So, you want to play Augusta or Pine Valley or any of the other so-called “untouchable” courses that it’s “impossible” to get on?

It’s tough to do, no question, but not necessarily beyond possibility. There are a few tried and true ways of fulfilling this mission impossible.

You could cultivate a friendship with a member and hopefully he will like you enough to spring for 18. The problem may come with reciprocating, especially if most of your golf is at the Leaking Sprinkler Golf and Tennis Resort course.

Augusta, GA, USA - October 16, 2020: An entrance to the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. The Augusta National Golf Club is home to the annual Masters PGA tournament.

A charity event on the course is a perfect way to get on. However, a potential drawback is the fee, which in the case of a pro-am can amount to several thousand dollars. Another possibility is becoming a volunteer worker for an event held on the “untouchable” since many offer a round of golf as appreciation.

How about a career change? Get a job at one of the “impossible” clubs or a job with a company that is a vendor to the club. Club employees often can play when the course is otherwise closed, and vendors sometimes can get on as part of the business relationship. This may sound a bit extreme, but your significant-other will understand, right?

We all know however, the most direct way to get on an “untouchable” course is to choose your parents carefully.

Is it a Merger or a Partnership or a Buyout?
The topic even non-golfers have been talking about is the deal between the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, and LIV Golf. LIV is funded by the billions of dollars in the Saudi royal family’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) from selling their oil to the West. When first announced it was tagged a “merger,” then after a couple of weeks the description became a “partnership,” but many wonder despite the supposed framework agreement if it isn’t really a buyout by the Saudi’s.

In business, there is almost never a true merger—one of the entities always comes out on top. This “merger” calls for the formation of a new “for-profit” company with the PIF providing the initial cash investment and possibly future investments. The PGAT will run the golf events, scheduling, rules, etc. for the PGAT, DPWT, and LIV while keeping its not-for-profit status.

LIV golf

In any organization from General Motors to the corner coffee shop, the guy with the money calls the shots. So, who has the money in this deal? You know the answer. We’re told PGAT Commissioner Jay Monahan will be CEO of the for-profit entity while the PIF’s Yasir al-Rumayyan will be chairman of the board. The preliminary agreement specifies the PGAT will always have a controlling voting interest in the new company.

Monahan said after the PGAT spent $50 million in legal fees and $100 million purse increases to keep top names from leaving, these large payouts could not be sustained. The PIF has a reported $650 billion in assets so the PGAT could never continue a head-to-head fight.

Will this deal in whatever shape come to pass? Will the players who remained loyal to the PGAT forsaking the LIV millions revolt or be given part ownership in the new company? Will the LIV series survive at all and if not, how will LIV players integrate back into the PGAT? Will the U.S. Congress or Department of Justice demand their say? Stay tuned. This is far from over.

Adams Golf DTC
TaylorMade-DriverA lot of us have fond memories of Adams Golf and founder Barney Adams inventor of the famous Tight Lies hybrids. The company was purchased by TaylorMade Golf in 2012 but since then, the company has all but disappeared from the golfing landscape. Speculation at the time was TaylorMade had been looking to gain access to the Adams innovative Velocity Slot technology which TaylorMade now uses and calls a Speed Pocket.

TaylorMade has now announced a unique strategy for a major club company; Adams will sell directly to consumers, no big box or green grass retail.

The new idea family of woods and irons is built from what are now more or less standard design components and sold only over the Internet on the Adams website. Clubs are constructed with lots of forgiveness and “easy launch” to target the growing number of new players and pricing is “golfer-friendly” with drivers listing for $300 and an iron set for $599.

Women’s Golf Phenom
Aside from the seemingly endless discussion of the PGA Tour’s deal with LIV Golf, the LPGA Tour has had some excitement of its own. Rose Zhang, coming off a stellar amateur career at Stanford, including consecutive NCAA Individual Championships, turned professional and won her first pro-outing, the Mizuho Americas Open. Zhang is the first to accomplish this since Beverly Hanson in 1951.

Rose Zhang

The 20-year-old Californian had a tie for 8th in her first major, the KPMG Women’s PGA, and a very credible T-9 at Pebble Beach in the U.S. Women’s Open.

By the way, in case you haven’t noticed, the LPGA is worth paying attention to. The fields are international in scope, and they play on top tier courses such as Baltusrol Golf Club (KPMG PGA Championship), Pebble Beach Golf Links (Women’s U.S. Open), and Walton Heath Golf Club (AIG Women’s Open).

Block Party at Oak Hill
Oak Hill Country Club scene of the PGA Championship and we were treated to the remarkable story of a club pro from Misson Viejo, Calif., Michael Block. The 46-year-old not only made the cut, a club pro rarity, but finished in a tie for 15th earning a cool $288,333 and the right to play in next year’s Championship.

The big story though was Block’s slam dunk hole-in-one in Sunday’s final round playing with Rory McIlroy. To say the fans in the stands went wild is a gross understatement and doesn’t approach the frenzy on social media. Block became the talk of golfers and non-golfers but unfortunately, it didn’t last long. After receiving a sponsor’s exemption into the RBC Canadian Open, he missed the cut and then failed to qualify for the U.S. Open. Oh, well. At least he had his 15 minutes of fame.

It Took 69 Years
Nick Taylor won the Canadian Open on the fourth playoff hole over Englishman Tommy Fleetwood. Taylor is the first native to win his National Open since Pat Fletcher in 1954, an unlikely span of 69 years, unless you consider the last Canadian winner before Fletcher was 40 years previous. Fans will also remember in 1955 the Championship was won by a young Pennsylvanian for his inaugural Tour victory…Arnold Palmer.

The event has a rich history and is the first of the three so-called triple crown opens—the Canadian Open, the United States Open, and what we Americans call the British Open. All three have only been won in the same year twice: in 1971 by Lee Trevino and in 2000 by Tiger Woods.