The Globe and Mail’s golf/travel writer Brian Kendall offers his takeon Doug Carrick’s new course in Scotland, the aptly named “The Carrick,” which has been on the receiving end of a lot of buzz in recent months. Carrick loved the site from the start, he told Kendall:
“I’m not a religious man, but when I first saw this property, I actually prayed that I’d get the job,” Carrick says, laughing.
Of course sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. Carrick got the job, but it came with more environmental headaches than he’d had anywhere else. At one point environmental authorities sent a spotter up a mountain miles in the distance, asking the spotter if the course could be seen. If it could, Carrick would have to obscure it so it didn’t ruin the view.
Needless to say, The Carrick has some compromises due to these ridiculous regulations. However, in my tour last year I found the course, especially the back nine, to offer a big, bold view of Scottish heathlands golf. No surprise it is getting its share of attention.
These stats came attached to a Doug Ferguson/AP story on Tiger’s FedEx Cup win. Remarkable.
TIGER WOODS YEAR-BY-YEAR
Year Events Wins Majors Avg. Money
1996 8 2 – 69.44 $790,594
1997 21 4 1 69.10 $2,066,833
1998 20 1 0 69.21 $1,841,117
1999 21 8 1 68.43 $6,616,585
2000 20 9 3 67.79 $9,188,321
2001 19 5 1 68.81 $5,687,777
2002 18 5 2 68.56 $6,912,625
2003 18 5 0 68.41 $6,673,413
2004 19 1 0 69.04 $5,365,472
2005 21 6 2 68.66 $10,628,024
2006 15 8 2 68.11 $9,941,563
2007 16 7 1 67.79 $10,867,052
Ferguson’s perspective on Woods is intriguing:
No one ever thought that 2000 season could ever be topped, and it probably remains the benchmark. Woods won nine times in 20 starts, including three consecutive majors, and three victories of at least eight shots. But his highest winning percentage was last year (8-of-15), and his adjusted scoring average is the same as it was in 2000.
Instead of looking back, consider the future.
What if he still hasnt hit his prime?[photopress:tiger_woods.jpg,full,alignleft]
It is hard to imagine how Woods would get better/more dominant, but that’s not saying it can’t happen. There still doesn’t appear to be a challenger for him among the younger players (does anyone remember when Charles Howell’s name was being thrown around earlier in the year? Anyone?).
Mike Weir has said he’d be willing to take on Woods at the Presidents Cup next week:
“Absolutely, I’d be ready for that,” Weir says. “He’s the best player. You want to play the best player. It would be great if it pans out that way.”
But the way Woods is steamrolling over opponents these days, couple with Weir’s shaky swing, I think it might be a question of careful what you wish for.
Speaking of Woods, there’s some speculation out there that he’s split with Hank Haney:
Sounds like it has been coming for some time:
If true, this has been coming for some time. As early as April, when Tiger finished second at Augusta after hitting tee shots in every direction, he was observed making some curt comments to his instructor. At one point, the number-one player in the world turned to Haney on the driving range and said, “Get the f— away from me.”
Haney seemed to know there was a best before date on his relationship with Woods when he spoke with me earlier this year:
He is also aware that the life of a swing doctor to a PGA Tour star can be short. The players often take as much information as they can and, when things go wrong — as they almost always do — they simply jettison their coach in search of answers. Haney says he has no idea how long he will work with Woods. But when the end comes, he feels Tiger will be better prepared to deal with the mechanics and refinements of his golf game.
“I think he has a really good understanding of his swing, but it has taken a while to learn a different system,” he says. “Hopefully I’ve helped him with his understanding of what he is doing and made him a better coach of himself.”