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
  • 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
  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    by Ken Bowden

Match play can be a pretty game and exciting, but it can never exert the relentless pressure of the card and pencil. In match play you can lose only one hole at a time, and that only to an opponent you can see. In stroke play you can blow a comfortable lead with one careless or misplayed shot; and the most phlegmatic player is always plagued by rumors or imaginings of what others are doing.




ShackHouse 31: 2017 Masters Preview

The tradition unlike any other is here and Joe House and I talk all things Augusta National.

Among the topics covered: pushing back at Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship cynics, the new press center, the food, your Twitter questions and lots of make gambling picks and predictions.

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

Here is The Ringer's show page.

Same deal with Soundcloud for the show, and Episode 31 is here to listen to right now!

As always, ShackHouse is brought to you by Callaway, who debuted the latest episode of Callaway Live with Luke Wilson last week.

We're also sponsored by Callaway’s new Steelhead irons, so visit to try the Iron Selector tool.

Best of all, they're offering ShackHouse listeners an Epic driver for the best iTunes review for the ShackHouse pod between now and when the 2017 Masters winner slips on his green jacket - and use the word “EPIC” somewhere in the review - and you’re entered to win a Driver.


Tiger: They've Actually Made Augusta National Easier

The club put out News Bulletin No. 1 today, Masters Monday, and it reads..

"Our fairways are mowed at 3/8 inch, the second cut at 1 3/8th inch, the tees at 5/16 inch, the collars at 1/4 inch and the greens at 1/8 inch. All mowings are subject to weather conditions and growth."

As most of you know, the club keeps a surprising long height of cut, especially considering what modern mowers are capable of producing. That cut is pushed toward the tees by a mower brigade, designed to create a grain. This practice slows down roll and does keep the course from producing drives like we saw at Austin Country Club a few weeks ago (where overseeded Bermuda fairways produced incredible roll without the grain).

I found it most interesting that Tiger, in considering how the course has changed, told USA Today's Steve DiMeglio he sees an easier Augusta National because of the higher mowing heights.

“The golf course has been redesigned and it’s not as difficult as it used to be,” Woods told USA TODAY Sports in an exclusive interview during a promotional tour for his book last month. “The golf course was quicker and faster. All the greens have been redesigned and it’s not as difficult as it used to be; they’ve all gotten bigger and flatter. But at the same time they’ve made the golf course longer so we’re all hitting longer shots into (the greens).”

The shots around the greens have changed, too.

“I think that the short shots at Augusta have gotten so different,” Woods said. “The grass has gotten longer. Chipping with Seve (Ballesteros) and Raymond (Floyd) and Ollie (Jose Maria Olazabal), showing me how to play all these different shots because you could play those little shots.”

It is amazing how much of a cushion feel there is to the place compared to the first time I came here. That probably is nicer for members not wanting to hit off a tight lie, but less difficult for Masters competitors.

Apr032017 Posts Full Telecasts Of Palmer's Four Wins, Tiger's 1997 Masters Final Round

And just to completely ruin your productivity, has embedded all sorts of amazing content available on their site that will also be available on their Apple TV app.

While the 1997 Masters was very special and the online coverage here excellent, including an interview with Tiger hosted by Jimmy Roberts, that tournament is still in our recent memory. So as much as I'd love to advocate watching the final round broadcast posted there...

The King's four wins, with full original telecasts and Jim McKay leading two of them, will give you goosebumps.

The best way to stumble on this is as I did: check out today's leaderboard featuring a classic image and click on Palmer's score in red.

Because for those who weren't alive during Arnold Palmer's seven-year run here at Augusta National, the combination of imagery and words posted at will give you a greater appreciation for the partnership.

Here is John Steinbreder's piece on Palmer and Augusta if you want some good reading.

Here is the 1958 final round with Jim McKay opening the proceedings as only he can.

Here is the 1960 final round and do make sure you get to the 31:15 minute mark for the Green Jacket Ceremony to get a BIG Clifford Roberts-inspired chuckle.

Here is the 1962 final round telecast.

And here is the 1964 final round telecast.


Video: Augusta National With A Drone

Compelling, architecturally revealing and just plain beautiful drone footage is the next great frontier in golf coverage and while I just wish this piece was longer, but it's a great start.

Next would be to see the hole-by-hole's shot with drones and truly showing off contours and elevation changes.

Just check out this screen capture of the par-3 12th to pick up the angle of Rae's Creek and even the little kink in the green edge caused by the fronting bunker. The genius is in the details!


Best Of Masters Merchandise, 2017 Edition

I managed to make it into the Masters merchandise center off the first fairway and as usual the folks have put together some fun, fresh items.

There's a bit of something for everyone and while I know most buy shirts and hats, most of the pieces included in this slideshow are of the gift/keepsake/one-of-a-kind.

 Just click on the first image and the slideshow will kick in. Enjoy!


Poll And Quick Wrap: Lexi's Infraction At The ANA

Anyone for expediting the Rules of Golf simplification?

I see both sides on this one. Why was Lexi Thompson picking up her ball and twisting her hand? Most likely for alignment purposes but there is always the possibility it was in a spike dent she didn't like. This was not addressed after the round anywhere I can see.

But like the Dustin Johnson situation last year at Oakmont, the evidence seen by someone at home (not apparently known to the rules staff according to this Nichols Golfweek column), was just not strong enough to fit the crime. But I suspect Rules of Golf experts don't agree even as we are likely to not face this situation in 2019.

The infraction, which again needed HD and slow motion to see, and the ensuing mid-round informing of a leader during the final round of a major:

Thompson lost the tournament on the first sudden-death hole to Soyeon Ryu, a fine player who has been trending toward a major win for some time. Sadly though, this one will be remembered for the four-stroke penalty.

From Beth Ann Nichols' Golfweek excellent report from Mission Hills:

LPGA rules official Sue Witters later said she was 100-percent certain that Thompson did not do it intentionally.

“It was a hard thing to do. To be honest, it made me sick.”

The LPGA said she breached USGA Rule 20-7c and Rule 16-1b. She incurred an additional penalty for incorrect scorecards under Rule 6-6d.

Ah the dreaded intent word.

As Missy Jones explains, the rules re-write will address this.

When you need to estimate or measure a spot, point, line, area or distance under a Rule, your reasonable judgment will not be second-guessed based on later evidence (such as video review) if you did all that could reasonably be expected under the circumstances to estimate or measure accurately.

The LPGA's statement:

Your thoughts?

Was the LPGA correct in assessing a penalty to Lexi Thompson for not replacing her ball correctly? free polls


DCP Wrap: Golf's Best "Grow The Game" Effort?

Not surprising a "grow the game" initiative centered around fun, family, simplicity and a possible trip to Augusta National, is a success.

Still, as I point out in this short Golfweek assessment from Augusta after year four of the Drive, Chip and Putt, it's an event that could have fizzled. Yet it has succeeded both in exposing talented kids to fun competition, but  also is "growing the game" in ways we might not have imagined. The characterization by officials of the numbers suggest the event is not slowing down.

Rex Hoggard tells some of the kids' stories for and what's motivating them to get to the DCP.

Ryan Herrington at on Fred Couples livening up one of the trophy ceremonies. Not Gary Player livening up, but still better than just a boring speech.

Jordan Spieth, favorite of most of the participants, checked out the proceedings.

The official website's gallery of images.

Rich Lerner and Peter Jacobsen recap the day with highlights of the best moments.

The winner's interviews:


7-9 Division (Maye Huang – Katy, Texas)

10-11 Division (Lucy Yuan – San Diego, Calif.)

12-13 Division (Alexa Pano – Lake Worth, Fla.)

14-15 Division (Savannah Grewal – Mississauga, Ontario)


7-9 Division (Carter Gaede – Manhattan Beach, Calif.)

10-11 Division (Liam Hartling – Redlands, Calif.)

12-13 Division (Zachary Colon – Bolton, Mass.)

14-15 Division (Mason Quagliata – Scottsdale, Ariz.)

And it's not too early to sign up for next year!


Nike Commits To Rory For 10 Years!

Fascinating to see Nike fleeing from the golf equipment business but locking in Rory McIlroy for 10-years to go with their massive commitment to Jason Day. Here's guessing financial publications will not point out such bullish commitments in stories about the health of the sport.

Marty Smith first had the news in this profile just posted at

The piece included this:

McIlroy is genuinely aware that his closet is bountiful. He is a major champion, PGA Tour icon and global celebrity. The emergent face of Nike Golf, he recently signed a 10-year extension with the shoemaker.

Asked why Nike was right for him, he's very blunt.

"Whether it was [Roger] Federer, Michael Jordan or the soccer players I followed, they all wore Nike," he says. "I always associated Nike with the best, with greatness."

McIlroy confirmed on Twitter:

There is a new ad campaign too. Hello World, it is not.

Always stay in the driver's seat. #NikeGolfClub

A post shared by Nike Golf (@nikegolf) on



2017 Drive, Chip & Putt Preview: These Kids Are Good

The kids are back!

Given the bleak forecast in Houston, it may just be the wondrous little ones and the first major of the year from Mission Hills for your Sunday viewing pleasure.

But beyond the mere necessity of needing some golf viewing, the Drive, Chip & Putt has been entertaining, humbling and inspirational. To see these young people thrown out into such a potentially intimidating situation and perform has been a privilege for me to cover. The skill and fortitude of these young golfers is something to behold. As is Gary Player's annual lecture on whatever he sees plaguing the youth!

Golf Channel will do its best to cover these amazing DCP participants starting earlier at 8 am ET following a shortened Morning Drive, meaning we'll see even more shots than the first three years.

Ryan Herrington filed this article with graphic explaining how it all works for the kids from the drive up Magnolia Lane to the actual competition.

All of the finalists are listed here at the official website.

Easily the best story is that of Alex Panos, making her third appearance in the "DCP". Here is her story, narrated by Rich Lerner:


PGA Of America To Forbid Sweater Sales During New May PGA Championship

Fearing a backlash from veteran members, the PGA of America's planned shift to a May PGA Championship has been held up by an internal struggle over the organization's ties to the complicated art of sweater folding.

It turns out neither cool weather or television ratings have proven to be main stumbling blocks in the bold calendar move that will end the Championship's run as an August event. No, the last issue in making a May move official involves sweaters and how they are presented to shoppers in the PGA Championship Merchandise Center.

According to a report by former PGA of America President Ted Bishop, the organization was set to announce the May, 2019 move following discussion about the agronomic ramifications of unseasonably cool weather years in northern regions. When a vote was to take place, the 19-member board of directors wondered cool spring weather might undo years of progressive initiatives highlighting how PGA Professionals are more than just experts at folding a lambswool half-zip. 

“A board member mentioned the S word," a source told Bishop, referring to the insensitive phrase sweater-folder. "That's when the repressed emotions and deep-seated fears came out. It wasn't pretty."

The source revealed the comment of another board member.

"The first spectator who walks into the merchandise tent and sees someone folding a sweater will associate us with the very thing we’ve worked so hard to move on from, so we just can't move to May without further exploration,” one board member reportedly announced.

Bishop’s report says the PGA of America’s current solution is to simply ban the sales of sweaters at the PGA Championship no matter how chilly the temperatures get in Rochester or on Long Island. Another source says there will be a last minute attempt to have the PGA Tour make up for lost cool-weather gear revenue since the Tour spearheaded the schedule shake-up.

“Maybe it’s sweet justice,” the source told, "that the flatbellies have to pay out of their Lululimen pockets after decades of disrespecting proper soft-goods merchandising. Just because they don't wear cotton anymore doesn't mean they should disrespect those who know how to work with natural fibers.”

The term “sweater-folder” has been used in derogatory fashion by vengeful club board members and retail reps spurned by club professionals who ignored suggestions to stock $350 cashmere V-necks. While the term's origins are unclear, golf historians believe the apocryphal roots of the epithet trace to 1958 in the Winged Foot restroom. Legendary pro Claude Harmon is said to have overheard a member conversation when he went to the upper level of the men’s locker room moments after having been spotted neatly restoring three folding-unfriendly Alpaca cardigans to their factory-folded state.

Since that fateful morning, hurt caused by the term has driven some out of the business altogether and is considered so toxic that the PGA of America is set to do the unimaginable: forsake revenue.


Agent Refutes Reports: Tiger’s Champions Dinner Entrée Will NOT Be Decided Until After The Appetizers

Agent Mark Steinberg is once again scoffing at reports about his legendary client's 2017 Masters plans just hours after Tiger Woods announced he will not play. Steinberg has denied a story suggesting Woods already has asked for the Augusta National dinner menu instead of embracing defending champion Danny Willett’s main course, expected to be an Southern-inspired take on bubble and squeak.

“I talked to Tiger three days ago and I have no idea who these really close sources are who know what he’s ordering for dinner,” said Steinberg. “We’re not in a position to even talk about the main entrée right now. He has to see how his back holds up after whatever deep fried stuff Willett wheels out for a starter.”

Steinberg said his client always samples the defending champion’s choices no matter how exotic. 

“Even the year Vijay won!” Steinberg said.

An online report said Woods has been spotted at his Woods Jupiter restaurant "relentlessly downing" digestive enzymes before and after meals as a cautionary ploy to prevent extra back strain.

“He looked like he’d had one-too-many of the Tuna Tartare’s the night I saw him,” the source said. “And we all know the slightest bloating could re-injure the back, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he bypasses Willett's entrees and just orders some soup to get through the Champions Dinner.”


Chairman Billy Payne Joins Twitter, Starts By Tweeting His '17 Masters Tie Scripting

After years of his tournament carefully embracing social media, Masters Chairman Billy Payne has finally joined Twitter at @chairmanbilly.

As with many new Twitter users, Payne first posted the dreaded "testing" Tweet that has since been deleted.

He then jumped into Twitter head first, picking up on the trend of companies telegraphing what their players will wear Masters week, only offering up his tie scripting for the 2017 Masters week.

The image of Chairman Payne's ties puts an end to any rumored patron-wagering on Chairman tie choices. The practice was thought to be inspired by bettors at Royal Ascot speculating on the Queen's dresses. His Tweet shows one Augusta National tie and two from the R&A's Open collection.

In the Chairman's first interaction with a follower, he clarified that the rest of his ensemble never changes:


Spieth After Pre-Masters Missed Cut: Other Players Know "We Strike Fear" Next Week

Will Gray reporting from the Shell Houston Open where Jordan Spieth's missed cut wouldn't have turned many heads except for a fascinating post-round quote.

The 2015 Masters champion said:

“I think we know, and the other players that are playing next week know, that we strike fear in others next week,” Spieth said. “So that’s our idea, that’s going to be my confidence level going in, and we’ll step on the first tee ready to play.”


State Of The Game 71: Geoff Ogilvy & 2017 Masters Preview

The grumpy old men convened on a Friday night and Saturday morning to discuss the upcoming Masters from the perspective of someone who has competed there many times. Geoff Ogilvy offers the usual fantastic array of insights on the Masters and the state of golf.

Other topics Rod Morri, Mike Clayton and myself kick around with Ogilvy: green-reading books, rangefinders, distance, grainy fairways, Trackman and the fascination with rangefinders.

As always you can find the show here on iTunes, check out this permalink, download the MP3 or just listen below:


Tiger To Sit Out Another Masters

He's still on the press conference schedule for Tuesday but he has made up his mind, according to

"Unfortunately, I won't be competing in this year's Masters. I did about everything I could to play, but my back rehabilitation didn't allow me the time to get tournament ready. I'm especially upset because it's a special anniversary for me that's filled with a lot of great memories. I can't believe it's been 20 years since I won my first green jacket.

"I have no timetable for my return, but I will continue my diligent effort to recover, and want to get back out there as soon as possible."


Time To Update Your Masters Apps!

They've listed tablet picture-in-picture capabilities (two channels at one time viewing?), Apple Watch notifications and Shot Tracker enhancements listed as new to 2017, but most interesting of all will be Apple TV options that allow the legendary feeds to be seen on a big screen.

Of course those great feeds remain Amen Corner Live, Holes 15 and 16, Featured Groups and Masters On The Range.

Looking at the App's schedule, Monday includes an hour of coverage at hole 16 from 2-3 pm ET.

Here is the iTunes link for IOS users.

Here are the Masters Live times that encompass both the app and website options for viewing.

The 2017 Masters Live line-up of channels include:
●       Featured Groups: This year, for the first time, Bill Macatee will tee off coverage of the 2017 Masters along with Davis Love III on Thursday morning with Featured Groups.  

In addition, Andrew Catalon, Brian Crowell, Mark Immelman, Billy Kratzert and Love III will also serve as announcers for the Featured Groupslive streaming coverage of select pairings throughout their entire round each day.  

●       Amen Corner: Live streaming video of the 11th, 12th and 13th holes from Augusta National. Grant Boone and Billy Ray Brown will serve as announcers for Amen Corner.

●       15 & 16: Live streaming video of the 15th and 16th holes from Augusta National. Bobby Clampett, Luke Elvy and Ned Michaels will provide commentary and analysis for 15 & 16.

●       Masters On The Range: The live show originating from the Tournament Practice Area at Augusta National will be presented Monday through Sunday on and CBS Sports Network. Masters On The Range will feature interviews with players and analysis of the field leading up to the start of the 2017 Masters and throughout the Tournament. Catalon, Clampett, Immelman and Kratzert will provide commentary.
In addition to the four channels of live golf action, Masters Live will present the following video highlights:

●       In-Progress and End-of-Day Highlights: Video highlights of play during the 2017 Masters Tournament, including in-progress highlights and a round recap at the end of each day.

●       Highlights from the Par 3 Contest: First played in 1960, the Par 3 Contest has become a beloved Wednesday tradition at the Masters. The 2017 Masters Par 3 Contest will be held on Wednesday, April 5.
●       Historical Highlights: On-demand video of memorable highlights and classic moments from past Masters Tournaments.

●       Augusta National Aerials: On-demand video fly-overs of Augusta National allowing fans to enjoy the beauty of one of the most famous golf courses in the world.

●       Press Room: On-demand highlights of player interviews conducted in the Interview Room from Augusta National.

Masters Live and additional features available on will be available for free at
The Masters, the most renowned tournament in golf, will be broadcast on CBS Sports for the 62nd consecutive year, a record for the longest-running sporting event broadcast on one network. This year marks the 81st Masters Tournament, one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year.
Schedule for Masters Live Video Feeds on and in 2017
* Start and end times are estimates and subject to change. All times eastern daylight.
Featured Groups*
Thursday, April 6:      9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday, April 7:           9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, April 8:       10:30 AM – Completion of play
Sunday, April 9:         10:30 AM – Completion of play
Amen Corner*
Thursday, April 6:      10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Friday, April 7:           10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Saturday, April 8:       12:00 Noon – 6:00 PM
Sunday, April 9:         12:00 Noon – 6:00 PM
15 & 16*
Thursday, April 6:      11:00 AM – 6:45 PM
Friday, April 7:           11:00 AM – 6:45 PM
Saturday, April 8:       12:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, April 9:         12:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Masters On The Range (Also airs on CBS Sports Network)
Monday, April 3:        12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM
Tuesday, April 4:        9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Wednesday, April 5: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Thursday, April 6:      11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Friday, April 7:           11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Saturday, April 8:       11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Sunday, April 9:         11:00 AM – 1:00 PM


Golf Is Back On The New Yorker Cover!

It's been a while since golf, which once received some attention at the New Yorker and no shortage of pages filled by Herbert Warren Wind's writing, has graced a cover.

April, 2011 to be exact and it was a Bruce McCall piece depicting Tiger playing a recovery shot.

Here is the explanation of the latest Barry Blitt cover featuring President Trump.

“I see that the word ‘duffer’ is defined as ‘a person inexperienced at something, especially at playing golf,’ “ Barry Blitt says, about his cover for the upcoming issue. “That’s the word that comes to mind as I watch President Trump plowing one drive after another through the glass windows of American politics.”


Spieth Co-Designing Par-3 Course For UT Golf Club

Kirk Bohls reports that Jordan Spieth has entered the design world as a consultant to Roy Bechtol on a par-3 course for UT Golf Club in Austin.

The course will be called The Spieth Lower 40.

“I’m excited about it,” Spieth said. “It’s going to be a cool little par-3 golf course that will be demanding visually but still fair for really solid wedge and short game work. I was definitely very hands on. I looked at the blueprints, the mapping, the scale. It’s cool being part of the design process with Roy because I’m interested in doing that later in life.”

The 4.5 acre course is under construction with a goal to open in September according to coach John Fields.


Roundup: Polls And Promo Codes

I've been putting you all to work and really appreciate the feedback. For your efforts, I hope you've been able to enjoy the 20% off offer from Criquet, who surprised us on ShackHouse with a nice offer.

Or from Athlete's Collective, who are giving site readers a great deal (promo code: SHACK) on their Conway 1/4 zips in heather grey and a very Masters-friendly heather green. At $34 a piece they're a bargain, but for $60 in the 2-pack bundle, a true steal.

I believe we have detected a theme in the recent polling: distance in the pro game is very much on your minds.

Regarding the variable distance ball concept I discussed here, 60% of you are very much in favor of its introduction as well as seeing it make a Masters appearance.

This is in line with your views after the WGC Match Play when distance was on many minds.

Finally, on match play's renaissance that I wrote about for Golfweek, I was floored to see so many wanting the PGA Championship to return to match play. A majority 39% of you wanted to see a return of the PGA Championship to match play, with traditional stroke play/knockout just edging a best ball match play.

Thanks as always for supporting the polls and the sponsors!


Recap: Wie Plays With Li

Michelle Wie's recent resurgence made the first round ANA Inspiration pairing with Lucy Li a lot more fun given a former prodigy was able to enjoy seeing the game's future before her eyes.

Randall Mell at with Wie's fun reaction to getting an up-close look at 14-year-old Li.

How does Wie remember reactions to her debut?

“They were just like, `Damn, she's big,” Wie cracked.

Wie is 6 feet tall today, and she was practically that tall when she played her way into the final Sunday pairing with Annika Sorenstam back in 2003.

Li is nearly a foot shorter and petite.

“I was walking behind her on No. 1, and I'm like, `She's really cute,’” Wie said. “No one really called me that when I was 13. `Damn, she tall.’ That's all I got.”

Wie made herself laugh, and that’s what kind of day this pairing was. It was a feel-good match of the veteran and phenom.

Wie posted a 68 and Li a 71 before first round play was suspended.

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