Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos

You must expect anything in golf. A stranger comes through, he's keen for a game, he seems affable enough, and on the eighth fairway he turns out to be an idiot.
ALISTAIR COOKE


    

Tuesday
May312016

Jack: Big Three, Woody Hayes The Golf Writer, Spieth Masters

Steve DiMeglio with a nice roundup of Jack Nicklaus' Tuesday State of the Memorial press conference, which included a dreaded Big Three discussion, some Woody Hayes-as-golf-correspondent talk and Spieth's Masters.

From DiMeglio's story:

Nicklaus doesn’t mind the talk of today’s Big Three because of the 19th-hole noise it creates. It sells papers, if you will, and an interesting narrative.

“But don't be too surprised if somebody else doesn't jump in there, too,” Nicklaus said. “That's my point. I think we have more good players today than we've ever had in the game of golf. And I think that's saying a lot because we had a lot of good players when I played. I think you had a bit of a lag in there for a while, that Tiger was just so much better than everybody else.

“ … Now you've got a lot of guys that are really all pretty good and all sit in the same pack.”

Tuesday
May312016

ShackHouse Episode: Jaime Diaz & Memorial Preview

Golf World editor Jaime Diaz joins us this week to discuss his recent GolfDigest.com column on Tiger Woods, an upcoming Golf Digest feature on Jason Day and a recent interview with Dustin Johnson. Plus, with Johnny Miller the honoree this week at the Memorial, we ask him about their unusually close bond post-playing career.

House and I also kick around the resurgent state of Spieth as the U.S. Open looms, an early look at the odds,

As always, you can subscribe on iTunes and find Episode 8 here or just refresh your subscription page.

Same deal with Soundcloud for the show, and Episode 8 is here.

And the ShackHouse Stitcher page.

House discussed his recent fitting and I mentioned how effective Trackman can be in the right hands. Here is the search engine for Trackman certified teachers.

Special thank you to our sponsor Callaway, currently offering a 50% off iron trade-in deal. It's been extended to June 30th.

Here is how it works. And make sure to mention ShackHouse to your local retailer to get a totally perplexed look.

Also, last week's Callaway Live featuring House and yours truly is now available on the Callaway TV anywhere app on AppleTV and Roku.

Tuesday's episode features former PGA of America president Ted Bishop, live at 9 pm ET!

Also, special thank you to episode 8 sponsor Ministry of Supply, sporting the latest in hi-tech, MIT-engineered clothes. Use the ShackHouse link to get 15% off your first purchase or visit one of their stores in Boston, San Francisco and Washington DC (soon), mention you heard about them from the ShackHouse podcast and the offer stands!

Thanks to all for subscribing, listening and offering your feedback. ShackHouse remains the #1 golf podcast on iTunes and golf's only top 50 sports podcast.

Tuesday
May312016

Video: Oakmont 1st And 2nd Holes

We're off and running to Oakmont Country Club for the U.S. Open and the USGA is again posting flyovers on YouTube. So two holes at a time, here is one of America's great courses, this time as seen from a drone giving us some nice tee perspective to start off, followed by a hole flyover.

I'm not sure there is a tougher starter and certainly no green as difficult to start on as this one:


One of the few birdie opportunities at Oakmont, assuming you hit the fairway and keep it below the hole, the par-4 2nd:

Monday
May302016

Video: Prehistoric Gator Takes A Golf Course Stroll

My favorite line overheard from our gator chasers, "Get next to it for perspective." Right!

From Sarasota's ABC affiliate:


Monday
May302016

Then There Were 8: NCAA Men Sets Up For Ideal Team Finish

Mighty Texas recovered after a so-so start to medal in the stroke play qualifying, the defending champion (LSU) and 2015 runner-up (USC) made match play, oh, and the host team Oregon made it too. So Eugene Country Club has set the NCAA Men's Championship for potentially solid finish, now it's up to the players.

Jason Crook at GolfChannel.com on the final eight teams making it to Tuesday and Wednesday's match play.

Oklahoma, which only made it to Monday via a new tiebreaker, shot 3-under 277 to get into the match play portion of the tournament after entering the day nine shots out of eighth place. They will face conference rival Texas, which hung on to the No. 1 seed despite a round of 7-over 277. The Longhorns have not advanced beyond quarterfinals since winning the NCAA title in 2012

Only 10 strokes ultimately separated the top eight teams, with Illinois, LSU, Southern California, Vanderbilt, Oregon and South Carolina filling out the rest of the bracket.

LSU is back to defend its national championship which it won last year, while the Ducks, on their home course and riding the hot play of individual champion Aaron Wise, are headed to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2012, when they lost to eventual champion Texas in the semifinals.

Reminder that Golf Channel starts with a noon ET pregame, followed by the morning matches at 1:30 pm, followed later in the day by a 4 pm start to the afternoon play.

Highlights from the individual chase and team qualifying day Monday from Eugene:

Monday
May302016

R.I.P. Will Nicholson

Gary Baines reports for the Colorado Golf Association on the passing of the former Masters Competition Committee chair, USGA president from 1980-81 and CGA board member for 43 years.

Baines writes:

The son of a former mayor of Denver, Nicholson served as president of the USGA in 1980-81, the culmination of an 11-year run on the association's powerful Executive Committee. The only other Coloradans to have held that post are Frank Woodward of Denver (1915-16) and Judy Bell of Colorado Springs (1996-97).

As chairman of the Competition Committee from 1992 through 2006 -- and a prominent authority on the Rules of Golf -- Nicholson was responsible for setting up the course for the Masters during those years. A member at Augusta National Golf Club for about 35 years, he also was chairman of the Masters Rules Committee from 1989 through 2006.

Nicholson was on the ground floor for establishing and adjusting the Rules of Golf in recent decades, having served on the USGA Rules of Golf Committee since 1974.

Nicholson, a prominent banker and onetime chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was a fixture on the CGA Board of Governors an amazing 43 years since first accepting that role in 1973. And since the creation of the Colorado Golf Foundation in 2012, Nicholson has been the chairman of that philanthropic organization that was started with a lead gift from George and Carol Solich.

"I'm pleased we were able to recognize (Nicholson) as our Man of the Century last fall. That pretty much says it all," said CGA executive director Ed Mate, who long has worked with Nicholson on golf-related matters. "There's no individual who's done more for the game and for the CGA in the last 100 years than Will Nicholson. He's on the Mount Rushmore of golf in Colorado for sure."

Monday
May302016

Video: 21 And Already Generating Incredible Clubhead Speed

He is to be known as McGann Boy for now, and look at the power for all of 21 months right here.

 

Sunday
May292016

Colonial Win: Spieth's Spectacular Finish 

Two weeks of sleeping in his own bed, hearing the positive vibes from the home crowd and refining his game paid off in spectacular fashion for Jordan Spieth. Oh, and just like his UA counterpart Steph Curry last night, the long range three is back from a mini-vacation. Just in time for the most difficult U.S. Open greens.

Nick Menta with where the win stacks up and other notes for the field.

From John Strege's roundup of Spieth's Dean And Deluca win at Colonial.

“This day is a moment that will go down, no matter what happens in the next 30 years, as one of the most important days I’ve ever had,” he said.

The highlights from PGA Tour Entertainment speak to the patient front nine and back nine outburst that should do wonders for spirts that have been a bit off of late.



The chip in reaction is stellar:


Spieth's post round interview is notable again because he's so at ease for the first time in a while and mentions the tough times of late. From GolfChannel.com:

 

Sunday
May292016

Video: James Morrison's Ace Earns Him An i8

Both James Morrison and Rikard Karlberg scored aces during final round BMW PGA Championship play at Wentworth, but only Morrison's earned him easily the coolest prize in golf for a hole-in-one. Keith Jackson at Sky with the story. And from European Tour social media:

Watch, and enjoy... #BMWPGA

A video posted by European Tour (@europeantour) on May 29, 2016 at 5:28am PDT



๐Ÿ”‘๐Ÿ˜€ #BMWPGA

A photo posted by European Tour (@europeantour) on May 29, 2016 at 6:40am PDT

As Alistair Tait reports, Chris Wood held on for the win. As far as classic European Tour finishes, this wasn't one of them.

 

Saturday
May282016

"Why the PGA Tour Should Host A Four-Ball Tournament"

This week's second annual US Amateur Four-Ball at Winged Foot provided an opening for Joel Beall to suggest all of the reasons the PGA Tour needs such an event on its schedule.

Except one. But first, Beall writes:

For better or worse, golf has the least amount of theater away from its playing field. A lot of this can be chalked up to the "gentleman's game" mantra; conversely, your head's in the sand if you think golf's immune to the type of bathos seen in other sports. Because many of these players operate in cocoons due to game's individualistic nature, perhaps the team dynamic can ruffle a few feathers.

Which is exactly why, besides the pleasures of watching epic high five fails and allowing today's Hogan's to practice this all-important gesture, we need more four-ball with...you know where I'm going! The Stymie!

Granted, today's non-confrontational players would balk and possibly take forever (though not touching their ball once they start putting might offset some of the slowness). And modern green speeds would make it hard to stymie someone, but imagine the intrigue and creativity we would have seen in even something like the US Amateur Four-Ball?

I'll repeat for the 400th time: if the stymie was desperately missed by Bobby Jones, and it was worth a chapter in his later-in-life biography, that should be all anyone needs to bring it back at least once a year.

Friday
May272016

Brandel: Spieth Standing Over Ball A Lot Longer Than Last Year

Interesting observation by Brandel Chamblee in discussing his fellow UT alum Jordan Spieth.

John Strege with the comments from round one at Colonial where Chamblee debated with Craig Perks and Peter Kostis about what is keeping Spieth from repeating his 2015 success.

Chamblee: “Lot of conversation about his golf swing last week. In general he stands over the ball a lot longer this year than last year. When you’re doing that you’re usually thinking golf swing, not golf shot. The longer you stand over the ball the more apt you’re going to take the club away quick. The more apt you are going to have a quick change of direction, which means you’re going to get in front of it, and you’re going to miss your lines. And that is it. That’s all that’s going on with this kid right now, is that he’s got just a little too much in his head.”

Thursday
May262016

U Of W Women Bring NCAA Title To Seattle & Nice Ratings Too

As the men's Division I championship prepares to get underway at Eugene Country Club, the triumphant University of Washington women and their 33-year coach returned to campus with the school's first NCAA championship of any kind since 2009.

Beth Ann Nichols has the lowdown for Golfweek and UW's Mason Kelley with the photos of Mary Ann Mulflur and team:

Mulflur, now in her 33rd season as head coach, had 296 text messages on her phone when she finished up media obligations. She turned off her phone for a while, however, to enjoy the moment.

One of the more encouraging signs for all involved has to be the chatter about how refreshing/exciting/emotional the matches were. The combination of player passion, push carts, humble reactions and a great story drew a very nice rating for mid-week in spring with so much to watch.

From SportsTVRatings, the final 3:39 telecast averaged 249,000 viewers, including 59,000 from the only demo that matters.That blows away any final round rating for a fall PGA Tour event!

BTW, the US Amateur Four-Ball airing earlier in the day on Fox averaged 59,00/26,000 over an excruciatingly slow 2:45 on Fox Sports 1. It took a strong soul or a huge Tillinghast fan to watch the tepid match in front of a hundred or so people. Golf World's Ryan Herrington profiled winners Andrew Buchanan and Ben Baxter, both of SMU.

Thursday
May262016

Spelling Bee Co-Champ Is Inspired By Jordan Spieth

Jairam Hathwar of Corning, New York is a 13-year-old 7th grader who lists Jordan Spieth as his inspiration because, as ESPN's lead announcer noted during the thrilling national spelling bee finale, "he doesn't let a bad hole get to his head."

Jairam's also one amazing speller who dueled in thrilling fashion with 11-year-old Nihar Janga for the Scripps National Spelling Bee title. They rightfully ended up in a tie after going to the 25th round, the golfing equivalent of a 8 holes of sudden death.

The equally amazing Nihar listed Dez Bryant as his inspiration and even got a little attention from Bryant on Twitter.

Nihar Janga threw up the X after tying for the Spelling Bee Championship and Dez Bryant loved it.

A photo posted by SportsCenter (@sportscenter) on

Maybe someone in We Spieth can alert their man to acknowledge the lad's performance?

Thursday
May262016

Stewart Cink: โ€œWeโ€™ve had some conversation people our age shouldnโ€™t be having"

Adam Schupak talks to Stewart Cink, returning to the tour after a brief hiatus while wife Lisa battles breast cancer, and his optimism is encouraging.

Schupak writes:

“I’ve played quite a bit,” Cink said. “I thought golf would give me a chance to get away from reality for a little while, but that’s not the case at all. When I go to the golf course, she’s all I think about.”

Circumstances haven’t necessarily improved, but the third week of Lisa’s treatment is the most predictable, and so Cink, in an attempt to keep “pieces of normal,” is returning to the Tour at the Dean and DeLuca Invitational, which begins today at Colonial Country Club. It is his first tournament since the RBC Heritage in mid-April. He missed the past five Tour events.

“Earlier this month, I didn’t feel like I’d ever want to play again,” Cink said. “Now we have a handle on what it is, and we know what we’re dealing with and what to expect.”

Thursday
May262016

MusclePharm And Tiger Cut Ties After Less Than Two Years

SeekingAlpha.com features an unbylined wire item that Tiger Woods and MusclePharm have ended his endorsement deal, with the company paying $2.5 million to terminate a contract that still owed $7 million. The company is facing numerous lawsuits and plummeting stock price. Woods is showing no signs of an imminent return to competition.

Karen Crouse wrote for the New York Times about the goals of the partnership in July 2014, when the endorsement deal was announced and agent Mark Steinberg was available for comment.

“Our goal is to take the stigma out of supplements,” said Woods’s agent, Mark Steinberg. “Tiger Woods, maybe the most fit golfer that we’ve had, let’s show that it’s O.K. to align yourself with supplements. Just be safe when you do it. That’s the message we collectively want to spread.”

Dietary supplements are a billion-dollar industry, and Brad Pyatt, the chairman and chief executive of MusclePharm, argues that Woods can help the company become the industry’s gold standard.

“Tiger Woods is kind of the stamp of approval we were looking for,” Pyatt said in a telephone interview. “He’s the biggest figure in athletics we can get other than LeBron James.”

Amazing how things have changed in two years.

Woods still lists the company as a sponsor.

Thursday
May262016

Euro Chief Promising Complete Tour Overhaul By 2018

A "players first" philosophy was about the best Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo could get out of a cryptic European Tour Chief Keith Pelley, who stopped by the Golf Channel booth during BMW Championship round one play.

One of his key comments: more playing opportunities, which seems unimaginable considering that the Tour plays nearly every week already.

Pelley is also asked by Nobilo about the tour's slow play crackdown and regarding Wentworth, the desire of players to play on "proper" courses. He's pinning his hopes on a BMW resurgence after Ernie Els restores H.S. Colt's design following Ernie Els' redesign of Harry Colt's design.

"The schedule will be different; it will be more friendly from a travel perspective for the players. There will be a number of events where the prize funds will be significantly increased, and there will be more playing opportunities for all of our members," Pelley said. "A different schedule for sure and a different players-first philosophy."

The video:

Wednesday
May252016

Monty Questions Olympic, BMW Defectors

Alex Miceli reports on the comments by Colin Montgomerie as he prepares to defend his Senior PGA in Michigan.

On the Olympics:

“I think that, to take the opportunity is golden in every way,” Montgomerie said Wednesday, on the eve of his title defense at the Senior PGA Championship at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores in southwest Michigan. “What we did to try and get the Olympic, golf in the Olympics, I can’t understand why some people have said that it’s not for them. I really can’t.”

And this will please European Tour chief Pelley:

“I’m surprised that a number of top Europeans aren’t playing,” Montgomerie said. “Not many, if any, don’t compete at the TPC at Sawgrass (site of the recent Players Championship). And I really, for the life of me, I don’t understand why top Europeans – probable possible Ryder Cup players, whatever, this year especially – aren’t competing at Wentworth. I don’t understand that.”

Wednesday
May252016

NCAA's: Washington Women Win In Spectacular Fashion

Jay Coffin at GolfChannel.com recaps Washington's ultra-close win over Stanford which was highlighted by Ying Luo holing out from the fairway to put away Stanford's Casey Danielson. While it didn't clinch the title, it was as close as a walk-off as you can get with other matches still on the course.

Coffin writes:

Just when it looked like the match was destined for extra holes, Luo, a senior playing in her last-ever round for Washington, holed out for birdie from 45 yards to win the match.

That’s what prompted Aubert, in shock for several seconds, to finally deliver the line, “you have to clap.”

“When I was standing behind the shot, I was imagining it going in,” Luo said. “That was unbelievable.”

Note in Coffin's story and in the video how classy the Cardinal handle defeat.

As great as the play was, congratulations to Washington and multiple athletic directors for sticking with a coach for so long.

Washington coach Mary Lou Mulflur just completed her 33rd year at the helm of the Huskies. She’s had good teams over the years. She’s had great teams over the years. She’s never won an NCAA title.

“You just keep playing until somebody tells you to stop,” Mulflur said. “We knew today was going to be just like it was.

“This is a surreal moment for me.”

Kevin Casey with the Golfweek.com game story, including the uncertainty over the actual clinching moment.

When Kim’s 15-foot par putt on the second extra hole missed right – “the speed was a little off and I think I could have aimed more inside the hole,” Kim said – giving the Huskies the national title, they weren’t even sure.

Freshman Wenyung Keh audibly asked, “Did we just win?” Senior Charlotte Thomas thought Alavarez still had a 3-4 footer to hole. And Mulflur froze, on account of the earlier mistake.

“I stopped and paused in my mind for a moment,” Mulflur said, “I wanted to make sure, sure it was over.”

Tracy Wilcox's Golfweek photo gallery of the final match is worth checking out, including the epic shot of coach Mulfur.

I heard from several who watched thanks to a blowout NBA game and there was enthusiasm for the format.

Lance Ringler for Golfweek on year two of the match play finale.

For 17 years, I have witnessed the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship and the last two trump the previous 15 – and it’s really not even close. In those championships, from 2000 to ’14, I can’t say there is much that stands out.

The last two championship weeks equal more memories than I have fingers.

What college golf and the folks in their homes are witnessing is Ryder Cup-like.

G.C. Digital with his favorite stats from the match, covering both sides.

The social media attention suggested folks were paying attention outside of golf:

Wednesday
May252016

Titleist: Acushnet Prepares To Register For IPO

Reuters' Lauren Hirsch with the not-totally-surprising news that Acushnet, makers of Titleist and Foot-Joys, is preparing to register for an initial public offering as early as June, with a potential valuation at more than $2 billion.

Hirsch writes:

The IPO would come five years after consumer products conglomerate Fortune Brands sold Acushnet, under pressure from activist investor William Ackman, to South Korean sports apparel company Fila Korea Ltd (081660.KS) and Mirae Asset Private Equity for $1.23 billion.

Acushnet is now working with investment banks that include Morgan Stanley (MS.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), UBS Group AG (UBSG.S) and Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T) on the IPO, the sources said on Wednesday.

There was also this buried lede...

Golf balls are cheaper and more easily lost than golf equipment, making them more frequently replaced. The more rounds of golf people play, the more balls they will buy.

Combined with the Taylor Made sale, this has the potential to drastically reshape the industry as well as those who rely on the marketing dollars of the two companies. Stay tuned...

Wednesday
May252016

Topgolf Acquires Protracer; No Word Whether Good For Viewers

Martin Kaufmann at Golfweek.com gives us a quick sense of how Topgolf plans to integrate Protracer into their experience.

Left unanswered is the question of whether this will impact the ability to get more of the technology into golf broadcasts, or will they protect it for Topgolf?

“We think the tracing technology is fun for interaction and it’s good for teaching,” Anderson told Golfweek.

The Protracer announcement comes two weeks after Topgolf announced a strategic alliance with the PGA Tour and LPGA to try to create more players and fans. Among other things, that will include events at Topgolf locations near tournament sites and support for the tours’ participation initiatives.

Anderson said the acquisition will not impact the networks’ use of Protracer in televised coverage.

On the list of viewer requests to improve telecasts, Protracer is always top three. Hopefully this improves and does not impede its expansion into televised golf.