Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • 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
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event โ€“ A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event โ€“ A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
    Sports Media Group
  • 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
  • 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
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford

Today, many are trying to obtain a temporary advantage by buying the latest far-flying ball on the market. It is often suggested that we have already got to the limit of flight of a golf ball. I do not believe it, as there is no limit to science. ALISTER MACKENZIE

  

Monday
Feb052018

Dubai Duties Free: Rory Spreads Host Role To Other Irishmen

There was a point you'd have to figure a player in their prime like Rory McIlroy would tire of the duties involved in hosting a professional tournament.

Thankfully for the Rory-rejuvenated Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, the host will be handing duties off to a rota of Irishmen. In some cases this could be problematic, but given the charisma of Paul McGinley, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, the event should keep the momentum going. McIlroy's Foundation will still be the Irish Open's charitable beneficiary.

Brian Keogh reports for the Independent on what the move means for Rory's career thinking and includes this from 2019 host McGinley.

"He has certainly helped regain the momentum of the Irish Open and he has done his bit. He wants to remain involved going forward but the Irish Open was a weight of responsibility.

"Even though he has won it, he has missed the cut for four of the last five years. So while his commitment to playing will remain, it is a question of handing over responsibility and we are happy to take on the mantle.

"We owe Rory a lot for where the Irish Open has come from and where it is going. So it is only right that we take responsibility off Rory's shoulders and let him do what he does best."

One last request this year Rory before you hand things off: put that call into Tiger! He needs some links golf under his belt!

Monday
Feb052018

A Few Instagrams As Pebble Beach Week Kicks Off, 2-5-18

The weather forecast is sublime for this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Apologies to those hoping America’s elite got rained on all week.

For reasons unclear, there is a sizable gold-brick of a flower bed off the 8th tee at Pebble Beach. Maybe it’s a placeholder for the restoration of Chandler Egan’s imitation sand dunes? Natural, it does not look.

Lee Westwood photographed one of the world’s most venomous snakes, a King Brown, when it appeared on the Lake Karrinyup CC range where he’s getting ready for the European Tour’s ISPS Hander World Super 6 in Perth.

For those still suffering a Super Bowl hangover, The Onion addresses the difficult conversation many football fathers are having with their sons...about what it means to control the ball long enough to be deemed a runner.


Number 8 showing some color this year. #attpebblebeach @attproam

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Monday
Feb052018

USGA Head: "It does make you wonder what golf courses will look like if we stay on this trajectory."

While new USGA President Mark Newell touched on concerns about distance at the association's annual meeting, Executive Director Mike Davis did the heavier lifting. Continuing his full-frontal attack on expanding golf's footprint, Davis largely backed up comments he made in 2017.

Golf.com's Dylan Dethier reports from Miami on the key comments in Davis' address.

"We all love hitting the ball far, but distance is all relative," he said. "I remember watching Jack Nicklaus, when he really got a hold of one maybe it went 280. That was the long ball then, and the long ball now is a lot longer."

Any potential rules change limiting technology would be sure to cause a stir among equipment manufacturers, who Davis said will be consulted throughout the process. But he was clear that he sees the issue of distance as a threat to the game at every level.

"This isn't just about the male elite game," he said. "It just isn't."

It looks like the U.S. Open's return to Shinnecock, recently narrowed after low scoring at Erin Hills, will be a point of comparison for the USGA in trying to convince those on the fence:

"An astonishing, perhaps even sobering example close to home will be this summer's U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills that will be played at over 7,400 yards," Davis said. "One hundred and twenty-two years ago at the 1896 U.S. Open, care to guess Shinnecock's total yardage? 4,423 yards. Now, don't read too much into that – I don't want to see a headline next week saying the USGA is proposing going back to hickories and gutta-percha balls in the future, but it does make you wonder what golf courses will look like if we stay on this trajectory."

Davis talked to Golf Live's Ryan Asselta regarding driving distance and while Davis slightly walked back some comments made to the Wall Street Journal, the overall take from these on-the-record comments is this: something is brewing.

Monday
Feb052018

The State And Future Of Arizona's Golf Industry

The Arizona Republic's Russ Wiles uses the Waste Management Open as a reason to consider the state of Arizona's $3.9 billion golf industry. The story is lengthy and contains some very good info if you're in the industry (thanks reader John for the link).

The questions and answers posed by Wiles are many of the same you've heard by now: things aren't too bad right now and even encouraging where facilities have made some adjustments, but the industry certainly isn't growing and the all-important M's don't want to participate in something taking four-five hours.

Nearly two-thirds of active players are 40 or older.

Participation among minors "has been declining for several years, as younger generations opt to play other sports or engage in other activities," said IBISWorld.

Also, it takes a lot of time to play golf well — not just in spending what can easily be five-plus hours for a round of 18 holes, but in the years of practice it takes to become reasonably skilled.

"As an industry, we need to find ways to have a one- or two-hour experience," said Gurnow. That's in addition to other ways the industry might appeal to newcomers.

This was interesting and a huge issue on the jobs front if the only answer is another TopGolf (not that there's anything wrong with TopGolf!).

Labor tops the list on the expense side, including for clubhouse/golf-shop staff and course-maintenance workers. Water and other utility costs were next,then course-maintenance supplies/services, general-administrative expenses and food/beverage outlays.

The highest number of Arizona golf-course jobs are in course maintenance — estimated at 5,000 positions in the 2014 report, followed by food/beverage workers (2,300), golf-shop personnel (1,780) and administrative staff (1,040).

Monday
Feb052018

23's Latest Comeback: Hobe Sound Course Project Back On, To Be Designed By Weed

Bobby Weed! He's a fine architect, even finer family man and great friend of the game.

And now he's the architect of record for Michael Jordan's Grove XXIII, the on-again, off-again, very much on-again exclusive answer to the Bear's Club. Originally thought to be Tom Doak's project to lose, Jordan has turned to Weed for what sounds very much like a course aimed at lure a few tour pros from Bear's Club.

From the Forecaddie:

The par-72 layout includes plans for tees ranging from 5,445 yards up to 7,470. Weed is excited about finding a way to challenge players, with bunkers planned deep into the fairway landing areas, some 330-340 yards off the back tees. Plus he’s got some special angles worked up.

“I’m going to be in their head,” he told the Man Out Front.

The full press release announcing the project that is scheduled to open next year:

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida (January 20, 2018) – Bobby Weed Golf Design (www.bobbyweed.com) has been selected to design the golf course at GROVE XXIII, an exclusive, members-only private club under construction in Hobe Sound, Fla. NBA legend and avid golfer Michael Jordan is the majority partner in GROVE XXIII. The golf course is scheduled to be ready for play in 2019.

 “Knowing the caliber of the membership and Michael’s passion for golf, we are designing a forward-thinking, progressive layout,” said Weed. “Golf course architects are in the best position to address how technology has changed strategic design.

“This project is an opportunity to update how architects provide all players with a fun and interesting challenge. It will be a course for tomorrow, a course with a refined edge.”

Weed is living on site throughout the duration of construction in order to personally shape features and supervise the work.

About Grove XXIII

Set on the site of a former citrus grove, the golf course is routed with the south Florida trade winds in mind. The two nines wrap around each other while traversing the site in opposing directions. This dynamic layout ensures that golfers will feel the breeze from every quarter.

The routing also features a unique crossover at the 5th and 14th tees, where golfers can switch from one nine to the other and still finish out a nine-hole loop. This singular feature offers the membership four nine-hole permutations, significantly enhancing both daily set-up and member tournament format possibilities.

Weed continued, “We are using proprietary player performance data to help establish the dimensions of features and rethinking the tenets of risk and reward that have long guided strategic golf design, but are stagnant today, especially in the face of equipment technology.”

The Weed design team has been provided with these player performance data by Darren May, co-founder of “Every Ball Counts” and appointed golf coach and ambassador to GROVE XXIII.

“The team environment encouraged by Bobby Weed allows a free flow of very valuable information,” May said. “To see this information integrated in the course design, and be part of the process, is extremely exciting.”

An intimate, contemporary clubhouse will be elevated above the open and expansive 225-acre property, offering long vistas to every golf hole.

Sunday
Feb042018

I'm Just Saying Files: PGA Tour's Fourth Straight Playoff Edition

Six playoffs already on the 2017-18 wraparound schedule and four straight with Gary Woodland's triumph over Chez Reavie at the Waste Management Open.

The playoff was the sixth this season and fourth in a row. The list:
  • THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES – Justin Thomas def. Marc Leishman with a birdie 4 on the second extra hole.
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – Patrick Cantlay def. Alex Cejka and Whee Kim with a par 4 on the second extra hole.
  • Sony Open in Hawaii – Patton Kizzire def. James Hahn with a par 3 on the sixth extra hole.
  • CareerBuilder Challenge – Jon Rahm def. Andrew Landry with a birdie 3 on the fourth extra hole.
  • Farmers Insurance Open – Jason Day def. Alex Noren and Ryan Palmer with a birdie on the sixth extra hole.
  • Waste Management Phoenix Open – Gary Woodland def. Chez Reavie with a par 4 on the first extra hole.

The common denominator, spoiled only by including the 78-player CJ Cup CJ CUP?

Full field events.

Just a reminder when the WGC's roll around and someone tries to tell you limited field gatherings of the world's best are better. Generally, they are battling an uphill fight to generate excitement, whereas the tightly contested events we've seen so far have featured nice leaderboard diversity and excitement to the end.

Sunday
Feb042018

The Best Of Golf Instagram, Super Bowl Weekend 2-4-19

Matt Kuchar almost brought the house down with a Waste Management Open ace at 16 Sunday.

Nick Price sitting in his first USGA Annual Meeting as a member of the Executive Committee with a grin that can only say, "what have I gotten myself into?" I view this as legitimate punishment for skipping the last two World Golf Hall of Fame ceremonies.

A side view of Pebble Beach's 17th after Chandler Egan and Robert Hunter's big, and still-largely-uncredited-during-AT&T-week renovation. The work took place prior to the 1929 U.S. Amateur and introduced strategy and naturalness to the course.

Who says dogs can't see what's on TV?

"Kuuuuuuuuuuuuch!!!" - Fans at the 16th hole.

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Sunday
Feb042018

GolfNow's Super Bowl Ad: "Millennial Son Won't Move Out"

In case you were watching the Waste Management Open playoff--that would be most golf fans--GolfNow rolled out an ad during Super Bowl pre-game coverage by The Martin Agency. It's the first of a fun campaign featuring three other spots...




Saturday
Feb032018

Wasted: Phoenix Open Set For Stellar Finish And You Can Bet CBS Will Be Late To The Party 

It's one of those traditions we longtime West Coasters have never grown accustomed to: a college basketball game running into CBS's scheduled golf coverage, condensing the broadcast window when the PGA Tour is getting it's best ratings, playing its most compelling events and often on the best courses.

The problem has been exacerbated since Golf Channel began providing lead-in coverage, leaving us with a scheduled half-hour break that has been shortened to 15 minutes in 2018 (undoubtedly after no one was buying that a half hour was needed to switch the graphics over).

Saturday's 2018 Waste Management Open telecast started at 12:46 due to the Kentucky-Missouri NO OVERTIME game running 45 minutes long, meaning an hour of golf was lost unless a viewer wanted to stream the telecast online.

The absurdity continues Sunday as two Big Ten powerhouse programs having below-average seasons are likely to spill into WMPO coverage. Remember, the madness continues next week when leaders at Pebble Beach are playing the most beautiful stretch of holes in golf as Michigan and Wisconsin inevitably run long.

The practice has grown old with viewers, who bombard social media with complaints that did successfully shorten the re-entry into earth's television atmosphere. Providing Golf Channel coverage up to the allotted time only gets us ten additional minutes in Saturday's scenario.

The obvious remedy?

Scheduling the games to start a half-hour earlier might mean--gasp--that a blowout ends a few minutes early and CBS can't deliver that strong "lead-in". To a sponsor like Waste Management, are those lingering fans as important than a happy TV audience seeing their ads?

Staying on Golf Channel until the basketball is complete would be trickier, but doable in just the same way Golf Channel picks up CBS broadcasts that have run past network coverage windows.

Either way, Sunday at the WMPO should be a dandy featuring 12 players within 3 strokes of Rickie Fowler's lead. Storylines include Phil Mickelson's shot at his first win since 2013, Fowler finally breaking through at TPC Scottsdale, Bryson DeChambeau picking up his second win thanks to fresh grooves (Will Gray reports), and Jon Rahm lurking a shot back.

Brentley Romine sets it all up at Golfweek.

“It’s anyone’s tournament tomorrow,” said Rickie Fowler, the 54-hole leader by a shot at 14 under. “Yeah, I have a one-shot lead, but this tournament is not going to be given to anyone.”

There are plenty of players ready to earn it, including Tour winners Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Daniel Berger and Phil Mickelson, a three-time winner in Phoenix. The task of winning this week? The difficulty is tougher than trying to score a front-row seats in the grandstands on the 16th hole.

Sunday's tee and telecast times, college basketball permitting.

Saturday
Feb032018

Newell Elected Next USGA President, Distance Issue On USGA Annual Meeting Minds

We all must thank Golf World's Ryan Herrington for attending and reporting on the USGA Annual Meeting so that the rest of us can only dream of mingling in a sea of navy, grey, officials from wannabe U.S. Open courses, and many others working to not say anything construable as interesting. Because you know how rumors get started!

New President Mark Newell replaces Diana Murphy and he sounds aware that the USGA's focus on sustainability is going to be pressured by distance increases.

“When you combine [distance] with the effect of the size of golf courses on the economics of the facilities, on the environmental issues that come from that and, in some cases, on the effect on just the enjoyment on golfers, it’s something we need to look hard at,” Newell told Golf Digest. “That’s what we’re planning to do. We have been, and we’re going to be focused on what that situation is and how we can deal with it.”

Herrington says the end of February will yield a joint USGA/R&A distance study update. Last year's said there wasn't anything to see here.

There was also this from Herrington's report:

In addition to the bigger picture issues, there are other practical matters the governing body is preparing to address. Among Saturday’s announcements was the formal transition of the USGA Members Program, established in 1975, into a newly formed USGA Foundation, charged with helping increase the ability for golfers to invest and contribute financially to the game.

To paraphrase our late, great friend Frank Hannigan, you're no one in golf if you don't have at least two foundations.

In conjunction, the association is launching a multi-year campaign “Driving Golf Forward” to help fund innovation and research while boosting inclusivity within the sport.

PSA makers rejoice!

The full release on Newell's appointment is here, along with a discussion hosted by Mike Trostel.

Mark Newell Elected as 65th USGA President
Other elected volunteers include World Golf Hall of Fame member Nick Price

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Feb. 3, 2018) - Mark Newell of McLean, Va. has been elected to serve a one-year term as the 65th president of the United States Golf Association (USGA). The election took place at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Fla.

Newell will lead the 15-member volunteer USGA Executive Committee, which provides strategic direction and oversight to the Association's full-time management and staff.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the game of golf as USGA president, and to champion our staff’s work to lead, grow and sustain our sport,” said Newell upon his election. “We are at an exciting time in golf’s evolution, and our collective focus on ensuring its future has never been stronger.”

Newell, now in his eighth year with the Executive Committee, has chaired the Rules of Golf Committee since 2013. During that time, he has been a leading force behind the USGA’s joint initiative with The R&A to modernize golf’s Rules. He also chaired the USGA Handicap Committee and spent four years as co-chair of the USGA/R&A initiative that led to the development of the World Handicap System, which is scheduled to debut in 2020.

The other members of the 2018 Executive Committee were also elected at the Annual Meeting, with four new additions: three-time major champion and former world No. 1 player Nick Price of Hobe Sound, Fla.; Kendra Graham of Winter Park, Fla.; Sharon Ritchey of Asheville, N.C.; and Paul G. Brown of Brookville, Md.

Current members of the Executive Committee who were elected to continue their service to the game are: J. Michael Bailey, of Sandy, Utah; Stephen E. Beebe, of La Quinta, Calif.; J. Stuart Francis, of Burlingame, Calif.; Robert D. Kain, of La Quinta, Calif.; Martha Lang, of Shoal Creek, Ala.; Gregory B. Morrison, of Duluth, Ga.; Clifford J. Shahbaz, of Portland, Ore.; and William B. Siart, of Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Two current members of the Executive Committee were also elected to serve as officers: Mark Reinemann, of Pinehurst, N.C., as secretary, and Thomas Barkin, of Atlanta, Ga., as treasurer.

Richard A. Shortz, of Los Angeles, Calif., was elected to serve as USGA general counsel. Robert Weber will retire as general counsel.

The USGA Women’s Committee, which advises the Executive Committee on matters pertaining to women’s golf and supports women’s amateur championships, has appointed Pam Murray of Richardson, Texas, as chairman and Courtney Myhrum of Pittsburgh, Pa., as vice chairman for the 2018 term.

Other members of the 2018 Women’s Committee are Jan Berry, of Madison, Ala.; Debbie Bizal, of Evansville, Ind.; Barbara Byrnes, of Mesa, Ariz.; Carol B. Graybeal, of Chatham, N.J.; Jean Mulcahey, of Hydes, Md.; Delia Nava, of The Woodlands, Texas; Nancy Rees, of Rye, N.Y.; Mary Shepperd, of San Diego, Calif.; Peggy Span, of Houston, Texas; Kathryn Washburn, of Mill Valley, Calif.; Ginny Waller Zanca, of Memphis, Tenn.; and Patti Zeeman, of Lake Bluff, Ill.

Friday
Feb022018

Golf Channel Says 2018 Starts With Most Watched January Yet

As the Wall Street Journal sorts through the reasons for another NFL ratings drop (thanks reader John), golf continues a positive start to 2018 with this news from

For Immediate Release:

GOLF CHANNEL POSTS MOST-WATCHED JANUARY, CAPPED BY MOST-WATCHED SUNDAY IN NETWORK HISTORY
 
Golf Digital Wraps Best January Ever for Minutes Streamed and Page Views
 
ORLANDO, Fla. (February 2, 2018) – Golf Channel posted its most-watched January ever with an average of 116,000 viewers per minute in Total Day, up 23% vs. last year and up 10% vs. the previous high in January 2013, according to data released by The Nielsen Company. This builds off December 2017 being the most-watched December ever for Golf Channel. Additionally, January’s success was mirrored across Golf Digital, which posted its best January for minutes streamed (22.6M) and page views (78.5M), up 34% and 19% respectively.
 
Sunday, January 28 was Golf Channel’s most-watched Sunday on record. During the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open playoff between Jason Day and Alex Noren from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday – airing opposite The Grammy Awards – Golf Channel was the No. 1 Nielsen-measured cable network for Total Viewers, up 24% vs. second place (ESPN). The playoff was also Golf Channel’s most-watched PGA TOUR telecast ever.
 
“Golf is carrying a lot of momentum into 2018 with a deep roster of developing stars across the professional tours, a superstar making his return to competitive golf and a rapid evolution in the many ways golfers are participating in and consuming the game,” said Mike McCarley, president, Golf, NBC Sports. “It’s especially promising to see record viewership — and it’s only January.”
 
Golf Channel’s comprehensive slate of tournament coverage rounds out record-setting January:
·       LPGA Tour’s Pure Silk Bahamas Classic Round One became the tour’s most-watched Opening Day in 9 years.
·       PGA TOUR Champions saw 2nd best Opening Day in 5 years at Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
·       Web.com Tour’s Round One from the Bahamas Abaco Classic was the tour’s most-watched telecast since July 2016.

Thursday
Feb012018

PGA Tour Going Against The (Sports) Grain On Pace Of Play

The European Tour introduced a shot clock tournament this year in response to a growing sense the pro game takes too long. And while we have not seen the slow play "personal war" predicted by Chief Executive Keith Pelley when he took the job in 2015, the European Tour continues to suggest that it sees where the world is headed: toward shorter, tighter windows for sporting events.

Major League Baseball is working desperately to shorten games. Bold proposals will be floated at the upcoming owners meetings, even to the point of experimenting with radical plans for extra innings. This comes after the first wave of pace initiatives did not go far enough.

The NBA has already limited timeouts at the end of games and cut TV timeouts. The end of a game moves better.

The NFL attempted to address fan concerns about their long games but only made a half-hearted attempt at picking up the pace. At least they tried.

Even professional tennis is experimenting with a much faster product for the "NextGen".

The PGA Tour avoids enforcing its pace of play rules and, as we saw at Sunday's 6-hour Farmers Insurance Open that was tainted by J.B. Holmes, this is a tour rallying around a player who openly defied (paying) fans, his playing partners and common sense. He knew he could not be penalized so why rush?

We could blame the PGA Tour's slow-play apathy to now-retired Commissioner Tim Finchem's disdain for penalty strokes and his obsession with vanity optics (such as players taking off their caps to shake hands). Those concerns of the Commissioner's office about a player's brand taking hit made enforcement impossible for the tour's referees, who also face pressures in moving fields around from faster greens and distance-driven log-jams on half-par holes.

There was hope new Commissioner Jay Monahan would follow the progressive lead of colleagues like Adam Silver (NBA) or Rob Manfred (MLB) and realize that younger fans are far more interested in action sports that take less of their time. But forget the kids. Who can watch a sport that takes over five hours and featuring players who have no regard for anyone else but themselves? Imagine paying $55 to watch a guy not play ready golf and playing only when he absolutely feels ready.

By signaling this week he sympathized with the supposed plight of Holmes, Monahan confirmed he will not use the power of the Commissionership to speed up play. All Monahan had to do was suggest that with high winds and pressure, it was a tough spot but the fans were right to believe this was a less-than-ideal look for the sport, particularly at a time millions of non-golf fans had tuned in for the Grammy's.

Instead, Monahan made it hard to believe his tour is interested in gaining new fans or in addressing the concerns of longtime fans that some of today's players are just too slow to watch. The Holmes incident captured on camera what paying fans all-too-often see during a PGA Tour event: a player taking much longer than their allotted 40 seconds.

Meanwhile, the European Tour is forging ahead with pace-related initiatives on multiple fronts designed to draw in new fans and intrigue those bored with the sport. While some of the measures are extreme and a middle ground with the PGA Tour position is the ideal, at least the European Tour is building off of the prevailing view after golf's 2016 return to the Olympic Games: the professional sport is woefully ill-equipped to compete in the global sports marketplace at its current pace, scale and preferred format. The pro game will fade into irrelevance if it does not adapt in a world that loves sport more than ever, just in smaller doses.