Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    by Ken Bowden

Jackie Burke put it best when he said, "It’s the most tempting golf course in the world." The conditions and the problems there put you in that position where you are tempted. You can play it safe or you can really chance it and pull off a shot that is truly rewarding.
BEN CRENSHAW on Augusta National

 

   

Thursday
Mar162017

65 At 56: Inkster One Off Founders Cup Lead

Maybe it's that so many LPGA players are getting younger by the day, but 56-year-old Juli Inkster's 65 should remind Solheim Cup players later this year that the captain's still got game.

Randall Mell from Phoenix on the impressive start by Inkster.

This is Inkster’s 35th year in the LPGA. She’s an LPGA Hall of Famer with 31 tour titles, including seven major championships. She is 10 years older than the oldest player to win an LPGA title.

“I’ve been working hard on my game and it’s nice to see some results,” Inkster said.

Thursday
Mar162017

Latest Walker Cup Selection Idea Could Be Problematic For U.S.

There have been several stories over the years critical of the USGA for its top secret Walker Cup team selection process. And as Jim Nugent points out at Global Golf Post, what should be a great honor worth postponing a pro career for may become more complicated with the full team not becoming set until August's U.S. Amateur.

In recent years the first five spots on the squad were set well before the amateur, convincing top players to postpone the move to pro golf. Now all must wait until after the Amateur. All of the selection work is done in secret with no public points list. Ryan Lavner covered all of this quite thoroughly in 2015, particularly the absurdity of the secrecy approach.

Given the lack of major star power retaining amateur status once the college season ends, the once-in-a-lifetime Walker Cup opportunity should make some think twice before turning pro--especially when bundled with the chance to win a U.S. Amateur. As the latter event has begun to lose relevance with so many top amateurs turning pro immediately following the June NCAA's, the U.S. team walloped last time may set itself up for another rough go this year should the secretive, mysterious system scare off even just one or two potential team members.

The 2017 Walker Cup will be played September 9-10 at Los Angeles Country Club.

Wednesday
Mar152017

WGC's The Only Reason Arnold Palmer's Event Faces Hurdles

I think we all hate dwelling on the future of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in the year following The King's passing. But Palmer was a businessman who loved and nurtured this event. So discussing its past, present and future would presumably resonate with him even as he would undoubtedly be uncomfortable taking attention away from the players.

Jeff Babineau did a super job for Golfweek.com summing up Wednesday's ceremony at Bay Hill to remember The King, but also reflected on how far this event has come and where it may go without Palmer.

I loved this anecdote:

The API, which moved to Bay Hill from nearby Rio Pinar (Florida Citrus Open) in 1979, has come quite a long way. The purse has been bumped to $8.7 million, and this week’s winner not only will leave $1.56 million richer, but will receive a three-year PGA Tour exemption, not the usual two a winner grabs.

This week’s event will celebrate the everyday fan who connected with the blue-collar likes of Palmer, with large public grandstands now sitting up close to seven of the course’s greens.

It’s a far cry from Year 1 at the then-named Bay Hill Citrus Classic in 1979, when the makeshift grandstand that sat behind the 18th green was borrowed from nearby Boone High School.

That little nugget is a perfect reminder that is was events like the Bay Hill Citrus Classic, the Western Open, the Los Angeles Open, the Houston Open, the Bob Hope and on and on we can go with 10-12 events that built and stabilized the PGA Tour.

And with too much regularity, the focus of these events revolves around their weaker-than-normal fields, their strange new dates or their difficulty in attracting a sponsor. Nearly all have been adversely effected by many factors, but it's the creation of World Golf Championship events that consistently tops all side-effects.

We all understand the globalization of golf and market forces, but when those forces so adversely impact even an event nurtured by a modern sports legend. it's time for all current players and executives to take a hard look at the tour's purpose. Because if this is, as they say, about playing opportunities and charitable dollars, it's these core founding events that deserve to be treated as kings.

Wednesday
Mar152017

Special For GeoffShackelford.com Readers: Discount On New Athletes Collective 1/4 Zips

ShackHouse listeners and readers of the site know I'm high on Athlete's Collective's no-logo, ideal-fitting, and absurdly well-priced athletic gear. And because so many of you took up the offer from last Christmas on long sleeves perfect for winter golf or workouts, they're offering a special on their new 1/4 zip front pullovers.

I've been practically living in my grey Conway 1/4 zip when working out in this long, cruel Santa Monica winter that we managed (again) to survive.

Okay, so our worst winters are like most springs. That is precisely why I can attest to how ideal the Conway is for spring!

The AC 1/4 zips are fitted enough that you feel like a modern athlete who can swing a golf club but not so tight that people will think you're paying homage to a certain golfers' circulation-straining pullovers.

AC's spring golf-friendly 1/4 zips are super lightweight, breathable and tough, featuring just enough design touches to look distinctive. Roll it up in your golf or gym bag and it'll look just fine whenever you need to put it on.

Personally--TMI warning here--I'm not a fan of most long sleeve sweaters and pullovers for golf since I like to swing a club with the sleeve pulled up just a little bit. So I love how you can manipulate the sleeves and not do any damage to your clothes.

The Conways come in heather grey and a very Masters-friendly heather green. At $34 a piece they're a bargain, but for $60 in the 2-pack bundle, a true steal. 

With the 10% discount, that's $54 (US) dollars for the pair.

Even if you used the first time buyer code HOUSE with prior promotions on shorts and long sleeves, you can still get the 10% first-time buyer discount with the new SHACK promo code. That gets you 10% off your order along with AC's great customer service that many of you wrote to me to note even when you had sizing questions.

Thanks again to Athlete's Collective for the discounts and more importantly, cost-effective and efficient athletic gear!

Wednesday
Mar152017

"By Ignoring Golf’s Ties To Emirates, We Risk Hypocrisy"

It's fascinating to see how the collective golf world embraced news of Muirfield changing their policy as a sign that all is well. Get that Open back to East Lothian asap! Even though adding women as members is a change that is years away, if it happens at all.

The R&A is rushing to jump on the Muirfield bandwagon speaks to how much the membership discrimination issue is too often about the optics and not the substance. And we all understand the rush buys the R&A another year to potentially avoid a return to Trump Turnberry (even if it means St Andrews in 2021 and Muirfield a year later).

Fortunately, some seem unimpressed, but for different reasons.

Rory McIlroy, openly admitting it's not his favorite course, still make clear he had issues with the club. Brentley Romine with his comments at Bay Hill in advance of the API:

“Obviously I was outspoken about this before whenever the vote went the first time around,” McIlroy said. “I mean, in this day and age, where you’ve got women that are like the leaders of certain industries and women that are heads of state and not to be able to join a golf course? I mean, it’s obscene. Like it’s ridiculous. So, they sort of saw sense. I still think that it got to this stage is horrendous.

“And yeah, I mean, we’ll go back and we’ll play the Open Championship, because they will let women members in, but every time I go to Muirfield now I won’t have a great taste in my mouth.”

Karen Course noted the various dynamics involved and one that often gets overlooked: when the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews started admitting women, they seemed to emphasize a surprising number of women of a certain age. As in, not able to play golf any longer.

Muirfield’s waiting list for membership stretches at least two years, so women will have to keep a stiff upper lip — there will be no line jumping for history’s sake. It is hoped the club doesn’t follow the example of the Royal and Ancient and earmark for membership a couple of nonagenarian women who don’t have time on their side.

But as superficial as some of the actions seem coming out of Scotland, a larger point is that golf is looking past more questionable evidence of serious cultural discrimination.

As Steve Eubanks writes for Global Golf Post, there is a glaring inconsistency related to human rights that needs addressing.

...the strong-arm tactics and faux outrage exhibited by some in golf’s ruling class (not to mention members of the media who get their knickers in a twist far too often) have become a bit much, especially since the vote everyone is praising out of Muirfield occurred the same week that a couple in the United Arab Emirates, arrested on charges of having premarital sex, finally were released from jail after being detained on Jan. 29.

The couple, South African Emlyn Culverwell and his Ukrainian fiancée, Iryna Nohai, were charged under the UAE’s Islamic laws forbidding sex outside of marriage after Iryna went to a local Abu Dhabi hospital with stomach pains and doctors discovered that she was pregnant. The couple could have faced up to two years imprisonment before authorities were persuaded to change their minds and dropped charges last week.

This follows a 2013 case in which a Norwegian woman, who reported being raped in Dubai, was sentenced to 16 months behind bars on charges of unwed sex and drinking alcohol. She later was pardoned and allowed to leave the country. Her accused rapists were never charged.

Eubanks goes on to note all of the ways golf joins forces with the UAE with nary a word about their human rights and democratic deficiencies.

And a question for all of us: Are Arabs in the Emirates held to a lower standard of behavior by the golf world than the gentlemen of Edinburgh? If so, why?

It is fine to ignore the tour taking money from the Emiratis and ignoring their laws and customs. But it’s not OK to then take a high-and-mighty position against an all-male club in Edinburgh, Tokyo, or Chicago where the policies are far less backward and arcane.

Can't argue with that.

Wednesday
Mar152017

"How to land the toughest tee times in public golf"

Even in the age of Google, I've recently gotten this question about a few courses--usually Torrey, Pebble and the Old Course--so it's nice to see Jason Scott Deegan put together a list of the tough tee time gets, and how to get them.

Bookmark this for yourself or your friends who ask!

He writes about all of the above mentioned and others.

The only thing I'd add is this story on East Lothian golf for Golf Digest that includes some links to the courses in that region, including Muirfield.

Wednesday
Mar152017

Jay Monahan's Golf Digest My Shot On Playoffs, The Value Of League-Owned Networks, Slow Play

New PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan spoke to Guy Yocom for another excellent Golf Digest My Shot and while I always urge you to read the full interview, a couple of comments stood out.

Much to chew on in this first one:

WHAT DO I ADMIRE MOST ABOUT OTHER MAJOR-LEAGUE SPORTS? Two things. One, the way the NFL, MLB, the NBA and the NHL conclude their seasons. I love where we are with the FedEx Cup, but keep in mind it's only 10 years along, is still evolving, and we're always on the lookout for ways to sharpen our postseason-playoff structure.

Oh yes, the playoffs are definitely ending before Labor Day. But those sports also conclude their seasons with much more compelling playoff formats, so let's hope this is more than just a calendar adjustment.

Two, I admire the way they build and market their brands through their own networks. Having a 24/7 presence has served those sports very, very well.

Someone wants his own network!

While those networks were all essentially offspring to the Golf Channel and have been successful to some degree, has the 24/7 presence of the MLB Network really sold that many more seats or created new fans? And is that a risk worth taking, or just a negotiating ploy for 2021 when the current Golf Channel deal ends?

As for slow play, like his predecessor, he's punting for now:

WHICH TAKES US TO THE SUBJECT OF SLOW PLAY. I don't see a problem with rounds on our tour taking four hours, 45 minutes, because it's been consistent around that number for a long time. What drives the small amount of criticism is the impulse in the modern world to do everything faster than we did it last year. So am I going to push for faster rounds? As it stands, no.

Tuesday
Mar142017

Just 13 Years Ago: When Arnie Hit Driver Into 18

At the time those watching knew it was a special moment, but seeing Arnold Palmer's last shot in the API sums up the essence of the man as much as any shot he struck.

H/T Alex Myers for posting and nice work by PGA Tour Entertainment to put it out on the PGA Tour Champions account. Sam Saunders, who is on the bag, will hit the opening tee shot Thursday and is paired over the opening two rounds with Brandt Snedeker and Rory McIlroy.

 

 

Tuesday
Mar142017

Palmer, Peruvian Alpaca And The New API Winner's Sweater

Mercifully the Arnold Palmer Invitational is almost here and what is still a very good field--minus some megastars--will play for a purse greater than The Open's with a three-year PGA Tour exemption to the winner. Still, as John Feinstein and I discussed on Golf Central's Alternate Shot segment today, the event and sponsor Mastercard, doing all it can to ensure a healthy event over the long term, could use schedule help down the road.

But for now let's table those concerns and celebrate the best thing about winning this year's API: the red alpaca sweater going to the winner that Dave Shedloski reported. I confirmed today--only pinning down the toughest stories--that this is a permanent API change.

Finally a tournament loses the winner's sport coat!

We all associate the red cardigan sweater with Arnold Palmer, but many of us don't know the full story on alpaca and how Palmer changed the way these animals were bred and raised.

While he endorsed and had a licensing deal with Robert Bruce Clothing, Palmer's love of the sweaters inadvertently changed Peruvian alpacas due to his preference, as alpaca breeder Mike Safley explained to Modern Farmer's Andrew Amelinckx:

“It revolutionized color in the highlands of Peru because you couldn’t dye black fiber pink, so they had to have white alpacas to get the pastel colors to make these sweaters,” Safley says. “Within ten years it changed from being 90 percent colored animals to 90 percent white because they bred exclusively for white. That color mix still holds today.”

They aren't cheap!

But kudos to whoever thought to make this the new way to crown the Arnold Palmer Invitational winner.

Tuesday
Mar142017

Trumped! R&A Welcomes Muirfield Back Years Before The Club Admits A Woman Member

Let's savor the comedic component of Muirfield joining the new century. After all, they re-voted to finally change their membership policies, reports Martin Dempster.

That the R&A's Martin Slumbers welcomed their rivals back into The Open rota the moment a policy was changed and well before candidates from the other gender were even considered for membership, speaks to one thing and one thing only: the R&A is happily postponing a return to Trump Turnberry.

Remember, Turnberry last hosted The Open in 2009 and has since undergone a fantastic renovation incorporating former Chief Inspector Architect Peter Dawson's design suggestions. In theory, the spectacular resort should be in line for the next likely open date in 2022.

Muirfield last hosted in 2013 and while a wonderful place for The Open, a 2022 return would be a bit faster than normal for the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Especially in light of their resistance to progress and their long standing rivalry with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. To see these two clubs in such a loving embrace, well, it moves me on this Tuesday morning.

Of course, the real comedy comes from knowing it'll be years before we know if Muirfield even admitted a woman. From Alistair Tait's Golfweek.com story:

There is no timetable for women to join the club. In an official statement the club said: “The current waiting list for membership at Muirfield suggests that new candidates for membership, women and men, can expect to wait two to three years, or longer, to become a member of the club.”

The immediacy of the R&A's embrace of their old rivals can very easily be interpreted as an opportunity to postpone a return to Turnberry for another year.

Politics makes strange bedfellows indeed.

Monday
Mar132017

#ArnieWould: Tributes Flowing To Kick Off Bay Hill Week 

There is continued consternation over various stars passing on this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, the first since The King's passing. I get the anger, but I'd also argue that passing on last year's API was worse given that Mr. Palmer was battling health issues and PGA Tour officials were reminding players that he was having a tough time.

Randall Mell considered the situation as the week kicks off along with Robert Damron's comments today on Morning Drive.

“He took it personally when guys didn’t show up,” Damron said.

This is all true, but it’s also true that some top players are skipping because the Masters is three weeks away, and they’ve faced hard choices mapping the best way to prepare to win a jewel in golf’s Holy Grail.

But Mell's stronger point is not to wonder about the coming years for an API sandwiched between crippling WGC events, or who passed this year, but instead to celebrate those that did enter. (And as you'll see below, the tributes are already fantastic.)

Hey, speaking of those WGC's, their visionary-at-the-expense-of-longtime-tour-events, Tim Finchem, will be coming out of retirement to regale unsuspecting fans with his unique blend of monotone and joviality, warns reports Dave Shedloski.

As for those tributes, MorningRead.com's Steve Elling talks to various players about what Palmer meant to them, including the Orlando natives.

As was the case for Sorenstam and McDowell, Howell’s two kids were born in the Palmer hospital complex in downtown Orlando. Thus, there are bound to be some moist eyes when the 13-foot statue of Palmer, erected over the weekend, is spotted between the first and 10th tees. Forged larger than life in bronze, Palmer figuratively will be looking down upon fans and organizers.

Memorabilia from Palmer’s treasure trove of personal items will be on display in multiple locations for fans. His cart, replete with two golf bags brimming with clubs, will be parked on the grounds. Players will have Palmer’s logo umbrella stitched into their clothes, caps and bags. For the first time, there will be an opening ceremony on Thursday morning.

Shedloski reports that instead of a blue blazer, the winner will get a red cardigan in homage to The King's favorite style of layering.

In the March issue of Golfweek, Jeff Babineau interviews Faxon, Els, Love and Mediate to share some of their favorite Palmer stories. You'll want to Instapaper this for reading...and of course subscribe to Golfweek!

I loved this from Brad Faxon:

I’d never met him before, so I’m calling him Mr. Palmer. We’re walking off the first green, to the second hole, there’s the gallery ropes, and it was the biggest crowd I’d played in front of to that point. Arnold looked at me and said, ‘Son, if you want to have yourself a long and successful career’ – here he was, spreading the word – ‘you look people in the eye when you walk. Don’t look down. Always make eye contact.’ That turned out to be something prophetic. I thought that was fantastic.

Golfweek also posted this excellent timeline of Palmer's career.

Bill Fields with a short but sweet memory of tagging along with Palmer for a Golf World story.

I observed him meticulously going through a pre-flight checklist in the cockpit of his jet opposite co-pilot Lee Lauderback. I watched him at several greet-and-grin promotional appearances, working the room as enthusiastically as a rookie pro trying to make a good first impression. I noticed his restlessness when a limo driver fumbled for a quarter at a toll booth. I smiled when he holed a 7-iron for an eagle at a course opening.

 

Mastercard is launching an #ArnieWould campaign that is done with class, though the message also is fascinating given the view that many pros today need this reminder.


Two of my favorite wedge tributes:

This weeks tournament will be a special one.. #tribute #ap #arniesarmy #umbrella #golf #art #newstyle #theking

A post shared by Anthony Taranto (@anthony.taranto) on Mar 13, 2017 at 1:06pm PDT


A different look at the statue unveiled this week.

 

Monday
Mar132017

Global Golf Post Picks Up SF City Championship Fees (Again)

Last year Randy Haag pointed out that male and female semi-finalists in the historic San Francisco City were paying high fees at the expensive post-renovation (TPC) Harding Park. So Global Golf Post picked up the costs in a kind gesture for one of the nation's oldest city championships.

Once again all 22 finalists competing at Harding in various male and female city championship flights won't have to pay green fees.

Nice going GGP!

Monday
Mar132017

ShackHouse 29: Adam Hadwin And Gary Williams

We are joined by two guests this week as Adam Hadwin chats with us fresh off his Valspar Championship victory.

Then Golf Channel's Gary Williams joins us to discuss Arnold Palmer, his career in golf, March Madness and golf in Florida.

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

Here is The Ringer's show page.

Same deal with Soundcloud for the show, and Episode 29 is here to listen to right now!

As always, ShackHouse is brought to you by Callaway, who debuted episodes of Callaway Live with Jim Furyk, Mike Tirico and this week, Adam Hadwin.  

We're also sponsored by Callaway’s new Steelhead irons, so visit CallawayGolf.com to try the Iron Selector tool.
 
And finally, by OdysseyGolf.com, the #1 Putter in Golf and clubhouse leader in tour wins around the globe in 2017 including Adam Hadwin, who used an Odyssey Tank putter en route to a 59 and his Valspar win.

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

Monday
Mar132017

Video: Mickelson To Feherty On Augusta's Lefthander Bias

Of course Phil Mickelson is naturally right-handed, but as he explains to Feherty in part two of their fireside chat airing at 9 pm ET Monday, there is only one hole Mickelson sees as anti-lefthander.

Monday
Mar132017

Masters Ends Par-3 Contest Rounds For Past Major Winners

There are two ways to interpret Doug Ferguson's AP story on the Masters no longer including former major winners--aka "honorary invitees"--to the Par-3 Contest proceedings:

A) The club thought having the extra participants was deterring current Masters invitees from playing the Par 3.

B) They just didn't like the look of the occasional "who is that" taking part in the Par 3 or, more likely, playing a practice round on the big course.

I'm guessing the answer is A, but I have to wonder if today's players skip the Par 3 in part because the family fun day vibe it's taken on. Yes, yes, it's a wonderful family event, etc... But the Par 3 is not nearly as fun as what it had become through the years: a lively, quick competition involving most of the tournament participants that just happened to include some former major winners.

Because for every Mitch Voges there was a Jack Fleck who added to the fun and aura of the proceedings. Anyway, the Masters folks have their reasons no doubt and maybe it'll be better. And the former Masters champions are still there, which, to most fans, is most important.

From Ferguson's story:

Now, however, the club is asking that they no longer play practice rounds or use the practice facility.

Augusta National said in an email that honorary invitees still have special access to the Masters, but that the Par 3 Contest will be limited because of increased participation and interest. ESPN has televised the Par 3 Contest since 2008.

"As a person and an honorary invitee, I'm disappointed because it was my favorite day of the year," former British Open champion Ian Baker-Finch said Tuesday. "I loved it. I'll still be there, though, and I'll watch like everyone else."

Monday
Mar132017

On Joining The Golfweek/USA Today Sports Media Group...

I'm very excited to say I'm officially part of the Golfweek team. Just as fun, this site is joining the USA Today Sports Media Group's network of sites.

Here is the full press release.

As you'll see above, the masthead has been updated and simplified, with one regret: the Art Department and I agreed it was time to say goodbye to my name in the large font paying homage to Musselburgh's "Cradle of Golf". The feeling is, you know from the web browser where you've landed. 

The plan is for a site update similar to other USA Today Network sites, while remaining true to what this site was founded on: a blog devoted to state of the game issues of interest to me and hopefully to you!

The new site will be mobile and tablet friendly while hopefully remaining just as readable on the desktop. (I don't track the numbers religiously, but it's been interesting to see how desktop readership has remained steady after initially losing ground to mobile.)

Expect a lot more video, starting with an upcoming video series in conjunction with Callaway Media Productions titled Eye On Design, which will highlight elements in all forms of golf design, from courses to clubhouses to clothes to clubs. And count on plenty of video with Golfweek.com, especially around the majors.

Don't hesistate to check out subscription options for Golfweek, as the weekly digital remains full of Forecaddie fun, stories, columns and scores, while the monthly is geared to sophisticated core golfers, a group that has felt abandoned in recent years.

Thanks for your continued loyalty and patience as the site switches over to a more modern platform!

Monday
Mar132017

Lorne: "I was provided the opportunity to dig deep into the mind of a golfer who had accomplished amazing things in the game."

Lorne Rubenstein's much-anticipated collaboration with Tiger Woods on the 1997 Masters book was hopefully going to mean many interviews for Lorne to discuss the story and his co-author.

Unfortunately as Rick Young notes at ScoreGolf.com, Rubenstein has made clear this is Tiger's book.

Lorne did, however, write this enjoyable piece for Medium on working with Tiger on the book and it definitely gets you more excited about what is in the pages beyond what we saw in the early Golfweek excerpts.

In the early stages of our discussions we watched video of that Masters. One vivid memory led to another, one story to another. I attended that 1997 Masters and followed Tiger as he shot 40 on the front nine. I watched as he walked from the ninth green to the tenth tee, deep in thought. What had gone wrong? How could he turn things around? Was he worried?

I was interested and even surprised when he said he had put the front nine out of his mind by the time he reached the tenth tee, and that he had already focused his attention on what he needed to do. It wasn’t so much that he needed to correct what had gone wrong. He resolved to find the feeling that had allowed him to shoot 59 the week before at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club when he had played with his friend Mark O’Meara.

This was the sort of insight that helped me appreciate Tiger’s golfing mind. I kept this story in mind as we continued to chat during our talks in a conference room in his office in Jupiter, Florida, and many follow-up conversations over the phone.

Monday
Mar132017

Precious Millennials Files: SXSW's Golf Panel Edition

The cool kids are gathering in Austin this week prior to next week's WGC Dell Match Play and in a tradition unlike any other, a golf panel was assembled Sunday because, well, someone probably paid for it.

Apparently South By Southwest turned to an automated copy writer or someone from Bruce Lee's artisanal, small-batch, craft scriptwriting team to describe this "Intermediate" gathering.

Remember, I just copy and paste...

Brands must evolve and sports brands are no exception. But sports traditions are sometimes the most sacred of customs and golf may be the most brutal of masters.

It's debatable whether that was an attempted play on words, but the judges'll give it to them. Go on...

Golf is attempting thrive in an era that is changing so rapidly that the way a sport is consumed might be radically different in just one season.

Hmmm...profound, though not entirely accurate until I get a PGA Tour Live press release touting some numbers. Any numbers.

But hey, it's a golf panel at the cool kids conference, so I get the hard sell mode. I'll stop interrupting...

Does a round count at a Topgolf range and is a fan of an irreverent smartphone video worth the same attention as an argyle-wearing TV-watcher?

Ok, I know I said I was done interrupting but seriously? An argyle association?

How can golf keep the attention of potential fans? This panel will explore these challenges, examining what a game that can be burdened with its tradition and but lives by its history needs to do to survive the attention span of a 20-year-old.

Eh-em, golf's history dates back at least 400 years so I'm guessing it'll survive the attention span of today's 20-year-old.

But hey you guys explore, we can't wait to study the transcript for deep, deep thoughts on how to survive the 20-year-old's attention span!

Monday
Mar132017

Video: The King's Augusta National Yardage Book

I can't think of a better way to kick off Bay Hill week than this great stuff from Amanda Balionis inside Arnold Palmer's office sharing The King's handcrafted, homemade, small batch ANGC yardage book:

 

Sunday
Mar122017

Cantlay Shines Positive Light On Tour's Major Medical Exemption

There has always been plenty of grumbling over the PGA Tour's major medical exemptions and players using them in strange ways, but I don't think anyone can doubt the importance of the clause when it works. At least, that was my takeaway from Patrick Cantlay's stirring bid to catch Adam Hadwin at the Valspar Championship Sunday.

Funny though, Cantlay suggested he wanted the win (and played like it). The exemption essentially is satisfied by the second place check, though the former UCLA Bruin wanted (and played like) someone wanting a win. From Brentley Romine's Golfweek.com report:

Still, Cantlay will leave Tampa disappointed. He bogeyed his 72nd hole. A par would have forced a playoff and a birdie would have won him his first PGA Tour tournament.

“It didn’t really feel like a burden to begin with,” Cantlay said of the medical extension. “I’m not too worried about that. You know, it doesn’t really feel like much consolation at the moment. I didn’t finish the deal.”

As for Hadwin, the win capped off a 2017 run that has been building toward a signature victory. His post round comments, his bag, Kevin Casey's Valapar roundup, and the PGA Tour Entertainment highlights.