Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • 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
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • 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
  • 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
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Sports Media Group
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford

The player is tempted to try either to carry or to skirt a bunker. He is offered a reward for success and a penalty for failure. It is evident, however, that the reward and the penalty should bear a due proportion to one another. If the penalty is unduly severe, few players will feel tempted to take the risk; while if the penalty is almost negligible, no daring will be required and no thrill will be experienced. H.S. COLT




Video: Spieth Lower 40 At UT Golf Club

We profiled the new Spieth Lower 40 par-3 and practice course that will be used by the University of Texas golf teams and members of UT Golf Club.

The name and Spieth's role, which included design and a big donation, is explained in the story that first aired on Morning Drive.


Video: One Architect Whose Work You'd Want To Play

On Morning Drive Design Week, Matt Ginella, Gary Williams and I pick the one architect we would play for the rest of their lives. Who is your choice?


Video: "Players as course architect has been horrible for golf"

Gary Williams, Charlie Rymer, Matt Ginella, and yours truly discuss when players create golf courses. Or sign their name to projects.

Go Charlie go:


Videos: Our Ultimate 18's, What's Yours?

For this week's Design Week on Morning Drive, Matt Ginella and I revealed our Ultimate 18’s in golf. I went the route of selecting a course I'd want to play everyday, which meant picking some "stretches" of holes I love (North Berwick and Essex County) at the expense perhaps of a few great holes. And I had great fun putting them in order, ultimately going with all links going out and inland American holes coming in (sorry Australia).

Ginella kept true to holes where they land in the rankings and to courses open to the public.

The segments are below and I hope they'd inspire you to pick your ultimate 18's. I found the process great fun both in reflecting on holes I'd never grow tired of playing, but also in the creative act of placing them in the sequence I'd want to encounter their challenges.

Besides getting to rekindle fond memories and appreciation for the architecture you've experienced, the placing of the puzzle pieces into a routing is quite fun. And if you feel compelled, list your courses below. There are no wrong answers, it's your Ultimate 18!

Our front nine favortes from the Ultimate 18 lists.

Our back nine favorites of the Ultimate 18 lists.


Video: Precious Ducks At The Joburg Open!

More fantastic wildlife at a South Africa golf tournament, this time at the Joburg Open. As featured on  Morning Drive. Serious cuteness...


Video: Talking USGA Greens Construction

We hear the term all the time and while some architects like them, others prefer to use modified USGA Greens and still others (Coore and Crenshaw) don't employ the technique.  Here is our Morning Drive Design Week explanation.


Bamberger On The Ball

Add SI's Michael Bamberger to the list of people who should not exceed the speed limit in Fairhaven.

Too much common sense here on the distance debate:

I don't view the weekly play on the Tour as "entertainment" but as a series of athletic competitions that, cumulatively, help us to identify who are the best players in the game. In the 1970s, when most Tour golfers used balata balls and most recreational players used rock-hard, long-flying Top-Flites or something like them, there were (effectively) two different games. In terms of competition, and shot-making, I believe the game played by Trevino, Watson, Nicklaus and Co. was superior to today's smash-and-gauge game, but that is of course a subject on which reasonable people will differ. Age is a factor, too.

For millions of us, the most interesting events of the golf year are the four major professional championships. (The Ryder Cup is a separate category.) What makes these weeks so special is what playing in them, let alone contending or winning, means to the players, and the demanding, interesting and often time-honored courses on which they are played.


Golf On TV: Is It Time For More Second Screen Analysis?

Martin Kaufmann at Golfweek poses a fair question following last week's Hero World Challenge, where Morning Drive and Golf Central pre-game coverage followed Tiger Woods from the range through his first few shots.

As Kaufmann notes, the more analytical, observational coverage reminded him that most golf broadcasting is forced to state the obvious--Frank Chirkinian's worst nightmare--depriving viewers of more meaningful insights. On "eavesdropping" on Brandel Chamblee, Frank Nobilo and Trevor Immelman's discussions, Kaufmann writes...

From time to time, I’ve broached the idea of testing anchor-less coverage – just smart golf guys talking golf. There wouldn’t be any play-by-play because we can see what’s happening, but there might be a need for enhanced graphics.

There’s some precedent for this. Three months ago I pointed to an MLB Network experiment called a SABRcast – a play on sabermetrics – in which four analysts “called” a game in San Francisco from a studio in New Jersey. They didn’t do play-by-play; instead, their conversation was topical, based heavily on analytics. The conversation was smart and insightful, just as it was last week as Chamblee, Nobilo and Immelman watched Woods.

Kaufmann goes on to suggest it's time for a second screen alternative that let's golf fans stream or choose the feed analysis they want. Thoughts?


Video: Morgan Hoffmann On Morning Drive

Really powerful stuff, but what a credit to golf having someone this impressive sharing the story behind his unfortunate diagnosis and how he plans to battle it.

From today's edition of Morning Drive:


Bandon Takes Four-Ball While Chambers Bay (Re) Grows In

Not a bad deal for U.S. Amateur Four-Ball competitors next year, For Immediate Release:

Change of Venue Announced
For 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship

Bandon Dunes replaces Chambers Bay,
which will now host the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

FAR HILLS, N.J. (Dec. 5, 2017) – The United States Golf Association today announced that the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship will be relocated from Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., to accommodate a turfgrass transition project at Chambers Bay.

“The USGA is extremely grateful to owner Mike Keiser and Bandon Dunes, a trusted supporter of amateur golf, for agreeing to host the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball while this work occurs at Chambers Bay,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of Championships and Governance. “We also acknowledge the foresight and initiative of everyone at Chambers Bay in undertaking this work.”

The ongoing turfgrass project, which will transition the putting surfaces at Chambers Bay from fescue to Poa annua grass, will provide long-term benefits to the facility, which is an important asset to the community and region, according to Matt Allen, general manager of Chambers Bay. The course hosted the 2015 U.S. Open and is owned by Pierce County and operated by KemperSports.

The 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship will be contested May 25-29. The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball consists of 128 two-player sides and requires two courses for the stroke-play portion of the championship. The specific courses at Bandon Dunes that will be used for the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball will be announced at a later date.

Chambers Bay will now host the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship from May 22-26. The Home Course in DuPont, Wash., will serve as the stroke-play co-host for the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball.

“Both of these sites are excellent championship venues and are unwavering in their support of amateur golf; they offer the USGA an opportunity to continue to conduct exemplary Four-Ball championships while providing an ultimate test for the players,” said Bodenhamer. “In addition, both of these Pacific Northwest communities have always offered a warm welcome to the USGA, its championships and the competitors.”

Previously, Chambers Bay was the site of the 2010 U.S. Amateur and 2015 U.S. Open Championships, while Bandon Dunes has hosted the 2006 Curtis Cup Match, the 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur, the concurrent U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships in 2011 and the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2015. Bandon Dunes is also scheduled to host the 2020 U.S. Amateur Championship, which marks seven USGA championships hosted in 15 years.


Sony Open Extended Through '22, Will It Stay In January?

It may be nothing but the press release announcing the Sony Open extension through 2022 notes a "new agreement commencing following the 2018 event. Whether this suggests the possibility of a date move remains to be seen, but the Sony has been mentioned as a fall bridge event between mainland and Asian stops.

Worth noting as well: Waialae Country Club has hosted the event every year since 1965.

For Immediate Release:

PGA TOUR, Sony extend sponsorship of Sony Open in Hawaii through 2022

New agreement begins with 2019 tournament, following 20th anniversary of Sony’s sponsorship

HONOLULU, Hawaii –The PGA TOUR and Sony Corporation (Sony), which enters its 20th year as title sponsor of the Sony Open in Hawaii, have agreed to extend their partnership by another four years, through 2022, as announced today by Sony, the PGA TOUR and tournament host organization Friends of Hawaii Charities.

The new agreement will commence following the 2018 tournament in January. The upcoming Sony Open in Hawaii will mark the 20th year of Sony’s sponsorship, tying it for the third-longest tenured title sponsor on the PGA TOUR. 

“Twenty-eighteen will be the momentous 20th anniversary of the Sony Open in Hawaii,” said Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Sony Corporation. “I am proud to announce that Sony has decided to renew its sponsorship once again, through 2022. To us, the Sony Open is not just a golf tournament; it has allowed us to provide continuous support to the local Hawaiian community. Together with everyone involved in organizing the tournament and our charitable partners at The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, we hope to continue contributing to the people of Hawaii.”     

“As we approach the 20th anniversary of Sony’s sponsorship of the Sony Open in Hawaii, it’s important to recognize the impact Sony has had on the tournament’s stability, success and growth since 1999,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “We congratulate Sony for reaching this milestone in 2018 as one of our longest continuous tournament sponsors, and we thank them for extending this outstanding partnership for another four years.”

The tournament has been held at Waialae Country Club since its debut in 1965. In 1999, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc., became the host organization and Sony became title sponsor. The following year, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc., became the Sony Open’s charity partner. Since 1999, approximately $17 million has been distributed to 350 Hawaii not-for-profit organizations. More than $1 million has been raised annually since 2005.

“Sony’s support of Hawaii’s PGA TOUR event will continue to be a conduit of blessing to thousands of individuals among Hawaii’s not-for-profit and tourism sectors, as it has for the past 20 years,” said Corbett Kalama, President, Friends of Hawaii Charities. “This generous sponsorship commitment of Sony Corporation and of charity partner The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc., coupled with the steadfast support of Waialae Country Club and over 1,500 world-class volunteers, is the recipe that makes Hawaii charities the biggest winners each year at the Sony Open.

“Additionally, the valuable support of the State of Hawaii and Hawaii Tourism Authority for the Sony Open in Hawaii, gives the world a window into our tropical paradise during the winter months, ultimately benefitting the tourism industry,” Kalama continued. “Working together, we are committed to increasing annual charitable giving to over $1.2 million to support Hawaii’s children, women, elderly, and impoverished.”

The 2018 Sony Open in Hawaii will be held January 8-14 and will be televised on Golf Channel. Broadcast times are 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 6 p.m.-10 p.m. ET on Sunday.

“Sony Corporation has been a wonderful partner of the PGA TOUR and Friends of Hawaii Charities for two decades,” said Brian Oliver, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President of Sponsorship and Partnership. “Beyond its ongoing support of the Friends of Hawaii’s charitable endeavors, Sony has used the tournament to showcase new products and technologies, as well as adding features such as a movie premier at the Draw Party and an Awards Gala featuring celebrity chefs and musical entertainment to further enhance the overall tournament experience. We are excited to announce the continuation of this special relationship for another four years.”



"Ben Crenshaw and Luke Wilson form a Pro-Am team to protect an Austin treasure and Civil Rights landmark"

Garden and Gun's Tom Cooper--because who doesn't garden and shoot things--looks at the Save Muny fight through the eyes of its most famous supporters,

Cooper on actor Luke Wilson's involvement:

Ever since that decision, Muny has become a cause célèbre in Austin, and a nonprofit organization named Save Muny has become the organizing force, recruiting local notables such as Willie Nelson and his son Lukas to help with the efforts. Which brings us back to Luke Wilson. The forty-six-year-old grew up in Dallas, and his two brothers, Owen and Andrew, both attended UT–Austin. A competent golfer himself, he’s played Muny many times and last year invested in an Austin company, Criquet, that makes retro-looking golf shirts. Criquet adopted Save Muny as its signature cause and enlisted Wilson to lend his star power. Last April, at Criquet’s annual 19th Hole party, a rollicking fund-raiser for Save Muny, a round of golf with Wilson and Crenshaw went for $25,000 at auction, raising enough to cover the nonprofit’s annual operating costs.


Perspective: Morgan Hoffmann On His Muscular Dystrophy Diagnosis

A powerful, emotional and inspiring read from PGA Tour player Morgan Hoffmann, who writes about learning of his diagnosis, his research into cures and the inspiration he's drawn from his efforts on behalf of childhood charity work.

You can read it here. (*Hoffmann will discuss his story on Morning Drive Tuesday in the 8:30 am ET portion of the show)

Even though the type of muscular dystrophy that I have doesn’t pose an immediate threat to my life, there is a good chance that it will shorten it. I don’t know when that will happen, because there’s no way to gauge the speed at which the disease will spread.

But please know this: This disease won’t keep me from achieving my dream of winning on the PGA Tour — and it shouldn’t keep anyone else from chasing their dreams either.


Tiger Reviews In: This Was A Sequel Worth Watching!

If Tiger were Star Wars then 1997 would be his Episode IV A New Hope, 2000 his Empire Strikes Back and the 2016 World Challenge, in hindsight, his version of stilted Episode 1.

First, let's get an hygiene point out of the way before we get to the reviews: Tiger, under no circumstances, should ever sport facial hair of any kind again. No goatees, no fu manchu's, no modified-fu manchu's and certainly no soul patches. Clean shaven for this comeback, the man looked ten years younger! Oh, and he still has no major titles won with any of his assorted growths from over the years, FYI.

Steve DiMeglio for USA Today:

There are no issues with his surgically repaired back.

No issues with his swing speed.

No issues with his power.

Nope, after a 72-hole romp around Albany Golf Course, there remain few issues ahead for Tiger Woods, few questions as he heads into the new year.

Doug Ferguson for the AP:

Woods made a return to golf that was solid with his health and his game, and he headed into the holidays thinking about a schedule for 2018.

Ben Everill at

Tiger Woods is back – again.

The future looks bright for Woods after the 79-time PGA TOUR winner successfully negotiated all four rounds at the Hero World Challenge in his long-awaited comeback from back surgery.

Rex Hoggard focused on the driving effort as a huge sign of success.

For four days, Woods drove the ball as well as he has in a decade, putted better than his final statistics might suggest and largely controlled his golf ball with the notable exception of his opening loop on Saturday.

Brian Wacker with a similar take at

For four days, Woods drove it as well he has in 10 years, mostly looked good with the putter and, save for his opening nine on a blustery Saturday, largely controlled his ball.

Bob Harig of on Tiger's shocking power off the tee in his comeback:

The power he unleashed with his driver -- and some of the other shots he launched into orbit with his 2-iron -- was a remarkable sign of renewal, especially if you understand where he has been since the first of four back surgeries in 2014 and all the struggles he has had keeping the ball in play.

Woods had no trouble keeping pace with Thomas, who ranked eighth in driving distance on the PGA Tour in 2017 by averaging nearly 310 yards off the tee.


The SI/ gang covered many elements of the return. There was this from Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated:

He's been through a personal hell, major surgery, the chip yips and a bunch of other things. He played well and carried himself well and talked like a person who knows there's a mountain in front of him and he's just starting the climb. It was impressive.

Karen Crouse is rightfully a little more skeptical after last year's exciting return, followed by another back setup but ends her piece on a positive note, reminding us that Woods no longer needs to carry the sport. That should be a little less burden!

His positivity spread some holiday cheer throughout a golf industry that, as evidenced by the PGA Tour’s countdown tweets and the Golf Channel reporters’ breathless commentary, is determined to milk every last drop from its longtime cash cow.

Of course, with Woods, any glad tidings come with a caveat: If his surgically fused back is bothering him, it won’t become apparent until much later. Asked on Sunday if he was in any pain, he said he was not.

But history suggests that even if he was hurting he would not say so.

G.C. Digital with key stats from the final round for Woods, including 13/14 fairways.

His projected move back up the World Rankings has begun:


Here’s what a possible schedule for the season looks like, courtesy of Golfweek. Oh please don't go to the UAE. Please?


The recoil is back!

Mark Cannizzaro talked to Rafa Nadal as the tennis legend walked the course watching Woods for just the second time in person.

“I think this is a very important moment now for golf and himself and for all the people who love the sport in general. He’s the most charismatic star golf has had in the past 50 years or so. For everyone to see him back is something great for the sport.”

Steve Sands caught up with spectator Nadal for the broadcast:

The extended Tiger highlights in case you missed the live broadcast or replays:



AP: "Lawmakers add $4 million for tiny Wisconsin airport near golf course"

Thanks to KLG for Scott Bauer's AP story on $4 million in state funding going to Wisconsin's Rapids' Alexander Field near Sand Valley Golf Resort.

Bauer's story implies that a $25,000 donation by golf developer extraordinaire Mike Keiser was the difference in Governor Scott Walker reversing a budgetary decision not to fund the airport renovation.

Bauer writes:

That donation was three weeks after Gov. Scott Walker released his budget without funding for Wisconsin Rapids’ Alexander Field. Keiser has given at least $65,000 to Walker and Wisconsin Republicans since 2012.

“It sure looks like Mr. Keiser’s campaign contributions to Scott Walker and Republicans teed up millions in taxpayer-funded improvements to help bring corporate jet ferried golfers to his Wisconsin courses,” said Mike Browne with the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. “Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue to have to deal with crumbling roads and bridges and delayed projects as these same Republicans take a budget mulligan and refuse to fix the state transportation funding crisis.”

The story also notes this, which suggests the plans were in place for 2021.

The state Department of Transportation had planned to pay for the airport upgrades in 2021, but it would be moved up to this year to meet the demand caused by the added air traffic due to the golf course, Krug said.


Holy Cow, Files: Brandel Says "I was wrong" About Tiger

In his defense, Brandel Chamblee stated many times he hoped he was wrong and following Tiger's impressive Hero World Challenge comeback, the Golf Channel analyst has made a rare admission.

The superhuman power of Tiger Woods continues as the General Chairman of the Tiger Isn't Coming Back Society admits he now sees a way forward for the 14-time major winner.

Nice discussion here between Burr, Chamblee, Nobilo and Immelman.


Florida Prilosec Shortage Averted: Pro Tours Retain Tax-Exempt Status In Senate Bill

Since this CNBC story hit last week reporting the potential Senate tax bill inclusion of a giant headache for golf's professional organizations, heartburn and acid reflux medicine has been flying off the shelves in greater Daytona Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach and West Palm Beach.

While we don't know if this shortage was tied to the possibility of losing 501(c)(6) status for the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and PGA of America, things should return to normal after some Senator struck language sometime Friday. The bill was voted on Saturday morning without language that would have done untold damage to the business operations of the tours and potentially to the PGA of America.

My Golfweek story here on the language in the bill and what this might have meant. Not included are insights into the thousands of messages between tours and lobbyists in the frantic moments leading to the final legislation shaping.

Here is a final version of the bill, minus all of the pork written into the margins.


Intent Files: Matsuyama's Divot Fix Not Sitting Well

I've heard from many who are still very annoyed that 2017 Hero World Challenge participant Hideki Matsuyama escaped penalty for repairing a divot as chunked chip rolled back toward the dreaded crater.

Because we've introduced intent into the rules--something the experts warned would create problems in situations like this--Matsuyama was able to say he did not intend to improve his forthcoming lie. It's a similar slippery slope golf has encountered with the backstopping movement where players say they are just intending to speed up play.

A few years ago this was a penalty and we had several instances in tournament golf where a player mistakenly improved the ground without intent (and typically out of frustration). But they still were penalized.

Matsuyama has gotten away with one here:


we would’ve stomped that chili 🌶 as well @tgrliveevents #hidekimatsuyama ✊🏽 #golfrules #golfisfun

A post shared by golf humbles everyone (@varygolf) on Dec 1, 2017 at 3:01pm PST


But as Missy Jones noted in answering a reader, we have to assume honesty.




Tiger Still A Ratings And Streaming Draw

The numbers are in from day one and despite a lengthy prior to and early on in Tiger's Hero Challenge return, streaming numbers were sensational.

Some numbers from Golf Channel PR:

This number is amazing given that many people at work trying to stream through could not.

Interesting number here is now many stream the Dell Match Play. Another compliment to match play as much as it is to the event or course:


Tim Mickelson Now Phil's Full Time Bagman, Client Jon Rahm Stays With Lagardere 

For Immediate Release...


New York, Dec. 1, 2017 – Jon Rahm, the No. 4 ranked golf player in the world, today has updated his management team at Lagardere Sports going into 2018.   

Tim Mickelson, who was previously Rahm’s agent, has transitioned to serving as the full-time caddy for Phil Mickelson going forward. Rahm’s team at Lagardère Sports for management and marketing representation now includes Steve Loy, President of Golf, and Jeff Koski, Player Manager, in the U.S., and Jamie Evans, Director of European Golf, in Europe. 

“Coach Mickelson will always be important to me and has done many good things to support my career, and I wish him and Phil well in their new partnership,” said Rahm. “I am excited to continue working with Steve and Jeff, who originally recruited me to Lagardère Sports, and have Jaime join the team from Europe. I also have a great team around me, starting with my family, girlfriend, Kelley, Caddy, Adam, Teacher and Trainer, and my Sports Psychologist. I am really excited to continue working with the team at Lagardère Sports and get the 2018 season under way.”