Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • 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
  • Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution
    Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution
    by Matthew Futterman
  • 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

As far is possible, there should be presented to each golfer an interesting problem that will test him without being so impossibly difficult that he will have little chance of success. There must be something to do, but that something must always be within the realm of reasonable accomplishment.
BOBBY JONES


    

Wednesday
Mar252009

Ollie Says He Didn't Agree To Anything!

Seems Monty exaggerated Jose Maria Olazabal's reported stance on becoming chief lieutenant for the 2010 Ryder Cup squad. Thanks to reader Jim for picking up Norman Dabell's story.

“My words to him were that I wanted to try to make the effort to get into the team as a player and if that was not the case we would have to have (another) little chat in the next year sometime,” Olazabal told an Andalucia Open news conference in Seville.

“I’m not certain about anything. That’s my position still.
“Maybe my English is not good. But have I made myself clear now? Have I expressed myself properly?”

I don't see any grey area there, do you?

Wednesday
Mar252009

Shock: Monty Says He Was Never Relaxed On The Course

Here I thought the stomping, the scowling and the overall look of extreme constipation had been a ploy to create an intimidating mystique. Turns out that wasn't the case, but now that he's got to worry about uniform coordination, accumulating assistant captain's and considering lunch with people he normally wouldn't be caught dead with, Colin Montgomerie says we should expect to see a new, relaxed man on course.

"I have been looking for ways to relax on a course for many years and I think I have found it by no fault of my own," the eight-time European No1 said. "To become Ryder Cup captain has given me a huge responsibility – a sense of responsibility that has given me a feeling of relaxation on the course. I am now enjoying my golf.

"In the long run, both the lead-up and past the 2010 Ryder Cup, it will actually help my golf. I will be more relaxed and therefore play to a higher standard," added the Scot, now ranked No137 in the world.

Wednesday
Mar252009

LPGA Blog Policy More Restrictive Than Bank Bailout Guidelines

(Click on image to enlarge)Wow, these girls rock!

I dare say I qualify under these guidelines, but then again maybe not since this site is primarily a "repository for unoriginal content."

I'm just glad I'm not a suppository for unoriginal content.More importantly, when they say unoriginal content, is that an LPGA statement about the quality of golf writing today?

Wednesday
Mar252009

It's A Stanley Thompson Course!

In this dust up over design credit for Hyde Park, I suppose I forget that it is Florida and a long way from Canada, but it's not like the design credit is going from a Donald Ross to a Leonard Thompson. Or even a Fred Thompson (same generation in his case).

Stanley Thompson was no slouch and considering how few of his courses south of the border--or even north of the border--Hyde Park still has premier architectural lineage. 

Tuesday
Mar242009

"19 of the 28 players are either treading water or backing up as it relates to Finchem's request to circulate more frequently."

Refuting or maybe reinforcing Commissioner Finchem's assertion that there has been "movement' from top players in reaction to his hostage video plea for more starts, Steve Elling does a nice job setting things up and fleshing out with some great quotes, including a classic from Rocco.

But, as with John Strege's tabulation a few weeks ago on the eve of the Florida swing, the message is not what the sponsors would want to hear:

For the purposes of comparison, we subtracted Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh from the top 30 on the 2008 money list, since both have missed starts with leg issues that skewed their totals. Of the remaining 28 players, 12 have played in fewer tournaments than at this stage one year ago.

Another seven have played in the same number of events, meaning 19 of the 28 players are either treading water or backing up as it relates to Finchem's request to circulate more frequently.

Even in these uncertain times, some players seem slow on the uptake. Signed to personal multi-year sponsorship deals with companies and manufacturers, the urgency of the broader tour situation seemingly hasn't yet been fully grasped. Even the loss of courtesy cars at certain stops has been offset by the largesse of weekly tournament sponsors, so to some players, little has changed in their insular, self-centered orbits.

Tuesday
Mar242009

Let The Product Placement Begin...

Thanks to all of those who noticed and emailed that yes, in fact, a paradigm shift is occurring: paid advertising has come to the site.

If you want to write and call me names, you know where the contact button is.

If you want to advertise (Wally, I know you've been counting the days!), either contact me or talk to the contact man at Golf Audience, the network of golf blogs formed by Chris Barford.

Christopher Barford
VP Business Development
215-622-8563
barford@golfad.net

Tuesday
Mar242009

Stanley Thompson Ad

Thanks to golf architect and historian Ian Andrew for this Stanley Thompson ad, which certainly seems to back up Ron Whitten's assertion that Thompson "designed" Hyde Park, as opposed to "building" it as Mark McCumber asserts.

All of this was part of a Garry Smits story.

Tuesday
Mar242009

"From what I hear from people a lot smarter than me, the car industry is really having a tough time right now."

I checked with a media member present for Anthony Kim's defending champ press conference to plug the Wachovia Wells Fargo Quail Hollow Championship, and my source says Kim was most definitely not making a joke, nor was he winking with a sense of irony or in any other way suggesting that he actually has much idea what is going on in the world when issuing this answer:

Q. Anthony, everybody has been talking about the economy. Fellows like yourself out there every week, what are some of the things you're seeing that are different this year from years past that you can relate directly to wherever the economy is?

ANTHONY KIM: I'm not that smart, so I just let my business people take care of whatever business needs to be taken care of. I know that at one of the tournaments this year we didn't have courtesy cars, and I'm sure that will be the case, because from what I hear from people a lot smarter than me, the car industry is really having a tough time right now.

I've only played four events on the PGA TOUR this year, and I haven't seen too many things change.

Yes we know, you've been on the IMG gravy train tour. 

Now I know this is not the first or last time Kim will have seemed out of touch, but comments like this make you a lot more sympathetic with Tim Finchem's attempts to get players to play more in light of the economy. After all, if the player doesn't really understand how bad things are (and getting his news from his agent!), it's going to be tough to get them to play more.

Tuesday
Mar242009

"PGA Tour To Test Miking Caddies For Television"

I'm assuming this has been a work in progress (the story implies recent events have driven the idea), but either way, there is potentially great news in Doug Ferguson's notes column, assuming players and caddies will feel up to cooperating. Hopefully the SVP of Brand Dilation will explain to players that being captured having an interesting conversation is good for a Q bump.

The topic was brought up last week at the TOUR's annual meeting with the caddies. Some of them are concerned about being limited in what they say -- not during the shot, but the three hours of dead time during a round.

"I know what they're trying to do, and that's good," said Jimmie Johnson, the caddie for Steve Stricker. "I'm not worried about what comes out of the caddie. I'm worried about what goes into the trailer."

His argument, one that several other caddies share, is that having a microphone will pick up everything they say during a four-hour round. None of that stuff will make the telecast, but they have no guarantee that something inappropriate they might say -- about someone in the gallery, another player -- could be leaked.

"Most of us are aware when the big boom mike is around, and it's usually when you're coming down the stretch. You know what you say is being picked up," said caddie Mitch Knox, whose players have included David Duval and Daniel Chopra. "But having a mike could be a problem."

Tuesday
Mar242009

Wild Dunes 18th Almost Back

I figured this one was lost to the ocean for good, but Ron Green Jr. reports otherwise.

Tuesday
Mar242009

"That's a distinction without a difference"

Garry Smits' files an interesting piece on the architectural name dispute at Hyde Park, where a February Ron Whitten story in Golf World credits Stanley Thompson to the dismay of local Mark McCumber, who reasons that articles saying Thompson "built" the course differ from designing the course.

McCumber, who has designed eight courses on the First Coast, said there's a distinction that can be made from that sentence.

"It said the course was built by Thompson, who happens to be an architect," McCumber said. "Some architects also had golf-course construction companies and built courses based on the design of others. We've done that at McCumber Golf. That sentence, in and of itself, doesn't prove Stanley Thompson designed the course."

Points for the subtle plug but I have to go with Whitten's counterargument on this one:

Whitten counters: "That's a distinction without a difference," he said.

Considering that Ross's courses were so well documented and no plans exist, I'm leaning toward Whitten's take on this one.

Tuesday
Mar242009

"Many establishments have deliberately gone out of their way to make it hard for children to play."

I read Alistair Tait's look at the struggles of British golf clubs and couldn't help thinking that they make American clubs look downright junior golf crazy!

Here’s an anecdote that perfectly sums up the attitude of some British golf clubs: I once had a chat with a club professional who wanted to help his assistant professionals make a little extra money by giving lessons to local people. When he suggested this to the club’s members, they told him they didn’t welcome the initiative. The reason? The club was worried about throwing its doors open to what it termed as “undesirables.”

More damningly, for years many British clubs have had a dreadful attitude toward children. Many establishments have deliberately gone out of their way to make it hard for children to play.

That oh-so-British attitude that children should be seen and not heard was changed to children shouldn’t even be seen, let alone heard.

So clubs said children couldn’t play before a certain time, and couldn’t enter certain rooms. Stringent dress rules applied by old men whose fashion sense was 50 years old also did nothing to make the game sexy to generations of young golfers.

Tuesday
Mar242009

Ah The Synergy Of It All...

Nice work by John Strege following the IMG trail to note that the soon-to-be HSBC event in Shanghai is run by Cleveland's classiest pimps fee brokers. Even better, it's just a week before the Australian Masters where Tiger Woods has committed to play.

I don't know about you, but I'm thinking Tiger has a mole inside PGA Tour headquarters. I know, I know. Big time conspiracy theorist here. Gulity.

Monday
Mar232009

Forbes: Who Knew Babysitting/Luggage Toting Could Be So Lucrative

Matt Woolsey of Forbes files a story on caddy life, pay, and how far they've come, now parking on-site at most events and even treated with respect now and then.

Accompanying is a top 10 photo gallery of the world's best paid caddies based on this probably-not-that-accurate-but-probably-close-enough system:

We determined our figures by tracking June 2006 to June 2007 tournament purses and player finishes, as reported by the PGA. Caddies are paid on the basis of how well their player performs: a base salary of $1,000 a week plus 5% of the tournament purse, 7% of a top 10 and 10% for a victory, according to Cone. 

 

Monday
Mar232009

PGA Tour Is Not Very Good At Keeping Secrets

Jon Show reports that China's HSBC event is going to join the WGC family. Not exactly a state secret, especially when you take this into account:

The tour would not confirm the new HSBC event, but commercials for the U.K.-based financial institution ran during the recent telecast of the CA Championship on NBC. World Golf Championship title sponsors receive ad units during one another’s telecasts.

Monday
Mar232009

Suit Thrown Out After Court Says There Is No Disputing That John Daly Is A Mess

He had sued the Florida Times Union over a column by Mike Freeman, reports AP's Ron Word:

Daly had sued in 2005, alleging a column by Freeman written during The Player's Championship that year defamed him.

Freeman's column said: "How does Daly not fail the scoundrel sniff test with fans despite possessing definite Thug Life qualifications. Look at the Daly blog. Domestic violence accusations? Yup. Substance abuse issues? Unfortunately, three different kids from three different moms, making him the Shawn Kemp of golf? Yes. A former wife indicted for laundering illegal drug profits? Roger that."

Carithers wrote in his opinion that the alleged defamatory statements were opinions based upon disclosed facts.

"The only possible basis for a defamation action would be if Daly proved that one of the four underlying facts was false, but there is no genuine dispute with respect to any of the underlying facts," Carithers wrote.

Monday
Mar232009

LPGA Outlook Brighter Thanks To At Least Three Debacle-Free Weeks

Jon Show says that LPGA operations have stabilized thanks to Michelle Wie, the new Golf Channel deal and the salvation of the all-important Phoenix stop. Though I'm not sure I'd lump in Natalie Gulbis-not-getting-fired-by-The-Donald as a sign of hope.

Other key players such as Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, and young newcomers like Stacy Lewis and Vicky Hurst are also making waves, attracting an uptick in interest from magazines like Teen Vogue and Seventeen.

Australian Anna Rawson, a 27-year-old part-time fashion model, will be announced this week as the latest female athlete to endorse GoDaddy. Natalie Gulbis is still an employee of Donald Trump in the latest season of NBC’s reality hit “The Apprentice.”

Monday
Mar232009

Butch Still Obsessing Over Tiger In Very Unusual Ways

Rick Reilly talks to former Tiger swing instructor Butch Harmon about his favorite topic and it seems Harmon has been chatting with doctors about Tiger's knee.

"I still think he probably beats Nicklaus' records, but now you say it with a bit of hesitation," says no less than Butch Harmon, Tiger's old swing coach. "You talk to some doctors and they say no chance it's ever the same. Others say it'll be fine. I don't see a lot of change in his swing, except it's a little more inside out. Ask me again in August. Let's see how that knee is holding up after a full summer of golf."

Monday
Mar232009

“It was a moment of excitement and just me being me"

There's an enjoyable Q&A between Tom Cunneff of Links and Amy Alcott, who talks about the unusual tradition she started at the Dinah Shore and her enjoyable new book of conversations with a variety of golfers.

Monday
Mar232009

"So that’s 201 action shots, which spread out over the 192-minute telecast comes to one stroke every 57 seconds."

I'm not sure I can agree with the Good Doctor Bradley Klein that this note on NBC's Transitions Championship coverage is good news:

The good news is we saw a lot of golf shots: by my count, 210 in all, including nine by way of intro that showed what happened earlier that day and the rest live or close enough to live (“just moments ago’’). So that’s 201 action shots, which spread out over the 192-minute telecast comes to one stroke every 57 seconds. No wonder golf seems glacial in pace.

A shot a minute? No wonder I watched so much basketball.