Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • 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
  • Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution
    Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution
    by Matthew Futterman

Golf is an open exhibition of overweening ambition, courage deflated by stupidity, skill soured by a whiff of arrogance...these humiliations are the essence of the game.



Vandenburg A.F. Base Golf Course Closing Over Water Costs 

One of the best military base golf courses in the country is another casualty of California's drought and rising water prices.

Dave Alley of KEYT files a full report from the nearly 60-year-old course.

"It's the price of water," said Col. John Moss, 30th Space Wing Commander. "The price of water and what it requires to water the course has just gotten to the point where it's prohibitive for us to be able to afford that. This year alone would have cost us several hundred thousand dollars to water the course and it's just money we don't have."

The course, which opened to public play in 2005, has been sustained by non-appropriated funds during that time span. However, escalating water costs has made operating the course financially unsustainable. As the price of water has risen steadily over they years, the base has had to tap into MWR funds to cover costs.

"We are taking immediate action to ensure we are good stewards of our funds," said Josie Cordova, 30th Force Support Squadron (FSS) deputy director. "When the MWR Fund is in danger of bankruptcy, that threat includes potential closure of our other base support functions."

To help cut costs, the course implemented a series of measures over the past several years to conserve water, including installing more efficient water infrastructure.

"We stopped watering the middle of the fairways and reduced the amount of water we were putting in the course overall and ultimately we're at the point we're at now and we were only watering the greens and the tee boxes and even that wasn't enough," said Col. Moss.

I've played the course many years ago and saw it again in recent years and it's a gem on great terrain. Really a shame.


ShackHouse 19: Playoffs, Ryder Cup And Ted Bishop

The playoffs aren't heating up quite yet but at least the weather Gods let Bethpage hit a home run for a change, prompting Joe House and I to discuss that, plus this week's Deutsche Bank and the unfolding Ryder Cup fun.

Joining us is a man who has been very involved in the last few Cups, former PGA of America president Ted Bishop. His new book, Unfriended contains some fantastic behind-the-scenes color from the last three Ryder Cups. I've just finished the book and will have more to say soon, including a review and Q&A with Ted about the non-Ryder Cup material. However, it's a very fun read, particularly when you can juxtapose his recent Ryder Cup experiences with the current politicking.

You can buy Unfriended here at Amazon that includes a Kindle edition, or should you support non-Amazon retailers and want a signed copy from Ted, visit this page.

Here is The Ringer's page for the show.

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

Same deal with Soundcloud for the show, and Episode 19 is here to listen to right now!

And the ShackHouse Stitcher page.

As always, ShackHouse is brought to you by Callaway, who, hot-off-the-press, have just introduce the new Steelhead XR Irons and today, the new Big Bertha Fusion Driver. Check them out at

Same with MeUndies, work that promo code House for your first order!

Also, for a limited time, ShackHouse listeners get fifty dollars off the Ring of Security Kit. I bought one and just received mine yesterday, can't wait to hook it up. Go to RING.COM/SHACKHOUSE now.

Also, check out Trunk Club. Go to, type in your measurements, share your likes and dislikes, and you get your very own personal stylist. They’ll pick your clothes from over 80 top brands, and ship them right to your door. They also welcome in-store visitors to their ultra-cool labs in LA, New York, Chicago, Washington DC and soon, Charleston. Great gift idea for a fashion-challenged friend too!

And as always, thanks to listening, supporting our advertisers and to everyone who makes the show possible, especailly Callaway and The Ringer's Bill Simmons.


Did Russell Knox's Comments Hurt His Ryder Cup Cause?

There wasn't much drama in Captain Darren Clarke's Ryder Cup picks given the advance warning we had received. Here is the short PA story by Phil Casey on what was said and why Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters were picked.

John Huggan goes into greater detail at on Clarke's thinking and makes the first mention of Russell Knox--two wins in the last year to Kaymer/Westwood's zero--perhaps making a political mistake in not adding an extra event, even as he's played a full schedule and has many appearances to come.

On the other hand, one week before his trip to Long Island, Knox was asked to play in the Wyndham Championship by Clarke and European vice captain Ian Poulter. This could be interpreted as a strong hint as to Clarke’s intention not to select Knox (or indeed mildly insulting to someone who had just won on the world’s most competitive circuit) as a good performance in North Carolina could have seen the Scot make it to Hazeltine as an automatic qualifier. But Knox declined, citing his high standing in the FedEx Cup and the need to already play four weeks out of five immediately before the Ryder Cup.

But why Westwood and Kaymer, both without wins on either the U.S. or European circuits since 2014, over Knox?

Huggan goes on to explain Clarke's thinking, which makes perfect sense if you buy the experience argument.

However, it was Huggan's interview with Knox last week that was cited by BBC's Tom English in suggesting Knox hurt his chances with "arrogance," which I think is a strong assessment of someone who is just very honest. And, given his play this year, accurate.

English writes of Knox:

He should have gone to Denmark last week, thereby showing his captain that he had a huge desire to make the team, but instead he opted for the cash mountain that was The Barclays. There were Ryder Cup points on offer in Denmark but not in the USA. In choosing the USA, the Scot gave out a bad signal.

That two years of qualifying comes down to such a decision seems silly, but this is the bizarro frat house pledging process of the Ryder Cup.

"I'd be in if they counted. So there is a moral obligation to pick me, I guess. I don't want Darren to pick me because of that, though. His goal is to pick the three best players who did not make the team. And I have a hard time not thinking I am one of those right now."

Moral obligation? This was a player dictating to a captain - and no good ever comes of that. It was a bizarre approach from Knox; it was utterly self-defeating when Pieters was already laying down a huge case for inclusion.

English also notes that Pieters is more dedicated to the European Tour, which is a more traditional and understandable element in the equation. Though a look at Knox's schedule shows he has certainly tried to support the tour he officially joined more recently than Pieters.

Joel Beall ranks the all-time great Ryder Cup snubs and puts Knox first, however I still feel Casey in 2010 was a far greater snub given his world ranking and match play record at the time.

Here's the video of Captain Clarke's news conference, where he repeated the line almost too well about what a difficult few days this was in his career.


Special Olympics Golfer Has His (Plainly Marked) Clubs Stolen

Good spot by Kevin Casey at to get your blood boiling, as we learn that Special Olympian athlete Keith Kee had his clubs and Special Olympics-marked bag stolen at a Bartlett, Tennessee golf course. Kee was there to play golf with his coach John Sprott.

“With Special Olympics on the bag, whoever stole them must have known who they belong to. For me, that’s more egregious than just stealing someone’s set of clubs,” Sprott told WMC Action News 5.

The full WBTV report from Chris Luther includes a full description should you live in the area and spot the heathen who committed this act.


R.I.P. Ken Carpenter

If you've been around golf long enough, you know Ken Carpenter's name and work from the pages of Golfweek and

While he had moved on to teach journalism at Valencia College, Golfweek's Jeff Babineau says Carpenter, who died Sunday at age 59 after a battle with cancer, left behind many friends in golf after he and his wife established a legacy of generosity and giving.

Carpenter befriended a caddie at Cruden Bay in 2000 that began a long friendship.

When former Golfweek senior writer Jeff Rude and I visited Scotland years later, it was Chris’ late dad who picked us up. Chris wrote Monday about Ken’s last trip to Cruden Bay, in 2000; he wanted so badly to break 80 that day, and was 3 over with two holes to play. But he’d finish 9-6 and shoot 80, managing to chuckle about it later, as only he would.

This morning, halfway across the world in Scotland, the flag flies at half-staff at Cruden Bay, an honor the venerable club usually reserves only for members. That’s how Ken Carpenter touched people.

Also warming are the many stories flowing in from his former students at Valencia College, where Ken was a journalism professor for 12 years. It was one thing to spend many years at newspapers and magazines pounding in agate, editing copy and writing catchy headlines. But as a professor, he truly was able to impact lives and steer kids toward a passion, his passion, bringing refreshing life to an industry most view as fading to black in a hurry.


Luke Donald As A Ryder Cup Pick Story Gets More Interesting

Alex Miceli at with the explanation from William Hill's Joe Crilly as to why they got suspicious and cut off bets on Darren Clarke's three Ryder Cup picks.

Miceli writes of the action on longshot Luke:

The betting came not from its web or mobile sites, but from differing Hill retail locations throughout England, mostly in the northeast of England.

“They were only small bets, the biggest of which was I think 200 pounds,” Crilly said of the Donald bets. “They were only small bets but they were of the frequency on a special market like that that you wouldn’t necessarily see on a special market and thus somebody had an inkling that something was going to happen.”

Both Tim Rosaforte at Golf Channel and James Corrigan at the Telegraph are reporting that Donald will not be a pick. Instead, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters will be the 2016 captain's picks. Clarke makes the picks Tuesday at 7:30 am ET.


Ryder Cup Fun Sets In: Luke Donald Considered For Pick, Davis Love's Him Some Stats And Fall Golf!?

Captain's overthinking matters? Politics? And now analytics? It's always something with the Ryder Cup!

We're still weeks away but you can already catch more than not-so-faint glimmers of that two seemingly grounded, sane, level-headed captains are going to bring their share of strangeness to the 2016 proceedings.

Davis Love, in discussing his eight qualifiers through The Barclays, revealed that he's got stat-geeks looking at the numbers to justify pairings. Max Adler says it's "arguable this year’s American lineup and pairings will be the most deeply premeditated ever."

Oh joy!

“Patrick Reed suggested we pay closer attention to strokes gained tee-to-green,” Love said. In alternate-shot, for example, it could be possible to pair a player whose proximity to the hole with irons syncs with another’s putting percentages from those distances, and then overlay that data across the holes at Hazeltine National.

“Now instead of saying ‘OK, you two go play together,’ we can give players a reason they’re paired,” Love said. “We can say, ‘Hey, we ran the numbers and dissected the course and together you guys are unbeatable.’ Knowing why you’re playing with a guy can do so much to boost confidence.”

Hopefully they're bringing any of these numbers to seating assignments, the table tennis tournament or the captain's cart driving routes around Hazeltine.

Even more fun is what appears to be a disregard for the findings of the Task Force "Task Force" task force. They met after the last Ryder Cup and decided fall events should not count for points. Yet now Captain Love says he's giving weight to Justin Thomas's win last fall in Malaysia and now, he's not even believing the Ryder Cup points system validated by the Task Force "Task Force" task force.

Tim Rosaforte explains in this week's Golf World:

In this case, Love is willing to overlook the Mickelson edict of not fully counting fall tournaments in the wraparound schedule, instead giving consideration “to the big tournament he won in Malaysia.” Love also questions the analytics of how Thomas could enter the Barclays ranked just 25th in Ryder Cup points but 10th in the FedEx Cup standings.

So we're relying on analytics until we're not.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Darren Clarke was thought to have been leaning hard toward three veterans for his picks, including a surprise in Luke Donald. Ewan Murray reported that the Thomas Pieters win may have made this an impossible pick to make, and Brian Wacker has written a similar take, with Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer expected to edge out possible picks Russell Knox and Soren Kjeldsen, both in the points hunt until losing out last week.

Our friends at William Hill were so thrown by the Donald news that they stopped taking bets on the captain's picks to be announced Tuesday morning (U.S. viewers can see live on Morning Drive). Joel Beall reports.

Donald finished 21st on the world points list, behind the likes of Graeme McDowell, Francesco Molinari, Tyrrell Hatton and all of the above mentioned names under consideration.


U.S.A. Ryder Cup Chase Keeps Setting Up Playoff Drama!

We won't relive that weird finish to the Barclays today, where everyone limped home and the drunks got carried away. The PGA of America want to institute a 12th hole beer cut off there for the upcoming PGA and Ryder Cup. However, Bethpage finally got a chance to look sensational in the late light, with dry native areas and golf played in sunlight. Just hope the greens survived!

T.J. Auclair writes about the automatic qualifiers with some boilerplate quotes from Captain Love, though given recent play, many will wonder if he would have welcomed a Rickie surge on to the team in place of Zach Johnson. We'll never know.

As shellshocked as Fowler looked Sunday at Bethpage, his post-round comments suggested he's bullish on his game heading into a title defense in Boston this week. Steve DiMeglio reports for USA Today.

With Fowler's rough finish costing him a chance to make the 2016 Ryder Cup team on points, here is the final points list, which would suggest five are likely playing for four spots:

If the decision was made today, who would be your four:

Who would be your four captain's picks for Team USA? free polls


I'll Have Another! Darren Clarke's Ryder Cup Headache

Granted, this is the problem you want to have as a Ryer Cup captain. But after Thomas Pieters auditioned in front of Captain Clarke the first two rounds at the Made In Denmark, the Belgian surged to victory. Yes, it's a week after the 2016 points cut-off, but Pieters has not gone 4th-2nd-win in his last three starts, including a near-medal in the Olympic Games

Here is the points list after the cut off.

Earlier this week you all voted Kaymer as your overwhelming favorite.

But given Soren Kjeldsen's consistent play, I'm struggling to see how Kaymer rates above the Danish hope either.

Pieters is playing as well as anyone on the planet, has won the NCAA individual title while playing for Illinois, and should be a lock despite that the rookie status Captain Clarke doesn't like.

The other rookie in the mix, Russell Knox, may lose out despite a world No. 20 ranking and winning in Hartford just a few weeks ago.

Still here are the five who are most likely at the top of Clarke's list as he prepares to announce his three picks Tuesday. Who do you like?

Who would be your three captain's picks right now for Team Europe 2016? free polls


The Made In Denmark's “Himmerland Hill” Scene...

If you've been watching any of the European Tour's Made in Denmark event Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, you know the par-3 16th hole is quickly becoming of golf's iconic tournament scenes. It's TPC Scottsdale 16 meets Riviera's 18th green, with a Masters-classy gallery and American college football card stunts.

The course was redesigned by golf course architect Philip Spogárd and has some great looking bunkers along with a special setting. It's the “Himmerland Hill” that is hard to take your eyes off of, especially when the card stunts are rolled out.

Last year, the fans displayed 500 cards for Soren Kjeldsen's 500th European Tour start.

This year they took things up a notch with a show of support for Darren Clarke, European Ryder Cup captain.

Spine-tingling. 🇪🇺🇪🇺🇪🇺 #TeamEurope

A video posted by European Tour (@europeantour) on

Clarke even pulled out his phone during the round to document the moment. That'd get him a fine on the PGA Tour! Well, unless he was a Presidents Cup captain.

Unbelievable reception from all the fans here on the 16th @MiDGolf @rydercupteameurope #thankyou #awesome #europe

A video posted by Darren Clarke (@darrenclarke60) on

Here was the scene, admittedly a tad thinned out compared to earlier in the day, when third round leaders Bradley Dredge came through:

Final round coverage airs live on Golf Channel from 6:30 am to 11 am ET.


USGA, R&A Eye Rules Overhaul As Grow-The-Game Initiative!?

We've known the governing bodies have been meeting for some time to work out simplification of golf's bloated Rules book, but it's a bit disappointing see from the initial rollout that this will be branded as a grow-the-game cause.

I find that disappointing because (A) golf needs another grow-the-game initiative like another 72-hole stroke play even, and (B) the numbers of interested golfers staying away from the sport due the rules are outnumbered by those sitting out due to cost and time.

Brian Costa, writing for the Wall Street Journal, was the first to get to channel the hoped-for USGA message which is not, "we've made the rules a bloated mess and are fixing them." Instead, it's, "the rules can be intimidating to new players and we're here to change that. #growthegame"

“This is just a chance to reset,” said USGA chief executive Mike Davis. “The idea is if we get this right, many more golfers will embrace and understand the rules.”

The USGA is hoping to release a draft of the new rules for feedback from recreational players in 2017, though it could be another few years before they take effect.

John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s head of rules, competitions and equipment standards, likened it to the 1971 publication of the Living Bible, a more accessible version of the King James Bible. “I think it’s fair to say that some golfers, perhaps many, are intimidated in picking up the rule book,” Bodenhamer said. “We want to be able to help golfers with that.”

Again, I just don't think many golfers are sitting on the sidelines because of the density of the Decisions book. There are many golf fans on the fence right now about the governing bodies given the various TV rules situations. But beginners upset at the seven ways your can drop the ball as outlined in Decision 18-2? No.

There also is effort here by the USGA (in particular) to get the conversation away from their handling of situations like Dustin Johnson at Oakmont and onto an everyday game impacted by the rules. However, the USGA perception is no longer one of a body that doesn't care about the average man. Instead. it's viewed as one that is insensitive to all classes of player in the implementation of the rules. Fixing that perception will be beneficial from all of these closed door meetings with the R&A.

To understand their branding/PR issues, consider this quote from Daniel Summerhays, picked up by CBS/Golf Channel mics during Barclays round two play as Rory McIlroy thought his ball moved on the green.



At least in the minds of tour players, the USGA and R&A tried to fix the issue of balls moving on greens cut to absurdly low heights, and still didn't get it right.


California Drought Has Led To More Course Closures

Jason Scott Deegan files a sobering wrap-up of closed California courses from the last few years, nearly all of which were somehow influenced by the drought to varying degrees.

Deegan writes for

This summer alone, California has lost two Pete Dye designs at Lost Canyons Golf Club in Simi Valley north of Los Angeles; the nearby Mountain Course at Robinson Ranch Golf Club in Santa Clarita; Empire Lakes Golf Club, an Arnold Palmer-designed course in Rancho Cucamonga east of L.A. that hosted the Tour; and Roddy Ranch Golf Club in Antioch, a popular value play in the Bay Area.

Remarkably, to date, the Coachella Valley has remained mostly unscathed.

The Coachella Valley, which includes Palm Springs, La Quinta and other popular snowbird getaways in the SoCal desert, has fared surprisingly well considering how many courses face high water-costs. The area said goodbye in 2015 to Santa Rosa Golf Club in Palm Desert, and to Rancho Mirage Country Club.


Video: Jordan vs. Jairam! Two Majors Vs. Spelling Bee Co-Champ

Great work by AT&T and others to get Jairam Hathwar to The Barclay's as promised to meet his favorite athlete, and to set up a very enjoyable mini-spelling bee with Jordan Spieth.

Besides having a very nice putting stroke, Jairam reminds us it was no fluke that led to his epic showdown with Nihar Janga.

Jordan, for his part, misses one rather unbelievable word, gets thrown a very passively-aggressive one to spell, but in the end, nearly pulls off the equivalent of holing out from 200 yards on the Road hole.


And a fun outtake...


Casey On Ryder Cup: "Rookies aren’t what they used to be."

While it's tempting to study the FedExCup standings for deep, hidden meaning, I'd say hold off through round one of The Barclays.

In the meantime, the Ryder Cup roster dramas are far more interesting, especially on the European side where Captain Darren Clarke is thought to be leery of adding more rookies with his picks, making some wonder if Russell Knox will get passed up for a deserving Ryder Cup sport.

So Paul Casey, who is passing up the chance to play for Europe, clarifies that the rookie label is overrated these days. Given the performance of Spieth and Reed in 2014, he may be right.

From Jim McCabe's report:

“Let’s face it, he would have been qualified had he been a member when he won the HSBC (Champions in China),” said Casey.

And to suggestions that adding Knox, who has never played in the Ryder Cup, to a European side that already had five rookies earn automatic berths, Casey brushed it aside.

“I don’t see Russell as a rookie,” Casey said of the 31-year-old Scotsman who has had a breakout season. “He’s been out here long enough and besides, rookies aren’t scared anymore. Rookies aren’t what they used to be.”

In the U.S.A. chase to be in the top eight after The Barclays, McCabe kindly calls it a tournament within the tournament. For Rickie, this week is all about Ryder Cup points...

“One hundred percent, all of it,” Fowler said, when asked how much of his mind is focused on making the U.S. team.


Sean Connery Was A Millennial Before Millennials

Happy 86th Birthday Mr. Connery.

Those rolled up pants and the almost Jones bag are coming back in style.  Thanks for the Chris Ware image Esquire:

Happy Birthday, Sean Connery. 📷: Chris Ware

A photo posted by Esquire (@esquire) on


Will Bethpage Finally Get Its Chance To Shine?

The forecast--minus a possible Friday evening disruption--looks encouraging for The Barclays at Bethpage Black. You may recall that the two U.S. Opens and one Barclays played at the rejuvenated Tillinghast course have been tainted by excessive rains and really terrible course setups.

According to John Mutch, advance man at Bethpage for the PGA Tour, the course is in superb condition and the forecast finally offers hope that we'll get to see four days of golf where the only drama is created by the players. I could do without 3 1/2 inches of rough, but hey, we don't have to play it!

Of course, there is also the FedExCup playing out. In celebrating its 10th anniversary, Brian Wacker reminds us of this momentus anniversary (players who cash in remain the only known passionate supporters). 

I still can't think of a major competition in the sports world that instills less passion or interest. But as long as FedEx wants to pony up $40 million or so a year for a non-playoff that could be oh-so-dramatic if it were an actual playoff, we at least have three fun upcoming courses to watch on TV (Black, TPC Boston, Crooked Stick).

Given the success of the Olympics and the many suggestions for intriguing Olympic formats offered over the last year, coupled with soft PGA Tour ratings of late, this year's playoffs may be in for a rough ratings ride. Perhaps the viewing public making an even stronger statement than normal about an algorithm-based competition will force changes that make this an actual playoff with actual tension.


Tweaking The Olympic Golf Format: Golf Needs More Disciplines

Even if you have disdain for the Olympic golf concept or discussion of the Games at this point, the issue of what to do going forward in Tokyo 2020 is important for all to consider.

Why? Because the fallback excuse for golf not broadening its format horizons is consistently lame: 72 holes of stroke play is the most recognized format for deciding a champion. Therefore, we're stuck with it in the Olympics even though even the most casual fan can see it's not very Olympian.

Stroke play is only the most recognized because any effort to introduce new formats has been strangled, trampled and bemoaned by players, who are paid not for their creativity and vision, but to display their golf skills. Yet as the Ryder Cup reminds us every two years when played with formats that most modern players would have torpedoed in a policy board meeting, the event produces consistency entertaining spectacles.

Olympic golf offering more disciplines and team fun should be our immediate priority, while weaving in other formats beyond the Games should also become a focus of the IGF. Showing fans the many ways golf can be played beyond card-and-pencil stroke play will do more good than any grow-the-game initiative.

Doug Ferguson of the AP declared Olympic golf a success in this story, quotes Peter Dawson mentioning how the IOC doesn't want a "trial format," and then gets to a possible solution that gets team play into the 2020 games.

The Summer Youth Olympics nailed it in China two years ago, though the field size was 32 players instead of the 60 players for the men's and women's competition in Rio.

The boys and girls each played the first three days for a 54-hole individual medal. Then, they played mixed team the next three days — 18 holes of foursomes, 18 holes of fourballs, and two singles matches to reach a 72-hole score. Sweden won the gold in a playoff over South Korea, while Italy won a playoff for the bronze over Denmark.

One idea being kicked around is to stage a mixed-team event the last two days between the men's and women's competitions. That could be either fourballs and foursomes on the same (long) day, or a 54-hole event with foursomes one day, and two singles the next day. That way, every shot would count.

My colleague Jaime Diaz made a valid point: the men’s event was such a success, that this actually frees the IGF to propose a bolder format tweak to Olympic golf instead of merely trying to keep it in the Games as is.

My polling of IGF officials, players and Olympic veterans suggests the following parameters must be kept in mind:

—60 player fields will probably not change. Even though many golfers, as expected, stayed outside of the Olympic Village because they traveled with family and spouses, golf still most can’t exceed that number.

World Ranking points will likely remain for qualifying. But it sure would be fun to hear of a more creative way that introduces a "play-in" element that serves as a great way to create excitement going into the games. If team play is introduced, shouldn't players be able to pick their partners ala beach volleyball?

—Individual stroke play will remain, and it'll be 72 holes.
A 36-hole final day could be interesting, but with five hour rounds that would be a long day for players, volunteers and the course maintenance crew.

--The IOC doesn't like competitions within competitions. Therefore three days of stroke play that determines a two-person team medal, followed by a one-day stroke play event, does not work for them. Unless its gymnastics.

—The Olympic format should be recognized in some international event of significance
. Pointing to the Ryder Cup for Four-ball and Foursomes play makes our task easier. The WGC Match Play has added pool play, so that’s covered too. However, proposing rounds of less than 18 holes become an issue in this scenario.

—Mixed Events Are Big With The IOC.
I haven’t thought of a way that a mixed doubles event works outside of the one outlined above by Ferguson, but the mixed team concept appeals to many. Though it would appeal more if players could select their partners and qualify (think Martin and Gerina Piller!). Golf would need to have a mixed event added to the PGA Tour, LPGA and European Tour schedules, something that is long overdue anyway.

—One week is enough for each gender. Keeping the golfers at the Games for all two weeks would be excessive. As would too many 36-hole days. Let them go enjoy the Olympic spirit. As we saw with Rickie, Bubba and the other golfers last week, having our game’s stars interacting with the other athletes not only gave a great impression, it positively changed their perspectives.

As I discussed with
Gary Williams on Monday's Morning Drive, we have to get a two person team competition. Based on the feedback of those in Rio and in watching, I'd like to see one of two ideas considered (neither incorporates the mixed element).

--72 holes of stroke play, with the three low two-person teams awarded medals after 54 holes for best aggregate scores. Yes, some countries only send one player, but enough send two (or four) that world rankings could determine teams. Not a perfect concept and it's not introducing match play, but it's a competition that would spice up the first three days significantly.

--72 holes of stroke play, followed by two days of team match play. Award medals for individual performance and use the medal play days to whittle the match play down to the best 8 teams from the first four days. This gives players something to play for if they are out of the individual medal race. From the 8 teams qualifying,  play a four-ball or foursomes match play event over two days to determine three more medals.


Rory May Go Without An Equipment Deal For A While

With the luxury of multiple endorsement deals, Rory McIlroy is going the route many have thought a few other players with the means should go with their sticks: deal-free and play what you want.

Speaking before the Barclays, Joel Beall reports on a putter switch from Nike already, with the rest to be sorted out in time after Nike decided to end its clubmaking business.

"No reason to start changing just because I can. I'm comfortable with everything," McIlroy said. "I've got them to save me three years' worth of golf balls, so at least I've got a golf ball that I like and that I know that I can play well with.

"I'm not going to commit to anything. I wouldn't be surprised to see me not go with a manufacturer for a year or two, just sort of play with what I want to play, play with what I'm comfortable with, and go from there."

Jim McCabe reports that McIlroy was happy for the success of the Olympics and to have been proven "somewhat wrong."


The "Playoffs" Highlight Chase For...Ryder Cup Spots

The PGA Tour Playoffs are certainly captivating to accountants, caddies, wives and others with a stake in the ResetCup's bonus pool. Otherwise, the only intriguing chase this week is for a Ryder Cup team spot.

T.J. Auclair
does a nice job laying out the scenarios American players are facing as they try to make the top 8 on points. The first five are already set. Barring an upset win at Bethpage in The Barclays, it's looking six people for four spots: Holmes, Reed, Watson, Kuchar, Fowler, Furyk.

Tiger will apparently be watching, as Davis Love notes in his diary that Tiger doesn't sleep much and loves the tactician side of things. I'm not sure if this is setting Tiger up for very limited cart driving and lots of clubhouse white board work on pairings, but nonetheless, an interesting revelation.

On the European side, you all voted Russell Knox, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer on to the team.

John Huggan speaks to Knox about his sense of whether a captain's pick is coming after just missing out on points. Knox senses Clarke will be focusing on adding veterans.

“I hope the rookie thing is not enough for him not to pick me,” Knox said. “But they do seem to be making a big thing of it. I think maybe too big a thing. I look at it this way: If you put, say, Matt Fitzpatrick and I together in foursomes we’re going to be tough to beat. Against anyone. We are hitting it down the fairway 80 percent of the time. I get that he is looking at all the stats though. And it’s a tough decision to make. If he feels like he needs more experience with Graeme McDowell or Luke Donald or whoever, then fair enough.”



Bellwether? Reed Breaks Gavel At NYSE's Closing Bell

Is this a statement about his stroke?

The markets?

The Playoffs(C)?

Watch the after-hours trading numbers. They do not lie. (H/T Alex Myers for spotting, Will Harrelson for posting.)