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

The permanent residents of Palm Springs are every bit as scenic as the petrified forest. Most are skinny as one-irons and have better tans than beef jerky They don't walk, they shuffle.
DAN JENKINS as Bobby Joe Grooves



   

Friday
Jun052009

"I happen to think that a course is up to Ryder Cup standard if the ninth green comes back somewhere close to the clubhouse."

John Huggan examines why Europe puts their Ryder Cup venue selection "up for sale to the highest bidder" and obtains this beautiful quote from European Tour head George O'Grady.

"I don't think the Ryder Cup has to be played on the greatest course in the world," says O'Grady, only a little defensively. "Look at the Belfry, where there have been some great Ryder Cup matches. I happen to think that a course is up to Ryder Cup standard if the ninth green comes back somewhere close to the clubhouse."

Thursday
Jun042009

"We could be looking at a performance for the ages."

John Hawkins considers the possibilities when Phil Mickelson returns to Bethpage and concludes:

Now we're talking about a turbo-charged atmosphere unlike any we've seen, an amplified version of the competitive environment Lefty has always thrived in. If he's sharp enough to take advantage of the support and draw on the inspiration he finds in his wife, we could be looking at a performance for the ages.

There are only a dozen or so players capable of shooting par at Bethpage over the course of four grueling days, and Mickelson obviously is one of them. His return is a big deal for several reasons, his presence at the U.S. Open a storyline with depth and numerous potentially positive ramifications. For him to play well enough to contend would be a terrific bonus. It's the kind of thing you'd be silly to count on but really, really hope will happen.

Thursday
Jun042009

"The players have already told the tour no way."

We have our first festering wound in the LPGA player-Carolyn Bivens relationship. The most amazing thing? That it took this long.

Michael Buteau reports that Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel have suggested they will not be Tweeting from the course.

“I will not be twittering in my round,” [Paula] Creamer, who’s ranked third in the world, wrote on her Twitter page this morning. “It should not happen in any sport. The players have already told the tour no way.”
Shortly before her anti-Twittering tweet, Creamer told her followers that she was “Eating some pancakes for breakfast with my dad before we go out to the course.”

Morgan Pressel shared Creamer’s sentiments moments before beginning her first round at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Illinois.

“Thanks for the luck and NO I will not be tweeting when I play,” she wrote.

Thursday
Jun042009

"Tiger has played no role that I'm aware of"

Jerry Stewart on the AT&T's move from Poppy Hills to MPCC's Shore Course.

Other speculation as for the change revolves around Tiger Woods. Woods, who earlier this year announced a new deal with AT&T, hasn't played in the Pro-Am since 2002. Nutt dismissed any connection between the move and Woods, at least from the Foundation's standpoint.
"Tiger has played no role that I'm aware of," Nutt said.

Ron Kroichick notes this about Poppy Hills:

At any rate, the unfortunate element of Wednesday's announcement is the impact on the Northern California Golf Association, which owns Poppy Hills. The NCGA is a strident advocate of public golf, especially through its popular Youth on Course program designed to get kids involved in the game.

The NCGA had a two-year rolling contract for Poppy to remain in the AT&T rotation. Tournament officials renewed the deal in December, meaning they apparently were committed to Poppy through 2011. Don't be surprised, then, if the NCGA challenges the legality of this move.

"We're disappointed and we don't really understand it, because we have a contract," NCGA president Michael Hexner said. "If there are issues with Poppy Hills, why didn't they mention it in December? Why didn't they mention it two or three years ago?

"We're the only course (in the tournament) people can play for $55. We're the Harding Park or Bethpage Black of these venues. We're kind of stunned they would walk away from the course that provides all the volunteers for the tournament."

You may recall I reported a while ago that Tiger was pushing for a move away from Poppy Hills. I also noted in that post--which dealt with Nicklaus putting down Tiger's ability to speak "intelligently" about design--that the Bear should be careful because Tiger did not look favorably on Jack's new Dove Mountain course in Tucson, home to the match play.

Ah how times have progressed...they are currently rebuilding most of the greens at Dove Mountain.

I wonder if Jack and Tiger talked about that Wednesday? Intelligently, of course.

Thursday
Jun042009

“I would definitely think twice about coming here if they charged for parking.”

Will Reisman on the latest move to generate revenue at San Francisco's Lincoln Park Golf Course:

The Recreation and Park Department, tasked with bridging an $11 million deficit, could start charging $1.50 an hour to park at Lincoln Park, with the possible changes coming as soon as January.

Golfers and clubhouse officials have balked at the idea, saying the parking fees would make the public course too expensive. Currently, it costs $21 for city residents to play during the week, and $26 during weekends.

“This is a public golf course, and the idea is that you play here because you pay less,” said Rafael Gordon, a San Francisco resident. “I would definitely think twice about coming here if they charged for parking.”

The Richmond district golf course ran a deficit of more than $220,000 last fiscal year. Rec and Park officials are projecting revenue gains ranging from $250,000 to $430,000 a year with the new parking fees, according to department spokeswoman Lisa Seitz Gruwell.

Thursday
Jun042009

Free Admission For 3M Championship

I guess you could say this is what it has come to for the Champions Tour, or perhaps a great way to, eh, errrr...deliver value though capacity de-activated engineering?

Blaine, Minn. (June 4, 2009) – Tournament officials with the 3M Championship, held July 10-12 in Blaine, Minn., announced today that the 2009 Champions Tour event will be free for the public. The tournament is the first ever free Champions Tour event with free admission, parking and shuttles.

“Giving back is the right thing to do,” said Hollis Cavner, tournament director. “We’ve received such tremendous support from fans and corporate partners over the past 17 years. We are thrilled that we have an opportunity to say thank you and provide this free gift to golf fans.”

“3M and its employees are thrilled to be part of this first in golf,” said Bob MacDonald, senior vice president, marketing, 3M “The 3M Championship has a long history of bringing firsts to the game of golf and today’s announcement is another example of the tournament’s continuing innovation.”

The 3M Championship is a golf tournament on the Champions Tour – a series of annual PGA TOUR golf events for golfers 50 years of age and older. The 3M Championship is played at the Tournament Players Club (TPC) Twin Cities, a course designed by professional golfer and golf course designer, Arnold Palmer. Joining Palmer at the 2009 3M Championship will be some of golf’s greats including Fred Funk, Lee Trevino, Nick Price, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Hal Sutton and more.

The 3M Championship consistently ranks as one of the top Champions Tour events for crowds and charitable giving. Last year, the 3M Championship was voted the No.1 event on the Champions Tour by the players, earning the coveted Champions Tour Players Award.

Thursday
Jun042009

Look Who's On Twitter Now...

Dan the man who will be "Tweeting" from Bethpage. So take that...anti-Twitterers!

Thursday
Jun042009

"You just don't want to stretch out that ligament."

Thanks to Tuco for this Hank Gola blog item on Tiger suggesting he's hitting the ball shorter because he hasn't stretched out the ligament in his knee yet.

Woods, who joined his idol for a Skins Game prior to Jack's memorial Tournament in Ohio, said he's still not 100 percent back.

"Absolutely, no doubt. Had to be that way," he said of favoring the joint. "Worst thing you can do is stretch out the ligament right away. The surgery would have been all for naught. That's one of the reasons it takes most athletes a lot longer to come back. You just don't want to stretch out that ligament.

"That's one of the reasons why I haven't been able to hit balls as far as I normally do, but that's coming. Each week, I'm able to hit a little bit longer. It's great. Just a little longer before I'm able to get all of that back."

Wednesday
Jun032009

1-2-3 Pairing Out At U.S. Open

Even though it was a big hit last year, Doug Ferguson reports that Mike Davis will not be pairing Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and current world No. 3 Paul Casey in a repeat of last year's world ranking inspired pairings.

Speaking of Davis, Ryan Ballengee interviewed him. You can get a preview here, or listen to the full interview here:

Wednesday
Jun032009

"Fitness centers and French chefs are just not the way to go."

Larry Dorman catches up with Memorial honoree Jackie Burke who offers his typically candid views on the state of the game. As usual, he makes way too much sense for anyone to take him seriously.

Burke learned to play the game at 7, using only a 4-iron for every shot, including putts. Starting golf young, he said, is imperative, adding that clubs needed to start “having the patter of little feet around the greens.”

“I’d like to see the clubs start getting in young players and not putting the price up so high that the young people cannot afford to play,” Burke said. “If you don’t see kids at a country club, they’re running a bad club.”

And...

“I like to see kids out there and I like to see the pros out there teaching them,” he said. “But these clubs have the prices up there so high it has to change. Fitness centers and French chefs are just not the way to go.”

Wednesday
Jun032009

Pavin Wants Team To See Celtic Manor Early, No Matter How Much It Pains Them

Determined to make his team like the dreaded Celtic Manor, or at least learn how to open the clubhouse doors slowly, Captain Pavin is going to plead with his likely 2010 Ryder Cuppers to drag themselves to Wales early.

"It is obviously a little different for us, but what I'm going to do is ask my players who come over for The Open Championship, either before or after, to try to get a couple practice rounds here," Pavin said. "I certainly would like my potential players to see the course once or twice before Ryder Cup week."

Wednesday
Jun032009

"I didn't even yell fore"

Bob Harig explains the genesis of Wednesday's one-off, dare I say historic skins game featuring Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods:

Morgan Stanley is meeting its financial obligations to the tournament, but company representatives decided to downplay their role. Included was canceling the Wednesday pro-am that was to be filled with only Morgan Stanley people.

Their loss was golf's gain.

Stewart Cink will likely post more about the round with Jack, Tiger and Kenny, but he appeared to get in at least one on-course Tweet, melting hearts at LPGA headquarters.

To the fella who confused me with Camilo, "Mucho gracias amigo!"

Steve Elling shares this from the rainy round:

While the players were warming up, Nicklaus was hitting chip shots around the practice putting green as Woods was rolling putts nearby. A little too closely nearby, as it turned out.

The Bear shanked a wedge shot and the ball rolled over and nearly hit Woods in the foot, causing huge laughs from everybody.

"I didn't even yell fore," Nicklaus said.

There was plenty of kibitzing between the pair about their kids, golf course design and other topics as they walked along during the nine-hole match. When Nicklaus rolled in a birdie putt to win the first two skins, he laughed and slapped high-fives along the gallery ropes, shrugging as he said, "even a blind squirrel."
Wednesday
Jun032009

West And Tiger

I penned a Tour Talk item for this week's Golf World on the Jerry West-Northern Trust Open pairing and Jill Painter includes a note about the West announcement in her golf column (after featuring Tina Mickelson and her efforts to grow women's golf).

Though most will understandably assume this is some sort of ceremonial position for West, I was impressed with his energy and passion for the gig. And as I explained in the Golf World item, West is an L.A. icon in a star-studded city that doesn't easily fall for celebrity.

Painter quotes him on the issue of landing Tiger, who it would seem West stands a chance of luring back to Riviera thanks to their past association and Tiger's soft spot for sports icons. And all with an assist from Eddie Merrins.

"I met him when he was a teenager," West said. "His father (the late Earl Woods) wanted me to talk to him about dealing with fame. He was one of those prodigies. He was playing with Eddie Merrins at Bel Air. It's been amazing to watch his career. He's always had a good relationship with the press. He didn't really need much of a conversation with me. He was always so poised. He was brought up with such a good work ethic. His father instilled that in him."

Wednesday
Jun032009

Tiger's Al Ruwaya "Delayed"

Hardly a surprise since three years after being announced there's no golf to be played. Oh and the economy too. Justin Armsden of CNN reports:

It is understood that just six holes will be opened in September, three of which were fully grassed in May before the heat of summer, where temperatures often reach 45 degrees Celsius.

The $1 billion project being built by construction company Tatweer includes 197 "palaces, mansions and villas" over an area of 55 million square feet and was launched in 2006 to much fanfare.

Wednesday
Jun032009

Jack Says It Was All The Tour's Fault!

I love starting the day off with a big chuckle and how can you not giggle reading Doug Ferguson's story about last year's over-the-top setup at Muirfield Village. I only laugh because I know from talking to various folks at the tour that there are two courses where they have much less course setup say: Bay Hill and Muirfield Village.

And of course, there is that evidence of Jack's bunker furrowing concept to reinforce his role. And his hatred of flogging. And there's that minor detail that Phil Mickelson would have skipped the week regardless of his wife's health, all because of the excessive setup ploys.

Ah...Slugger's taking one for the team...

"We were over the top last year," said Slugger White, the PGA TOUR official in charge of setting up the course.

The fault fell to Jack Nicklaus -- at least that's the perception of most players.

After all, this is the course Jack built for a tournament he has hosted since 1976. Nicklaus built his career around the majors, and he wants the Memorial to be the next best thing.

But even Nicklaus was troubled by the high grass, not to mention the complaints.

"The one thing I never liked as a golfer was hack-out rough," Nicklaus said Tuesday. "I've always felt that if you put the ball in the rough, there should be some chance of playing a shot to reach the green, but not be able to control the ball like you would normally. I think recovery is a beautiful part of the game."

Just not on my course!

"I don't think Mr. Nicklaus or the TOUR liked what came out of last year," said Steve Rintoul, the TOUR official who oversaw the course setup this year. "The rules committee, in conjunction with Jack, thought it better to have shorter rough."

Ultimately, the TOUR has the final word in how the course plays.

But if Nicklaus is the one taking the heat whenever someone complains, then why not just take full authority of his golf tournament?

Nicklaus chuckled at the suggestion.

"We are part of the TOUR," he said. "What I want to do is cooperate the best I can, have middle round on what I want to do and what the players like. My feeling is, do I want them to not like it? Of course not. I want everybody to be happy, everybody to enjoy it. But not everyone thinks the way I think. I'm 69. Guys are 40 years younger than I am, or more. They haven't been brought up the way I was.

"It's more my job to adjust to them than their job to adjust to me."

Uh huh.

Wednesday
Jun032009

"Tweet during rounds?"

Jeff Rude raises another fine point about the absurdity of on-course tweeting.

LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens wants her players to be able to “tweet” their thoughts during rounds on Twitter.com. I’m not sure I’ve heard anything that nuts since I watched the Cuckoo’s Nest movie.

Tweet during rounds?

The competition must be held sacred. And concentration and focus are at the heart of the competition.

And isn’t the pace of play already slow enough?

Wednesday
Jun032009

MPCC Shore To Be Announced

Jerry Stewart says the members have voted and Monterey Peninsula's Mike Strantz-designed Shore Course is in the AT&T Pro-Am rotation...for now.

Tuesday
Jun022009

"People like to bring up dirty laundry, I guess."

Bob Verdi writes about Kenny Perry's first remarks about the FBR Open incident.

Kenny Perry looks as though he has lost no sleep whatsoever over a "controversy" concerning an "incident" surrounding his victory at the FBR Open last February. In fact, he's somewhat puzzled that people are talking about it without talking to him.

Now I was out all day so I had only seen Verdi's take thanks to the readers who emailed the link to Bob's story. Only later did I read the transcript and the combination of Verdi's observation with the transcript probably won't make this go away.

Now, I know it's a bit unfair to Perry since there wasn't much he could say at this point that would help make the video more palatable. And it's perhaps unfair to parse his words from a transcript since the tone may have been tough to grasp, but sheesh, this is rough...

Q. Kenny, I know you talked about this earlier this morning. What do you suppose this playoff wedge thing from Phoenix has taken on such a life of its own on the Internet? I don't know that I've heard you talk about it. I was wondering what your take on all that is and why it won't go away.

KENNY PERRY: Well, I mean, I said the truth will set you free. I looked at it, and I thought it was crazy, my first impression.

I went to Charlie Hoffman, and I asked Charlie. Charlie, do you have a problem with it? That would be the only guy, if he had a problem with it, it would have really upset me, if he thought something was done wrong there.

You know, doesn't that mentality speak directly to something I wondered about recently: self policing gone awry to the point that the opinion of one's fellow competitors supersedes the Rules of Golf?

He said that's crazy. You didn't do nothing wrong. Patted me on the back. And saw the Tour came out -- I wasn't in the closed door. The Tour went in. I wasn't with the Tour staff when they made their -- they shot back with their remark saying, we saw nothing wrong. I mean, I just let it go.

That's life, isn't it? People like to bring up dirty laundry, I guess.

How is it dirty laundry if it is clearly not a violation?

Q. You were just trying to figure out how high the grass was and where the crowd was?

KENNY PERRY: You're allowed to.

To figure out how high the grass is? No kidding?

You're able to sole your club. Did you watch it? Did you actually watch that last hole?

Q. Everybody has seen it.

KENNY PERRY: I soled my club on the ball. Did you watch me sole it left of the golf ball? Then I went and hit the shot.

I don't think that quite describes how things transpired.

When you're in the rough, you just need to find the bottom so you can figure out how high the ball is sitting up in rough.

Find the bottom with about many stabs of the fire stoker? Sorry, here's the close up.

Q. You kind of hit a chunky running shot out of there anyway.

Oh, so the shot was lousy, therefore whatever precipitated didn't matter?

It wasn't like you hit some spinner that stuck it a foot from the hole, right?

KENNY PERRY: I hit it 25 feet from the hole. It's not like I hit a great shot. I mean, I don't know. What do you all think? Someone brings something up four months down the road. I didn't understand. We're going to go looking in the archives of all the players who have been on TV and see what they've done? I didn't understand that part of it.

That is a fair point that no one has been able to answer. Then again, the Super Bowl had started, so we now know just how many people were watching golf.

I've got a camera guy five feet behind me. He's right there looking. I turned around and looked at him.

If I thought I was doing something wrong, I definitely wouldn't have done it there.

Scribblers in attendance, did Kenny leave behind a large hole and a mound of dirt next to the podium?

Once that was -- I didn't hear nothing about it after that. There was nothing else said. So I just assumed it was dead. not after this press conference!

Q. When was this brought to your attention?

KENNY PERRY: When I finished the Sunday round at the Players. They came and told me about it. I was just stunned.

Q. Did they just walk up to you and say, by the way, you didn't cheat?

KENNY PERRY: No. They said you're going to have to answer some questions about this video. I didn't quite understand.

Rick George came and talked to me. And then I met with Alex Miceli. He was out there. And talked about have you heard anything about this video? Which I didn't know.

And then the Tour came out with their saying there was nothing been done wrong here.

After this press conference? Maybe not.

Tuesday
Jun022009

Monty Lloyd Wright Already Running Up Celtic Manor Decorating Tab

Mark Garrod says Europe's visionary captain has made sure to avoid any major hand or wrist injuries after a cranky Sergio blows open the team room double doors after a match demolishing.

"We are lucky that everything there is purpose-built for the Ryder Cup, including the team rooms which can be entered and exited by two big wooden doors.

"Although they were beautiful, as I was standing there looking at them something didn't feel right and it suddenly dawned on me – you couldn't see who was on the other side.

Well, and that Formica finish...it's so trailer park. Oh, sorry continue Monty Stickley:

"Now while that might not seem a big problem, imagine you are coming back off the golf course and are just about to put your hand on the handle to pull the door open when one of your team-mates comes barging out of the room from the other side.

"Bang! The door smashes into your hand and that is your Ryder Cup finished right there and then. Twelve months of sweat and toil to get into the team taken away in an instant.

"I immediately alerted the officials to the issue and that will be changed immediately either by making each door only open one way or by putting glass panels in both the doors so you can see who is on the other side."

Tuesday
Jun022009

USGA Architecture Archive

The USGA's new Architecture Archive website is live and you can see the exciting potential once more materials are submitted.

You'll need to register but once you do, I recommend checking out the Oakmont and Bethpage collections, including the old Bethpage scorecards showing a 288-yard tee on the 9th.