Golf course naming conventions have evolved drastically over the centuries. It seems that simply naming a course after the town where it's located or a nearby landmark is no longer good enough to attract a steady clientele. Quirky and overlong golf course names have proliferated in the 21st century and going from "_______ Country Club" to "The Club at _______" is another trend I see taking hold in the name of "rebranding."
Manistee National Golf & Resort, a popular 36-hole facility in northern Michigan, is going through its own renaming exercise, but they're having a bit of fun with it. Recent renovations to their already quirkily-named Canthooke Valley and Cutters' Ridge courses have, in the resort's words, "brought a whole different look and quality that needs to be distilled into fresh course names representing the new vision." The solution: a contest to rename each course, with the winner getting $5,000 for his or her selected contribution. Some Don Draper-in-the-rough out there may just take both prizes and $10,000.
When you consider that Carolyn Davidson, who designed the now-iconic the Nike "swoosh" logo, initially received $35 for her trouble, this seems like a great gig if you can get it.
Other golf course news and notes
SNACKS INCOMING - Every story that emerges about Michael Jordan's GROVE XXIII club outside Jupiter, Fla., makes it sound like the world's foremost outdoor man-cave. If you get hungry or thirsty on the course, no need to wait for the nearest beverage cart girl. Just summon the fleet of drones that delivers nourishment to members and guests mid-round. 'Air Jordan,' indeed. [TWEET: @BrendanPorath via Caroline Wozniacki's social media]
COURSE CRIME - Just before Thanksgiving, the staff at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, Calif., had to deal with something we wouldn't wish on any golf course: a spate of targeted vandalism. 47-year-old Douglas Piercy was arrested for driving his car onto 21 greens at the 36-hole facility: 16 on Haggin Oaks' Arcade Creek course, four on its Alister Mackenzie course, plus a practice green. [LINK: KCRA Sacramento]
NEW KIDD ON THE COAST? - The seaside town of Westport, Washington is mulling a public-private proposal to build a new golf course, plus a small inn, within the Westport Light State Park. David McLay Kidd is reportedly on board to design the course, and Westport Golf LLC principal Ryann Day claims the 25,000 annual rounds the course would expect could net the town and surrounding area $30 million in economic impact per year. [LINK: The Daily World]
SEASON OF GIVING - Bucky and Joanne Kopf, the owners of the cheap-and-cheerful Cherry Ridge Golf Club in Elyria, Ohio, appear to be in the Christmas spirit this year, as they have donated the par-35 nine-hole course to their home county. Lorain County Metro Parks will take over the golf course, with the intent to keep it going for at least two or three more years. [LINK: The Chronicle]
GOLF-ADJACENT - If you get annoyed every time a fan at a golf tournament yells "Baba Booey!" I have bad news for you: it will probably continue for the forseeable future. Howard Stern signed a new five-year broadcast deal with SiriusXM Radio, so as long as he's on the air, fans will likely pay tribute to his producer Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'Abate at big-time golf events, and the show will recap the results. [LINK: SiriusXM]