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

The fate of golf would seem to lie in the hands of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and the United States Golf Association. Can we expect that they will protect and reverence the spirit of golf?



Snedeker's 64 Is His Best Ryder Cup Practice Round Yet! 

I tried to watch some of the Tour Championship today but with playoff chases in baseball, some decent college football games and those Tour-sized galleries splattered amidst that distance-diffusing East Lake setup (a 16-yard wide landing area?), the ResetCup was relegated to a distant third on my priority viewing list.

Even then, I tended to land on a commercial break whenever I flipped over.

The Ryder Cup can't come soon enough.

Because as Mark Lamport-Stokes reports, Captain Davis Love's selection Brandt Snedeker is playing super heading into the Ryder Cup and even has a chance to win $10 million Sunday.

Snedeker described his third-round 64 in breezy conditions on a fast-running layout as one of his best displays this year and he has targeted something similar for Sunday.

"I actually won't look at the leaderboard all day," he said with a smile.

Don't worry Brandt, all you'd miss are a lot of ads and recognitions of the host pro, The First Tee and high fructose-laden corn syrup soda pop.

"My goal tomorrow is to shoot as low as I possibly can. If that's 63, it's 63. If it's 72, it's 72.

"Whatever it is, it's going to be everything I've got on that golf course tomorrow. The biggest thing tomorrow is going to be how patient you can stay because this golf course eats guys up that don't stay patient."

Or find those under-20 yard wide strips called fairways!

The PGA Tour's highlights:

For fans of Gary Van Sickle's proposed aggregate stroke play for the playoffs, I've updated the scores of the only remaining contenders based on Jim McCabe's item from after the BMW Championship. So here are the scores heading in, with this week's scores in parentheses and the overall total. As it should be, Rory McIlroy has opened a commanding lead. It wouldn't make for exciting viewing but it would also be a win free of resets and based on a playoff consistency.

Rory McIlroy, 41 under (-5) -46    

Tiger Woods, 34 under (-4) -38

Dustin Johnson, 36 under (-1) -37 
Louis Oosthuizen, 34 under (E) -34 

Brandt Snedeker, 25 under (-8) -33

Ryan Moore, 24 under (-6) -30

Phil Mickelson, 31 under (+2) -29

Oh and Luke Donald hit a super second shot at 14 Saturday, thankfully posted on YouTube so we can see it:


Tour Championship Third Round Open Comment Thread

What is there to say? Oh I know...over/under on first Steve Sands session with the RussertBoard to tell us of a scenario that might happen, only to have that scenario wiped out by a birdie by the 10th place player?

Golf Channel has early coverage until 2 p.m. ET, then NBC picks up the coverage.

I'll go with 2:17 ET as the over/under. Place your bets!

Tee times.

Live online coverage here.


Norman Sees He's Stirred The Pot And Sets The Record Straight With A Bizarro Facebook Post

First of all, who knew Greg Norman was on Facebook?

Of course, his URL is, which might be enough for most to roll their eyes and move on. But not John Strege, who thankfully Tweeted this link.

In Norman's post responding to the relatively minor backlash to the "Tiger-is-intimidated" remarks earlier this week, he wants to set the record straight.

Here goes...

Got off the plane from Beijing this morning and my Iphone just blew up with emails and voicemails regarding my interview with Robert Lusetich of Fox Sports.

No WiFi on the jet Gregster? I bet the 737 woulda have had WiFi. Sorry, go on…

It seems that everyone from Charles Barkley (no Charles I was not referencing or comparing Tiger's record to mine) to John Doe has weighed in on my quote regarding intimidation.

Uh, you did say that you took the baton from Jack Nicklaus, winner of 18 majors to your two wonderful Open Championship wins. But keep digging…

I stand by my comments and for those that choose to read the full article and not just "grasp" and "react" to one word will notice that the headline and byline were inconsistent with the content of what Robert wrote.

Not really, but we'll throw you a bone and let you off the hook. For now.

When you look at my comments in the full context of the article, you will see that it provides a more balanced view of my sentiments on this topic. Which is, since the PGA Championship Tiger has not made any impact on the weekend in passing Rory for the title.

What title would that be?

This has not happened in his career prior to this run by Rory. During the PGA Championship broadcast I spoke at length about Tiger and I maintain that no one has swung the club better in the history of the game, especially during the year 2000. At the end of the day, Tiger is a great athlete and a great student of the game and he will continue to win, but we are seeing a transition away from his dominance. Rivalry and parity is great for the game of golf.

Parity is great? I don't know, I think Greg Norman winning nine majors would have been pretty swell. But if you say so…

Unfortunately for Rory, I think that the trademark for “The Intimidator” is already registered with Dale Earnhardt.

Everyone on three: one, two, three…OY VEY!


Barkley Wants Tiger To Respond To Greg Norman's "Intimidated" Assertion And As A Blogger I Agree

Charles Barkley wants Tiger to get some "blackness" in him, wants him to stop taking the high road and best of all, wants Tiger to get into a public spat with Greg Norman over recent comments and indeed it would be the kind of spat we need, though preferably after the Ryder Cup. Shane Bacon with the comments and audio.

I would like for him to just blast Greg Norman … That situation gave everybody a chance to dump on you, and (Tiger) still tried to take the high road. I'm not a high road guy. I want him to come out and really blast Greg Norman. I wish he would go ballistic on Greg … I wish I could put some of my blackness in him … like toughness … (I've been) arrested eight times for fighting … just because I'm Charles Barkley, you can't disrespect me … you just can't say anything to me anytime you want to …

Oh I can. In this case, you're an idiot! But I do welcome the sentiment and hope Tiger takes your advice. If he still speaks to you.


UK Press Concerned Over Rory-Tiger Goodwill Potentially Squelching Ryder Cup Antics

Credit Matthew Norman for saying what needed to be said: this Tiger-Rory bromance must not strip the Ryder Cup of petty, childish, ego-fueled drama.

Did infantrymen on both sides endure the horrors of the War on the Shore in 1991, and the rancour occasioned by the Battle of Brookline eight years later, when the Americans invaded of the green while current European captain José María Olazábal stood over a crucial putt, so that their successors would compete in love and peace?

Golf, as all fans of PG Wodehouse’s Oldest Member stories appreciate, is not the prissy, gentlemanly pursuit of Peter Alliss’s rose-tinted babblings.

It is a vicious, murderous battle of wills, and more than ever in this biennial challenge to intercontinental machismo, there must be a healthy dollop of spite bubbling beneath the mannerly surface.


Best Sign Yet The Ball Needs Rolling Back: New French Royal And Ancient Captain Nearly Drives It In Swilcan Burn!

Hey, I wasn't there. I just copy and paste the stuff. For Immediate Release from the R&A, which is to be confused with the Royal And Ancient Golf Club which has a new Captain.


The traditional driving-in ceremony for the new Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews took place on the first tee of the Old Course today.

Pierre Bechmann began his year in office with a drive at precisely 8am as a cannon fired alongside the tee. A large crowd gathered to witness the ceremony and saw Mr Bechmann hit a long drive down the middle of the fairway running to around 30 yards short of the Swilcan Burn.

And I know from the summer they've had, these are not drought-stricken fairways.

Mr Bechmann becomes the first Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club from Continental Europe. His role will see him representing The R&A and supporting its work in developing golf around the world. He will attend R&A Championships in the professional and amateur games and assume an ambassadorial role for the Club.

But of course, the R&A is totally separate from the Royal And Ancient Golf Club.

After hitting his tee shot, a relieved Mr Bechmann said: “It is a daunting prospect teeing off in front of such a large gallery but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I am greatly looking forward to my year in office and hope I can contribute to the important work The R&A does for golf around the world. I have been heavily involved in supporting the development of talented young players and I look forward to continuing that work in my new role.”

Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris in 1957, Mr Bechmann is particularly active in amateur golf, sitting on the Executive Committee of the French Golf Federation and the Championship Committee of the European Golf Association.

A lawyer and member of the Paris Bar, Mr Bechmann has been President of his home club, Golf de Chantilly, since 2010. He is a former member of the R&A’s General Committee, and has served on the Championship and Rules of Golf Committees as well as The R&A Coaching Panel. In 2008/09 he was Captain of Royal St George’s Golf Club. Mr Bechmann lives in Chantilly and plays to a handicap of nine.

In the past, the Club Captaincy was bestowed on the winner of the annual Challenge for the Silver Club but by the early 19th Century the Captaincy had become an elected office.

Part of the tradition is that a gold sovereign is paid by the new Captain to buy his golf ball back from the caddie who successfully retrieves and returns it.

Why do I keep picturing the Judge tipping Danny a quarter after Caddyshack's thrown putter scene?

This year’s recipient of the sovereign was Scott Bechelli. The 44 year old from St Andrews said: “I have been caddying here since I was 13 years old and this is a real honour for me. My brother received the sovereign in 2008 so it’s nice to follow him.”


Jack Thinks The USGA Will Be Rolling Back The Golf Ball "In the not-too-distant future."

From his ESPN 980 radio interview transcript when asked about the ball and the size of the driver head.

“I think both. I think it all starts with the golf ball. I think the USGA will probably end up doing that in the not-too-distant future. (Host: How about a tour ball?) More for the game of golf. The game of golf has three problems. It’s too hard, it’s too expensive and it takes too long. If they dialed the golf ball back it would reduce all those costs. The costs of maintaining the golf course, the cost of land and all those things would be dialed back and as an added benefit there’s only one golf course in this country that is not obsolete to the pros and that’s Augusta National, they’re the only people that have enough money to build the golf course and do the things they needed to do. Every time they have an event what do they do? Build new tees, new bunkers and do everything. It doesn’t make any sense. The simplest thing to do is fix the golf ball.”


Yani: “Most of the time, on Monday mornings, the only people you see on the range are Asians. I mean, only see Asians.”

I'm sure someone will get mad about Yani Tseng's pre-Navistar LPGA Classic comments as reported by Randall Mell, but she's simply voicing her observation about the work ethic of certain LPGA players.

“Asian players train so hard,” Tseng said in her pre-tournament media session Wednesday. “Most of the time, on Monday mornings, the only people you see on the range are Asians. I mean, only see Asians.”


Jack To Shark: “Quiet Greg, quiet. Down boy."

Thanks to reader Lloyd who saw's post on Jack Nicklaus' radio interview with Washington D.C.'s ESPN 980 that covered a variety of topics, including Greg Norman's assertion that Tiger Woods is intimidated by Rory McIlroy.

The full transcript is here:

“Quiet Greg, quiet. Down boy. I think Tiger had a pretty darn good year this year. It’s the first time he has gotten himself back into contention in the majors, he didn’t finish them and I think by his own admission he said he had a hard time finishing them. That’s like anything else. He had a pretty big event in his life that changed a lot of things and he has to learn how to go back and play again. I think he’s learned how to play again, now he has to learn how to finish again. I think Tiger has a lot of wins left in him. He does have a lot more competition. During the couple of years when Tiger wasn’t really there all of the sudden you have Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley and I could probably name a half dozen other guys that have all won and learned how to win in Tiger’s absence. They’re not scared of him anymore. Before Tiger just showed up coming down the stretch and everybody said ‘oh there’s Tiger and I wilt.’ They don’t do that anymore. Tiger’s got his work cut out for him but I don’t think Tiger is by any means finished. I just think Tiger is too good of an athlete and too good of a player.”

John Strege reminds us that Norman's jab may be a result of an ego clash dating back to the early years of Bill Clinton's second term.

Whatever Norman's reasons for his latest analysis of Woods, it is an extension of a clash of egos that dates to 1996 and effectively ended a relationship that had begun five years earlier, when Woods was 15. Tiger was in Florida for a junior tournament, when an arrangement was made for the two to play golf together at Bay Hill Club in Orlando.


Okay, So Not All Golfers Are Honorable Files: Staten Island Edition

John M. Annese of the Staten Island Advance reports on Christopher DeMenna, 40, kicking in the door of his girlfriend's house to harass and assault her following back-to-back prison sentences for drug charges. And he's one fine golfer too!

He's also a mainstay on Staten Island's golfing circuit -- Advance records show he's a three-time Staten Island Amateur champion, and he has won several other major championships on the borough's links.

But hey, he's consistently a scumbag...

In 2007, DeMenna was banned for four years from the Staten Island Amateur after he cursed at an official during that year's tournament at the Richmond County Country Club. He sued both the club and the Staten Island Golf Association in 2009, and the matter was resolved in a "confidential settlement" before state Supreme Court Justice Philip Minardo, according to Advance records.

DeMenna is now accused of kicking in the front door of his girlfriend's West Brighton home at 10 p.m. Sept. 12, then punching a hole in her bedroom and bathroom walls, court papers allege.

Competitors, just remember the next time you get a lousy pairing. It could have been worse. They could have put you with this flea.


God Works In Wonderful Ways Files: Monty To Join Golf Channel's "Live From The Ryder Cup" Team

Oh the second guessing will be so far from the self-presumed 2014 Captain!

For Immediate Release and a warning to American viewers not used to the 2010 winning Ryder Cup captain's unique brand of on-air self...uh...talent. Talent.

LIVE FROM THE RYDER CUP BROADCAST TEAM: Scottish golfer and former European Ryder Cup Player and Captain Colin Montgomerie returns to Golf Channel as a guest analyst for the network’s Live From the Ryder Cup telecasts Friday-Sunday following live tournament coverage. Ryder Cup veterans and Golf Channel analysts Nick Faldo and David Feherty also will contribute to Golf Channel’s Ryder Cup news coverage throughout the week, joining the network’s Live From broadcast team that includes Rich Lerner, Kelly Tilghman, Ryan Burr, Frank Nobilo, Brandel Chamblee, Charlie Rymer, Rex Hoggard, John Feinstein, Tim Rosaforte, Ken Schofield, Damon Hack and Alex Miceli. Steve Sands will be Golf Channel’s European Tour reporter throughout the week, with Todd Lewis reporting on the U.S. Team. Members of NBC’s on-air team also will contribute throughout the week, including Dottie Pepper, Jimmy Roberts, Mark Rolfing and Roger Maltbie.


For Sale: Rory's Home And Backyard Practice Area

Thanks to Irish Golf Nut for this Press Association story on Rory McIlroy posting a for sale sign on his Northern Ireland residence.

I believe, but am not sure, this is the home of his backyard practice area that he took the BBC on a tour of in 2011.

Michael Rodgers, a partner at Rodgers & Brown, the Holywood, Co Down, firm of estate agents which is handling the sale, said: "I would say interest in the house will be extremely good, both locally and potentially worldwide. We will have to wait and see."

The house, which is set in 14 acres, was built in 2006.

And there was this, which does seem pretty likely considering Lee Westwood's planned move...

The sale will heighten speculation that McIlroy will now seek to live abroad permanently, possibly Florida - especially after he caused public controversy in Northern Ireland and the Republic earlier this month when he indicated he would play golf for Team GB in the 2016 Rio Olympics.