Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer

Stroke play is a better test of golf, but match play is a better test of character.
JOE CARR

 


    

Tuesday
Sep132016

NY Post: Dick's Sporting Goods Eyeing Bankrupt Golfsmith?

Thanks to the great Lou Brown for this Josh Kosman NY Post story suggesting that Golfsmith's bankruptcy filing has hit a snag and may lead to a completely collapse of the retailer, with Dick's Sporting Goods eyeing a takeover.

Kosman writes:

Private equity investor Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System owns Golfsmith and shanked the 2012 investment by acquiring it in a $97 million leveraged buyout, which put the company in deep debt at the same time interest in golf waned.

OMERS combined Canada golf retailer Golf Town with Golfsmith, and now the company’s stores are almost evenly split between US and Canada.

“There’s just too much debt,” a source said, adding that the company would be profitable if it did not have interest payments on roughly $200 million in loans.

Tuesday
Sep132016

NFL Strikes! BMW Third Round Outrates Final Day Coverage

As NFL numbers hit 7-year lows on the first weekend, the PGA Tour's recent run of down ratings continued the cord-cutting era trend, only in more spectacular fashion.

Sports Media Watch reports that the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick drew a 1.2 final round. Without NFL competition and a weak slate of college football games, the third round actually out-drew the last day (1.3/1.9 million viewers). SMW looks back to 2012 for comparisons after last year's was a rain-delayed event. There was also this for the BMW...

Sunday’s 1.2 rating is tied as the second-lowest for final round coverage of the tournament since the FedEx Cup began in 2007.

Playoff fever! Opt-out time! Ca--chingnotsomuch.

The numbers are fascinating since conventional wisdom would suggest this could be the worst possible time for the PGA Tour to opt out of its network deal, presumably in search of more money thanks to additional bidders (ABC? FOX?).

However, that seems unlikely given that the sports rights bubble has burst. Although the numbers could set up an opt-out discussion that allows the next Commissioner to reimagine the playoff schedule timing. Maybe one that ends on Labor Day? Dan Hicks touched on this possibility on ShackHouse this week.

I still contend that trying to jam the playoffs into the post-PGA Championship, pre-NFL window will not work and that a fall finish to the season, with a restart in January gets the playoffs away from football when people are most excited about it, while also giving people a chance to catch their breath after a busy summer schedule.

Tuesday
Sep132016

Nike Giving $10 Million A Year To Clothe Jason Day?!

Darren Rovell at ESPN.com reveals Jason Day's clothing deal with Nike and the annual payment, if correct, is staggering given the supposed state of the game, Day's propensity to get injured and lack of name recognition compared to Tiger Woods.

Rovell writes:

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but one source said the No. 1 golfer in the world will get paid north of $10 million a year. Day's agent Bud Martin of Wasserman did not return a call seeking comment.

Day might not be in the same marketing category as Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy, but Nike can sell plenty of golf shirts by using Day as a model. Day is the model of consistency that Woods nor McIlroy have been. Not only did he win last year's PGA Championship, but he has finished in the top 10 in six of the past eight majors.

Tuesday
Sep132016

Video: Steph Curry On Golf Course Trash Talk By Obama

Steph Curry appears on the September 13th episode of the Ellen Degeneres Show, discusses golf course trash talking by the president, and is egged on in entertaining fashion by first lady Michelle Obama to push back.

The whole exchange is fun, including Ellen asking about handicaps.

The full clip:

Tuesday
Sep132016

ShackHouse 20: Ryder Cup, Tiger & Guest Dan Hicks

Ryder Cup fever continues on ShackHouse. Last week we had a lively chat with former PGA President Ted Bishop that is worth checking out. This week we talk with Dan Hicks of NBC Sports, anchor of the network's golf coverage since 2000.

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

Same deal with Soundcloud for the show, and Episode 20 is here to listen to right now!

The ShackHouse Stitcher page.

The Ringer's ShackHouse page with all of the info and links you can dream of.

ShackHouse is presented by Callaway Golf, who recently launched two new irons — the Steelhead Irons with that great signature shape and big distance, and the more-forgiving Big Bertha OS irons.

Go to CallawayGolf.com and check out the iron fitting tool.

Also, here is the link to the Haney/Redbull online series mentioned in episode 20.

We also want to thank Athletes Collective, which makes a great longsleeve for the fall, plus a sensational new V-neck for working out. They are making solid, comfortable, logo-free and incredibly low-priced athletic wear out of the latest tech fabrics. Use promo code House for 15% off your first order. Now!

And of course, the same endorsement goes for MeUndies, so work that promo code House for your first order!

Thanks for your continued support of the show and our advertisers. Ad be sure to check out the website of our hosts, The Ringer.

Tuesday
Sep132016

What Does Bubba's Ryder Cup Omission Say?

With Davis Love using his first three picks on J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar (Steve DiMeglio's story here), it's hard to not wonder where this leaves Bubba Watson.

As the 7th ranked player and highest Ryder Cup points earner not to automatically qualify, Bubba looks headed for the sidelines in favor of a younger player with less baggage?

You voted the way I thought things would go Monday (Thank you!), with Kuchar and Holmes the easiest picks and Bubba edging Rickie.


After hearing Captain Love's comments and seeing the less-deserving Fowler already named Monday, I'd say Bubba will not be heading to Hazeltine.

From Alex Miceli's Golfweek.com story from Minneapolis where he got a sense of the room vibe (and that Jim Furyk is still very much in the hunt).

Love went on to explain that if you watched the BMW Championship on Sunday you would see he’s hitting good putts they’re just lipping out.

“His strokes gained tee to green have just been solid for a while and you saw it at Bethpage, except for that last nine, which is driving, it wasn’t putting,” Love said in support of his Fowler pick. “He’s just solid. And we’re making a team of 11 guys for this year we’re not really looking at the past.”

Oddly, Bubba Watson is ranked fifth in SG: Tee-to-Green with Fowler eighth.

Of course, Bubba could play his way on to the team because he's playing the Tour Championship while Fowler was not eligible. Perhaps Love is just waiting to let Bubba have a great week there and playing his way into the last pick in the fashion, just as the task force envisioned things. We discussed this, the Mickelson comments and the possibility of a Furyk pick today on Morning Drive.

Still, I can't get past the idea that Bubba has been ahead of Fowler all year, is statistically better in many key categories and does have a tour win in 2016, yet feels like an odd-man-out.

Perhaps Furyk is back in the picture, or maybe Love's well known affinity for Justin Thomas has him leading that way. Though if Bubba is passed up, we may be looking at one of the more historic Ryder Cup omissions of all time.

Tuesday
Sep132016

Kenyon! More On Team Europe's Putting Guru

Tim Rosaforte fills out a few details about the mysterious putting coach Phil Kenyon, recently sought out by Rory McIlroy and coach to several top players. Kenyon keeps a low profile and doesn't so much self promotion, but as Rosaforte notes, he's had a hand in helping seven members of the European Ryder Cup team.

Rosaforte writes:

Kenyon has a master’s degree in Sports Science, and his experience playing on the mini-tours in Europe gives him a good perspective on how players think. Says McIlroy: “He was more, you figure it out yourself a little bit, but this is what you need to do; this is where you need the putter to be at certain points in your stroke, and then just figure out a way to do it.”

True to form, Kenyon didn’t want to be quoted directly on his work with McIlroy, reciting only the Aristotle proverb, “One swallow does not a summer make.”

Duly noted!

Monday
Sep122016

America's Closest-To-Perfection Course Designs

I was asked to put the emphasis on design for this slideshow at GolfDigest.com and went a little snobbish in pursuit of highlighting perfection.

In thinking about some of America's best and pouring over rankings, restorations and thoughts of their architects, I was astounded by how many elite courses have well-documented design flaws or are living off their reputation as merely difficult-to-play. (It was also amazing to consider how many Macdonald-Raynor designs have seen restorations take them to places maybe never even imagined by their creators.)

Anyhow, here is my list of designs (with scrollable explanations in the upper right) where all of the parts are in place and presenting the kind of architecture we wish we had more to experience.

Monday
Sep122016

Bryson's Irons Redux: "It’s a potential paradigm shift for golf equipment."

Mike Stachura reminds us at GolfDigest.com that attention spans are short, because it wasn't that long ago golfers were witnessing Bryson DeChambeau's success wondering if same-length iron sets were around the corner.

With DeChambeau's Web.com Tour playoff win and signs that Cobra Puma Golf has a prototype that looks promising for a market debut in the "now-increasingly-imminent future," he writes:

But DeChambeau’s almost religious prophet approach to his iron-length concept is more than some quirky personal trait or party trick. It’s a potential paradigm shift for golf equipment. Is DeChambeau's win like Billy Burke’s win with steel shafts in the 1931 U.S. Open, or Jim Simons victory at the Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach in 1982, the first televised win for a metal wood? DeChambeau, not surprisingly, thinks it has that potential.

“I think you will see a change take place among junior golfers over this next year. I know it’s not just better for me but for all kinds of players,” he said. “I think this was an important day. Maybe we look back and say this is the day the game changed.”

Monday
Sep122016

NCAA Pulls Women's Regional From NC, '17 PGA Remains

With the NCAA withdrawing all of its scheduled North Carolina championship events, including regional basketball games and the Division I women's regionals in Greenville, the 2017 PGA Championship is now one of the few remaining major sports events still headed for the state.

Marc Tracy and Alan Binder report for the New York Times, quoting the NCAA, which never specifically states the anti-gay rights law that ran off everyone from the NBA All-Star game to Bruce Springsteen.

In a statement explaining the decision by its Board of Governors, which is largely made up of institutional presidents and chancellors, the N.C.A.A. said: “N.C.A.A. championships and events must promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans. Current North Carolina state laws make it challenging to guarantee that host communities can help deliver on that commitment.”

The PGA of America's CEO Pete Bevacqua is on the record as opposing the bill and threatening to not bring future events to the state, but the 2017 PGA will visit North Carolina's Quail Hollow.

Back in July, Golf.com's Pete Madden took to the PGA to task for not validating its grow the game and messages of inclusion by sticking with Quail Hollow.

Moving the event on fairly short notice would be tough for most golf organizations given the advance time needed for planning. However, the PGA of America does own Valhalla, host of multiple championships.

Monday
Sep122016

1400 Courses Have Closed In Florida Since 2000? 

Thanks reader L for this Martin Comas story in the Orlando Sentinel pondering another proposed golf course closure in Florida.

I was taken aback by the story claiming that 1400 courses have closed in Florida since 2000. That sounds awfully high?

Anyhow, this quote from Chad Barton of The Golf Group who operated the course, offered this grim assessment of the game. Grim, of course, because he's contracted a strong case of millennialitis.

“Golf courses are just very expensive to maintain and operate,” said Barton, pointing out that Twin Rivers isn’t profitable. “And let’s face it, millennials are just not playing golf. … The only other option is to shut it down and develop the whole thing. But we’d rather not do that. We’re trying to work with the city to explore a solution that makes the deal attractive for the majority of residents.”

Sunday
Sep112016

Bryson Earns Tour Card With New Driver, Plenty Of Energy

Noted in Adam Stanley's recap of the clubs in Bryson DeChambeau's winning bag, the 2016-17 DAP Chamiponship winner revealed that his tour-card clinching victory came thanks to advice from Phil Mickelson.

Stanley writes:

DeChambeau got a new driver this week – his previous one broke last week – and it clearly benefited him. He hit 16 fairways Sunday, counting the two playoff holes. He admitted Sunday that he could “go play again tomorrow” as he still had a lot of energy. Conserving that energy was part of some advice he received from Phil Mickelson earlier in the year about how to approach a tournament.

“The strategy is the strategy. Once I become comfortable with a golf course, that’s all I need. I learned I don’t need to be there Sunday before the tournament and play three or four practice rounds. That’s one thing I learned from Phil,” DeChambeau said.

Will Gray explains what DeChambeau's win means for his status in the Web.com Tour playoffs and 2016-17 PGA Tour.

Sunday
Sep112016

Phil: Team USA Already Knows Who Is Going And Who Is Playing Which Ryder Cup Matches

Apparently there won't be much suspense in Monday's 11 am ET Ryder Cup announcement of Team USA's three picks, except, perhaps who is the odd-man out for two weeks.

Rex Hoggard reports for GolfChannel.com on Phil Mickelson revealing plans already made by the Team USA captain and vice captains, with Tiger driving the boat on much of the planning that already has everything mapped out.

“We know who is going to be playing with who, when they’re going to be playing, what matches,” Mickelson said.

And crucial to that game plan, apparently, is assistant captain Tiger Woods.

“I am so happy to see how well he has thought this through,” Mickelson said of Woods. “I can’t believe our conversations just this week, how detailed he is and the pairings, the possibilities, the players. Not just what matches they’re going to play, but where on the list. He has got us really a good, solid game plan that is easy to buy into and get behind. I’m very impressed.”

Well, well, aren't these Task Forcers busy little beavers!

Sunday
Sep112016

Instant Poll: Who Would Be Your Team USA Ryder Cup Picks?

I'm fairly confident you know the drill by now. If not, here goes.

The task force Task Force "Task Force" mandated that three picks be made after this year's BMW Championship, with the fourth captain's pick to be made on Sunday of the Tour Championship.

Davis Love announces his three picks at 11 am ET on Monday, September 12th.

Here is the team on points:


The players who missed qualifying:

Alright, you get three votes, who you like?

Who would be your three captain's picks for Team USA?
 
pollcode.com free polls

Sunday
Sep112016

Retro Files: College Gallery Uses Cell Phone Flashlights To Help Player Finish Round

Nice work by Kevin Casey at Golfweek.com fleshing out the details of UC Davis's Ben Corfee last hole putt (below), aided by an army of flashlights, evoking an earlier time when car headlights, burning newspapers or who-knows-what-else helped golf tournaments finish.

But when the threesome reached the green, it was certainly too dark to finish out. Until a timely response allowed for a change of plans.

Zalatoris and Martin faced longer putts, and thus decided to wait until Sunday morning to putt out and finish their rounds. But Corfee, who knocked an 85-yard wedge in darkness to 10 feet, decided his remainder on the green was close enough for him to attempt.

At that point, a jump to action brought Corfee, a senior from El Macero, Calif., the light he needed.

“Ben was the closest and he decided to putt out, and at that point everyone around the green started getting their flashlights opened on their cell phones and came around to create light for him to be able to see,” Williams said in an email. “It was a combination of teammates, volunteers, fellow competitors, etc., all spontaneous.”

An incredible image:


And the video:

Sunday
Sep112016

Video: Euro Tour's Beat The Pro Challenge Had Something For Everybody

As previewed earlier in the week, the European Tour's "Beat The Pro" Challenge planned to throw amateur golfers into the middle of tournament action.

Hitting one shot on the par-3 14th in a closest-to-the-hole competition, the amateurs were part of the proceedings on just Thursday and Saturday. As you'd hope, there were highs and lows, as depicted in this compilation from the European Tour's Instagram account.

As far as gimmicks go, it appears to have had little impact, especially since no one was injured by the one shank. To put it another way: if pro golfers were given the opportunity to be interrupted twice in four days for one shot, they'd take that over a pro-am any day!

Meanwhile, Joost Luiten won the KLM Open with a final round and course-record-setting 63.

The highs (and lows) of the Beat the Pro Challenge... 😮 #KLMOpen

A video posted by European Tour (@europeantour) on

Sunday
Sep112016

Video: Our Favorite 18-Month-Old Golfer Swings Everything

At 16 months, his mom posted an epic video showing him using his golf club to get ice cubes from the refrigerator and uses them as golf balls.

Now Katheryn Blewett has posted this compilation of now-18-month-old Sam Blewett using anything and everything to swing a club. And he's still a natural...

Sunday
Sep112016

Jockey Escapes Injury After Golf Ball Flies Into Sandown Race

As much as I love the merging of racetracks and golf courses, the possibility of a rogue golf ball injuring a horse and jockey has always been a concern.

They supposedly scan the course at Musselburgh for balls before race days commence, and all golf courses within tracks all shut down when racing takes place. But it appears a ball on the track was kicked up at Sandown Park in England, sending Luxford into a frenzy and throwing jockey Kieren Fox.

Andy Warren reports for the Daily Mail.

 

 

Saturday
Sep102016

Crooked Stick At Crooked Stick: Sergio Tantrum Exposes Tour's Selective Social Media Philosophy

While the other pro sports leagues post their warts-and-all highlights, the PGA Tour still selectively withholds moments depicting players in less-than-perfect behavior.

Sergio Garcia making his flat stick a crooked stick at Crooked Stick was prime social media material, yet it had to be The Big Lead who showed it.


Granted, the rage in this one would not look good if Sergio ever faces a jury, but it's still great fun to see grown millionaires rage.

Interestingly, this wonderful act of sportsmanship did lead to Sergio making a birdie putt with his wedge.

That putt was deemed appropriate for the PGA Tour social accounts. Minus the explanation or context...

Thursday
Sep082016

PGA Tour Makes Non-Rookie Eligible For Rookie Of Year Chase

Most PGA Tour season-ending awards fail to resonate, except this year when we have a fun player of the year debate between Day and Johnson, and an even more fun rookie-of-the-year battle brewing between Emiliano Grillo and Smylie Kaufman. Unlike some years, both are deserving candidates playing well enough that one may finish off already solid years in grand style.

Except that, Si Woo Kim is now a rookie. And he might just win.

Grillo and Kaufman have been joined by someone who became the youngest golfer ever at 17 to earn a card (in 2012), but was apparently not considered a rookie then because he played in just seven events (with one WD that counted).

But with just two tournaments left, Kim was declared a rookie by the tour this week and there are the expected questions as to why this was just now discovered.

Alex Myers at GolfDigest.com explains how tour decided to classify Kim a rookie.

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