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 – 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

Building golf holes seems to have a strange fascination for many golfers. While they would not think of taking over the job of their architect, or their physician or their lawyer, or their plumber, yet they would not hesitate to take over the duties of a golf architect, with full confidence in their ability to build quite the finest course that had ever been conceived. CHARLES BANKS


   

Wednesday
Dec282016

The Scores Is Scotland's Most Expensive Residential Street

Granted it hasn't been golf course frontage real estate in over 300 years, but the views are spectacular and it ends at the Old Course first tee, so we know this is mostly golf's doing. Still, even knowing The Scores lacks  the errant ball issue, it was still fascinating to read that The Scores in St. Andrews is Scotland's priciest neighborhood. Average property price: nearly £2.1 million.

From a Sunday Herald story:

Researchers from the Bank of Scotland say the cliff top street The Scores, which starts at the first tee of the Old Course, has knocked addresses in Edinburgh off the top spot for the first time in their annual survey.

Lined with Victorian detached and terraced houses, the street has unrivalled views of St Andrews Bay and the North Sea.

It is named after scratches on the basalt cliff face which it overlooks.

Tuesday
Dec272016

Forbes: Tiger's Net Worth At $740 Million, Phil $375 Million

 Kurt Badenhausen explains that Tiger Woods is the youngest on their list of America's Wealthiest Celebrities and the second highest ranked athlete after Michael Jordan. Tiger sits on the list between Diddy and Dr. Dre.

Phil Mickelson is the only other athlete on the list of twenty at $375 million.

Forbes says on Woods:

Woods has earned $1.4 billion from prize money, endorsements and fees from appearances and golf course designs since turning pro in 1996. It is more than any athlete in the history of sports (Jordan earned more when adjusted for inflation). Less than 10% of Woods’ tally is from prize money with sponsorships his main source of revenue.

We know these dollar figures are a bit silly and likely bloated given that they may not take divorce settlements into full account. Still, even if cut in half, the numbers and success of two golfers over all other modern athletes, is noteworthy.

Tuesday
Dec272016

Video: Flipped (Over) Trick Shot

What else is there to say but brilliantly conceived and executed by Ryan Rustand of the Virginia Golf Center with help from Pat Graves, gymnast and flip expert!

Tuesday
Dec272016

Video: Poe's TD Pass, Harris' Made-Putt Celebration

Thanks to reader ML for sending Dontari Poe's stellar jump lob pass--backed by 365 pounds--to Demetrius Harris in garbage time of Sunday's Chiefs-Broncos game.

But it's Harris' golf putt/almost Tiger-homage of a celebration that is noteworthy to linksters.

 

Saturday
Dec242016

Merry Christmas 2016!

Thursday
Dec222016

Nine Days Of Christmas: Seamus Tartan Ties And Special 20% Off Discount Code

As we near Christmas day the gift recommendations are now strictly about buying yourself something Rusty the dog, who drew you in the family pool, would never buy.

Last year the craftsmen and women of Seamus Golf kindly offered a Christmas discount to readers of this site. And after noticing their dapper new ties I reached out to company co-founder Akbar Christi who kindly offered a holiday discount for all purchases. Enter code RUSTICCANYON to get 20% off.

Everything by Seamus is made with care, thought and class, but I'm digging their new ties in fabrics sourced from the best (Loch Caron, House of Edgar). They come in both skinny and regular sizes and the website notes the lineage of the patterns so that you can do your best Smails impersonation at your next cocktail party.

Personally, I love a good tartan tie because nearly all look good with a navy blazer, they are guaranteed to liven up an otherwise cookie-cutter outfit, all while giving you a fun story to tell about the tie's inspiration.

Pictured to the right is the granite, cream and black Dornoch Tweed Tie that harkens to the ancient days of the Scottish Highlands, home of the great Royal Dornoch (whose club tartan is a colorful design invoking all colors of the course in its gorse-blooming days).

So head to Seamus and scoop up a few ties or headcovers at 20% off (code: RUSTICCANYON) and encourage them to keep making cool stuff.

Also, this way I can lobby for a much-needed Musselburgh tie!

Thursday
Dec222016

Roundup: Tiger's Mac Daddy Pic Spawns No Shortage Of Glorious Mocking

I'm picturing agent Mark Steinberg, staring out the window at Excel headquarters listening to a pitch for Tiger, when a nervous assistant barges in and points at a cell phone, only to remember the boss is a Blackberry man. Just as Steiny had pushed back on the price to get Tiger into a new blue chip product endorsement deal, the assistant swipes off the dust on Steiny's desktop and brings up Tiger's Twitter account.

"Uh, I need to call you back, whoever I was just talking to," says Steiny.

There the image sits. For no rational reason, a stern, shirtless Tiger Woods is wearing a Santa cap, invoking his children and referencing Mac Daddy, a phrase Merriam-Websters defines as "a conspicuously successful pimp." Or option two, "a slick womanizer." The Urban Dictionary also weighs in (gloriously).

Steiny sighs nervously.

"At least it's the Thursday before Christmas, the Internet is on vacation, right?" he asks as the young assistant mumbles something about Grayson Allen just texted to tell Tiger thank you.

So in the interest of sparing that poor Excel intern the pain of presenting a roundup of Tiger's bizarre attempt at humor/coolness/something, here is the Busted Coverage roundup/slideshow, Des Bieler's take at the WaPo, and the GeoffShackelford.com favorites:

 


 

Thursday
Dec222016

Tiger Rolls Out "The Look" On Eve Of Golf With Trump?

Maybe he heard that President-elect Trump is favoring a certain aesthetic for his cabinet appointees, as the Washington Post reported (poor John Bolton!), and wanted to lay the groundwork for a gig before he reportedly tees up with  Donald Trump Friday (NLU's Mattie Lou Chandler had it first)?

Or maybe he's just trying to keep up with the Shirtless Shark.

Either way...in case you were hiding from social media Thursday afternoon...

 

Not sure if this is what the branding experts had in mind when relaunching Tiger 2.0...

Efforts have already been made to identify the poor soul who had to take this photo...

 

 

Thursday
Dec222016

Billy Walters Case Looking Like It May Be Dismissed

The New York Times' Michael Corkery reports that the judge in Billy Walters' insider trading case is "in danger of unraveling" over FBI leak allegations.

Corkery notes that the judge scolded himself for not being cynical enough about the impact of FBI leaks, an concludes:

A dismissal would represent a significant blow to Mr. Bharara’s efforts to revive vigorous insider trading prosecutions two years after an appeals court overturned the convictions of two hedge fund managers and imposed stringent limits on prosecutors.

The case against Mr. Walters has been marred by revelations this month that a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation leaked details of the inquiry to reporters at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times two years before Mr. Walters was indicted.

That agent has told federal prosecutors that he was a “significant source of confidential information” for the reporters, who produced articles about the investigation in 2014.

This would not be the first time Walters was charged only to have the case not made. More importantly, Phil Mickelson would not have to take the stand and Billy could return to the AT&T Pro-Am!

Wednesday
Dec212016

McGinley Not Bullish On Tiger Making It Back

Most former players were suitably impressed by Tiger's initial impressions this month after a long layoff. But put Paul McGinley as skeptical Tiger will reach a level that motivates the 14-time major winner to grind.

Talking to The Mirror's Mike Walker, McGinley says he understands excitement surrounding Tiger's Hero Challenge appearance but...

“Personally, I think the reaction to the way he played in the Hero World Challenge was over the top. - his performance level was here (waist-high) and the reaction was up here (above the head).

“He has further to jump if he is to get back to the top level, where he was, and can he do it at 41 years old? Nobody has ever done it before at his age – there have been sporadic performances, like Jack Nicklaus winning the Masters at 46, but it’s not as if he was dominating the game then.

“Tiger’s a little bit like a footballer who reaches 32: He can still play the odd great game, as Steven Gerrard did at Liverpool, but can he do it day after day? That’s the big hurdle."

Indeed it is a hurdle and I respect McGinley's view.

Perhaps the bar was set low after so many mid-round walk-offs, but given where Tiger's game had sunk to, his Hero performance was most admirable. Should he at least get back to a level of contending in tournaments while picking off a few here and there, that would allow him to wind down his career on a positive note. Given where Tiger's been, that would change how he's viewed and how he's remembered. No insignificant accomplishment.

Wednesday
Dec212016

Look Out Sir Charles: MJ's Been Working On His Swing...

Kyle Porter of CBSSports.com says "Michael Jordan's golf swing is nearly as bizarre as Charles Barkley's."

Way harsh Kyle!

That said, it's always fascinating to see what a world class athlete is doing to conquer the game and while MJ hasn't developed the, uh, swing fluidity issues that Charles Barkley is world famous for, he does appear to be working on something...something.

Wednesday
Dec212016

Sirius! Fairways Of Life Uncancelled...

There's a behind-the-scenes media story here we don't quite understand (yet), but given that Matt Adams had announced his departure from Sirius/XM radio's Fairways of Life show, today's news that he would continue the satellite radio morning show was a big reversal of course: 

Sources have told me replacement hosts had been set (but not announced) and a new show was set debut January 1, but listeners resisted and Sirius relented.

If only they'd also listened when Peter Kessler's show was not renewed...

Tuesday
Dec202016

Nine Days of Christmas: The "Swing The Club" Glass Tray

After listening to Sam Weinman and Marty Hackel discuss the classification of gifts on the Golf Digest podcast, procrastinators may have a little more last-minute holiday gift buying-clarity.

I was especially glad to hear Marty single out a multi-purpose gift from Digest.com's annual slideshow of products: the Golf Sketch Swing The Club Decoupage Glass Tray from BensGarden.com.

Besides the cleverness, originality and versatility of this tray subversively laden with every swing thought imaginable, this classy piece could serve as an intervention tool. A glass tray that saves lives!

Hear me out.

We all know the golfer who carries a list of swing thoughts in their back pocket. Or, in more 21st Century fashion, typed into a Notes file on their mobile phone. These troubled souls wils stop total strangers and ask them to record a swing. Or worse, ask the stranger to analyze before putting headphones back on to listen to Bob Rotella.

But who wants to tell these sufferers that they need help? Especially when you can do it passive-aggressively in the form of a gift?

This six-by-six-inch decoupage tray is a tad steep at $56, but this could save lives! Or paper clips.

Tuesday
Dec202016

Trick Shots Of The Year...And Two Late Entries

Last week on Morning Drive we narrowed the finalists down to three and picked a winner, and while I feel confident the Academy got it right, I'm wondering how two entries might have impacted voting. Here's the segment with Gary Williams:

These two entries fascinate because of their seeming simplicity, but the performances are actually quite layered on repeat viewings. (Hey, it's awards season here in LA, this kind of talk just naturally seeps in.)

Back with another gem is Indonesian pro golfer Rinaldi Adiyandono, he of the shirt pocket shot that still mesmerizes.

 

White ball, right pocket! #golfgods #indofreestylegolf #golf #trickshot

A video posted by Indonesia Freestyle Golf (@indofreestylegolf) on Dec 20, 2016 at 3:53am PST

 

 

 

Tuesday
Dec202016

Costco Golf Ball Insanity: Website Jammed, Sells Out In Two Hours And Going For Silly Prices On Ebay

Bidding more for a dozen of Costco balls than the top-priced ball on the market?

America the beautiful!

The ebay prices are giggle-worthy. However it's mostly the notion that Costco, which sells a lot of vice-worthy items in bloated sizes, had its website bog down Tuesday as golf junkies jammed the servers trying to order the new low cost ball that has tested well.

Reader Guy reports that the 11 am-to-1 pm ET sales window today did offer the opportunity to buy the ball, but as many noted below, the website was lagging badly. Imagine that, bogging down a site that sells almost anything, only larger.

Who says golf is dead? 

 

 

@costco "Due to inventory changes, item 1081660 in your cart is no longer available" been trying all morning. Kirkland Signature Golf Ball

Monday
Dec192016

Nine Days Of Christmas: Simpson & Co. Golf Architects

Some of this year's suggested gifts are personal items (here and here) that Santa will never leave under the tree. Others in the non-Santa category support worthwhile golf causes (here and here) while also making a great gift.

So while the new Simpson & Co. biography published by Rhod McEwan is one that you can proudly gift, I'm fairly certain that golf architecture aficionados will be placing this stunning production alongside their collection of classics. Scoop up a copy while they last!

Written by the late Fred Hawtree, the book is embellished by Donald Steel's foreword and afterword along with a long list of contributors featured in the Acknowledgements. The resulting sense of finding a fun visual or factual surprise on every page is befitting of Simpson's rich-but-mysterious life.

McEwan has put together a sturdy volume which, as with his other golf publications over the years, will age gracefully. Best of all, we have a highly readable, visually engaging tribute one of golf architecture's least understood characters.

The book is £28.00. Shipping is £4 in the UK, £10 in Europe and £15 for the rest of the world. Simpson & Co. is a limited printing of 750 copies, each numbered.

Here is the purchase page.

There is also a limited (50 copies) leather bound edition for £180.

Monday
Dec192016

Behind The Scenes: Little Billy's Viral Interview Of Rory McIlroy

If you didn't catch "Little Billy" grilling Rory McIlroy as part of the child actor's European Tour series, it's still a keeper.

Because it went viral and because of interest in Little Billy (currently playing a young Prince Charles in The Crown), the European Tour has produced a behind-the-scenes video:

Monday
Dec192016

WIRED On PXG: Parsons Predicts $60 Million Annual Run Rate

Wired's Mark McClusky reviews Bob Parson's PXG clubs and comes away impressed by the irons, not so much by other clubs in the bag.

The story features an extensive look at how the clubs came together, what motivates Parson and how things have been going for the luxury upstart.

The company has grown to 70 people, and Parsons says the response has been beyond what he had hoped. He predicts that the company will finish the year at a $60 million annual run rate. The challenge will be to continue to innovate, and fight a market that’s usually driven by an annual set of new gear to entice golfers to spend more.

“We don’t have a product cycle,” says Parsons. “Our product cycle is that we have to make sure that we have breakthroughs in performance. When we do, we’ll release something new. Who knows when that will be with our irons?” Until then, he’ll sell the same model.

It's noteworthy that Parson cites the annual run rate while also putting down the concept of product cycles. I'm sure you money gurus out there can help us novices better understand his comments.

The story also features this put-down of the annual PGA Show.

“I don’t really compete with the other club companies,” he says. “They have a big trade show in Orlando each year, and we don’t go to that. We don’t go for the same reason that Ferrari doesn’t go to the Detroit Auto Show. They build the absolute best thing they can, and then put a price on it. We’re both in the luxury market.”

Monday
Dec192016

The King: Doc Giffin's Missing The Beep

Golf.com is rolling out a story per day from their special tribute issue honoring Arnold Palmer, whose passing will be remembered as golf's defining moment of 2016.

This Q&A with longtime sidekick Doc Giffin suggests, as you'd expect, it's been tough without The King around.

In the days since Arnold's death, what has it been like in the office without him?

It's different. In the past, sometimes he'd beat us in. But in recent years, the staff—myself and three others—we'd be here ahead of him, and always anticipate him coming around the back of the building in his golf cart. He'd drive it down from the house at 10 or 10:30 and beep the horn when he was coming.

You miss the beep.

Yeah, I miss him coming into the office and saying, "Good morning! Well, what do you have for me today?" Miss the beep.

Monday
Dec192016

Wally's Bullish On Acushnet Stock: Buys $1.19 Million More

John Dorfman at Gurufocus.com notes Wally Uihlein's purchase of $1.19 million more of GOLF on November 2, adding to the CEO's initial holdings of Acushnet stock. This brought Uihlein's holdings to 702,196 shares with a $13.7 million valuation at Monday's closing price of $19.57 a share.

There was also this:

On the same day as Uihlein made his jumbo purchase, five other Acushnet insiders bought smaller amounts.

Such cluster buying is a good sign more often than not.

The stock has so far peaked at $21.57, with Monday's 2.3% rise helping to soften the blow of last Friday's 5.39% drop.

On IPO launch day, the site featured this Q&A with Acushnet COO David Maher. Gurufocus featured this breakdown of the initial stock purchases on November 2nd.