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 โ€“ A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event โ€“ 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 object of golf architecture is to give an intelligent purpose to the striking of a golf ball. To be worthwhile, this purpose must excite and hold interest. If it fails in this, the character of the architecture is at fault.




Perspective: Morgan Hoffmann On His Muscular Dystrophy Diagnosis

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

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

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

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


Tiger Reviews In: This Was A Sequel Worth Watching!

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

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

Steve DiMeglio for USA Today:

There are no issues with his surgically repaired back.

No issues with his swing speed.

No issues with his power.

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

Doug Ferguson for the AP:

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

Ben Everill at

Tiger Woods is back – again.

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

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

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

Brian Wacker with a similar take at

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His projected move back up the World Rankings has begun:


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


The recoil is back!

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

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

Steve Sands caught up with spectator Nadal for the broadcast:

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



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

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

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

Bauer writes:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Intent Files: Matsuyama's Divot Fix Not Sitting Well

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

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

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

Matsuyama has gotten away with one here:


we would’ve stomped that chili ๐ŸŒถ as well @tgrliveevents #hidekimatsuyama โœŠ๐Ÿฝ #golfrules #golfisfun

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


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




Tiger Still A Ratings And Streaming Draw

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

Some numbers from Golf Channel PR:

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

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


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

For Immediate Release...


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

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

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


Crowdfunding Call: St Andrews Headstone For The Andersons

Kudos to author Roger McStravick for continuing his fine work on behalf of all things St. Andrews by crowdfunding an effort to erect a headstone for three-time Open Champion Jamie Anderson and father Auld Daw Anderson, former Old Course greenkeeper and later, ginger beer seller.

Auld Daw is also credited with helping shape the Old Course design during his stint.

Jamie died poor and while buried in the St. Andrews alongside his father, is deserving of proper recognition.

I've made a small contribution and hope you will too!

Here's the link.

A few of my recent photos from the cemetery, including Old and Young Tom Morris's restored headstone/monument and Allan Robertson's gravesite.


Roundup: Tiger's Back! Looks Sharp In Hero Opening 69

The reviews were understandably positive as Tiger opened with a 69 in his Hero World Challenge comeback from a fusion surgery some believed was career-ending.

A few shaky wedge shots that looked more rusty than yippy to me dropped the performance from an A to maybe an A-, but Woods otherwise looked like his persistent old self. The coverage noted the grinding and driving distance, regularly at 320 yards with the big stick.

Steve DiMeglio for USA Today:

On the fourth hole of his latest comeback, the Tiger Woods of old showed up when he chunked a short chip shot.

Moments later, the Tiger of old showed up again when he buried a 20-footer for par on the same hole and uncorked the first fist pump of his comeback.

While Woods called his ballyhooed return “up and down,” he produced far more roars than groans in Thursday’s first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course. In his first start in 10 months and just his fourth in two years, the former world No. 1 didn’t have any issues with his surgically repaired back and was a physical, powerful brute with driver in hand — regularly exceeding 320 yards off the tee.

Doug Ferguson for the AP:

Unlike a year ago, when Woods ended a 15-month hiatus from his ailing back, he didn’t show any fatigue at the end of his round or make any big numbers. His only regret was playing the par 5s at Albany Golf Club in 1-over par with two bogeys that stalled his momentum.

Coming off a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eighth, Woods hit a 3-wood that rolled up on the green and then down a slope about 30 feet from the pin. It took him four shots from there, starting with a chip that didn’t reach the green and his first expletive loud enough for television to pick up.

After his best shot of the day — a pitching wedge he hit low from 95 yards that settled a foot behind the hole for birdie on No. 14 — he sent a drive well to the right into the native dunes. Woods had to take a penalty drop to get back in play and wound up making bogey.

But it was solid enough that Woods was far more interested in the leaderboard than the fact he felt strong physically.

Bob Harig for

The spinal fusion surgery meant Woods had to wait six months to take full swings, and did not get back to hitting balls in earnest until mid-October, just six weeks ago.

So hitting 7 out of 13 fairways, 12 out of 18 greens and needing 28 putts was a solid performance, even on a relatively benign Albany Golf Club course that saw 15 of the 18 players break par.

The urgency and grinding-like-few-others energy that Woods brought was evident on TV, and in person, as Jeff Babineau noted in his Golfweek lede:

Tiger Woods stood over an 8-footer to save par on his final hole in his long-awaited comeback round on Thursday at the Hero World Challenge, and he never did see the majestic double rainbow that seemed to stretch across the entire island behind him.

Typical Tiger. Some parts of his game may be rusty. His penchant for grinding is not among them.

And there was the overall gratitude of Woods to be playing again, an admission made with a candor and consideration that is boosting his karma score.

From Brian Wacker's Golf World piece:

The emotion Woods felt Thursday when he woke up for the opening round of the Hero World Challenge?

“I was very thankful this morning,” he said. “I was in my head thanking all the people who have helped me in giving me a chance to come back and play this round again.

“There were a lot of people that were instrumental in my life; friends, outside people I’ve never met before, obviously my surgeon.”

Tiger’s Masters odds fell, from 66-1 to 33-1.


Tiger's extended first round highlights by PGA Tour Entertainment:


Video: The Stymie Is Almost Back! Berger & Reed Ready!

I really haven't a clue what Daniel Berger was thinking not asking Patrick Reed to mark before this eagle putt, but it's great practice for when the stymie returns! Who says these guys can't handle it? #backstoppinggoneawry


@db_straitvibin from the other side of the island.

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on Nov 30, 2017 at 10:13am PST



There Goes Lawrenson's Erin Hills, USGA Welcome Mats...

In what he saw as an otherwise exciting year in golf, Derek Lawrenson hands out his best and worst from 2017.

The veteran Daily Mail correspondent gave "Worst Tournament" to the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Just when you think they can't possibly cock it up for a third year running, the United States Golf Association managed to debase yet another US Open. A shocking, soulless venue in the middle of nowhere and scoring so low the tournament's raison d'etre as the hardest major was lost completely. I recently had to fill in a survey from the USGA asking what I thought of them. It's fair to say they didn't score well.


He's Back: Tiger All Set To Return (Again) At 12:05 PM ET

I know we did this a year ago but much suggests this Hero World Challenge comeback is different.

And if it's not different, who cares? He's a legend trying to come back. Tiger Woods could easily have his feet up on Privacy, diving and not giving a hoot. Instead, he gives the impression of someone refreshed, rejuvenated and motivated for one more great run. (Cynics, James Corrigan has the dissent for The Telegraph.)

Golf Channel coverage begins at 12:30 ET Thursday. Woods tees off with Justin Thomas at 12:05, so expect live look-ins for his warm up and first two holes on Morning Drive and the Golf Central Pre-Game.

And yes, we'll be all in on those shows (I'll be chatting with Gary Williams at 9:30 am ET). The other 17 players in the Hero field have had nice, long seasons and I would hope are just fine letting the tournament host and 14-time major winner enjoy the spotlight.

Golfweek's Jeff Babineau
observed this of Tiger's final preparation, a pro-am round with Hero CEO Pawan Munjal:

...Woods appeared to be free-swinging, hit his driver fine and even made an eagle (driving the 350-yard seventh hole, which played downwind, making a putt of 20 feet). He added three birdies in his round, hit some terrific approaches into Nos. 2 and 17, a pair of par 3s, and even saved a nice par from the sand at his nemesis hole, the 470-yard 18th, where he made three of his six double bogeys in last year’s event.

Many of the younger players in the field, from Justin Thomas to Jordan Spieth to Hideki Matsuyama, have said they’ve looked forward to a day when they could compete against Woods at his best. He’s a long way from that, but most everyone is curious to see how Woods breaks from the gate this week.

“He seems more confident this year the way he’s walking and talking,” said Spieth, who spent time around Woods at the Presidents Cup this fall, where Woods was an assistant to Steve Stricker.

Bob Harig notes at that last year's edition of the Hero saw a 190% ratings hike for Golf Channel and incredible interest in Woods.

Without insulting any of today's young stars, Harig presents the many reasons we still have such a fascination with Woods. Including this story from former Tiger instructor Sean Foley:

Foley was at the Match Play Championship in Arizona, and he was in the hotel bar, where a woman recognized him and asked if he was Tiger's coach. A dentist who did not play golf, the woman said she recognized Foley.

"I'm a huge Tiger Woods fan," she said. "I never played golf in my life. My kids are gone now, and I take nine weeks of vacation a year. And I come to where Tiger is to watch him play golf. For me, it's like watching Ali."
Foley paused.

"That's it, isn't it?" he said. "This woman who never played golf and took all her vacation time and she'd go to tournaments where there were not as many people. I think that's it. I think that is exactly why we are interested. She didn't know golf, but she just saw his greatness. She saw this aura, this energy. I thought it was fascinating."

Woods has given us much to chew on, but the obvious difference in his swing should be less of a story now that he's admitted the change is due to his fusion surgery. The rhythm, at least in the videos we've seen, has been good and aggressive.

Still, it's different and will be hard for some to get past. This, from Brian Wacker's story on Tiger's effort to take advantage of his newfound joy.

“Last year I was still struggling with a little bit of pain,” Woods continued. “I was able to hit some good shots, able to play, but in looking back on it now, I look on it as playing in slow-mo but it was as hard as I could hit it. I didn't realize how bad my back had become and how much I was flinching and just how slow I was. I didn't realize it because it's been a slow degrading process. I thought I had some speed, thought I was playing halfway decent, shot some good scores, but now I've looked back on it and man, I didn't even have much at all.”

It's also fun to see he's motivated by leaving his children with memories of the amazing player he once was, as Steve DiMeglio writes for USA Today.

The extent of Tiger's pain and pill abuse to squelch the misery became apparent with his DUI arrest, but it's still refreshing to see the normally guarded player admit things he used to never admit.

As Karen Crouse wrote in a solid piece for the NY Times, Woods is opening up about how he managed very inconsistent pain.

To try to manage his discomfort, and the insomnia that was a byproduct of the shooting pain that traveled from his back down his leg and into his foot, Woods misused prescription drugs. Between shots during a practice round on Monday, Woods said: “I was just taking drugs on top of drugs, just trying to kill the nerve pain. It was like something hitting your body about 200 times a day. And the thing is that I didn’t know when it was coming.”

The swing looks pretty sweet at impact:


Glutes: Activated

A post shared by SkratchTV (@skratchtv) on Nov 29, 2017 at 2:15pm PST



Inspired By Langer And McCarron, Scott Goes Long Again

Jimmy Emanuel reports that former Masters champion Adam Scott will be wielding the long putter, minus the now-banned practice of anchoring, as he tees it up in the Australian PGA (Golf Channel coverage starts Wednesday at 8 pm ET).

Scott says he was inspired to try after seeing the incredible results of seniors Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron on the PGA Tour Champions. 

“… it was actually pointed out to me that this year they (Langer and McCarron) both recorded the best ever putting stats since stats have been kept. Both of them beat the old best. You know, I don't know if it's just a coincidence or if they had just a really good year, but maybe they've found the best way to putt,” Scott said.


Study: Golfers Make A Few More Putts Looking At The Hole

Jordan Spieth does it from time to time and many instructors have advocated looking at the hole to help struggling putters.

But according to a professor Sasho Mackenzie and student Neil MacInnis at St. Francis Xavier University, their studies show looking at the hole is productive.

Thanks reader DGS for this Elizabeth McMillan CBC story on the study, that you can find here.

They held sessions over four days with 28 experienced golfers who tested the hypothesis with breaking putts — shots where the green slopes and golfers don't aim directly for the hole.

Forty per cent of the putts where golfers looked at the target line went in the hole — three per cent more than when they kept their eyes on the ball.

To put that in perspective, MacInnis said golfers typically make 33 putting strokes a round.

"It doesn't sound like it's a big difference but if you think about it in golf terms … you're going to save one stroke a round and that's actually very meaningful for golfers," he said.


Dufner Gets A Brandel Block After (Almost) Using An Obscenity

There is nothing quite like a Pro Golfer Twitter spat and today's Brandel Chamblee v. Jason Dufner back-and-forth resulted in a conclusion just about everyone saw coming: Chamblee blocking the 2013 PGA Champion.

This outcome made Dufner's day:

Brandel explained his thinking in blocking a major winner: 

Alex Myers of explains what precipitated the manspat--a jab at Dufner instructor Chuck Cook at a seminar, followed by a side Twitter conversation where Chamblee was included against his will. Unable to get Dufner and friend to not include him, Chamblee reached for the block button.

After sharing his joy at the blockage, Dufner went on quite the re-Tweet storm, sharing the tales of other Brandel Blockees, including one who noted Brandel's liking of a profane Tweet. A few examples:


"Rory firm's $105m loss after rights write-down"

I haven't a clue what this means, but Gordon Deegan briefly explains why Rory McIlroy's in-house management firm took a massive $105.4 million (€88.3m) write down in 2017.

The paper loss stems from a non-cash writedown of $99m in the value of McIlroy's lifetime image rights.

The Northern Ireland golfer is unlikely to be too perturbed with the loss, with 'Forbes' magazine last year estimating that he earned $42.5m in 2016 - broken down between $35m from endorsements and $7.6m in winnings.

Deegan goes on to explain the finances of McIlroy's firm which presents far-fewer jaw dropping lines as the write-down.

Rory named his ownself as manager/agent to Rory in 2013.


Gulp: Next May's Tiger Bio Is 150,000 Words

Alan Shipnuck of has an exclusive first insight into Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian's 150,000 word bio of Tiger Woods, set for a May 2018 release. Besides the book's length--Downton Abbey doorstop-deep--Shipnuck also notes this:

In golf circles it has long been whispered that Tiger Woods would focus on the question of whether or not the eponymous protagonist used performance-enhancing drugs, which he has always denied. Woods has been dogged by these rumors since the 2009 reveal that he was treated by Anthony Galea, the disgraced Canadian doctor who was arrested for smuggling human growth hormone into the United States. (In 2011 Galea pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of bringing mislabeled drugs into the U.S.) Benedict and Keteyian acknowledge that there is a meaty chapter in the book examining the PED question but at this moment are not at liberty to divulge any specifics.


Former USGA President Jim Hyler Now Setting Masters Pins

And Jim Hyler gets the best seat in the house when Chairman Fred Ridley hosts the annual chairman's Masters press conference.

But more important to most of us, the former USGA president was named chairman of the Masters Tournament Competition Committees and Rules Committee according to an Augusta Chronicle story. This means he will head up the committee charged with course setup and, in this era of golf courses needing to adapt to an ever-changing game, Hyler's tenure with the USGA certainly educated him to the possibilities of course setup and the issues caused by distance gains. (David Shefter profiled him in 2010.)

From the Chronicle story:

Hyler, of Asheville, N.C., has served as a member of the tournament’s Rules Committee since 2015. He replaces Ridley, who held both roles from 2006-2017 before becoming club and tournament chairman in October.

“Having handled this important assignment for many years, I am aware of its necessary qualifications and, therefore, very proud to name Jim as my successor,” Ridley said in a statement. “He is uniquely qualified to serve the tournament in this position, given his background and previous experience assisting in the successful conduct of our competition.”


Video: Add DJ To The Bifurcate-Via-The-Ball List

Golf Channel's Todd Lewis sat down with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson at the Hero World Challenge asked about golf's distance issue. Woods reiterated his view that golf take inspiration from baseball's wood bats in using the golf ball as a similar distance regulator.

Johnson was also asked his views and one of the game's longest hitters said he did not mind "seeing other professional sports playing with one ball" and noted that the "doesn’t spin near as much as it used to."

Due to less spin, Johnson actually lamented the lack of a larger gap between "guys who swing very hard and guys who don’t" and wants to see an "advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that’s needed. So having a ball, like that same ball that everyone plays you’re going to have more of an advantage."

Very interesting!

The full clip: