Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos

The object of inventors is to reduce the skill required for golf. If it were not for the counterskill of architects, the game would be emasculated.
JOHN LOW


    

Sunday
Apr032016

Prayers Answered (For A Week): 1986 Masters Re-broadcast Live!

If you heard us talking about the 1986 Masters on ShackHouse, or have read the many great stories from five years ago on this very website, or you're just looking forward to Tuesday's Golf Channel doc, you probably know that the 1986 Masters is quite possibly modern golf's greatest (three) hours.

I think there is a case to be made that it was also the greatest broadcast moment in Masters history, and maybe sports history. Every announcer spoke from the heart with amazing, Hollywood-scriptmaster succinctness.

There's life in the old bear yet!

The bear has come out of hibernation!

Maybe? YES SIR!

The camera crews captured every key moment. The light was perfect. The protagonists were brilliant, clutch (at times) and diversified.

Producer Frank Chirkinian stuck to his love of leaders hitting shots until caving, even breaking away from key moments to show something live, and finally showing Nicklaus live from the 11th on. It's a masterpiece in every way.

But whether it's Melnyk (Melnyk!), Murphy, Wright, Nantz, Verne or Kenny and Pat, with a 14th hole cameo by McCord (McCord!), the actors all ad-libbed, accentuated and called this historic round to perfection.

So boycott NetFlix for a few days and prep for the 2016 Masters by streaming the greatest Masters of them all courtesy of Masters.com. Enjoy the full 3 hour broadcast for one week.


Sunday
Apr032016

Video: Nike Unveils New Rory Ad On Masters Eve

I always admire the work of the Nike creative team. But a rattlesnake? Set against an annoying alarm clock? Is this a brilliant bit of advertising or the next...wait, you know you miss it...LIVING IN THE HALL OF FAME! THE WORLD'S GOING TO KNOW YOUR NAME!

Sorry...

What do you think?


Sunday
Apr032016

You Need To See The Drive, Chip And Putt In Person To Get It

I love what TV does to inspire the kids and how they pick up the best swing habits of top players, but to really get a sense of the Drive, Chip and Putt you need to see the skill of young girls and boys in person. This year's DCP class was clutch again and yes, slow based on your social media comments.

I left an observation about the pacing out of my GolfDigest.com piece full of observations from the DCP. But about that: remember the kids get two putts, two chips and two drives. While it may look like they are doing a Jason Day impersonation, it's actually all about taking the opportunity to get the most out of their moment. In person, it's not the least bit annoying. Again, one of those lost-through-TV things.

Ryan Herrington noted the epic reactions from the kids, though maybe in a sign of the event's evolution or the advanced maturity of the kids, I thought they showed a little more swagger than all out jubilation. Either way, they performed with great skill, again.

Speaking of reactions, check out the telecast opening with the kids impersonating great moments in Masters history. A killer piece of work by all involved.

There were a lot of standout young people, but 13-year-old Ty Griggs, featured at the end of my piece with a gem of a quote, was the keeper for most of us. He's got a great story, a sharp mind, dry wit, ridiculously powerful swing and Vartan Kupelian captured this promising lad's story at Masters.com.

Oh and if you think the Masters isn't very progressive on social media, check out this Golf Channel produced piece on the practice day crash visit by the law firme of Timberlake, Horan and Rose. The only thing missing was James Corden driving and making everyone break into a boy band rendition of Dave Loggins' Masters theme:

Saturday
Apr022016

2016 Masters: The Jordan Spieth Profiles

In 14th heading into the final round in the Shell Houston Open, Jordan Spieth says his putter is starting to warm up, reports Will Gray for GolfChannel.com. And in even better news, Spieth gets to share a Champions Locker Room locker with Arnold Palmer, cased on the Rusty Jarrett photo (10th) in this Masters official website slideshow.

But it's that putter which gets get most of the attention when folks discuss Spieth's historic 2015 campaign. Yet a few great reads try to discern if there is more to Spieth's supremacy. 

In the annual defending champion profile, the Augusta Chronicle's Scott Michaux travels to Dallas to tell us more about Jordan Spieth's development, family and coaching. 

This, about instructor Cameron McCormick, was enlightening.

Like breaking a spirited colt, McCormick slowly got Spieth to harness his intensity and kinetic energy into a formulated plan.

“The more challenging part was to increase desire to win with a measure of patience and recognizing that certain things take time,” McCormick said. “With the help of his parents, who did the large part of that work, Jordan became tolerant of evolving a little bit more over time and being patient and taking a really diligent long-term or
medium-term focus to his improvement.”

For the first three months they did little but work on Spieth’s putting, which was the worst part of his game. At Spieth’s own suggestion, he converted to a left-hand, low style. Eventually they “started working to expand his skill set and morph his technique ever so slightly over time,” McCormick said.

The result was a tool box that proved resistant to failure.

Doug Ferguson focuses on the "Golf I.Q." concept and asks if Spieth is just that smart, or just a great putter. 

"I think I have a high golf IQ, sure," Spieth said. "I think what that means is I'm able to dissect different situations, different lies, winds and where pins are. Not only judging the distance, but judging — based on our knowledge of the golf course — the appropriate spot where to miss is and how to make par from there."

Then again, he believes everyone on the PGA Tour has a high golf IQ or else they wouldn't be out there.

"I think your love of the game makes you want to learn more about it and learn everything that goes into it," Spieth said. "I have a passion for it."

Jaime Diaz for Golf Digest offers various thoughts on what made Spieth so superior in 2015.

To me, Spieth’s best qualities evoke athletes from other sports. At the moment, his putting is eerily good. He led in several putting categories, but the stat that resonates most is his conversion rate of better than 25 percent on putts between 15 and 25 feet -- first on tour by a lot. It’s an ability that currently separates him from his peers in the same way NBA MVP Stephen Curry has separated from his.

While some are bothered by Spieth’s tendency to react vocally to his shots, I find it a signal of a player immersed in the moment and determined to never let up. Take away the profanity and churlishness (perhaps a big ask), and Spieth reminds me of John McEnroe. Like the tennis bad boy, Spieth uses exasperation, self-castigation and body language to rid himself completely of an unsatisfying shot, so that when it’s time for the next one his mind is clear. People forget that for as tortured as his self-talk seemed, McEnroe almost always played better after venting.

Saturday
Apr022016

They've Arrived! The Masters Is (Finally) All In On Social Media!

This is exciting for a few reasons. The paltry-for-a-beloved-tournament numbers speak to the previously guarded approach to social media: 408,000 Twitter followers and 125,000 Instagram followers.

A) The Masters folks have already Tweeted and Instagrammed more content the last few days than they have in all the previous years combined. They've even posted photos of players playing weekend practice and of the club scene the Saturday before all the fun begins.

B) This could, I repeat, could mean that we are moving to a day when fans wanting to watch great shots and moments in Masters history do not have to view them through some guys' video of his TV set. So far, no Masters YouTube account, but we'll take the baby steps.

A sampling of some of Saturday's social media:

World Number 1 @jasondayofficial is among the early arrivals practicing for #themasters

A photo posted by @themasters on Apr 2, 2016 at 11:48am PDT

 

 

 

And even a Masters merchandise post, with hashtag!

 

A refreshing reminder of #themasters #mastersmerch

A photo posted by @themasters on Apr 2, 2016 at 10:45am PDT

Friday
Apr012016

Gen Z Is Back! A Quick 2016 Drive, Chip & Putt Primer

Year three of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship arrives Sunday and once again the little ones will get their shot to drive down Magnolia Lane (well, they'll be shuttled), hit shots on the Masters range, putt on Augusta Natonal's 18th green and awkwardly high-five green-coated corporate moguls and former Secretaries of State. It's golf's best grow the game initiative because it's about competition and fun, with just enough Masters formality. 

In 2015, there were a couple of minor tweaks to the process in executing the championship along with Masters champions formerly agreeing to hand out trophies (they informally appeared in the inaugural year). I'll be interested to see what the atmosphere is like and how the governing bodies are getting along, but to date the USGA, PGA of America and Augusta National folks dealing with nuts and bolts stuff have done an amazing job. Mostly, it's a great day to revel in the clutch skill of the young competitors and to enjoy their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
8-9 a.m.                       Pre-Game (Live From the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals)
9 a.m.-1 p.m.               2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals

One Direction's Niall Horan is going to be there and looks like he's getting in a little golf while he's in town.

 

 The kids are signing in!

Each #DriveChipandPutt golfer signs the player plaque. Follow 'drivechipputt' on Snapchat for more behind the scenes action. One more day! #ItsPlayTime

A photo posted by Drive Chip & Putt Championship (@drivechipandputt) on Apr 2, 2016 at 10:38am PDT

 The final run-through reveals there will be Snapchat coverage too...

Final preparations for #DCPFinals tomorrow! Follow 'drivechipputt' on Snapchat for a behind the scenes look at this weekends's action. #ItsPlaytime

A photo posted by Drive Chip & Putt Championship (@drivechipandputt) on Apr 2, 2016 at 6:25am PDT

 A couple of the more intriguing youngsters to watch have been profiled by Golf Channel. My favorite is that of Grant Herrenbruck, who made it to the DCP finals and this year will be rooting on his brother Tate.


Kynadia Adams is a returnee to the DCP and is profiled by Michelle Tafoya

Friday
Apr012016

About All Tiger Has Left: A Really Late Friday News Dump?

If you were still true believing that Tiger was chipping away at his return and just felt he wasn't quite ready to tee it up in the 2016 Masters, then Friday's late news of a Masters no-start would fit a narrative that the Big Cat was oh so close to playing.

The newsroom at TigerWoods.com must have been buzzing when the call rolled in late after Woods called in to say he was just oh so close. But not really.

From their report:

"After assessing the present condition of my back, and consulting with my medical team, I've decided it's prudent to miss this year's Masters.

"I've been hitting balls and training daily, but I'm not physically ready. I've said all along that this time I need to be cautious and do what's best for my long-term health and career. Unfortunately, playing Augusta next week wouldn't be the right decision. I'm absolutely making progress, and I'm really happy with how far I've come, but I still have no timetable to return to competitive golf."

Hitting balls and training daily, but no timetable for a return? As Bob Harig notes in his take on the news, the latter line is the real takeaway here. But why wait until the Friday night before to share that?

Steve DiMeglio treated the news with the proper respect for USA Today and without information beyond what we learn on TigerWoods.com, that's the correct approach.

However, we know the circumstantial evidence suggests Tiger drew out this inevitable decision for reasons only he knows.

Perhaps resisting the urge to tell the folks at Augusta National he can't play keeps him motivated to train and hit balls, even when he has to know that showing up cold at a major after two surgeries is a terrible idea.

Perhaps he just enjoys the idea that everyone is talking about him, wondering when he'll return? But as I noted in the Forward Press this week, this news is now only of interest to casual fans. Serious golf viewers have moved on.

Perhaps he needs to project the illusion of being close to a return to keep his corporate partners happy? Though "no timetable for return" comments won't get their hopes up.

Perhaps he just watched too much of The West Wing. As Luke Kerr-Dineen noted at For The Win, this was the best one he's ever dropped.

Or maybe, he just waited until late Friday to make the golf writers and TigerWoods.com team work late into a spring Friday night in his ongoing effort to avenge the humiliating coverage that appeared on almost no golf website?

Either way, we will move along and regain our focus on what figures to be an absolutely splendid Masters.

Friday
Apr012016

Invitation Spotted For Tiger's Ryder Cup Fishing Trip

While the world awaits to find out if he will play the 2016 Masters, Assistant Ryder Cup Captain Tiger Woods has apparently firmed up plans for a prospective team-member bonding trip aboard his yacht, Privacy.

You may recall that Woods has suggested a fishing trip to Captain Davis Love, and to show his passion for this year's event, Tiger attended a prospective team dinner at Jack and Barbara Nicklaus' home in early March.

The fishing expedition invitation suggests the trip will take place the Monday of Players Championship week and will be limited to the top 30 in Ryder Cup points, along with Keegan Bradley no matter where he sits on the list.

A source close to Woods saw the look in Keegan’s eyes during a team dinner at Jack Nicklaus’s house and felt it would be wise to be on the 2011 PGA Champion’s good side, “no matter how little chance he has of making the team.

“Tiger’s got a spot on the back edge of the boat just for Keegan,” said the source. “He doesn’t want Keegan spitting on the new flooring he just installed on Privacy.”

The invitation appears to have been produced by Tiger's corporate partners at Nike. Note the modifications to his yacht, with his Ryder Cup record and the 2016 logo attached.

Friday
Apr012016

Goosen, Singh Join Forces To Trademark “Big Five” 

Early 2000’s golf stars Retief Goosen and Vijay Singh have joined forces to trademark “Big Five” in case golf’s youth movement expands to a quintet of talent. Singh has previously trademarked “Big Four” and is preparing to sue over its unauthorized usage.

“I was in the Big Four and then it became the Big Five briefly when Retief almost won at Southern Hills,”  Singh said in a statement. “We’re just concerned that our legacy will be tarnished if Rickie Fowler wins a major and creates unanimous Big Four status, or if another player comes in and forces a Big Five situation. Or something like that.”

Goosen, speaking from attorney Donny Brook's office, says he was thrilled that Vijay remembered the brief “Big Five” days. Though he said he would like to see the “Big Five” trademark fight joined by Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods to ensure that “our generation” can “cover all our bets” should someone like Chris Kirk finally realize his gifts.

“He reminds me a lot of myself,” says Goosen. “That win in the ’14 Nelson was something to behold.”

Kirk’s Georgia teammate Brendon Todd won the 2014 Nelson.

A registered trademark would require the (®) symbol on all future uses of the term if registered with the national trademark office.  Any usage on printed materials would force the payment of royalties if used in a commercial setting.

Singh says he plans to sue the PGA Tour and other media outlets if they continue to use “Big Four” without paying royalties.

“My case will become very clear if Rickie finally wins a major. And if Justin Thomas wins, then we have the Big Five trademark covered too.”

Friday
Apr012016

One Direction: Rory Skips Par-3 Over Break-up Trend

Despite suggestions that he is skipping the Masters Par-3 contest to better prepare for four days of major championship play, multiple UK newspapers are reporting that Rory McIlroy lived in fear of causing another break-up by teeing up in the annual Wednesday event. The Northern Irishman recently became engaged to Erica Stoll.

“The fact is, he loves the Par-3,” a source close to McIlroy’s management company old The Guardian. “He loves seeing everyone’s kids and relishes the chance to take three hours to play nine short holes. But the guilt over possibly causing two straight breakups simply by teeing up was weighing on McIlroy.”

McIlroy broke off an engagement with his 2014 Par-3 contest caddie, Caroline Wozniacki.  Sources close to him say that the four-time major champion is convinced he broke up boy band One Direction after employing Niall Horan as his 2015 Par 3 caddie. McIlroy has even asked a private investigator if he somehow influenced the divorce of Greg Norman from Par-3 caddie and tennis great Chris Evert.

“The idea that he might have caused a rift in Harry Styles’ world was causing much stress,” another source told The Telegraph. “He loves One Direction and it breaks his heart that he might have played any kind of role in preventing the world from someday hearing their idea of a 21st century version of Abbey Road.”

McIlroy’s decision prompted rave reviews from the United Kingdom’s most prominent media outlets.

The Financial Times hailed the move, writing, “from a business perspective another high-profile breakup caused by Mr. McIlroy could be fatal to his carefully cultivated image.”

Scotland on Sunday declared it McIlroy's "classiest move yet" and suggested that "this was another example demonstrating how McIlroy is different than Tiger Woods or any other human of the last twenty years."

The Daily Mail praised McIlroy’s “courage in accepting that he might have impacted the dreams of million of early-teen girls and for never allowing such pain to be unleashed again. This is MBE material behavior."

Friday
Apr012016

Villages: Charlie Rymer To Grand Marshal July 4th Cart Parade

Morning Drive personality and former PGA Tour player Charlie Rymer has been named Grand Marshal of The Villages’ first ever July 4th golf cart parade.

Rymer leading a Villages Christmas cart parade. “What a dream come true to lead the brigade of red, white and blue carts celebrating the U.S.A.’s birthday!” Rymer said in a statement. “With over 100,000 residents and some of the coolest carts on the planet, it should be a great day making America great again!”

After the parade and following at least one ice bath, Rymer plans to sign copies of his new pamphlet published in partnership with Kinko’s, “And Then Charlie To Gary: Wit And Wisdom From Morning Drive’s Game Ball Segments.

The Villages is the world’s largest over-55 community spanning more acreage than Manhattan. The new July 4th affair joins the Christmas cart parade as a signature event where residents dress-up their vehicles in holiday colors.

Just as he did when Rymer has selected to host a previous Christmas cart parade, he will use the platform to discuss two issues he hopes can influence The Villages residents.

“Obviously cart driving safety is always a top topic at The Villages,” Rymer says. “I’ll be wearing a highly-visible seat belt to remind everyone how important it is to wear one and I’ll definitely have an SPF 50 windshield on my cart to reinforce the importance of sun screening.”

Rymer’s other cause is more sensitive, but equally as important to those who live in The Villages.

“We have to have a frank discussion about the use of ED drugs,” Rymer said. “The black market for Viagra and Cialis has led to so many problems in The Villages and I just want to remind folks that it’s an ok discussion to have with your doctors. The side of my cart will have a reminder that generic Viagra is not happening in your lifetimes, so please, please consult a physician and get a prescription.”

Rymer’s appearance will also feature full Golf Central and Morning Drive coverage, as well as a special edition of The Golf Fixx with Michael Breed where Charlie shows you how to outfit your personal golf cart in ways that may help lower your scores.

Thursday
Mar312016

State Of The Game Podcast 65: 2016 Masters Preview

Rod Morri, Mike Clayton and yours truly kick around the Masters and more, from Horse Courses to Austin to the demise of the other "Masters."

As always you can listen via the embedded player below. Or get the MP3 here, check out the SOTG homepage here, or get it on iTunes here.

Meanwhile, ShackHouse Episode 2 with Joe House is alive and well and still an iTunes Top 15 show, including #1 in Sports!

iTunes users can get ShackHouse here, or specifically, Episode 2 here.

Or for Soundclouders, the show's page is here. Sticher just needs to approve and so you'll be able to get it there soon!

Thursday
Mar312016

Preview: Bubba Watson On 60 Minutes

Sharyn Alfonsi profiles Bubba Watson on the eve of his attempt to win a third Masters, this Sunday at 7 pm ET.

The preview:

Thursday
Mar312016

A Tradition Unlike Any Other, Files: Herron's Masters Scripting

Pro golfer Tim Herron has mocked the tendency of companies to script in the past and his 2016 edition takes it to another level.

The Tweet

 

Thursday
Mar312016

Download Time! Masters, Augusta Apps Ready To Go

The two primary apps you need for coverage and live streaming are updated and live. Just poking around the Masters app a bit, the design is beautiful as always and appears to be very user friendly (screen shots below).

The official Masters app in the iTunes store.

And in the Google Play store.

The Augusta Chronicle's app download links.


Wednesday
Mar302016

Lee Westwood Officially Pinpoints 2020 For Ryder Cup Captaincy

I'm not sure if this should make me feel old, but when World No. 66 Lee Westwood is throwing his PING cap into the ring for the 2020 Ryder Cup post, something feels slightly surreal. Or maybe it's that the Euros feel the need to start staking claims to their cashing out opportunity so far out? Either way, we have our speed in the race, who's going to try to catch Westwood from far back? Padraig?

Ewan Murray of The Guardian talks to Westwood about taking a big break heading into a busy stretch, with sights set on trying to navigate Whistling Straits in a buggy

Westwood can do little about that. Now 42 and based back in the United Kingdom – linked to the break-up of his marriage – he can map out a positive future. “I would like to go on a little bit longer,” Westwood says. “Two or three years, then think about the Ryder Cup captaincy. If I put my name in for the captaincy in four years’ time then I can think about the seniors after that.”

Wednesday
Mar302016

Bummer: IMG Cancels '16 Aussie Masters, Future Bleak?

From an unbylined Reuters report on the cancellation of the Australian Masters by tournament operator IMG, which promises news of an "overhaul." This, even though the PGA Tour is bringing the World Cup to the sandbelt's Kingston Heath in 2016.

From the report on the demise of an event with a great history, won in thrilling fashion last year by Peter Senior:

"As part of IMG's ongoing evolution of its golf events business, the company is in the process of re-imagining its Australian Masters event to ensure the delivery of a world-class experience," David Rollo, vice president and director of golf for IMG Australia and New Zealand said in a statement carried widely in Australian media.

"To best execute a change of this scale, IMG today announced that the Australian Masters will not be played in 2016. IMG will unveil its new plans for the event in the coming months."

Wednesday
Mar302016

Transitioning: Caitlyn Jenner Plays ANA Inspiration Pro-Am

The one big negative of Caitlyn Jenner playing the ANA Inspiration (aka Dinah Shore) Pro-Am Wednesday?

A reminder that the LPGA Tour's first major that kicks off Thursday, and arguably its most historic and important event of the year, has a pro-am.

ESPNW.com's Melissa Issacson reports on Jenner's "first tournament since her transition" including a hole-out for eagle on her first hole.

Also, Jenner says her home club, Sherwood, has been very supportive.

A single-digit handicapper before her transition, Jenner said she is treated "better" as a woman at her home course, Sherwood Country Club near Thousand Oaks.

"They changed everything [for me]," the former Olympic decathlon gold medalist said. "A locker room change. They went right to my handicap from the ladies tees. There was a tournament they said I couldn't play because it was a men's tournament. They're all in there, so they've been great. And next week they have a ladies tournament and all the ladies want me to play."

There is one issue. Jenner seems to be admitting to anchoring to pro-am partner Danielle Kang.

"She told me she putts better now because her boobs anchor her," Kang said.

"Yes, I do," Jenner agreed.

Jenner teeing off in the pro-am, courtesy of Beth Ann Nichols, who also filed this report.

Wednesday
Mar302016

Golf Channel's Early Season Numbers Up

Here is a little ratings copy and paste job on some interesting For Immediate Release material.

But knowing the number of key demo viewers are watching golf should make your day...

GOLF CHANNEL POSTS FOUR STRAIGHT QUARTERS OF INCREASING VIEWERSHIP GROWTH
 
First Quarter Up 15% on Golf Channel & 28% on NBC vs. 2015
 
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 30, 2016) – Golf Channel continues to build upon its momentum with four consecutive quarters posting year-over-year growth.  Golf Channel’s first quarter in 2016 was up +15% vs. 2015 for viewership, building upon last year’s increasing growth in second quarter of +3%, third quarter of +8%, and fourth quarter of +13%. For 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM), 110,000 average viewers per minute were tuned into Golf Channel in the first quarter, representing the 15% year-over-year increase, as well as a 19% increase with people 25-54 (31,000), according to data released by The Nielsen Company.
 
NBC’s PGA TOUR coverage is off to a strong start in 2016 with average viewership +32% and people 25-54 +31%. Through 12 broadcasts, NBC is averaging 2.64 million average viewers and 657,000 people 25-54.*
 
Golf Channel’s first quarter highlights include:

·       Golf Channel’s live golf coverage peaked in first quarter with 1.8 million average viewers on Sunday afternoon during the semifinals of the WGC-Dell Match Play and coverage averaged 1.1 million viewers, the best at this event since 2008.

·       PGA TOUR live coverage on Golf Channel is +4% YOY (483,000 average viewers), +9% with P25-54 (101,000 average viewers)
 
·       Golf Channel’s primetime is +27% (151,000 average viewers), driven in part by the sixth season premiere of Feherty interviewing Jordan Spieth, which is now the most-watched episode of the critically acclaimed series (436,000 average viewers, Live+3 Day).

·       Live coverage of the European Tour was up 65% and LPGA Tour was up 3%.

·       Golf Central saw its strongest first quarter since 2013, up 29% with average viewers and 30% for people 25-54 vs. last year.

·       Morning Drive was up 27% with people 25-54 vs. 2015.

Wednesday
Mar302016

WGHOF Moves Age Minimum To 50, Adds Nicklaus As Voter

This seems like a wise move all around, or one prompted by Tiger (eligible) saying he was not ready to be inducted in 2017.

Either way, two positive moves to improve the World Golf Hall of Fame, bolstered only if other living members under the age of 75 actually turn up for the '17 ceremony in St. Augustine (the old guard has been phenomenal about showing up).

For Immediate Release:

World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum Names Selection Commission Co-Chairs for 2017 Induction Class

Jack Nicklaus Joins Fellow Hall of Fame Member Co-Chairs

Age Change to Induction Criteria also Announced

St. Augustine, FLORIDA (March 30, 2016) – The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum today announced 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus will join fellow Hall of Fame Members Nancy Lopez, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam as Co-Chairs of the Selection Commission for the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Selection Commission will elect the Class of 2017 which will be inducted Monday, May 8, 2017, the week of THE PLAYERS.

Lopez, Player and Sorenstam will return for a second term, while Nicklaus will replace Arnold Palmer and join the process for the first time.
 
“Being elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame, especially with the inaugural class (of 13) in 1974, was one of the unquestioned highlights of my career,” said Nicklaus. “It was a sign of respect and validation for the hard work I put into a game I have always loved and considered the greatest game of all. To now have the opportunity to join the Selection Commission, including my friends Nancy Lopez, Annika Sorenstam and Gary Player—all great players, wonderful people, and all highly respected in our game—gives me the opportunity to perhaps make someone else’s career and life very special with this honor. The Commission is an esteemed group of global leaders in our game, and I am honored to have the opportunity to help them advance the World Golf Hall of Fame and its tremendous work. And it should be a lot of fun along the way.”
 
“We are honored and excited to have Jack Nicklaus join the Selection Commission,” said Jack Peter, President of the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum. “From his storied playing career to his current contributions to the game, he certainly has a firm grasp on the sport’s pulse and will be an incredible asset to the Selection Commission. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Palmer for helping us transition to our new Induction process. He has been, and continues to be, one of the Hall of Fame’s most engaged and insightful supporters.”
 
The Selection Commission will review candidates in four categories: Male and Female Competitor, Veterans and Lifetime Achievement. Later this fall, the Commission will assemble to discuss the merits and vote on the 16 finalists. A candidate must receive at least 75 percent of the vote to be elected. The Class of 2017 will be announced later this fall.
 
Also announced today was a change to the qualifying age for enshrinement. Effective immediately, candidates must be at least 50 years of age at the start of the year in which selections are made, replacing the previous age requirement of 40. The exception would be if a player was at least five years removed from being an active participant on his or her respective Tour.
 
“We work very closely with our Hall of Fame Members to ensure all aspects of the Induction criteria are shrewd and judicious,” added Peter. “As players continue to elevate their fitness levels and continue to play at a high level for a longer period of time, moving the age requirement to 50 ensures that we are able to celebrate their careers at the proper time.”

The Class of 2017 will be inducted on May 8th, the Monday of THE PLAYERS, and the 2019 class will be honored at Pebble Beach the week of the men’s U.S. Open.

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