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Was Zac Blair wrong in his remarks about Glen Abbey?

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Zac Blair is one of the most engaging and accessible PGA Tour pros on Twitter. He’s also an unabashed golf architecture nerd, so his opinion about a course carries weight.

The proprietor of the future Buck Club, Blair was asked by Golf Channel’s Chantel McCabe for his thoughts on Glen Abbey, host site of the Canadian Open.

He said, “Yeah, um, you know, it’s OK.”

OK!? You mean a PGA Tour venue is something less than great? This won’t play well…

Blair continued

“I mean, the course is in really good shape, which is always nice and that’s all you can ask, but it sounds like it’s going to Hamilton next year and that sounds like a pretty neat spot, so I’m looking forward to that for sure.”

Here’s the clip, c/o the Fried Egg

Canadian golf writer Rick Young was having none of it (although he later offered Blair an apology)

Here’s the thing: Blair didn’t say Glen Abbey ought to be renamed Glen Goat Track. He merely gave it a five or six on a scale of 10.

Golfweek’s Brentley Romine put Blair’s points in the appropriate objective(ish) context.

“According to Golfweek’s rating system, Blair is right…In ranking all the Tour courses in 2017-18, Glen Abbey, a 1976 Jack Nicklaus design, slotted 36th out of the 55 courses with Golfweek ratings…Back in 2016, the last time Golfweek did a ranking of modern courses in Canada, Glen Abbey ranked 32nd.”

In other words, it’s an OK track–exactly as Blair said.

Should players be obligated to offer puffery to a host venue merely because tournament is being contested their? Should Blair be encouraged to dial back his honesty? I certainly don’t think so.

What say you, WRXers?

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. joro

    Sep 1, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Just another worthless post by this hack who makes his life writing stupid stories. The Clown is still the Clown.

  2. Matt

    Aug 17, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Ben, first off you and the WRX team should hire a proof reader. “Their” is the possessive pronoun of the third person plural; “there” is a preposition. If ZB feeds the press the same line as every other pro focusing on the positive then he’s a robot. If he tells the truth then he’s disrespectful. No one who likes golf course architecture likes Nicklaus. No one. Not a big surprise.

  3. MIKEYP

    Jul 30, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    It would be interesting to know what Zac’s favorite courses are? He probably doesn’t have a favorite given he hasn’t and will never win a PGA event, but it would be informative to know what course architecture he fancies? He is designing a course called the buck club. It may only ever exist in his sketch book, but to all his friends, it comes alive when they close their eyes. He’s even made hats for it. When people see the hats and ask the likes of Utah has been golfers about the course, they simply reply, “its in our dreams.”

  4. Ben

    Jul 30, 2018 at 10:31 am

    I think he’s right about the design, and he made sure to not insult the super or any of the grounds crew in the process. Good on Zac Blair for actually answering the question and shame on everyone for trying to turn a non-cookie-cutter answer into a spectacle. That’s why guys don’t want to give interesting interviews in the first place.

  5. Commoner

    Jul 28, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Zac Blair? A news item? Is everyone today with a mouth or a ‘pencil’ a notable worthy of quoting?

  6. Pedro

    Jul 28, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    “merely because tournament is being contested their?” Me fail English? That’s unpossible!

    • Kyle

      Jul 31, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      Ohhhh Pedro Pedro. Thanks for the laugh! YOU are unpossible!! Lol.

  7. ChipNRun

    Jul 28, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Reportedly ZB is a golf architecture aficionado. From the remark, it sounds like he has a few really favorite courses, and then there’s the others.

    Sounds like a slow news day on the sports desk, and ZB’s remark was the most exciting thing they had to deal with.

  8. Bert Gwaltney

    Jul 28, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I think Zac is knowledgeable, not sure if he slammed the course, just didn’t provide fake remarks.

  9. Brett Weir

    Jul 28, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Having the Canadian Open every year at Glen Abbey is like having Chicken for dinner…for a month…

  10. chris devens

    Jul 28, 2018 at 9:15 am

    He was right. Zac Blair is great.

  11. Dave r

    Jul 28, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Would agree not much to look at. Very hard to watch on tv . Plow it under and build condos. There are way better places other than Toronto to hold the golf tourney. Some very good courses in the other provences. It’s not just about tronta and the east . Go west young man go west.

  12. Will

    Jul 27, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    I guess nobody remembers Dave Hill saying Hazeltine was missing “only 80 acres of corn and a few cows to be a good farm.” Nothing wrong at all with what Zac said.

  13. IMO

    Jul 27, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    What nobody can have an opinion? Jesus… It’s a golf course not a hospital… More people got on Zac than Rodney Dangerfield in CaddyShack, for saying golf courses and cemeteries are the biggest waste of prime real estate… HAHA

  14. Looper

    Jul 27, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Canada? Where’s Canada?

    • 4RiGHT

      Jul 27, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      Canada is a club soda I think!

    • Geohogan

      Jul 28, 2018 at 12:34 am

      Careful Looper, Bub. Canada is a national security threat, right up there with N Korea… Better believe it. They may even take back the Stanley Cup ..one day.

  15. Ryan B

    Jul 27, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    You should note that Rick apologized for his comments after the fact based on twitter replies about the course itself and not just the history.

    ZB is right, Glen Abbey isn’t a great golf course, but like many courses on the PGA Tour its about the ability to handle crowds and conditioning than it is about great architecture and layout.

    I love that Zac was honest, and as someone that lives quite close to the course, I appreciate its history but would have no objective to it being plowed over into condos. Their are a LOT of better golf courses in the Toronto area but they cant hold PGA events because of the property they are on.

    • CDC

      Jul 28, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      Funny enough, The corporation that owns Glen Abbey is trying to build housing/condos over the golf course. The city of Oakville is trying their best to stop it though.

  16. CDC

    Jul 27, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    I think most Canadians regard the ScoreGolf’s rankings as the definitive guide to the best courses in Canada. This year, Glen Abbey ranks as the 67th best golf course in Canada. I tend to agree. Personally, I don’t think it even belongs among the best in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.

  17. Geohogan

    Jul 27, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Relative to the great golf courses of the world , Glen Abbey is a goat tract. A goat track with a lot of history, not the least of which, one of Jack’s first major design jobs.

    Kudos to Zac Blair for his diplomatic reply.

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19th Hole

Terrible hats are proof Koepka not human, likely an alien robot from the future

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For all this talk about Brooks Koepka not receiving the credit he deserves, it’s time we put the focus on the important things — like hats. And the overwhelming evidence that Koepka is, in fact, a high-functioning alien robot. From the future.

Case in point: everyone who appreciates a classic aliens-hide-among-humans-disguised-as-humans movie knows the most important scene — the first reveal of the aliens! Think back to that first time you watched Men in Black, and that cold open where Tommy Lee Jones confronts “Mikey,” who turns out to be a flippered blue alien, and then (sadly) has to shoot Mikey when he attempts to attack a police officer with all seven of his limbs. A beautiful piece of filmmaking, no doubt.

Well, inadvertently, during the first two rounds of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Nike pulled a Mikey, but without having Tommy Lee Jones’ famous memory-wiping technology. They weren’t quite ready to tell the world their poster boy of dominance wasn’t a real human, but the cat’s out of the bag, folks.

After all, if Koepka wasn’t a robot, how could we explain his willingness to wear that hat in public, let alone wear it on television, during one of the sports biggest stages, at one of the world’s best courses? And we all know exactly which hat we’re talking about — the one that looks exactly like your grandmother’s shower curtain in her spare bathroom. If we can all agree there’s no feasible way all the designers at Nike thought the hat in question actually looked good, we’re forced to consider…something mysterious is afoot. What is Nike trying to hide from us? They’re clearly trying to divert our attention away from something, but — what is it?!

The answer is clear. There’s a murderous blue alien robot underneath that hat. He just happens to be really damn good at golf.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware of Koepka’s dominance over the past 24 months. The dude has done nothing but win majors, winning with an aura of unflappability we haven’t seen since the original robot said “Hello, World” back when Koepka was learning how to read. (Or, more likely, Koepka never actually learned to read, just programmed to read).

Would it be that much of a surprise to learn Koepka is the world’s first successful application of Artificial Intelligence? A robot designed not for war, but a delightful piece of technology designed for smashing drives, pushing weights, and holing an obscene amount of pressure-packed putts.

Here’s where this gets tricky – what do we do next, golf fans? Do we call our suspicions into the USGA, the same way some dude at home on his couch somehow called a penalty(-ish) on Dustin Johnson a couple years ago? Probably not. We know with certainy the USGA would completely screw that up. They might not even rule on an appropriate penalty for Koepka’s non-humanness until the event is over, keeping us all in the dark all evening Sunday.

Here’s my thoughts: maybe we just accept it. Act like it’s n.b.d. Brooks Koepka is just an alien robot, most likely from some time in the future, sent here to entertain us with some of the most unbelievable golf we’ll ever see on this planet or the next.

But please, Nike, let’s all wink at each other with knowing smiles, and at least pretend he’s just your run of the mill (non-alien) professional golfer. Give him one of your clean looking white swoosh hats Rory wears. They look great! Or, hell, let him just take off the hat altogether and let the alien hang out. We don’t care. Just don’t make us look at grandma’s shower curtain over the weekend. It’s an insult to spare bathrooms everywhere.

 

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (6.14.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Dormie Workshop with limited edition covers using real flags from Pebble Beach.

 ”Banksy Gilmore” U.S. Open – Pebble Beach Headcover from American Flatsticks.

How about this custom Scotty from Embrace Putters?

Andrew Halford sharing his cool video of Tiger Woods on the practice green at Pebble Beach.

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Just @tigerwoods practicing putting.

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Immaculate work from those in charge at Pebble.

Swag’s King putter cover in action.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

Jordan Spieth blasts caddie, Michael Greller, during round one of the U.S. Open after back-to-back errors

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Jordan Spieth began his U.S. Open campaign with a one-over round of 72, and on the eight hole at Pebble Beach, the Texan let his frustration spill over as he laid into his caddie, Michael Greller, after back-to-back mistakes.

The 25-year-old was even par at the time, but on the treacherous eight hole he hit his tee shot through the fairway and off the cliff, before taking a drop and hitting his third shot over the green.

Fox Sports microphones picked up Spieth’s frustration at this moment, as he appeared to blast his caddie.

“Two perfect shots, Michael. You got me in the water on one and over the green on the other.”

After his round, Spieth clarified that the comment was made due to his frustration that as a team, the two couldn’t figure out how to get things right on the hole.

“When you hit a couple of shots exactly where you want and one’s in the water and the next one’s dead over the green, I’m going to be frustrated that as a team we didn’t figure out how to make sure that didn’t happen.

I may have looked like the bad guy, but my intentions were that we should be in play if the ball is hit solidly.”

Spieth tees off on day two alongside Tiger Woods and Justin Rose at 11:24 AM ET.

 

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