PGA Tour Clarifies Booze And Fan Behavior Policy...

In response to my post suggesting there is not a coherent alcohol policy, the PGA Tour sent this clarification:

The PGA TOUR has a detailed policy as it relates to alcohol sales and responsible drinking at our events.  Of note, our policy requires tournaments to end sales of alcohol to the general public one hour before the scheduled completion of play, each day, which is consistent with other major sports leagues. 

A few things to note: the general public refers to non-corporate tent folks. Alcohol is served differently to those paying more money, and sadly, also known to make their share of noise when a chalet is placed too close top lay.

As for the idea of one hour before scheduled completion of play at a golf tournament being a policy worthy of pride, that's too late to have an impact on the behavior we've been seeing at tournaments. In an arena or stadium sport, the time windows are generally much tighter than an all-day golf tournament. Also, as we know golf is a different sport than those events where rival teams are playing each other. 

Finally, the real damage is done when sales start first thing in the morning and drunken idiots are out soaking up the sun, reduced to half-melting morons by lunchtime. What could go wrong?

NYT Review Of The New Tiger Biography By Benedict And Keteyian

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Thanks to reader John for Dwight Garner's review of the new Jeff Benedict, Armen Keteyian book titled "Tiger Woods."

Garner calls the book "tawdry" but also "moving" and seems put off by the authors' confidence in exposing sides of Woods we don't know. 

It’s a confident and substantial book that’s nearly as sleek as a Christopher Nolan movie. It makes a sweet sound, like a well-struck golf ball.

I found it exhilarating, depressing, tawdry and moving in almost equal measure. It’s a big American story that rolls across barbered lawns and then leaves you stranded in some all-night Sam’s Club of the soul. It reminded me of a line from Martin Amis’s new book of essays: “How drunk was Scott Fitzgerald when he said there were no second acts in American lives?”

And this...

If this book has a flaw it may be that it’s too confident. Reading it can be like watching one of those crime shows in which the bumper music ends with slamming car doors. The authors move about like a supersleuth Starsky and Hutch, or Tango and Cash, or Crockett and Tubbs. To be fair, a bit of wit and play are allowed to sneak in.

Danzi And Spieth Split From Lagardère

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It's been a few years since we've had some big movement in the player agent world, particularly as players either set up their own shop or move to boutique operations.

Will Jay Danzi's departure from Lagardère Sports USA--with prized client Jordan Spieth joining him--lead to more switches or wholesale changes in how player careers are handled?  

The Forecaddie with some of the details of Danzi's move.

ZZZZ: Olympic Golf Format To Remain Same In 2020

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Great to see golf's leaders are still entrenched deep in their imagination black hole!

This is hardly surprising but it is a wonderful reminder that if golf can take the boring route, it will. Rex Hoggard at reports that players have been informed of 2020's Olympic golf plans and they look at lot like 2016's bland format.

According to a memo sent to PGA Tour players, the qualification process begins on July 1, 2018, and will end on June 22, 2020, for the men, with the top 59 players from the Olympic Golf Rankings, which is drawn from the Official World Golf Ranking, earning a spot in Tokyo (the host country is assured a spot in the 60-player field). The women’s qualification process begins on July 8, 2018, and ends on June 29, 2020.

The format, 72-holes of individual stroke play, for the ’20 Games will also remain unchanged.

Golf Gods Working Overtime: Reed And Spieth In Same Match Play Pod

Naturally, a day after citing Jordan Spieth in a whiny effort to get a free drop, Patrick Reed has been drawn into the same match play pod as the man whose name he invoked in rather pathetic fashion, as Brendan Porath notes.

Sadly, the Tweeted video that spawned Internet intrigue was dinged by the PGA Tour's censors--gee I thought they liked fans sharing things on social--but there's YouTube!

Rex Hoggard at breaks down this week's WGC Dell Match Play pods, with Group 4 featuring Reed and the player who he thinks gets free drops because he's Jordan. 

3.6: 2018 API Sunday Ratings up 136%, Highest In Six Years

Steiny to Tiger today: "do you need a Late Night With Jimmy Fallon mug? Or some Colbert merch? Maybe some Pyeonchang logoed ski caps? I've got gift packages pilling up here from Lazarus and McManus..."

The latest ratings bump courtesy of Tiger Woods:


Arnold Palmer Invitational and Valspar Championship Post Two Highest-Rated Final Round PGA TOUR Telecasts (Non-Majors) on Any Broadcast Network since the 2015 Wyndham Championship

ORLANDO, Fla., March 19, 2018 – Record viewership of the PGA TOUR continued this weekend for NBC Sports Group at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Sunday’s final-round coverage on NBC (2-6:45 p.m. ET) delivered a 3.6 overnight rating, +136% vs. 2017 and the highest-rated final round at this event in six years. Combined with last week’s final round viewership at the Valspar Championship (5.1 overnight rating) these rank as the two highest-rated final-round PGA TOUR telecasts (non-majors) on any broadcast network since the 2015 Wyndham Championship. Golf Channel’s Sunday final-round lead-in coverage earned a .97 overnight rating, the highest at this event in five years. Across NBC and Golf Channel’s coverage, more than 12 million minutes were streamed, +683% vs. 2017.


·         Sunday’s final-round coverage on NBC peaked to a 4.89 from 5:15-5:30 p.m. ET.

·         Golf Channel’s lead-in coverage peaked to a 1.24 from 1:30-2 p.m. ET.


Saturday’s third-round coverage earned a 2.29 overnight rating on NBC (2:30-6 p.m. ET), +92% vs. 2017 and the highest-rated at this event in five years. Golf Channel’s lead-in coverage (12:30-2:30 p.m. ET) earned a .95 overnight rating, +126% vs. 2017. Nearly 5.3 million minutes were streamed, +511% vs. 2017.

Kerr On Ko: "Her game’s not in good shape"

No one wants to kick Lydia Ko when she's down, but given the turnover of coaches and caddies she's fired in recent years, this assessment filed by Golf Channel's Randall Mell from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup is noteworthy. (The event was won by Inbee Park, who held off world No. 363 Laura Davies among others, as Ron Sirak writes in this game story from Phoenix.) 

From Mell's story on Ko:

Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

“Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

ShackHouse 56: Rory Wins At Rowdy, Dramatic Bay Hill

House and I discuss the 2018 Arnold Palmer invitational just minutes after the round concluded and cover the gravity of Rory McIlroy's win, his comments on fan behavior, Tiger's strong week and House's Knock off the Rust tour where two winners are announced (and I need to hear from you guys!). 

As always, ShackHouse is brought to you by Callaway, who rolled out new customization of Rogue drivers this week and on Tuesday, debut season four of Callaway Live with Apple executive Eddy Cue

Tiger: "Crazy As This May Sound I Haven't Putted On Bent Grass In Two Years"

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Tiger had plenty to say after not committing to a 16th hole tee shot, driving out of bounds and finishing the last three holes at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational poorly.

But another contending week has his now heading to The Masters with his game in strong shape at a tournament he's won four times. 

From this Golfweek roundup of his post round comments Sunday:

“I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t really thought that much about it, especially this week. I’ve been grinding and focusing on this week, trying to win this thing and now the tournament’s over, I’ll start to make some changes for Augusta, what kind of equipment setup I’m going to go with, some things I want to do with my swing. As crazy as this may sound I haven’t putted on bent grass in two years.”

Statistically, Tiger's putting is astounding, but as David Dusek of Golfweek notes, this also means an over-reliance on the flat stick.'s Bob Harig on Tiger's non-committal at 16 that ended a fantastic final day run.

Rory Vaults Himself Into The Masters Discussion With Resounding API Win

Rory McIlroy entered the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard 124th in Strokes Gained Putting. He left Bay Hill 23rd in the category and also takes home a new red cardigan, a pile of cash and loads of confidence just two weeks from the Masters.

Golfweek's Dan Kilbridge with the nuts, bolts and quotes from Sunday's dynamic finale.

Ryan Lavner reminds us just how long it's been since McIlroy has won and what the victory means.

Eamon Lynch with lots more on Brad Faxon's putting lesson and contest with Rory earlier in the week that helped turn things around for McIlroy. 

Will Gray at with a fun Rory anecdote from a dinner with Arnie.

A fun comparison with Rory's 18th hole birdie putt to shoot 64 and one from Tiger's greatest hits collection:

No wonder that putt on 18 looked so familiar…

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Pulling off the Alpaca cardigan:

A perfect fit! 😁 #ArniesArmy

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The round four highlights from PGA Tour Entertainment:

More Impressive? Bryson's API Runner-Up Or His Use Of Big Words?

Big words gets my vote, though if there was any question about former U.S. Amateur Champion Bryson DeChambeau's ability to play with the big boys, he settled that by hanging in with a -15 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational performance, as Will Gray reports for 

But as Kevin Casey notes at, DeChambeau's post-third round answer on his recent injury could be equally as important. The quote from Bryson about his back issue:

"Well it was the QL and that really got inflamed for me. It was because my quadratus lumborum wasn’t working, my iliacus, longissimus thoracis, they were all kind of over working, if you want to get technical on that. But they weren’t working very well and I overworked them. Pretty much my lower right back was hurting and I rested it. How about that?"

Oh to have seen the looks on press room faces!

BTW, the back looks to be just fine in this shot posted by his friends at Cobra:

Tiger's Ratings Influence Continues During First Two 2018 API Rounds

He even makes people watch the days he's not in the television window!

Rory: Time To Limit Alcohol Sales On Course

Rory McIlroy offered a constructive solution to the loud-loser issue that has crept up in recent weeks (well, and years at the Ryder Cup): limit alcohol sales.

I've suggested a cut off hour is badly overdue at tournaments featuring loud and abusive fans. But since most of golf's leaders would give their grandmothers the Heisman for the chance to belly-flop on a loose penny, we've yet to see a golfing equivalent of the 7th-inning cutoff.

Bob Harig of reports on McIlroy's comments following a round where one fan kept yelling out his wife's name.

"There was one guy out there who kept yelling my wife's name," said McIlroy, who shot 67 on Saturday to pull within two shots of leader Henrik Stenson. "I was going to go over and have a chat with him. I don't know, I think it's gotten a little much, to be honest. I think that they need to limit alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something because every week, it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more."

State Of The Game 76: Zac Blair (@z_blair)

Rod Morri, Mike Clayton and yours truly caught professional golfer Zac Blair before he was off to go play to talk the distance debate and various architecture subjects.

Thanks to Zac for taking the time and listening to old men grumble about distance and as always, to Lloyd Cole for the musical intro. 

If you aren't following Zac on Twitter, you can find him here.

The episode's permanent link is here. 

The MP3 link here.

The show's iTunes store link here.

Episode 76 on iTunes here.

Or the episode here:

Instagram Roundup: Tiger's Heroic Recovery, Arnie's Tractor, Bobby Jones's Birthday And A Creative Masters Teaser

A vintage Tiger Woods shot Saturday at Bay Hill. He trails Henrik Stenson by five heading into Sunday's 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational finale, Dan Kilbridge reports. A fantastic leaderboard should make for a great last day.

V I N T A G E 🐅

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The tractor belonging to Arnold Palmer's dad was brought down from Latrobe and parked at Bay Hill this week to commemorate the influence of his father.

Arnie’s Tractor.

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Saturday was Bobby Jones' birthday. The USGA posted some images of the amateur golfing great.

The Masters has begun their social media efforts earlier than normal and feature this look at the club's co-founders.

Christmas Comes Early Files: Every Final Round Masters Broadcast Since 1968 Now On YouTube!

Some day we'll look back fondly on the years when we'd relive great Masters moments on YouTube watching a jittery cell phone recording of someone's television set. Or not. 

H/T to Sean Zak at for alerting us to this incredible treasure trove of broadcasts.

Where to start? It's overwhelming. Here is the menu.

Shoot, might as well go back 50 years ago and work my way up to the present!


And just for giggles, I screen captured this and will come searching for the number a year from now:

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