Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Friday, May 27, 2005
Golf course design and onomatopoeia
I had a ball writing this piece! Please click here. Enjoy...and by the way, garble garble blark blark.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
North Korea perverting golf
Two items of "golf" from the land of everybody's least favorite lugnut, Kim Jong II.
First, in an effort reminiscent of North Korean elections, a company building a golf course in the North's Geumgang Mtns created a bizarre hole where the ball will careen into the cup as long as the golfer lands his shot anywhere on the green. "We plan to make a 'hole-in-one green' where golfers get a hole in one as long as they put the ball on the green," said Chang Gi-dae, the chairman of Emerson Pacific which is building the course. The green is on the par-3, 155m (167 yd) fourteenth and shaped like a bowl, so as long as a shot lands on the green, it will drop into the cup. "The green won't be used every day. We plan to use it on special days or for special people."
I think the golf industry should immediately denounce and effectuate a boycott of such a hole. I like progressive golf design, but as Maximus screamed at his master in Gladiator, "This is not it. This is not it!!!"
Next, from the "surprise, surprise" department, Kim Jong II is officially the worst cheater in golf history. He recently signed a card and took credit for shooting a 39 over 18 holes including 5 holes in one in one round and several eagles on a par 72, regulation length course. His "free press" now tout it as legend and sluff it off as fact. China, I'm begging you. For the love of God, please kick his ass.
I am disgusted to the depths of my golfing soul.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
My best friend is a hero!
From the "and I thought I was doing cool stuff" page, here's a great feel good story. My best friend, entertainment lawyer David Rose of Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn saved some guy's life last week. Apparently while waiting in line at Tony Luke's Restaurant, some fella started choking on his cheese steak. According to the store manager, "before you could say 'Add mushrooms please' David had him up in the air and dislodged the blockage."
We need more selfless, noble, virtuous people like David in this world. Not a day goes by where I don't count my blessings that I have a friend like him.
On another note, my buddy Lee Sossen just entered his first triatholon ever...AND WON!!! Can you say "over achiever." Lee used to be a star player on my New Hartford soccer team that routinely crushed all opposition like eleven floppy grapes. Lee is another stalwart guy. A man who dreams big, makes it happen and accepts all his good fortune with an aw shucks smile and a nod to the team around him.
You have heard me talk before about the "Honor Roll" - that short list of superlative, virtuous, noble people who make everyone around them look good and make life better to live. David and Lee are both there...in spades. Who else is on the Honor Roll? Oh, Cameron Myler. Jay Fialkov. Rob Thompson. Steve Czaban. Jeff Levy. Janine Small. Bob Donnelly. Peter Glass. Nancy Carpenter. Whitney. BFS. Rebecca. There's plenty more. They'll do superhuman things from time to time and I'll tell you about them.
Golf Writer Jay Flemma receives press credentials to U.S. Open
Thanks to the architects who appreciate my perspective on public golf and course design, the writers who have befriended me, my colleagues at TravelGolf and most importantly, you my readers, I received press credentials to cover the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.I’ll provide stories from past Opens in the coming weeks. There will also be features on Pinehurst, other major tournament venues, public golf perspectives and, of course, course reviews and architecture features.
I have found my moral imperative; to promote affordable and superlative public golf and to educate readers about advanced nuances of design. Golf is egalitarian by nature. It’s playable by anyone physically able to swing a club, from 3 to 103. Moreover, the future is now. We can pay homage to tradition without being a slave to it. We can demand strategic designs with modern twists instead of just accepting parkland designs from 20-50 years ago. By learning more about architecture, we can improve as players, increase the golf knowledge of the public at large, and free designers to be more creative.
Also, look for my first piece in a monthly print periodical coming very soon!
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Architect Brian Silva chooses Number 17 at Red Tail in Boston
For those of you following my thread about which public golf hole the architects wouldd like to see the pros tackles for $1 Million Dollars of their own money against each other, Brian Silva is about to make his legion of fans and all Bostonians proud. He chose #17 at Red Tail, an amazing dog-leg right par-4 with the corner guarded by a menacing waste bunker. The angles here are exceptional.
Silva's choice echoes the sentiments of almost every red tail player as the hole was voted the most popular in Boston with public players. See the picture above. Learn more at the Cornish Silva Mungeam website, here.
Monday, May 16, 2005
Boston Public Golf and Architect Brian Silva part 2
I'm working on my interview write up and a piece on Black Rock. Till then, click here to have your faith that we are living in the golden age of golf course architecture restored. its a quick fix to be sure, but fun.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Boston Public Golf and architect Brian Silva
I'm off to Boston to interview one of my favorite architects, Brian Silva. I'll be reporting here and at Travel Golf soon. In short, Silva had a recent epiphany about blending old architectural design tricks and philosophies with more artistic shaping and lines. I call this blend neo-classic. He is a brilliant historian of architecture as well. Three great Boston plays: 1 Waverly Oaks, his tribute to Seth Raynor, but where he also began testing some of his bolder lines. I love the par-3s there especially. 2. Shaker Hills has fallen off alot of rater's lists, but I love it. Great par-3 and par-5s there. Finally, Red Tail is his most modern public course to date - a bold breakout and one which commanded the willing and accepting attention of his peers. I'll play Black Rock tomorrow. In the meantime, welcome some new bloggers and old friends. Everyone should read Geoff Shackelford. He's an accomplished author and a gentleman writer. He's on that short list of good people I call the Honor Roll.
Next, Texas Golf Blog by Bogey McDuff and Jam Boy are fun reads. Finally, www.syberlete.com is a good sports blog.
Finally, Steve Czaban had my sides splitting with his genius pieces about Ontario Smith and also the Marquette U. nickname change. I love it! Long live "Chingy and Blingy." These are a must, MUST read.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Pacific Dunes - Bandon Oregon
PACIFIC DUNES GOLF COURSE
Architect: Tom Doak
Excitement Level – 12/12
Difficulty – 9/12
Conditioning - *****
Cost - $200 peak, $60 reduced
Value - *****
Tournament 6557 72.9 133
Regular 6174 70.9 131
Resort 5799 69.3 125
Forward 5101 71.1 131
It’s all true. Everything you ever heard, everything you ever read. Every superlative, every rave review, every resounding endorsement, every story of how magnificent the golf courses are, all the tales of the world-class après golf, it’s all true. In fact, words fail to convey just how superlative
Designed in the spirit of Scotland’s and Ireland’s ancient links, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort offers more than 54 holes of the most authentic links golf a player can encounter anywhere in the world. Conceived and executed in harmony with the natural environment on
This watershed moment in golf history began with a cold call from a real estate agent from
Moreover, the region had a long history of being economically depressed. Except for a brief time when the gold rush made the town flourish in the mid-1800’s,
The town actually burned to the ground once due to a disastrous fire spread by the flammable gorse which was originally imported to the town. Still burned into the town’s psyche, many actually protested the re-importation of gorse to line the fairways as they exist today.
The story becomes more incredible when one contemplates the architects responsible for making Bandon Dunes the number one facility in the world. David McKay Kidd, a 27-year old Scot, had never before been responsible for a project of such magnitude. True, Kidd’s father, Jim Kidd, was the superintendent of greens at the Gleneagles Hotel, but that was hardly a pedigree which would lead people to believe that a facility was about to blossom and unseat mighty Pebble Beach from its lofty perch as the greatest golf venue in America, especially from a first time designer. But when the stage was biggest and the stakes were highest, Kidd seized the moment.
Keiser’s original idea for the design was to have an amateur competition and use the best 18-hole designs for Bandon Dunes.
The facility first opened the Bandon Dunes layout for play in 1999. Injecting much needed life vibrancy and tourism into the region, the town emerged from a decades long economic slumber. Thousands flocked to experience golf “the way it was meant to be.” Keiser succeeded in turning back time to the days when the game was first created. The course opened to instant world wide acclaim.
Most importantly, there is nothing artificial about either Bandon or Pacific Dunes and that’s what makes it all the more incredible. It looks as though it has been there for centuries. At times contemplative, poetic and serene (“pacific,” if you will…) and at times windswept, rugged, and heathen, the setting is unparalleled in
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Monterey Peninsula Golf Club - The country's hottest golf course
I'm thrilled to get the privilege to be invited by the club and designer to play Mike Strantz's redesign of Monterey Peninsula Golf Club (Shore Course) It was hailed by the attendees at the American Society of Golf Course Architects as a triumph. Many have predicted it will host a major soon. My full article is here.
Also...a very happy birthday to my mom, Jeanne Flemma. I love you mom - now take some lessons;)
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Great New Jay Flemma Golf Content on this site too!
The great news keeps on coming. In addition to the flagship site at Travel Golf, I am also going to be posting terrific golf content here as well. Always tune in to my Travel Golf site first for golf news, news on my golf books, golf course architecture critiques and the like. But now I am re-launching this site for longer, full length course reviews (before they get set up at TG), my Golf Rock 101 series of stories of golf rounds with musicians, actors and celebs, comedy pieces, news about other golf bloggers, food and musical diversions and other offbeat features too.
The real winner here is you readers! You get more for the same price. More where to play, where not to play, what to eat, what music to jam on the iPod and groove to live...you know...more Jay.
Everybody got it? Travel Golf first for news and events, then here for fun.
Same great Jay - now twice a day!
I've Got Michelle Wie Fever!
Help! Somebody call the doctor quick! I've got Michelle Wie Fever! What's wrong??? Why, it's Michelle Wie - there's sooooo much that's newsworthy and I'm just burning up with excitement!
I can't see straight. My ears are ringing I'm drenched in sweat and my breathing is shallow and raspy. And it's all because of the excitement about Michelle Wie! I thought it was just a little head cold or maybe an allergy, but I think the only things I'm allergic to are golfers that aren't Michelle Wie. And the media is so helpful! What's her favorite cartoon? What teen hunk is on the poster on her wall? What other short cut will she try to back-door into a men's major before other deserving women? I'm swooning with fascination so much, I just puked thrice and dry heaved twice! Wow! My whole right side went numb!
What? Is it contagious? If you believe the media, of course! I got mine from Jennifer Mario or maybe Doug Carey. Thanks to CBS and ESPN, it spread all over America! Isn't she so inspiring and invigorating the way she LINES UP THREE FOOT PUTTS. Isn't she so noble, resolute and socially active the way she PLAYS FREAKING GOLF. Run because the media tells you! Everybody do the same thing!
Michelle Wie! Michelle Wie! Michelle Wie!