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Books
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    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
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

Like so many golfers, I became an “armchair architect” at an early age, constantly visualizing ways to improve my home course, Scioto, in Columbus, along with, as my wings spread, many of the others I played…more and more, I began to ask myself whether it was possible to create something more interesting and inviting.  JACK NICKLAUS


    

Wednesday
Jun032015

Video: Chambers Bay Fourth Hole Flyover

By the looks of this one the course picks up considerable steam in the difficulty department playing 495 yards uphill and with what sounds like a fairway that can get tricky if the ball is running.

Bradley Klein has just posted at Golfweek his thoughts on each hole and he finds more strategy in this one than Gil describes in the flyover. (Thanks reader PG.)

The flyover, with commentary from Sonders and Hanse.

Tuesday
Jun022015

USC Looks To End National Championship Winless Streak

Even though the program has produced many major winners and NCAA individual champions like Al Geiberger, Dave Stockton, Craig Stadler, Scott Simpson and many more, the University of Southern California still trails Pepperdine in the NCAA team title department but they are tied with Georgia Tech at least!

But as Ryan Lavner reports, the USC-LSU final on tap for Wednesday continues the trend of somewhat "tumultuous" results, though Chris Zambri's USC team has been solid all season.

Jay Coffin focuses on the title drought.

“It doesn’t make sense to me that we haven’t won,” Zambri confided.

He then rattled off mind-boggling stats that his alma mater has collected over the last half century that included the number of touring professionals, major-championship winners, All-Americans and Pac-12 Conference Championships.

Highlights of LSU's win over Georgia and highlights of USC's win over Illinois.

The action starts at 11:30 am ET.

Tuesday
Jun022015

Sherwood Country Club's Caitlyn Dilemma

You have to admit, this is one few club boards are equipped to handle: longtime Sherwood Country Club member Bruce Jenner transitioning to Vanity Fair cover girl Caitlyn, meaning she will no longer having access to the men-only bar and grill room he enjoyed when he was Bruce.

I know what you're thinking. Bigger issues in this world alert! For instance, think of all the Caitlyn’s of the planet whose name has just become synonymous with the world’s most famous Rene Russo wannabe look alike? Still, as TMZ laid out in this report, the Sherwood board has at least until December to decide, since the course is closed for remodeling.

For starters, the main dining room and bar are male only. They're actually attached to the men's locker room and women are not allowed. The women's restaurant is way more scaled down ... in other words, not nearly as nice.

Our Sherwood sources say the board will enforce the rules, which means the camaraderie Bruce shared with the other members will be greatly impeded now that she's Caitlyn.

TMZ says Caitlyn can appeal to the board.

Oh to be a fly.

Frankly, I’m just wondering what she’s going to do with all those logoed golf shirts?

Tuesday
Jun022015

The Olympic Qualifying Cut-Off Date Ignores A Key Week

There are many ins-and-outs to working with the IOC and the golf movement tried to address as many as possible, though we're still left with an uninspired individual stroke play format. Golf can survive that. 

But now that the madness that is the jam-packed 2016 schedule starts to become more clear, Derek Lawrenson points out in his Daily Mail column another oddity leading into Rio: The Open Championship is a little more than a month before the Olympics and the cut-off date for Games qualifying is the Sunday prior.

As Lawrenson points out, a resurgent Tiger Woods could be on the fringes of qualifying, then win at Royal Troon. And he would not make the Olympics.

I had to read this several times as well to make sure I had got it right. You mean to tell me that Tiger could win The Open next year and the US PGA but if he was ranked outside the world’s top 15 before both events were staged he would not be in Rio? Yep, that’s the strength of it. How stupid would golf look in those circumstances?

Tuesday
Jun022015

Video: Chambers Bay Third Hole Flyover

A Redan offspring, the third at Chambers Bay appears (just going off the flyover) to be more of the second-at-Somerset variety of Redan than the the original. Meaning, the use of slope appears to be more from the hole-high slope than anything in front of the green. Though a similar depression fronts the original at North Berwick, it is fairly forgiving to a running shot.

Note the tight moving right up to the bunker edge.

The US Open website says the hole will play from 163 yards to 198.

The Fox flyover with talk from Sonders and Hanse:

Monday
Jun012015

Should Rory McIlroy Continue To Be A Two-Tour Golfer?

With Rory McIlroy shutting it down now until the U.S. Open (as Tim Rosaforte reported from Newcastle), the world No. 1 heads into Chambers Bay with unexpectedly awkward momentum.

When talking about Jaime Diaz's column about McIlroy's artistic temperament, I contended on Morning Drive that the underlying issues at Royal County Down still relate to his lingering feelings for exposed golf versus inland layouts.

But as Gary Williams and I discussed on the show in the wake of McIlroy's BMW MC, McIlroy also will have to learn to say no if he'd like to retain his sanity, enjoy the spoils of his riches and prolong his career. That's right, he really needs to say no to one of the year-end playoff chases (FedExCup or Race To Dubai).

Derek Lawrenson, taking issue with the "Americans" in "full cry" over suggestions that McIlroy is not superhuman, makes a case that McIlroy's ability to reach World No. 1 status and win four majors has happened while retaining a worldwide schedule, something Tiger has not done to the same extent as McIlroy.

Woods played 23 or so tournaments every year and 20 or 21 of them would be in America. Between February and October the only time he would travel abroad would be for The Open, and he would never dream of putting himself out to play four tournaments in a row, let alone five.

Contrast that to McIlroy, who has just played two in Europe on top of three in America. Now it’s back to the States, then back to Europe for The Open, then back to America for six events, then off to China and the Middle East before the year is done. Travel the world to play all sorts of courses in all sorts of weather, with the added factor of mental fatigue, and inevitably it’s going to affect consistency.

Now who would have thought the Americans wouldn’t consider something as obvious as that? Not an insular lot by any chance, are they?

I doubt insularity drove the comments of Diaz. But since this is on the table, perhaps McIlroy should take this to heart and choose a tour if in fact his schedule continues to become a problem? I hope not. He's a grand worldwide ambassador and that he enjoys the job of being a sportsman in the limelight is great for the sport.

But we all know which tour he'd pick if it comes to consolidating his schedule to one continent. The "Americans" would be even more hated should that day come.

Monday
Jun012015

Roundup: "Unique" DeChambeau Wins NCAA Individual Title

It's a word we're all probably guilty of overusing, but unique fits NCAA Men's 2015 Individual champion Bryson DeChambeau.

While the round took a while to get going after the emotions of last week's women's matches and then a weather delay, DeChambeau's clutch finish held off a late charge by Washington's Cheng-Tsung Pan to make for an exciting conclusion to the individual title.

College golf gave a good impression as well, dispelling the sense of a homogenous group with some very "unique" (homegrown) swings, a diversity of playing styles and no shortage of push carts (Cameron Wilson you trendsetter you!).

But the champion in his Payne Stewart-homage cap and 35-inch shaft set of clubs was the Monday story before the final eight teams head to match play Tuesday (10:30 am ET and 3:30 pm ET live coverage windows. Golfweek's bracket match listings and picks. Jeff Babineau on Georgia's clutch play.)

Ryan Lavner at GolfChannel.com on DeChambeau's individuality.

It’s probably obvious to any viewer that the SMU junior does things his own way.

He majors in physics.

He wears a Ben Hogan-style hat.

He uses a push cart.

He employs something called Vector Putting, which takes into account length of putt, percentage of slope and speed of the green.

Art Stricklin posted this Global Golf Post column on the winner and the thinking behind his irons all at 7-iron length, and the industry views against his theory. Fun stuff. There was also this Golfweek staff report from February on Bryson worth a look and Brentley Romine filed this "what's in the bag."

There was this nice Twitter trending page of photos and other Tweets.

And DeChambeau unveiled this dont-try-this-at-home trick shot on the range, as Tweeted by Adam Schupak. Golfweek also posted this photo gallery.

Golf Central's highlight package.

Monday
Jun012015

Craigslist Crying Out: Help This Married Man

Alex Myers at GolfDigest.com with the utterly sad Craigslist posting by a recently married Delaware man who might be laying it on a little thick in his attempt to sell hardly-used Mizuno's.

Naturally, I expect this post to be cited in a forthcoming TBD "demise of golf" story, but in the meantime...

Monday
Jun012015

Another Cabot Cliffs Review: "Stunner"

John Steinbreder says he was “staggered” by Cabot Cliffs and posts a Global Golf Post review with some nice images by Larry Lambrecht.

He focuses his piece on the unusual Coore-Crenshaw design component of six par-3s, six par-4s and six par-5s.

The course has a soft opening later this summer.

Monday
Jun012015

Video: Callaway Live Appearance

Episode 3 of Callaway Live is now archived for you to see, even though I know you were all there for the live airing.

On the chance you missed, here is the link to watch our chat that covered everything from VW van driving minimalists to wonderful millennials. Thanks to Callaway's team, from host Harry Arnett to producer Jeff Neubarth to everyone behind the scenes who welcomed me behind enemy lines and never once tried to ply my drinking water with mind-altering substances. And thanks for what seemed like a lively chat. Having snuck a peak at your upcoming guest list, I'm honored to have followed the great Dick Enberg and look forward to your upcoming episodes.

A sample:

Monday
Jun012015

Tiger...Or Is It Bigfoot Spotted At Chambers Bay?

First there was a jet sighting, then several blurry photos, and then a long distance shot of something resembling a standing, two-legged being inhabiting a Chambers Bay fairway. Further analysis determined it to be of human origin and most definitely Tiger Woods scouting the 2015 U.S. Open host site. Phil Mickelson was also spotted sneaking in some golf but got a much better weather day.

Safe to say you can add Tiger to the list who have made the cross-country trek to the remote lands of University Place. And mercifully, we've gotten the two biggest scouting trips out of the way.

Monday
Jun012015

Stevie Is Back! Summer Reunion With Adam Scott

We've missed his smiling, jovial ways and Adam Scott has missed the extra bit of something Steve "Stevie" Williams brings to his client's game.

Sam Weinman with the details of their summer reunion and an epic photo of Williams having just slaughtered...a piece of wood.

Williams spoke to Golf Digest's Guy Yocum about his retirement for the July 2015 Golf Digest.

ON THE DRIVE BACK to the rental house after Adam Scott won the Masters in 2013, I had an epiphany, clear as day, that it was time to hang it up. Who knows what prompts that inner voice? Maybe it was missing my son Jett's rugby practices back in New Zealand. He's 9. The 20 or more 13-hour flights back and forth to the States each year. Having my wife, Kristy, and Jett with me a couple of weeks a year in America wasn't enough. The inner voice always wins these arguments. Even as I worked my last tournaments with Adam in 2014, I knew I was gone.

Monday
Jun012015

Video: Chambers Bay Second Hole Flyover

The second at 2015 U.S. Open host Chambers Bay is pretty stunning looking from above. As Gil Hanse discusses here with Holly Sonders, the 399-yard hole pays homage to Royal Dornoch's 14th in the fairway shaping. The fairway has been brought in on the right.

Note the ribbon tee, of which there are several on the course and subject to use for setup variety. Some night not even be perfectly flat.

The wide opening to the green looks inviting to a run-up, if anyone still plays those. A beautiful looking hole that figures to see some setup touches to highlight its features.

The video:

Monday
Jun012015

Callaway Live At 6 PM Pacific Time Monday: You've Been Warned

Callaway's new Live show hosted by Harry Arnett kicked off with a wonderful half-hour chat involving broadcasting legend Dick Enberg, who sounds as good as ever.

Episode 2 at a TopGolf featured some great visuals but audio problems that turned several people into Marcel Marceau impersonators, an issue I know won't be replicated Monday from Callaway's Carlsbad headquarters when yours truly steps into the Lion's Den.

And yes, technology questions are on the table, which should make this awkward...in a fun way!

Tune in at 6 PM Pacific Time, that's 9 Eastern for those of you East Coast elite who aren't used to doing the math.

Here's the link. And it should be viewable on all devices.

Sunday
May312015

Only Thing That Could Make The Irish Open Better? 

Royal County Down was as stunning as you’d expect in full HD. Throw in cruel weather and the viewing was magnificent, though one did have to feel for the fans braving the squalls and cold. Oh, and the players and caddies too.

While even the most savage of golf haters would struggle to endorse the raw weather or find comfort in host Rory McIlroy’s missed cut, it’s otherwise hard to imagine the combination of Dubai Duty Free and McIlroy having a better launch to their new partnership.

Which brings us to the date.

Traditionally golf's French Open kicks off a huge three-week run culminating in The Open Championship but is played on an inland course that will host the 2018 Ryder Cup.

But wouldn’t three weeks of links golf when the weather doesn’t make Rochester natives wonder what tundra they’ve stepped into, be a better fit?

Sure, the lads will cry foul that three weeks of links golf will undue their precious swings, but we also know about 50% of the world’s elite believe in playing the week before a major, and the other 50% like to play two weeks out and have the week off heading into one of golf’s big four. So both the Scottish and Irish Opens should be able to attract quality fields while giving two historically important events on links golf the prominent place they deserve.

Now it’s just incumbent on Rory and his friends from Dubai to learn from the success of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open to keep pushing for links venues.

The finale was quite the train wreck. Yet, mercifully, the man who seemed to manage his way around the links with new caddie Alistair Mathison won: Soren Kjeldsen.

It will be a career-saving and defining win for Kjelsen, whose top 3 finish also gets him into The Open Championship (along with Englishmen Eddie Pepperell and Tyrrell Hatton).

From Phil Casey's excellent Press Association game story:

The players returned to the par-five 18th for sudden death and, after finding the green in two and seeing his opponents fail to make birdie, Kjeldsen two-putted from 25 feet, although his birdie attempt did a full circuit of the hole before dropping.

“Three weeks ago I was 112th in the Order of Merit and my game was not in good shape,” Kjeldsen said. “With turning 40 [a fortnight ago] you wonder was that it? Now I am standing here and it’s pretty remarkable really.”

Kjeldsen also claimed one of the three places available in the Open Championship to players finishing in the top 10 who were not already exempt, with Pepperell and Tyrrell Hatton taking the others.

As for Rory, he worked hard to make sure his foundation's role was visible and the write-off was well earned. A Golf Channel highlight reel of his off-course efforts, followed but a piece on his Sunday appearance with notes Tim Rosaforte.

Sunday
May312015

Fox Baseball Viewers Just Love Hearing About The U.S. Open

I'm not sure bringing a a USGA President into the booth of an MLB game with his searsucker and hurling his "Jr." designation is the way to cool-up the U.S. Open's move to Fox, but then there I go again thinking this is about the golf instead of branding the USGA!

Sure, Brad Faxon, who loves his Red Sox and could do baseball banter with the announcers while promoting the upcoming debut telecast from Chambers Bay would have been the logical choice. But Brad's not on the Executive Committee and just months from becoming even more irrelevant than ever!

I can't embed the full response because of Squarespace's inability to fix Twitter issues and I'm limited in the number of obscenities visually available in a month, but you can view the Fox fan's reaction to having their compelling Dodgers-Cardinals game interrupted here. But here's a sampling (thanks reader Sean for spotting):

 

Sunday
May312015

"Still, developers don’t want to stray too far from rolling fairways and challenging courses designed by golf legends."

John Paul Newport devotes his WSJ weekly column (thanks reader John) to the state of real estate developments, and while the talk is that developers are reinventing the model, they really are not and the entire thing is pretty depressing. Name brands will continue to drive the thinking instead of more creative course and community designs.

Not surprised. But still depressing.

As part of the evolution, the golf courses themselves are changing. Bluejack National, the community under construction in Texas’ Montgomery Country, Mr. Woods is also designing a short course for players who don’t have time for a championship-length game or want an easier option when playing with family. For course-side snacking, there will be a fruit stand and a jerky shack with dried meats. A golf-performance center will offer instruction programs, performance testing, personal training and club fitting.

At Tiburón, Mr. Norman now works to include amenities that will encourage kids to play golf.

“If you look at residential communities, what are we doing to promote the game of golf on a grassroots level?” asks Mr. Norman. “You need little areas for kids to play golf, and not have to play a monster course. It can be a little play area, where kids can spend time and have fun together.”

Still, developers don’t want to stray too far from rolling fairways and challenging courses designed by golf legends.

Sunday
May312015

Video: Chambers Bay First Hole Flyover

An annual tradition here: become familiar (in slow drip fashion) with the upcoming U.S. Open venue.

This year we have an added bonus of not just flyovers, but architectural critiques from Gil Hanse who speaks to big LA Dodgers fan (who isn't?) Holly Sonders.

Since I haven't been to the course, I'll be watching with you soaking in the insights with this year's eagerly anticipated U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in mind.

The first hole, courtesy of Fox Sports:

Sunday
May312015

Photos: Great White Shark Meets His Match!

We always wondered what would become of the sculpture creation process that made it look like Greg Norman had been attacked by gulls. And now, we have our much anticipated answer: a birthday gift from the wife!

Thanks to reader Chip who spotted the Shark's latest Instragram post.




And wife Kirsten likes what she sees...




Saturday
May302015

Maximilian! Royal County Down's 1939 Course Record Falls

Yes, Royal County Down's finishing stretch has been beefed up a bit this century and the course is a couple hundred yards longer, but I'm pretty sure Jimmy Bruen didn't have a driver the size of a cantaloupe when he posted his 66 in 1939.

Throw in the cold, nasty squalls and wind, and a tip of the cap goes to Royal County Down for aging gracefully and to the two men who tied and then broke the course record. On Friday Tyrell Hatton tied Bruen's mark and Saturday at Royal County Down Maximilian Kieffer moved into Dubai Duty Free Irish Open contention with a new record 65.

The best word to describe the brutal conditions for Kieffer's mark? Raw, as Graeme McDowell called it in telling Brian Keogh that Royal County Down was giving the European Tour's finest a tough examination.

“We don’t get to experience these conditions very much and this is raw, this is what it’s all about. This is proper Open Championship golf.

“You could put the grandstands up and play The Open here, but if you get it wrong, it can eat you alive.

“Between showers and gusts, it’s playable but as the fronts roll through it’s very difficult, anything around par is very good score.

“It’s about not blowing yourself out of the tournament.”

Soren Kjeldsen holds a two stroke lead, reports Kevin Garside (video from Golf Channel) over Kieffer and Rafael Cabrera-Bello heading into the final round.

Rickie Fowler eagled the par-4 16th Saturday, then finished 8-8 leaving him T36. (Video highlights, or lowlights?)