Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Sports Media Group
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford

The fate of golf would seem to lie in the hands of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and the United States Golf Association. Can we expect that they will protect and reverence the spirit of golf?



"The buzz is in their court right now."

Jaime Diaz on the "guru war" that has broken out within the stable of short game specialists, led by Dave Stockton and sons:

None of the great putters of the last 50 years -- Bob Charles, Billy Casper, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, et al. -- had a regular coach to help them on the greens. The same goes for today's acknowledged best: Woods, Steve Stricker, Brad Faxon and Brian Gay. For that matter, Stockton and Utley had no putting coach besides their boyhood teachers. The resistance is evident in the fact that the most recent partnerships were not initiated by the player. Stockton was suggested to Mickelson by his caddie, Jim Mackay, as Utley was to Garcia by Billy Foster. Stockton, at the behest of Mickelson, offered his services to Scott.

But when Stockton seemed to be the pivotal figure in Mickelson's immediate improvement, and when Scott and Justin Rose won soon after receiving a lesson from Dave Jr., it became a powerful narrative. "I highly respect what the Stocktons are doing," Utley says. "The buzz is in their court right now."


Long Before Dick Cheney Had A Secret Undisclosed Location...

...The Greenbrier was home to a top secret bunker, not of the golfing kind. Helen Ross writes about it in entertaining detail for, including the story of the writers who revealed its existence:

That was during the height of the Cold War, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the leaders of Congress wanted a safe place where the U.S. government could continue to function in the event of a national emergency. Eisenhower's affection for the resort, where he recuperated during World War II and was a frequent visitor, coupled with its secluded location in the Allegheny Mountains and relative proximity to Washington, D.C., made The Greenbrier a perfect fit.

So the top-secret, two-story facility was built 720 feet in the hillside under the West Virginia Wing of The Greenbrier. When it was finished, there was room for 1,100 people -- all the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as key staff -- with a self-sustaining infrastructure and enough provisions for up to 60 days.

The bunker was maintained, fully functional, for the next 30 years until a May, 1992 story in the Washington Post revealed its existence. Since the facility had been compromised, it was no longer useful to the government and the lease with The Greenbrier ended three years later.


“I went through a lot that day."

Sean Martin with the update on Sarah Brown rejecting the Duramed compensation offer for her nightmarishly handled DQ. Why do I see Gloria Allred in someone's future? Not that I blame her.

The Browns are asking for:

• $5,638, the amount Sarah Brown would’ve earned had she finished The International at Concord at 8-under 208. She was 3 under par for the event when she was removed from the golf course with nine holes remaining.

• A waiver of the entry fee to 2010 LPGA Q-School, a $5,000 value. Brown advanced to the finals last year, finishing 84th.

• An annual seminar for Duramed Futures Tour rules official outlining how to handle difficult situations. “I’d like it to be called the Sarah Brown Seminar,” Keith Brown said.

“I went through a lot that day,” said Sarah Brown, who began the day at 5 under par, three shots off the lead, but was 2 over at the turn. “It was upsetting and humiliating for me to be in that situation.”


"That makes this week's event an easy one to skip, which should not reflect on a sponsor or organizers whose hands are tied by their place on the schedule."

In the likelihood that you tune into tomorrow's inaugural Greenbrier Classic and wonder why a Nationwide Tour stop broke out, Bob Harig explains that the event is another victim of the FedEx Cup. So don't expect a decent field for the next few years.

This time of year, any other result would be a huge shock, unfortunately. That remains the fallout from the FedEx Cup schedule that is now in its fourth year and leaves many tournaments without a fighting chance when it comes to securing a field.

Undoubtedly, the tour put some pressure on the big names to show up this week -- you can bet that is why Furyk is taking one for the team -- but it is difficult to criticize the players on this one. The way the schedule falls, there's a ton of golf to be played in the next two months.



Dan Mirocha has the details on Bobby Wyatt's incredible stupefying 57 in the Alabama Junior.

Wyatt made 12 birdies and an eagle at the par-71, 6,638-yard Country Club of Mobile, a course where his family has held membership since Wyatt started playing golf at age 4.

His front-nine 26 included seven birdies and an eagle. He birdied Nos. 10 and 11 to get to 11 under through 11 holes, and closed with birdies on Nos. 13, 16 and 17 before making par on the 410-yard, par-4 18th.

And this is amazing:

“When I was standing on No. 8 tee, it hit me that I was 7 under through seven,” Wyatt said. “I told myself, ‘Just play 5 under from here.’ I tried not to think about my score. But then I birdied No. 8 and 9 and that gave me 26 on the front.”

That’s when a small group started to follow Wyatt’s group, including some of his father’s friends who congratulated him as he made his way to the 10th tee box. Wyatt said he had to consciously regroup mentally and stop focusing on his incredible score.

Haven't those friends of dad ever watched a no-hitter? You don't say anything you morons!

Now here's something you don't normally expect to hear:

“I’ve really been working hard with my psychologist about staying patient,” Wyatt said. “It came together for me today.”

Get us that shrink's name, now!


"I hope they make a beaucoup of hole in ones"

First, there was the news of experimenting with a common-sense cell phone policy and now this great Greenbrier Classic idea, which surely couldn't have originated in Ponte Vedra. I just wonder how it got past all of the VP's and legal minds. It makes way too much sense!

Any ace at the par-3 18th hole is worth $1 million -- with $250,000 going to the lucky pro and $750,000 to the tournament's charities. But there's more. Every fan sitting in the stands around the unique finishing hole receives $100.

Should there be a second or third ace on the 162-yard par 3 that day, each would result in the same $1 million payout and distribution. But the fans will receive $500 and $1,000, respectively, for the second and third hole-in-one.

The promotion starts over each day so there is a potential maximum payout of $12 million for the actual aces and about half that much for the fans.

"I hope that will generate some real live excitement," said Jim Justice, who owns the Greenbrier. "There will be a lot of cheering going on for the pros and everything, and I hope they make a beaucoup of hole in ones, and I hope we have a lot of fun with it."


"It was like giving someone the death penalty on hearsay.”

Jim Achenbach digs up more on the dreadful Duramed DQ of Sarah Brown and it paints an ugly picture considering that there was an on-site testing device (not used) and some silly on-course behavior from the rules official, who is identified in the story as Jim Linyard. I'd like to give Linyard the benefit of the doubt since this isn't exactly the big leagues of officiating work and there were inevitably issues with determining conforming clubs on a tour that only this month adopted the groove condition of competition, but it's hard to look past the events reported by Achenbach.

“I asked him (Linyard) what he would do if he was wrong,” said Keith Brown, who was caddying for his daughter. “What if he disqualified Sarah and later found out he was wrong? How would he rectify that? He refused to answer. He said: ‘The club is illegal. Sarah is disqualified.’ That was it. It was like giving someone the death penalty on hearsay.”

As for compensating Brown for a lost paycheck...

At this point, there has been no discussion about a financial payment to Brown.

“She had averaged 4 under on the back nine,” her father said. “I pleaded with them to let her finish the round. She had a real shot at a top 5 or even a top 3. Instead, they held up play for probably 20 minutes. They were sitting in a golf cart with a laptop. A crowd was gathering. Sarah was sobbing the whole time. It was a circus.”

“The rules official came up when Sarah was on the ninth green,” said her father. “He started pulling clubs from her bag. She had a 10-foot birdie putt on 9, and she could see him pulling the clubs because he was directly on her line. She burned the edge of the cup on 8, and she did it again on 9. She was ready to play the back.”

Keith Brown, a former mortgage banker who has not had a job for the last year and a half, said his daughter was “devastated and sobbing uncontrollably on the course, but she impressed the heck out of me. By the time we got to the clubhouse, she was dignified and she was courteous. We knew they were wrong, but she kept herself under control.”


“Thank you for saving the Greenbrier.”

You know the CBS announce team will be in relentless suck-up mode this weekend for the inaugural Greenbrier Classic, so before they have you hating the resort's savior, Jim Justice, check out Hunki Yun's Links Magazine profile. It's a good read.

This caught my eye...I wonder if there is sports betting on site?

Next up is the completion of the casino, which Justice describes as “Monte Carlo meets Gone with the Wind.” The facility will be 100,000 square feet in size and $80 million in cost, four times what Justice paid for the resort itself. This amenity is sure to be polarizing, with traditionalists decrying its incongruity and more-contemporary guests cheering the addition of an evening activity at a resort that still has signs in the hallways asking for quiet: “It’s sleepy time down South.”

Those fearing that the Greenbrier will turn into a mountain version of Harrah’s, with tour buses depositing gamblers at the front door, will be heartened by the regulations. For one, the casino will be underground, discreetly out of view. Second, there will be restrictions for access, by West Virginia law: Only resort guests, homeowners and members, as well as those attending events at the resort but staying off-property (but only if more than 400 of the 721 rooms are sold).

“I don’t want the casino to be the driver of the hotel,” says Justice.

Yun also notes this about the C.B. Macdonald course restored by Lester George:

It will be fascinating to see how players react to holes like the 205-yard 3rd, a Biarritz with a deep valley bisecting the green, and the Alps, the 474-yard 13th, which asks for a blind second shot. The most dramatic hole could be the finishing one: Short. The 162-yarder has a green dominated by a large horseshoe-shaped ridge that could either repel or contain shots. Depending on the hole location, there is a chance that the tournament could end with a hole-in-one.


Now That's A T-Shirt!

Captured by reader Jay in a U.S. airport (click on it to enlarge):


"I'm confident we'll be fine with this."

Ron Green Jr. doesn't sound too wild about the decision to make next month's Wyndham Championship the guinea pig for possibly allowing fans to bring cell phones to all tour events, but as horrible as the attendance has been I don't see how the tour can afford not to try it.

The best golf tournament/cell phone policy has been something close to what they have at the Masters: Don't even think about it.

But officials at the Wyndham Championship, with the blessing of the tour, are going to see if they can play a tournament with any number of smart phones vibrating in the pockets of the spectators. Good luck.

In theory, it should work.

"People are going to sneak them in anyway," defending Wyndham champion Ryan Moore said Tuesday. "It's adults. If you let people bring them out there, they'll probably respect the fact you did and they'll probably use those (designated) areas."


"I'm sure she has many Women's British Opens in front of her."

What am I missing about all of the columns and complaints regarding Alexis Thompson not getting a chance to qualify for the Women's Open Championship? She had a way in, as an amateur, and at 15 she decided to turn profressional. Now her agents--key distinction there--are making it sound as if she was unjustly blocked.

James Corrigan reports on the Ladies Golf Union admirably admitting it was no longer in the exemption business post-Wie.

Shona Malcolm, the chief executive of the Ladies Golf Union, insisted there was nothing the governing body could do to accommodate Thompson and revealed it was the preferential treatment of Wie which led to them adopting strict criteria. When Wie was 15 she received a "special exemption" into the Women's British Open, ironically held at Birkdale, where she was to finish third. "We have tightened up our regulations since then because of other players' criticisms over that exemption," said Malcolm.

Many will support with the LGU's hard-line, but Thompson's situation is different from her starlet predecessor. As a member of the US Curtis Cup team, Thompson received an exemption into final qualifying, but, under their rules, the LGU rescinded it when she turned pro six weeks ago. That meant her only possible route was through the first stages of qualifying.

"The problem was they clashed with the US Women's Open so there was no chance of Lexi making it," said the management spokesman. "After she finished 10th at the US Open we made repeated requests to the LGU to allow her into final qualifying. They refused. Lexi is obviously disappointed. There was basically no path into Birkdale. All she wanted was the chance to try to qualify."

She had that chance had she remained an amateur. You cash in and there are consequences that come with that. What am I missing here?


"It was the arrogance to say, ‘I’m pulling her off the course.’"

Sean Martin fleshes out the story of Sarah Brown's terribly unfair DQ in a Duramed Futures Tour event. While the confusion of determining conforming vs. non-conforming wedges could be chalked up to a USGA rule implementation issue, you really have to wonder about the official who pulled her off the course. I'm guessing a retired school principal type missing the days of major power displays.

An anonymous person informed a rules official earlier in the round that Brown may be using wedges with nonconforming grooves. The official, whose identity could not be obtained by Golfweek, consulted the U.S. Golf Association’s Web site before determining the wedges were nonconforming. Instead of allowing Brown to complete her round as the matter was further investigated, the official removed her from the golf course.

Brown was using a Ping Tour-W wedge with 54 degrees of loft. Some models of the wedge do not conform with the new grooves rules, but Brown’s wedge conforms because the letters ‘XG’ were stamped on the hosel (‘X’ is the Roman numeral for 10, i.e. 2010, while ‘G’ stands for ‘grooves’).

“There’s nothing that can be done to rectify the situation,” said Sarah Brown’s father, Keith. “It’s not that (the rules official) made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. It was the arrogance to say, ‘I’m pulling her off the course.’ I said, ‘Let her finish the round and check with the USGA.’”