?? The PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns LIV Golf, agreed to a merger to “unify the game.” How many questions do you have?

?? Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, will also be the CEO of the new for-profit company formed by the merger. Did he save his job or his legacy?

?? Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of PIF, now has a seat on the PGA Tour Policy Board and will be chairman of the new company. Is this what he wanted all along?

?? Monahan and Policy Board member, the ultra-insider Jimmy Dunne, both say that Monahan and the Tour are now in charge of LIV Golf. Why hasn’t Al-Rumayyan said anything?

?? Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee and Eamon Lynch, who have beat the drum against LIV Golf for more than a year, were both subdued about the merger, with Chamblee saying it was “the saddest day in golf.” Sadder than the day Payne Stewart’s plane crashed? Or the day Arnold Palmer died?

?? Three more LIV Golf players — Sebastian Munoz, Carlos Ortiz and David Puig — made it through U.S. Open sectional qualifying, bringing the total of LIV players to 15 in the Open. Does it matter now?

?? In actual golf competition, the U.S. Open begins next week at Los Angeles CC (North). Will the Open be overshadowed by talk about the merger?

?? Would you bet against Brooks Koepka next week?

?? Rose Zhang won the Mizuho Americas Open in her LPGA Tour debut as a professional. Anyone surprised?

:: Mike Purkey

 

 

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

The PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the main backer of LIV Golf, reach a deal that ends litigation and seeks to “to unify the game of golf”

:: Mike Purkey | Read

Sorting through the various questions associated with the new agreement is going to take time, but the first step is moving past the shock and awe

:: Stuart Hall | Read

Readers of The First Call have plenty to say about the pro game’s landscape-changing agreement that was announced on June 6

:: TFC Inbox | Read

In a wide-ranging interview with contributor Hal Phillips, the course architect discusses his new Pinehurst project and recent handiwork in Australia and New Zealand

:: Hal Phillips | Read

Good reads that are mainly about golf, but not always.

? A catatonic woman awakened after 20 years. Her story may change psychiatry
New research suggests that a subset of patients with psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia may actually have autoimmune disease that attacks the brain
:: Richard Sima | Washington Post ($) | 06.01.2023

? The strange survival of Guinness World Records
For more than half a century, one organisation has been cataloguing all of life’s superlatives. But has it gone from being about the pursuit of knowledge to simply another big business?
:: Imogen West-Knights | The Guardian | 05.25.2023

? $100 million gone in 27 minutes
After possibly the most expensive jewelry heist in U.S. history, Brink’s went after the victims
:: Miranda Green | New York | 05.25.2023

? Lost illusions: The untold story of the hit show’s poisonous culture
The show was a groundbreaking smash, but behind the scenes it devolved into such toxicity that even co-showrunner Damon Lindelof now says of his leadership: “I failed.” A powerful excerpt from the new book Burn It Down
:: Maureen Ryan | Vanity Fair | 05.30.2023

Jack and Barbara Nicklaus have raised $165 million for their foundation

:: Jared Doerfler | Read

Each Monday, Jared Doerfler breaks down the business of golf. Subscribe to Perfect Putt here.

Baltusrol Golf Club beverage director DeMichael Givens serves up a cocktail that ties in nicely with the club that has hosted 17 major championships in its 125-year history.

 

 

The Upper Course 75.

Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey
The Upper Course 75 was crafted in the style of the classic French 75 cocktail with a splash of grapefruit juice for a refreshing twist. Our philosophy is to keep our cocktails bright, exciting, and perfect for an evening on the Terrace after a round of golf at Baltusrol.

DeMichael Givens, Beverage Director, Baltusrol Golf Club
Serves:
 1.
Ingredients:
> 1/2 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
> 1/2 ounce Bluecoat Elderflower Gin
> 1 ounce grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed)
> Schramsberg Blanc De Blancs (fill to finish) 
Preparation: Pour the St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Bluecoat Elderflower Gin, and the grapefruit juice into a champagne flute,  then fill to the top with Schramsberg Blanc De Blancs. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

More food and drink recipes can be found at GolfKitchen.com.

Each episode of the “Course of Life” podcast closes with the guest sharing a favorite 19th hole experience.

Lauren Stephenson, LPGA Tour player: “It’s two answers for me. During tournament week, I like when the clubs put out salmon and veggies and healthy stuff … but when I’m at home, it’s usually chicken fingers and fries with honey mustard.”

:: Alex Lauzon | Co-host of “Course of Life” podcast

 

 

Kahalawai Custom Home No. 15, Kauai, Hawaii.

Kukui’ula | Kauai, Hawaii 

Listing: Kahalawai Custom Home No. 15.
Stats:
 6 bedrooms | 6.5 bathrooms | 4,283 square feet | .8 acres.
Price: $10,250,000.

About: An ideal family haven, this home is equipped with an infinity-edge saltwater pool and spa that boast sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountain ranges. Flowing seamlessly into the outdoors, the disappearing pocket doors extend the living room into the expansive lanai with an outdoor kitchen and dining area. Situated on .8 acres, the manicured lawn is functional for games, family gatherings and entertaining. Furnished by award-winning Marc-Michaels, the home features a kids room with built-in beds, office space, kitchen and pantry, ample living spaces and three-car garage. Kukui‘ula’s innovative home offerings tout tropical modern architecture with immediate access to endless activities just steps outside. There is an abundance of exclusive amenities and programming available to owners (farm access, Hi’ilani Spa, saltwater pools, clubhouse and various island activities). For golf, there is the 18-hole Tom Weiskopf-designed Kukui’ula course at The Lodge at Kukui’ula, a challenging layout highlighted by its par-4 14th hole. Its paspalum fairways weave through the 216-acres development where golfers enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean with dolphins and humpback whales popping up close to shore during the round.

 

 

Ernie Els on the site of Oleada Golf Links, which is to open in 2026.

?? Oleada Pacific Living & Golf, a new 860-acre oceanfront community on the southern point of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, announced in late April that it will be the flagship location for World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els’ first golf course design in Mexico.

Els is designing an 18-hole links-style championship course, Oleada Golf Links, situated 15 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas and set along Oleada’s 1-mile stretch of beach. With the Pacific Ocean in the backdrop for the desert landscape, the resort community of Oleada will offer a unique luxury experience that melds an unparalleled collection of resort and residential options.

Els, winner of 75 professional tournaments worldwide, including four majors, has evolved into one of the game’s leading architects, with numerous award-winning courses dotting the globe. Based on decades of competing on different types of courses across four continents, Els has accrued a profound understanding of how to utilize the best elements for golf design. He believes in producing an aesthetically pleasing course, and one that’s challenging and yet playable.

“Our goal at Oleada will be to build a core golf course that harmonizes with nature,” Els said. “We envision a compact design that drapes naturally on the land, steps lightly on nature’s toes and functions as an environmental steward of the site’s indigenous flora and fauna. With its rolling dunes, elevation changes and majestic desert-meets-ocean setting, I believe we can produce a versatile test that will rank among the best and most beautiful courses we’ve ever built.”

The seaside site for the new 7,366-yard, par-72 course is a spectacular parcel of land and has an intricate maze of windswept dunes and sandy ridges. These natural landforms offer sheltered valleys and winding corridors ideal for the placement of golf holes. Els, a two-time winner of the Open Championship, has a special fondness for links courses and a deep knowledge of how seaside breezes dictate shot values and strategy.

“Because the native contours and dune formations are so good, very little earthmoving will be required to build the course,” Els said. “Shaping will be very minimalistic. Man cannot improve on what Mother Nature has created over the eons. The golf course that we create at Oleada will be here long after I’m gone. That means something and it makes me feel very proud.”

Oleada will feature some of the most recognized names in design, including Vision Land Design, WATG, iconic Mexican architect Victor Legorreta and landscape architecture by Design Studio of Michael McKay.

Phase One will comprise the golf course, three luxury beachfront resorts, and high-quality infrastructure to receive guests and golf enthusiasts. The development broke ground in January 2023 and is expected to open in early 2026. Oleada Golf Links Los Cabos will be open for public play in its first season.

?? The Preserve at Ironhorse in West Palm Beach, Florida, has reopened following a renovation from Rees Jones and his associate, Bryce Swanson.

Jones and his team remodeled bunkers and green complexes to enhance playability and aesthetics, while also improving conditions and infrastructure.

“The turf was at the end of its lifecycle,” Jones told GolfCourseArchitecture.net. “The construction of the greens was very different in the late 1980s when it was built. In some places where we dug down we found some very dark material — the superintendent Jay Pacholczak finally found out why he was having such a hard time growing grass.”

In its early days, the course was known as Ironhorse and was designed by Arthur Hills and Mike Dasher for Alan Sher, the retired button magnate. John Strawn told the development story in the 1991 book, “Driving the Green: The Making of a Golf Course.”

The development challenges included accounting for the nearby Grassy Waters Preserve, 24 miles of wetlands that serve as a main water supply for the region. A handful of holes skirt the buffer that shields the course from the preserve, so Jones took every precaution in protecting those areas, including relocating the 10th green and utilizing a natural waste area to prevent interaction with the buffer that leads to the preserve.

“A lot of bunkers around the greens are to keep the ball from going into the natural areas,” Jones said. “People sometimes misconstrue what sand areas are about: they can also act as a protective feature, rather than just a penal one.”

Seeking a more fun, traditional layout than what Hills and Dasher created, current owner Thomas O’Malley retained Jones, who shifted approach angles, yanked bunkers from in front of the greens, relocated greens farther away from water and recontoured the putting surfaces.

Holes such as the fifth and sixth, back-to-back par-5s, sport updated bunkering to provide more variety and memorability, while another par-5, the 14th, had bunkers fronting the green eliminated, thus providing more options in getting the ball to the hole.

“I think the par-3s are very interesting too,” Swanson said. “They vary greatly in terms of length from the short third to the long 13th, that plays alongside water. It was nearly impossible before and we’ve been complemented on making it challenging but manageable.”

?? Donald Trump and his son Eric were on hand for the May 1 groundbreaking of the new MacLeod course, the second golf course at Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Martin Hawtree, who designed the first course at the property in 2012, will also design this one. The course is to be constructed to the southwest of the original layout and is named for Mary MacLeod, Donald Trump’s mother, who hailed from Scotland.

“We are going to build a great golf course that aims to replicate the outstanding championship links we already have here and many believe to be the greatest golf course in the world,” said the elder Trump. “We will build a course that will be fit to host many great championships in the future along with our championship links. We’ve had a lot of pleasure in working on this land and there is no other land like it. We have incredible views by the sea and there are no other dunes like these in the world. It will be a great success.

“This project is very close to my heart and I am delighted to say that this is our first day of work on the new course. It will be dedicated to my late mother and that is a source of great pride to me and my family.”

RELATED: Design Notes archive

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