Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • 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
  • 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
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • 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
  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    by Ken Bowden

The Nature the golf architect has in mind is linksland upon which golf has been played for hundreds of years, and remained through a major part of this time uncontaminated by the hand of man except for the cutting of the holes. Whatever beauty such land possessed was inherent in it, and those today who have played golf amidst such primeval surroundings are conscious of a certain charm wholly lacking upon a palpable man-made golf course.  MAX BEHR




Eye On Design: Seamus Golf's Feel Player

I had the privilege of testing out a prototype of Seamus Golf's new Feel Player shoe and did it in the ideal conditions: a wet round at Prestwick.

The shoes held up beautifully and even better, were incredibly comfortable. Never did I question the support provided, something that seemd very much up of interest when I first unpacked these ultra-light golf shoes.

My review of the Feel Player. Tomorrow I'll be posting a Q&A with Seamus co-founder Akbar Christi.


Michael Greller's Role In Spieth's 2017 Open Turnaround

There is a lot of great insight here from The Scotsman's Martin Dempster talking to Jordan Spieth caddie Michael Greller.

Spieth credited his bagman with helping turn things around and Greller, who rare gives in depth interviews, was more open about this one.

“I just told him to go back to the tempo of the Travelers because it was really similar,” said Greller of the PGA Tour win recorded by Spieth in his previous outing before the season’s third major. “He was leading wire-to-wire and was having some tough things happening. It just so happens this was a major. He knows what to do. This was the 13th time he’s had the lead in a major, so it’s not like this was his first time in this situation. He was easy to work with. He’s matured a lot in the last six years since I met him. It wasn’t that difficult.

“He’s hurt a lot since that 2016 Masters, and I’m sure somewhere in there some doubts had crept in. He just said, ‘You know what, I know how to do this’. He’s done it twice before and now three times. It was just cool to see him with his back against the wall, more than at Augusta in 2016. To do what he did just shows his character and his grit.”

Spieth now famously also gave Greller a new task, picking the ball out of the hole after seeing players do that in old Open highlight films. Kevin Casey with the roundup on that.

Greller also gave the days clubs to the R&A for posterity, with an asterisk:


Ratings: Strong Overnights For 2017 Open At Birkdale

SBD's Austin Karp shared some overnight ratings for Jordan Spieth's win at The Open and for the first time, it may exceed the U.S. Open in total viewership.

Adweek also reported the total interactions on social media. What this means, I have no idea:


On the sports side, the final round of the 2017 Open Championship on Golf Channel and NBC drove and putted its way to 433,000 total interactions across Facebook and Twitter.


First 2017 Open Championship Question And Poll: Should Royal Birkdale Host More Regularly?

As I write here for Golfweek, Royal Birkdale is a course for horses. It regular produces great finishes and stellar champions.

The players love the place.  Several, including hometown hero Tommy Fleetwood,  suggested that once ever 9-10 years is not enough.



The crowds broke records. They were passionate but respectful and incredibly welcoming.

Having seen Hoylake, Lytham and Birkdale in recent years, I wouldn't mind seeing Birkdale permanently replace Lytham in the Merseyside rota-within-the-rota.

What do you think?

Should Royal Birkdale host The Open more regularly? free polls


ShackHouse 43: 2017 Open Championship Wrap

House and I convened immediately after a thrilling, wacky, weird Open Championship at Royal Birkdale to kick around the final day's action.

As always, you can subscribe on iTunes and or just refresh your device's podcast subscription page.

Here is The Ringer's show page.

Same deal with Soundcloud for the show, and Episode 42 is here to listen to right now. Or this new platform or wherever podcasts are streamed.

ShackHouse is brought to you by Callaway, and of course, the new Steelhead fairway woods along with Odyssey as well.

Check out those Callaway Lives referenced here in the show.


Your Initial Reactions: Jordan Spieth Wins The Open

I'll have a longer recap here and a ShackHouse will be posted tonight.

In the meantime, Golfweek's quick recap and my story on the 13th hole chaos as a lucky eyewitness.


2017 Open Championship Final Round This And That

Another stellar day at Royal Birkdale gave us some history, mostly incredible play and a few setbacks for stars. Mostly though it was another impressive display by Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar who head into the finale well separate of the field.

Here is the roundup on Branden Grace's historic 62 from yesterday.

Two last points on that, apparently the members are handling it well. (Bamberger/

A week ago, the firmness of the fairways, as measured by something called the Clegg Hammer Test, measured about 130. (Drop a golf ball from shoulder height on a 130 CHT fairway and you will hear a dull thud and see the ball bounce.) By Thursday, the Royal Birkdale fairways were Clegging around 115. Not mushy—let us stand in praise of sandy soil!—but not exactly linoleum, either.

John Huggan wonders if the R&A made the setup too reasonable will welcome discussion of the low scoring (

In order to achieve all of the above, they have deliberately allowed the game’s best almost free rein. They have collectively gritted their teeth and actively encouraged low scoring the like of which we haven’t seen before at Royal Birkdale. And, in doing so, they hope to encourage growing and widespread calls for change in the long-established debate over distance.

No easy task, of course. But it can safely be assumed that the R&A and their American counterparts at the USGA would welcome such discussions.

Johnny Miller's assessment of the setup hasn't gone over well with the younger set (Kerr-Dineen/For The Win).

On to the leaders...

Birkdale and Spieth are a match and we may be watching a "quintessential performance" in Spieth's career. (Van Valkenburg/

It wasn't long ago Jordan Spieth's game was adrift. (Hoggard/

Doug Ferguson with this piece from a few weeks ago where Jordan Spieth spoke of being uncomfortable in the leading role and hoping to change that.

Jaime Diaz wonders if Spieth will put some final round Masters demons behind him and suggests by that deep stare Spieth gave upon birdieing the 18th yesterday if we'll be on career Grand Slam watch next month.

Some Spieth facts and notes worth keeping in mind. (G.C. Digital/

Kuchar is looking to avoid the unavoidable: match play with Spieth. (Coffin/

More McIlroy disappointment. (Harig/

Beef Johnston is in a Twitter war with a local presenter who called him a clown. (Kerr-Dineen/For The Win)

Hole, shot and quote of the day. (Ahern/

More top quotes from Saturday. (G.C. Digital/

Final round tee and TV Times (Casey/Golfweek).

They employed a marker today and will again tomorrow. Both work in the Royal Birkdale shop. (Myers/

Martin Slumbers' shot at the BBC may come back to haunt him. (Murray/Guardian)

The weather forecast suggests the most wind will be late in the day.

Peter Kostis shot back at Dan Jenkins to defend his CBS colleague Ian Baker Finch.

A contributor used The Open to air his grievances with golf and even the modern golf professional ("entitled products of a selfish, insular and elitist culture of wealth"). (Ryan/New York Times) for all of your basic needs.

Tee times.

The traditional leaderboard at

I'm not sure if it works in the States, but Open radio is a fun way to enjoy the action if you have other tasks to tend to. Inexplicably, the R&A no longer sells radios to spectators.

Golfweek's Live Blog will keep you up to date.

The Guardian's Live Blog will give you the UK perspective.

Final round hole locations:




Roundup: Branden Grace Becomes First To Shoot 62 In A Major

He made it look pretty easy on a day that was admittedly asking for a 62 at Royal Birkdale. Bones Mackay even predicted it, with apologies, to Johnny Miller.

I stepped out to the course to watch the last part of the historic round and filed this for on the round, Grace not having a clue where he stood to par or even the historic nature.

Here is the hole-by-hole info on clubs used, provided by caddie Zack Rasego to R&A media liason Dave Seanor and posted here at Note that he did not hit more than a 7-iron into a par-4.

Here is a picture of the official scorecard for history buffs.

Johnny Miller's reaction from the NBC telecast on the accomplishment.  

Steve DiMeglio calls Royal Birkdale defenseless in his USA Today assessment.

Derek Lawrenson in the Daily Mail: "A significant milestone in the history of the game was shattered on Saturday by a South African who had no idea of the enormity of his achievement."

Jason Sobel equates it to breaking golf's version of the 4-minute mile.

Jaime Diaz considers all of the reasons the round happened and concluded this:

And maybe the most important factor, considering how many times the golf gods have kept the 62nd stroke out of the hole in a major – it was about damn time.

Josh Berhow at captures some of the majestic home hole scene as Grace finished the historic round.

The social media congratulations are pouring in, starting with Jack Nicklaus. with the roundup.

Grace's bag, reported on by David Dusek.

Certainly the scores were good, though as the day has progressed we'll see what the final tally is...


2017 Open Championship Round Three This And That

Jordan Spieth is the man to beat, holding a two-stroke lead heading into weekend play at The Open. He was pleased the conditions turned out to not be quite as awful as expected. (Tait/Golfweek)

Matt Kuchar was a pleasure to watch and was taking pleasure in the idea of watching the afternoon round. (Shackelford/Golfweek)

Ian Poulter has nothing to lose, as he sees it. (Coffin/

“I’m in a bonus week,” he said Friday after shooting even-par 70 to remain in contention at his beloved Open Championship. “I qualified for The Open. I’m loving it. I really am. This is a massive bonus for me to be in this position. I haven’t played in a major for a little while, and I can’t wait. I’m excited. I’m pumped up.”

Zach Johnson fired an anger-driven 66 in terrible weather. (Herrington/

Rory McIlroy worked himself back into contention with a 68 and restored some strut to his repertoire too. (Wacker/

Sergio Garcia hurt his shoulder taking a swing at gorse. He still shot 69. (Romine/Golfweek)

The HOF GIF from Ryan Lavner:

Kent Bulle appeared on the leaderboard for a while and is enjoying his time away from the Tour. (Babineau/Golfweek)

The long-knocking Chan Kim is an intriguing story to watch this weekend and beyond.  (Romine/Golfweek)

Phil Mickelson missed the cut with flair, he said, and other notables going home for the weekend. (Romine/Golfweek)

Justin Thomas made a theatrical 9 en route to missing the cut. (

Jon Rahm has no hard feelings toward Lee Westwood questioning a decision to alert the walking referee to a violation, but there's also some smoke here that Rahm feels will go away. (Herrington/Golf World)

There's a betting dispute over Tommy Fleetwood and William Hill is not paying up. (Cowan/

Eric Matuszewski talks to Tommy Roy about The Golf Channel/NBC approach, including the split screen breaks we've seen so far.

Some background on Bones and his successful first few days as a broadcaster. (Elling/

Henrik Stenson's rental home was burglarized and some of his clothes stolen. (Facey/The Sun)

Stenson spoke about the incident after his round and how he might have been targeted, noting several factors of concern. (Murray/Guardian)

The "Amber" weather alert that halted play for 15 minutes is explained here by the Met Office.

Friday's notes, quotes and shots of the day (Ahern/Golfweek).

They look out for their wildlife here...

Saturday's hole locations: for all of your basic needs.

Tee times.

The traditional leaderboard at

I'm not sure if it works in the States, but Open radio is a fun way to enjoy the action if you have other tasks to tend to. Inexplicably, the R&A no longer sells radios to spectators.

Golfweek's Live Blog will keep you up to date.

The Guardian's Live Blog will give you the UK perspective.


WaPo On Trump LA: "Is the presidency good for Trump’s business?" 

The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold and Rob Kuznia analyze numbers and anecdotal evidence to conclude that Trump National Los Angeles has taken a financial hit since the November election of Donald Trump.

Unlike Trump Turnberry where I visited last week and saw signs of robust business, Fahrenthold and Kuznia say it's hard to see anything but a residual effect on Trump LA.

Charity golf-tournaments, another core piece of the club’s business, have moved away: ESPN relocated its celebrity tournament. The L.A. Galaxy soccer team withdrew. The L.A. Unified School District also moved, forfeiting a $7,500 deposit it had already paid Trump’s course.

Hollywood, another source of revenue for the club, has largely stopped coming to film TV shows and movies, according to city permit records.

And the club’s wedding business seems to have been affected as well. Couples used to hold big outdoor ceremonies at a city park across the street, then return to Trump National for a reception.


Lexi Mocks LPGA Dress Code In Grand Victorian Style

Very clever spoof of the new LPGA dress policy by Lexi Thompson. Maybe she took some inspiration from this (thanks reader LC).



2017 Open Championship Round Two This And That

It was an above average day at Royal Birkdale in terms of scoring, storylines, shotmaking and a course in peak condition.

Day two may not be such a graceful display if the forecasters are to be believed.

Ian Poulter has kept the momentum going since his Players win and in returning to the site of his best Open finish. (Tallentire/Guardian)

Jordan Spieth added a few twists to his game and looked focused. (Shackelford/Golfweek)

Matt Kuchar opened with 67 and admitted after that he should have won more in his career. (Huggan/

Kuchar is crediting his Scottish Open appearance to feeling comfortable here. (Hoggard/

Rory McIlroy got a pep talk from is caddie...well, it was a bit more PG-13 than that. (Tait/Golfweek)

The Tommy Fleetwood-return-to-Southport didn't go as planned. (Mitchell/Guardian)

Brooks Koepka didn't miss a beat since taking off a month after his U.S. Open win. (Babineau/Golfweek)

Jon Rahm went from a disastrous day to a merely eventful opening 69 after he was cleared of an infraction. (Romine/Golfweek)

Aussies aren’t real thrilled with Dan Jenkins after taking a jab at Ian Baker-Finch. (Walten/AAP)

Justin Thomas gave detractors 67 reasons to stop talking about a pretty swell retro outfit. (Romine/Golfweek)

“It’s nice definitely to get people to stop talking about that,” said Thomas, who shot 3-under 67 while sporting a navy tie as part of his Polo Golf/Ralph Lauren scripting for Thursday’s opening round. “Obviously, I knew it was probably going to get a lot of publicity and be out there, but I didn’t come here to dress well.”

Jason Day's joggers and white hi-tops didn't fare well either with fashionistas. (Romine/

Fashion got lots of overall attention. (Romine/

Alfie Plant displayed no fear. England's least known, best hope at the moment.

First day TV hit and misses. (Kaufmann/Golfweek)

Russia has apparently infiltrated the list of Open winners. (Miceli/

Monty's bluster brought life to the Golf Channel telecast. (Elling/

To kick off round two, the R&A announced Andrew Johnston as "Beef" Johnston. Somewhere Ivor Robson just flinched. for all of your basic needs.

Tee times.

The traditional leaderboard at

I'm not sure if it works in the States, but Open radio is a fun way to enjoy the action if you have other tasks to tend to. Inexplicably, the R&A no longer sells radios to spectators.

Golfweek's Live Blog will keep you up to date.

The Guardian's Live Blog will give you the UK perspective.


ShackHouse 42: Open Championship Pop-Up

A quick recap of a lively day one at The Open, some Jordan Spieth talk, the weather, Rory and Ricky, the online coverage and the players to watch going forward (26:00).

Links to the two shows referenced worth checking out: Vice Sports on Henrik Stenson and Matt Ryan on Callaway Live.


About The Passing Ship That Is The Royal Birkdale Clubhouse

Having inspired several other clubhouses and several homes in the neighborhood, the Royal Birkdale clubhouse influence is unmistakable.

Though as David Owen noted in this piece, with accompanying image, the original design vision was pretty swell and needs restoration.

The club has monkeyed with the building since it was built, by removing a number of the original Art Deco details and adding boxlike extensions, but the basic idea is intact. The building’s design influenced other architecture in the region, including this house, which is just up the road from the club:

These days, the exterior just lacks a few too many of the fun nuances that articulated the original vision and yet I still love the concept and the vision.

We at Morning Drive took the question to the people and here's what they said...


2017 Open Championship Round One This And That

We started it out with positively hideous weather but things have improved notwithstanding a huge drop in temperature compared to the practice rounds. for all of your needs.

Tee times.

The traditional leaderboard at

I'm not sure if it works in the States, but Open radio is a fun way to enjoy the action if you have other tasks to tend to.

Justin Thomas has stuck to the expected scripting and his cardigan/tie combo is definitely classing this place up.

Golfweek's Live Blog will keep you up to date.

The Guardian's Live Blog will give you the UK perspective.

Round one hole locations at Royal Birkdale appear mostly generous.


Bifurcation: R&A Chief Opens Door To The B-Word

After yesterday's press conference where he acknowledged movements in driving distance averages, R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers opened the door to rules bifurcation. Slumbers seems to see the wisdom in letting average golfers enjoy the benefits of technology while making changes to maintain skill in the elite game.

Alex Miceli at reports:

“When we look at all the options we’ve got, it [bifurcation] will have to be one of the options we look at,” Slumbers said. “Whether that’s the right thing to do, who knows the answer. Up to date, we have had a view of one set of playing rules, one set of equipment rules, and I think that served our game extremely well, but we must make sure we get the skill and technology right, as a balance for the good of the overall game.”

Even considering another set of rules for the elite game is a milestone moment for the R&A. The organization has resisted such a concept, even when the notion was suggested to deal with anchoring.

Couple this with the USGA's Mike Davis suggesting a variable distance ball concept as a possibility and we appear to be on the road to bifurcation.


Roundup: Final Reads And Notes For The 2017 Open

After the bleak forecast almost was proven wrong, an afternoon storm dropped some moisture on the firm fairways of Royal Birkdale. The weather forecast remains bleak unless you like to see wind and rain.

The latest odds.

Bob Harig wonders if length matters and talks to players on both sides of the aisle. Bill Haas had this to say:

"You can play as safe as you want, but then your next shot is that much tougher to the green,'' said Bill Haas, whose tie for ninth last year at Royal Troon was his best Open finish. "Can you compete by hitting short irons off tees? Yes. But I remember Louis Oosthuizen when he won at St. Andrews [in 2010]. He hit driver everywhere. Just piped it. He hit sand wedge into every hole. No wonder he won.

Brandt Snedeker has withdrawn from The Open with a rib injury. James Hahn gets in.

Brian Wacker on Paul Casey's cycling preparation and contentment with his life.

The players are noticing the bunker difficulty, namely the heavy sand and potential for awkward stances. Brentley Romine with the social media round-up.

The R&A press conference elicited a few bits of news. Drug testing is in, reviewing the anchoring ban is not.

Bradley Klein takes you hole by hole at Royal Birkdale.

David Dusek on the emergence of driving irons this week.

Driving irons used to be fairly standard on the PGA Tour, but they started to vanish in the 1980s. The popularization of hybrids in the 1990s and 2000s pretty much were the nail in the coffin for 1-irons and 2-irons. And as clubs and balls improved with technology – and lofts became stronger on iron sets – strong players were hitting their 3- and 4-irons as far as the previous generations hit 1-irons, anyway.

Maverick McNealy says his game is trending in the right direction and he's likely turning pro later this year, Ryan Lavner writes.

Rory McIlroy made anintriguing remark in his press room interview today, Jeff Babineau notes in his Golfweek story considering McIlroy's chances.

“I want to win this week. I don’t need to win,” he said. “A second Open Championship isn’t going to change my life. But I want to win. I’m still as ambitious now as I was starting off my career, if not more so now because I know what I’ve achieved and I know what I can achieve. So it only makes you want to do that even more.”

If you'd like a little history, Michael Bamberger considers the influence Arnold Palmer's 1961 win here had on The Open.

I filed this piece on The Artisans and their fourth green clubhouse. Nothing like clubs within a club!

This Todd Lewis helmed live piece offered a rare look inside the Birkdale clubhouse. Really cool stuff!

And I visited the food vendors...

And one more reminder for US viewers, all of your telecast times here starting with Wednesday's Midnight Drive at 9 pm PT and leading into Open coverage that commences for 14.5 hours at 10:30 pm PT.


R&A Chief Concedes "Movements" Seen In '17 Driving Distance

Nice to ask a distance question and not get the usual suggestion that things have leveled off, but maybe R&A Chief Martin Slumbers knew after this year's U.S. Open's driving distances that such a stance would not fly.

From today's R&A press conference at the 146th Open Championship.

Q. Several of the players have noted that they are hitting very few drivers. Some players may not even have driver in their bag. In the context of the statement of principles from 2003 regarding skill, does it concern you that that club is not a factor this week because of the distance the players hit the ball?

MARTIN SLUMBERS: Well, you can look at it two ways, the golf course is set up 17 yards shorter than it was played in '08. The great thing about links golf, as many of you know, if you're as much an aficionado of this game as I am, course management is one of the most important things about links golf. It's pretty firm out there. It's running hard. The rough, if you run out in the wrong direction, can be pretty penal. And certainly the conversations I've had with players is that they are really enjoying the challenge of trying to work at how to get the ball in the right place. And at times that will lead them to hit irons as against drivers or woods. I think Phil was talking yesterday about maybe not putting a driver in the bag, and I think we'll see quite a few irons, especially if the wind stays in the quadrant that it's in in the moment.

The broader question on distance that you raise is we are very -- I spend a lot of my time and the R&A's time looking at distance. We are very focused on setting it up in two ways, one is around transparency, which is what we did two years ago - started to take the PGA data and take the European Tour data, put it together and publish that. Some people don't like that. Others say it's great to have the numbers.

The second thing that I'm looking at and spend probably as much time doing it is this balance between skill and technology, and whether how much the technology and skill, are they in balance, is it good for the recreational game? Is it the same for the elite game? And those two issues are what we are looking at at the moment. And if you look at the data over the last 18 months, we are seeing this year movements, only halfway through the year. We will take a full look at the end of the year, and then come back and make sure we analyse and think about it very carefully.


R&A Turning Fairway Into OB Zone Highlights Distance Issues

Here's the notice to competitors:

I opine for on the many issues surrounding the bizarre idea of turning the 10th hole fairway grass into out-of-bounds. Yes the safety issue was legitimate. But the concept that anyone would think of playing down another fairway to avoid their own speaks to how narrow the course is.

This also summarizes a number of other issues including the overall lack of appetite to hit driver this week, as best summarized by Phil Mickelson's plans.


Callaway Live: Falcons QB & Links Golf Lover Matt Ryan

Yours truly was promoted as the guest on Callaway Live with Harry Arnett this week, but in a bit of television magic (me shuttling to Carlsbad from The Open), I happily step aside for suprise guest Matt Ryan.

Not only did he lead the Falcons to last year's Super Bowl, but Ryan is a terrific lover of golf. I think you'll enjoy his discussion of his annual trip to enjoy links golf, how the game helps him retain his flexibility and why it's his off season passion.

But only after certified Falcons fanatic Arnett gets in a few Super Bowl questions...