Shell Houston Open Preview

Posted by Mark on March 30th, 2010

Shell Houston Open Redstone Tournament Course

They moved to the Humble area in 2003 from The Woodlands and Fred Couples won the first event at the Redstone Golf Club, now they are playing the Tournament Course and the old man is still a contender. To be honest with you I’ve only been on the Tournament Course once for a practice round but they tell me it is long and hard, set up a lot like the Masters with slick greens, and the temperamental weather makes it a difficult week. There have actually been a couple of tournaments cancelled because of rain in the Houston area over the years.

Champions Tour Cap Cana Championship

Posted by Mark on March 30th, 2010

Punta Cana- Cap Cana Championship

The Dominican Republic sports numerous challenging golf courses including Pete Dye’s incomparable Teeth of the Dog and the Champions Tour has been coming to Punta Cana for the last four years. Jack Nicklaus designed a challenging tract with eight holes directly touching the stunning blue Caribbean waters and a layout weaving around ancient underwater ocean formations. The first and second tees are perched on limestone cliffs, once submerged but now overlooking the Cap Cana Oceanside resort, the Caribbean, and on a clear night the lights from Puerto Rico.

Kaddy Korner’s Take on Tiger’s Return

Posted by Mark on March 20th, 2010

My Tiger Take        

He’s coming back, not when I thought, but at a place that will provide all the protection he needs. Augusta National, once you step behind the clubhouse, is off limits to press, photographers, and paparazzi. There may be an occasional discreet interview on the lawn under the oak and the Masters allows their networks limited access to the players but once a player leaves the driving range or parking lot, passes through the clubhouse and walks to the putting greens, he is off limits to the patrons. There are no autographs behind the clubhouse only golf.

Transition Championship Preview

Posted by Mark on March 16th, 2010

Transitions Championship – Innisbrook – Tarpon Springs, FL           

The Transitions Championship (a few other sponsors also) has been coming to Innisbrook since 2000 and prior to that the Mixed Team PGA/LPGA was held here in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It was a lot of fun back then, still challenging, but it was the off season and a chance to make a little Christmas money. Now the course has been redesigned (1999), lengthened, and toughened up enough that a major could be staged here.

Newport Beach Toshiba Classic Champions Tour

Posted by Mark on March 9th, 2010

Newport Beach Country Club is one of my favorite courses on tour, too bad I have to fly to get there and it’s close to the Los Angeles area. Flying these days is no fun and the congestion in southern California creates claustrophobia, luckily I get to spend about eight hours a day on a quaint little course nestled in the foothills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. NBCC was built in 1953 and the most drastic changes are the buildings that have grown up around the course. You still have views of the ocean and snow capped mountains, and once you’re behind the clubhouse the frantic California lifestyle can’t reach you.

CA Championship Preview

Posted by Mark on March 9th, 2010

The CA Championship has only been coming to Doral since 2007; my first trip here was 1988. Back then the Blue Monster was probably one of the toughest courses on tour, now it ranks eighth easiest among the par 72 tracks on tour. If the wind doesn’t blow the top players in the world eat this course alive.

In the late 90’s the Doral Resort and Spa owners brought in Ray Floyd to toughen up the layout and put some teeth in the Blue Monster. He followed their orders, added some bunkers, tee boxes, and created some doglegs to challenge the tour players. After some sniveling and whining the course was softened again and Raymond took some unnecessary criticism for ruining the Blue Monster. He was only following orders and the pampered PGA Tour players couldn’t handle the challenge.

Kaddy Korner - New Comers/Amateurs on the Champions Tour

Posted by Mark on March 9th, 2010

Over the years a few unknown golfers have left their mark on the Champions Tour. Some have come from overseas; Stewart Ginn and Simon Hobday won a couple of Senior majors while they were in the states. Quite a few PGA club pros did some damage and created some excitement after they qualified for the tour. Jim Albus, Lairy Laroetti, and Tom Wargo all won their share of tournaments and appealed to the underdog rooters. Recently Lonnie Nielson has picked up the slack for the aging club pros.


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