This Week at WorldGolf.com: April 15, 2008
Made-for-TV Masters needs a pick-me-up
You have to wonder how Bobby Jones and the co-founders of Augusta National knew back in 1933 that their Masters tournament would one day become the ideal made-for-HDTV major.
More than any other golf tournament, you're setting your weekend schedule around the Masters. Augusta National is home to an essentially perfect back nine for high drama, where players toe the line between shooting 32 and 40. It was surely the cause of Brandt Snedeker's tears on Sunday night.
But after Trevor Immelman's victory Sunday, we're looking at back-to-back dull Sundays. Zach Johnson's 2007 win came in a tournament out of character, where the absent roars created a seemingly deafening silence and a winning score above par for the first time since 1956.
This year, Immelman shot a final-round 75 and still was never really challenged on the back nine. Tiger Woods, with his short missed putts, frustrated the crowd more than he dazzled them.
It's not Immelman's fault Woods forgot to bring his putter this week, or that Phil Mickelson has yet to pick up a copy of "The Idiot's Guide to Course Management in a Major." In fact, Immelman's victory was revolutionary. It was always believed the key to a green jacket was to slice and dice the par 5s. But he found a way of his own, shooting 10-under on the par 4s, which after the course-lengthening years back many call the toughest collection of 4s in the world.
But this week seemed a little off from the beginning, starting with the newly aired par-3 contest where little kids romped around Augusta like it was recess. Then the small field, filled out with amateurs and former champions like Gary Player and Fuzzy Zoeller, seemed especially weak.
And trying to listen to a crew of brainwashed CBS announcers with nary a critical thought tempted you to keep the action on mute. A final round lasting five hours led to an abbreviated green jacket ceremony and tribute to the winner.
The Masters has earned a reputation as the most exciting major because of its dramatic finishes won by the masters of the game. But lately, Augusta's drama just hasn't blossomed as fully as those pretty, pink azaleas.
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This week the Verizon Heritage celebrates its 40th incarnation. The Heritage is unique in that it's such a small-town event, on the South Carolina resort island of Hilton Head, but with a big reputation in terms of prestige, the list of champions crowned, and importance to the local community. It's undoubtedly the biggest event of the year on the island. In honor of this milestone anniversary, here is a list of 40 memories of the event ...
Also: WorldGolf.com's Hilton Head destination guide
When it comes to living the ultimate Texas lifestyle, Lake Ridge at Joe Pool Lake - a stunning master-planned community - offers an incomparable combo of lakeside living to go along with an impressive golf course lifestyle. With a location that leaves residents in awe of its scenic splendor, Lake Ridge at Joe Pool Lake is truly one of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex's most desirable homesite communities. For more information, call (888) 635-2422.
Also: Request info about Lake Ridge at Joe Pool Lake
Oakridge Course, one of six courses at the sprawling Landings on Skidaway Island community, is quiet, peaceful and scenic, and has a small, well-kept cemetery just off the 15th fairway. It's the final resting place for two early residents of this barrier island close to Savannah, Ga. At just 5,871 yards from the "club" tees, Oakridge isn't about slamming the driver; it's all about the short game, though there are still some interesting looks off the tees, Tim McDonald writes.
Photo gallery: The Oakridge course at The Landings
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The hype surrounding the possibility of two drivers in his bag didn't help Phil Mickelson's bid to win a third green jacket. Both Mickelson and Ernie Els fumbled around to get the perfect fit at Augusta National, combining Callaway I-Mix heads and shafts. Also, a look at Tiger Woods' putting at the Masters, game-impreovement tips, and a hearty congratulations to the unbeatable Lorena Ochoa who is now officially one up on Woods.
Blog: Immelman's Masters win no fluke, Karen Palacios-Jansen writes
Golf enthusiasts: have you considered purchasing a new home near a prime golfing destination in beautiful, sunny Florida? If so, this is a perfect opportunity for you! The Freedom Realty Exchange (www.FRE.com) has just announced the launch of an online auction campaign to sell brand-new, grand estate homes at Amelia RiverWalk in Fernandina Beach.
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