Former Cal Golfer Opens Rustic Canyon Round With 10 Straight Birdies

As co-architect I should be horrified but any course that rewards such incredible play must be a masterpiece, no?

Anyway, enough about me.

The Forecaddie reports on Brandon Beck’s 10-birdie start at Rustic Canyon in August and suggests that it’s a record given how few documented 10-straight moments have been recorded.

Oh, and he lipped out on the 11th.

Video And Podcast: The Fried Egg On Rustic Canyon

Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 10.08.50 PM.png

It’s a treat to see the continued interest in Rustic Canyon 17 years after it opened, but as we knew at the time, the opportunity to work on a sandy site not far from a major U.S. city was something special.

So it’s an honor to have contributed to Andy Johnson’s Fried Egg podcast to discuss the design and his stunning drone photography of the place this winter.

Garrett Morrison looks at the design, what it meant to the region at the time and more, in this review with some fantastic still images.

Andy clipped out some of my comments on behalf of the design team—Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner as well—to provide these views:

Walking Tour Of Augusta National And Other Content


As the 2019 Masters became a whirlwind affair, I wasn’t able to keep up with all of the amazing content. The folks debuted a Masters podcast that even debuted and is queued up for me to keep savoring this year’s event for days to come.

I will selfishly start by posting my walking tour of the course, a walk I traditionally make on the weekends before settling in the Press Building (see map above…it starts at the clubhouse and goes up No. 1). The walk allows me to see all but the 4th, 5th and 12th hole locations up close and to get a sense of the wind, vibe and other conditions.

This year I was only able to do it Saturday and it took longer than normal, but generally it takes about 40 minutes and is a great way if you get to the Masters to see the entire course setting in a folding chair or grandstand.

The video was the idea of the team to accompany my essay designed to settle most general questions about how to get the most from a Masters visit. Naturally, it was an honor to share this and I hope it’s handy for years to come if you get the privilege of attending the Masters.

Another stellar piece of content, if nothing else because chef David Chang takes you so many places so rarely seen in footage, is the piece embedded below. He reveals the not-so-secret (apparently!) Stand 12 drink. He even blends Masters sandwiches, but mostly does a lovely job summing up elements of the experience. Check it out:

UK Golf Guy Is Posting Favorite Ten Courses Lists And They're Fun To Check Out

For those who love their lists and reading about good golf architecture, UK Golf Guy has posted the top ten favorite courses of Mike Clayton, Pat Goss, Alan Shipnuck, Darius Oliver and has more to come.

Yours truly turned in his ten and most are probably predictable, but given this is a pure favorites list I had to include a few where I’d just be happy playing. I did not include any course I had a design or renovation hand in.

Feel free to post yours below!

Welcome: The New Look

Mobile responsive design has arrived! And hopefully a few other goodies that will make the site more interactive and fun for all.

So what's new besides a better read on your phone or tablet?

  • Modern fonts (your initial feedback will be the gauge of that, so please let your eyes adjust)
  • Registered commenting 
  • The ability to "like" posts without signing in
  • The ability to "flag" offensive posts
  • Modern sharing with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn Share, Reddit, Tumblr
  • Newsletter option coming soon
2018 banner

2018 banner

I hope the new site makes it easy to find the content here however you like to read, whether your arrival is via social media, newsletter, desktop, laptop, or on a tablet or mobile device, the goal is to make it easy to come and go as you please without too much eye strain. My primary goal remains to comment on the best writing or share my own thoughts on the game we love. 

For some time I contemplated significant format changes and was very close to a starkly different release, but I still prefer the site's "blog" format of scrolling and reading what you please by moving up and down the site with the fewest clicks possible.

There is still a quote-of-the-day to set the tone for the day or to bring a little historical perspective. Selfishly, I enjoy digging into my books and files for the old stuff (and you can continue to see an archive of those quotes at this Twitter feed, also linked in the righthand column).

You will notice some new additions on the right sidebar. There are Eye On Design videos, with a continued goal to produce more of as the year goes, and fun content from my partners at Golfweek/USA Today Sports, Callaway and The Ringer.

Many of you who've been coming here since the site was an offshoot of The Future of Golf know was created in the early days of blogging, and some of you have been receiving a Feedblitz newsletter listing posts. I'm working on something a little better than that, and for those who like to receive email newsletters, please sign up here. The release of that daily newsletter will be promoted when it's ready. Thanks for your patience!

Also, there was one very unfortunate issue in the transition to a new Squarespace 7 site from a Squarespace 5: we were able to get most comments over, but the last few weeks unfortunately have not yet been transferred. You will see I've moved some over manually and will do more in the coming weeks. Still, over 20,000 comments were moved as were thousands of posts and that was a cumbersome task that created a few hiccups, but it was worth the effort and wait. Apologies all around for any lost comments!

Finally, the banner has evolved into a minimalist approach with nods to the past, still featuring the first at Rustic Canyon. It's also designed to be friendly to all devices. 

In the meantime, please sign in and sign up and let me know what you think. Thank you for your support and your patience during the inevitable bumps in the road to a modernized site!

Banner circa 2013

Banner circa 2013

Banner circa 2017

Banner circa 2017

Drone Flyover Of The Horse Course At The Prairie Club

It's been a few years since Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner, myself and a fun cast of characters created the Horse Course at The Prairie Club, so it was nice to see the 10-hole par-3 course finally get the drone treatment its setting deserves. Especially now as the game opens its very closed mind to par-3 courses, the concept of H-O-R-S-E golf will hopefully get a little more attention.

And given the difficulty of maintaining prairie bunkers, it's especially neat to see how well they've evolved. Thanks Patrick Koenig for the great shots.

Callaway Live: Falcons QB & Links Golf Lover Matt Ryan

Yours truly was promoted as the guest on Callaway Live with Harry Arnett this week, but in a bit of television magic (me shuttling to Carlsbad from The Open), I happily step aside for suprise guest Matt Ryan.

Not only did he lead the Falcons to last year's Super Bowl, but Ryan is a terrific lover of golf. I think you'll enjoy his discussion of his annual trip to enjoy links golf, how the game helps him retain his flexibility and why it's his off season passion.

But only after certified Falcons fanatic Arnett gets in a few Super Bowl questions...

Eye On Design: The U.S. Open On Modern Links Courses

Enthusiasm for this U.S. Open isn’t exactly off the charts and I’m guilty of having shared that sensibility given a new venue and a major championship return to this market in less than two years. However, on Sunday (we hope…) the U.S. Open Trophy will be awarded along with the Jack Nicklaus Gold Medal and the history books will not remember this was played at 13-year-old inland, Irish-inspired, treeless, 350-acre course.

For all of the fun holes, beautiful bunkering and other cool features, Erin Hills has much going against it due in large part to just how browned out and bizarre Chambers Bay looked in 2015. That’s it's Tacoma, Washington counterpart in what was, at one time, the USGA’s effort to introduce new (public) venues into their unofficial rota.

I’ve heard much consternation about these non-traditional U.S. Open venues and the awarding of this championship to such relatively untested layouts for a variety of reasons. They all have some merit but also ignore the need to work in new venues too. Whether it’s their lack of history, architectural scale or minimalist brand name cache, the concern is understandable. But as we know, so many venues that once hosted U.S. Open's can no longer do so because today's players are linebackers, tri-athletes and overall mega-jocks armed with equipment that the USGA and R&A say hasn't done a thing for them over the last decade!

I digress.

There is also the legitimate concern that within the Grand Slam scheme of things, an Erin Hills or Chambers Bay skews things toward the creative links-lover and away from the U.S. Open’s test as one of supreme patience and precision. 

So before I get a post up with some images and things to look for this week, consider this Eye On Design where I bat around these issues in the grand scheme of things with the U.S.G.A. bringing America’s national championship 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee. Hopefully I offer a few thoughts for your inevitable 19th Hole debates this week. (PS - here is the list of future U.S. Open venues noted in the piece.)


ShackHouse 30: Leishman, Nachman, Brown & Shackelford

It's not a law firm, I promise!

Only a jam-packed ShackHouse this week as Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Marc Leishman joins us to discuss the story behind his new (excellent-fitting) cardigan, his Masters preparation and his background with the Victorian Institute of Sport's Golf Program where he met longtime instructor Denis McDade.

Then, shifting toward the WGC Dell Match Play in Austin, we hit up multiple locals starting with Criquet's co-founders Billy Nachman and Hobson Brown. Besides making great clothes merging 70s aesthetics with modern sensibilities, they are also helping lead the fight to save Lions Municipal. Almost as important, they surprised us with a special 20% off for ShackHouse listeners using code SHACKHOUSE at their website.

To continue the great Ringer tradition of a podcast host calling his dad for a guest hit, we also talked Austin golf, UCLA basketball and the 2017 NCAA tournament with Lynn Shackelford, one of only four athletes to have started on three NCAA championship-winning basketball teams. This is the 50th anniversary of their first title, documented by Mike Lopestri at

As always, you can subscribe on iTunes and or just refresh your device subscription page.

Here is The Ringer's show page.

Same deal with Soundcloud for the show, and Episode 30 is here to listen to right now!

Now, with this week's match play here is the ShackHouse league where the winner of our WGC Dell Match Play bracketology will get the joy of (A) inevitably beating House and I, and (B) taking home a new Odyssey putter with Microhinge Technology as discussed in the show.

As always, ShackHouse is brought to you by Callaway, who debuted episodes of Callaway Live with Jim Furyk, Mike Tirico, Adam Hadwin and this week, Michelle Wie who will be supported by the golf architecture-loving, Hawaiian-born, Isla Vista-reared, California reggae masters Iration.

We're also sponsored by Callaway’s new Steelhead irons, so visit to try the Iron Selector tool.

Don't forget to join the Callaway Community to get a sneak peak on shows and the chance to submit questions to guests, though that's the least of the reasons to join!

Nine Days Of Christmas: State Apparel Fairway Pants

I know what you're not thinking, last Christmas he said the ABC Pant is the greatest thing ever created. And now? I still think they are in spite of the steep price. Pure comfort, brilliance and ingenuity.

But durability for golf?

That's where the ABC Pant may be imperfect. Not that I've found Lululemon's pants to fall apart, but I do wonder if they can handle the rigors of repeated use for a golfer.

It's that concern about durability that has warmed me to the merits of State Apparel's Fairway Pant as the better golf option. The combination of design cleverness, Made-in-California values and an overall stronger fabric makes them an ideal gift to yourself or a golfer.

When I first tried them on, State's heavier and tougher fabric seemed too weighty compared to the Lululemon's. But after trying them out on a course and twice at the range, I realize the toughness stitched into the slacks makes them a better long-term investment for golfers, especially younger players who are more active.

Initially the black, almost-velvet black lining of the pockets and cuffs struck me as an odd design touch. But remembering how quickly pockets turned dirty and frayed, the design touch adds a whiff of brilliance that makes you feel good putting on the slacks for golf.

You can read the State Apparel story here and here for the explanation about one last pre-shot wiping option. The $135 Fairway pant in white is found on their pants page.

Even better, as a courtesy, State Apparel is offering site readers a 30% discount using the code: HOLIDAYGOLF