Here comes the putter throw…

Another PGA Tour schedule update, an ominous memo from Keith Pelley, and a Doug Sanders retrospective


Does Wednesday need a new nickname? It’s not really hump day at the moment because every day is hump day in quarantine. We’ll give that one a think.

News and updates

  • The PGA Tour released an updated schedule on Tuesday night. The new plan calls for play to resume at Colonial on June 11. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the new new plan and the new new new plan. Full Story from Brian Wacker
  • In a memo sent to European Tour players this week, CEO Keith Pelley stated that the tour could look “radically different” when it returns. In other words, purse sizes are expected to take a hit.
  • PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said the PGA is “fully prepared” to play the PGA Championship without fans, if necessary. The event is scheduled for August 6-9 at TPC Harding Park. Full Story from Ryan Lavner
  • Augusta National has asked local school districts to consider schedule changes to accommodate a November Masters. According to the Augusta Chronicle, the tournament relies on local families renting out their homes and on local high school students working at the event.

Newsletter Notes

Playoffs?! You kidding me?

As mentioned in Monday’s newsletter, Doug Sanders passed away at the age of 86 on Sunday. A fan favorite for his colorful garb and personality, Sanders had a strong career on the PGA Tour. He won 20 times in 16 years, including a five-win season in 1961. Yet many will remember Sanders mainly for his close calls in major championships. He had eight top-four finishes and no victories. His most famous near-miss came at the 1970 Open Championship. Let’s take a look back at that wild weekend.

After a couple of relatively calm days in St. Andrews, the weather turned on the players in the final round. Winds whipped around the Old Course, and just 10 players broke 75. Two of them, Doug Sanders and Jack Nicklaus, found themselves in a duel for the jug. It all came down to the Road Hole. Facing a one-shot deficit with two holes to play, Nicklaus hit his approach on 17 to 15 feet. Sanders deposited his ball into the Road Hole Bunker. A two-shot swing seemed inevitable, but Sanders managed a miraculous up-and-down while Jack missed his birdie try.

On the final hole, all Sanders needed was to get down in three from 74 yards. But his approach flew about 85. After leaving his lag putt three feet short, Sanders stood over his chance to win the Open for what seemed like an eternity. What happened next still hurts to watch.

Sanders’s miss earned him an 18-hole playoff with Nicklaus on Sunday (until 1980, the Open was contested Wednesday through Saturday). Sanders showed up in a… memorable ensemble, and Jack won by a single stroke. It was Sanders’s second runner-up at the Open and his fourth at a major.

But no matter how heartbreaking the defeat, Sanders was always composed and gracious. Even sportswriters back in the day raved about his character—an achievement in its own right.

Still, what impressed us most about Doug Sanders at the 1970 Open was that he restrained himself from aiming an upper-cut at Jack’s chin after the playoff. Famously, after holing out on the 18th green, Nicklaus flung his putter into the sky. It nearly clocked Sanders in the head on the way down. But he took it well; nothing could faze the human highlighter. Rest in peace, Doug.

Pro Shop

It’s spring cleaning time! Our remaining supply of t-shirts, hats, headcovers, tumblers, and towels are 40% off when you use code SPRING2020 at checkout. Photography not eligible for discount. Sale ends Friday. Shop today!

The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America

CommonGround Golf Course (Aurora, Colorado)


CommonGround Golf Course, built by Renaissance Golf Design in 2009, is all about its community. That vision is especially clear in the playability of the course. The fairways are generous for the average golfer, and there is plenty of room to bounce the ball into the large greens. But while the CommonGround offers plenty of room off the tee, the aggressive shot always comes with risk. The design team—led by Tom Doak, Jim Urbina, and Bruce Hepner—separated many of the greens into distinct sections, so you need to be precise if you want to go low. Couple this fun, sneakily challenging golf with views of the Rocky Mountains, and you’re sure to have a great day.

Insider tip: Many of the bunkers and mounds at CommonGround will play visual tricks on you. Always take a second look at the hole before committing to a line off the tee. -Will Knights

Photo credit: Renaissance Golf Design

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Gleneagles Needs Your Help – Brett Hochstein digs into the history, potential, and current struggles of Gleneagles Golf Course, an under-appreciated stalwart of San Francisco public golf.

Shotgun Start: Winged Foot Fiascoes: Re-living Sunday at the 2006 U.S. Open

This is a different style episode for the Shotgun Start, focusing on the final round of the U.S. Open the last time it was at Winged Foot. The episode features clips from an interview with Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 champ at WF, and some of the calls from the NBC broadcast on a day when Johnny Miller’s fastball was touching triple digits on the radar gun. In addition, we celebrate the many facets of this particular championship that align with the SGS oeuvre. Andy and Brendan set up the world of golf coming into that national championship, recall some now-forgotten moments, embrace the fashion peculiarities, discuss the brutal test that is Winged Foot West, and spotlight some of the critical moments that got it done for Ogilvy. Then there is considerable time spent on the collapses of Colin Montgomerie, Phil Mickelson, and a few others who may have escaped the infamy over time. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

A helping hand…

There are many ways to help out people in the golf industry who are struggling right now. If you’re so inclined, here are a couple of worthy efforts:

The Outpost Foundation Emergency Relief Fund – The Outpost Club has established the Outpost Foundation to raise money for independent contractors in the golf industry.

Bandon Caddie Relief Fund – Out-of-work caddies at Bandon Dunes have started a GoFundMe page.