Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • 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
  • 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
  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    by Ken Bowden

There may possibly be some reader whose golf life has been so insulated and isolated that he or she does not know what is meant by the verb to yip. What it means is to be so overwhelmed by grotesque fear of missing a short putt as to lose control of the putter. That loss of control can take two basic forms: inability to move the putter at all, which was the affliction Ben Hogan suffered at the end of his career; or the putter, as if in the hands of demons, wildly stabs at the ball.
SANDY TATUM ("recovering yipper")

 

  

Tuesday
Jul072009

"It has been sobering in recent weeks to see confidence drain out of the golf game which won three Majors in 13 months"

Karl MacGinty offers a sobering Padraig Harrington asessment and though he calls it a "ludicrous" comparison to Ian Baker Finch's swing tinkering, is it really that far off?

Meanwhile Padraig offered this assessment of Turnberry in his website diary:

it was definitely a worthwhile trip as the course had changed dramatically since I had played it 6 weeks ago. The rough has grown substantially which now makes it a very tough course; there is definitely a premium for hitting fairways.

Tuesday
Jul072009

"Caddy, Champion, Course Architect"

Having done a fair amount of research into past golfing greats, it's always amazing to me how little memorabilia their families keep, or how legacies aren't appreciated. Not the case with this family website on Canadian Albert Murray.

Tuesday
Jul072009

Monty Probably Won't Be Talking To Gary Player About His Experiences As President's Cup Captain

It's nice that Player at least soft-pedaled the part about the 2006 U.S. Open.

Asked which Scot had made the most impact on him during his career, Player replied: "I'm a great believer in looking at the record book. It doesn't lie. And Colin Montgomerie was the leading money winner on the European Tour eight times. That was phenomenal and for me it was a tragedy he never won either the Open or the US Open.

"If ever someone threw the US Open away, though, it was him at Winged Foot. He needed a par on the last hole to win, a bogey to tie and made double. It's a great shame he didn't win one. You have to be careful what you say, but (at 46] I think it's too late for him now.

"Who goes down in history as the better player – Sandy Lyle or Colin Montgomerie? It's a very debatable issue. But if you said to me personally, whose record would you rather have, Montgomerie's or Lyle's, then I'd take Lyle's."

Tuesday
Jul072009

"It seems the days of preparing by visiting Irish courses are a thing of the past"

Phillip Reid with some details about Tiger's pre-Open Championship preparation:

It seems the days of preparing by visiting Irish courses are a thing of the past, though this probably has more to do with his increased family commitments.

Instead, Woods intends to travel to the Scottish links on Saturday to get acquainted with the course. But he won’t be waiting until then before practising the type of shots he believes will be required if he is to reclaim the Claret Jug he last won in 2006.

To that end, his coach, Hank Haney, has been summoned to Woods’ home in Florida. What type of shots would they work on?

“Just making sure that you can flight your ball and making sure you can manoeuvre it both ways efficiently, because over there you don’t know what kind of weather you’re going to get,” Woods said.

“You’re going to get years like we had at St Andrews where it’s perfect, or you can get like a Muirfield day or what they had last year at Birkdale. You just don’t know, and you have to be able to be confident in controlling your golf ball and manoeuvring it all around and feel like you can do it efficiently.”

Monday
Jul062009

IM'ing With The Commissioners, Bivens Job Status Edition

News about the LPGA Commissioner's job status is breaking rapidly, and this NSA-obtained instant message exchange with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem should shed some new light on the situation. Click on the image to read more:

(Click on image to enlarge)

Monday
Jul062009

More Tough News For The Mickelsons

Tod Leonard talks to Tina Mickelson about her mother Mary's breast cancer diagnosis, just two days after Amy Mickelson underwent surgery.

Monday
Jul062009

Ouch: Lorena, Paula, Morgan and Cristie Sign Bivens Resignation Letter

Ron Sirak reports.

Monday
Jul062009

Van Sickle To Face Scribes 

SI's Gary Van Sickle is caddying for son Mike's PGA Tour debut this week, writing about it and Tweeting about it. First Tweet reports that Mike has been called into the press room. Oh to be a fly on the wall when dad tries to coach son answering questions.

Monday
Jul062009

LPGA Player Letter Calls For Bivens To Resign

As Jim Gorant first suggested, a letter from a group of top players has been written. But as Beth Ann Baldry reports, the letter has been sent and is even tougher than perhaps first thought.

A letter then was sent to the LPGA Board of Directors calling for Bivens’ resignation and an establishment of new leadership, a player who received a copy of the letter told Golfweek on Monday. Players stated in the letter that all of the tour’s problems can’t be blamed on a poor economy and expressed a desire to rebuild relationships with longtime sponsors. Those players in favor of Bivens’ resignation attached their names to the note. It was uncertain late Monday how many players support the resignation.

You have to figure that this happening during U.S. Open week speaks to how dire some of the players feel the situation has become. Perhaps it's necessary to keep a couple of key events around.

Contracts have expired for the Jamie Farr and Wegmans LPGA, two long-standing events. Wegmans tournament director Linda Hampton said the two parties are nowhere near making a decision about the Rochester event’s future. Farr’s 25-year run also remains uncertain.

“We have respect for (Bivens’) vision,” Hampton said. “What we have difficulty in is keeping pace with her vision, especially in this economy.”

Monday
Jul062009

DVR Watch: Nicklaus-Snead Match

I saw the plug for this last weekend and wondered about the details. Here they are courtesy of CBS, including--unlike the Open Championship--high def...

CBS Sports to Air 1963 Match between Nicklaus and Snead on Sunday, July 12 Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf Competition hasn’t been shown in 46 years

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – July 6, 2009

From the archives of Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf comes a classic 1963 match-up between 23-year-old Jack Nicklaus and legendary Sam Snead, then 50 years old and owner of a PGA TOUR-record 81 wins. Filmed at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey, CA, the 18-hole stroke play competition pitted current and future greatness in Snead and Nicklaus, who was the reigning U.S. Open champion.

The match came down to a decisive birdie on the 18th hole. It hasn’t been rebroadcast in any manner since 1963, until now. Nicklaus vs. Snead Revisited will be aired by CBS Sports on Sunday, July 12, at 2 p.m. ET.

Produced by PGA TOUR Productions and digitally re-mastered to high definition, the one-hour special will feature an exclusive interview with Nicklaus regarding the match and his fondness for Pebble Beach, swing tips from both Nicklaus and Snead, mini-features on the two contestants as well as the golf course, and interviews with writers, television producers and fans who were in attendance.

The airing of Nicklaus vs. Snead Revisited leads into CBS Sports’ final-round telecast of the John Deere Classic.

Monday
Jul062009

"Maybe in a couple of years we could just abandon television coverage all together and give the highlights via Morse Code."

Props to Ryan Ballengee at Waggle Room for spotting Shane Bacon's post lamenting ESPN-on-ABC/TNT-via-BBC-feed's coverage of next week's Open Championship that is coming to us in stunning standard definition television.

People complain about links golf looking burned out and "brown" once the British kicks off, but Turnberry is different. It has the light tower and the Aisle Craig and it rolls along the west coast unlike any course you'd see in Scotland. Some of the holes are breathtaking, so it's disappointing we won't get to see it in high definition.

I guess the one good thing that can come from this is it takes the historic championship back to what it once was. Maybe in a couple of years we could just abandon television coverage all together and give the highlights via Morse Code.

So is this a BBC thing? Or a final-year-ABC-deal thing?

Either way, we'll be able to complain together all weekend long during the interactive live blog.

Monday
Jul062009

+207%

There have been plenty of Tiger-bounces, but this has to rank as one of his greatest ratings gifts:

RATINGS ROAR AGAIN FOR CBS SPORTS’ COVERAGE OF PGA TOUR’S
“AT&T NATIONAL” FINAL ROUND WITH 207% INCREASE

CBS Sports’ final-round coverage of the PGA TOUR’s AT&T NATIONAL, which saw host Tiger Woods win his tournament with a birdie at the 16th hole and pars at 17 and 18 to beat Hunter Mahan by a stroke, on Sunday, July 5 (3:00-6:30 PM, ET) scored an overnight household rating/share of 4.6/11, up +207% from last year’s 1.5/3 in the metered markets.

Sunday’s 4.6/11 was the highest rating for a PGA TOUR event (non-major) on CBS Sports since a 4.6/9 for the final round of the BUICK INVITATIONAL (1/27/08) and the highest rating for the final round of the AT&T NATIONAL since the inaugural event in 2007.

Sunday’s final-round rating peaked at a 6.3/14 from 6:00-6:30 PM, ET.

CBS Sports' third-round coverage of the AT&T NATIONAL on Saturday, July 4 (3:00-6:00 PM, ET) earned an overnight household rating/share of 2.6/7, up +100% from last year's third round 1.3/3 in the metered markets.

Monday
Jul062009

"The problem seems to be that Bivens has stuck to her hard-line negotiating even as the economy has imploded."

Someone sent me a less than nice email about the Bivens-mutiny post below. I started to write back an explanation, but Alan Shipnuck summed it up better in the lastest SI/golf.com roundtable:

Shipnuck: It's clear Bivens's hard-charging personal style has rubbed a lot of players and corporate types the wrong way, but you can't fault her original vision: raise purses, improve the pension and retirement benefits, and expand the tour's TV presence. The problem seems to be that Bivens has stuck to her hard-line negotiating even as the economy has imploded. Sponsors are hard-pressed to maintain their current commitments, and she's asking for them to pour in more money for next year and beyond. Something had to give, and it's being reflected by the tour's contracting schedule.

There has been no sign that Bivens called an audible after the economic collapse and postponed her vision to get them through these tough times and save some of these mom-and-pop events that are dropping like flies. That will ultimately be her undoing.

Sunday
Jul052009

XM Radio Appearance Monday: Making The Turn With Peter Kessler

I'm scheduled for around 10:40 a.m. EST/7:40 PST on the show, which starts at 10 and can be accessed through PGATour.com's home page link to PGA Tour Radio.

Sunday
Jul052009

Report: Top LPGAer's Convene To Roast Brand Lady, Ponder Possible Replacements

Jim Gorant reports that a "dozen or so" top players had dinner last week to decide if a different commissioner could run off fewer sponsors. He also indicates that a letter to the LPGA Board may be in the works.

Player director Juli Inkster, who was at the dinner, also said that as far as she knew no letter had come out of the meeting. Inkster told SI that the dinner "was kind of a personal talk about where we need to go and what we can do. As far as who was there and who said what, I can't get into that."

Don't we at least get to hear how much wine was consumed? That would give us a better idea how nasty the name calling got. Just a thought.

Sunday
Jul052009

"He told me to stay positive, something like that"

I can't post much because I'm looking into two health stories related to the 2009 AT&T National final round. One involves reports of several suicide attempts after the second mesmerizingly depressing SPCA ad ran during the finale. The other involves the poor lad turning his back and bending over to avoid Anthony Kim's 18th hole drive, only to be plunked on the tush.

Meanwhile, Thomas Bonk, writing about Tiger Woods' win over rival-in-the-making Kim:

Kim dropped to third behind Mahan with a one-over 71. The way things were going, his most interesting shot of the day might have been his tee shot at the 18th, where the ball went so far off-line, it popped a fan on the derriere.

Woods and Kim shook hands before they got started and that's about as close as they got the rest of the day, unless you count the times they stood in the tee box together. Until they chatted while walking down the 18th fairway, they hadn't exchanged a word.

"He told me to stay positive, something like that," Kim said.

See how took those words to heart!

Kim chalked the whole thing up as a learning experience, sort of on-the-job training.

"I learned that if you have a birdie putt, you'd better make it, especially on the last day," Kim said. "Tiger obviously wins for a reason."

See, he doesn't miss a beat.

Two mind-boggling Tiger stats, courtesy of the PGA Tour's Mark Williams:

• Woods has now won 46 of 49 tournaments (94%) when leading/co-leading after 54-holes. The three he didn't win -- 1996 Quad City Open/T5, 2000/2004 THE TOUR Championship/2ndboth times.

• Woods has won 32 of 38 tournaments after holding the 36-hole lead/co-lead -- that's 84 percent.

Saturday
Jul042009

Showdown With Woods Offers Kim Chance To Face His Hero And Ask How Many Majors He's Won

Doug Ferguson reports on Sunday's potentially exciting showdown between Anthony Kim and Tiger Woods, with background on Kim growing up idolizing Woods. But unlike Woods who committed every Jack Nicklaus record to memory, Anthony is still fuzzy on Tiger's history.

Actually, wouldn't it be fun if old geezer Michael Allen slipped in and won the thing?

Saturday
Jul042009

Pro Golfer Tweet O' The Week, Vol. 1

The flood of fascinating, deep and almost-malaprops from pro golf's finest Tweeters has forced my hand: introducting, the Tweet O' The Week.

Ian Poulter, who displays a Brunoesque love for fashion and his own hair, also has captured Bruno's Tweeting vocabulary:

Saturday
Jul042009

Bettors: The Annual Call For Unionizing PGA Tour!

I took over July 1 and based on Rex Hoggard's posting, I have a claim ticket to cash in!

What remains to be seen is how the new rule impacts play on Tour – most players didn’t think there will be a drastic adjustment but few have actually tested wedges with the new grooves – and how players will react to having their opinions brushed aside by the Tour.

“If Tim wanted a union, he’s got one now,” said one player who noted that a healthy cross section of the Tour was in favor of delaying the rule one year.

Of all the reasons to form a union and open up the books, this is the topic that got some guys worked up? Really?

Saturday
Jul042009

Loopers Earning Their AT&T Pay...

...trying to remember to keep Saturday's American flagstick flags from touching the ground, as Rex Hoggard notes.