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Golf Bag: G4G readers sound off

It has been a while since I’ve highlighted the complaints, compliments and general comments posted on G4G. Anyway, here’s a few of the interesting ones.

The first comes from Doug Carrick, Toronto’s terrific architect and one of the golf business’ nicest guys. He read my review today of Cobble Beach and had this to say:

Very nice article on Cobble Beach. I am very appreciative of the coverage that you give to our profession of golf course design. You have been very kind (for the most part) in your comments about our work of which I am also very appreciative of. I certainly understand that what people like and don’t like is very subjective and I respect that. I also understand your thoughts about the bunkers at Muskoka Bay and I can appreciate that you don’t like them. I’m not sure I understand why you continue to write negatively about them, especially in an article about Cobble Beach.

That’s a fair comment, Doug. I’ve don’t like them, I’ve said that and I should move on. I was just trying to compare what I didn’t think worked at one of your new courses with something I thought did. It was meant as a comparison, not as a dig on Doug’s work.

Anyway, Doug continues:

Your comments with respect to the ponds at Cobble Beach is a legitimate observation, however I’m afraid the extensive use of ponds is a feature that is here to stay on our modern golf courses and in fact is becoming a more prevalent feature on re-modelled older courses as well because of increasing concerns with respect to water usage and irrigation of our golf courses. More and more restrictions are being placed on water taking and vast storage reserviors are now becoming a necessity on almost all golf courses today.

Thanks again for your thoughts on Cobble Beach. See you soon.

It is always a pleasure dealing with Doug. Even when I write something he doesn’t agree with, he is unfailingly polite.

Now onwards.

“Upset employee” writes to G4G about the continued debacle that is Mystic Golf Club. This isn’t pretty….

I, as well as about half a dozen other students, worked at Mystic over the summer. As part of our term of employment we signed a contract stating that should we maintain employment through the entire summer, we were entitled to a bonus equal to $1 for every hour worked. We all fulfilled our contracts (worked 50 hours a week, no overtime or any perks of any sort, from Spring to September 1st) and eagerly awaited October 1, 2006–the day we were to receive our bonus lump sum. Of course knowing Mystic and its Modus operandi, this money was never given to anyone. I ask what kind of management cheats off hard-working students that have tuition to pay? Many of us were counting on that bonus to pay for books, rent, food etc.

If you’re reading Upset Employee, shoot me a note with a real email address so we can have a conversation…. sounds like Mystic’s tough summer is turning into a long winter.

Mike comments on the much maligned Seguin Valley:

I’ve played Seguin Valley 3 times in the past couple of years. I’m a six handicap and have played most of the top Muskoka and Toronto area courses. I have to agree with those above who really liked the course. I found the scenery stunning (par 3 14th hole with an 80 foot vertical drop) and like most golfers really enjoy the abundance of elevated tees. I found RT’s description of some holes just plain misleading (#2 is not a blind tee shot to an elevated green. It’s a clear tee shot to a green protected by a valley in front (who needs bunkers on this type of hole?).

Actually you can’t see your ball land on the tee shot, which seems to me to be the definition of blind. Oh well, what do I know? Enjoy Seguin. I didn’t.

The aptly named “Frank the Tank” took a shot about Nike’s new “Juice” ball. I wasn’t commenting on its features, just the fact that it had a strange marketing campaign. I actually hit it on Monday and thought it had a nice soft feel.

Anyway, Franky said:

To be “Frank” I think this ball concept and marketing idea is rather refreshing and unique! There are so many golf balls on the market that all say the same thing and try to appeal to all golfers. I think what NG is doing with this new Juice ball is great and adds some excitment to the game. I was lucky enough to try a 2-ball sleeve of this new ball and all I have to say is “WOW!!” This ball is extremely long and fun to play with. At least 10 yards longer then the other brand and ball I have been playing with.
I suggest you try and get you hands on some and try this ball out before you put your 2 cents in (2 cents too much) on a ball that you obviously don’t know anything about and the same can be said about your knowledge of the sport of golf.
Try and think before you make stupid comments like you do above.

Oh Franky, you’re killing me….

I don’t like everything that comes out from Nike or other companies but at least I get some knowledge of what I am talking about before I develop a positive or negative opinion about something.

Mellow Frank. Do you work for Nike or are you always this upset when it comes to critiques about marketing campaigns?

Angry Alfie, who reads more and more like an RCGA employee or apologist on the payroll, raises questions about my writing on Angus Glen North and the 2007 Canadian Open:

Are you really suggesting that during the Canadian Open that PGA Tour players travel from Hamilton to Angus Glen (almost a two hour drive one way) to tour Angus Glen. Which day would they do that?

Well they did it when they played at Hamilton and I’m pretty sure the RCGA would have arranged a little trip via a thing called a helicopter if the right player had wanted. Oh, and I guess a trip after the Wednesday pro-am would have been asking too much.

Most arrive on Monday. Tuesday is practise day for them and Wednesday is pro am day, and it is mandatory that the top players in the field participate in the pro am. Thursday through Sunday are tournament days. I can’t believe Bill Paul would even ATTEMPT to convince the players to tour Angus Glen during this year’s Canadian Open.

Well he has in the past…. with some success. Maybe you think Bill is nuts, not me.

These are athletes, and their only focus during tournament week is the event, not NEXT’s year event. Get Real. Did Bill Paul actually tell you that he tried to convince players to tour Angus Glen? Is that what you are saying?

Yes. Next. Oh, and the moment you send me a real email, my dear butler, I’ll send you an invite to the Ron Joyce book launch. Love to have this conversation in person.

And lastly, Boyd wanted to know where he could find a copy of Always Fresh, the recently released book I co-authored with Ron Joyce.

Robert..good work.. where can I get one?

Costco or a Chapters, Mr. Boyd. Baby needs a new pair of shoes, so run, don’t walk….

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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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