A worried reader asks,“Is this a golf course blog? A week or so ago, you popped up on Golf Channel’s Champions Tour Learning Center with some snake-oil swing remedy. This morning I caught you dispensing tips on bunker play on “Teed Off,” Brian Katrek’s PGA Tour Network program. Now I’m in my dentist’s waiting room, and here’s your byline on an SI Golf Plus rant about Tiger Woods’s screwed-up tempo. What gives? Have you forsaken course rating for the Hollywood allure of swing-guru celebrity?”
Fear not, Worried Reader. I just spent a working weekend in the Atlantic time zone, checking up on our two Canadian courses (24th-ranked Cabot Links and No. 31 Highlands Links) and I’m already packing for a trip to Oregon’s Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, where I’ll tee it up and trade rants with Tom Doak, designer of Pacific Dunes, No. 26. And just to forestall confusion, the Top 50 is not “a golf course blog.” It is the golf course blog.
However, like the late Steve Jobs, I take pride in revolutionizing whole industries. To that end, I co-authored the best-selling golf instructional, Tour Tempo: Golf’s Last Secret Finally Revealed, now in its 11th printing by Doubleday. And now John Novosel and I are out with an e-book sequel, Tour Tempo 2: The Short Game & Beyond, available on the Amazon Kindle* and Apple iBooks** platforms.
*Tour Tempo 2 debuted at No. 1 on Amazon’s golf books list. No surprise, that, since the original Tour Tempo was Amazon’s best-selling sports book of 2004, beating out Leigh Montville’s compelling Ted Williams biography.
**The Apple edition [which also debuted at No. 1 among golf books in the iTunes Store] is “enhanced” with color photography, instructional video clips and the Tour Tempo short-game training tones. Buyers of the Kindle version can acquire these TT2 extras via a free download from the Web.
Naturally, promoting the new book has kept me from blogging as often as I’d like. But that hasn’t kept our highly-paid Top 50 evaluators from their appointed rounds. Within the past hour, for example, the A.W. Tillinghast-designed Wissahickon course at the Philadelphia Cricket Club jumped from No. 62 to No. 53 upon news of a breakthrough in the European sovereign-debt crisis. At the same time, a perennial Top-50 favorite, Colonial Country Club of Fort Worth, Texas, plummeted from No. 24 to No. 238.*
*Colonial’s fall, a by-product of program trading, was interrupted by a computerized “circuit breaker.” Our IT staff is looking into it.
How good is Tour Tempo 2? Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Bamberger, co-author of the best-selling golf novel, The Swinger, rates it ahead of the collected output of every last golf guru of the past half-century. “Since Eisenhower took to the links,” Bamberger writes in his latest blurb, “there have been two important golf instruction books: Five Fundamentals, by Ben Hogan and Herbert Warren Wind, and Tour Tempo, with John Novosel playing the Hogan role and John Garrity as Herb. TT2 is clearer yet. It’s like a wonder drug.”
Coming from Bamberger, a master of understatement, this is high praise. But let’s talk value. For a mere $9.99, you get the aforementioned color photography, the short-game tones, and the instruction videos. And if you order in the next hour, you’ll receive at no extra cost a bonus chapter, “The Force,” from an upcoming e-book by long-drive specialist John Novosel, Jr. Act this very instant and we’ll throw in “The Force” video clip, which will take strokes off your game faster than you can say “Popeil’s Pocket Fisherman!”
As for Worried Reader … stop moping and play some golf before winter sets in. I recommend any of the courses on the adjacent list.
Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but Rory McIlroy leads after one round of the Shanghai Masters, which is being played on the Lake Malaren Masters course, a Jack Nicklaus design. Robert Allenby, meanwhile, is the first-round leader at the Asia Pacific Classic, held at The Mines Resort & Golf Club in Selangor Malaysia, a Robert Trent Jones Jr. track. Both courses are “Unrated” pending a review of the Colonial situation.