Phil Mickelson Interested in Buying the San Diego Padres

A lifelong Padres fan, Phil Mickelson, is frustrated about the team’s performance this year.  Unlike most fans, Phil has the cash to do something about it.  As the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, Mickelson is ready to join a group of investors, headed up by Pete O’Malley.  O’Malley is no stranger to being a big league owner.  He is the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Growing up, the Padres were my team and still are,” Mickelson said Monday. “I always had a love for the team. But (recently) I just felt disassociated with the organization a little bit as a fan. I just know I didn’t identify with the players or have an emotional connection.

“Where I want to get involved is I want to get a personal involvement with the players and the community — personal interaction with fans, more community outreach. I want to create an emotional tie with the players and the community.”

It’s no secret that Mickelson loves baseball.  In 2003, he tried out for the Detroit Tigers triple A team, the Toledo Mud Hens.  He also threw batting practice for the Cleveland Indians doubt A team, the Akron Aeros.  He never actually played in a game.

Golf Course Design: Industry Mourns Loss of Leading Designer John Harbottle III

The golf course design industry has lost a legend.  John Harbottle III, an American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) Member and president of John Harbottle Design of Tacoma, Washington, died May 24, 2012. He was 53.  Harbottle is survived by his wife, Teresa, and children, Johnny and Chelsea.

John Harbottle was, quite literally, born into the game. The son of Pacific Northwest Hall of Fame golfers, he turned his early love for playing into a career developing world class golf courses.

A landscape architecture graduate from the University of Washington, Harbottle began his career in 1984, with ASGCA Past President Pete Dye, with whom he collaborated on projects throughout the world. Harbottle became an ASGCA Associate Member in 1992 and a Regular Member in 1996.

The Northwest, Washington especially, is suffering from the loss.  As I looked through information available on him, I noticed a visual pattern to his designs that will be difficult to duplicate (Palouse and Stevinson come to mind). Also, with his focus on the environment in his work, I’m sure the wildlife around the courses he had a part in are spiritually hurting as well.  Cameron Healey, publisher of Golf Today/Northwest Edition, and Washington resident said, “John and his family are icons in the Seattle area.  John’s contributions to golf course design will be missed.  Our hearts go out to his family.”

Harbottle was nationally recognized for his commitment to environmentally-sensitive design. His award-winning layouts included Stevinson Ranch, Stevinson, California; The Olympic Course, Bremerton, Washington; and The Golf Club at Genoa Lakes, South Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  All were designated “Best New Courses in the United States” by Golf Digest.  Harbottle also designed Palouse Ridge, Pullman, Washington; BanBury, Eagle Idaho; Juniper Golf Club, Redmond, Oregon; and the Challenge Course, Reno, Nevada.

Many of his courses received Audubon International signature designation.  Harbottle’s style included allowing the “lay of the land” to dictate what the course was like.  No doubt, his early travels to Scotland were an influence on his style and contributed to the “links touch” of his design.  According to Harbottle, “The indigenous character of the links courses makes them not only appear a natural part of the landscape, but also allows them to function as a sustainable part of the ecosystem.”

Harbottle’s contributions to the golf industry will live on in testament to his dedication to his craft.  His ability to create visually aesthetic masterpieces that enhance the golf experience will be sorely missed.



Tiger Claims He Can Win Tournaments Well in to his 50’s

In a recent radio interview on a local radio station for us, 106.7 The Fan in DC, Tiger claimed he can still win tournaments in to his fifties.  This is truly a surprising comment since he has only won one tournament since returning from his injury and sex scandal.

The 36-year old Woods appears that his best playing days are behind him based on his recent track record.  Since his time off he missed a cut, most recently at Wells Fargo, and withdrew from the WGC – Cadillac Championship.

When asked if he can continue winning tournaments in to his 50’s, Tiger responded:

“Absolutely, 100 percent agree with that. It just has to be on the right golf course. It can’t be, at that age — well, by the time I’m at that age, it’ll be some golf courses over 8,000 yards. It’s probably not going to be at one of those; it’s probably going to be at a shorter golf course like you’d find at a British Open. Tom [Watson], at Turnberry, it was like the perfect Open. It was howling, it was a golf course he had won on and knew how to play and it was playing very quick. … You can certainly see a certain player playing into their 50s and being successful on a certain venue. You can’t do it on all venues, there’s no doubt. Some ballparks are just too big.”

Golf is definitely a sport where you have good days and bad days, however do we really believe that Tiger has enough in him to even win tournaments in his 40’s?  At this point he seems like a washed up former sports hero that cannot get back on top of the game he once ruled.  After all, for some reason I still root for Tiger and want him to win, mostly because it is good for the game of golf.