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

Today, many are trying to obtain a temporary advantage by buying the latest far-flying ball on the market. It is often suggested that we have already got to the limit of flight of a golf ball. I do not believe it, as there is no limit to science. ALISTER MACKENZIE

  

Wednesday
Sep052012

Captain Ollie: No Surprise Whatsoever In Love's Picks, Except For The One Leaving Hunter Mahan Off U.S. Team

Bernie McGuire with the comments of European Captain Olazabal suggesting he was expecting Hunter Mahan to be selected over Brandt Snedeker.

"They are very solid picks," Olazabal said Wednesday. "All the American players from nine to 14 on the list were all very solid and Davis could have picked any four.

"The only question mark as I see it was Snedeker picked ahead of Mahan, but then Davis has gone for form.

"Snedeker has pretty much been playing well from the start of the summer and all the way to the FedEx Series. However, Mahan has not been playing all that well, so (Love) went for form and in that regard he has my respect."

And gratitude?

Tuesday
Sep042012

"Waugh could ultimately replace Tim Finchem as PGA Tour commissioner."

Golf World's Tim Rosaforte breaks the hearts of all the Commissioner wannabes in Ponte Vedra by revealing the worst kept secret in golf: Seth Waugh might be available to be the next Commish and would be welcomed with open arms by a lot of people.

Waugh could ultimately replace Tim Finchem as PGA Tour commissioner. Their friendship was apparent the previous night at a pro-am draw party, where a four-year extension of Deutsche Bank's sponsorship was announced, along with the company's seven-figure investment as a First Tee Trustee.

Well let's not stretch it there Rosie, these two did have a nice flare up two years ago when Commissioner Empathy-free kicked in that purse increase clause on a bank that really wasn't in a position to be putting up even more money.

The Waugh-Finchem dynamic is unique in that Waugh has a way of playfully teasing Finchem in public and getting a smile out of the commissioner, as he did twice during the pro-am draw party. As for potentially replacing Finchem, there is no timetable. Waugh will not discuss it at length, both out of respect for Finchem and his decision to focus the next few years on Clancy. In actuality, the timing could be perfect. Finchem's latest contract expires in 2016, which means should Waugh be considered for, and want the job, at age 58 he'd be ready for the challenge.

"The commissioner thing is an uncomfortable thing to bring up," Waugh said. "Tim likes his job, right?

Yes, but at 65 he is staying on past the same retirement age that he's invoked on many loyal servants now spending more time with their families. Anyway, go on Seth...

Lots of folks have asked me about it, a lot of people behind the scenes are talking about it. Let's see how it all plays out."

I'd say that's a big yes!

Tuesday
Sep042012

Consensus: No Surprises In U.S. Ryder Picks; Much Surprise Hunter Mahan Left Off The Team

The reviews are in and Captain Davis Love earned mostly shoulder shrugs, a few rave reviews and one outright blasting for his four Ryder Cup selections of Furyk, Stricker, Johnson and Snedeker.

John Strege even noted that no one should have been surprised based on the Monday night Twitter speculation.

There were no surprises, even the choices of Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker to round out Davis Love III's four captain's picks.

"Everyone assume it's Furyk, Strick, DJ and Sneds?" Joe Ogilvie asked on Twitter in advance of the announcement.

On Monday night, Steve Flesch posted that, "DL3's picks are no-brainers. Stricker, Furyk, Snedeker, and Johnson. Consistency, experience, clutch putting, and fearless power."

Rex Hoggard takes us behind the scenes to reveal that as of 6:45 ET Monday, Love still had not made up his mind and that it was Snedeker who was the final choice.

Arguments for and against each candidate filled the room, Snedeker’s form (runner-up at The Barclays and sixth-place finish at last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship) and putter (first on the PGA Tour in strokes gained-putting, one-putt percentage and total putts) were impossible to ignore; while Mahan’s resume (he is the only active American player with a winning Ryder Cup record and his two victories this year make him the only U.S. player with multiple wins not on the team) hung in the conference room like a red, white and blue elephant.

In a makeshift war-room in the bowels of the Renaissance Hotel just down the street from Times Square, the captain and his assistants debated for well over an hour.

When the dust and ShotLink reports settled it was Snedeker who got the nod, but Love’s night was far from over.

Without questioning the pick of Furyk, Bob Harig suggested this about Furyk's role. Which is kind of like questioning the pick of Furyk.

Furyk has been a part of every U.S. Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup team dating to 1997. He was 5-0 last year at the Presidents Cup, but is 8-15-4 including a horrible 1-8-1 in four-ball (best ball) matches. His leadership and putting are keys, but what about those collapses at the U.S. Open and Bridgestone? He is the only player on the U.S. team without a victory this year.

The view here: Sit Furyk in the four balls, leaving him for three matches.

Farrell Evans says the inevitable and overrated team bonding begins Wednesday at Crooked Stick.

On Wednesday, Love will meet his full team for the first time at the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick, outside of Indianapolis. He has already started talking to players about possible pairings, team chemistry and scheduling. They will talk more about that Wednesday night.

Jim McCabe on why Hunter Mahan didn't make the cut.

You probably don’t, given that there have been 372 tournaments since then – or so it seems – and that hits at the heart of the problem for Mahan. You know how in college football if you’re going to lose a game, you best lose it in September? Well in Ryder Cup years if you’re going to win tournaments, you best win them late. Mahan didn’t and it seems like light years ago when he started the season with two wins and three top 10s in his first seven tournaments.

Since then? Mahan in 14 tournaments has one top 10, a stretch of pedestrian play that dropped him out of the top eight, where he had been firmly entrenched (even leading it at one point) most of the year. Worse yet, since his last top 10, Mahan has played in six tournaments and finished no better than T-19, his cumulative score for his last 20 rounds a stunning 15-over.

And when you say you want the hot hand, you’re also saying you don’t want the cold hand, which is why Love – painful as it might have been because Mahan is genuinely liked by the nucleus of the American team – bypassed him.

Jeff Rude says it's a nice team on paper and based on recent play, better with Mahan left off.

Mahan won twice early this year but has but one top-10 finish since April Fool’s Day, and that’s no joke. Like Mahan, Fowler looked like a lock in spring, for from late April to late May he had four consecutive top-10 finishes (including his breakthrough victory at the Wells Fargo Championship). But since then, he has had none and shot in the 80s three times.

The reason is, he views the Ryder as the “coolest experience” in golf. And he was “extremely” motivated to make the team two years after he flubbed a chip, lost the deciding match and broke into tears afterward.

“I feel I wanted to redeem myself because you feel somewhat responsible,” said Mahan, a member of the past five U.S. international teams, Ryder or Presidents.
Mahan said when Love called with the news, he didn’t ask the captain questions because he “didn’t want to know too much.” He said that he will try to somehow get motivated to play the last two FedEx Cup playoff events because “they don’t feel as important right now.”

Ty, is that statement conduct unbecoming? Dissing the Reset Cup like that?

Let me know. Yours in algorithms, Geoff.

Michael Collins unleashes a bold commentary suggesting Captain Love passed up Mahan for friendship reasons, may have cost the U.S. the Ryder Cup and that Mahan was "shafted." His issue is with Jim Furyk's selection.

Randall Mell was present for Mahan's presser today at Crooked Stick and shares this:

American Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III called Mahan Monday night to tell him he wasn’t among the four captain’s picks that will tee it up against Europe at Medinah in suburban Chicago Sept. 28-30.

“It is difficult not to be a part of it,” Mahan said Tuesday after a practice session at Crooked Stick in preparation for the FedEx Cup’s BMW Championship. “It hurts not to be a part of it, and it feels a little empty right now.”

And John Feinstein wonders if the Sea Island mafia played a part in Love's decision to select Snedeker.

Which leaves Snedeker, who has to be the closest thing there was to a surprise pick. He has certainly had a solid year and played well the last two weeks – second at The Barclays; sixth in Boston. He’s an excellent putter, which is never a bad thing to have on a Ryder Cup team.

That said, the choice inevitably will raise some questions. No one would ever accuse Love, one of the game’s good guys, of playing favorites but it’s worth pointing out that Snedeker and Love are both represented by the same company. Snedeker is part of what is known on Tour as the “Sea Island mafia,” – players like Love, Snedeker, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Jonathan Byrd who all live in Sea Island, Ga.

Robert Lusetich wonders if Snedeker has the credentials to have been selected.

He has had two chances to win majors and faltered at both the 2008 Masters and this year’s British Open, when a late rally helped him to a third-place finish.

His three wins have all featured big come-from-behind Sunday rounds, which isn’t the same pressure as playing with the lead.

And who knows what message Woods was giving when he was asked about Snedeker last week and brought up the lowest point of his career, a four-putt from 11 feet at the 2009 BMW Championship on the final hole that cost the 31-year-old a place in the Tour Championship?

“Unfortunately I played with him a few years ago when he made that mistake at Cog Hill on 18,” Woods said, before going on to add that “he putts it good.”

Tuesday
Sep042012

Great News: Klauk Returns To Golf Next Week

Garry Smits with the news that Jeff Klauk, promising PGA Tour pro who had brain surgery to alleviate epilepsy symptoms, will be teeing up in next week's Albertson's Boise Open.

"I'm going out there to try and win, or else I wouldn't go," said Klauk, whose last professional start was the Web.com Tour's Wichita event June 16-19, 2011. "I've been working hard and practicing just as much as I ever did."

Klauk had a procedure in Atlanta April 20 in which doctors put 108 electrodes into his brain, then monitored activity during subsequent seizures.

Klauk's seizures are coming from the left side of his brain and he can elect to have another surgery in the future, which will be more invasive, in a more critical area.

Tuesday
Sep042012

"Thistle Dhu" Opens At Pinehurst

Bill Fields files a Golf World Monday item (with great photo) on the Himalayas-style putting green that opened at Pinehurst resort, paying homage to a 1919 miniature built in the area.

The resort has also posted this YouTube video of the green's opening. It is free to play for resort guests.

Now if we could just build about 1000 of these around the country...

Tuesday
Sep042012

Love's Ryder Cup Picks: Furyk, Johnson, Snedeker, Stricker

Doug Ferguson's Associated Press story on the four selections, which aligned with the choices of this site's readers. Nice job voters.

More analysis to come.

Monday
Sep032012

Reminder: Watch Davis Love's Ryder Cup Picks At 10:15 AM ET

TJ Auclair reminds us that we can watch Captain Love announce his four picks at 10:15 a.m. ET at this page on the official Ryder Cup website.

Golfweek's Sean Martin compiles an excellent breakdown of the candidates and their records this year, in various cup matches and what they're doing statistically. The staff also weighs in with their selections. Will Jim Furyk's 8-15-4 Ryder Cup record work against him? It's not that the others have stellar Ryder records, if they have one at all (Snedeker).

The SI Confidential gang has a lot to say this week but you can bypass the Tiger's state of mind talk for the Ryder Cup chatter and Captain's picks, where there is little agreement on the final two or so spots.

And of course, most important all were your votes. Whereas of post time, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker were overwhelming choices while Jim Furyk was a lukewarm fourth choice. You can still vote here.

Monday
Sep032012

"He had the knack for saying a lot with just a few words."

Here's a nice Ed Sherman interview of Ted Geltner, author of a new Jim Murray biography, Last King Of The Sports Page.

Geltner is also on Twitter and posting a daily Murray quote.

Monday
Sep032012

Rory Takes Big Chunks Out Of TPC Boston En Route To Deutsche Bank Win

Doug Ferguson on another startling win by Rory McIlroy, this time with two huge final day chunks en route to a probable player-of-the-year clinching win over a stellar field.

Boy Wonder didn't make it easy on himself at the TPC Boston. He tore up the turf on a tee shot that traveled 170 yards, and that was the only fairway he hit over the last five holes.

He had to make a 6-foot putt to save par from a bunker, and a 5-foot putt to save bogey after a pitch sailed from one side of the green to the other. And he had to wait as Louis Oosthuizen's birdie putt to force a playoff slid below the hole.

"I had a couple of wobbles coming in, but I obviously did enough and I'm very excited to get a victory," McIlroy said.

Stunningly, the highlights did not include any of the wobbly shots or the super NBC analysis of them, so I've miniaturized the highlight package to celebrate the PGATour.com's move away from YouTube because, well, why would you want to reach a mass audience? You can put your ads on there too Tim!

On second thought, here is Golf Channel's exhaustive recap.

Monday
Sep032012

Tiger Crosses The $100 Million Mark In On-Course Earnings

The dollar figure may not impress considering his former off-course earnings haul and maybe doesn't mean much considering how many limited-field events he cashed in on.

The magnitude of the achievement is summed up not necessarily by something in AP's story by Jimmy Golen, which has some interesting quotes from Tiger, but by this from a Golf Digest Tweet:

Monday
Sep032012

Poll: Let's Help Davis Love Make His Ryder Cup Picks

I do not envy the task of Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love as he faces some tough decision with his four selections for the 2012 Ryder Cup team.

Here's a nice breakdown on Sky Sports of the dilemna he faces and a John Huggan infused take on the state of the teams heading into Tuesday's announcement press conference.

I voted first and went with Stricker, Watney, Snedeker and Johnson, going with the youthful guys who are playing well. Furyk is a tough veteran to leave off, but it's time to give a younger guy some more experience and let Stricker do the Tiger babysitting.  

You can select up to four...

Make four Captain's selections for the 2012 Ryder Cup team:
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Monday
Sep032012

2012 Deutsche Bank Final Round Open Comment Thread

So many potential playoff ramifications, I don't know or care where to start so let's just focus on Louis Oosthuizen, Rory McIlroy and the Ryder Cup audition.

NBC's final round coverage comes on at 1:30 ET, with Golf Channel offering bonus coverage simultaneously.