Through one round in Mexico, some of the world’s best have been sent into fits by the tree infested Club de Chapultepec. The abundance of trees has led to a different style of golf where a straight tee shot is necessary to scoring. This has yielded a lot of variety in club choice off of the tee and an entertaining telecast overall.
There is a jam at the top with six players tied at 4-under par and 40 players within four shots of their lead. The six at the top are England’s Ross Fisher and Lee Westwood, the U.S. born trio of Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Ryan Moore and Spanish sensation Jon Rahm. The top flight field and vibrant Mexican crowds should make for an entertaining weekend of golf. Full scores.
Not up to snuff...
While the suffocatingly tight setup has proven successful for entertainment value, from a championship golf standpoint, this course isn’t up to par. It's troubling that a course which doesn’t allow for differing styles of play and requires zero strategic thought besides hitting it straight is hosting one of golf’s biggest tournaments of the year. Not to mention, that a city 25 million residents doesn’t have better alternative option than the Club de Chapultepec.
Golf Course Architecture 101
A common question that I often receive is how to start to learn about golf course architecture, and my response has been to point people towards a variety of introductory books. The books are fantastic but in today’s modern era a bit antiquated, so I have set out to change that by creating an online resource.
Over the next few weeks, I will continue to release introductory materials which are designed to help the novice gain an appreciation and understanding for golf course architecture in just a few minutes. The goal by the end of the series is to have empowered and educated golfers of all skill levels to a point that they are able to form opinions on what they like and dislike about a certain golf course. The first post is up on the site and addresses the ideas of playability, width, strategy and options. Read it here.
Very few get to see the inside of the Champions locker room in the clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass. Locker room attendant Joe Schmalzried is one of the lucky few and Scratch (somehow) convinced him to grant us access.
The rules are changing
On Wednesday, the USGA unrolled some proposed changes to the rules of golf in an effort to “modernize” them. In total, there are 33 proposed changes that would go into effect in 2019, and most of the changes are focused on making the game easier to understand and speeding up the pace of play. Some of the highlights include: shortening the time allowed for searching for a lost ball from 5 minutes to 3 minutes, being able to fix spike marks on the greens and now being allowed to drop a ball from any height when taking a drop stemming from a penalty or relief.
Overall, the changes are the first step in making the game more approachable and understandable for the everyday player, but for competition, some of the changes could potentially blur the lines and lead to players taking advantage of situations. With this in mind, many members of the PGA TOUR expressed concern with the proposed changes and suggested that maybe the PGA TOUR needs their own set of rules.
Early morning golf
Through one round at the Tshwane Open, one of South Africa’s bright young stars, Hadyn Porteus is tied for the lead with veteran Frenchman Gregory Havret and Sweden’s Alexander Bjork. The trio fired 6-under 66’s to sit atop the packed leaderboard that has 31 players at 3-under or better. Round two is underway, follow live scoring on the European Tour website or tune into coverage on the Golf Channel.