Outdoor Golf, Pinehurst, and McQuillan at Pebble

– Ottawa,Ontario golfers must really be itching to play.  Despite a massive amount of snow still on the ground temperatures are well above freezing today in Canada’s capital and the Kevin Haime Golf Centre in Kanata has responded.  They kick open their doors today to welcome golfers.  How long they stay open in weather dependent but they have heaters in their covered tee area to keep you warm.  And after a day of hitting balls and realizing your swing is not as good as you remembered you’ll be happy to know that lessons are available as of Friday.

– Down in the Pinehurst area of North Carolina, where golfers have been back in action for awhile, there is word from Matt Ginella at Golf Digest that the Pinehurst Resort has made an interesting acquisition.  See for yourself what golf course they have bought up.

– Word came down yesterday that a Canadian Tour event, The Jane Rogers Championship, has been cancelled.  Organizers say the event may return but like most Canadian Tour events that fall off the schedule, I have my doubts.  This is another blow to the tour that finally got some purses headed in the right direction last year but after speaking with a few Canadian Tour players there is not a lot of elation among the group.

Increased entry event fees, what looks to be only 8 full events (there are some co-sanctioned events but with limited spots and heavy travel costs to South America they are not an option for a lot of players), and other scheduled events without full details are making a lot of players nervous about committing to the tour this year.  Several have told me that they will look to the North Carolina-based EGolf Tour or Hooters Tour instead as their main place to play in 2011.  These players need places where they can make money and get in a lot of events as they prepare for the PGA Tour Qualifying School in the Fall so I don’t blame them for making that decision.

That said the Canadian Tour still does offer an experience that prepares young pros for life as a touring professional with travel, four round events, etc. so I expect that their three qualifying schools this Spring should still have plenty of entrants.  It will be interesting to see further commentary from more players on their plans after yesterday’s announcement.

– One last note, I caught up by Text with Kingston’s Matt McQuillan yesterday for a few minutes.  The young PGA Tour rookie told me that local knowledge really killed him last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.  Not knowing the courses, especially Pebble Beach and Spyglass really hurt his ability to be confident on full shots and especially putts.  The flatter greens at Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course made his 68 a little easier on the last day but by then he was too far back to make the cut.  He says his swing is back to feeling “almost in the slot” and that he will be eager to have to play just one new course at the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico next week.

After next week’s PGA Tour events the Rookies will get their numbers reshuffled in the priority ranking that determines what events they get entry into.  Since Jhonnatan Vegas won the Bob Hope Classic he made his way into the winner’s category so McQuillan automatically jumped a spot to #30.  Based on his play so far, with just one cut made, he would drop 3 spots in the ranking after next week.  He hopes to turn that around in Mexico with a made cut and a good finish.

Flagstick Digest delivers the most current and informative golf content directly to your inbox. Whether looking for the latest from the Tours, In-depth Interviews, Product Analysis or just about anything golf...WE DELIVER!