Twitter: GeoffShac
  • 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

As each year goes by I fear the true sporting spirit of match play is less and less in evidence. We find a growing disposition for play to concentrate on the figures that are registered at a hole rather than on the question of whether the hole is lost or won in a purely friendly match. TOM SIMPSON

 

  

Saturday
Sep092017

2017 Walker Cup Session One, This And That

The players have refined the art of the practice round, the course looks superb and Los Angeles Country Club is ready for its unveiling.

The U.S. needs to get off to a strong start in foursomes, not always their strong suit, writes Brentley Romine for Golfweek.

The first day session pairings were announced at the flag-raising ceremony, here they are.

Morning Foursomes

7:15 a.m. – Harry Ellis and Alfie Plant, GB&I vs. Collin Morikawa and Norman Xiong, USA

7:30 a.m. – Connor Syme and Paul McBride, GB&I vs. Doc Redman and Will Zalatoris, USA

7:45 a.m. – Scott Gregory and Jack Singh Brar, GB&I vs. Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Champ, USA

8 a.m. – David Boote and Jack Davidson, GB&I vs. Maverick McNealy and Doug Ghim, USA

Afternoon Singles

12:45 p.m. – Harry Ellis, GB&I vs. Braden Thornberry, USA

12:55 p.m. – Connor Syme, GB&I vs. Norman Xiong, USA

1:05 p.m. – Jack Singh Brar, GB&I vs. Stewart Hagestad, USA

1:15 p.m. – Paul McBride, GB&I vs. Collin Morikawa, USA

1:25 p.m. – Matthew Jordan, GB&I vs. Will Zalatoris, USA

1:35 p.m. – Robert MacIntyre, GB&I vs. Cameron Champ, USA

1:45 p.m. – David Boote, GB&I vs. Doug Ghim, USA

1:55 p.m. – Scott Gregory, GB&I vs. Maverick McNealy, USA

Ali Stafford has a fun look back at what became of the 2001 Walker Cup teams.

Photos from a beautiful Friday practice session and evening in Los Angeles.

Mike Trostel of the USGA interviewed Gil Hanse and myself about the golf course design and restoration.

You can follow scoring here.

WalkerCup.org will feature additional coverage in addition to Fox Sports 1's six hours each day.

FS1 is on from 9-12 pm PT Saturday morning and 2-5 pm PT for their afternoon coverage.

Enjoy the matches!

Friday
Sep082017

Video: Eye On Design, The Genius Of LACC's Short Par-3 15th 

One of my favorite short threes on the planet gets a chance to shine. It could play as short as 85 yards and long as 140 in the 2017 Walker Cup.

As I explain in this Eye On Design, the hole was a 1927-28 creation when LACC was remodeled and may have have briefly featured sand in the middle, but if it was there, the bunker was short-lived and replaced by a large pimple.

Thursday
Sep072017

Golf Top 100 Panel Confidential: Most Underrated Course, Favorite Golden Age Architect And Course They'd Play Every Day

There is some fun follow-up content from the Golf Magazine Top 100 U.S. and World lists here. They tackle most underrated great course (North Berwick edges LACC North!), greatest Golden Age architect (Good Doc), best modern day architect (Coore), most overrated design element (Conditioning), and course they’d chose to play every day (Cypress Point).

Thursday
Sep072017

Roundup: 2017 Walker Cup Almost Here, GB&I Bullish On Chances

Alistair Tait of Golfweek talks to a GB&I squad that is bullish on their chances even though the bookmakers disagree.

“The best thing about our team is that we’ve grown up together,” said Florida State’s Harry Ellis, the reigning British Amateur champion. “I’ve been with Alfie (Plant) for five or six years. Jack (Singh Brar), Scott (Gregory) and I live 10 miles apart so we’ve grown up together. Actually, this whole group has all come through junior golf together.

“They’ve got a strong team but there’s something about this group of guys that feels special. Everything feels right. There’s a natural camaraderie. Even with me being away at school for the last few years, I come back and it’s just like family.”

Teammates face off!  Wake Forest's current men's golf team features a member of both squads and two graduated Stanford players also could face off representing their countries. David Shefter with all of the fun details.

Jeff Hall tells Mike Trostel what it means to have Los Angeles Country Club as a host, with some fun drone footage by Fred Vuich accompanying.

USA Captain Spider Miller wants to see the competition expanded to three days, with a four-ball component added, writes Jim Nugent of Global Golf Post.

Michael Bamberger loves the Walker Cup venue list and explains why LACC fits with the prestigious venues that have previously hosted.

Brentley Romine of Golfweek talks to players about their time with President George Bush, who lunched with the team and tended the flag for them in a four hole-exhibition Thursday. 

Here are the USGA's video highlights from the day with 43.

Images from the practice round by Harry How and Chris Keane capture plenty of great moments and the special setting.

Thursday
Sep072017

Quick Take On Golf Magazine's 2017 U.S. And World Top 100

In just a glance through the biennial U.S. and World lists, it sure looks like the panel is going full anti-Golf Digest and rewarding shorter, cooler, classier golf architecture in similar fashion to the Golfweek's annual list. Pure restorations as opposed to redos defacing the old architecture, also appear to be stylish.

The real standout for me: Prestwick cracking the world Top 100, a fantastic exclamation point to the aforementioned trends.

And nice to see this week's Walker Cup host at its highest ranking ever, arriving at 13th in the U.S. and 22nd in the world, even edging out that South Korean masterwork, Nine Bridges.

Thursday
Sep072017

Eye on Design Video: LACC's Par-3/Par-4 7th Hole

Architect George Thomas's effort to propel the Golden Age forward with more intricate course strategy will be on display this week at the Walker Cup. With one day to go before the opening ceremony, both teams are getting a sense of the possible hole location and tee scenarios making LACC North such a fascinating study. (In my view, the second best match play course on the planet.)

On no hole will that be more evident than the par-3 7th, which also can morph into a fascinating risk-reward par-4 using a more strategically demanding hole location. I explain here...

Thursday
Sep072017

Rules Of Golf Input Window Closed, "Common Themes" Emerge

You can read the full USGA/R&A press release online at some point, but it sounds like many golfers shared strong opinions on the boldest proposed Rules of Golf changes.

What those opinions were, we are still not sure but this is our hint until the two governing bodies play a lot of golf take many meetings mulling the possibilities.

•    Golfers provided the most feedback on the proposed Rules changes focused on the putting green (such as putting with the flagstick left in the hole, repairing spike marks and eliminating the penalty for accidentally moving a ball); the creation of “penalty areas” (extending water hazard type relief and eliminating penalties for moving loose impediments and grounding a club); and the new dropping procedures (including the size of “relief areas”). 

Wednesday
Sep062017

Erin Hills Fallout: Shinnecock Hills To Be Narrowed After Restoration Widening

In light of the recent brouhaha over player comments at TPC Boston's forced layup that caused driver-hugging players to go down another fairway, Jaime Diaz concludes for Golf World that recent distance gains are going to keep leading to more setup and design dramas. He says the big picture of recent course setup issues suggests "a day of reckoning is coming."

Much of that conclusion is based on this disheartening news out of Southampton.

Next year the U.S. Open is going to a Golden Age classic, Shinnecock Hills, artful in the extreme, but also shortish. It’s the kind of venue that is most at risk of being overrun by the modern game.

In the last few years, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw restored the course. The fairways were widened (up to 60 yards), the greens expanded, and trees were removed. Visually, the result was spectacular, and the club’s members have loved the changes.

The USGA, too, initially sang the restoration’s praises, but recently officials have reconsidered their original setup plans at Shinnecock. The fairway width—done to create more strategic angles and options—was deemed too wide (perhaps in the wake of Erin Hills). Native fescue rough is now being planted on the edges of the fairway to narrow them back down. The course won’t be as narrow as it was when it held the championship in 1986, 1995 and 2004, but it will be narrower than what was originally planned on for 2018.

Why? Diaz concludes...

So that the art of Shinnecock can be brought out rather than overrun, the decision was made that long and crooked has to be punished.

In an odd way I wonder if such a high profile change to such a high profile course this late in the game is being implemented with the full knowledge that this reinforces the need for a variable distance ball?

Tuesday
Sep052017

Video: Eye On Design, LACC's Little 17th

It won't be used in the Walker Cup matches but you'll see if sitting next to the big 17th hole.

We restored this little beauty of a greensite that caused George Thomas headaches after a course setup gone awry in the 1925 California State Open.

In this Eye On Design, I explain what the history of this hole is all about...

Tuesday
Sep052017

Roundup: Early Walker Cup Preview Stories

For Golfweek I considered the idea of LACC opening its doors after all these years and what to expect from the North Course. And

And yes, I dared to claim for this week's Golfweek digital edition that the North may be the second best match play venue on the planet after the Old Course.

John Strege of Golf World on LACC letting its guard down to host a major golf event.

John Mummert of the USGA's image gallery of the course is really nice viewing.

Justin Thomas on his fond memories of playing the Walker Cup.

USA Captain Spider Miller with thoughts on each of his players.

The Team USA official page and bios.

Team GB&I bios are here.

Rory McIlroy makes a pretty powerful statement about the importance of making Walker Cup.

Robert MacIntyre of Scotland is profiled by Martin Dempster for The Scotsman.

Dempster also profiles the first "Fifer" to make the GB&I squad since 1985, Connor Syme.

AmateurGolf.com's Walker Cup page of TV Times and other pertinent information.

Here is the course yardage breakdown, though it'll almost be guaranteed not to play this long. The USGA's Jeff Hall has some exciting plans for taking advantage of what I believe to be the best match play golf course outside of St. Andrews. 

The first social post from of the teams, this one by Maverick McNealy of Will Zalatoris:

 

"But, what else can I say? I love LA." -Dr. Dre (πŸ“·: @13maverickm)

A post shared by Will Zalatoris (@willzalatoris) on Sep 4, 2017 at 12:10pm PDT

 

Tuesday
Sep052017

A SHOTLINKcast For Pro Golf?

While golf stats are certainly different than baseball numbers in predicting performance, they are getting more interesting and visually attractive.

With the PGA Tour and Microsoft chipping away at some of the hurdles, we are not far from having more presentable stats that have meaning and add to our enjoyment of a telecast. (Golf course scatter charts and numbers are already there and have begun to be incorporated at times.)

With this and a recent MLB "SABRcast" in mind, Martin Kaufmann of Golfweek makes some strong points on the need for golf to give such a broadcast a go.

The announcers didn’t dwell on balls and strikes, or even talk much about balls in play. The running discussion was more topical. They delved into the reasons behind Giants catcher Buster Posey’s declining pitch-framing skills and his offensive performance when catching vs. playing first base; factors in the Cubs’ lackluster play compared to last season; the difference of pinch-hitting against starters vs. relievers; and the Giants lack of power and the types of free-agent sluggers who might excel in their spacious park

Tuesday
Sep052017

World Long Drive Is (Already) Back: And Meet Troy Mullins

There are four big changes this year for the Volvik World Long Drive Championship: the women's final will be played Wednesday on the same night as the men, Tuesday features a mixed team event, drivers can only be 48 inches and the event is now in early September (better weather!). 

The men's round of 16 is now set after qualifying, with one big surprise in top-ranked Maurice Allen's failure to advance, writes Will Gray for GolfChannel.com.

OPEN DIVISION (MEN’S) ROUND OF 16 MATCHES:

(1) Ryan Reisbeck (Layton, Utah) vs. (16) Wes Patterson (St. Louis, Mo.)
(8) Kevin Shook (Bradenton, Fla.) vs. (9) Mitch Grassing (Ottawa, Ont., Canada)
(4) Tim Burke (Orlando, Fla.) vs. (13) Stephen Kois (Wheaton, Ill.)
(5) Trent Scruggs (Hickory, N.C.) vs. (12) Kyle Berkshire (Orlando, Fla.)
(2) Justin James (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) vs. (15) Bobby Bradley (Wellington, Fla.)
(7) Paul Howell (Wilson, N.C.) vs. (10) Steve Monroe (Clearwater, Fla.)
(3) Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.) vs. (14) Josh Cassaday (Denver, Colo.)
(6) Joe Miller (London, England) vs. (11) Nick Kiefer (Chicago, Ill.)

Mark Wahlberg is excited...

Last week I had the privilege of chat at Wilshire Country Club with budding star Troy Mullins, winner recently in Denver, a favorite for the women's title and Los Angeles native who attended high school near Wilshire before attending Cornell. Troy is already one of the more fascinating young studies in golf, using off-the-(Roger Dunn)-shelf drivers, athleticism developed as a heptathlete and aspiring to play LPGA Tour golf.

Here is the chat and a short feature produced by Ben Elisha:

Here was Mullins recently in her final preparation as posted by instructor George Gankas, which involves getting uber-flexible for the shot at the belt.

@trojangoddess going deepπŸ’¦πŸ’¦πŸ’¦πŸ’¦

A post shared by George Gankas (@ggswingtips) on Aug 29, 2017 at 4:05pm PDT

Long Drive airs on Golf Channel Tuesday from 9-11 p.m. ET and 9-11:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Tuesday
Sep052017

Video: Eye On Design, The Walker Cup Explained

The 2017 Walker Cup is here and Los Angeles is sensing the buzz! The motorcades have stifled traffic and the paparazzi have staked out the team hotel and...ok that's a stretch. But as we discussed on Morning Drive today, this is one we Angelenos have been anticipating for some time.

But while the teams enjoy some sightseeing golf, as Ryan Lavner noted for GolfChannel.com, this site is going to be all in on this event. So my apologies in advance for those still hurting from the lack of Solheim Cup coverage during U.S. Amateur week, but this is just the third Walker Cup to visit the west coast, the first in Southern California and Los Angeles Country Club's first national television appearance. (Clubhouse and pub sign on right depicted by Lee Wybranski.)

Full and only disclosure here for the week: I worked on the restoration of LACC's North Course since 2007 with Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner and many fine shapers, contractors, club officials and fine committees. The Walker Cup will be a celebration of all that went into restoring George Thomas and Billy Bell's 1927-28 redesign. More details on that later in the week, but if you must jump ahead, Ran Morrissett's 2014 review should tell you plenty about the architecture.

This latest Eye On Design is for those who aren't aware of what the Walker Cup is all about or if they should fork over the $75 to come out and watch. (Tickets here, and parking on the adjoining South Course is free! There is also an Uber dropoff at Comstock Avenue near the club driving range.)

In the video I explain the format and general superiority of this event over just about all others in golf based on the experiences had by all at the 2013 Walker Cup. You'll see many of my images from that event in the Eye On Design embedded below.

Monday
Sep042017

As If UT Needed More Recruiting Tools: The Spieth Lower 40

You just feel for the men and women of UT, having to deal with yet another world class addition to their facilities, this time a par-3 course designed in conjunction with Jordan Spieth.

Beth Ann Nichols
explains how it all works for Golfweek.

The UT Golf Club flyover:

Sunday
Sep032017

Video: The Golf Side Of Jake Olson's Amazing Life Story

If you didn't hear about Jake Olson snapping the ball for his USC Trojans Saturday, you'll want to check out Bill Plaschke's LA Times take on the blind athlete who lost his sight due to cancer.

ESPN's Kyle Bonagura also included this piece and some great post game interview embeds.

And if that's not enough inspiration, this piece from not long ago by Shelley Smith catching up with the young cancer patient she covered before learning she had cancer, is a definite must.

But Olson is also a golfer and this Travis Matthew ambassador piece tells you about that side of his courageous life...

Sunday
Sep032017

Stacy Lewis Wins For Houston, KPMG Matches

What a story seeing Stacy Lewis pledge her winnings to the relief effort in her hometown following hurricane Harvey.

From Beth Ann Baldry's Golfweek story on the win and match by her sponsor:

The now 12-time winner played for a cause bigger than herself, pledging early in the week to donate all her winnings to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Lewis’ first-place check at the Cambia Portland Classic meant $195,000 would go toward helping people in her hometown rebuild their lives. Her sponsor, KPMG, surprised Lewis on Sunday by announcing that the company would match that number, bringing the total to $390,000. Lewis also collected shoes from fellow players to ship back to Houston.

Sunday
Sep032017

Technophobic Media Is Getting Younger: Millennials Not Buying!

It's a wonderful thing, how these "technophobic" times have changed. The kids are increasingly on board!

As distances have spiked again and rumors of a bifurcation movement looming that might introduce a variable distance ball, our friends in Fairhaven have updated a talking points "stack" they've peddled for years with a summer 2017 update to their case against any kind of golf ball regulation.

(Note: in 50+ pages they never mention the millions spent to change golf courses or to pay for the issues arising from golf balls flying to places never before reached.)

But I can sit back, nurse a cold beverage and watch others do the heavy lifting on an issue that will keep coming up as long as folks keep telling us nothing's happening. Couple this with and increasingly sustainability-focused generation not buying the arguments for sitting still, and there is an air of inevitability to some sort of regulatory action.

Alex Myers at GolfDigest.com considered the driving distances of Champions Tour players this year compared to their PGA Tour averages at age 30 and of course, everyone has gotten longer as their waistlines have expanded, their backs tightened and their clubs have grown more powerful.

Kenny Perry ranks fourth on the PGA Tour Champions in 2017 at 295 yards per poke. In 1990, he had a driving-distance average of just 270.8 yards. That's not bad considering Tom Purtzer led the PGA Tour that season at 279.6 yards (for comparison, Rory McIlroy's 316.4 yards leads this season) but that equates to nearly a 9-percent increase in driving distance from the time Perry was 30 to his current average as a 57-year-old.

The increase is even bigger for Fred Couples, if we use his driving-distance average (a whopping 300.4 yards) from 2015, the last time he played enough rounds on the PGA Tour Champions to have official stats. In 1990, two years before Freddie won the Masters and ascended to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, he averaged a measly 272.6 yards on his tee shots. Of the players we looked at, Couples' 10.2-percent increase led the way. (It should be noted that the Callaway Big Bertha was launched in 1991, ushering in a new era where driver heads grew to the size of small microwaves, giving a boost to driving distance stats.)

But Alex, don't discount the two-a-day yoga sessions and bicep curls Fred has been doing following his 9 minute planks!

In the wake of last week's 341-yard clutch drive by Dustin Johnson, many revisited the question of distance and whether the sport is better when a top player can drive that far.  I support the long hitter right to his advantage but as we all know, the sport can't keep expanding venues to accommodate distance gains that are going to keep coming as we replace pre-Trackman, pre-watermelon-sized driver heads with those who have never known anything else but swinging hard.

Tron Carter, another young influencer from the only generation that matters, had some fun exchanges with Twitterers about distance. You can read those by clicking on the tweets at his profile or these two (here and here), which no doubt have earned ihs Twitter account top status on some sort of watch screen in Fairhaven.

Sunday
Sep032017

Anything To Play Faster Files: Even Higher-Profile Backstopping

Here's the fun thing about this bizarro trend of men's professional golfers leaving their chip shots around the hole, all in the name of slow play: they are getting more brazen. Even better, this is going to help us bring back the stymie!

The backstopping/sideboarding practice of leaving your ball down--in the name of speeding up play of course--used to be something that only happened in lower profile situations. Increasingly though big name players in big name pairings have been so eager to speed up play, they are willing to not protect the field by leaving their ball in a place that might help their fellow PGA Tour brother competitor. Of course to do so knowingly results in disqualification under the Rules.

And for those who say it doesn't happen, may I refresh your memories here.

This was Saturday with the Spieth-DJ pairing at the 2017 Dell Technologies (link here if the embed doesn't work):

The practice, which only seems to be happening in men's pro golf, is also continuing in Europe. This was Saturday and an all timer given the proximity of the playing partners who just couldn't take that extra 7 seconds to mark their ball.

Here's the bad news: as this strange, buddy-buddy, backscratching practice picks up steam, someone will stand fifteen feet from his ball, watch his ball get hit by another player who then makes par instead of bogey. That player will ends up winning a tournament by a shot or costing someone his card and will be publicly shamed. His reputation might even be ruined. And all for just doing what everyone does every day on the tour because that's how they play the game out there.

And play will still be slow. This practice might be cutting 20-30 seconds a round.

Yet guys will still mark 18 inchers to not step in a through line, but they'll leave their ball down 18 inches from the hole to help out a buddy who might help them later in the round.

I know shining a light on suspect behavior is upsetting for many in a sport where the players are generally the most honest and upstanding in all of sports. But as a clubby sport by nature that values protecting those who have joined the gang, suggests image of those who stick together over good, old-fashioned competition. As a sport, if fans sense the players are just playing week to week hoping for their shot and helping their buddies out at other times, pro golf will ultimately lose a certain edge and purity if a practice like this continues.

Oh, and there is also the "what other rules are they bending" question that is so dangerous to a sport's reputation.

Brandel Chamblee engaged with readers on the topic Saturday after the above incident. The original questioner deleted his question, but it's a nice mix of those who see this for what it is (some bizarre tacit agreement that has festered) and those who believe the guys just are trying to speed things up.

Sunday
Sep032017

PGA Tour Makes The Right Call To Stick With The Current Network TV Deal Through 2021

We all want to see golf on television adapt to the times and improve. While Friday’s network opt-out deadline came and went as an opportunity for the PGA Tour to shake things up, they chose not to do so.

Very shrewd move, Commissioner Jay Monahan.

For fans, the only intrigue in a possible opt-out would have centered around Monahan’s desire to move the look and feel of golf into the future. But the cost of risking partnerships and jumping in with new partners was too great, with no clear sign of a positive outcome for such a move at a time ratings are down.

Besides, significant progress has come with various tracer technologies, HD, employing Trackman, super slow motion replays, Playing Through, live look-ins on breaking events and alternate viewing options like Amen Corner Live.

Despite the views of some at PGA Tour headquarters reportedly pushing for change, Monahan made the right call to put off any shake-up for a few years while the PGA Tour revamps its schedule. (Golf Channel’s current deal to televise also expires in 2021, with no opt-out). This also allows them to get a better sense of how the cable vs. streaming wars play out and strike a better deal going forward.

Consider just some of the reasons Monahan made the right call (The PGA Tour confirmed the contract is going forward and may be addressed at the Tour Championship):

—Schedule madness. The upcoming schedule revamp has way too many open-ended questions and uncertainties to have renegotiated deal terms or welcomed-in other networks. It’s going to be tricky enough to work out the changes with current network partners, sponsors and players, why add more headache?

—Our Future Is Not Quite Here Yet. Many believe streaming is the future and cord cutting will collapse the cable model, but has any major sports property said goodbye to guaranteed network or cable money to take their chances with disruptive mediums? Golf should be about the last sport to do so because…

—The Audience Is Not Ready. While many younger fans are prepared to watch golf via streaming, a majority of golf’s demographic still watches via cable. That demographic hurdle is not changing fast enough to justify taking a tour event away from a network and putting it on Amazon or YouTube or Twitter.  Unless the tour is in the business of setting precedent over making money for its players.

—Sponsors Are Not Ready. You might get a more engaged audience of 180,000 watching the final round of the Dell Technologies on Apple and Amazon TV’s. You might even get one that directly taps that sponsor’s audience, but nearly all tournaments would still rather take their chances reaching a larger number of eyeballs. The blue-chip brands the PGA Tour loves (and who like golf) want to see their logos on big screens in bars and golf courses. They still want to invest in something reaching more than a very targeted audience. The current deal accomplishes this for the people who fund the product.

—Opportunity To Change The Tone. I’ve heard no shortage of players and PGA Tour brass suggest angrily they could be doing way better. Now, this ignores that things are pretty incredible right now, and definitely ignores the post-Tiger ratings decline. But this attitude also mystifies countless network types and marketing world figures who cannot fathom how the PGA Tour believes they hold the stronger hand in the post-sports rights fee bubble. With a good deal for all sides in place through 2021, Monahan can use his personality to repair relationships and create a dialogue amongst his media partners that satisfies their needs and the desires of the Tour’s fanbase.

—Alignment Possibilities. There is a lingering bitterness over the sense that the PGA Tour left money on the table by locking into Golf Channel through 2021—a deal many saw as just as big of a risk for Golf Channel at the time. This rage clouds the thinking of many who disregard how simple it is for fans, bartenders and anyone with a cable package to find PGA Tour golf on a Thursday, Friday or weekend morning. But as the media world changes, not opting out allows the PGA Tour to gain a few more years of perspective and data. In two years they can better align possible weekday partners with weekend partners in a new deal or spend hundreds of millions starting their own channel. Or, pursue different terms with Golf Channel that can serve as an anger-management soother for Ponte Vedra’s disillusioned Vice Presidential core. Win-win!

Friday
Sep012017

Status Of TPC Boston Stop Still In Limbo As Opt-Out Day Arrives

It's opt-out day!

That's right, the September 1 deadline has arrived and we'll find out if the PGA Tour is going to continue with its current CBS/NBC network deal until 2021 or exercise an option to get out of the contract to renegotiate different terms.

In the meantime, Bill Doyle explains the issues facing the PGA Tour's Boston stop, currently sponsored by Dell Technologies through 2018, and it sounds like it may be transitioning to a spot in someone's tournament rota. Who what someone is, we're not sure.

Jordan Spieth said he’s been involved in discussions about revamping the PGA Tour schedule.

“There’s still a chance,” he said Thursday after playing in the pro-am at TPC Boston, “that we would still move up here every other year or something. So there’s still a lot of options available. There’s not much set in stone right now.”

Spieth went on to say that the PGA Tour might even come to TPC Boston only every third year.

There were also these two interesting quotes...

“I don’t blame them for watching football,” Dustin Johnson said, “because I probably would be too.”

“If we can make it,” Rickie Fowler said, “to where we’re ‘the’ thing to watch on TV at the end of our season, I think that’s the main goal.”