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

As each year goes by I fear the true sporting spirit of match play is less and less in evidence. We find a growing disposition for play to concentrate on the figures that are registered at a hole rather than on the question of whether the hole is lost or won in a purely friendly match.
TOM SIMPSON

 

   

Wednesday
Mar222017

Even NFL Commish Goodell Is Looking To Speed Up His Product (Take Note Golf)

In an open letter to fans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made clear he's looking for ways to speed up the game experience with clocks and eliminating a silly post-touchdown commercial break.

Goodell writes, according to Deadspin:

Regarding game timing, we’re going to institute a play clock following the extra point when television does not take a break, and we’re considering instituting a play clock after a touchdown. We’re also going to standardize the starting of the clock after a runner goes out-of-bounds, and standardize halftime lengths in all games, so we return to the action as quickly as possible. Those are just a few of the elements we are working on to improve the pace of our game.

This has Goodell joining Major League Baseball and the NBA seeking ways to expedite their proceedings. The PGA Tour and once-hot-to-trot European Tour, meanwhile have not budged in their stance on pace of play.

New European Tour Commissioner Keith Pelley had shown signs of taking action, but has gone quiet.

New PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has said he sees no need to expedite the pace of rounds.

Players, on the other hand, do not agree.

Check out the results from SI/Golf.com's player poll:

Is slow play a problem on the PGA Tour?

YES: 84%
NO: 16%

Loose lips: "It's not as big a deal as people make it out to be."
"Rookies are too slow because they overanalyze everything."
"One million percent YES."
"Sometimes."
"It's a small problem."
"Only a few guys cause a problem."

Regarding a shot clock, though I'm not sure how it would work. I'm guessing most players don't either, but that didn't stop a majority from voting for one.

Should the PGA Tour institute a shot clock

NO: 58%
YES: 40%
No comment: 2%

Loose lips: "I'm not opposed."
"No, there are other ways without doing that."
"There have to be other solutions."
"I like the idea, but there has to be something better."
"How about we enforce the current rules instead?"
"No, we just need more common sense. It's silly when a guy takes forever from the middle of the fairway. There needs to be give and take."
"How about we enforce something sometime? And not on a 13-year-old kid at the Masters. What a joke!"
"There is no way that's going to happen."
"Yes, and we need to enforce penalties."
"No, but slow players need to penalized. They're hurting the field."

Society is changing, sport is changing and golf is holding its ground on the length of its already long proceedings. Mind-boggling. 

Wednesday
Mar222017

Day WD's From Match Play To Be With His Cancer-Stricken Mom

After walking off at the seventh hole in his match against Pat Perez, Jason Day walked into the Austin Country Club clubhouse and requested to meet with media.

Through understandable tears for someone who lost his father to cancer, Day announced that he was withdrawing from the WGC Dell Match Play to be with his mother Dening Day. She is undergoing treament at Ohio State's James Cancer Hospital for lung cancer, with surgery scheduled Friday.

Here was Day making the announcement:

Here is a fun recent memory of Dening, who is no doubt going to fight hard.

Karen Crouse filed a superb story on Day and the role Dening played in raising him to be a champion golfer.

“With everything that went on, for me and my sisters to come out pretty normal on the other side, I think a lot of that has to do with our mom,” Day said.

Continue reading the main story

From his father, Day, 28, learned to play golf and fear failure. From his mother, he learned how to work as if failure were not an option.

On the eve of Australia Day in January, the tide of productivity had gone out in Day’s homeland, scattering workers to near and far vacation destinations. The national holiday fell on the last Tuesday of the month, and a sizable portion of the country’s work force opted to take a four-day weekend, leaving few hands on deck during Monday morning business hours at a shipping company in this port city.

Wednesday
Mar222017

Costco Case Analysis: "A bold ask in the world of golf ball patents, especially where Acushnet is concerned."

Mike Stachura and Mike Johnson try to consider what Costco aims to achieve in filing a lawsuit against Acushnet over patents, especially since they note the effort is to invalidate the works of a company known to vigorously defend their patents.

Reading the reporting by Stachura and Johnson, it's hard not to wonder if the case was started in part as a publicity plot, especially with a new version of the ball likely coming soon. However, the risks and costs in such a legal battle would suggest such a move merely to sell some golf balls could backfire for Costco.

Acushnet was asked for comment in an analysts call an declined.

"You know based on past experience that we never comment on the competition, and as you would expect, we don't comment on any outstanding litigation," he answered to one analyst's specific question about the impact of the Kirkland Signature ball. "We do respect the fact that you're going to ask questions of a competitive nature and of a litigious nature and hopefully catch us at a weak moment, but we'll take a pass on both of those."

This analysis from a legal expert suggests Costco made a bold and shrewd move in the approach to its filing.

“It’s a problem for the alleged infringer if the patent holder doesn’t sue them, so this does two things,” said Rochelle C. Dreyfuss, the Pauline Newman Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. “It accelerates the lawsuit, which sometimes the alleged infringer wants, and it also gives the alleged infringer a choice of court.”

Johnson and Stachura draw this conclusion that I'd agree with, except for the buzz and store traffic likely increased by the Costco ball craze.

For all the media hype and the cult-like status afforded the Kirkland Signature ball, fact is its contribution to Costco’s bottom line is likely no more than an accounting rounding error due to its inability to produce more than limited quantities of the ball.

Tuesday
Mar212017

SI Players Poll: 66% Favor Players Move To March, PGA To May

As always the SI/Golf.com players poll features a nice mix of fun and provocative questions, and while there several to chew on, the drumbeat of talk about a PGA Championship move to May is building.

The players are on board...until the check out the mid-May forecast for Rochester.

Should the Players Championship be moved to March and the PGA to May?

YES: 66%

NO: 22%

Don't know: 12%

Loose lips: "That would be a much better fit."
"We have to, if we want to avoid competing with the NFL."

Tuesday
Mar212017

Spieth Gives An Astute Take On The Vagaries Of Match Play

While much has been (rightfully) made of Jordan Spieth's desire to put the Masters behind him in hopes of putting the 2016 condolences to an end, I found his comments on match play to be of note.

Some background: on top of finding a lively spot in Austin with a strong sponsor, the WGC Dell Match Play is benefitting from a round robin format that has quieted most of the "vagaries" or "flukiness" of match play talk. 

Still, some understandably miss the knock-out element while others simply will never think match play is a proper format. For both camps, Spieth's comments are worth reading and considering. Because instead of focusing on the potential of running into a buzzsaw, he sees those days as survival opportunities.

This tournament is difficult to win because you can't shoot 6-under seven times in a row. Nobody does it. So your days where you maybe shoot 1, 2-under, your off days need to be 1 or 2-under, for one thing. And when that happens you hope you meet an opponent who is around the same.

In order to win a match play event, which I've done going back to U.S. Juniors, you've got to squeak out one or two wins where that wasn't very pretty. And that's kind of how it works in this event. Guys aren't running away from it. And you don't get lucky with the guy across from you not playing his best. You meet a guy when he's playing great and you're playing great and you have to win that match. And then if you're off, if they're a little off, you have to find something in you that allows win it.

And he is very much a play the course and opponent type, as he laments here in thinking of his loss last year here to Louis Oosthuizen:

You're only playing against one other guy. Play off of him. Take chances where you need to, but back off where you need to.

And I maybe got a little bit too aggressive mentally against Louis. And he's a very difficult player to play match play, such a beautiful swing, a great driver of the golf ball, makes you think you have to do more than you really need to do.

Also Spieth suggested he would love to see a major decided at match play as the PGA once was. This Sky Sports story has the quotes.

And one last reminder, there's an Odyssey and pride involved in the ShackHouse WGC Dell Match Play bracketology. You have until 10:00 am ET Wednesday to enter!

Monday
Mar202017

ShackHouse 30: Leishman, Nachman, Brown & Shackelford

It's not a law firm, I promise!

Only a jam-packed ShackHouse this week as Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Marc Leishman joins us to discuss the story behind his new (excellent-fitting) cardigan, his Masters preparation and his background with the Victorian Institute of Sport's Golf Program where he met longtime instructor Denis McDade.

Then, shifting toward the WGC Dell Match Play in Austin, we hit up multiple locals starting with Criquet's co-founders Billy Nachman and Hobson Brown. Besides making great clothes merging 70s aesthetics with modern sensibilities, they are also helping lead the fight to save Lions Municipal. Almost as important, they surprised us with a special 20% off for ShackHouse listeners using code SHACKHOUSE at their website.

To continue the great Ringer tradition of a podcast host calling his dad for a guest hit, we also talked Austin golf, UCLA basketball and the 2017 NCAA tournament with Lynn Shackelford, one of only four athletes to have started on three NCAA championship-winning basketball teams. This is the 50th anniversary of their first title, documented by Mike Lopestri at NCAA.com.

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

Here is The Ringer's show page.

Same deal with Soundcloud for the show, and Episode 30 is here to listen to right now!

Now, with this week's match play here is the ShackHouse league where the winner of our WGC Dell Match Play bracketology will get the joy of (A) inevitably beating House and I, and (B) taking home a new Odyssey putter with Microhinge Technology as discussed in the show.

As always, ShackHouse is brought to you by Callaway, who debuted episodes of Callaway Live with Jim Furyk, Mike Tirico, Adam Hadwin and this week, Michelle Wie who will be supported by the golf architecture-loving, Hawaiian-born, Isla Vista-reared, California reggae masters Iration.

We're also sponsored by Callaway’s new Steelhead irons, so visit CallawayGolf.com to try the Iron Selector tool.

Don't forget to join the Callaway Community to get a sneak peak on shows and the chance to submit questions to guests, though that's the least of the reasons to join!

Monday
Mar202017

Kasumigaseki Votes To Change Membership Policy

Hallelujah I guess, though how the 2020 Olympic golf venue ever got to be a venue when it banned women on Sundays is still beyond most everyone.

But now they will admit women, in theory and all will be forgotten. Maybe. Sadly, some damage was done given that there will be a women's competition and the club was nonetheless rewarded with Tokyo's Olympic golf.

From an AP report:

The vote came three days after IOC President Thomas Bach warned the club of consequences for upholding a ban on female members.

“Should gender equality not be respected, then we would look for another venue which would ensure non-discrimination,” Bach said last Friday at a news conference in South Korea.

Like Muirfield, which just voted to admit women, we shall see if the clubs actually follow through.

Monday
Mar202017

WGC Match Play Is Back, Join The ShackHouse Bracket League!

Austin Country Club and the WGC Dell Match Play's move to Texas proved to be one of the biggest hits of a busy 2016 schedule. A perfect mix of lively risk-reward holes, energetic crowds, a TV-friendly course and some stellar matches made for a memorable week won by Jason Day.
Once again 64 of the world's best--minus Henrik Stenson (5), Adam Scott (8), Rickie Fowler (9), Justin Rose (13) and Adam Hadwin (51/getting married)--are here, replaced by Jason Dufner (65), K.T. Kim (66), Joost Luiten (67), Pat Perez (68) and Si Woo Kim (69).

The random draw was held Monday night at the Hotel Van Zandt and aired live on Golf Channel.

Here are the brackets in list form and there are some intriguing matches to be played Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before we cut to sixteen players.  

Golfweek's Brentley Romine targets ten players to watch, many I'm in full agreement on.
The ShackHouse league will be giving an Odyssey putter with the new MicroHinge Technology to our winner, though the real joy will be in beating House and myself. FYI I have Jordan Spieth winning it all after beating Dustin Johnson, while I have Marc Leishman in the final match after having beaten Tyrrell Hatton.
Monday
Mar202017

Spicer On Trump's Golf: "He is ‘entitled to a bit of privacy'"

President Donald Trump's criticism of former president Barack Obama's Sunday golf rounds has been well-documented. So as the (now) sitting president hangs out at Trump International with regularity, his passion for the game has become of great interest to those who documented Obama's golf habit.

Press secretary Sean Spicer says the president is entitled to his privacy and therefore should not be accountable for his affinity to tee it up on the record, reports Politico's Kelsey Sutton.

“It’s the same reason he can have lunch or dinner with somebody,” Spicer told Yahoo White House correspondent Hunter Walker when asked why Trump had not provided more information about the details of the meetings conducted on the golf course. “The president is entitled to a bit of privacy at this point, which we’ve always agreed to. We bring the protective pool, but the president is entitled to a bit of privacy as well.”

Spicer's comments:

Monday
Mar202017

Tiger's Tanned, Rested And A Resounding Maybe On Playing Masters

Maybe it's shaving the goatee or just his overall upbeat glow for someone who has been off the grid, but while appearing on Good Morning America and promoting his 1997 Masters book Tiger Woods looked well. The positive appearance only adds to the mystery surrounding his latest absence due to back spasms.

Yes, he looks older without his hat and signature form-fitting golf shirts. But it's hard not to watch all of this and wonder what genuinely plagues him that he's still not able to go to his office: the golf course. But for his fans Woods offered a glimmer of hope. Steve DiMeglio reports after getting an exclusive sitdown for USA Today.

“I do have a chance,” to play, Woods told USA TODAY Sports in an exclusive interview. “I’m trying everything I possibly can to get to that point. I’m working, I’m working on my game. I just need to get to a point where I feel like I’m good enough, and I’m healthy enough to do it."

In the good news/bad news department, Woods is attending the Champions Dinner but essentially has left open the possibility for no decision on his playing status until the last minute.

Yes, we've seen this movie before and no one wanted to see it a second time.

DiMeglio filed a separate piece on the 1997 Masters book written with Lorne Rubenstein. Reading about this kind of detail sounds great:

Woods, who hopes to play in next month's Masters, explains how he used a persimmon driver to hone his swing the week before the 1997 Masters and made use of Golf Channel’s video library to study Augusta National’s treacherous greens. He tees up his thoughts about the changes made to the course to combat technological advances in the game.

In NYC, Alex Myers talked to the fans who waited a long time in line to get the book signed at Barnes and Noble.

The GMA segment featured a putting contest that made for good TV:

 

 

Monday
Mar202017

Costco Sues Acushnet: "This should get real interesting, real fast."

Nice work by David Dawsey at Golf-Patents.com to spot and analyze Kirkland golf ball-seller Costco's suit against Titleist-maker Acushnet.

Many thanks to all who sent various stories in, including the full pdf of the suit here.

Dawsey writes:

Costco is seeking a declaratory judgment that it is not infringing any valid patent rights owned by Acushnet by its sale of its Kirkland Signature golf balls and that it has not engaged in false advertising regarding the golf balls. Why did they take such a provocative step? The complaint states “[t]he need for such relief exists because Acushnet has wrongfully accused Costco of patent infringement and false advertising.”

The paragraphs noted by Dawsey are worth checking out, but this seems to be the key point:

7. In response to the popularity of the KS golf ball, Acushnet sent Costco a threatening letter, wrongfully accusing Costco of infringing 11 Acushnet patents based on its sale of the KS golf ball and engaging in false advertising based on its Kirkland Signature guarantee that all Kirkland Signature products “meet or exceed the quality standards of leading national brands.”

WSJ's Brian Costa reported the story for Journal readers with this measured take, while MyGolfSpy.com, which fueled interest in the ball with its review, reveled in the news, noting that the timing may be no coincidence:

The legal wrangling comes at a time when sources are telling us that Costco is ready to begin shipping K-Sig balls to its retail stores. Coupled with the lawsuit, the clear suggestion is that, letters be damned, Costco is going to sell its golf balls and make Acushnet fight publicly to stop it.

It remains to be seen if the new ball is the same as the old one, with the USGA conforming list suggesting that a new version of the ball has been approved.

Monday
Mar202017

Sharp Park And Others: The Fight For Muni Golf

Jaime Diaz does a nice job answering a question many have: who cares about the Sharp Parks, Goat Hills and Lions Muni's of the world?

I've heard the question asked and after reading Diaz's piece, the various governing bodies and other higher ups in golf might be a tad more ashamed that they've put so much money to lavish PSA's and First Tee funds instead of investing in these vital places that no longer can attract people to the game in their neglected state.

So when a muny, especially one with history in a big city, gets threatened, even the most escapist golfers can be roused. Instead of complaining about the greens and the drainage and range mats, they realize how much they’d miss the $30 green fee and all the camaraderie if it disappeared. They become attuned to how munys are about affordability and accessibility and diversity and being the best entry point for beginners and especially kids. Basically the spirit of St. Andrews. It’s a good exercise, especially if it translates to the kind of activism a beset muny needs to stay alive.

And this is a key point given what we've seen occurring on the local level:

Munys are vulnerable targets. City coffers are still recovering from the Great Recession, making the upkeep of golf courses seem less viable, especially when rounds are down. But because the golf lovers who are defending the munys know that if one falls, it could start a domino effect, they are fighting back with every asset at their disposal.

Sunday
Mar192017

Video: What A Bank Shot Ball Looks Like And Why The Practice Needs To Stop

The best part about the PGA Tour Twitter account fiercely targeting the 4th grade demo?

Posting videos that actually expose an underlying tour cancer! Yay golf! 😍😎♨️💯

Of course I speak of the peculiar unwritten tour rule that says if you hit a short game shot near the hole and your ball might help a playing partner, you leave the ball down instead of marking. We've spoken to this on ShackHouse and State of the Game, but it's rare to get examples shared on social media.

I don't like picking on this one involving Zach Johnson at the API because the kneejerk reaction is to focus on the players in on case when this goes on daily. Here Ben An, whose ball provided the back board for Johnson, is providing a service that I struggling seeing Hale Irwin, Lanny Wadkins or Ray Floyd providing.

 

In this case, Johnson's ball in the bunker was plugged. He and An were stinking it up and apparently a little behind the group in front (imagine that!), so it's very possible this was all innocent.

What's more important: leave the names behind and focus on why the practice has to stop.

When players get to use their playing partners' ball as a backstop or bank board, fields are not protected. Integrity is thrown out the window. And most disconcerting of all, players who do not partake in such wink-wink behavior are said to be jerks by players and caddies.

Did I also mention is just feels dirty?

There is good news, however. The practice gets the week off at Austin's WGC Dell Match Play where you'll see players running to mark those balls near the hole!

Sunday
Mar192017

API: Marc Leishman Enters The Masters Discussion

Granted, The Masters pales in comparison to having a healthy family after Marc Leishman's wife nearly died two years ago. But given his previous play there in 2013 and newfound security thanks to a healthy family, Leishman will be Australia's strongest hope not named Day or Scott.

Jason Sobel at ESPN.com with the backstory on Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Leishman.

Two years ago this month, Leishman was at Augusta National, preparing for the upcoming Masters Tournament, when his wife, Audrey, started experiencing flu-like symptoms.

She went to an urgent care clinic. When her fever and vomiting progressed to shortness of breath and decreased blood pressure, she was rushed to a hospital. They hooked her up to a ventilator and other machines. The doctors struggled to pinpoint the problem.

Her conditioned worsened. She could barely stay awake, a side effect of the medications. Eventually, doctors determined she was suffering from toxic shock syndrome, a manifestation of multiple bacterial infections. She had fluid in her lungs. Her organs completely shut down.

Doctors induced Audrey into a coma. She was given a 5 percent chance to live.

Marc sat with her. He cared for their boys. He cried a lot; he stopped eating; he lost 10 pounds. He certainly didn't play any golf. He felt helpless.

Ryan Lavner for GolfChannel.com:

The traumatic experience gave Leishman a much-needed dose of perspective on a tour full of charmed existences.

“It makes golf less important,” he said. “It’s not life and death. We have been in that situation and it’s not fun.”

Leishman’s hard-earned victory was a fitting end to an emotional week that was always going to be about more than birdies and bogeys.

The winner's cardigan proved a great touch:

The final round highlights from PGA Tour Entertainment.

Sunday
Mar192017

Is Grillo The Heir Apparent To Sergio (In Club Throwing)?

The artist's reluctance suggests an apprehension that never plagued the Picasso of petulance and Rembrandt of rage, Tommy Bolt.

Let's face it, Rory McIlroy has unleashed some gems but his heart never seemed committed to club throws.

With Sergio Garcia now engaged and seemingly mellowed out from his best works, could Emiliano Grillo be positioning himself as our next great hope?

From Bay Hill courtesy of Skratch and en route to a quadruple bogey reports Golfweek's Kevin Casey.


The justification for the toss which, in this reviewers mind, showed originality and flair.

Saturday
Mar182017

"Why do Florida House Republicans keep driving money into the World Golf Hall of Fame?"

That's the question Jeremy Wallace asks for the Tampa Bay Times when looking into Florida House efforts to root out corporate welfare.

He writes:

Tucked on page 65 of a 187-page bill is a clause that continues to award $2 million in annual tax credits to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine for the next six years. Even in their analysis to members, House Republicans called the museum the single worst bet the state is making with tax credits.

Wallace calls the WGHOF a "curious outlier" even though the bill's author is Rep. Paul Renner, whose district includes the museum.

When asked why the tax credit was left alone, Renner replied: "I don't know."

In a subsequent interview with the Times/Herald, Renner said the House did not want to disrupt existing deals with museums.

Friday
Mar172017

Tiger's Agent Challenges Report Saying His Client Is "Unlikely" To Play Masters

This would all be humorous if it weren't for Tiger appearing unable to play the Masters, especially on the 20th anniversary of his historic win and when the sport would desperately love to see him return. Yet common sense suggests a Masters appearance is looking grim.

But not in Mark Steinberg's way of thinking.

Golf World's Brian Wacker quotes unnamed sources saying Tiger "seems unlikely" to play given that the 4-time Masters winner is only putting and hasn't been seen hitting golf balls by people in Jupiter.

Woods’ agent did not respond to an email seeking an update on his condition and schedule, but one source close to the situation near Woods' home in Jupiter, Fla., said, “I would be shocked if he plays anytime soon.”

Another source said that he saw Woods recently and he "didn't look good," adding that while he hopes he is back soon, Woods doesn't look close to being ready and that a return at the Masters would be too soon. The source added that all Woods has been able to do of late has been putt.

Golf World's Tim Rosaforte was the recipient of agent Steinberg's rebuttal to the Golf World report (!) but did it via Golf Channel's Nick Menta (!!).

"I have no idea who Mr. Wacker’s really close sources are. I can tell you this, nobody spoke to him (Wacker); so how he could know something that Tiger and I don’t know is comical," Steinberg said. "I talked to Tiger four hours ago on the phone. We’re not in a situation to even talk about playing in the Masters now.

Eh, em...Steiny...psst...it starts less than three weeks from now...

He’s gotten treatments and is progressing and hoping he can do it. There’s not been a decision one way or the other. I couldn’t give you a fair assessment, but to say it’s doubtful is an absolutely inaccurate statement."

It's doubtful.

Sorry! Wish the signs pointed in a more positive direction.

Friday
Mar172017

Rough Ratings Run For West Coast, Florida Swings

Other than Tiger's absence and not enough Phil on leaderboards, it's hard to pinpoint the network ratings decline for PGA Tour events of late.

Sports Media Watch's Paulsen notes that six straight PGA Tour Sundays--Waste Management to Valspar--have shown ratings declines, as have nine of the last 11 final rounds.

Certainly the cord cutting eating into all ratings is in play, yet Golf Channel's cable lead-in coverage isn't  seeing the level of decline that the network broadcast ratings are experiencing.

There were also commanding third round leads in nearly all of the last six, which never helps attract the general sports fans who might stumble on golf and stick with a close final round.

Either way, this is of note in a year the PGA Tour may opt out of its current network deal to re-shape the schedule and/or bring in additional broadcast partners. From Paulsen:

Final round coverage of the PGA Tour at Tampa Bay had a 1.5 final rating and 2.3 million viewers last Sunday, down 25% in ratings and 22% in viewership from last year (2.0, 2.9M), down 29% and 26% respectively from 2015 (2.1, 3.1M) and the least-watched final round of the tournament since 2011 (1.9M).

Not counting lead-in windows on Golf Channel, the past six final round PGA Tour telecasts have declined from last year. Sunday’s telecast was the third of those to hit a multi-year low.

At least Feherty is turning in some nice ratings. Part 2 of his chat with Phil drew a stout .27, 442k viewer average up 26% over last year's Jordan Spieth Part 2 show. This makes it the most watched Feherty ever.

Thursday
Mar162017

Group Taking U.S. Women's Open Protest To...LPGA Stop!?

I'm not sure if this is a failure of USGA branding or just lame ignorance, but it's disappointing to see UltraViolet planning to protest at this Saturday's LPGA Tour stop in Phoenix.

Golf.com's Marika Washchyshyn reports on protest plans including a banner-carrying plane urging the LPGA Tour to "dump sexist Trump."

Unfortunately, the U.S. Women's Open at Trump Bedminster is hosted and operated by the USGA.

UltraViolet members will also be stationed at the gates to the grounds handing out golf balls and golf ball-patterned beach balls with the message, "LPGA: Dump Trump."

"The LPGA should not be rewarding Trump's bigoted brand and normalize his platform and policies that degrade women and divide our country," Shaunna Thomas, a co-founder of UltraViolet, said in a press release. "The USGA and LPGA need to send a clear signal to young golfers, including women, people of color, and people with disabilities that it stands against Trump's brand of hate, and for an inclusive strong future by moving the upcoming U.S. Women's Open from Trump National Golf Course."

This is a shame on many levels, with the most obvious being that protestors are targeting an event and players that did not select the venue. Nor does their showing up at the most significant championship in women's golf signal anything other than a desire to win a national championship.

Thursday
Mar162017

Tiger To Resurface Monday For NYC Book Signing

Practically in hiding since his Dubai WD and Genesis Open no-show, Tiger Woods will be signing his new 1997 Masters book Monday.

Kevin Casey at Golfweek.com with the details:

The signing session will take place Monday at Barnes & Noble’s Union Square location in New York City at 12:30 p.m. ET. In order to get into the signing session, patrons will need to acquire a wristband, a limited quantity of which will be distributed for purchasers of the book at this Barnes & Nobles starting at 9 a.m. ET that day.