This week just feels like a tease, doesn’t it? We’re in the purgatory between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there’s golf at Royal Melbourne next weekend, and cubicle life is winding to a close for the year. No need to tease you in this newsletter, too, so let’s get to it.
The Presidents Cup pushed the Hero World Challenge up a day this year so we’re already two rounds deep as we head into Friday’s play. Patrick Reed leads by three shots after back-to-back rounds of 66. The artist formerly known as “Captain America” made seven birdies in both rounds despite windy conditions in the Bahamas. Leaderboard
Reed has six top-10 finishes this season, all of which have come after the U.S. Open. In spite of a slow start to 2019, he worked his way onto the Presidents Cup team. After his poor showing in the Ryder Cup last year, Reed is in form and may be looking to regain some of his former team-match-play mystique.
- Sound the alarm! Six U.S. Presidents Cup team members are among the bottom ten of the leaderboard! (Luckily, there are only 18 players in the field, and five of the top eight are also on the U.S. team.)
- The host with the most, Tiger Woods, got everyone all hot and bothered on Thursday. He followed a sluggish start with a back-nine 31 to get himself in the mix. (Ish. He’s six back of Reed.)
- Jordan Spieth opened with a mediocre 75-70. In one of the saddest golf press conferences in recent memory, the three-time major winner lamented that he’s probably missing out on the traditional Team USA group texts. Someone give this dude a hug!
The Australian Open the leaderboard has an intriguing mixture of familiar characters and up-and-comers. Takumi Kanaya, the top-ranked amateur in the world, shared the first-round lead with Arizona State’s Chun-An Yu. As of this writing, not all players have finished round two, but Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Cameron Tringale, and U.S. Mid-Am Champion Lukas Michel will likely be in the top 10 after 36. Leaderboard
Save the date!
Our first three events of 2020 are on the calendar. We’ll be traveling the country in the spring and summer to visit some of our favorite places and meet as many of you as possible. Registration for these events will be available soon!
THE BOOMERANG – March 28 – Soule Park – Ojai, California
THE STEAM SHOVEL – May 2 – Lawsonia Links – Green Lake, Wisconsin
THE DOG BOWL – June 22 – Yale Golf Course – New Haven, Connecticut
Attn: Chicagoland Ladies
Our friends over at Fore the Ladies are hosting their December event at Five Iron Golf on Dearborn St. in Chicago this Sunday! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or brand new to the game, Fore the Ladies will show you a good time. Drinks, tee gifts, golf (of course)—what else could you want? Sign up here!
Oh, and we now have ladies apparel in our pro shop! Shop here
In a marketing ploy that’s almost too good to be true, Puma Golf released their “Saltwater collection” at the Hero World Challenge, and one of the shirts has turtles on it and is called the “Slow Play Polo.” While Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland sported the piece in the Bahamas, another Puma athlete, Bryson DeChambeau, demurred. Draw your own conclusions.
The slump continued for Smylie Kaufman as he started the Australian Open with a 75. While he may be struggling on the course, Kaufman is maintaining a positive attitude about his career. Full Story from Evin Priest
The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America
This idea came from an excellent question we got on Twitter: “If you were to craft a ‘playing curriculum’ for golfers who want to learn more about architecture, which 10 U.S. courses would teach people the most?”
As we talked about it, two things became clear: 1) We preferred to focus on courses accessible to the public (because if we were going to craft a curriculum, we wanted everyone to be able to buy the books), and 2) We couldn’t limit ourselves to 10 courses (because we lack self-restraint). So we decided to compile a running list of U.S. courses that provide compelling grounds for golf, embody thoughtful design principles, and offer tee times that you can book with a simple phone call. These are what we’re calling “the Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America”—a playing curriculum, if you like.
How long will the list be? Dunno! And we hope it will grow as our travels take us to new places.
For each course, we’ll give you a brief write-up on why you should see it, an “insider’s tip,” and a rating of the green fee from $ to $$$$.
We’ll release our picks one at a time, in no particular order, right here in The Fried Egg newsletter. First up…
Lawsonia Links (Green Lake, Wisconsin)
Lawsonia Links is the crown jewel of William Langford and Theodore Moreau’s body of work—and you can play it for less than $100. Few architects had a style as interesting as that of Langford & Moreau. Using their mastery of the steam shovel, a late-Golden Age earthmoving tool, the duo created highly distinctive, often massive greens and hazards. The bold architecture of Lawsonia Links makes it one of the finest courses in the entire Midwest.
Insider’s tip: Take advantage of the all-day-play rate. A second loop around Lawsonia Links always reveals more about its design. -Andy Johnson
(Check out the Lawsonia prints in our pro shop!)
Fried Egg Stories, Episode 1: Meghan MacLaren – Q-School and Women’s Golf
A little something different on The Fried Egg podcast today! This episode has a documentary format. That is, rather than the usual interview, it takes the form of a story, with voice-overs from Garrett Morrison and excerpts from a conversation with Ladies European Tour player Meghan MacLaren. Think Revisionist History, but without the golf hatred. This is not a permanent format change, obviously—just a new direction we’re exploring.
This past year, Meg MacLaren won the Women’s New South Wales Open and placed fifth on the LET Order of Merit, but she’s still looking for a way onto the LPGA Tour. In October, she came to the U.S. for LPGA Qualifying School, which culminated with the two-week, 144-hole Q-Series at Pinehurst Resort. This episode tells the story of Meg’s Q-School experience. It also explores her thoughts about Harry Potter, blogging (which she does very well at megmaclaren.com), and the state of the women’s game. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Shotgun Start: A beef tip, useless Hero stats, and the All Decade Team with Sean Martin
This Friday edition of the Shotgun Start begins with story time as Brendan relays an amusing and “beefy” tip sent in about Bryson DeChambeau’s ongoing “Bulking Season.” There’s also some unsettling discussion about the contents of chocolate milk. Then Brendan and Andy run through some notes from the early rounds at the Hero, including Tiger’s nicknames, Pat Reed’s mysterious new clubs, and quite possibly the most useless stat ever promoted. Then they are joined by Sean Martin, Senior Editor at PGATour.com, for the third and FINAL part of the Decade in Review. This part focuses on the recent majors with some forgotten and entertaining odds and ends, the much-discussed “All Decade” Teams, which include a ridiculous Skip Bayless-type contrarian snub, and a few other categories like the “All Avis” team. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.