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

Today, many are trying to obtain a temporary advantage by buying the latest far-flying ball on the market. It is often suggested that we have already got to the limit of flight of a golf ball. I do not believe it, as there is no limit to science. ALISTER MACKENZIE

  

Thursday
Feb082018

John Daly's Claret Jug Is Up For Auction...

You have two weeks and the bidding's at $30,000 on the Heritage Auction site. I don't remember any Jugs going up for sale in recent times, so this should get interesting.

Bill Speros with the details at Golfweek.com.

The auction page.

Thursday
Feb082018

Milstein's $15 Million Purchase Of Golf Magazine Becomes Official, Also Accelerating Nicklaus Companies Role

The New York Posts Keith Kelley reports on the sale of Golf Magazine to New York Private Bank and Trust, headed by Howard Milstein. The original sale decision was reported on this site December 11th, 2017, with a closing date of January 19th that sources say was extended after negotiations hit snags over a variety of issues.

Kelley puts the price at "around $15 million" and features this statement from Milstein:

“We look foward to continuing Golf Magazine’s long history of editorial excellence, both in its print edition and through its Web site and other offerings,” said Milstein, who is the chairman and chief executive of New York Private Bank and Trust, which operates Emigrant Bank and its private equity arm, Emigrant Capital.

There is also this good news for some of my golf writing colleagues:

Editor-in-Chief David DeNunzio and the entire staff are expected to be retained by the new owners

The deal ends rumors of a collapse in negotiations and any immediate hopes of Milstein purchasing another golf publication. Milstein owns several golf companies and while his plans are unclear, the Golf.com URL and opportunity to cross-promote his various brands appears to be the primary reason for purchasing Golf Magazine.

In other Milstein news, his investment in Jack Nicklaus will continue and change with the Golden Bear stepping away from day-to-day Nicklaus Companies commitments.

For Immediate Release:

A strategy that was born a little more than 10 years ago when Jack Nicklaus brought on Howard Milstein as a partner to grow the business, institutionalize the Nicklaus and Golden Bear brands, and create a transition to the future of one of the golf industry’s most enduring and recognizable companies has reached a juncture where Jack Nicklaus has decided to step away from the day-to-day commitments of the Nicklaus Companies and re-prioritize his time and focus.

The foundations of the Nicklaus Companies were created almost 50 years ago, with the mission to promote the game of golf, preserve its great traditions and grow the game. Over those decades, Nicklaus Companies and its predecessors have been committed to efforts to enhance the golf experience, and to bring to the national and international consumer, golf-related businesses and services that mirror the high standards established in the career and life of Jack Nicklaus. Products and services include golf-course design, development of golf and real estate communities, and the marketing and licensing of golf products and services. Earlier this year, the National Golf Foundation recognized the Nicklaus Companies as one of the Top-100 Businesses in Golf.

Jack Nicklaus is committed to ensuring that the company remains among the industry’s most respected and successful.

“I have spent my life building the Nicklaus Companies, and there has come a time in my life when I need to reduce my level of involvement and pursue many other things I am very interested in, such as charity work—specifically efforts focused on children’s healthcare—supporting the industry’s initiatives to grow this great game, and being involved in many other things outside of my involvement in the Nicklaus Companies,” Jack Nicklaus said.

“I am 78 years old, and while my health is excellent, and I have a great deal of energy and enthusiasm, it became apparent by last fall that it was time for me to spend more time on these other activities. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, and there is no reason for me to do so, because I will continue to support the Nicklaus Companies and I want the company to be successful. However, my life has changed and I wish to support my wife, as well as other family members, in any endeavor they are involved. I have said many times that Barbara spent much of her life supporting me and my career, and for the last few years, I have tried to dedicate my time and energies to supporting her and what she is involved in. I am enjoying that aspect and want to continue to devote my time to her and these other life-changing efforts, and to enjoy our lives together. I would like to thank Howard. He has enabled me to monetize what I have built in this company, take care of my family, and allowed me the time to focus on these other priorities in my life.”

In 2004, a year before Jack played his final competitive round in a major championship, the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation (nchcf.org) was founded. Since then, the Foundation has raised more than $83 million for pediatric care programs in South Florida and beyond. In 2015, world-renowned Miami Children’s Hospital was renamed Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. In November 2017, the entire Miami Children’s Health System was rebranded to Nicklaus Children’s, including 14 outpatient facilities up the Southeast Florida coast and west to Naples.

In 2007, Jack Nicklaus partnered with Howard Milstein to help further the growth of the company and to realize the full potential of the brands and branded businesses. Howard Milstein is Chairman of New York Private Bank & Trust, the country’s largest family owned and operated bank.

Nicklaus-branded products have been marketed worldwide since 1962. The Jack Nicklaus and Golden Bear-branded lifestyle collection of products includes: golf academies; ice cream; restaurants; beverages; beverageware; wine; home appliances; apparel; footwear; and golf equipment. Many of these have been introduced in the last decade, as the focus was placed on building the brand.

Meanwhile, Nicklaus Design continues to be recognized as the world leader in golf course design, with 415 courses open for play in 45 countries and 39 U.S states. Jack Nicklaus has designed, co-designed or re-designed over 300 courses around the globe, more than 100 of which have been ranked in various national or international Top-100 lists. He will continue to support the golf course design projects currently under development.

Jack Nicklaus will remain as Co-Chairman of the Nicklaus Companies, while Milstein will assume the role of Executive Chairman. The Nicklaus Family will continue to be the majority owner of the Company, with Emigrant/Milstein being a significant investor, and Jack Nicklaus II and Gary Nicklaus continue to serve as members of the Board. In addition, Jack Nicklaus II, who has active golf course design projects all over the world, including Malaysia and Vietnam, remains President of Nicklaus Design.

“Jack Nicklaus has basically spent a lifetime building a successful company and brand that is viewed as the strongest in golf, and we embrace the opportunity and responsibility to make certain this great brand—one that represents excellence—continues to grow in global prominence,” Milstein said. “Jack has also built a company with experienced, talented, innovative and hard-working people, and those colleagues are as much a part of his legacy as the company itself. From CEO John Reese to the management team and the entire staff at the Nicklaus Companies, we have enormous confidence in their ability and are positioned so that the next generation of the Nicklaus Companies will build on the strength Jack and his family created, and that Jack will remain very proud of the legacy he has established. Jack will ensure that the company and the people behind it continue the success enjoyed to date, and he will be a part of it for many years to come.”

Milstein, whose passion for the game of golf has led him to acquire in recent years a number of golf-related businesses—such as True Spec, GolfLogix, Miura, and, just this week, GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com—applauded Jack Nicklaus’ commitment to the game and to his many efforts aimed at giving back to the game.

“Everywhere you turn, Jack Nicklaus has left his imprint on the game of golf,” Milstein added. “About 50 years ago, he was instrumental in creating the enormously successful PGA TOUR we know and enjoy today. In 1976, he created the Memorial Tournament—his gift to Central Ohio that has become one of golf’s most prestigious events. He has been a national co-chair and Trustee of The First Tee, and he and the company have become a Trustee of the PGA of America’s charitable arm, PGA REACH. Jack has certainly given far more back to the game than it has given him, and I know he will continue to impact the game and charity on a daily basis. I am proud to call him a partner.

Thursday
Feb082018

PGA Tour Addresses Bunker Liner Abuse With Local Rule

As the world's best superintendents and their teams converge on San Antonio for this week's Golf Industry Show, one product many are told they need: bunker liners.

These expensive products, which follow the unsuccessful effort of previous products to prevent sand contamination, are sadly expected now for courses that absolutely should be spending on other products or personnel. A hazard is a hazard!

In 2017, two high profile incidents involving Branden Grace and Charley Hoffman involved the players struggling to take a stance, they claimed because of the liners. Both, coincidentally, faced "fried egg" lies. Both were granted relief to the consternation of millions.

The Forecaddie obtained the PGA Tour's "hard card" for local rules and other rules-related information available to players each week and reports on the new language preventing relief from the liners.

Wednesday
Feb072018

Hmmm: Obama Lands In Monterey, Clubs In Tow

Purported to be in the Monterey Peninsula for the AT&T Leadership Conference coinciding with the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, former president Barack Obama brought the sticks along. Just in case the Cypress Point invite comes. Or? Could he be a last minute pro-am fill-in?

Stephen Ellison reports for the Bay Area's NBC affiliate.

Wednesday
Feb072018

Golf Instagram: Cypress Point, Hogan At The Crosby, An Alarming Fashion Trend And A Wild Trick Shot

Luke Donald played the 16th at Cypress Point. Some of his peers heckled him in the comment section.

Ben Hogan tees off on Pebble Beach’s 18th during the Crosby. Guess he wasn’t bothered by people getting too close or standing in the landing area.

Floral prints apparently are the new...stripes? There's a sense they'll be big in the golf shirt world in 2018. Consider yourself more than adequately warned.

Mathias Schjoelberg shows off the strongest hands in golf again, and this time holes out.




Wednesday
Feb072018

Youthquake? Statistical Evidence Showing The PGA Tour Plays A Young(er) Man's Game

Strokes gained creator and stat guru Mark Brodie has crunched numbers as far back as possible and concluded that, at least based on Strokes Gained, the elite player of 1996 to 2004 was a lot older than today's top players.

Writing for Golf.com:

From 1987 until 1996, the average age of the top 100 players in total strokes gained steadily rose from 32.3 years to 36.5 years. In that decade-long stretch, Watson and contemporaries like Greg Norman, Tom Kite and Hale Irwin were playing competitively into their late forties. The average age of the top 100 players remained steady between '96 and '04.

Since '04, Broadie finds that the average age of the top 100 strokes gained players "plummeted from 36.5 to 33.0 years."

Wednesday
Feb072018

Romo To Play New PGA Tour Event In The Dominican Republic

The first year Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship--the CPRACC as it'll become known in time--will be played opposite the WGC Dell Match Play in late March.

Given that this is a former Web.com Tour event looking for attention, it seems like a wise move. I've love to hear griping, but hopefully players have learned that (A) celebrity sponsor invites have been happening for almost a century, (B) opposite field events need all the the help they can get, and (C) the last players in most opposite field events are generally coming from a little known exempt status category called Hasn't Been Relevant In Years.

As with Steph Curry playing in last August's Web.com Tour's Bay Area event, golf should be ecstatic to have such a well-liked pro athlete loving the game, and playing it a high level.

For Immediate Release:

Tony Romo to play PGA TOUR’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – Tony Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current lead analyst for the NFL ON CBS, will compete in the PGA TOUR’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship (March 19-25, 2018) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic as a sponsor exemption. The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship is a first-year PGA TOUR event in 2018, previously having a two-year run as a Web.com Tour event.

Playing as an amateur participant with professional partner Will Zalatoris in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week, Romo revealed during a press conference Wednesday that he has received a sponsor exemption to the new PGA TOUR event, which carries a purse of $3 million with four-round television coverage broadcast on Golf Channel. Romo will compete as an amateur in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.

“As a professional athlete, the love and thrill of competition never entirely leaves you,” said Romo. “Outside of my family and football, golf is one of my greatest passions. So, playing and competing in a PGA TOUR event is a dream come true. I am grateful to the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship for giving me an incredible opportunity to test my skills against some of the best on TOUR.” 

The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship will be the first official PGA TOUR event in which Romo will compete as an individual against PGA TOUR professionals in the same competition.

Romo, who carries a +0.3 handicap at Dallas National Golf Club, has attempted to qualify for the U.S. Open three times. In 2010, Romo advanced to the sectional stage of qualifying for the national championship, but was forced to withdraw due to his practice schedule with the Cowboys. Last year he participated in the prestigious Western Amateur, where he was unable to advance to match play. Also in 2017, Romo finished T16 in the 89-player celebrity field at the American Century Championship, marking his return to the event in which he had played six consecutive years (2007-12), finishing runner-up three times in a row (2009-11).

“As a first-year PGA TOUR event, we are elated to have Tony Romo accept our offer to play in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship,” said Grupo Puntacana Founder and Chairman Frank Rainieri. “Tony Romo rose to an elite level in professional football, and then quickly became a popular and well-regarded broadcaster for CBS when he retired. He has a history of achieving success in the face of major challenges. And now he’s going to face a new one, the rare opportunity to compete as an amateur against the world’s best golfers. We are very excited to see how this plays out.”

Romo, 37, signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cowboys in 2003 after playing collegiately at Eastern Illinois University. Beginning his career as a holder, Romo became the Cowboys' starting quarterback during the 2006 season. Serving as the team's primary starter from 2006 to 2015, he guided the Cowboys to four postseason appearances and was named to the Pro Bowl four times. Romo retired after the 2016 season and immediately was hired by CBS Sports to become the lead analyst for the NFL ON CBS, teaming with Jim Nantz in the broadcast booth.

Romo holds several Cowboys team records, including passing touchdowns, passing yards, most games with at least 300 passing yards and games with three or more touchdown passes.

 

Wednesday
Feb072018

Climate Coalition: "Only a small increase in sea-level rise would imperil all of the world's links courses"

A depressing new report on even the slightest change in sea levels suggests most of the world's links are imperiled, with some already on the cusp of major damage in a perfect storm scenario.

From an unbylined BBC report on The Climate Coalition issuing a warning to golf, football and cricket as the sports to be hardest hit, with links courses the most endangered.

The Open is the only one of golf's majors played in the UK and is hosted on links courses, including - as well at St Andrews and Royal Troon - Royal Birkdale, Hoylake, Royal Lytham & St Annes, Muirfield, Sandwich, Turnberry, Portrush and 2018 venue Carnoustie.

It adds that "more than 450 years of golfing history" at Montrose, one of the five oldest courses in the world, is at risk of being washed away by rising seas and coastal erosion linked to climate change.

Research published by Dundee University in 2016 showed the North Sea has crept 70 metres towards Montrose within the past 30 years.

Chris Curnin, director at Montrose Golf Links, said: "As the sea rises and the coast falls away, we're left with nowhere to go. Climate change is often seen as tomorrow's problem - but it's already eating away at our course.

"In a perfect storm we could lose 5-10 metres over just a couple of days and that could happen at pretty much any point."

Wednesday
Feb072018

Now He's The Old Timer: Rymer Makes Champions Debut

The Big Timer Billy Ray Charlie Rymer returns to competitive golf this week at the Boca Raton Championship.

The former U.S. Junior Champion turned Georgia Tech star turned tour player turned morning television personality became eligible for the PGA Tour Champions. He's documenting his return in Rymer Reasons vlogs exclusive--EXCLUSIVE!--to GolfChannel.com.

His first trip to the course did not go quite as planned...

Tuesday
Feb062018

Pebble Pro-Am, West Coast Swing Have Their Swagger Back?

Amazing what a little tinkering with formats and emphasizing course design can do!

Not long ago the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was known for six hour rounds, has-been pros in the field and never-was "celebrities" getting too much air time. With the world's top-3 playing this year and plenty of celebrity intrigue to offset the corporate crowd--Golfweek posted the full field list here--Der Bingle's baby is back.

But as Ron Kroichick noted for MorningRead.com, the AT&T matters again as as stalwart event thanks largely to some key changes in format and rota.

Or put another way: Pebble matters again.

AT&T officials couldn’t do much about the weather, but in 2010 they shrewdly swapped Poppy Hills (unpopular among Tour pros) for Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Shore Course. They also trimmed the field from 180 pros and amateurs to 156 of each, and made a conscious effort to land better amateur golfers.

While athletes were always part of the event, their rise in celebrity status and the inclusion of more pro jocks seems to have given the event a boost. Let's face it, for a lot of PGA Tour golfers the chance to hang out with a world class athlete for three rounds is more interesting than getting paired with a corporate dude.

Unless said corporate dude has a jet and a third home on the Peninsula with a separate guest entrance.

Randall Mell at GolfChannel.com notes the improved golf professional component in saying Pebble has its swagger back.

Maybe it’s fitting Doral doesn’t host a PGA Tour event anymore. The old adage that the year in golf doesn’t begin until Doral wouldn’t hold up any longer. Today’s stars aren’t using the West Coast swing to get warm in a run up to the Masters. They hit the year hot with Johnson, Rahm and Jason Day among the big names getting on the board with victories in January.

The intensity only builds this week with Spieth looking to rebound from a missed cut in Phoenix last week. He is defending the title he won last year. It also builds with McIlroy making his first PGA Tour start of the year after coming off second- and third-place finishes on the European Tour last month.

Over at CBSSports.com, Kyle Porter notes the seemingly improved week-to-week quality of the tour. While I'll remind him of this column in mid to late May, the point should be made that the fall wraparound schedule has not harmed the West Coast Swing as folks like me feared. Perhaps it's the mediocre quality of those events and lack of eyeballs trained on them, but the West Coast still feels like the tour's bread-and-butter season for big venues, big fields and lots of eyeballs. As it and the Florida season should be given a quick study of history.

Also not to be discounted: the subtle but important inclusion of stars who don't play 25 events the previous year now being forced to play events haven't been to in at least four years.  That subtle PGA Tour rule could, for instance, explain Rory McIlroy's appearance this week. Or, at the very least, helped get him to Pebble Beach when making out a schedule in search of adding an event due to the rule.

Tuesday
Feb062018

Good Day Of Golf On Instagram: Pebble, Shepard, Braid, Carnoustie With Snow And Perth's Tee Markers

We’re going to see plenty of daytime Pebble Beach this week given the stunning weather, so I’m glad the PGA Tour posted a DJ Piehowski nighttime image from 2016 showing the 7th green.

Driving range bags at Bear's Club note your major wins and if you don’t have a Grand Slam trophy? You still get our name, your ball preference and your place next to the big winners.

Carnoustie got a nice dusting of snow. Hopefully no dustings of fertilizers for this year’s hosting of The Open Championship.

On February 6, 1971, Alan Shepard hit a golf ball on the moon with a specially made club that is on display at the USGA Museum. Look at the thought that went into this contraption!

February 6th was also James Braid’s birthday…in 1870. Second from the right. Five time Open Championship winner.

There should be extra stiff fines for any European Tour player who takes out his rage on this week’s ISPS Handa tee markers.

Sleep tight, golf fans. 🌌

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on






This week's tee markers.👌 #WS6Perth

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Tuesday
Feb062018

The Perth Super 6 Returns, Format Intrigues And...

While some may be confused by the format, I still feel like there is something curious and worth watching about this second-year event. Perhaps the lack of ease in explainin the format to a regular fan is the main issue, though really this is a just a normal golf tournament until a Sunday shootout. From there it's match play, with byes given to the stroke play leaders.

Anyway, in support of fresh formats, I give you the European Tour's FAQ page and infographic to explain the event start Wednesday evening on Golf Channel:

Q: What’s the bottom line?
A: - 156 players start for three rounds of strokeplay
- A standard cut to the leading 65 pros (and ties) will be made after 36 holes
- A further cut after 54 will reduce the field to 24 players for a final day of match play action
- If there are any ties for 24th position, a sudden-death play-off on the 18th will determine the qualifiers
- Sunday will bring five rounds of six-hole match play battles – Super 6
- The top eight players after 54 holes will receive a bye into the second match play round
- Any ties for the top eight will be decided by a score count back based on the last 18, 9, 6, 3 and 1 holes
- In Super 6, any results not determined after six holes of match play will be decided by playing a shootout hole
- The shootout hole is a purpose-built par three using the 18th green, but played from a new tee box positioned around 90 yards from the green on the right of the 18th fairway.
- Only one man will be left standing

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