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Books
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    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
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

The medium of the artist is paint, and he becomes its master; but the medium of the golf architect is the surface of the earth over which the forces of Nature alone are master. Therefore, in the prosecution of his designs, if the architect correctly uses the forces of nature to express them and thus succeeds in hiding his hand, then, only, has he created that illusion which can still all criticism.
MAX BEHR


    

Saturday
Apr252015

5 Of Last 6 PGA Tour Final Round Telecasts Up Double Digits

Paulsen at Sports Media Watch reports some good news for PGA Tour ratings of late, even with a tape-delayed final round telecast from Hilton Head.

The RBC Herirage drew a final round 2.3 and finished up 77%.

The nine-year high marks a dramatic turnaround from last year, when final round ratings were the lowest since at least 1996. It is just the latest strong performance for the PGA Tour, coming on the heels of a 10-year high for the final round of the Houston Open and record ratings for the Tampa Bay championship in March.

Five of the past six final round PGA Tour telecasts — including The Masters — have had double-digit increases in ratings and viewership.

Saturday
Apr252015

"Another challenge for golf is how conspicuously it uses water."

The Wall Street Journal's John Paul Newport does an excellent job looking at the pros and cons of California golf courses addressing the drought's impact.

Two key areas to note: his explanation of the Coachella Valley's required cutback of their ground water use and and role perceptions play. The latter component to his story:

Another challenge for golf is how conspicuously it uses water. Oil refineries, food and beverage processing and microchip manufacturing companies use comparable amounts of water, but do so behind factory walls. A single semiconductor chip can take more than 2,000 gallons of water to produce. Golf’s lushly green product, by contrast, is on display for anyone driving past to shake a fists at. Golf in California generates $13.1 billion in economic activity and employs 128,000 people, according to a 2013 study by the California Alliance for Golf. But the game is not viewed kindly by all.

If the current drought continues unabated into 2016, there will probably be fatalities. Most vulnerable are courses that aren’t located near recycled water pipelines and are already weakened by the last recession and a shrinking golf market.

Thursday
Apr232015

Equipment Sales As A Barometer For Golf, Rovell Edition

Earlier this week Darren Rovell Tweeted a short item on a 21% drop in 2014 golf equipment sales at sporting goods stores, citing the Sports & Fitness Association.

Golf Digest's Mike Stachura took issue with the number for not telling the full story. Though my extremist view is that any golf equipment sales numbers are unfair as long as companies insist on rapid-fire product cycles, let's at least accept the premise for Stachura's rebuttal:

In fact, a check of golf industry research firm Golf Datatech’s sales figures for 2014 paint a slightly different interpretation. Sales in 2014 of just the core hard goods in golf (woods, irons, wedges and putters) were down, but only by 3 percent (2.97, actually). In fact, the $1.413 billion in sales of those four categories marked the seventh highest annual sales figure since Golf Datatech began tracking the golf business in 1995.

Thursday
Apr232015

State Of The Game Podcast 55: Another Magnificent Masters

Gil Capps, author of The Magnificent Masters and overseer of Golf Channel's Editorial Research Unit, joined us again to recap the Masters and talk about a few other matters with Rod Morri, Mike Clayton and myself.

Yes, we are a few weeks past the Masters but this is often the best time to reflect and I think you'll enjoy the discussion. Gil's book on the 1975 Masters is now available in paperback.

As usual, you can listen here, download the MP3 here, listen via iTunes or subscribe to the show there too. Or listen here:

Thursday
Apr232015

EA Delays Rory Game To Open Championship Tuesday...

Does this mean Rory McIlroy will be prepping for The Open on the typically exhaustive EA ad creation and promotional circuit? Following his pre-Masters workout regimen to get ready for his workout shoots?

Anyway, Nick Menta with the latest on the eagerly anticipated follow up to the dormant Tiger Woods/PGA Tour edition, including the addition of Jordan Spieth to the game.

Details about the game have been slow to emerge but EA did confirm Masters champion Jordan Spieth as the game's second playable character earlier this week. Confirmed courses thus far include TPC Sawgrass, Wolf Creek and Royal Troon.

For gamers, Luke Kerr-Dineen adds this:

But Thursday proved a significant development. EA officially finalized its July 14th release date, and released a new trailer showing graphics and some actual gameplay features. There will be three different playing options, the hardest being the “tour” mode. In that setting, users won’t be able to zoom into the green, and they’ll use the analog stick to control the power of their shots.

Noted!

The trailer, which I suppose highlights just how beautiful Rory's swing is. Or how all of those sensors just can't quite capture the grace and athleticism of his move.

Thursday
Apr232015

36 Years Separate 1st & 2nd At LPGA's Swinging Skirts

In LPGA years, that's not a one generation divide, but two!

Steve Kroner of the San Francisco Chronicle with the round one game story from Lake Merced, where 54-year-old Juli Inkster trails (now) 18-year-old Lydia Ko by one.

Kroner writes of the amazing play by Inkster:

“I just think it’s really cool,” Stacy Lewis (69) enthused about Inkster’s performance. “You should take a picture and do a hashtag with 'Throwback Thursday’” with Inkster’s name on top of the leaderboard.

For a few moments in her post-round news conference, Inkster, 54, was among those surprised to see her in first place.

“I didn’t know I was” atop the leaderboard, she said.

Then after a bit of reflection, Inkster took a mulligan in terms of expressing doubt about her first-place standing.

“The way I played today,” Inkster said, “no, I’m not surprised.”

Thursday
Apr232015

“Tiger Woods Returns to Asia to Energize Young Athletes’ Love for Golf” (And Launch A New Design)

Nike has announced (as expected) that Tiger will be making one of his goodwill tours of Asia replete with clinics (oh not the short game right now, please...) and no doubt to show the Swoosh to prospective customers.

And in the it's-a-mitzvah department, the April 24-25 trip will be preceded by Woods appearing in Beijing to confirm a lucrative course design gig in the land where golf is stalling, if not banned or illegal to build a course.

What a world!

Wednesday
Apr222015

Video: Aerial Tour Of Turnberry Ailsa Changes

If you were on the fence (like me) about messing around with Turnberry's Ailsa course, this computer aerial simulation of the holes as they are now, with faded in looks at the proposed changes, will probably convince you that the course is going to get better.

It's seven minutes but well worth your time if you are interested in architecture. While the par-3 9th has been getting the attention, the revamped 10th and all new 11th really caught my eye. Not a lot of strategy to the holes but the setting is so divine that few will care. It's also interesting to note how much The Open is mentioned in hole change plans and in the 18th hole setting as presented. Turnberry is not currently scheduled to host The Open, which is booked through 2018, with three of the four venues locked up in Scotland (and 2020 almost assuredly going to St. Andrews).

Thanks to reader John G for sharing this which, I believe is the most impressive tour of proposed course changes I've seen.

Wednesday
Apr222015

Mike Whan Keeps Asking Augusta National To Host The LPGA

I'm picturing Chairman Billy Payne seeing LPGA Commish Mike Whan coming and muttering to himself, "don't they have 9 majors already?"

But Mike Whan, even answering himself in a way, keeps on asking Augusta National about hosting the LPGA for an event. Michael Collins reports for ESPN.com.

"Would it be great? It'd be great. I don't know how you become a member at Augusta National but it's probably not by saying you wanna be! And I don't know how you have a tournament at Augusta National but it's probably not by saying that you want one! So, we've said our piece and it would be great someday, so why not dream?"

Dream, but don't ask again? It's not going to happen.

Wednesday
Apr222015

Jack & Tiger Talk For More Than A Minute Or Two!

You may recall a few years ago when Jack Nicklaus mentioned in passing under the Big Oak that he and Tiger had never really had many long talks. Not for more than a minute or two, to be exact.

Now it seems the Happy Tiger who flew onto the Masters practice a new man was also chatty at the Champions Dinner. Tiger was so giddy he even committed to the Memorial Tournament, Nicklaus told reporters Wednesday.

Rob Oller reports on this and Jordan Spieth also giving a verbal commitment to The Memorial.

Woods and Nicklaus chatted about family and golf form during their visit at Augusta National Golf Club.

“It’s as much conversation as I’ve ever had with Tiger. ... He’s been struggling. We talked a little about that, but we talked more about his kids and events that are going on and what he’s been doing with his preparation,” Nicklaus said. “I’ve said many times, ‘He’ll be fine.’”

Fox Sports Ohio Tweeted this clip of Nicklaus talking.

Wednesday
Apr222015

Joe Buck On Fox's First Telecast: "It sounded like golf and it looked like golf.”

Fox's Joe Buck talked about the first golf telecast last year from Fox Sports, which seems a bit more confident than the admirable "we're not worthy" homage paid to the other networks when kicking off last fall's Franklin Templeton Shootout.

Talking to Craig Hill of The New Tribune:

“Believe me, everybody was watching us — especially the networks that cover golf — and wondering what they were going to get from golf on Fox,” Buck said. “And I would submit to you that they came away really disappointed because it sounded like golf and it looked like golf.”

Buck said Shanks addressed the crew afterward and said, “That was the best launch of a sport we’ve had at this network.”

Fresh and innovative is the bar set for Fox by the USGA, which kicks off with the U.S. Four-Ball Championship in less than two weeks. Buck should probably leave the tech talk to Mark Loomis, the supervising producer whose team will inevitably deliver some fun stuff either this year or more likely, over the next few years.

Buck is excited to try new ways of covering golf, too. Fox Sports wants to use drones at Chambers Bay (it is awaiting Federal Aviation Administration approval), plans to have a leaderboard constantly displayed on the screen, is experimenting with cameras and angles in hopes of giving viewers a better idea of how the course plays and will use graphics to better show the contours of the greens.

Buck says Fox is also looking for ways to add more natural sound (including golfers’ conversations with caddies) to the telecast. It is sound he says he’ll be careful to not talk over.

And on some broadcast teams, that would be fresh and innovative!

Tuesday
Apr212015

Trump's Turnberry Overhaul Is A Go

Alistair Tait of Golfweek reports on the official green light given to a Turnberry Ailsa course redo by new owner Donald Trump. The layout hosts the Women's British Open this summer, then goes under Martin Ebert's knife, with a planned reopening in July 2016 when The Open is at Troon.

No future Open has been awarded to Turnberry but but all accounts, Trump is carrying out many of the design ideas of R&A Chief Inspector Peter Dawson.

Next year, the hole will play as a 235-yard par-3, most of it over water, with the lighthouse providing the backdrop to the green.

Many will applaud the change given the current ninth is unfair. A camelback fairway means good drives often end up in the rough.

Other changes see the 10th altered from a 457-yard par-4 to a 562-yard par-5. This hole sits near the sea, curving around a small bay called Castle Port Bay. Changes will see a new championship tee closer to the sea, and the green also shifted more towards the water.

The par-3 11th will also feature more of the sea than it currently does, and be extended by 40 yards to 215 yards. The 17th changes from a 558-yard par 5 to a 505-yard par 4.

Considering the 17th's role in past Open's at Turnberry, that final change is a bit scary, but there is little doubt the cliffside holes have never quite been as dramatic as the land suggests.

Tuesday
Apr212015

Laura Davies Gets Her Hall Of Fame Tour

It's easy to have forgotten that we would normally be getting ready for a World Golf Hall of Fame induction in a few weeks, but in an effort to boost the worldwide appeal, this year's ceremony is Monday of Open Championship week.

And with the HOF off the radar of late, Steve DiMeglio's story on Laura Davies visiting the St. Augustine facility is a pleasant reminder that this is the year when some overlooked candidates are getting in (O'Meara, Graham, Tillinghast).

She won 45 titles on the Ladies European Tour, the most of all time. She added 20 titles on the LPGA Tour while playing a limited schedule as she fully supported the LET. In 1996, she won 10 times on five different tours.

Among her 84 victories are four majors – the 1994 and '96 LPGA Championship, the 1987 U.S. Women's Open and the 1996 du Maurier Classic.

Led by museum historian Tony Parker, Davies' walk through history that began in Scotland wowed her. She saw clubs dating 300 years and was especially impressed by exhibits honoring Bob Hope, Gary Player, Nancy Lopez and the legacy of African-Americans in golf.

Tuesday
Apr212015

Profiled: Jordan Spieth's Grandad And Dad

Golf World's Tim Rosaforte profiled Jordan Spieth's proud grandad Bob Julius, who had never seen one of Jordan's pro wins in person until Sunday at the Masters.

Rosaforte writes:

Last Monday, Julius sent out emails to members of the Olde Point G.C. Men's Golf Association, updating them as he always does via email and Facebook, before driving to Hilton Head on Tuesday. These were many of the same guys Jordan would play against during summer visits. Julius still talks about the day 12-year-old Jordan shot 76 to beat all of them.

"He doesn't get any of that from me," Julius said of Jordan's talents.

Jordan says he inherited his grandfather's personality, his sense of humor and his drive. That is evident when the two sit down to play gin rummy. Julius likes to say that for every time he beats Jordan, Jordan beats him five times. And Jordan denies ever letting him win. "No, he beats me fair and square," Jordan says. "Experience plays a major role in that game, but I've tried my best."

Meanwhile AP's Doug Ferguson leads his weekly notes column off with more on Jordan's dad, Shawn, and his co-effort to create the Nielsen of social media measuring tools, the MVPindex.

In the week after Spieth won the Masters, the MVPindex determined that he was mentioned 50,672 times — more than Tiger Woods, Kevin Durant and The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) combined. For the overall PGA Tour index, Spieth currently is No. 5 behind McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Woods and Ian Poulter.

During his son's rookie season, Spieth and Nelson collected some 20 million points of data used to measure social media reach, engagement and conversation tied to players or teams. They relied on the five most recognizable social media — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram YouTube and Google Plus — with plans to add more platforms.

Tuesday
Apr212015

Fox Sports Completes (Really Big) USGA On-Air Roster

In the, You Learn Something New Every Day Files, Buddy Marucci is given "headliner" status.

Amazingly, Charles Davis returns to golf even though he was arguably once one of Golf Channel's most grating contributors, but Tom Weiskopf's inclusion may help make up for any of the above. (Wish I could be there when Robert Trent Jones Jr. sees that Gil Hanse got the call but the Chambers Bay designer-of-record did not!)

For Immediate Release...

FOX SPORTS COMPLETES USGA ON-AIR ROSTER
 
Familiar FOX Sports Personalities Tim Brando, Charles Davis, Joel Klatt, Robert Lusetich and Curt Menefee Also Added
 
Natalie Gulbis, Gil Hanse, Buddy Marucci, Scott McCarron, Morgan Pressel and Tom Weiskopf Headline Additions
 
Los Angeles - With great anticipation for the start of the USGA championship season, including the U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., now less than two months away, FOX Sports announced the addition of several contributors to its coverage team. The announcement was made today by John Entz, Executive Vice President, Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports and Mark Loomis, Coordinating Golf Producer, FOX Sports.
 
“The inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball is right around the corner, and we could not be more excited to put the finishing touches on our on-air team,” Loomis said. “We think we have a really strong, diverse group of announcers from across the broad spectrum of the sport, and the audience will be well-served by their unique perspectives.”
 
Existing FOX Sports personalities joining the USGA lineup are mainstays Tim Brando, Charles Davis, Joel Klatt, Robert Lusetich and Curt Menefee.
 
Brando, one of FOX Sports’ primary voices for college basketball and football broadcasts, serves as the announcer for each day’s featured group on the live-streaming, digital broadcast of the U.S. Open Championship available on the FOX Sports GO and official U.S. Open app. He previously hosted digital coverage for CBS’ presentation of the Masters from 2012 to 2013 and also served as the lead television announcer for the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Champions Tour event on CBS in 2012.
 
Davis, FOX College Football’s lead game analyst, spent five years as a co-host of The Golf Channel’s series, “The Grey Goose 19thHole,” and also served as the tournament director for the PGA Tour’s Disney Golf Classic from 1998 to 2000. He is enlisted as a host and reporter for coverage of the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Women’s Open.
 
Klatt, FOX Sports’ lead college football studio analyst and host of FOX NFL KICKOFF on Sunday mornings during the fall on FOX Sports 1, is tabbed as host and announcer for the “U.S. Open 360” channel on the digital platform.
 
Lusetich, FOXSports.com senior golf writer, serves as a golf correspondent on FOX Sports 1 throughout the championship season and as an analyst for the U.S. Open 360 team. He spent over a decade as The Australian’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering golf and other major sporting events for the daily national newspaper before joining FOXSports.com.
 
Menefee, host of the award-winning FOX NFL SUNDAY, assumes duty as the studio host for the U.S. Open telecast, providing highlights, updates and feature content throughout the week.
 
“We felt that it was important to incorporate a variety of FOX Sports personalities,” Loomis said.

We did? I think of Charles Davis talking golf and I'm longing for Cleatus already.

“By adding Tim, Charles, Joel, Robert and Curt, in addition to Joe Buck, we have a great cross-section of individuals who have been involved with some of FOX Sports’ biggest events over the years.”
                                                                                                                                              
Those joining FOX Sports for varied roles across the USGA’s slate of championship events include Shane Bacon, Mark Brooks, Robert Damron, Jay Delsing, Debbie Doniger, Natalie Gulbis, Gil Hanse, Buddy Marucci, Scott McCarron, Ned Michaels, Eoghan O’Connell, Joe Ogilvie, Morgan Pressel, EA Tischler and Tom Weiskopf.
 
“Combined with the personalities that we’ve announced previously, we have a great combination of experience and new faces to create a comprehensive look at the competition from start to finish,” Loomis said. “We are fortunate to be presenting the entire array of USGA events, and this group gives us tremendous expertise and passion in covering all of them.”
 
Bacon joins FOX Sports after spending 2014 on-air for the upstart Back9Network, a golf lifestyle cable channel.

Both upstart and downstart! Go on...

Prior to his stint at Back9, he was a contributor and editor for the Yahoo Sports Devil Ball Golf and CBS Eye on Golf blogs. In his role for FOX Sports, he contributes writing and video content to FOXSports.com, in addition to serving in an on-course reporting capacity during the Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and live streaming of the U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open.
 
Brooks, a veteran of more than two decades on the PGA Tour, notched a major victory at the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla and lost an 18-hole playoff at the 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills. He won seven tournaments and posted 58 top-10 finishes during his career, and now joins Brando, Gulbis and Marucci as a featured group analyst as part of the digital presentation.
 
Damron, another former PGA Tour pro who netted 19 top-10s during his playing career, also joins the digital crew, assuming on-course reporting responsibilities for holes No. 12 and 15 at Chambers Bay. In addition, he will follow the featured group for digital coverage of the U.S. Women’s Open.

That is, until Greg Norman declares he be promoted after this kiss-up column!

Delsing made more than 500 starts on the PGA Tour and claimed 30 top-10 finishes during his career. A graduate of UCLA, Delsing was a college teammate of fellow FOX Sports golf analyst Corey Pavin with the Bruins. In his broadcast role, he offers viewers unique on-course insight for the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Women’s Open.
 
Doniger, a former Atlantic Coast Conference champion and ACC Hall of Fame inductee, competed on both the Futures and European Tours, and was voted by her peers as one of Golf Digest’s “Top 50 Female Instructors” in 2012. In her television role, she appears as an on-course reporter for the U.S. Women’s Open, Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and Women’s Amateur championships. On the digital side, she also contributes as a reporter for holes No. 12 and 15 during U.S. Open coverage.
 
A 14-year LPGA Tour veteran and winner of the 2007 Evian Masters, Gulbis serves as an on-course reporter for the Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and the U.S. Women’s Amateur. She also contributes to FOX Sports’ digital coverage of the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Women’s Open. Gulbis found success in USGA events as an amateur, representing the state of California in two USGA Women’s State Team championships and earning medalist honors at the 1999 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
 
Hanse, a highly regarded course designer, provides a unique dynamic to the U.S. Open telecast, lending extensive insight into the strategic elements of Chambers Bay. Named Golf Magazine’s 2009 “Course Architect of the Year,” Hanse has placed his imprint on several prestigious courses in recent years and was also recently selected as the course designer for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
 
One of the most well-known amateur golfers of the modern era, Marucci begins as an analyst at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and is part of the coverage teams for five of the eight USGA events presented by FOX Sports in 2015.

Wow...I guess it's hard to keep that much warmth and charisma bottled into just one event!

Marucci won the 2008 U.S. Senior Amateur, was a member of the USA Walker Cup Teams in both 1995 and 1997, and went on to captain teams that won the international match-play competition in 2007 and 2009.
 
McCarron provides on-course analysis during the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Women’s Open. McCarron competed collegiately at UCLA and spent 20 years on the PGA Tour, winning three tournaments and posting 39 top-10 finishes, including three in major championships.
 
Michaels, a former Vanderbilt University golfer, Web.com Tour player and host of “Golf Talk America” on PGATour.com, is enlisted as a host for the U.S. Open 360 team.
 
O’Connell, a USGA championship veteran who played in the 1989 Walker Cup (representing Great Britain and Ireland) and earned medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur the same year, serves as an on-course reporter for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship on television, as well as an announcer at holes No. 12 and 15 during the U.S. Open.
 
A Duke University graduate and 19-year PGA Tour veteran who posted 26 top-10 finishes and won the 2007 US Bank Championship, Ogilivie brings expert analysis to the U.S. Open 360 coverage.
 
The youngest player to ever win an LPGA major tournament at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2007, Pressel serves as an analyst for the U.S. Open 360 platform. An active member of the LPGA Tour, she posted a third-place finish in the first major of the 2015 season, the ANA Inspiration. Pressel has 51 career top-10 finishes and is currently listed as the No. 33 player in the world in the Rolex Rankings. As an amateur, she tied for second at the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open, and later that same year won the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
 
A Golf Magazine “Top 100 Teacher,” Tischler soon takes up residency as the Director of Instruction at Olympia Fields Country Club outside Chicago, home of the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship. In his coverage role, Tischler joins the U.S. Open 360 livestream, lending instructor perspective on the intricacies of swing fundamentals and techniques before and after shots are played.
 
Winner of 16 career PGA Tour tournament events, including the Open Championship in 1973, Weiskopf serves as an analyst for the U.S. Open. Possessing extensive on-air experience, he previously covered the Masters for CBS for more than a decade and also contributed to ESPN’s coverage of the Open Championship.

And he's really, really good at what he does.

Tuesday
Apr212015

Leishman Returns: “This certainly puts things into perspective."

Fine reporting effort by AAP's Ben Everill who sets up the story of Audrey Leishman and husband Marc, who withdrew from the Masters to be by his wife's side in a situation that was even worse than first thought.  Audrey suffered acute respiratory distress syndrome and toxic shock syndrome, and was given just a 5% chance of surviving.

Thankfully, she's recuperating at home with her children and her husband is back to work...

“It was very scary. I can very clearly remember not being able to breathe,” she told AAP.

From there toxic shock took hold of her organs and Leishman was told the dire prognosis.

“It wasn’t looking good for her survival. It was shattering. The toxic shock syndrome started shutting down all of her organs,” Leishman explained.

“We were told her chances of survival was at five per cent. The only thing in our favour was she was fit, goes to the gym all the time, is young and has two young kids and a real will to live. Thankfully in the end, that’s what got her through.” Doctors were able to flip Audrey onto her stomach to help with fluid on her lungs and slowly but surely she showed improvement, before finally regaining her consciousness four days after being placed in the induced coma.

And this about her husband...

While understandably a little hesitant to get back to work, Leishman heads to the Zurich Classic this week in New Orleans with the full blessing of his wife and family.

“This certainly puts things into perspective. If you make a bogey, who cares, they happen, just fight back best you can,” Leishman said of his return.

“Hopefully I can get myself into a position to win on a Sunday again pretty quickly and be able to just handle it without any stress or worry now.

Tuesday
Apr212015

Ian Poulter Bites Back At Writer Over BMW Pass

Derek Lawrenson of the Daily Mail takes issue with Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson skipping the European Tour's flagship BMW Championship. Can't these Brits get along?

Lawrenson points to Jordan Spieth as an example of a player teeing it up even against (perhaps) his own desires, all in the name of tour and charity.

But Lawrenson also makes a case for why they are passing...

In the past all three have made no secret of the fact they don't care for Wentworth and all three have poor records in the event. Doesn't that make it an obvious event to cut from a busy schedule? You can see the argument. But, equally, as Spieth at the age of just 21 is effortlessly showing, sometimes it's simply about doing the right thing.

Yes, Poulter and Stenson, in particular, can put forward persuasive cases as to how they do their bit for European golf.

Poulter is doing plenty behind the scenes to ensure the relaunched British Masters at Woburn in October will be a great success; Stenson plays more tournaments round the world than any other top player and the nasty bout of flu that ruined his chance at the Masters was a sure sign he needs to cut back. All the same, the feeling lingers this admirable pair have got this one wrong.

And you can imagine how well this went over with Poulter...

Note that quite a few of his followers were hoping to hear why he's passing on the BMW.

With his support of the restored British Masters, his possible appearance at the Scottish Open and definitely appearance at The Open, Poulter is putting in a lot of UK time this summer, with most of his earnings destined for the royal coffers.

Tuesday
Apr212015

Strange Times: NY Times On China's Golf Crackdown

With Tiger Woods slated to announced his big Beijing design job on April 23rd, the recent stories out of China about golf crackdowns figure to make the wording of that announcement extra fun!

Thanks to all who sent Austin Ramzy's NY Times story on the crackdown, which leans quite a bit on the reporting and observations of Dan Washburn. (You can also listen to Dan on this episode of State of the Game.)

Dan Washburn, author of “The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream,” said the crackdown was not surprising given the game’s reputation in China as a capitalist pastime and the extent of Mr. Xi’s prolonged campaign against corruption, which has toppled senior party and military leaders.

“This is Xi Jinping’s China, and it’s clear he’s intent on making his mark,” Mr. Washburn said. “Everyone’s a potential target in this ongoing crackdown on corruption, and golf is a particularly easy and obvious one.”

Washburn penned this CNN piece during Masters week with more insights into this utterly bizarre situation that has the government shutting down courses and politicians, but also funding golf because of its place in the Olympic Games.

In Guangdong province, the birthplace of golf in modern China, an investigative team has been formed to crack down on officials who took part in any of nine golf-related activities. There's even a public hotline for reporting suspected golf violations.

Over the past decade, however, not much seemed like it could get in the way of golf's meteoric growth in China. While it's been illegal to build new golf courses in China since at least 2004, no other country has built more of them over the past decade -- not even close.

Beijing would say new construction is banned, while at the same time local governments would line their pockets with the proceeds from the boom. There didn't seem to be too many rules in all of this, but one was especially important: When building a golf course in China, don't call it a golf course. One massive project of note was known as "ecological restoration."

Washburn speaking in this embedded clip:

Monday
Apr202015

Sportscenter Anchor: "Golf telecasts...woefully behind the times"

SI's Richard Deitsch hosted a panel discussion with various sports-TV types about how to improve their product and ESPN Sportscenter anchor John Buccigross delivers a nice rant about golf on television.

Of course, he's airing a common gripe post-Masters about not getting to see all 18 holes of rounds by mega-stars, which is only slightly awkward since his network holds the rights and the folks at Augusta National work on one-year contracts. Though it's not like many disagree with him, especially since the digital offerings this year left a lot to be desired with the normally criticism-reducing Featured Groups.

Anyway, Buccigross on televised golf:


Golf telecasts are woefully behind the times and in need of a major overhaul. Shot tracer needs to be utilized on nearly every swing and way too much putting is showed. Also, every major should have 18-hole, four-round coverage. I can watch every Patrick Kane shift, every Marshawn Lynch carry or every Mike Trout at-bat in every game they play if I choose. I should be able to watch all of Tiger Woods shots at a major on my big, beautiful TV. If I have to shell out $29.99 to watch it I will pay it. Golf is concerned about growing the game yet they restrict access to their best golf courses and restrict access to its best players on television.

I can't watch Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy play all 72 holes of a major live here in 2015?


We're only two weeks away from the first Fox Sports golf telecast from Olympic Club and while Fox producer Mark Loomis doesn't reveal much new in this interview with Craig Hill, I continue to think the Fox goal of better placing us in the view of the golfer confronted by the architect's canvas will force all network hands to think twice about camera locations.

A: A lot of times golf is covered from the green back to the tee, because that’s where your biggest cameras are. One of the things we’ve put some energy into is figuring out if we can give you a little better look at what the golfer is seeing. Kind of look from the tee toward the green.

I think we are trying to take advantage of some of the new technology … (such as) drones. Audio has always been a staple for Fox and how can we make the sounds of the golf course better.

You always kind of lose the audio on the green. … How can we get on the green and hear a little bit more about what’s going on?

The main focus is, how can we tell the story about what’s going on on the golf course better? Not just come up with cool tricks.

Q: But there will be cool tricks, right?

A: There is kind of an old saying: “There’s nothing new in television. It’s just people doing the same thing in a different way.” I think the answer to that is that we’ll take some of the technology that people have used over the years, like the tracer.

One of the things we’ve talked about is whenever you see a green on your TV it looks flat, whether it is or isn’t. So, how can we do different things to make the greens come to life so you see them the same way you would if you were standing on them?

If you want to call them cool tricks, that is true, but they are tricks for the sake of making the person at home feel like they are getting a better look at the golf course.

Monday
Apr202015

Video: Take That Phil, ASU Golfer Hits Over-The-Shoulder Shot

Nice spot by Golf News Net's Ryan Ballengee of Arizona State men's golfer Mathias Schjoelberg pulling off one I've never seen before, and one I'm pretty sure not many have even considered: over-the-shoulder.

I'm in awe at the handwork required to pull this off (link to Instagram posting in case embed stops working, as seems to happen a lot with Instagram):

Getting good at the shots I'll never need. #golf #golfer #asu #asugolf #sundevils

A video posted by Mathias Schjoelberg (@mathiasschjoelberg) on

And taking inspiration from former ASU golfer and former assistant coach Phil Mickelson, Schjoelberg also has the over the head shot in his repertoire: