Random thoughts from the storage unit I call a brain:
- There has been talk that Mike Weir would head to play the European Tour next year with its $20 million Race to Dubai (how exactly does one race to Dubai, anyway?) Phil Mickelson, always seeking to add another dime or two to his bank account, has said he’ll play more overseas and some stories have lumped Weir in with the crewe considering more European Tour play. Not so says Brad Pelletier, managing director of IMG in Canada, Weir’s agency of record. There will be “no change in his playing schedule,” Pelletier said. “His focus for ’09 is as it’s always been — winning on the PGA Tour.” Interestingly, Weir played 26 events this year (and will play Tiger’s tournament before Christmas), making it three more events than any time in the last five years.
- Interesting to see Ernie Els saying the PGA Tour has delayed the release of its 2009 schedule because it can’t nail down commitments from all of its sponsors. Not surprising, given the state of the economy. Els said: So yes, I would say that officially, I dont know of any, but unofficially I would think that there are going to be a couple of tournaments that are not going to be there next year. (Courtesy Geoffshackelford.com)
- I was speaking with someone yesterday about the state of the golf industry and recalled a conversation I had while playing with Paul McLean, the head of Maxium Financial, which does financing for golf course equipment. McLean said — and this was in July — that he had more than a dozen courses on credit watch. Wonder how big that number is now that we’ve had the wettest summer in 30 years?
- The downturn in the industry has also hit the Canadian golf development business — though I think the slowdown happened a couple of years back and we’re just now seeing the results. What will happen to “Best New” awards if, for example, there is only one new course opening next year? Otter Creek near Woodstock has been well regarded, but little else has opened in the province this summer (Turtle Creek is the only other one I can think of). I spoke with Doug Carrick yesterday and he said he had nothing in construction in Ontario, though a couple were in planning. Meanwhile Thomas McBroom’s site lists nothing new or in construction in Ontario — just a couple of courses in Western Canada and one in Halifax. I guess that means golfers will get a chance to catch their breath and play some Ontario golf courses they may have not had time to see until this point.