Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Sports Media Group
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford

The history of every artificial appearing golf course is one of continual change…golf architecture can only be rendered permanent by art. Art is usually associated in the mind with the aesthetic, but if we comprehend it in a larger sense, it will be seen that only by art is every walk of life rendered stable and enduring. MAX BEHR


  

Tuesday
Jan232018

Michael Bamberger On T Bone Burnett, Golfer

One of the world's best music producers is also a golfer who is old enough to have seen Ben Hogan during his Shady Oaks days.

Michael Bamberger of Golf.com speaks to the legendary T Bone Burnett about his youth in Fort Worth and his views on the game.

His hometown is a recurring theme. In one email he wrote about how he grew up playing at Fort Worth's Shady Oaks Country Club, where Hogan lunched daily:

"Hogan would sit in the clubhouse at a table in the window above the range. It was always a possibility that he would be watching the cats out there trying to dig a swing out of the dirt. You got used to that.

"But some days, you would be hitting balls on the range and suddenly feel a presence behind you. You would look back and Mr. Hogan would be standing there looking at you. You would turn back around and try to forget he was there and keep hitting balls. After a few shots, maybe a particularly solid one, you would look again, and he would have vanished."

Monday
Jan222018

Tiger's Back! Again! At Torrey Pines! Again!

I know, I know we did this last year.

Things do feel different this time around at the Farmers Insurance Open given Woods' play at December's Hero World Challenge, his many social rounds (compared to last year) and the likelihood that his back will hold up better post-fusion surgery. 

I'm bullish on both Tiger and Phil giving us one last run, if nothing else because golf has supported the older player from time to time.  Plus we just want to see a good old fashioned generational clash.

Eamon Lynch of Golfweek talks to Hank Haney and Claude Harmon III about their bullish takes on this Tiger turnaround.

Jaime Diaz of Golf Channel files this video essay on the Woods comeback, followed by a chat with Tim Rosaforte and Matt Adams on Golf Central.


The Golf.com gang kicked the topic of the big return in this week's Confidential, and while all of it is good reading, this from John Wood, caddie for Matt Kuchar, really hit home at some key points:

It's important, but I have to believe he's viewing it as a stepping stone rather than a final destination. Would he like to play well, feel healthy, get in the hunt? Absolutely. But if he doesn't, I think he'll have a good idea where he is on Monday. To my eye he looked fantastic in the Bahamas. Healthy and swinging athletically, happy and confident. The interesting thing to me will be the early morning start times. Heat and humidity tend to be a great way to play with any injury that needs testing. Those La Jolla mornings can be quite cool and foggy, and it takes some time to get the gears moving and stay moving like you'd like them to. I'm quite sure Tiger has planned for this, though. He's worked too hard to get back to this point to leave any stone unturned.

Ahead of Woods' return to, BetDSI Sportsbook posted odds that seem a tad conflicted, with a mix of options for those who see another shaky return and for those who see a successful 2018 debut. ESPN.com's Jason Sobel in his weekly notes is putting Tiger down for a T14, a number I think is about right.

Will Tiger Woods make the cut at 2018 Farmers Insurance Open?
Yes +110
No -140
Will Tiger Woods withdraw during 2018 Farmers Insurance Open?
Yes +450
No -700
Will Tiger Woods finish in the top 5 at 2018 Farmers Insurance Open?
Yes +750
No -1000
Will Tiger Woods finish in the top 10 at 2018 Farmers Insurance Open?
Yes +350
No -550
Will Tigers Woods hit fairway on opening tee shot (1st Round) of 2018 Farmers Insurance Open?
Yes -180
No +145
How many birdies will Tiger Woods record during 2018 Farmers Insurance Open?
Over 6.5 (-110)
Under 6.5 (-120)
How many bogeys or worse will Tiger Woods record during 2018 Farmers Insurance Open?
Over 7.5 (-130)
Under 7.5 (+100)
Tiger Woods highest score on any hole during 2018 Farmers Insurance Open
Over 7 (-130)
Under 7 (+100)
Tiger Woods lowest round score (18 holes) on North Course during 2018 Farmers Insurance Open 
Over 70.5 (-140) 
Under 70.5 (+110)
Tiger Woods lowest round score (18 holes) on South Course during 2018 Farmers Insurance Open
Over 73.5 (-115)
Under 73.5 (-115)
Tiger Woods finishing position at 2018 Farmers Insurance Open
1st (+4000)
2nd-10th (+2000)
11th-19th (+1100)
20th-30th (+750)
31st-40th (+400)
41st-50th (+350)
51st or worse (-140)
Will Tiger Woods win a major prior to January 1, 2019?
Yes +3000
No -7000
Will Tiger Woods win a PGA Tour/European Tour event prior to January 1, 2019?
Yes +1700
No -4000
How many cuts will Tiger Woods make during 2018 calendar year? (minimum playing field of 100)
Over 4.5 (-120) 
Under 4.5 (-110)
Will Tiger Woods shoot 80 or worse in a round in 2018?
Yes -130
No +100
Will Tiger Woods shoot 64 or better in a round in 2018?
Yes +100
No -130

And if you're already Tiger'd out, the Farmers offers a fine field. Gary Williams and I considered some of the other notables today on Morning Drive.

Monday
Jan222018

CBS Rolling Out Some Golf Refreshments

After three weeks of exclusively Golf Channel broadcasts, the PGA Tour turns over the keys to CBS for the next five weeks (Honda Classic is on CBS this year due to the Olympics on NBC) and plans to roll out a few refreshments to its broadcasts.

The Forecaddie with details of the two big boosts--Amanda Balionis becoming a full-time interviewer after an extensive tryout last year, and we're getting 18-hole Trackman data. 

There is also a special request for a sooner-than-later golf debut from Tony Romo. 

Sunday
Jan212018

Random Weekend Fun On Instagram: 1-21-18

Tommy Fleetwood picked up where he left off in 2017 by defending in Abu Dhabi. Love the passion in this image.

Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in the first asking with an all new bag of Callaways, including the Chrome Soft X and new Toulon putter.

The Euros are feeling better about their prospects at the Ryder Cup already, counting down the days after wins by Rahm, Fleetwood and Garcia to kick off the year.

Sugarloaf Social Club posted a fun hipsters treasure map to the PGA Show floor.

Jack Nicklaus turned 78 and the PGA Tour posted the best gallery of images capturing the birthday boy.

And I want to be 3 years old again.

He’s done it again 👊🏻 @tommyfleetwood_1

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🗓 Tick tock...⠀ #RyderCup #TeamEurope

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Which way to the golf course? Never to young to start driving a golf cart.

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Sunday
Jan212018

We've Seen This Movie Before: CareerBuilder Challenge Finale Tries To Compete With NFL Playoffs

With the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship game, even PGA Tour VP's who've jumped on the Jags bandwagon could not possibly have been watching the CareerBuilder Challenge final round. Not even with a young star and now World No. 2 in Jon Rahm atop the leaderboard.

And yet here we were again, with PGA Tour golf on the west coast, in front of light crowds, somehow trying to go up against America's beloved playoff football.

In a world when we know the time NFL playoff game dates and times for months, and we know that their audiences will be massive, golf still thinks it can put up a fight. We're that dumb Chihuahua barking at a head-tilting Rottweiler, only we're not nearly as loud, entertaining or effective.

No sports fan in their right mind watched the Careerbuilder Challenge live when Tom Brady and the Patriots were taking on the entertaining upstart Jaguars. That is not the fault of any player involved. This is a scheduling snafu repeated for the umpteenth year-in-a-row.

So to recap: the PGA Tour returned from Hawaii and had the boys tee up Thursday in La Quinta instead of waiting a day, starting on Friday and finishing on Monday in east coast prime time. Remember, the CareerBuilder is a Golf Channel hosted event, meaning there is programming flexibility.

Also recall that the CareerBuilder is played in a retirement community, with a pro-am format that would actually welcome taking up both weekend days for the pro-am players instead of another weekday.

Last point before I stop beating this too hard: the next PGA Tour stop is in San Diego, less than three hours by car and an easy turnaround for players who make the cut. Yes, they'd only have two days to regroup for the Farmers Insurance Open but bruised linebackers, these are not. They are pro golfers whose sponsors deserve to have their sponsorship positioned in the best way possible. That is currently not the case with the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Unless...the Goo Goo Dolls are playing the 18th hole...

Sunday
Jan212018

Oakmont: The Shrinking Of Short Grass 

Ryan Farrow did an aerial overlay of the famed Oakmont Country Club from 1938 vs. 2017 and found that more bunkers have been added while there has been a huge drop in fairway acreage and width.

The club's tree removal program undoubtedly impacts the turf shift to rough, but that's not the entire story. Something else has happened in that time. Oh, right, the top players are hitting it about 80 yards longer.

 

Sunday
Jan212018

"America is being governed by a country-club bore, backed up by other members of the club"

Michael Goldfarb is the host of the First Rough Draft of History podcast and says he's seen enough of country club life to know that we're watching the country clubization of the United States government. Judging by the number of people and variety of political persuasions of those who sent me this link, Goldfarb's premise scored points.

After all, if you've seen the club world in any form, it's not a leap to consider Goldfarb's premise in this New York Times op-ed:

This country club mind-set is not unique to the United States. All over the world there are clubs with people whose wealth (it doesn’t have to be extreme wealth) buys them extra access to government. Indeed, their businesses require that access to make sure they get government contracts to build office buildings and hospitals or simply pave a local road.

When the country-club class gets directly involved in politics, a country is on a shortcut to disaster.

Equating President Trump to the guy at the club bar with an opinion on about everything, here's a view of the golf club world that could do lasting damage to the game's image.

Those who want to resist Mr. Trump should accept that America is being governed by a country-club bore, backed up by other members of the club — a class that doesn’t worry that it will suffer if he makes a mistake.

Saturday
Jan202018

The Last Two Days In Golf Instagram, 1-20-18

Gary and Vivian Player are celebrating 61 years of marriage. She's a saint!

Another swell drone view of a desert course hosting this week’s CareerBuilder Challenge.

Jordan Spieth’s been plugging phase two of his Under Armour shoes, with media from Shadow Creek and Top Golf Las Vegas.

They’re piling up Christmas trees to restore dunes in St. Andrews. Go figure.

A nifty trick shot, though not original, impressive given the tightness of the lie.



Challenging Lies ⛳ (📸@channingbenjaminphotography) PGA West Stadium Course (Hole 2)

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Saturday
Jan202018

"Golf has a new place in Ben Curtis' life"

Golf World's Dave Shedloski catches up with Ben Curtis and the former Open Champion isn't exactly leaving the game, but he's also not going to be playing any more PGA Tour golf.

Like Charlie Wi, the 2003 Open winner is going to use his wisdom and experience to help aspiring players.

This spring, Curtis plans to unveil the Ben Curtis Golf Academy at Country Club of Hudson, a private club about 15 miles from his home. His goal is to not merely teach the golf swing, but impart knowledge on the whole game to youngsters interested in high school or college golf or who have aspirations of a pro career.

“I want to talk to young players about the whole aspect of being a golfer at a certain level,” he explained.

“Practical things like drills and practice but also physical training, nutrition, what tournaments to play in. How do you prepare for college? How do you get your name out there? And it’s working with parents as well, so they know what to do and how to support their kids.”

Saturday
Jan202018

Reminder: LAAC And Spot In Masters Underway In Chile

The repositioned (by two days) Latin America Amateur Championship is underway at Prince of Wales Country Club. A papal visit led to the event's original dates being altered by five days.

Even Augusta National, the USGA and R&A stand down for the Pope!

The telecast times:

Live broadcasts of all four rounds will be available across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. The scheduled times for each round’s live broadcast are listed below, with all times local to Santiago, Chile:

First Round: Saturday, Jan. 20: 3-5 p.m.
Second Round: Sunday, Jan. 21: 3-5 p.m.
Third Round: Monday, Jan. 22: 12-2 p.m.
Final Round: Tuesday, Jan. 23: 12-2 p.m.

Championship highlights will air on Tuesday following the completion of play; viewers can check local listings for specific broadcast times.

ESPN will provide event coverage in this year’s host country, as well as throughout Latin America. Other broadcasters include ESPN and ESPN2 (United States), Eurosport (Europe), Fox Sports Asia, Fox Sports Australia, SuperSport (Southern Africa) and TSN (Canada). All of the coverage will also be streamed live on the official event website, LAACgolf.com.

Masters Chairman Fred Ridley discussed the state of the event with Todd Lewis of Golf Channel, and refreshingly, refused to say in year four if it's fair to know exactly what impact the event has had.


Also, a return to the Dominican Republic for 2019 was announced Saturday.

LATIN AMERICA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP TO RETURN TO CASA DE CAMPO IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC IN 2019

SANTIAGO, Chile –The Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic for its fifth edition, which will be held January 17-20, 2019. Championship organizers made the announcement today during the 2018 LAAC currently underway at Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago, Chile.

Founded by the Masters Tournament, The R&A and the USGA, the LAAC was established to further develop amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
The LAAC champion receives an invitation to compete in the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. In addition, the winner and the runner(s)-up are exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open Championship. The champion is also awarded full exemptions into The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur Championship and any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible.

The 2019 LAAC will mark the championship’s return to Casa de Campo, which hosted the event in 2016. It was then that Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet claimed the title and went on to become the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters and the second-youngest competitor in Masters history at 16 years old.

“It gives us great pleasure to welcome the Latin America Amateur Championship back to our beautiful resort and country,” said Andres Pichardo Rosenberg, president of Casa de Campo and a native of the Dominican Republic. “This championship is a truly special event that is helping advance the game throughout our region and paving the way for Latin America’s future golf stars. We are honored to play a role in supporting this mission as hosts and look forward to seeing the most talented amateur players once again rise to the challenges our course offers.”

Friday
Jan192018

PGA Tour: New Foster-Designed Headquarters "Echoes the Iconic Island Green 17th hole at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course"

Nick Mafi in Architectural Digest got the head start on this story (thanks reader Tim), but plans have been revealed for a PGA Tour headquarters rebuild. The 187,000 square feet of space will replace the current collection of buildings and put Taj Tim to shame as the largest building on PGA Tour Boulevard.

From Mafi's story detailing the Foster + Partners--Apple Park architects--design for the PGA Tour:

The new, 187,000-square-foot structure will feature a clean, minimalist aesthetic, which makes the reflection off the surrounding natural lake all the more powerful, as it echoes the iconic Island Green 17th hole at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course (an instantly recognizable setting for any golf lover). Narrow pillars support an overlay, which will allow employees to enjoy the outdoors even during inclement weather.

Good news smokers!

Floor-to-ceiling windows spread across each of the three floors in the building, not only allowing an ample amount of natural light into the building, but also blurring the distinction between indoors and out. "Inspired by the lush greenery of TPC Sawgrass and the beautiful Floridian light, the new PGA TOUR headquarters is designed as an extension of its surrounding landscape," said Nigel Dancey, head of studio at Foster + Partners. The interior of the new headquarters will feature an open layout, which promotes a non-hierarchical identity, as well as ample space for informal group collaborations.

Does this mean Jay Monahan will be working from a cubicle, too?

Here is the full press release:

PGA TOUR announces details of new global home
with Florida Governor Rick Scott

Officials reveal first set of renderings and highlight company’s
state and local economic impact

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – During a special presentation today at TPC Sawgrass, the PGA TOUR unveiled plans for its expansive new global home, which will consolidate area employees under one roof in Ponte Vedra Beach. Commissioner Jay Monahan made the announcement with Florida Governor Rick Scott, highlighting the PGA TOUR’s long-standing commitment to Northeast Florida and the positive economic impact it has and will continue to make in St. Johns County.

The new 187,000 square-foot headquarters, which is expected to be completed in 2020, will be located on a portion of the TOUR’s existing property on County Road 210 and surrounded by a large freshwater lake, echoing the iconic ‘Island Green’ 17th hole from THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Designed by acclaimed London-based architectural firm Foster + Partners, the state-of-the-art building will house the more than 750 employees who currently occupy 17 buildings throughout the area, with the capacity to accommodate several hundred more. According to Foster + Partners, the design embraces new ways of working and collaboration for the PGA TOUR, as it responds to changing media landscapes and audiences in the future.

“We are excited for the opportunity to continue to grow in St. Johns County and believe the PGA TOUR’s new home will be a sense of pride for the entire area and state of Florida, while allowing us to become more efficient in the way we communicate, collaborate and operate as an organization,” Monahan said. “Although we have a growing international presence with offices and tournaments around the world, the PGA TOUR and our employees are very proud to be active members of The First Coast and Ponte Vedra Beach community, and call this area home.”

Melissa Glasgow, Director of Economic Development for St. Johns County said, “Golf is woven into the very fabric of our community, and having the world-renowned PGA TOUR headquartered here only serves to strengthen that bond. As the largest corporate headquarters in St. Johns County, the TOUR project represents an innovative public-private partnership that will generate extraordinary long-term benefits. We thank the TOUR for their continued investment in our community.”

The PGA TOUR moved to Ponte Vedra Beach from Washington, D.C., in the late 1970s with three employees who occupied a house in the Players Club development in Sawgrass. As the TOUR grew, it built the West Building, then the East Building – located at the entrance to TPC Sawgrass – that have served as the TOUR’s primary offices for more than 30 years. Continued growth has forced expansion to multiple buildings throughout Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said, “I am proud to announce the PGA TOUR has chosen Ponte Vedra Beach for their new global headquarters and the creation of 300 new jobs. While this global company could have invested in any other state, they ultimately decided that Florida was the best location to grow their business and create new opportunities for our families. Our work to cut taxes and reduce burdensome regulations is helping Florida compete for these important jobs wins. I look forward to seeing the PGA TOUR’s continued success in Florida – the golf capital of the world.”

Monahan revealed the first set of renderings of the TOUR’s new global home via a video documentary. Foster + Partners describes the global home as being a pair of parallel three-story bays flanking a collaborative atrium. The glazed façades and atrium fill the building with natural light, also allowing for views out to the surrounding landscape throughout the structure. Underscoring the sustainable focus of the project, the building is targeting a LEED Gold rating. The roof has five large skylights that bring natural light into the building, and it is also envisioned that the roof will accommodate a series of photovoltaic panels that will support the building’s energy needs.

Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, said, “Inspired by the lush greenery of TPC Sawgrass and the beautiful Floridian light, the new PGA TOUR headquarters is designed as an extension of its surrounding landscape. As the Global Home of the PGA TOUR brings the organization under one roof for the first time in decades, it signifies the progressive spirit of the TOUR.”

The two building bays will be connected by 20-foot-wide bridges that encourage chance meetings and allow for informal gatherings along the edges, without impeding the flow of people. Similar flexible workspaces are located on the wide terraces along the atrium and the far ends of the building on the upper floor, catering to the need for flexible workspaces to support an increasingly mobile workforce.

“As we strive to reach an increasingly diverse, more global fanbase and position the PGA TOUR for future success, we must be equipped to meet the ever-changing landscape in international business, media and technology,” Monahan said. “Moving forward with this beautiful new global home in Ponte Vedra Beach will allow for more creative, efficient collaboration among our staff and partners, and will set us on the right path toward achieving our goals as an organization.”

Friday
Jan192018

Tiger's Warm Up: Going With The Couples Method?

Twice I was assigned to cover Tiger Woods in The Open final rounds for Golf World, and both times it was great fun to note his every move from course arrival to exit. I took particular interest in his warm-ups, which had the exact same process and number of shots struck give or take a ball or two. Here is my account from 2013 at Muirfield where I detail some of the meticulous routine.

So it was with interest I read in The Forecaddie that Tiger has been coming out swinging with his driver in a nod to the Fred Couples warm-up method. The theory being that starting out with wedges and huge divots is tougher on the back.

The PGA Tour put up this truncated look at his warm-up in the Hero World Challenge. It'll be fun to see next week at Torrey Pines if Woods reverts to his traditional method for tournament rounds or if the Couples approach is here to stay.

Friday
Jan192018

SI Media Podcast With Jim Nantz Talking Masters, Golf, Romo

ShackHouse listeners--we're back next week!--know from his appearance in 2016 that when Jim Nantz gets going on a podcast, you wish it wouldn't end.

In his lengthy discussion with SI's Richard Deitsch for episode 156 of the SI Media Podcast, the CBS announcer discusses this Sunday's AFC Championship game. But mostly the conversation keeps coming back to golf and a passion for the game shared by Nantz with incredible new CBS analyst Tony Romo.

There is also plenty of discussion of the late Dick Enberg and a fun Keith Jackson golf story related to a young Nantz at the 1974 U.S. Open, as well as much Masters talk.

At the 55 minute mark or so, Nantz addresses the dreaded CEO interview issue (viewers assume he's just called them in for the fun of it!).

Around the 1 hour and 16 second mark he talks of his dream of announcing a U.S. Open. Come on Loomis, make it happen at Pebble Beach next year! Nantz on Featured Hole coverage in a booth overlooking 6, 7 and 8! Chop chop!

At the 1:20 mark he explains how he'd like to go out as an announcer.

One option for listening or wherever podcasts can be heard:

Thursday
Jan182018

Why? The NGF's Inaugural List Of Golf's 100 Best 

I'm not sure I'm buying Erik Matuszewski's explanation for the National Golf Foundation's new list highlighting 100 companies, but I'll give the Forbes--yes that Forbes--writer the benefit of the doubt since I can't think of any other reason the NGF needs to get in the rankings business.

But the scope of the overall golf economy – a $70 billion business -- runs far deeper.

It’s why the National Golf Foundation has released its inaugural list celebrating the top 100 businesses in golf, a platform that in some ways is the golf biz equivalent of the popular top 100 course rankings. The NGF GOLF 100 was created by the NGF to recognize the most successful, innovative and influential companies and organizations in the game, across a wide variety of categories.

Thursday
Jan182018

Best Things I Saw Of Golf On Instagram, 1-18-18

Grayson Murray slid down the PGA West Stadium's 16th face, and nearly tested the surface with his landing and club.

A 13-year-old named Oscar Murphy took down Dustin Johnson in the European Tour's Beat the Pro Challenge and got to play with his hero Rory McIlroy in Abu Dhabi. Look at the composure!

The time the Bryan Bros played Augusta National with the late chairman Hootie Johnson. Wesley Bryan makes his Masters debut this year.

And Fraserburgh in the snow.

We’re all kids at heart. ❤️

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Firm fairways this morning ❄️

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Thursday
Jan182018

It Was Fun While We Had Him: DJ Pivots On Distance Regulation

Long ago--December 2017 actually--Dustin Johnson had joined the bifurcate camp when discussing the matter with Golf Channel's Todd Lewis. The comments came as Tiger was more outspoken than ever on the harm distance jumps have had on the footprint of golf.

Well the world's No. 1's views pivoted this week in Abu Dhabi at the HSBC Championship and just days after nearly making a 433-yard (give or take) hole-in-one. Will Gray looks at DJ's shift for GolfChannel.com:

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole.

He did offer some hope that he understands a well-handled rollback would still allow him to shine:

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

Perhaps the viewpoint shift came after he read Claude Harmon's Golf Digest My Shot, where DJ's instructor vented about distance rollback talk.

I'VE WATCHED DUSTIN JOHNSON spend three hours a day in the gym, seven days a week. When he's out on tour, there are no days off. I've watched him pay the price. To want to roll back equipment and put him and guys like him in a box, so they're confined to old benchmarks, drives me nuts. Is there another sport as determined to go backward as golf? Dustin is almost a physical freak to begin with, 6-4 and unbelievably strong and coordinated. When he hits a 9-iron 185, the TV commentators usually react with a laugh and an incredulous tone, as if it's the equipment more than the unbelievable clubhead speed and technical precision. It's just wrong.

Thursday
Jan182018

Ratings Up For First Two PGA Tour Hawaii Events

Steve Elling at MorningRead.com follows up on the state of the Golf Channel-IATSE labor dispute with some insightful behind-the-scenes color as Thursday kicks off coverage from La Quinta and Hawaii.

Meanwhile, ratings for the strike-impacted Sony were up despite the limited production values.


And this from Sports Media Watch on the Sentry TOC the week prior, with an increase despite the runaway win.

 

Final round coverage of the PGA Tournament of Champions had a 0.42 rating and 624,000 viewers on Golf Channel last Sunday, up 8% in ratings and 3% in viewership from last year (0.39, 608K) but down 19% and 22% respectively from Jordan Spieth‘s win in 2016 (0.52, 797K).

Third round action the previous day had a 0.37 (+48%) and 544,000 (+34%).

Thursday
Jan182018

Inverness Says Goodbye To Their Dreadful Fazio Holes

I say this as someone who didn't sit through the board and members meetings, but outside of serving as a case study in how not to renovate, no one will be missing the George and Tom Fazio holes at Inverness.

As The Forecaddie notes, architect Andrew Green has taken them out and done his best to restore Donald Ross' Toledo masterpiece with help from new super John Zimmers. The added holes, long a stain one of America's most charming and wonderful designs, are gone.

While I've seen a few reports on the work, including this fine Toledo Blade piece by David Briggs that includes Green's master plan and details of the club's effort to land another major, I'm not sure the moment has been celebrated enough.

The added holes at Oak Hill and Inverness are becoming things of the now-distant past, hopefully exiled to afterthoughts but good reminders of what egomaniacal architects given free reign can do to a classic course.

Wednesday
Jan172018

Just Some Of Golf's Best From Instagram, 1-17-18

The best stuff I saw scrolling Instagram today...

Justin Thomas commits to the Genesis Open adding to an already stacked field (McIlroy, Johnson, Woods, with more big name commits expected).

Peter Millar has acquired GFore.

Snow at Troon's Railway hole.

A bold trick shot sent in by reader Tommy Vargas.

And the best all-access PGA Tour credential I've ever seen belongs to Marley Bear.


We’ve been crowned. #RefinedRebellion #GFORExPM #DisruptiveLuxury @petermillar

A post shared by G/FORE (@gfore) on




Wednesday
Jan172018

LPGA Tour Coming To Classy Old Wilshire CC

The Forecaddie explains the return of big time pro golf to Wilshire Country Club, one of the few courses on earth to have hosted all three tours. The historic LA-club is an underrated Norman MacBeth masterwork loaded with character and rich in tournament history.

And now Korean botox maker HUGEL will sponsor at least three years of LPGA golf there, with the middle year marking the club's centennial.

Ran Morrissett's GolfClubAtlas.com review if you aren't familiar.

A nice look at the 9th hole: