Twitter: GeoffShac
  • 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 โ€“ A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event โ€“ 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

As each year goes by I fear the true sporting spirit of match play is less and less in evidence. We find a growing disposition for play to concentrate on the figures that are registered at a hole rather than on the question of whether the hole is lost or won in a purely friendly match. TOM SIMPSON

 

  

Sunday
Oct012017

Wraparound Absurdity: Web.com Tour Finals Spill Into Monday, Graduates Expected In Napa Thursday

Just a reminder: it was retired PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem's vision to save four fall events, turn those into the start of the next season in the "wraparound" season concept. It's looking more ridiculous by the day as Web.com Tour Finals grads who have been grinding the last two months  need to turn around and tee up in Thursday's 2017-18 PGA Tour season starter in Napa Valley.

And now with a rain-delayed Monday finish, they have two days to prepare for the start of their PGA Tour season. Oh and a status reshuffle looms after Sea Island.

Visionary!

Sunday
Oct012017

Task For Bros: Tiger And Phil Show They're Friends, But Will They Hang Around When The Other Wins (Again)?

Of course not, but it's still nice to see these two rivals and Task Force partners sharing in the celebratory mood and no doubt thanking their bud Tom Watson for helping bring everyone closer together. Next thing you know they'll be hanging out by the 18th green the next time one of them wins a golf tournament.

This big hug followed Team USA's 2017 Presidents Cup win.

After play, the two insisted it's the media's fault for not seeing what friends they are, reports Will Gray for GolfChannel.com. Tiger:

“I think the press has made it out to be more than what it has been. We’ve been friends for a very long time,” Woods said. “We’ve had some tough moments where we’ve lost some cups, and also the flip side is we’ve had some great success. Hopefully, going forward, we can continue doing it.”

Sunday
Oct012017

Wanted: LPGA On-Site Weather Experts, Pronto

Another week, another strange decision by the LPGA to resume play, this time in the New Zealand Women's Open that was eventually finished on Monday. Brooke Henderson is your winner.

A roundup of the player criticism here at Golfweek, which included Belen Mozo suggesting the players "were like sheep."

The video is pretty epic if you haven't seen it.

Sunday
Oct012017

Not Trumped! 45 Delivers The Presidents Cup To Team USA

Team USA's victorious 2017 Presidents Cup team received the gold trophy from President Donald Trump who kept his remarks brief.

Golfweek's David Dusek on the presidential arrival and visit.

Things got off to a rocky start when the President hit send on a Tweet that criticized his predecessors.

The full transcript for those eager to relive the moment, the video and the text:

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: They are very talented, and they really are people that have good hearts. I want to congratulate the Internationals.

On behalf of all of the people of Texas, of all of the people of -- if you look today, if you see what's happening, how horrible it is but we have it under really great control, Puerto Rico, and the people of Florida, who are really suffering over this last short period of time with hurricanes. I want to just remember them and we are going to dedicate this trophy to all of those people that went through so much.

And I tell you what, I've been watching this from the beginning, and I have to say our Team USA, wow, did you play well.

That great putter that I've been copying his putting stroke for many, many years, but it hasn't worked; Steve Stricker. We're going to present Steve with the trophy. I want to thank everybody. This is a special group of folks, tremendous money is donated to charity by the TOUR every year.

Stricker said it was a great honor to be the first captain to receive the cup from a sitting President of the United States, Will Gray reports.

The circumstances led to some fascinating scenes, including this sight of Commissioner Jay Monahan having been commissioned by Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky for a photo with Donald Trump.


Saturday
Sep302017

The Presidents Cup Almost Ends...A Day Early!

I know some saw a blowout coming but clinching the Presidents Cup on Saturday before a single match is played?

It almost happened if not for the heroics of Si Woo Kim and Anirban Lahiri, who beat Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell 1-up to earn a point. This still sends us to Sunday with the U.S. needing just a point to win the Presidents Cup.

While those eager to harpoon this poor man's Ryder Cup will rejoice in the runaway, I will continue to remind that (A) team match play is still better than most stroke play events and (B)

Okay so I don't have much.

Let the solutions to the Presidents Cup begin...and please, let's be constructive!

Saturday
Sep302017

Why Is Four-Ball Play Not As Compelling As It Used To Be?

As day three of the President Cup carries on with an inevitable USA blowout, the contrast in urgency between foursomes and four-ball play has been noticeable.

Foursomes match play is faster, more volatile and more tense.

Four-ball match play just doesn't seem as lively as it used to be.

Martin Kaufmann noted in his Golfweek review of Friday's 2017 Presidents Cup four-ball session that pace of play was lethargic, making the telecast difficult to sit through.

Then, 2 hours 49 minutes into the show, Tom Abbott said this: “The first match has reached one of the most picturesque spots on the golf course, the short 10th hole.”

In other words, the pace of play was about 5 hours, 30 minutes for 18 holes. I’m not sure there’s anything a producer or director could do to inject excitement into the event when the players are sucking the life out of it with such tedious play.

The pace of play certainly is a factor, but it wasn't that long ago foursomes was less appreciated than four-ball. Alternate shot was seen as fluky, four-ball was a purer test (our friends in the UK, to their credit, never subscribed to this thinking).

Liberty National's lack of great risk-reward holes also reduces the number of four-ball situations where player A can take the safe route to set up a bolder shot by player B. Again, this puts the emphasis on putting over the total package of shotmaking and strategy.

Finally, the consistency and reliability of today's players, combined with improved equipment and conditioning, turns many matches into contests of putting over genuine strategy-fueled jousting. It's hard to create great risk-reward scenarios at today's distances with today's skill. Sure, we will still have players get nervous and even some team-pressure meltdowns, but the overall elevated consistency, regardless of cause, tends to place a greater emphasis on putting.

Now, we could make four-ball play a more compelling and speedier putting contest by forcing players to play their ball down on the greens. Besides elminating the tedium of watching golfers line up their arrows with the path to the hole, we might even have the occasional stymie scenario. Gasp!

Saturday
Sep302017

A Sunday Presidents Cup Visit By President Trump Seems Likely

As I write for Golfweek.com, the signs were less than subtle Friday of an impending visit. To no one's surprise, it's unclear when or what the President plans to do, though an afternoon visit for the trophy ceremony is the current 2-1 betting favorite.

But he is, after all, the Honorary Presidents Cup Captain!

Friday
Sep292017

"The Other Arnold: Palmer's daughter reflects on the chasm between the brand and the man"

Carve out a few minutes for Michael Bamberger's Golf.com story on Peg Palmer if you haven't already. A year after her father's death, the 61-year-old is celebrating her father's legacy but also lamenting many things, from the production values of her father's funeral to the $25,000 designated for Doc Giffin in the estate. Mostly, however, she fears the Arnold Palmer "brand" will "subsume any real sense of whom her father was."

It's a fascinating read on many levels and clear the 61-year-old has no interest in tainting her father's legacy. However, she's not a fan of some.

The power, the fame, the money, at some point it distorted who he was," Peg said. "Marketing turned Daddy into somebody who was pretty bland, and he was not bland." Mark McCormack and Alastair Johnston and the company they worked for, IMG, comes up often in her conversations. McCormack, the founder of IMG, was a marketing genius. Johnston got the deals signed and tracked the numbers. Peg finds Johnston, a native Scot, to be opaque and cold in their business dealings. But her standards are outside the norm. She is uncommonly giving and open.

For all of her concerns expressed, there was also this endearing image of her father:

"He put the time into his clubs because he loved doing it—he was a man who did what he loved. My dad was a manly man, kind of macho, kind of a chauvinist, but he was also a very creative person. The workshop gave him a chance to be creative. It wasn't mindless repetition. It was part of a process. He was at his most focused, his most engaged, his most peaceful, when he was in the workshop. It was a tonic for him. He liked seeing sparks fly, he liked all the stimuli of the workshop.

"Working on the clubs also kept him in touch with his working-class roots. I think my dad really celebrated the working class, and he felt connected to people who did things for themselves, as he did. That helped him be the architect of his own destiny. Doing things with his own tools, with his own hands, that was part of his identity.

Friday
Sep292017

PGA Tour, Golf Channel With Some Good Ratings News

The Tour Championship final numbers haven't been posted, but the two preceding PGA Tour playoff events demonstrated nice ratings spikes, reports Paulsen at Sports Media Watch. (Love that he still calls is the Western, but this is indeed, the BMW now.)

Final round coverage of the PGA Tour Western Open delivered 1.9 million viewers on NBC Sunday afternoon, up 23% from last year (1.5M), up 6% from 2015 (1.7M) and the largest audience for the tournament since 2012, when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson finished in the top three (3.6M).

Ratings increased 25% (from 1.00 to 1.25) and also hit a multi-year high.

The Dell Technologies on Labor Day weekend was the highest rated since 2013 for Justin Thomas' win.

Final round coverage of the PGA Tour at Boston earned a 2.0 rating and 2.9 million viewers on NBC Monday afternoon, up a third in ratings and 27% in viewership from last year (1.5, 2.3M) and flat and down 1% respectively from 2015 (2.0, 3.0M).

Golf Channel posted its second most watched third quarter, exceeded only by last year's Olympic-fueled August.

For Immediate Release:

Golf Channel Digital Records Highest Quarter of Streaming Consumption Ever, Marking 11th Straight Quarter of Year-Over-Year Growth
 
Golf Channel Continues to Rank as No. 1 Most-Affluent Audience in All of Television in Total Day and Primetime
 
The Open, Slate of Women’s Golf Events, FedExCup Playoffs
and World Long Drive Highlight 3rd Quarter Viewership
 
ORLANDO, Fla. (September 28, 2017) – Golf Channel posted its 2nd most-watched third quarter on record after drawing 116,000 average viewers in Total Day, up 2% vs. 2015. Trailing 2016 with golf’s inclusion in the Rio Olympics, 2017’s third quarter was down 3% YOY and up 5% YOY when excluding Olympic content. This record viewership in a non-Olympic year was driven in part by The Open, a slate of premier women’s golf events, and the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. Golf Channel also continued the network’s run in drawing the most-affluent audience in all of television in both Total Day and Primetime, according to data released by The Nielsen Company.
 
GOLF CHANNEL THIRD QUARTER VIEWERSHIP SINCE JOINING
NBC SPORTS GROUP IN 2011:
2017                116,000
2016                120,000                       -3% (+5% excluding Rio Olympics content)
2015                114,000                       +2%
2014                106,000                       +9%
2013                112,000                       +4%
2012                102,000                       +14%
2011                85,000                         +36%
2010                74,000                         +57%
 
GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL POSTS RECORD STREAMING CONSUMPTION
Golf Channel Digital already has posted its highest quarter of streaming consumption ever with third quarter through Wed., Sept. 27 drawing a total of 171.2 million minutes (with an additional three days of streaming the 2017 Presidents Cup still to come in Golf Channel Digital’s third quarter). Third quarter is currently up 16% vs. 2016 third quarter in total live minutes streamed, which includes 2016 Rio Olympics content (up 58% vs. 2016 excluding Olympic content).
 
 
ADDITIONAL VIEWERSHIP NOTES FOR THIRD QUARTER, 2017

·       2017 FedExCup Playoffs: Total Audience Delivery (TAD) for Golf Channel on NBC’s coverage of the last three FedExCup Playoff events was 2.137 million viewers, up 13% vs. 2016. And Golf Channel’s TAD for live early-round coverage of all four FedExCup Playoff events delivered 615k average viewers, up 27% vs. 2016.
·       The Open: This is the second year of NBC Sports’ coverage of The Open.

o   The final round’s TAD for Golf Channel on NBC was 4.97 million average viewers, up 1% vs. 2016.

o   Golf Channel on NBC’s linear broadcasts household rating (3.23) was the second highest for golf’s 2017 major championship final rounds: PGA Championship (3.22) and U.S. Open (3.12).

o   NBC Sports’ Digital platforms delivered 100.8 million live minutes streamed (+96% YOY), 917k unique devices (+51% YOY), and 34k average minute audience (+92% YOY). Golf Channel Digital for The Open week totaled 42 million page views (+12% YOY), the most for any week on record, and 8.9 million total visits (+18% YOY)

·       Women’s Golf:

o   KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Seen by a total audience of 6.58 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, it marks the largest total audience for the event on record and second largest for women’s majors in 2017. Final round coverage on NBC posted a .6 US household rating (+18% YOY) and 840k average viewers (+21% YOY), making it the most-watched telecast in the event’s history (2006-2017), both ranking 2nd for women’s majors in 2017.

o   RICOH Women’s British Open: Seen by a total audience of 7.01 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the RICOH Women’s British Open posted its largest total audience since 2005 (7.12 million), and was the largest total audience for the 2017 women’s majors. Final round coverage on NBC posted a .78 U.S. household rating (+22% YOY) and 1.1 million average viewers (+28% YOY), both ranking 1st for women’s majors in 2017, despite its morning/early afternoon timeslot.

o   2017 Women’s Major Championships:

§  RICOH Women’s British Open (NBC): Final Round: .78 rating, 1.1 million avg. viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 7.01 million

§  KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (NBC): Final Round .60 rating, 840k avg. viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 6.58 million

§  U.S. Women’s Open (FOX): Final Round .56 rating, 790k viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 5.98 million

§  ANA Inspiration (Golf Channel): Final Round .35 rating, 551k viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 3.62 million

§  The Evian Championship (Golf Channel): Final Round .13 rating, 181k viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 3.13 million

o   Solheim Cup: Seen by a total audience of 7.3 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the Solheim Cup posted the largest total audience for women’s golf since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on ESPN/NBC. Golf Channel’s live coverage of the final day drew 795k average viewers, becoming the most-watched women’s golf event on cable in the last eight years, since the final day of the 2009 Solheim Cup

·       FEHERTY 7th SEASON:

o   Became the most-watched season to date for both Live+Same Day (202k average viewers) and Live+3 Days (298k average viewers) for premiere episodes.

o   Feherty’s 100th Episode (July 24) was the 5th most-watched premiere episode of all time, trailing only both weeks of season premieres with Jordan Spieth (March 2016) and Phil Mickelson (March 2017).

o   The season finale with reigning PGA champion and eventual FedExCup champion Justin Thomas (263k average viewers-Live+3, Sept 4) became the 5th most-watched premiere in season 7, behind both season premieres with Phil Mickelson (640k average viewers-Live+3, 616k average viewers-Live+3), the April premiere with Matthew McConaughey (299k average viewers-Live+3) and the 100th Episode in July (421k average viewers-Live+3).

·       World Long Drive Association: Golf Channel expanded its schedule to feature three televised events in 2017, including the Clash in the Canyon (June 6, Mesquite, Nev.), Mile High Showdown (July 25, Denver, Colo.) and the Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Sept 5-6, Thackerville, Okla.).

o   Clash in the Canyon: 1.05 million unique viewers across all telecasts during premiere week of the newly televised event. (2nd Quarter)

o   Mile High Showdown: 1.34 million unique viewers across all telecasts during premiere week of the newly televised event.

o   Volvik World Long Drive Championship: 2.15 million unique viewers across all telecasts during premiere week, up 32% vs. 2016’s World Championship and the most-viewed World Long Drive Championship week in its five-year history on Golf Channel.

One other TV note: the PGA Tour and Twitter have renewed their streaming agreement after year one of providing pre-PGA Tour live coverage.

Thursday
Sep282017

Presidents 42, 43, 44 Put The Presidents In The Presidents Cup

Given the current climate there was no more welcome sight than three former Presidents turning up at The Presidents Cup first tee. Shoot, they could have strutted in Travolta/Stayin' Alive style and no one would have blamed former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

NBC's Willie Geist hosted the first tee festivities that also included appearances by the PGA Tour's three living Commissioners, Deane Beman, Tim Finchem and Jay Monahan.

But there was only one big three on property and given that this was a first for the Cup, a historic day in the history of great "gets".

Doug Ferguson's AP story on the 2017 kick off.

Will Gray on the strategy discussions President Clinton enjoyed with Tiger and friends.

Kevin Casey with a roundup of social posts from the first tee.

Phil Mickelson took his first selfie with the Presidents. Brother Tim Mickelson posted it to Instagram:

 

Phil’s first selfie. Almost cropped himself out. Come on man!!!

A post shared by Tim Mickelson (@timmick29) on Sep 28, 2017 at 10:09am PDT

 

It's a moment those of us lucky enough to cover the game won't forget.

 

Presidents 42, 43 and 44 @presidentscup first tee Thursday

A post shared by Geoff Shackelford (@geoffshac) on Sep 28, 2017 at 12:05pm PDT

 

Thursday
Sep282017

Roundup: Presidents Cup Preview As Three Former Presidents Scheduled To Kick Things Off

It's here! The madness, the mania, the match play!

But come on, three presidents on one property who all love golf? It will be a special day regardless of how the first day foursomes play out, with Presidents Clinton, Bush (43) and Obama kicking off the proceedings. Brentley Romine with the few known details of news that arrived on Presidents Cup eve.

While the Presidents Cup is no Ryder Cup, it is team match play and you know my motto: the worst team match play event is still bound to be more fun and exciting than the typical stroke play tournament.

The opening day foursomes matches look intriguing enough, with the Day/Leishman v. Mickelson/Kisner match of most interest to me.

The opening hole and tee shot is a doozy, writes Brentley Romine.

You might not be super pumped about the Presidents Cup but at Golfweek.com I'm offering a few reasons to be intrigued (and not including the possible Presidential visit Sunday).

Looming over the proceedings today is the incredible excitement over a gathering of three Presidents, but a looming potential visit Sunday from President Trump has delivered some consternation.

Eamon Lynch for Golfweek on the Trump complications including this:

A text message from one member of Team USA’s inner circle reveals that players are anticipating “a (expletive) show” with Trump’s appearance. Does that mean they’d rather he stay away? “All the Americans voted for him, so….” came the reply.

But the politics of players isn’t relevant to Trump’s likely appearance, no more than the voting patterns of LPGA golfers mattered when he pitched up at the U.S. Women’s Open, which was held at his New Jersey course this summer.

What is becoming apparent is that President Trump regards golf as a safe harbor, a world in which he will find a welcome, no matter how vulgar, divisive or incendiary his rhetoric.

The current course routing created for this event. My Golfweek take on that routing's potentially bizarre par-3 finish.

Geoff Ogilvy, cart driving this week for the International team and in charge of fetching water for the Aussie players, singles out the 10th and 12th holes as the most interesting in this PresidentsCup.com piece.

Alex Miceli at MorningRead.com says Tim Finchem's Presidents Cup tried to ride the coattails of the Ryder Cup and has failed.

Tiger got most of the questions during Wednesday's shuttle drivers press conference and got some headlines for suggesting he may never play again. I report for Golfweek.

The Presidents Cup schedule of events.

 All of the TV and streaming times.

The PGA Tour's Facebook page will have live streaming of the first tee ceremony festivities, which commence at 12:20 pm ET. The Presidents Cup Twitter account will also feature a live stream.

The venue from above:

Two hours until this place is packed with the world's best fans ๐Ÿ™Œ

A post shared by Presidents Cup (@presidentscup) on Sep 28, 2017 at 4:10am PDT

 

 

Wednesday
Sep272017

ShackHouse 49: Presidents Cup And PGA Tour Season Review!

House and I are back to preview the Presidents Cup and hand out some juicy predictions...well decent bets, plus why you should care about the event. We also kick around the FedExCup conclusion and World Golf Hall of Fame's issues getting noticed.

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

Here is The Ringer's show page.

Same deal with Art19 for the show, and Episode 49 is here to listen to right now. Or this new platform or wherever podcasts are streamed.

ShackHouse is brought to you by Callaway, and of course, the new Steelhead fairway woods along with the new O-Works from Odyssey as well.

Wednesday
Sep272017

Showing Up Is Still Hard To Do For Golf's Under-55 (Males)

The World Golf Hall Of Fame produced another special evening at Cipriani in New York to usher in the 2017 class consisting of Henry Longhurst, Davis Love, Meg Mallon, Lorena Ochoa and Ian Woosnam.

Jeff Babineau of Golfweek shares the thoughts of inductees on a ceremony eve  that gathered the largest-ever past Hall attendance. (Counts varied, but 1300 tournament wins and 150 major championship wins were represented by the 34 pictured to your right.)

The LPGA Tour is in New Zealand this week, but their American-based players turned out to support their former rival, Ochoa. Besides another stellar turnout of past female HOF inductees, current stars Morgan Pressel, Michelle Wie, Cristie Kerr and Stacy Lewis were in attendance.

Even though the ceremony was timed to coincide with the 2017 Presidents Cup so  officials and players gathering in New York could attend, most under-55 male stars failed to take the hint: your attendance would have been enjoyed at the World Golf Hall of Fame ceremony. You might even learn that the game was played well before 1999!

As Doug Ferguson highlighted in his AP game story, Love insisted the night was the greatest honor of a life well-lived. Yet not one player or assistant from Love's 2016 Ryder Cup squad or the 2017 Presidents Cup team was able to show support in person.

Granted, there are team room table tennis games to play, room service appetizers to devour and naps to take. But given how much nonsense is uttered when today's young players hang around after a buddy wins, the no-show brigade suggests the admiration does not extend to their elders or golf's history. The history-makers, cord-cutters before there were cord-cutters and trailblazers who allow today's giants to play for massive money.

But worse than the younger players not attending: the noticeable absense of longtime Love competitors and Cup colleagues--Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Nick Price, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk--who are all in town and yet unable to make the short trip from a downtown hotel to Wall Streets' beautiful Cipriani ballroom. The first four are current World Golf Hall of Fame members, the last two will be inducted some day.

These lines from Love's speech suggest how he will feel about this no-show brigade when reflecting on the night, but only after he's soaked up the great vibes and love from his proud family:

I was lucky enough to play for Arnold and for Jack, too, when they were captains of Presidents Cup teams. I was lucky enough to have Watson, Kite, Watkins, Strange and Sutton as my Ryder Cup captains. I was a captain twice of Ryder Cup teams. This week I'll be an assistant captain of a Presidents Cup for a third time. When I look back over the 31 years of my professional career, my involvement in these team matches, matches that have brought together the world of golf, have meant as much to me as anything I have done in the game. And I'm looking forward to supporting my teammates this week at Liberty National.

Too bad they couldn't be bothered to return the Love.

Tuesday
Sep262017

Liberty National Gets The Ole Hospitality Tent Re-Route And Comes Out Better For It

Look, this isn't shuffling the order of Rumours or Kind Of Blue.

This is Liberty National, the slightly schizophrenic Bob Cupp/Tom Kite design full of interesting moments but a bit unsure what it wants to be (Augusta North? Whistling East?).

Still, I'm never a fan of re-routings for these Cup events in the name of hospitality or function, but the PGA Tour has re-routed Liberty National for both business and entertainment reasons. The 2017 Presidents Cup shoudl be better for it.

As I explain here at Golfweek, finishing on a par-3 seems bizarre given the lack of tournament sucess with them in recent years. But I think it might work out here given that the starting point was the club's 18th hole, now the 14th.

Tuesday
Sep262017

Video: Day & Mickelson On Dan Patrick, Things Get (Fun) Feisty!

There is some fun stuff in this 14 minute exchange, particularly between Phil Mickelson and Dan Patrick starting around the 3:30 mark. It's all in good fun!

Patrick also asks some good questions about match play and the Presidents Cup.

Mickelson, by the way, has resigned with Callaway for the rest of his competitive life.

Tuesday
Sep262017

Presidents Cup: Team USA Won't Be Taking A Knee

While Darius Rucker is belting out the anthem--because of course he is--during Thursday's first tee ceremony, Team USA and the International squad will be preparing for day one's five foursomes matches.

USA Captain Steve Stricker was asked a few different ways about the recent protests and displays of unity at sporting events and says it was discussed by the team.

Q. And Steve, not that it's likely to happen, but what would your thoughts be if one of your players wanted to stage a silent protest during the National Anthem?
STEVE STRICKER: Say that again?

Q. What would your thoughts be if one of your players wanted to follow the NFL players and stage a silent protest during the National Anthem?

STEVE STRICKER: We've had a discussion already and none of my players want to do that.

He was asked again later on:

Q. You said your team has discussed what to do with the National Anthem this week, and in other sports over the weekend, we've seen it become very contentious. Golfers, by the nature of what you're doing, don't have a National Anthem played at every event but this will be different. Can you elaborate on what the discussion was you had with your players?

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I just wanted to know what they wanted to do and how we wanted to proceed as a team. So we were going to do what we always do and that's take off our hat and put our hands across our chest and over our heart and respect the flag. So that's what we're planning on doing.

Appearing on Morning Drive, Team USA assistant cart driver and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Davis Love assured all that there will be no displays of unity, protest or otherwise. Ryan Lavner reports.

“I think you’ll see in golf that there’s a little bit more restraint,” he said Tuesday on “Morning Drive”. “We adhere to our rulebook and to our core values and to our traditions, and I think that’s why our sport is so successful."

“There’s a time for us to protest, and it really isn’t during the national anthem. We ought to take a break during the prayer or during the national anthem to thank our country, to thank our forefathers who went before us. And then we can protest with our votes, with our letters to our congressmen or however we want.

“But I think President Trump is right. There is a time for protest, and it probably isn’t during the national anthem. Our country has fought hard for that right.”

The video:

Tuesday
Sep262017

Reminder: World Golf HOF Induction Tonight, 7 pm ET

It may not be in your local listings, but the World Golf Hall of Fame ceremony will air during Golf Channel's Live From the Presidents Cup coverage during the 7-9 pm ET window.

Your 2017 inductees, bringing the hall to 155 members:

Henry Longhurst

Davis Love

Meg Mallon

Lorena Ochoa

Ian Woosnam

Ryan Herrington at Golf World filed fun look at things you might not know about the inductees.

Garry Smits of the Florida Times Union filed this on Davis Love, who still can't believe the company he is joining.

Cara Robinson, who is tonight's presenter, with a preview on Morning Drive.

Monday
Sep252017

Video: Eye On Design, Tillinger Shirts

As the Presidents Cup arrives in the greater New York City region, it seems like a fine time to shift the Eye On Design focus from golf architecture to a Manhattan golf-focused clothing company in the making.

If you're an entrepreneur looking for a little inspiration, check out Jordan Sack's story in this nice feature by The Unconventionalist.

I stumbled on Sack's Instagram page thanks to a recommendation by the social media platform, and soon learned the "Till" portion of the name was inspired by his appreciation for golf architecxt A.W. Tillinghast. Since then I've enjoyed his "stories" and images from New York City detailing the creation of the Tillinger shirt brand.

Now in the third batch of golf shirts combining moisture-wicking fabric with excellent fit, these Made in the USA shirts sport enough flair to make the shirts wearable off the course, too. Sack's is the youngest of several companies devoted to making clothes designed for the golf swing and a lifestyle that includes wearing collared shirts (untucked) off the course.

You can check out Sack's website here, and specifically, the Gotham, Charlie2 and Maverick shirts from his latest batch. Tillinger shirts retail for $68 (shipping and golf tees included).

On the fit side, I'm 6/2 195 and have purchased a Large in the Maverick and Charlie and love them. My Eye On Design review:

Monday
Sep252017

Acushnet Announces Retirement Of Wally Uihlein, Effective January 1, 2018

Big news out of Fairhaven as the longtime leader of the Acushnet family of brands is retiring at year's end.

David Maher, the current top lieutenant at Titleist, will take over January 1, 2018.

For Immediate Release:

Acushnet Holdings Corp. Announces Retirement of Wally Uihlein, President and CEO, effective as of January 1, 2018

David Maher appointed President and CEO

FAIRHAVEN, MA – September 25, 2017 - Acushnet Holdings Corp. (NYSE:  GOLF) (“Acushnet”) announced today that Wally Uihlein, President and Chief Executive Officer, has notified the Acushnet Board of Directors of his plan to retire, effective January 1, 2018.  Uihlein started with Acushnet in 1976 and has been the senior golf executive since 1995.  Uihlein will remain on the Acushnet Board of Directors and also become Advisor to the Chairman.

Acushnet also announced that its Board of Directors has appointed David Maher, Acushnet’s current Chief Operating Officer, to succeed Mr. Uihlein as President and CEO, effective upon Mr. Uihlein’s retirement.  Mr. Maher, age 49, joined the Company in 1991 and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in June 2016.  Prior to that, Mr. Maher was Senior Vice President, Titleist Worldwide Sales and Global Operations from February 2016 to June 2016 and Vice President, Titleist U.S. Sales from 2001 to January 2016.   

Commenting on the announcement, Acushnet Chairman Gene Yoon said "We thank Wally Uihlein for his forty plus years with Acushnet and the terrific leadership he has provided during this time.  I am very happy that Wally will remain on the Board and also serve as Advisor to the Chairman.  Acushnet will continue to benefit from his extensive knowledge and experience in areas such as strategic planning, acquisitions, player promotion and golf equipment regulatory matters.”

Yoon continued "I also want to congratulate David Maher on his promotion to President and CEO.  During his twenty six years with the Company, David has demonstrated both the leadership and strategy skills that will ensure that Acushnet will continue to be one of the leading companies in the worldwide golf industry.”

Monday
Sep252017

Tiger's Looking Forward To A (Golf Course) Proactive Chairmanship From Fred Ridley

Tiger Warren Wind's 1500 word blog post yielded the predictable glee over news of putting contests at the house with Rickie and Justin, but there were a few more intriguing references for the seasoned Woods observer.

Given his recent book and the extensive chapter on technology taking away much of the Augusta National he knew, this Woods line regarding new Chairman Fred Ridley suggests he's looking for changes.

All of the players are looking forward to becoming better acquainted with his successor, Fred Ridley. He’s an accomplished player and I look for him to be more instrumental on the golf course side of things and how it plays.

No more mowing fairways toward tees, maybe?

A firmer, tighter and faster Augusta National would show how ridiculously dated the course has become despite governing body claims of a distance flatlining over the last decade.

Either way, a throwaway line from Woods is a reminder that with the change in Chairmanships, something of note is around the corner.