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

Caddies, of course, receive the bag-carrying revenue, whereas golf cart revenue goes to the proprietor. There is a pervasive view that the revenue generated by golf carts justifies their use. For golfers to submit to that view is analogous to the residents of Williamsburg, Virginia, deciding to reduce their taxes by establishing gambling casinos on the main street. How can anything so destructive be justified as an economic necessity? A modest amount of imagination can deal with replacing whatever revenue increment may be involved in their use.  SANDY TATUM

 

  

Wednesday
Jun282017

Shark's Latest Instagram Post About "Covers" It All

Because this is a family website, I won't be embedding the Living Brand's latest Instagram post, but let's just say, it really, uh, covers, the state of the brand.

This doozy came after several weeks of fairly textbook brand-building posts for the living icon: Greg fixing a Range Rover flat tire flashing some bicep, Greg drinking booze, Greg congratulating maybe-buds George Clooney/Rande Gerber on the Casamigos sale, Greg in the gym, Greg fixing heavy equipment, etc...

More disturbing: the shot of Shark shooting this on his phone, but opting for a different angle from someone else. Quite a production for something that no proper horse owner would dare shoot or promote. That's your living brand!

Wednesday
Jun282017

Phil Knight: Nike Lost Money For 20 Years On Golf Equipment

Talking to Bloomberg Television's David Rubinstein, the Nike founder declares that in spite of Tiger Woods, the company could never be profitable on equipment sales.

After mentioning their recruitment of Woods had started three years prior to Tiger turning pro, Phil Knight says the math was simple.

“It’s a fairly simple equation, that we lost money for 20 years on equipment and balls,” Knight told interviewer David Rubenstein, host of “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations.” “We realized next year wasn’t going to be any different.”

The Bloomberg TV interview airs Wednesday at 9 pm ET.

Wednesday
Jun282017

Video: Should Golf Have A Year-End Awards Gala?

The first ever NBA Awards included fan votes, glamor, fashion, star power, some mild disagreement and plenty of season highlights.

Naturally this made John Feinstein and I agree that a season-ending awards for golf--with all major tours involved--would be a good thing. If nothing else it might tell us when the golf season begins and ends, but more importantly as tacky as awards shows can be, this would be a grand way to recall great moments from the season. Such shows also allow the stars to convene, talk shop and look good.

From Wednesday's Alternate Shot on Golf Channel's Golf Central:

Wednesday
Jun282017

Ferguson: "Crowd atmosphere can't be overlooked as key factor at majors"

AP's Doug Ferguson does a nice job pointing out the atmospheric differences between Erin Hills and TPC River Highlands, something fans noticed. He agrees with our assessment that getting fans closer to the action makes a difference and should be a vital element to course setup.

He writes:

A big atmosphere comes from energized, enthusiastic fans. And those fans get their energy from being close to the action, feeding off the noise around them. That starts with being able to see golf without having to squint their eyes.

The lack of major atmosphere was evident at Erin Hills.

It was even worse at Chambers Bay, the public course built out of a sand and gravel pit next to the Puget Sound. On one hole, fans were perched high on a ridge and looked like a row of figurines from down below. The par-5 eighth hole at Chambers Bay didn't have any fans at all.

That's the biggest risk the USGA is taking by going to big, new courses.

The U.S. Open returns to traditional courses with a smaller blueprint over the next decade. Even after a soft, calm year, it should not lose its reputation as the toughest test in golf.

Tuesday
Jun272017

Meet So Yeon Ryu's Caddie: Tom Watson

With So Yeon Ryu rising to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, Randall Mell takes the opportunity to tell us about the talented golfer and her longtime, devoted caddie Tom Watson.
And that’s pretty much the story of Ryu’s loyal and talented caddie.

Mell writes:

The Aussie Watson’s father was a top-level amateur, a great golf fan.

“My dad watched Tom Watson beat Jack Nicklaus to win The Open at Turnberry in ’77, and he just loved it,” Ryu’s caddie said. “He knew Tom Watson was a special player. I was born eight months later, and my dad just said, ‘Well, screw it, we’re naming him Tom Watson.’ Unfortunately, he made my middle name Jack, after Jack Nicklaus. So, you know, I was always going to have issues.”

Watson’s father was friends with Ian Baker Finch, another Open champion, and Aussie pro Michael Clayton.

“They knew my dad was completely insane naming me Tom Watson,” Watson said.

Tuesday
Jun272017

Trump Properties Include (Fictional) Time Magazine Covers

The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold reports what any visitor to a Trump golf property knows: featured prominently on walls are framed magazine covers featuring the now-President.

What we visitors didn't know, however, is that some of the covers are not real.

Time Magazine is demanding that they be taken down in the wake of Fahrenthold's story.

The framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least five of President Trump’s clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!” the big headline said. Above the Time nameplate, there was another headline in all caps: “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS . . . EVEN TV!”

This cover — dated March 1, 2009 — looks like an impressive memento from Trump’s pre-presidential career. To club members eating lunch, or golfers waiting for a pro-shop purchase, it seemed to be a signal that Trump had always been a man who mattered. Even when he was just a reality TV star, Trump was the kind of star who got a cover story in Time.

But that wasn’t true.

The spoofs are already rolling in... 

Tuesday
Jun272017

"Phil's Insider-Trading Escape"

In a special to GolfDigest.com, New Yorker staff writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin considers the Billy Walters insider trading case and concludes that Phil Mickelson escaped more serious prosecution thanks to a legal quirk.

It's a long piece but as with all Toobin stories, a good read.

The key conclusion:

But Mickelson's legal odyssey had a final twist. The Newman case, decided by the Second Circuit in December 2014, effectively prevented a criminal prosecution against Mickelson. But while the criminal prosecution of Walters was pending, the United States Supreme Court took up another case from California, which had limited insider-trading law in a nearly identical way that Newman had done in New York. In a unanimous decision in December 2016, the Supreme Court rejected the Newman rule and held that recipients of inside information could be prosecuted even if they didn't know what the original tipper received. In other words, Mickelson might have been prosecuted if his case had arisen before December 2014 or after December 2016. But because the Newman case was the law in New York when his case came up, Mickelson dodged trouble on either side—just as he did between those two trees at Augusta.

Tuesday
Jun272017

Sigh: Lexi Declines To Talk To All Media Pre-KPMG

With the KPMG Women's PGA at Olympia Fields, the women's second major would seemingly be a good spot for Lexi Thompson to return to some normalcy after her brutal penalty strokes at the last major.

Instead, Lisa Cornwell reports for Golf Central, Thompson is declining all media requests. This is especially a shame given Thompson's likability, star qualities and age. Hopefully it's a short term situation.




Monday
Jun262017

ShackHouse 40: Travelers, Rory, Phil/Bones, Gladwell, House Pod

With so much in the news House and I kick around a host of topics in this week's show, including the thrilling Travelers, Rory's putter lottery, the Phil/Bones split, Malcolm Gladwell's war on golf and news of House's new food podcast.

As always, you can subscribe on iTunes and or just refresh your device's podcast subscription page. (I'm an Overcast fan, still.)

Here is The Ringer's show page.

Same deal with Soundcloud for the show, and Episode 40 is here to listen to right now.

ShackHouse is brought to you by Callaway, makers of the Chrome Soft which still can be customized for free in the final days of June.

Get on it at CallawayGolf.com!

The Soundcloud embed option:

Monday
Jun262017

Ratings: Travelers 2.7 Second Best Sunday Overnight Of '17, Final U.S. Open Numbers Second Lowest On Record

The PGA Tour got some good news as Jordan Spieth's win at the 2017 Travelers and his overall ability to lure in non-golf fans gave CBS a nice final round rating. This is the second Sunday in a row for CBS to finish up in the numbers (Karp/SBD).

SBD's Austin Karp with the positive overnight news:

 

As for the U.S. Open, I've put off a post on the dreary ratings news (3.6 overnight) in part because I hate the reflection it makes on the players who contended.

Now that they've had their moment and we've had time to ponder the golf at Erin Hills, it's apparent that some combination of the telecast length (9.5 hours!), protagonists, venue, Central Time Zone and seemingly reduced marketing budget effort by Fox contributed to the second lowest rating and smallest audience on record.

The combination of stunning visuals, production values and noticeable difference between Fox and other telecasts can't be blamed. I would, however, strongly agree with Martin Kaufmann's Golfweek assessment that on-course reporters were underutilized.

The overall audience size was also a troublesome number according to Karp:

 

 

Monday
Jun262017

Tiger & Obama's Jackson Park Plan Unveiling Met With Questions

Take your politics and stick 'em in a drawer, as the plan unveiling for a Tiger Woods design at President Barack Obama's presidential library complex has been met with the kind of architectural scrutiny and perspective you'd hope for in a public project. The effort is of note given the role of the Olmsted Brothers in this area and their influence on Woods' lead designer, Beau Welling.

Ed Sherman sets up the TGR Design from the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance perspective this way:

The Chicago Parks Golf Alliance and TGR Design representatives unveiled the proposed layout Wednesday night during a public meeting at the South Shore Cultural Center.

Let’s just say 2020, the year of the targeted debut for the course, can’t come soon enough after seeing TGR’s plans. A golfer’s imagination truly is in overdrive in trying to envision the final result.

The Chicago Tribune's Blair Kamin looks at the proposal from a landscape architecture perspective and questions elements of the merging of two courses. He isn't thrilled from the Olmsted perspective in part because Tiger architect Welling has not yet been in communication with the folks developing the park aspect.

But the planning process for that park, which took on new layers of complexity Wednesday with the unveiling of a design for a $30 million Tiger Woods golf course in the park's southern end, almost surely would have given Olmsted pause.

He believed that all elements of a park should be subordinated to a greater whole. That's what the designers in charge of a Chicago Park District push to draft a new plan for Jackson Park said at a public meeting Wednesday.

Yet such an all-encompassing vision is not yet evident. Latent conflicts between different priorities for the park have not been brought to the surface and thrashed out. The designers of the golf course have yet to talk to the designer of the landscape that will surround the planned Obama Presidential Center. The lack of coordination threatens the promise that the center and golf course will endow Chicago's south lakefront with a park equivalent in quality to Millennium Park or Lincoln Park.

For decades, the south shoreline trailed its North Side counterpart in everything from acreage to amenities, a result of racially discriminatory under-investment by the Park District. A 1999 plan for the south lakefront has helped alter that separate-but-unequal reality. In recent years, the city has poured millions of dollars into Burnham Park south of McCormick Place, including a new harbor and playground at 31st Street as well as a new pedestrian bridge at 35th Street.

From a golf point of view, Teddy Greenstein outlines the positives he sees (10!) and sees plenty to like.

• Holes 12-14 will have the million-dollar views, with No. 13 sandwiched by two par-3s. The 13th will play 362 yards for mortals, but if the course gets a BMW Championship (aiming for 2021) or Presidents Cup, players would hit their tee shots over the public beach, stretching the hole to 543 yards.

"We asked ourselves: How can we maximize the experience on the lake?" Welling said. "The holes are going to be absolutely spectacular. (No.) 12 will have a peninsula green, water right, left and long, with a marquee snapshot of downtown Chicago. And it could be windy."

• Lake Michigan should be in view from a half-dozen holes, and others will play along the Jackson Park Harbor. A recontoured lake will swallow balls short of the par-3 eighth green.

Monday
Jun262017

Guardian: Trump Aberdeen Is Likely 2019 Scottish Open Venue

The Guardian's Ewan Murray reports exclusively that the European Tour has been making visits to Trump International Golf Links (Aberdeen) and appears set to rekindle a partnership that almost happened a few years ago (Telegraph/Corrigan).

The stars are aligning for the venue plagued by protests and other sagas since its inception, and even once thought to be hosting three Scottish Opens. Things changed when now-President Donald Trump made comments on the campaign trail.

Murray notes this as a key reason this may happen:

Martin Gilbert, Aberdeen Asset’s co-founder and chief executive, is close enough to Trump to have attended the president’s inauguration in January. With the Scottish Open broadcast live on the other side of the Atlantic, there is a growing link between the tournament and the United States.

Any such move would, however, be highly controversial. Among those who would need to be happy about it are Rolex, who have included the Scottish Open in their new and enhanced series on the European Tour. The Scottish government is also a partner in the tournament but did not respond to the Guardian’s request for comment regarding it being held at Trump International.

It's a partnership that makes obvious sense for Aberdeen Asset, especially if Royal Aberdeen is believed to be lukewarm on hosting again. However, of greater concern is the sheer difficulty of Trump International and how that aligns with former Commissioner George O'Grady's desire to play the Scottish Open on a fun, not-excessively difficult links test the week prior to The Open.

Last week, Gullane was announced as the 2018 Scottish Open(s) host.

Sunday
Jun252017

Dramatic: Spieth's 10th Win; Intriguing Rush To Compare With 2017 U.S. Open

There was much to chew on with Jordan Spieth's sporadic final round capped off by another memorable hole-out in sudden death over Daniel Berger. The Tiger comparisons are rolling in because we are already (amazingly) left to consider Spieth's 10th PGA Tour win (and with two majors he's a HOF lock).

Brian Wacker carefully made those comparisons at Golf World.

This is not a comparison to Woods, who had 15 wins by age 24, as much as it as an appreciation for Spieth’s achievement, and the memorable moments that he has compiled along the way. It started at the 2013 John Deere Classic, where he holed a bunker shot on the 72nd hole to reach a three-way playoff that he eventually won on the fifth extra hole, and concluded with his holed-out birdie bunker shot in a playoff to cap his latest wire-to-wire victory. In between came Spieth’s impressive 2015 season, in which he got nearly three-quarters of the way to the calendar Grand Slam.

“I am not comparing Jordan to Tiger at all, zero,” said good friend Ryan Palmer, who watched the finish in the clubhouse at TPC River Highlands and then from behind the 18th green as he waited to hitch a ride back to Dallas with the eventual champion. “But he has that mentality to do that kind of stuff.

The SI/Golf.com gang kick around the Tiger element in this week's Confidential...

Jeff Ritter, digital development editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): Tiger absolutely shattered the scale by which all current Tour careers are measured. Spieth may not be on a Tiger-like winning pace, but as I learned today on Twitter, his career arc so far is Mickelsonian. And Phil never had a 73rd-hole celebration like Jordan on Sunday. Not too shabby.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Tiger's personality added to his career to create an aura of Worldwide Golfing Dominance. Plus, Tiger won with a power game. It just looked more dominating. But 10 is 10—incredible, really.

The shot:

 

The round highlights

 

The Travelers is always fun at TPC River Highlands, but the combination of leaderboard, field and venue's ability to create excitement made today a long overdue reward for some of the hardest working folks in tournament golf. Couple in how great the latest renovation looked along with the golden natives contrasting with green turf, and it was off-the-charts visual eye candy.

And Spieth, like Tiger, brings out a certain adrenaline in observers. Still, I thought some of the comparisons to Erin Hills were unfair given different pars (70 vs. 72) making it easier to post lower red numbers. Nor would ever discourage anyone from bemoaning the scale of a 7,800 yard course versus the more intimate setting in Connecticut...

There is little question that the scale of this week's venue versus Erin Hills created more realistic golf, better spectating and more energy at the end when fans were on top of the action.

Imagine if the scale were even a little more condensed, just how much more democratic and energetic we could have things? And how many fun courses we could play tournaments at again?

Does this mean we all agree to a distance rollback for the pros? Maybe variably, depending on the course?

Whew, that was easy!

Sunday
Jun252017

Family And Friends Rally Around "Leaky"

Wonderful reporting here from Tim Rosaforte on family and friends supporting Bruce Lietzke as he battles cancer. One of the game's great natural talents whose ball flighting would be a ball-striking legend in the tracer era, Lietzke is currently on a break from chemo but still has hurdles to climb.

From Rosaforte's report:

Rose was scheduled for a trip to Pensacola, Fla., but Bruce said to her, “Maybe you need to stay here.” On April 12, two CAT scans at the emergency room in Tyler led them to a specialist in Dallas. Five days later, close friends Ben Crenshaw, Jerry Pate and Bill Rogers, along with their wives, spent four hours with Lietzke, telling old stories of their college days and tour life. According to Lietzke, the laughter they were creating in the reception area at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center was so loud, he thought they would be removed from the hospital.

“We just talked and talked and talked,” Lietzke remembers. “They hung around until I was going into ICU. I said good-bye on the way in. Four hours later they were still there after I came out.”

Sunday
Jun252017

Web.com Tour Event Uses Yardage Books Made By 10-Year-Old

Royce Thompson reports on Adam Schenk’s playoff win in the Web.com Tom’s Lincoln Land Charity Championship, but it was the story of 10-year-old Seth Damsgard that got my attention.

Ryan Mahan reports that the little lad not only created the drawings used by players at Panther Creek Country Club, but he's started a business with Precise Yardage Books.

The drawings for all 18 holes of the course are a combined effort. Seth, of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, takes satellite images of courses from Google Earth and graphically designs its layout.

Scott Brady of Precise Yardage Books visits each course in person to walk the entirety of it, measuring things like slopes of greens, depth of bunkers, manhole covers and changes in elevation.

Those measurements are then sent to Seth, who completes the drawings. Then the yardage books are printed.

Before Seth teamed up with Brady, he was making the books for courses he would play in junior golf tournaments.

“I wanted to get tips from another yardage book maker,” Seth said. “We called Scott Brady with Precise Yardage Books. We wanted to get some tips from him. We told him how we did our graphic designing. He was just drawing them by hand, so he hired us.”

Sunday
Jun252017

Aerial View: Augusta National Summer Work In Progress

To no one's surprise--including those reporting the sight of huge crane's helping to erect new structures at Augusta National, the club is finishing off the final upgrades to the Masters patron entrance area. 

Thanks to @menworking for catching this tweeted aerial from Justin Wheelon.

First, a close up look at the entrance area from Wheelon's photo shows work on the main entrance area where a new merchandise center is being constructed:

More intriguing is work on the second hole, perhaps drainage related, and the lack of work taking place at the par-4 fifth. Earlier this year, Chairman Billy Payne all but predicted changes were coming to that hole.

A closer view showing the old Berckmans Road still in place which sits where fifth hole expansion might go, also appears to show some minor work at the third hole fairway bunkers:

The full aerial:

Friday
Jun232017

SI Media Podcast: Golf Channel's Molly Solomon, AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson

You'll have to get back to the regular reminders of how little SI's Richard Deitsch likes or cares about golf--we get it Richard!--and he steers the conversation away from the game a bit too often due to that, but there is still plenty to chew on here.

For your weekend podcast listening...

Friday
Jun232017

Roundup: More Sandy Tatum Remembrances

Starting with his longtime friend, Tom Watson:

Frank D.Tatum Jr. passed this morning leaving a rich and passionate legacy to golf.  We owe a great deal to him for what he did to enhance our wonderful game and we will sorely miss him and his infectious love for golf which indeed inspired so many of us.
Peace, Sandy

Jaime Diaz shares several memories for Golf World. This was fun for Hogan-philes:

There was a round at Cypress Point, where on the 13th fairway Tatum’s description of what he’d observed in his several rounds with Ben Hogan gave me a more palpable sense of what Hogan was like than anything I have ever heard.

“When it was Hogan’s turn to play, it was on the basis that he had been accorded the privilege of playing that particular golf shot,” he said. “And that privilege carried with it a responsibility. And that responsibility was to give that shot all the thought and effort that he could, and to make it as effective as he could. It was a very distinct characteristic.”

Michael Bamberger at Golf.com reminds us of the legendary Hinkle Tree incident at Inverness and enjoys just how much Sandy could, if you didn't know him, annoy the elite player.

I'm talking about guys who won major championships. They thought of Tatum as the USGA president from central casting, with his patrician bearing and his pipe, his $5 words. They thought he was high-minded and egotistical, a self-appointed golf god. And to a degree he was. 

Yes, he had resounding admiration for Bob Jones, for Arnold Palmer, for Jack Nicklaus, for Tom Watson, men he knew well. But he didn't think they understood golf in toto (the Latin is a tip of the hat to Tatum) any better than he. That gave him the courage of his convictions. In his long tenure as a pro bono USGA official, the organization was the stern father of American golf, and father knew best. The game was better for it.  

Telling me about it years later, Tatum said, "The players complained. 'You're changing the course, you're changing the course!' I said, 'We're rectifying a problem.'" He was a Stanford-educated lawyer and a dean of the San Francisco bar. He could make words dance. The Hinkle Tree is a footnote in the game's lore. 

Sam Weinman at GolfDigest.com on Sandy's more enduring line.

AmateurGolf.com's Pete Wlodkowski has a nice obit and roundup of quotes from golf folks on Sandy's incredible life.

An unbylined NCGA pieces includes a mention of Sandy's affinity for Youth On Course, which I have made a $100 donation to in memory of Sandy, an option you can pursue here.

In an article in the Spring 2009 edition of NCGA Golf, Tatum wrote about his passion for Youth on Course.

“One of the basic premises for the Youth on Course program is that it fills the ultimate gap that has almost always existed in respect to getting golf into the lives of young people,” Tatum said. “Access is the name of the the game, and Youth on Course provides it.”

Few, with the possible exception of Bobby Jones and Bill Campbell, have done more for amateur golf than Tatum.

Diaz also wrote this piece on Tatum's surprising NCAA Championship win in 1942:

But Tatum rode what the Associated Press called a "peppery putter" to defeat his first five opponents, including future Walker Cupper and USGA Senior Amateur champion Dale Morey in the quarterfinals. Against de la Torre, Tatum shot 69 in the morning round, and never looked back. "I played better than I knew how," he says. "I was in a zone, one like I never reached again the rest of my life."

The satisfaction was immense. When he called his father in Los Angeles, all Tatum could manage were the words, "Dad, I won."

Here is Tatum's Stanford golf history page at their wonderful website.

His affinity for Stanford was acknowledged by his alma mater:

 

Thursday
Jun222017

R.I.P. Sandy Tatum

Sandy Tatum was the the kind of person who would leave a voice mail you could not delete. The voice, the gravitas, the command of English and his love for golf was uncanny. The Stanfordian, lawyer, USGA president and, later in life, advocate for public golf, could always be counted on to return a call in short time. No matter how busy with work duties--even well into his 90s--Tatum was actively involved in the game in meaningful ways. I treasured talking golf distance issues, television contract dynamics and of course, golf architecture with a man who grew up playing Los Angeles courses when Howard Hughes was flirting at Wilshire with Katharine Hepburn.

Here is just a snippet from Ron Kroichick with must-read obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle, which addresses many elements of Sandy's life, though 1974 at Winged Foot inevitably is near the top:

Asked about ringing criticism of daunting course conditions, Mr. Tatum succinctly offered one of the most memorable quotes in golf history.

“We are not trying to humiliate the best golfers in the world,” he said, in a line repeated often since then. “We are simply trying to identify who they are.”

Beyond his interest in wide-ranging issues affecting the game — from ball and club technology to architecture (he helped design Spanish Bay on the Monterey Peninsula, among other layouts) — Mr. Tatum took special interest in Harding Park. Harding, a tree-lined municipal course weaving around Lake Merced in the southwest corner of San Francisco, had been a regular PGA Tour stop in the 1960s.

Mr. Tatum annually played there in the San Francisco City Championship, an amateur event he came to cherish for its egalitarian flavor. He embraced the diversity of competitors, with police officers and house painters tangling with lawyers and doctors, right there on a picturesque course open to the public.

From David Shefter's excellent USGA.org remembrance:

While he was a strong enough player to give professional golf a try, Tatum chose another career path with the law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish. He also served as general counsel to the University of San Francisco and as special counsel to the chief administration officer of the City and County of San Francisco.

“There is infinitely more to be had in and from a life than making barrels full of money and having extravagant public exposure,” Tatum wrote in his 2002 book, “A Love Affair With the Game,” which had a foreword by longtime friend Tom Watson. “There is no price that can be put on the opportunity to develop fully as a mature and educated person.”

This from Mike Davis, USGA Executive Director

"All of us at the USGA are deeply saddened by the passing of truly one of the great individuals ever involved with golf.   Sandy Tatum certainly impacted the USGA in immeasurable ways, but more important were his countless and significant contributions to the game.  He will long be remembered as one of the greats in golf."

At GolfDigest.com, John Strege taps into several great pieces in the archives for Tatum anecdotes and highlights an underrated element of his legacy: Tom Watson's love of links, and America's fascination with several links, particularly Royal Dornoch.

When Tom Watson was at Stanford, Tatum, a Cardinal alum who won the NCAA title in 1942, developed a friendship with him. Watson credits Tatum with selling him on the joy of links golf. Tatum recounted a trip the two of them made to Ireland and Scotland in advance of the 1982 British Open.

“We played Ballybunion, Troon, Prestwick, Dornoch,” Tatum said. “When we got to Dornoch, it was blowing and raining. We teed off about three. We're coming up 18 about 6:30 and Tom says, ‘let's go out again.’ So we did, and we’re out there, the two of us, in the rain, walking along the third fairway, Watson walking ahead of me, when he called to me. ‘What do you want to say, Watson?’ I asked. He said, ‘This is the most fun I’ve had playing golf in my whole life.’ ”

Here is a photo from that Dornoch round.

Rick Reilly wrote about Dornoch in 1987 and included this on the Tatum/Watson visit.

That evening the weather turned unruly. At one point, the rain was pelting Watson's face and the wind was bending back the flag-sticks. Watson turned to Sandy Tatum, his American partner, and said, "This is the most fun I've ever had playing golf." Which is what one says in good weather, too.

He loved it so much that he played another 18 on Sunday. The crowd following him seemed unusually big for such a remote little town. Midway through the round, Watson turned to Sandy, who was caddying for him, and said, "Doesn't anybody go to church around here?"

And Sandy said, "Well, that would be hard t'day, sir. That's the minister third from the left, sir."

Here he is talking about Watson in one of many pieces posted by historian Bob Stevens capturing Sandy's memories of Dornoch.

Here is part one of the many clips posted by Stevens. In this one, Sandy is talking about how he golf started in golf.

Tatum also was interviewed by GolfClubAtlas in 2008, discussing all elements of the game up to his involvement in Harding Park's rejuvenation.  Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

The USGA has posted this piece for the 2012 U.S. Open program on his passion for golf.

Few will ever be able to say they lived a richer, more devoted life to his community and the game. Let's hope somewhere you and Frank are bickering over something fun as some of us long for just one more of those phone calls.

Thursday
Jun222017

Video: Trump Driving Cart On Green Not Going Over Well

Perhaps because I saw him drive all over Doral a few years ago, this one didn't come as a huge shock.

But given everything that's happened, the social media rage over Donald Trump driving on a Trump Bedminster green stands out.

The sinful act occurred June 9th, according to the New York Daily News. 

Trump Bedminster hosts the U.S. Women's Open in less than a month.

A sample of the Tweets from most major sports media: