Monday, January 14, 2013

Rory and Tiger, Nike teammates and TV buddies

   Nike made it official today in Abu Dhabi that Rory McIlroy has joined Team Swoosh, a move that became apparent late last year and was denied by no one.
   The rumored numbers -- as high as $250 million over 10 years though others have said it's less than $200 million -- explain McIlroy's decision to join Tiger Woods on the Nike staff. It's a huge cost to Nike but the company landed the game's new superstar and locked him up long-term.
   McIlroy leaves Titleist, which traditionally hasn't paid huge dollars to keep the game's top stars.
   How good is the Nike equipment McIlroy will be using?
   Good enough for him to feel comfortable about the change. If he feels good, that's what matters.
   Here's a link to the new Rory/Tiger commercial released by Nike, a fun play on their relationship. That's a pretty strong twosome.

-Ron Green Jr.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Eight Carolinas courses in Golf Digest top 100

   Eight Carolinas courses have landed spots in Golf Digest's prestigious list of the top 100 golf courses in the United States, four of them located in the North Carolina mountains.
   Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey tops the new list followed by Augusta National Golf Club. To see the complete list go to
   The Carolinas courses in the top 100 are:
   No. 21: The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island
   No. 22: Wade Hampton Golf Club,  Cashiers
   No. 40: Pinehurst No. 2
   No. 67: Eagle Point Golf Club, Wilmington
   No. 89: Diamond Creek Golf Club, Banner Elk
   No. 92: Mountaintop Golf Club, Cashiers
   No. 96: Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island
   No. 98: Grandfather Golf and Country Club, Linville.
   I'm surprised that Pinehurst No. 2 isn't ranked higher, especially after the brilliant restoration work done by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. It's likely to jump after the U.S. Open is played there in 2014.
   Tom Fazio's work around here is obviously respected. He designed Wade Hampton, Eagle Point, Diamond Creek and Mountaintop.
    Obviously, this is a subjective ranking based on evaluation by a group experienced course raters. Solid cases for the inclusion of both Quail Hollow Club and Charlotte Country Club could be made.