Golf has always had a place in Billy Dettlaff’s life. Born in 1950, he grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in a house that bordered an 18-hole, municipal course. Some of his earliest memories are of watching players walk that 5,600-yard layout from his backyard. He also learned early on that golf was what put food on his family’s table. His father, Hank, was the head professional and greenskeeper at the place they called, “the Muni.”
Dettlaff, now 70, was a young boy when he watched his parents at the kitchen table on Monday mornings, going over the receipts from pro shop sales the week before, separating the paper money by denominations and putting the coins in paper rolls before going to the bank together to make a deposit.
“After dinners during the summer, Dad always went back to work,” Dettlaff recalled. “He sold soda in his shop to golfers during the day, and they’d leave the empties on the ground in the small groves of pines that grew by the first and 10th tees. Dad would take my older brother, Peter, and me over to the course …
The 18th green at Kansas City Country Club
Kansas City Country Club has always been reasonably confident of its golf course’s A.W. Tillinghast roots.
KCCC knew Tillinghast was hired by the club on Dec. 10, 1925, based on minutes from a board meeting. They also had a receipt for $2,500 for Tillinghast’s services. There are detailed newspaper accounts on the original design work Tillinghast’s company did at neighboring Indian Hills Country Club, which always mentioned that he was hired for that job because he was conveniently already in town working at KCCC. Tillinghast’s own sales brochures claimed KCCC as one of his original designs.
A duplicate of A.W. Tillinghast’s original design of Kansas City Country Club, dated 1927
Beyond those facts, however, there was scant physical evidence of the work Tillinghast did at KCCC. There were no known notes or interviews or drawings or anything that illustrated whatever he did that differentiated the property from the previous Tom Bendelow layout that Community Golf Club was using on …
From left: Kennedy, Stephen and Copelyn Carroll
As Americans recently gathered with family to give thanks for the bounty of riches we’ve had laid at our feet, it’s good to remember that life’s struggles, big and small, have a purpose. They make us stronger, more appreciative, and they provide us with the tools to help others. That’s easy to forget, especially when you immerse yourself in the comings and goings of a genteel game.
Then, occasionally, a story comes along to remind you.
When asked to summarize her standing at the moment, Kennedy Carroll, a sophomore on the women’s golf team at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, doesn’t hesitate. “I’m a late bloomer in golf,” she said. “But maturity-wise, I’m a little bit ahead of the game.”
There is good reason for both.
Kennedy Carroll says she’s a late bloomer in golf, but maturity-wise, she’s “a little ahead of the game.”
To get a sense of what her life has been like in and out of golf, Carroll tells a story that goes back to 2015, not long after her 15th …
The new strategic alliance between the PGA Tour and the European Tour announced Friday will likely have a profound effect on the global golf landscape, not just from a business perspective but on the competitive side as well.
Though the announcement made by European Tour chief executive officer Keith Pelley was long on aspiration and short on details, the result strengthens both tours while likely dealing a critical blow to the prospects for a Premier Golf League, for which discussions had begun.
While Pelley stressed two points – that the move is an alliance and not a merger, and that the European Tour was not motivated by financial distress – the PGA Tour’s investment in the European Tour’s global media rights and subsequent commercial opportunities should benefit both organizations.
It also makes PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan a voting member of the European Tour’s board of the directors.
While Pelley strongly defended the European Tour against reports that it faces serious financial challenges, he acknowledged the tour had been approached by the Raine Group, which is behind the Premier Golf League concept. The PGL is an attempt to launch an international team structure featuring many of the game’s biggest stars.
Also, another group of powerful business executives associated with the European Tour has been preparing a challenge to Pelley and his leadership based on what they believe to be poor business decisions, according to sources. It is unclear if the group will follow through with the challenge after the PGA Tour announcement.
“Let me be perfectly clear: We did not have to enter into this agreement or any other; we chose to because it’s in the best interests of both tours, for our players, for our golf fans, and for global professional golf.” – Keith Pelley
The agreement between the two tours came together in a 72-hour period last week, Pelley said. In working closer with Monahan and other leaders as the game coped with COVID-19, Pelley said he came to the realization the tours had more to gain by working together rather than independently.
“Let me be perfectly clear: We did not have to enter into this agreement or any other; we chose to because it’s in the best interests of both tours, for our players, for our golf fans, and for global professional golf,” Pelley said in a Friday teleconference.
From a competitive standpoint, the agreement points toward the creation of a more global schedule, though Pelley said any such decisions would be made down the line. He acknowledged there could be tournaments co-sanctioned by both tours within the next few years but did not offer details.
The agreement allows for the two tours to work closer together on global scheduling, prize money and providing playing opportunities though Pelley suggested those topics will be dealt with in the future.
It appears to seriously damage the chances of a Premier Golf League gaining a foothold in the global game.
“Raine Capital presented a very compelling offer to take the European Tour to another level but in a different direction,” Pelley said. “Ultimately, we felt partnering with the PGA Tour was the best option for our members and for global golf, a decision that was made unanimously by the board of directors.”
In gaining a minority investment in European Tour Productions, which produces and distributes content internationally, the PGA Tour (which recently signed a nine-year media rights deal of its own) will expand its footprint.
“We are thrilled to announce this further strengthening of our partnership with the European Tour and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the men’s professional game and for golf fans around the world,” Monahan said in a statement.
When asked why this should not be seen as a merger between the two Tours, Pelley said the European Tour did not need to merge with the PGA Tour nor was it presented to the membership as a pathway to a merger …
The notion of a more global schedule has been floated for years and this alliance could be a step toward that in some form. Among the strengths of the European Tour are its Middle East swing early in the year, the potential of having the Irish, Scottish and Open Championship played in successive weeks in mid-summer, the lucrative Rolex Series and the Race to Dubai late in the year, including the BMW Championship at Wentworth.
“Both tours are using the word collaboration, which is great. We are committed to working together. The wording in the deal that we have come to with the PGA Tour is all about working together; coming up with a schedule globally that works for both parties,” Pelley said.
When asked why this should not be seen as a merger between the two Tours, Pelley said the European Tour did not need to merge with the PGA Tour nor was it presented to the membership as a pathway to a merger, which would require 75 percent of the membership to vote in favor of such an agreement.
“I read one tweet that said a takeover is inevitable because of the situation that we are in. I find that staggering, somewhat tiring, and it is a great example of a story that perpetuates itself with no facts. And I’m not really sure where exactly that it’s come from other than a couple of naysayers out there that seem to have personal agendas that are talking about our financials that are just not true,” Pelley said
“If this was a financial situation, we would have done far more than a strategic alliance with a minority investment. I can tell you, we are categorically not in financial difficulties. That is simply wrong. We are in robust financial health with a very strong balance sheet, strongest ever, and a strong support of networks of partners …
“This is day one of a partnership, and we really want to build this partnership and really want to grow this relationship. But categorically not, this is not a merger.”
Lukas Michel lived every amateur golfer’s dream in November – if that dream means flying halfway around the world on Masters Sunday after missing the cut in Augusta and then quarantining alone in a Sydney Novotel overlooking Darling Harbour for two weeks.
As you might expect from someone with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, Michel was constructive with his time in isolation, recording podcasts, calling friends and writing down all the details of his four-month golf odyssey in America.
“I don’t want to forget anything,” he said from Australia on day four of his quarantine. “It’s been good to chat to people about the experience and write a little about it to let it sink in a bit more and cement it in my mind.”
Lukas Michel (left) and Larry Mize at Augusta National. Photo: Rob Carr, Getty Images
It would be hard to forget Michel’s last day in Augusta. He was going to miss the cut, so he woke up Saturday morning to complete the last three holes of his second round (Nos. 7, 8 and 9) with Larry Mize and Andrew Landr…
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA | The U.S. Am Tour, the fastest growing amateur golf tour in the country, is pleased to announce its first media partnership with the leading golf news brand in the world, Global Golf Post.
All U.S. Am Tour members will receive a complimentary subscription to the weekly digital magazine. In addition, Global Golf Post will support the Tour with media coverage of the U.S. Am Tour tournament results.
“We are thrilled to partner with the U.S. Am Tour,” said Jim Nugent, founder and publisher of Global Golf Post. “Covering and supporting the amateur game has been part of our DNA from the beginning, and supporting this new organization fits our brand extremely well. We look forward to adding value to the growing membership of the Tour.”
“Our players will benefit with access to an industry leading publication along with expanding media coverage of our tournaments that are contested on world-class venues,” said Joe Wagner, director of the U.S. Am Tour. “Our players are continually looking for great content and support of their tournaments and Global Golf Post delivers on both counts. Global Golf Post has long supported, advocated, and covered amateur golf at all levels and we are excited to partner with such an incredible publication as we grow and elevate our tour and brand.”
The 2020-2021 U.S. Am Tour is already underway with 4,100 founding members and will culminate with the inaugural national championship scheduled for next September. Global Golf Post will be on-site to support this inaugural championship with extensive media coverage of the event and players.
Founded in 2010, Global Golf Post is the leading golf news publication in the world. The digital magazine is delivered overnight Sunday, 48 weeks per year, to a global audience of nearly 1.5 million avid golfers. Global Golf Post+ is a subscription service that delivers original, premium quality golf journalism that you cannot find anywhere else, with no advertising.
Founded this year, U.S. Am Tour is the fastest growing amateur golf tour in the country and conducts a series of tournaments nationwide on the local, regional, and national level at premier venues. With over 4,100 members already, the tour’s mission is to provide an unrivaled, immersive, and authentic tournament experience for competitive amateur players of all abilities and ages. More information about the tour and tour membership can be found at usamtour.com.