Bits, Bites and Barbs from around the world of golf:
Score one for us gloveless golf guys — Lucas Glover (so ironic, that name) winning the John Deere Classic with a final-round 64 for his first victory in 10 years. Glover is a super nice guy. I once asked him about playing barehanded and his simple answer was that he just can’t feel a connection to the golf club while wearing a glove. I can relate … Another example that there is no SCOREGolf Magazine cover jinx: Jesse Smith, one of three men featured on the cover of our June Issue, and prominently mentioned in the story about golf in Indigenous communities, captured the Toronto Players Tour event Sunday at Parry Sound G&CC. Awesome … It can’t be overstated how nice it is to see Mike Weir playing such great golf again. Weir tied for second at the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday, finishing three shots behind Jim Furyk. Weir was so far from such form just a few years ago. It seemed impossible he could play this well again. He may have exceeded even his own expectations … Another good week without winning for Taylor Pendrith on the Korn Ferry Tour. He tied for fourth in Colorado, but bogeyed the last hole to miss a playoff by one shot. That’s eight top 10s in the combined 2020-21 season, which includes three runners-up. Knowing he’ll be playing the PGA Tour full time in September softens the blow of not yet winning, but Pendrith is overdue to get over the hump … By the way, Pendrith will play on the PGA Tour this week, in the Barbasol Championship. He was afforded starts in fields opposite major championships as one of the Korn Ferry Tour’s top points-earners last fall.
It’s hard to beat the Masters for golf viewing, but the Open Championship is on par with it for me. Morning/early afternoon golf (for us on Eastern time); unknown names on the first page of the leaderboard; the randomness of links golf, with the ground propelling balls into good spots and bad; and the weather often playing a major factor in how players perform. It’s so great to have the championship back this week … It feels like a decade since Shane Lowry won at Royal Portrush, doesn’t it? … The golf equivalent to penalty kicks to decide the Euro Championship is what, seeing who can make the most 10-footers to award a major? Silly … The greatest example of how difficult and fickle the game of golf can be is watching someone with the prodigious talent of Rory McIlroy miss cuts. He’s as physically gifted as anyone who plays the game, with a golf swing inferior to nobody, and yet he’s sent packing after two days of the Scottish Open last week. The sport is about so much more than what we can see a player do … What a tough decision for Si Woo Kim and Sungjae Im. Both South Korean golfers are skipping the British Open this week. Why? To prepare for the Olympics in two weeks’ time. Why? Because medalling in the Olympics would exempt them from mandatory military service in their home country. Perhaps it wasn’t a tough decision after all … Remember that Sangmoon Bae was a South Korean golfer on the rise before beginning his military service six years ago. He won on the PGA Tour in 2013 and ’14 and played in the Presidents Cup in 2015. He returned to golf in 2017 and to the PGA Tour in 2018. He has not had a top-10 finish since.
Today marks the start of the 2021 SCOREGolf Top 59 Public Courses in Canada countdown. You can see the courses that finished 59-46 on that ranking here. They will be followed by 45-31 next Monday, 30-16 on Monday, July 26, and 15-1 on Monday, Aug. 2. If you’re new to our rankings, let me answer a few questions you may have. First, why 59? Why not 50? Because 59 is golf’s magical number, a score carded at the game’s highest level only a handful of times, and it’s just plain more fun than a round number. Our Top 100 brand — which includes private and public courses — is long established so when we created this public-only ranking we figured we’d have fun with it. Second, how do we rank these courses? Glad you asked. Please watch this video. You will notice there are no categories for clubhouse, practice facilities, food, ambience, etc. None of those things matter on our golf course rankings. They might with other publications but not with us. Our course raters are instructed to judge courses on what they experience between the first tee and 18th green, nothing more. Third, who are these course raters? Diehard golf course architecture enthusiasts who go by planes, trains and automobiles (OK, probably not trains but sometimes ferries) to play and rate courses throughout the country. They pay for their own travel, food, lodging, etc. Sounds like a dream gig, yes, but not everyone can do it. Finally, let me just say that by no means is this a perfect ranking. Such an achievement is impossible given the subjectivity involved in judging golf courses. But it’s an honest effort based on the collective opinion of 104 people. Enjoy the rollout.
Obscure thought of the week: Granny Smith apples: Great for baking, sandwiches and salads, but way down the apple pecking order when it comes to snacking, right?
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