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Books
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    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
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

Golf championships are a good deal like omelettes. You cannot have an omelette without breaking eggs, and you cannot have a golf championship without wrecking hopes.
O.B. KEELER

 

    

Wednesday
Feb062008

Shark: I Still Don't Like What Tim's Done With My Idea

Mark Lamport Stokes reports that like just about everyone else on the planet, Greg Norman isn't too wild about the direction the WGC events have headed.

"I am very disappointed with it," Australian Norman, 52, told reporters during preparations for Thursday's opening round at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

"I felt that the whole concept was a fair concept. It obviously was, or it wouldn't have been picked up and run with on another level.

"At the end of the day, my priority is the game of golf and hopefully we'll be able to get a true World Tour one day because then we can all share.

"Golf is a truly international game and we've been represented by great players on just about every continent on this planet," added Norman, who was a leading proponent of a global golf tour in the early 1990s.

"I always wanted to make sure that the general public and the other 24 million golfers had an opportunity to see the best players in certain locations around the world.

"We play all over the world, so it (a World Tour) does fit, it really does."

And hard to disagree with this as well... 
"There's a new direction on the European Tour where they actually start thinking about doing a global approach to the game to have an ultimate goal, which is the Road to Dubai."
Wednesday
Feb062008

Phil Inks Hat Deal So We Don't Have To Keep Wondering When He's Going To Get A Haircut

NYW124Going back to his roots with KPMG, Phil Mickelson vetted the tax-shelter fraud specialists before signing a three year deal.

“I’m equally proud to join with KPMG,” said Mickelson.  “After talking to its leadership, I came away convinced that KPMG is passionately focused on ‘being the best,’ through building a culture based on professionalism and integrity.  It’s that culture and the shared passion to be the best that drew me to this relationship. I’ll be bringing everything that I can to our relationship, both on and off the golf course. I want to be sure that KPMG, its partners, its professionals and its clients enjoy the full benefit of our relationship.”
“Phil commands a great deal of respect around the world and shares our dedication to giving back to the community, with a particular focus on education and improving the lives of children,” Flynn said. “And we are in good company when it comes to other companies that are associated with Phil – Rolex, Callaway and ExxonMobil.”
As part of his agreement, Mickelson will be available to appear at an agreed-upon number of KPMG-sponsored marketing events, client meetings and local office events, as well as advertising opportunities.

Oh yeah, he's going to earn his money. 

Wednesday
Feb062008

Membership Has Its Privileges...Redux

2008TorreyLogo.jpgReader Scott noticed this legitimate benefit of USGA membership (2008 U.S. Open tickets available), unlike the one we learned about earlier this week.


Wednesday
Feb062008

To The Linksland

425-LONG_WALK_CLARK_2a.embedded.prod_affiliate.57.jpgRon Green Jr. profiles David Clark, who returns to the linksland to remember his late daughter.

Wednesday
Feb062008

"But there are so many to choose from."

golfx.jpgThanks to reader Steve for this interesting Jerry Potter chat with Padraig Harrington about his thought process in selecting where he will play.

Harrington chooses based on whether he enjoys the event, and how it prepares him for a major. He says it is best for him to play just two events in a row leading into a major.

The March 20-23 CA Championship at Doral falls three weeks before The Masters. Harrington plans to play the two leading into Augusta National — the Zurich Classic near New Orleans and the Shell Houston Open.

"Maybe if there were half the number of tournaments, then they would be special," Harrington said. "But there are so many to choose from."

It is rather amazing that the purse amount means so little anymore. Of course, knowing that players go where they are treated well and the course is good makes you wonder how so many tournaments end up on mediocre courses.

Wednesday
Feb062008

Flash: They Don't Eat Monkey Brains In India!

monkey-brains.jpgArjun Atwal, talking to the media in India, site of this week's European Tour event:
Asked what sort of questions he gets asked by American players, Atwal replied: “Just generally, people who know India through Indiana Jones think we eat monkey brains, stuff like that. You’d be amazed.

“Guys like Tiger, they know everything about what’s going on in India and Asia. So I’m not generalising — there are quite a few guys who do know, as well.”

Meanwhile Golfweek's Alistair Tait probably wishes he was in Pebble Beach this week based on this assessment of life in New Dehli.

Tuesday
Feb052008

"Not a [bleeping] chance"

Bob Verdi's FBR Open Golf World game story features a couple of intriguing items. The first relates to the new cut rule:

The world's No. 2 golfer is precisely the type of marquee name who would be welcomed by a smattering of peers disgruntled about working conditions: specifically the new cut rule and the drug policy to be instituted July 1. But whether Mickelson would expend any energy on any form of a movement by labor against the tour's authority or administration is unclear. In fact, when Mickelson was asked to touch on reported grumbling among peers, he indicated he did not have sufficient information on the subject.

If one were to estimate the number of golfers sufficiently vexed to ponder action via an association, the hunch would be more than a few but fewer than enough. "About 30," said one player. But 30 guys banging their fists doesn't make for much noise, especially if the stars aren't aligned, and the proletariat isn't receiving much encouragment from the penthouse. In San Diego, for instance, Tiger Woods was asked about unrest over the controversial new cut policy (known as "Rule 78"). "Play better," he said. That doesn't provide much ammunition for the agents of change.

This is even more fascinating related to drug testing: 
But it also doesn't mean Woods would feel any different than a lot of players about a scenario whereby they would have to provide urine samples with an inspector in the same room. "Not a [bleeping] chance," promised Vijay Singh.

Am I reading that right? Vijay Singh is not too excited about playing by the rules? Now, I thought golfers would never use stuff because they were honorable, upstanding, rule-abiding, eh...

Concluded Tim Herron, "We need an association." He added, however, that the means toward that end requires a certain consensus among independent contractors with differing agendas. Meanwhile, at least one tour player has contacted a legal eagle about representing a group of the disenchanted. Ten years ago, there was an effort to organize a Tour Players Association, but it enjoyed a very short shelf life. Whatever happens, David Toms, one of four player directors on the PGA Tour Policy Board, supposes the next meeting will be "lively."

Wow, these guys really don't want to be tested.  

So much for the Tour's spin that the media will focus on the one positive test and ignore the fact that the rest are all clean.

If they resist testing, the media will be the least of the PGA Tour's concerns.

Tuesday
Feb052008

Previewing This Week's Events...

...Daniel Wexler does a nice job setting up this week's tournaments along with all of the relevant links. I love the links to the course aerial images, which this week come in extra handy if you're looking for that hidden design genius at Poppy Hills. Let me know when you find it.

Tuesday
Feb052008

B-Listers, CEO's Will Continue To Aid In AT&T Brand Messaging Through 2014

...

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Set to Continue Through 2014

Title Sponsorship Agreement Provides AT&T the Opportunity to Deliver Brand Messaging to 500 Million Households in 200 Countries

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 5, 2008 — AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), the PGA TOUR and Monterey Peninsula Foundation Inc. today announced that AT&T has extended the title sponsorship of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, one of the nation’s premier golf tournaments, through 2014. AT&T has been the title sponsor of the tournament since 1986. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which will be held Feb. 4 – 10, 2008, provides AT&T with a unique platform to showcase products and services to a worldwide audience. As the title sponsor, AT&T will receive benefits, including:


Exclusive naming rights. AT&T will remain the exclusive title sponsor of the event through the 2014 tournament.

Promotional Benefits. For each of the next six years, AT&T will receive on-site benefits, including name and/or logo placement on scoreboards, caddie bibs, tee markers, pin flags, tee back signage and the official tournament trophy; advertising in the tournament program and on daily pairings sheet and event tickets; and involvement in all press conferences and media events. In addition, the company will receive in-market promotional rights and technology integration throughout the tournament.

Media Exposure. AT&T will receive significant title sponsor branding within network and cable broadcasts, promotional spots and news coverage. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am will be broadcast to more than 500 million households in more than 200 countries.

The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is one of several golf tournaments sponsored by AT&T; others include the Masters Tournament and the AT&T National, hosted by Tiger Woods.

AT&T Masters? I didn't get that press release. Here I was just thinking they had the privilege of buying ad time on the Masters.

Tuesday
Feb052008

Taking Dead Aim At...The Green!

Note where J.B. Holmes is aiming in relation to the actual fairway bunker scheme created by Weiskopf and Morrish. He's teeing off Sunday on TPC Scottsdale's 18th in this Patrick Hagerty image, lifted from the latest Golf World:

gwar01_080208holmes.jpg

Tuesday
Feb052008

"The Americans on the PGA Tour seem to have given up"

From John Huggan's Golf World game story:

"The Americans on the PGA Tour seem to have given up," said one high-profile European on the eve of the 13-time major champion's now anual pilgrimage to the Dubai Desert Classic. "Look at the Buick [two weeks ago]. All Tiger has to do is turn up, give them a stare and they drop down dead at his feet. At least over here we take him on and give him a game. I mean, what have you really got to lose? You might as well go for it."

That's right, you guys give him a game before you fold like accordians. 

Tuesday
Feb052008

Gulbis Rebranding Commences With Exclusive Images Appearing Intensely Bored At New York Fashion Shows

feb4_gulbisfer_400x600.jpgFirst we learned she was going to lose the G-strings, then she said it was never her intention to deprive us of those irresistable anklet sock tan lines and then she fired her agent to assure us that such a scare would never happen again.

Yet in this lame-beyond-belief, page-view generating SI/golf.com slideshow, Jeff Zelevanksy follows Natalie Gulbis around New York's fashion scene where we see two sides of her: bored beyond belief and intensely glazed over while seated amongst life-like manneqins and the freaky fashion industry elite.

Oh, and all while fully clothed.

Sure looks to me like the rebranding has begun. Say it ain't so Natalie!




Monday
Feb042008

Acushnet Sets Brand Records!

Golfweek's Adam Schupak reports the heartwarming news, which I know will help me sleep better tonight.

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, Fortune’s golf business – which includes the Titleist, Cobra, FootJoy and Pinnacle brands – generated net sales of $1.41 billion, up 7 percent from $1.31 billion in 2006. Operating income dipped slightly to $165.5 million compared with $166 million the previous year.

For the fourth quarter, Fairhaven, Mass.-based Acushnet reported a 12.6 gain in net sales to $245.1 million, up from $217.6 million in the same period of 2006. It posted an operating loss of $6.7 million; Acushnet had an operating loss of $4.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2006.
Hmmm...attorney bills?
Acushnet does not provide specific financial details for each of its brands. However, Bruce Carbonari, president and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands, cited some of them in a news release about the year-end fiscal results.

Said Carbonari: “Successful innovations helped Titleist, FootJoy and Cobra achieve individual brand records, as we also attained sales records in every product category and in all major markets for the year.”

Golf ball sales increased at a high-single-digit rate, benefiting from a favorable product mix shift to the next generation Titleist Pro V1 and NXT families launched in 2007, said Craig Omtvedt, Fortune’s chief financial officer.

A favorable product mix shift...now that's a work of art.

Monday
Feb042008

Atwal Looking To Put India Golf On Map; And Possibly Flee There Permanently

Lewine Mair writes that the America resident and India native is hoping to establish India as a golfing mecca, but as Steve Elling reports, Atwal might just want to stay there because he may face serious charges on his return to Orlando.

Monday
Feb042008

AT&T Amateur Field Reveals Who's Who List Of Who Has Too Much Time And Disposable Income On Their Hands

PGATour.com posts the listing of major Hollywood talent and CEOdom taking part in this week's AT&T National Pro-Am. Not a single name jumped out to me as even remotely interesting until the very last man: Jerry Yang.

Somehow I think the Yahoo founder and current CEO is going to have to WD so he can figure out whether to fight Microsoft's hostile takeover bid.  If not, expect a major shareholder revolt. 

By the way, which Golf Channel/CBS announcer will be the first to refer to a CEO as Mr. (Fill in name)? 

Monday
Feb042008

"But working with guys such as Pete and Greg, and considering how much I can learn from them, I think it is nice to get a head start like this."

02.02.08-A_sergio.jpgEmirates Business caught up with Sergio Garcia to ask about his Dubai design gig with Pete Dye and Greg Norman, among other vital topics:

You are the co-designer of the Wind course here. Have you made a site visit over there lately?

—Not yet, because we are still working out the design of it. We haven’t done any groundwork yet, so we haven’t been able to go and see. I’ve seen how the project site looks, but we haven’t started with the work. I think we will get going sometime later this year, or the start of next year.

Time permitting!
How excited are you to work with two of the proven masters of golf course design – Dye and Norman?

—Yeah, two of the very best, no doubt about it. I think it’s a great opportunity for me, great learning experience. Golf course design is something that I want to get into very seriously later in my career.

But working with guys such as Pete and Greg, and considering how much I can learn from them, I think it is nice to get a head start like this.
Think the "dream team" will ever be in the same room other than at the announcement press conference and opening day? 
Can you tell us about your course design philosophy and which course you really like playing around the world?

 —Well, I’ve always liked challenging courses; courses that have several doglegs that make it tough for you on your driving and ones that usually have small targets, small greens. That’s probably why two of my favourite courses have been Valderrama and the TPC of Sawgrass.

See, I always knew someone liked Valderrama. 

Monday
Feb042008

Membership Has Its Privileges...

The big news for USGA members is posted at USGA.org...

Far Hills, N.J. – The United States Golf Association is pleased to announce a new partnership with the ESPN Golf Schools, presented by American Express, that will offer special rates and benefits to USGA Members.
What, no room for Lexus, RBS and IBM in there, too?
ESPN Golf Schools, which were launched in 2003, provide instruction for golfers of all ages and abilities at premier golf courses and facilities around the country. The programs consist of three-day resort schools and one-day touring schools for adults and juniors at more than 50 sites across the U.S.

As a result of the partnership between the USGA and ESPN Golf Schools, a discounted rate of $375 will be exclusively offered to USGA Members for an education-only version of each one-day touring school:

    * 3-Club Tour™ – Visiting more than 50 U.S. cities, this one-day program focuses on three clubs: driver, putter and wedge. ESPN brand representative Chris Berman will demonstrate how to throw each club while reeling off a list of obscenity laden tirade that would make Tommy Lasorda blush.

    * The Power Tour® – A one-day program that aims to help students hit the golf ball farther by applying the key elements of fitness and flexibility. Executive Director David Fay will explain how distance advances only come through better conditioning, not thanks to technology in any way, shape or form.

    * Beginners Tour® – A one-day introduction to the game of golf that provides basic instruction for novices, including grip, posture, scoring, golf etiquette and other fundamentals. Included will be a clinic by ESPN technical staff on how to bring a beginner's feel to Open Championship coverage by cutting away at the key moment to show a clip package on Jean van de Velde that had already been played to death.

Okay, I fleshed the curriculum out just a bit.
"We’re very excited to announce this new benefit to USGA Members," said Fiona Dolan, director of the USGA Members Program. "Many of our Members have indicated that a top priority is the desire to improve their game. We believe this partnership with ESPN Golf Schools will give our Members better access to useful instructional tools such as swing assessment and Rules and etiquette education."
Reasons like that this make me so happy I'm not a member! 
Monday
Feb042008

"AT&T Oaks and AT&T Canyons Courses to Open with JW Marriott Resort in 2010"

To call this the tackiest thing the PGA Tour has ever done would not be a stretch...

AT&T TO BE NAMING RIGHTS SPONSOR OF TPC SAN ANTONIO GOLF COURSES

AT&T Oaks and AT&T Canyons Courses to Open with JW Marriott Resort in 2010

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 4, 2008 — The PGA TOUR and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced that AT&T will be the naming rights sponsor of the two new TPC golf courses, which are located at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.

The long-term sponsorship agreement will incorporate AT&T into the names of the courses at TPC San Antonio. The courses will be known as the AT&T Oaks Course (designed by Greg Norman, with player consultant Sergio Garcia) and the AT&T Canyons Course (designed by Pete Dye, with player consultant Bruce Lietzke). The golf courses and the adjacent 1,002-room JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa are schedule to open in early 2010.

Let the quote pile-on begin...

“AT&T is pleased to associate our brand with these courses,” said Cathy Coughlin, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and Global Marketing officer. “We also look forward to working with the PGA TOUR, TPC San Antonio and JW Marriott to assure that the golfers and resort guests enjoy access to the latest AT&T broadband, voice and video services.”

Yep, that's why you go to play a golf course. Good broadband connection.

The adjacent residential development, Cibolo Canyons, already is an AT&T Connected Community. Details of specific applications to be made available at the resort and golf facility will be available closer to opening.

Just as soon as we figure out what that means.

“AT&T, a long-standing partner of the PGA TOUR, has been a tremendous supporter of this exciting project and has played an important role in bringing the TOUR and TPC brand into the fold,” said David Pillsbury, President of PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties, which oversees the TOUR’s network of 25 TPCs. “Through its brand and technology, AT&T will very much be at the forefront of creating a unique, world-class golf experience at TPC San Antonio. We’re very excited to work with AT&T at TPC San Antonio.”

Nice, could have been a bit more succinct and dropped at least on platform, so we'll give you a 7 David.

"AT&T played an integral role in making the TPC development at Cibolo Canyons possible," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. "We are grateful to be home to one of the world's most environmentally friendly golf course development projects, and we congratulate AT&T and the PGA TOUR on the naming rights announcement."

Wait, there's another...

"We are excited that AT&T and the PGATOUR created this sponsorship and we are pleased to have AT&T as a partner in this quality development," added Jim Miller, President of Miller Global Properties.  Miller Global is the developer of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa, which will be owned by Miller Global in partnership with Principal Real Estate Partners.

TPC San Antonio will feature 36 holes of golf on 2,800 acres of contrasting topography.  Norman’s AT&T Oaks Course will feature rolling terrain and majestic native oak trees. Dye’s AT&T Canyons Course will showcase dramatic elevation changes with beautiful views of the surrounding AT&T Texas Hill Country.

Just slipped that last one in to see if you were still reading.

Sunday
Feb032008

Holmes Wins Playoff; Mickelson Unable To Regroup From Kostis Football "Reference"

I searched the transcript but apparently the scribblers did not think to ask Phil if his mind was racing in a desperate attempt to figure out what it was that Peter Kostis was getting at with his post round interview football "reference."



Sunday
Feb032008

What Did Els Hit On 18?

On the American Golf Channel feed of the Dubai event, the announcers were pretty sure Ernie Els used a hybrid of some sort instead of a 3-wood for his second shot. His post round press conference doesn't answer the question: 

Q. 3-wood on the last?

ERNIE ELS: I had 240 to the last. I mean, it's very in my range. But the gust, as I said, there's a gust that came up and caught it.
Lawrence Donegan reviews the week but seemed to not get the question answered... 
Woods's charge pushed him into second place but the South African could still have forced a play-off with a birdie on the par-five 18th. Instead he hit his second shot into the water and finished with a bogey to drop into third behind the 23-year-old Kaymer, who eagled the same hole for a six-under round of 66 and a 72-hole total of 275, 13 under - one shot behind the winner's 274.

I ask because it would be nice to know if (A) he left 3-wood in the bag as the announcers said and (B) since there is a corporate hospitality structure over the green, it would seem logical to blow it over the green, take your drop and chip back. Or is the chip back to the water too difficult?