Two of my favorite golf bloggers have posted news updates about their local tournaments.
Lawyer Tom Kirkendall’s Houston’s Clear Thinkers blog discusses law, politics, media, and yes golf. With the Shell Houston Open on tap for next week, he previews the tournament quite well, both its history and the golf course. From the article:
“After an ugly divorce from The Woodlands, and a difficult transition period in which most of the best PGA Tour players avoided the event, the 2009 tournament has attracted the best field in the history of the event and one of the top fields of the PGA Tour season to date. Although Tiger Woods will be tuning up in Florida for the Masters next week, 15 of the top 20 players (and 21 of the top 30) in the World Rankings will be playing, including No. 2 Phil Mickelson, No. 3 Sergio Garcia, No. 5 Padraig Harrigton and No. 6 Vijay Singh.
The first Houston Open was in 1922 and the tournament is tied with the Texas Open as the third oldest non-major championship on the PGA Tour behind only only the Western Open (1899) and the Canadian Open (1904). This is the fourth Houston Open to be played on the Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club and the seventh event overall at Redstone, which hosted its first three Houston Opens on the club’s Jacobson-Hardy Course while the Tournament Course was being planned and built….The Houston Golf Association has done a good job of promoting the tournament with Tour players by grooming the Tournament Course in a manner similar to Augusta National, but the course is actually a flat-land course that bears little resemblance to the hilly venues of Augusta. Even with its superior conditioning, the Tournament Course is a favorite of neither players nor spectators. The course actually has a nice variety of interesting holes, but the routing of the course is a disaster, with 16 of the holes separated by a long walk and a drainage ditch from the 1st and 18th holes, the driving range and the clubhouse.
Good work, Tom. How bout signing on a my Houston Bureau Chief? I also recoiled in horror last year as the SHO became the latest in a long line of dreamers comparing themselves to Augusta national on the basis of white sand and green grass. But hey, they can’t be worse than that chump-trap at TPC Utica…err…Blarney Stone Casino. Tom is right. Houston golf is flat, watery, narrow, and promotes penal golf architecture over strategic.
Next, Richard Oliver of the San Antonio Express News has a nice write up on the Texas Open’s move from the kids table…oops, I mean…Junior Varsity…oops again!…I mean Fall Series. The tournament returns to the PGA Tour regular season this May. Nice to see you again, Richard. Catch you down the road at Sawgrass or Bethpage.