News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 9, 2012

ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Indiana lucky to have big PGA Tournament

Jennifer Myers
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — This weekend another chapter of the FedEx Cup is taking place with the BMW Championship in Carmel, at Crooked Stick Golf Club. The top 120-FedEx points earners started in the playoffs at The Barclays. After the BMW, the field will be cut to 30 players and there will be a reset of points. Supposedly the reset gives all 30 players a mathematical chance of winning, depending on how other players finish. However, the top five players control their own destiny; if one of those players wins the TOUR Championship in Atlanta, they will win the FedEx Cup and 10 million dollars.

With the tournament being in Indiana, it's a good chance to go watch the professionals in action, which is what I did on Thursday. You have the best seats in the house when you watch it from your couch at home, but you get to see players and holes that television bypasses when you see it in person. I didn't get to see every player that I wanted to, but I saw a lot. My first impression was that players looked smaller in person than on TV, except for Nick Watney. He looked very big and tall next to Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy!

Being there in person also gave me a feel of the conditions that the players had to deal with. Since the greens were soft, players were hitting into the greens like darts, but they had wind gusts to deal with, particularly with high-lofted shots. You don't get that sense from television. Some new back tees have been added to Crooked Stick, so that the course played to 7,497 yards. Distance didn't seem to be a problem for most of the players, even though the course was soft and they weren't getting any roll. Being able to lift-clean-and-place from the short grass made drives hit into the fairway at a premium though. All in all, I saw a lot of great play!  After witnessing some particularly great recovery shots from bunkers, I was reminded of the TV spot that says, "These guys are GOOD!"

The only thing that keeps me from going back again is the hassle. It took us one hour to get to the parking field once we got on 116th street. I blame that on the round-about on that road, and the traffic jam it caused when they have that many people trying to navigate it. If you're going over, avoid 116th Street. You can get to Coxhall Gardens from 121st Street, then going south too.There are shuttles to the course, after you get parked, but once we got off of the buses we had a long line to get to the entrance. It turns out that security was wanding everyone at first, and then they changed to inspecting bags and purses, and making you empty your pockets. All in all, it took us over an hour to get to the course from the parking area, which was a huge waste of time.

I would have left a note in the suggestion box, but I would have had to swim. The suggestion box is located out in the lake by the 18th hole.

If you want to avoid all of hassle, be sure to drive over in a BMW! BMW owners get special parking, a private shuttle, and just by showing their car key, they're welcome into the BMW Owners' Pavilion near the 16th green. They have an air-conditioned environment, premium concessions, a luxury grandstand with views of at least 4 holes!

My advice: Drive over in BMW and go early!

Jennifer Myers can be reached by e-mail at

Wabash Valley golf leagues

Riverbend at the Landing Ladies — Low gross: Marlene Persinger;  low net: Helen Ruhl;  low putts: Betty McKee; play of the day: Sharon Nicoson, Cathy Wheat, Darby Guglielmetti, Mid Rusk, Dorothy Dwyer; chip-ins: McKee (2).

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Home Builders Tuesday — Low gross: Richard Booe 37, Brian Cottom 39, Dana Hinrichs 39; low net: Terry Day 30, John Robinson 31; closest to pin: Hinrichs (No. 12); long putt: Cottom (No. 18).

Ladies Tuesday Morning Scramble — First-place team: Sue Welch, Sue Borden, Monica Hawkins, Pam Hodges 37; second-place team: Debbie Holcomb, Caroline Sebree, Lora Snyder 38; longest putt: Borden (No. 18); closest to pin: Holcomb (No. 12).