Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event 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

Golf is a game to be played with two hands. Your left guides the club and keeps the face in the desired position for the hit, and the power pours through the coupling of the right hand and the club. TOMMY ARMOUR

 

   

Monday
Feb062017

Hey Siri: Rules Of Golf Figure To Look Different In Two Years

Ryan Herrington reports for GolfDigest.com on the likelihood of seeing a vastly revamped, simplified and codified Rules of Golf by January 1, 2019, a year earlier than expected.

Surprising, however, are the plans to take the visual and technological presentation of the Rules to a different level.

In aiming to make the Rules more easily understandable, the modernization project has focused on using visuals to help articulate the Rules in a more impactful way than mere words. Bodenhamer said that the use photos, images and even video to provide greater explanation has been explored and is likely to be implemented.

Davis, too, stressed a need for technology to help update and deliver the Rules in the 21st century.

“How come we can’t have an instance where someone can [take their phone and] say ‘Siri, I hit my ball into a water hazard. What are my options?’ ” Davis said.

It pains this Apple fanboy to say it, but Alexa would probably do better on the Rules of Golf test.

Sunday
Feb052017

Dawson: Tiger Puts In Dubai Time After Back Spasms

I'm not sure how to read this Rex Hoggard story for GolfChannel.com from Dubai. The obvious takeaway is that Tiger, feeling bad about taking a huge appearance fee, put in a little sponsor time while in discomfort. Wise and good move for sure.

But if he was having more back spasms and chose to sit with Peter Dawson for a Q&A (painful!), does this mean the injury was not serious? 

Either way, Hoggard talks to Chief Inspector of Dubai Golf, former R&A Chief Peter Dawson, who reports on Tiger's many efforts to promote Dubai golf, including post-WD time with sponsors.

“When he withdrew, he and [manager] Mark Steinberg discussed it and thought, 'What a shame we haven’t done everything the tournament was hoping for,' and they offered to do it, which was nice,” Dawson said.

The Q&A, which was emceed by Dawson, lasted about 20 minutes for an estimated 60 sponsors and officials.

“He came in clearly in a little bit of pain, but sat down and soon had a smile on his face and we had a few jokes,” Dawson said. “He responded well, cracked a few jokes, he’s a pro.”

Sunday
Feb052017

Wasted Open Wrap: The Ugly Side Of The Madness

Play was almost impacted by the 16th hole "cauldron" Sunday when eventual Waste Management Open winner Hideki Matsuyama had to back off a shot just before taking the club away. Otherwise, the 16th hole seemed like its usual noisy-but-fun self and remains a great attaction to the tournament.

But it's the behind-the-scenes activity in Scottsdale that sounds like it's bordering on unsavory. From Brian Wacker's GolfDigest.com story reporting on the 16th hole scene not so readily discussed:

It takes not much longer to confirm through a police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to speak on such matters that last year one female had passed out from intoxication near a porta potty having defecated on herself. That was the least of her problems as she had a certain white, powdery substance around her nose that is illegal in all 50 states.

Speaking of the porta pottys, more than one officer also confirms the biggest complaint from fans is people having sex in them. Later, I overhear this very complaint from a woman to a friend after returning to her seat. The officers also confirm these will actually be the least of their problems among the liquefied masses of 204,904 at TPC Scottsdale this day, a record crowd for the event.

Golfweek.com's Dan Kilbridge posted random observations from the Wasted Management and included these two:

*Bag room attendants placing bets on what time they will see their first stretcher of the day.

And...

*One concerned spectator checking the pulse of another spectator who had passed out in his bleacher seat Saturday afternoon.

An unbylined Golf.com story noted that the tournament is at least offering free breathalyzer tests at the exits of TPC Scottsdale. Though it sounds like what happens inside the gates may becoming more dangerous to public safety.

Well, except this guy...

Sunday
Feb052017

Trophy Ceremonies To Stay Fun For Another Year: Diana Murphy Re-elected USGA President

The managing director of Rocksolid Holdings, LLC, has been re-elected to a second term as USGA President following her wildly unsuccessful first year.

Diana Murphy, a relentless attacker of names both simple and legendary, delivered a stirring address to the assembled navy and grey.

Here's the key quote, met with joyous social media comments on Twitter and Instagram


Murphy's re-election may overshadowed by--ok I know it won't take much to overshadow USGA Executive Committee news--Mike Davis's exciting revelation of efforts to simplify the rules coming to a course near you sooner than expected.

Ryan Herrington at GolfDigest.com with the details and potential timing of a completely altered Rules of Golf by January 1, 2019.

On top of that, the annual meeting revealed plans to introduce a USGA-branded national championship for disabled golfers. Bradley Klein has that story for Golfweek.com, including some of the dynamics involved in shaping the creation of an event that seems about 3-4 years away.

Saturday
Feb042017

Post Dubai WD: Butch Harmon On Tiger's Game, Physical Issues

Former Tiger Woods instructor Butch Harmon spoke to Sky Sports in the wake of Tiger's Dubai Desert Classic WD.

Besides suggesting a return to Tiger's heyday was unlikely, Harmon's comments on Woods' efforts to get stronger will be of particular note.

BH: When he got bigger and bulkier, the speed of his swing didn't really increase, but a lot of people build up their body to protect their back. You try and work on your torso to make yourself stronger, but I think the problems Tiger has had didn't come from golf - they could have come from too much work in the gym.

Only he can tell us that, but there was a definite change in his body through the years, although when I saw him in San Diego he didn't look as bulky. He looked like he had slimmed down and trimmed down, which I though was going to be pretty good for him.

Gary Williams hosted a Morning Drive roundtable including yours truly, Brandel Chamblee and Charlie Rymer to discuss where Tiger goes from here.

Saturday
Feb042017

USGA Still Has Some Progress To Make Post-2016 U.S. Open

The USGA social team, charged with the unimaginably difficult job of pushing out the organization's meeting from a Washington D.C. gathering of navy and grey, went a little far with this one on championship vision. Instagram commenters, taken aback by the choice of image and words, would suggest that the 2016 U.S. Open is still fresh on many minds...

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Feb042017

Video: Skim Shot Trick Shot

I agree with reader Cole who sent this one in: the production values match the quality of the shot execution.

Nice work, self-described trick shot artists Joshua Kelly and Ryan Rustand...

Saturday
Feb042017

Video: Sergio's Putt In The Dark To Take Three Stroke Lead

I'll spare you the old, "it's a lot darker than your seeing" warning... 

 


Garcia holds a three stroke lead with some round three play to be completed.

 

 

Saturday
Feb042017

Dubai! Emirates Golf Club Then (26 Years Ago) And Now

What a fantastic Emirates Golf Club then and now from the European Tour social team:

26 years in Dubai...

A photo posted by European Tour (@europeantour) on

Friday
Feb032017

Japan Golf Association: Women Have Not Complained About Treatment At 2020 Olympic Course

An unbylined Japan Times story implies that the Japan Golf Association believes 2020 Olympic golf host Kasumigaseki can remain male only. Women are currently forbidden from playing Sundays or joining the club as full members, setting the stage for yet another embarrassing row involving Olympic golf.

The Japan Times quotes a statement from the association that would appear problematic given the IOC's desire to have the situation reviewed, or the club's planned review to ensure they would remain the Olympic host.

“There’re 212 female members and there’ve been no complaints about the way they are treated or the rights they have. The door is wide open for female players,” the JGC said in a statement.

The story also notes that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who raised the issue publicly, is not backing down.

“It’s natural that there are opinions questioning the place hosting the Olympics,” Abe told the Diet during the House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting.

“(Olympics golf has) men’s and women’s events in the first place. And what if (the women’s competition) gets scheduled on a Sunday?”

Thursday
Feb022017

Sigh: Tiger WD's From Dubai Desert Classic

The comeback that seemed promising after his Hero World Challenge appearance has taken a huge hit with his Dubai Desert Classic WD Friday morning due to back spasms.

The European Tour tweeted the news:


Woods insisted he was pain free in round one, but not until late in the round did he start to appear somewhat loose. Media on site were skeptical and reiterated their views on news of the early exit.

Golf Channel's Todd Lewis reported the issue was, indeed, back-related.


Thursday
Feb022017

Brandel: Tiger "Looks like an old man"

Not that Tiger needed bulletin board material, but he has received (yet another) gift from Brandel Chamblee...

From Golf Central at the Waste Management yesterday following Tiger's opening 77 in Dubai...

"I look at Tiger, and I can't help but think he looks like an old man," Chamblee said. "He looks like the oldest ... 41-year-old man in the history of the game. I saw him getting out of the bunker on the first hole and he was standing very stiff and upright as he was getting out of the bunker, and he looked like he was walking around protecting an issue that he wasn't speaking to. That's very much what it looked like to me.

Thursday
Feb022017

Rave Review: Shipnuck On New Trump Dubai Course

Calling it "one helluva course" The Knockdown's Alan Shipnuck gives the course and clubhouse at Trump Dubai a rave review.

Shipnuck writes:

The grand opening of the club is still two weeks away, but a nonpartisan visit on Wednesday revealed a course that traverses highly imaginative (man-made) terrain, boasting a thrilling variety of risk-reward holes, interesting greens and gloriously firm turf that promotes the ground game and accentuates the many challenging runoffs around the putting surfaces. There is nary a waterfall, Roman statuary or other hokum that blights lesser properties in the Trump golf empire. No, the President has created something that is – dare we say it? —understated.

The story also includes a short slideshow of some course photos, and a very positive review from Graeme McDowell.

Thursday
Feb022017

Roundup: Tiger Insists He's Pain Free In Painful 77

If you stayed up to watch you know it was an uncomfortable few hours of Tiger Woods in the Dubai Desert Classic. Without a helpful putter and any fluidity to his body movement, Tiger posted 77 as the field torched an Emirates Golf Club that will have strong day two winds.

A similar body language issue was apparent last week at Torrey Pines, where Woods looked less-fluid on day one after coasting early in the pro-am and swinging freely during the back nine (as temperatures rose).

He noted the early morning issue after missing the cut at Torrey:

Q.  Tiger, just following on that, how are you physically?  How have you handled the cold weather and what do you have to do to prepare for days like this?  I'm sure it's a process that's more involved than it's ever been.

TIGER WOODS:  It is, it's a long process in the mornings trying to get ready and trying to get warmed up.  You know, the task and the tall order is to stay warm and stay loose.  That's one of the things that I hadn't dealt with.  I haven't dealt with at home and we're basically in a dome down there in south Florida.  We haven't had to deal with cold, damp conditions like this.  It was different.

But, you know, it's something we had already โ€‘โ€‘ we had been planning about and thinking about what we needed to do; how to layer up properly, how to stay warm, move around, exercises I may have to do on course while playing, different things how to stay loose and I did.

Any back injury sufferer, let alone one who has been operated on multiple times, knows mornings are the toughtest. Yet even with the best physio's to help loosen up pre-round, the lack of physical freedom must be a concern.

In reading those who made the trek to Dubai, everyone in attendance sensed exactly what we watched on Golf Channel's coverage: little comfort level from Woods.

Bob Harig for ESPN noted the cautious body language from range to first tee and early on in the round.

But this is the new normal for Woods, who moves around carefully, takes his time crouching down to read putts and seemingly has difficulty getting loose for early-morning rounds.

That was the case last week at Torrey Pines and again on Thursday, where Woods has dug himself a hole and is looking at another weekend off in his second official tournament back following a 17-month layoff due to multiple back surgeries in 2015.

John Huggan for GolfDigest.com:

It wasn’t all about misdirection with the irons though. Again displaying a disquietingly cautious gait and a stiff and ungainly finish to his supposedly “pain-free” swing, Woods struggled to make any real headway on a day when he only rarely strung more than one or two good shots together. Almost every hole was marked by mistakes that turned birdie chances into pars and pars into bogeys.

Alistair Tait for Golfweek.com on the performance as it relates to Tiger's past play at Emirates.

In seven previous appearances around the Emirates course, Woods’s worst score was a 75 in the final round in 2011. He held a 68.17 stroke average through 28 rounds, and was 92 under. So 77 is actually nine shots above his personal par.

“I wasn’t in pain at all,” said Woods, dismissing suggestions he looked to be walking gingerly. “I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn’t doing a very good job.”

Tiger was in decent spirits in his post-round interview and talking about adding lead tape to his balky putter, posted here by GolfChannel.com.

And the round highlights.

Wednesday
Feb012017

Golf's Blimp Issue Becomes Evident Thursday In Scottsdale

We're about to find out just how important the blimp shot is to golf.

Barring a last minute alternative, Thursday's Waste Management Open is not expected to include aerial shots of the massive crowds convening at TPC Scottsdale's 16th hole ampitheater. This is due to Goodyear's lessened interest in golf and the high cost of running an airship.

As Golfweek's Forecaddie noted this week and I explained on ShackHouse, the two primary providers of blimp coverage are not interested in golf for different reasons.

MetLife, suppliers of stunning aerial images over the years to NBC, Golf Channel and others, changed marketing heads and signaled last fall that they were getting out of the business.

Goodyear, eager to sell tires and without a direct tie to golf like their competitors at Bridgestone, will only be at the Genesis Open near the blimp's LA base in the coming weeks. Beyond that, their status at golf tournaments remains unclear.

While we all want as many golf shots as possible on a telecast, blimp shots put the spectacle of professional golf into context. They allow us to see where the course sits in relation to a major city and, when equipped with a camera operator, to see replays of epic shots. Or, they simply show us beautiful landscapes.

While fixed wing planes can give us the context--as will happen during the weekend coverage at Pebble Beach--they cannot sit still to give us the true birdseye view of a golfer playing a shot the way a blimp can.

The issue remains fluid and I suspect that there will be resolution of some kind, but in the meantime prepare to see what golf looks like without one of its key storytelling tools.

Wednesday
Feb012017

Trump Golf Loses Jupiter Suit, Judge Apologizes For Not Calling The President The President

An unbylined AP story confirms that Trump Golf must repay $5.7 million to 65 former Trump National Jupiter members denied refunds after Donald Trump bought the club in 2012.

Trump Golf will appeal according to the story, but I think more entertaining is the Judge Kenneth Marra's clarification for not referring to the president by his title.

"At all times relevant to this lawsuit, Donald J. Trump was a private citizen. As a result, the Court will refer to him as such in this decision. In doing so, the Court means no disrespect to him or to the esteemed position he now holds," Marra wrote.

Wednesday
Feb012017

Mixed Bag With 2017 Farmers Open TV Ratings 

Tiger is back and so are the stout first and second round numbers on Golf Channel.

With Tiger gone for the weekend CBS still was up big over 2016's rain delayed final round, but down slightly from two years ago.

Sports Media Watch with the weekend numbers roundup, where CBS drew a 2.0 rating (3.1 million viewers) for the Farmers Insurance Open final round. 

Even with the big jump, this year’s 2.0 rating is tied as the third-lowest over that span — matching 2009 and ahead of only last year and 2012 (1.8).

Third round action on Saturday had a 1.2 and 1.9 million, up 20% in ratings and 35% in viewership from last year (1.0, 1.4M) and up 9% and 20% respectively from 2015 (1.1, 1.6M).

Weekend lead-in coverage on Golf Channel saw averages of 566,000 (Saturday) and 809,000 viewers (Sunday).

According to SportsTVRatings.com, Friday's Farmers 4-hour telecast on Golf Channel, where Tiger was part of the coverage, averaged 643,000 viewers, including 106,000 from the only demographic that matters.

Thursday's coverage window was also four hours and featured plenty of Tiger, who delivered 784,000/121,000 to the telecast.

Tuesday
Jan312017

TPC Scottsdale 16th Buildout Video: Why Not Make It Permanent?

The fascination never ceases with the 16 at TPC Scottsdale, especially from casual sports fans who take notice of the antics and energy.

Even golfers who play TPC Scottsdale love sharing photos on social media of themselves playing before an empty "Coliseum", imagining what it must be like.

So while watching the timelapse video from the PGA Tour, I was left to wonder again: why not make this a permanent structure?  I'm guessing this is a permitting or zoning issue. But the surrounding grandstands have become so massive both in size and popularity that a permanent conversion would make sense. No?

Tuesday
Jan312017

PGA Show Review: "An absolute sloth"

Tony Covey at MyGolfSpy.com breaks down the PGA Show highlights, trends and observations.

However, it was his overall take on the model of a convention that will not go down well in West Palm Beach.

While the daily propaganda blasts from show organizers might have you believe otherwise, I’m here to tell you that the 2017 PGA Show was an absolute sloth. With noticeably light traffic in the aisles and plenty of open space (both on the show floor and the range at demo day), 2017’s easily qualifies as the most depressing PGA Show during my time in the industry.

Take it for whatever it’s worth, but several of my media colleagues (and others I’ve spoken with from inside the industry) are in complete agreement. Call it a worse show on the heels of a bad show on the heels of a not so good show.

Covey says the show in its current form, due to cost for all, "makes less and less sense."

Thoughts from those who attended?

Tuesday
Jan312017

Hogan Equipment Co. Files For Bankruptcy, Website Down

Even though CEO Scott White said a few weeks ago that "reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated," the Ben Hogan Equipment Company, which unveiled a revamped brand and irons in 2015, has filed for bankruptcy, reports the Dallas News.

From the report (thanks reader Steve):

The Chapter 11 petition, filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Worth on Saturday, lists both assets and liabilities between $1 million and $10 million. Among its top creditors are Perry Ellis International, which licensed the Hogan name to the company, owed $267,500, and Conti Edgecliff-Sias LLC, its landlord in south Fort Worth, owed $77,256.74.

The company website is no longer functional.