Latest From GolfDigest.com
Twitter
Feedblitz
To Get GeoffShackelford.com Posts Delivered To Your Inbox Enter Email Address Below:


Powered by FeedBlitz
Books
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    by Chris Millard
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

The first two or three years I played in the Doral I actually thought it was named for a cigarette or a flower you put on a wreath. Of course I eventually found out the name came from humans. It came from Al Kaskel, who built the resort, and his wife, Doris. I guess Al Kaskel could have called it Aldor, but putting his wife's name first obviously made it sound better, and may have prevented an argument at home.  DAN JENKINS as Bobby Joe Grooves


    

Thursday
Feb192015

MJ Fed Up With Bears Club Pace & Looking To Develop Course?

Golf.com's Josh Sens reports that Michael Jordan is fed up and can't take The Bears Club slowpokes any longer, and may just be thinking about developing his own course near Medalist Club.

Jordan has reportedly secured an option on land that has been previously considered for development.

Sources say that Jordan’s course ambitions have been fueled in part by his dissatisfaction with goings-on at the Bear’s Club, the Jupiter club where MJ is a member and owns a lavish home.

Those sources say that Jordan has grown frustrated with pace of play at the club.

“Michael likes to play fast and he can’t stand it when people won’t let him through,” said a golf-industry insider who knows Jordan and who has spoken with several Bear's Club's members. “That happens enough out there that he’s gotten fed up.”

He has an architect in mind and we can only hope a reality show is in the works too...

A source close to Jordan said that golf-course architect Tom Doak is Jordan’s top choice to build the course. Doak did not respond to requests seeking comment.

Thursday
Feb192015

"We haven't seen a drop like this since Tiger Woods."

Bad news for anchorman Brian Williams, at least if the Celebrity DBI index is to be trusted: the disgraced NBC Nightly News anchor he's has taken the biggest drop on Repucom's indexes quantifying consumer perceptions of celebrities.

Williams went from No. 57 to No. 397, tied with Giselle Bundchen and former Colts coach Tony Dungy and from No. 23 to No. 835 on the list of most-trusted Americans.

Todd Smith reports.

As The Marketing Arm's managing director Robert Familetti said, "We haven't seen a drop like this since Tiger Woods."

The relationship that the public has with newscasters is not the same as the one it has with celebrities like Hanks, because trust is what they build their reputation on.

Tiger Woods set a very negative precedent in the world of Celebrity DBI – one that The Marketing Arm execs were hoping not to see again for a long time.

Americans aren't the only ones upset with Williams.

And speaking of Tiger, he's officially not reactivating his glutes for the Honda Classic next week. Brian Biggane reports.

Bob Harig talks to agent Mark Steinberg who says he'd be "shocked" if his client missed the Masters.

Thursday
Feb192015

Video: Part 2 Of Pebble vs. Riviera

Through 9-holes the match is all even after Pebble Beach's ocean stretch of holes 7-9 walzed over Riv's architecturally disrepaired stretch, setting up the toughest call of the day: Riviera's 10th vs Pebble's 10th. Both American classics...who will start the back off with a win?

UnShackeled part 2:

Wednesday
Feb182015

Fred Couples: If Not For Davis Love Getting The Ryder Cup Job, "I’d have a different attitude toward this"

The plot thickens a tad in the U.S. Ryder Cup captaincy stakes, with Fred Couples telling Golf Channel's George Savaricas that he spoke to PGA of America president Pete Bevacqua in December, with more discussions expected. Bevacqua told the presumptive player and fan favorite for the 2016 Ryder Cup Captaincy that he'd be back in touch and that "it'd be a while" before a decision was made.

Yet indicators are suggesting the decision was nearly a done deal by then. Meaning Couples, who said "I was shooting to give myself a shot" at the captaincy, never stood much of a chance with a PGA relentlessly lukewarm toward the one of the two American captains with a winning touch of late.

The full interview
from Riviera where Couples is playing the Northern Trust Open on a sponsor's invite:


But the most interesting remark comes when Couples acknowledges that "to be quite honest with you, maybe if not Davis [getting the nod], I’d have a different attitude toward this." Couples, however, reiterates that he has "no bitterness at all."

Tim Rosaforte prepares us for what to expect next week when the PGA formalizes their plan, but it's hard to get very excited about the task force's vision.

Thus, we’re going to hear phrases at the news conference on Tuesday, Feb. 24 that this was “building the foundation” with a guy that not only orchestrated a four-point lead at Medinah in 2012, but that has been in the back rooms of Ryder Cups since 1993.
 
You’re also going to hear “captain by committee,” where it’s not just Love making important decisions at Hazeltine. He'll be the man out front, but it will be Love along with the respected Tom Lehman and a guy being groomed for the captaincy at Whistling Straits in 2020, Steve Stricker.

Michael Bamberger at golf.com considers the case of Couples and concludes that no matter what the task force Task Force "Task Force" wanted, Freddie was not their man.

Meanwhile, PGA of America officials were frustrated that Couples was not a visible presence on the course during Sunday’s play. He was unreachable on his walkie-talkie for long periods on Sunday, parts of which he spent hanging with Michael Jordan in the NBC hospitality tent near the 13th hole.

Rex Hoggard says the PGA's reasoning is both predictable and hard to pinpoint. Davis Love's perception as a "PGA guy" didn't hurt his cause, Hoggard writes.

According to one source close to the meetings, at least three players on the task force said that Couples “needed to be the guy” and in November the three-time Presidents Cup captain – a resume boost which some have suggested actually hurts a potential Ryder Cup captain’s bid – said he received numerous texts and phone calls from players saying “We need you to do this.”

Instead, the task force came up with Love, who was without a doubt a wildly popular captain with a Type A personality perfectly suited for the job.

He’s also a “PGA guy.” It seems some things never change.

Wednesday
Feb182015

What Could Go Wrong Files: $50 Million Topgolf In Vegas Edition

We love our Topgolf and any chance these hipster spots grow the game. Yet after reading Ashley Mayo's account of the new, $50 million Las Vegas Topgolf slated for a 2016 opening, we have to at least unpack the red flag ready due to the amitious nature of the project.

Mayo writes:

Expected to open in spring 2016, Topgolf Las Vegas will sprawl over 105,000 square feet (nearly twice the average size of 65,000 square feet), it’ll have four levels (as opposed to the typical of three), and will accommodate up to 2,000 people (the typical Topgolf can accommodate up to 1,250 people).

“Las Vegas represents the entertainment capital of the world,” says Erik Anderson, Topgolf’s executive chairman. “Being in the Vegas community means two things: 50 million people come here every year, so we’ll reach a huge global market, and the credibility of being able to claim eight acres on the strip -- no other non-casino gets that kind of footprint -- galvanizes Topgolf as an iconic sports entertainment community.”

The groundbreaking clip is below.

Moral of this story: hard hats, suits and golf swings are a tricky combo.

Wednesday
Feb182015

The 2015 NoTrust Open Is Ready And Set For Riviera!

With the demise of the WGC Match Play as a February event, the 2015 Northern Trust Open field at Riviera took a noticeable star power hit.

In 2014, with the match play the week after the Northern Trust Open, the field included 16 of the world's top 30 and 26 of the top 50.

This year, it's 11 of the world top 30 are in the field and 18 of the top 50.

SB Nation has a nice round up of viewing times and tournament notes.

I discussed Riviera's history with Matt Ginella on Wednesday's Morning Drive.

Earlier in the week we talked Riviera's design.

As always, the 10th hole is receiving much attention and now gets long overdue "Live@" coverage starting at 7 am PT and going all day.

Here's the link. DirecTV subscribers can also watch the coverage all four days on their televisions (the PGA Tour and DirecTV just re-upped for give years). 

Wednesday
Feb182015

DVR Alert: Royal Melbourne On Golf Channel

The ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open returns to Royal Melbourne and the LPGA-sanctioned event includes Lydia Ko, Na Yeon Choi, Jessica Korda, Shanshan Feng, Charley Hull, Cheyenne Woods and the five-time Australian Open Karrie Webb.

According to the LPGA's notes, Webb is eager to add a win at Royal Melbourne to her resume. This is the first time the women have played the MacKenzie masterpiece since grassing has made the place longer.

“It’d really be a feather in my cap. I’ve won at a lot of great golf courses when I’ve won the Australian Open and to add Royal Melbourne to that list would be an honor and really special,” Webb said.

The Royal Melbourne she’s returned to find this time is 200 yards longer than the last time they played it and the fairway grass isn’t running out as much as it did back then. 3-under-par won here in 2012 so Webb’s curious to see what the scores will be if the wind turns up, which it hasn’t so far, like it did in 2012. The greens are a little more receptive and Webb knows the course better, though, and feels more comfortable with it being the second event of the season for her rather than the first like in 2012.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):   

 

Wednesday     11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Thursday replay)
Thursday         11:30 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              11:30 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 3-6 p.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          9 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 3-6:30 p.m. (Sunday replay)

Wednesday
Feb182015

Video: (1) Pebble Beach Vs. (2) Riviera

The Brothers Morrissett introduced me to the joys of using match play to settle the most vital debate of all: "which course is better." By no means a perfect argument-settler, match playing holes somehow ends up working itself out over 18 holes.

In another installment of the UnShackeled series, I match up the two best designs on the PGA Tour and two of my favorite courses on the planet (even if both have seen betters days architecturally, something that factors into this match).

So here goes, the first nine of top seed Pebble Beach taking on Riviera. The back nine and match victor will be resolved tomorrow.

Wednesday
Feb182015

Unanimous: Darren Clarke Wins Ryder Cup Derby 

Tony Jimenez of Reuters on the unanimous vote in favor of Darren Clarke to be the next European Ryder Cup Captain.

James Corrigan says the decision was essentially decided a while ago, despite the reported late bids by Jimenez and even Thomas Bjorn. Why they saw openings on the rail and made their move is not explained.

The committee convened at 10am in The Ryder Cup Room in the grand Wentworth clubhouse and actually found enough to talk about for a full two hours before the announcement was made at 12.30pm. The Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez was the primary challenger, with Thomas Bjorn also making a frankly unfeasible bid considering its lateness and the fact he had earlier all but ruled himself out.

And although Jimenez’s claims should not - and clearly were not summarily discounted - the wishes of Rory McIlroy and Co were honoured, just as they were when Paul McGinley was elected two years ago. Nine of the team who chalked up Europe’s sixth win in seven matches at Gleneagles in September expressed their preference for the big Ulsterman and, after that, it was more or less a foregone conclusion.

Alistair Tait predicts we will see a much different style and doesn't sound particularly smitten with the new leader of the European Union.

Expect Clarke to captain differently than McGinley did. Clarke is nothing like the down-to-earth, extremely likeable Dubliner.

Clarke’s manager Chubby Chandler best described his player as a “complex character.” Clarke doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and will demand things are done his way.

Many have experienced Clarke’s colossal temper over the years. He can be aloof, even arrogant at times. He has given the impression of mellowing as he has aged, but it will be interesting to see if the old “angry Darren” comes to the surface in the heat of the Ryder Cup.

Wednesday
Feb182015

Davis Love Excited About The Ryder Cup Task Force Findings!

GolfChannel.com's Jason Sobel quotes Davis Love, taking up a spot this week at Riviera in the Northern Trust Open, as neither confirming or denying that he's the next Ryder Cup captain, but he says the task force Task Force "Task Force" is excited about the direction they're headed.

Well of course he is...

“We agreed that until the PGA announced something, we wouldn’t talk about the captaincy or any other plans,” Love, who is a member of the 11-member task force, told Golf Channel on Tuesday morning at Riviera Country Club. “So I won’t comment until after the press conference, but we’re excited about the direction we’re going in, for sure.”

Somebody talked! Maybe a Leak Task Force on the Task Force?

Meanwhile Paul Azinger is managing to take some credit for the Love-as-Captain decision. Rex Hoggard quotes the last American to win on U.S. soil as not only endorsing the Davis Love selection, but having recommended it because he was not interested in the job. Maybe he's waiting to someday run for a higher office, like the Champions Tour Policy Board?

Tuesday
Feb172015

17-Year-Old Lydia Ko Already Thinking About Retirement

When the USGA recently announced the U.S. Senior Women's Open with 50 years old as the cut off, some wondered just how many women would want to be playing for the title. Particularly with golfers developing and peaking at younger ages this century.

An AP story out of Australia quotes 17-year-old World No. 1 Lydia Ko saying she's eyeing 30 as a retirement age...

"I say my plan is to retire when I'm 30 so I'm not just going to go to the beach and hang out for the rest of my life," Ko said Wednesday.

"There's always a second career that comes along with it and I'm trying to build up towards it and, because I'm playing a sport, psychology links well with it."

Tuesday
Feb172015

Golf Nut Dreams Come True: Live@ Comes To Riviera's 10th

For years the loyalists have had to read the tweets about how something crazy happens in nearly every group playing Riviera's 10th.

Finally, thanks no doubt to years of suggestions from Doug Ferguson and someone kicking in some sponsorship money, sources say that PGATour.com's Live@ coverage will focus on Riviera's driveable par-4 during Northern Trust Open play.

Thanks to reader Don for the link and to the Tour for bringing the coverage west.

Play in the Northern Trust commences Thursday at 9:50 am ET. Tee times are here. I'll try to get more on the Live@ broadcast windows.

Tuesday
Feb172015

First Take From Europe: "They never learn do they?" 

There is one lovable element in Davis Love's surprising appointment to the 2016 Ryder Cup captaincy: the regrettable timing and the inevitable (and understandable) whinging from Europe.

Nothing has shown up on the Rant Radar as of yet, but with Europe preparing to send up the grey smoke Wednesday in favor of Darren Clarke, the leaking of Love's name should ensure some pithy suggestions about trying to overshadow Europe's celebratory day. Maybe not this week, but give it time. And it will be whinging within reason.

The Telegraph's James Corrigan didn't pick on the timing of the leak but he did take exception to the Love appointment, making the point that Team USA seeks to be more of a team and has just made this about redemption for a losing captain.

The Stars and Stripes needed a blank canvas, a fresh start after the farce of Tom Watson’s leadership at Gleneagles. They needed it to be about the players - just as Paul McGinley and so many of his predecessors ensured it has been for Europe - and not about the captain, the man they so proudly call “Mr Captain” during the interminable build-up.

Well, guess what? This will be all about Davis Love and the exorcising of his Chicago ghosts. And so, a character who does not even get to hit a ball will command the spotlight. They never learn do they?

Monday
Feb162015

Ted Talks! Bishop First To Tweet Love As Ryder Captain?

It appears that former PGA of America President Ted Bishop was the first to reveal news of Davis Love as the next and stunningly uninspired choice as 2016 Ryder Cup Captain. Nice guy, but didn't he already do this once?

Anyway at 2:43 pm PT Bishop tweeted:


At 3:03 PT Golf Central reported that Tim Rosaforte was reporting the head-scratching news of Davis Love as the next Ryder Cup captain.

Nice guy, but didn't he already do this once?


It really doesn't matter who was first, the news leaking helps spice up a Northern Trust Open lacking star power or even any discernable storyline other than both Love and Fred Couples taking two spots in the field that might otherwise be taken by people who have a shot at winning. Couples, at least, is a draw in L.A.  Love? Nice guy, but didn't he already do this once?

On that topic, Bob Harig asks the rhetorical question every way imaginable: is Love really the first choice of the task force that he his ownself sat on? 

So now it goes to Love, one of Couples' best friends and a guy who was on the 11-member task force. Did he just sell out one of his best friends in Couples? Or did he become a compromise choice because the PGA of America wanted no part of Couples, who is not viewed as the kind of captain who buys into all the ancillary nonsense that comes with the job?

The latter is more likely, which makes you wonder if the PGA of America cares more about promoting the event than winning it.

GolfChannel.com's team chimed in. Randall Mell: "From the outside, it’s staggering that their proven methods, as wildly different as they are, weren’t deemed good enough."

Ryan Lavner: "Fred Couples and Paul Azinger were the favorites for the job, but they declined invitations to the task force. That must have rubbed the group the wrong way, because Love had a prime seat at the table and was involved in the decision-making that led to him being named captain. Conflict of interest, no?"

AP's Doug Ferguson says the announcement is coming on February 24th at the Honda Classic, if anyone still cares by then.

Golfweek.com's Jeff Babineau assesses the decision managed to pull this statement out of the PGA:

In a statement released from its headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the PGA of America said: “It’s premature to discuss the 2016 Ryder Cup captaincy. We’re not prepared to comment at this time.”

I am. Nice guy, but didn't he already do this once?

Tim Rosaforte’s full Golf Central report, also mentions Steve Stricker and Tom Lehman (both on the task force) as vice cart drivers in 2016 to help capture the midwest hearts and reaffirm that sucking up to the PGA of America's task force was key.

Nice guys, but haven’t they already done this?

Monday
Feb162015

Wake Forest Freshman Posts 67 At Riviera First Time Around

I could only take in a bit of the inaugural Northern Trust Open Collegiate Showcase Closed To The Public--make sure to hear Gary Williams nit-pick about that last part on Morning Drive--so I can't tell you all of the details of Will Zalatoris' round.

However...just to remind you how wonderful it is to be young, the freshman who hasn't been playing much in because of winter weather posted a 67 around Riviera playing the course for the first time, with alum Bill Haas and two other alums. And did it on a foggy day (adding a few hundred yards to the course) while way, way too many groups of briefcases turned the place into a 6-hour round fest.

John Dell of the Winston-Salem Journal on the first amateur qualifier in years at the event formerly known as the Los Angeles Open.

Zalatoris, the winner of the U.S. Junior Amateur last summer, had a solid fall season for the Deacons. He is part of a Deacons’ team that is ranked in the top 10 by Golfweek heading into the spring.

“I’m excited,” said Zalatoris. “I’m really not even nervous about it. I’m only 18 and I’m learning. I’m enjoying the moment for sure. I played with Bill Haas today, so it was so cool getting advice from him. It’s crazy fun. I’m just going to enjoy myself and be in the moment. I’m here to play golf, not think about winning the tournament. It’s my first PGA Tour event, so I’ll see how my game stands up and we’ll go from there.”

In the group best ball portion of the proceedings, Will Gray reports that Oregon's ringers were just one shot better than A&M's.

In an unprecedented event, college players teamed with one professional and two amateurs from their university. While the collegians played their own ball in a de facto 14-for-1 qualifier, the other three players in each group played a best-ball tournament where a $50,000 donation was awarded for first place. The Oregon team led by Casey Martin took top honors, defeating Ryan Palmer's Texas A&M squad by one shot.

Monday
Feb162015

Video: SDSU Women Add New Spins On Old Trick Shots

You can get a little jaded in the trick shot video medium, but big points to the San Diego State women's golf team for throwing in some cartwheels, coordinating team uniforms (branding!) and some dazzling work with their wedges.

Thanks to GolfNewsNet for Tweeting this one, set to the millennial-friendly Mark Ronson. For none-millennials, a quick poke at the volume control is advised.

 

Monday
Feb162015

Diaz On Bill Murray "Keeping 'Em Laughing"

Golf World's Jaime Diaz followed Bill Murray around the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. And while some might not be thrilled about his method, Murray is actually taking his role in golf seriously.

From Diaz's story...

Asked if he’s felt his role in golf expanding, Murray hesitated. “Do you know Johann Rupert?” he asks, referring to the South African patron of golf. “He invites me to the Dunhill Links at St. Andrews, which so many people who really love the game attend. Last year he got up in front of everybody at this dinner and said, ‘Every single person in this room has received more from this game than they’ve given to it.’ I thought that was something.”

“Yes, I did say that,” Rupert says. “Basically that we all have a debt to pay back to golf. And in my opinion, Bill Murray does that as well as anyone. He’s a wonderful man.”

A few months back I linked a Murray interview on Grantland where he talks about caddying and golf's involvement in his life. It's worth a listen.

Monday
Feb162015

Hope For Middle East Peace Files: Rees And Bobby High-Five

I knew Brian Murphy was a miracle worker, but reading that he brought Rees Jones and Robert Trent Jones Jr. together for a public fence-mending speaks to a higher power. A calling even.

Here is the Global Golf Post item on the two accepting their NCGA Hall of Fame induction (along with their late dad).

A little background on the long simmering feud here and here.

Sunday
Feb152015

Will The R&A's New Man Tackle The Distance Issue?

With the gradual transition from Peter Dawson to Martin Slumbers about to officially commence and the R&A moving The Open to Sky Sports, there has been a collective question in administrator circles: why has Dawson left his successor so little to do?

Sure, Slumbers could undo the unnecessary new bunkers to the Old Course or get his members to stop waiving their ties at St. Andrews University principal, but most of the big ticket business items that a businessman would tackle are off the table.

After last week's first sitdown with the new man, Golfweek's Alistair Tait wonders if the R&A has cleared the table for Slumbers to tackle the golf ball and distance issue that has, miraculously, not gone away for everyday courses or tournament golf despite the plateau effect repeated pointed to by Dawson. And shockingly, the game has not prospered or even shown signs of stability in the hyper-distance era as predicted largely by those who did not want to take action. 

The R&A recently announced plans for a new equipment testing centre at Kingsbarns. The 22,750-square-foot facility will house the R&A’s Equipment Standards department under the direction of Dr. Steve Otto, director of research and testing at The R&A.

There have been rumblings from St Andrews recently that the R&A is set to do something about the ball. Is that the reason for the new equipment facility?

Could Slumbers be in for a potentially bigger challenge than anything Dawson faced?

Sunday
Feb152015

"Years ago, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am was one of the biggest events of the season. Now, for TV viewers, it’s just a white-hot mess of utter unwatchableness."

Golfweek's Martin Kaufmann clearly heard all of those who have been conversing on social media and via private messages: Saturday at the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am is painful to watch. Guantanamo Bay worthy. A reminder why people hate golf, celebrity, etc...

Always a lightning rod for criticism, I think I heard more vitriol than ever because of the epic weather (blimp shot Heaven!) and a solid leaderboard considering the dated vibe of the field (Vaughn Taylor!). Throw in so many celebrs with C-list vibe who run for the CBS cameras like a fly spotting a poodle turd, then contrast with the NBA's slick presentation of All-Star weekend, and you have a perfect storm of criticism.

Because as Kaufmann writes, the event has "the odd distinction of being perhaps the PGA Tour’s best venue and the site of its worst tournament."

We know that CBS is going to give viewers an unhealthy dose of Chris Berman and Kenny G and Craig T. Nelson and Michael Bolton and Chris O’Donnell and Huey Lewis and Ray Romano and more. These guys are like Masters champions – they apparently have lifetime exemptions into the event. Huey Lewis noted Saturday that he’s been playing in the tournament for 25 years. Has he even had a hit in the past quarter century?

Easy there. Heart of Rock ’N Roll has aged just fine, thank you.

Anyway…

I’m not sure how the Clambake got this bad or how to allot blame. If you want to point fingers at the culprit, you probably would need a lot of fingers, aimed at, among others, tournament organizers, AT&T and other sponsors, the Tour, CBS and perhaps a few other entities that I’m forgetting.

A wise television person mentioned to me before the annual Saturday nonsense that CBS could remedy so much of the vitriol by having a secondary telecast on Golf Channel that is all about moving day PGA Tour golf. But the current PGA Tour television contract and general CBS stubbornness to present golf as it was in 1998 would make that tricky, if not impossible. But as other sports and their network partners continue to innovate broadcast presentations, the stuck-on-98 vibe of the AT&T National Pro-Am only exaggerates the effect.

Speaking of the event, Jim Furyk could not do much with his one-stroke lead and Brandt Snedeker ultimately coasted to a win that gets him in the Masters, reports Doug Ferguson. And he did it with a $20 driver, explains E. Michael Johnson.

The highlights from PGA Tour Entertainment:

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 847 Next 20 Entries »