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Books
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    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
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

There is always a way at St. Andrews, although it is not always the obvious way, and in trying to find it, there is more to be learned on this British course than in playing a hundred ordinary American golf courses.  BOBBY JONES


    

Thursday
Jun042015

Video: Tour Players Make Their NBA Finals Picks

We had several players in the Nationwide Live Studio to talk golf and life. And the NBA Finals, which start tonight on ABC at 9 ET.

With two very big fans of the finalists (James Hahn, Golden State and Jason Dufner, Cleveland Cavaliers), the biases were flying. Hahn went to Cal and grew up in Northern California, while Dufner was born in Cleveland and is also your first round co-leader in the Memorial.

The video:

Thursday
Jun042015

Then There Were Three 18th Hole (Muirfield Village) Bunkers

Alex Miceli explained the evolution of Muirfield Village's 18th, which has been a source of consternation for host Jack Nicklaus since a Robert Garrigus drive cleared the 9 (!?) fairway bunkers installed over the last decade.

But with the hole lengthened to a stout 484, the bunker overkill could finally be addressed and now the finishing hole more closely resembles the overall aesthetic of Muirfield Village. (Nice way of saying it no longer looks absurd.)

Miceli writes:

With the changes, Nicklaus has made the three remaining bunkers more penal, both in depth and with steep front lips that will compound the difficulty of any approach shot to the green.

The bunkers also did not look good at all from aerial shots, as Mr. Nicklaus admitted in his Wednesday press conference, reports Doug Ferguson.

More problematic for players than the bunkers: the tree down the right side which almost requires either a 320-yard drive, or one hugging the leftside for a clear view of the green. The combination of elements makes it one of the toughest finishing holes in golf.

We went out to look at 18 and I shared a few thoughts here:

Wednesday
Jun032015

40th Memorial Tournament This And That

The Memorial normally arrives as a strong barometer for the U.S. Open two weeks away. With its classic parkland setting, thick rough, fast greens and overall demanding offerings, Muirfield Village offers a chance to see who is playing well.

With a faux links looming in two weeks at Chambers Bay, The Memorial won't foretell what is to come, and that's a good thing. For a change The Memorial is about a classic, traditional event with a strong field.

Doug Ferguson previews the event where Hideki Matsuyama defends against a field including the red-hot youngsters (Fowler, Spieth) and the old guys hoping to quiet some of the youth obsession (Woods, Mickelson, Furyk, etc...).

Steve DiMeglio reports on Tiger, who is due to show signs of improvement with his latest game overhaul, has implemented a few things in his swing.

The early Woods-Reed-Day pairing will be the focus of PGATour.com/DirecTV's Live@ coverage starting at 8 am ET.

My preview touching on the many intriguing storylines from the Nationwide Live Studio:

Wednesday
Jun032015

Nicklaus: "I think I underachieved all my life"

Jack Nicklaus held court today at The Memorial, launching the 40th edition of the tournament he founded by honoring Nick Faldo and journalism lifetime achievement honorree Doc Giffin. Before that ceremony, however, the Golden Bear took questions from the media.

Doug Ferguson kicks off his AP notes column with Nicklaus' view that he was a constant underachiever and how that shaped his approach to the game.

"I think that if you feel you're overachieving, or getting more out of what you should get, then you stop working," Nicklaus said. "I always feel like I'm never getting what I should be getting out of what I'm doing. So you've got to work harder to make sure you do that. I always wanted to climb a mountain. I always wanted to get better. ... So I just tried not to believe anything about what I would read or what I would hear or what I even thought.

"I still don't think I achieved what I could have achieved in my career."

Wednesday
Jun032015

Video: Chambers Bay Fifth Hole Flyover

The course moves back downhill and toward Puget Sound with a narrowed landing area that stands out in the many panoramic views of Chambers Bay.

The flyover shows a tiny green on this 488-yarder and while I know it's not as tiny as it looks, the boomerang design and comments in this flyover from Hanse suggest that some run-up shots will be possible. Or required.

The video:

Wednesday
Jun032015

Captain Watson: "The way it played out at the end with Phil making the comments that probably should have been made in a private room."

Tom Watson has been pretty quiet about the 2014 Ryder Cup and ensuing fallout (task force!). But visiting St. Andrews this week to promote a British Golf Museum exhibition of five of his Open trophies, he opened up a bit more about various key decisions and most intriguingly, the falling out with Phil Mickelson. Perhaps trying to get put the entire cup to bed so that Open week will be all about saying goodbye to the event that defined his career.

The Herald's Jim Black with Watson's extensive Ryder Cup comments, including this...

"It was disappointing, but we got beat by the better team. Our team played its heart out, and, after getting off to a great start on the Sunday, if they had continued along that path we could have been right there at the end.
"But the European team responded in the singles matches and when your team is 56 shots higher, you don't expect to win. The European team played better than we did.

"The bottom line is that I made the decisions based on the best information at the time and I had the support of my vice captains. We made collective decisions on who was going to play with whom."

He did lament overplaying Jimmy Walker of all his decisions. I'm not sure that was the clarity we were seeking but hey, it's a regret!

Wednesday
Jun032015

Video: Memorial Honorees Nick Faldo, Doc Giffin 

The Memorial's annual Wednesday afternoon ceremony memorializing historic contributors to the game included speeches from Nick Faldo, the 2015 honoree, and longtime writer, public relations man and Arnold Palmer sidekick Doc Giffin.

Faldo's speech centered around his childhood and was particularly revealing. His life has come full circle receiving an honor from his hero, Jack Nicklaus. Worth the time to watch.

Golf Channel aired this 6 minute highlight package:

Wednesday
Jun032015

Tiger And Phil Weigh In On Chambers Bay

Jason Sobel reports for ESPN.com on the Chambers Bay reviews from Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Woods was pretty clear in his Memorial Tournament press gathering Wednesday: the difficulty, interest and challenge of Chambers Bay will be very setup dependent. He reported playing his practice rounds from the tips, meaning a 7,900 yard(!) course that we'll almost never see.

Sobel writes:

Davis recently allowed that Chambers Bay will feature holes which can be played as both par-4s and par-5s; he revealed there will be tee boxes with sidehill lies; and he suggested that competitors will need several practice rounds in order to fully prepare themselves for the week.

"When Mike says something like that, you've got to pay attention to it, because he's an extremely bright man," Woods said. "We got out there and it was like, oh, my God, there's so many different options here. You have to know. I don't take a long time in practice rounds, but we played in three and a half hours, just the front nine, had lunch, kind of sat down there and talked about it and played another three and a half on the back. So we spent a while."

Mickelson, meanwhile, was taking a diplomatic tone, sounding like he's enjoying the Open Championship vibe of the place. Sobel writes:

Mickelson doesn't expect Chambers Bay to reach extreme levels of play, as we've witnessed at other U.S. Open venues.

"I don't see it getting out of hand at all," he said. "I don't see the wind being as strong as a typical British Open. They won't be able to get the greens very fast, to where they're out of control. Certainly, there's a lot of contour, but around the hole where the pin placements are, they seem very fair. I really enjoyed it."

I thought the most interesting take came from Woods noting that he normally doesn't play practice rounds nearly as long as "we" (he and his entourage) played. That is almost certainly a compliment to the intricacy and options off the tee and around the greens.

Wednesday
Jun032015

Watson On His Final Open: "It is like a death, the finality of that."

As quoted by Martin Dempster in The Scotsman, Tom Watson on his final Open Championship this year.

He was speaking of a recent trip to St. Andrews...


“I was here on Monday and I walked by the Swilcan Bridge and I felt a little melancholy, a little sad. But the more I look at it, I’ve had such a wonderful run at the Open Championship that there are too many good memories to be so sad, even though it is over. It is like a death, the finality of that. It’s over, but let the void of that death be filled by those memories and that helps soothe the disappointment of the melancholy.”

Wednesday
Jun032015

Video: Chambers Bay Fourth Hole Flyover

By the looks of this one the course picks up considerable steam in the difficulty department playing 495 yards uphill and with what sounds like a fairway that can get tricky if the ball is running.

Bradley Klein has just posted at Golfweek his thoughts on each hole and he finds more strategy in this one than Gil describes in the flyover. (Thanks reader PG.)

The flyover, with commentary from Sonders and Hanse.

Tuesday
Jun022015

USC Looks To End National Championship Winless Streak

Even though the program has produced many major winners and NCAA individual champions like Al Geiberger, Dave Stockton, Craig Stadler, Scott Simpson and many more, the University of Southern California still trails Pepperdine in the NCAA team title department but they are tied with Georgia Tech at least!

But as Ryan Lavner reports, the USC-LSU final on tap for Wednesday continues the trend of somewhat "tumultuous" results, though Chris Zambri's USC team has been solid all season.

Jay Coffin focuses on the title drought.

“It doesn’t make sense to me that we haven’t won,” Zambri confided.

He then rattled off mind-boggling stats that his alma mater has collected over the last half century that included the number of touring professionals, major-championship winners, All-Americans and Pac-12 Conference Championships.

Highlights of LSU's win over Georgia and highlights of USC's win over Illinois.

The action starts at 11:30 am ET.

Tuesday
Jun022015

Sherwood Country Club's Caitlyn Dilemma

You have to admit, this is one few club boards are equipped to handle: longtime Sherwood Country Club member Bruce Jenner transitioning to Vanity Fair cover girl Caitlyn, meaning she will no longer having access to the men-only bar and grill room he enjoyed when he was Bruce.

I know what you're thinking. Bigger issues in this world alert! For instance, think of all the Caitlyn’s of the planet whose name has just become synonymous with the world’s most famous Rene Russo wannabe look alike? Still, as TMZ laid out in this report, the Sherwood board has at least until December to decide, since the course is closed for remodeling.

For starters, the main dining room and bar are male only. They're actually attached to the men's locker room and women are not allowed. The women's restaurant is way more scaled down ... in other words, not nearly as nice.

Our Sherwood sources say the board will enforce the rules, which means the camaraderie Bruce shared with the other members will be greatly impeded now that she's Caitlyn.

TMZ says Caitlyn can appeal to the board.

Oh to be a fly.

Frankly, I’m just wondering what she’s going to do with all those logoed golf shirts?

Tuesday
Jun022015

The Olympic Qualifying Cut-Off Date Ignores A Key Week

There are many ins-and-outs to working with the IOC and the golf movement tried to address as many as possible, though we're still left with an uninspired individual stroke play format. Golf can survive that. 

But now that the madness that is the jam-packed 2016 schedule starts to become more clear, Derek Lawrenson points out in his Daily Mail column another oddity leading into Rio: The Open Championship is a little more than a month before the Olympics and the cut-off date for Games qualifying is the Sunday prior.

As Lawrenson points out, a resurgent Tiger Woods could be on the fringes of qualifying, then win at Royal Troon. And he would not make the Olympics.

I had to read this several times as well to make sure I had got it right. You mean to tell me that Tiger could win The Open next year and the US PGA but if he was ranked outside the world’s top 15 before both events were staged he would not be in Rio? Yep, that’s the strength of it. How stupid would golf look in those circumstances?

Tuesday
Jun022015

Video: Chambers Bay Third Hole Flyover

A Redan offspring, the third at Chambers Bay appears (just going off the flyover) to be more of the second-at-Somerset variety of Redan than the the original. Meaning, the use of slope appears to be more from the hole-high slope than anything in front of the green. Though a similar depression fronts the original at North Berwick, it is fairly forgiving to a running shot.

Note the tight moving right up to the bunker edge.

The US Open website says the hole will play from 163 yards to 198.

The Fox flyover with talk from Sonders and Hanse:

Monday
Jun012015

Should Rory McIlroy Continue To Be A Two-Tour Golfer?

With Rory McIlroy shutting it down now until the U.S. Open (as Tim Rosaforte reported from Newcastle), the world No. 1 heads into Chambers Bay with unexpectedly awkward momentum.

When talking about Jaime Diaz's column about McIlroy's artistic temperament, I contended on Morning Drive that the underlying issues at Royal County Down still relate to his lingering feelings for exposed golf versus inland layouts.

But as Gary Williams and I discussed on the show in the wake of McIlroy's BMW MC, McIlroy also will have to learn to say no if he'd like to retain his sanity, enjoy the spoils of his riches and prolong his career. That's right, he really needs to say no to one of the year-end playoff chases (FedExCup or Race To Dubai).

Derek Lawrenson, taking issue with the "Americans" in "full cry" over suggestions that McIlroy is not superhuman, makes a case that McIlroy's ability to reach World No. 1 status and win four majors has happened while retaining a worldwide schedule, something Tiger has not done to the same extent as McIlroy.

Woods played 23 or so tournaments every year and 20 or 21 of them would be in America. Between February and October the only time he would travel abroad would be for The Open, and he would never dream of putting himself out to play four tournaments in a row, let alone five.

Contrast that to McIlroy, who has just played two in Europe on top of three in America. Now it’s back to the States, then back to Europe for The Open, then back to America for six events, then off to China and the Middle East before the year is done. Travel the world to play all sorts of courses in all sorts of weather, with the added factor of mental fatigue, and inevitably it’s going to affect consistency.

Now who would have thought the Americans wouldn’t consider something as obvious as that? Not an insular lot by any chance, are they?

I doubt insularity drove the comments of Diaz. But since this is on the table, perhaps McIlroy should take this to heart and choose a tour if in fact his schedule continues to become a problem? I hope not. He's a grand worldwide ambassador and that he enjoys the job of being a sportsman in the limelight is great for the sport.

But we all know which tour he'd pick if it comes to consolidating his schedule to one continent. The "Americans" would be even more hated should that day come.

Monday
Jun012015

Roundup: "Unique" DeChambeau Wins NCAA Individual Title

It's a word we're all probably guilty of overusing, but unique fits NCAA Men's 2015 Individual champion Bryson DeChambeau.

While the round took a while to get going after the emotions of last week's women's matches and then a weather delay, DeChambeau's clutch finish held off a late charge by Washington's Cheng-Tsung Pan to make for an exciting conclusion to the individual title.

College golf gave a good impression as well, dispelling the sense of a homogenous group with some very "unique" (homegrown) swings, a diversity of playing styles and no shortage of push carts (Cameron Wilson you trendsetter you!).

But the champion in his Payne Stewart-homage cap and 35-inch shaft set of clubs was the Monday story before the final eight teams head to match play Tuesday (10:30 am ET and 3:30 pm ET live coverage windows. Golfweek's bracket match listings and picks. Jeff Babineau on Georgia's clutch play.)

Ryan Lavner at GolfChannel.com on DeChambeau's individuality.

It’s probably obvious to any viewer that the SMU junior does things his own way.

He majors in physics.

He wears a Ben Hogan-style hat.

He uses a push cart.

He employs something called Vector Putting, which takes into account length of putt, percentage of slope and speed of the green.

Art Stricklin posted this Global Golf Post column on the winner and the thinking behind his irons all at 7-iron length, and the industry views against his theory. Fun stuff. There was also this Golfweek staff report from February on Bryson worth a look and Brentley Romine filed this "what's in the bag."

There was this nice Twitter trending page of photos and other Tweets.

And DeChambeau unveiled this dont-try-this-at-home trick shot on the range, as Tweeted by Adam Schupak. Golfweek also posted this photo gallery.

Golf Central's highlight package.

Monday
Jun012015

Craigslist Crying Out: Help This Married Man

Alex Myers at GolfDigest.com with the utterly sad Craigslist posting by a recently married Delaware man who might be laying it on a little thick in his attempt to sell hardly-used Mizuno's.

Naturally, I expect this post to be cited in a forthcoming TBD "demise of golf" story, but in the meantime...

Monday
Jun012015

Another Cabot Cliffs Review: "Stunner"

John Steinbreder says he was “staggered” by Cabot Cliffs and posts a Global Golf Post review with some nice images by Larry Lambrecht.

He focuses his piece on the unusual Coore-Crenshaw design component of six par-3s, six par-4s and six par-5s.

The course has a soft opening later this summer.

Monday
Jun012015

Video: Callaway Live Appearance

Episode 3 of Callaway Live is now archived for you to see, even though I know you were all there for the live airing.

On the chance you missed, here is the link to watch our chat that covered everything from VW van driving minimalists to wonderful millennials. Thanks to Callaway's team, from host Harry Arnett to producer Jeff Neubarth to everyone behind the scenes who welcomed me behind enemy lines and never once tried to ply my drinking water with mind-altering substances. And thanks for what seemed like a lively chat. Having snuck a peak at your upcoming guest list, I'm honored to have followed the great Dick Enberg and look forward to your upcoming episodes.

A sample:

Monday
Jun012015

Tiger...Or Is It Bigfoot Spotted At Chambers Bay?

First there was a jet sighting, then several blurry photos, and then a long distance shot of something resembling a standing, two-legged being inhabiting a Chambers Bay fairway. Further analysis determined it to be of human origin and most definitely Tiger Woods scouting the 2015 U.S. Open host site. Phil Mickelson was also spotted sneaking in some golf but got a much better weather day.

Safe to say you can add Tiger to the list who have made the cross-country trek to the remote lands of University Place. And mercifully, we've gotten the two biggest scouting trips out of the way.

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