Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos

You must expect anything in golf. A stranger comes through, he's keen for a game, he seems affable enough, and on the eighth fairway he turns out to be an idiot.
ALISTAIR COOKE


    

Tuesday
Oct072008

"How to fix the FedEx Cup playoffs and ensure drama at the playoff finale?"

This concept has popped up again, meaning someone at the PGA Tour is doing a good job peddling it. Jeff Rude writes:

The best plan: Play the Tour Championship on Wednesday-Saturday and award the tournament winner the trophy and $1.26 million check. Then the top four players in FedEx Cup points at that point start from scratch and play 18 holes Sunday for the current mega-bonuses, including $10 million for first.

Tuesday
Oct072008

"We're so heavily involved in the project, whereas in some others we've been hired guns."

Thomas Bonk talks to Jack Nicklaus about Quivira Los Cabos, "a branded Nicklaus oceanfront community, two Nicklaus golf courses and a Nicklaus golf club in Los Cabos, Mexico."

Apparently this will be like the Bear's Club, whatever that means.

This one is special, Nicklaus said. "We're so heavily involved in the project, whereas in some others we've been hired guns."

Tuesday
Oct072008

Stevie To Make Commentating Debut; Looks To Rebrand Image As Gallery-Eating, Camera-Heaving Lunatic

From our friends at Brener-Zwikel:

STEVE WILLIAMS MAKES HIS COMMENTATOR DEBUT AT INAUGURAL KIWI CHALLENGE
Famed caddie for Tiger Woods will join NBC team for Nov. 15-16 telecast of Challenge Season event featuring Kim, Scott, Snedeker and Mahan

NEW YORK (Oct. 6, 2008) – Steve Williams, who is accustomed to being in front of the camera toting Tiger Woods’ golf bag, will find himself in front of the camera toting an NBC microphone across two golf courses in his native New Zealand.

The Wellington-born Williams will make his TV commentator debut at the inaugural Kiwi Challenge, which will be televised in HDTV on NBC Saturday, Nov. 15 and Sunday, Nov. 16 in the United States.

In New Zealand, the Kiwi Challenge will air on Sky TV Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27 from 8:30-10:30 p.m. (NZ time).

One of the most famous caddies in the world, Williams will serve as an on-course commentator for the event, which features United States Ryder Cup heroes Anthony Kim and Hunter Mahan joining Adam Scott and Brandt Snedeker in a 36-hole, stroke-play event that offers one of the largest winner’s checks in golf -- $1.5 million -- out of the $2.6 million purse.

“This is my first experience at this,” Williams said. “I’m doing this because the Kiwi Challenge will bring great exposure for New Zealand and give New Zealanders the opportunity to see four of the world’s best players in one group. Seldom would we have four players of this quality at a tournament.”
Country first!
Walton plans to use Williams as a way to bring the beauty of New Zealand in general and the two courses in particular to a worldwide viewing audience. Williams will not only discuss his native land’s points of interest along with noteworthy elements of the two courses and what they mean to the players, but he’ll provide insight on what golf means to New Zealanders.

"The telecast will weave vignettes about both properties and shots of other points of interest in New Zealand in with the golf competition. And Steve will be a big part of that,” Walton said.
Boy, I can't wait for those insights.  
Monday
Oct062008

Sarah Visits The Villages!

Sounds like a great scene when the Republican Vice Presidential candidate spoke at the home of the PGA Tour's most consistent advertiser!

At one point while signing autographs for the sweltering crowd, a surprised Palin laughed when a supporter reached over and handed her a giant, plastic lipstick replica -- an obvious reference to a joke delivered by Palin at the Republican National Convention. Palin's comment about the only difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom being lipstick has since inspired a volley of campaign rhetoric. As the crowd cheered, a smiling Palin autographed the novelty before moving on for more autographs and handshakes.

The line to see Palin passed the Old Mill Playhouse with the marquee that said "The Villages Welcome Governor Palin." It went by the 2-for-1 beer tents and passed the vendors that sold $20 baby-girl pink T-shirts and buttons -- 3 for $10 -- that said, "I'm Proud to Be Voting for the Hot Chick."
Monday
Oct062008

“It is all becoming a bit old hat"

I couldn't find this mentioned anywhere else, but you can see where Neil Squires of the Daily Express is basing these comments regarding the Euro Tour's "Race to Dubai":

The billionaire backers behind the European Tour’s Race to Dubai are considering everything from floodlit tournaments and new team events to numbers on the back of shirts as part of their drive to make the sport more relevant to the next generation.

There is a price to pay for accepting £50 million of oil money and the European Tour’s decision to get into bed with Leisurecorp, the sporting arm of the Dubai government, could well have ramifications beyond merely side-stepping the credit crunch. The kaleidoscope will be shaken when the first Race to Dubai begins at the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai in a month’s time. The pieces may take some time to settle but when they do golf’s landscape could be changed markedly.


“Our ambition is not necessarily to change the format of golf but to enhance it and make it more relevant to the next generation,” said David Spencer, the chief executive of Leisurecorp. “It is all becoming a bit old hat – there have to be new things to make it more colourful. You have to chase the dream. You have to believe anything is possible.
Naturally, he is right that golf needs some new formats. But numbers on the back of shirts? Maybe that's why Seve passed out?

Meanwhile this Scotsman story buries one observation of note regarding venues on the newly announced schedule:
Ten events have still to confirm venues, including the British Masters. However, O'Grady insisted that in spite of the financial downturn 98 per cent of the 2009 schedule was rock solid.
Here is the schedule.
Monday
Oct062008

"Any tweaks are in the hands of the R&A."

In this Mike Aitken story on Turnberry closing November 1st to prepare for the Open Championship, he quotes LeisureCorp head man David Spencer on what changes to expect.

"We plan to increase the number of holes at Turnberry from 45 to 54 and to build a new golf academy with Taylor Made, which will still be supported by Colin Montgomerie. Our relationship with Greg Norman, an Open winner at Turnberry, is fairly well publicised.
"Several weeks ago, Greg, Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the R&A, and myself, walked the course. But Greg will not be doing any design changes to the Ailsa. Any tweaks are in the hands of the R&A. But as far as the Kintyre and the Arran are concerned, we would like to see Greg Norman involved."

Great to get that clarified. If you don't like the new look Turnberry, you know it wasn't our fault!

Monday
Oct062008

Boo On The Tonight Show

A little levity is called for as the markets plummet again...

Monday
Oct062008

Logo Clad's May Have Have Fewer Branding Opportunties

Jon Show reports that we may only see two or three logos on a player's shirt in the coming years.

Warning: many "brand consultants" are quoted.


Monday
Oct062008

Tiger Tops Sports Most Powerful List; Finchem Climbs Seven Spots On Strength of Fed Ex Cup

Obviously, the list was compiled before the playoffs began.

In other news, no ESPN janitors were able to crack the list, but a new group of ESPN EVP's made the list again. Spread that wealth!

Monday
Oct062008

"For any business to rely so heavily on any one client has always been a strategy fraught with risk."

For all of the European gloating over its increased strength at the PGA Tour's expense, John Huggan notes this about the new schedule and Race To Dubai:

There is also the nagging thought that the European Tour – perhaps unavoidably in the present economic climate – is putting an awful lot of eggs into one Arab basket. For any business to rely so heavily on any one client has always been a strategy fraught with risk. But, in O’Grady’s defence, this was a deal to which he could hardly say no. Not only is Leisurecorp directly sponsoring what used to be called the Order of Merit and the season-ending blockbuster, money is also being provided to prop up less fortunate events like the South African Open, and the European Open.

“We will be giving $40m over the next five years,” revealed Spencer. “That’s a good little treasure chest.”

Monday
Oct062008

"A nearly 60-year-old golf magazine at the 'vanguard'? Yep."

Golf Digest has won an innovation award for...drum roll please...its break 100 at Torrey Pines deal. I know, I know, you were thinking it was for having the most rankings in American magazine history, but no, Simon Demenco at AdAge writes about The American Magazine Vanguard Awards and says...

A nearly 60-year-old golf magazine at the "vanguard"? Yep. It scores an AMVA this year for its Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge. As the magazine explains it, "Last year at the U.S. Open, Tiger Woods said no average golfer could break 100 on a U.S. Open Course because the conditions are so tough." The editors asked themselves, "What would it be like if we got an amateur out on the course within a few days of the U.S. Open to see how he or she plays?" After the contest was announced, some 56,374 people submitted entry essays, 117,331 people voted for the winner (from a list of five editor-selected finalists), major sponsors (Rolex, Lexus, American Express and AT&T) came on board to back a brand-new TV special -- and the special itself, also called "Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge," with guest golfers Matt Lauer, Tony Romo and Justin Timberlake, scored a 2.4 rating -- outpulling the Friday round of the actual U.S. Open.

Sunday
Oct052008

"Small gestures, warm smiles speak unspoken language."

The San Francisco Chronicle's Gwen Knapp relays a nice anecdote about the LPGA's Eun-Hee Ji, and it got her thinking that the LPGA needs to relax when it comes to their concerns about English proficiency. it got me thinking that more PGA Tour players ought to follow Ji's lead.

Sunday
Oct052008

"I'm looking next year to be back playing golf and that's why I cannot give an answer that soon."

Phil Casey reports that the debate over raising the European Tour minimum from 11 to 12 (Tim Finchem sends his thanks) has put the Ryder Cup captaincy debate on hold. However, the delay seems to not bode well for Ian Woosnam. This is from Thomas Bjorn, committee member:

"Because it's such a big thing, we may decide to do it later than January just to make sure that we make what we think is the right decision."

That would appear to increase the chances of Jose Maria Olazabal becoming captain at Celtic Manor in 2010. Olazabal was Faldo's vice-captain at Valhalla and impressed the players with his passion.

Padraig Harrington revealed the Spaniard had the players in tears with a speech in the team room on Saturday evening. Immediately after the defeat in Kentucky, Olazabal said he wanted to get back to full fitness and try to play in two years' time, adding: "If they wanted a decision by the end of this year, I'm not going to be able to give them that.

"The scenario is that my condition is improving and I'm feeling better. I'm not 100 per cent pain-free, but I'm hoping that I might be able to play one or two events at the end of the year to see how the back holds up.

"I'm looking next year to be back playing golf and that's why I cannot give an answer that soon.
Saturday
Oct042008

Villegas Considering Euro Tour Options

Mark Reason reports on George O'Grady probably saying more than he should. But either way, add Camilo to the growing list mulling more European Tour appearances.

George O’Grady, chief executive of the European Tour, told The Sunday Telegraph, that the Gulf States were about to flex their financial muscles in terms of pulling in the world’s top golfers. The inconceivable prize money that such oil-rich countries can offer has started to arouse the interest of the glitterati of the American Tour.

O’Grady said: “We’ve been talking to Phil Mickelson for some time. I talked personally to him at the Scottish Open and to his management at the Ryder Cup. Villegas is also managed by IMG and they have been making inquiries on his behalf.

“Sergio Garcia has said that he will play more on the European Tour next year and he is close friends with Camilo. Sergio’s and Camilo’s management are keen to get to the Latin-speaking audiences. So will Camilo play in Sergio’s tournament [the Castello Masters] next year?

Saturday
Oct042008

"I really couldn't believe how well some of the guys played."

John Huggan lets Darren Clarke do the talking, covering a range of topics from Captain Faldo to his personal life. I enjoyed this perspective on the Ryder Cup.

"It was tough sitting there not being able to do anything," he sighs. "But one thing really struck me; I was amazed by the quality of the play. It was extraordinary. When you are involved in the Ryder Cup as I have been you concentrate so much on your own play that a lot of what goes on passes you by. But this time I was able to take it all in. I really couldn't believe how well some of the guys played. Under so much pressure, the shots they were hitting were incredible. As a player myself I never realised how good it is to watch."

Saturday
Oct042008

"Did they play that this year?"

Worse than Jack Nicklaus' sarcastic sounding FedEd Cup comments to Thomas Bonk...

"Did they play that this year?" Nicklaus told The Times.

"I didn't watch a second of it. Two years in a row, it was basically over before the Tour Championship was even played, and that doesn't make sense."
...is this remark, which may reflect the feelings of other tournament sponsors as well...
Woods had a comfortable lead in the Cup in its debut last year and Vijay Singh had it sewn up weeks before the Tour Championship, leading to speculation that the Tour needs to tinker with the playoffs. "They still have some tweaking to do," Nicklaus said. "It has a tendency to take away from the rest of the tour events. It's always, 'He's got X-amount of FedEx Cup points.' A guy doesn't give a rat about FedEx points, he cares about how he's playing."


Friday
Oct032008

Castle Stuart Images Vol. 5

This is the final image sent to me by John Kemp. It's of the 13th hole tee shot. I love the detail work in the bunker and the wind-blown look. Looks like it's been there forever. 


Friday
Oct032008

Prairie Club Page Update

I've updated the Prairie Club page to include new articles from the New York Times on Valentine, the Omaha World-Herald on the project status and Gil Hanse's rendering of our Horse Course. Still to come over the fall and winter are two more videos and my treatise on Horse Golf. 


Friday
Oct032008

Woosie: In Case You Didn't Hear Me The First Time, I'd Like To Be Captain Again!

Just so there's no gray area here, Ian Woosnam clarified his thoughts to the BBC:

The 1991 Masters champion told BBC Sport: "I have put my name forward at the moment but it all depends if Jose Maria Olazabal wants the job."

"If he doesn't want it, I feel I would like the chance to have another go."

The 2010 showpiece is the first Ryder Cup to be played in Wales and Welsh sporting great Woosnam would be a fitting skipper as Europe bid to regain the trophy after America won this year's event in Valhalla.

Friday
Oct032008

Wells Fargo Championship?

Just a wild guess here, but Wells Fargo stepping in to buy Wachovia could bode well since they are seeking an east coast presence, and therefore the need to, uh, platform the brand via events like the Wachovia Championship.