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

A golf course that invades a hundred or more acres, and is actually visible in its garish intrusion from several points of observation, is an abhorrent spectacle. The less of man’s handiwork the better a course. PERRY MAXWELL



Video: Michael Phelps Sinks Olympic Size Pool-Length Putt

Playing with Paul Casey at Kingsbarns in the Dunhill. From


More Davis Love On Behind The Scenes Aftermath & Modifying Azinger's Pod System

I had the link open but didn't read Davis Love's transcript from Wednesday in Las Vegas. Guess I should have read it sooner...

You know, Sunday was not good; Monday was I think hard for a lot of our players.  We packed up and gradually everybody was leaving.  It was emotional saying good‑bye to most of the guys.  It was a little surreal.  Phil and Amy sat with (indiscernible) and I at the elevator.  They were the last ones to leave the ninth floor, and we sat there for a half an hour and I finally realized they just didn't want to leave.

They had a big airplane and were going home to see their kids, but didn't want to leave and it to be over.  I think that's how most of us felt.  It was hard not to get up Monday morning and put your team clothes on and go play again.

I think we're just sad it's over.  Obviously we're stunned by the loss, but I think the team really game came together.  You saw that Sunday afternoon the way they handled it, and I saw it all day Monday.  I just got a text from Dufner and Webb Simpson.  They're still pulling together.  I think that's the impressive thing.

About the four point Saturday night lead:

I think in the end, the enormity of it all‑‑ and it's all‑‑ we might have been better off tied.  Might have played better Sunday tied rather than trying to protect the lead.

In the end, I think Dustin Johnson said it best.  Everybody is feeling sorry for themselves and he says, Man, it's just golf.  They knocked in a bunch of putts and our lipped out.  There's nothing we can do about it.  You know, that really did sum it up.

And his picks...

Well, yeah, we could have picked Nick and Bill and Hunter and Rickie.  We could have picked a whole different four.  But, again, we had months and months of a plan that we talked to everybody on the team.  Everybody was involved.  We made some pairings really, really early.

My plan was we would never really play well the first two days.  We would always get behind.  We get behind the first segment.  We start trying too hard and get behind after one day and we start trying to play catchup.  We rely on singles.

The picks and pairings were made all based on my taking Paul Azinger's plan.  Once I got into who was making the team, it shrunk to two‑man teams rather than four‑man teams.

Eh em...pods, but go on.

I didn't have to do a whole lot of personality profiling because I knew the guys.  The Sunday lineup, if you go back and look at it, was based on the guys that played together and where we needed them in the lineup.

And the team was unified and on board with all of the captain's plans, just like the Europeans...

Our team agreed on everything we did.  Like Phil Mikelson and Tiger Woods, they know that they had to do what ultimately they agreed to do not what I told them to do.

I'm happy with the decision.  Now, I love Rickie Fowler and Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan Nick Watney.  They are the future of the Ryder Cup.

Sure, maybe they would have done better, but I love the team I had.  They gave it their all.  Most importantly, they represented their country on and off the golf course.


Paul Casey's Four-Legged Stalker Attacks Mid-Round!

From an AP report, accompanied by a Ross Kinnaird Getty Image:

"It's the weirdest thing I've ever had happen on a golf course," said Casey, who was playing at Kingsbarns. "I noticed the dog on the 12th tee and he sort of followed us down the fairway before taking a real liking to my golf ball."

Casey, who is partnered with Olympic great Michael Phelps in the pro-am event, was ready to play with another ball but a spectator stopped the pooch near the 13th tee and recovered the original.

A European Tour rules official inspected both and Casey was allowed to play his original ball. He ended up with a birdie to get to 1 under.

You can see the entire reel of images at Getty.


State Of The Game Podcast 14: Ryder Cup In Review

I'm told by our engineering staff that my eloquent, brilliant and groundbreaking observations suggesting the ending of the Ryder Cup wasn't kosher ended up drowned out by a mysterious buzzing sound (Huggan strikes!) and therefore were relegated to the cutting room floor.

But I can say the rest of the show was super and all about the 2012 Ryder Cup, comprising of Rod Morri, Mike Clayton, John Huggan and I talking all things cup.

As always, you can subscribe or listen below.


Rio 2016 Winning Clubhouse Bid: "Combining an atmosphere of conviviality with nature"

Golf Australia was the only site I saw with a photo of the winning bid for the 2016 Olympic golf course clubhouse which drew interest from 82 design teams.

A large veranda showcasing the lush tropical landscape of Barra da Tijuca, combining an atmosphere of conviviality with nature — in the spirit of Rio — defines the character of the winning project in the competition to choose the design for the Rio 2016™ Olympic Games golf course’s club house, announced on Monday at the Brazilian Institute of Architects, Rio de Janeiro department (IAB-RJ).

The event was attended by the President of the Rio 2016™ Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Rio 2016™), Carlos Arthur Nuzman; the committee’s chief executive, Leonardo Gryner; the President of IAB-RJ, Sergio Magalhães; the competition’s coordinator, Claudio Taulois; and the President of the jury, Fernando Alencar.
Pedro Évora and Pedro Rivera, of Rio de Janeiro, are the author and co-author respectively of the winning project.

Gil Hanse will be designing the Olympic course.


Poor Paul McGinley: “I understand the inside track is that it’s going to be Darren Clarke."

Aladair Reid buries the lede in this story on Peter Hanson's disappointment with Captain Two-Wrongs-Make-A-Right and Hanson's endorsement of Paul McGinley for the 2014 captaincy. It seems Darren Clarke bumped McGinley at the 3/16th's pole, politicking his way into the 2014 Ryder Cup Captaincy lead.

The stewards may post the Inquiry sign but I'm guessing they won't change the result, since Clarke leads the major tally by one and magically turned into Winston Churchill last week at Medinah when conducting interviews. And yes, even when the alcohol was flowing, ole Winston Churchill Clarke was reciting all of the regal cliches of a wannabe-next captain. Touching stuff, I must say.

From Reid in Telegraph:

The bookmakers agree. But Padraig Harrington was taking a different tack. “I understand the inside track is that it’s going to be Darren Clarke,” Harrington said.


Hanson Confirms That Captain Ollie Won't Be Teaching Courses On Team Communication Any Time Soon

One of the great unanswered questions from the 2012 Ryder Cup: why was Peter Hanson warming up Saturday afternoon, expecting to play, only to find out 20 minutes before that he was not playing the four-balls?

It seems Captain Winning Outright Is Different Than Retaining The Cup either hadn't made up his mind or had not the near Masters winner this year he would not be playing Saturday.

From an unbylined Sky Sports report:

Asked if he spoke to Olazabal, Hanson added: "I did a little bit, but it's hard. You're part of a team and when I got notified 20 minutes before we teed off on Saturday I got very upset.

"I didn't take that very well, but I just locked myself in a dark room and stayed there for a couple of hours.
"You don't want to let your bad feelings affect the other guys. It's all about getting out there and supporting your teammates, so I was out there Saturday afternoon walking the fairways.

"I think in that respect I didn't damage the team and that was the main thing. You can't let your ego affect the rest of the team.

"I was so sure I was going to play, so I actually went out and played a couple of holes Saturday morning and did my warm up early in the day.

"When I got notified I was actually filling in the pinsheet (hole positions) in my book, so that's probably why I got so upset. I was already in game mode."


45.5 Million Play Video Game Golf But Not Real Golf

Steve Tanner analyzes the NGF's recent data revealing that 56 million Americans play golf...via video games.

And 45.5 million of them are non-golfers.

First, I’m surprised that 39% of actual golfers (26.1mm) are also golf gamers (10.2mm).  Given the perception of the golf industry, I find that data interesting in a good way.

More importantly, the fact that 39mm people who have "never played golf" are hitting the links on their big screen shows that a lot of people are interested in playing the game.  Unfortunately it's just not in the way that we as an industry want or need.  Concepts like the Chicken Stick and games like Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf are moving the needle by making the experience remarkably real-life in the comfort and convenience of one's family room.


Phil Attempting Million Dollar MNF Shot

Alex Myers with the details on a KPMG charity event during halftime of the October 15 Monday Night Football game between the Chargers and Broncos.


Monty On 2012 Ryder Cup Win For European Tour: "Nothing but good for the coffers"

For the first time Monty concedes he won't be asked to captain the 2014 Ryder Cup team and his comments about Tiger in this first person account of the Ryder Cup were picked up by a few sites.

But I thought this was a refreshingly frank take on the financial necessity of winning the Ryder Cup for the European Tour.

Our Tour needs the Ryder Cup more than ever in this economic climate. The win can do nothing but good for the coffers. I always felt it was important we won for that reason at Celtic Manor; but it was even more important at Medinah. Let’s hope that the Tour’s executive can build on this.

Yes there are a lot of our heavyweights playing in America but there’s an awful lot of fine youngsters coming through in Europe, desperate to play in the Ryder Cup. If we had been thrashed, as it was looking at one point, potential sponsors might have been put off. Now these potential sponsors will say I want a part of this.

And the Tour will carry on producing players good enough to tackle the best America has to offer. Certainly, they’ll do so at Gleneagles. I keep being asked by people if I’ll return as a captain for Scotland’s first Ryder Cup in 41 years. My answer is always the same – ‘I’d do it if I was asked’. But I won’t be asked.


Final & Vital 2012 Ryder Cup Question: How Do We Use This Epic Ryder Cup To Get The Dreadful Olympic Format Fixed?

Lorne Rubenstein said "the golf world itself came alive during the Ryder Cup. There’s nothing in golf like a Ryder Cup. Nothing."

Mark Lamport Stokes notes that the Ryder Cup "has never been more vibrant or in better health." And quotes Rory McIlory saying, "This is the most special and unique golf tournament we have, period."

In case anyone did not know it, last week reminded us that match play with a team and nationality component supersedes stroke play. Looking ahead to the 2016 Rio Olympics, longtime readers here know that golf returns with two 72-hole individual stroke play events. One for men, one for women.

And longtime readers know that from day one, I've viewed this as a highly unfortunate decision by the International Golf Federation that looked to players for input. Players who are good at playing golf, not so good in the vision department.

We also know there are also other issues that stuck us with a format that will not excite "the base" nor will it do much to bring in new fans of our great sport. In no particular order:

- There is the IOC's concern about beds in the Olympic Village, which resulted in just 60 players making the Olympic fields. I'm guessing Luke and Diane Donald, for instance, will not be bunking up in a glorified dorm room with the family come 2016.

- There is the dreadful scheduling mess that 2016 brings with the four championships, the ResetCup and the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National, making anything over four days of competition a concern to the IGF. (It would have been an ideal year for the PGA to be played in the spring, but the PGA of America locked into Baltusrol for PGA anniversary reasons well before Rio was even selected.)

- A field of 60 instead of 64 makes a match play bracket that much more difficult. A small field with limits on the number of players from each country also limits the number of two-player team possibilities.

- There is the time-honored and depressing excuse that match play could leave television with an undesirable final. And that may be true, but as we've seen with the WGC Match Play, television also gets far more compelling action each day of the event instead of only on the final day as you get in stroke play.

- And of course, the relentless, withering, exhausting but consistent resistance to outside-the-box thinking or imagination coming from within the golf establishment's leaders who make up the IGF.

Olympic golf will not move any needle with its current 72-hole stroke play format and the Ryder Cup only reminded us of this. Even before the Medinah Miracle, Nick Faldo reiterated the need to re-think things last week, proposing that a reboot be considered and even mentioned the possibility of a mixed doubles element like Olympic tennis.

This year's Ryder Cup proved that match play, and preferably one with a team element, is more exciting and emotional than any sudden death playoff for the bronze medal will ever be.

So how, intelligent readers, do we begin the process of asking the IGF and the IOC to revisit this dead-on-arrival format so that golf can put its best foot forward in 2016?


The Many Moods Of Bill Murray

The BBC's description of a three minute clip at the Old Course first tee where Bill Murray is playing the Dunhill Links Championship.

Hollywood star Bill Murray is grouchy with "moron" reporters but his mood improves after what must have been a good practice round at St Andrews for the Dunhill Links Championship.