Wednesday, February 10, 2010

MIke Strantz, Sterling Sharpe And Lousy Weather

Thinking about golf while wondering if it’s worth playing in the wet, muddy and cold conditions that are in no hurry to leave us:

  • With the addition of Monterey Peninsula Country Club to the rotation in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week, it’s a reminder of talent of the late Mike Strantz.

He reworked Monterey Peninsula shortly before his death, adding his artistic touch to a beautiful piece of land.

We’re fortunate around here because so much of his work is nearby. Tobacco Road in Sanford is great fun to play, Tot Hill Farm near Asheboro is unique, Caledonia at Pawley’s Island is outstanding and Bulls Bay near Mt. Pleasant, S.C., may be on my 10 favorites’ list.

Strantz was part cowboy and part artist. He liked to ride the property on horseback and he painted watercolors of the holes he intended to design.

I was fortunate to play golf with him twice on his courses and listening to him explain his designs was enlightening. He believed in visual intimidation but, in reality, his courses give players plenty of room to roam. Sometimes he pushed too far but he saw golf courses as art. He helped us see them that way, too.

  • When the eGolf Tour kicks off its 2010 season next week at Hilton Head Island, former NFL star Sterling Sharpe will be in the field for the kickoff event. Sharpe will play as an amateur but he’ll add a bit of star power to the field.

  • One good thing about the lousy weather we’ve had the past six weeks – this is the latest I’ve ever been even par for the year.

  • Are you going to get a pair of those new Ecco golf shoes Fred Couples has been sporting? The ones that look almost like slippers or sneakers? He’s been wearing the dark ones but they make them in white, too, and from what I’ve heard, they’re already backordered.

  • The latest rumor is that Tiger Woods will make his return to golf next month at the Tavistock Cup in Orlando which matches Isleworth members against Lake Nona members.

Is it likely? Who knows.

It would allow him to slide back into the public arena in a controlled atmosphere. But everything still sounds like guesswork to me.

  • There’s a report that Jesper Parnevik’s golf career may be over. He’s dealing with a serious back injury that could require fusion surgery. No one wants to hear that.