of questionable intelligence seems to think Stanley Thompson bunkers didn’t contain any flashes, noses or lips. What an idiot. There’s an intriguing story by the NY Times about a championship just outside of Manhattan being played that will include Annika Sorenstam. It is being played on an 18 hole course that is only on nine acres. Yes, that’s right.

A schematic of the new course looks like a crisscrossing web of holes that may drive caddies crazy. Only one foursome will play the course at a time. The course, which wraps around Fort Jay, takes up only nine acres; a typical course needs 200 or more acres, McNeil said. Sounds crazy. The story can be found here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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