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Public Golf in the modern era



By Dom Fasciglione

GolfWRX Contributor

When I was a kid I remember going to the golf course with my father. It wasn’t a fancy place. There was a single-story club house with a small restaurant and bar area on one side and a pro shop and locker area on the other. To the right there was a practice green and directly from the front door one stepped out onto a driving range. The club house was appointed in dark paneling and green wall to wall carpet.  The aroma of fried eggs and stale coffee permeated the place. It was a comfortable place, and familiar.

Upon arrival my father would make the rounds, visiting the restaurant for a cup of coffee, borrowing a paper to check the latest scores, and eventually making his way to the pro shop. It was usually at this moment I would make my move.

“Dad, I’m going outside.”

“Don’t wander and stay clear of anyone making a swing, you hear?”

After the obligatory “Yessir” I would make a mad dash for the practice green.  I had an old, bent Bullseye putter and dejected wedge from my father’s old golf bag with a bone hard grip and grooves that long ago appeared to have melted away in a bygone era.

People would come and go. The starters would be casual observers and sometimes would take an interest in my “practice routine,” which usually involved wedging out all of the crabgrass between the cart path and the 1st tee. One of the starters made me rake out a bunker one fine, sunny morning after I had decided to use it for a golf ball race track.

After a couple hours I would meander over to the range where I would find my father, brows furrowed, forearms bulging, and sweat upon his forehead.

“Did you practice your putting?”

“Umm, sort of.”

“Okay.  You ready?”  I was ready.

After a brief chat with the starter we were off. There were others golfing but we seldom had to wait or hurry. We occasionally shared a tee time with folks, and until I was about thirteen I would mostly caddie with an occasional tee shot here and there.  I frequently would go ball hunting, entering the woods on the third or fourth hole and coming out on the fifth or sixth.  I recall the woods being dark and overgrown, wayward balls lying half buried in the moist undergrowth. Max Fli Blue Dots, Top-Flights, Dunlops, Titleists.

Eventually the round would come to a close.  We would make our way back to the club house. I would have a coke and he a beer. Back at the car, an old Chevy station wagon, we would clean our clubs and shoes, stash them in the back, and head on home. All the way home I could smell the wet grass and worn leather as we listened to the local AM radio station.

It seems times have changed, of course. The course has changed a bit, but not all that much. The trees are taller; the woods have been cleared out a good deal. There are new tee boxes and a couple holes have been rerouted. The club house has been renovated and all the faces are new. I guess the most significant change has less to do with place and more to do with time.

The routine today is as follows: reserve a tee time two days in advance. One must call early enough to secure a morning time. If the call is made too late, one runs the risk of interfering with the league times. A credit card number is required.  In the event of cancellation, without due notice of at least three hours, a charge will be placed upon the card.  Golfers are required to arrive 30 minutes prior to tee time, check inn, pay, and then show proof of purchase and tee time to the starter. Starters are equipped with walkie-talkies and anticipate arrivals to the tee box. No one may be on the course without equipment and proof of purchase.

The schedule is tight. Golfers are most often no further than 250 yards from the group behind and the group in front. People have little patience and seemingly less time.

Yes, times have changed. The tempo has changed. I just hope the game doesn’t.

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  1. Drew

    Apr 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Golf is becoming more of a race to the finish every year. I wish we could go back to the old days of casual play.

  2. A. Lynch

    Feb 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Great story, Dom. I can almost smell that cut grass.

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Tour News

Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut



Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.


Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.


We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tour News

Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open



After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Custom Camerons, wedge stampings, a 6-hybrid, and Tiger wearing Tennis shoes?



Yesterday, we brought you shots of Thomas Pieters’ iron stamping, Adam Scott’s new (shorter) wand, and more.

Today, we’ve got some more choice shots from the range at Riviera from Tuesday’s practice. Strap in for a sampling from a cornucopia of WITB shots and a helping of Tiger Woods (who we feature in two galleries). We also discussed his new driver shaft yesterday, so if you missed that piece, check it out.

On to the pictures.

First up, Wesley Bryan looks to be gaming an some Anthony Taranto artistry with his 54-degree Mack Daddy 4 wedge. Do work, indeed!

Ted Potter, Jr. won more than a million dollars at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. But as the check hasn’t come yet, he hasn’t been able to buy Goo Gone to take the tape residue off the bottom of his putter.

A custom Cam for Rafa Cabrera Bello.

…and William McGirt.

#GrindGoals (Luke Donald’s 60-degree Mizuno T7)

Vijay Singh looks to have gotten his foot stuck in a bear trap, and yet he’s still practicing!

The most famous putter in golf, and Nike Vapor Advantage tennis shoes for Tiger?

Apparently, all the weight modification available on PXG 0311 irons was insufficient for Charl Schwartzel.

When your name scripting matches your sponsor’s script…

This is not the WITB of a 20-handicapper, rather Camilo Villegas may be the only Tour pro gaming a 6-hybrid.

So much is going on with Camilo Villegas’ irons…

You’ve seen custom stampings, but how about Bubba Watson’s custom shaft and custom shaft graphic?

When you’re the only PGA Tour professional to own a candy store, your wedge imagery reflects that fact.

The Big Cat browsing GolfWRX on mobile, no doubt…

If you’d like to dig deeper, we have two galleries of range photos from the Riv, plus 13 (!) WITB threads. Dig in!

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19th Hole