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Books
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

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

I attribute the insane arrogance of the later Roman emperors almost entirely to the fact that, never having played golf, they never knew that strange chastening humility which is engendered by a topped chip-shot. If Cleopatra had been outed in the First Round of the Ladies’ Singles, we should have heard a lot less of her proud imperiousness.
P.G. WODEHOUSE


    

Monday
Aug242015

Another Golf Movie To Get Our Hopes Up For...

Only to be disappointed? Or, in this case, could there be cause for hope since this is Tommy's Honour (working off of the outstanding book of the same name, minus the u in honour).

John Strege, reading between the lines of an unbylined Southern Reporter story, notes the good and bad. The good? Obviously it's Kevin Cook's remarkable book, which I used to set the table for St. Andrews this summer and which I now recommend as the book to read before making the pilgrimage.

Also good? Sean Connery's son Jason is the vision behind it and brings a love for golf to the table. The filming will largely take place around St. Andrews, too.

The bad?

The primary actors aren't golfers. Usually this is the downfall of all golf movies, but given the strength of the story, the town as a protaganist and the difference in swings then versus now, this could be less of an issue. Or everything.

Sunday
Aug232015

Bryson DeChambeau: A Different Kind Of Star?

For those who channel surfed between the Wyndham Championship and the U.S. Amateur, you know there were times you could go to CBS, see two or three shots, maybe a promo too, then head back to Fox only to see the same player lining up a putt who was mulling the final shot of his life when you switched channels.

It was a dreadful display all week by most of the U.S. Amateur contestants and shocking that the USGA, doing a lot of potentially exciting research into how to solve slow play issues and with three referees for the final match, continuing to take the matter lightly at times when people are (actually) watching. Sad, too, because the 2015 U.S. Amateur was won in stunning fashion by Bryson DeChambeau, an exciting, offbeat, homemade, diligent and captivating young talent whose win lost a little luster due to his dreadful pace (the final match took nearly three hours to play the afternoon 12 holes).

But let's not dwell on a win that may be looked back on some day should DeChambeau go on to do bigger and more incredible things, as his drive and talent suggest. Oh wait, one other point: young guns, you need to either use a yardage book or a rangefinder. Using both, and handing the rangefinder back and forth but then doing the math on paper? Absurd. But thanks for the proof that rangefinders would not make high level golf faster, just more expensive (for some).

Ryan Lavner
at GolfChannel.com files a really superb read on DeChambeau's definitive 7&6 U.S. Amateur win over Derek Bard, capping off a week where Bryson played Olympia Fields in 19-under-par.

Five days of national-television exposure have made clear what the rankings do not: DeChambeau is the best amateur in the world, a part-mad scientist, part-artist who can mow down opponents with machine-like efficiency.

That’s been the goal, after all, ever since the curious 15-year-old began studying Homer Kelly’s “The Golfing Machine,” a teaching manual that allows a player to build his own swing with 24 components and 144 variations.

The swing DeChambeau built is unorthodox looking, with high hands at address and little wrist cock at the top, but it’s steady and, most importantly, easily repeatable.

Dave Shedloski on the amazing summer of Bryson, who heads back to SMU as a senior. It'll be interesting to see where the cerebral golfer goes from here.

Lance Ringler at Golfweek.com with a list of US Amateur and NCAA Champions. DeChambeau becomes the fifth to win both in the same year.

Chris Keane's USGA photo gallery is worth viewing because (A) there are some great shots and (B) there is not a single token shot of an Executive Committee member.

Jessica Marksbury interviews the champion for the USGA's coverage.

Sunday
Aug232015

Wrap: Geezerdom In Greensboro As 51-Year-Old Love Wins!

What is it about Greensboro and geezers? The same course where, as Helen Ross notes, Sam Snead won his 7th GGO at 52--and get this, his 7 wins were an amazing 27 years apart (1938-1960). Also the same course that tried to shove Tiger back into the winner's circle, helped Jason Gore make the playoffs, but ultimately opened the door to Davis Love.

Jeff Mills with the game story in Greensboro’s News & Record  Love’s positively stunning win at the Wyndham, making him the third oldest winner on a tour that had been turned over to the yutes of the world!

Bob Harig notes this step back in time just a week after the PGA at Whistling Straits.

A week ago it was Jason Day, 27, capturing the PGA Championship, with Jordan Spieth, 22, finishing runner-up after a dream year that saw him win two major titles. It was only then that he replaced Rory McIlroy, 26 -- a three-time worldwide winner this year -- atop the world rankings.
Then along comes Love, just a few months after foot surgery, winning for the 21st time on the PGA Tour in what is all but assuredly a Hall of Fame career. It had been seven years since his last victory, with plenty of doubts along the way about if he'd ever a hoist a trophy again.

Now he's headed to the FedEx Cup playoffs, winners-only Kapalua, the Masters and the Players, among other perks.

GolfChannel.com's Rex Hoggard with the backstory of Love wanting to thank his team, but really just needing to thank his son for breaking a putter.

“We could sit here until midnight and I could thank people, therapists, doctors, trainers, sports psychologists,” Love said Sunday at Sedgefield Country Club.

Even his son, Dru, received an assist from Love, who at 51 years young became the third-oldest winner in PGA Tour history.

“My son broke his putter; we haven’t gotten the whole story on that, so I shipped him some,” Love laughed. “After [foot] surgery, I went looking for a putter to use and the only one I could find was one of his old ones.”

The win by Love kept Brad Klein from losing faith in golf coverage, as he notes in his assessment of the CBS effort.

In the last two hours of Sunday’s telecast, I counted (actually, my stopwatch counted) exactly one hour and 26 minutes of live coverage, leaving 34 minutes for various ads and promotions. That’s 72 percent of airtime for golf and 28 percent for commercials. The average block of continuous golf coverage was 5:26; the average block of ads was 2:36.

At a certain point I began to fret that I was wasting my life watching the paid endorsements. But then I took solace watching Grandpa Davis win and realized there’s still time left to go out and achieve something admirable before I get too old.

While many will certainly brand Tiger's final round 70 and T10 a failure, I think the week was an enormous success.

Had he not played, he would have had the next six weeks until his mandatory Frys.com Open appearance to remember a poor PGA Championship week. Now he rests on some laurels that included contending. Remember, he came back this year off of surgery, hit rock bottom and just needed something to build on. Now he has that.

He also did wonders for his karma by playing a new course and responding to the fans (he took to Twitter to thank them, reports Nate Scott). Now he's seen what can happen if he goes to some fresh venues where he has no demons, preconceived notions, fears of certain holes, whatever it was that might derail him. He also saw that he can still get around a course requiring smarts and tactical strength, and just maybe that is his kind of golf in old age.

Speaking of that, he reported hip issues after the round. Bob Harig reports in this assessment of the week and year for Woods.

For Woods, 39, his 2014-15 season came to an end since he is not eligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs, finishing in 178th position. Only the top 125 players qualify for the playoffs.

Last year, Woods had surgery for a disk issue in his back. He missed three months, returned for four tournaments and then took another lengthy leave when problems surfaced again.

The PGA Tour highlights as well as the two aces from Love and Scott Brown.

 

Brown's ace:

All 15 minutes of his post round press conference.

Saturday
Aug222015

Scenarios, Schenarios! Tiger (And Gore) Turning Back Clock

With Jason Gore vaulting into the Wydham Championship lead on the back of a Saturday 62, we've moved the retro vibe to circa 2005 from Friday's 1999 feel when Davis Love was hanging around (and still is).

With a final hole three putt Tiger Woods took him out of the final pairing with old SoCal buddy Gore, who gets the formidable Jonas Blixt instead.

Bob Harig at ESPN.com on Woods' Saturday 68 where the putting let him down, but the "stinger" made a high profile return to PGA Tour golf.

"It was a grind today,'' Woods said. "Like yesterday, kept leaving myself above the hole seemed like on every hole. I had to putt so defensively because of it. I couldn't get on the run that Jason and Jonas did. I just didn't put myself in the right spots.''

And that's where he looked like the old Tiger. Sweating profusely. Annoyed. Knowing an opportunity had been missed.

Woods at times appeared to be hurting, but never when taking a swing, which was powerful and forceful throughout. If there is an issue, Woods would only say that "I'm stiff,'' a day after joking that "I'm old.''

Gore talked after the round about his disdain for those who treated Woods like a 20-handicapper (though his Index was about 10 in February if he had completed rounds to turn in). And Woods talked about how he missed out on a Sunday pairing with Gore.

Brentley Romine at Golfweek.com writes:

A 2-under 68 leaves Woods at 13 under, just two back of Gore, against whom he used to play junior and amateur golf when the two were growing up in California.

"We go back 30 years," Woods said. "We're great friends and from junior golf into college and into the pro ranks. He's always been a great friend, and it's going to be fun for us to battle like this because we haven't done it basically since college."

Ryan Reiterman at GolfChannel.com focuses on Woods’ putter cooling off Saturday, with 31 putts and a three putt on 18.

And John Strege noted this comment from CBS announcer Peter Kostis.

“I think this golf course has a lot do with Tiger being in a good way this week,” CBS’ Peter Kostis said. “It’s a golf course that doesn’t require power, only drive it maybe five times. It allows him to keep his tension and rhythm under control.”

Yet when Woods pulled driver on Saturday, he quickly collected his tee, a sure sign that he was in control. “I feel like I'm swinging well enough right now that I want to hit driver more often, ironically enough,” he had said on Friday.

Oh yes, and there are FedExCup ramifications for both, in case you were wondering. There's a chart up above and Helen Ross hopefully gets double overtime pay for updating us on the scenarios.

Saturday
Aug222015

Artist & Scientist: DeChambeau Looks To Make US Am History

Derek Bard faces Bryson DeChambeau in Sunday's U.S. Amateur final at Olympia Fields, but all eyes will be on the SMU senior DeChambeau.

Not only are all of his club shafts the same length, but throw in the Hogan cap, the intensity, the painful slowness and the electric game, and you have the makings of a future star.

Jeff Babineau at Golfweek.com writes:

Watching DeChambeau this week has been like seeing the electronic rabbit make its way around the inside rail at the greyhound track. He stays tantalizingly close and at times appears catchable, then shows a different gear than the rest and pulls away.

Ryan Lavner wrote before Saturday's play about Bryson's approach, noting the weird mix of artistry and science to DeChambeau's game.

No, he doesn’t intimidate with big drives, flashy iron play or sublime putting. But his methodical approach to the game and hole-to-hole consistency can exasperate opponents and force them into mistakes.

Lavner also notes that DeChambeau has a chance to join Nicklaus, Woods, Mickelson and Moore as the only winners of the NCAA individual title and the U.S. Amateur in the same year.

DeChambeau, a 21-year-old senior at SMU, could join Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore as the only players to win the NCAA Championship and U.S. Amateur in the same year.

Dave Shedloski sets up the final with this "tale of the tape" of the finalists. Jessica Marksbury interviews them after their Saturday wins (and likely Masters berths).

And if you were still unsure about Bryson being a bit different, John Strege found this tweet confirming this is one different young man. He signs his name backwards, if he feels like it.

Here is Tracy Wilcox's Golfweek.com photo gallery from Saturday. It wins 7&6 over the USGA's gallery that has way too many photos of rules officials, lameduck presidents and other non-competitors.

Final day coverage is on Fox from 3-6 ET. Not only should the golf be fun, but Greg Norman's struggle to act interested in golfers other than himself will surely prove exciting!

Saturday
Aug222015

Change We Can Believe In: Petition To Ban Hall Of Fame Ad

Now this is what I call breaking rocks and moving mountains!

A big hat tip Luke Kerr-Dineen for the best news you'll read today: a petition to ban Omega's "Hall of Fame" ad!

Somebody started a petition to ban Rory McIlroy's heinous Omega commercial from the airwaves. Sainthood is next for Tron Carter of the United States, who hopes to get 500 signatures to take to networks.

He writes:

For the last two years the golf community has been subjected to an endless onslaught of the Omega Watches Rory McIlroy "Standing in the Hall of Fame" commercial. Regardless of the event, tour or network, this commercial plays during every commercial break. The spot has ruined historic moments, a half dozen major championships, and countless psyches. And yet, we continue to be bombarded incessantly every time we turn on the television to watch golf. It's time to take a stand. Let's boycott Omega Watches SA, and it's parent company Swatch, until this commercial is pulled off the air and we, the golf community, are afforded sanity and closure.

Sign away!

Friday
Aug212015

1999: Tiger Has Share Of Wyndham Lead; DLIII Right There Too!

Tiger's resurgent play at the Wyndham Championship has been a site to behold, if nothing else for the fan energy he appears to be feeding off of.

Still, more impressive and exciting is the idea that Woods, a true horse-for-course who has been set in his ways, branches out playing a new course and thrives. Not knowing where all the trouble is, or having no bad vibes, or feeding off of playing an old Ross course may have set him free. Who knows, who cares. It's fun to see a player who has hit such a low point find something again.

And it turns out that 51-year-old Davis Love's role in contending is not a coincidence either, as Rex Hoggard explains for GolfChannel.com.

Best of all, we have the Ryder Cup task force to thank!

Late last year, in the aftermath of the U.S. Ryder Cup team’s loss at Gleneagles, Love and Woods were named to the Ryder Cup task force, and their friendship has grown from there one text message at a time.

“This whole task force, all of us, I’ve spent more time talking to Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods this year than I ever have,” Love said. “We asked, 'What is wrong with the Ryder Cup?' What we realized is that the guys didn’t talk. We’re all getting to know each other better.”

For Love, the practice round with Woods on Tuesday inspired the 51-year-old to stop worrying about making cuts and start focusing on winning tournaments again. As for Woods, well, he doesn’t seem to need much inspiration at this point.

Tiger is paired with Tom Hoge, who has 79 PGA Tour ROUNDS under his belt to Tiger's 79 Tour WINS. Chew on that!

Bob Harig on Tiger's humorous and apparently innocent reaction to hearing the name pronounced like the sandwich.

A rookie on the PGA Tour, Hoge has two career top-10s and has never led after any round. His name is also pronounced "Hoagie" and so when Woods was asked if he had ever heard of him, or if he would recognize him, there was a funny exchange.

"No, I wouldn't. What is it, or him? I don't know," Woods said.

Laughter understandably ensued, and Woods was not trying to be funny. He honestly did not have any idea who his co-leader in the tournament is, the guy he'll meet for the first time Saturday in a paring of the 315th-ranked and 286th-ranked players in the world.

"No, I don't know," Woods said. "I've never met him, never seen him. Don't know anything about him."

In Woods' defense, why would he?

The round two highlights that have Tiger sharing the lead with Hoge.

I'll be talking with Gary Williams on Morning Drive about Tiger at 11:15 a.m. ET. Coverage starts at 1 pm ET on Golf Channel, then heads to CBS at 3 pm ET.

Friday
Aug212015

Rusacks Hotel Expansion Approved, Home Hole Look To Change

There's only one Home hole in golf and only one Old Course, so it is a little scary that the Rusacks Hotel will be expanding with another six story building. Of more concern is the curious choice to go with a much lighter shade than the existing building, though "traditional materials" have been cited. Perhaps it'll just need 400 years and will blend right in.

From an unbylined BBC report:

The £7m extension to the 128-year-old hotel in the "home of golf" will also include a rooftop restaurant, bar, terrace and glass-fronted suites.

The extension was designed by Scottish firm WCP Architects.

Planning officials were told it would be built using traditional materials in keeping with its location.

Craig Smith in The Courier reports that Councillor Dorothea Morrison was against the project because of the harm it might do to the iconic look of the Links Road stretch.

Friday
Aug212015

Golf's Affinity For Youth At The Expense Of Achievement

I get it: golf is not cool. Never really has been. Usually the winners of majors have a few wrinkles and look silly in a flat-brimmed hat. Like, OMG, ick.

When winners of major golf tournaments are young and the new thing, they're understandably adored. In the cases of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day's, they absolutely should be cause for excitement.

This doesn't make it right to ignore or whitewash history.

Doug Ferguson did the best job of celebrating the breakthrough year for several young players in 2015, most obviously Jordan Spieth. And Ferguson managed to NOT make the point of a generational shift at the expense of people who have built impressive careers. Ones that many of today's next all-time greats would love to have when they in their forties. Ferguson's best point about the short memories in golf was actually made by Rory McIlroy.

Woods had a revolving door of rivals for more than a decade. He was No. 1 even when the math said otherwise.

Now there is a chance for a lasting rivalry, or rivalries. There already is talk of a modern "Big Three," though it's still too early for that.

"We live in such a world that everything is so reactionary, and everything happens so quickly," McIlroy said at the start of the PGA. "A year ago after I won this tournament, it was the Rory era. And then Jordan wins the Masters and it's the Jordan era. Eras last about six months these days instead of 20 years."

Because of his recent play, the incredible playing legacy of Tiger Woods is now under threat given that he was winning handily not that long ago. But it's not just Tiger who is taking a hit because of his recent struggles: the way he beat players so handily (versus today's tightly-bunched leaderboards) has folks as venerated as Dan Jenkins and as not venerated as Shane Ryan suggested Tiger beat a bunch of "nobodies."

The eagerness to declare the new Big Three and to downplay the achievements of Woods is rooted in the desire to make golf appealing to a new generation of fan, one that finds the game about as appealing as previous 18-34 year old demographics. Not very interested.

There are obvious financial motives for hyping the young talent at the expense of those falling outside the coveted demo. Marketers want to reach 18-34 year old's, so we see hype for these youth saviors of the game threaten to spin out of control and undermine the very reasons to be excited about the latest Big Three. Also clouding judgements: Tiger's character and attitude toward media compared to the latest wave. Traces of old-fashioned entitlement and general ignorance of history could also be part of the equation.

The rush to anoint is dangerous and a little embarrassing when you consider Rory's point. Remember back in May when Rickie Fowler joined a mythical "big three" after winning The Players? Or when Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley were the next greats after their 2011 and 2013 PGA Championship wins? Where are they now in the discussion?

The short attention span reaction would be less bothersome if there wasn't re-writing of history threatening to take place. We have a sport with tremendous history which, because of its slowness and cost, will always skew older no matter how hard people try. We can't allow Tiger's legacy and the great achievements of those prior to 2010 be tainted. Nor should we stand for the suggestion that no one prior to the current generation was capable of strength, athleticism or eye-opening skill.

On Sunday night after the PGA, Golf Channel's Live From gang addressed the overall sense that a course built for this new generation of player was already beginning to have a hard time asking interesting questions of players due to 380-yard drives. They insisted this was an exciting form of play thanks to great athleticism and club optimization. Pro-bifurcationist Brandel Chamblee, who respects and understands the game's history, even got caught up in the moment, insisting this was "the evolution of the athlete" and projected a sense that we were watching a vastly superior collection of golfers, the likes of which we'd never seen before. John Strege documented at GolfDigest.com.

“You go back to when they started measuring clubhead speed out here and it wasn’t that long ago, in 2007. In every single spot, they’re faster. They’re faster. They’re faster. The [equipment] limits were set along that time, so it is the athlete that is better. This is the only sport I know where when they light it up we all have a knee-jerk reaction to respond and say, ‘well, the equipment, the equipment.’ At some point you do have to celebrate the athlete. I don’t think anybody watches Usain Bolt break the tape and go, ‘it’s the shoes.’

“Yeah, I get it. They’ve got longer drivers, they’ve got bigger heads. But these guys don’t look anything like the previous generation, and they didn’t look anything like the previous generation to that. It is a beautiful landscape out here. They’re fit and they can flat swing it hard.”

Yes, they swing hard and don't look like any previous generation. They're taller, leaner, smarter, better scripted and just darn special. But don't tell us this makes them superior golfers historically or that previous generations with access to today's stuff would not be able to do similar things armed with the same arsenals of equipment and outside assistance.

There is no reason to downgrade the accomplishments of previous generations in the rush to anoint the latest the absolute greatest. Especially to feed an imaginary beast that is coveted demo.

Thursday
Aug202015

Scientists: Ice Bucket Challenge Paying Dividends

It seems like ages ago but just last summer we were in the final stages of Ice Bucket Challenge's run amok, but now WJZ's Mary Bubala talks to scientists who report our pain and money is showing signs of having made a difference in the fight against the brutal disease, ALS.

And golf played a huge role, as we all know.

Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins University say some of that money has helped them better understand a protein in the brain which is dysfunctional in nearly all ALS cases.

The team is led by Professor Philip Wong who got doused just last week.

“It really spearheaded some of the research that otherwise we would not be able to do as rapidly as we could have,” said Wong.

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. He co-founded the Ice Bucket Challenge with Pete Frates.

Thursday
Aug202015

Donald: Winning Club Championships Is "Hard, Literally Hard"

Thanks to Luke Kerr-Dineen for working through The Donald's Time interview where the leader in polls for the Republican party presidential nomination talks about his readiness for office. After winning club championships.

From Time's interview attributed to their staff:

You know I’ve had great success. Even in golf I’ve won many golf club championships. I don’t know if you guys play golf. But to win a club championship is hard, literally hard. And you have to beat scratch players…You got a lot of good players. I’ve won many club championships. So my life has been about winning. My life has not been about losing. So I get a kick out of watching these guys who were not even successful people saying, “Oh, he’s just having fun.”

It’s not having fun. Actually I could have more fun. I own here’s a picture, I own Turnberry in Scotland that just hosted the Women’s British Open. I wouldn’t mind being at Turnberry. I may never see it again.

I'm not going to ask why that is, but I'm guessing that means having Air Force One touch down for the 2020 Open at a remodeled Turnberry won't look right to voters right in the midst of a reelection campaign?

Thursday
Aug202015

Presidents Cup Points Glitch News Prompts One And One Question Only: There Is A Presidents Cup This Year!?

An unbylined AP report says Robert Streb and Charley Hoffman "now have more work to do if they want to make the Presidents Cup team for the first time."

Goose bumps!

I know it comes as a shock, but there is a Presidents Cup this October in Korea where Jay Haas and Nick Price are captaining squads that, outside of a few fun first time participants, would rather be somewhere else.

A computer error caused the PGA Tour to readjust the U.S. standings Thursday. Streb had been in 11th place, 365 points behind the 10th spot to automatically qualify. Now he is No. 16 and 881 points behind. Hoffman went from No. 12 to No. 15.

The U.S. standings are based on FedEx Cup points for the 2015 team. Tour officials realized this week that double the points had been awarded starting with the Frys.com Open in October. Points were not supposed to count as double until the first event of 2015 at Kapalua.

Live by the reset, die by the reset.

Rex Hoggard reports on the situation for GolfChannel.com and says the Tour did not respond to requests for comment.

“I got a text [from a Tour official] and I thought I did something wrong. I was like, what did I say? Did I say the wrong thing to somebody?” said Billy Horschel, who moved up from 14th to 12th. “He told me I lost some points, which I knew I didn’t lose many because I didn’t play many events and I didn’t play well in the events I was, and he told me I moved up two spots.”

Thursday
Aug202015

Report: PGA Returning To Oak Hill In 2023

Love the town, wish the course resembled something like a Donald Ross, not that this will stop discussion of the man's great work.

Sal Maiorana reports in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that Oak Hill will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Jason Dufner's win by hosting the PGA Championship again in 2023.

When asked to comment, Oak Hill club president Bill Strassburg said, "The answer to your question is that we don't comment on rumor or speculation. As far as we're concerned, it's rumor and speculation."

Eh...not sure I'd have gone that route but, suit yourself.

However, one source confirmed that the tournament — previously held at Oak Hill in 1980, 2003 and 2013 — will be returning to the historic Donald Ross-designed gem in Pittsford.

A board of governors meeting was held at the club Tuesday night, and the source said that's when the final approval to host the tournament happened.

So much for an airtight board meeting!

Thursday
Aug202015

Tiger In Teal! Opens With Wyndham 64

You have to really love the game to have logged into the early round streaming of the Wyndham Championship, but if you did there was a reward: Tiger posting a 64 and doing it with more aggressive approach than many expected for Sedgefield CC.

From Rex Hoggard's GolfChannel.com story:

Although many applauded Woods’ decision to play the Wyndham Championship for the first time, opining the relatively short Sedgefield layout (7,127 yards) would allow him to play away from his driver and focus on position, his game plan on Thursday suggested otherwise.

Woods hit driver five times in Round 1, finding the fairway on three of those occasions, the most impressive of which was a bomb down the middle of the par-5 15th fairway to set up a two-putt par.

And the low round was still three off a 61 two years ago, but nonethless an encouraging sign.

From Bob Harig's ESPN.com story:

It was his best score since shooting a second-round 61 in August 2013 at Firestone Country Club during the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods hit seven of 14 fairways (going 5 under on those holes), 14 of 18 greens and needed just 26 putts.

Luke Kerr-Dineen of For The Win posts the various tweeted highlights and notes the teal hat Tiger sported in round one, which struck me perhaps as a belated homage to the old Florida Marlins colors.

Joel Beall at the sharply redesigned GolfDigest.com says the printing presses have been running in Greensboro thanks to Tiger's decision to play.

Wednesday
Aug192015

Video: New European Tour Chief Speaks, Finally

In the first decent-length video clip I've seen of new European Tour Chief Executive Officer Sir Elton Keith Pelley, you can get a few interesting nuggets about the man's passion (key word of his) for the game.

Many will question the whole eyeglass-pocket square coordination, especially with the erupting volcano look creeping high up the chest. But get past that and see if you can find anything of note besides his love of sport and growing up around golf (both great things).

The entire transition has been peculiar, with little fanfare covering George O'Grady's tenure or much in the way of substantive interviews with Pelley concerning his vision for the tour.

Wednesday
Aug192015

You Can Break Rocks But You Can’t Steal Omega Clocks!

There are a few ways to view this Fox6 News report out of Sheboygan.

You can throw your hands up, you can beat the clock, you can move a mountain, you can break rocks, you can be a master, but you better not steal fake Omega clocks!

Because the news of 24-year-old Hugo Nguyen making it a half-mile with one of the large Omega clocks on site at Whistling Straits has only two explanations.

Either he was so enamored with the Guantanamo-ready hooks of will-i-am's caterwauling that he just had to have one of the oversized clocks as a way to remember the worst ad in television history.

Or...

Nguyen planned to hold the clock hostage while threatening to smash it into smithereens and perhaps take out other members of the oversized Omega clock community if the ad was not immediately pulled from the airways.

We may never know. But what we do know is Nguyen faces up to six years of prison time should he be convicted.

Free Hugo now!

Wednesday
Aug192015

Let's Use PGA Tour Fantasy To Get Us Through The Playoffs!

I think I'm speaking for many of you, the stellar major season of 2015 has spoiled us. The quality of the play, the intrigue surrounding the venues and the overall satisfaction factor was pretty phenomenal. History will remember this as an exceptional year to be a fan of major championship golf.

Which brings us to the "playoffs."

Longtime readers know I'm a fan of the playoff concept if they were actual playoffs not determined by resets and algorithms. Nor am I a fan of them coming so close on the heels of the majors. A breather would be nice and some fall golf would be better, but football's spell over America procludes that possibility.

So I'm proposing that we get through these playoffs together via PGA Tour Fantasy. We all golf to get its act together on the fantasy front to keep fans engaged during those weeks when we really don't want to watch and the latest iteration with Avis is an attempt to do so.

With that in mind Avis and Callaway are going to supply some incentive to sign up, play and win. I'm also working on a few more prizes for the big winner.

Here's how it'll work: join the GeoffShackelford.com league this week or be in the league already, and we'll have a drawing for a 1-day rental certificate.

Four weekly winners of the FedExCup events will receive 1 day rentals from Avis.

Most points from the overall wins a two-day rental certificate and the new Great Big Bertha, while second place wins an Odyssey putter.

The game is ShotLink-based and designed to emphasize every shot counting. You pick four players, two alternates each week. Simple as that, though if you want to dig in on stats and do some extra homework, you can.

Here's the league, so sign up now and we'll get through these playoffs...together. As a league.

Wednesday
Aug192015

Time To Lose The Secret Walker Cup Selection Process

Ryan Lavner at GolfChannel.com has been a longtime watcher of the Walker Cup selection process and points out that while an unenviable task, is the only "Cup" with a points list kept private.

Lavner writes:

Nitpicking résumés of elite players who don’t compete against each other every week is an unenviable task, which makes it even more bizarre that the USGA doesn’t make its decisions more transparent. 

The Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and Solheim Cup all have points lists. The USGA says there is an internal system that spits out numbers and weighs such factors as strength of schedule, but it chooses not to make that information public. 

That’s a mistake.

Making that list public would eliminate two things: (1) the unnecessary stress for players who are flying around the country in a desperate attempt to impress a secretive committee, and (2) most of the second-guessing that comes after an important decision that defines their amateur careers.

When asked how transparent the committee has been over the past few months, former Virginia standout Denny McCarthy – the favorite to land one of the final spots – said: “I literally have no idea. I can’t control what they do. The only thing I can control is the golf I play and my emotions. Hopefully I can play some really solid golf this week and leave no doubt in their mind that I should be a part of this team.”

Tuesday
Aug182015

When Did World No. 1 Become So Meaningful?

To everyone! Players, fans, media and non-fans.

An algorithm told us last weekend what we've known since the Masters: Jordan Spieth is the best player in the world. Rory McIlroy is not less of a golfer or person because he "lost" the ranking, is he?

Spieth took a miniscule lead over McIlroy, one that could be lost easily. An algorithmic back-and-forth could take place over the next few weeks and I fear we'll be dragged into it, hearing the ranking scenarios alongside the FedExCup scenarios. Neither of which is even slighly compelling compared to what we just witnessed in the four majors this year.

Yet this attaining algorithmic confirmation was treated as a crowning achievement last Sunday, even at the expense of talking about Jason Day's record win. While I can see pride for the player and maybe some large bonuses kicking in to sweeten the moment, why does this matter so much?

Wouldn't Spieth rather have won the PGA Sunday than climb to No. 1? He even he hinted on Sunday the best player in the world right now is Day.

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it's been a very, very good year. There's nothing -- obviously this is as easy a loss as I've ever had because I felt that I not only couldn't do much about it, as the round went on, I also accomplished one of my life-long goals and in the sport of golf. That will never be taken away from me now. I'll always be a No. 1 player in the world. That's what, when I look back on this year, the consistency that we have had this year and especially being able to step it up in the biggest stages, that's a huge confidence builder and that's what's allowed us as a team to become the best, the No. 1 ranked, I should say, and I believe right now the best in the world. Second best behind Jason Day, of course, given this week.

And Spieth was sincere in how monumental this was on his career goal list.

Check out his Sportscenter appearance by phone where he acknowledged knowing the various scenarios by which he might overtake the top spot last week at Whistling Straits.

So I ask, what is the cause of this fascination with the No. 1 spot when it's just a mysterious algorithm belatedly telling us what we already knew?

Tuesday
Aug182015

FiveThirtyEight: Where Jordan Spieth's 2015 Ranks

On the heels of an assessment by his colleague last week that included all of the 2015 season, Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight tries to quantify where Jordan Spieth's Win-Win-T4-2 season in the 2015 majors places it amongst the great ones.

Using a metric called z-scores that measure show many standard deviations a player’s score was from the mean the place it fourth behind three Tiger Woods years.

Here's the piece with a searchable list by name of other players in the discussion.

If numbers aren't your thing to put the season into perspective, consider all the scar tissue cases in majors that Karen Crouse of the New York Times compiles in pointing out how hard it is to win a major these days. And then you have Spieth coming along going Win-Win-T4-2. Oops.