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
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer

I think the present golf ball makes absolute nonsense of the game. Nearly every course in Britain was designed in days when the architect might assume the ball to go much less far than it does today. The result has been that some courses have been intolerably lengthened to accommodate the ball, while others, for want of money or space, have had to sink back into a drive-and-a pitch category. It really is too ludicrous. Can you imagine adjusting all of the courts at Wimbledon to accommodate somebody's new cannonball tennis ball?...I often think that followers of other games must think golfers mad when they see us solemnly adjusting some 35,000 holes to fit one ball instead of fitting one ball to 35,000 holes!




"Johnny at least could have stuck around Saturday night when the golf ran long and NBC gave way to Golf Channel."

In the latest edition of the weekly epic known as the SI Golf Plus/ Magazine/Fortune/Time Inc/AOL "PGA Tour Confidential," the guys and gals kick around poor old Johnny Miller, who apparently had a big dinner date Saturday in Tucson that precluded him from staying on when coverage went to Golf Channel.

It seemed even more bizarre to me that the NBC lead man was trying so hard figure out why Jack Nicklaus scattered bunkers all over the Ritz Carlton GC at Dove Mountain's 4th fairway instead of pinching down the landing area like Johnny on his many wonderful, timeless designs.

After the SI gang seems to decide that the 36-hole final needs to go (I would agree, the morning 18 was the best part and only five spectators saw it), the group debates the merits of Johnny:

David Dusek, deputy editor, Sorry, but I think a big part of the problem was not only 36 holes, but Johnny Miller too. It kills me to listen to him answer his own questions when he is tossing to Maltbie or Koch. He has opinions, and that's refreshing, but it's All Johnny, All The Time, and it gets old fast.

Gorant: Disagree. It's definitely Johnny and the Johnettes, but he still works for me. Koch on the other hand is not my favorite. Hate the "that's a good lesson for you folks at home" tips he's always throwing in. If you see it, describe it. If I can glean something from that, great; if not, OK, but stop talking down to me.

Hack: Johnny at least could have stuck around Saturday night when the golf ran long and NBC gave way to Golf Channel. Johnny was out of that booth at 6:01 p.m. Eastern.

Herre: I'm a Johnny guy. Even after 20 years, he has an unpolished quality that I like. You can tell he's going with the gut. Yes, Koch and Maltbie come off as sycophants, but I don't know if that's Johnny's fault.

For some reason I thought Johnny's lack of genuine passion for golf architecture really shined this week on a new course that needed explaining. One example: The ninth hole appeared to have a really neat bit of strategy where a safe drive left gave the players a blind second shot while a longer, riskier line opened up a view of the green. Nothing original mind you, but great to see Nicklaus at least trying to do something interesting. And Johnny just couldn't get past the blind second shot or the aforementioned swarm of bunkers on the par-4 4th, where Jack actually dared to break up the center line.

I'm not saying the holes worked, but at least there were signs Nicklaus was trying to do something that warranted further explanation beyond the required raves about a new place that players clearly didn't care for.



Barkley Censored Twice In The Tiny Portion Of Promo Telling Us The Show Is Uncensored!

Having now committed The Haney Project with Charles Barkley spot that Golf Channel aired relentelessly over four days of the Accenture Match Play, I chuckled each time they mentioned "uncensored" and then bleeped out whatever obscenity came from Barkley's mouth.

Yet even after airing number 416, I still missed what a reader picked up when Barkley's driver head flies off and he utters the dreaded profanity: Golf Channel blurs out his headcover to protect the innocent maker of some crappily crafted $500 pile of junk!

A double censoring. But the show is uncensored!

And no, that is not a giant fingerprint on my widescreen:

Totally censored! (click to enlarge)



Ogilvy Vows To Keep Shaving Until He Loses

Sporting a clean shaven face to the delight of the PGA Tour Fines and Overall Appearance staff which tired of writing Kapalua-week emails to the Australian, Geoff Ogilvy polished off the impressive but grooming-challenged Rory McIlroy in the morning's fourth round, then knocked off pace-of-play outlier Stewart Cink in the afternoon semi-final to setup a Sunday showdown with Paul Casey.

Doug Ferguson on the rather astounding match play records of both finalists:

A tournament that no longer has Tiger Woods instead has the best two golfers in match play over the last three years.

Ogilvy is 17-2 in match play dating to his 2006 victory at the Accenture Match Play Championship, the final year it was held at La Costa. That includes a singles victory in the Presidents Cup.

Casey is 16-3-1 in match play around the world, including his 2006 victory at the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, when he never trailed over the final 71 holes of that event. 



Nothing That A Depression Won't Fix, Vol. 34

Bloomberg's Michael Buteau looked at golf fallout from the economic crisis and something tells me that this falls into the "needed to happen" category:

Maintenance crews at Atlanta Athletic, where golfing legend Bobby Jones grew up playing the game, will soon start cutting the fairways in a back-and-forth pattern, instead of the more decorative crisscross. The adjustment will save about 100 gallons of diesel fuel a month, or about $2,300 a year, said Ken Mangum, the grounds superintendent.

“You’re looking at every little thing you can to save a dollar,” Mangum said. Fewer flowers will be planted, something “spoiled” golfers will have to get used to, he said.


"It's not the clients and company executives who suffer if companies cancel their events. They'll find other fun things to do that weekend."

The WSJ's John Paul Newport on the PGA Tour sponsorship issues from this week:

Golf, with its traditional fat-cat image, is an easy target for abuse, some of it deserved. I'm one who has long believed the game skews too fancy for its own good. But the trouble with this week's rabble-rousing, apart from whatever damage it does to the effective business practices of banks and other troubled companies, such as the automakers, is the chill it casts over the entire microeconomy of golf, and of sports in general.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the drying up of corporate outings to golf resorts, mostly for fear of projecting the wrong image in the current economic environment, was creating travel bargains for the rest of us. But it is also devastating the golf resort and hospitality industry. The same holds true for the drying up of client entertainment at golf and other sports events.

"It's not the clients and company executives who suffer if companies cancel their events. They'll find other fun things to do that weekend. It's the 20 guys who valet-park cars for minimum wage plus tips, the 15 cooks in the kitchen, the six dishwashers, the rigging guys who put up the stage, the housekeepers who make up the hotel rooms where people stay," said David Israel, a TV producer who is involved in the sports economy as vice chairman of the California Horse Racing Commission and past president of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission.


"It seems to me that if the goal is to get the financial system working normally again, you've got to let businesses do what they know how to do best to make money," Mr. Israel said.


Northern Trust Hostage Crisis Day Four: Resolution Could Be Near! 

Tom Petruno reports that Northern Trust is laying the ground work to possibly pay back their TARP money and to quiet their critics.

The bank hasn't said so directly, but it most likely didn't need the capital infusion, and went along with it because the government wanted participation by healthy and unhealthy banks alike.

In his letter to Frank, Waddell said: "We understand this is a time of great anxiety and financial distress, and your question regarding our support of an event such as the Northern Trust Open is legitimate.

"We deeply regret that some of the events associated with the Northern Trust Open have distracted from the positive nature of an event that has raised more than $50 million for charity since its inception."

As for repaying the $1.6 billion, which now is earning a 5% annual dividend yield for the Treasury, it isn't clear how easy that will be.

One key question is whether the government will require the bank to raise the same amount in private capital to replace the federal money, a task that could take some time.

Meanwhile SportsMediaWatch reports that the Northern Trust Open was the highest rated golf broadcast since the 2008 U.S. Open.

Highest rated golf events since Tiger Woods' injury.
3.3: Northern Trust Open, Final Round (Sun., 2/22/09, 3 PM CBS)
3.3: British Open, Final Round (Sun., 7/20/08, 8 AM ABC)
2.9: Ryder Cup, Singles Matches (Sun., 9/21/08, 12:30 PM NBC)
2.8: PGA Championship, Final Round (Sun., 8/10/08, 2:30 PM CBS)
2.4: British Open, Third Round (Sat., 7/19/08, 9 AM ABC)
2.4: Ryder Cup, Foursomes/Fourball Matches (Sat., 9/20/08, 9:30 AM NBC)


House Un-American Activities Committee May Be Reconvened To Study Vagaries Of Match Play

I can't wait to read the "vagaries" of match play excuses for the latest example of American inferiority at the WGC (well, Phil and Tiger losing before the here for Sean, Justin and Stewart!). So far  the coverage has focused on Rory McIlroy and his match-up with Geoff Ogilvy Saturday morning.

Lawrence Donegan shares this observation from Ernie Els:

"You are probably looking at the next world No1," said Els when asked to assess McIlroy. He should know what is required to climb the summit, having spent a lifetime in pursuit of the game's ultimate accolade.

And this on the American performance:

Even the American audience, dazed that Woods is no longer among them, was forced to take notice of McIlroy's achievement and it says something of his impact on this side of the Atlantic that he featured prominently during American television coverage of yesterday's play.

American attention was tweaked, too, by the efforts of a quartet of English players on the other side of the draw. "British No-Names Take Course By Storm" declared the morning edition of the local newspaper in Tucson. It was not exactly complimentary, and by the close of play last night it was not entirely accurate.

Of the four, Ross Fisher, who defeated Jim Furyk 4&3, and Paul Casey, who edged out Peter Hanson by a margin of 3&2, progressed into today's quarter- finals, while Ian Poulter went down to Sean O'Hair and Oliver Wilson finally fell to Justin Leonard at the first extra hole. Not so much a British storm, more of a stiff English breeze.


Handling Rory: “There’s absolutely no point in him taking out his PGA Tour card"

Brian Keogh looks at the handling of Rory McIlroy by agent Chubby Chandler and it's a distinctly un-American way of handling a career, reason #451 that Americans are falling behind the rest of the world.

Determined to treat his new talent with kid gloves, the Englishman has decided that there will be no sponsorship overkill just yet and no move to the PGA Tour either as they eye the golf explosion in Asia and the global attraction of a world schedule that combines the best of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai with the majors and World Golf Championships.

“There’s absolutely no point in him taking out his PGA Tour card,” Chandler said before the start of yesterday’s third round. “Suddenly he has got to play 15 tournaments. Suddenly they start dictating to you.

“Rory’s going to be young for a while yet and he’s going to want to go home and have a bit of time out with his pals. The money’s not an issue. I said to him last night. ‘For me with you there’s a totally different set of rules than there is with anybody else because we’ve got time.’

“I’ve got a couple of deals in the pipeline but we’ve just sort of said ‘yeah we’re interested but we’re all right’ because he doesn’t need more company days, he doesn’t need more commitments, he just wants to play golf.”


“Promoting this event with our brand could send mixed signals about our priorities to many of our stakeholders"

Wells Fargo guy on the event formerly known as the Wachovia Championship: “Promoting this event with our brand could send mixed signals about our priorities to many of our stakeholders," which, after run through the MBA Jargonometer, means, "We aren't going to become the next Northern Trust.

First reported by Sports Business Daily and fleshed out by several including Bloomberg's Ari Levy and David Mildenberg, we see the first PGA Tour event going retro. Presenting, the Quail Hollow Championship.

Wells Fargo Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf and Chairman Richard Kovacevich are among executives who won’t receive bonuses for 2008 because Wells Fargo didn’t meet its performance goals, the bank said today in a regulatory filing. Separately, Wells Fargo changed the name of the Wachovia Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the Quail Hollow Championship and said it won’t host client events tied to the tournament. Wells Fargo acquired Charlotte-based Wachovia in December.

“Anyone who is taking any type of TARP money is going to have a harder time sponsoring these kinds of events,” said David Lykken, a consultant at Mortgage Banking Solutions in Austin, Texas. “These are legacy ventures.”

And the spin...

“Promoting this event with our brand could send mixed signals about our priorities to many of our stakeholders,” said David Carroll, a Wells Fargo executive, in a statement.

Wachovia renewed its contract with the PGA in 2008 and extended it through 2014. Wells Fargo still plans to honor sponsorship obligations and hasn’t determined what the tournament will be named in future years, spokeswoman Mary Beth Navarro said in an interview.

Ron Green Jr. quotes the club president and tournament director:

“All of us involved with the tournament have enjoyed the last six years and are looking forward to doing something very special with the tournament over the next six years,” Quail Hollow Club president Johnny Harris said.

“We have been working diligently to do what is necessary to produce the premier stop on the PGA Tour and we feel strongly this will do nothing but strengthen the golf experience for our players and patrons.”

Is that a nice way of saying people really don't like to see corporate logos everywhere?

And this is beautiful...

“This clarifies a lot for us,” Hougham said. “Now there is a name that can stay on the tournament for the next six years. We’ll work with the bank after this year’s event and we hope they stay involved.

“With the new name, it gives us a solid brand to build on for the future, just like we built the old brand.”

Oh yes, this is prime branding 101 textbook stuff!


NBC Contemplates Running Continuous Loop Of Tiger's Matches This Weekend Before Settling On Slightly Excessive Coverage Plan

From Diane Pucin's media column in the L.A. Times:

Tiger Woods is out in the second round of the Accenture Match Play Championship, beaten Thursday by South Africa's Tim Clark. That means Woods won't be playing Saturday and Sunday during live network television coverage of the event, but he'll still be prominent on NBC.

"We'll have to deal with showing what happened to Tiger because this has gone from being a golf tournament to a news event," NBC golf producer Tommy Roy said. "Our weekend telecast will have to deal with showing what happened to Tiger. It will be our duty."


Northern Trust Hostage Crisis Enters Day Three: Media Steps In To Defend Tour And Sponsors

Isn't it wonderful seeing everyone get along, and more importantly, sticking up for the PGA Tour as a viable and reasonable marketing tool. Well, until it has to stick up for itself.

John Powers says Northern Trust should give back the TARP money and keep on sponsoring golf tournaments.

Garry Smits takes Maureen Dowd and TMZ to task for stretching key facts and writes that TMZ should have stuck to what it knows -- Jessica Simpson's weight or whether Jennifer Anniston still pines away for Brad.

Andrew Malcolm says a conservative watchdog group wants to know more about the relationship between Northern Trust and the Obama's.

And Ron Sirak really lays into the Dowd column, doing the PGA Tour's job of laying out talking points to defend golf sponsorship (okay, maybe minus the Tiffany trinket bags for a while, eh?).

That there is much reform needed in the U.S. economy seems to be indisputable. The business practices of the financial services industry, in particular, need serious scrutiny. No one can argue with that. But the scope of the problem extends well beyond professional golf tournaments and entertaining at those events. To rip golf is an ill-informed, easy way out -- a smokescreen retarding real reform.

What seems to be happening is that golf has become a convenient scapegoat for frustrated pundits and politicians who rely on the fact that an ill-informed public can be manipulated. Golf is not the enemy here, nor is the PGA Tour. The sport, in fact, is an extremely effective and cost-efficient marketing tool.


Shocker: R&A's Dawson Says Golf In For Rough Year Ahead

It's good to know the R&A is on top of things, as always. Mike Aitken fills us in on Peter Dawson's dire warning:

"I don't think we've seen the bottom of this and I don't think anyone is immune," said Dawson. "I'm no economic forecaster, but it's hard to see the situation turning around quickly. There may be quite a way to go.

"I think people who are members of golf clubs will be thinking twice about their subscriptions. Like everything else which is discretionary (spending], people will ask, 'Do I need to buy a new driver this year?' All these things will contract."

I tell ya, he is a visionary.

Aitken also files this piece on the state of club golf in Scotland, where memberships are not being renewed at a disturbing pace.


Greater Tucson Economy On Verge Of Collapse After Tim Clark Defeats Tiger Woods; All No. 1 Seeds Gone

Golf Channel reconsiders Friday telecast; Johnny Miller's jet turned around midway from NorCal after Tommy Roy sends him home; Airlines say re-booking fees may first quarter earnings

Seriously, it will be fun to see how many scribblers are fleeing Tucson now that the most anticipated comeback in PGA Tour history is history?

And the dream matchup with Rory? And Phil soon after that? It's match play's fault!

Steve Elling writes:

Given his early departure, the temptation for some will be to exaggerate the gravity of Woods' early defeat, but given the layoff and the caprices of the match-play format, that would be a bit premature and reckless. While he was hardly in vintage form, he made it through the two days without any issues with his knee, which is more important in the grand scheme of things heading into Augusta. 


Is The PGA Tour Going To Fight Back?

Granted, they've talked about their charitable work so much that some people might not want to hear it, but in response to media attacks on golf and tournament sponsorship I would have expected a more visible sign of urgency from Ponte Vedra.

Perhaps some talking points about what the PGA Tour means to the economy? Or maybe some World Golf Foundation bullet points on the game's economic impact? Just something to stop the bleeding.

Maybe this piece of New York Post composite art accompanying a Bloomberg wire story and courtesy of reader Jim will do the trick:



Day Two Of Northern Trust Hostage Crisis: Morgan Stanley Abducted!

This Reuters story explains how Morgan Stanley will be at the Memorial in name only. Sort of like most of the tournament's past honorees.

"We've canceled our participation in the event due to the environment," a spokeswoman said, though she declined further comment.

Meanwhile Hostage #1, Northern Trust, posted a somewhat defiant letter on their website from CEO Waddell. I think this thing could drag on for a while. Bring in a negotiator!

Bloomberg's Christopher Condon reveals all sorts of interesting details about Northern Trust. Let's start with this on Wells Fargo, which controls golf's sixth major, the Wachovia Championship:

Wells Fargo & Co., a recipient of $25 billion in government aid, said it’s cutting spending on the Wachovia Championship golf tournament April 27 through May 3 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Wells Fargo, which acquired Wachovia Corp. in December, is evaluating all sponsorship agreements to determine how they benefit the company and communities, Mary Beth Navarro, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based company, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

Is that any way to treat a major?

Frank said today in an interview he was “disappointed” with Northern Trust’s reaction to his letter. “They can’t argue anymore that they didn’t want the money but Paulson made them take it. While that’s accurate, they can return it now.”

I'm telling you NoTrust gang, print up a big winner's check, Barney's name and it'd be a beautiful moment for all.

Unlike TARP recipients such as Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., Northern Trust has remained profitable amid the financial crisis. The company, which has handled accounts for President Barack Obama and his wife, reported operating profit of $323.3 million in the fourth quarter, a 48 percent increase compared with a year earlier.

Wow, there's a buried lede if I've ever seen one. And...what?

The company managed George W. Bush’s investments in a blind trust during his presidency. Obama and his wife, Michelle, had their checking account and home mortgage with Northern Trust as of mid-January.

See, not all bad publicity is bad!

As far as columnists go, the L.A. Times' excellent Michael Hiltzik mostly gets it right (until he starts quoting that Dwyre piece on Chrysler) and in a moment of good news for the PGA Tour, seems to differentiate between spending money to sponsor a golf tournament and spending lavishly to entertain fat cats.

The bank plainly didn't realize that the ground has shifted beneath the industry's feet; in the post-meltdown spotlight, no institution, no matter how fiscally virtuous it thinks it is, can do business the old way. One reason that banks have become such a despised species is that their managers still resist publicly accepting responsibility for their role in the financial meltdown. Instead they resist caps on executive pay and gripe about coming regulations.

In the current economic environment, there's no way to rationalize an entertainment expenditure that looks so insensitive on the surface.


Tiger Shows No Ill Effects In Comeback From Head-On Bus Collision

Wait, sorry, wrong "most anticipated comeback in golf history," as Kelly Tilghman put it after that enormously lame opening capped off by Frank Nobilo doing a Tiger fist pump.

I just want to know: who was standing next to the green-screen holding a gun to Frank's head?

Since they made a movie about Hogan's bus accident comeback at Riviera--the previous most anticipated comeback in golf history until today's event in Arizona--I've been trying to envision a similar epic in the vein of Follow the Sun, only this time shot at The Ritz Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain. Just doesn't have quite the same ring to it, eh?

Anyway, all of the day-one matches were nicely summarized here by

From the parts I saw, Tiger's swing looked incredible and kudos to Golf Channel with the side-by-side comparison between Saturday of the U.S. Open versus today's swing. It made up for Rolfing's early telecast Rossie moments (Oh it's started right and really high, ballooning in the's four feet for birdie!).

In reading the coverage, the most interesting accounts focused not on Tiger, but his relatively unknown opponent.

Bob Harig offers this observation and comment from Jones:

During the long walk between the first green and the second tee, Jones found himself walking with the masses, where he heard somebody remark that just nine more holes were necessary for a 10 and 8 outcome -- which would mean Woods' winning every hole.

"That annoyed me to a point," said Jones, who couldn't have been happy to see Woods float a 5-iron from 235 yards to 4 feet at the second to set up an eagle.

"I've never hit a shot like that, that high and soft," Jones said. "He hits some shots that other people can't hit."

At his peril, Steve Elling acknowledges the presence of other players while noting why Tiger's match started late.

This time, there wasn't an inch of wood available in the bleachers. Fans stood four deep around the tee box, and they lined the ropes all the way to the green some 460 yards away. It was a bigger crowd than when Cink played Woods in the championship match last year.

"I just told everybody on the first tee that he's waited eight months to play," Cink said. "He can wait two more minutes."

Cink wound up winning his match, one of six that required overtime.

Cameron Morfit notes this about Jones.

Unlike the Accenture's first round in 2008, when J.B. Holmes nearly upset Woods, Jones looked like he was in over his head.

"We have to buy our own lunch," Jones said earlier in the week, when asked about the differences between the Japan Tour, where he works, and the PGA. He added: "You don't have the media to a point that we have got here or in America in general."

Preparation had gone well enough. Jones secured a seasoned caddie, Ron Levin, through his friendship with Levin's old boss Todd Hamilton, another Japan Tour veteran. Jones and Levin began learning the new course on Monday, and there was much work to do. Woods had not hit a shot in competition since last June. But that didn't necessarily give Jones a leg up; because of the vagaries of the Japan Tour's schedule (it doesn't start until mid-April), he had not competed since early December.

And Jeff Rude shares this:

This is a candid, affable Australian who isn’t shy about sharing thoughts about his raw emotions.

“I’ve been nervous ever since I found out I was playing him,” Jones said. “Today was my least nervous. When you think about him in bed, he’s very daunting. I’m a bad sleeper. That’s why last night surprised me when I got good rest. I was dreading the thought of having to play him on no sleep.”

That kind of talk helps explain why Woods is so difficult to beat. His opponents lie in bed thinking about him. Woods, meanwhile, doesn’t spend a second thinking about the Brendan Jones of golf. Or the Phil Mickelsons, for that matter.


"Not having to spend millions upon millions of dollars to change golf courses for four rounds"

It's been so long since I've had anything to add to The List. Great to see what Greg Norman had to say this week:

Norman, who was in Australia to play the Johnnie Walker Classic last weekend in Perth, also said golf's international administrators should limit the impact of technology to save time and money rather than lengthen courses to accommodate for players hitting the ball further with increasingly advanced clubs.

"I think the powers that be could have done a better job of managing the technology breakthroughs that took place over a period of time and implemented different rules for us, the professionals, and not having to spend millions upon millions of dollars to change golf courses for four rounds," he said.


Goodell Takes Voluntary Pay Cut, Will Any Of Golf Execs Do The Same?

Of course when you are making $11 million, it's a totally different pay grade than a measly $4.8 million.



Not All Bad News For Golf!

Keith Kelly in the New York Post looks at Conde Nast's advertising slide but notes:

Only one magazine in its stable is showing a rise over a year ago: Golf World, a small circulation weekly, that is up 16.5 percent through the Feb. 23 issue.

And Sean Martin reports that despite executive upheaval and huge losses at Nationwide, the insurance giant is continuing its support of the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit:

John Aman, Nationwide’s associate vice president of strategic sponsorships, said he does not expect any “wholesale changes” to the company’s marketing approach.

“We remain committed to the Nationwide Tour, as well as our other sponsorships,” Aman told Golfweek. “That’s a question we’re getting asked across the board, and it’s part of what we think we need to do to be in the marketplace in a competitive insurance climate.”


"I would still say we are in a position where we can see lesser growth — but growth."

The most disturbing thing about FBR pulling out of the Scottsdale stop (thanks Steven T.) is not that a penny stock investment group can't go on, but that the Commissioner is talking about "bumps in the road" and offering this as reported by Doug Ferguson. Finchem is discussing extensions with Travelers and Accenture during a press room gathering Tuesday:

"In these times, any level of growth is a victory," he said. "And if I had to guess right now where we come out after another year of this, I would still say we are in a position where we can see lesser growth — but growth."

Is the growth mantra is appropriate right now? I'm guessing Greg Norman suggesting this (thanks reader John) would not agree with Commissioner:

"Prize money's being scaled back in Europe, I wouldn't be surprised if prize money's scaled back in the U.S. just out of respect to every citizen and taxpayer over there who's suffering dramatically," the two-time British Open champion was quoted as saying Wednesday on the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Web site. "It seems like on the PGA Tour the players are still playing for a million dollars first week, like they're recession-proof.

"I think there's got to be a lot of sensitivity shown. If I was PGA commissioner that's what I would be recommending," he said.