New Score column on ClubLink; NatPost column on Wie

Another day, more columns!

This time there’s a piece on about ClubLink and its plans for the future.

Here’s the top graphs to get you interested:

Few organizations in golf endure such scrutiny or criticism as ClubLink Corp. It has been blamed for sounding the death knell of affordable public golf and for hitting private clubs in their collective pocket books by siphoning off prospective members from the old course circuit.

But chief executive Bob Poile sees it differently. He sees opportunity – the chance to acquire new clubs to grow ClubLink’s network on member courses, which added the likes of National Pines in Barrie and Board of Trade just outside of Toronto in recent years. ClubLink isn’t hurting golf, he says, it is actually simply addressing a market that had been ignored. As demand for the concept – which allows members to play any of ClubLink’s 30 clubs – continues to grow, ClubLink has to grow with it.

“We are looking to expand,” says Poile, who took over as chief executive following the ouster of company founder Bruce Simmonds. “There are 200 clubs out there (near Toronto) and we have our eyes on 20 of them. We’d like to add one or two courses each year for the foreseeable future.”

The entire column is here.

And there’s the obligatory column on Michelle Wie’s failure to make the U.S. Open. I’ll post a couple of the nastier e-mails I received about it later.

The story was published under the title: The Cirque du Wie ends with a fizzle: The time has come to pack up teen’s travelling big top

The Michelle Wie sideshow pulled into a suburban New Jersey golf course yesterday and left as expected — with failure and with diminishing credibility. In this case, it wasn’t the John Deere Classic that Wie was trying to qualify for — it was the U.S. Open next week at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

The teen phenom managed to make it through regional qualifying, but getting past the 36-hole sectional tournament, which included the likes of Masters and British Open winner Mark O’Meara, PGA Championship winner Mark Brooks, U.S. Amateur champ Ricky Barnes and Canadian Jon Mills, was a long shot.

As has been the case with Wie for most of the past year, the hype overshadowed her abilities. In a circus-like atmosphere where the PGA Tour had a writer post live blogs about her round and where the Canoe Brook Country Club had to close its gates because the course was being flooded by observers, the 16-year-old Wie fought to secure one of 18 spots that would gain her entry into the U.S. Open. It was a task only the overly optimistic felt she could pull off.

If you want to read the rest, you’ll have to buy the paper, though I’ll post the entire column in a few weeks.

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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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