If it's broken, then by all means fix the problem
+ Nine things to ponder, Gary Van Sickle riffs on Tiger Woods and Camilo Villegas, and a Heisman winner's 19th hole take that's a heart-stopper
Editor’s note: In observance of Thanksgiving, The First Call | Extra will not publish on Saturday, Nov. 25. We will resume on Saturday, Dec. 2. In the meantime have a safe and enjoyable holiday.
ON THE TEE
🏌️Rory McIlroy abruptly resigned from the PGA Tour Policy Board and a report says he wants to leave South Florida and move to London within the next year. Is this a geographic cure?
🏌️Jon Rahm was asked in Dubai at the DP World Tour Championship if he has any desire to replace McIlroy on the Policy Board. In two words: “no chance.” Should anyone be surprised?
🏌️A memo from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan to the Tour players says “framework agreement” negotiations are ongoing and PGA Tour players will have an equity position in PGA Tour Enterprises. Surprising?
🏌️The top 10 players in the Race to Dubai on the DP World Tour, not otherwise exempt, will get full cards to play the PGA Tour. Is the PGA Tour doing to Europe what it claims LIV Golf did to the PGA Tour?
🏌️Part of the dome over SoFi Center, the custom-built arena for simulator league TGL, collapsed as the result of a power failure. Is that an omen?
🏌️The Netflix Cup, in which PGA Tour players teamed with Formula 1 drivers in a made-for-streaming match, was widely panned as farcical and unwatchable. Isn’t real golf always preferable?
🏌️Phil Mickelson spent a day-and-a-half helping an unknown player named Mark Baldwin prepare for the second stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament after Ryan French (Monday Q Info on X, formerly Twitter) sent Lefty a DM. Isn’t it hard to torch Mickelson all the time?
🏌️Gary Woodland is hitting balls two months after successful brain surgery. Wonder if he will look at 3-footers differently?
🏌️The CME Group Tour Championship, the LPGA Tour’s season-ender, will increase its purse to $11 million with a $4 million winner’s check in 2024. Will the players attend the sponsor’s dinner — which they didn’t in 2022?
:: Mike Purkey
How to fix the U.S. Ryder Cup team selection process
The American squad’s 35% win percentage since 1983 is a clear indicator that something is wrong. This proposal would better ensure that the U.S. is sending out its 12 best players
:: Peter Hill | Read
Camilo Villegas is in a blessed state
The 41-year-old has resurrected his PGA Tour career and is stronger as a result of some low personal and professional struggles
:: Gary Van Sickle | Read
Tiger, Tiger, Tiger ... it's Tiger time
A real-life Happy Gilmore and playing for big bucks in the minors
:: Gary Van Sickle | Read
It's time to start checking that list
Get your holiday shopping started with this selection of golf and lifestyle products chosen by The First Call staff
:: The First Call | Read
Good reads that are mainly about golf, but not always.
📖 These fake images reveal how AI amplifies our worst stereotypes
AI image generators like Stable Diffusion and DALL-E amplify bias in gender and race, despite efforts to detoxify the data fueling these results
:: Nitasha Tiku / Kevin Schaul / Szu Yu Chen | Washington Post | 11.01.2023
📖 The ‘crispy R’ and why R is the weirdest letter
I made a bunch of linguists listen to this social media phenomenon and tell me what’s going on
:: Dan Nosowitz | Atlas Obscura | 11.02.2023
📖 The murky math of the New York Times bestsellers list
How to land one of the spots on the list
:: Katherine Laidlaw | The Hustle | 10.27.2023
📖 A Formula One pit stop: 2 seconds of adrenaline and pressure
How it works, how Red Bull got to be the best and what Haas is doing to improve
:: Bonnie Berkowitz / Artur Galocha | Washington Post | 10.18.2023
1️⃣8️⃣ The golf industry’s week in review — the names, news and notables that are making the headlines. :: Read
Callaway's stock price is down 49%
Callaway announced financial results last week — their stock took a hit — down nearly 20% the following trading session. Today’s newsletter looks at Callaway to see if there is a concern in the golf industry or a Callaway-focused concern
THE FIRST CALL THIS WEEK
THE STYLE LINKS
Loving Asher Golf’s creamy neutral layout here. ‘Tis the season to be tonal. #thinkholidayshopping
:: Janice Ferguson | IG: @janiceferguson_thestylelinks
Each episode of the “Course of Life” podcast closes with the guest sharing a favorite 19th hole experience.
Danny Wuerffel, former University of Florida quarterback and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner: “Well, I love my go-to order at the Waffle House of six eggs, potatoes, sausage, cheese, triple tomatoes and triple onions. I messed up the order last time, trying to use their lingo, but I've learned my lesson now."
:: Alex Lauzon | Co-host of “Course of Life” podcast
Punta Mita | Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Listing: Casa Tuki.
Stats: 12,917 square feet | 6 bedrooms | 8 bathrooms.
About: Casa Tuki, one of 10 custom homesites at Las Vistas Estates in the Careyeros Mountains, showcases sweeping panoramic views of Banderas Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The two-level villa features ample indoor/outdoor living space for families and guests to reconnect. In addition to the vantage point of the “Punta Mita Only" vistas, the residence includes a fully equipped gym, infinity-edge swimming pool and an expansive terrace with a fire pit and garden. Casa Tuki offers peace of mind and security while unlocking laid-back luxury with world-class amenities, striking views and an idyllic location. Casa Tiki has access to two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses — Pacifico Golf Course, which is best known for its famous island green, “The Tale of the Whale,” and the Bahia Golf Course.
Tripp Davis completes a vintage bunker reno
⛳️ Tripp Davis and Associates recently completed a comprehensive bunker project at Sonoma Golf Club in Sonoma, California. The 1928 Sam Whiting design played host to many Hall-of-Fame names over the years, including Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Tom Watson, who won the 2005 Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Sonoma in 2005.
"It is part restoration to install a sustainable structure for the bunkers, part restoration of the style of the original architect Sam Whiting, and part redesign to position bunkers to fit the modern game with more strategic interest," Davis said.
“Sam Whiting was the original golf architect of the Olympic Club in San Francisco, where he exhibited a simple but very elegant style in his bunkers. That was his direction in style at Sonoma back in 1928 and I could not be more proud of what we have done there. Our team of [senior associate] Kyle Downs and [shaper] Jason Gold has collectively worked for TDA for 30 years and what they’ve done at Sonoma is amazing."
The bunker project at Sonoma is part of a larger Master Plan to enhance the golf course and practice facilities over time for owners Escalante Golf.
"Sonoma Golf Club has always been a hidden gem in the Sonoma Wine Country," head golf professional Tony Marshall said. "Having spent a tenure of 19-plus years at Sonoma, I have witnessed how the golf course has changed. Over time, golf courses require attention to detail and some changes are needed. The changes at Sonoma have been very impactful with the recent bunker renovation executed by Tripp and his team.
"Tripp clearly wanted to create an historic look, while adapting to the modern game for all levels of golfers. His course enhancements will continue to challenge the competitive golfer through new shots and sight lines. Importantly for our members, the renovated bunkers provide easy access to walk in and out of, which is so important."