Big Play

March 29, 2009

WHO
Retief Goosen

WHAT
Five-foot par putt

WHERE
445-yard, par-4 18th hole at the Innisbrook Resort Copperhead course

WHEN
Final round of the Transitions Championship

WHY
Playing a tough course that had fast, baked-out greens and four-inch rough,Goosen relied on his putter. For the week he was a perfect 55 for 55 on puttsinside five feet and 62 for 64 on those shorter than 10 feet. On the 72nd holeGoosen had to two-putt to lock up his seventh PGA Tour win. His first putt, afast, downhill 25-footer, slid five feet past the hole. But as he had all week,Goosen coolly drained the comebacker for a one-shot victory.

JIM'S TIP
Through the Gate to Make More Putts

Find a straightfive-foot putt and stick two tees three inches apart in front of the hole(inset). Putt through the tees and into the hole. When you can do itconsistently, move the tees closer together. (You can place them as close astwo inches apart.) The gate formed by the tees is narrower than the hole, sowhen you leave the practice green, the hole will look as big as a garbagecan.

Jim Murphyteaches at Sugar Creek Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas.

ChangingCourse

Why hasn't TigerWoods competed in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am since 2002? Badweather, bumpy greens, slow play and all those pesky amateurs might havesomething to do with it, but some experts blame his absence on the unworthinessof Poppy Hills Golf Course. In an attempt to solve the Poppy problem, and lureTiger back, the Tour has been checking out possible replacement venues. Hereare the three courses not far from Pebble that are said to be in therunning.

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

Course Bayonet Cypress Point Monterey
Year Built (redesign) 1954 (2008) 1928 1961 (2004)
Architect Gen. Robert McClure Alister MacKenzie Mike Stranz
Length 7,100 yards 6,600 yards 6,900 yards
Membership Public Very Private Private
Course Record 65 63 64
Celebrity Cred Ken Venturi (below) helped with design Members have included Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, (below,middle) Home to a locally renowned herd of deer

Our man inMonterey says:

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

Bayonet Pros: Course is a monster, at least as tough asSpyglass. Best driving range in Monterey County and lots of parking nearby. Asecond 18, the Black Horse, could be used for infrastructure. Cons: With tournament traffic it could take 45minutes to get from Bayonet to Pebble or Spyglass, making it a logisticalnightmare for players, fans and officials. Plus there's no locker room, and theclubhouse is tiny.
Cypress Pros: Would give the tournament buzz and help attracta better field. Cypress values its history (it was part of the Pro-Am from 1947to '90), and key members are influential at the event, so they can make theswap with a few phone calls. Cons: At about 6,600 yards Cypress will get torn upby the pros. The members proudly keep the course a museum piece, steadfastlyrefusing to add new tees or bunkers to keep up with the changes in thegame.
Monterey Pros: The remodel has a dazzling collection of holesand can be stretched to more than 7,000 yards. There's beautiful scenery, withlots of ocean views, an excellent range and locker room, good parking and it'sclose to Spyglass. Cons: According to a club source, the average age ofthe membership is 71, and AT&T week is considered a hassle. The clubalready hosts a charity event the Monday after the pro-am, and there seemslittle support to do more.

... AND ANOTHER THING

"I would love to see a Tiger-Phil battle at theMasters. Phil has the momentum with two wins, but Tiger is Tiger, and you can'tbet against him."

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

Which of these two would you pick to win theMasters?

Phil Mickelson 32%
Tiger Woods 68%

"Diaper changing has messed with Tiger'stiming."
—JANE FROST GOLF SCHOOL

PHOTOCOURTESY OF NBC (GOOSEN) PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (BACKGROUND) TWO PHOTOSERICK W. RASCO (MURPHY) PHOTO PHOTOJULIO RODRIGUEZ (BAYONET) PHOTOEVAN SCHILLER (CYPRESS POINT) PHOTOEVAN SCHILLER (MONTEREY) PHOTOAP (VENTURI) PHOTOHULTON ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES (HOPE AND CROSBY) PHOTOLANCE KRUEGER (DEER) PHOTODARREN CARROLL (MICKELSON)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)