SI Vault
 
PGA TOUR CONFIDENTIAL
MICHAEL BAMBERGER
August 08, 2011
What can we expect from Tiger Woods after a 12-week hiatus? Why did he fire his caddie? Is pro golf entering a new era? Who's the player of the year? What's the deal with the Atlanta Athletic Club? And who will win the final major of 2011?
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
August 08, 2011

Pga Tour Confidential

What can we expect from Tiger Woods after a 12-week hiatus? Why did he fire his caddie? Is pro golf entering a new era? Who's the player of the year? What's the deal with the Atlanta Athletic Club? And who will win the final major of 2011?

View CoverRead All Articles
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Shipnuck: Atlanta is an O.K. town, but I sure as heck don't want to be there in August. It's going to be a sauna.

Van Sickle: So you're not pumped for the PGA Championship?

Shipnuck: Besides the physical discomfort for the fans and players, it affects the playing field. You have to water the greens to keep them alive when it's that hot, so AAC will play soft and easy. We already saw that at the U.S. Open. I'd like a more exacting test.

Bamberger: As a golf destination, Atlanta has three things I love. There's the Bobby Jones muni course, very reasonable and playable and fun. There's Druid Hills, an old-timey course that's a lot of fun, if you can get on it. And there's East Lake, home to the Tour Championship, which is fantastic. The course is terrific, and the clubhouse basically has a Bobby Jones museum inside. It's brilliant.

Van Sickle: You're leaving out College Park, a nine-hole public course by the airport. The 9th hole is a steeply uphill par-5 that bends left around the range. They had to put up huge nets along the fairway—a giant fence, basically—to avoid casualties. It's so bad it's good. But what about AAC and the PGA?

Hack: It's not one of my favorite courses, but I do remember some shots from the 2001 PGA there. I recall Shingo Katayama, wearing that cowboy hat, skipping a shot over the pond. Plus, David Toms and that hole in one, and his decision to lay up on 18 on the final hole to win.

Van Sickle: Don't forget the hole where a fan told Phil his putt was slower than it looked. That threw him off, and he three-putted.

Anonymous Pro: The course is just O.K., but I'm intrigued to see how it plays now. I read they've gone to a different grass on the tees and fairways that's more heat-resistant and should stay firmer and faster. Before, your ball exploded when it landed on the soft bentgrass greens. They have a new grass that grows slower so they have to cut the greens only twice a week. It sounds interesting. But still, there are a lot of better courses the PGA could've gone to.

Hack: Exactly. When you have Augusta National a few hours away and East Lake a few exits away, it's tough to get excited about Atlanta Athletic Club.

Garrity: Atlanta Athletic Club hosted the most dismal tournament I have ever covered, the 1990 U.S. Women's Open, during which Patty Sheehan blew a gigantic lead in the last 27 holes to lose by a stroke to Betsy King. Both finished in tears.

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9