THE STARTER SHACK
We wouldn't have a pace of play problem if everyone golfed like Matt Jones. His pre-shot routine during the Honda Classic was routinely under 5 seconds.
This is the same amount of time it takes DeChambeau to ask and receive the air density calculation from his caddie, Tim Tucker. "Hey Tim, what's my air density?" Tim checks yardage book. "You're looking at a 26". Knowing the air density is not helping our game here at The Starter Shack.
It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood...For One Guy
The race for face-melting length off the tee on the PGA Tour has very few winners and a laundry list of losers.
Imagine being able to take out a driver, and just know that when you pull it back the end result is a syrupy little draw that travels in excess of 300 yards in the air. Now imagine going through the mental gymnastics that deem that not good enough.
Welcome to Rory McIlroy’s neighbourhood, which has just been invaded by Bryson DeChambeau.
Bryson now has Rory admitting that chasing distance and looking to “out-Bryson” Bryson is causing some issues in both his game and his general approach to the game mentally.
- “doing a little bit of speed training, started getting sucked into that stuff”
- “I'd be lying if I said it wasn't anything to do with what Bryson did at the U.S. Open.”
Bryson is living in the heads of PGA Tour pros like McIlroy rent-free.
This is not the first time that a PGA Tour pro has stripped down his game and tried to gain more yards. It is an affliction that has damaged an ever-growing list of players:
- Padraig Harrington (“The one thing I’m obsessed about is chasing distance,”)
- Luke Donald
- Jordan Spieth
Gone are the days of Corey Pavin with his pushbroom moustache carving a Ian Woosnam high fade 250 yards off the tee...and winning tournaments. Today’s distances (and the overall gains in the last 30+ years) will get into anyone’s head, with or without rent!
What makes Bryson’s pursuit of distance different?
Perhaps the Incredible Bulk routine that
Peter Parker Bryson did before retooling his swing is the underappreciated aspect of this. We aren’t (yet) seeing the knee issues that have plagued players like Tiger and Koepka nor any back issues that have ruined many a player’s career.
Time will tell whether this pursuit pays off as handsomely as his new ownership of some prime real estate in Rory’s brain matter.
Sabbatini Loves Morikawa’s GF...It’s Weird
Rory Sabbatini is not the most liked player on tour—this is not new—but Spieth and Morikawa took it to new heights with a hot mic.
Before the final round of The Players Championship, the PGA Tours Brian Wacker sent a text to the field as reported by Golf.com:
“REMINDER—Every shot will be captured and transmitted live this week through PGA Tour Live. Be mindful of what you say and do on course. Thanks.”
Speith and Morikawa obviously don’t read their text messages.
Speith first fired a shot into Rory Sabbatini in the fairway. Anyone would. But then things got interesting and weird. And it was kinda fun. Here is the full exchange where Speith and Morikawa gush over their
love for Sabbatini.
While it isn’t exactly noteworthy that Rory Sabbatini has only slightly more friends than Stalin (thanks for that shocking “revelation”, Jordan), it was somewhat surprising to hear that he likes to engage in unsolicited video chats with some Tour member’s significant others (thanks Collin).
“It’s kind of weird, I think he loves Kat” — Morikawa
Hearing these candid comments was wild; perhaps the next step in the evolution of this “always on” environment would be to ensure that the cameras and microphones are rolling in the locker room to catch the fallouts from these audio clips.
“I don’t love Kat, Kat loves me!” — we’re only speculating... Sabbatini
The idea of seeing and hearing everything during an event sounds great, however, with the glacial pace of Tour-level play, there is going to be large voids to fill in the action. There’s banter between caddies and players during the heat of the action caught on camera. And it can be bland; yardage, wind, club choice, lie, trajectory, run out, target, landing spot, full shot or not a full shot, air density...sorry, we got carried away here.
Now, listening in on a player who barely made the cut a mile back of the leader or one who is going out first thing in the morning after a bender the night before (looking at you, Eddie Pepperell, c.2018, Carnoustie Golf Links), then we can only imagine that the exchanges might be a little more raw and unfiltered, and infinitely more entertaining.
Here’s hoping that the PGA Tour keep this in mind as the loss of the spontaneity that folks would tune in for if the broadcast was scrubbed using the “8 second rule” would be a criminal loss of fun, humor and hijinks.
What would really be interesting is some fisticuffs in the locker room or parking lot (gives new meaning the term trunk slammer, doesn’t it?)
- Brooks may not master the Masters: Koepka's bid for a green jacket may be on hold for the 2021 season after a routine right knee cap dislocation.
- Remember when Fitzpatrick mocked DeChambeau?: We do and we guess that the organizers of the Seminole Annual Pro-Member do as well.
- Shot-by-shot betting: IMG Arena announced its partnership with BetMGM. You will be able to follow two par three holes per week...much like Fox Golf coverage.
- Who you got for the Masters: Sportsline ran 10,000 simulations for their Masters Leaderboard...it's a little more advanced than our pull-a-name-out-of-a-hat concept.
- 22 new noteworthy courses in 2021: Top of the list are creations by Tad King and Rob Collins and Dan Hixson of Silvies Ranch fame.
- Tom Doak leaving his legacy in Ireland: Doak's design will compliment a 2003 design by Irish architect Pat Ruddy, and the Old Tom Morris Links, designed in 1893 by... Old Tom himself.
- When I grow up I want to be a course rater: who are these mystical beings they call course raters and how do I become one?
Jason Day gets a video game…no he doesn’t
Did you wait in line to get the Jason Day PGA Tour EA Sports video game? Me neither.
I like vanilla ice cream but Jason Day is vanilla 365 days a year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Jason Day fan, I just can’t imagine playing him in a video game.
- Iconic fist pump? Nope
- Iconic Sunday uniform? Nope
- Iconic deliver-under-pressure-every-time moments? Nope
Nobody in today’s modern golf has any of those traits. Sure, Patrick Dweeb has a Sunday uniform but it’s not the same. It’s like if Connor McDavid wore number 99. It’s not uniquely his, it’s simply an homage.
Whew - that was a long winded, wrong direction down a one way, U-turn journey to say...Tiger Woods is partnering with EA Sports to, once again, be the poster boy for PGA Tour 2K.
Regardless of it’s terrible name, this partnership makes perfect sense:
- EA Sports was one of Tigers longest sponsorships spanning 15 years.
- 14 editions of Tiger Wood PGA Tour.
- $771 million in earnings
- One of the most successful sports games ever
It was estimated that Tiger took home between $6 and $9 million per year. There are rumors that this new deal is enormous. Again, this makes complete sense; who else is capable of drawing an audience to play a golf video game?
Tiger is the most recognizable golfer of the modern era, if not of all time.
There have been 12 World Golf Number 1’s since 2010. Only one of which was tasked to carry the torch...Rory McIlroy.
In 2015 EA released a fresh rebuild of the iconic game with Rory as the front man. Without much surprise it received a reception like Derek Ernst gets at the Barracuda Championship. Can you hear it? The reception? Me neither.
Not much has been released about what Tiger’s involvement will be beyond Executive Director and consultant. Two things are all but guaranteed...the unmistakable Sunday uniform and the iconic fist pumps will be bountiful.
“Fifty bucks says the Smails kid picks his nose.” — Caddyshack
In-round betting is coming to a PGA Tournament near you or more likely, near your tv and couch.
The PGA Tour has teamed up with Amazon Web Services to create a more immersive viewing experience.
The plan is to enable every shot hit in a golf tournament to be viewed as well as the creation of a formidable archive of digitized material from the past century of the PGA Tour. In theory, one could follow their favorite golfer(s), for better or for worse, for an entire round (seems kinda Peeping Tom-ish, but whatever floats your dinghy).
Pretty innocent, and very much a voyeuristic way of catching some golf action.
Choo-Choo! Here comes the money train! It’s alway about the money. With the explosion of the ever-growing online sports gambling market, this new partnership opens up a new data-rich environment for folks to augment their gambling fix.
How, you ask?
While this won’t move the needle much for the usual brand of daily golf betting (e.g. futures wagers for picking a tournament winner), it stands to have a profound impact on prop bets, especially in-round betting.
On a simple level...
- what score a player makes on an upcoming hole
- the more granular individual shots and their result (fairway/greens hit or missed, penalty areas, up and down from a penalty area, etc.)
If A then B...the more convoluted world of correlated betting.
- making birdie after bogeying the previous hole
- a player plucking the feathers off a just made birdie/eagle by trainwrecking the next hole.
One can envision watching a player for a few holes and gauging the player’s state of mind/level of confidence and then placing a bet on the relative success of the next shot or result of the upcoming hole.
Having this level of unimpeded access to a players psyche really opens up a whole new level to getting that gambling fix.
- FLUBBED: Aaron Wise three putts from three feet. Drops from T-3 to T13. And we thought we wasted money.
- FLUSHED: Pebble Beaches short course, The Hay, is set to re-open and it looks spectacular. The course underwent a major facelift with the involvement of Tiger Woods and his design firm. The highlight...the 2nd hole is a replica of the 7th hole at Pebble.
Today's email was brought to you by: Nolan Filipenko & Colby Johannson