Road Hole Shorts

Golf Design, golf, golf, GOLF

Walking Wounded, Solheim wrap-up, and Lexi

By Mary Armstrong/For the Sun-News

Posted: 09/30/2011 01:08:54 PM MDT

There’s a lot going on this week in the world of golf.  Talk about everything from the Solheim Cup and coming of the Presidents Cup to whether Lexi Thompson should be allowed into the LPGA.

But for us here in Las Cruces, the most important thing you could do today is spend a little time over at NMSU Golf Course watching the North American One Arm Golf Association Championship.

Las Cruces locals Larry and Deb Wyche are organizing the event. You may have seen them tending their “Debs Hot Dogs” cart, in front of Best Buy (Wednesday through Fridays) and Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. If you’ve met or just seen Larry, you’ll remember him and it’s not because he has one arm. He’s one of those guys that has personality plus. It’s no wonder he’s been able to assemble a deal for all Wounded Warriors to participate in the Tournament and stay at the Hotel Encanto FREE.

Larry wanted to bring the tournament to Las Cruces because he felt that our citizens would be interested in watching.

“I would love to get a lot of spectators,” he said.

It seems a small request when you consider what our Wounded Warriors have done for us and what others have battled through in losing a limb. Take an hour or so and head out to NMSU Golf Course today and cheer everyone on. The field of 40 tees off at 7:30 a.m. Join me – you’ll feel good and they’ll be very appreciative I’m sure.

Solheim Cup

It was probably the most exciting Solheim, but also the  longest grind.  What with weather problems – flooded greens and lightning in the area, it’s a wonder the Captains didn’t have to personally carry some of their players to the last tee. There was nearly 7 hours of Solheim Cup broadcast and to the relief of many, the Europeans won. When the Ryder Cup and the Amateur Cup events came began Britain was held as the golfing experts of the world. When the Solheim Cup was cast, Europe and America still couldn’t carry the Asians (especially the Koreans’) golf bags. And yet we mislead ourselves every other fall with another competition that proves nothing.

I truly love the format, but I think the competition is the real attraction. If Americans were playing Greenland in tiddly-winks for the TW Cup it would still incite riotous fanatics and pressure packed play. There must be a way of including the Asians and perhaps even a “rest of the world” team. Just because the PGA/USGA/R&A does it a certain way doesn’t mean the LPGA and LET should follow their lead.

If there were four teams, perhaps the event could be expanded by one day. The first day could feature the previous winner playing the previous fourth place team and the previous 2nd and 3rd place teams playing each other. Also, so that all 12 players would play, I might suggest that there be five matches of Foursomes, five matches of Fourball, and two singles matches. As the event is exhausting for the players (as well as us viewers), I might suggest adding two additional players for the finals with the same match arrangement for the next two days, followed – as is traditional – by a final day of singles matches for all fourteen team members. I also could see substituting a third format somewhere – like a scramble type format in place of the Foursomes or Fourball – perhaps at the previous winner’s discretion.

Perhaps I’m being a little naïve that such a change can be attained, but the rest of the world must be included somehow.

 Lexi – in or Lexi – out

A couple weeks ago, Lexi Thompson won the Navistar Classic to become the youngest to win an LPGA tour event. After convincing the LPGA that she should receive an age waiver, she finished 10 strokes ahead of her nearest competitor in the first stage of the Q-school. Early last week, Cameron Morfit, Senior Writer for Golf Magazine, challenged popular opinion on the issue of whether Ms. Thompson (is it proper to call a 16 year old Ms.?) should be allowed to be a card carrying member of the LPGA tour for next year.

The pressure to admit her is considerable. She’s been heralded as the future savior of the LPGA tour. By the rules, Thompson is too young to play on the tour – about a year and a half too young. She has played in tournaments on sponsor’s exemptions. There’s no doubt that she is a unique talent, perhaps the key factor as sponsors strive for a greater spectator turnout. But, as Morfit points out, accepting Thompson will basically kill the LPGA’s age rule so they might as well remove the rule altogether. After all, can it be long before someone else’s father or mother challenges them again? He points out that “age is not a fungible thing.” Nice word by the way. Just because she looks old for her age doesn’t mean she should be admitted any more than a 49 year old should be allowed in the Champions tour because he acts like a senior citizen.

The rule is in place for a reason – you might want to talk to Michelle Wie about that. Whether Lexi has great parents, is home schooled, is tall for her age, really likeable, really mature, unusually talented, employs her Dad as her caddie or won a tour event really isn’t pertinent to the rule. Probably the most important argument against allowing her on tour is that desperation is as desperation does.

A golf architect in New Hampshire for over 20 years, Armstrong brought her craft to Las Cruces in January 2010. She is the founder of Armstrong Golf Architects, which provides planning, designing, permitting and construction monitoring services for golf course projects. You can comment on her writing and view past articles at her blog:





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