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 – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – 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

Golf is the one game in which the player’s ball is not subject to the interference of the opponent. It is a question of supremacy of accurate strokes without human interference, but there exists interference, nevertheless, and its name is "hazard," which is golfese for trouble.   A.W. TILLINGHAST

 

  

Thursday
Jan142010

Sharp Park Gets Help From The PGA Tour!

Granted, it was done--as Ron Kroichick reports--by getting the Harding Park superintendent reassigned to Sharp Park and paying for their own guy to run Harding in order to get it ready for this year's highly anticipated Schwab Cup. But at this point, Sharp Park will take any help it can get.

Thursday
Jan142010

The Tiger Effect...Golfdom Podcast

Larry Aylward interviewed me about my February Golfdom column (not posted yet) for their monthly podcast:



Wednesday
Jan132010

Tiger's Indefinite Leave Clippings, Obama Chimes-In Edition

The Hill's Jordan Fabian reports that President Barack Obama talks to People about Tiger Woods.

The president told People magazine in an interview that will hit newsstands Friday that he "absolutely" believes that Woods can rehabilitate his broken personal life after it was revealed he has had multiple extramarital affairs.

"I'm a strong believer that anybody can look within themselves, find their flaws and fix them," he said. "I'm sure he feels terrible about what happened, and I suspect that he will try to put his life back together again."

Speaking of that, Tiger's now been "seen" in South Africa's Montrose Clinic according to The Sun.

Jaime Diaz offered this in a Golf World column about PGA Tour life without Tiger last week:

It's a given that none of the players who contended over the Plantation course are as gifted or thrilling to watch as Woods. But it's precisely because such players have more baggage and must be closer to their best to win that makes their struggle -- when chronicled with the hole-by-hole scrutiny with which we have become accustomed to watching Woods -- arguably more compelling. With what promises to be a rotating ensemble at the top of the game rather than a singular superstar, tournament golf has once again become more vividly varied week to week, with each tournament more likely to produce fresh drama.

The Denver Post's Felisa Cardona reports that Jason Kay, who just a few days ago was claiming to have helped the "Unfaithful" Gatorade pop artist, turned out to be the culprit behind the bottles. He was arrested by FDA agents and charged with "introducing a misbranded product into interstate commerce, the altering of food labels while the product is for sale and intent to cause serious injury to the business by tainting a consumer product."

The charges together carry a maximum 5-year prison term and $450,000 in fines.

According to an FDA affidavit, Kay sent an e-mail to PepsiCo, the parent company of Gatorade and offered to do the labeling scheme as a marketing campaign for the company.

"It is good for Gatorade and it is good for art," the e-mail reportedly said.

PepsiCo contacted the FDA and complained that 10 one-quart bottles of Tropical-Mango flavored Gatorade had the labels affixed and were removed from the shelves at King Soopers and Safeway stores in Erie, Boulder, Longmont, and Broomfield.

On Monday, Daniel Burke, an FDA agent contacted Kay and he admitted he was changing the labels and considered it "pop art."

"He said he felt the issue of Tiger Woods' alleged infidelity to his wife, Elin, is Tiger Woods' personal business and added that this act would get people talking about why Gatorade dropped their Tiger Woods ad campaign," Burke wrote in his affidavit. "He said he felt the company should be happy because he was providing them with positive press."

Kotaku reports that EA Sports is asking users about Tiger:

1) EA SPORTS made a Tiger Woods video game. Has the controversy made your impressions of EA SPORTS more or less favorable, or has it had no impact?

And

2) Has the controversy made you more or less likely to buy a Tiger Woods related video game in the future?

Stephanie Wei wonders if this is signaling a possible end to Tiger's name on the game notes this about the marketing of the next version:

After that very public PR campaign, it will be interesting to see how EA Sports tackles the marketing of Tiger Woods Online. I guess the game’s announcers, Scott Van Pelt and Kelly Tilghman, can stage a match in NYC. Or Phil Mickelson can stand in for Tiger. Or something like that.

Furman Bisher has taken down his report on the Tiger chain email.

In one of the more hilarious tabloid reports, US Weekly paints a comical picture of Tiger-the-squatter, shacking up at Mark O'Meara's empty villa instead of his own second house at Isleworth:

"When she kicked him out, he couldn't exactly go to a hotel, so he ran over to [pro golfer] Mark O'Meara's empty villa and stayed there," says a resident of Woods' luxe Isleworth, Florida, gated community.

Adds the source, who viewed the home after Woods left: "The house was gutted except for an air mattress, some pillows, a TV, snacks and Bud Light in the fridge, and a golf glove on the floor."

Must have been a medium large cadet? Oh yeah he was there!

And while we're doing tabloid's gone desperate for Tiger news, The National Enquirer is claiming that Michael Jordan is trying to offer his shoulder for Elin to cry on:

The King of Swing's picture-perfect family life has imploded since The ENQUIRER ripped the lid off his affair with New York party girl Rachel Uchitel, unleashing a tidal wave of other Tiger mistresses stepping forward.

And with the Woods-Nordegren marriage shattered,  Jordan  got word to 30-year-old Elin though friends  that he's there if she needs him, insiders say.

While Jordan's reps deny the story, an insider divulged, "Right after Tiger crashed his car, Michael reached out to Elin, offering her a shoulder to cry on." 

Wednesday
Jan132010

"We called it Operation Level Playing Field"

Kevin Fylan tells us about the countries lining up to purchase win rights to host the 2018 Ryder Cup.

"One of the things we are encouraging the bids to do is to be creative," European Ryder Cup director Richard Hills told Reuters.

"The successful bid country should add something to bring their color of their country to the match. The legacy will be what country A, B or C added to the match. That was an important part of the day: encouraging creativity."

Is that creativity in the size of the check you write?

This is hilarious in light of how Wales bought earned its Cup:


"One of the other areas we were citing examples of legacy, was with what Wales are doing with children and the game's development, what Scotland are doing, in the First Minister's wish to give a child a golf lesson before the age of nine," Hills said.

"We also highlighted what we did with the Irish education system, getting catering colleges involved with our caterers at the match. They are the lasting legacies we were outlining to the bidders."

Along with an ideal dollar figure?

At least Dubai's out. They've got that going for them.

Wednesday
Jan132010

"Wie puncuated her visit by draping a lei, a Hawaiian garland, around Obama's neck."

Sounds like our victorious Solheim Cup team embraced their White House trip unlike some of those cranky Ryder Cup teams of the past.

Steve DiMeglio writes:

Wie puncuated her visit by draping a lei, a Hawaiian garland, around Obama's neck. Before she did, however, she had to hand over the lei to the White House for a security check earlier in the day. The White House, in return, sent Wie a photo of the First Dog, Bo, the Obamas' family pet, wearing the wreath.

"I could see he chewed it up a little bit," Wie said.

Wie, who won her first LPGA tour event last year and was the USA's leading point earner in the Solheim Cup, met Obama for the first time. Both are graduates of Punahou School in Honolulu, a private, college preparatory school — Obama in 1979 and Wie in 2007. Upon meeting, the two exchanged shakas — a common Hawaiian hand greeting.

And this from Christina Kim:

"People were asking me what was wrong because I wasn't saying anything. It was probably the quietest I've been since I was born," Kim said. "I haven't felt so alive in awhile. It was awesome.

"When we were at the White House, to be somewhere where so much history has taken place, where so many of the world's most important decision have been made, is simply amazing.

"It makes you want to come back again and again and again."

Though I'm not so sure about this Mitchell Layton photo of Wie, Kim and Gulbis in front of the Capitol. Or Natalie, is that the White House Memorial? Anyway, is this a Charlie's Angel thing we're going for?

Wednesday
Jan132010

"I hurt my back pulling my reserved space sign out of a cement base in the parking lot at the LPGA Tour headquarters in Daytona Beach. I don't want a special space."

Farrell Evans catches up with new LPGA Commish Mike Whan and I don't know about you, but The Metamucil Man has a nice ring to it, no?

You started your career at Procter & Gamble, where you were the lead brand manager for Metamucil and Crest, among other roles. How different is marketing Metamucil and toothpaste from women's golf?

This isn't my first time marketing to women. Crest's core audience consisted of women. But really the most important thing I think in marketing is getting to know what people want. I have spent most of my time in the new job asking questions and listening to learn the business.

And this was a great question by Farrell and quite a funny scene to imagine:

What's the funniest thing that's happened to you on the job so far?

I hurt my back pulling my reserved space sign out of a cement base in the parking lot at the LPGA Tour headquarters in Daytona Beach. I don't want a special space. This isn't the Mike Whan Tour. It's about the players, fans and corporate partners. We're all in the same foxhole.

Wednesday
Jan132010

Today's Twitter Wars And Other Assorted Embarrassing Tweets

Seems we have a nice little Twitter spat developing between SI's Alan Shipnuck and Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin:


Or is it Mrs. Pavin putting the kibosh on Shipnuck?

And Stephanie Wei highlights an adorable Natalie Gulbis mistake. Make that, two mistakes.

Tuesday
Jan122010

Listening Alert: Making The Turn With Kessler, 10 a.m. EST Wednesday

That's 7 a.m. PST, so I should be as jovial as Tim Finchem answering drug testing questions.

Sometimes I've found the show can be heard at PGATour.com and listened to by launching their audio player. Sometimes.

Tuesday
Jan122010

Tiger's Indefinite Leave, Rehab? Edition

People is reporting what X17 noted on December 29th: Tiger has checked into The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona for treatment. Granted, People has been wrong a lot more than the other tabloids (sorry reader N, I know you rely on People for the fair and balanced gossip).

However, the length of Tiger's disappearance suggests he's either holed up in a cave or in a high security, highly restricted rehab facility.

The sources say that Woods entered The Meadows, a clinic in Wickenburg, Ariz., sometime around the holidays – a rumor that first made the rounds last month. The clinic specializes in substance abuse, as well as compulsive disorders such as gambling or sex addiction.

A sex-therapy expert who claims to be familiar with the situation says Woods, 34, showed up in Wickenburg around New Year's and would likely plan to stay for 4 to 5 weeks of treatment. "He should be out by Valentine's Day or thereabouts," says the source.

I don't know if that's the holiday I would have chosen to mention in light of the subject-at-hand's marital status.

X17 gloats about their exclusive and, uh, fleshes out the story and shares details about life at The Meadows.  PGA Tour Day Care, this is not.

"Everyone has to wear a color-coded nametag that signifies what you’re in for. You wear it 24/7 so everyone knows exactly what your poison is from the minute they lay eyes on you. Sex addicts wear either blue or red and they not allowed to fraternize with members of the opposite sex (or if they were gay, they couldn’t talk to a member of the same sex).

Now if you are...ah forget it. I'm sure they've got a name tag for that too.

Connell Barrett checks in with Brandel Chamblee about where he sees Tiger the golfer when and if he returns:

Brandel Chamblee: Yes, he will. I like what [Chamblee's Golf Channel colleague] Frank Nobilo said recently: Golf is in Tiger's DNA. It's what he does best. It's who he is. He was meant to win golf tournaments. As far as I know, he didn't do anything to hurt his golf game. I think he'll come out, make a mea culpa in a very organized manner, and get back to playing great golf. On the course, he'll continue to have every asset you could possibly want in a golfer. He's Seve, Jack and Hogan rolled into one—he has Seve's creativity, he thinks his way around a course like Jack, and he has Hogan's focus. No one has ever been similarly blessed. Tragically, Tiger has a character flaw that's been exposed. His image has taken a big hit. But as far as I know, it won't hurt his golf.

Doug Ferguson talks to Jesper Parnevik who will not be sharing any more thoughts on the Woods affair except the ones contained in this story. Among the highlights:

Woods has not been seen in public in two months, and Parnevik said Tuesday he doesn't know if they will stay together.

"I've kind of stayed out of it," he said at the Sony Open, his first tournament of the year. "It's better that people don't approach me if I don't know anything. That way I don't say anything that I shouldn't have. Like if she told me something and I let it slip out. It's better that I don't know, so I can say, 'I don't know.'

"I have an idea through my wife," Parnevik said. "But I don't want to be the one who says something wrong."

Asked if he thought Woods could stay married, Parnevik smiled and said, "That's what I mean. I can't say."

GM's SUV loaner deal with Tiger ended December 31, 2009.  That's probably best.

Now, we can all agree to disagree on Brit Hume's comments, but as followers of the game, I think we can all agree he's really got no idea what he's talking about when it comes to Tiger:

Yesterday, Brit Hume again reiterated that he stands by his statement that Tiger Woods should convert to Christianity if we wants "redemption," this time saying "I really hope he does. I don't know whether he will."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Hume said he will "reiterate" that he hopes Woods will see the light.

Hume said: "Boy I really hope he does. I don't know whether he will. He doesn't know me from a hat rack, I have no idea whether he heard, or heard about my words."

He continued: "But there are golf professionals who are Christians, who I'm sure may approach him, and if they do I hope he responds."

Oh yes, I can see it now:

Badds: Hey mate, glad to see you back. Say, you want to come to bible study next week? Bobby Clampett is doing a lecture on John 3:16.

Tiger: Who are you again and why don't you talk to me when you shave, get a haircut and we're paired together. Stevie, get him outta here.

The video of Hume's comments:

Tuesday
Jan122010

Faxon On NBC!

What a great addition for the network's golf telecasts, and not because he is unlikely to pass gas next to a microphone or say the word control 400 times a telecast, but because he's got plenty of original thoughts and a love for the history of the game.

Tuesday
Jan122010

Euro Captain's Pick Hopefuls Laud Monty's Ability To Escape Royal Trophy Without Embarrassing Incident

Iain Carter at the BBC blog notes Monty's Royal Trophy captaincy "passed the test with flying colours" but he's not eligible to be selected with one of the three Euro captain's picks. Henrik Stenson on the other hand...

"The more chances Colin has to captain a team then he is going to learn more," said Stenson. "He is on the right track for sure. He likes to pay attention to detail and there is already a lot of things set in place for Wales.

"It will be a good week and he is going to be a good captain, I am absolutely convinced."

And Alex Noren luggage toter Colin Byrne really lays it on thick:

I remember being part of a team Monty lead in the Seve Trophy in the past and had been surprised by his inclusive and democratic fashion of leadership. He wanted to know what everyone thought and generated an atmosphere whereby both players and caddies felt comfortable to air their views.

What a genius that Monty is!

We were beckoned to our leader’s room on Thursday for the pre-match speech. It wasn’t a speech, more of a motivational chat with tales of key decisions being made in past Ryder Cup matches and pivotal moments in Monty’s personal career that led to the desired outcome of events; winning.

So I guess Winged Foot was off the table?

Monty’s attitude was the Asians were up for it and we did not travel through so many time zones to lose.

The detail Monty has already gone into to ensure there are no irritations or detrimental surprises in Celtic Manor, is extensive. For a man who mightn’t give you the impression of being so fastidious,

Are you saying he's overweight, Mr. Byrnes?

last Thursday in room 3302 at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit would have changed your mind. Monty mentioned his sports psychologist who had worked with Olympic athletes in the past banned them from using elevators on the day of Olympic competition. He maintained they had not worked tirelessly for four years to get stuck in a lift on the day of competition.

Monty was not suggesting his players use the stairs from the 33rd floor but he was suggesting everyone gave themselves plenty of time to get to the course.

Just try and overcome that brilliance, Captain Pavin!

Tuesday
Jan122010

"I think I am entitled to one testy news conference every 15 years"

Holy Guacamole, we have an admission from the Commish that his Kapalua press conference was "testy!"

Tim Finchem, talking to Ron Sirak who sums up the business issues facing the PGA Tour in 2010 and pulls this out of a Commish well-rested following his soulful, male-bonding-heavy fishing trip with Sid Wilson and Mark Rolfing:

Finchem had a rocky pre-tournament session with reporters Tuesday as they peppered him with questions about Woods, sponsors and drug testing.

"I think I am entitled to one testy news conference every 15 years," Finchem told Golf World with a laugh after returning to the mainland. "People keep predicting that we are going to implode. Why don't they just wait for us to implode and then talk about it? It's almost as if there are some who are rooting for us to implode, and then when the Tiger thing came along, they were saying, 'Ah, this will do it.' "

It's a bit odd that he found the questions related to Tiger or drug testing to be of such a sensitive nature. Looking back on the press conference I don't see any suggestion from the scribes that they were hoping for a PGA Tour implosion, do you?

Monday
Jan112010

McGwire Sets Table For Tiger: The "Door-To-Door Strategy"

Hey, and since they're Shady Canyon neighbors, what better way for them to bond than to talk about how to reemerge via a carefully crafted campaign? At least, that's what readers Tim and Pete both noted in Richard Sandomir's autopsy of the Mark McGwire steroids admission Monday.

The one-day plan — coordinated over the past month by Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary who runs a crisis-communications company, and the St. Louis Cardinals, who recently hired McGwire as their batting coach — contrasts with last year’s roll-out of Alex Rodriguez’s steroid admission.

And...

“I like the door-to-door strategy, in that he is telling his story in long form and in less confrontational settings,” said Kevin Sullivan, a former White House communications director who runs a strategic-communications company. “He needed to rip the Band-Aid off before heading to spring training.”

Sullivan added: “I suspect McGwire will soon have some form of a press availability where he takes questions. He won’t be able to completely turn the page until he satisfies the pent-up demand and takes some questions.”

Here's the part that makes you think, oh yes, Tiger will start with The Golf Channel:

In his repeated confessions Monday, he had no defiance or anger, just sadness and tears.

The McGwire interview was a coup for the year-old MLB Network and justifies what the channel is paying Costas. It provided McGwire with a stage for acceptance on a channel that is majority-owned by the league that has, after a long goodbye, welcomed him back to his old team. MLB has a little more than half the subscribers ESPN has. But MLB had an edge in Costas if, indeed, McGwire wanted to be interviewed at length by a smart interrogator.

(A corporate connection should be noted: Costas is represented by IMG, which owns half of Fleischer’s company.)

Isn't synergy special?

Monday
Jan112010

"Sometimes these people think we're stupid. It's an amazing thing to assume that we had mucked up to that degree. It's just staggering."

The first Global Golf Post is up and in it Brian Hewitt sits down with a cranky Peter Dawson who continues to peddle the Henry Cotton-said-we-should-lengthen-the-Road-hole-nonsense to justify going over the wall for a new tee. The R&A Secretary was asked about criticism of the new tee:

There was a remarkable thing in the Times. John Hopkins seemed to have asked four American architects what they thought of this change and they all were wondering how it changed the angle of the drive. Of course, the angle hasn't changed at all. Sometimes these people think we're stupid. It's an amazing thing to assume that we had mucked up to that degree. It's just staggering.

True. How could anyone think that the R&A could ever mess up a golf course? Shocking I tell you. Well, unless they watched the '99 Open at Carnoustie, witnessed the setup at Birkdale, took in your new work at Turnberry or dare I mention the last Open at St. Andrews with the out-of-bounds tee, horrific fairway contouring and in the case of the Road Hole, almost no fairway to speak of (images above and below).

Staggering!

Any other changes to the Road Hole other than the tee?

Two players in particularly strongly suggested that we should ease the fairway back on the left a little more if we were going to take the tee back, and I think that's right.

It's always a sign of great intelligence when you need tour professionals to tell you that a fairway contour might be just a wee bit goofy after you add 40 yards to a hole. Staggering might be another way to put it.

To create more bailout for players hitting driver?

Yes, we had, actually, over the years squeezed it a bit right, to be honest because it was getting easier off the tee. So we will ease it back.

So thoughtful of them to actually provide a landing area. Though that rough protecting the out of bounds to the right and the horrible angle of approach on the left will surely remain in some form. It'd be staggering to see the R&A prepare the hole any other way.

Monday
Jan112010

Tiger's Indefinite Leave Clippings, Investigations Edition

Before we get into all of the investigations launched Monday, Alan Shipnuck on the mood at Kapalua and the increasingly apparent issues facing Tiger when and if he returns:

Even pals like Stricker have no feel for when Woods will return. But coming back is only the first step. For all of his wondrous physical gifts, Woods's mental toughness was always his greatest strength. With his carefully cultivated image shattered, his family potentially torn asunder and a once-adoring public now turned largely hostile, it is not a given that Tiger will ever again regain the focus, intensity and desire that defined him as a player.

Jason Sobel suggests that barring something unusual, Tiger should hold on to his No. 1 ranking, something Sobel isn't wild about.

Simply put, without being totally dominant, that shouldn't be enough golf for Tiger to retain this ranking for so long. Over this period, he won seven of those 19 starts, but failed to claim a major championship.

So, what's the explanation? According to those who run the OWGR, "Tiger Woods' average points figure will drop each week he doesn't play and it will take until somewhere between the U.S. Open and Open Championship for his average to drop to where Phil Mickelson's currently is. If Mickelson plays well enough to maintain his current average and Woods doesn't play, then the No. 1 spot could change hands early July." Of course, they also allow that "there are so many variables to be more precise than that."

Mike Fish reveals that Dr. Anthony Galea assistant Mary Anne Catalano's court appearance has been postponed until March 12, buying more time for the doctor and those who may be implicated in the investigation. Since multiple sources say Tiger won't be involved, I'd count this as good news either way.

Denver's KUSA 9 says a Federal investigation has been opened into the "Unfaithful" pop art/product tampering situation. Amazingly, 1000 bottles were made and one of the geniuses left an email address on the packaging. Even better, he's blabbing to the press.

9Wants To Know investigators tracked an e-mail hidden in the label's small print to Jason Kay of Longmont.

Kay admitted he helped a friend pull of what he called a "pop art" project.

"He doesn't want to be contacted," Kay said. "The artist wants to remain anonymous because there are similar future projects in the works."

Kay said the object of the project was to create conversation.

Bottles turning up in the Denver area have hand-written numbers on the bottom indicating each is one of 100.

Kay said there are actually about 1,000 such "unfaithful" bottles planted in stores from Longmont to Denver. He said the hand-numbered ones are just the "collectors' edition."

He admitted the stunt was "very expensive" but wouldn't discuss the details of making the labels or sneaking them into stores.

"I used my connections," Kay said.

Parents must be so proud!

Megan O'Matz reports that a Florida state senator wants to investigate the anonymous tip suggesting possible child abuse in the Woods residence.

Now, a state senator who oversees Florida's Department of Children & Families is calling for an investigation into whether someone knowingly filed a false child abuse report against the Woods family, perhaps needlessly traumatizing the Woods children and wasting time and tax dollars. Doing so is a felony.

The senator said she thinks a call was placed to the Florida Abuse Hotline "to keep the media celebrity attention going."

"To use the resources of the state for some grand celebrity theater is completely unacceptable," said Sen. Ronda Storms, a Hillsborough County Republican who chairs the Senate's Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee. "It robs children who are legitimately in danger." 

Mel Gibson spoke out on Tiger's behalf...

'I feel sorry for Tiger Woods,' he says. 'Why are we talking about this when we're sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan? You've got this history-changing event going on and we're talking about Tiger's private life and golf injuries. He's being used as a diversion and it just drives me crazy. You come out savaged. I just think, 'Who cares?'

The SI roundtable guys talked about life without Tiger and what it'll be like after his return:

Van Sickle: Enough of Sir Charles. What's the status of Tiger Woods? He has completely dropped out of sight, yet he was still the talk of the week, even after the SBS Championship got underway. Can we get over him and get on with the season?

Shipnuck: Here at Kapalua, Tiger loomed large in his absence. The players are weirded-out not knowing where he is, when he's coming back, or if he'll be the same when he does. Tiger's return, or lack thereof, will go a long way toward defining the season. Until he's back we're all going to continue obsessing about him.

Herre: I can see why the other players find TW's absence unsettling — it's weird being in the dark and not knowing. Mark Rolfing said on Golf Channel that everything will quickly return to normal when TW returns. I don't think so.

Friedman: Yes, it's a be-careful-what-you-wish-for situation. His first tournament back will be a zoo.

Farrell Evans, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: Tiger could have taken some notes from Sir Charles about not taking himself so seriously. Charles is having fun. A less uptight Tiger might relish the opportunity to host SNL.

Van Sickle: That could be a smart option once his marriage situation is settled. Not that Tiger would ever consider it.

And finally, I'm guessing they won't be pitching this reality show to The Golf Channel. Particularly when you have never-before behind-the-scenes footage of John Daly.

Monday
Jan112010

"Therefore it was only appropriate he meet his maker before April."

Scott Michaux remembers Thomas Bailey, whose wonderful life and incredible streak of attending every Masters ends with his passing.

He heard Gene Sarazen's "shot heard 'round the world" in 1935 from the adjacent 17th fairway, looking over to see the Squire retrieve his double-eagle golf ball from the cup on the 15th hole.
He walked the full 18 holes of the classic 1954 playoff between Sam Snead and Ben Hogan, the year he was pictured prominently leaning over the ropes on the 11th hole in the original issue of Sports Illustrated , published Aug. 16, 1954.

He saw fellow Augusta native Larry Mize chip in to defeat Greg Norman in the 1987 sudden-death playoff on the 11th hole.

But most of the time -- and exclusively on Fridays in recent years -- Dr. Bailey could be found in the bleachers overlooking the practice range watching the golfers hit balls toward the towering net along Washington Road.

Monday
Jan112010

"Taking advantage of the attention paid by the press to the firestorm surrounding the Tiger Woods accident and sex scandal, the two worked out a quickie settlement behind closed doors."

Jose Lambiet ruins all hope of ever seeing Chrissy turn up at a golf tournament again.

Monday
Jan112010

"A look at Fowler’s future"

Check out the impressive Facebook/Rickie Fowler-hype-machine parody by Golfweek's Monday scramble team.

Monday
Jan112010

"It's not going to affect the way you play."

Geoff Ogilvy's post-SBS Championship win transcript reads like something spit out by voice recognition software, but we'll make the best of it.

Q. Geoff, talk about the grooves now that the first PGA week is in the books. Can you assess how it played any shots that were squirrely or you approached differently strategy-wise?

GEOFF OGILVY: My only different groove clubs are my wedges. My irons have always been 10 legal, I guess. There is definitely a difference. Especially out of Bermuda rough. I had a shot into 10 from the left rough, I don't know if any of you remember it, it was a pretty good lie. The old stuff I would have been confident with a lob wedge and feel I could get some sort of spin on it. It wasn't sitting down. It was sitting nicely. It [rolls|roles] up the face with lob wedges. When I was a kid, I used to hit it. It's doing that now, sand wedge passed the hole. I can't be as aggressive on that shot. It's definitely an impact. Normal shots, no, like out of grass, out of short grass, fairway is pretty good. Once you get half wages out of that stuff, it's different.

Half wages!

So he's saying things are different with the wedges. Victory USGA/R&A! Sort of...

I think it's good because I think we've been getting away with it too much. At least in this Bermuda rough. In other grass, I don't how much difference it will make. It's not going to spin out of the rough. It's going to roll up the face. It's a bit of a difference. In some aspects, like the shot on 14, it's an easier shot. But the club is not going to spin quite as much. You take some away here, and you get some back over here.

Q. That was with from the fairway though, is it different from the fairway?

GEOFF OGILVY: Not significantly different but there is enough. There is a little difference. It's not going to affect the way you play. It's not changing the way we play. The shots are slightly different. The rough there is a difference for me. So I'm sure guys who had big grooves in their irons, having to make big adjustments with their irons. I've been hitting a flier now and then with my irons for years. If guys hadn't been doing that, it's going to be an adjustment. But for us, it's a similar change. When they did spin a lot, you didn't know if it was going to spin. Sometimes it did and sometimes it didn't. Now you know. It's not going to spin. There is something to be said for 9, what it's going to do. It doesn't matter what it does. If you know what it's going to be, it's playable. We lost a bit, but we gained some somewhere else.

No mention of throttling back off the tee for the much-hoped-for backdoor ball rollback. Well it's only week one. There's always hope.

Sunday
Jan102010

Tiger's Indefinite Leave Clippings, "Unfaithful" Edition

Kevin Mitchell reports on Butch Harmon's expanded on-air comments about how Tiger needs to handle his return. I'm sure Tiger appreciates the input:

"The golfing public would like to see Tiger Woods do a press conference," Harmon said. "To stand there in front of everybody, take his medicine, be humble, be embarrassed, be humiliated, and answer the questions. But where the hell is he? We could find Osama bin Laden easier than we can find Tiger Woods. How long can you spend on a yacht in the middle of the ocean?"

There have been suggestions that the Ryder Cup could be tricky, and Butch gets right to the point:

"The difficult part, in my opinion, is going to be the heckling from the galleries. He's going to get it. If he plays in the Ryder Cup [in Wales in October], which I happen to think he will, that's going to be very interesting."

Paul Harris notes that Tiger's disappearing act continues to be a public relations fiasco.

His rumoured whereabouts range from a series of exotic locations around the globe to the idea that he might still be holed up in his Florida mansion, undergoing lengthy sessions of marriage counselling in the wake of revelations of his serial adultery with numerous women. But only one thing is clear: no one has any idea where he is.

"It really is amazing. Anyone wanting, in effect, to disappear from the face of the earth should take a leaf out of his book," said Ashley Dos Santos, an executive at Crosby-Volmer International Communications and an expert on crisis PR.

In fact, Woods's achievements in disappearing would seem to match any of his many astonishing sporting triumphs when it comes to skill, perseverance and triumphing against the odds.

But nearly all experts agree that Woods cannot hide for ever and that the longer he stays hidden the more obsessed the world will become when he does finally emerge. "This is a classic case of what not to do in a crisis," said Dos Santos.

As for his future golf media relations, the SI/golf.com team kicked this around and Jim Herre probably summed it up best:

Herre: I think the way Woods has handled the scandal to this point is a pretty good indicator of how he intends to handle things when and if he returns.

People posts an Elin update on her holiday ski trip and concern for her children, as does this extensive James Desborough News of the World story suggesting she's keeping them away from Tiger because of his sensitive mental state. There is also this, which makes sense based on his incredible and increasingly disturbing disappearing act.

A source told us: "He has been extremely moody, with his conversations to managers and friends as brief as possible.

"He has cut off others from his entourage. Even his caddie Steve can't get hold of him at the moment.

"And he's made it clear that he doesn't want to do anything on the golf course for a long time, even until 2012. He realised that his golf tour life has become a decadent, no holds barred non stop party.

"Some of us are worried he may never return."

Cindy Adams of the NY Post (thanks reader Rick) suggests there is a 24/7 Tiger PR team--really--looking for damage control specialists.

Now hustling around -- not to lawyers, which they already have -- but to damage-control specialists with a track record who know the streets and can also handle financial issues. A whole other war's brewing relating to shareholders in companies that have canceled endorsements. Besides whatever's being promised to the wife, there exists wrangling businesswise. Endorsers who pulled out, what do their contracts stipulate? Can more money be due? While everything's based on image, not all the contracts have morality clauses.

They're hunting a honcho plugged into the press who has heretofore handled scandalous stories. They're figuring a two-year project. One year to let it all shake out and damage-control it. Second year to rebuild. As in Operation Clinton and Spitzer.

So, for the nonce, Humpty Dumpty must stave off financial lawsuits and stay cozy with all the endorsers whom he basically thinks have put a shiv in his back.

Denver's KUSA television reveals a case of product placement involving Tiger and Gatorade:



And finally, the Wanda Sykes show chimed in on the Brit Hume remarks: