Road Hole Shorts

Golf Design, golf, golf, GOLF

Daring Predictions for 2012

I recently read an online article on the Foxnews.com website predicting golf events for the coming year.  There were some interesting points, some really lame forecasts, and a few outlandishly humorous projections, but at least the author warned us with the title of “Some Bold Predictions for 2012”.  Here’s my shot at some bold (and facetious) predictions. 

As you might expect, golf’s big names will be in the news:

Tiger Woods – Tiger showed some signs of getting his game in shape at the end of last year.  The win at the Chevron World Challenge meant more to sports writers than it did to him.  Assuming he can avoid more injuries or social faux paus, I think he will win again…see below.

Phil Michelson – Phil puts his foot in his mouth once again as he “tweets” disparaging remarks about the one of the major championship layouts in an attempt to further his golf design career.

Yani Tseng and Lexi Thompson – Lexi starts hot, but Yani improves on her incredible 2011 season.  While Lexi earns rookie of the year awards, the media only give her mild kudos and her first full season is labeled a disappointment and although it’s spun many different ways, it’s really because she didn’t push Yani enough. 

Luke Donald continues to pile up the money, without the commensurate media attention.  Finally, Donald wins a major.  Unfortunately, this long quest for success will lead to a deflation of his game.

Michelle Wie finally has her fill of Annika’s comments that she doesn’t take the game seriously enough.  On the golf channel’s “Morning Drive”, Michelle lets Annika know that she already has a mother.

Rory McIlroy again shows us parts of Augusta National that we never knew existed.

The USGA

The USGA will adopt a new advertising series directed at increasing the number of golfers.  Arnold Palmer will be the spokesman.  In one segment, a miniaturized Arnie is standing in the bottom of an 8 inch hole saying “Jack, you were always griping that the hole wasn’t large enough and I doubt 8 inches will be enough either.”

The USGA will appoint a special committee to consider the long putter issue.  The focus of the group is on whether or not the club can touch any part of the body except the hands during a stroke.  Four of the seven committee members are a bit on the hefty side and they unanimously vote against the rule change because, “when we hit it fat, the club sometimes comes in contact with our stomach and we think a penalty would be obesely punitive.”

Men’s Tour

Master’s winner: Keegan Bradley; U.S. Open winner: Tom Watson; British Open Winner: Luke Donald; PGA Championship Winner: Bubba Watson.  Tom Watson returns to a course he played during his college days, taking the long route through the qualifiers.  He becomes the oldest player to win a major.

Ladies Tour

Kraft Nabisco Championship: Yani Tseng; Wegmans LPGA Championship Yani Tseng repeats; U.S. Open: Michelle Wie; Ricoh British Open: Suzann Petterson.

The LPGA is adding five events this year.  Three will be in North America (Canada has one), a fourth in Hawaii, and the final new event will be in Australia.  While the majority of the new tournaments focus on U.S. interests (viewership was up 38% last year) the LPGA still appears destined to the world stage.  With the inclusion of The Evian Masters in 2013 as a fifth major, the international flavor of the LPGA will be further enhanced.  It won’t happen this year, but watch for hints of a “world tour” which I predict will come in the next five years.

Locally

Santa Teresa Country Club will be sold and converted to an 18 hole course.

Sonoma Ranch Golf Course will be handed over to the Las Cruces Country Club group in advance of the actual sale.

A developer will buy the old Las Cruces Country Club site and build a Costco at the corner of Main and Solano.  The remaining frontage on Main will eventually be sold as satellite (aka fast food stores) commercial sites.  A nine hold executive length course will be developed on the remaining property.

A major player in the Las Cruces Golf scene will retire.

Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News 01/13/2012

by Mary Armstrong

Patrick Hanlon does a three-peat in the Las Cruces City Tournament.

Virgin Galactic announces that they will be sponsoring the Virgin Galactic Cup on the LPGA tour in Las Cruces in 2013.

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.  Mary is also the Executive Director for the Rio Grande Golf Course Superintendents Association.  You can comment on her writing and view past articles at her blog: https://roadholeshorts17.wordpress.com/.

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