A Looper's Life
+ No shortage of storylines at the British Open.
ON THE TEE
🏌️ CEO Martin Slumbers said the R&A wouldn’t be above taking money from the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), primarily because the British Open purses are growing faster than the organization is capable of handling it. What’s next for the PIF? The Ryder Cup?
🏌️ PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is back at work — in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida — but didn’t attend the Open. Health reasons or is he just laying low?
🏌️ PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan attended the Open as a guest of one of the championship sponsors. He had nothing to say publicly but didn’t his mere presence speak loudly?
🏌️ Justin Thomas shot a first-round 82 at the Open en route to missing the cut. This followed an 81 in the second round of the U.S. Open, where he also missed the cut. Would you want him on your Ryder Cup team?
🏌️ Brooks Koepka played an unplanned practice round at Royal Liverpool with U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson. By all accounts, it was open and informative. Did it cement Koepka’s place on the team?
🏌️ Captain’s pick: Justin Thomas or Dustin Johnson?
🏌️ Ernie Els popped off and said in “my day,” Monahan would have to go as commissioner and that LIV is “circus golf.” What does that make PGA Tour Champions, where Els still makes a handsome living playing 54-hole tournaments, despite not having enough game to be competitive on the big tour?
🏌️ Rory McIlroy skipped his pre-Open presser but still did an innocuous “walk-and-talk” with Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, who didn’t ask one pertinent question. Was that “good TV”?
🏌️ Brandel Chamblee now believes the Players Championship should officially become golf’s fifth major just to stick it to LIV players. Does Chamblee (or anyone else) really believe the incredible things that constantly come out of his mouth?
:: Mike Purkey
Split seasons: A club caddie way of life
For Domingo Herrera, his year is spent caddying between home in the Dominican Republic and New Jersey. His tale is not unlike many of his peers in the profession
:: Ward Clayton | Read
ParPoints Golf app helps level the playing field
Players of any skill level can compete against others, earning points for making par — or better — from the yardage distance of their choice
:: Mike Purkey | Read
Good reads that are mainly about golf, but not always.
📖 Living well is the best revenge
The couple who inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Tender Is the Night”
:: Calvin Tomkins | The New Yorker | 07.20.62
📖 Meet longtime residents of the Watergate, Washington’s most famous home
Shopping with Prince. Swimming with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Synonymous with the scandal that brought down a presidency, the Watergate is also home to real people—and some really good stories
:: Mimi Montgomery | Washingtonian | 06.28.23
📖 The rise and fall of Starter, the coolest company on earth
:: Keith Paradise | Defector | 06.29.23
The financial details behind the R&A
The R&A recognized record revenue off the heels of a landmark 2022 British Open
1️⃣8️⃣ The golf industry’s week in review — the names, news and notables that are making the headlines. :: Read
THE STYLE LINKS
Of all the apparel scripts for this year’s British Open, we are loving Billy Horschel’s Thursday kit the most.
It’s from the new TrendyGolf x Ralph Lauren Heritage Collection. The cream on cream look with a cotton-blend polo and performance chino trouser is part of the capsule inspired by Ralph Lauren’s timeless sportswear sensibility and TrendyGolf’s elevated sense of style.
:: Janice Ferguson | IG: @janiceferguson_thestylelinks
Each episode of the “Course of Life” podcast closes with the guest sharing a favorite 19th hole experience.
Elizabeth Diane Veith, golf travel content creator: “I just went to the clubhouse at Pasatiempo — it sits high on the hill overlooking the course — and I had one of the best breakfast burritos ever, even though it was lunchtime. And they made an amazing margarita."
:: Alex Lauzon | Co-host of “Course of Life” podcast
Martis Camp | Truckee, California
Listing: 8101 Villandry Drive.
Stats: 6,220 square feet | 5 bedrooms | 5.5 baths.
About: This Martis Camp home is an outdoor entertainer’s paradise, featuring a series of multi-level patios with covered / heated outdoor kitchen and dining, and a hot tub, fire pit, and dry sauna and double-sided fireplace with big screen TVs on each side. This same patio wraps from one end to the other and overlooks the community’s Tom Fazio-designed 12th green and 13th tee box. Separate accordion doors to the kitchen and the great room connect this outdoor space to the indoors. A closer look inside unveils a massive great room with a rock fireplace reaching up to a vaulted ceiling and a game room. Upstairs there is an additional game room with billiards / ping pong, a fridge and sink and windows that open to balcony views of the great room below.
Fazio charts a reno course for Hudson National
⛳️ An extensive renovation of the Tom Fazio-designed Hudson National Golf Club in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, is underway. Leading the project are Tom Marzolf, Rick Phelps and Jeff Lawrence of Fazio Design.
A golf-only club from its opening in 1996, Hudson National, located 40 miles north of New York City and featuring expansive views from high above the Hudson River, has long been a favorite of better players in the competitive New York market, and a regular host of area tournaments. The club’s commitment to pure golf has made it a stalwart on Golf Digest’s list of the top 100 courses in the U.S.
The course closed this month and will reopen in spring 2024. During this time, significant changes will be made to greens, bunkers, grassing, and irrigation, with LaBar Golf Renovations and a crew of 45 handling construction work.
“We’re excited to be working with Team Fazio to recognize their enhanced vision for the golf course and to make a great golf course even greater,” said Phil Moyles, the club's president.
All 18 greens are being rebuilt to USGA specifications. Most will remain in their original locations, but some will be moved, and a number are being redesigned with more contour to match the others. Further, a few greens will be resized or reshaped to create new and more challenging hole locations; others will see changes to their surrounds, including the addition of low-mow areas.
More than 78 existing bunkers will be rebuilt, and many fairway bunkers relocated further from the tee, forcing better players to weigh laying up versus trying to fly over them. New fairway bunkers are being added to nine holes, while some existing ones will be extended into areas of play, pinching landing areas for longer hitters.
⛳️ Municipally-owned Corica Park in Alameda, California, four miles northwest of the Oakland International Airport has retained Bay Area-based Robert Trent Jones II to complete renovations to its venerable North course.
Construction began in June, with Jones’ goal being to deliver a memorable, challenging golf experience for all players that takes a holistic approach to design and sustainability. The North course dates to 1927 and was originally designed by William P. “Billy” Bell, whose son, William F. Bell, created the complex’s South course in 1957. In 2018, Rees Jones, brother of Robert Trent Jones Jr., redesigned the South, which embraced a firm-and-fast Australian Sandbelt theme.
The North’s renovation trajectory is complicated. When Rees Jones reworked the South, he teamed with the management services of Greenway Golf, led by George Kelley, a former Tour player and Marc Logan, its vice president of agronomy. Greenway began a renovation of the North’s front nine in 2018 — with architecture guru Ron Whitten assisting — and completed work in 2021. Greenway acquired new owners, Avani and Umesh Patel in 2020. When the Greenway/Logan relationship went sideways, however, back nine improvements ceased. With that litigation resolved early in 2023, work on the project re-started. Greenway selected the firm of Robert Trent Jones II to perform a full renovation on the back nine and provide small alterations to the front nine.
“What Greenway is doing at Corica Park is impressive and truly different,” said Trent Jones, son of Robert Trent Jones Jr. and chief operating officer of Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects. “Their efforts to transform the site into a vital ecological habitat and socially inclusive resource are a model for the golf course industry and represent a shared values system and inspiration for our team.”
Greenway expects the North course to reopen in December 2024.
⛳️ In late June, Resort Development Partners acquired Loudoun County’s Beacon Hill Golf Club. The former Golf Club of Virginia that opened in 2001 near Leesburg was originally designed by Hall of Fame golfer Johnny Miller. Renamed Beacon Hill Golf Club, the private facility closed in 2006 due to financial difficulties and has languished as a neglected and overgrown site in need of restoration.
Resort Development Partners entered into an agreement with the Beacon Hill Community Association to revive the 27-hole course with a view to reopening in 2024 as The Preserve at Beacon Hill. Plans include converting the 27-hole golf course to 18 holes. Later scheduled improvements will be the addition of a nine-hole family course, a new clubhouse and a golf practice and improvement center. Virginia-based architect Tom Clark, who worked with Miller on the original layout, will handle the renovation and redesign efforts.