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From the Editor Golf with a Side of Football


s it possible to link two more disparate sports than golf and football? While I have always been a golfer, I’ve struggled to enjoy America’s No. 1 spectator sport. Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, I’ve seen my share of pigskin futility. Two gut-wrenching Super Bowl losses to the 49ers didn’t help my football fandom. But like many, I love the fall weather and passion that both football and golf generate. This fall edition of NCGA Golf makes a strong case for the relationship between football and the royal and ancient game. Kevin Mer- feld lays out a golf travel itinerary using the Pac-12 football season as his guide. The 12 venues sprinkled throughout the West all offer terrific golf opportuni- ties, and we hope our piece inspires some weekend trips in your future. Super Bowl MVPs

Tom Brady (San Mateo) and Aaron Rodgers (Chico) have turned Northern California into a hotbed of quarterbacks. We are privileged to include an interview with Rodgers in this issue. To top off our football focus, KNBR’s Brian Murphy imagines the BCS taking over professional golf, now that (thankfully) it is nearly fin- ished wreaking havoc on college football. Poppy Hills is green again, and that means the course’s

reopening is in sight. The April 2014 debut can’t come soon enough for NCGA members, and to get you ready, we offer two architecture-themed pieces. Brad Klein, Golfweek’s architecture editor and director of its course- rating program, offers a look at the trend of golf course construction in remote locations. Many of us have made the trek to Bandon Dunes in Oregon or Sand Hills GC in Nebraska. Both have inspired the creation of other terrific courses in hard-to-reach areas. This issue also has a detailed breakdown of the process of building a golf hole from construction to grass seeding. It certainly has been gratifying to watch Poppy Hills

evolve over these past few months. We think you will be thrilled with the result. The new par-3 11th hole and the view from the 12th have changed that corner of the golf course, and those improvements are just the start of a complete overhaul that has dramatically transformed Poppy Hills into something NCGA members will be proud to call home. I encourage you to stay abreast of the

changes to the course via NCGA Golf contributor and Sports Illustrated golf

writer Alan Shipnuck offers his take on The Dan Plan, the wild notion concocted by a 30-year-old commercial photographer to chase the fantasy of making it to the PGA Tour. As Shipnuck relates, the quest “raises larger questions about nature vs. nurture, inherent talent vs. learned behavior and the ephemeral—even mystical— nature of the competitive spirit.” In what has become an annual tradition, Pebble Beach Resorts graces our fall cover, and the iconic seventh hole is certain to whet your appetite for a trip to the Monterey Peninsula. A travel feature on Auburn and a point-counterpoint that takes on the superiority of links golf vs. American golf round out the issue. The NCGA tournament season wraps up in the

fall, and this issue is packed with event coverage. We celebrate the achievements of our NCGA champions in Tournament Central, beginning on page 52. While 2013 Player of the Year Ben Geyer plans to try his hand at professional golf, he closed his amateur career in stellar fashion with victories in both major NCGA amateur championships. We will have more on the players of the year in the 2014 Bluebook edition of NCGA Golf. This fall, be sure to satiate your zeal for golf and

football. The days may be getting shorter, but there’s plenty of time for both.


The Redan Hole-inspired No.15 at Poppy Hills

8 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2013

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