Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos

You must expect anything in golf. A stranger comes through, he's keen for a game, he seems affable enough, and on the eighth fairway he turns out to be an idiot.
ALISTAIR COOKE


    

Monday
May302016

Video: 21 And Already Generating Incredible Clubhead Speed

He is to be known as McGann Boy for now, and look at the power for all of 21 months right here.

 

Sunday
May292016

Colonial Win: Spieth's Spectacular Finish 

Two weeks of sleeping in his own bed, hearing the positive vibes from the home crowd and refining his game paid off in spectacular fashion for Jordan Spieth. Oh, and just like his UA counterpart Steph Curry last night, the long range three is back from a mini-vacation. Just in time for the most difficult U.S. Open greens.

Nick Menta with where the win stacks up and other notes for the field.

From John Strege's roundup of Spieth's Dean And Deluca win at Colonial.

“This day is a moment that will go down, no matter what happens in the next 30 years, as one of the most important days I’ve ever had,” he said.

The highlights from PGA Tour Entertainment speak to the patient front nine and back nine outburst that should do wonders for spirts that have been a bit off of late.



The chip in reaction is stellar:


Spieth's post round interview is notable again because he's so at ease for the first time in a while and mentions the tough times of late. From GolfChannel.com:

 

Sunday
May292016

Video: James Morrison's Ace Earns Him An i8

Both James Morrison and Rikard Karlberg scored aces during final round BMW PGA Championship play at Wentworth, but only Morrison's earned him easily the coolest prize in golf for a hole-in-one. Keith Jackson at Sky with the story. And from European Tour social media:

Watch, and enjoy... #BMWPGA

A video posted by European Tour (@europeantour) on May 29, 2016 at 5:28am PDT



๐Ÿ”‘๐Ÿ˜€ #BMWPGA

A photo posted by European Tour (@europeantour) on May 29, 2016 at 6:40am PDT

As Alistair Tait reports, Chris Wood held on for the win. As far as classic European Tour finishes, this wasn't one of them.

 

Saturday
May282016

"Why the PGA Tour Should Host A Four-Ball Tournament"

This week's second annual US Amateur Four-Ball at Winged Foot provided an opening for Joel Beall to suggest all of the reasons the PGA Tour needs such an event on its schedule.

Except one. But first, Beall writes:

For better or worse, golf has the least amount of theater away from its playing field. A lot of this can be chalked up to the "gentleman's game" mantra; conversely, your head's in the sand if you think golf's immune to the type of bathos seen in other sports. Because many of these players operate in cocoons due to game's individualistic nature, perhaps the team dynamic can ruffle a few feathers.

Which is exactly why, besides the pleasures of watching epic high five fails and allowing today's Hogan's to practice this all-important gesture, we need more four-ball with...you know where I'm going! The Stymie!

Granted, today's non-confrontational players would balk and possibly take forever (though not touching their ball once they start putting might offset some of the slowness). And modern green speeds would make it hard to stymie someone, but imagine the intrigue and creativity we would have seen in even something like the US Amateur Four-Ball?

I'll repeat for the 400th time: if the stymie was desperately missed by Bobby Jones, and it was worth a chapter in his later-in-life biography, that should be all anyone needs to bring it back at least once a year.

Friday
May272016

Brandel: Spieth Standing Over Ball A Lot Longer Than Last Year

Interesting observation by Brandel Chamblee in discussing his fellow UT alum Jordan Spieth.

John Strege with the comments from round one at Colonial where Chamblee debated with Craig Perks and Peter Kostis about what is keeping Spieth from repeating his 2015 success.

Chamblee: “Lot of conversation about his golf swing last week. In general he stands over the ball a lot longer this year than last year. When you’re doing that you’re usually thinking golf swing, not golf shot. The longer you stand over the ball the more apt you’re going to take the club away quick. The more apt you are going to have a quick change of direction, which means you’re going to get in front of it, and you’re going to miss your lines. And that is it. That’s all that’s going on with this kid right now, is that he’s got just a little too much in his head.”

Thursday
May262016

U Of W Women Bring NCAA Title To Seattle & Nice Ratings Too

As the men's Division I championship prepares to get underway at Eugene Country Club, the triumphant University of Washington women and their 33-year coach returned to campus with the school's first NCAA championship of any kind since 2009.

Beth Ann Nichols has the lowdown for Golfweek and UW's Mason Kelley with the photos of Mary Ann Mulflur and team:

Mulflur, now in her 33rd season as head coach, had 296 text messages on her phone when she finished up media obligations. She turned off her phone for a while, however, to enjoy the moment.

One of the more encouraging signs for all involved has to be the chatter about how refreshing/exciting/emotional the matches were. The combination of player passion, push carts, humble reactions and a great story drew a very nice rating for mid-week in spring with so much to watch.

From SportsTVRatings, the final 3:39 telecast averaged 249,000 viewers, including 59,000 from the only demo that matters.That blows away any final round rating for a fall PGA Tour event!

BTW, the US Amateur Four-Ball airing earlier in the day on Fox averaged 59,00/26,000 over an excruciatingly slow 2:45 on Fox Sports 1. It took a strong soul or a huge Tillinghast fan to watch the tepid match in front of a hundred or so people. Golf World's Ryan Herrington profiled winners Andrew Buchanan and Ben Baxter, both of SMU.

Thursday
May262016

Spelling Bee Co-Champ Is Inspired By Jordan Spieth

Jairam Hathwar of Corning, New York is a 13-year-old 7th grader who lists Jordan Spieth as his inspiration because, as ESPN's lead announcer noted during the thrilling national spelling bee finale, "he doesn't let a bad hole get to his head."

Jairam's also one amazing speller who dueled in thrilling fashion with 11-year-old Nihar Janga for the Scripps National Spelling Bee title. They rightfully ended up in a tie after going to the 25th round, the golfing equivalent of a 8 holes of sudden death.

The equally amazing Nihar listed Dez Bryant as his inspiration and even got a little attention from Bryant on Twitter.

Nihar Janga threw up the X after tying for the Spelling Bee Championship and Dez Bryant loved it.

A photo posted by SportsCenter (@sportscenter) on

Maybe someone in We Spieth can alert their man to acknowledge the lad's performance?

Thursday
May262016

Stewart Cink: โ€œWeโ€™ve had some conversation people our age shouldnโ€™t be having"

Adam Schupak talks to Stewart Cink, returning to the tour after a brief hiatus while wife Lisa battles breast cancer, and his optimism is encouraging.

Schupak writes:

“I’ve played quite a bit,” Cink said. “I thought golf would give me a chance to get away from reality for a little while, but that’s not the case at all. When I go to the golf course, she’s all I think about.”

Circumstances haven’t necessarily improved, but the third week of Lisa’s treatment is the most predictable, and so Cink, in an attempt to keep “pieces of normal,” is returning to the Tour at the Dean and DeLuca Invitational, which begins today at Colonial Country Club. It is his first tournament since the RBC Heritage in mid-April. He missed the past five Tour events.

“Earlier this month, I didn’t feel like I’d ever want to play again,” Cink said. “Now we have a handle on what it is, and we know what we’re dealing with and what to expect.”

Thursday
May262016

MusclePharm And Tiger Cut Ties After Less Than Two Years

SeekingAlpha.com features an unbylined wire item that Tiger Woods and MusclePharm have ended his endorsement deal, with the company paying $2.5 million to terminate a contract that still owed $7 million. The company is facing numerous lawsuits and plummeting stock price. Woods is showing no signs of an imminent return to competition.

Karen Crouse wrote for the New York Times about the goals of the partnership in July 2014, when the endorsement deal was announced and agent Mark Steinberg was available for comment.

“Our goal is to take the stigma out of supplements,” said Woods’s agent, Mark Steinberg. “Tiger Woods, maybe the most fit golfer that we’ve had, let’s show that it’s O.K. to align yourself with supplements. Just be safe when you do it. That’s the message we collectively want to spread.”

Dietary supplements are a billion-dollar industry, and Brad Pyatt, the chairman and chief executive of MusclePharm, argues that Woods can help the company become the industry’s gold standard.

“Tiger Woods is kind of the stamp of approval we were looking for,” Pyatt said in a telephone interview. “He’s the biggest figure in athletics we can get other than LeBron James.”

Amazing how things have changed in two years.

Woods still lists the company as a sponsor.

Thursday
May262016

Euro Chief Promising Complete Tour Overhaul By 2018

A "players first" philosophy was about the best Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo could get out of a cryptic European Tour Chief Keith Pelley, who stopped by the Golf Channel booth during BMW Championship round one play.

One of his key comments: more playing opportunities, which seems unimaginable considering that the Tour plays nearly every week already.

Pelley is also asked by Nobilo about the tour's slow play crackdown and regarding Wentworth, the desire of players to play on "proper" courses. He's pinning his hopes on a BMW resurgence after Ernie Els restores H.S. Colt's design following Ernie Els' redesign of Harry Colt's design.

"The schedule will be different; it will be more friendly from a travel perspective for the players. There will be a number of events where the prize funds will be significantly increased, and there will be more playing opportunities for all of our members," Pelley said. "A different schedule for sure and a different players-first philosophy."

The video:

Wednesday
May252016

Monty Questions Olympic, BMW Defectors

Alex Miceli reports on the comments by Colin Montgomerie as he prepares to defend his Senior PGA in Michigan.

On the Olympics:

“I think that, to take the opportunity is golden in every way,” Montgomerie said Wednesday, on the eve of his title defense at the Senior PGA Championship at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores in southwest Michigan. “What we did to try and get the Olympic, golf in the Olympics, I can’t understand why some people have said that it’s not for them. I really can’t.”

And this will please European Tour chief Pelley:

“I’m surprised that a number of top Europeans aren’t playing,” Montgomerie said. “Not many, if any, don’t compete at the TPC at Sawgrass (site of the recent Players Championship). And I really, for the life of me, I don’t understand why top Europeans – probable possible Ryder Cup players, whatever, this year especially – aren’t competing at Wentworth. I don’t understand that.”

Wednesday
May252016

NCAA's: Washington Women Win In Spectacular Fashion

Jay Coffin at GolfChannel.com recaps Washington's ultra-close win over Stanford which was highlighted by Ying Luo holing out from the fairway to put away Stanford's Casey Danielson. While it didn't clinch the title, it was as close as a walk-off as you can get with other matches still on the course.

Coffin writes:

Just when it looked like the match was destined for extra holes, Luo, a senior playing in her last-ever round for Washington, holed out for birdie from 45 yards to win the match.

That’s what prompted Aubert, in shock for several seconds, to finally deliver the line, “you have to clap.”

“When I was standing behind the shot, I was imagining it going in,” Luo said. “That was unbelievable.”

Note in Coffin's story and in the video how classy the Cardinal handle defeat.

As great as the play was, congratulations to Washington and multiple athletic directors for sticking with a coach for so long.

Washington coach Mary Lou Mulflur just completed her 33rd year at the helm of the Huskies. She’s had good teams over the years. She’s had great teams over the years. She’s never won an NCAA title.

“You just keep playing until somebody tells you to stop,” Mulflur said. “We knew today was going to be just like it was.

“This is a surreal moment for me.”

Kevin Casey with the Golfweek.com game story, including the uncertainty over the actual clinching moment.

When Kim’s 15-foot par putt on the second extra hole missed right – “the speed was a little off and I think I could have aimed more inside the hole,” Kim said – giving the Huskies the national title, they weren’t even sure.

Freshman Wenyung Keh audibly asked, “Did we just win?” Senior Charlotte Thomas thought Alavarez still had a 3-4 footer to hole. And Mulflur froze, on account of the earlier mistake.

“I stopped and paused in my mind for a moment,” Mulflur said, “I wanted to make sure, sure it was over.”

Tracy Wilcox's Golfweek photo gallery of the final match is worth checking out, including the epic shot of coach Mulfur.

I heard from several who watched thanks to a blowout NBA game and there was enthusiasm for the format.

Lance Ringler for Golfweek on year two of the match play finale.

For 17 years, I have witnessed the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship and the last two trump the previous 15 – and it’s really not even close. In those championships, from 2000 to ’14, I can’t say there is much that stands out.

The last two championship weeks equal more memories than I have fingers.

What college golf and the folks in their homes are witnessing is Ryder Cup-like.

G.C. Digital with his favorite stats from the match, covering both sides.

The social media attention suggested folks were paying attention outside of golf:

Wednesday
May252016

Titleist: Acushnet Prepares To Register For IPO

Reuters' Lauren Hirsch with the not-totally-surprising news that Acushnet, makers of Titleist and Foot-Joys, is preparing to register for an initial public offering as early as June, with a potential valuation at more than $2 billion.

Hirsch writes:

The IPO would come five years after consumer products conglomerate Fortune Brands sold Acushnet, under pressure from activist investor William Ackman, to South Korean sports apparel company Fila Korea Ltd (081660.KS) and Mirae Asset Private Equity for $1.23 billion.

Acushnet is now working with investment banks that include Morgan Stanley (MS.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), UBS Group AG (UBSG.S) and Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T) on the IPO, the sources said on Wednesday.

There was also this buried lede...

Golf balls are cheaper and more easily lost than golf equipment, making them more frequently replaced. The more rounds of golf people play, the more balls they will buy.

Combined with the Taylor Made sale, this has the potential to drastically reshape the industry as well as those who rely on the marketing dollars of the two companies. Stay tuned...

Wednesday
May252016

Topgolf Acquires Protracer; No Word Whether Good For Viewers

Martin Kaufmann at Golfweek.com gives us a quick sense of how Topgolf plans to integrate Protracer into their experience.

Left unanswered is the question of whether this will impact the ability to get more of the technology into golf broadcasts, or will they protect it for Topgolf?

“We think the tracing technology is fun for interaction and it’s good for teaching,” Anderson told Golfweek.

The Protracer announcement comes two weeks after Topgolf announced a strategic alliance with the PGA Tour and LPGA to try to create more players and fans. Among other things, that will include events at Topgolf locations near tournament sites and support for the tours’ participation initiatives.

Anderson said the acquisition will not impact the networks’ use of Protracer in televised coverage.

On the list of viewer requests to improve telecasts, Protracer is always top three. Hopefully this improves and does not impede its expansion into televised golf.

Wednesday
May252016

Muirfield Member: Campaign A Statement Against...The Press!?

Talk about point missing, as The Scotsman's Martin Dempster gets one of the anti-female-memberships at Muirfield to speak, and instead of blaming the R&A for its policy regarding Open venues, or, I don't know, the dreary weather, an 81-year-old is trying to turn the stance into a media-driven issue.

Speaking for a small portion of his fellow Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers "No" campaigners, former Scotland rugby player John Douglas chararcterized the battle as a club vs. media mess.

“It wasn’t so much a vote against the ladies as a vote against the media and the press telling us what to do. No-one likes being hammered all the time.”

Well, it depends on your definition of hammered!

Wednesday
May252016

More-Candid-Than-Normal Feherty On Tiger, Rory

Speaking at the Ireland launch of a GolfNow campaign, David Feherty says he's having a hard time seeing Tiger playing due to nerve issues in his back, not because of desire issues.

Brian Keogh reports for the Irish Golf Desk:

“I don’t think he needs to do this. He wants to do this. He really really does. But I am not sure that he can. I am not sure he is in any way clear on whether the can either.”

And Feherty on Rory...cover your eyes kids, here comes a Cialis ad.

“It’s hard for me to commentate on Rory in the US without a massive boner because I love the kid and want him to do well,” said the 57 year old, who could the 1986 Bell’s Scottish Open among his five European Tour wins but famously lost the trophy.

A recovering alcoholic, Feherty revealed that McIlroy had a few drinks to celebrate his K Club win on Sunday but nothing compared to some of his own or fellow Ulsterman Darren Clarke’s antics.

“Rory got wrecked,” Feherty said. “But not totally wrecked. He needed a couple of Advil this morning. He didn’t do a Clarkey.

Wednesday
May252016

Should The Tour Break Precedent In Phil's Case?

Yes and yes, say two of America's most respected golf writers Ron Green Jr. in Global Golf Post and Bob Harig at ESPN.com.

Harig writes:

That not only looks bad, it is specifically addressed in the PGA Tour's handbook on player conduct.

Among the stipulations outlined in the gambling section, a player shall not "associate with or have dealings with persons whose activities, including gambling, might reflect adversely upon the integrity of the game of golf.''

At the very least, that suggests Finchem has to do something: a suspension, a fine, a scolding, a public rebuke. Something.

I'm guessing we'll get nothing for a few reasons.

One, they aren't going to break precedent with one of the game's biggest stars.

Two, the gambling association to me isn't enough, unless for some reason it was shown Phil was gambling on PGA Tour golf in a way that could be construed as shady. Also unlikely.

Three, Billy Walters was an AT&T National Pro-Am participant and champion. Phil can very easily say the PGA Tour introduced him to someone they would now be saying Mickelson shouldn't have been associating with.

Wednesday
May252016

Video: ShackHouse On Callaway Live!

ShackHouse--still the top ranked golf podcast and only top 25 golf show on iTunes--is off this week before we gear up for a busy summer run, so in the meantime House and I talk to Callaway Live's Harry Arnett and Amanda Balionis.

Enjoy!

Tuesday
May242016

Southgate "Touching People's Lives" With Cancer Breakthrough

Nice read from The Telegraph's James Corrigan on Matthew Southgate, who is a cancer survivor that cashed a much needed big check (over £150,000) last week in the Irish Open.

The Q-School grad (after multiple tries) is teeing up in this week's BMW PGA at Wentworth.

“The reaction has overwhelmed me,” Southgate said. “Complete strang ers have been so kind, getting in touch. But the messages which mean the most have been from a few people who’ve said, ‘I’m dealing with cancer and you’ve given me hope’. It is some feeling when your head hits the pillow and you think ‘I’ve actually touched people’s lives, people I’ve never met’. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about a ball going in the hole."

Tuesday
May242016

Forward Press: Q&A With Packer, Fox Returns, BMW PGA, Dean & Deluca, Another Senior Major!

Whew, busy week!

In this week's Forward Press, I speak with Brandt Packer, who is picking up some plum assignments producing big time golf. He is overseeing Golf Channel's two weeks of NCAA golf as well as the Rio Games golf coverage.

Also this week is Fox's return to televising USGA golf, and the programming execs showed their continued passion for the game by scheduling a U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship live window--no weather issues--that left viewers with four quarterfinal matches at one 1-up through 15, 1-up through 13, AS thru 11 and 2-up through 10. That's 2.5 hours of golf with no plans to show the conclusion of matches. #usgaonfox #12years

Meanwhile over in the UK, the defection of three big stars isn't helping the BMW PGA at Wentworth, though something tells me it won't be a dull week.