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Missing links: Golf’s Future 'bleak' post Tiger and golf with 15-inch holes

By John Strege

Stories of interest you might have missed...

What will professional golf be without Tiger Woods? We got an indication from the Masters, which Woods missed for the first time in 20 years. “Many people predicted that the tournament’s bottom line, from television ratings to corporate attendees, would suffer. Those people were right,” writes Jake Simpson in the Atlantic, beneath the headline, “Golf's Future After Tiger Woods: Bleak.”

Tiger back.jpg
(Getty Images photo)

Can golf recover from the malaise that has plagued it in recent years? The answer: A definite maybe. “Course owners and real estate investors are betting on a comeback following a downturn that was ‘by far the toughest ever in the industry,’” write Nadja Brandt and Mike Buteau in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Many believe the game does need help to recover, hence this story by Bill Pennington in the New York Times, with the headline, “In a Hole, Golf Considers Digging a Wider One.” Among the suggestions: Foot golf and offering golfers an option of playing rounds with 15-inch diameter holes.

The 15-inch hole idea was put to the test post-Masters, with Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and media members at Reynolds Plantation. The verdict: “I played a round in which our time on the greens was slashed in half. It was fast, fun and liberating,” writes John Paul Newport in the Wall Street Journal.

A long, cold winter won’t help in golf’s comeback bid. In Michigan, for instance, “We had ice that was basically like a skating rink sitting on top of many of our putting greens for over two months,” said Kevin Frank, Michigan State University associate professor in crop and soil sciences and and AgBio Research scientist in this story on MLive.com. “Many will not be able to play their greens until early June.” Ouch.