A New Englander's Take on Golf
May 3, 2023
Always, the beauty catches your attention when you gaze out upon Pebble Beach's 18th hole. But the relative calm of early May will turn into a buzz when the U.S. Women's Open sets up shop July 5-9.

That’s right, this week – just to throw a little wrinkle at you – we’ll go to the back nine and provide a full course of thoughts, observations, and back-seat commentaries.

1 – 53 percent of an excess is a lot

Call me silly, but I’m thinking that complaining about your $4 million paycheck being taxed at 47 percent isn’t going to endear you and your LIV Golf colleagues to an audience that is, safe to say, skeptical about your new league.

2 – Not his forte

Then again, when it comes to understanding international tax laws, Talor Gooch strikes me as talented golfer on a terrific roll who can’t see beyond his first world problems.

3 – Silly question, deserving answer

Love when announcers ask, “What was going through your mind on that tournament-winning shot?” But just once it would be cool to hear the golfer say, “To be honest, I was thinking about the new recipe for roasted artichokes that I’m dying to try.”

4 – Perfect

Most anticipated (at least it should be) major of the year is the U.S. Women’s Open. That’s how impressive is the magic of Pebble Beach. And that’s how overdue is this matchup. Play well, ladies. Your presence is well deserved.

5 – Oh, and rounding out your foursome . . .

That being said, how cool is this: As a pro, when you test the championship waters weeks in advance at Pebble Beach, you play with the public. Lydia Ko and Anna Nordqvist have been among the early visitors and the public golfers with whom they’ve been paired have been enthralled.

6 – Secret Service-like

That’s a far cry from those scouting missions Tiger Woods used to make to U.S. Open sites when security forces would blockade neighborhoods and his presence was handled as a state secret.

7 – Impossible not to like him (I think)

If you don’t root for Tony Finau, we cannot be friends.

8 – The time has come

Psst, Megan Khang has become a major presence. Expect the same at Pebble Beach. She is due.

9 – When more isn’t merrier

Pretty funny to hear someone say he doesn’t hit his wedges very well, then to make note of the fact he carries four of them. Just a thought: Maybe reduce to three and limit the liability.

10 – Why have points when you can’t play?

Here’s a thought: Why don’t Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, and Lee Westwood divvy up all their world ranking points and auction them off to their LIV Golf brethren? Like a yard sale. I mean, they don’t need them anymore.

11 – Let ‘em play

That being said, LIV Golf members should be considered for Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams. It’s entertainment, not some peace treaty mission.

12 – Boss man should have told them

At some point, shouldn’t someone from LIV Golf management have told players about the exorbitant Australian taxes, which is a rather well-known factoid. Greg Norman, perhaps?

13 – Bad idea

As agendas and ideas go, the wrap-around-season – now disbanded – was not the PGA Tour’s shining moment. The guess is officials wish they had a mulligan. Elite players didn’t like it and it took the PGA Tour too long to listen to them.

14 – Ignore the rule book

Answer: Traveling in the NBA or a slow play penalty on the PGA Tour. Question: Name two rules that are in existence that a few generations of fans have never seen called.

15 – The Task Force remains a closed shop

In a shock to absolutely no one, Jim Furyk is named Presidents Cup captain for 2024. Here’s a wild guess that Stricks and Zach and Tiger and Freddy and Uncle Davis can book their trips to Melbourne, too.

16 – Always looking for blame

If you are allowed to tap down spike marks and pretty much smooth down the line you’re putting on, what in the name of Ky Laffoon makes you hammer the turf with your putter when you miss a 2-footer?

17 – By all mean, let’s celebrate the bad

Maybe PGA Tour golfers should be more like the NBA guys. You know, they miss a free throw and slap high fives to their mates. Golfers can miss a putt and bump-chest his caddie.

18 – Give he or she a chance to finish the swing

He who laughs last probably is the one who just hit.


I have a passion for playing golf that is surpassed only by my passion for writing about people who have a passion for playing golf, for working in golf, for living their lives around golf. Chasing the best professional golfers around the world for The Boston Globe, Golfweek Magazine, and the PGA Tour for more than 20 years was a blessing for which I’ll be eternally grateful. I’ve been left with precious memories of golf at its very best, but here is a takeaway that rates even more valuable – the game belongs to everyone who loves it. “Power Fades” will be a weekly tribute with that in mind, a digital production to celebrate a game that many of us love. If you share a passion for golf, sign up down below for a free subscription and join the ride. And should you have suggestions, thoughts, critiques, or general comments, feel free to pass them along.

Cheers, Jim McCabe


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