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  • 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
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • 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
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

  • 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
  • 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

St. Andrews? I feel like I’m back visiting an old grandmother. She’s crotchety and eccentric but also elegant. Anyone who doesn’t fall in love with her has no imagination.



Ryder Cup Task Force Members Put On High Alert As U.S.A. In Danger Of Losing The Walker Cup

We don’t know how the super secret Ryder Cup Task Force coordinated their first two meetings, but it’s not hard to imagine the signals going out to members for a Sunday night teleconference or all-out raid on Golf House should the U.S. lose the Walker Cup. I can easily see Phil, Tiger, Rickie and Derek Sprague being dropped onto the Golf House lawn and demanding to learn names of the Walker Cup committee with snipers trained on Mike Davis!

Something that seems so simple—sending twelve of America’s finest amateurs to play some foursomes and singles matches—has no one particularly impressed or happy with the USGA's recent handling. From the secretive selection process, to the two automatic mid-amateur selections, to Saturday’s Tom Watson-esque decision by Captain Spider Miller to sit the hottest amateur golfer on the planet Bryson DeChambeau, it’s little wonder the U.S. is down 7-5 heading into Sunday.

And this, while the Great Britain and Ireland team lost a top player to a college tournament, where Sam Horsfield is T-5.

The real shocker though is DeChambeau, who recently dominated the U.S. Amateur in remarkable fashion and yet sat presumably so that a pairing of two McCoys could be made (he halved his afternoon singles match). A headline writer’s dream no doubt (Real McCoys, etc...), assuming there might be headlines coming out of this event.

Alex Miceli with the lowdown on that match.

And Alistair Tait with the summary of day one, where he says home course advantage was crucial for GB&I.

A live scoring link to Sunday's matches.

For American viewers, you can try to watch the BBC on ESPN3 (app) or the highlight show at 2:30 pm ET. I explained those options in last week's Forward Press.


The (2015) Rankings Are Out! The (2015) Rankings Are Out!

So much to line your birdcage with all at once! What to do? Save the ink cartridges.

You longtime readers know how I feel about the course rankings that are too high on experiential factors and depressingly low on timeless design appreciation. But to recap: Golf Digest's still doesn't carry the weight it should because the list includes Resistance to Scoring as a category, which might as well be called resistance to fun, resistance to character and resistance to soul.

Imagine a ranking of great films rewarding only those that run over three hours, or saying great restaurants get points for difficulty of making a reservation.

The big news this year: Augusta National overtook Pine Valley for the top spot this year. Neither reflects the brilliant vision of their founders who are held up as saints at both clubs. Yet neither is worthy of being known as the best course in America after letting Tom Fazio inject his special brand of mediocrity and his shameful lack of understanding of the foundation and soul of Bobby Jones and George Crump's creations. Architecturally, The National Golf Links of America is on another level right now. And it won't surprise you to learn they have not had a Fazio on the property to do any damage.

Then there is Golf Magazine, which debuted its World Top 100 a day after Digest this year and, while generally more in line with my architectural tastes, adds two courses that no one but royal family members can or would be ignorant enough to access. These are (literally) private courses that almost no one will ever see. One in particular is an embarrassment to the idea of semi-refined golf architecture, with a ranking inclusion so clearly out of place (attested privately by horrified Golf Magazine panelists) that it devalues the entire exercise by its very inclusion.

I won't bore you with the ongoing and pathetic Golf Magazine love affair with Nine Bridges, but instead, let you revel in the joy that is new World No. 76, Ayodhya Links...


Podcasts! Scottish Golf Travel On North Berwick, Old Course

There's really only one way to plan a trip to Scotland and that's by listening to Ru Macdonald's Scottish Golf Podcast. Last week's episode with listener Stuart Stein is a perfect example of why you can't do any better in preparing for those once-in-a-lifetime trips.

On episode 74 we discuss (what else) North Berwick, the Old Course, The Glen Club and Crail, as well as some tips born out of my most recent voyage to the Home of Golf (ship those clubs please, Luggage Forward and ShipSticks are your friends!). 

And yes, Ru asks me what my one must-have piece of equipment was and it was my--no paid endorsement--my Linksoul water resistant jacket. (The XL is still on sale at half off.) The fall version is not on sale and has gone up in price, but as someone who hates playing in rain gear and rarely has ever found a jacket that works for swinging a club in less-than-ideal weather, this was a keeper!

Also on the By-the-Minute-Golf Podcast last week, don't miss Lawrence Donegan and John Huggan talking to Mark Canizzaro of the New York Post.


State Of Junior Golf: Your Story, Your #1 Concern

With the summer over, Golf Channel's Morning Drive has been focusing in on the state of junior golf going forward. I talked about how I first got a club in my hands on Monday's show.

I'll be talking to the gang again on Friday about a few topics, but I'd love to report a few findings from those of you who started golf as a wee lad or laddess.

My first question is for the comments section: outside of family members, who or what (courses?) were most important in getting you into the game?

And in that vein, do you see the same kind of people and facilities in today's game as receptive to youth as in your day?

The second question is a poll question.

What is the biggest obstacle to starting kids in golf today?

What is the biggest obstacle to getting kids started in golf in 2015? free polls


Youth Movement Takes A Detour With Koepka Slight?

The recent surge of outstanding young talent in both men's and women's golf has revealed a lot about many entities in the golf. But most interesting to me is just how much "millennials" look to be validated by the play of these players and how upset they get when "their" generation is not treated as the most vital to have ever lived.

Of course every generation has a certain affinity for who they grew up or grew old with. But thanks to Twitter and Facebook, we know millennials increasingly appear to take it personally when it's suggested that there were other generations who might have existed prior to 2000. (The recent suggestions that Tiger faced no serious competition speak most strongly to this alarmingly shallow perception.)

I struggle with the obvious ageism because I am excited about the infusion of young talent, but also believe our sport is at its best when a variety of age groups are succeeding.

Where the ageism practiced by the millennials gets scary is when the blind love ignores the numbers.

Take the Brooks Koepka omission from the 2015 Presidents Cup team.

There's no question that Phil Mickelson's selection can be questioned and that Koepka might have been a daring pick by Jay Haas to help develop a great young talent, but there's also a history of captain's picking veterans to Ryder and Presidents and Solheim Cup teams and Mickelson's selection was hardly unusual.

Karen Crouse of the New York Times even chalked the Mickelson pick to an "affirmation of the old boys’ club that characterizes golf at its most galling." Crouse suggests the youth movement in golf was taking a detour with the selection. But while I think that's a bit strong, there is plenty of social media outrage over Captain Haas not helping to develop Koepka as a future American star by selecting him. I would buy that view if he just missed the team or there was a sense that we are depleted in the young talent department.

So why is there no outrage over the omission of players ahead of No. 19 Koepka on the Presidents Cup points list?  They include J.B. Holmes, Charley Hoffman, Billy Horschel, Brandt Snedeker, Webb Simpson, Robert Streb, Kevin Na or Harris English. While all were on the outer cusps of the constantly shifting millennial age range, none are seen as a young, burgeoning, photogenic, marketing-friendly player that Koepka is seen as. Therefore, none were really backed by those upset at Mickelson's suggestion.

That's a bizarre, dangerous and slightly unseemly trend to ponder.


What To Do To Restore The Walker Cup's Luster?

As the Walker Cup looms this weekend riding on almost no wave of attention, the reasons are pretty obvious:

-- A small TV presence (the ESPN details are in my Forward Press column), few star amateurs sticking around

-- Players selected choosing college events over the Cup

-- A secretive selection process that engenders no awareness of the competition to make the team or the rationale for why the USA team was picked

-- A trip to a links that isn't the more interesting links the R&A could go to for this event

Matters this week weren't helped with the news that Sam Horsfield, who was the fourth-highest GB&I player on the team before withdrawing for "personal reasons," just played five qualifying rounds and is on for Florida's first travel squad of the fall.

Alistair Tait at Golfweek reports.

Horsfield did not answer Golfweek’s requests for an interview. However, Florida head coach J.C. Deacon responded by email to Golfweek’s question on why Horsfield could not play at Royal Lytham and St. Annes but could tee it up at the Carpet Capital.

Deacon wrote: “Sam would have loved to be overseas playing for GB&I but a family situation came up. He was ready to play and excited to represent his country, so I truly feel for him. He's an amazing young man and we are all supporting him. It's a personal issue within Sam's family and I wouldn't feel right commenting further. I appreciate you understanding and having Sam's best interest at heart.”

Therefore, it may be time to reconsider elements to what should be a sensational and historic event.

Adam Schupak pens a column making suggestions about how to improve the event. The only one within the reach of the USGA and R&A involves the date, which is proving problematic for elite college players wanting to turn pro. I'm not sure a move to spring would help either though...

The Walker Cup’s September date, which is during the school year for most of these college-aged players, seems antiquated. Sure, a May date would take some of the luster off the amateur summer, but winning the U.S. Amateur would be just as prestigious, and it doesn’t seem as though the hot hand gets picked for the team anyway (See Aaron Wise, winner of the Pacific Coast Amateur, runner-up in the Western Amateur; Derek Bard, finalist in the U.S. Amateur).

Why does having the best players represented matter, you ask? This has long been an event that elite amateur golfers from the U.S. and GB&I aspire to be part of before they turn pro. Hall termed it “a bucket list item in an amateur career.” It should remain that way. But don’t just take my word for it. Patrick Rodgers represented the American side in the previous two Walker Cups.

“I wish more people had the experience I had playing in two Walker Cups,” he said. “Not only is it the pinnacle of amateur golf, it may be the most fun you ever have playing golf. I wouldn’t pass up that experience for any kind of money playing professional golf. I think kids who skip out on that opportunity are making a big mistake, to be honest.”

The 2017 Walker Cup returns to the United States and will be played at The Los Angeles Country Club.


Sangmoon In Presidents Cup, But Is His Olympic Dream Over?

He supposedly faced charges if he returned to South Korea at one point before his appeals process started, but now two-time PGA Tour winner Sangmoon Bae will return to his native country as part of the International Presidents Cup team. Then he will put his clubs away as he potentially enters his prime as a player to complete two years of mandatory military service. (Mark Cannizzarro did a nice job summing up Bae's story prior to The Barclays.)

For now, he's just happy to be a captain's pick of Nick Price. From the press conference announcing his selection to the 2015 Presidents Cup team:

Q. Sangmoon, we know you've been through a lot this season with stuff happening off the golf course, but The Presidents Cup captain's pick today, what does it mean for your career at this stage, and how do you think the reception will be for you when you tee it up on that Thursday morning of The Presidents Cup in front of your home fans?

SANGMOON BAE: To be honest, I have a little tough situation right now. I think this shouldn't be a problem and just I want to try focus on my game and on The Presidents Cup in Korea. That is my home country and really excited to play and I will do my best. It will be a really great team. I'm really happy to play now.

Q. I have a question for both Sangmoon and Captain Price. Obviously with Sangmoon, his military service situation, has that cleared up? Do you know if Sangmoon will be able to actually play at The Presidents Cup?

NICK PRICE: As far as I understand, they will speak to the government, but I'm pretty sure he'll be cleared to play.

LAURA NEAL: Sangmoon, have you been given any indication on your status for playing?

SANGMOON BAE: Actually nothing changing right now, and I want say, it shouldn't be a problem. Because I already talked to all the Korean media, I've got go โ€‘โ€‘ I will go to military service in this year after The Presidents Cup, actually after this season. But Nick Price just pick me up and I've got to play Presidents Cup, and I will do military service after that. So yeah, I think it shouldn't be a problem.

That's reassuring! Who's that first alternate again, Captain Price?

The sad part of this story--and let's be clear, it's a first world deal all the way--is the apparent end to Bae's Olympic dreams.

He has been one of the few players who has made clear that an Olympic medal would mean the world to him. But if he does go into the military for two years soon after his Presidents Cup appearance, it's hard to imagine he'll be able to have enough world ranking points or appearances to justify an Olympic appearance. But the South Korean military will have one amazing golfer on its side.


Golfweek: Phil For The Prez Cup? Really?

Let's face it: the Presidents Cup is just not a compelling competition. Initially an attempt by Tim Finchem to milk some more profits in the wake of the Ryder Cup, the matches have had some nice moments (Royal Montreal and Melbourne), but lacks much sizzle when the venues are lacking (like, now and in the foreseeable future). Short of bringing back stymies or going to magnificent courses, there is no real reason to get interested in the biennial competition as it heads to Korea this year.

Yet the captains did their best to make it compelling Tuesday with edgy selections, notably Nick Price picking soon-to-be-exiled-to-military-serviceman and rising star Sangmoon Bae, who gets to play in his native South Korea (assuming some crazy General doesn't intervene!).

On the U.S. side, Jay Haas and son Bill said all the right things in explaining the very justifiable captain's pick by father of son.

But the pick of the day that generated the most social media vitriol: Phil Mickelson by Haas as America's second option over names like Holmes, Snedeker, Horschel.

Golfweek's Jeff Babineau is perplexed by the Mickelson captain's pick.

Forgetting about the Gleneagles mutiny he helped to lead in one of the more bizarre post-event pressers of all time, Phil has been a model ambassador on Tour, the kind of guy who shows up to some city, smiles a bunch and signs as many autographs as any three other players combined.

Hey, wives are a big part of the team events, don’t forget, and in Amy Mickelson, Team USA gets a modern-day Barbara Nicklaus. Friendly, genuine, highly popular. The real deal.

But what does the U.S. get in adding Phil the player, the one who stands before us today at 45? Well … that’s the painful part, the part in which the needle screeches across the vinyl, and where everything grinds to an awkward halt. Sadly, performance-wise, elevating Mickelson onto the Presidents Cup team makes no real sense.

Since walking off the green with his fifth major – and first Claret Jug – in the summer of 2013, Mickelson has pretty much been an invisible man as a competitor. As much as he has tried to fire up the engine the last two years, losing weight, getting fit, pounding balls … the motor just hasn’t turned over. He hasn’t won in 26 months. That’s quite a spell. In 39 starts over two seasons, he has contended two times, albeit in majors.


AimPoint Express Fans Beware: Don't Touch Your Line

No one has been penalized, but as Doug Ferguson notes in his weekly AP notes column, it seems like only a matter of time before the growing list of players who use AimPoint Express to figure out putt breaks is under scrutiny for violating the Rules of Golf.

Ferguson writes:

One part of AimPoint Express is to pick an area halfway toward the hole where the feet can feel the slope (and from there players will hold up one or two fingers to help them figure out where to start the putt).

Rule 16-1a, however, makes it illegal for players to touch the line of their putts, which is defined as the line players want their balls to take and includes a ''reasonable distance on either side of the intended line.''
The European Tour went so far as to post a video explaining how the rule can be breeched if players are not careful. The variance of the line will be greater on longer putts than the shorter ones. No one is believed to have been penalized yet (two-stroke penalty or loss of hole in match play).

''You can't stand in your own line, but your own line is vague,'' Chappell said. ''When it first became big, it came up. They were going to try to outlaw it a few years ago, and then it became like, 'OK, your line from 4 feet is much smaller and precise than your line from 40 feet.' But it would be pretty hard to stand in your line from 40 feet and have them prove you have an advantage.

''I haven't been warned, but I've had discussions about it.''


Another Sign The U.S. Walker Cup Team Has Too Much Free Time

I'm trying to get excited about the Walker Cup matches this week, but with the whole selection process done in private, the team ringing Wall Street bells (really?) and a travel budget designed to spend the USGA's Fox money, it's just hard to get excited about what should be a supreme exhibition of amateur team golf.

Seeing them resort to a stunt video--of which I'm usually a fan of--just adds to the sense that the Walker Cup has become another strange chapter in what is the decline of amateur golf.

Steve Elling with the video of the Walker Cup team's stunt video posted by the Royal Lytham pro shop Twitter account, if you're so inclined.


Nicklaus Museum Loses Money And The Ohio State Doesn't Care

Longtime readers know I'm a big fan of Columbus' Nicklaus Museum (part one of many videos here).

So the news that the museum loses $200,000 annually as part of The Ohio State's $154 million athletic department budget doesn't really come as a blow, or even shock, or even a concern.

Especially when you can house the most important artifacts of one of America's most important athletes, who also happened to attend your university. Priceless, I'd say.

Sep082015 Finals: More On Malinati The "All Of That For That" Guy

Jaime Diaz of Golf World does a nice job going beyond the viral video surface--and it is a doozy--to preview the kickoff to the Tour Finals by highlighting 2015-16 PGA Tour card holder Peter Malnati.

At the recent Portland event, Malnati had a reaction we can all relate to when stepping in a swampy lake to hit a miracle recovery, only to advance the ball a few feet and ruing some perfectly nice clothes.

Anyway, Malnati blogged about the week (and the shot) on his very retro but rich blog.

There's more to like, says Herrington, including Malnati overcoming a lack of distance, some very explicit goal setting (check out the blog) and a different approach to shots that has him voicing quite a bit out loud. He's a not a quiet one, which is refreshing.

Here's the Golf World piece.

You can follow Malnati on Twitter here.


Rosaforte: Supporters Help Keep Rolfing Strong

A sobering but inspirational column from Tim Rosaforte updating us on Mark Rolfing's upcoming six-week treatment to battle salivary gland cancer.

The link to this week's Golf World column.


Rickie Wins: Gentlemen, Rev Your Big Four Engines!

Technically, Rickie Fowler's Deutsche Bank Championship win gets him in the Big Three...that's, three-time PGA Tour winners.

But as nice as his third worldwide win of 2015 was, few were ready to put Fowler in the class of yesterday's news--McIlroy, Spieth and Day. To put it another way, engines are revving, but no one has started a Big Four campaign. Though it's only Monday.

John Strege noted the hilarity of Jordan Spieth likely returning to the top spot off of two missed cuts, but at least Fowler moved up to 5th as he once again looked quite comfortable pursuing a final round lead.

NBC’s Johnny Miller went to BYU and majored in physical education, which rules him out. “If any of you out there can figure out how a guy [Jordan Spieth] can miss two cuts in a row and now become number one [in the World Ranking] over Rory [McIlroy], let me know,” he said.

Clarity is preferred, and on that note the erstwhile enigma known as Rickie Fowler has provided it, by stepping up in 2015 and finally matching his style with substance.

What also has become clear in this, his breakout season is that he isn’t afraid of center stage, to wit his dramatic playoff victory over Sergio Garcia and Ken Kisner in the Players and his clutch 18th-hole birdie to win the Scottish Open.

At least Fowler has a good sense of where he is in relation to the three young guys in front of him, and the person who doesn't count because he's a not millennial (but he does have two green jackets).

“With the three guys that they talk about, Jason, Rory and Jordan, they've clearly played the best out of anyone over the past few months to couple of years,” Fowler said. “So I'm trying to be a small fourth thrown in there. But there are a lot of other really good young players playing well right now, as well.”

More humility from Fowler bagman Joe Skovron, courtesy of Helen Ross at

But you can tell he's wearing it on his shoulders; you can tell," Skovron said. "... It builds up because he wants to win. He wants to do all these things and I think the expectations were so high so quick because of the popularity -- and he's just grown into his game.

"... Everybody just gets really ahead of themselves. We obviously were expecting more, too, and wanted it. But sometimes it doesn't come exactly when you want it."

And the tamping down continued over at, where the Sunday roundtable put Rickie in his place.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Fowler has had two terrific wins this year against good fields on golf courses where a lot can go wrong. He's contended in majors. He's fun to watch. I love his energy. But McIlroy, Spieth and Day are, for now, a full tier ahead of him, and McIlroy and Spieth have more shots at their disposal.

Eamon Lynch, managing editor, (@EamonLynch): For all of his game-changing stardom and greatly improved results, Fowler has to be considered just outside the upper echelon until he wins a major. It's the standard to entry to that elite bracket.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@GaryVanSickle): Rickie had what would've been a Player-of-the-Year type performance in many years but not this year. The New Big Three are on top of the golf world. Rickie is in a class that's one step down. He has to win a major to step up to that top tier.

The highlights:


Forward Press: Van Pelt, Sportscenter And Golf

The debut of Scott Van Pelt's midnight ET Sportscenter means there is a prominent golf fan in the driver's seat of America's sports water cooler.

I talked to the former Golf Channel anchor for the Forward Press column at about the cool factor in golf, ESPN's increase of golf highligh coverage and then throw a few rapid fire questions at him.

Also looking ahead to the week, I have answers on TV times for the Evian Championship (easy) and the Walker Cup (not so easy), along with a few fun preview videos to get you ready for Lytham and St. Annes.


Poll: Should Haas Pick Haas For The Presidents Cup Team?

There have been a few suggestions of nepotism should Bill Haas, after a closing 72 at the Deutsche Bank will be just outside the 10 automatic spots for the Presidents Cup, be one of dad Jay's two Captain's picks.

Randall Mell presented all of the scenarios before Monday's final round. The situation is certainly an intriguing one.

Knowing how much the family loves sports, it was no surprise Bill was almost distraught after his round Monday. But unless there is pressure to add a veteran star, it's hard to see how Jay does not pick Bill.

Or does it look bad?

What say you? You get two votes...

Who would be your two Presidents Cup picks? free polls


Where Does Jordan Spieth Go From Here?

The more meaningless-than-usual "playoffs" continue on Monday with the conclusion of the Deutsche Bank Championship. A potentially fun finish awaits but as a sporting event, the PGA Tour's ill-timed playoffs continue to fall somewhere well behind even NASCAR and college football injury updates on the Labor Day sports radar.

But more on that scheduling debacle later.

Of far greater concern is the short and long term well-being of Jordan Spieth, who at 22 has suddenly proven to be human with two missed cuts and a very good reaching World No. 1 status again Monday (thanks Brian Wacker on Twitter) even though he's posing rebelliously for family Christmas cards in Newport Beach.

The correspondents on site in Boston clearly didn't see a whole lot wrong with this physical game, just an obvious underlying fatigue.

Karen Crouse in the New York Times after Spieth's opening 75:

With his runner-up finish to Day at the PGA Championship, Spieth ascended to world No. 1, becoming the first American not named Tiger Woods to reach the top since 1999. The crown proved heavy, and Spieth staggered under the weight of the extra attention and added demands. At the Barclays, he failed to break par in consecutive rounds for the first time in 2015, and on Friday he extended the streak with a 75.

When Spieth carded a three at No. 15, his sixth hole of the day, it was his first birdie in 13 holes, dating to last week. He had a couple of tough bunker shots on his first nine, and when he failed to hole them, he looked stricken. With expectations that high, 12 holes without a birdie must seem like forever.

Like Day, Spieth put in the work, and it has paid off. But fatigue has frayed his patience, which has caused his confidence to fray.

After Spieth missed the cut, Jason Sobel at offered a simple assessment: Spieth's mental game was off. How does Sobel know this? Spieth confirmed.

"Normally my mental game is a strength of mine," he explained. "And it's something I feel like I have an advantage over other players on. These past two weeks, it was a weakness for me. And I've just got to go back and reassess how to remain positive."

Where does this leave the game's most important young player?

Sam Weinman
opines that Spieth finds himself at a crucial juncture with player of the year on the line and the overall good vibes from 2015 in danger of being harmed.

It's a curious thing to say, but for a guy who headed to St. Andrews this summer with a chance to win three consecutive majors, it might actually be Jordan Spieth's next tournament that counts as the most important of his year.

Spieth has now missed two consecutive cuts. He hasn't broken 73 in four rounds. Plenty of players on tour endure these sorts of dry spells, but rarely is it a guy who won two majors that year and is just days removed from being the No. 1 player in the world. How would we assess his year if it ends with such a thud?

For starters, there is the once open-and-shut Player of the Year Award debate. Perhaps Spieth still deserves it based on his otherworldly record in majors. But consider the scenario if Spieth flounders through the FedEx Cup playoffs, and Jason Day -- already with one major and four wins for the season -- cruises to the $10 million bonus and claims the top spot in the world ranking? Shouldn't we at least discuss it?

Beyond that, though, there is the larger question of how Spieth handles adversity.

I agree that Spieth's next event is crucial, which is why he ought to pass on the BMW Championship, put himself in some tropical place where he can Instagram cool photos from, and show up at the Tour Championship a bit refreshed. Then get the Presidents Cup over with, and go back to the same tropical place or to some UT football games, only to resurface in Australia in December to defend your title there.

Nothing will be gained from playing Conway Farms and the BMW. Zilch. Nada!


David Feherty Surfaces In Sioux Falls; Has No Comment

David Nicholson of the Argus Leader talks to David Feherty, free agent and appearing in Sioux Falls for the Symetra Tour’s GreatLIFE Challenge as a favor to CEO Tom Walsh. (Thanks to reader Tom Herron.)

The obvious question for the 19-year CBS veteran who was not renewed last week just days after the network's final broadcast of 2015.

Q: There are questions circling about where you’ll go and what you’ll be doing. To cut through some of that, what voice would you like to have in the live broadcasts moving forward?

A: I’m just happy to be a voice. I can’t really talk about that at this point.

Q: With respect to your show Feherty on The Golf Channel, it’s been a massive success in large part because of your ability to connect with people and to follow a format that seems like an honest, open conversation. Do you consider that a talent?

A: I’m not sure that’s a talent. If anything I think I’m probably a good listener. I ask the first question that I have on my sheet and then I just listen from there on, which drives the producers berserk. They like to have it in sections; easy to edit. I’m interested in people, and I generally have people on the show whom I like. I can’t think of an interview that I haven’t enjoyed, and in that sense I’ve just been really lucky. I think I mentioned before, I’ve always been lucky.

Where will Feherty be "lucky" to land? Who knows, but the behind-the-scenes chatter has been fascinating because of how much golfers are talking about the shake up and the potential for new vibes at any number of networks covering the game.


Trump Say Politics The Opposite Of Golf: "I find great dishonesty"

In the wake of the Washington Post's story considering Donald Trump's on-course antics and suggestions he cheats at the game, Golf Digest's Jaime Diaz sits down with the presidential candidate for a Q&A on a range of topics.

I believe this is his first one-on-one with a golf journalist after having made incendiary comments about illegal immigrants, prompting the end of his Palos Verdes course hosting the Grand Slam of Golf (now defunct).

This is fun:

What have you learned from the presidential experience?

Well, I had no idea it would be this big, number one. Because when you look at what’s happened in terms of the level of popularity and the polls, I didn’t think it would be that fast. And once I announced it was like a rocket ship. Nobody thought I was going to run, and once I announced, it’s gone very fast.

Number two, it’s a nasty business. It’s nasty. I find great dishonesty. Sort of the opposite of golf, I find great dishonesty in the world of politics.

Interesting characterization he has of the five families in the wake of their public scolding:

I was little disappointed because I didn’t think it was necessary. But at the same time I know it’s part of a process. And I have great respect for Pete Bevacqua, Mike Davis, Tim Finchem. And I understand that the statements I made were very incendiary. And they had to be made, because they turned out to be true. And there was a period of one month where there was a lot of what I call incoming. Golf was very mild in comparison. And I understood the golf. I got it. I understood it.

And he defends Bill Clinton as a golfer:

By the way, he doesn’t cheat. He will drop a ball, but he doesn’t make any bones about it. If he misses a shot -- he doesn’t get to play very much -- so he’ll drop a ball and hit a second shot. But he’s not saying he got a par if he didn’t get a par. It’s not like he’s trying to hide anything. I think he’s been treated unfairly.


Video: Two Quite Stellar Trick Shots From Wes Wright

I don't know who Wes Wright thinks he is, but judging by his Instagram account (highlighted by Sam Weinman at, there's a lot to not like: young, athletic, good at every sport he tries, hair like a Kennedy and creative to boot!

Now, I'm not generally a fan of the walk off trick shot, Wright really sells the beauty of this one by not running around in shock, but instead, acting like "of course" I was going to do this.

His tagline is that he's "trying to not be 'one of many'" and if I had to vote, grudgingly, I'd say he's right.

The first looks like your run-of-the-mill trick shot until he caps it off with a shocker ending:

So @golf_gods featured this on their page today. ๐Ÿ˜ˆโ›ณ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‹ #igetbored

A video posted by Wes Wright (@e_wwright) on

And then a few days back he went all glow in the dark, with obvious lighting assistance. Next you know he's going to be directing a Marvel movie.

A.M. ๐Ÿ‘ฝ @golfgrinders

A video posted by Wes Wright (@e_wwright) on