Yolk with Doak 33: Listener Questions and the State of the Industry
Yolk with Doak 33: Listener Questions...
THommy wins it for Illinois, centerline angst, Amex “drama,” and Orlando fake winter
It’s victory Monday for Andy, who’s happy about Illinois’ own Thomas Pieters getting it done in Abu Dhabi as well as the Packers not getting it done in Lambeau. Grayson Allen, on the other hand, is a source of outrage. In golf, they begin with that Euro Tour event in the desert, assessing Pieters’ arc, the new course setup, and Hatton’s heated words on the 18th hole needing to be blown up. At the other desert event, the Amex, they praise Hudson Swafford and weight Jon Rahm’s cussin’ outburst about the tourney being nothing more than a “putting contest.” At the LPGA event, they ponder real or fake winter in Orlando having an impact specifically on Danielle Kang’s ability to win. There’s also an old man rant about the volume of the music playing at the 18th hole. They close with a nod to both young and old winners at the Latin America Am and on the Champions Tour.
The Akshay ascendancy, YAAAAS winds, and FBF returns
This Friday episode begins with some tales of Andy’s travels behind enemy lines at the end of this week. Then it’s on to the one result we already have in the bank, Akshay Bhatia’s victory on the KFT. Brendan and Andy discuss Bhatia’s path, why it made sense, and how we could see much more of it coming down the pike. On the DP World Tour, they praise the windy conditions and wild humps and bumps of the YASSSSS links. The AmEx discussion gets into Patrick Cantlay, and whether he’s at the level where only work at the majors is what’s left when it comes to amplifying his status in the game. The Senior Tour chatter ponders the “clean living spectrum” and why there’s ROY award. They close with multiple Precision Pro Flashback Fridays, first on the origin story of the Bob Hope Classic, and second, on the catnip of Casey Martin’s first PGA Tour event as a member.
Apologies, Big boy catnip, and both letter economy and vowel eradication
This Wednesday episode begins with an apology from Brendan after a frazzled recording on Monday led to an oversight or two. Then it’s on to discussing the ongoing Korn Ferry Tour event, which can’t be watched and might be hard to find scores on given website problems at the global home. Then it’s on to the schedule of the week, which begins with an odd digression on the 2016 Abu Dhabi event. Then it’s back to Palm Springs and the AmEx, which leads to discussions on the new featured groups rollout and a Catnip Call of the Week focused on a big boy from the land of Coetzee. Michelle Wie West’s return to the Tournament of Champions is highlighted on the LPGA side, while the field and new course in Abu Dhabi is covered on the Euro or DP World side. They close with news on some provocative comments from Monty on the state of the modern game and the new list of names on the PAC.
Hideki gets on his horse, Na beef, and Bryson’s Netflix altruism
This holiday Monday episode reacts to what will likely be one of the best finishes of the year on the PGA Tour, as Hideki chased down Henley at the Sony Open. They discuss the total turnaround for Hideki in the last calendar year, Japan’s lineage at this event, and the catnip moments down the stretch. Andy praises the variety of players that continually emerge at this venue while Brendan praises the event’s self-confidence when it comes to identity. The Grayson Murray and Kevin Na beef is also dissected, with harsh critiques for all involved. News hits on Bryson’s reason for not doing the new Netflix show.
A chat with the producers of Netflix’s new golf series
Paul Martin of Box to Box Films and the executive producer of Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” and Chad Mumm, Head of Entertainment at Vox Media Studios, join to discuss the news that Netflix is doing a series on PGA Tour pros. They are two of the executive producers involved in the project. It was an official announcement that fired up the golf corner of the world (and larger sports world) this week and both Martin and Mumm discuss some of the background of how it came together, what’s been promising so far, assuage concerns about authenticity, and the process of getting both the players and all the men’s major golf orgs, including Augusta National, on board with the series. Andy and Brendan begin the episode with some of their own reactions to the major news and the list of players confirmed, ponder what contretemps or triumph of the past fews years for which they wish the series had existed, and then jump in to chatting with Chad and Paul. Thanks to both for their time.
Halas Hall happenings, Backboard comebacks, and an all-time shhedule for the week
This lively Wednesday episode begins with a Chicago sports minute that turns into five or six minutes on the turnover at Halas Hall and the larger cohort of cheapskates that own Chicago teams. Then it’s on to the Sony Open, where Andy and Brendan delight in the field at another one of the great early-year stops. The backboards should return, but softness may as well, mitigating their usage at Waialae. The schedule for the week features the triumphant return of televised golf from Australia, as well as an overnight option in Singapore. You could watch golf all round the clock this week. News concludes with a shakeup in the honorary starters at the Masters and some comments on the loss of Tim Rosaforte.
Cam’s “regression,” Birdie fest brouhahas, and the Memphis blender
It’s a peppy Monday episode celebrating the return of golf in 2022. Andy and Brendan react to Cam Smith’s outrageous play, remarking on his #gainz off the tee and the way he stood out there with Kapalua’s wide fairways to gain an edge on Jon Rahm of all people. They discuss the social media Sturm und Drang around the low scoring, pondering whether there should be an asterisk for the records given preferred lies were in place. The hot mics, Notah’s level, the pace of play, and graphics about Notable winners and “Every Shot Counts” are also discussed. There’s anger about the total confusion over the history of a multitude of PGA Tour events now being called WGC Memphis, with announcers getting crossed up left and right. They close with news on the U.S. Women’s Open purse being bumped significantly and a host of primo venues added as future sites. Before sign off, a couple thoughts on Rickie getting a Hawaii-themed activation off this week.
Putting the P in PXG, ESPN’s curious calculations, and Bryson’s cap
This Friday episode is a bite-sized reaction to the first official PGA Tour round of 2022. Andy and Brendan delight in the re-introduction to PGA Tour golf in the new year with a hearty announcement that round one would be played with preferred lies. Then they bounce around with various quick thoughts on what’s transpired so far this week, including the notable enlistment of Patrick Reed with the troops. There are reactions to some of the new graphics, including ESPN+’s humorous attempt to calculate yardages with elevation changes. They close it with a mini Flashback trivia and thoughts on who from the bottom of the board could get hot for three straight days.
Hemisphere debates, carbon drivers, and asking the tough questions on Kapalua field
The PGA Tour is back and this Wednesday episode is a rambling discussion focused mostly on the return to golf at Kapalua, one of our favorite annual traditions on tour. Aside from Kapalua, there’s chatter on snow days, Dan Pohl’s golf course, the preferable hemisphere to live in, and taking road trips in complete silence. There is anticipation for ESPN+ joining the fray. There’s a new segment, the “catnip call of the week” and a subject is nominated there that we think you’ll be hearing about this week. There are some tough questions for Xander, Spieth, Phil, Wolff, and others. They also pick apart the term “resort golf” and ponder which player in this field will be the most obscure some 30 years from now. News hits on the breathless reaction to new driver releases, and a bucket of more Saudi commits.
PIP Paranoia and a 2022 Prospectus
The Shotgun Start is off and running in 2022 with this Monday episode. Andy and Brendan review some of their New Year’s weekend exploits, and ponder whether the Courier Cup is a better postseason format than the recently maligned CFP. Then they jump into news, which is mostly a discussion about the PIP confusion provoked by Phil Mickelson’s tweets and conflicting reports last week. Then they jump into a wide-ranging chat on 2022 -- there was no plan for predictions, because guessing major winners in January is silly, but Andy does go on record doling out a major to a certain Northern Irishman before the segment is over. Other things discussed are the major venues, Lexi going side saddle, a Bryson regression, Tiger thoughts, some potential Pres Cuppers making a leap, and the Billy Ho award for SGS breakout star.
Year in Review Part 10, presented by Precision Pro Golf
There was never a doubt! The Year in Review concludes with Part 10 covering the Olympics up through the final tournament of the PGA Tour season that doesn’t feature a low net winner. An assignment mix-up leaves a couple events uncovered, but Andy and Brendan pull it together to steer this home and put the “Super Season” to rest. They are incredibly grateful for your continued support of the podcast in 2021, and cannot wait to run it back again in 2022. This is the usual SGS approach to the year in review, focusing more on the amusing, inane, and extraordinary. This year’s series was brought to you by Precision Pro Golf, the official rangefinder of the Shotgun Start
Year in Review Part 9, presented by Precision Pro Golf
Hey, the year is rapidly winding down and so is the Year in Review. In this installment, Andy and Brendan pick up with some post U.S. Open fallout, rip through the Travelers, Bryson-Tim split, Phil tweeting at local media, Pat Reed being called to serve, and a full recap The Open, the last men’s major in a super season. The topics range from “This Driver Sucks” to Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker being included with Giannis in a graphic. This is the usual SGS approach to the year in review, focusing more on the amusing, inane, and extraordinary. We’re just about done, but you can enjoy this month-long rollout at your convenience during the last 10 days of the year. This year’s series is brought to you by Precision Pro Golf, the official rangefinder of the Shotgun Start.
Pondering the PNC, Tiger & Charlie, and the R&A’s flex
This peppy Monday episode reacts to the Tiger and Charlie show in Orlando on Sunday. Andy and Brendan begin first with some subtle but notable thirsty maneuvering at the conclusion of play. Then they get into the more important matters about what it all means for Tiger’s future and whether the PNC is a top 10 tour-ish event with the Woods duo in it. There are some comments about watching Charlie stripe it as well, and the reaction to his play on Twitter. Andy posits, and then they debate, where this event now rates in all of golf, both men’s and women’s -- e.g. is it better than every WGC? There’s chatter on the Dalys, and the choice players make to have their kid wear their branded scripting or not. They close with news that the R&A will be revoking its exemption into the Open for the Asian Tour’s order of merit.
Year in Review Part 8, presented by Precision Pro Golf
Andy and Brendan close out the week with a PUNCHY Year-in-Review episode covering the stretch from the Kokheads Colonial triumph through “Rahmbo’s” U.S. Open title. There was a bounty of amusements and moments of whimsy from Fort Worth to Memorial to Olympic to Sectional Qualifying to Congaree. They review it all and close it out with the third men’s major of 2021 at Torrey Pines, which provided ample material to laugh at here at the end of the year. This is the usual SGS approach to the year in review, focusing more on the amusing, inane, and extraordinary and it should FINISH over the next week, but can be enjoyed at your convenience during the holiday season. This year’s series is brought to you by Precision Pro Golf, the official rangefinder of the Shotgun Start.
Year in Review Part 7, presented by Precision Pro Golf
The three-man weave and the Year in Review roll on, with Kyle Porter author of the recently released book, A Normal Sport, back joining to review the PGA Championship, which the three hosts declare as the best major of the year. But first, Andy provides an appetizer with a recall of the Byron Nelson at TPC Craig T. Nelson Ranch. Then it’s on to a wide-ranging chat of the PGA, from Bryson seeing UFOs at the start of the week to Brendan and Andy on the ground at the end of it. This is the usual SGS approach to the year in review, focusing more on the amusing, inane, and extraordinary and it should FINISH over the next week, but can be enjoyed at your convenience during the holiday season. This year’s series is brought to you by Precision Pro Golf, the official rangefinder of the Shotgun Start.
Year in Review Part 6, presented by Precision Pro Golf
It’s a three-man weave for the latest installment of the Year in Review, with Kyle Porter of CBS and author of the recently released book, A Normal Sport, joining to review the post-Masters stretch of the schedule. Andy picks it up with the RBC Heritage and the comical range modifications to try and capture Bryson’s drives. This portion runs through the “driving range golf” of the Wells Fargo Championship, which includes the re-emergence of the disruptor leagues and the Walker Cup stomach bug catastrophe. This is the usual SGS approach to the year in review, focusing more on the amusing, inane, and extraordinary and it will continue to roll out over the next week to be enjoyed at your convenience during the holiday season. This year’s series is brought to you by Precision Pro Golf, the official rangefinder of the Shotgun Start.
Year in Review Part 5, presented by Precision Pro Golf
The Year in Review continues and this part takes on the 2021 Masters, from Woosie’s valiant bid to make the cut, Ollie’s successful and emotional made cut, the Baton Boy’s tour de force psycho carnival weekend on the featured groups stream on back-to-back days, Bryson’s drives “to Narnia,” and of course, the Hideki show. This is the usual SGS approach to the year in review, focusing more on the amusing, inane, and extraordinary and it will continue to roll out over the next week to be enjoyed at your convenience during the holiday season. This year’s series is brought to you by Precision Pro Golf, the official rangefinder of the Shotgun Start.
Tiger’s taking cuts and a Hovland harbinger
We interrupt the Year In Review for a Monday episode that reacts to the Hero happenings down in the Bahamas. Andy and Brendan discuss some of the chipping struggles and challenges that we witnessed on Sunday at Albany, and how it put even some Bermuda aces, like Sam Burns, in a blender, and what that says about overall setups. Then they get on to the winner, Viktor Hovland, and whether this victory is indicative of anything at all, e.g. a 2014-style Spieth preview of what’s to come. They also discuss Morikawa going on tilt as well as Stenson and Spieth somehow hitting off the wrong tee box. Then it’s on to Tiger, the several scenes of him taking full swings throughout the weekend, and indications or expectations that he will tee it up in the PNC. They provide their reactions to that, and what might animate his golf life going forward.
Year in Review Part 4, presented by Precision Pro Golf
The Year in Review continues with the GOLD STANDARD, a “big event,” the purest test in golf, and the leadoff hitter in the Season of Championships. The 2021 Players was a carnival of the absurd and dramatic, so this trip down memory lane takes some time. Part 4 runs through the WGC Match Play, the Baton Boy’s great triumph. Next week, we will pick up with the Masters and run through the summer. This is the usual SGS approach to the year in review, focusing more on the amusing, inane, and extraordinary and it will continue to roll out over the next week or so in multiple parts to be enjoyed at your convenience during the holiday season. This year’s series is brought to you by Precision Pro Golf, the official rangefinder of the Shotgun Start.
Year in Review Part 3, presented by Precision Pro Golf
The Year in Review rolls on, with Part 3 swinging us from the West Coast over to Florida. This part picks up with the succinctly named and amply entertaining World Golf Championship-Workday Championship at The Concession. It ends at … Bay Hill, with a whale of a segment on the Players pushed to Friday. This is the usual SGS approach to the year in review, focusing more on the amusing, inane, and extraordinary and it will continue to roll out over the next week or so in multiple parts to be enjoyed at your convenience during the holiday season. This year’s series is brought to you by Precision Pro Golf, the official rangefinder of the Shotgun Start.
Tiger talks, Bryson oils up, and the Asian Tour pokes the bear
This late Monday episode was planned as another installment of the Year in Review, but Andy and Brendan could not shut up about some of the recent developments in the world of golf. So they begin with a few comments on Thanksgiving weekend before transitioning to reactions on The Match V. Is hard work never really sleeping with Bryson? They discuss Phil’s work on the mic, and why Brooksy was always a natural for this kind of deal. Then it’s on to Tiger’s first interview since his car accident. They discuss Tiger as a golf guru for Charlie, the joy of just seeing him make an appearance, questions they wish were asked, and the unnecessary timetable guesswork that’s happening. Also, what his statement about not playing the Tour full time anymore might mean for that organization -- speaking of, the Asian Tour lobbed a salvo with the announcement of a lengthy commitment list for the Saudi International next year. Can the Tour do anything to respond and is this list just going to keep growing? Back with more Year in Review Part 3 later this week!
Year in Review Part 2, presented by Precision Pro Golf
This Black Friday edition of the Year in Review is a quick companion piece to Wednesday for your Thanksgiving holiday travels, and it’s brought to you by Precision Pro Golf, the official rangefinder of the Shotgun Start. This part picks up with some of the Pat Reed embedded ball-gate fallout, and runs through the Phoenix Open, Pebble Beach, and a wind-delayed Riviera. This is the usual SGS approach to the year in review, focusing more on the amusing, inane, and extraordinary and it will continue to roll out over the next week or so in multiple parts to be enjoyed at your convenience during the holiday season. There is also, if you can believe it or not, a Black Friday sale in the SGS Pro Shop if you’re so inclined.
Year in Review Part 1, presented by Precision Pro Golf
The annual Year in Review series is back, and earlier than normal this year thanks to sponsor Precision Pro. This episode begins with some quick comments on reports of the PGA Tour bringing wide-ranging purse increases and other incentives as a counter move to the upstart disruptor leagues. Then it’s on to the Year in Review, beginning with Kapulua, where Bryson was trying not to black out and Pat Reed was wearing non-sponsored GFore apparel. This part runs through Torrey Pines, where Pat Reed was self-adjudicating embedded balls. This is the usual SGS approach to the year in review, focusing more on the amusing, inane, and extraordinary and it will continue to roll out over the next week or so in multiple parts to be enjoyed at your convenience during the holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for your support of the podcast!
The Tiger activation, Dubai Drama, the Ko show, and some other spicy takes
This Monday episode is an amusing jaunt through a surprisingly full weekend of golf news. Andy and Brendan begin first with the Tiger Woods swing video, expressing surprise, hope, and context about the commercial aspect of why it was posted. They discuss whether this means we’ll see him playing again soon, or ever. Then they get to Dubai, where Collin Morikawa’s impressive career start continued by becoming the first American to win that season-long contest. They discuss some of the outrageous numbers Morikawa is putting up. There’s also an unexpectedly lengthy chat about Rory, his coach split, what success in November means for someone with his resume, and ripped shirt-gate. On the CME, they marvel at Jin Young Ko’s dominance, her GIR streak, and the state of the women’s game heading into 2022. There are digressions on Lexi, Nelly, and Lydia as well. Talor Gooch is given his due for his breakthrough win before a closing segment on hot driver faces, Brooksy’s new equipment deal, and whether his best golf is behind him.
Embracing the fall series, and writing a Ryder Cup book with Shane Ryan
We are joined by the estimable Shane Ryan for this Friday episode. Shane is at the RSM Classic this week in Sea Island, and jussssst finished a 40-day sprint writing a much-anticipated Ryder Cup book. We begin first with that project -- the arc and elevator pitch of the book, his overarching takeaways from a decade immersed in the Ryder Cup, what it was like to write in such a short span after the conclusion at Whistling Straits, and one especially despairing moment during that writing process. Then we transition to his view from Sea Island, what he likes about the event that some might argue shouldn’t exist, and what he’s seen this week so far. Shane is also a defender, mild albeit, of the fall series and expounds on what he finds acceptable and endearing about a portion of the schedule that is often an easy target of the misanthropes. Thanks to Shane for the time, and you can preorder his book here.
The worst day of the week, and the Town Crier rings his bell in Dubai
This Wednesday episode begins with a tale of Andy claiming he just played golf in the worst weather he’s ever experienced on the course. Then he and Brendan debate and consider the worst day of the week, with a strong argument made for Tuesday. The schedule for the week begins with the RSM Classic, an event with a commendable-enough field full of Georgia Bulldogs. The CME Championship is then discussed, as well as the “remastered” Tiburon course and the general Naples scene. Over on the Euro Tour, it’s the Race to Dubai conclusion, with Collin Morikawa in the driver’s seat and Billy Boy on his heels. The Town Crier was busy making proclamations from the Middle East, calling for a reduction in cards and fewer “handouts” to the rank and file PGA Tour players not doing enough. These comments, and a solution, are discussed in a closing news segment that also features brief asides on Rory’s carbon footprint and his apparent Greg Norman distaste.
The Lambo Open, The Anchor Cup, and the Oil Man
Andy and Brendan are back from the weekend in one piece -- barely, as one host did fall off the back of a moving truck. They begin by talking Houston Open, which goes off into a discussion on how Memorial Park punched back a bit on this field of elite tour pros over the weekend. Jason Kokrak’s winning ways are praised, but there are also questions about whether Golf Saudi might soon get the UPS brown-out treatment as a sponsor. There is also a report from the ground on Brooks himself being briefed on the infamous “Spartan Butters Wedding Theory.” On the LPGA, they begin first with the Lexi Problem after another ghastly putting finish. Lamborghini insurance is also a meaty subject of discussion in the LPGA recap. On the Champions Tour, they hit on the general confusion over who won the Chuck Cup and who won the Chuck Championship and the seniors really throwing their weight around when it came to priority TV coverage.
Slugger re-surfaces, Euro Tour re-brands, and Ben Rothenberg on tennis
This Friday episode begins with some quick discussion around Slugger White joining up with Greg Norman and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Investments, as well as the European Tour becoming the “DP World Tour” with a 47-event schedule. There’s also a reading of an extremely weird Slugger and Norman moment illustrative of why they might be working together again. Then Andy and Brendan continue on with their Friday guest routine to go decisively off-golf-topic with Ben Rothenberg, a tennis writer for the New York Times, Racquet Magazine, and host of the No Challenges Remaining podcast. It was suggested to them that tennis has many of the same structural and organizational issues, and strengths, that golf currently grapples with and that Ben would be the perfect guest to orient them on that. It’s an interesting and edifying discussion on another sport that should resonate with the golf nut who might know little (or a lot!) about pro tennis.
A coffee shop quibble and ‘the Reagan Memorial
Andy is in Brendan’s neck of the woods for this episode and he is plagued by Brendan-levels of execrable wifi, so this one runs short. They begin with a rant about hipster coffee shops that open too late, as well as other breakfast cuisine retailers that maintain peculiar hours. Then it’s on to the schedule for the week, starting with the Houston Open, or the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open as it’s now known. They discuss some featured groups, Memorial Park conditions, and the hopeful return of rowdy crowds. The blueberry brigade will be back out in full force for the return of the LPGA in the Tampa area. The Schwab Cup finale and Euro Tour descent into Dubai are given a quick nod before the Wifi puts a quick end to this one, but we’re on to Friday.
Hovland’s Cave, Nakajima’s next, and the Alker Quandary
This Victory Monday episode begins with an appreciation of Cleveland and Illinois weekend sports success, but not of Bert Bielama’s coaching tactics. Then it’s on to the golf, beginning with Viktor Hovland’s win in Mayakoba for the second straight year. Andy offers some statistical insights into what makes Hovland so good, even in comparison to his elite peers, and where he might fall on the Rahm and Morikawa scale. The world amateur No. 1 Keita Nakajima’s win at the Asia-Pacific Am is reviewed, with praise for both him and that event’s continued run. There’s a deep dive analysis on Steven Alker, winner of the second leg of the Champions Tour playoffs, and just the astounding cash run he’s been on the past 10 weeks. It’s another instance which really pulls the pants down on the Champions Tour. Lastly, they preview the final day of KFT Q-school and express sympathy for Big Mike becoming a content pawn.
The Butterfield Boys, An Enlightened Prince, and a Saudi Shark
This hybrid Monday episode delights in a first of the month recording, which prompts both a recap of Halloween and an assessment of November and where it ranks among the month, generally. Then it’s on to a quick recap of the Butterfield, where two shovel boys finished 1-2 and some rookies got some precious points. There’s a larger-picture discussion on golf’s contorting reticence to say something is cheating or that someone cheated. Then it’s on to the schedule for the week, hitting on the World Wide Technologies of Mayakoba and a possible Geronimo reunion. In news, they discuss the new regulations on greens reading books and the enforceability of these commendable regulations. Supplementing our chat on the Saudi news on Friday is more on these leagues that only exist on powerpoint at the moment. The PGL’s continued grasp for headlines with an apparent strategy to try and get friendly with the PGA Tour is discussed, as is the Liv Golf Investments and Asian Tour news. Is there a worse messenger or front man in golf than Greg Norman? Is the Asian Tour maneuver actually a brilliant one? Are any of these leagues ever going to announce a player?
Saudi shuffling and the annual SGS golf Halloween costumes brainstorm
This Friday episode begins with the news of the week, perhaps month, and perhaps year, that greater movements are afoot with the Saudi Golf League, and that there was a closed-door embargoed pitch to (some hand-selected) press and that the Norman-as-Commissioner announcement is imminent. They discuss who might already be committed, the one large remaining obstacle, and the cohort it will take to make this work. Then there’s some vital mid-first-round check-ins on the Butterfield, where the winds are wreaking havoc. After a restart of Brendan’s abominable wifi, they close with their annual golf-related Halloween costumes segment, an annual favorite in the SGS universe. The laughs close out the week with some obvious and obscure costume ideas for the weekend festivities.
Is this the worst field in PGA Tour history?
It’s a light schedule for the week, but that does not mean there’s nothing to talk about on this Wednesday episode of the Shotgun Start. Andy and Brendan begin with a few notes on the East Lake Cup, including if Oklahoma has a recruiting advantage when it comes to burly recruits, like linebackers or QBs preferring a certain school. Then it’s on to the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, which boasts quite possibly the worst field in the history of the PGA Tour. Whether it’s cost of travel, vaccine requirements, or some other reason, it’s not even a full field with alternates dropping like flies. Andy combs the bottom of the field for a quiz game on whether or not a specific player in this field has had a *top 25* on *any* OWGR-eligible tour in the past five years. They ponder some potential SGS favs who could find a little rejuvenation ala Brendon Todd and Brian Gay, the winners here the first two years. It’s 30 minutes or so of laffs, incredulity, and analysis you didn’t know you needed, and may still not need, on the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
A wide-ranging chat on garage sales
This delayed Monday episode is full of life, extracting every ounce out of a global golf weekend on multiple tours. But first, there are ample details and discussion on an attempted garage sale at Andy’s house over the weekend. What kind of people show up? Were golf items of note parted with to some uncaring new owner? Then it’s on to the Zozo Championship, where Hideki Matsuyama won in front of his home fans. They discuss the import of that, the extravagant framing of it, the lack of buzz in the U.S. around the event, and why this should be a must-play primetime event on the schedule for the top players. Jin Young Ko’s brilliance is then highlighted, including a discussion on an impactful quote from her about her mental health struggles early this year. Bernhard Langer’s incredible achievement on the Senior Tour is appreciated, but not without multiple shots at the Tour in general, as well as Phil’s grumpiness at the tournament. The Euro Tour’s winner prompts a confession about the functional “utility of kids” after his kid got him unlocked from the bathroom in time to make his tee time. The laughable report about Greg Norman becoming head of the Saudi League is discussed, before a lengthy final segment on Q school players advancing.
Justin Ray on who made 2021 leaps, data walls, and other metrics
Our Q4 Friday guest series continues with the great Justin Ray, perhaps the only *essential* follow in all of golf twitter. The premise of the chat was for Justin to edify us on some players who made significant improvements, or “leaps,” over the last year. We start with that, but then it quickly bounces around on a bunch of different, and interesting!, topics. We discuss the continued importance of distance, some strokes gained flaws, data walls at the majors, his beloved Houston Astros, the threshold for putting “proficient at Excel” on your resume, and much more. Thanks so much to Justin for his time and enlightening us.
Zozo returns to Japan, Aussies get creative, and “Rickieville”
This Wednesday episode is a quick whip through the schedule for the week, starting with the Zozo Championship on the PGA Tour. Andy laments the no-cut status and the notion that the PGA Tour is sending its worst kind of product to a market that every player should play in during the season. During this discussion, the new Australia event for pros and amateurs is praised, while a larger concern about that historic golf market being somewhat left behind on the greatest pro stages is raised. Also, is Rickie the player with the most to gain from these sleepy fall events, or is it “European Rickie”? The first leg of the Schwab Cup is noted, with defending champ Phil Mickelson in the field. Some “notables” from both KFT and LPGA q-schools are discussed as well, including Dr. Jack’s boy. They close with news on one college player signing with an agency for NIL matters before a technical issue forces an abrupt ending.
The Prince’s Return, SAS overruns, and the Summit cinch
This Monday episode begins by reacting to Rory McIlroy’s rousing weekend in the desert, where he got to 25-under for his 20th PGA Tour victory. Begins is probably the wrong word, because before the Rory chat, there’s ample discussion about some of these ridiculous scores, ample eagles, and the Summit challenge, including Rory’s own comments that the Tour would be happy to give the course back to the members and the owner. There’s a debate on whether a plaque (not necessarily the CJ plaque) is the worst kind of award memento you can receive, even worse than a ribbon? Rickie’s resurgence is also praised as a possible sign of things to come. The coverage catastrophe is given its due, as the SAS Championship and senior circuit gets its moment, the one no one but them wanted. Matty Fitz’s victory in Spain is reviewed, with some side discussion on what Paddy Harrington must be thinking watching two of his players take down trophies on Sunday.
The Future of the European Tour and its schedule with John Huggan
This Friday episode begins with some reaction to Phil’s indignant tweets about the news of the USGA rule on driver length, and a not-so-subtle threat at his own PGA Tour for adopting it. Then Brendan and Andy are joined by European correspondent for Golf Digest (among many other things), the legendary John Huggan to discuss a variety of topics from across the pond. First, they ask John about his close friendship with and memories of Renton Laidlaw, the voice of the European Tour who died this week. Then they banter on the “strategic alliance” and what it means for the Euro Tour, its players, and its future schedule. Europe’s Ryder Cup future, both the roster and its captains, is discussed. They close with some wildly amusing tales about John’s playing days. There’s plenty of historical and big picture thoughts on the game mixed in as well so many thanks to John for his time.
Shrinking shafts, JR Smith show, Players purse bump, and CJ Plaque ‘desert golf’
This Wednesday episode promptly goes off topic, discussing the “preemptive” rain delay in Chicago, October not being as good as September, and if the rules of golf are actually not that bad compared to the officiating and umpiring conundrums we’re watching every weekend now. Then Brendan and Andy begin with an early news segment, discussing the new USGA local rule limiting driver length to 46 inches and what it means for Tour golf, among others. Then they discuss the PGA Tour bumping the Players purse to $20 million as well as providing essentially a “travel stipend” to the lower rank-and-file members in what’s basically a golf pro union. JR Smith’s first foray into competitive college golf is reviewed, and any and all critiques are addressed. Then it’s on to the schedule for the week, starting with the CJ Cup, which will take place at a new venue in the desert that’s not ‘typical desert golf,’ if such a type even exists. There are 3 things to watch there, and more on the Euro Tour’s return to another “so bad it’s good” venue.
Did the Phil show cannibalize the PGA Tour, Sungjae’s arc, and a Schenk Lineup
This punchy Monday episode reacts to a Bears win, a Browns loss, and a healthy serving of worldwide golf over the weekend. Andy and Brendan begin by pondering if the biggest star was not playing on the PGA Tour this week but up with the Seniors, and what that means for both circuits. They discuss Sungjae Im’s win in Vegas and the potential for him to be the best men’s Korean player ever. Adam Schenk somehow becomes the subject of a segment. Rafa Cabrera Bello’s career is put in the crosshairs (that’s probably too strong a term for it) after winning his national open. And in the event of the week, the Jin Young Ko machine rolled on in New Jersey.
Friday Mailbag, gambling on youth sports, and a Vegas Invitational flashback
This Friday episode begins with a quick check-in on some of the tournament action this week before transitioning to a mailbag. Andy and Brendan put the call out for questions minutes before recording, and they run through a series of both golf and non-golf queries on the fly. Then the second half is a Precision Pro Flashback Friday on a past Las Vegas Invitational, featuring 3-time winner Jim Furyk, who beat Jonathan Kaye, a “bad boy” rebel on Tour. They discuss some of the amusing circumstances around that 1999 Vegas Invitational, Furyk, and Kaye, including the details around his 2-month suspension and multiple run-ins with both fans and the commissioner.
Is the Town Crier required to make an Urban proclamation?
This Wednesday episode begins with an apology about the missing Monday episode and some ample clean-up from the weekend on Sam Burns, the Dunhill, Celine Boutier, and a Swedish killer. There’s also a digression on whether the Town Crier has to make an announcement and declaration about the town fool in NE Florida. Then Andy and Brendan are on to the schedule of the week, which leads to Martin Laird appreciation and a couple unrelated stories about their scant few visits to Las Vegas. They ponder if every Champions Tour event should just be a guy and his friends, like this week’s “Furyk and Friends” in Jacksonville. The LPGA event earns event of the week honors but one move that does not earn praise is the big news that the Dinah Shore will be relocating to Texas in the coming years. They discuss this at length in the news segment, which also features a chat on the newly announced Bryson-Brooks Match V at the Wynn in Vegas.
Bones is back, and Fall schedule/Sanderson status with Will Bardwell
This Friday episode begins with a quick update on Baton Boy Sr. playing over at the Dunhill, Mr. October finding his sweet spot, and news that Bones is returning full-time to looping with Justin Thomas. Is this an unintended PIP play? Does it matter at all for JT’s golf and how does it hurt the broadcast? Then Andy and Brendan welcome Mississippi’s own Will Bardwell, of Lying Four fame, to discuss his Sanderson Farms Championship enthusiasm, his history with the event, and its strength in its current form. They also asked him on to get at the larger discussion around rumors that the fall events may no longer carry Courier Cup points. What would this mean for Sanderson and events like it in the fall? What would they actually play for? And is this a leverage play to boost Euro events as part of the strategic alliance. The episode closes with a transatlantic Flashback Friday. First is the on the time John Daly nearly gave the Mississippi event’s finance guy a heart attack by asking for his earnings in cash on the spot. Second, is when Westy hit the greatest shot in Dunhill history resulting in a “pas de deux of elephantine proportions.”
The Asswagon breaks down and Kevin Clark of The Ringer joins to talk Bears-Browns
This Wednesday episode begins with some sad news about an SGS favorite getting sold for parts. Then Andy and Brendan offer some Ryder Cup clean-up with one more thought about how this could go for the next several years. The schedule for the week starts with a favorite here, the Chicken/Peacock/Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi. Notables features a husky quartet and Andy tries to diminish the entire event’s existence. The Dunhill and LPGA are also covered and praised during the schedule for the week segment. But neither earn event of the week honors, which go to the two U.S. Mid Amateurs, where SGS has some rooting interests. The second half of the episode is a chat with one of the podcast’s few returning guests, Kevin Clark of The Ringer. Kevin offers some reactions to the Ryder Cup, including his own personal history with the event, before they transition into a hard discussion about the leadership group of Andy’s beloved Bears. They discuss if an analog to the Manningcast could work in golf, and make some other ridiculous football-golf comps. Thanks to Kevin for his time.
Sunday at the Ryder Cup: Drinks, Tears, Thanks, and Takes
Our week in Sheboygan comes to an end with an American rout at the Ryder Cup. This recap episode is once again live from the Bixby Bus. It begins with a “thanks” to Mr. Kohler, a call back to an amusing inside nugget that started the week. Then it’s on to the takeaways from the victorious and dominant American side, and the defeated and battered European side. Andy talks about going back out to watch Westy play the 18th to “bring the old warhorse into the barn.” Brendan talks about going out to watch Rory and what the emotion that poured out of the European side meant for both this cup and going forward. They caution about all the grand pronouncements on what these three days means for the next several Cups, and also reiterate why it’s the best event in golf. They also debate who we’ll see again in Italy, and much more from another week on the ground. This episode, along with all of the episodes from Wisconsin, are supported by Bixby Coffee, where new Shotgun Start pitcher packs are live to go with the trusty SGS blend and Westy Island blend.
Saturday at the Ryder Cup: Beer chugging-gate
This Saturday night episode begins with Andy and Brendan pondering whether they should decamp from Sheboygan and hit the road in the Bixby Bus to go to the Bears-Browns game. The U.S. has all but locked it up at Whistling Straits. They discuss Rory’s absolute no-show, DJ’s tour de force, Lowry not getting more run, and the disrespect that the Euros might have felt by Justin Thomas chugging beers in between sessions on the first tee. Tension corner focuses on this new peculiar practice of USA players putting their putters down to indicate they should have been given a putt, Brooks and Berger AND Sergio battling with a rules official, and Spieth and Rahm’s caddie getting into it. Least and most valuable players are awarded, the blame game is accounted for with Paddy, and the American Marshals and fan groups are addressed. This episode, along with all of the episodes from Wisconsin, are supported by Bixby Coffee, where new Shotgun Start pitcher packs are live to go with the trusty SGS blend and Westy Island blend. Also, there will be 10 percent off everything at checkout up through Saturday.
Friday at the Ryder Cup: Is this over?
It’s Friday! And not just any Friday, but a Friday with real, actual Ryder Cup matches to dissect and delight in after a full day at Whistling Straits. Andy and Brendan, with appearances by Will Knights, react to the day from the Bixby Bus in Sheboygan. They discuss the first tee experience and whether the Wisconsin sports fans will ever recover from the lack of juice. They nominate some of their best players, worst players, biggest surprises, and others from each session on Friday. The Bryson show, the Rory sadness, the Westy angst, Finau’s force, and the Casey catastrophe are specifically called out after some up-close observations inside the ropes. They also wonder who plays for Europe on Saturday if they actually want to try and make this competitive again. This episode, along with all of the episodes from Wisconsin, are supported by Bixby Coffee, where new Shotgun Start pitcher packs are live to go with the trusty SGS blend and Westy Island blend. Also, there will be 10 percent off everything at checkout up through Saturday.
Thursday at the Ryder Cup — Lineups set, Opening ceremony amusements
This special Thursday episode reacts to finally, at long last, getting some real lineups to discuss after an interminable week of pre-match ceremony. Andy and Brendan shout about the absolute howitzer of an opener featuring a Texan and an Arizonan up against the American duo of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. They proceed to run through the entire card for the opening session, expressing anxiety about a couple favorites and confidence on a few others. They make picks for each match, choose their favorite matchup, most lopsided potential, and question if anyone was foolishly left on the bench. There’s also some reaction to an offensively bad and unnecessary opening ceremony. This episode, along with all of the episodes from Wisconsin, are supported by Bixby Coffee, where we will be launching new Shotgun Start pitcher packs to go with the trusty SGS blend and Westy Island blend. Also, there will be 10 percent off everything at checkout up through Saturday.
Weds at the Ryder Cup: Can we talk about this astronaut mannequin?
This Wednesday episode comes to you live from the Bixby Bus in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Andy and Brendan offer some initial thoughts after walking around Whistling Straits on Wednesday morning and hearing a few more of the players talk. Some initial chatter focuses on the wind and cold perhaps equalizing things in a way you might not expect for an away team. They discuss some of the early duos we’ve seen signaled throughout the first couple practice days, the Rory “conundrum,” the DJ-Morikawa power play, and if analytics have taken “the fun” out of the captaincy catastrophes. There’s an argument made that Bryson should play as much as possible. Candidates for “shit stirrer” of the week are also bandied about. Worst potential pairings are also nominated. And they close incredulity over a shining example of the absurdity of the pomp and circumstance of these interminable pre-match days. Thursday will bring another preview episode reacting to the lineups for Day 1. Subscribe to the SGS or Westy Island blends at Bixby to support the pod’s work this week.
A *new* world No. 1 at the Fortnite, Dutch Boy Toffer, and RV reconnaissance
Before the madness of the Ryder Cup and a flurry of episodes later this week, this truncated Victory Monday episode is a quick reaction to the weekend in golf, starting with Max Homa’s ridiculous back nine in Napa that took the Fortnite Championship and put him in the lofty perch of new world No. 1. Andy and Brendan discuss their former colleague’s quick turnaround to start the new season, the firm conditions at Silverado, and Maverick McNealy’s swing at the 17th tee that cost him. Then they whip around the rest of the golf world, hitting on Jin Young Ko coming back from a lengthy break and immediately winning on the LPGA, a Toffer getting it done on the Euro Tour after six years of hell and almost blowing an 8-shot lead, and Darren Clarke rumbling and bumbling to his third Champs Tour win. They close with some supremely naive chatter on the RV for the Ryder Cup after Andy had a disconcerting chat with the owner of the vehicle.
The annual SGS over-unders episode
This was an early mid-week recording for the Friday episode, with Andy on solo dad duty and Brendan with school golf outings to tend to and the flurry of Ryder Cup episodes coming next week. They begin with some quick news on Brooks Koepka saying he’s healthy and ready to go, potential partners for him, and Paul Azinger’s comments that he should relinquish his spot if his heart is not into it. There’s chatter about a potential cart ban for the captains and the confounding American vice-captain strategy. Then it’s on to the over-unders for the new PGA Tour season, now an annual tradition on the Shotgun Start. They pepper each other with a mix of amusing and semi-serious propositions for the season that’s to come on Tour. Included at the end are some NFL season over-unders for their beloved Browns and Bears, and general chatter about vocabulary and other life hacks.
Awards angst, Fortnite Tent Championship, and Bryson’s ‘wrecked hands’
This Wednesday episode begins with some trepidation about transportation for next week as the Shotgun Start goes on the road for the Ryder Cup. Then they get to the farcical PGA Tour season-ending awards, where four “win” Patrick Cantlay took home the honors and non-member Will Zalatoris won Rookie of the Year. Does it actually matter? Should we be worked up about it? Has the entire process been corrupted and shrouded in mystery? Then it’s on to the Fortnite Championship in Napa, where Jon Rahm can avenge his POY snub. There are multiple “things to watch” for this season-opener in wine country. They continue through the schedule for the week before closing with reaction to news of Bryson’s extreme speed training and wrecked hands as he gets ready for the Ryder Cup and World Long Drive simultaneously, and Brooksy’s candid comments on why the team matches are a tough adjustment.Awards angst, Fortnite Tent Championship, and Bryson’s ‘wrecked hands’
No one has ever ‘waited all day for Sunday night’
This Sunday episode was recorded during halftime of the Bears-Rams game and begins with some questions about Andy Dalton, specifically, “why?” There’s also a critique about the theme song for Sunday Night Football and a few comments about the Browns’ loss. Then Brendan and Andy get to the Intercontinental Baton Boy, who left the comforts of the moat, went across the Atlantic, and won the European Tour’s “flagship” event. They discuss whether he *actually* deserved a call from Steve Stricker and whether he should be mad about that. Regardless, it was motivation for some sterling play and baton work in front of the English fans, who he certainly tried to play to. Then they discuss the messy European Ryder Cup process, with the constant fluctuations, the Westy-Lowry drama, and the Rose “snub.” There’s also the matter of another interested party tweeting and liking tweets suggesting a displeased camp. David Toms is also given a quick shoutout for his win on the Champs Tour.
U.S. Ryder Cup team finalized, and a Spotlight on the BMW PGA at Wentworth
This Friday episode begins with some reaction to Steve Stricker finalizing his roster for the Ryder Cup this month. Andy and Brendan praise the picks, highlightling Scheffler’s suitability. They also discuss course fit as a gauge for a contest that’s entirely different from week-to-week golf. Also, Patrick Reed’s reaction to the “snub” is discussed. Then, in honor of BMW PGA Championship week on the Euro Tour, there’s a Spotlight on the 2011 edition at Wentworth. They highlight the titanic clash for world No. 1 between Luke Donald and Lee Westwood and the unfortunate playoff finish. Donald’s career is also put under the microscope a bit, debating whether his path up was a unique trailblazing of sorts in NCAA golf and staying stateside when he was out of college. The reign at world No. 1, his chase for a major, and talk of a rivalry with Rory are also highlighted. Wentworth is also put under the microscope, including a spicy war of words between Ian Poulter and the then owner at this 2011 edition. Ernie’s history of course changes are documented, as is the continued push-and-pull of getting the best in the world to show up for what has always been a hefty purse at the “flagship” event.
It’s coming home…to Ernie’s masterpiece
This punchy Wednesday episode begins with a celebration of a golf achievement the likes of which we will not see again, the “Chase for 83” ending on the Minor League Golf Tour. Andy and Brendan celebrate Sunny Abacoa’s SEVENTH straight win down in the swamp to achieve even what Tiger could not. Then it’s on to the schedule of the week, which is expertly crafted for this time of year. There’s one main event, and it’s primo coffee golf that will end before football in the states. It’s also the event of the week, the BMW PGA Championship, at Ernie Els’ best design, the former Harry Colt design, historic Wentworth. Three things to watch hits on the Ryder Cup race across the pond, a galaxy brain take on how the Race to Dubai has outmaneuvered the FedEx Cup, and the Baton Boy in a foreign land. There is a history lesson on the course architect of the venue on the Champions Tour. Notables for a few other lower tour events lead to uncontrollable laughter approximating the Andy North ringtone episode. There’s a segment on Ryder Cup picks for the U.S. side -- who they want/expect/would make them most mad. They close with news of Will Zalatoris being eligible for Rookie of the Year and PGA Tour University getting a new title sponsor.
Solheim grading, match play rules drama, and Net Tour Champ flops
This Monday episode comes out late reacting to the holiday finish of the Solheim Cup, where Europe cruised to a victory at Inverness. Andy and Brendan discuss the captains’ strategies and misjudgements, breakout stars, the established stars who came up short, and the Inverness setup and routing. Then they have a separate discussion on the rules drama from Saturday night -- who was at fault, what should have happened -- and if it impacted the competition the rest of the way. The Net Tour Championship is reviewed, including a side bar about media criticism and not falling into the trap of advocacy or becoming the boy who cried good. The larger points are made that this season-ender sucked and they elaborate on why it sucked. A Ryder Cup captain’s picks analysis ensues, with Kevin Na, and even the Baton Boy, getting some love. The Korn Ferry Finals 25 qualifiers are called out and given their due, even Dawie Van Der Walt who catches a drive-by. They briefly chat about the Euro Tour delivering back-to-back twin winners, and some underwhelming comments about the Italian host venue of the next Ryder Cup. The episode closes by circling back to the Solheim with a segment on possible future venues they’d like to see.
Solheim study, Ryder Cup 1st mate Phil, and Cantlay crushes Net Tour Champ format
This early Friday episode begins with a discussion on best practices for unboxing videos and some Brendan anxiety over that. Then it’s on to the event of the week, the Solheim Cup, which is set up perfectly from a schedule, roster, venue, and tv format. Now they have to actually play the matches to deliver the goods, and Andy and Brendan preview the pods on the U.S. side, discuss the behavioral study that grouped them, Bubba’s involvement, and a few great holes to watch at Inverness. News hits on Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples being named assistant captains for the Ryder Cup, which leads to a digression and a rant on Phil’s lashing out at the USGA about driver length. News also covers Patrick Cantlay’s destruction of the format in East Lake and its “criminal” impacts. Flashback Friday goes way back and celebrates arguably the greatest run of golf ever.
The Brooksy Bylaw, Net Tour Championship, and Burly Boy Journeyman
This Wednesday episode gloriously falls on the first of the month, so you can imagine Andy’s giddiness. Brendan’s mood is also lifted by the fact that he’s not calling in from a space cave and the audio should return to acceptable enough. They begin by jumping right into the news from Jay Monahan’s press conference that the Brooksy shouts are considered “harassing behavior” and will now not be tolerated. They discuss how this is even enforceable, the slippery slope, and the Tour courting this exact creature that they’re now aghast about. Then it’s on to the Tour Championship and its staggered start format. They react to some JT and Rahm comments on the format, try to remember much about East Lake, and ponder a format that Andy thinks would hit a sweet spot for the new gambling craze. Pat Reed’s return, apparently by bus tour and showing off his hibiscus refresher, is also discussed within a larger Ryder Cup roster debate as the final week before that’s finalized on the U.S. side. The Journeyman of the Week is a burly boy in the Web Tour finals who just clinched his card and has some interesting thoughts about peanut butter. Friday will bring a full Solheim Cup preview and discussion sponsored by our good friends at Zero Restriction(use promo code SGS25 for 25% off) .
Exploring the limits of podcasting potential
Even by Shotgun Start standards, this is a bit of an experimental episode. With Brendan up in Baltimore covering the BMW Championship, and the late finish, he calls in from the road along with Kevin Van Valkenburg of ESPN, who was also on the ground and gathering some incredible reporting on the Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay duel. The trio focus solely on that BMW final round, Cantlay’s potential, the Bryson heckling, the defenseless setup, and if the fireworks mean anything either way for the FedEx Cup. Wednesday’s episode will be a more thorough recap of the other events, the Ryder Cup points race closing, and a focus on the Solheim Cup. Thanks to Kevin for joining us and apologies to listeners everywhere for the poor audio quality. We won’t try this again!
Ryder Cup roster debates, The Curse gets canceled, and a Caves Valley primer
Will Gray of NBC Sports Edge joins for this packed Wednesday episode recapping the Monday finish, looking ahead to the schedule for the week, and drilling down on the Ryder Cup roster shuffling with just two events, and maybe only one for a few, to go before picks are made. Brendan begins by asking Will about his transition to gambling coverage and any surprises he has encountered as golf has run into the embrace of legalized gambling. Then they review the final round of the Northern Trust, where Tony Finau finally broke through for his second PGA Tour win. Is the PR Curse officially dead? Are we overdoing it on the narratives about what it means in multiple ways? Then they’re on to the BMW this week, spotlighting a couple of their favorite aspects of the second leg of the courier cup and also providing some early intel about the first-time PGA Tour host, Caves Valley in Baltimore. An event of the week is crowned as they run through the rest of the schedule and then they discuss the Ryder Cup points race and roster options in the final week, which Will has been studying up on. They also touch on Patrick Reed’s health situation and how that might impact the roster. The Journeyman of the Week is a high-profile stud coming out of college who failed to make the postseason for the first time since he got his card. Will then closes with some SEC football predictions and handicapping insights because he can.
2021 majors come to a close, Tuesday finish for the good of the game, and Boise drama
This Monday episode begins with a tale from the road, as a family vacation gets off to a rough start. Then it’s on to the Women’s Open at Carnoustie, which closed the books on the majors for 2021. Andy and Brendan react to Anna Nordqvist getting it done despite being unable to chip, Nanna Koerstz Madsen booting it away on the 18th hole, some invasive Playing Through choices, Louise Duncan’s contention, and the Salas slow play. The Northern Trust discussion moves to the updating of the rules to allow for a Tuesday finish, the tough break in the schedule, the grounds crew efforts to get it playable for Monday, and the SubAir usage throughout the week. Similar to the Women’s Open, the 18th hole became a scene of catastrophe in Boise on the KFT, where Greyson Sigg used a drop from a backboard to make par and edge an imploding Aaron Rai. The Ferryman gets it done at the Czech Masters and the bomber jacket Rod Pampling got for winning on the Champions Tour is worth googling.
Nerves-less Nelly, was DJ’s spare driver on the ferry, and Flashback to St. Andrews
This Friday episode begins with some wedding talk before Andy and Brendan get to the golf. On golf, they begin with the Women’s Open, where Nelly Korda is again at the top of the leaderboard. They discuss some of the conditions at Carnoustie as well as a few of the unheralded names amidst the big guns on the leaderboard. At the Northern Trust, they hit on Pat Reed’s WD and how DJ didn’t have a back-up driver ready to go at Liberty National. An impromptu segment, Ryder Cup Review, debates the candidacies of Tony Finau and another potential American irritant for roster spots in September. Precision Pro Flashback Friday is a double dose, the first recounting one of the all-time absurd sponsor activations before what used to be the first Playoffs event. The second FbF hits on a historic Women’s Open, where the best player in the game won at the first ever Women’s Open trip to the Home of Golf.
Carnoustie coffee golf, Playoffs confusion, and Big Daddy journeyman
This Wednesday episode begins with the event of the week, the Women’s Open at Carnoustie. Andy and Brendan highlight some of the key tee times and discuss the course setup options that should test the best women’s players in the world. Then they’re on to Liberty National, stumbling through the top 125 players and wondering how the hell some of them got to the postseason given their profiles. The Euro Tour event has a distinct silver medal vibe. The Senior Tour event is really only cause to mention the one time Brendan said something on air that got the Tour to call into Golf Channel. And last but not least is the start of the KFT finals, where the usual mix of familiar names have come down to play for improved status next year on the Tour. The Journeyman of the Week is a Kiwi who did not make the FEC, or the KFT, and will be out there in the woods wandering to try and make his way back.
Alternate lines at Oakmont, over-dramatizing the Top 125, and KFT card watch
This Monday episode reacts to a full and diverse weekend of golf offerings, starting with the U.S. Amateur. Andy and Brendan review the revolving door of tv channels that the final visited, the Greaser-Piot match, the limited coverage earlier in the week, and yes, the alternate lines down different venerable Oakmont fairways that got plenty of action on Twitter. At the Wyndham, there’s a rant on the overselling of what it now means to *not* make the top 125, as well as some thoughts on the six-man playoff format, Chesson Hadley’s push, and Roger Sloan getting family time. In Europe, there are two segments dedicated to Ryann O’Toole facts and Calum Hill facts, which devolves into research on the Western New Mexico University mascot. They close with what turned into arguably the most compelling conclusion of the day, the regular season finish on the KFT, where David Skinns burst through for a win and a Tour card, Austin Smotherman held on for dear life, and Taylor Montgomery got screwed thanks to a well-worn old scheduling gripe.
U.S. Am reactions, OWGR reform, golf’s field of dreams, and Flashback to Watts Gunn
This summer hours Friday episode wanders around, starting with some thoughts on the early bracket matches at the U.S. Amateur. Chicago may have a new favorite son, Mike Holmgren’s son is a big boy, Thorbjornsen is a rallying killer, and more on Oakmont. Andy and Brendan then bounce around on some of the early stories from across the tours, hitting on Wyndham, the Women’s Scottish, and the KFT. They discuss the OWGR reforms and also ponder what golf’s answer to MLB’s “Field of Dreams” game would be. J.R. Smith’s attempt to play college golf is also praised. Flashback Friday throws it way back to another U.S. Amateur at Oakmont, the 1925 edition, which featured two members from the same club and one notorious party boy playing in the finals. The episode closes with some quick thoughts on Merion and Oakmont getting USGA championships all the way out to 2050 and what larger impacts that might signal.
Superfluous caps Top 10, Superfluous “ue” at U.S. Am, and Journeyman of the Week
This Wednesday episode is a wide-ranging look at all the games within the game this week -- the top 125 to make the playoffs, the ISP Top 10, the Risk-Reward Challenges, the cards at the KFT, the U.S. Amateur finalist perks, and much more. Andy and Brendan begin with the Wyndham Championship, where Matthew Wolff could win seven figures in the risk-reward challenge. There’s also general confusion over the Business Tour Top 10. They both offer one choice they’d like to see play his way into the top 125 this week. Then it’s on to the event of the week, the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont and uniquely spelled Longue Vue. They hit on the stroke disparity between the venues during the first day, and the stroke disparity between a crispy Oakmont and a rain-soaked one for the second round. There’s a lengthy and often incorrectly informed discussion on what Cazoo, which is now sponsoring another Euro Tour event this week, does as a company. The Journeyman of the Week is Sean O’Hair, who is playing Wyndham and well outside the top 125 in the FEC standings. O’Hair’s career highlights, the infamous upbringing, and current Tour status are covered in this closing segment.
Nelly’s gold, Prancing in Memphis, Hurried Harris and Befuddled Bryson
This Monday episode begins with feelings of vindication and delight over some high-profile confusion on the Home of Golf during the final round telecast at TPC Initech. Then Andy and Brendan get into the resolution of the event of the week, the women’s golf at the Olympics. They discuss Nelly’s gold, Inami’s charge, and Ko’s comportment as maybe the model professional golfer. They also have some final big-picture thoughts on golf in the Olympics. Then it’s on to the WGC Memphis, with a big shoutout to Honest Abraham Prancer for his first win. They discuss their unexpected enthusiasm and anticipation for this WGC, and the absolute circus that ensued in the final group implosion between Thicc Boi and Harris English. They discuss the absurd boundary fence ruling and why the Tour is setting up “bumpers” to keep balls in play. There’s also reaction to the pace of play, shouting fore backlash, and refusals to talk to the press. At the Women’s Amateur, they ponder if the winner might be a Frugalite while praising the Westchester setup. The winners at the Home of Golf, in Reno, and in Utah, also get their due.
Applauding Aditi, Hoping for Herman and Henson, and Bashing Bryson
This Friday episode is another AM recording to work around the overnight Olympics, which Andy and Brendan immediately jump into at the top. They start with the peculiar decision not to play more than 18 holes per day that has brought in the possibility of a 54-hole event, and the uncertainty it has created around the last two rounds. Then they opt to talk not about the favorite in first, but the current silver-medal position holder Aditi Ashok, who is hanging in there despite an extreme distance disadvantage. There is, of course, a segment praising Nelly Korda but also cautioning against again forgone gold. In Memphis, they discuss the “Summer of Harris,” Jim Herman’s run at the WGC title, and the Thicc Boi’s altruism of not taking vaccines out of the general supply. At the Home of Golf, they re-visit and root on an old friend and first original guest on the SGS. They close with a Precision Pro Flashback Friday that hits on one astounding stat and a former winner in Memphis who nearly missed his Sunday tee time because he was watching a space launch.
Defending medalists, Schedule moves & playoffs tinkering, and Journeyman of the week
This Wednesday episode begins with a preview of the women’s golf competition at the Olympics, and a quick rebuttal to any notion that it’s unfortunate the course might play “harder” for the women one week later. There are three things to watch, including a theory about why we have all three medalists from 2016 playing this week when we had none last week. Then it’s on to the double dose of Tour golf, both at the WGC Swampass at TPC Initech and the opposite field boys trying their hand at stableford in Reno. This just leads immediately into reactions on the new PGA Tour schedule -- the courier cup incursion into Euro Tour events, the remaking of the Playoffs for August stops in Memphis and Atlanta, and the omission of some major American markets, among other things. Continuing with the instant schedule for the week, there’s a return to the incredulity about the Euro Tour event at the fake St. Andrews and some praise for the U.S. Women’s Amateur. They close with a new segment, the Journeyman of the Week, brought to you by our old spirits-making friends in Michigan. This week’s subject is “the other Bassy,” who might be the greatest golfer ever at Arkansas.
A Boy from Bratislava grows up to be the Silver Slovak
A triumphant Monday episode begins with some “we’ll always remember where we were” reminiscences about a legendary Saturday night and Sunday morning at the men’s Olympic golf competition. Andy and Brendan discuss all the delightful elements of the Boy from Bratislava’s record-setting round of 61 that earned the golf-loving nation of Slovakia a silver medal. They hit on the actual golf, the absolute shotmaking show, the jubilant middle-of-the-night party on Twitter, the broadcast having to acknowledge and lean into the Slovakian story, the true “love story” that delivered this country a medal, some unconfirmed reports about Sabbo’s Saturday night out, and much more. Of course, they also hit on the actual gold medal winner and the weight and import the competition seemed to carry. They recap the 7-man playoff and the other Rory’s attempt at a bronze. The glowing reviews from JT to Morikawa to the other Rory’s change in tune are also discussed, as well as their own impressions from a great late-night watch and what it might mean for Olympic golf going forward. There’s also recaps of all the other golf, including Annika’s absolute dominance at the U.S. Senior Women’s and a Western Am phenom playing the most grueling test in amateur golf in between visits to Lollapalooza.
We got ourselves a game — C’mon Rory!
This Friday morning episode is full of life with the race for Low Rory absolutely heating up at Kasumigaseki with 36 more holes to play for the gold medal. Andy and Brendan discuss some early Olympics storylines -- who or what would be the best case winner, the mixed-bag and somewhat underwhelming leaderboard, limited-field feaster Xander, the low 60s dartboard potential for the weekend, and of course, the Slovak surge. Then they have a debate about the merits of 3-on-3 basketball (featuring Robbie Hummel) being in the Olympics, and what the golf analog would be for such a mickey mouse event. At the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, they discuss Annika coming fresh off the celebrity tour circuit and to the top of the leaderboard at Brooklawn. Some loud sea gulls interrupt the recording late but there are also updates on the Western Amateur and the hole-out finish at the PA Amateur.
Olympics optimism, Australia apologies, and Eastern elitism
This Wednesday episode begins with Andy bringing up the hot water Brendan found himself in with the entire continent of Australia. They transition to this week’s Olympics men’s competition in Tokyo. There is a fair amount of intrigue and optimism about an event that, if nothing else, is a moderate (moderate because it is clearly not on the format front) change-up from the week-to-week march on the PGA Tour. There are three things to watch, some nuts-and-bolts on Kasumigaseki, and picks. Then they move on to the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, where the Hurricane is being cited for insights and advice. On the European Tour and LPGA and LET, there is a mixed event with an extremely long title and superfluous exclamation points. The event of the week is a toss-up between two amateur events, with Andy’s bias for his hometown shining through. They discuss this as well, before signing off with news of Tony Romo playing the Texas State Open in a golf cart with air conditioning and doors.
Captain America goes to Tokyo, Minjee gets a major, and #DoddWatch
This Monday episode is held together by scotch tape with Andy recording from the bar at a golf course and Brendan on a phone from the beach. But it’s here, and well, that’s an accomplishment. The two discuss the big overnight news from the Olympics, where two Thicc Bois are out in Rahm and Bryson. Patrick Reed, who was clear to point out the fans call Captain America, will answer the call and fulfill his duty to play for his country. Then they get to the golf from the weekend, starting with the Evian Championship and MInjee Lee’s outrageous final round that booked her a first major. At the 3M Open, they reflect on Cam Champ’s win rate and the wild fluctuations in performance. The other major from the weekend, the Senior Open, is discussed largely through the lens of the winner’s last name. They close with some thoughts on Dylan Wu and the Price Cutter, Nacho taking the Cazoo, and a call to place an order at the bar abruptly ending the recording.Captain America goes to Tokyo, Minjee gets a major, and #DoddWatch
Summer hours and Friday story time
This Friday episode begins with the building anticipation for a lifelong dream realized, Rory Sabbatini representing Slovakia in the Olympics. Andy and Brendan then transition to early action from across the world of golf, with some inside intel on how Evian became a major as well as the compelling Yealimi Noh background. On the Senior Tour, they praise the early scenes from Sunningdale. Rickie leading the 3M is cause to tell an amusing story of investigative reporting from one listener who was propositioned about sponsoring a tour player. Different rates for different items and corporate appearances are bandied about, with an amusing conclusion on how the agency figured out that maybe this company wasn’t interested in sponsoring anyone at all. Our Swedish correspondent relays some interesting background on Vincent Norrman, the leader on the Euro Tour, and our Sandwich correspondent delivers a Flashback Friday tale to last week on perhaps the most dramatic moment Collin Morikawa faced at The Open, at least off the course.
Bottled water’s major, Seniors at Sunningdale, Bandon becomes an ‘Armlock Site’
This Wednesday episode begins with some congratulations for Andy North, Jerry Kelly, and Bucks fans everywhere. It also begins with Andy asking some hard questions about the new sponsor for NE Ohio’s favorite golfer. Then it’s on to the schedule for the week, beginning with the Evian Championship. They debate the merits of this being a major and wonder if the Players is jealous about this arbitrary designation working so easily. There are also three things to watch and a sidebar on the history of bottled water. The Senior Open is given Event of the Week honors thanks to it dropping in on Sunningdale, a course of historic importance in the game. The 3M Open exists, which is cause for a short refresher on that TPC venue and its stronger-than-expected field. News closes with the announcement that Bandon will be hosting a slew of USGA amateur events, extending all the way out to 2045. Why are we announcing a U.S. Junior venue for 25 years from now? And if it’s not an “anchor site,” what other name could we call it?
A recap of The Open, where Collin Morikawa defeated Pressure
The seventh men’s major championship in less than a year is in the books, and Collin Morikawa bookends his PGA last August with an Open Championship this July. Andy and Brendan react to the final round from Royal St. George’s, praising Morikawa’s absurd start to his pro career at the majors. They discuss the mixture of execution, strategy, and yes, ability to deal with pressure. They also debate whether he’s the world’s best “short golfer.” Jordan Spieth’s close call (although maybe not that close thanks to Collin?) is debriefed, and they debate whether it’s reductive to just point at Saturday night as the difference. Louis is panned, gently. RSG is given a postmortem, with final grades being difficult to deliver due to the lack of wind. There is a qualm with some of the first cut impacts. The back half is a more rapid jaunt on Rahm, Frugal Frittelli, Canadian pride, Brooksy, the iCapital ad, Bobby Mac, Bryson’s humbling, and even Rory. It’s been a fabulous last 12 months at the majors and we are so grateful for your support.
Saturday at the Open with Shane Bacon
This Saturday episode features Golf Channel’s Shane Bacon who fills in for Brendan Porath who attended the final of the U.S. Girl’s Junior Amateur. Andy and Shane discuss many topics including Rory McIlroy’s championship chances 11 shots back with one round to play. In all seriousness, the two breakdown everything from Louis’ remarkable 2021 major championship performances to Spieth’s brutal final putt on 18. As you probably have figured out, Brendan Porath, a far more talented writer than Andy usually puts these notes together and his absence is sorely felt. The last thing that Shane and Andy talk about is the NBA Finals and having a job that makes you feel guilty for sitting on the couch. Thank you to Shane for joining during a busy week and listeners for the support! Tomorrow the Champion Golfer of the Year will be crowned.
Friday at The Open, where there’s a new Big Jon Thomson
This Friday episode begins with the obvious: is Barbasol sponsoring an opposite field event changing people’s shaving cream purchasing habits? Andy and Brendan then get to the main event, covering another eventful day at Royal St. George’s. They discuss the Mattress King’s smooth 65 and where it goes from here with 36 more holes to play. They discuss Collin Morikawa’s continued press conferences loaded with catnip for the assembled Euro press. Jordan Spieth’s day is debriefed and debated -- which leads to a discussion of proper on-course snacks after he suggested he didn’t have enough food in his bag and sputtered near the end of his round. Frugal Frittelli and Grumpy Grillo also get an assessment, as well as Rory, somehow, some way finding time in the discussion. An All-English segment focuses on the Bumble Bee, Big Jon, Westy, and Temperamental Tyrrell. A lengthy round of contender and pretender closes it out as we head to the weekend at the Open.
Thursday at The Open: Sucky drivers, Yippy putts, and Blueberry boys
This lively Thursday afternoon episode comes in hour 14 of the first round of The Open and was fueled by the Shotgun Start and Westy Island blends at Bixby Coffee. Andy and Brendan dive right into the first day from Royal St. George’s, including all the drama surrounding Bryson’s spat of the week, this time with his own equipment company. They try to get beyond some of the back and forth and show how certain hidden aspects of Bryson’s complaints are quite revelatory on the modern game. They also pan his emotional maturity and wonder about the Cobra relationship going forward. His attitude is contrasted with Jordan Spieth’s approach, which was a total delight to watch maneuver around the links. They bathe in that for a few minutes before anxiously talking about the prospects of another Mattress King contention. A pledge not to talk about Rory somehow ends up in a five minute discussion on whether they are enthused by his opening 70 or it’s just more of the same. They close with some rapid-fire notes on the course and opening day setup, Nick Faldo appreciation, Jaco appreciation, and a few game-within-the-games for cut day on Friday.
The Open Preview, where shouting fore is now a controversial topic
This Wednesday episode revels in the return of golf’s oldest major championship and a style of golf that we see far less than we should. Brendan begins with a point of the recent Open hitting a sweet spot of authenticity for the discerning golf audience on the internet and elsewhere that has boosted the major over the past decade or so. Then they get to Royal St. George’s, with Andy providing some intel on the course’s history and layout and greens and the “quirk” that may drive some players nuts this week. They’re almost bursting with excitement over the venue and what it might present for the world’s best, citing Brooks quotes about “shots to nothing.” The usual major championship Wednesday practice of highlighting their favorite tee times is done, with some curious placement of Brooksy, Jimmy, and others. Then they move to the quotable portion of the preview, scanning the transcripts. Bryson’s insistence on both his “greatness and humbleness” as well as his extremely defensive answer about never shouting “fore” are discussed, among other answers. The final segment includes picks to win as well as a review of some of the top players who might need it most or could change their trajectory most with a win.
Split Screen Scottish, DQ via Merch Tent rumors, and Open WD train
This Monday episode wanders around for the first 10 minutes or so, discussing the abundance of golf and the apparent meager options for television coverage of it all. Andy and Brendan discuss the spicy local news column in Toledo lambasting the executives making the LPGA pay for tape delayed coverage. Then they lament the conclusion of the Scottish Open being polluted by early coverage and the commercial commitments at the Deere. There’s a bit on the U.S. Senior Open, and how that fought for air time and whether that format should be altered. Also, there’s rumors of a player being DQ’d for forgetting the time of day. There’s ample praise for Min Woo Lee, his trajectory, and the warmth of coffee golf on a links course this weekend. Lucas Glover’s longevity is also touted after his Deere win. They close with some news on the run of withdrawals from the Open Championship, for a various sundry of reasons, and add some early thoughts and excitement over the last men’s major of the year.
Coffee Golf delights, British Open via the world feed, and Flashback on Monty
This Friday episode was recorded early before a road trip, so it focuses primarily on the Scottish Open. Andy and Brendan react to some of the early scenes at the Renaissance Club, praising the warm and fuzzy feeling of true links coffee golf in the morning. They also discuss the stout leaderboard, and if Jack Senior is related to Peter Senior. News hits on plans for the Open broadcast to be done remotely from Connecticut, and if the world feed might actually be a revelation for some. They also discuss Kevin Na and Cam Davis taking a pass on a spot in the field at Royal St. George’s, for distinctly different reasons. Precision Pro Flashback Friday is a short history lesson on the Scottish Open, and then the first Scot to ever win the event, Colin Montgomerie. There are details about a frustrating loss in 1995 at Carnoustie, when he shooed a rules official back over the Barry Burn, and a bit on his breakthrough win at the event in 1999, when he had a small tiff with rookie sensation Sergio Garcia.
The Match that wouldn’t end, Baton tricks on links turf, and new awards
Andy and Brendan could not wait any longer, so this was recorded as the Match at Moonlight Basin was on the 14th hole or so and still finishing up sometime in hour five. They offer some initial reactions to the made-for-TV event, including Bryson’s stiffness and whether he got straight up outplayed by Aaron Rodgers. They also discuss the outrageous pace of play and a course that looked like it would make many want to quit. There’s also the subject of Fake Bears. The event of the week is the Scottish Open, which is also the subject of the second leg of the Coffee Pot (enter that pool here folks). They discuss Renaissance Club, the Americans overseas chasing a Race to Dubai title, and whether Billy Boy may be able to try some new baton tricks on the firmer linksy turf. Over on the PGA Tour, they lament the Deere’s spot on the schedule while praising its mission and location and its existence. News hits on the new Nicklaus-Jacklin award that very few people could have asked for and Sunny Kim’s continued dominance at Abacoa.
Bryson skips town, Phil tweets away, and Match 4 Preview
This holiday weekend episode begins with some first-week insights from the first ever Coffee Pot. Then Brendan and Andy offer some reactions to the Rocket Mortgage Classic, where another par-fest playoff anointed Cameron Davis the winner. There are some numbers on Davis’ career to this point that indicate he will be around a long time. They also hit on Bryson skipping town without ever talking to the press and Phil tweeting away in a most confusing fashion. They are perturbed by some media carrying water for Bryson’s messaging, and amused by Rickie refusing to indulge some other silly media narratives. The red grandstands, those are also discussed and Andy comes out against the color in general. At the Irish Open, Lucas Herbert’s pregame meals are pondered and Johannes Veerman’s name is discussed. Dick Mast and Dicky Pride playing together in Dick’s Open is highlighted. News hits on Si Woo and Sungjae opting to skip the Open to better prep for the Olympics. The episode closes with a preview of The Match 4, salivating at the possibilities of a mic’d up Bryson on Tuesday night.
Andy and Brendan are back with some more juice for this Friday episode, starting with questions about the kind of people who choose to go to the bar at Dave & Buster’s. Then they get to the news of the day, the break-up of Bryson DeChambeau and caddie Tim Tucker. They delight in the smoke-and-mirrors of Team Bryson stating that it was a mutual parting. They relay some accounts they heard of general looper disgruntlement. They ponder the real on-course impact it could have, as well as if a replacement is even out there. They also tip (or pip) the cap to Brooks for his crowbarring his way into the proceedings. Also in non-golf news out of Detroit, there’s Phil Mickelson tweeting away at a local newspaper. Precision Pro Flashback Friday focuses on a past winner in Michigan at the Buick, one who passed on two majors during the best stretch of golf of his career so he could prep for the Ryder Cup at the end of the season.
We forgot to hit record
It was late to begin with and then Brendan and Andy discovered at minute 43 that they had neglected to hit the record button on the first attempt at this episode. So this is a second run, and if we’re being honest, it’s not their best effort. They run through the schedule for the week, tell an amusing Bryson story from last year’s win that you may not have heard, and ponder what the Thicc Boi’s weight is down to these days. Mito Pereira having to hope for a spot off the alternate list after getting the battlefield promotion is, as you might expect, noted. Event of the week is a duel between an elite amateur event and an event where the leader got stuck in an elevator that goes up to one of the tee boxes. Last but not least, enter the first ever Coffee Pot, a pool covering the next three weeks of peak Coffee Golf season -- the Irish, Scottish, and British Opens. It’s the usual pool with some amusing categories to make picks from with both weekly and cumulative winners.
How to record a podcast during a neverending par-fest of a playoff
Andy and Brendan had enough of the pillow fight between Harris English and Kramer Hickock, so they just hit the record button hoping it would end before they ended the episode. They begin with thoughts on the Women’s PGA Championship, where Nelly Korda ended the American drought at the majors and became the new No. 1 ranked player in the world. They discuss her immense distance advantage over Lizette Salas, who hung in during a weekend that became a two-horse race. In between incredulous groans about more pars, they then move onto the other events from the weekend. The spread at the Senior Players is discussed as is Viktor Hovland’s win in Germany. The wildlife at the Live and Work In Maine Open is noted. The longest conflicts in human history are relayed as they continue watching the English-Hickock bout. On the Travelers, Bubba’s complete barf down the stretch is panned before they sign off with a potential resolution from Hartford.
Is there such a thing as hot weather food?
This Friday episode is late but it’s a fairly evergreen ramble about the structure and shortcomings of professional golf, at multiple levels. Andy and Brendan begin first with the Women’s PGA, where Lizette Salas is back on a leaderboard and speaking candidly about her recent struggles. There are also options on the board for ending the American drought. At the Travelers, they hit on the post-major hangover effect. They discuss Alex Cejka reprising 1953 Ben Hogan, missing a “major” and chance at the Social Security Slam because he had to play his home open on the Euro Tour. There’s debate on some KFT “members” suggesting that PGA Tour University is insulting and that members should get priority over the college studs. News of the strict British Open regulations for the players, while allowing 32,000 fans in the gates, has provoked grumbling among the pros. Could we see some abstain from going? There’s also further discussion on the Olympics, how Ponte Vedra has done it no favors, and how NBC, with rights to both, has to balance its precious Olympics priority with the precious FedExCup. Precision Pro Flashback Friday goes back to a past Women’s LPGA Championship, when a fast-food joint put its thumb on the scale and demanded 51 years of history and regulations be thrown out the window.
Morrrre majors, Joey Crawford Championship, and a chat with Cam Smith
This Wednesday episode begins with an unplanned discussion on the U.S. Open’s identity. Has some of the luster of the championship been taken away with the PGA coming right in front of it now? And is Jason Gore more or less helping set up controversy-free courses that have taken some of the sizzle out of it? Then Andy and Brendan move to the event of the week, the Women’s PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, another Rees Jones renovation. There are three things to watch, revolving around the American drought and Olympics qualifying closing. For the Travelers, they delight in some “notables” categories in a field that’s completely loaded for the week after a major. To both of their surprise, there is a major on the Senior Tour this week, and it is perhaps the most extreme pushing of the boundaries on that term, “major.” They ponder whether having a KFT event in Maine will make people want to live and/or work in Maine, as the title suggests. News hits on the run of Olympics withdrawals on the men’s side as well as some intel from the ground on the Stella case of beer. Lastly, they are joined by Cam Smith for a rare guest interview from the Travelers.
Sunday at the U.S. Open: Rahm’s win, Bryson “off the rails,” and Torrey postmortem
After a brief wait for the flyover to clear through, Andy and Brendan begin with the last episode on the 2021 U.S. Open. It’s been a week, but they’re giddy following an afternoon of bunched (constipated) leaderboard maneuvering and some unexpected extracurriculars, like Bryson coming undone, a streaker, a box of beer somehow being on the premises, and a ball in a tree. They start first with Rahm, his “firing at flags” approach and of course the final two putts. There’s chatter about what’s to come, but mostly it’s an appreciation of what just happened. They express sympathy for the Mattress King, though Brendan doesn’t fully absolve him because of the drive at 17. The Bryson circus is re-lived, from a tie for the lead to t-26, with amusing quotes about how it was really just one unlucky break or two between that and getting to 7 or 8-under. Rory, all of it, is addressed. They close with a postmortem on Torrey Pines, why people can’t seem to understand why a good or bad leaderboard does not equal a good or bad golf course, and a few other things they liked and didn’t like from muni setup.
Saturday at the U.S. Open: Rotisserie chicken, still bad. Torrey Pines, still constipated.
This loopy Saturday episode is energized by the third round finish at Torrey Pines. Granted, there wasn’t much movement, as defined, but there was some action. Andy and Brendan debate whether they would trust Louis or Rory more on Sunday if they both made the turn in the lead. They address Mackenzie Hughes’ comments that this is basically playing like the Farmers for him. Thicc Boi’s inability to yell fore, and his revelatory comments that you simply do not need to hit fairways to win majors anymore, are discussed. Rory’s sandwich preference for the week, which includes rotisserie chicken, opens up an old debate and another shouting match about poultry. Also on Rory, the broadcast putting a camera on his hotel balcony is panned as an invasion of privacy. They go through the leaderboard and play Contender/Pretender, which is just another way to illustrate that Torrey has made it impossible to blow up or really go low. There’s an analogy about constipation made on this.
Friday at the U.S. Open: Bryson’s dreams, Dick Bland Brigade, and Torrey bunching
This Friday night episode is a debrief at the midpoint of the U.S. Open. Andy and Brendan react to Dick Bland, long an SGS notable, taking the freaking lead at a major. But has he gone too mainstream? There are some historical trends offered for why Torrey is a flawed venue but also why we may be in for an exciting sprint on the weekend. The subject of Bryson figuring out a swing fix in his dreams is debated. Is he an idiot or a genius that knows how to play the media? Or both? The Dylan Wu debacle is another exhibit in the embarrassment of having a KFT event opposite the U.S. Open. Biggest surprise nominees lead to a discussion on Matthew Wolff and Bubba, who has a truly horrendous U.S. Open record. A biggest MC disappointment discussion hits on Tony Finau, the Baton Boy, and J Kokrak.
Thursday at the U.S. Open: Torrey, Telecasts, and Richard Bland
This episode is a quick reaction to day one at the U.S. Open, with only one mic turned on for it. Brendan and Andy jump into what felt like an uneven day, often boring and frustrating but sprinkled with bursts of intrigue. Did anything happen that changed their notions of how this would be before Thursday’s action? Brendan compares it to a big time neutral site college football game. They discuss the 13th hole and the valley that gobbled up Bryson’s ball in a sand-filled divot. There’s a debate about other major venues whose entire identities are more or less wrapped up in one historic moment. There are some harsh words on the telecast making it feel like a regular season event. The lack of hangliders, prevalence of planes, and potential plaque impacts are also covered. Rory’s round is hailed, as is Brooksy’s opening salvo. And of course, Dick Bland’s chances are re-assessed, as is his Coetzee Zone candidacy.
Torrey foibles, Bomb-and-Gouge, Brooks v. Bryson, and Hanglider impacts
This Wednesday episode serves as your official U.S. Open preview. Andy and Brendan begin with some player reactions to the course setup so far, getting in the weeds on bomb-and-gouge proclamations and rough trepidation. There’s a debate about too much luck being involved, and a take that the U.S. Open has become the most predictable of the majors in terms of what type of winner it delivers. They highlight the divergent thoughts of Bryson and Jordan Spieth on whether this will be similar to Winged Foot. Then they get to the rumor that Bryson declined a pairing with Brooksy, and react to some of the pearl-clutching on Tuesday over this feud existing at all. One-and-done picks are made. Favorite groupings are bandied about -- from the Triple H to the European runts -- as well as worst groupings. Somehow, there is anti-Meronk sentiment. They close with some chatter on whether the hangliders, perhaps a rogue one with a bet slip, could impact the championship.
An SGS Spotlight on the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage
With the U.S. Open return to Torrey Pines, and a possible end to this era of the championship going to publicly owned venues, this Spotlight episode focuses on the one that ushered in that great muni experiment. Andy and Brendan dive into the story of how David Fay got the Open to Bethpage, the Rees Jones work before 2002, and the groundskeeping overhaul that took place to host the national championship. There is also ample time devoted to the Reestoration, with not exclusively glowing words for “The Open Doctor.” Then they get into some complaints on setup, including one hole where 15 players in a row failed to carry their drives to the fairway. There are segments dedicated to the rowdy crowds and of course, the main characters -- Jeff Maggert’s wardrobe, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Sergio Garcia. This may be the week the public perception of waggling Sergio really changed, and they go over the contretemps that had him leaving an apology note in Tiger’s locker the night before they played in the final round’s final pairing. There is, of course, time dedicated to this particular run of Tiger dominance, and the impacts incoming equipment evolutions might have had on that. Thanks to the U.S. Open Victory Club (join that here) for supporting this Spotlight work and making these episodes possible.
Palmetto Pukefest, Chicago’s new favorite son, and Nevada Bob’s boy
This Monday episode begins with a review of the puking down the stretch at the Palmetto Championship. Brendan and Andy discuss the Higgo potential, the Hadley gag, the Tain flick and attempted character assasination, DJ taking a dive to get out of town, and Brooks again saying he can’t focus for anything that’s not a major. There is also intel on Matt Fitzpatrick’s favorite time of year in Chicago, as well as his favorite restaurants. In contrast with that ugly play was the battle down the stretch at Lake Merced, where a Fin won for the first time on the LPGA, prompting dancing in the streets of Helsinki. On the KFT, they discuss a new and improved battlefield promotion proposal after Mito Pereira gets the call up after his third victory. On the LatinoAmerica Tour, a club pro makes a splash. News hits on Jon Rahm being cleared to get out of isolation. They close with a quick chat on the potential for the USGA putting Brooks and Bryson together when pairings are announced on Tuesday.
An SGS Spotlight on “The Merry Mex,” Lee Trevino: Part 1
This special Spotlight episode ahead of U.S. Open week is dedicated to Lee Trevino. This is Part 1 of what will likely, hopefully be a two-part Spotlight. It begins with the nuts and bolts of Trevino’s resume and career accomplishments before launching into his background and upbringing in poor conditions outside of Dallas. It covers his trademark swing, how he got into the game from destitute circumstances, his time in the Marines, and his path onto Tour golf. That path is due in part to qualifying for and then succeeding at the U.S. Open his first few times around the national championship. This episode covers his first three major wins, the U.S. Open at Oak Hill, the U.S. Open at Merion in a playoff against Jack Nicklaus, and his first Open Championship at Birkdale. It also covers the origins of his antipathy towards the Masters, and many more side tales. Thanks to the U.S. Open Victory Club (join that here) for supporting this Spotlight work and making these episodes possible.
#TainWatch, Rough videos return, and games within the game
This Friday episode opens with a discussion on the proliferation of craft burger places, as well as the amusement over the animated Andy that appeared in the big Golf Digest article featuring him. Then they get to the Palmetto Championship, where Brendan’s one-and-done pick, Monday qualifier Tain Lee, is on absolute fire. They discuss, with moderate confusion, the Pomona colleges where he went and put all Shotgunners officially on #TainWatch for the rest of the week. Andy scours the bottom of the leaderboard with disgust, highlighting the bushels of players that should have been bounced for KFT talents. There are also some reports from the ground about the excellent conditioning. News hits on our first social media video of the rough at Torrey Pines, which leads to a proposal that all OEMs be banned from event grounds. Precision Pro Flashback Friday takes you down the path of a South Carolina resident that holds an impressive (or ignominious based on your point of view) record that Westy may match next week.
Palmetto Poofers, Faz’s Portfolio, and a PGL PR Push
It’s the second recording of the day for Brendan and Andy so they are a little punchy. They begin with one of the most absurd and incongruous pairings they can ever recall for a field at the Palmetto Championship that is later dubbed in the episode as a “shit sandwich.” Andy runs through some of his “featured” groups, they cover three things to watch, and discuss Tom Fazio’s Congaree. There’s also the matter of Fazio being credited as the designer of not just Congaree but also Augusta National. The event of the week is given to Scandinivian Mixed, a cool concept across the pond. News is basically a segment on the PGL and its very public rolling out in both the press and on its new website, which is full of amusements.
Golf’s lengthiest couple of days
This special Tuesday episode recaps U.S. Open Final Qualifying, whipping around from site to site with some amusing anecdotes. They begin with a #scoop on how this 2021 U.S. Open may have to be played under protest thanks to an indiscriminate slow play penalty handed out at one qualifying site that cost a Tour pro his spot in the championship. Then they praise, somewhat, Rickie Fowler’s approach to qualifying, sticking around an extra day in Columbus and playing in a 12-man playoff for a second alternate spot. There’s debate over the players who WD and if there should be a penalty for not riding it out. With several hot KFT pros qualifying, an old but angrier take is rekindled after Brendan and Andy discover there’s a Korn Ferry Tour event opposite the U.S. Open. They conclude by picking a few qualifiers they think could actually contend and some potential alternate sites that could be put in the rotation in the future.
Yuka’s starpower, Using the “choke” word, Rahm’s WD, and Broosky-gate
This is a packed Monday episode that begins with praise for Yuka Saso’s playoff victory to become the youngest U.S. Women’s Open champion. Her early double bogey run, her late comeback, her playoff tightrope walk, and her emotional interview are all discussed. Then Brendan and Andy get to Lexi Thompson, discussing the appropriate use of the word “choke,” which was not heard on the broadcast with Johnny Miller off enjoying retirement. Brendan recalls the inevitability of the collapse that felt so brutal, while Andy has a theory on why it started to unravel on the back nine. They discuss NBC’s coverage of both Lexi’s collapse and the move to Golf Channel for the end of the playoff. The Memorial discussion largely focuses on Jon Rahm’s positive COVID test and WD, as well as another round of Brooks-Bryson feuding that may have led to the Tour getting involved. Is it bullying or crossing some sort of line? They wrap with a shoutout to a couple Canucks, the KFT GOAT, and sectional qualifying.
Timepiece appreciators, X-man’s armlock angst, and Eye on Olympic
This late Friday episode was plagued by technical difficulties but should see the light of day in some form or fashion. Andy and Brendan begin with their reactions to the primetime and commercial-free U.S. Women’s Open on Thursday night. Andy has a new affinity for a watchmaker, while pondering an amount he’d pay annually for regular commercial-free golf. Then they get into their reactions to the early leaderboard and conditions at Olympic, where the quick ejection seems to be lurking. The Memorial discussion mostly focuses on Rickie’s eyesight issues and Xander Schauffele’s pointed comments about the armlock putting method. The NCAAs get a quick review, and there are some questions about Pepperdine being an underdog school. Sunny Kim is back in the winner’s circle and they are here to hail that chase for 80. They close with an Eye on Olympic focusing on Meghan Khang, who is T3 after the first round and whose family has one of the most improbable “American Dream” back stories in golf.
Olympic intel, Aging Burly Boys, and Tinkering Jack
This Wednesday episode goes long on the U.S. Women’s Open but begins with the in-progress NCAA finals, which will pit Oklahoma vs. Pepperdine on Wednesday night. There’s plenty of chatter on the Burly Boys and the age of Quade Cummins, and puzzlement over Grayhawk getting to host for three years. Then it’s on to the major championship for the week, the U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic. Andy relays some intel from the grounds after being out in San Francisco this week. They discuss some comments from one veteran that this could be the hardest Women’s Open setup ever and that the young kids who can’t work the ball both ways may be in trouble. They propose their “best case scenarios” and also run through a few of their favorite tee times. On the PGA Tour, they react to Jack Nicklaus’ comments on the dramatic changes made to Muirfield Village, as well as the tinkering he’s already looking to do again. The close schedule for the week with the nightmare logistics problem has disrupted the Euro Tour.
The Social Security Slam, Tartan and Power Wagons, and Feng adoration
This Monday episode begins with some unexpected animal content. Then Andy and Brendan get into the dawn of the Jason Kokrak era following his win over home favorite Jordan Spieth at Colonial. There is earnest praise for Kokrak and the consistent contention week-to-week (and at majors) after some improvements in his game. There’s incredulity about the need for three trophies, as well as Spieth’s Sunday struggles. Also, are we now set up for a Kokrak vs. Alex Cejka Sunday singles match at the Ryder Cup? Cejka is in the crosshairs after taking his second senior major of the year, providing further evidence that perhaps this Senior Safety Net should not exist. On the LPGA Match Play, they discuss the grueling test in triple digit temps the week before a major that will be its own difficult walk. They hail Shanshan Feng, recent Eye on Olympic subject, for her bailing on the consolation match. There are also a few more Feng stories relayed that only add to the appreciation. Cameron Young’s KFT hot streak is highlighted in “Fake Spring” conditions. News hits on rumors that Brooks might have leaked the infamous interview video and a Thirst Bucket of the Week debate on a nice gesture, which happens often but with typically less fanfare.
A Spotlight on the what ifs of the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open
Andy and Brendan return to an old favorite format, the SGS Spotlight. The subject of this episode is the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open at Cherry Hills, won by the relatively unknown and extreme longshot, Birdie Kim, who pulled off one of the greatest shots in major championship history to clinch her only LPGA win. They set up how that historic venue played (hard) for this Women’s Open and if it’s due for another one. They discuss the trio of amateur phenoms in 15-year-old Michelle Wie, 17-year-old Morgan Pressel, and 19-year-old Brittany Lang all contending on Sunday to become the second ever amateur winners of the championship. This was also where Annika Sorenstam’s bid to win a calendar year slam came undone and Lorena Ochoa’s really started to take off. Ochoa also hit one of the worst shots you will ever see, which gets ample coverage here with citation to some humorous one-liners from Johnny Miller. They conclude with some of the larger themes on what happened to Birdie and the expectations (and burdens) that were then set for Wie, Pressel, and Lang.
Spencer Hall joins on Brooks vs. Bryson, shorts vs. pants, and Bjorn vs. his temper
This Friday episode features a most special guest host in Spencer Hall of EDSBS and Shutdown Fullcast infamy. Is golf Spencer’s forte or area of interest? Absolutely not, but he’s as brilliant as they come and fits in well for a ramble on the heat, playing golf in pants, puka shell necklaces, his experiences covering golf up close, the current headline-making golf beef, his favorite college football beefs that became spectacles as Bryson vs. Brooks threatens to, and a quarterback he would have loved to see in these celebrity matches. A segment on current results devolves into his impressions of Fort Worth, Tulsa, and Denmark. Precision Pro Flashback Friday is appropriately on the godfather of Danish Golf, Thomas Bjorn, and his reputed volcanic temper, one that cost him two shots and a claret jug. Thanks to Spencer, an absolute internet and content-making idol of ours, for taking time to join us -- if you don’t already, subscribe to the Shutdown Fullcast here.
The beef video seen round the world, and corrupted by kitchen appliances
This Wednesday episode wanders around for an hour. It begins with a retroactive thirstbucket of the week award, discusses some airport fare, Gary Player designs, and the most pointless warm-up routine witnessed at Kiawah. There’s also angst about why Monday’s episode was slow-played by Apple, with a conspiracy theory emerging related to the CEO’s surname. Finally, it’s to the news of the week, month, year -- the unsanctioned release of the Brooks v. Bryson interview video. They come at it from all angles, giving Todd Lewis a supporting actor nomination, indulging some pre-Bryson arguments, some pre-Brooks arguments, going through the beef timeline, and pleading with the PGA Tour to lean the hell into it, given the millions of views illustrating an appetite. Then it’s on to the schedule for the week, leading off with the Stand-up Mixer Senior PGA. It’s the event of the week but some troubling news out of Tulsa, where Andy was recording from, reveals the honor may be tainted by an appliance bribe. They close with another Eye on Olympic, which focuses on the player in the field at the U.S. Women’s Open regarded as the most humorous on tour.
Walking with Phil Mickelson for Sunday’s PGA Championship win
It’s the end of a long week in Kiawah, but Andy and Brendan record their last episode from the 2021 PGA Championship after an exhilarating day at the Ocean Course. Andy abstains from arguing for Ernie but there is some evidence later offered for potential asterisks next to this win. They relay what it was like out there in the crowd, walking and watching both Phil and Brooks in the final pairing. They assess Phil’s win in the larger context of his career achievements and golf history. They relay what each found most impressive about the day and his win, from the distance control and penetrating shotmaking to some of what felt like gamesmanship setting the terms with Brooksy. They get into the crowd, which treated Brooksy like a club pro and then broke through the ropes for an 18th hole scene that will go down in history. There’s some more Ben Cook takes, Louis laments, and praise for the course as a cog in a major championship rota. Thanks to all for the support all week.
Saturday at the PGA Championship
This Saturday episode recaps a great day on the ground from Andy and Brendan. Andy tells the tales of following the Brooksy group, while Brendan provides details from tracking the Mickelson-Mattress King duo. They assess the potential worst case and best case scenarios for Sunday, as well as the contenders and pretenders. There’s also some discussion about what a Kevin Streelman win could mean for Wilson and it’s beleaguered tour truck. A Precision Pro Flashback Friday Sr. hits on Phil’s first and only PGA win from 2005 at Baltusrol, as he adjusted to new equipment, employed a strategy of restraint similar to this week, and held off a hard-charging Tiger, who jetted home early after “greed and arrogance” led to a Monday finish.
Friday at the PGA Championship with Eamon Lynch
Brendan and Andy are graced by the curmudgeonly Eamon Lynch for this Friday night episode fueled by Smith Devereux wines. They all react to the elderly co-leaders, the Mattress King and Phil Mickelson, as well as some of the uber talents that made late charges up the board in Brooksy and Hideki. Also the Thicc Boi, whose “great drive” ended up in some cabbage. There are check-ins on the course setup and conditioning as well as hopes for the weekend on that front. Lastly, they nominate some most surprising and most disappointing nominees for players who are in it and those who are pouting their way home early from Kiawah.
First round reactions from the PGA Championship
Andy and Brendan are back at the Beverage Boys house to react to the first day at the PGA Championship. The flushers and strikers rose to the top. They discuss how the course played in the opener, how the wind wasn’t that bad, watching the Baton Boy up close, seeing some delectable shot shapes on the back nine par-3s, rooting on a club pro friend of the program, a slow play penalty actually assessed, Bryson neglecting to yell fore!, and the 18th hole fairway backboard. There’s also some intel about a Bracelet Boy sprinting to make his tee time. The episode wraps with a story of Andy asking cops on the driving range about biker gang enrollment procedures.
2021 PGA Championship Preview: Wind, Super Leagues, UFOs, and cheapskates
Andy and Brendan are together in Kiawah for their first in-person recording in almost two years. They immediately jump into some impressions from a day spent walking The Ocean Course, people-watching at the PGA, and pondering the big stories (snake impacts) of the second men’s major championship of 2021. There will be wind, and they discuss the impacts it will have even as you’re about to be hit over the head with wind talk the next five days. There’s a reading of testimony from several players on all the long irons they’re hitting during practice, a welcome development and change from the usual pro game. The other nooks and crannies from a course they’re hyped to watch are also highlighted. They relay what they’re hearing of the moving and shaking happening on the island as well, with delegates from the Super League in town and meeting with managers of several players. Favorite, and in some cases most underwhelming, tee times are nominated and discussed. Bryson’s chat on UFOs and time travel is reviewed. There’s also more intel on Dylan Fritelli’s penny-pinching ways after they’re told he’s playing with an alleged SGS listener in the first two rounds. And some one-and-done picks are made for what feels like a very open major.
Happy days for Dick Bland, Dicky Pride, and the Husky Boy
Before Andy and Brendan get together in Kiawah on Monday, they chat for this truncated episode that begins with an apology tour. Then they celebrate the Husky Boy and his triumph in North Texas. There’s also reaction to another strong week from Sam Burns and Jordan Spieth. There’s a mini debate about whether the Nelson could now take the crown for the worst event on Tour, with a few other contenders thrown out there. The Shaggy Kang-Jon Rahm tiff is also covered. Then they’re on to the Dicks, namely Dick Bland, who’s victory at the British Masters will be one of the stories of the year in golf, and Dicky Pride, who went from Monday qualifier to winner on the Champions Tour. There’s also a question of if Mitsubishi got what they expected from the top 10 at TPC Sugarloaf when they signed up to be this senior tour sugar daddy. News hits on Phil accepting a special exemption to the U.S. Open and Jay Monahan teaming up with Bubba Watson at a Florida member-guest event.
Disgraceful Day, Scandalous NCAA, and Flashback to the “Half Nelson”
It’s a Friday episode heavy on disgust. There’s disgust over the NFL scheduling the Browns-Bears game for the one fall Sunday that Brendan and Andy really can’t ignore in the golf world. There’s disgust about the pitch-and-putt setup at TPC Craig T. Nelson. There’s disgust over the Thicc Boi suggesting he easily left six shots out there. There’s disgust over Jason Day saying he will not attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open if he has to, opting to play in a corporate sponsor event that day instead. There’s PLENTY of disgust for the NCAA decision to cancel the women’s regional outright, as well as some comments hinting that maybe LSU didn’t really want to try to play. Following that airing of grievances, Precision Pro Flashback Friday focuses on the 1994 edition of the Byron Nelson, what came to be known as “The Half Nelson”, and the winner that year who went on to become the first player ever to shoot 29 in the U.S. Open -- twice, in back-to-back years.
Famous people named Craig, DJ’s WD statement, and Eye on Olympic for Mel Reid
This Wednesday episode goes in a bunch of stupid directions, starting with some details that may or may not be true on real estate around TPC Craig Ranch. This then devolves into a discussion on people named Craig, the most famous Craigs, the haughtiness of Craig T. Nelson using his middle initial, and a couple other unrelated topics. The shhhedule for the week continues with the Champions Tour posting up at another TPC venue and questions about Mitsubishi’s love of the senior circuit, the European Tour maybe having a “frontboard” at the Belfry, and the KFT dropping in on a gem of a venue in Tennessee. News hits on DJ’s amusing and verbose statement on his withdrawal, some data about the absolute absurdity and game-able-ness of the FedExCup points system, and the purchase of TaylorMade. Then they get to their second installment of “Eye on Olympic,” focusing this time on Mel Reid. Her ascendance as a junior, partying ways, family tragedy, and easy-to-root-for personality are all highlighted in this segment that gives you another name to monitor for the U.S. Women’s Open.
Is the Walker Cup under-marketed, a Prince returns, and anti-thirstbucket
It was a jam-packed weekend of golf and this Monday episode jumps right into it by flipping a coin and starting with a review of the Walker Cup. Andy and Brendan nominate their favorite “breakout” players from the weekend, what they loved most about Seminole, and wonder why there’s not a push to make this more of a top 10 event in the entire game. Is such a push or goal to make this bigger even desired or possible? Then they’re on to the professional game and a course and format that stood out in stark contrast to the Walker Cup. But of course there was the Prince of Ponte Vedra redeeming it all and getting back in the winner’s circle. They discuss his “drought” and if it even was a drought, his abandoning of his draw thanks to modern equipment, and the energy a Rory charge brings to an event. There’s also the matter of the Thicc Boi’s flight hijinks. On the LPGA, they discuss the scenes of Ariya bawling after winning her home event and also ending a drought of her own. The Regions Tradition recap turns into a segment on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers fans uneasiness. They close with the anti-thirstbucket of the week, a frugal Longhorn who has made millions playing golf but was so upset about a $1.95 charge on his food bill that he had to instagram about it.
Phil’s “selflessness,” SLG vs. PGL, and Walker Cup preview with Brentley Romine
This Friday episode begins with some quick reactions to Phil Mickelson taking the early lead in Charlotte, which is an occasion to quickly pivot to his quotes that joining a PGL or SLG league for tens of millions of dollars will actually require selflessness. This leads to a pivot to discuss the report from Alan Shipnuck that these are, in fact, not the same thing and actually competitors, and boy does the Saudi backed one sound terrible! There’s also a discussion on a report in The Athletic with a deposition of Jay Monahan, who did not name a single LPGA player when queried. There is also reveling in Viktor Hovland calling Quail Hollow a form of “driving range golf.” Then Brendan and Andy are joined by Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine, an amateur golf encyclopedia who is at the Walker Cup this week. They discuss some players to watch, whether all of continental Europe should be made eligible, a food poisoning outbreak, and features of Seminole. Then Flashback Friday focuses on some amusing Walker Cup controversies and characters as well as some stories from Ben Hogan’s time at Seminole.
I left a Premier League and came back a Super League
This Wednesday episode begins with Courtesy and Brendan discussing their distaste for the whole May the 4th proliferation, as well as the one liquor that never seems to dwindle on their bars. Then they spend the first 30 minutes or so discussing the re-emergence and re-branding of the PGL. They go back-and-forth between synthesis of a day of reporting from multiple outlets and analysis of the impacts of some of these proposed maneuvers. There’s chatter on DJ, Jay’s meeting, the Saudi influence, sponsor backlash, and parallels, if any, to the soccer Super League. Then they run through the usual schedule for the week, hitting on three things to watch at Wells Fargo, including a potential “heavy is the head that wears the crown” impact for the Prince of Ponte Vedra. A closing news segment focuses on Ian Poulter revealing that the new Pace of Play Policy is real and being communicated as well as Michael Visacki talking to Chuck for an exemption into Colonial.
A big day for BAW golf, Pine Valley maneuvers, and centerline flagpoles
This Monday episode gets back to some SGS roots, with a quick and unprepared whip around the results from the weekend in the golf world. It really, actually is a short one. They begin with the Valspar, where Sam Burns broke through for what could be the first of many wins on the PGA Tour. The dump in the cup award is back, as is the second edition of Thirstbucket of the Week. Other topics hit on are Keegan scraping it and Tringale closing in on a career achievement. Dean Burmester is mentioned and the Tenerife event is given a poor grade. The back half is a ramble on the giant flag in the center of a fairway at the new Jack Nicklaus course, as well as the general costs of giant flags. News hits on Pine Valley changing its policy to admit women members, and a potential angle for such a move. Lastly, all SGS merch will be 20 percent off through Monday night.
Victory Friday! The Bears have their QB
All golf talk is set aside at the start of this Friday episode, which was recorded minutes after the Bears traded up and drafted QB Justin Fields (and hours after reporting on Aaron Rodgers wanting out of Green Bay). A giddy Andy walks through his emotions of the day and proclaims the Bears “back.” Eventually, there is golf talk -- the Valspar chatter transitions to discussion on the PIP thirst this week, which leads to an article on who has been getting the most PGA Tour Live run this year, which leads to a study sent in by a listener on how the stars on the PGA Tour compare to the NBA stars earnings-wise. News focuses on Rickie’s exemption into the PGA, which is panned. A new segment focuses on one national hero that will be playing the U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic. Flashback Friday is a glorious look back at the career of a two-time winner in Tampa, K.J. Choi.
Snakepits, Monday Q PIP Impacts, and Burger Dog qualms
This Wednesday episode begins with Brendan having to answer to some angry Aussies and attempt to clarify his Leishman comp from Monday. It’s also a rambling episode with Andy on the road with a broken phone, an alarm clock that won’t go off, and a birthday date with Torrey Pines and Brendan trying to find a couple spare minutes in between childcare disruptions. There’s intel from the U.S. Women’s Open media day at Olympic, where Andy has some issues with the burger dog fixins and Brendan has some questions about the mowing lines. Eventually, they run through the shhhedule for the week, hitting on three things to watch at the Valspar, some amusing intel from another island pitch-and-putt on the Euro Tour, and some diminutive notables on the Champions Tour. They also discuss the viral video of Monday qualifier Michael Visacki and the authenticity of a story that PIP can’t account for.
Louisiana pillow fight, Slow play will ruin your day, and Buddy’s boy
This Monday episode begins with Andy disclosing an explosive handicap scandal from his Fried Egg event over the weekend. Then they get to the golf from the weekend, beginning with the first to finish -- the LA Open on the LPGA. Brooke Henderson’s 10th career win is praised but the pace of play is lamented. There’s also a call for more primetime golf to fill the void of our boring lives on weekend nights. At the Zurich Classic, they ponder whether it’s fair that pro golfers should have to hit shots for millions of dollars with alligators lurking so close to them. They also debate the futures of Cam Smith and Marc Leishman, and whether the latter is an Aussie Kuchar. The rowdy crowd with the cliche shouts is also given the Alonzo Mourning gif treatment. On the KFT, there’s intel about Tony Romo’s dilemma of staying in that event or bailing for a club calcutta. Tyson Alexander, son of Buddy, is regaled with a reading of several facts about this week’s KFT winner. Garrick Higgo is anointed as a new SGS favorite. News closes with a Tiger sighting and a new segment -- This Week in PIP, in which a “thirstbucket of the week” is crowned.
PIP Squeaks, longitude or latitude, and a Franco Flashback Friday
This Friday episode begins with some reaction to both “town crier” and “baton boy” references making it onto featured group coverage on Billy Tour Live. There’s also some reaction to the Crier’s contention that TPC Louisiana was not built to be played in wind. There’s amusement over the explanation of the Bubba-Scheffler team and confusion over some brands of golf clothing. Then the news of the week, the revelation of a Player Impact Program on the PGA Tour, is dissected. Andy and Brendan break down the actual nuts and bolts of the program, as reported by Eamon Lynch. They giggle over some of the metrics being employed, which don’t seem long for the formula. They offer their critiques and praise for different elements of it or at least what it’s efforting to do, and then laugh at some of the early reactions. Early action from the LA Open is also praised, while Tony Romo’s first round in Dallas is not. Flashback Friday is on the 1999 and 2000 winner of the Compaq Classic, then the name of the stop on Tour in New Orleans. They explore the mud shack upbringing of Carlos Franco, his hero status in Paraguay, his worldwide success, and then his breakthrough PGA Tour win in 1999 in NOLA.
The third annual walk-up music quiz
After year off, the PGA Tour returns to New Orleans and while there may no longer be walk-up music at this event, the listeners demand that this annual game goes on. So Andy makes a playlist of songs hinting at the inane, insider, and downright specious. Play along as Brendan attempts to guess what Andy is getting at with some of these song choices for a few SGS favorites on Tour. This comes after they run through the schedule for the week, with the LA Open on the LPGA winning event of the week honors. Andy dishes on some of the great features to watch for at Wilshire. There’s some intel from the first ever Euro Tour event in Gran Canaria about roads running through the course that will kick balls hundreds of yards away from where they land. There’s also ample chatter about some of the puzzling partnerships this week at Zurich.
Ko drought ends, Romo’s County Am adventure, and the legend of M.T. Johnson
This Monday episode begins with a discussion of some Chicago saloons, such as Lottie’s, the title sponsor of this week’s LPGA event, which Lydia Ko won on Saturday night. Brendan and Andy get into some of the astounding stats of Ko’s recent run, the brilliant pace of play, and what it could mean for a second peak. Then there’s an unplanned diversion into the Will County Amateur, where Tony Romo contended before a second-day fade. For the Heritage, they discuss Stewart Cink’s longevity, his kid caddie, and his past coach changes. Collin Morikawa’s frightening putter is also a topic as is the Si Woo Kim putt that hung on the lip for 40 seconds, leading to a mini-flashback to a similar issue that might have cost Denis Watson the U.S. Open after some tough justice from a rules official with an eye patch. The interminable Euro Tour playoff is covered as are the Peter Uihlein and Steve Stricker victories. News hits on the Town Crier ringing his bell and announcing his opinion on arm lock putting.
Pepperdine facts, Mother’s Day gifts, and Flashback Friday PGA whetting
It’s Friday and there is no script. Andy and Brendan begin with some thoughts on the first ever non-profit casino being built at TPC Scottsdale. Then there are some Mother’s Day gift ideas, like “tournament-used hazard water” on offer from TPC Sawgrass. The event of the week, the Western Intercollegiate, is reviewed, leading to some “bones to pick” with college coaches slowing down pace of play and the kerfuffle over the conclusion preempting first round LPGA coverage. There’s also a quiz on the Pepperdine basketball program. The ridiculous efforts and costs, borne by the local tournament and its charity efforts, to heighten the range net at Harbour Town are excoriated. Brittany That’s Amore’s charge, as well as Lydia Ko also potentially ending her drought, are discussed on the LPGA. The frigid conditions and schnitzel consumption of the Austrian Open are noted. Precision Pro Flashback Friday closes with a look back at an absolutely brutal day the last time a major was played at Kiawah, as well as some lofty prognostications for the Prince of Ponte Vedra.
Everyman travel for Hideki, Pete Dye’s Harbour Town, and a Baton Boy apology
The Masters has come and gone but Shotgun Start plays on with this Wednesday episode. They begin with some clean up from the first men’s major of the year, hitting on Hideki’s overly onerous modes of transportation after winning the Masters, the Town Crier’s attempt at an apology, and other post Masters “viral” moments. Then they’re on to the Harbour Town for the Heritage, highlighting the traits of the course and how different it will play compared to last year. The range net extension put up for the Thicc Boi, who then WD’d, is also covered. There is also a rumor about a welcome return to the Tour traveling circus. Shhhhedule for the week then focuses on the LPGA returning with a primetime event from Wednesday to Saturday. Event of the week is given to the college kids playing a MacKenzie on the other side of the country. News hits on some on-site fan constraints for the upcoming U.S. Opens in California.
Hideki Can Win
Andy and Brendan put a bow on a fantastic weekend at the Masters, beginning with Hideki Matsuyama playing his way into a green jacket. They dispute the notion that this was somehow a boring Sunday or middling Masters. The entire first portion of the podcast covers Hideki, from what it means to his home country, the excitement from Saturday night that will be a lasting memory from this 2021 edition, the impact of his amateur experience here, and the impressive blow-by-blow of his work on Sunday that kept the chasers at arms length. Then they get to those chasers, hitting on Xander’s flop at the finish, the Spieth temptation, and both the non-PGA Tour member present and promising future of Zalatoris. They review some of their contender and pretender calls from Saturday night and then get into the alarming sequel of the Town Crier’s circus act. They close with three things they’ll most remember from the week and a note of gratitude to all of you for supporting the podcast this week.
Hideki’s tour de force, Billy Ho’s masterpiece, and contender/pretender for Sunday
A lively virtual Bixby House results in this punch-drunk Masters table-setter for Sunday. Andy and Brendan react to that outrageous inward 30 from Hideki Matsuyama, but not without first pondering a preposterous rules hypothetical related to JT. Then they run through the leaderboard with a manichean contender/pretender judgment for each player. Two of the four players at 7-under are dubbed pretenders, while the head and the heart battle for a Spieth assessment six shots back. Jose Maria’s valiant fight is praised. Billy Ho’s absolutely ridiculous circus act is re-told, with a full notebook of details on the hole-by-hole indignities (pardon our language but it’s not ours, it’s his). They close with their picks to win and some rambling about a section of the English language that befuddles Andy.
Bryson’s “calibration devices” and a Masters player calls in to talk Woosie
It’s Friday night at the Masters! Andy and Brendan react to the 85th edition of the tournament at its midpoint, beginning with Justin Rose hanging on to his lead against a loaded gaggle of chargers. Ian Woosnam’s battle to make the cut becomes a prominent topic perhaps far too early in the show, but his bench-sitting practices needed to be discussed. They delight in Si Woo Kim’s putter outburst that had him near the lead in the Masters and putting with his 3-wood. Also covered are the moves by Spieth, JT, Zalatoris, and Bryson’s fight despite his grievance that he can’t use his “calibration devices” at Augusta National. They discuss two listener-proposed theories -- is Zalatoris unburdened by having no points to protect and is there a PAC curse? An MC Hammer segment focuses on DJ and Rory, who might be lost. Flashback Friday goes back only a matter of hours, as the great Jim Herman, who made the cut at the Masters, calls in to talk to two idiots about the course conditions and playing with a game Woosie for the first 36 holes.
Masters Thursday: Sandy’s top, Streb’s shank, Rose’s run, and Gary Player’s kid
Andy and Brendan are back for what is now an SGS Masters tradition -- daily podcasts reviewing all the inanities, amusements, and play both good and bad. This Thursday review begins with the incredible golf of Justin Rose, and quickly turns to the challenging course conditions of the first round. The firmness made hitting fairways an actual priority or reward and some of the elite ball strikers from tee to green moved up the leaderboard. They debate the most disappointing and most surprising opening rounds, their favorite horrible shots, and talk themselves into some unintended drive-bys of the kids just trying to navigate their way around Augusta. Gary Player’s idiot kid inserting himself in the honorary starter ceremony is panned. There’s a fashion review as well, from the Nike designs and colors, to the suspenders, to another spin of the Patrick Reed sponsor roulette wheel. They close with a bit on Rory, Spieth, and make/miss the cut predictions for some top names.
Adam Scott’s running form, Favorite tee times, and Phil demands respect
Andy gets up off the mat after a sick day for this late night amuse bouche of an episode as the Masters tees off on Thursday. He and Brendan begin with a Masters fact of the day on the honorary starters just continuing to play a round in carts after the pomp at the first tee. Then they get to their one-and-done picks to have those in under the wire. Some of their favorite tee times are highlighted for these first two days, the nominees for adding to your My Group shot-by-shot (or baton twirl by twirl) feature, and picks for the Chuck Hoffman Memorial first round leader. Some spicy quotes are reviewed -- like Rory potentially having to face impeachment as President of the PAC, Phil saying the golf course has not had to be respected due to softness, and Bryson on the onerous task of having to read greens with … your eyes, imagine that. There’s also the topic of his frisbee warm-up. This week has become a Masters SGS tradition and it is brought to you by the Shotgun Start blend of Bixby coffee—subscribe here and you will be able to join a live virtual and interactive happy hour during Friday’s round of the Masters.
Masters edition of Paulie Picks: CT machine impacts and the Waffle House difference
This special bonus Tuesday edition of the Shotgun Start features old friend Fried Egg Paulie. Perhaps you’ve heard, but gambling and daily fantasy have become a part of the golf scene, especially at the Masters. There are a lot of Johnny-come-latelys riding this wave but Paulie is an original not looking for hype and most importantly, willing to indulge two know-nothing idiots. Andy maps out a daily fantasy lineup with Paulie’s help. Brendan asks how oddsmaking has changed since it’s rapid escalation as part of pro golf. They debate Bernhard Langer’s new equipment deal and Ian Woosnam’s breakfast of champions. They discuss Brooksy’s injury, low values, and hopeful amateurs. This has become a Masters SGS tradition and it is brought to you by the Shotgun Start blend of Bixby coffee -- subscribe here and you will be able to join a live virtual and interactive happy hour during Friday’s round of the Masters.
Patty’s plunge into Poppie’s Pool, Golden Child returns, Drive-Chip-Putt apathy
This Monday episode begins with news of Andy’s arrival back to the Land of Matt Fitzpatrick after some time-zone struggles. Then Brendan and Andy get into the first major winner of 2021, Patty Tavatanakit and her two-shot win over Lydia Ko. Her no-leaderboard watching policy is debated, Ko’s charge is extolled, and the Poppie leap is graded. Then they’re onto to the national open at TPC San Antonio, where Jordan Spieth got his first win since the summer of 2017. Both talk about what they felt seeing him get it done again, the Texas Open otherwise stinking, and delight of that late crappy 8-iron down the stretch to keep us on our toes, per Spieth protocols. A clarification is issued on the Redneck Riviera before Stephan Jaeger’s continued credentials as the KFT are debated. The first of two digressions on the Drive, Chip, and Putt takes place, with apathy and confusion the conclusion. Saturday’s second ANWA is praised, even if the play was underwhelming -- the Tour did have to take a backseat, after all. News hits on Brooksy and likely Rahm playing the Masters, the course looking dialed in after the weekend exposure, and Waffle House ignorance from two native midwesterners.
If a scorecard is put in a scorecard holder, is it then a scorebook?
This wandering Friday episode features fantastic intel on the procurement of Patrick Reed’s apparel but begins with a quick announcement on some Masters week community gathering at a virtual Bixby House. Then Brendan and Andy catch up on Masters facts of the day, which include the alleged real pimento cheese recipe ANGC uses as well as old stories about caddies shagging balls on the range. Then they get to the tournaments at hand, reacting to the cut at ANWA and the tough scoring conditions. The ANA reactions focus on Shanshan Feng coming off the bench after a year away to post 67, the LPGA moving the tee up with the wall down at 18, and Michelle Wie’s impressive opener. Texas Open thoughts hit on Spieth’s early work, Phil’s implosion and level of care, and some low Cameron odds. News covers a hefty slow play fine for one LPGA rookie, DJ’s champions dinner menu, Brooksy’s engagement announcement, and the weird police procedure around disclosing the cause of Tiger’s accident. Precision Pro Flashback Friday serves up a smorgasbord of facts and stories on the earliest days of the ANA, then the Colgate Dinah Shore Winners Circle -- from the toothpaste executive that made this a lavish one-week party in the desert to an over-crowded Easter Sunday service on the 18th green to how it quickly became an event without peer on the schedule. Lastly, Andy chimes in with some facts and alarming history on Poppie’s Pond.
The Fall of the Blue Wall, ANWA intel, and top 10 title sponsors
This Wednesday episode begins with a fun Sabbo story on his preferred drink order. Then there’s a debate on the merits of orange juice. Andy and Brendan eventually get into the schedule for the week, where the women at both the professional and amateur level have the stage. The ANA Inspiration is up first, where news of the blue wall coming down has dramatically changed that finisher. Andy ponders the wildlife in Poppy’s Pond, which Brendan argues is essentially now a swimming pool. There are “three things to watch” proffered for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, where we might get a peek at a course that, according to Jordan Spieth, is rumored to be playing as firm as ever. They cover some of the top women in the field and also have a debate over the “Real USC.” Texas Open one-and-dones is a trip down Hoffman memory lane. They close with news of the Canadian Open going to Congaree and the TOUR selling a ketchup popsicle to an ISP in white gloves as another title sponsor for its regular season top 10.
Ohhhhhhhhhh Billy … Billy, Billy, Billy
Andy and Brendan hobble into a new week after a tedious Sunday at an otherwise enjoyable WGC Match Play. They react to the baton boy, the motormouth, the Town Crier of Ponte Vedra moving into the Swedish Pancake Club. Andy delights in his self-admonishments that became the soundtrack of the event. Then they get into his modest goals for the rest of his career -- winning the grand slam and the Players and making and captaining every team event. The Kevin Na and Dustin Johnson contretemps from Friday is reviewed, as well as the run of sudden death playoffs, which feel like format flaw. Inbee Park, a true living legend, is praised for her win at Aviara, where there was a plea for relief from a fountain geyser. Joely D’s big win in Punta Cana and Danie van Tonder’s victory in Kenya are also covered. News covers a report that there may be no fans at the U.S. Opens in California.
Big Tex home game hustle, NFT flops due to ‘niche,’ and Match Play Flashbacks
The great Kyle Porter of CBS joins for this Friday episode with Florida Man Andy on family vacation. Brendan and Kyle dive into the first two days from the WGC Match Play, delighting in Sergio’s camo pants, Bryson’s 46-yard drive, Spieth’s surge, and Rory’s walkabout in the wilderness. There’s also intel about the dangers this week in Austin with balls flying over the range net into play. Kyle talks about his upcoming trip to Augusta and what’s jumping out to him as the Masters bears down on us. Bryson’s underwhelming NFT rollout is reviewed, as are comments from his agent that the lack of demand was due to golf simply being a niche sport. They also discuss the Punta Cana finishing stretch being named “The Devil’s Elbow.” Precision Pro Flashback Friday is a two-scoop treat with Kyle bringing his own research on that time Tiger massacred someone not named Stephen Ames, and Brendan looking back on the year that absolutely no one showed up and the 90th ranked player in the world went through the bracket.
Match Play beefs, Wie returns, and living in a treehouse
This Wednesday episode comes to you early with Andy needing to get to the beach, Brendan needing to clear out of his office, and most importantly, the WGC Match Play starting early. They immediately jump into laments on the Match Play round robin format and formulaic scheduling but also praise it as one of the great events of the season that always yields a controversy or two. They ponder if there will be a backboard at the drivable 13th and if Bryson will register a driver over 500 yards that’s immediately turned into an NFT. Also, the legend of “motormouth Billy” is born. The LPGA is also back this week and finally out of the Sunshine state, heading to a venerable Arnold Palmer design in California. They express excitement over the return of Michelle Wie West and this appetizer for the first major of the year. The field at the Punta Cana Championship is combed through with the usual enjoyment. The one-syllable crew at the Kenya Savannah Classic is also highlighted, which leads to a conversation on Toby Tree’s preferred accommodations. News hits on Bryson’s hamfisted NFT rollout, JT’s discussions with Tiger, and Jordan Spieth disclosing he was literally taped up during the past few rough years because of a hand injury we hadn’t heard about.
An Onda Classic with no juice, TV mishaps in Kenya, and Moe Norman Masters facts
Andy and Brendan have to dig deep to find things to talk about after one of the more lifeless PGA Tour events they can recall. So they begin first with the Illinois basketball loss, some worse for the wear testimony, and a story about walking full speed into a glass door. At the Honda, they praise Matt Jones’ play and pace but also discuss how the Honda is an absolute no-win situation and this week was a conspicuously painful illustration of that. Andy proposes the Tour not schedule an event the week after The Players, in a further attempt to manipulate its status. Brendan ponders Phil getting exhausted by the constant scramble to stay in play while now also never contending, wondering if he might hang it up sometime in the not too distant future. The broadcast disaster on the European Tour is discussed and Bobby Diaz’s win on the Web Tour is praised. His shirt sponsor, however, is questioned. They conclude with Masters Fact of the Day on Moe Norman and the time he made his first trip to the Masters, much to the anxiety of the Canadian Golf Association. They recall the amusing story around his WD from that first Masters.
What’s your favorite Honda?
This Friday episode begins with some quick reactions to the first day at the Honda Classic, where Matt Jones may have posted the round of the year. Andy provides some intel on the Swamp draw differential that Jones took advantage of in the morning. There’s also discussion on the entire fleet of Honda vehicles and which one is best, as well as an effort to figure out what the company sponsoring the KFT event actually does. Masters Fact of the Day is on the cracker barrel (not that one) and Cheez-It procurement. A twofer Precision Pro Flashback Friday hits first on Bruce Lietzke, the 1984 Honda winner, who played an extremely unique schedule while at the top of his game and also nearly missed a tee time while looking for a hot dog. The second Flashback focuses on 1996 Honda winner Tim Herron, who won it early in his rookie year by edging John Daly as the longest off the tee and opening with a first round (much like Matt Jones) that some thought was a scoreboard malfunction. The 1996 Flashback is also an occasion to bring up a wildly amusing story on two players arriving via helicopter and fire truck at the golf course, as well as some sharp critiques of TPC Eagle Trace, the TPC Network, and Greg Norman’s relationship to that network.
Another Andy comes to Chicago, Dirt McGirt vs. Rickie comebacks, and LPGA setup debates
This Wednesday episode begins with Brendan arguing why he’s against St. Patrick’s Day and Andy exasperated by the latest Bears quarterback move. They eventually get to the Honda Classic, where Rickie Tour Live returns with gusto and Westy completes his Swamp Swing show. There’s an impromptu check in on William McGirt and three things to watch focusing Westy and the weather. There’s some intel from on the ground at the Magical Kenya Open, which is up against the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in a hotly contested Event of the Week race. Padraig Harrington’s comments on the ball and a rollback further benefiting Bryson are reviewed. News hits on a positive Tiger update, a new and encouraging team match play event for the senior tour, and a fascinating article on LPGA setups being too tough relative to the PGA Tour.
Westy on tilt, JT on point, and Rory chases Bryson
This Players Monday episode begins by tackling the question of whether an Illinois B1G championship mitigates the despair of Westy fading at The Players in Andy’s world. They immediately jump into the JT-Westy contrasts, namely one putting together an all-time ballstriking round and the other desperately trying to cobble something respectable. They tear the band-aid off and re-live a “worst case scenario” for Andy. JT’s play and legacy are discussed, and Westy’s worst shot of the day is debated. There are giggles over the run of horrendous shanks and tops early in the round, which results in a Thicc impersonation. They also cover a setup quibble here and there, the Mattress King giving away his driver in the middle of a round, the Spieth-Sabbo contretemps, Doug Grim, and every shot live coverage. Brendan defends, maybe, the Players feeling major-ly to him. Rory’s comments about Bryson influencing his chase for speed and swing struggles are reviewed. News focuses on DJ opting out of the Olympics before one more round of Westy laments to sign off on a great week.
JT’s Fulminating on Firmness, Bobby Mac Facts, and Flashback to the Cajun Kiwi
This Friday episode begins with an update on the other Players Championship, where there are multiple Coetzees in the field. Then Andy and Brendan react to the opening round at TPC Sawgrass, where Sergio went low and others imploded. They discuss the course setup, Rory’s potential abdication, the every shot live feature, the pin at 17, and Justin Thomas’ gripe about inconsistent firmness at that island green. There’s also chatter on the gambling gripes on rounds not finishing before darkness suspensions. Kevin Na is labeled as the opposite of Westy -- unsporting -- following his WD. Then, in honor of the great Fan Vote history at the Players, there’s a Fan Vote Friday Jr. segment highlighting the legend of Bobby Mac, who is making his Players debut this week. They close with Flashback Friday, and the subject is the Cajun Kiwi himself, the man who brought “The Town Crier” nickname to your PGA Tour Live broadcast.
Sawgrass Brown Out, 12th tee tinkering, and Internal OB-gate
The Gold Standard is back! This wide-ranging preview episode covers some course setup drama, another Jay Monahan appearance on CNBC, an Illinois basketball grievance, syllable efficiency on the tee sheet, and much more. They begin with some thoughts on an uninformed CNBC inquisitor botching another Commish visit with the network. Then Brendan offers some thoughts on why The Players, the actual event, is so enjoyable while the lard added onto it, is worthy of some backlash. Andy delights in yet another tweak to the 12th hole at TPC Sawgrass, this one a new tee allegedly to keep pace of play moving the first two days. The late mid-week change of declaring internal OB, aka The Bryson Rule, is debated. Some favorite tee times are highlighted, including a UPS quarantine and groups they would most/least want to join as a fourth. New hits on Webb Simpson prioritizing the FedExCup over the Olympics and a possible replacement for the canceled Canadian Open. They close with a Masters Fact of the Day on the icy relationship between Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan.
Westy sadness, Thicc Boi madness, and respecting Arnold
A forlorn Andy signs on to chat about his idol Lee Westwood coming up short at Bay Hill. Brendan immediately inquires what hurt most -- the bad breaks, the poor shots, or the wasted opportunities with the Thicc Boi not exactly running away from him. Then the marvel at the Bryson circus act, from the show at the 6th hole, the extremely sketchy drop at 16 green, the bunker complaints, and the triumphant primal scream on the 18th green. They ponder a re-worked PGA Tour schedule that makes these crackling Q1 events the actual playoffs. There is a speed round segment on Pat Reed messing around in the rough, anticipated preferred lies, the Robert Gamez disaster, and Baton Boy Billy. Brendan has some comments on the Arnold hagiography watering down the authenticity of what was actually so great about him. They close with a conspiracy theory on Brooksy’s WD from The Players and a chat on Austin Ernst’s runaway win at Golden Ocala.
Hear ye, hear ye! The Town Crier is here with a Friday Episode
The golf talk is minimal in this Friday episode, which begins with news that Andy is up in LupLand looking over his shoulder. He provides some details of his day on the ground chatting about driveway costs, new HQ buildings, and the cool pictures throughout the clubhouse. There’s an apology tour for some mistakes on the USGA championship locations as well as Walker Cup competitiveness from Wednesday. There is a quiz on some of the official partners of the PGA Tour, such as “Official Business Knowledge Sponsor.” Then they get to the Town Crier’s high-profile day at Bay Hill, where fans chirped him on one green and he did a baton toss routine with his putter on another. There’s some chatter on Bryson chickening out at the 6th hole and whether a complaint should be filed with the EPA after his practice round dumping there. Brendan makes a larger point around the Golden Ocala on providing a greater platform for the LPGA. Precision Pro Flashback Friday focuses on two mid-90s winners at Bay Hill who didn’t find success on Tour until late in their careers.
Facts about Ocala and the distance debate denouement
This Wednesday episode begins with a belated birthday wish for one past Masters champion. Then Brendan and Andy get into the schedule of the week, beginning with the annual stop at Bay Hill. Andy cites the “screened-in porch watching” of this event while Brendan cites a history there for why they enjoy the API. Three things to watch focuses on what could be the distance debate denouement at the 6th hole this week. They try to decipher and translate some of the specifics in the Tour’s big announcement on partnering with Amazon Web Services. Then they get to the LPGA event at Golden Ocala, which they already got into in some detail on Monday’s episode. In this episode, they provide some more information on the Ocala area -- notably about private aviation neighborhoods, why it fights Lexington to be horse capital of the world, and a broadcast hijacker living there. There’s also revulsion about some of the drone footage of the tribute holes. News hits on the Walker Cup team announcement, the USGA taking a championship to Puerto Rico, and the possibility of a Euro Tour swing in Florida.
An anthropomorphic box, Billy Ho and the catch basins, and tribute hole golf
The week begins with some laughter-induced tears as Andy and Brendan delight in their re-acquaintance with the walking, talking Cologuard box. They naturally begin their results review with the Senior Tour, discussing the water hazards in Tucson, Mike Weir’s wounded putts and HOF credentials, and Kevin Sutherland “hanging in on the backside.” Then they get to the brilliance of Collin Morikawa and how his golf almost made Sunday’s finish at Concession boring. They discuss the venue’s volatility, its catch basin shotmaking challenge, and Billy Horschel’s ample commentary on the conditioning and commendation for the Tour setup crew. They discuss Brooksy’s run of J-Day health troubles. Also addressed are the many Tiger tributes and the discourse around those. Nelly Korda’s work at the Gainbridge is praised but not the tape-delayed broadcast. With the LPGA going to a third Orlando-area course, Andy stumbles into researching the tribute holes at next week’s venue and finds many factual errors.
Coco Beach delights, Wolff’s Concession, and a “Scandinivian Hit Man”
Andy and Brendan close out the week with this Friday episode reacting to early action from across the “swamp swing,” where water is now in play on almost every hole across every tour. They marvel at the Solicitor General running out in front early at the PR Open, while also wondering if Bob Allenby’s island PTSD led to his DFL spot. There’s also a fun Smylie story about being put on the clock. Then they get back into The Concession crowbarring its name into the title of this WGC. Matthew Wolff’s WD is also addressed and lamented as a blow to the WGC spread watch. They laugh at the dramatic and constant framing about the challenge of these pros having to figure out a course they’ve never seen before this year. This week’s Precision Pro Flashback Friday is on a past winner at Doral, who clipped Fred Couples and Mark Calcavecchia, among others, before an outrageous run of health misfortunes.
Tiger’s accident and your schedule for the week
Andy and Brendan begin this Wednesday episode with the unfortunate breaking Tuesday news of Tiger Woods’s serious car accident in Los Angeles. They react to the scenes from the brutal crash, news of Tiger’s “non-life-threatening injuries,” and hope for recovery to some form of normal. Then comes a preview of the schedule for the week, starting with the WGC Workday. Andy provides some intel on THE Concession while Brendan has some questions about its driving range. The field list at the oppo PR Open gets the usual treatment as does the Cologuard Classic (be sure to enter the first ever TFE/SGS Stool Pool on that). The return of the LPGA prompts praise for Madelene Sagström telling her story this week. News covers the USGA changing its rules on amateur status, the big blue wall going away at the ANA, and the PAC hitting on the all-important issue of playoff draw order.
Homa’s win at home, an “unplayable” delay, and Tiger loves angles
This Monday episode revels in the weekend that was at Riviera, which the Shotgun Start proclaims as the Tour’s real “gold standard.” Andy and Brendan lead off by discussing Max Homa’s emotional win and the kind of resonance that winning this event at this moment had for him. They speak to the history that Riviera has on Tour and the event has in that market to build that kind of resonance. Then they get to the hard-luck loser, Tony Finau, who played his ass off but looked underwhelming in the playoff. The debacle of a wind delay and setup that was suddenly over the edge is covered in detail, with competing arguments over who screwed up. Also, is this a sign the Tour is at least trying to create a challenge or will we now see a month of play on pillows in Florida? Tiger’s dour TV appearance is discussed and Andy celebrates the 15-time major winner’s insistence on playing for the proper angles. They close with news of Phil playing the Dump in the Box classic, Rory becoming the PAC Pres, and the new LPGA match play event.
Elevated Status Slams, Alternate list fiascoes, and Flashback to “Mr. Icicle”
This Friday episode begins with an apology and some relief on the Bears dodging the Wentz bullet. Then Brendan and Andy debate what’s worse -- the narrative of an Elevated Status Slam now subtly being pushed, or the Tour Champ’s thirsty chase for the Happy Gilmore content train. Then they get to some initial thoughts on Riviera, which was playing quite firm and fast in the opening round. They discuss a few of their favorite holes, some “big names” taking their lumps, and Bassy Munoz’s new Flex Seal sponsorship. On the 2021 Web Tour debut, they discuss the alternate list fiasco that Mr. Golden Tee Andy Pope brought to light on Twitter. There’s a double helping of Precision Pro Flashback Friday, with Andy tackling a legendary duel that lasted more than a week before the next event at Pebble intervened, finished, and the Tour drove back to LA to finish up a playoff at Riviera. Brendan tackles Mr. Icicle, the four time LA Open winner, World Golf Hall of Famer, a war hero of the highest regard, and 11-time heart attack survivor. They close with news, which is a discussion on the pros and cons of Mike Whan taking the reins at the USGA.
Riviera’s worst hole, golf pros named Angus, and Web Tour returns
This Wednesday episode previews the best week of the year on the PGA Tour, the annual LA Open Genesis Invitational at Riviera. Andy quickly anoints it the event of the week, but not after a brief digression on the Spieth v. Rickie OWGR race. There’s an apology related to that OWGR movement and Brendan proposes radical changes for Rickie’s career to get him out of the doldrums. Then they get to the course and field at hand, highlighting the strengths of Riviera, how it could be better, and how you can judge its greatness by simply asking “what is its worst hole?” They discuss the depth of the field, a quirk about the winners here, and the collegiate showcase winner Angus Flanagan, which prompts Andy to look into the career of another Angus. Continuing on the schedule for the week, they hit on the 2021 debut of the Web/KFT Tour in Florida, lamenting the lack of TV coverage and a sort of brain poisoning that the Reed rules shortcomings have had on lower tour play and qualifiers.
Precipice of the Pancake Club, Spieth’s almost back, and rich man’s Kelly Kraft
This Monday episode begins with some thoughts on social media, a Saudi Arabia ad on Golf Channel, and Nate Lashley’s four wiggle and subsequent course desecration. Eventually, Andy and Brendan get to the more pertinent matters of Daniel Berger’s win and Jordan Spieth’s weekend. They marvel at the specifics of Berger’s squeeze cut and the more general whole package, while also discussing (or questioning) his putting line-up routine. Spieth’s weekend was more evidence of how close he is and they discuss just a few of missing parts while appreciating the up-and-down theater. The PGA Tour’s flexibility on tee box setup is also praised but they ask for more throughout the season. The nebulous rules process is spotlighted contrasting the Pat Reed kerfuffle against the penalties on Maverick McNealy and Roo Knox (now dubbed Rich Man’s Kelly Kraft). When is, or should, video be used? They close with a few thoughts on why this is the best stretch of the season.
An Apology Tour, Citrus impacts at Pebble, and Flashback to Johnny “magic”
This Friday episode begins with a prompt apology to the local news industry and to Xander Schauffele on an item unrelated to the local news issue. Then Brendan and Andy get into the early action from Pebble Beach, where Patrick Cantlay went low, Akshay Bhatia dialed in, and Jordan Spieth’s duck tape held up on the coast. They also highlight the significant impact a bad piece of fruit had on Bhatia’s sterling round. There’s also some chatter about the 6th hole and a radical proposal heard on PGA Tour Live to add internal OB there. Then they get to Precision Pro Flashback Friday (promo code Shotgun20) and the subject this week is the miracle 1994 Pebble Beach Pro Am win by Johnny Miller, who’d been a full-time TV person at that point and hadn’t won in 7 years. He’d barely made any starts on Tour in the 90s. The Flashback gets into his struggles with the putting yips that had him playing (and somehow winning) as a ceremonial golfer that week, as well as the tense relationship he had with players (including one now in a TV tower) due to some comments in those early years in the booth.
The Rangefinder Championship, Pebble’s weak field, and the Popov rule
This Wednesday episode begins with some chatter about the peculiar habit of local news consumption in the year 2021. Then Brendan and Andy dive into the breaking Tuesday news that the PGA Championship, Women’s PGA, and Stand-up Mixer PGA will permit the use of distance measuring devices starting THIS year. They debate whether this is the erosion of yet another skill, an area that was already properly bifurcated, and dispel with the cover justification that this is a pace-of-play nostrum. Then they get to the schedule for the week, which is light and simply the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Despite its lack of competition on the event side, the field is the weakest its ever been and Andy wonders how that might sit with its telecom giant sponsor, which backs two events now struggling to attract primo fields. They discuss the Saudi impact on two West Coast swing events and also cover this modern pro’s ability to play for huge sums every week without having to glad-hand potential sponsors at a Pro-Am like this. In news, they hit on a trio of LPGA subjects, like the new Popov rule, a new title sponsor doubling a purse, and Annika coming back for an event after she played as a celebrity in another one a few weeks ago.
Brooks respect, Spieth pandemonium, Xander flops, and DJ cruises
Even before the final putt fell in Phoenix, Andy and Brendan chatted on Super Bowl Sunday night to recap the weekend that was at TPC Scottsdale. They begin with Brooks Koepka’s victory, his admission that he was in some “dark places,” and the significance, if any, of this win for his future. They also note the symbolism of how he got lost (by most people, not all) in the shuffle of a weekend that became all about Jordan Spieth. The Golden Child is obviously the next subject of their chat. They review that magical Saturday, the two-way-miss Sunday, and if he’s “back” and what that even means. Xander’s sloppy final round is also scrutinized. DJ’s victory is praised at the Saudi International, an event that lacks both character and any real juice. They close with some comments from JT on gambling concerns and some balance sheet data that might rebut the comments from both JT and Rory on the distance report last week.
Stevie vs. Sunny, Rocket and the BetCast, the “selfish” and “time-wasting” USGA
This Friday episode begins with an admission from Andy that he might be turning into a “Florida man,” which prompts an interrogation from Brendan on why he wasn’t at the historic moment when a new all-time wins leader was crowned in the MLGT this week. Then they get into the Saudi event, namely some informed guesses on appearance fee totals, if this course is ever played outside of this week, and how such a new venue already has an obsolete range. The Phoenix Open chatter focuses on some amusements and nicknames from PGA Tour Live, Big Jay perhaps delivering the news personally to Rory that a volunteer stepped on his ball, and the BetCast experiment. At one point, the invasiveness of gambling promotion is compared to the heyday of marketing cigarettes to kids. There is a new sponsor for Flashback Friday, which is a lengthy dive into one of Phil’s Phoenix Open conquests and a look back at a changing of the guard in American golf. An extended news segment goes into more distance report chatter, specifically on the asinine comments from Justin Thomas and the meandering words from Rory McIlroy.
Local rule rollbacks, WMPO love, Saudi embarrassments, and burner denials
This episode begins with a lengthy segment on the announcement from the USGA and R&A disclosing some notable “research topics” and “proposed equipment standards changes.” Andy and Brendan dissect the different areas of interest and proposals and the potential implications from a document on the distance issue. They ponder the PGA Tour’s response to a local rule option, whether this is language signaling a rollback or just holding the line, and then reasons for optimism as well as concern from this announcement. There’s also great amusement over the CT Machine page from 2004 in the document. After that opening segment, they get to the schedule for the week, praising the Phoenix venue, its conditioning, its finishing holes, and its loaded field this week. They discuss whether JT was put on some secret suspension based on the language of a recent tweet. On the Saudi International, they read Paul Casey’s statement on the reason for his flip-flop. News closes with some Reed follow-up, like the fact that his attorney had to deny ownership of a burner account and a sportsbook refunding bettors who didn’t have him to win.
A “Reed Day”
The new month starts down a path we’ve been before: Patrick Reed engulfed in a shady rules controversy of his own making and the PGA Tour covering for him. This Monday episode jumps right into the drama from the weekend. Andy explains why this wasn’t nearly to the level of the sandcastles Reed built at the Hero Challenge. Brendan argues that this seemed to be an M.O. for Reed, his behavior indicating that this is part of some usual decision tree for getting better lies. They react to all the condemnation, even from some of the most down-the-middle voices in the game, like the analysts at CBS. The larger point, however, is that this illustrates yet again the vast unregulated gray area that the PGA Tour now lives in and how that seems untenable with gambling now becoming such a large part of the operation. After that lengthy discussion on the rules drama, they get into the actual brilliance of Patrick Reed’s play and how lamentable it is that all of it is overshadowed. Andy has some numbers showing how lofty the company Reed keeps from a resume perspective, and how he might have more staying power than all of them.
Preemptive Pampering, Poofer Power Rankings, and a “Global Home”
This Friday episode begins with some business matters on merch re-stocking and news that the Westy Island Blend is now live and available for purchase. Then Brendan and Andy relay a fun stock market analogy for two wayward pros from a friend of the program. At the Farmers, they lament the preemptive ball-in-hand declaration under perfect conditions for inclement weather coming the next day. When did this become a thing? Why is it a thing? Is it a ridiculous slippery slope toward always playing it up? With Patrick Reed on top of the leaderboard, they debate the current top ranked “poofer” and what defines a poofer. They also lament the missed chance for Reed to be a populist hero given his game. On the Euro Tour, they pillory an egregious backboard setup in Dubai. A memory-jogging Flashback Friday focuses on two legends battling without their A games at Torrey at the turn of the century. News turns into a live reading of an article outlining the specifics of the PGA Tour’s new 187,000 square foot Global Home at TPC Sawgrass. How many meeting spaces is too many?
The Torrey POPS, PGA goes to Tulsa, DL3 juices the Pres Cup
This Wednesday episode begins with some light Snow Day reminiscing before turning to our shhhhedule for the week. Brendan and Andy start with the Farmers Insurance Open, where a loaded field will also include featured groups with a couple players deep down the OWGR. Then they assess the Jones Family venue and if it will provide even the slightest indication of what might happen at the U.S. Open later this year. Some intel from the ground also reveals another potential driving range controversy as well as some of the details of what “investing” in a pro-am spot gets you this week, including being deputized for the coveted POPS force. Over on the Euro Tour, they discuss another stout field as well as word of some conditioning issues. A news segment is loaded with chatter on Southern Hills getting the 2022 PGA, Brooksy jettisoning Claude, the Women’s Open announcing sectional qualifying sites, and the wild card decision to put some fire into the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow.
A lifetime supply of Bloomin Onions, Si Woo’s Living Under Par, Hatton dusts Rory
It’s the first Monday of the year with a full golf plate to digest from the weekend. Brendan and Andy begin with the LPGA celebrity event in Orlando, where the pace of play was excruciating and the celebs featured way too prominently in the final round broadcast. They praise Jessica Korda’s weekend comeback charge and also delight in some of the hole-in-one prizes at the event. Then they swing out to PGA West for the victory lap with Si Woo Kim while also offering a couple alternative theories for his LUP apparel sponsorship. In Abu Dhabi, they convey their disappointment but not surprise with Rory McIlroy’s final round fade as Tyrell Hatton cruised to a fourth Rolex Series event win. Lastly, the Saturday Night Champions Tour event is celebrated as perhaps being better than the PGA Tour for its mix of personalities and styles on display, including its cigarette-smoking cart-driving champion
The Duke of Debt, Buff Reed, and Flashback to Metaphysical Martin
This Friday episode meanders about for 50 minutes without ever really going anywhere, if that makes sense? Andy begins with an apology and a clarification on “Fake Winter” while offering some expert testimony from a listener from Sweden. The Olympics news has them sympathizing with the Boy From Bratislava while also proposing alternative ways to make sure the games, at least the golf portion, are played this summer. Then they unintentionally start discussing the Bob Hope, and by “discussing” we mean dissecting the tragic timing of Rickie Fowler’s career as well as a new nickname for him. Then there’s a chat on Patrick Reed looking “built” and if he’s approaching not linebacker size but perhaps squat longsnapper territory. Flashback Friday focuses on a Euro Tour classic from Abu Dhabi, recalling the legendary giant killer Gary Stal, who erased a 10-shot deficit to Martin Kaymer in 2015. Neither player has won since and there are a few quotes from Kaymer after the collapse that might explain why.
Fake winters, Koepka’s warm-up for the warm-up, and Westy’s return
This Wednesday episode begins with the breaking news that D.J. Trahan has had to WD in Palm Springs after a positive Covid test. There’s also the news of yet another Tiger Woods back surgery, which Brendan and Andy discuss in the context of his past injury history and what it might mean for any future. Then they get into a loaded schedule for the week with the return of the European Tour, LPGA, and Champions Tour providing a full slate. Andy rejoices in Westy’s current reign and the strength of field in Abu Dhabi. At the American Express, they delight in some Brooks Koepka quotes about how this week is a warm-up for next week, which is a reconnaissance mission at Torrey Pines for the U.S. Open. Andy gets realllll snooty about which locales have “real winter” and which regions do not. The celebs (and cable guys) at the LPGA opener are also put under the microscope. News closes with the PGA Tour’s new responsible gaming slogan and a chat on all the under 24 year olds now in the top 25 in the OWGR.
The Swedish Pancake Zone, Preemptive Preferred Lies, JT gets dropped
This Monday episode pushes on even though Brendan is wallowing in a state of despair about the Browns season coming to a close. They quickly transition from that sadness to the triumph of Kevin Na, who does not enter the Rickie Zone but rather the Swedish Pancake Zone with his fifth Tour win. They examine some of the places he’s bagged those Ws and some of the other names in the Pancake Stack. The Sony is broken down into some things they liked -- the Chris Kirk story, outrageous scoring, Webb’s sunscreen application apathy -- and some things they didn’t like -- preemptively playing preferred lies, the Nick Taylor ruling, Peppy Peter’s quote that angles never matter. News hits on a driving range netting rumor, Bryson’s trouble on the backend, and the announcement that Ralph Lauren was dropping Justin Thomas.
The “Death Zone,” Pebble sans Cable Guy, and Flashback to an Aussie legend
It’s Friday! And more importantly, it’s sumo citrus season. Andy and Brendan begin this episode with a good old fashioned fruit chat extolling again the virtues of their favorite orange, which Andy unexpectedly ran into on Thursday. Then they get to the delectable controversy over the PGA Tour’s 11th hour installation of internal out-of-bounds at Waialae’s 18th hole. They cover this in depth, including the BfB being the only one to find what one article termed the “death zone, Billy Ho being available for comment on it, and Cam Smith also adding that the lack of grandstands have made these firmer greens tougher to play without backboards. News hits on the Pebble Beach Pro-Am playing as a pro-only event and if that will do anything to change or toughen the setup. This leads to a lengthy and moderately unhinged proposal about one event a year where you get a quota of internal OB you can set up on a course, e.g. a patch in front of the 6th green at Pebble. They close with a Flashback on an Aussie character, past Hawaiian Open champ and yips sufferer.
New enlistments, kitchen appliances, and boosting Bethpage
This Wednesday episode is here to celebrate the Sony Open as the event of the week. But first there’s an important uninformed discussion on RV operation and licensing. Andy’s three things to watch for at Waialae focus on a potential backboard-less 18th hole that will hopefully make it play as Tom Doak intended, and then two young up-and-comers also in the field. There’s of course a shout out to Robert Allenby and the night he took that pummeling from a sentient sidewalk. Featured groups are back, but not PGA Tour Live despite the subscription charge for the month of January. There are some tasty groups this week and this prompts a fun head-to-head wager on who will lose more strokes on the green this week. News hits on the Masters announcement for limited patrons and the return of ANWA and then also the late Sunday announcement that the 2022 PGA would be relocated. This leads to an unexpected discussion on the Stand-up Mixer Championship as well as Brendan somehow talking himself into accepting Bethpage as the replacement.
Harris (and Hudson) breaks through, JT apologizes, and most famous Butches
This Monday episode came on the heels of a dispiriting Bears loss and in the middle of a Browns first quarter beatdown so it may bounce around a bit as Brendan and Andy recap the 2021 PGA Tour opener. First they hit on Harris English and his first win after some early career success and then an almost eight-year drought. This leads to more concern about the new FedExCup top 30 now getting invites to a Tournament of Mostly Champions. They also discuss the broadcast dismay at Joaquin Niemann not warming up before the playoff, Rahm’s outburst about metal spike marks all over the green, and Hideki’s abominable putting. A separate segment addresses Justin Thomas using a homophobic slur, his apology, and the Tour’s secretive discipline policy that does it no favors in this instance. News hits on Jordan Spieth going to see Butch, the misinterpretation of a “report” that the PGA is already moving in 2022, and reports that the WGC Mexico may be leaving Geronimo behind.
Moving the 2022 PGA, Competition vs. Entertainment, and Bryson’s CNS
This Friday episode begins with Andy disclosing a mice problem that’s vexed him all week. Then they turn to the real, actual problems of the week, notably what took place at the Capitol building and how it should impact golf’s relationship with Donald Trump. They discuss next year’s PGA Championship and whether the PGA of America will move their major from Trump Bedminster. A full review of the year’s first round a Kapalua then ensues, with a breakdown of what they liked and didn’t like from one of their favorite events. This covers the amusing details of Pat Reed’s non-deal for apparel, Lanto getting his commercial, and Adam Scott’s quote that there are only 10-12 serious competition events and the rest is “a bit of entertainment.” Bryson’s latest on endorphins, CNS, and speed training until you blackout is pondered with great amusement. Flashback Friday is on a hard-luck TOC runner-up who also happened to be the first player on Tour to use a metal wood. They close with hope, and maybe a bit of delusion, that Deshaun Watson may be heading to the Bears because he followed a couple Chicago weathermen.
Umbrella calibration, Activation Station, and the Centerline conundrum
The Shotgun Start is back! And Andy and Brendan are in the best podcasting shape of their lives as a new year begins. They start this Wednesday episode with some banter about the practice of resolutions before diving into the schedule for the week. That prompts a quick discussion on the Big Money Classic and whether Alaqua Lakes has a reciprocal club in the UK. Then it’s on to the event of the week, the Tournament of Mostly Champions. There’s a lengthy discussion on the uneven lies of Kapalua and the centerline bunker at the 5th hole, prompting another visit down the road of what makes the pros hate those so much. There’s some intel from the ground on some Bryson driving range antics, as well as his “calibration” putting with an umbrella guy trying to stifle the wind. An Activation Station segment focuses on some of the big equipment and apparel brand changes. Lastly, they make some predictions and wish-list items for 2021, some serious and some not-so-serious. And in what is now tradition, what random middling player out there will get the annual Spieth OWGR comparison prop?
The 2020 Year in Review, Part 4
Andy and Brendan put a bow on another year of Shotgun Start podcasts with the final installment of their Year in Review series. Part 4 begins with the first major championship of the year, the PGA at TPC Harding Park, and runs through the end of the PGA Tour season in Atlanta. They again remember some of the amusements (Jeff Hart!), controversies (Trigger the Dog!), and triumphs (Hermie go low!) from this stretch in golf, including stories from the LPGA, Euro Tour, and other areas (Big Cedar Phil) in the world of golf.
The 2020 Year in Review, Part 3
The Bears and Browns push for the postseason is the subject of the first segment of this episode. Then Part 3 of the annual Year in Review picks up with the Milkshake Swing in Columbus and the many amusements and dramatics around those back-to-back weeks at “Jack’s Place.” Then they bounce up to Minnesota and the course of 10,000 man-made lakes and some intrusive courier trucks. The WGC Swampass, or WGC Preferred Lies as it was known this year, is given the full treatment. We recall the double-wide cart paths having a major impact there before wrapping with some notes on the oppo field Barracuda, where a single held up play, bears roamed freely, and a certain player prepped to pull off a fantastic Jaco Van Zyl redux for the season’s first major.
The 2020 Year in Review, Part 2
Part 2 of the annual Year in Review picks up with The Players Championship. Andy and Brendan begin with the tone-deaf TikTok solicitation and then the “fluid” messaging from the Tour from Wednesday through a final decision to cancel on Thursday night after multiple adjustments and press releases. They discuss how the Tour’s handling of the week now looks in hindsight, and some lighter-fare amusements before the shop closed for a few months. The discussion during the quarantine stretch hits on some amusing controversies, like Vijay entering KFT fields, but also hits on a larger point about how golf thrived when there was no professional entertainment product. The matches at Seminole and Medalist get the full review treatment and there is once again uproarious laughter around the Tom Brady experience. Finally, the last section focuses on the Return to Golf (proper noun, please), reliving some of the controversies, highlights, and characters from the first four events back in the PGA Tour’s new world.
The 2020 Year in Review, Part 1
The annual Year in Review is back and instead of breaking this one into a couple parts, we’ll leave it as one thicc boi sized episode you can work your way through during this week. First, Brendan and Andy begin with some reactions to the concluding Tour Championship on the LPGA and the closing of the Catnip Carnival at the PNC. Then it’s onto the Year in Review, brought to you by our Shotgun Start blend from Bixby (subscribe or purchase that here if you like). This part of the Year in Review picks up with the Sony Open -- if you’re looking for Kapalua, that was a teaser segment at the end of last Friday’s episode so go check that out there. This one runs from Sony to a now infamous concert near an island green, covering the many forgotten amusements, inanities, and triumphs we enjoyed through the first quarter of the year.
The Catnip Carnival, ProSet Friday, and Year-in-Review teaser
This episode is the usual ramble for Friday, touching on the people of Wisconsin’s propensity to make Old Fashioneds with brandy and also eating raw ground beef sandwiches. But first, Brendan and Andy begin with the Thursday Charlie Woods show and the many hard-won impressions and aggregations that populated the internet thereafter. They take issue with some of it and try to distinguish what’s appropriate coverage of an 11-year-old who has entered a publicly broadcast event. A new segment, ProSet Fridays, is an edification on former Tour pro David Peoples. Over on the CME, Natalie Gulbis is in last place while Lexi is back on top after social media denigration of an image of her swing last week. News runs through the 2021 Euro Tour schedule and some of the new events that pique their interest. Then, the final 10 minutes or so kicks off the annual SGS Year In Review series, teasing it with a look back at the 2020 Tournament of Champions. They recall the “gusted” controversy, infamous tweets from Chris DiMarco and PXG, heckles of “Cheater!,” and the hot mic “pampered fucks” commentary.
Bank Teller Family Championship and the Gulbis Exemption
This Wednesday episode begins with some quick Browns bloodletting following their eventful MNF loss before transitioning to a PNC Championship discussion that’s probably 15 minutes too long. There’s “research” on past winners, the current field, a potential catnip battle for the ages, and dream parent-child pairings that should be in the field in the future. The long driver hitting an 8-iron 300 yards with Bryson giddily looking on also comes up for some reason. The event of the week is an MLGT staple, the Trilogy, which gets a thorough preview and field review. The LPGA’s season-ender is also discussed, including the outrage around Natalie Gulbis getting a sponsor’s exemption while the reigning Women’s British Open champion sits at home, which also happens to be down the street from this event. They close with some brief discussion of the newly released Euro Tour schedule and rumors that Spieth is seeing Butch.
Putting a bow on the 2020 major season with U.S. Women’s Open reaction
Following up on the usual Monday episode, Andy and Brendan recorded this extra episode covering the final major championship round of the year. They discuss A Lim Kim’s ridiculous three-birdie finish to take the U.S. Women’s Open, prompting Andy to ask if this was the most exciting finish to a major of the year. They discuss Amy Olson coming up just short and her strategy of not looking at scoreboards or wanting to know where she stood on the leaderboard. The mudball moaning is again highlighted and reviewed but without much sympathy. They ponder whether it would be more enjoyable to play in those conditions or in summer conditions in Houston. The lack of American major winners over the last couple years, and the strength of the KLPGA, is also discussed.
Boom Times on Westy Island, Women’s Open coverage and mudball drama
It’s one of the sweetest Victory Mondays in this podcast’s history as Lee Westwood, in a show of longevity only the true sporting icons possess, wins the Race to Dubai some 20 years after his first Euro Tour season-long title. Andy celebrates this and Mitch Trubisky’s outclassing of the Texans. He also now defends the Race to Dubai system labeled as a farce as recently as last week. A winding discussion on the Strategic Alliance leads to Brendan offering a solution for making the FedExCupdates actually meaningful and compelling, while Andy offers a truly radical proposal. On the U.S. Women’s Open, the two discuss the coverage confusion and QBE Shootout preempting from the end of the week as well as the mudball moaning and dilemma during a soggy Saturday round. They will be back with a full accounting of the Monday conclusion with a supplemental episode when the championships finishes.
Houston happenings and QBE Shootout odd couples
This Friday episode begins with a certain glee about the answer on Final Jeopardy and a personal anecdote about Andy watching Jeopardy with his Father-in-Law. Then they dive into the final major championship of the year. There’s a prediction about first-round leader Amy Olson, praise over the low-trajectory style, puzzlement over a late-arrival for a tee time, and a heated debate over parked cars on the golf course. There’s also a discussion about whether Texas has any personal injury lawyers willing to take on Cristie Kerr’s golf cart accident case. The annual QBE Shootout preview is once again an incredulous discussion over how some of these two-man teams came to be. News closes out with a fun story about the Ryder Cup at Medinah after the announcement that the Pres Cup is coming there soon.
The Great Range Wall, a Lexi comp, and The Home of (MLGT) Golf
This Wednesday episode is a U.S. Women’s Open preview with a little Race to Dubai and Minor League Golf Tour championship discussion tacked on at the end. Brendan and Andy begin by discussing this week’s major venue and the unique challenges of hosting across 36 holes in December. There’s also the unique challenge of the driving range setup, which has both of them all hot and bothered. They hit on the favorites, the notable tee times, make a Lexi-Pat Reed comparison, and flip out about the name of a new driver before discussing the more serious matter of only 4 percent of sports coverage being dedicated to women’s sports. The Race to Dubai coverage is centered around the lipstick on a pig quotes regarding Collin Morikawa’s attendance and contention for the season-long title as well as Sungjae Im’s curious but expected participation. They close it out with the heavy hitters and Tour vets in the field for the MLGT title at Abacoa, which is proposed as the St. Andrews of that tour’s rota.
An SGS Spotlight on Juli Inkster, U.S. Women’s Open legend
On the occasion of this week’s 75th U.S. Women’s Open, this Spotlight episode focuses on the Hall-of-Fame career of Juli Inkster, and specifically her 2002 national championship triumph over Annika Sorenstam at historic Prairie Dunes. Brendan and Andy begin with Inkster’s earliest days as a player, growing up next to the 14th fairway at Pasatiempo, not taking up the game in earnest until 15, and then winning an astonishing three straight U.S. Women’s Amateur titles. Then they transition to her work as a pro, notably winning her first major at the Nabisco following some delectable TV controversy. Within the context of the continued challenges that only women pros must face, they discuss the impacts of motherhood on her career, and how it essentially split her career into two parts, with a lengthy drought in the middle. Then there’s a focus on her 35-year career at the U.S. Open -- there’s the questionable ruling and kick-in-the-gut playoff loss at Oakmont in 1992, her first win in an amusing Mississippi setting, and the all-time final round at a roaring Prairie Dunes to clip Annika in 2002.
When is a curse broken, Rickie vs. Brooks disappointment, Alliss appreciation
This Monday episode begins with Viktor Hovland’s burying of the Puerto Rico Open curse. Or is it buried? Brendan tries to talk himself into the curse being still alive because of a non-continental U.S. win and many other illogical contortions about a fake curse. The two discuss the weekend that was at Mayakoba, including the soft course, Hovland’s admittance that he’s usually poor under pressure, Finaue’s flop, and JT’s Sunday stuck in neutral. Then they get to the early departures and 2020 ends of Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka, debating who had the more disappointing year between the two (judged against different standards, of course). Angela Stanford’s work on the LPGA is praised against the backdrop of a game, on all tours, that tends to favor the younger player. Cristie Kerr’s cart crash is also mentioned. The potential for Collin Morikawa to win the Race to Dubai, despite not yet playing on the European Tour, is discussed and panned. They wrap with news, which is mostly an appreciation segment on Peter Alliss, who died over the weekend.
Frigid under par, a FedEx hitman, and Huh? A flashback
This Friday episode begins with a new example from office life emails for another creative name for Thursday, or maybe Friday. Then Brendan and Andy get into the absolutely frigid conditions at the LPGA event in Dallas. In a warmer, and certainly softer setup, the Mayakoba got under way with plenty of players living under par, including Rickie Fowler, grinding to stay in the top 50 in the OWGR at the end of the year. An ad read for Smith Devereux (SGS listeners go here for that holiday vine) turns into a story about reckless FedEx drivers in both of their neighborhoods recently and a theory that should perhaps have Andy’s head on a swivel during his runs. On the Euro Tour, the Pissbear is in the mix and another player with two drivers in the bag is making moves in Dubai. Will this just become the new normal? Flashback Friday is on John Huh, who won the Mayakoba by parring Bob Allenby to death in 2012. Research for this shed some light on the incredible story of Huh just to find golf, excel at it, and eventually make it on Tour. Listen to the end for the story of a new player to root for.
Name that Snake, Poofers Paradise, and Mac Miscellany
Andy and Brendan begin this Wednesday episode with a few leftover Mac O’Grady stories that rolled in over the last few days. Then they relay an item, formerly used by Hunter Mahan, that they would absolutely push in their holiday gift guide, if they had one. The schedule for the week begins with Mayakoba and its unique (for the PGA Tour schedule) ability to reward accuracy relative to distance. It’s a big week for cave bunkers and mangroves but could it also be a big week for the Bracelet Boys? And where’s Matt Kuchar? The LPGA Volunteers of America Classic gets event of the week honors while the Euro Tour somehow has dueling events in Dubai and South Africa. This prompts some research into the “Fire Course,” the venue in Dubai. A news segment hones in on the continued announcements of fans-less events but the Phoenix Open announcing their intention to have some sort of scaled down operation at the 16th hole. They close it out with a few thoughts on Rory’s interview with Golfweek and the potential catnip feeding frenzy coming at the PNC Challenge next week.
An SGS Spotlight on the inimitable and eccentric Mac O’Grady
Following the typical episode on Sunday is this bonus Spotlight episode on Monday and the subject is the legend of Phil McGleno, aka Mac O’Grady. Andy and Brendan spend nearly two hours relaying their research on the life and career of Mac and it still seems insufficient. They begin with his rough upbringing, how he found the game at Rancho in LA, how he lived in a storage box in a garage, and how he turned pro with a network of backers in the LA area. The 16 Q-school failures over a decade are recounted, as is the final moment of triumph when he broke through and it’s described through the colorful prose from Mac’s journals. His talents and eccentricities, too numerous to list here, are given a full account, including the ambidexterity and obsessive search for every piece of information on the golf swing. The many conflicts and controversies, including his years-long feud with PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman, are also a major part of the story. O’Grady is a nonpareil figure in the history of golf and thanks to Rukket for sponsoring our attempt to dive into at least a portion of his story.
Strategic Alliances, Elephants, and Sir Charles
Preceding a Monday Spotlight coming on the inimitable Mac O’Grady, this Sunday episode is a quick jaunt reacting to some of the golf events from the weekend, notably Match III, the PGA Tour and Euro Tour alliance, and the Dunhill Championship. Andy laments Dick Bland’s fade at the Dunhill, but praises Christiaan Bezuidenhout’s second victory in his home country. There’s also a brief interlude on Polish golf following Adrian Meronk’s contention. Then they get into the weeds on the PGA Tour and European Tour’s strategic alliance announcement -- what it means for the schedule, the Courier Cup, the Ryder Cup, and the PGL. There’s a debrief on the latest Match, the handicap disparities, the grotesque venue, the entertainment factor, and the sustainability of this series. News closes out with DJ’s announcement that he will, shockingly, not be able to make it to the Mayakoba this week.
USGA gets in bed with Bay Hill, another Match, and the scourge of “Gift Guides”
This Wednesday episode begins with the discovery of Brendan’s distaste for anything with banana in it. Then both Andy and Brendan discuss a few things they’re thankful for, mostly you, the audience, before rambling on some golf odds and ends in a light week. One of those items is the announcement of the Walker Cup practice session taking place at Bay Hill next month. Could this mean the USGA is eyeing Bay Hill for a U.S. Open? Who can say? The schedule for the week touches on the Euro Tour heading to Leopard Creek and the next iteration of The Match. They discuss the format, the ridiculous odds, and a few props, including an influencer challenge with four influencers they’ve never heard of, that appear to have made-up names, and millions of followers on YouTube.
The Blueberry Brigade, the Road to Mallorca, and a Streb Quiz
It’s a Funday Monday/Taco Tuesday Eve smorgasbord on the Shotgun Start. There’s some initial NFL thoughts and a debate over the golf equivalent of winning the NFC East this year. Then they get to the golf, starting with Ondrej Lieser and his display rack trolley winning on the Challenge Tour and its Road to Mallorca standings. There’s a Takumi Kanaya appreciation segment and a discussion about Kyle Reifers’ pasta sauce sponsor. Then they get to the Pelican Championship in Florida, where speedy Sei Young Kim made an argument as the best golfer in the world. There were also Pelican members in vibrant blue coats. The RSM Classic outcome is an excuse for a Robert Streb quiz as well as several other smaller inanities, like which PGA Tour hotbed would you choose (e.g. Sea Island) to live in. The Joburg Open is also recapped after a lengthy chat on merchandise and the concept of Black Friday now lasting a month.
Cupcakes for Mr. 600, Airplane angst, and a Web Tour schedule review
“That felt like we talked about nothing for an hour” was the instant review from Andy after this episode finished recording. So either dive in and confirm that, or don’t. It’s a winding Friday episode that hits on some amusements from early Sea Island action, like a cupcake delivery from the Commish for a player making his 600th start, the Courier Cup points allure, and a BfB vs. Peppy Peter fantasy matchup. There’s also a flashback Friday on the inaugural RSM winner, the Tiger slayer himself, Heath Slocum. Brendan addresses some push back from Tampa denizens on the conditioning of this week’s LPGA venue prior to its purchase and conversion to a private playground. A schedule news segment discusses the Western Open setting up shop in the Mid-Atlantic, the NCAAs heading to SoCal, the Bobby Parsons College Golf Showcase, and a de-brief on the newly announced 2021 Web Tour lineup.
The Bo(es) knows Sea Island and Tampa corruption comes to the LPGA
This is a Wednesday episode full of vim and vigor following a brief post-Masters respite. Brendan and Andy begin by cleaning up a few Masters items, apologizing to Paulie, delighting in DJ’S Tequila Tour, finding a truly interesting Tyler Duncan fact, and re-hashing Tiger’s rally after the 10 for further appreciation. Then they turn to new days and new opportunities for Courier Cup points. Andy shares his “three things” to watch at the RSM, focusing on the distinctly Euro flavor in the field. They share some scoop on the origins of Frittelli’s sun sleeves and they also nominate candidates for the DL3 Phenomenon, which they explain. The “notables” of the Euro Tour event present a real challenge for Brendan’s already limited pronunciation abilities. The LPGA is back this week after a lengthy hiatus and Brendan puts Andy in a bad mood by spotlighting some of the sketchy conflicts of interest surrounding the changes and development of this week’s host venue, a formerly public Donald Ross. It’s enough to make it lose Andy’s event of the week honors.
DJ affirmation, organic matter balls, and Masters surprises & disappointments
A long week of Masters podcasts comes to a close with this recap edition following Dustin Johnson’s 5-shot victory. The first big question they ask is whether he’ll remember this or his FedExCup in September more from his remarkable year. Then they get to the more serious, discussing his legacy as perhaps the greatest player of the post-Tiger generation. In conjunction with his process over results essay from earlier in the week, Brendan celebrates the experience of watching DJ play golf for the last decade-plus and the affirmation that a jacket, while not required, brings to that experience. They chat about the Rory tease, the JT disappointment, the sneaky Brooks week, and Bryson getting put in a bodybag by Bernhard. Citing all those names also leads to a debate over who will finish with the most majors, and whether DJ will have a second green jacket here in six months. Dylan Frittelli’s geography expertise is also highlighted. A tweet from Alan Shipnuck on the “wear and tear” conditioning at Augusta showing this week prompts a closing segment on how the course played and what Andy will remember most from this 2020 edition. Thanks to all for a fun week and for supporting the daily podcast format!
A podcast about Dylan Frittelli with some Dustin Johnson mixed in
Brendan and Andy are joined by Hurricane Shane Bacon for this Saturday evening podcast on the Masters. They discuss Dustin Johnson’s four-shot 54-hole lead, how impressive it’s been, and how it’s likely to bag him his second major. But they also go to the dark places in their minds and try to write a horror story about how exactly it could go bad over the final 18 holes. The entire episode is a ramble, a mishmash, a potpourri of inanity and analysis on all that’s happened so far at the Masters before fielding some listener questions. Thanks to Shane for joining us!
Masters Friday: Is a ball ever really “lost?, the Rory ride, and Westy dejection
Andy and Brendan have a merry chat about all that went down on Friday at Augusta National. They inadvertently begin with Bryson’s lost ball, pondering the last time a ball was lost like that in the middle of the property at Augusta National and Bryson exploring the limits of the definition of “lost.” There’s amusement at Paul Casey perhaps changing his shirt due to Twitter shaming and Justin Thomas telling SVP “I love you.” They ponder whether Tiger or Phil has a better chance to win heading to the weekend. Then they re-live Rory’s absolute whirlwind of a day that followed the usual Rory blueprint for the Masters. Andy’s mood and voice then plummets as he assesses Westy’s putting. With a football weekend now on tap, they close with an amusing game of “If Bryson is a linebacker, then…” Thanks to Twitter replies, ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg, Will Knights, and others for contributing to this fun Friday game wherein Phil is Brett Favre, Woosie is a fullback, and Rory is Aaron Rodgers.
Process over Results: Preparing for a weekend at the Masters
This is an experimental episode for the Shotgun Start. It’s an essay from Brendan on what it means to have this Masters in 2020 and how to best enjoy and appreciate it given all that’s happening in the world in this current moment. There are no comparisons of Lucas Bjerregaard to the Miracle on Ice, but if it doesn’t work for you, we won’t try it again. Or maybe that means we will. It’s sponsored by Bixby Coffee and the new Shotgun Start Holiday Blend, which contains hints of cinnamon, milk chocolate, and graham crackers. Enjoy the weekend at the Masters, everyone.
Masters Thursday: Dartboard National, Appreciating Tiger, and Bryson’s Adventure
Brendan and Andy fire it up to start their now traditional daily recaps of the Masters and there’s plenty to discuss after an eventful first day at Augusta National. They begin with the soft and wet conditions, the “controversy” surrounding the early morning delay, and the different expectations we have for course setups for different majors. There’s a lengthy chat on Tiger, a rarity for SGS, and his contentment and control on display in his opening round. A leaderboard full of different skillsets leads to a discussion trying to suss out why Augusta National favors the big hitters but never excludes the shorter, precise hitters. Naturally then, Larry Mize and Mike Weir get their run, and Sandy Lyle is the subject of a brief fashion review. Nick Faldo’s comments on an equipment rollback are also praised in a segment on “most surprising” developments of day one. Bryson, of course, is giving the full treatment before a concluding chat on some big names flirting with a potential MC.
Bryson’s moment, Ridley’s moment, Chili’s Fajitas, and Paulie’s Picks
This Wednesday episode is an expanded Masters preview covering a range of serious and amusing topics for what will be a truly unique tournament at Augusta National. But first, a warning to read the fine print if you ever do a merchandising deal with a certain drinkware company. The event of the week is the Masters, and Brendan and Andy begin by discussing the potential weather impacts, the agronomy impacts, and some players to watch. They hail the new MyGroup digital broadcast feature for appearing to be a truly groundbreaking change, and then set up an ideal MyGroup strategy similar to the “League Pass Teams” of the NBA. There’s an early rumors from the ground segment ranked in order of ridiculousness. There’s a segment on what Bryson might do this week, his lengthy driver, and the comments from Phil that the future adopted practice will be carrying two drivers. That leads them to a chat on what to expect and what they want to hear from Chairman Fred Ridley in his annual press conference, the one time he offers a real state of the game from an ANGC perspective and fields questions. There’s a softer segment on the meaning of the Masters, using less of their own words and rather leaning on the testimony and actions of what they’ve seen from players this week as evidence of what place this tournament holds in our imaginations. A closing chat with gambling ace Fried Egg Paulie focuses on some one-and-done strategies, fantasy strategies, Sandy Lyle vs. Larry Mize, some more serious head-to-heads, Bryson’s o/u yardage props.
Plumb bobbing wedge shots, early Augusta conditions, and Bryson’s yardages
The year 2020 is not all bad -- we got an extra day of Champions Tour golf! And what better way to start Masters week than with a chat about the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, where Ernie was plumb bobbing from 110 yards, microphones picked up ample grumpy cursing, and a playoff went deep into the dark night without a resolution. Then Brendan and Andy transition to a review of the Houston Open, celebrating Carlos Ortiz’s victory against the “battlefield curse,” which Andy explains. They also commend DJ and Brooksy’s showings as well as how the new Memorial Park showed for a Tour event. Big Shot Bob is praised for his maiden victory on the Euro Tour, even though he didn’t capture low gross. Then they transition to early Masters chatter, pondering what an unexpected Fred Ridley press conference announced for Monday could be about. They also hit on some of Rory’s comments about conditions and how it will play “very different” and then go over the early reports of Bryson’s yardages and landing areas in a recent practice round with Mr. Flimper.
An SGS Spotlight on Frank Stranahan, “Muscles” at the Masters
Here’s a Spotlight appetizer for the 2020 Masters, where the Thicc Boi Bryson and his protein shakes will be a headline story at Augusta National. The subject is Frank Stranahan, often thought of as the first great weightlifter and physical fitness obsessive in the game (and also someone who claimed he would live to 120, 130, and even 150 years old). Brendan and Andy discuss Stranahan’s world class bodybuilding career, his marathon running career, and his golf career, where he’s often characterized as the greatest amateur on the lengthy bridge between Jones and Woods. Aside from his play, he was also a lightning rod figure as a trust fund kid out of Toledo. This episode covers not only his wins as an amateur and close calls at the majors, including a runner-up at the Masters, but also those controversies, most notably when he was expelled from the Masters during a practice round just a year after finishing second. This tension and outright conflict with the Masters, Clifford Roberts, and Bobby Jones is discussed in depth -- the rumors behind it, the expletive laced arguments that led to his invitation being yanked during a practice round, and the continued Roberts antagonism even after the Augusta National co-founder’s death.
This Spotlight is made possible thanks to Rukket, which is giving away two SPDR portable driving ranges to SGS listeners and 20 percent off a next purchase -- enter here.
A jacketless Masters, A re-born Houston Open, and the legend of Toby Tree
This Election Day episode begins with Brendan and Andy rehashing some amusing answers from past anonymous players’ polls. Then they transition to the Masters Fact of the Day based off a tip about a potential change in jacket policy coming this year. The shhhhedule for the week begins with the Houston Open, featuring an extended discussion on the new venue, Memorial Park, and the work done by Tom Doak. What was Brooksy’s input in the work and how will it play for a Tour event? Also, has the Tour stopped caring about par, and living under it? There’s amusement over the format for the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown, where scores will be reset multiple times and could expose some hypocrisy in future Net Tour Championship critiques. Discussion of this Euro Tour event also leads to the discovery of the English golfer Toby Tree, a new SGS favorite. The Champions Tour season-ender is also briefly covered as a potential coronation for Ernie, who “feels like a rookie again.” News hits on Bryson’s deal with DraftKings and if he’d be the worst possible pro to get a lesson from, which is part of that activation (and who would be the best pro to get a lesson from, which is an excuse for a spotlight on #WestysWisdom). Lastly, they chat about a pro describing his use of a 48-inch driver “like a sledgehammer.”
Bermuda Brian, the fraud of “distance debate,” and The Old Course
Nothing can dampen spirits on this Victory Monday thanks to the work done by one Brian Gay, he of team Centinel Spine. Brendan and Andy rejoice in a win from an older poofer of the golf ball, and perhaps the oldest wearer of a flat bill on Tour. The spine discussion leads to an aside on the physical troubles of D.A. Points, which was painful to watch in Bermuda. Gay’s win, however, is not some evidence that there’s no distance problem in golf, but rather proof of variety borne out of a different setup and shorter course. This leads to a mini-rant from Brendan on the phrase “distance debate” and a plea to abolish the use of it. Callum Shinkwin is given his due as the Cyprus winner. On the Champions Tour, they ponder how the TimberTech Championship forced a split screen with the damn playoff on the regular PGA Tour. Is the title sponsor providing some free deck work at Sawgrass? They wrap with misgivings about their crappy football teams and praise for Joe Buck and Troy Aikman’s pointed criticisms of the Bears playcalling, with a hope for similar critiques from PGA Tour coverage.
2020 Halloween golf costume ideas and Friday with Gellerman
Do you think Andy Sullivan is terrified of the murder hornet? With the golf action limited this week, this Friday episode meanders about from some quick thoughts on Bermuda, Cyprus, and Halloween. Brendan and Andy discuss the grotesque injury suffered by Brendon Todd, they marvel at some of the longshots that went low in Bermuda, and ponder the fairway kiln. Then they get to their annual golf-related Halloween costumes segment, brainstorming up some options for the Shotgunners out there. Bryson, CT machines, the Solicitor General, the Ponte Vedra posse, Spieth, and many others are bandied about as potential costume concepts. Then come edify yourself in the waters of Michael Gellerman research, which is also a reason for a U.S. Pub Links tangent. Masters Fact of the Day is a doozy from @Bamabearcat on the original Mackenzie plan for a par-73 course with a little quiz and subsequent discussion on the par-5 that never was. Also, green B. Draddy SGS quarter zips for the final men’s major of 2020 will be 20 percent off through the weekend with promo code FLIMPER -- shoutout Sandy Lyle.
GameDay at Augusta, Funky in Bermuda, and Aphrodite Goddess of War
This Wednesday episode begins with breaking news from Augusta National, where College GameDay will go live from in a couple weeks, there will be no Par-3 contest, and split tees will be put in use. Andy and Brendan react to all this news and ponder the likelihood of Rickie making a GameDay appearance as well as Bryson firing out of his stance and pushing a blocking sled around the par-3 course. Then there’s a waterfall follow-up, as a superintendent source relays some staggering costs for maintaining the rapids at a course where he worked. As for the instant golf this week, the two run through the field at Bermuda, where the Funk family presence is strong. Andy also features his three things to watch for and wonders when the last time both the PGA Tour and Euro Tour played on sub-7000 yard courses in the same week. Speaking of the Euro Tour, they revel in the oddities and history around this week’s event in Cyprus, where an ancient kiln and olive press occupy fairways on the front nine. Brendan also quizzes Andy on some Cyprus trivia before a discussion on this week’s Champions Tour sponsor leads to a chimney and firewood chat to close it out.
Legends of the Waterfalls, Bryson’s spikes, and Ross for Less
It’s Victory Monday at the Shotgun Start and Brendan provides a short riposte after a weekend of attacks on his rotisserie chicken comments before celebrating a ride on the Baker rollercoaster. The golf talk starts with the Italian Open, where 38-going-on-58 Ross McGowan slapped it all over the place (and around the power lines) but managed to sneak out a win some 11 years after his first Euro Tour title. Then they transition to the LPGA, which leads to a short side discussion on pontoon boats or “tooning” as Andy calls it, and Ally McDonald’s first win at Great Waters. Finally, there’s the Zozo Championship. They discuss Patrick Cantlay’s great final round, the design thought that goes into how many waterfalls you should put on a hole and why you’d stop at 14, the maintenance of said waterfalls and pools, the Geronimo Hex on shaky JT, Phil’s game not traveling down from the Senior circuit, and Tiger’s disconcerting tee-to-green game. In news, they hit on Bryson carrying the ball 400 yards and the Champions Dinner being on for this year.
A potpourri on rotisserie chicken, power lines, metal spikes, Tiger Tracker, and Seve
It’s Brendan’s wedding anniversary so this Friday episode quickly zips through a potpourri of topics with no real plan or direction. They begin with an unexpected but heated debate over rotisserie chicken and whether it’s any good. More intel from the ground on the Power Lines Open in Italy is relayed and there’s great amusement at Matt Wallace’s ball getting knocked out of the air into a hazard. The Zozo discussion begins with crowning Bassy Munoz the new Mr. October and there’s an update on the origins of the name Sherwood. Phil’s 2-wood and 47.5 inch driver bag setup is critiqued as are metal spikes, generally, after video of Andrew Landry tumbling on a cart path is discovered. Both Brendan and Andy also address the popular GC Tiger Tracker account going silent this week, with a serious lament on the loss of jobs behind the scenes. Another odd video from Bryson and the Kings of Leon is giggled over before a Flashback Friday segment takes on Seve Ballesteros and his outrageous record before the age of 21 and at national opens. News hits on Sergio playing a pro tennis event, Phil maybe skipping Houston because they’ll have fans, and a crazy longshot exemption that will be there.
Friar Tuck, Joey D, and the Pissbear
A Bixby-fueled early morning recording begins with a discussion of fast food preferences and an analysis of more dumb officespeak before addressing any golf. The shhhedule for the week begins with a lengthy chat on the Zozo Championship -- namely, the field, the Kanaya hype, and some features and traits of this week’s venue,Sherwood Forest, home of Friar Tuck and Little John. The Joey D Match Play Championship on the Minor League Golf Tour results in a 10-minute chat on all things MLGT, including the Estates Course at PGA National, the all-time money list, and the potential for playing three rounds in one day at the same course. The LPGA event of the week leads to another mispronunciation adventure and there’s some intel on significant overhead power line problems at the Euro Tour event. News hits on the cancellation of the Hero World Challenge and Wyndham bailing on the rewards chase.
The Kokrakheads get their fix, Phil “pops” the Senior Tour, Omar Uresti returns
Brendan and Andy react to the breakthrough win for Jason Kokrak after 10 years and 232 starts on the PGA Tour. Unsurprisingly, there’s a sudden digression into hollering about the subject of no CT testing happening since the Return to Golf. They also discuss the persistent odds integration into the broadcast, some good things they saw at Shadow Creek, and the celebration that may be taking place among the troops at PXG. On the European Tour, Adrian Otaegui is labeled as being in “George Coetzee territory” and there’s ample follow-up on the Home of Golf controversy as well as the fact that they played lift, clean, and place in Scotland. Phil’s “circus act” on the Champions Tour netted him another win in the 50-and-over set, and so they ruminate on what a driver with “extra pop” means for Augusta. Speaking of beating up on the older guys, Omar Uresti has now brought his club pro scheme to the Senior PGA Professional Championship with a dominant six-shot victory. They react in frustration and amusement to this before signing off with some quick news on the Houston Open allowing fans.
The Shadow Creek problem and the Westy conflict
Andy and Brendan close out the week with a lengthy discussion on Shadow Creek after the first round of the CJ Cup. But first, Brendan issues an apology on some course record confusion and Andy argues that course records should no longer exist, as a rule. There’s also one more amusing sock story from a prominent American club. Andy is also forced to reckon with his hero, Lee Westwood, shilling for the Fake St. Andrews that was the target of so much ire on Wednesday. On the subject of Shadow Creek, the two discuss their misgivings about how it’s portrayed this week as some sort of aspirational marvel or treasure. There is less criticism for the course itself as opposed to the portrayal and the caution we should all proceed with when consuming the CJ Cup. They also discuss how it was a big day for provisionals, the stimpmeter, and overseed. News hits on reports of The Match III before they wrap with Masters facts of the day on the origins of rope lines at golf tournaments and a singing, dancing champion.
The fake St. Andrews and a fake Cup
This Wednesday episode begins with the tale of Andy getting a speeding ticket somewhere in rural Iowa before transitioning to a Brendan apology for his grievous socks code oversight from Monday. On golf, they begin with absolute rage over the bait-and-switch nomenclature of this week’s venue, a venerable Sam Torrance design, on the European Tour. There’s a back-and-forth over whether this offense means the event will be blackballed in SGS quarters for the rest of the week. Fortunately, a late discovery of the “Gavin Zone” keeps hope alive that it will be recognized. The CJ Plaque preview touches a bit on the garish and catnip-providing Shadow Creek as well as the odd capitalization scheme for the entire event. The Speed Golf Championships get event of the week, naturally. Some one-and-done picks are made and news hits on DJ’s positive test to get you fully unprepared for the golf week ahead.
Speedy Sei Young gets her major, Hoodie Hatton, and Bryson vs. Fitzy
Andy and Brendan begin this Victory Monday with some brief comments on their 4-1 football teams and then some not-so-brief comments on the practice of examining potato chips for green complex design inspiration. Then they get to the golf of the weekend, starting with Speedy Sei Young Kim winning the Women’s PGA at Aronimink. They focus on her inspiring pace, if she was the best to have never won a major, the importance of beating Inbee Park, and how the course so brilliantly brought out drama off the tee. For the BMW PGA, they lament the struggle it was to actually watch the conclusion on television but praise Hoodie Hatton’s play to capture that tour’s flagship event. Also, was there actually anyone critiquing him about wearing a hoodie or was this just a Twitter strawman? At the Shriners, they marvel at Martin Laird emerging from the Martin zone as well as some poorly placed TPC design service catch basins for his first win in seven years. Ernie Els and Trey Mullinax also get some love for their weekend wins before a lengthy news segment on the Matt Fitzpatrick vs. Bryson DeChambeau debate over what constitutes “skill.”
A chat with The Ringer’s Kevin Clark, Bryson Gilmore, and Chicken Nugget Country Club
Ringer staff writer Kevin Clark joins for a wide-ranging and amusing discussion on golf, the NFL, and the prospects for two specific teams in the Great Lakes region in this Friday episode. But first, Andy and Brendan check in on some early news and action from the golf world, notably Bryson going deep in Las Vegas and the best of the women’s game already showing at Aronimink. They discuss Bryson’s stated plan to debut his new 48 inch driver at the Masters, how he says it looks like “a missile coming off the face,” and how he’s drawing inspiration from watching Happy Gilmore. They also giggle at the college event at the Tyson chicken tycoon’s course and how that tycoon allegedly made it hard to join and hard to play. In news, they hit on the Women’s PGA sending the leaders out on Sunday in the middle of the tee sheet. And then they wrap with the absurdity that is Pat Reed threatening to really win the Race to Dubai on a Tour that he barely plays. For the second half of the episode, Kevin joins to talk about how he got into golf later in his life but has turned into an avid watcher, gambler, and improving player, thanks to an assist from Shane Lowry. On the NFL side, he relays some amusing tales from reporting in the league, if there’s any football or other sports comp to what Bryson’s done the past year, and if technology has changed football in any way like it has golf. Also, is J.J. Watt now the Pat Reed of the NFL? Then they narrow the focus to their own teams, peppering him with questions about Mitch Trubisky, Matt Nagy’s basement wall, Baker, Freddie Kitchens, and whether the Browns or Bears have a better chance to make the playoffs.
A major in a bathroom sink, the true PGA, and a Crooked Cat omission
This Wednesday episode begins with some thoughts on what new equipment we might see rolled out in the annual PGA Tour stop in Las Vegas, as well what’s become of Union Green. Then Brendan and Andy move to the event of the week, the Women’s PGA Championship played at Aronimink. They highlight the deep field as well as another venue pairing with the women’s game that should bring out the best in both. On the Euro Tour, they hit on some of the origins of the BMW PGA, how Euros claim it as the original PGA, and Patrick Reed’s late entry into the field as he fights for the Race to Dubai title. TPC Summerlin, this week’s venue on the PGA Tour, is discussed in context of where it falls in the TPC universe, if there is such a thing. The field has some real oomph, including the return of the Thicc Boi, who was bombing balls out of the driving range again. This brings us to the KFT event, which is at the 360 degree range at Orange County National, where we lobby for the Thicc Boi to attend demo day and launch balls across the circular range. Also, why are they only playing Panther Lake and not Crooked Cat on the KFT? They wrap with Masters fact of the day, which is more like a story of the day from Bamabearcat on how the land of Augusta National did not go through the sequence of ownership that is often told.
Sergio’s Chicken Championship, Waterlogged Westy, and the Little Engine
After assessing the triumphs and ruins of another NFL Sunday, Brendan (begrudgingly) and Andy go into Sergio Garcia’s impressive win to rocket up the Courier Cup standings. They hit on the aesthetics of his win, his career earnings to date, why he’s playing the Sanderson, and how it could not have gone any better for the event. Peppy Peter Malnati is also given some time as the potential foil. At the Scottish Open, the deadpan Aaron Rai is given props for his two-gloved win at Renaissance. Rob Rock’s bumbling also prompts the question of whether the massive increase in purse size for the week had players uptight all week. And they also weigh in on the debate about waterlogged Lee Westwood getting the benefit of having his shots filmed for future search parties. Evan Harmeling is anointed as a great new character in golf after learn some Harmeling facts following his KFT win. In news, they hit on the breathless Augusta agronomy coverage, Takumi Kanaya turning pro, and the absolutely incredible origin story of Tom Kim’s name.
The Shoe Incident, Sabbo’s Swanky RV, and a Dirt McGirt story
SGS closes out the week with some tales from the road as Andy drives around the country. There’s been another shoe incident and it’s a good one. There’s also some intel picked up on the PGA Tour's RV subculture, its interior design trends, and the variety of rigs and who commandeers them. Then they get to the golf and discuss Lee Westwood’s stirring round at the Scottish Open and what it means for the Masters, as well as his schedule heading into Augusta. Then comes the Sanderson, which goes in a mishmash of directions like the career of Kevin Chappell, the alligator population in the country, Texas Open winners, and the golf course offerings at The Villages in Florida. They forgot to put up a Fan Vote poll again, so they just proclaim William McGirt the winner and tell a very amusing story about him being grumpy at TPC Sawgrass. In news, they touch on Paul Lawrie’s retirement and Phil’s “speed training” at Cypress Point. They close it out with the return of Masters Fact of the Day from Bamabearcat now that the calendar has flipped to October.
The Milk Carton Crew, Mississippi trivia, and the honourable backboard
Celebrate this week’s National Coffee Day with a subscription to the Shotgun Start Blend at Bixby, and Andy might be sending you a free bag of beans this week. After some brief comments on Carson moderating the Presidential debate, the MLB postseason, and all these “national days,” Brendan and Andy get down to golf and begin with the Scottish Open. They discuss the field, the Renaissance Club venue, and some intel from on the ground about honourable backboards, which prompts the proposal of the “ANA Rule.” Then they likely spend more time talking about the Sanderson Farms Championship and the state of Mississippi than anyone else will this week. Brendan re-hashes why he loves this event, Andy quizzes him with some Mississippi state trivia, they have a brief debate on geography, and they run through some Milk Carton veterans who are making a start. They more seriously talk about motivation for those veterans, like Sean O’Hair, who have banked millions at this point. There’s a fun history lesson on Atlantic City golf while discussing this week’s LPGA Shoprite event. They close with news of Jordan Spieth getting sponsor’s exemptions into the Zozo and CJ Plaque and an inane debate on whether you can just be “whelmed.”
Andy is brimming with enthusiasm and confidence for the Nick Foles era, even if it means his over wager for Mitch Trubisky starts is in trouble. Brendan is cautious about Baker Mayfield and just happy the Browns are over .500 for the first time in six years. The Victory Monday celebration consumes the first several minutes of the episode because, well, there’s little enthusiasm for the golf. Nevertheless, there is time and credit given to Hudson Swafford’s win in the Dominican Republic. There’s also a tangent on the Hudson and Harris confusion. John Catlin’s win at the Irish Open is discussed, as he’s now just the third American to take the historic event. The incredible Jared Wolfe story down on the KFT is hailed after his win in Wichita. In news, they hit on Tiger committing to the Zozo at Sherwood and reports of Tony Fianu being sued for a hefty sum.
The Shirtless Shaper, The Bad Boys of Golf, and the arm lock argument
There’s little to talk about so this Friday episode is a slalom run of stupidity as Brendan and Andy swerve back and forth from topic to topic. They begin with some follow-up intel on Tommy II, Mike Davis’s new partner in crime, and his preferred attire while out on the job. Then they relay an origin story for the Murder Rock course name, which has something to do with a criminal named Alf. There’s also more details on the insanity of that layout, a range that was essentially a grass wall, and a few more thoughts on the bunkers at Payne’s Valley. They also address Rory’s comments on Bryson arm-locking and the impact that Davis’s departure will have on equipment regulation. After a discussion on making their own wine, they transition to the actual golf this week, which is more a reason to talk about the Sepptic tank’s life moving from Vienna to Valdosta, Tyler McCumber’s life hitchhiking, and Xinjun Zhang being known as the Bad Boy of Chinese golf.
The Johnny Morris Infomercial, Mike Davis gets into design, and Puntacana problems
The seriousness of U.S. Open week is out the window for this Wednesday episode as Brendan and Andy weave their way through the cornucopia of oddities from the Payne’s Valley Cup, Mike Davis getting into the design game, and the Puntacana Championship efforting to fill a field that is inexplicably sized for 144 players. Their reactions to the two-on-two match in the Ozarks are varied, from the interminable time it took to complete, to the lionizing of Johnny Morris, to Paul Azinger’s amazement at the waterfalls, to the crowded galleries, to the format that left us unclear on who won. There’s also ample time set aside for Gary Player’s rant on trees, farming, city slickers, and his brother going to war. In news, they discuss Mike Davis’ decision to resign from the USGA and start his own design firm. They discuss his record at the USGA and ponder the challenges and advantages of his new career, while also trying to sort out the Fazio family tree. Toward the end, they run through the schedule for the week and take a look at the Puntacana field, which is grasping for headliners and names you’ve heard of before.
A U.S. Open of chocolate milk, thicc rough, and a Thicc Boi
Andy and Brendan pour themselves a glass of chocolate milk and sidle up to the microphone to react to a dominant Sunday performance by Bryson DeChambeau. They talk extensively about the “validation” of his decision to get thicc and chase distance. They discuss how Winged Foot played into this style, and what could be changed to mitigate that style dominating so consistently at the game’s biggest championships. They praise the work put in that has so quickly made him a major contender but also discuss whether this will hasten any changes to how these majors are set up and how the game is regulated. Other topics covered are the disappointment of Rory’s start, the contention that Faldo is now better than Azinger, how Winged Foot was shot for TV, Matthew Wolff’s day, and how the USGA feels about this specific championship and WF going forward. They’re also sure to hit on Danny Lee’s meltdown, make a Bryson-Bubba comp, Zatch’s outfit, and a host of other inanities.
Shane Bacon joins to set up Sunday at the U.S. Open
This Saturday night episode reacts to the third round at Winged Foot and ponders what’s to come Sunday in the final round of the U.S. Open. Brendan and Andy begin by discussing Matthew Wolff’s outrageous 65 and the increasingly hot topic of not having to hit the fairway to lead a U.S. Open at Winged Foot. What does this say about the modern game and the present championship, if anything? They also discuss Pat Reed getting blown out to sea (and also possibly fluffing his lie on camera again) and the extremely impressive grind by Thicc Boi to get back on track and take a spot in the final tee time of the final round. They also address some of the odd setup critiques that the USGA went too easy. Then they are joined by Shane Bacon, who is on the ground this week broadcasting the event. Shane provides some insights on what changed with the conditions in the third round and his impressions of watching Wolff, Bryson, Reed, JT, and Rory. Then the three go through a lightning round of predictions and thoughts for Sunday, including winner, winning score, and the likelihood Bryson will be put on the clock.
Reactions to Shovel Boy and Thicc Boi leading at U.S. Open midpoint
Winged Foot punched back on Friday at the U.S. Open and Andy and Brendan react to the setup and our leaderboard at the 36-hole mark. They marvel at Pat Reed’s game and how he duct tapes together a fantastic score even when it doesn’t look great. They marvel at Bryson DeChambeau’s strategy, albeit slow, working so far. And they lament all the attendant nonsense that comes with both but can’t wait to watch them tee it up together in the final pairing on Saturday. Andy also discusses how the setup on Friday was a natural progression in the championship, not some reaction to the wailing about it being too easy on Thursday. He also says Saturday will be the real test and indicator for the USGA and their approach to setting up this venue. They also address the alleged Winged Foot vs. USGA tension on how the course was playing early in the championship. Finally, they go through some of their biggest surprises and biggest disappointments, addressing those who missed the cut and the drag it can be watching Tiger trudge his way to an MC. Naturally, they wrap with some discussion on Jason Kokrak and the Wyndham Rewards.
Scoreable Winged Foot, Lost boy Spieth, and flailing Phil
Brendan and Andy react to the opening round at Winged Foot, where 21 players posted scores under par and Justin Thomas set the pace with a 65. At the start, they get into some of the specific holes and tees they loved and a few questions they had about setup. They assess the pin positions, the firmness, the overall conditions, and the wails that it was too easy for a U.S. Open at Winged Foot. They also discuss if the membership might try to put their thumb on the scale and push for a stiffer test. Transitioning to players, they go over a very SGS-esque leaderboard with Team UPS making a strong showing, Shaun Norris anchoring away, Jason Kokrak going all-in, and Sabbo representing for continental Europe. Some quotes from Rory McIroy and JT are also lamented and praised in the context of the usual setups we see on Tour vs. this week. They conclude with some thoughts on Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth, the lost boy, and if and when he needs to just make wholesale changes. A lightning round of make/miss cut closes it out and sets us up for Friday at the national championship.
A golf podcast about the U.S. Open (and Cody Parkey)
The 2020 U.S. Open is here and this episode is an extended preview with a couple distinguished guests, Billy Draddy, creative director at Summit Golf Brands who has a long personal history with Winged Foot, and Fried Egg Paulie, who provides his usual fantasy and gambling expertise while indulging Brendan and Andy’s idiotic picks and proposals. But first, Brendan and Andy go back and forth on the national championship. They discuss their excitement and even gratitude around it getting back up and running this week. They get into a lengthy discussion on Winged Foot, what makes it so great, what to pay attention to, what “it’s all in front of you” means, and how, if at all, it could get screwed up to the point where Zatch is moaning about something being “gone” or “lost.” Then they run through some of their favorite tee times, debating whether it’s better to start on WF’s 1st or par-3 10th and if Phil has any chance getting a late-early draw. The DJ-Bryson-Finau grouping discussion is also highlighted by some fun #JupScoop on DJ’s new boat and Bryson’s talk of putting a 48-inch Jarmo shaft in play.
Backboard Inspiration, Stew Cink climbs to the mountaintop, Scheffler WDs
It is Victory Monday for only one half of the Shotgun Start thanks to some late heroics from Mitch Trubisky. The Browns, however, provided no such heroics or hope and Brendan has to fume a bit on more season opening despair before they turn to golf and the backboard bonanza finish at the ANA Inspiration. They discuss how this became the prominent feature of the tournament and Sunday’s finish but dispute any notion that Nelly Korda got screwed by the backboarding of Mirim Lee. On the PGA Tour, they marvel at a 47 year old ascending to No. 1 in the world and the amusing ways the Tour talked about the “weather” in California this week. There’s also ruminating about the Chicago Highlands venue on the KFT, Miguel Angel Jimenez’s celebratory moves in South Dakota, and the life and career of one George Coetzee. News touches on Scottie Scheffler’s WD, Kevin Kisner’s tweet, and Mizuno maybe putting their thumb on the scale when it comes to LPGA coverage.
SGS Spotlight on Payne Stewart and ‘99 U.S. Open with author Kevin Robbins
It’s about three months later than planned, but it’s U.S. Open week and the Shotgun Start is grateful for that. To get in the mood for the national championship, Andy and Brendan have this bonus Spotlight episode thanks to the U.S. Open’s Victory Club. This is a different approach from previous USGA spotlights on 2006 Winged Foot, 2007 Oakmont, and Bubba Dickerson’s 2001 U.S. Amateur win. They are joined by Kevin Robbins, journalist and professor at Texas, who spent years researching his book, The Last Stand of Payne Stewart: The Year Golf Changed Forever. Brendan and Andy do their usual Spotlight debrief at the top, covering the nuts and bolts of Payne’s career, some amusing tidbits from his 1991 U.S. Open win, and then dive into a long chat with Kevin about Payne’s evolution as a person and player going into that famous 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. The championship at Pinehurst is also covered in detail with a cast of heavyweights contending on a venue that is now and will be an anchor for the U.S. Open. And Kevin gets at the topic of what made this year such a line of demarcation in the game of golf.
A backboard bonanza, Anchor Site angst, and Tyler Duncan’s tweets
First off, the Shotgun Start is making a wine blend with Smith Devereaux and they could use your creativity in coming up with a name for it. Next, this Friday episode is a stream of consciousness whip around the world of golf. There’s discussion on the “fog” surrounding the Safeway Open, the obscene backboarding going on at the ANA Inspiration, and Phil quickly coming back down to earth after his successful foray on the senior circuit. In news, Andy and Brendan discuss the USGA setting up shop in Pinehurst and also making No. 2 an anchor site for the U.S. Open. They discuss their level of “rota fatigue” and if they could help with oversight at the ball testing facility. Brooksy’s WD from Winged Foot is lamented and the PGA of America POY that does not count the Tour Championship is celebrated. They sign off with a few thoughts on the new 50-event PGA Tour schedule.
Poppy’s Hot Tub, Grocer Open field notes, PGA Tour (and Browns/Bears) over-unders
After an interminable offseason, Andy and Brendan return in the best shape of their lives for this episode. But first, Andy has to get off one more quibble on the coverage and framing of the final round of the prior season at East Lake. Then they get to the event of the week, the ANA Inspiration, providing some field highlights and course reports at the second women’s major of the year. For the Euro Tour’s event, the subject of going to Portugal, generally, is discussed, as is Alvaro Quiros’ underwhelming short game. Andy has some skyline insights for this week’s KFT event in Chicago and there are a few comments on the return of fans at this week’s Champions Tour stop in South Dakota, which leads to an extended digression on the geography of the area. The Safeway Open field is previewed at length, from the young stars given exemptions to the Major Medicals to the Career Money listers to our Duct Taped King. The second half of the podcast is devoted to the second annual over-unders competition. Major totals for some stars, a PR Curse prop, some OWGR thresholds, the Thicc Boi becoming the Stickboi are just a few debated before a transition to a few Bears and Browns over-unders that reveal a stunning level of optimism for the NFL season ahead.
The Gaslighting Cup, a big day for Low Gross, and where’s the bonus money?
Brendan and Andy return from the holiday weekend break to react to the season-ending FedEx Club Championship. But first, they discuss John Catlin’s win at the “oppressively tight” Valderrama and Brett Drewitt’s win on stop one of the “Fitzy Swing” on the KFT Tour. On the season ender at East Lake, Brendan proclaims the final round one of the great golf gaslightings of our time, as stats about 54-hole leads and win totals were thrown at the audience against a backdrop of complete silence on the potential money changing hands on every shot. This is separate and apart from the actual golf, which went out with a snoozer in what they both are adamant to clarify has been a great and successful Return to Golf (capitalized). Is a venue change the easiest solution for the boring Tour Champ golf? Yet another format change? Or was this just a bad year? They also discuss potential POY and ROY awards which will be given out now as opposed to the end of the year after two more majors are played. They close with some early reports from the grounds at the next major, the ANA Inspiration, on the outrageous heat and backboard situation.
The Low Net Cup, the Kaymer question, and POY drama
A hectic week at SGS and the odd Friday to Monday schedule resulted in this delayed Wednesday episode, which serves as a preview for the 2020 Tour Championship. That preview begins with a lengthy discussion on the Andalucia Masters, the event of the week. They discuss the life and career of Martin Kaymer -- the fast times early on despite the narrative he was just like Bernhard, and whose career in the current Top 10 they’d take over Kaymer’s resume. The East Lake preview also features lengthy discussions on Valderrama, the Francesco Molinari disappearance, and a recap of the 2019 Masters. Then they get to the KFT event and the oppressive heat in central and southern Illinois. Finally, on the actual Tour Championship, they quip their way through the entire 30-man field, holler about the staggered start, and wonder if this presents a real curveball to the PR Open Curse. Lastly, they close it out with some thoughts on this being the deciding event for the POY, and whether that award in a season with just one major should have an asterisk.
Playoffs fever, Overpraising trees, and the Leishman problem
The FedExCup is on a roll. Andy and Brendan start the week recapping the dramatic Jon Rahm vs. DJ playoff after a fantastic championship on a firm and fast Olympia Fields. After watching it, they propose one potential way that this playoffs system really could take hold with the hardcore golf fans that so often mock it. There’s also a panning of the constant temperament talk regarding Rahm and if he needs to change a single thing about how he’s gone about his career. Andy has an issue with all the praise that trees received over the weekend, but is jubilant over the firm conditions and the interesting golf it produced. They review who took a dump in the cup this weekend by missing out on the Net Championship, as well as the one player who took a dump *on* the cup by *making* the Net Club Championship. There is also a quick rundown of other action from the golf world, including discussion of the young phenom Rasmus, Sei Young Kim’s fascinating new approach to pace of play, and Brandon Wu earning a spot in the U.S. Open with his KFT victory. News hits on Rory expecting and Matt Kuchar getting fired by his caddie.
Praise be to firmness, the deep dish dilemma, and Cam Champ’s voice
It’s Friday! Brendan and Andy begin this episode with some personal tales on life, death, and napping. Then they move to the challenging conditions at Olympia Fields, where just three players are living under par on a firm and fast golf course. They outline why the golf was so compelling under these conditions, how only mother nature should always dictate this, if it will hold up, and put it in context against last week’s scores in Boston. An all-time name wins the Smith Devereux birthday wine bottle giveaway. There is also a debrief on the Wednesday charity match, which included complaints about purple greens, some Thicc Boi bombs, and a deep dish debate. This leads to a long and winding digression on preferred pie. In news, they discuss Cameron Champ providing a rare voice (relative to other sports) on the PGA Tour promoting Black Lives Matter this week. News also hits on Tiger and Johnny Morris promoting their work via a two-man made-for-tv match next month, Sophia Popov’s puny exemption after winning a damn major, and whether Augusta will and should accommodate Daniel Berger for its 2020 field.
Bryson’s fake dog content scandal, the second-stop appeal, and Bombs in the Ozarks
It’s BMW Championship week and the Shotgun Start would typically begin with a preview lamenting the PGA Tour erasing the history of the great Western Open. That comes, eventually, but first Brendan and Andy begin with outrage over both the PGA Tour and Bryson DeChambeau promoting a completely fake fuzzy story about a good luck dog at Olympia Fields. What will be the fallout and is it indicative of a larger, more serious, authenticity problem on the Tour? Then they discuss who they’d like to see make it to Atlanta and earn major invites and a host of other perks for next year. They elaborate on why that game-within-the-game makes the BMW the most compelling “playoffs” event. There’s also a great deal of intel on Olympia Fields, rumors that it might play firm, and why the top pros could carve it up much like Medinah last year. The 7-club challenge is also previewed and hailed as a nice pre-tournament innovation. The schedule for the week focuses on the LPGA making the quick trip from Troon to NW Arkansas, the Web Tour playing for five U.S. Open spots, and a debate over what gives an event the right to call itself a “Classic.” On the Euro Tour, the inclusion of Brendan Lawlor in the field at UK Championship is highlighted. Phil’s bombs in the Ozarks are also reviewed but Andy still seems wholly uninterested in watching mid-week Senior tour golf. News closes it out with Charles Howell III’s commendable actions and Shadow Creek getting the CJ Plaque.
The Return to Podcasting
“Back on the mic, Andyyyyyyy Johnsonnn!” New father Andy re-joins the Shotgun Start for this Monday episode and he comes prepared with an agitated Playoffs rant after a week of sleepless nights. But Brendan and Andy first begin with the Women’s Open and the amazing story of Sophia Popov. They discuss the thrill of watching Troon each morning and the guts of Popov, who had no status, offering no quarter to any chasers all weekend. What has made the women’s game so appealing in the restart and potentially much more successful going forward? There’s also a lengthy debate on another Lexi Thompson rules controversy, this one from Troon. At the Northern Trust, they hail DJ’s legendary performance as he truly separated himself from the rest of the field but lament him ending the run of Brian Gay being the last double-digit winner on Tour. They also discuss Justin Thomas’ quotes on rolling back the ball and Tiger and Rory’s quotes on being uninspired and lacking an advantage with no fans in attendance. Andy gets off a Playoffs tirade and how the name *must* be changed. They wrap with some thoughts on Phil playing the Champions Tour and a pronunciation guide for Euro Tour winner Romain Langasque.
Peak Coffee Golf, Bryson on the science of sound, and a nuclear family take
Great friend of the SGS, Shane Bacon, joins for this Friday episode that winds from unsolicited parenting advice for new dad Andy to the joys of watching a windy Royal Troon test the best women’s players in the world. Brendan and Shane discuss those conditions, the search for Gorse the Horse, and Lydia Ko’s early play. On the PGA Tour, they discuss the “First to Three” now going up against the “Chase for 83” as well as the many low scores at TPC Boston. Also mentioned are DJ’s refusal to pop back at Brooksy, Ryan Moore’s rest week during the PGA completely blowing up on him with the curse of Jaco Van Zyl, and Bryson’s irritation with sound travels. A news segment hits on Tiger continuing to play to the FEC, Brooks opting out of the season, and the Phoenix Open announcing they won’t build out the 16th hole like usual. Then they unearth some spicy, even nuclear, takes from Roger Sloan about the PGA Tour “abandoning” families and his “embarrassment” about it. They wrap with a truncated Flashback Friday on Seve winning in Westchester before a few more thoughts on Andy as a dad.
Playoffs!, Heath Slocum Appreciation, and Brad Bryant Stories with Sean Martin
PGA Tour dot com’s Sean Martin joins Brendan for this Wednesday episode as Andy’s paternity leave commences. It begins with a quick golf book recommendation from SMartin before a dive into some Northern Trust and Courier Cup history and minutiae, including the time Billy Horschel had to run to the bathroom. There’s also a short Heath Slocum retrospective before running through the schedule for the week. That somehow devolves into stories about the Bryant brothers, Bart and Brad, who got into the Champions Tour event at Big Cedar Lodge as an alternate. Sean makes a one-and-done pick for Andy, which could go horribly wrong, and nominates his own event of the week. In news, they discuss Tiger stopping by Winged Foot and Jon Rahm potentially not playing any Euro Tour events this year in a defense of his Race to Dubai win. They conclude with some serious discussion on if a FedExCup is the best measurement, stat, or title to reflect the player who had the best season in professional golf.
Buying your own hot air balloon, Strafaci family heritage, and Bandon love
Our golf cup runneth over in this lengthy Monday episode. Brendan and Andy begin with the U.S. Amateur, which served as a backdrop for the telling of the Strafaci family history. The tortoise-like pace of play is discussed as are the foggy playing conditions, which had some pros on Twitter hollering should have caused a stoppage. There’s also an attempt to explain why watching this at this venue was so captivating, even against a major championship last week. The caddie sand antics from the end of last week are also discussed in detail, as both Brendan and Andy re-live some of their worst caddie mistakes and also have a few questions for how this looper got on a bag in the U.S. Am. Some Ladies Scottish Open discussion leads to Andy going deep down a rabbit hole on the cost of buying your own hot air balloon, the profession of hot air balloon “pilot,” and other hot air balloon topics. The Wyndham review focuses on the amazing career arc of Jim Herman, the Spieth microscope, a nailbiter at the Parsons house, Si Woo’s odd course management, and the failure of the Wyndham Rewards. The Senior Players chat is mostly cause to tell another Monty weight loss story and also how brutal that course looks for the senior pros. On the KFT, they ask if Stephan Jaeger is the greatest player of all time on that Tour after another win.
A Spotlight on the “Original Bubba,” U.S. Amateur legend
The SGS Spotlight is back! With the U.S. Amateur this week, this Friday episode focuses on Bubba Dickerson, who won the U.S. Am during a legendary run in the summer of 2001. Brendan and Andy are joined by Bubba himself, Colin Sheehan, who is the golf coach at Yale and author of The United States Amateur: The History and Personal Recollections of Its Champions, and Steve Paramore, who played against Bubba in the 2001 Amateur. This episode is sponsored by the USGA’s new fan community, the Victory Club.
The episode traces Bubba’s upbringing in a one-stoplight town in Northeast Florida, his outcast approach to the AJGA, and his career at UF under Buddy Alexander. Then the summer of 2001 is covered in detail, including the Western Am he won after initially trying to pass on it, a motivating Walker Cup snub from a weird scheduling quirk, the mad dash and absurdity of having to qualify for the U.S. Am as the Western champion, and his week fending off “cocky” challengers to take the Havemeryer Trophy. Bubba’s rounds with Tiger at the subsequent Masters are recalled as well as the uphill battle to make it as a pro right as his distance advantage started to evaporate with the introduction of the new ball in late 2001.
Sound Engineering by J Vierck.
Tacko Tuesday, Primetime Bandon, and when Anchorman called someone else cheater
It’s major championship week! Brendan and Andy, coming down from the high of the first major of the year, jump right back in the pool for a preview of the Senior Players at venerable Firestone South. This includes rambling through the field list shouting out names at random, Andy trying to make an enemy of NE Ohio by disparaging the venue, and a flashback to when Ron Burgundy accused someone ELSE of cheating for using a different kind of club. This episode is not all Champions Tour talk, however, as video of Tacko Fall’s swing is discussed. There’s also some serious analysis on the Wyndham, and how host venue Sedgefield became the first course designed with home sites around it in mind. There’s a brief history on that architectural evolution and the relationship courses have to home sites around them. The event of the week is the U.S. Amateur, and both Brendan and Andy revel in the treat that will be primetime golf from Bandon Dunes. News covers a potentially lamentable venue choice for the next international Presidents Cup and the lamentable delay of the Distance Insights Report.
The Morikawa Era, Brooksy talks then fades, and the DJ Dilemma
It took longer than anyone expected to get there, but the first major championship of the year delivered. Andy and Brendan return for one more daily reaction to the PGA and Collin Morikawa’s win at Harding Park. They assess Morikawa’s rapid ascent since turning pro, his future, and some potential comps to other young superstars. They also drool over the shot at 16, which Andy characterizes as an “approach shot” and not a drive to maintain the integrity of one of his oldest arguments. Then they run through the many contenders and characters from a manic day. DJ’s result is viewed leniently relative to some of his other major shortcomings. Bryson is buoyed. Some younger stars have holes to fill to get to Morikawa level. Some final thoughts on Harding Park, CBS, clouds, the skyline, and the activation timepiece are also included before they run through some of the other results from the weekend, including Brendan’s stroll at the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Shane Bacon joins to preview PGA Sunday and talk Phil on TV
The great Shane Bacon joins for this loopy Saturday night discussion on the PGA Championship. But first, a debate about the proper sized coffee mug and some troubles Andy has had in this sizing pursuit. On golf, they discuss the manic and bunched leaderboard movements from Saturday at Harding Park and if Sunday’s final round will bring more of the same. Can it even be changed in any dramatic way at this point? Dustin Johnson’s sudden rise to the top is put in context. Phil’s TV work is discussed and reviewed at length, especially in contrast with Sir Nick. Then they run through the tee sheet, discussing all the names at the bottom of Sunday’s pairings, from amusing anecdotes on Bryson trying to make the world a better place to Cameron “Don’t Call Me Cam” Champ’s beautiful game in the third round. They end with a few predictions and a couple “game within the game” things to watch (namely Chez vs. Spieth).
PGA Midpoint Reaction: MLV’s Moment
This late Friday episode reacts to another full day at the PGA Championship and slowly morphs into a Flashback Friday on the fast life of Mike Lorenzo-Vera, the Frenchman who sits at T2 at Harding Park. Other subjects covered include Rickie’s cut-missing whiff, Brooksy’s rolling around on the ground, Tiger’s chances with 36 to play, the Rory rollercoaster, and Haotong being held captive at the practice facility. Brendan and Andy also cover some of their favorite tee times for the third round (the Bryson-Reed Gentlemen Duo) and some potential worst-case scenarios for Saturday. There is also more praise for ESPN’s group of commentators and analysts as the perfect middle ground that makes this feel like an entertaining conversation while you watch.
Legend of Jeff Hart, Zatch Watch, Todd Watch, and figuring out how shafts work
This Friday episode reacts to a full day of the first major championship in more than a year. A favorite son of the SGS, Brendon Todd is yet again on top of the leaderboard and there is condemnation for those who lost the faith because of potential “bombers’ paradise.” Andy uses this to offer some pointed thoughts on the setup and rough and what, if anything, we can take away from a mixed leaderboard after 18 holes. Then there’s a segment honoring Jeff Hart, the 60-year-old club pro who putted with his glove on and hit some eye-poppingly short drives. Brooksy’s back again and continues to speedbag Bryson, who had some shaft problems. They debate whether Bryson should have been able to put a new driver in play. There’s a cross-sport comp that anoints Zatch Johnson the St. Louis Cardinals of golf. There is ample time spent on the Spieth Problem, which Andy claims is just a mental issue at this point. Brendan asks how many players under 40, even with the current grim situation, would not take Spieth’s resume and career right now? Rory’s struggles are also put into perspective but Tiger’s approach is praised in the context of Andy’s earlier course analysis. Also, did the PGA screw Jon Rahm with his grouping. They close with some words of praise on ESPN voices re-joining golf coverage and a whiparound discussion on the Pirate going low in England and the U.S. Women’s Amateur bracket shaping up for a blockbuster weekend.
Low Zach Johnson, and other PGA Picks
A bonus podcast brought to you by the Shotgun Start Blend at Bixby Coffee features a picks and fantasy chat unlike any other. Brendan and Andy welcome in Fried Egg Paulie, an actual expert and not an idiot, to provide some insights on the PGA Championship and some player strengths to ride at Harding Park. They pepper Paulie with thoughts on low club pro bets, Ken Tanigawa, low Zach Johnson, and the English Championship before getting to some slightly more serious thoughts on the various price levels and categories of players on daily fantasy. Andy puts together a lineup and Paulie judges by offering his alternatives. Then they close with a couple one-and-done strategies and picks for the first major championship of the year.
PGA Preview: Mark Twain quotes and a Jaco Van Zyl retrospective
Major championship golf is back! And Brendan and Andy are grateful to have it so they begin with a discussion on Ryan Moore skipping to rest for the Courier Cup, which leads to a lengthy chat on Jaco Van Zyl’s career since he similarly skipped majors to prep for the Olympics. Is this the high point in the history of the FedExCup? Following that, they discuss more relevant PGA topics, like the favorites to win this week, the course and its faults, the course and its conditioning, who has the most to gain with a win, some favorite tee time groupings, and an appreciation of the club pro members that actually make up and drive the PGA. Also Bryson, there’s a good bit of Bryson, and Tiger, him too.
JT takes WGC-Preferred Lies, Kang takes Inverness, Brooksy takes a dive?
It was the first weekend since March where it felt like we had a full helping of golf, and this Monday episode slowly and aimlessly works through most of it. Andy and Brendan begin with the WGC Swampass at TPC Initech, also now known as the WGC Preferred Lies. They discuss what questions are left for JT after his 13th win at such a young age. Andy laments the soft conditions and the walking-off of wedge shots from 50 yards and out that exceed the “recommended” allotted time for playing a shot. Rickie’s complete no-show is obviously discussed as is the theory that Brooksy didn’t want to win on the eve of a major and that a top 5 finish is just about right. Also, his ant jokes aimed at Bryson are reviewed and he’s hailed as golf’s best WWE character. The LPGA’s return is highlighted with comments on Danielle Kang’s win and a call for more top courses and clubs to showcase themselves with women’s golf. The Hero Open hits on Sam Horsfield’s prickly personality and one player taking a boat ride à la Scrivener. Bryson’s comments on living to be 140 years old are panned. There is a debut of a new segment titled Milk Carton Monday, and the subject is Jeff Overton and his exploits. They close with some comments on the return of major championship golf and USGA championship golf this coming week.
The ants go marching one by one, relief! Relief!
This Friday episode begins with a discussion on Brooksy and his opening 62 as a sign that major season is nigh. Is he back? Did he ever leave? Is he really actually an “afterthought?” Brendan and Andy discuss his current place in the game as well as some amusing quotes in a Golfweek interview on his alleged friendship with DJ and the lack of importance PGA Tour events possess for his career goals. Then they get to the Kraken vs. the Ants and ponder whether Bryson runs the risk of becoming “The boy who cried relief.” They discuss his preposterous posturing and revelatory, in all the unintended ways, quotes after the round about it. The Cuda and Euro Tour events are given some attention and a theory is posited for why Jazzy J is DFL in Memphis. Also, why was Rickie in the MA Jimenez congratulatory video and how did the caddie “Pepsi” from that infamous MAJ confrontation get his nickname. News hits on Webb Simpson’s contention that architects are to blame for the distance issue, DL3 getting run from CBS, and JDay splitting with another member of his team. Andy also makes sure to get off a theory that the NBA is also much better without fans.
LPGA is back, WGC Swampass, and PGA Tour “expands” gambling relationship
This is a shorter Wednesday episode with Brendan nursing multiple injuries and in concussion protocol while on vacation. The golf schedule this week, however, is full with a lengthy roster of events to choose from for Event of the Week. Andy settles on the LPGA’s return at Inverness for the honor and explains why it should be a great watch. The alternates list at the Cuda, as you might expect, are also highlighted. Andy does some “investigative reporting” on the expected weather for the WGC Swampass and Brendan makes sure not to run afoul of Memphis while trying to explain why this event has become a punching bag of sorts. News focuses on the Tour getting even cozier with DraftKings and the conflicts that presents as well as the possibility for a more “open” Tour.
More like Stinky Note classic, TPC problems, and PGL is back
Andy and Brendan begin this week praising Michael Thompson and the story of his first win in seven years on the PGA Tour. It’s an amazing testament to persistence and talent and it was clearly a moving triumph for someone who has grinded on the PGA Tour for years. These stories enrich the Tour. And that’s about it for the happy stuff in this episode. What follows is a panning of a weak field doing little to go out and take a win on Sunday, Tony Finau failing to break the PR Open Curse, Rich Werenski’s jewelry, TPC Abomination, Chris Stroud’s WD for “not feeling well,” and some CBS slip-ups. It was a weekend that put the counter product of a potential PGL in an attractive light. After the heated 3M chat, Renato Paratore’s win in the first leg of the Coffee Pot is reviewed, as are Westy’s comments that he won’t play the PGA because of how the U.S. is handling the pandemic. The KFT purgatory is again discussed with Will Zalatoris and Davis Riley showing well again, and a talent like Max McGreevy winning and continuing to climb the rankings with no real place to go for another year. News closes the episode with a focus on Tiger declaring he’s out for WGC Swampass and the PGL sending out offer letters to players.
Comparing DJ vs. Romo vs. Beef WDs, SponCon rants, BdJ the Birdie King
This Friday episode begins with one final story to cap what became a Miguel Angel Carballo theme week. Then Brendan and Andy get to the initial golf from the Sticky Note Classic, where Martin Trainer got lapped by his looper, DJ bailed after a 78, and the golf course failed to distinguish itself for the right reasons. There’s a brief Michael Thompson career retrospective before a total digression into the PGA Tour Sponsored Content that angered GolfTwitter this week. It’s loud and impassioned for a few minutes before things then go back to normal with what amounts to reading names off the leaderboard of the Colorado Open. On a more poignant note, Andy and Brendan discuss and praise Beef Johnston’s comments and perspective about why he WD’d from the Euro Tour’s first event back. The praise is not there, however, for Tony Romo’s disgraceful WD after four holes on a sponsor’s exemption on the KFT Tour. News hits on some new Covid bubble allowances as the Tour’s sugar daddy sponsors come up on the schedule this next month. The episode ends with a segment on 3M Open competitor Brendon de Jonge, who is T10 after saying he’d not been sharp at all and just been on his tractor. It’s a dictatorial move anointing him FVF Jr. winner but they discuss his legendary Zimbabwean amateur feats, how he put on 70 pounds since coming to the USA for college, his goat farm, his cricket background, his Pres Cup appearance, the reasons for his “Birdie King” moniker, and how he got into the VTech HOF before Michael Vick.
Lumpy’s moment, All-time Jacks, and a fall West Coast swing
This Wednesday preview begins with an apology Tour to Argentinians, canals, and Ernie Els’ golf course design philosophies. Then Brendan and Andy get into the schedule for the week, which quickly detours into a closer view of the bottom of the 3M field. It’s a field replete with also-rans and nebulous career exemptions while the best young players are relegated to lower tours. They hail the return of #CoffeeGolf and the start of the inaugural Coffee Pot series, with the first Euro Tour tournament hosted by an SGS favorite. They ponder if the thin 3M field is due to a lack of “pro-am” cash wooing some of the bigger names that surprisingly patronized the Twin Cities last year. Could a caddie, who Monday qualified, beat his usual loop this week head-to-head at TPC Sod Farm? Then there’s a proposal for a fall West Coast swing that’s being rumored as a replacement for a potential canceled Asian swing in October. Venues are listed and times and objectives are debated. News hits on the continued Wednesday Charity exhibition series on Tour and an admirable attempt by the Rolex Rankings to even things out as Tours resume play at different paces.
Gentleman Jon gets a W, Jack rips up his course, and Bryson’s OB-gate
Much like Bryson on Friday, this Monday episode is a re-load after some computer troubles resulted in another lost tape. Andy and Brendan begin with the strange ending to a fun weekend at Muirfield Village, namely the ruling on Jon Rahm’s ball moving. They dismiss the notion that Rahm was trying to gain some sort of illicit fluffy Reed advantage but do wonder if 1) he should have been penalized at all and 2) if the Tour would have done it if the two strokes changed the outcome. Slugger’s quote that Rahm took the ruling as a gentleman is praised as a great troll. They also discuss Dylan Fritelli somehow, for reasons still unclear, becoming a Sunday final round feature in the coverage. Also discussed are Phil deciding to layup on a par 3, what kind of circus a Phil-hosted event might look like some day, Tiger’s health, and Jack refusing to wait to tear up his course so he could get the photo-op on Sunday night. Bryson’s behavior toward the rules officials on Friday is panned in a lengthy segment at the end and then there are a few parting notes on Sunny Abacoa padding his all-time MLGT money list lead and a Mountain Dew-less Monty dropping a bunch of weight.
Swedish Pancakes, BB Guns, and Jack fights back
It’s Friday! If you need to finish out your week with podcast segments on Carl Pettersson and Bart Bryant, you’ve come to the right place. This week-ending episode first discusses the tough conditions at Muirfield Village, where Jack’s voice in the room can influence the typical Dart Board Tour setup. Brendan and Andy discuss how things could only get tougher over the weekend. The tougher conditions, however, did exacerbate the pace of play problem. There are also thoughts on the initial play from Bryson, Spieth, Tony Finau, Pettersson, and Tiger. After a birthday wine giveaway and some news on Steph Curry, there’s probably a way-too-long segment on Pettersson, aka The Swedish Pancake and the Fan Vote Friday Jr. winner. It recounts his five-win career, his “fun” days in college, his weight loss that tanked his swing and subsequent weight gain, the Ryder Cup dilemma, and the anchor ban wrecking his career. A Flashback Friday segment focuses on Bart Bryant, the 2005 Memorial winner. The BB Gun’s career is put in perspective with some amusing quotes on his sudden rise in 2005.
A Norwegian once talked to me about Norway
This Wednesday episode meanders about before an event with the strongest field ever on the PGA Tour tees off in Columbus. This quickly devolves into a discussion about branded golf courses and sports team golf courses, a nice compliment to last week’s discussion of zoo golf courses. A featured groupings discussion leads to criticism of the Tour’s decision not to lean into the entertainment of conflict and put Brooks and Bryson in the same group. Fan Vote Friday Jr. returns which leads to a discussion on the whereabouts of the Swedish Pancake and a player with a name that evokes “sailor or pirate.” There’s also discussion on the benefits of Norway, per a discussion once with a Norwegian. Another Wednesday charity match is praised as Tony Finau and Jon Rahm face off against two Euro stalwarts. News focuses on a potential quarantine problem with players going from the Safeway to the U.S. Open, the overanalysis of Tiger’s return, and Marty Sleeps rising from his slumber to talk about reining in distance. This ends with a digression on American baseball stadiums.
Charity Open madness, Tape Delay sadness, WGC Swampass badness
The PGA Tour is not only Back on the Tee, it is on an incredible hot streak in this Return to Golf. Brendan and Andy offer their initial reactions to another fantastic Sunday, the best Sunday since golf Returned and maybe the best of the season. They discuss Collin Morikawa’s incredible play on a day of leaderboard jostling with Justin Thomas and whether Morikawa has greater staying power compared to some of his young contemporaries. They question if JT has a little scar tissue given some of the Sunday finishes this year or if there is a Curse of Geronimo. Muirfield Village’s first week is also praised and week two, with the addition Beefy Bryson, is pondered. There is, of course, a segment on the fact that this incredible action was streaming only and the fact that any other major sport would not abide that. Marc Warren’s win is praised as is Chicago’s own David Lipsky’s win on the KFT. News focuses on a troubling development at the WGC Swampass, where the Tour is altering its rules to try and fill out the field. Lastly, Andy argues mason jars should and will replace all cups.
Breaks of the green, Brooksy’s GIF usage, and Flashback to David Gossett
This Friday episode begins with a ramble on whether the PGA Tour is doing enough to capture the wider sports fan’s attention as it appears other sports, like college football, are in peril. A Canadian amateur legend is shouted out before the early play from the Workday Charity Open is reviewed. Andy praises the slower green speeds permitting some pin placements that provide real break at a degree rarely seen on the PGA Tour. Collin Morikawa’s play is praised, a meaningless stat about Phil is panned, and the concept of a Covid positive Scarlet Letter pairing is questioned. In news, the Ryder Cup move is discussed in the context of a quote from Trevor Immelman about golf being a big, happy family working together to re-arrange schedules. But would a Presidents Cup this fall bump a planned Ryder Cup next year if it were the other way around? Brooksy’s steroids GIF is discussed in the context of a Tour that does its players no favors when it comes to clarity and uniformity on testing in various forms, from equipment to drugs. Flashback Friday hits on the 2001 winner at the Deere, David Gossett, a phenom who famously flamed out but sounds like an all-around great human.
Zoo golf, the Baby Sea Lion, and spotlight on “human progress”
It’s Workday Charity Open week, but first Brendan has to get some behind-the-scenes detail from Andy on the long-awaited cold brew tutorial finally being made. There’s also a short segment at the top relaying listener notes on Slovakian amateur golf, the Bob Karlsson Classic, and golf courses that abut zoos after the Monday note about giraffes watching you over a wall at Rackham in Detroit. On the tournament in Columbus, they discuss the course setup tweaks to try and bring some variety to the challenge of playing a venue two weeks in a row. Will the Tour do enough to actually spice it up from week to week? Andy gives out the “event of the week” to an event where Quad Love once made his mark. In news, they double back on Bryson’s double down comments on the cameras filming him for too long and his plea that we all just focus on “human progress.” Then Women’s British getting the greenlight in a “bio secure zone” is praised before a last second one-and-done picks signoff.
A beefy tipping point, Cameraman does job, and Rickie left his heart in Detroit
It’s a Bryson-heavy Monday episode, as Brendan and Andy first thank all their sponsors for the opportunity to podcast. Bryson’s win in Detroit is reviewed and some larger questions are asked about what this approach might yield at the majors and if this is another flashing light for the USGA to do something. But much appreciation is rained on the Thicc Boi for completely overhauling his body and a few theories are offered for the spark moments that maybe provoked that overhaul. It wasn’t all good for Bryson on the weekend, and there is a critical panning of his comments on “privacy” and protecting the players while they’re filmed on the course. Less time is spent on the comments, which are obviously bad, and more is spent on fears that coverage, given the current power structure with the Tour’s media partners, may continue to be whitewashed to the overall detriment of the product. Matthew Wolff’s Rickie-inspired outfit and Rickie-esque start to Sunday (and strong finish) are discussed. There’s also a follow-up on Bubba’s charity match from Wednesday and his personal evolution and a follow-up on Rackham, thanks to a reader note about animals at the zoo, which the course borders, impacting play.
A love of charity, Rickie gets activated, and Flashlight on a Detroit public treasure
This Friday episode begins with an apology wrapped in a rant about backlash over amusement at the 3-1-3 Challenge. Brendan makes it clear he is not now, nor has he ever been, against charity and that it was clearly never an anti-charity point. That said, we are a little old ace away from two players converting on the 3-1-3. Also, a member from Detroit Golf Club relays a tale of an actual 3-1-3 happening there. There’s further backboard discussion with intel from said member. Doc Redman and Bryson’s impressive opening rounds are highlighted, as is Rocket Rickie getting activated after a week off dealing with blisters. This prompts great confusion in Andy about blisters and Brendan to wonder if it’s a long-term sponsor play. Then SGS announces a new activation of its own, born out of one of the podcast’s great stupidities and ongoing discords. In news, the U.S. Women’s Open exemptions are discussed as is John Peterson poking his head up to pop Thicc Boi. Andy closes with a Flashback Friday segment on the origins of Rackham Golf Course and its history and significance in the Detroit golf scene.
The Backboard Classic, Missed opportunities in Detroit, and USGA-NBC marriage
This rollicking Wednesday episode begins with a birthday shoutout and an odd discussion on couples going by one merged name. Also, an MLGT shared title due to Covid restrictions on a sudden death playoff is questioned. Then Brendan and Andy get to the golf, or some of it, by running through the schedule for the week, including the “you won’t believe” par-5 out in Colorado at the KFT event. For the Rocket Mortgage Classic, they discuss featured groups in a weaker field, some one-and-done picks, Bryson’s obscene caloric intake that he disclosed on Tuesday and his comments about the Ross design being obsoleted by his gainz. Also addressed, of course, are the apparent backboards set up as signage all over an event that is known in these parts as the PMI Backboard Classic after last year’s outrageous infrastructure setup. The absurdity of the 3-1-3 charity challenge is discussed again, largely within the context of the potential insurance policy for it. Jordan Spieth’s comments that it’s easier to win without fans are debated. Then they get to a more serious matter and that’s the article by Brendan Quinn of The Athletic on the Tour and its marquee players missing opportunities by skipping “the Tour’s lone regular-season event held in a predominantly Black neighborhood.” A closing news segment further addresses the Sunday bombshell of the USGA rights change with a few insights after asking around about how exactly this happened.
DJ ends #ToddWatch, NBC takes over US Open, Phil’s trademarking
This Monday episode begins with some initial reactions to DJ’s win at the Travelers, but is promptly interrupted by some breaking news about the broadcast partner for the U.S. Open. Andy and Brendan offer some initial thoughts on that shocking change that it seems almost no one knew was coming. Then they discuss DJ outclassing Brendon Todd in the final round in Connecticut, his “lucky” break at the 15th hole hazard, and his overall legacy as a dominant player of this era. Will Gordon’s work on a sponsor’s exemption is discussed as is Bryson’s consistency in an attempt to become “the house.” Phil’s weekend fade and his trademark maneuverings are panned, mostly. News offers a Ryder Cup mini-scoop, some discussion on the evolving Tour Covid protocols, and the U.S. Open’s exemptions plan with qualifying canceled. They wrap with a debrief on the Korn Ferry Tour finish in Utah, celebrating Kyle Jones and pondering whether Daniel Summerhays will truly call it quits now.
Do you think Tiger worries about pirates?
This Friday episode begins with a discussion on the Covid-related withdrawals from the Travelers since the last episode. Should the Tour play on? Or could these WDs and positives force the players to buckle down and set the Tour on a stricter and successful path for the summer? After those initial comments, Brendan and Andy then get into some early action from Connecticut, including Rory’s putting in a round of 63, Phil going bogey free, and Chez Reavie’s lid. There’s also a chat about the unknowable value of a FedExCup Point and how those totals need to stop appearing in graphics. It’s unclear how or why, but the subject of whether Tiger worries about pirates while on his yacht is broached and debated. Then we get to Flashback Friday on J.J. Henry, the 2006 winner in Hartford and a Connecticut state amateur legend. Andy’s research on Mr. 300 yielded some delights, like the fact that he has a medal named after him awarded at one event, the origins and some critiques of his logo, and the playing career that pushed him to the 300-made cut line.
You can stand under my umbrella
This Wednesday episode begins with a discussion on the fraught with peril practice of deliberately shrinking your shirts. Eventually, there is discussion on the instant golf tournament, the Travelers Championship, an SGS favorite. Brendan and Andy get into the field depth, the field also-rans, and make some brief one-and-done picks. TPC River Highlands is put under the microscope and in the context of what appears to be minimal backboard structures this week. There are opposite and troubling reports, however, already coming out of Detroit about that. There is also a second set of shot data shared from the SGS CDO on the fans-less impacts at Harbour Town. Featured Groups becomes a 20 minute rambling segment on Rory’s prior putting woes in Hartford, Phil’s glasses, Big Bill Reavie getting the spotlight, and Jordan Spieth trying to “play like a kid again.” In news, the reports of a postponed Ryder Cup and announcement of a fans-less PGA are covered. Then laments and some anger are offered about the reported layoffs at Golf Channel and the potential deterioration of how golf is covered and what it could mean for the future. The episode closes with a discussion of the Deadspin article on the Masters tournament name and what it evokes for one black writer.
Webb vs. Boo Stopper, Brooksy train chugging, the Watney test
This Monday episode begins with Webb Simpson shattering the record books. He is the new best player in the world (by some metrics) and also broke Brian Gay’s scoring record at the Heritage. Andy offers a rebuttal and some context for this score compared to the Boo Stopper’s legendary win in spring conditions. Then there is ample appreciation for Webb’s work with even a little HOF discussion. Brooksy’s impressive final round is reviewed, as are his tweets poking at Nick Faldo and Sergio Garcia on Sunday. All aboard the Brooks train again. Then Brendan and Andy get to the pace and beauty of the fans-less late finish on CBS. There’s a victory lap here of sorts, but also some hesitation about the timing of Sunday’s delay as it related to beer consumption decisions. Honest Abe Ancer, Joaquin Niemann, and Daniel Berger are also praised. On topics less positive, a discussion on Nick Watney’s positive covid test ensues, and Sergio’s idiotic comments are also pilloried. How many positive tests would it take to shut down an event? Lastly in news, they hit on Chris Kirk’s return to the winner’s circle and Rory’s comments about Euro Tour players not coming over to play on the PGA Tour right now.
Kraken leashed, Impediments loosened, and Flashback on Boo
This Friday episode begins with a discussion on grapes and where they fall in the fruit rankings. There’s also a brief announcement about another run of polos available Friday at Noon CDT. Brendan and Andy are trying their best to stock wisely, but they’re also idiots. As for the golf, they dive into the scorable first day at Harbour Town and the impressive showing from Jordan Spieth in a metric that matters much more than a hot putter. Bryson’s antics are covered in detail, from hitting over the range net to his putting green apparatuses to his quote that he can’t “unleash the Kraken” on this tighter setup. Also, a listener submitted question on how much luggage is needed for Thicc Boi’s travels is pondered. Then they turn to the subject of mics and loose impediments, which cost Adam Hadwin two shots and Daniel Berger his time in order to laser in on Patrick Reed. On the lower tours, the Pauper of Ponte Vedra concept is introduced. Flashback Friday features a quick addendum to Wednesday's Bubba discussion on his “extreme value” clothing line in 2007 before a meatier focus on Boo Weekley, the two-time Heritage winner who once thought golf was invented in Florida.
SGS Spotlight: The 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont
The special Wednesday edition of the Shotgun Start is a Spotlight on the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont, and is sponsored by the U.S. Open Victory Club, the USGA’s new fan community (usopen.com/victoryclub). Similar to their exploration of the ‘06 Winged Foot national championship, Brendan and Andy dive into the oddities, amusements, fashion, characters, controversies, and triumphs of a week that ended with Angel Cabrera on top. Tiger’s week of otherworldly ballstriking, including a round that Hank Haney called the best ever, is reviewed. Of the close calls and near misses, is this the forgotten one that Tiger should absolutely count in his major tally? Bubba Watson’s first real national moment is re-lived, as well as the USGA’s cheeky decision to pair him and his fellow Florida panhandle denizen Boo Weekley with a Japanese qualifier who had never played in the States. Aaron Baddeley’s rise and quick tumble from the 54-hole lead is discussed. They giggle about the frustrated and even angry Oakmont membership fearful that their course was being de-fanged by the USGA, even though there were only eight rounds all week that broke par. And of course, there is a lengthy discussion about El Pato, Argentina’s chain-smoking, big-eating major champion, who came from absolutely nothing to win golf’s toughest test at its toughest venue.
Grandstanding receipts!, Dad’s Day Gift Guide ;) and Harbour Town Preview
It’s bonus week on the Shotgun Start. There will be four episodes, including a spotlight on a past U.S. Open celebrating the national championship on what was the originally scheduled 2020 U.S. Open week. That will come Wednesday morning, but first, a preview of what’s to come at Harbour Town. Andy and Brendan break down the loaded field, the Rickie Tour Live featured groups (featuring Rickie), and how the power players (and Glen Day!) might take on a different setup. One-and-dones devolve into chaos and Brendan ends up with a 2-for-1 special to take on Andy’s more conventional pick. An Ad read becomes the official Father’s Day Gift Guide, with limited actual details about the product. Then there is some major breaking news as a newly appointed Chief Data Officer of the Shotgun Start sends in some interesting notes from the shot data as it relates to the lack of grandstands to slam your ball off of last week at Colonial. It’s just one week but we have some prime holes to look out for this week after a caddie sends in a tip about a past classic grandstanding spot at Harbour Town. News hits on some more fan-less events coming later in the summer and Monty’s grand rollback plan.
Duck taped Spieth, Berger’s triumph, and celebrating a successful return
The PGA Tour made a strong return this weekend and Andy and Brendan are back to recap a real, actual golf tournament. They offer their initial reactions from Colonial, but not without some laments about what’s happened to Perry Maxwell’s design and the CT machine operator being deemed inessential for tourney ops. Jordan Spieth’s eventful week is also dealt with at the top, as the two debate if any positive extrapolating can be done from his work at a favorite venue of his. Has anyone (sans Tiger) had to slump through it under a more intense microscope than Spieth? Daniel Berger’s playoff victory over Collin Morikawa is also given a full account, including Berger’s emotion after what was clearly a triumphant moment following some low years. Morikawa’s putting is put in the crosshairs and his future is debated against another young star and current FEC No. 1. Bryson’s close call is praised, as is his prodigious protein shake intake and his ability all week to bring an outside curiosity to the event from non-golf watchers. The lack of fans is celebrated for what it brought to the event, as opposed to took away, and the same positive remarks are made about the coverage. The episode ends with some of the bigger disappointments and frustrations from an overall successful week, as well as a few thoughts on a model Korn Ferry Tour field at Sawgrass.
Thicc golf back, Spieth golf back, and Flashback to a Colonial hothead
It’s Friday and PGA Tour golf is back. This episode begins with Brendan and Andy soaking in a joyous and eventful first round at Colonial. First, Andy, in the tradition of the show, issues an apology to a certain Dockers khakis enthusiast. Then they transition to the topic of the day: Thicc Boi Bryson, his booming drives, and his incredibly bizarre quarantine chronicles video posted to Instagram. There is a request to get it submitted to a low-level film festival. Jordan Spieth’s 65 provoked hope and enthusiasm on Twitter, but there is a call for equanimity on assessments of the three-time major winner. The trimmed-down broadcast is reviewed, as are Phil’s sunglasses, the Darren Rovell streamcast, and Kevin Na’s new logo. News focuses on the new Ryder Cup selection process for the USA and Tiger’s boat reportedly headed for Harbour Town. A more traditional Flashback Friday segment focuses on the 1993 winner at Colonial, a legendary outspoken redass, South African cusser, and holder of bad opinions about Annika Sorenstam.
Golf is back and so is the normal, or approximately normal, Wednesday episode of the Shotgun Start. Brendan and Andy express their excitement, concerns, and amusements as the Tour gets underway at Colonial. They have some of their usual fun with the field, which includes a Senior division, Anchormen division, Mr. 300 division, Friends-of-Colonial division, and perhaps a new husky boy division. Andy hands out his event of the week, which leads to a discussion on why the other Sawgrass course is called the Valley. Featured groups are announced, as is a potential descent into autocracy for the Rickie Tour Live operation. The slimmed down broadcast operations and some of the experiments like mic’d players and a confessional are reviewed (so too is the Twitter multi-cast with various celebrities offering their insights). The no-fans impact is pondered and the lack of testing (CT driver) is lamented. They close with some thoughts on how this will work from a health operation perspective, reflection on the last few months, and gratitude for the return.
SGS Spotlight on Jose Maria Olazabal
This week brings the exultant return of golf, and Brendan and Andy will back to the normal tournament show and routine on Wednesday, digging into Colonial and its anchoring-heavy field. But first, they start the week with one more Spotlight to satiate during this golf-less time. The subject is Jose Maria Olazabal. They discuss Ollie’s incredible ascension from a farmhouse on a golf course at the foothills of the Pyrenees to an amateur stud to an instant success in his first year on the Euro Tour. His early Euro Tour success is given the full treatment as is his immediate Ryder Cup dynamism with Seve, when Ollie was just 21 years old. The outrageous 12-shot victory at the 1990 NEC is also celebrated with some amusing quotes from Lanny Wadkins. The two Masters wins are thoroughly reviewed, with a lengthy exploration of the intervening injury that kept him out of golf back home for more than a year at what should have been the peak of his powers. This reclusive time dealing with a foot injury was full of odd rumors and fears that he’d be confined to a wheelchair and never play again. Ollie’s sui generis approach to life is also celebrated, from his constant rebuffing of endorsement money, Mark McCormack and IMG, American food, and his choice to live with his parents into adulthood and even after he’d won two green jackets.
Mushroom mispronunciations, OWGR inequities, and Flashlight on Se Ri Pak
This Friday episode begins with Brendan and Andy announcing their caption contest winners from Instagram for B. Draddy polos, which leads to an amusing story about Andy trying to pronounce a certain variety of mushroom in a prior job. Then the two react to news that the OWGR freeze will end next week despite the fact that, well, world golf is not resuming. How was Scott/Keith Pelley the only dissenting vote against this measure and did the PGA Tour put their thumb on scale? Then they revel in this Data Golf ranking of the players from 2004 onward based on their peak stretch of golf. A notable Lefty falls down the ranking. Then there is a Flashlight on the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open in what would have been the week for that major championship. This evolves into a discussion of Se Ri Pak’s career and the contention that she has had the biggest impact on golf out of anyone in this era, including Tiger Woods.
A makeshift feeder tour, the Workday Open, and SGS Spotlight on Calvin Peete
This Wednesday episode begins with a few comments from Brendan and Andy on the current protests in the country, golf’s poor history with race, and how they and the podcast need to be better. Then a short news segment hits on a report that the PGA Tour is considering a makeshift feeder tour to give players on some of the lower tours like the Canadian Tour and LatinoAmerica tour some reps. Then they hit on the official announcement of the new Workday double dip at Muirfield, which leads to an odd ramble about the lost potential of a July Sawgrass event. This week’s SGS Spotlight features the life and golf of Calvin Peete, celebrating his career and discussing why we now see even fewer African Americans on Tour than the heydey of Peete some 40 years ago. The Spotlight attempts what it always attempts, and that is to re-acquaint or educate and then celebrate a bygone pro that a younger generation may have only general details on to go with a name. It discusses Peete’s incredible path to pro golf, accidentally falling in love with the game when he played it for the first time at age 23 after selling wares out of the trunk of his car to migrant workers. Peete’s legacy as the most accurate driver of all time is hailed as is his signature Players win and his peak run that edged Nicklaus for the Vardon Trophy and almost every contemporary in win rate.
Milkshake Swing, Coffee Pot, Shark Money Pot, and Bubba’s AirBNB
Following the two-hour Ernie Els Spotlight on Friday, this episode is a quick Monday whiparound on some golf news odds and ends. Brendan and Andy first relay an Ernie superstition omission submitted from friend of the program Shane Bacon. Then they relay another golf conspiracy theory from “Spartan Butters,” author of the infamous Brooks sets his schedule to avoid weddings theory. This one is about DJ’s watch. News begins with the Deere replacement event likely becoming a second week at Muirfield Village. Andy pleads for a dramatic setup change for the second event and the two discuss nicknames for this new Columbus double dip. They also hit on Vijay withdrawing from the KFT event that had everyone firing off takes, the cancelation of the Mackenzie Tour season, and Greg Norman saying the Tour might be setting aside a money pot for 8 popular players as a countermeasure against the PGL. How real is this and what kind of Q rating would determine who gets it? Impressions? Retweets? Likes? Lastly, they pay their respects to the Justin Rose hOnma era, which leads to a rambling discussion about equipment one-offs like the Sonartec 3-wood, Orlimar Trimetal and KickX ball.
SGS Spotlight: Ernie Els Part II
It’s Friday! This week-wrapping episode begins with a discussion of the new Manor Swing that will bring the return of the Euro Tour and our beloved summer #CoffeeGolf. Also in scheduling news, Andy and Brendan discuss the cancelation of the John Deere and the delightful SGS catnip possibilities for a July replacement event at TPC Sawgrass (the zinc standard?). Then comes the resumption of the massive undertaking of an SGS Spotlight on Ernie Els. This is Part II (find Part I last week) and begins with Ernie’s hard-luck year of runners-up in 2000. That becomes a theme -- the anguish of close calls at majors dominated by both Tiger and a cast of non-Tiger characters right as Ernie was playing some of the best golf you could ever see. The battle with Tim Finchem over Ernie’s worldly non-US PGA Tour schedule is reviewed. His last two majors, the 2002 Open at Muirfield, and the late-career windfall in 2012 at Lytham, are given the full treatment. His son’s autism diagnosis, and Ernie’s evolution of responses to that, are covered in detail. Also, his hard-partying ways are re-lived with some amusing drinking stories that have become folklore over the years. More than Part I, this discussion helps understand the measure of Els the person and may leave you appreciating him more.
Do The Match’s high ratings matter and a Jumbo Flashlight
With both hosts worse-for-the-wear, the Part 2 Spotlight on Ernie Els is pushed to Friday. This Wednesday episode begins with some debate on the excitement over The Match’s astronomic TV ratings. Does that number matter as a proof of concept for something more or is it just indicative of a one-time windfall in a unique moment? This leads to some further debate over mic’d up players and if we’ll ever actually see that on the PGA Tour. Andy also relays a hunch about one tournament on the upcoming PGA Tour schedule perhaps not being played. The second half of the episode is devoted to Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki. Brendan relays some notes from a day of reading and researching the Japanese legend. His dominant career on the Japan Tour is covered in depth, as well as his ambivalence to playing outside of that Tour. His flamboyant style, allegations of cheating, playing with illegal “hot” equipment, and rumors of ties to organized crime are also discussed in detail.
“This one’s for you, Workday!”
A smiling Brendan and Andy hop on the horn and chat about all things Match 2 in what was a great day for golf in the spotlight. They review the all four players, the broadcast, Medalist, and the prospects for more of these in the future. How did this capture such a wide swath of the sports world’s attention and have what seemed to be a unanimous approval rating? Tom Brady’s struggles are explored with great depth and revelry. They debate his worst shot and also marvel at his hole-out birdie in the midst of what seemed to be his worst stretch. Andy argues Tiger’s play wasn’t as good as the breathless reactions on Twitter and elsewhere were making it out to be. There’s also an argument made that Peyton outplayed Phil through the front nine. Justin Thomas’s work is praised as well as Charles Barkley’s and they ponder what this should mean, if anything, for the traditional broadcast. Does the success of this Match give the PGL any newfound juice and appeal as some sort of stripped down professional product? They close with a apologies about the hats and promise more coming soon.
Medalist preview ramblings and the Euro Tour’s new “Manor Swing”
This holiday weekend Friday episode rolls into the weekend with some pleasant news from Andy’s round in Minnesota this week, tales of conference calls gone awry, and the announcement that the Shotgun Start now really, actually has merch in the form of a few hats. Then they get to the news of the week, starting with a report that the European Tour has plans for a return, concentrated in the UK on what will now be known here as the Manor swing. This transitions to comments from Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, and other international players on the difficulty and concerns of re-joining the PGA Tour in its earliest months and their plans to probably avoid it. Also, they debate around this what will happen to the OWGR when the American tour resumes but the rest of the world is still paused. The strong fields that keep building in the PGA Tour’s first few events are celebrated. They close with a wide-ranging and rambling preview of The Match at Medalist, reviewing and critiquing some of the formats and side challenges, the course’s strengths and weaknesses, Shark Tales from the club’s history, how it will stack up to the Seminole match, and some intel from the ground on how Tiger might be setting it up in his favor. Oh, and Andy also tells a story about watching Jonathan Quinn play QB for the Bears.
SGS Spotlight on Ernie Els, Part 1
This Wednesday episode begins with a quick reaction to news that the U.S. Open will have no open qualifying this year. Then Brendan and Andy start to take on the monster that is the Spotlight of Ernie Els’ life and career. Part 1 starts with the 10,000-foot view, offering up some numbers that frame just how much of a talent he was and the success of his career. It transitions to his earliest days in South Africa and his decision to go full-time into golf, some of his immediate amateur success, and his mandated military service. Then the first decade of his pro career is explored in depth. They touch on the two U.S. Open wins, featuring the controversial drop at Oakmont and the “rowdiest crowd ever” at Congressional. His dominance on the world stage is praised with tales from across the globe in his 20s. The competing narratives of Ernie as a closing killer and choker are discussed after his first major win. The amusing tale of his engagement is relayed. And finally, the last few years before Tiger dominated the game are discussed in context of what was then presumed a future rivalry, with some amazing freezing cold takes in the Ernie v. Tiger debate before the year 2000.
Reactions to golf’s return and grading the Seminole match
Andy and Brendan get together shortly after the conclusion of the Driving Relief match at Seminole to reflect on the return of televised golf. It starts with some gratitude for this effort and undertaking to bring golf back, and in such a prime venue. Then they get to some quick reactions on the day -- what they liked, did not like, and the aesthetic of the world’s best carrying their own bags through this world class course on the ocean. Grades are handed out for the different players, the course, the broadcast, and the overall coverage. They also settle their bet on who has to wear the apparel from the Kaboom Line. There are a few laments in there about Bill Murray, needless tweets, and distractions from the core product. But that leads to a debate on who this event was really for -- a larger audience or the golf addicts -- and whether a permanent program like this (best players, best courses, variety of match formats on tv) should emerge after the pandemic ends.
An ebullient Seminole match preview, PXG apparel critiques, Flashlights to bygone PGAs
This joyous Friday episode starts with praise and thanks for the return of golf this weekend with the skins match at Seminole on Sunday. Brendan and Andy begin their preview with some reflective thoughts on why they’re so happy about this event and the larger meaning and impact it could have, for the obvious priority of raising money for Covid charity, but also for the game of golf. They preview some key holes to watch at Seminole, revel in the aesthetics of these players carrying their own bags in a world-class setting, and make a friendly wager (that wager leads to a lengthy diversion and critique of the new apparel offerings from PXG). A news segment touches on Rory committing to play the first three PGA Tour events, the PGA’s return to Quail Hollow, the Medalist Match TV crew including Sir Charles, and initial thoughts on the new PGA Tour video game (and its course rota). Then, in honor (or dishonor) of what would have been PGA Championship week, there are two short Flashlight segments to the year the PGA switched to stroke play and the year the PGA melted under the August sun in South Florida.
Flashlight on “Little Sluman,” Ryder Cup mayo sandwich, new Tour health guidelines
This Wednesday episode goes in several different directions, from news of the day to two separate “Flashlights” at the end. Brendan and Andy begin with some reactions to the PGA Tour’s health guidelines and policies that were sent to the players on Tuesday in a 37-page deck. They got a look at the deck and pulled out some of the more substantive, amusing, and concerning points as things prepare to return next month at Colonial. Then they get to the further details of the match at Seminole, including reactions to not having to hit the fairway on the two long drive holes. The fearsome foursome that now makes up the US Ryder Cup captaincy group is reviewed, and it appears Zach Johnson is heading for the main job. They demand more spice, some new blood. But is this now a closed loop of captains and assistant captains or are there just not that many options out there? Then they transition to two short Flashlights, first on the 1994 Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf at Sunningdale between world No. 1 Greg Norman and No. 2 Nick Faldo. They praise the compact product, player interactions, and legendary course. A second Flashlight shines on the 1988 PGA in what would have been PGA week. Jeff Sluman’s win and career is given the treatment, as well as the odd history of the ‘88 venue, Oak Tree National, and the “Oak Tree Gang,” a prelude to the #JupLife collective.
“Zatch & Beefy,” Medalist match reactions, Vijay vs. the KFT
This Monday episode starts with a focus on weather talk as the ultimate small talk crutch, especially in our current quarantine moment. Tiger’s pet nicknames for ZJ and Bryson, unearthed in a video at the end of last week, are reviewed. Then Brendan and Andy react to the firmer details of The Match between Tiger and Phil at Medalist. They discuss the venue and atmosphere of the South Florida club, what Manning and Brady might bring to it, and the absurd betting lines for both that match and the one at Seminole. Andy gets so worked up about one line that he threatens to put a month’s mortgage on a team in one of these. The Vijay vs. KFT drama is also discussed in full after punting on it last week for the Crenshaw spotlight. The greatest hits on Mr. 300 and Keith Clearwater are re-visited, but a further lament is offered about the Tour’s lack of creativity to really use this unprecedented time to shake things up. They close with a quick hit news segment, including a discussion on plans for Memorial to monitor fans movements with chips in their badges and then tell them to separate.
An SGS Spotlight on “Gentle” Ben Crenshaw
This Friday episode features our SGS Spotlight for the week and the subject is Ben Crenshaw. As usual for these Spotlights, it’s long, but take it in at your own plumb-bob pace. We get into Crenshaw’s outrageous amateur career, including his three consecutive NCAA titles, intra-UT rivalry with Tom Kite, and the “Ben’s Wrens” that followed him. We go long on some of these NCAA moments and early pro days that had writers calling him the next Jack Nicklaus with Arnold Palmer’s charisma. His repeated majors close calls that followed are put in context before his major breakthrough at the 1984 Masters. His struggles in the 80s, both with his swing thoughts and health, are considered against the monumental hype that followed him from his earliest days as a pro. The emotional 1995 Masters win and the stirring 1999 Ryder Cup are given the treatment. We consider his contributions as an architect, one of the game’s greatest putters, and one of its great historians, when discussing his legacy at the end of the episode.
“Flashlight” on Bobby Clampett, “Peak” decades, the Seminole Match
This Wednesday episode begins with a discussion on tacos, overrated components of tacos, and the delivery vessels of tacos. We then transition to the official announcement of the skins match at Seminole. We ponder how Rory will carry the conversation, how Rickie will activate, how DJ will strategize his way around, how Wolff could be a breakout star and, of course, whether TaylorMade will put CT machines on the first tee for testing. Mostly, we just praise the effort to bring televised golf (for a good cause) back into our lives and at a course that so few have seen on TV. An article on the European Tour’s dire financial situation also leads to a brief discussion on how different the world of golf might look when this is over and how the Euro Tour should focus on a trimmed down core product. Then Andy brings some numbers to the table to compare and contrast some of the peak decade-long runs we keep encountering during our Spotlight series and applying that marker to some modern superstars. How do they hold up against each other and to some of the names we’ve discussed in detail this past month, like Nick Faldo and Fred Couples? Lastly, we spend some time reliving the career of Bobby Clampett in what is not a full-fledged Spotlight but more of a short Flashlight review. His outrageous amateur run is discussed. We laugh at his hijinks from an all-around amusing 1979 U.S. Open, which also included the infamous Hinkle Tree and an imposter playing a practice round. Clampett’s flameout at the 1982 Open, where he held a 7-shot lead, is highlighted with Dan Jenkins reading. Finally, we discuss his place in history as the great hope of the Golfing Machine that fizzled out following the promise of his amateur success.
Card security and jumbo points, Hadwin’s lament, and apologies to Dell
This Monday episode primarily takes on the status developments across the various Tours. But we first begin with an apology to Dell for our naivete from a few weeks ago. Our discussion on the PGA Tour’s card problem then begins with news that there will be no promotion from the Korn Ferry Tour this year, and no Q school. Also, Major Medicals can reportedly be reset if you played poorly in those opportunities earlier this season. This leads to Andy just reading some player names, asking to guess their starts this season, and incredulity punctuating the exchange each time. We propose some changes to this plan where no current PGA Tour player will lose his card. And we also hit on the possibility that more top players may just stay home for awhile. Then we get to Adam Hadwin’s apparent contempt for the potential of having to putt with a flagstick in the cup. We round things up with Monty’s comments on testing, ponder who the Admiral might be, and discuss the catnip of JT and Rickie playing with balatas and persimmon on Sunday.
SGS Spotlight on Davis Love III with Shane Bacon, Part II
We open this podcast with some further comments on the Sumo Citrus phenomenon, offer some friendly content plugs, and then roll into the second half of our Spotlight on Davis Love III with Shane Bacon (Fox Sports broadcaster, Get A Grip podcaster, grilling hat wearer). Part II covers DL3’s major championship shortcomings and nerves, and then his one and only breakthrough at those championships, the 1997 PGA at Winged Foot. It’s a dominant performance that was allegedly going to lead to many more, but we appreciate and re-live a bit of that week. We also discuss his Ryder Cup career, including the one time he almost vomited, literally, with the winning singles point on the line. DL3’s final round to win the 2003 Players is remembered as one of the greatest rounds ever played. It came during an odd season for Love off the course, with family tragedy and odd rumors, but one of his best seasons on the course. Then we close with some legacy discussion and where Love ranks among the one-time major winners that we’ve also covered in this series, like Couples and Duval. Will he make the Andy HOF?
Shane Bacon joins for an SGS Spotlight on Davis Love III — Part I
This Wednesday episode begins with some brief discussion on MJ vs. LeBron to stir the pot in Chicago, as well as some brief comments on the Ryder Cup unlikely transitioning to an “all captain’s picks” format for this year. Then we turn to an SGS Spotlight on Davis Love III and we have the absolute privilege to be joined by Shane Bacon, broadcaster for Fox Sports and of multiple podcasts, including Get A Grip with Max Homa. We cover DL3’s rise to becoming a Tour Pro, his early struggles to even compete at the majors, then his struggles to close at the majors. A focus of this Part I is also on how Dru got his name. DL3’s prodigious length off the tee as he burst on to the Tour drew comparisons to Mike Tyson, Michael Jordan, and John Elway, which we review. We also spotlight his propensity to openly discuss his nerves and anxieties after big rounds. The personal tragedies in his life are discussed in the context of how it shaped his career. The hype and faded hope of a grand Love v. Couples era is also highlighted, as well as DL3’s first big win at the 1992 Players.
The Walk Up Music Quiz returns, Tiger v. Phil, and essential Shotlink services
This Monday episode is a departure from the heavy reading and listening on Nick Faldo of last week. We begin with some more reaction to The Match II becoming an official thing. We praise it, look forward to it, worry about the “banter” save for Peyton, and ponder Medalist as a venue. Then we discuss news of another potential match in South Florida united by one common OEM. A good article from Joel Beall in Golf Digest that reports on how the Tour’s return to action may look is reviewed. Shotlink sounds essential to any return. Broadcasts will look different. And purses will be smaller as events take significant revenue hits. In the back half of the episode, a giddy Andy reveals his walk-up music selections for what would have been the 2020 Zurich week. This was one of the more popular segments last year and Andy hits on several fun nicknames and controversial amusements in recent Shotgun Start history for this year’s playlist.
SGS Spotlight on Nick Faldo: Part II with Sean Martin
An early recording of this Friday episode begins with some quick musings on the Match II as well as a tease for another Andy walk-up music segment he’s been prepping for all year. Also, before the NFL Draft, there’s a brief interlude on which PGA Tour player we might choose first for a real, actual game of football in pads. Then we get to Part II of our SGS Spotlight on Nick Faldo, with PGA Tour dot com’s Sean Martin joining us once again. This part picks up with his last two major wins, the emotional ‘92 Open and the legendary Norman collapse at the ‘96 Masters. We also go in depth on Faldo’s relationship with David Leadbetter and how it ended abruptly. We get into Faldo’s 21-year-old girlfriend and the run of marital troubles that, per his own writing, hastened the end of his career. We discuss his broadcasting work, the spectacular failure as captain of the 2008 Ryder Cup team and the continued drama out of that, and his legacy as an all-time great. Is that legacy impacted at all by his current presence in our lives on TV? Thanks again to Sean for joining us on this look back at Sir Nick.
Extra Thicc Bryson, Finchem makes HOF, Nick Faldo spotlight Part 1
This Wednesday episode begins with a brief rundown of the scant news from the past few days. That scantness gives us occasion to discuss Bryson DeChambeau’s claim that he may play the maximum allowable length driver and that he also may bulk up to 270 (!) pounds. We also hit on the idea of a fan-less Ryder Cup and Tim Finchem getting in the HOF before transitioning back to our SGS Spotlight series. In this episode, we start the process of taking on the monster that is the career and life of Nick Faldo, and quickly realize it will need to be two parts. Sean Martin of PGA Tour dot com joins us in the effort after reading Sir Nick’s autobiography. In this section, we hit on Faldo’s upbringing and how he got into the game at a later stage of his childhood, his amateur days, his short stint at Houston, and some of his personality peculiarities that led to his reputation as a frosty pro. We also get into his decision to completely overhaul his swing under David Leadbetter just a year after winning the order of merit on the Euro Tour. Then we cover his first four majors in depth and the odd circumstance of his wins often accompanied by high profile collapses. It concludes with his 1990 Open win at The Old Course, arguably his greatest win at the peak of his powers.
One million tests, Mike Clayton on the glory days of the European Tour
This Monday episode begins with a brief reaction to the news from a Guardian report that the PGA Tour is hoping to secure 1 million coronavirus tests in order to complete its overhauled schedule. Then we are joined for a fantastic and enlightening interview with Mike Clayton, a golf renaissance man who also played on the European Tour during the heyday of the famous five, currently a subject of the SGS Spotlight series. Mike regales us with stories of Seve, Woosie, Lyle, Faldo, and the yippy Langer. We let him go with thoughts on how they immediately burst onto the scene, antagonism with the stateside tour pros, Ryder Cup legends, drinking tales, and why they all succeeded at Augusta National. Mike never holds back and this is a great first hand account of what made the Euro Tour and these Spotlight subjects so fun.
Pilgrim Rick, Nicklaus knockout, and the new PGA Tour schedule
This Friday episode begins by answering and discussing a few messages from listeners. What happens if Jack Nicklaus’ putter toss knocked out Doug Sanders? Did Brooksy expose the fan advantage during a recent interview and bolster Andy’s “no fans” idea even more? What bridge at Augusta will be “Woods bridge?” And can we expect any unique activations for a November Masters? Then, in the second half of the podcast, we discuss in detail the new schedule announcement from the PGA Tour. We wish the Tour the best of luck, view it with optimistic glasses, and celebrate some of the more amusing quirks and things we like from the schedule. Could it be a dream scenario for the Tour that the FedExCup is truly the one and only “Ultimate Prize” now for this season? Then we discuss a few of the obvious hurdles, some frustrating quotes about “independent contractors” from Tour reps, and what will have to take place for this to be pulled off.
Winged Foot Fiascoes: Re-living Sunday at the 2006 U.S. Open
This is a different style episode for the Shotgun Start, focusing on the final round of the U.S. Open the last time it was at Winged Foot. The episode features clips from an interview with Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 champ at WF, and some of the calls from the NBC broadcast on a day when Johnny Miller’s fastball was touching triple digits on the radar gun. In addition, we celebrate the many facets of this particular championship that align with the SGS oeuvre. Andy and Brendan set up the world of golf coming into that national championship, recall some now-forgotten moments, embrace the fashion peculiarities, discuss the brutal test that is Winged Foot West, and spotlight some of the critical moments that got it done for Ogilvy. Then there is considerable time spent on the collapses of Colin Montgomerie, Phil Mickelson, and a few others who may have escaped the infamy over time.
The Masters rewind experiment, 10 events we want saved, more AMA
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend with our golf appetites satiated in a way by the Masters Rewind on both ESPN and CBS. We discuss why this worked from the minor details to the obvious advantages, and if it is at all replicable for events that are less prestigious. Why are we not seeing more of these real-time lookbacks with player interviews and just more experimentation from the Tour? In news, we hit on the Tour’s plan for fan-less events and spotlight some of the achievements and quirks of Doug Sanders, who passed away over the weekend. Then we go back and forth on 10 events that would be the hardest to part with in the remaining year, or which 10 we most want to see for either giggles, intrigue, or schadenfreude. Finally, we conclude by knocking off a few more AMA questions on topics from a hypothetical Brooks vs. Ernie fight, TopTracer convincing every junior to hit a fade, hotel bed preferences, the SGS target audience, the infamous lost guest tape, and why we rarely have guests at all.
A Friday funhouse of random ramblings
It was a long week for Brendan and Andy, who are walking wounded into this Friday episode and just start talking about a sundry of topics before moving to some more AMA questions. First up is Andy’s harrowing fence problem at home. Next comes Tiger’s inability to do puzzles at his home. Then comes the overengerized Bryson and his huffing and puffing backyard range session. In the AMA portion, we respond to questions on Vijay vs. Phil, our favorite vegetables, the decrepit equipment in our golf bags, filming a one-on-one match, venues for a WGC tour, why we don’t have merch, favorite Outback menu items, and a critique of us for goofing on JJ Henry.
Masters qualifying clarified and SGS Spotlight on Fred Couples
This Wednesday episode begins with some brief news on Bryson releasing a fancy video with his Masters scripting despite the fact that there is no Masters this week. We also discuss the Masters field being finalized right now at 96 players, even though the tournament will not be played until November. Then our SGS Spotlight focuses Fred Couples. We dive into his upbringing in a middle class neighborhood in Seattle, learning to play at a local muni, and eventually working his way to Houston. His two Players wins, his Masters victory, and his peak years as the world No. 1 force are given the treatment. We also review the critiques from his contemporaries about his apathy, absentmindedness, and aversion to practicing. His struggles, both with tragedy in his personal life and with his injured back, are also discussed as consistent themes that kept popping up in research. This was an enjoyable one on Boom Boom, aka Mr. Skins aka the Czar of the Silly Season.
Eamon Lynch joins to discuss the new golf schedule
This quick pop-up podcast takes on the wave of schedule announcements that came from the various organizations on Monday. Eamon Lynch, a columnist at Golfweek and contributor at Golf Channel, reported on the discussions between golf’s organizing bodies last week and that reporting came official on Monday. Eamon discusses the process of the PGA Tour, R&A, USGA, PGA, and Augusta National coming together to create a makeshift schedule for the rest of 2020 immediately after The Players was abandoned. We discuss the R&A’s decision to cancel The Open and how the delay in reaching that caused some tension at the end of an otherwise collegial process. We also discuss the USGA’s “creativity” in the process, from cutting down its field to considering Riviera as a 2020 venue, as Eamon reported on Monday. And finally we consider what further changes may be coming and how tenuous this current schedule may be for the rest of the year. Thanks to Eamon for joining us for this interview.
Have you ever been to the zoo? AMA Part 1
A break from the SGS Spotlight pace of the past couple weeks to follow up on a call for Ask Me Anything questions from the end of February. We tried this back around the holidays of 2018 with relative success and had planned one even before golf went on hiatus. We pore through your questions, in part 1 of what will be an attempt to answer every single one even if it is dodgy reply. We discuss mostly golf, our ideal major rota, what the Tour will look like after this crisis, our favorite fruits, the origins of this podcast, 5-year-olds saying the f-word, the best time zone, our past occupations, and if Andy has ever been to the zoo.
New makeshift schedule plans and Spotlight on the great redass Curtis Strange
This portly Friday episode begins with the latest news on what may come of a 2020 men’s golf schedule. We cover Golf Digest’s report that The Open will be canceled, and then review Eamon Lynch’s wide-ranging report on the initial plans for shuffling around the Masters, FedExCup, Ryder Cup preparations, and a potential west coast U.S. Open. Paddy Harrington’s plea for 12 captain’s picks and a Ryder Cup committed to 2020 is also discussed. Then we get to our SGS Spotlight subject, Curtis Strange. Is he the player of the 80s on the PGA Tour? We proffer some nuts-and-bolts facts on a great career, hit on his outrageous title winning moment in college, and then his rise up the money lists and at the majors. We relay some legendary stories about his redass instincts and hot-tempered outbursts that got him in trouble even with Arnold Palmer early in his career. The back-to-back U.S. Opens are discussed in detail -- the playoff win over Faldo and that “Soak Hill” Sunday run to put him in company with Hogan. The ‘85 Masters he nearly (or should have) won after shooting an 80 in the opening round is also covered in detail. The Ryder Cup pressure and ignominy of 1995, which resulted in heckles about choking for years is recalled via some vicious Rick Reilly columns. Reilly also humorously pops Strange for his mishandling of Sunday singles as captain in 2002. *That* Tiger Woods interview is also debated before a closing discussion on his legacy and HOF credentials.
PGA Tour plans to increase field sizes but keep pace of play, Spotlight on Sleepy Sandy
This Wednesday episode begins with news of a PGA Tour memo to players indicating that they should still plan to be back in action at Colonial in mid May. The memo also, per reports, outlined details of field increases and more opposite field events to maximize playing opportunities when the season resumes. The new pace of play policy, however, is pushed off to next year and this, along with a deluded memo that the Tour may resume in mid May, has us aghast. What also has us aghast is a Valero Texas Open all-time power rankings that put Charley Hoffman No. 1 ahead of Palmer, Snead, and others based on … all-time earnings. Then we get to our SGS Spotlight of the day, focusing on Woosie’s nearby boyhood rival, Sandy Lyle. This is a fun deep dive into Lyle’s upbringing, his hyped amateur days, his peak run at the top of the Order of Merit, and his quick-strike efficiency picking up two majors and a Players in an otherwise underwhelming record at those “big events.” A career intertwined with Nick Faldo is closely examined from their earliest days to their distinctly different personalities to their rise as two British legends. The quirks of the ‘85 Open and the improbability of the ‘88 Masters are discussed, as well as the circus atmosphere of his ‘87 Players. Some fun stories about his propensity for skipping range warm-ups, the late-career tiff with Monty over a Ryder Cup captaincy, and once drinking four glasses of wine before unexpectedly making a playoff are also among this reliving of the Lyle legend
Phil v. Tiger match rumors, SGS Spotlight on the Wee Welshman Ian Woosnam
A delayed Monday episode begins with Phil Mickelson’s tease that he’s working on a potential The Match-type event with Tiger Woods. This gives us occasion to pass along a tasty and completely unverified rumor we heard over the weekend about such an event. We also discuss further scheduling changes with a potential six-month lockdown in the UK impacting The Open, a new Olympics date for 2021, and reports of the U.S. Open being postponed. There’s also a brief interlude of optimism for better days when we are out of this. The second half of the episode is a deep dive into the fast life, amazing upbringing, and legendary career of Ian Woosnam, aka The Wee Welshman aka Boozy Woosie. We hit on his childhood growing up the son of a farmer and how working on the farm gave him the strength that eventually made him an absolute masher of the golf ball at a diminutive height. There are fun stories about working his way up on the Safari Tour, living in a van, and riding on handlebars of a bike to make his tee time. His Masters win is given a full account, including his back-and-forth with the Augusta fans rooting against him. His Ryder Cup heroics and celebrations are praised, and his captaincy -- called “the most pathetic” captaincy by one snubbed player -- is reviewed. We also discuss his partying ways and his run-ins with the law before assessing his legacy and hall-of-fame credentials.
Sunny Abacoa’s moment, Brandel-PGA tiff, and SGS Spotlight on Vijay Singh
This Friday episode begins with an appreciation of the great Sunny “Abacoa” Kim getting the stage he deserves after his MLGT win with the rest of the golf world on hiatus. Then we briefly discuss the PGA of America’s anger at Brandel Chamblee over comments that teaching has been “b**** slapped” back to reality. Our SGS Spotlight segment focuses on the great Vijay Singh. This is a lengthy one worthy of the career of the Fijian. We relive his outrageous peak years and climb to world No. 1 in the middle of the Tiger era. We discuss his three major championships, including a Masters that almost feels overlooked. His sui generis path to the game is given a full account, such as the spartan circumstances of learning to play in Fiji as the son of an airport technician. The controversies of his career are also discussed in depth, including the 1985 cheating scandal that followed him his entire career, his sexist comments about Annika Sorenstam’s exemption into Colonial, the Augusta locker room confrontation with Phil, and his general prickly demeanor with the press and fans. We close with some anecdotes about his work ethic, the admiration he engenders from the pros on the range, and his legacy.
Olympics canceled but Rosey has a watch, Sean Martin joins for David Duval spotlight
This Wednesday episode disposes of some brief news before a lengthy dive into the life and career of David Duval with special guest Sean Martin, Senior Editor at PGA Tour dot com. The brief news is an Olympics postponement and Justin Rose using the occasion to show off his fancy watch on social media. Then we get to our SGS Spotlight subject: David Duval. Sean joins us to discuss this turn-of-the-century legend but quickly becomes an observer to an unexpected back-and-forth on O’Meara vs. Duval. We pore over Duval’s career with a fine-tooth comb, from his amateur days to his Nike Tour success to his legendary four-year run that put him at No. 1 in the world. Some stats from his 59 at the Bob Hope, his close calls at Augusta, his Players, and his Open are given the treatment. We discuss the sudden and precipitous fall after that Open win and potential comps in pro golf history (and present). Then we read from and marvel at some of the details of his personal story and tragedy, much of which was captured in an all-time profile from the great Gary Smith, a piece of writing that had us tearing up at times during research.
The commish works for free, TV programming wishes, and Mark O’Meara Spotlight
A Monday episode begins with news that PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan will forfeit his salary as golf is suspended. We briefly discuss this and also some of the numbers of positive tests coming out of Florida about 10 days after The Players went on at TPC Sawgrass. One person reportedly likely positive for Covid-19 is Pete Cowen, world-renowned coach who was on the range at TPC Sawgrass and undoubtedly interacting with a number of players and staff. We also hit on the uncertain future of the Olympics despite organizers saying it’s not postponed or canceled yet. The new USGA rules adjusted for the new realities of playing golf are also mentioned before we transition to some angst about the lack of classic programming during these golf-less days. The SGS Spotlight for this episode focuses on Mark O’Meara. We highlight his U.S. Amateur win as an underdog, his penchant for winning “B” events, his Tiger friendship that went south, and his amazing late career run at the majors in 1998. Some amusing anecdotes about Johnny Miller playing at Cypress in the Bing Crosby, ‘98 Open runner-up Brian Watts losing it on the Japan Tour, and the Mark-it-Nearer nickname are also included.
MLGT Betting, Sasquatch Flashback, and the legend of Halimony Sutton
This Friday episode begins with a reader submission on how a relatively middling player could use this layoff to then make a #brandactivation splash when golf does resume. Then we discuss the fact there are now odds for our beloved Minor League Golf Tour and the potential for fixing down on that Tour. We discuss the current range of golf course operations and adjustments across the country, from outright closures to pared down staffs, and what we think maybe should be the appropriate solution. A truncated Flashback segment focuses on K.J. Choi’s Tampa win wielding a Sasquatch just a week after he put the quadrilateral driver in the bag. Our SGS Spotlight features focuses on Hal Sutton, aka Halimony aka The Bear Apparent aka Prince Hal aka Popeye Arms. We hit on Hal’s outrageous run as an amateur out of Shreveport, his amazing success in his first two years as a pro, his game falling off a cliff in his prime for “many reasons,” and the resurgence at the turn of the century, including his staredown of 2000 Tiger Woods at the Players. We also hit on, uh, his propensity for marriages (failed ones), his off-the-course cash haul and spending habits, and his Ryder Cup dustup with Phil Mickelson. It’s a long one with many entertaining quotes and excerpts from a sui generis career.
Postponements, cancellations, new schedule possibilities, and “The Bulldog”
We begin this Wednesday episode with an update from our social distancing lives before proceeding to the major wave of upcoming schedule cancellations and changes. We discuss the PGA’s postponement, the report of a Ryder Cup move to 2021, and the likelihood of a U.S. Open happening on time. We ponder who is taking the biggest hit in all of this and the many concessions the PGA Tour has and will have to make. Some new schedule proposals and ideas based on the many rumors and reports are discussed, from a new Masters date to a new PGA date and why it might then make sense for the Ryder Cup to bail on 2020. Some Bears and Browns free agency talk sneaks its way in as well. On the occasion of Bobby Jones’ birthday, we present one listener’s argument for why he is the one true GOAT. Then, in our second installment of SGS Spotlight, Corey Pavin’s career is put under consideration. We discuss his slap hitter ways, media constantly talking about his height, the ‘95 U.S. Open win in brutal conditions, and a hilarious Rick Reilly description of Pavin and that win. On the Ryder Cup disasters of 2010, we hit on the rain suit malfunction, Lisa Pavin as “The Captainess,” a blow-up fight with Jim Gray, and the conspiracy theory that Pavin stacked his captain’s picks with born-again Christians as a convert himself. We contemplate his legacy and wonder whether he is “Boomer Rickie” and should be left out of our hypothetical Hall of Fame.
Masters postponed, PGL popped, and the life and times of Monty
This Monday episode will be the first of many with no golf results to discuss or recap. So first, we begin by revisiting the conclusion of The Players, reviewing Jay Monahan’s last press conference of the week, and pushing back on some of the apologia touting how they made the “right” decision when in fact it was the only decision after a series of wrong ones. The Masters postponement and the new CDC recommendations leaves us wondering if this will be an entirely lost year. What would a fall Masters look like and what are the options? The Premier Golf League’s chances of getting off the ground took on another blow Sunday with Brooks Koepka coming out against it with some cogent remarks on the foundations and guts of the PGA Tour, before Jon Rahm then also joined him later in the night. We conclude with a lengthy new segment called the SGS Spotlight, in which we will pick an era and drill down on a handful of marquee names and characters from that era. First up is the OWGR era and Colin Montgomerie. We spend probably too much time reviewing Monty’s body of work, from the dominance on the European Tour, some majors he thought he’d won, his marital troubles, his troubles with American fans, and the Jakartagate incident that led to a feud with fellow Scot Sandy Lyle. We close with some discussion of the brutal missed opportunity at Winged Foot that has become overshadowed by Phil Mickelson’s choke job, and debate Monty’s legacy in the game.
The Gold Cancellation, Monahan’s moment, and Mudball Madness
We recorded this episode prior to news of the Players Championship cancellation, so there’s a 7-minute addendum at the front of it talking about the final decision to pull the plug on the remaining three rounds. The rest of it still stands and applies regardless of the Tour reaching that final decision, and the rest of it covers their obstinance all week from refusing to pass on the media tour with markets in freefall to being one of the last sports on the island to cancel events. The decision to have fans on Thursday is also panned in the week of Ponte Vedra feet dragging. There is a certain level of empathy expressed for the truly crap hand they were dealt, but it’s the process of how they played that hand is why the Tour showed some ways in which its come unmoored. A short discussion on the actual golf on Thursday focuses on Hideki’s course record round, how in the world they didn’t get done before darkness, the bunker cam impediment, and how a relatively dry few weeks produced a round rife with mudballs. Flashback Friday hones in on a Players and Sawgrass record that may never be matched as well as some colorful writing about Fuzzy Zoeller.
The Carson Daly Invitational, TV deal rollout disaster, Andy’s TV reporter debut
Finally, major championship season has arrived. This Wednesday episode will be a rollercoaster of a preview without much nuts-and-bolts preview-y discussion. We start with Andy’s big debut as a walking reporter for a broadcast and some of the technical difficulties of his maiden voyage. Also, did a mistake he made on the first tee impact a play?! Then we get to Jay Monahan’s rough media tour to announce his new rights deal on Monday morning and the tough spot he never should have been in on live TV. The Tour’s initial response to coronavirus is also reviewed. A new sponsor read somehow leads to a panning of the latest Scott McCarron anchoring footage. We make one-and-done picks and also lament the reported soft conditions this week that will be a changeup from the prior two legs of the Florida swing. What’s the best grass for demonstrating short game skill and, setting aside the marketing, do we actually love the golf product of The Players? Why will Carson be there again on Wednesday? Lots of questions before Rory and Brandel’s comments on the PGL are discussed and a closing with a Masters fact of the day on Augusta National’s original 19th hole.
Bay Hill beatdown, Hatton hangs on, Brooks stinks, and Gold Standard groups
This Monday episode begins with a discussion on the Florida swing brutalizing the best players in the world over the last two weeks. It got even harder over the weekend at Bay Hill, and we discuss some of the eye-opening numbers as well as our opinions on if it’s been a fun product to watch. We praise the flammable Tyrrell Hatton and express our surprise that he was able to keep it together on a tough scoring day, and Andy ponders if he’s better than Thomas Fleetwood. Some concern is shown for Brooksy’s newfound love for rigorous practice habits, as well as the “golf bender” he’s currently on with the schedule. The return of the Masters Fact of the Day (thanks to @BamaBearcat) focuses on the quirky necktie proclivities of Clifford Roberts. Andy tells us why he’s in Bandon and what might be coming this week as a result. Jorge Campillo and Ernie Els get their time as winners on the Euro and Champions tours before a transition to some Players matters. Did NBC and the Tour disrespect Mr. Palmer with coverage of featured groups for next week and live shots of an empty 17th hole? Is Tiger taking a pass proof of a concerning injury? Why is Jordan Spieth in a featured group? We run through all the featured groups to close it out before a full-on TOUR assault from PVB the rest of the week.
Honma’s respect for Arnie, The Every-man, and PGA Tour University curriculum
Out of respect for Arnold’s event this weekend, there will be no official comment or notes for this Friday episode.
DJ’s out on Olympics, Holes in one are overrated, Bryson’s shaft con
This Wednesday episode begins with the schedule for the week and a discussion on the evolution of Bay Hill. But first, an Andy digression on how the hole-in-one is now overrated. We discuss how Bay Hill stands out on the Tour schedule as a long-iron test and Arnold’s affinity for the place, as well as putting home sites around the holes. Francesco Molinari’s tailspin is spotlighted since his win at API last year. The PGL featured group of Reed, Bryson, and Phil segues into a tidbit Andy got about the long con Bryson was playing with his comment about figuring out how shafts work. Rickie’s uniform scripting activation-happy ways are discussed. Brendan complains about the spelling of Tucson while Andy rants about how people pronounce “catch.” On the European Tour, we discuss the Education City GC where the Qatar Masters is being held and on the Champions Tour, we make a plea for Bo Hoag to get an exemption into the Hoag Classic. News focuses on DJ taking a pass on Tokyo and the crazy new gauntlet of a schedule next year with the Honda Classic moving after The Players, featuring a tip about a potential venue change coming for the Honda.
Sungjae takes dead aim, Azinger hates Europe, Bernie Anchor wins dump-in-a-box
This is March. It’s a new month and our first episode of the month goes into the Sunday shenanigans at the Honda Classic. We praise the extremely aggressive approach of Sungjae Im that paid off at a PGA National that did not yield many mid-60s rounds. Im continues his climb up the world rankings and will almost certainly be at the Olympics, where he can play his way out of military service. Also from the Honda, we discuss Paul Azinger really twisting the knife on the European Tour and the significance of winning anywhere but the PGA Tour. Mac Hughes’ hard tug left and Tommy Fleetwood’s balloon ball into the drink provide another referendum and disagreement on protracer. The logic of the Bear Trap name is questioned by Brendan while Andy is apoplectic about someone on TV calling it “the best three-hole stretch in all of golf.” Ads with an anthropomorphic Cologuard box provide a natural segue into Bernhard Langer’s win in Tucson. Are we fully appreciating what he’s done in a Champions Tour career that’s longer than most would dream of on any Tour? In news, we discuss the USGA’s new brand campaign for the U.S. Open as well as David Feherty not holding back when asked about the “oblivious” Patrick Reed.
Which Tour pros drive Hondas? Fan Philosophies for majors, and the legend of Jarmo
This Friday episode wanders around a bit at the beginning trying to get loose discussing weekend plans, Comcast outages, and the official new Shotgun Start coffee blend from our friends at Bixby Coffee. Eventually, on golf, we discuss Lee Westwood’s opening salvo at the Honda Classic and how it all sets up for the care-free paunchy Englishman. We discuss the PXG mutiny among the #troops, starting with Bill Horschel’s discharge. Then there’s a guessing game on which pros might actually drive a Honda vehicle. In news, we review Martin Sleeps’ comments that the R&A is looking for venues that can accomodate 200k fans, potentially leaving Turnberry and Muirfield out in the cold. We contrast that with news that the USGA has agreed lower ticket availability for Winged Foot after membership concerns about damage to the East Course following 2006. Also in news, we discover and bathe in the navel gazing vanity of this “Greg Norman’s Biggest Fan” contest being run by … Greg Norman. Flashback Friday focuses on Cologuard Monday qualifier Jarmo Sandelin and his wild history of carrying an obscenely long driver, nearly coming to blows with Phil Mickelson over machine-gun mimicry celebrations, cheating accusations against him and at Mark O’ Meara, and playing the villain at the 1999 Ryder Cup. A second Flashback for this leap-year weekend hits on Camilo Villegas’ 2010 Honda win and what has happened to “spiderman” since that title.
The Swamp classic, Dump-in-a-Box classic, and Muscat classic
It’s Swamp Week on the PGA Tour and we dive right in on this Wednesday episode. We begin with some earnest discussion of PGA National and how you can’t fake it around the hazardous bear-infested layout. Then we transition to a less-serious discussion on the mid-life-crisis party scene both at the course and around town the week of the Honda. We lament the weakening of the field as the Honda fights for room on a crowded, “elevated” part of the schedule. Andy then proposes a GoFundMe to get Geronimo out to every event to become a season-long storyline (and maybe slowly drive JT mad). The Cologuard Classic is given a full account, with news of each player getting a free box kit in his locker as well as a tip about continued anchored putting strife among not only the players, but also their significant others. News focuses on Pat Reed’s Mother-in-Law’s Facebook activity and the quotes, and contradictions, from Brooks Koepka’s GQ profile.
Reed’s revenge, Geronimo’s lament, and PGL comes out of the shadows
We get back to our roots in this episode with an opening admission of some significant Sunday night worse for the wear status. An SGS host may not be the only one down on Monday, as we express empathy for our new friend Geronimo after a tough Sunday for Justin Thomas. We also consider the truth of the statement that they have a “great relationship,” as well as another one from the broadcast that Paul Casey is popular in Mexico City. In more relevant matters, we then praise the beauty of watching Patrick Reed actually hit golf shots while scoffing at all the other attendant BS. Andy makes the point that his game will always position him as an overachiever of sorts. Is Reed good for the PGA Tour and should they just embrace having a villain? Is he truly setting an example for the kids, as he noted in his press conference? We also put a pin in the Bryson science narrative balloon, which was fully inflated all weekend. In Puerto Rico, we praise Viktor Hovland’s work but worry that his career may now be over given the curse. News focuses on Tiger and several other stars skipping Honda as well as the PGL CEO coming out of the shadows. Was this WGC just a tease of how much better the product could be on this proposed PGL?
The Mexico-to-Muscat gang, Remembering Ryo-mania, and Rory vs. PGL
A loopy Friday episode begins with a celebration of democracy and the voting process that will put Lee Westwood on the PGA Tour Live feed all day Friday in Mexico. This is interrupted by a rant on every day now having a theme, strategies for handling overenthusiastic co-workers, and a plea to keep track of the times UPS is quickly cropped out of the Westwood feed. On actual golf, we discuss the beauty of Rory’s round and his chase for every golf “slam” known to man, as well as a conspiracy theory about his hat as to why he didn’t play the Olympics. In Puerto Rico, we touch on the Jay McLuen problem and the PR Open Curse that strikes each winner before jumping into a flashback Friday on one of the players down there this week, Ryo Ishikawa. The trip down memory lane focuses on the comparisons to Rory early in last decade and the mania that followed Ryo in his nascent days on Tour. In news, we discuss Peter Kostis lighting the world on fire and Rory coming out against the PGL and the odd rush to pronounce his albeit admirable stance as the death of the concept. A completely rambling final segment then also hits Acushnet’s statement on the distance report, rampant corruption and conflicts in golf media, Scottie Scheffler, and bald Casey Urlacher’s illegal gambling ring with his friends “Sweaters” and “Uncle Mick.”
JupScoop on MJ’s paradise, Rory’s “WGC Slam” chase, and PR Open field delights
Finally, it’s World Golf Championship week. But first, on the occasion of Michael Jordan’s birthday, we provide some amusing details on Grove XXIII, MJ’s own newish club down in South Florida. Back on the WGC Mexico Championship, we dive into the field at Chapultepec this week and discuss some of the names who aren’t there and those who are, including Rory McIlroy and his chase for the venerable WGC Slam. That prompts a trip down memory lane on Tiger Woods and his ridiculous run at this event winning at venues all over the planet. Andy offers a new appreciation for the Mexico City course that admittedly “offends his sensibilities.” The oppo field event in Puerto Rico is then discussed, or more appropriately, a list of the sponsor’s exemptions and alternates is read aloud. We close with a news segment that revels in Brooksy calling out Pat Reed’s sand castle architecture and compare it to the current run of MLB players lambasting the Astros in the absence of real discipline from their league.
The Riviera difference, the CBS problem, and golf All Star weekend ideas
Greetings! And apologies for this delayed Presidents Day edition of the Shotgun Start. We begin with a deep discussion on our favorite Presidents and a plea for podcasting holidays. Then we get to Adam Scott’s impressive Sunday at Riviera and why a course like that promotes a talent like that at the top of the leaderboard. We review Scott’s career and his lament that his natural driving advantage has been stunted. We also address Tiger’s terrible weekend and the no good, very bad Sunday for CBS (as well as our favorite graphic inanity). Andy argues that the PGA Tour is not really concerned with venues because it might take away the spotlight from the players. The Riviera difference and how it amplifies the top talents and an event as a whole is explained. On other Tours, we shout out Inbee Park’s impressive work down under, the lack of starpower on the Champions Tour and how it should maybe fold up shop, and the wounded duck collecting his first OWGR points in two years. We conclude with Andy’s thoughts on attending the All Star Game (and Guy Fieri’s presence), raving about the format in contrast with the Tour Championship and offering up some skills challenges that could be golf’s version of All Star Saturday night.
Brooksy injury alarm, PGL train chugging, and PGA Tour takes the TV reins
Love is not in the air for this Valentine’s Friday edition of the Shotgun Start. The massive movements in the foundations of golf rumbling this week are given a full account, with a few inside bits and some speculating on how things may look in the future. But first we begin with some instant thoughts from Riviera, notably the aesthetic beauty of watching Tiger execute on the front nine and the alarming quotes from Brooks Koepka that his knee may never be 100 percent again. Then we get to the drama portion, focusing first on the Premier Golf League concept, which continues to be a hot topic in LA with all the prominent players on scene. Are the Saudis now hellbent on this happening? Will it all come down to Tiger? Then comes the report that the PGA Tour will now be taking over the production of its broadcast, feeding those assets then to the network for their presentation. Will this be a State Run Media sham or perhaps actually improve the product? And is there a separate larger, long-term play with this change? Lastly, we discuss the rather significant matter (that was largely ignored by golf media) of the world No. 1 player, Rory McIlroy, coming right out and saying he’s all for bifurcation and contrast that with Bryson’s thoughts on the issue. We close with a Flashback Friday segment that leads us into a potentially unanswerable question: Who has had the better career -- Sergio or Adam Scott?
Riv’s No. 1, Tiger on the PGL, and the return of Dick Johnson
The best week on the PGA Tour schedule is here and we spend the first chunk of this Wednesday episode covering all that makes it No. 1. We go into some of the defining characteristics of Riviera, how it could be better, and the “Black Swan” ownership structure that may be limiting its potential. We lament the new “invitational” status and check in on some of the highly rated courier cup players that are on the outside looking in this week. Some one-and-done picks are made in between a long diversion on Craig Hodges and a past NBA All Star weekend scandal. Then we get to Tiger’s press conference, notably his comments on the distance report and an equivocation that certainly does not close the door on his interest in the Premier Golf League concept. In other schedule news, we discuss the LPGA cancelling two more events because of the coronavirus, the nature of a Champions Tour Monday qualifier, and the emergence of a long lost Dick Johnson back on the KFT Tour.
Pebble winds, balloons, Yoshi shells, “Bombs,” and the new Union Green
This freewheeling Monday episode jumps to-and-fro on a variety of topics from an eventful weekend in golf. We begin with Sunday at Pebble Beach, where some firm conditions and high winds created a highly entertaining challenge for the final pairing of Nick Taylor and Phil Mickelson. We get into the teeny greens of Pebble and, setting aside architectural quibbles, praise the chaotic watch it created on Sunday. The 12th hole is also put under the fairness microscope. A Dump in the Cup is awarded to one player who got blown out to sea when he needed the points. We also discuss Jason Day’s balloon therapy getting lots of publicity, his vomitous putting, Larry Fitz’s potential sandbagging, and the backboarding ways of Lawrence the Cable Guy *and* Commissioner Jay Monahan. We then somehow end up on a lengthy diversion ranting about the new Union Green golf ball model. In news, we hit on some of the OWGR movements, including Jordan Spieth sneaking into the next WGC. We wrap with some thoughts about inane rollback arguments and Webb Simpson’s opinion on how to make golf hard again.
Asinine responses to distance report and a David Duval flashback
This Friday episode begins with some quick reactions to early scoring from across the world of golf. This prompts further angst about the fact that there is no Shotlink at the other venues this week as well as a listener submitted take comparing David Duval and Jordan Spieth. On the LPGA and Euro Tours, we get into the joy of a mixed event and call for more on all tours. Then there is a segment on some of the responses to the distance report, ranging from DJ’s lovable indifference, Paul Casey’s real estate quackery, Phil taking the “it’s the athletes not equipment” line, and an unnamed PGA Tour spokesman falling back on the line that the game is more exciting than ever. We react to some of these and give them their proper weight. In news, Bryson’s inclusion on a Top 50 fittest athletes list is covered as well as Phil’s adamant stance that he will not accept a U.S. Open special exemption. We wrap with Flashback Friday that gets into the 2010 Pebble Pro-Am, one of the rare instances when David Duval posted a top 10 after 2001.
‘Break the cycle’ jubilation, the Billy Ho POV, and J-Day’s paradise
The Shotgun Start goes back to its roots for a short and sweet Wednesday episode brought on by Brendan’s lack of a voice. We begin with the news of the day and perhaps the news of the next decade: the USGA and R&A distance report. Andy rejoices in some of the language used in the report and we discuss what it might mean in the instant and in the long term. What does the “local rule” sentence open the door for and where? How messy is this going to get and how long will it take for actions? We discuss how in our lifetimes we’ve perhaps never seen such a moment of tension and potential conflict among governing bodies and leagues, especially with the PGL now on the table. Billy Horschel’s befuddling tweet is also thrown into the discussion. The report gets the lion’s share of the first half of the podcast before the usual business occupies the back half. We hit on the schedule for the week, event of the week, one-and-done picks, and a refresher on why Jason Day just loves the Pebble Pro-Am so much.
Webb buries Finau, GMac back, and the Quigley conundrum
This flu episode begins with some thoughts on the Super Bowl and the halftime show in Miami. Brendan also apologizes for his absence last week, the late release, and his horrible sounding voice. Once on golf matters, the Phoenix Open is given a full review with high marks for Webb and criticism for the modern day Avis man, Tony Finau. How impressive is Webb’s work given where he stands on the driver rankings? Andy also praises the brilliant course conditions that provided a different test for the Tour player. On Saudi Arabia, an edict is issued clarifying the distinction between a “no fans” event and a “soulless” marketing ploy of a tournament. Graeme McDowell’s win is praised and Phil hitting bombs while cozying up with some PGL backers is discussed. Andy also revels in GMac getting a slow play penalty after doing a mid-round interview. Davis Riley is given some run for his win on the KFT, which has a confusing new ad and out right at the moment where it’s buried from TV coverage. Brett Quigley’s Champs Tour win in Morocco illuminates the potential issues for that senior circuit. We wrap with some shout outs for the winner and high finishers of the first month of the first ever SGS pool.
A show about nothing with Shane Bacon
Shane Bacon fills in for a flu-ridden Brendan Porath to talk about the Waste Management, Jordan Spieth, life, and a potential revamping of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The Major Medical Phoenix Open, PGA Tour fights back, and Olympics ennui
This Wednesday episode begins with an appreciation of the Phoenix Open and how it’s worked to build a completely unique identity on a crowded schedule of “regular” PGA Tour events. We lament the copycat attempts and ponder other tournaments that we’d like to see carve out (and bust their ass to build) their own identity that puts in a wider world of sports discussion. Rickie’s specially designed shoes for the WMPO, however, are used to illuminate some of the setbacks of those glomming on to what was an organically built machine. We also marvel at its field being overrun by guys on Major Medical Extensions. Elsewhere around the world of golf, we are *stunned* to hear Sergio now loves the conditioning of the course over in Saudi Arabia. We also wonder who in Morocco demanded more Duffy Waldorf and why a Champions Tour event ended up there this week. We discuss some recent announcements by the PGA Tour about charitable giving benchmarks and Players purse increases and how it ties in with Jay Monahan’s email to Tour members about Saudi money being involved in the proposed Premier Golf League. We end with comments from Brooksy and DJ that imply they’re TBD for the Olympics and we wonder who got to Brooksy after a remark that apparently prioritizes the FedExCup over the Games.
Tiger and the Mamba, Bryson gets timed, and World Tour reactions
We begin this Monday episode with a solemn note on the loss of Kobe Bryant at 41 years old and how the tragedy on Sunday immediately became a part of the much smaller story happening at Torrey Pines. On golf, we discuss Marc Leishman’s win and his admittance to the prestigious Swedish Pancake Club. We also hit on some of the course changes, Tiger’s game, another JB-Grammys scare, Faldo’s stumbles, and Jon Rahm not knowing the score on the 72nd green. Over on the European Tour, we get into Bryson being put on the clock and then immediately tanking on the back nine on Sunday. We also discuss his new beefy Jersey shore boardwalk dweller look. In news, we get to the The Players bumping its purse as Andy intimated it would last week. We sign off with some more discussion on the World Tour, including their press release full of shots at the PGA Tour, and some comments on the concept from Phil, Rory, and others.
A threat to the PGA Tour arises?, Sungjae’s snacks, and PGA Show whimsy
This Friday episode begins by immediately diving into the major scoop from Geoff Shackelford on Thursday night that the concept of a new World Golf Tour is on the table and being taken seriously by star players and the PGA Tour. We discuss the format, why it could work, why it’s needed, and why the PGA Tour could be vulnerable to such a challenger. This atypically serious discussion then transitions into a quick review of the early action at Torrey Pines, including impressive showings from Rory and Spieth, DL3’s TV debut, and an incessant Rahmbo shouter. There’s also a tip about Sungjae Im’s tee box snack choice and a reader question on the lack of Shotlink on the North Course that provokes a rant. On the European Tour, Andy questions the pronunciation of the first name Thomas -- and that’s about it on the action from Dubai. We wrap with some fun and inane products, sights, and sounds from the PGA Show and a discussion on the ethics of range finders, which leads into two amusing stories from our caddie days about getting yardages.
Torrey changes, Tiger changes woods, and PGA Show angst
This Wednesday episode begins with a mix of anticipation and anxiety about some PGA Show travel. Then we get to the schedule for the week, starting with the leaderboard for the Wednesday finish on the KFT Tour. We learn some new things about the life and times of Jared Wolfe and ponder why the PGA Tour can’t seem to provide more coverage and archival footage for their subscription video service. Andy relays a “hunch” about a sizable purse increase coming for The Gold Standard and also gloats about some new Rickie endorsement news that he foretold. The annual stop at Torrey Pines gets a preview, with a startling name making his way onto the ballot for Fan Vote Friday. We run down the possibilities for Tiger’s season, from best to worst to realistic cases and we also rant about having the context of career benchmarks always crowbarred into the narrative every time we watch him. Lastly, we finish with some PGA Show whimsy on five extremely expensive inventions/products at the show targeted towards fixing the intractable problem of getting around a golf course.
Boom times on Westy Island, FIGJAM’s plummet, and never-ending LPGA Playoff
This holiday Monday episode of the Shotgun Start begins with a jubilant Andy shouting about the Packers loss and Lee Westwood’s win. We dissect Westy’s new approach to life and practice, his ball-retrieving putter celebration, his “dry January” likely coming to an end, and his potential lukewarm desires to make a Ryder Cup team. This leads to a semi-serious discussion on all the different approaches to the game and life before a discussion on one approach that does not appear to be working: hitting bombs. We proffer some data that might indicate Phil’s chase to hit nothing but bombs has tanked his chances to win more often, contrasting that with Westy’s contentment. At the LPGA’s Tournament of Champions, we express dismay at the playoff continuing to go to the same hole and the two competitors parring us into darkness. John Smoltz’s self-standing putter is also reviewed. We relay some nuggets on the awesome backstory of the Latin America Am winner and how this 17 year old husky boy from Argentina is exactly what these Am events should be promoting at Masters. Hosung’s dangerous club throw has Andy doubting his commitment to the four-fingered fisherman but Ernie’s arrival on the senior circuit prompts a different, more startling admission. Finally, we wrap with Woody Austin’s bag sponsor and ponder how much that costs.
Brooks comes over the top, the Gainey in the room, and Sabbo Flashback
This Friday episode focuses on the off-course drama that seems to have sucked up all the oxygen in January. During a leaderboard check-in, Brendan and Andy get to Abu Dhabi and discuss the Bryson-Brooks beef that’s boiled again this week. Is Bryson a genius or really just an idiot? Is there a worse person to goad than Brooksy right now? This gets them into a quote from Jordan Spieth that he wouldn’t mind seeing more adversarial rivalries in the game and ideal beef pairings they’d like to see. This is interrupted by news that the PGA Tour threatened Cam Smith with a fine for speaking the truth on Pat Reed. This also dovetails into the alternate universe the Tour tried to create by ignoring Tommy Gainey’s recent indiscretions during a win and week when he was featured prominently and constantly on the broadcast. In other Euro Tour matters, Sergio saying the Saudi event will get to see the “real Sergio” and rumors of two American players boycotting Sky Sports are discussed. Flashback Friday highlights a near-miss at the Bob Hope by the then Boy from South Africa, who alleged a marshal wanted to “play soccer” with his golf ball and that Tiger was “ducking him.”
Bryson frozen out of PAC but not Lab Coat crew and Tour’s slow play ‘enhancements’
This Wednesday episode begins with a lengthy digression on Topgolf and what may or may not be considered proper Topgolf etiquette and behavior. Then Brendan and Andy get to the schedule for the week but not before another disagreement over the Solicitor General being allowed to play and potentially win on the Korn Ferry Tour. The featured groups for the American Express are examined, including a specific quartet of singles hitters. In Abu Dhabi, the dress-up session in lab coats amuses. Bryson DeChambeau’s comments on how slow play times won’t be an issue anymore because of how far he is hitting it is put under the microscope. Also, they discuss the Tour’s Player Advisory Council passing on Bryson despite his lobbying for a third straight year. How would a PAC meeting proceed with Bryson at the table and who from the current group should get the boot? The Tour’s new slow play “enhancements” are compared to the Euro Tour’s more fleshed-out actions. They close with a comparison of the Astros discipline to the punishment of Patrick Reed and then finally some alarming detail about the CT numbers for a new 3-wood.
A “no fans” tipping point, Trinity Forest booted, and Charlie caught on camera
The new week begins with new grist for the “no fans” movement. An interminable end to the Sony Open that included balls rocketing off jumbotrons, generous grandstand drops from horrible hooks, and human richochets brings Brendan aboard Andy’s long-held position that there should be no fans at PGA Tour events. They comb through the circus-like finish at Waialae that included Ryan Palmer failing to hit a provisional, “Steeley” yanking one into the Bernie Zone, and a defiant squeegee crew holding up play on the 18th green. Cam Smith is given his just due as well and they ponder where he might go in what is still a nascent career. Andy also rants about Tommy Two Gloves, now known as the Solicitor General, is playing and leading the KFT event while dope offenders get months-long suspensions. Charl Schwartzel’s move to a “secret society” of golf ball owners is also critiqued. In news, they hit on the disgraceful decision to move the Byron Nelson out of Trinity Forest after this year and close with some thoughts on the creepy video of Charlie Woods’ swing.
Reed and Desist, Waialae winds, and Carson goes to Ponte Vedra
This Friday episode begins with stories from the field. First, a note about a run-in with Ed “The Pool Boy” Fiori, who was made aware of his new fanbase. Second, some intel on the whereabouts of Robert Allenby’s caddie from the infamous night of the “kidnapping.” Then Brendan and Andy get to the Thursday news from an Eamon Lynch article that Patrick Reed and his team had an attorney fire off a Cease and Desist letter to Brandel Chamblee for using the c-word. They discuss how this seems to be a curious PR strategy that puts the controversy top of mind and also wonder about the Tour’s posture in this tiff between one of its members and a rights holder. After a fun Dry January update and nominal ad read, the two hit on a variety of topics from opening day at the Sony Open -- the wind, the leaderboard of misfits, and the Kayak exemption. A news segment begins with reverence for Pete Dye’s reach and impact before pivoting to the scene of perhaps his most famous work, TPC Sawgrass, where Rory and Carson reunited this week.
Allenby Memorial Open, Jay Monahan defends Pat Reed, and 2020 breakout players
This Wednesday episode starts with the schedule for the week, leading to a discussion on the Coetzee brothers, the Hong Kong Open, and love for the Great Exuma Classic and its maniacal setup. The Sony Open gives Brendan and Andy occasion to discuss what they love about this first full-field event of the year, including the course characteristics, setting, and rookie appearances. There’s also a re-living of all the weird things that have happened here, from the Allenby sidewalk assault to the Golf Channel camera strike to the nuclear attack false alarm that had John Peterson jumping for cover in his bathtub (as well as comment on the efficacy of such a protective measure from a missile attack). A lengthy news segment focuses on the PGA Tour Commissioner defending Patrick Reed’s Hero World Challenge actions and saying “I believe Patrick.” This prompts Andy to relay some of the recent David Stern remembrances and contrast the Tour’s handling of the Reed cheating with how Stern might approach it. They also get to Bryson’s 400-yard drives and “secret” wedges as discussed on his Fortnite stream show. Finally, they wrap with some nominees for breakout players for the upcoming year.
A ‘Cheater!’, some ‘Pampered F**ks,’ and a pillow fight in Maui
The new decade is off to a rousing start on the PGA Tour and Brendan and Andy recap the fantastic late night playoff in Maui to get your Monday morning started. They discuss the sometimes underwhelming and nervy play from a star trio of characters vying for the first title of 2020. Who gagged the worst or did no one choke out of Xander, JT, and Pat Reed? The conditions on Maui are praised as are the different shotmaking skills required at this “refined” Kapalua course that produced some truly ugly plays down the stretch. The loud heckle of “Cheater!” during Pat Reed’s putt is discussed as well as the broadcast’s handling of the moment and Reed’s recent shoveling ignominy throughout the weekend. This will seem to be a recurring issue on Tour and the framing from the coverage will be under the microscope. Patrick Cantlay’s mai tai open mic night on Friday is also reviewed but fears of a chilling on the sounds from the course are conveyed. They wrap with some disgust over the benevolent drop given to DJ thanks to the 18th hole grandstands and some concern over Jordan Spieth withdrawing from the Sony.
Is the FedEx “Club” a major? More centerline bunkergate? And 2020 predictions
The new year brings a fresh Friday episode where Brendan and Andy begin by discussing the creative categorization of majors by PXG. Is the FedEx Club a major now? Does it matter if a player was not using your clubs when they won it? These are the big questions asked as the new decade begins with some Shotgun Start red meat from PXG. Then they get to the action in Kapalua, discussing the soft conditions on a newly refreshed Plantation Course. The challenges of playing to different elevations and off uneven lies are praised before they turn to the possibility of some coming drama about another centerline bunker added at a regular PGA Tour stop. Will this be another litmus test for how much the members can be catered to in this member-run organization? Some brief 2020 predictions are made for the majors as well as potential hotspots and controversies. The episode wraps with a fun Flashback Friday on Danny Chops’ Kapalua win and the incomprehensible fact of someone winning Comeback Player of the Year in *consecutive* years.
Kapalua preview and 2019 Year in Review: Part VI
With the New Year’s holiday falling on Wednesday, the mid-week Shotgun Start arrives on Tuesday morning. In this episode, Brendan and Andy preview the Tournament of Champions starting the calendar year on the PGA Tour. They discuss what makes Kapalua stand out as a course on the schedule, the depleted 2020 field, and make some one-and-done picks to start of the year. Then they get to the final installment of the 2019 Year in Review, covering Shane Lowry’s win at Portrush, JB and Rory’s Open disasters, the illegal driver scandal, Bryson’s slow-play meltdown at Northern Trust, and the Net Tour Championship in Atlanta.
The 2019 Year in Review: Part V
The year-in-review rolls on but not before Brendan and Andy discuss the closing of bitterly disappointing seasons for the Bears and Browns, who did not give Freddie Crockpot the time to make his meal. Then they move to the news of a relatively weak field at Kapalua and Bryson DeChambeau’s pick if given one choice to build a golf course. This leads to some brainstorming on what might be some of Bryson’s golf course architecture preferences should he go into the business. Then the arduous Year-In-Review march continues, hitting on Brooksy’s sleepy week in Hartford, “Area 313” in Detroit, and Bryson’s mind being blown by sticky note science in Minnesota. What was supposed to be the final part to this year-in-review exercise is cut short, however, as Brendan, who is parenting solo, has to tend to constantly interrupting children.
The 2019 Year in Review: Part IV
A post-Christmas Friday edition of the Shotgun Start begins with some brief stories about holiday worse-for-the-wear woe. Andy also relays some #JupScoop on a rumor about the funhouse conditioning tactics of the PGA Tour for the Presidents Cup. Then an ad read for Journeyman turns into a discussion about DVD vending machines before they get to Part IV of the comprehensive, even exhaustive, year in review. This section starts the week after the Masters at the Heritage and runs through the U.S. Open. at Pebble Beach. They discuss the walkup music at Zurich, the brilliance of Brooksy and his near chokejob at Bethpage, the “Power Hour,” Matt Kuchar’s double ballmark, Bryson’s slow play angst, the intrusive Pebble Beach blimp, and much more from the national championship.
The 2019 Year in Review: Part III
This Monday episode picks up with more Year in Review discussion and goes deep on the historic Masters. But first, in news, Brendan and Andy hit on Adam Scott’s Aussie PGA win, Fred Couples’ disclosure that Tiger was not healthy enough to play Saturday at Prez Cup, and the 12 new names going to the 2020 Masters via the year’s final OWGR ranking. The Year-in-Review portion of the episode hits on Justine Reed bringing in David Leadbetter, a wild week of Kuch-Sergio drama at the Match Play, the legendary underdog Bjerregaard story, and Tony Romo’s DR adventures. Then they get to the Masters, where they re-live some of the amusing pre-Tournament storylines, Bryson figuring out how shafts really work, and the outrageous Friday of content from the slide tackle to ZJ’s false start to Kiradech’s tumble to the balloons. It concludes with some of the best moments of Tiger’s final round.
The 2019 Year in Review: Part II
This Friday episode begins with Andy calling in from an Uber, where, interestingly enough, the rider has a lower rating than the driver. Brendan and Andy quickly discuss the TaylorMade Christmas card and one notable omission from the Year in Review opener before getting to the second part of this Bryson-paced exercise. Part II picks up at Riviera, where Matt Kuchar put his foot in his mouth and quickly backtracked and J.B. Holmes became the subject a pitchfork mob. This part also includes the eventful Honda Classic, where the war over the new rules peaked, as well as the season’s “first major,” The Players. The start of the “season of championships” is remembered for Rory’s big win, oddball rules infractions, marketing word salad, and a true triumph of democracy in action. The episode wraps with an amusing story about an encounter with a PGA Tour executive at the Masters after the Fan Vote Friday coup at TPC Sawgrass.
The 2019 Year in Review: Part I
This Wednesday episode begins with some brief news on the engagement of Vegas Dave and Holly Sonders, and then quickly addresses the massive new media rights deal for the PGA Tour. Then Brendan and Andy turn to the second annual Shotgun Start year in review, which begins with a pace somewhere between Bryson and J.B. levels. It’s a comprehensive approach that will jog your memory on the some of the controversies and forgotten inanities that made this year so fun. It starts in Maui with Bryson short circuiting over how to take a knee-high drop and also putting with the pin in with great initial results. Rules furor, tipping scandals, Davis on Dru, Rickie overcoming adversity, and Phil wanting to play deep into the darkness at Pebble are some highlights of Part I but come for the smaller, forgotten side dishes with those main courses.
The Reed family problem, a Tiger masterpiece, and Big Ern throws down the gauntlet
A glorious Monday morning edition of the Shotgun Start opens exactly how you would expect: with a discussion on the QBE Shootout and the possibility of Gainz Tway also taking up Slovak citizenship. Then Brendan and Andy shift to more prominent matters and run through what they loved and what irritated them from an outrageously eventful Presidents Cup. They discuss Ernie Els’ closing comments that the International side needs to get away from the PGA Tour and have its own oversight. They hit on Tiger’s masterful work on a Royal Melbourne course that shined in primetime. The endlessly amusing week of Bryson DeChambeau is dissected. Pat Reed’s disgraceful week is covered, including his golf, his cheating, his unscrupulous in-laws, and his future on these team events. The hypothetical of whether Andy would boot Mitch Trubisky or Pat Reed from his life first is proposed. Justin Thomas’ antics, Haotong Li’s ambivalence, and Matt Kuchar’s big moment are also covered, among other inanities.
The shovel show, Royal Melbourne shines, and Bryson’s day off
Brendan returns from a lengthy paternity stint to talk the antics of Patrick “The Shovel” Reed. He’s met with a Bixby-fueled Andy who is over the moon with Royal Melbourne. They first take on the continued Reed fiasco, who added fuel to a story that his teammates all vouched was “in the past.” They relay some details and the chants from the alleged Aussie provokers of the Shovel mimicry, who also happen to be listeners. Then they get into the exquisite show that is Tiger Woods taking on Royal Melbourne, praising both Tiger’s play and the test that brings out his superior talent. Andy describes just what makes watching the best play this course so fun and how the Internationals appear to be out-strategizing and out-smarting the U.S. side with their approach to RM. They wrap with some thoughts on the pairings for Saturday morning’s session, which leaves Bryson on the bench again. This leads to a pondering of just what he did during his time off on day 2 before a final sign-off with predictions for what’s to come this weekend.
Bryson’s Waist Gain, Royal Melbourne, the Shark Shootout and pick up basketball players
Fox Sports Shane Bacon fills in for usual co-host Brendan Porath, who is out on paternity leave. The format goes off the rails quickly, as Shane and Andy go down a caddying rabbit hole. The two then talk the design of Royal Melbourne, and Shane shares his impressions of the course from his round a few years back. After Shane nails the trivia question, Andy presents a deep dive into the 1998 President’s Cup, centering on none other than International captain’s pick Greg Turner. Shane and Andy run through news, which includes the continued fallout from the Reed cheating scandal and Bryson’s expanding waist. The two then discuss what they’d like to see change at the Presidents Cup from a format and identity standpoint, and close with some pickup basketball talk.
A Gentleman and a Cheater, Prez Cup trash talk, the Father-Son purse
This episode of the Shotgun Start goes off the usual path for a Monday, pushing results from the weekend to the end to take on the subject of Patrick Reed’s Bahamian excavation. Brendan and Andy first replay the act from Friday’s round at the Hero World Challenge, focusing on Reed’s apparent history of doing this. The punishment for the action is then addressed and both wonder about the slippery slope of a measly two-shot penalty and some public shaming as the only reckoning for such flagrant cheating. Andy proposes a much stronger penalty lasting out in to the 2020 season. Then the responses from various parties are dissected, from Reed himself to Slugger White covering for his “gentlemanly” character to the American Presidents Cup team reportedly acting like it didn’t happen on a plane ride to some Aussies using the “c word” and clamoring for the International fans to give it to Reed this week. After the lengthy Reed discussion, they get to a segment on results, which includes a breakthrough win on the Minor League Golf Tour and a rant about the purse of the PNC Father Son Challenge.
A beef tip, useless Hero stats, and the All Decade Team with Sean Martin
This Friday edition of the Shotgun Start begins with story time as Brendan relays an amusing and “beefy” tip sent in about Bryson DeChambeau’s ongoing “Bulking Season.” There’s also some unsettling discussion about the contents of chocolate milk. Then Brendan and Andy run through some notes from the early rounds at the Hero, including Tiger’s nicknames, Pat Reed’s mysterious new clubs, and quite possibly the most useless stat ever promoted. Then they are joined by Sean Martin, Senior Editor at PGATour.com, for the third and FINAL part of the Decade in Review. This part focuses on the recent majors this year with some forgotten and entertaining odds and ends, the much-discussed “All Decade” Teams, which include a ridiculous Skip Bayless-type contrarian snub, and a few other categories like the “All Avis” team.
Bryson loves “gymnast influencers,” Lefty in the Kingdom, Decade in Review Part 2
The content cup runneth over for this Wednesday episode, which begins with the schedule for the week around the world of golf. This tests the geography knowledge of both Brendan and Andy with events spotlighted from the Bahamas to Australia to Mauritius to Kenya. They highlight the tee times at the Hero and how Tiger gets to basically put on a week of Presidents Cup prep and still somehow hand out OWGR points for it. News covers the latest utterances from the overcomplicated mind of Bryson DeChambeau and whether a workout can ever just be a workout in his head. Phil Mickelson’s decision to take the money and run to Saudi Arabia is also panned. The continued shakeup of the CBS golf team is discussed and the lineup for the PNC Father Son is briefly reviewed before transitioning to part II of the Decade in Review with PGA Tour Senior Editor Sean Martin. This section focuses on the back half of the decade, some amateur golf, the “season of the decade,” and the post-major funk trend.
Decade in review with Sean Martin, Shoeless Pablo and no balloons down under
Andy and Brendan return after a long holiday break and jump right into Pablo Larrazabal limping to a win at Leopard Creek. Then they quickly pivot to some news from the long break, most notably Jason Day’s withdrawal from the Presidents Cup because of a back injury. They review Day’s injury history and marvel at the sweeping reaction this latest WD provoked over the weekend. Then they get to a “Decade in Review” discussion with PGA Tour.com ace Sean Martin. But as per Shotgun Start custom, things run much longer than intended in this free-flowing review so it will be broken up into *at least* two parts. Come listen and reminisce about the first half of the decade at the majors, the Players, and the FedExCup standings in this episode.
Hippos, Leopards, and the 2019 Fall Awards
This special Thanksgiving Jr. edition begins with a quick discussion of Thanksgiving traditions, drinks, and overrated dishes. Then there’s a rundown of the light schedule for the week, which permits a spotlight on Leopard Creek CC, the Gary Player island-green-happy design, and the European Tour’s Dunhill Championship. Brendan and Andy discuss the venue, the nearby wildlife refuge, and which animal they’d most like to be “reborn” as if given the option. The LET’s event in Spain also prompts a discussion of the newly announced LET-LPGA merger. Then the balance of the episode is spent listing some nominees and crowning some winners for the first ever SGS Fall Awards, featuring categories such as best event, worst shot, Mr. October, best and/or dumbest quote, juiciest controversy, signature LUP moment, and best reason to get worse for the wear. Happy Thanksgiving from Andy and Brendan, who are very thankful for the Shotgun Start listeners.
Thumbs up in Dubai, Kim’s $1.5M putt, and Sea Island runs on Duncan
A worse for the wear Victory Monday recording of the Shotgun Start bounces around the world of golf from the weekend, while also discussing best man speeches, football, and apple varietals. There is no crying over #ToddWatch having to be put in the garage for a few months. Jon Rahm’s Race to Dubai title in the Middle East leads to a discussion on his future and his already outrageous clip of contention. Andy explains his skill buckets theory that Rahm fulfills and predicts he’ll win the Masters. On the LPGA, Sei Young Kim’s win in Naples is praised as the event of the day in a week that was full of positive PR for that tour. The Journeyman of the Day is Tyler Duncan, aka the least interesting man in the world, who took down Webb Simpson in Sea Island. Duncan’s past Indiana prep golf exploits are highlighted as well as his mundane special interests. In news, they excoriate the new branded “hole in one” that the PGA Tour is now pushing and Greg Norman’s Cybertruck purchase.
The Rory Paradox, Rick’s the Pick, and a Two-Gloved Flashback
This revelrous Friday episode begins with an appreciation for the early leaderboards across the globe from the LPGA to Dubai to Georgia. The RSM Classic is a cornucopia of Shotgun Start favorites and Brendan and Andy run through some of the regulars as well as update low and “high Davis” on the leaderboard. Over in Dubai, they praise Frenchman Mike and discuss Rory’s outrageous shot and opening round. This leads to a lengthy discussion about the high bar for measuring Rory success and whether anything he does at a non-major makes an impression. The life and times of Troy Merritt are celebrated in the “Journeyman of the Day” segment, where they read from an article that characterized Merritt as dangerous at the Masters and also a human highlight reel (his new nickname). News hits on Rickie filling in for Brooksy at the Presidents Cup and comes with less criticism than you might expect. Flashback Friday is an homage to Tommy Gainey, the 2012 winner at Sea Island. It features a reminiscence of his final round 60 and a reading of his story insulating water heaters for $9 per hour while trying to make it on mini tours.
Davises as far as the eye can see, winner-take-all LPGA final, and the Todd Era dawns
This Wednesday episode begins with another celebration of Brendon Todd, a Shotgun Start favorite son that was never doubted. Todd’s Masters odds are discussed as well as the unexpected debate about whether he should replace Brooks Koepka on the Presidents Cup team if BK were to WD. Then they get to the schedule for the week, where we marvel at the abundance of Davises (Davi?) in the field at the RSM Classic. The new format for the LPGA’s season-ending Tour Championship is praised and argued as a possible model for the FedExCup. There’s also an amusing story from inside some winter meetings at the PGA Tour, where every dish gets a name. An exciting new sponsor leads to a new segment and perhaps the longest ad read in the history of podcasts. The episode wraps with a discussion on the Race to Dubai and some praise for Brandon Matthews’ incredible grace under tough circumstances.
Monday #ToddWatch, Fleetwood as the British Rickie, and idiocy of the 1 ball rule
This Monday morning episode is full of anticipation about the possibilities of Brendon Todd going back-to-back on the PGA Tour. Brendan and Andy discuss the Mayakoba leaderboard with a few holes left to go on Monday morning. They also discuss Vaughn Taylor’s sweaty hat, why Mich Ultra would choose him to sponsor, the alcohol content of Mich Ultra, Zach Johnson playing ahead, Matt Kuchar’s bar tab for making an ace, and Brian Gay’s new car for doing the same. Andy is also extremely disappointed in the fan turnout, which prompts a conspiracy theory about crisis actors being shipped in and a Potemkin Village constructed for the Golf Channel cameras. Over on the European Tour, they discuss Tommy Fleetwood’s win at the Nedbank and the many close calls he’s had without a win over the last two years. Is he the British Rickie? The Assistant Pro National Championship also gets a shout out before a segment on some of the luckiest breaks from this weekend. News wraps with Russell Henley self-reporting his violation of the one-ball rule and some ranting on the merits of the rule.
The Kidney Stone King and Billy Playfair’s self-contradictions
It’s Friday! This recording came prior to an angsty, brown-sauce fueled Thursday Night Football viewing. Andy and Brendan begin with a celebration of all that happened in the opening round at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. They start with hailing the Mattress King, Louis Oosthuizen, and his heroic effort posting an opening round 63 to lead while battling kidney stones. There’s also much rejoicing over Lee Westwood’s and Ernie Els’s prominent spots on the leaderboard. They also ponder if the Mayakoba Classic is now under the curse of El Tucan given the torrential rains that have soaked the course all week. Then they get into a thorough review of the sketchy Billy Mayfair DQ from two weeks ago with some new delightful details (including that he’s on his second wife named Tammy/Tami) reported by Michael Bamberger. There are many self-contradictions from Playfair, including an old video they play for a truly “gotcha” moment. Flashback Friday focuses on a former Mayakoba winner’s much more noble run-in with a rules controversy. A news segment addresses Abe Ancer’s “calling out” of Tiger, Ian Poulter as a hat etiquette nazi, Sergio’s gender reveal, and Jason Day announcing he has multiple trainers on a “team” that has to be ballooning in size.
Fan-less south of the border, the design of Gary Player CC, and the purse suit
This Wednesday episode previews one of Andy’s favorite weeks on Tour, the event with no fans, the Mayakoba Classic. Brendan and Andy have a more-extensive-than-is-warranted conversation on the annual fall event in Mexico, reliving the glory of some past random champions, debating the course design, and receiving an education on mangroves. A short diversion on Aaron Wise and Joaquin Niemann leads to a larger discussion about the skills needed to jump up a level on Tour. On the European Tour, the Nedbank Challenge is previewed mostly with a dive into the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City. They also discuss the accompanying Lost City design with the famed “Crocodile Hole” and green in the shape of the African continent. With the year winding down, there’s a look at the OWGR Top 50 and the bubble boys who could claim a Masters spot, and some names prompt pondering about driver testing machines on every tee at Augusta. In news, they discuss the Chainsmokers playing a concert at The Players and an OWGR stat that illuminates the greatness and consistency of Rory McIlroy. They wrap with some fun about the lawsuit at Alpine CC over a waiter spilling wine on a $30,000 purse, recalling some of the more stupidly expensive purchases they made in their past.
Anchors aweigh at the Chuck Cup, Hosung rising, Pepp’s Tin Cup moment
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend ready to discuss some senior circuit golf, notably Jeff Maggert’s hole out to beat the Goose in Phoenix and also deliver Ron Burgundy the overall Schwab Cup title. Was this an appropriate way to award a season-long title? The crowded European Tour playoff in Turkey is also reviewed as a bit of a pillow fight, despite some clickbaity headlines to the contrary. There is praise for Hosung Choi’s big win in Japan as well as his decision to wear the exact same clothes all weekend. A late breaking tweet that reveals the World Golf Hall of Fame counts The Players as a major win sends Andy into a spiral of incredulity and rage. In news, they hit on Eddie Pepperell running out of balls, JT’s underwhelming picks on Gameday, and Rickie’s intestinal dsi from his honeymoon. They sign off with a great Michael Jordan story from a Jeremy Roenick radio appearance over the weekend.
*DING* Tiger Woods has joined the conference call
This Friday episode begins with some immediate reactions to the televised conference call from The Woods Jupiter on Thursday night. Brendan and Andy discuss the restaurant scene and the conference call choppiness from the entire production, which left them delightfully entertained. Who forgot to mute their phone? Who came on late and needed info repeated? Who went MIA in the middle of the call? These were all relatable office space problems that we got to watch on national television while plates carrying mozzarella sticks clattered nearby. They come up with a few suggestions for spicing up the Presidents Cup and also get into the actual substance of the picks. Did anyone get snubbed or was this an actual sign of progress in these team processes? There is also a lengthy check-in on some notable names and storylines at KFT Q-school before wrapping up with a Flashback Friday to a Schwab Cup Championship from a bygone era.
A Senior Tour scheduling conspiracy, Prez Cup picks, and Rory’s course setup thoughts
The PGA Tour is off this week but the Shotgun Start marches on with a preview episode and a conspiracy theory for why the Tour might be off -- it involves a quid pro quo with a certain brokerage firm. A diversion into a fantastic Daniel Chopra story leads to a discussion and a ranking of the national chain pizza joints. The event of the week will not be televised but Andy runs through some names trying to get through KFT Q school second stage. This is also the week Presidents Cup picks will be made and the two argue for who should be there (NOT Jason Day) and who will be there after Tiger and Ernie add four players to each side. In news, they discuss the Davis Love III-to-CBS announcement from last week, Greg Norman’s unrequited letter writing, and Rory’s attempt to clarify his comments on European Tour courses being too easy.
Rory completes the LUP Slam, #ToddWatch peaks, LPGA rules drama
After an extended break, Brendan and Andy return to discuss a joyous weekend of winners in the world of golf. They begin with Rory McIlroy’s WGC victory in China, crediting him with winning the first ever (and newly created) LUP Slam, a more prestigious offshoot of the Grand Slam or Tiger Slam. This also provokes a discussion on if this win, or any non-major win, matters anymore for a talent like Rory. Then the celebration of Brendon Todd occurs, as well as a calling onto the carpet of the haters and doubters. Todd’s wander in the wilderness and return from the full-blown yips is explained and appreciated. On the LPGA, they discuss the awkward situation of a caddie looping against his fiancee in a Sunday final pairing and playoff. On the Champions Tour, they applaud Monty’s Mountain Dew-fueled tournament course record and proclaim an increased interest in the Schwab Cup finale. In news, the controversy over Christina Kim calling a penalty on two playing partners at LPGA Q Series is reviewed and debated. The episode ends with a lengthy and angry dissection of the two horrible football teams that made an otherwise good Sunday in golf maddening at the end.
WGC Party goes to China, calling out the ugly Bermuda field, golf costume ideas
A Wednesday episode begins with a rundown of the schedule for the week. Brendan and Andy start with the WGC in China, which has a deep-ish field despite the current best player in the world playing the opposite field event. They discuss why this WGC feels low stakes and some of the issues with the host course. Then the opposite field event in Bermuda is put squarely in the crosshairs. The list of journeymen, brake-pad salesmen, and odd collection of misfit toys in the field is discussed, provoking a larger point about the WGC system and questioning the existence of this Bermuda event. The episode wraps with the second annual Shotgun Start Halloween costume brainstorm session, producing some truly inane and unique golf costume ideas that almost no one on the planet will get.
The Chase for 83 begins, Zozo staying power, and CBS shakes things up
The weekend is over but Tiger is a winner again, completing a dominant four rounds at the Tour’s first ever event in Japan. Before getting to Tiger’s chase for records that may or may not matter, the Browns and Bears get their lashings and Andy confides he might have set a record himself this weekend: time spent at The Woods Jupiter. Then the Zozo is given the treatment: the badass trophy, what they liked most about Tiger’s showing, what it means for 2020, and the staying power of this newcomer event. The fan-less Saturday and the Live Under Par 150-yard par-4 are also discussed. In news, they hit on CBS ousting Peter Kostis and Gary McCord and revel in Kostis’ sign off statement that he was heading to UPS for his courier needs. News also hits on Brooksy’s (and Jena’s) Halloween costume and the PGA Tour confirming there will be on-site gambling next year.
Tiger takes Japan, Spinal fusion over-under, and a review of The Woods Jupiter
This Friday episode begins with a chat on Tiger Woods’ season-opening round in Japan and if he’s now a comp to Jon Rahm. After running through some updated results, Brendan and Andy hit on news, discussing the reduced Bio Kim suspension, a 15-year-old winning an OWGR event, and Bryson’s big beef-up. This leads to a hypothetical of Bryson doing the pommel horse at the Olympics and not golf, as well as the sport that he might be worst at in competition. Then they return to their over-unders for 2020, running through Rory, Tiger, Hovland, a spinal-fusion duo, and J.J. Henry. A failed attempt to sign off for the weekend ends with Andy, who is down in Jupiter for the weekend, reviewing The Woods and also contemplating a trip to The Big Easy restaurant.
I’m in love with the Zozo, made-up 2020 over-unders, and Skins Game critiques
This punchy Wednesday episode includes an all-time story about Andy purportedly getting hit by a bike, so hang in there for that. The non-golf opening includes a discussion on Bears starting QB odds for next year and why Illinois’ revenue sports can’t keep talent at home. In golf matters, the schedule for the week segment begins with praise for the Zozo Championship bringing PGA Tour golf to Japan. This leads to a discussion of how this course was chosen -- proximity to the airport, allegedly -- and the fact that there are escalators on courses in Japan. The European Tour’s event in Portugal is spotlighted as the last chance for Euro Tour players to earn their card for next year. On the LPGA, the event in Korea is discussed as well as the Q Series at Pinehurst, which gives college players a shot to earn a card while also missing tons of school. Then we run through an amusing over-unders game for the season hitting on some stars like Spieth, Bryson, Brooks, Rickie, and others. The episode wraps with a review of the Skins Game -- what stunk, what worked, the phony “needle,” and what formats would be best at the next experiment.
Another JT win in Asia, Colsaerts’ party boy ways, and Matt Every suspension
A shortened Monday podcast begins with Brendan and Andy trying to record while also watching the Bears and Mitch Trubisky unraveling against the Saints. But there is some solace from Saturday, where Andy’s alma mater pulled off the second biggest upset in Big Ten history. Then in golf matters, the two react to Justin Thomas winning the CJ Cup for the second time in three years and what it might mean for the upcoming year. Nicolas Colsaerts’ win at the French Open is an occasion to dig up some delightful quotes from the “Belgian Bomber.” They recall how he up and left the PGA Tour while he still had his card, his thoughts on living in America and eating the same chicken caesar salad over and over, and his partying ways in Europe that make him a favorite in the Euro Tour locker room. In news, they discuss Matt Every’s 12-week suspension for cannabis, Brooksy’s WD in Korea, and Tiger’s return to Japan. The pre-Skins game recording means a discussion of that event will come on Wednesday's episode.
Rivalry-gate, Ryder Cup ticket-gate, and Validation-gate
This Friday episode begins with a Happy Birthday wish to Ernie Els, Andy’s idol. There’s also a brief discussion of his Presidents Cup roster and one particular star that might be apathetic about team building. Then we get to the Brooks Koepka comments on the lack of a rivalry with Rory McIlroy, discussing both sides, dismissing both sides, and just walking away happy that these quotes exist. The new battlefield promotion on the PGA Tour’s international tours only angers and frustrates. Then the Ryder Cup ticketing fiasco is put in the crosshairs, as we recount the process that seemed to infuriate much of the American golf fan base. A “Penalty Box” segment reviews three odd and extreme penalty situations from the last week, including the 58-strokes assessed in the Senior LPGA event. Flashback Friday takes us down a Skins Game memory lane, throwing out some of the, uh, underwhelming names that made it into the event before it died off around 2008. Then an infamous Skins Game is given the blow-by-blow treatment, catching Tiger in a blatant self-contradiction.
Hammers in the sand at 9 Bridges, Brooksy’s Saudi enthusiasm, and a new KFT schedule
This Wednesday episode begins with an Andy conspiracy theory that the NFL is fixing games for the Packers. After a needless digression on some daunting yardwork, the CJ Cup, or CJ Plaque, is previewed with a look at the field, the lucrative purse, and the course, which has received a dubiously high ranking thanks to some rumored quid-pro-quo schemes. There’s also a brief and amusing story on the unorthodox “Hammer Drill” that K.J. Choi has taught so many proteges. On the European Tour, they discuss the fall of the French Open and how past Ryder Cup venues move to the back of the line after the matches come through. In a new segment, Worst for the Wednesday, they ask for the worst possible sports slogan or marketing phrase after watching the MLB’s We Play Loud campaign this month. Then there’s a “cross-sport cacophony” segment, where they touch on issues from the four major North American sports that also confront golf, most notably the ongoing NBA x China controversy and the European Tour event in Saudi Arabia. In news, they discuss some positive developments as well as some outrages from the new Korn Ferry Tour schedule, the new mixed event, and the title of Tiger’s memoir.
Oh my Lanto, Rory’s Rowdy Roadies, and Jason Day’s acting career
A worse-for-the-wear episode begins with Andy recounting his weekend and the circumstances of his injury in South Carolina and Brendan calling for the firing of Freddie Crockpot. In golf matters, the two discuss Lanto Griffin’s win in Houston, Brandon Wu’s impressive debut, and the sparse attendance. On the Euro Tour, they crown Bernd Wiesberger the greatest Austrian golfer of all time and stumble into an amusing and surely outdated European Tour bio for Rory Sabbatini. On the Champions Tour, they play a clip of Lanny Wadkins openly calling for backboarding during the broadcast. A quick news roundup covers Rickie’s brand-free wedding, Michelle Wie’s comeback, and Kevin Na clearing up the confusion about fighting for his good name back in Korea. They wrap with the latest teases from the Rory and Carson show, which transitions to a discussion of the latest Skins Game promo, which transitions to the acting chops of the four participants, which somehow ends with Jason Day in a role on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.
Henrik’s 3-wood, a BfB sighting in Italy, and Anthony Kim Flashback Friday
A delayed Friday podcast begins with an apology tour as Andy recounts the many logistical mishaps of getting to Aiken while Brendan plays a potentially age-inappropriate movie for his kids while trying to record. Eventually, they get to golf and discuss some early Houston Open scores, including Cole Hammer’s impressive 1st round and Rich Beem popping back at our frustration with his being in the field. The topic of Henrik Stenson parting with his (likely hot) 3-wood is also discussed. In Italy, the BfB is on the move, which somehow leads to a diversion into that time Jaco Van Zyl withdrew from two majors to prep for the Olympics and then was never heard from again. In news, they hit on a heavily American Hero World Challenge, a 5th straight South Korean winning LPGA ROY, and Tiger’s new putt putt venture, which prompts a call for a return to minimalism in putt putt design. Flashback Friday is a glorious journey into the world class golf, hard partying ways, and disappearance of Anthony Kim, who TRULY lived under par. Keeping with the theme of logistical mishaps, the last 10 minutes from Wednesday’s podcast that was chopped off is added to the end here -- so close out your week with some takes on the Tour’s new Players Championship coverage scheme.
The Houston Open has a problem and The Players gets every-single-shot coverage
With Andy on the road, this early edition coffee-recording starts off with some quick catharsis on the Browns MNF destruction. Then the field strength, or lack thereof, at the Houston Open is put in the crosshairs. Andy runs through some names in the field and quizzes Brendan on the last time they had a top 10 on the PGA Tour, illuminating an ongoing problem and proposing changes. He also explains how the Tour has “defecated” on Houston, a community and extremely large market that came together to save its event. On the Euro Tour, they discuss the Italian Open field as well as the release of some renderings of the Ryder Cup course in Rome for 2022, which now appears to be a go. In news, they hit on the announcement that the PGA Tour and NBC will set up streaming of every single shot at the 2020 Players Championship. They discuss whether there’s demand for this and how it’s a positive development for the core fan.
Viva Live Under Par, the Rahm trajectory, and Bryson’s plan to get swole
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend to discuss the playoff finish in Las Vegas. They run through some of the astounding stats from a weekend when it seemed like everyone was posting numbers in the low 60s. If ever there was a week for an adjusted par, this was it. They also wonder if Rory’s FedExCup title should have an asterisk based on the schedule changes and if Brooks potentially got married in Vegas after missing the cut. Then they swing across the pond to praise the dominant Jon Rahm, pondering whether there’s a better under-30 player in golf (not named Brooks). In news, they hit on some strong comments toward the PGA Tour from the Houston Open tournament director about the weak field down in Texas this week. Then they get to the latest chapter from the Bryson zone and attempt to translate his quotes on getting bigger and/or stronger in the coming months as well his monologue on living life on the third standard deviation. This prompts an excellent Andy monologue on the differences between an idiot and a moron.
Brooksy’s LeBron analogy, a Vanuatuan in Vegas, and a Flashback to when it all changed
This Friday episode begins with a brief check-in on the early leaderboard in Vegas. Brendan and Andy discuss Nick Taylor’s start and how it fits in with his elite Mariokart skills. Then they hit on Phil Mickelson chasing a Presidents Cup spot. Smylie Kaufman’s ugly opening round prompts empathy and also a discussion on professions where you might have to work through it in full view of the public. In news, they hit on Brooks Koepka roundly dismissing the POY vote and comparing it to LeBron not winning the MVP every year, Bio Kim not appealing his 3-year ban, and the new Euro Tour schedule heavy on TBD. Brendan then tackles a research assignment on Michael Hopper and Rod Pampling, revealing tidbits about a player who learned the game hitting 3-woods out of the sand in Vanuatu and another who won an event thanks to a clerical error at PGA Tour HQ. Flashback Friday takes us back to the debut of the ProV1 at this event in Vegas and some astonishing USGA quotes in response to the immediate distance gains.
A non-conforming “non-story,” the Korean Bird suspension, and a US Open rota
The usual Wednesday segment running down the week’s schedule is promptly de-railed by discussion of the news that five players failed the new PGA Tour driver testing at the Safeway Open. Brendan and Andy react to the news being broken by a non-golf entity like Reuters and posit that it might be time for more outside voices to get involved in the regulation of this issue. They react to the player reaction that it’s a “non-story” and the Tour holding the line that this is simply a club issue and not a player problem. How did names leak already just three weeks into the new season? Will anything come of it as we get further into the season? Then they move to the schedule for the week, introduce the nickname “Tommy Tables,” crown an event of the week, and hand out a few random names to research for Friday. In news, they hit on the three-year suspension for the Korean Tour money leader flipping the bird to fans and ponder what kind of action it would take to get a 3-year ban on the PGA Tour. Physical harm to another player or a Jeff Gillooly style hit on a fellow competitor? They wrap with a discussion on the idea of a U.S. Open rota based off some Mike Davis comments to Golf Digest.
When LiveUnderPar goes wrong for Rory, Bryson’s “Maximum Relief,” and Cam Champ’s win
Victory Monday on the Shotgun Start is loaded with content goodies from the weekend. Brendan and Andy begin with a cursory review of the Bears and Browns success, as well as debate on if backup QB is the best role to have in the NFL. After those pressing non-golf matters, they jump immediately into Rory McIlroy’s comments on the European Tour setups being too easy. They hit on the hypocrisy of the Prince of Ponte Vedra voicing these concerns, the role equipment that he endorses has played in this problem he has, and some numbers that quickly rebut his contention. At the Safeway, they hit on the Cam Champ win and how it became one of the best finishing stories we’ll get all year and where he goes next. On less serious matters, they also excoriate the “maximum relief” given to Bryson DeChambeau after his failed backboarding attempt sailed into the hazard. Kristoffer Ventura’s alleged “spit” on Tony Romo’s ball is also quickly debunked and discarded. They wrap with a quick roundup of results from around the globe, including Andy reacquainting us with some old friends at the Panasonic in Asia.
Romo cut watch is on, Casino Tom, and Flashback to the Frys
A Friday episode of the Shotgun Start begins with Brendan’s Romo reckoning. The QB-turned-Skechers pitchman posted a 2-under 70 in the first round of the Safeway Open, which puts him safely inside the cut line. Andy and Brendan discuss his day watching Romo hang on with the possibility of $10,000 from a hasty and stupid bet hanging in the balance. Then they move to less stressful matters, like Lee Westwood’s ace, Justin Timberlake’s abominable pace of play, and hickories put in play at the Old Course. There’s an update from the other side on the controversial ending to the Mid-Am last week and a brief nod to the Methheads making an appearance in Napa this weekend. FVF Jr. research on Tom Hoge and Scott Brown yields some fascinating intel on their backgrounds and the amusing casino habits of one player when he makes a cut. Flashback Friday closes the episode with a winding road on the careers of Bryce Molder and the PGA Tour’s foremost P.F. Chang’s endorser.
Romo’s return, the Euro Tour’s new slogan, and a Dunhill celebrity quiz
This Wednesday episode previews the weekend to come in golf and it’s a loaded one with discussion on the Safeway, Dunhill, LPGA inside the Brickyard racetrack, Asia Pacific Amateur, Crump Cup, and the Senior Tour event at Pebble. But first, Andy reckons with a Bears MNF win that may be more concerning than encouraging. For the Safeway, Brendan and Andy finalize their wager on Tony Romo making the cut and take a quick gander through some of the other exemptions, including John Daly and Fred Couples. Over on the Euro Tour, the two have a “high-level” discussion on the new brand slogan “Driving Golf Further” and all the ways you can spend money on inane fluff in this world listening to people with titles that sound important. The Dunhill and Pebble Pro-Am are then compared and the question of which has the better three-course rota is debated. Then Brendan quizzes Andy on some of the celebrity amateurs in the field in Scotland, exposing their American myopia. The unsportsmanlike finish to the Mid-Am is critiqued and then they wrap with some intel on Louis Oosthuizen’s wide offering of alcoholic beverages.
Bassy’s big day, Willett passes Spieth again, and Rocco returns
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend worse for the wear but ready to discuss a tremendous finish at the Peacock Championship. Sebastian Munoz’s win in Mississippi is hailed, as well as the Tour now delivering consecutive winners from South America. This prompts a quick monologue on the diversity that does exist at the top of the pro game and a call to promote and spotlight that more. Sungjae Im, who lost in the playoff, is compared to Cal Ripken and there’s also a review of just what he needs to accomplish in order to avoid military duty back home in Korea. There’s pondering over how Bryson would play under such circumstances. At the BMW PGA, Andy takes a victory lap for his prognostication that Danny Willett was coming back from the depths and would soon pass Jordan Spieth in the world rankings. Rory McIlroy’s backdoor top 10 and neutered Twitter account are also critiqued. The finish includes discussion of Rocco Mediate’s cigar smoking victory in Sioux Falls and what Monty drank on the course in a top 5 finish on the senior circuit.
Proper Mid-Am champs, Japan skins game, and Flashback to the irrational confidence of Woody Austin
It’s Friday! A delayed episode has Brendan and Andy full of enthusiasm to discuss early returns at the Sandersaon and Wentworth. A strong showing from internationals in Mississippi has them pondering the possibility of the Hitman Hearn making the Presidents Cup team. Across the pond, Rory’s quote on not trading his year with anyone else’s but Tiger’s season is critiqued. News of the Japan Skins Game becoming official is discussed and the best format (not Skins!) is debated. Fan vote friday junior goes into the backgrounds of Greg Sonnier and Chase Seiffert, which re-acquaints us with the PGA Tour writing bot and introduces us to the All-time Sun Belt conference golf team and the amazing accomplishment of winning the “Florida Triple Crown.” A wonderful Flashback Friday focuses on 2013 Sanderson winner Woody Austin, who may be the all-time irrationally confident pro golfer. Andy relays some truly jaw-dropping quotes from his 2007 PGA loss to Tiger Woods at Southern Hills, in addition to a full deep dive into the career of “The Aquaman.”
Strut like a Peacock, Good vs. Evil at the Mid Am, and Bubba on driver testing
It’s a big week on the Shotgun Start as the PGA Tour swings down to Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship, aka the Peacock Classic. Brendan and Andy review some of the, uh, well-traveled names in the field, which leads to a lengthy digression on the Stadler father-son duo and a scary inside detail about the state of Smylie Kaufman. Then they get to discussing Akshay Bhatia and if his debut is a sign of a teenage takeover or if this is a risky test case. Over on the Euro Tour, they highlight the new GPS system being put in use to track slow play at Wentworth. The U.S. Mid Am earns event of the week and also prompts Andy to portray the bracket as a clear case of good vs. evil, as well as lay out his official stance on who should and should not be eligible for reinstated amateur status. They wrap with some amusing if not frustrating quotes from Bubba Watson on the stressful and onerous driver testing now in effect on the PGA Tour.
A legendary Solheim walk-off and Niemann pays tribute to the military
This Monday episode reacts to a wild Sunday of golf from across the globe, most notably at the Solheim Cup. Brendan and Andy review the weekend at Gleneagles, offering up a few critiques of the mowing patterns, pace of play, and some lineup choices before heaping praise on what was arguably the greatest finish to a team match event we’ve seen. Suzann Pettersen’s play on the 18th, before the clinching putt, is given due praise and they contemplate whether this finish boosts the LPGA over the rest of the season. Joaquin Niemann is then hailed as our new overlord atop the courier service rankings, which Andy equates as the best player in the world. Sergio’s win is given a modicum of praise as well as the Champions Tour player now making Ron Burgundy sweat atop the Schwab Cup. The episode finishes with a wonderful Lee Westwood locker room story heard over the weekend.
Solheim trash talk, POY conspiracies, and flashback to a tempestuous Ryder Cup at Greenbrier
It’s Friday! Brendan and Andy are back together holed up in an NYC hotel to reflect on opening day of the PGA Tour season. They begin by discussing all the rookies and KFT grads populating the top of the leaderboard and the return of living under par with low scores aplenty. Then they get to the back-and-forth of the Solheim Cup, where Danielle Kang and Suzann Pettersen provided sustenance for the aggregation station. Is the Solheim more heated than the Ryder Cup? A glorious Flashback Friday touches on some other match play tension and this week’s PGA Tour host venue. Included within are Seve’s debut and some stir-the-pot quotes, two Euro team members that sulked and sabotaged their own team, and a captain who tossed a note from Nick Faldo in the trash rather than read it to the team. They wrap with a breakdown of the Rory vs. Brooks Player of the Year debated that boiled over this week, highlighting some of the more amusing conspiracy theories on why we got these results.
Intel on driver testing, a Rickie Tour Live audit, and hacking the Fall schedule
This Wednesday episode begins with an argument and admission that it’s take two following a record button mishap. We begin with a juicy and alarming quote from the range at the Greenbrier on the new driver testing, which may not change any behaviors at all in the coming PGA Tour season. The new color-coded system for testing is given a full review. Then we get into the Slovak Open and the Shotgun Start audience taking over the comments section of the stream as the BFB won his national championship. The return of PGA Tour Live and Fan Vote Friday prompts a reveal of the Rickie Tour Live Audit, which has some damning numbers. In the last segment, we run through some lightning round answers on some the events and players we are most looking forward to and the ones we could do without over the next few months. Then we discuss a hypothetical blank canvas for Q4 of the year and how we’d approach it -- from events to markets to field sizes to formats -- if we were the PGA Tour.
Kuchar disgraces himself again (as do the Browns) and America’s Walker Cup rally
Victory Monday this is not, as a new week begins with the Bears and Browns both 0-1. This non-golf matter gets full attention at the top as Brendan processes all that went wrong and the emotional tumble that occurred throughout the day. Andy is also quite amused with a cheeky nickname he comes up with for the Browns coach. Rafa Nadal’s slow play penalty is applauded and put in contrast with just how far golf is from such a move. Then it’s on to the Porsche European Open, where there’s praise for Paul Casey for his win and also contemplation of whether he’s underrated or just disliked. The primary news coming out of that event, however, was Matt Kuchar yet again taking some serious liberties within the gray area of the rules. Is he obtuse, entitled, unsportsmanlike, all of the above? This progresses into a separate topic of cheating and if that’s something that occurs much, if at all, at the Tour level. The episode concludes with a discussion on the Walker Cup, which was harder to comment on because no one saw it.
Driver testing comes to the PGA Tour and Flashback to a media member forced to play in the Walker Cup
This delayed Shotgun Start ends with a host plagued by hiccups but comes out of the gate discussing the Bears debut on Thursday night football. Is the season over or is the door ajar for optimism? Then we get to news that the PGA Tour has will put new driver testing in place for this coming season. We discuss what we like and where the policy leaves us wanting. Also, we plea for real-time public release of the results on a giant video board with some dramatics around the new tests. Then we preview the Walker Cup and how the conditions of Hoylake will be a significant departure for so many of these highly acclaimed young American studs. We also offer to fly to Liverpool to periscope it in lieu of the lack of TV coverage. A delightful Flashback Friday goes deep on the origins of the Walker Cup, touching on a variety of amusing details like the GBI team getting worse for the wear in New York and writer Bernard Darwin having to step in and actually play matches for the team as a reserve player. Flashback also goes into a legendary stymie from the early Walker Cup days that has us yearning for the return and legalization of the practice.
The great Labor Day card shuffle, Walker Cup sans TV, and Pat Reed’s Masters Porsche
Brendan and Andy return from the long weekend to tidy up the place, doubling back to some of the action from across multiple Tours. Andy is disgusted with the LPGA not giving exemptions the next week to high finishers at an event, as we’ll see with Yealimi Noh following her near-win in Portland. Then they react to the Korn Ferry Tour Championship and enthusiastically welcome the son of the Swing Surgeon back to the PGA Tour. They run through some of the players who got their cards, why this event worked so well, and if it can be replicated on any other Tour. Then they move to this week’s schedule, which is mostly an excuse to rant about the lack of events when there are so many bottlenecks other weeks during the summer. They also discuss the lack of TV coverage for the event of the week, the Walker Cup. In news, they get to Pat Reed’s special Masters Porsche, Bob Koepka’s tweets at Brandel and steamrolling of Little Boy Dru, and a fun Stevie Fountains story from a listener.
Rory critiques new major schedule, Poulter’s pool woes, and Web Tour flashbacks
A truncated Friday episode will wet your whistle heading into the holiday weekend. We begin with some scores from Europe, where Westy is lurking and Rory continued living under par. We address some comments on the “fair” test of the Swiss course from Mike Lorenzo-Vera, and start to compile a list of similar euphemisms. Then we move to Rory’s comments on the new major schedule and if his point about spreading them out over 9 months, like in tennis, works for golf. We also discuss Ian Poulter’s extreme frustration with the pool cleaning service. Then in Flashback Friday, the occasion of the KFT Championship prompts a look back at a Web Tour Finals of yore that prominently featured golf’s most famous retiree, among others.
The Korn Ferry shuffle and Tiger’s questionable post-surgery schedule
The PGA Tour may take a break this week but the Shotgun Start does not. This Wednesday episode runs through the schedule for the week, hitting on some premo events on the LPGA and Euro Tour before crowning the last tournament of the Korn Ferry Tour season as the event of the week. We cover which bubble boys we’re watching this week and also relay some data that shows just how extremely volatile it is this year in the positioning for the remaining PGA Tour cards. We also re-visit Stevie Fountains and discuss his prospects at Victoria National, a course which should create carnage under the most pressurized circumstances. A Champions Tour discussion leads the proposition that a PGA Tour event be held in Calgary and also confusion over who out there is actually in a Champions Tour fantasy league. The U.S. Senior Amateur events for both men and women are given their due as we run through some of the day jobs and backgrounds of the quarter finalists. A debate over how the best in the game should set their fall schedule provokes an Andy take on how we pronounce the word schedule. Then we wrap with the news of Tiger’s knee surgery and some questions about all the travel he has coming up in the final quarter of the year.
The Irish Prince of Ponte Vedra, a new Brooks-Rory rivalry, and an LPGA scandal
A full weekend of golf is reviewed on this Monday episode, starting with the low gross AND net winner at East Lake, Rory McIlroy. Andy and Brendan review Sunday’s finale to the PGA Tour season and if the new format was validated by the leaderboard and Rory winning both ways. The Tour championship is graded, the constant money chatter is critiqued, one final Dump in the Cup is awarded, and a wild proposal is made for how the winner should be given his money. The subjects of Player of the Year and a new Brooks-Rory rivalry are addressed. There’s also a discussion about which Tour player would be most likely to do an Andrew Luck style surprise retirement. They close with some news of a fascinating scandal bubbling up on the LPGA tour.
Instant reactions to the staggered start in ATL and Sean Martin joins from East Lake
It’s Friday! Brendan and Andy offer up some quick reactions to the first ever staggered start on the PGA Tour. There is a three-way tie already atop the leaderboard -- was the format a success or was this always how it was going to go? Rory McIlroy’s comments on the “legacy” impacts of a staggered start are reviewed, and Andy offers the take that the history of the Tour Championship is being killed off in the same way as the Western Open. Matt Kuchar gets confused about Brooksy’s nudes, and it cost Tiger. Then some Champions Tour intel is also relayed via a source, who is an Uber Driver. For the second half of the pod, Sean Martin of PGATour.com joins us to provide his early impressions from on the ground as well as some lightning round takes on who we are surprised to see in Atlanta and who we are surprised did not make it. Flashback Friday gets into what Andy terms the greatest FedExCup ever and the best FedExCup performer ever, with the beautiful mind memory of Sean weaving in all the random obscure facts stuck in his brain.
Dream and nightmare scenarios for new FEC finale format, Euro Tour takes on slow play
It’s finally here: the season-ending Tour Championship with its net and gross leaderboards at East Lake. Andy, fresh off a maddening day at Mid Am qualifying (which he describes as well), feistily lays out his issues with the staggered start. Brendan attempts to make the case for why this new change is a curiosity worth lauding and watching, at least at the start. We lay out some dream and nightmare scenarios for how this could go for Jay Monahan and the PGA Tour. Then we move to the European Tour taking on slow play, running through its four-point attack and the parts we think are best for improving the problem. The PGA Tour’s response and comments on it coming out of Atlanta are also discussed. In news, we hit on a troop deployment to the Military Tribute as well as the incredible Steph Curry announcement at Howard. We close with some picks for Atlanta for both the low gross and net portions of the proceedings.
JT torches Medinah, did the U.S. Am upstage the FEC, and Todd’s revenge
Andy and Brendan return from the weekend with much to discuss and begin with results -- from JT’s win on the dartboard in Chicago, to Pieters’ return to the winner’s circle, to some cards secured at the first KFT finals event, and finally to Doug Barron, the longshot monday qualifier who won on the Champions Tour. In the not-playing-for-cash department, they review the finals of the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst, comparing the conditions and style of that championship to the FedExCup event at Medinah. Is the core golf fan tuning out the FEC in favor of something like the two amateurs the last two weeks and if so, does that even matter? The comments from Adam Scott and Tiger Woods on distance and the one club that’s become most important while also easier to hit than ever are given full review. A painful “dump in the cup” segment does not play favorites, but on the KFT, they reconnect with an old friend and prepare for a full year of #ToddWatch. They wrap by discussing the auto-qualifiers for the Presidents Cup teams and the USA Walker Cup roster.
Medinah tamed, Teens invade the U.S. Amateur, and an homage to the Western Open
We head into the weekend with a lively discussion on some of the early action from Chicago, Prague, Columbus, and Pinehurst. At the BMW, we lament the modern game overpowering what is a beast of a course in Medinah. We also discuss BMW’s stunning decision to reverse course and stay on as title sponsor. At the Czech Masters, we praise leader Gavin Green’s pre-tournament prep of “eating and sleeping a lot.” With the U.S. Amateur down to the quarterfinals, we go over some of the match play results and the junior presence in the final eight. The decision to also hold the finals on two courses -- Pinehurst No. 4 and No. 2 -- is given critical review. Flashback Friday is a gripping journey from the last days of the “dick sponsored” Western Open to some of its earliest blue-blood origins and eventually to a Chicago event that had the irate loser in an Allenby-esque fit of rage wandering aimlessly around the Chicagoland area.
BMW’s the best playoff event, Pinehurst pure for US Am, and speedwalking research
This recording was done with Andy somewhere in the middle of the woods of the Upper Peninsula, so apologies for the choppy wifi. We run through the schedule for the week, which leads to a critique over the trimmed-down KFT Finals. Three weeks seems like a small snapshot for 25 cards when the first 25 cards were awarded after 7-plus months of play. The U.S. Amateur earns event of the week and we relay some early details from on the ground at Pinehurst, where conditions sound crispy. Then we move to the BMW Championship and make the argument that this week features the most compelling stakes of any of the three postseason events. We spotlight some names on the top 30 bubble that we’d like to see crash the party in Atlanta and also earn all the perks that come with it. We wrap with some Bryson follow-up with Andy providing the results of his speedwalking/sauntering research.
Gangs of New York: Bryson, Brooksy, and the slow play scandal at Liberty National
The content gods smiled down on us all again in the golf world. Before we get to the slow play drama, we begin with some reflections on the final round of The Northern Trust and how different, inorganic, and frankly, boring it felt compared to the drama of other pros playing for their jobs at the Korn Ferry event in Portland. Is this a reaction you had as well? In addition to the FedExCup and Korn Ferry shuffle, we also cover the wild fluctuation in weather at the Women’s Scottish Open that had one player questioning the integrity of the event. The amazing Gabi Ruffels and the U.S. Women’s Amateur is also given just due. Then we move to the main event -- the viral video of Bryson DeChambeau’s slow play, his reaction, others’ reactions, and the putting green confrontation with Brooks Koepka. We review and give the many statements around it a “bunk rating,” from Bryson saying he was attacked and that “carts would be nice,” to Brooksy calling for more confrontations, to Brandel saying the fastest players are the rude ones, and the PGA Tour frantically tweeting they’re addressing it.
A fan-less FedExCup and a chat with the incomparable Harry Higgs on earning his card
We begin this Friday episode with a discussion on what Andy calls a glimpse into the future: golf tournaments with no fans. The Northern Trust went fan-less to start the first round but the lack of distractions outside the ropes did Tiger’s game no favors. We get into Tiger’s decision to play this week and the statement “Tiger should retire” is even uttered at one point. Flashback Friday re-acquaints us with a former winner of this Playoffs event that has fallen off a cliff. Then we get to a delightful interview with Harry Higgs, who earned his PGA Tour card this season on the Korn Ferry Tour after a recent win in Missouri. Higgs is a great personality worth rooting for in the KFT Finals the next month and on the PGA Tour next year. He is candid about self-doubts coming up through college and the self-belief to eventually get to the Tour. We go into the wild nights on the Latinoamerica Tour, where he was order of merit winner last year, his college teammate Bryson DeChambeau’s chocolate milk habit, and money games with Jordan Spieth. Harry was incredibly forthright and entertaining and we appreciate him taking the time.
Playoff laments, FedExCup trivia, and the new Hovland Rule
At long last, the postseason arrives and we begin this Wednesday episode trying to talk ourselves into being excited for it. Does the new format work? What are the things, or single thing, we’re looking forward to watching throughout the FedExCup? Andy proffers a take that the Wyndham Rewards might have ruined the FedExCup. Brendan uses the occasion of the entire field auto-tweeting graphics of their tee times to rant a little bit on the inauthentic nature of players taking ownership of their own platforms, including the latest subjects of conversation from the Rory-Carson podcast. We give a quick preview of the KFT event, which gets some primetime love this week with players battling for Tour cards and Finals status. On that front, it will be a nervous week for the Methheads. Then Brendan quizzes Andy with some basic FedExCup trivia to re-orient ourselves with the PGA Tour postseason as it starts its 13th edition. In news, we have praise for the USGA listening and implementing the new Hovland Rule, although it leaves us with a few new questions. We wrap a fun Bryson story and some of his quotes on the schedule squeeze and his push for a Presidents Cup spot.
The Legend of Shibuno, bubble boy dumps in the cup, and Spieth’s big miss
As a disclaimer, this podcast was recorded with only one of our mics turned on, a problem that went unnoticed until minute 55 or so. We’ll let you guess whose mic was off and we offer our deepest apologies, although if you’re along for the ride at this point, you should expect it and embrace it. This episode dives into the incredible story of Hinako Shinbuno, who won the Women’s British Open and did it with an absolutely exemplary pace and smile the entire time. After raving about the Shibuno story, we shout out the Western Am winner and Zac Blair’s big win on the KFT, which opens the door for a rant or two about the lack of a broadcast for primetime golf. We then move to J.T. Poston’s big win and all the FedExCup bubbles that burst on Sunday. The Viktor Hovland injustice, as you’d expect, is given a full review. Jordan Spieth’s slappy ways are dissected, which yields maybe the hottest take of the year. A stunner of a quote from Patton Kizzire has to have those who missed out on a card, as well as Big Shipping, furious that he snuck in the top 125. We then end with some discussion on the Browns Super Bowl chances.
An interview with John Ourand of SBJ on PGA Tour TV rights negotiations
The Friday episode begins with a check-in on the leaderboards from across the golf world. We lament PGA Tour Live’s decision not to cover The BfB’s run at 59 when they gave Cam Champ that treatment in Detroit. A special Flashback Friday begins with a spotlight on the Monday qualifier and Tiger Woods confidant that once won in Greensboro, and ends with a deep dive on a former U.S. Amateur champ who missed the top 125 by a spot that same year. Then we’re joined by media reporter John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. John recently reported on the PGA Tour accelerating their pursuit to come to terms on new rights deals with TV and media partners. He’s an authority on these rights deals and plugged in on the subject, laying out the Tour’s reasons for aggressively doing this now and who the players are vying to broadcast it to you. Could CBS and NBC be out? Could Amazon join the fray? Is a second dedicated golf channel coming? Ourand provides a primer and some educated guesses based on his early reporting. We end with some quick news on the ThunderBear’s ugly flight home to Europe.
Women’s Open goes to Woburn, Courier Cup bubble boys, and Callaway responds
This Wednesday episode begins with a digression on highly ranked Champions Tour players using “cost” as a reason for not going to the Senior British Open. Then we get to the Women’s British Open at Woburn, which is argued as a wasted opportunity. At the Wyndham, Andy crunches some numbers and we spotlight some of the bubble boys -- the Asswagon, the Martin Zone, et al -- that have given this historic event an identity in recent years. We also go into Sedgefield and its “adjusted par” for the modern power game. We review some of the featured groupings as well as the lesser-known qualifiers, such as one player who should be playing free and easy now that he’s escaped the Mueller investigation. In news, we go into Callaway’s official statement on the failed driver test at The Open and some of the issues and inconsistencies with it. We also cover Lexi’s lost passport delaying almost 40 players from playing a practice round at a major championship and the idea of a possible suspension for Sergio.
Brooksy’s big payday, the Wyndham con job, and Evian course conditions
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend to discuss Brooks Koepka bagging the WGC Memphis, Wyndham Rewards and AON Risk-Reward Challenge in one fell swoop. We get into why Sunday seemed to fall flat, Rory’s no-show, and Brooksy’s motivations to earn elite status at Wyndham hotels. We also holler about why his Sunday arrival time was a non-story. In the interest of equal time, we also present a counter argument against all the WGC Memphis critiques. Is it a Southwinds problem or just a WGC problem or both? Wyndham’s investment in the season-long rewards chase only to have no one show up for the finale in Greensboro is discussed and adjudged as a five-alarm fire for the Tour. Then we move to Collin Morikawa’s big win in Reno and the raging Rookie of the Year debate now. Andy breaks some news with a leak of the new schedule for next year and how the Tour will work around the Olympics again. Jin Young Ko’s second major win of the year is given praise and Lexi Thompson’s shot at the course conditioning on her way out is not given praise. Sergio’s continued course destruction and petulant antics are panned. Andy then wraps with a rant on the complexities of the playoff system.
Flashback to the WGC origin story, Senior Open absentees, and the Wyndham dilemma
This Friday episode is recorded with Brendan on a beach house porch with beer in hand and Andy stowed away in a remote location working through some red wine. It’s a predictably winding road that begins with a late declaration for Event of the Week. They discuss early scores from across the world of golf, beginning in Memphis. News that this WGC Swampass event may be scheduled opposite the Irish Open is given a review. Andy provides some amusing intel on Westy’s whereabouts in lieu of playing the WGC Swampass. They get to Brooksy’s troubling quotes that he might play the Wyndham, and then discuss the viability of this entire side pot of cash really drawing the top players to that historic Greensboro stop. Then they take a closer look at the Senior British Open, where a handful of Americans at the top of the Schwab Cup Standings did not show up, which they find disgusting. Flashback Friday gets into the origin story of the WGCs coming into existence, featuring an anecdote with Greg Norman cussing out Tim Finchem. They wrap with news of a new Ryder Cup venue, the Walker Cup roster, and Andy’s soft spot for Tony Romo, who got another PGA Tour exemption.
Trouble with the WGC Swampass, courier Cup bubble boys, and a Korn Ferry currency
This Wednesday episode dives headlong into issues Brendan and Andy have with the WGC Swampass Invitational presented by Initech. News of Shane Lowry’s withdrawal and a smaller field of just 63 players is used as a jumping off point to illustrate all the ways in which they think it’s a bad idea. They give great praise and deference to the people of and town of Memphis, despite some sensitivities about the criticisms of this event, which have nothing to do with the actual city. Are the WGCS still viable as a competition or does the competition not matter? Then they move to the opposite field event in Reno, where it feels like the field took just one charter flight together from the Barbasol in Kentucky last week. They discuss how opposite field events build their rosters and the changes coming next year. Andy then gets into some FedExCup bubble boys with this now being the moment in the calendar when it truly matters. Andy tells a Brandel story on the occasion of his making the Senior Open and critique why the LPGA and Champions tours are having majors in the same week. We wrap with some more thoughts on illegal hot drivers and feedback we’re getting about the scant testing that exists.
The “fat lad’s” triumph, Koepka’s timekeeping, and Westy’s return to Augusta
We react to the final round of the men’s major season, celebrating Shane Lowry’s triumph at Royal Portrush. We relay a fun story about Lowry coming up in Irish junior golf in the shadow of superstar Rory McIlroy and then review his work from the weekend to win The Open. We also consider the hot take that this was actually a bad year for major Sundays. Then we get to Lee Westwood’s day of yippy putts and leaderboard watching as he positioned himself for a spot at his happy hunting ground in Augusta. We review who was “most disappointing” from the group of potential chasers, hitting on Tommy Fleetwood’s underwhelming day, Brooksy stuck in neutral, and, uh, J.B. Holmes’ implosion. The Holmes-Koepka pace of play dynamic is given a full account. We hand out a final grade for this Open and then discuss the one thing from the week that we think may change pro golf for generations.
Saturday at the Open: Westy sadness, Lowry greatness, Koepka cockiness, and the illegal driver scandal
This special Saturday edition of the Shotgun Start delivers some instant reactions to the third round of The Open. We begin lamenting the fall of Westy, who put it in neutral for much of the afternoon following a rousing tease in the first five holes. Does he have any hope playing from behind and is there a different game within the game to watch for on Sunday? We review the 54-hole leaderboard and marvel at Shane Lowry’s 63 that has him four shots clear. We nominate some contenders for a chasedown and discuss Brooks’ contentions that no one is hitting it better than him. The second half of the pod is largely devoted to the failed driver test scandal and Xander Schauffele outing other failed manufacturers while also describing why he’s “pissed off” at the R&A. Is this just the tip of the iceberg of a conspiracy that runs deep? Should PGA Tour be testing drivers before every single round? We go at length on the issue before wrapping with our picks to hoist the Claret Jug on Sunday.
Friday at the Open: Rory’s emotions, illegal drivers, Fore fights, and Westy’s rise
This special Friday afternoon edition runs through some instant reactions to the first 36 holes at The Open. Andy cannot contain his Lee Westwood excitement with the hard-luck Englishman rising near the top of the leaderboard again. We run down Westy’s chances, as well as the entire top 10, and look for some names outside that group to make a longshot, given the history, run at the Claret Jug. We review the contrast in Brooksy’s and Spieth’s rounds, and who should be the favorite at the midpoint. With the Pace Car in the lead, Flashback Friday goes down the rabbit hole of that one time the R&A handed out a slow play penalty, which Andy attempts to argue greatly helped Phil Mickelson’s career. We spend a segment reviewing Rory’s push to make the cut and his emotional post-round interviews. Tiger’s decision to skip the WGC Swampass is praised but the grading of his week at Portrush is not kind. We wrap with some late breaking news on Xander Schaueffele failing a driver test and Bobby MacIntyre getting into it with Kyle Stanley over his failure to yell “Fore!” We conclude with some quick hitters on the Meth-head uprising in the heartland, Dru Love’s admirable work in Canada, and Carson Daly returning to our golf lives.
“David Duval legitimately played better than Tiger:” Thursday Open reactions
Brendan and Andy hop on the horn for some instant reactions to the first day at Royal Portrush, but not without first relaying some information exposing the junk science behind the fraudulent physicist’s golf ball ad. Andy also reveals some amusing intel about the physicist hitting seven tee shots into one hole during an Open practice round before finally proclaiming it “impossible.” Then they move to the real action of the day and debate the internal out-of-bounds that ejected Rory McIlroy. They also review Tiger’s day and put forth some compelling evidence of why he SHOULD play the rest of the season, especially at next week’s WGC Swampass Invitational. Lee Westwood’s round is celebrated and given its just due as they examine whether he has the staying power for the weekend. They also consider the nightmare scenario of the Pace Car ruining the Open and playing in the final group on Sunday debating shots in the wind. Would Marty Sleeps ding him with a slow play penalty? They wrap with some “contender or pretender” before Andy attempts to argue that David Duval, of the 20-over 91 first round, played better than Tiger Woods.
Why The Open is No. 1, Brooksy’s major prep, and Rosey’s schedule complaints
It’s Open eve and we begin this Wednesday episode full of gratitude and anticipation and a few reasons why each of us have come to hold this major as our favorite on the men’s schedule. We drive off the cliff and discuss the Barbasol field for longer than we should before getting back on track, reviewing some fun quotes coming out of the pre-championship press conferences. First we go to Brooks Koepka’s quip that he doesn’t practice for non-majors and that the only time you see him on TV is when he’s playing golf. Then we get into a lengthy discussion on Justin Rose’s comments that the new schedule has failed to “protect” the major championships, choosing, instead, to prioritize the FedExCup. We then move to some of our favorite tee times for the first couple days at Royal Portrush, from the stars to the hotheads to some of the tough draws. Before we wrap with our one-and-done picks, we discuss Royal Portrush, it’s stout traits, the weather that may not come, the concept of internal out-of-bounds.
John Deere shootout, Firestone leaderboard bloodbaths, and early Portrush reviews
This Monday episode begins, apropos of nothing, with a story about Monty. Then we move to the heartland and weekend at the John Deere Classic. We discuss Dylan Frittelli’s career arc and the last player to win on Tour while wearing glasses. We also get into the JDC’s spot on the schedule and if it has been unfairly squeezed. We then move over the Scottish Open and the absolute pillowfight of a playoff, as well as one participant’s odd hat design. Beef Johnston’s last-minute qualification for The Open, as well as his recent disclosure that he’s been battling depression is discussed at length. The no-cut Senior Players meant there were going to be some big numbers at the bottom of the leaderboard, so we go fishing down there for some interesting stories and catch a few. To begin Open week, we go over some vocal critics of Tiger’s scheduling approach, Phil’s “reset” and consistently odd wardrobe, some early course intel at Portrush, and Brooksy perhaps feeling slighted by not being the betting favorite.
Can a no-cut event be a major, Hosung in the heartland, and “The Pool Boy”
This Friday episode begins with a review of the early action at the John Deere, where almost everyone (but not Cameron Champ) is living under par. We discuss Bobby Diaz separating himself slightly at the top, Hosung’s miraculously leading in a strokes gained category, and Robert Allenby’s activities around the Quad Cities region. We also discuss some low early scores at the Scottish Open, the yardage hype of the Colorado KFC event, and the revelation that the senior major this week is a limited field no-cut event, which has Andy staggered. We also pass along notes from a listener’s pro-am round with “The Assassin.” Two tweets -- one from Bryson and one from PXG -- get a close reading and critique. In Fan Vote Friday, Jr., we give you some quick notes on DJ Trahan, whose Dad is definitely editing his own Wikipedia page, Chad Campbell, a Hooters Tour legend, and Bronson Burgoon. A glorious Flashback Friday on the Quad Cities Classic focuses on “The Grip,” “The Pool Boy,” and “The Tiger Killer,” who are, oddly enough, all the same person. We wrap with news of Rory Sabbatini getting into The Open.
Inside Monty’s major prep, Rocky Mountain KFC Tour, and John Deere dumpster diving
A rollicking Wednesday episode begins by immediately taking a hard left turn off the planned route to discuss the Senior Players Championship, specifically the major getting away from some recent excellent venue choices and intel on Monty’s prep at a local suburban Ohio retail store. We then get into the KFC Tour’s event in Colorado, which gives Andy an occasion to disabuse the notion from overhyped headline writers and tweeters about an event at elevation being on a “monster” course. We then whip overseas to the Scottish Open to discuss the background behind the Renaissance Club, the loaded field, and how they’ve made this proper prep for The Open. The John Deere field gets a full review, which provokes many questions and some harebrained theories on PGA Tour status and building fields and JJ Henry. Fan Vote Friday remains the province of Cam Champ, while Fan Vote Friday Junior is decidedly not. In news, we hit on the odd sequence of events with John Daly ending up at the Barbasol and read an absolutely BRILLIANT theory from an SgS listener on how Brooks Koepka builds his schedule. We wrap with Paulie’s Picks for the Deere, diving in the dumpster to find some lesser-known options and maybe even a four-fingered fisherman from Korea.
Wolff arrives, Bryson’s weekend at the science fair, and LPGA sponsor shenanigans
After a long holiday weekend, we return with a loaded Monday episode following a thrilling finish to the Sticky Note Open. We discuss Matthew Wolff’s immediate success on the PGA Tour, winning in just his third start as a pro. Where does he go from here? Andy gets to the heart of all our concerns: Does he have FedExCup status or is he still in the no-man’s points land? We also review Collin Morikawa’s amazing weekend in Minnesota and his push to earn a card in his first summer as a pro. We critique CBS’ hustling of Wolff off the stage moments after the putt to win. Bryson’s big weekend gets a full dissection, from his comments on the science of sticky notes, slow play, his new “secret” to putting, his amazing golf, and how he brings a flavor to the Tour that it needs. A new segment “Who took a dump in the cup” debuts, giving us a chance to wax on Brooksy’s refusal to take the top spot in the FEC Standings. We also have some disturbing reporting on a potential Sung Kang-esque bad drop in the Twin Cities last week. After the fireworks in Minnesota get their due, we address Jon Rahm’s big weekend at the Irish Open and the contrast it provided to the TPC setup. We wrap with a discussion and some sketchy handicap index background info on the sponsor’s exemption that was 55-over par through two rounds at the LPGA’s event last week.
The land of 10,000 man-made lakes and links season begins at Lahinch
It’s July which means it is now the European Tour’s time to shine so this holiday week episode begins with a discussion of the Irish Open at Lahinch, the classic links layout on the west coast of Ireland. We lament its weak field strength but contrast it with the dartboard tour’s venue in the upper midwest. Andy also worries that the new compacted schedule is eroding interest in some of these events. We have some early intel from the Sticky Note Classic with alarming reports that this “former sod farm” will be pillow soft with at least one disturbing backboard setup. We also discuss Rory Sabbatini choosing to pass on this week’s Challenge Tour event in Slovakia, where there’s a 783-yard par-6 that momentarily leaves Andy speechless. In news, we hit on Brooks Koepka’s new logo, a sneaky great tip for U.S. Amateur qualifying, and a study on the king of golf’s national opens. We wrap with some @FriedEggPaulie picks for the 3M Open, some insight on what this new venue compares to on the old schedule (hint: another Palmer course), and a few tips for the Irish Open as well.
The Lashley story, the false advertising of Cam Champ, and FedExCup point problems
After a full weekend of golf we begin in the obvious starting point: Zach Johnson’s tumble out of the top 100 in the world rankings and if his Kaboom Baby! equipment is to blame. Rory Sabbatini’s top five finish in Detroit then leads to a serious take about how his switch in nationality has screwed the International team at the Presidents Cup. Then we get to Nate Lashley winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic, an event that was an unqualified success in a market that deserved a tournament. Lashley’s win and his incredible story also provokes a take about the Tour’s forced and overdone marketing being borne out of insecurity about its product. Then we get to someone who’s been the beneficiary of that forced marketing: Cam Champ. We discuss his backboarding attempt on Saturday, the Tiger-esque coverage treatment, and how it’s all a bit unfair to him. Doc Redman’s big week is reviewed, but not without a rant on how FedExCup points are mis-allocated. We finish by ripping through Steve Stricker’s dominant major win, the Andalucia Masters, the LPGA’s Arkansas party, and a glimmer of hope for the “Methheads” in Utah.
Monty goes grocery shopping in South Bend, Rocket balls in Detroit, and pace of play
This Friday episode begins with a discussion of the Pace of Play report that Andy published to strong reviews after a couple weeks of hype on the podcast. We discuss a few key findings and some recent comments from Bryson. Then we get into early reactions from Detroit, where the ball is flying, the dartboard is receptive, and the scores are low. We bring up the new addition to the contrived three-hole stretch canon (Bear Trap, Snake Pit etc) on Tour, and the preposterous set of circumstances that have to occur to trigger a charitable donation from it. At the U.S. Senior Open, we discuss the soft conditions that led to some record low scores, the pesky birdhouse that cost Darren Clarke two penalty shots, and Colin Montgomerie’s grocery shopping at 7-11. Flashback Friday focuses on a past Buick Open winner in Michigan who said he was going to use his massive winner’s check to buy some new pots and pans. We wrap with a dissection of Slugger White’s extremely troubling comments on a refusal to hand out penalty strokes for slow play.
The PMI Backboarding classic, Pat Reed gets fit, and Woodland gets snubbed
This Wednesday episode bobs and weaves and meanders through the schedule for the week, with many relevant and irrelevant digressions. We begin with a hot tip on Justine Reed’s latest efforts to get Pat Reed back on track up in Detroit. Then we discuss BMW leaving as title sponsor of an FEC Playoffs event and the amount of money required to land such a sponsorship. Then we get into the Tour’s return to Michigan with some course conditioning intel from a member on the ground, how it might play, some disconcerting grandstand setups, and a notable FEC omission from the field. We also lament the failure to keep an event in DC alive. We argue Valderrama for the Andalucia Masters is the kind of course that is so bad it’s good. At the U.S. Senior Open, we review the Notre Dame course and a potential Stevie Fountains of the Senior circuit to back this week. We question the Web Tour’s bizarre cross-country schedule. And we wrap with the big reveal for the Tour’s fan vote Friday options leaving Andy apoplectic.
A celebration of Chez, Hannah Green’s breakthrough, and JDay’s new bootcamp
After 11 long years, Chez rule returns to the PGA Tour. We celebrate Reavie’s win at the Travelers, marveling at his consistency and where he could go from here. Should he be on the Presidents Cup team to mix it up in Melbourne? Also from Travelers, we discuss Brooksy’s ambivalence, Keegan’s ugly finish, and Jason Day now taking orders from Stevie Williams. On the LPGA, we get to Hannah Green’s first win and first major and what it means for Aussie golf. The Euro Tour’s event in Munich gets a quick review and we update the curious Race to Dubai standings. The Senior event in Madison and the turnout (with highly questionable attendance figures) for the celebrity sideshow prompts a discussion for more varied and smaller markets on Tour.
Michelle Wie’s struggle, return of the Dartboard Tour, and a Bubba flashback Friday
As they say around the office, “It’s Friday!” and we lead off with Louis Oosthuizen’s big crossover night at the NBA Draft. We then head to the weekend with a quick check-in on some of the early action, including the setup for the Women’s PGA at Hazeltine. We discuss Michelle Wie’s tough opening round, her comments about maybe not having much golf left, and her career as a whole. Then we get to the “Dartboard Tour” action in Connecticut, where 41 players are within three shots of the lead. We review some of the scores from the quartet of newly turned pros and hyped college prospects, as well as Brooksy taking a “major” mentality and promptly tumbling to the bottom of the leaderboard. Andy reveals some hard data from his day out timing the group of Bryson DeChambeau at the U.S. Open, and the numbers are NOT kind for one so-called physicist. In news, we discuss the Challenge Tour player that ran out of balls, prompting a flashback about the time Tiger almost ran out of balls during his epic 2000 U.S. Open win. In the prepared flashback Friday segment, Andy brings the goods with a reminiscence on a Bubba Travelers win and how a certain diminutive Tour pro was hitting 3-wood into the green in the playoff while his two competitors had lob wedge.
How Travelers gets it right, Wie’s return and LPGA major week, and media tent ringtones
Andy and Brendan are back with a slightly delayed Wednesday episode turning our attention away from the week that was at Pebble Beach to a new full week of golf around the world. We begin with the next major, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine, which gives Andy an opportunity to lament the uninspired venue choice. Then we get to the Travelers Championship and a discussion of that loaded field and how they hustle to be one of the best events on the entire schedule. We also hit on the pro debuts of Matt Wolff and Viktor Hovland in Hartford as well as the double-wide cart paths at TPC River Highlands. News of the re-branding of the Web Tour to the Korn Ferry Tour, which we discussed a month ago, is dissected in great detail and we wonder what it means for the historical references to this tour. The Champions Tour is in Wisconsin this week, giving us an opportunity to review the divided loyalties of Steve Stricker and also provokes a two-minute uninhibited laughing fit about a ridiculous ringtone of a certain media member that kept going off in the media center last week. Lastly, we make some picks for Travelers and Andy delivers a take about proceeding with caution when we watch the four young studs, including Wolff and Hovland, this week.
Live from the Bixby House: Woodland’s win, Brooks’ charge, and Chez’s last stand
We are live from Monterey at the Bixby House for one final podcast at the U.S. Open. We begin with Chez Reavie’s day at Pebble Beach and Andy’s attempts to convince broadcaster Jim Gray to board the Reavie bandwagon up until the very end of the championship. We then get into Gary Woodland’s career-defining moment and if it means more could be on the horizon. We relay some on-the-ground scenery of the mania that was Brooksy’s fast start through the first five holes. A blimp rant takes up a solid portion of the middle section of the pod. Rory’s “tanimal” look gets a review and Urban Meyer’s inside-the-ropes etiquette is also critiqued. We conclude with a final assessment of the Pebble setup and an overall grade for this U.S. Open.
Chez’s revenge and Geoff Shackelford joins to discuss Pebble conditions
We are live in the Pebble Beach media center with our Bixby steeped coffee for some instant reactions to the third round and setting the scene for Sunday. We get into some of the conditions of the course now that we’ve hit the weekend and things appear to be firming up, especially around the greens. We discuss the notion that the pins were too easy and how that outcry quickly dissipated as the round wore on at Pebble. USGA chief setup man John Bodenhamer checks in with a comment on how the course is playing before Geoff Shackleford joins for a segment on the setup, what could be better, and some crackpot scenarios that could play out to make the final round fun. We finish with another round of contender or pretender on Rory, Gary, Chez, and others before making some final picks to win on Sunday.
Live from the Bixby House: The Midpoint at the U.S. Open
Brendan and Andy check in at the midpoint of the national championship and discuss the work of the day, specifically Andy’s timing exercise of Bryson DeChambeau’s group late in the second round. We also review the leaderboard and play a little “pretender or contender” with some of the star names and not-so-popular names on the board. We then go over disappointing MCs and some unsurprising MCs. Andy rails against the par 71 setup at Pebble and we ponder just how much the number will move over the weekend, or if the current 9-under mark may come back over the final 36 holes. What kind of conditions can we expect and how far down the board do you go for realistic chasing options? Rickie’s big mitts, Reed’s club snap, and Phil and DJ’s course management also get reviews.
Live from the Bixby House: A “soft” start at Pebble, Spieth’s searing critique, investigating PXG’s heroes program
We are live Thursday night at the Bixby House for immediate thoughts following the opening round at Pebble Beach. We begin celebrating a certain ace at the 12th hole. Then we react to some early low scores, including Justin Rose’s pace-setting 65 late in the day. Did the USGA go too soft? Will they overreact? Or was it just right? Then we get to Jordan Spieth dressing down his caddie, Michael Greller, and ponder whether it was the usual back-and-forth in that relationship or outside the boundary. Then we’re blessed with a visitor at the Bixby House as No Laying Up’s D.J. Piehowski joins to discuss his early impressions from the first day. We get into conditions, low round predictions for Friday, and who from the top of the leaderboard is most likely to eject. Then Andy reveals the findings of his investigation into the PXG Heroes program which had ads running all day.
Live from the B. Draddy Bungalow: It’s all about the grass
Four horsemen ride in this special bonus Thursday episode at the B. Draddy house in Monterey. Andy and Brendan are joined by Billy Draddy for his usual pre-major championship visit and Josh Lewis, Golf Course Superintendent at Sharon Heights G&CC and formerly of Bandon Dunes, Chambers Bay, and Pasatiempo. Josh was the super for a past U.S. Open venue but also on the grounds at Pebble Beach the last two days and provides fabulous insight into how the course is looking as the championship begins. The potential for syringing this week also gets a thorough breakdown from an expert. Josh speaks to the advantages and possible trouble spots of conditioning a course in this region, working with the USGA, how Pebble might play, and if there’s any chance it could get away from them and how that might happen (it won’t). Billy Draddy joins to discuss layering in the micro-climates of Pebble Beach, some scripting mishaps, and if Pebble is the quintessential U.S. Open venue. The panel also covers their favorite holes at Pebble, the USGA press conference from Wednesday, some winning score predictions based on the course conditioning intel, and the tee times they’re watching early in the championship.
Live from the Bixby House: Pebble’s prepped, Brooksy’s mad, and Bryson’s friction values
It’s U.S. Open eve and we are live again from the Bixby House for a full week of daily pods. This Wednesday episode focuses on the course conditioning after walking Pebble the last couple days and the test that it will present for the best in the world. Can the USGA screw this course up and if so, how? The test, however it goes, may not sit well with one player, who is concerned setups have become a “physics issue” and that the “friction values” on the greens are just not what they need to be. Then we get into another tour de force Brooks Koepka press conference on FOX slights, whiny players, and how no one in the field can beat him. We have some intel about the FOX promo he’s so mad about and how it all may be a made up motivational tactic. We also address Tiger’s chances this week, Brandel getting aboard Andy’s hot take train on Phil Mickelson, and if Jason Day might drive up to the Bay Area to offer Kevin Durant a balloon to heal his injury.
So do you think Mike Weir can win this week?
We are live from the Bixby House in Monterey for a special Tuesday picks edition with Paulie. We break off from our normal weekly segment on fantasy and one-and-done picks with @FriedEggPaulie for a separate, shorter pod on what to expect this week from a fantasy perspective. We cover certain daily fantasy options as well as the usual one-and-done selections. The pod begins by discussing some of the skill sets that Pebble might accentuate and who it might eliminate. Then we get into some of the favorites, including Tiger, Brooksy, Rory, and Jordan Spieth, who is a hot commodity yet again. We also cover low amateur options and a few head-to-heads. There’s also a digression on the necessity of golf shoes, a serious assessment of Mike Weir’s chances, and an rant on Phil Mickelson to close it out.
Rory goes wild in Canada, Anchorman takes Japan, and JDay calls on Stevie
This major championship week begins worse for the wear with Andy’s flight cancelled and Brendan posted up waiting anxiously at the Bixby House in Monterey. We review the weekend results, starting with Rory McIlroy torching the Canadian Open with a 64-61 weekend to win by seven shots. Does it mean anything for Pebble Beach and the U.S. Open? We also discuss Graeme McDowell’s big moment getting into his home Open with his Sunday play in Ontario, Brooksy getting out from under Joey D, and low Canadians. Then we get to the Champions Tour, where Scott McCarron won again despite more pictures floating around Twitter alleging anchoring. We also get into Web Tour minutiae with Rhein Gibson’s win and the scheduling injustice of having an event opposite the U.S. Open, where many of its members are playing. Lexi Thompson’s dramatic win gets the award for “finish of the week.” News hits on an outstanding trophy from the women’s game, some early US Open rumblings, and Jason Day bringing in old Stevie Williams for the week.
A Flashback Friday explosive exposé, Bryson on “human potential,” and Tiger and Phil on U.S. Open setups
This Friday episode meanders about the world of golf, beginning with live Assasin updates from the Senior event in Japan. Keegan Bradley’s early lead in Canada prompts another discussion about the proliferation of personal logos. Then we get into all the quirks and curveballs at this week’s Euro Tour event and if it could spark a WWF “Attitude Era” type response from the PGA Tour. Then we have a Friday quotes segment, reviewing Phil’s harsh words and Tiger’s suggestions on the U.S. Open, Brooksy’s ambivalence and potential Joey D betrayal, and Bryson’s self-parody with his motivation for going to the Sticky Note Classic. In news, we hit on some college studs going pro, player videos already ramping up the hysteria about the Pebble rough, a 16-year-old cruelly DQ’d at sectionals, and some early U.S. Open tee times to watch. Fan Vote Friday takes us down the path of some Canadian players’ odd wine labels, one pro’s claim that he’s the best MarioKart player in all of Canada, and the one unexpected moment that Mike Weir said might be bigger than his Masters win. Flashback Friday is a deep dive starting with the 2004 Canadian Open battle between Weir and Vijay Singh, takes a left turn with a crude Jason Whitlock article on Vijay, and concludes with some damning numbers about how equipment in this era prevented Tiger from holding the majors record already.
We stand on guard for thee, Sectional qualifying minutiae, and Haney’s Twitter misuse
It’s a big week for the Shotgun Start with a national open and sectional qualifying. We begin with the schedule for the week, going first with the Canadian Open’s big move away from Andy’s nightmare, Glen Abbey. What does this Harry Colt design have in store for this year and in this new spot on the schedule? Will it be enough to earn Andy’s “Event of the Week” honors? We do wonder if there’s a title sponsor conspiracy afoot with some of the featured groups and Brendan has some questions about the Champions Tour sprinkling in a random Japan event between two tournaments in the Big Ten footprint. Then we run through some U.S. Open sectional qualifying results, focusing on a few notable pros, upstart amateurs, and fascinating stories that have made it to the big show next week. In news, we FINALLY give the people what they want and address the abominable Matt Kuchar ruling argument last week at Memorial. Should some sort of system be put in place for failed longshot rules asks? Also in news, we hit on Hank Haney not really understanding how Twitter, or the world, really works. We wrap with a spirited Paulie’s picks segment, focusing on some low Canadian options and some player skills that might be preferable for this Hamilton venue.
U.S. Women’s Open reaction, Tiger and Streelman shine at Memorial, and “The Assassin”
A packed Monday episode begins with a wide-ranging discussion on several topics from the U.S. Women’s Open. We discuss Jeongeun Lee6’s two-shot win and the relatability of some of the emotion she showed. We also discuss how the Country Club of Charleston held up and how the women promote the best and most relatable rendering of golf as it should be and how there were no player complaints about setup like we hear at the men’s Open. The pace of play problems at Charleston are reviewed, which prompts story time from Andy about how they have checked his time in the past in competition. For the Memorial, we give Patrick Cantlay his due, as well as Tiger, who appears back in form, before taking a sharp left turn off a cliff to review the career of Kevin Streelman. We also have a story about a potentially intoxicated tour pro stealing one of those famously controversial bunker rakes from the 2006 Memorial. We wrap with some stories that will build the legend of “The Assassin,” who should be your new favorite golfer.
Bryson’s slow play and the Pros v. the USGA with ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg
A rousing Friday episode begins with Bryson DeChambeau’s nonsensical excuses for his pace of play after he was hit with bad times on Friday at the Memorial. We discuss Bryson moving the goalposts and neglecting the fact that playing in a reasonable time is a skill. Then we move to more pleasing matters, namely the U.S. Women’s Open and how Charleston has provided a great test for the best in the world so far. In a less pleasing segment, we address Hank Haney’s awful comments on the Women’s Open. A Flashback Friday centers on the 2006 Memorial, taking us down the path of the famed Henry Picard, that time Jack Nicklaus angered the field using different bunker rakes that made sand shots more challenging, and the 2006 winner Carl Pettersson, whose life and times before and after the anchor ban get a review. Finally, we are joined by ESPN Senior Writer Kevin Van Valkenburg to discuss the fiery comments in Golf Digest from a gaggle of anonymous PGA Tour pros, coaches, and caddies lambasting the USGA. We discuss some of the larger themes from the piece, who looks worse from it -- the players or the USGA, KVV’s three favorite quotes from the lengthy collection, course setup philosophies, the concept of par, and if the fractious relationship is reconcilable at all. Lastly, we finish with a rapid fire reading of a handful of quotes from the piece and adjudge them “Silly,” “Salient,” or “Gotta Hear Both Sides.”
NCAA heartbreak and match play format angst, war on the USGA, and Memorial picks
There’s too much golf to discuss! This Wednesday episode begins with the schedule for the week, focusing on some of the notables at Memorial and questioning how we frame a person becoming a “notable.” Then we discuss the funky Belgian Knockout format on the Euro Tour this week getting OWGR points but the Tour Championship needing a secondary low gross leaderboard to satiate the OWGR board. The U.S. Women’s Open gets event of the week and deservedly so as we highlight the best women’s players in the world taking on a truly unique venue for major golf. Oklahoma State’s heartbreaking NCAA loss to Texas then gets a full dissection. We ask if it was too dark to keep playing and if that impacted the outcome, which gives Andy an opening to rant on pace of play. We also again revisit whether match play was the best format to decide it. Some main themes from the Golf Digest survey of anonymous players and coaches lambasting the USGA and their U.S. Open follies is discussed before we go into a further examination on Friday. In news, we enjoy Jack Nicklaus saying he does not care at all about the “chase for 82” and how that ambiguous number may be built on a bed of lies. We wrap with our weekly fantasy and one-and-done intel for Memorial from the expert Fried Egg Paulie.
New Car smells at Colonial, Tiger Jam wardrobes, and Okie State dominance
We are back for a delayed Memorial Day edition recapping the weekend that was in golf, muscle cars, kitchen appliances, and stock Crate & Barrel silverware as trophies. We begin with Kevin Na’s win in Fort Worth and his comments that he knew he had “zero chance” to win at Bethpage but felt renewed confidence at a place like Colonial. We discuss this variety of courses on the PGA Tour and how to protect it. Then we move to the Senior major at Oak Hill and the possibility that a cellphone ringing cost one participant the title. On the Web Tour, Scottie Scheffler continued his torrid run and that has Andy lamenting the current structure that prevents him from taking that form to the big leagues. On the LPGA, Bronte Law gets her first win and then drives overnight to Charleston for this week’s major, which prompts us to debate how worse for the wear we’d be in contrast to that. With Oklahoma State up by some 25 shots, we debate whether there should even be a match play portion of the NCAA title this week in Arkansas. For a special Monday scaries, we discuss the one senior tour player that flew home on Friday only to land and discover he’d actually made the cut in Rochester.
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
It’s Friday going into a holiday weekend so this episode meanders through some far flung corners of the golf world. We begin with a story time segment that piggyback’s off our discussion on Brooks Koepka’s equipment proclivities from Wednesday. Our next story comes from a tipster on the amateur days of Dru Love, who had himself a rough first round out at Colonial. We get into some of the different exemptions this week, how they’re performing, and how Colonial builds its field in a quirky way. We ask if there are any pro golfers out there that would start turning down exemptions if they were in Dru’s shoes and struggle to come up with an answer. In Fan Vote Friday Jr, we get into the story of Ben Silverman and how it’s a stark contrast from his two playing partners, Love and Tucker Wadkins. Our third and final story from this Friday storytime episode relays a fun anecdote about the elder Wadkins putting in an angry call to Arizona during Tucker’s playing days. In news, we hit on Tiger’s commitment to Memorial and a potentially mattress-related WD in Fort Worth. Flashback Friday focuses on 2003 Colonial champ Kenny Perry, who has an odd agreement to donate a percentage of his career earnings to a small college that helped fund him when he was broke and trying to make it as a pro.
Nepotism Challenge, Women’s NCAA carnage, and the Brooksy equipment sponsor model
The Cat’s in the Cradle at Colonial this week and we will be watching the sons of some former pros closely at one of the PGA Tour’s classic stops. We get into the schedule for the week, which prompts discussion on: Lee Westwood’s activities at the resort and spa hosting in Denmark, the great Kinsgmill setup on the LPGA, why there are stand-up mixer appliances in the middle of the course for a senior major, and the importance of the Evans Scholar program. In the Event of the Week segment, we discuss some of the results so far from the women’s NCAAs and whether it’s fair for the title to be played on a school’s home course. In a Brooks segment, we bat around the official over-under major total and also get back into his choice to go without an equipment sponsor. It leads us to propose a few other nominees that should shun equipment deals in favor of freedom. In an all-USGA segment, we discuss some early results from the first sectional qualifying site and when it’s OK to withdraw before the second 18, media day at Pebble Beach and Andy’s fear of horrible photos from the day, and the USGA contracting Iron Man to grow the game. We finish with the resolution of our PGA head-to-heads that might have Andy worse for the wear.
The Koepka Era and PGA Grades for the course, CBS, fans, and players
Andy and Brendan review a more dramatic-than-expected final day at the PGA Championship. They discuss Brooks Koepka losing his cushion and if they ever thought it was in doubt on Sunday. They assess Brooks’ future and the over-under for his career major total now that he’s won four of his last eight major starts. They also get into the tough Sunday conditions and how the course setup dramatically favored one very specific skill while eliminating others. Then they pass out grades and discuss the performances of DJ, Spieth, Rickie, HVII, the CBS production, and the New York fans. We also look forward to Pebble Beach and how that might set up for Koepka and others. In our Sunday Scaries segment, Andy wonders if they’re sweating at the PGA Tour given how the game’s best player only seems to be illuminating the superfluous nature of everything that’s not a major.
Can anyone beat Brooksy and CBS’ dereliction of pronunciation duties
Brooks Koepka, as you might expect, stays atop the leaderboard and by a significant margin at the PGA Championship. We review how he got it around in even-par on Saturday and our disappointment at the chasers’ inability to close the gap. Then we rant on CBS not being prepared to pronounce Jazz Janewattananond’s name even though he started the day in the top 10. We assess the likelihood of Brooks not winning on Sunday, the numbers it might take, who could shoot them, and why Bethpage won’t exactly promote it. We wrap with Andy going off again about the career earnings list and its misrepresentations to the general public, as well as some of the painful stakes some listeners sent in for our Kraft v. Kang head-to-head wager.
Brooks runs away, Spieth’s slam chances, Rory’s “character”, and “The Power Hour”
Andy and Brendan are set up in their home base and return for this lively Friday night review of the 2019 PGA Championship at its midpoint. They begin with Brooks Koepka’s dominating performance, even though Koepka thinks he didn’t “hit it good” in the second round. They discuss how and why Koepka’s style works so well at this setup, using some illuminating quotes from Tiger Woods, who watched Broosky carve up Bethpage over 36 holes for a new major scoring record. The playing style and bombers’ success chat also ties into some quotes from Bryson DeChambeau, who seems less than thrilled with the setup both at Bethpage and at majors in general. Then they get into Rory citing how he showed “character” getting back on the right side of the cut line after an abominable first 27 holes. They also hit on an odd penalty for one player not showing up on time and CBS deciding to call the final four holes this week “The Power Hour.”
Koepka’s PGA to lose, Pretenders and Contenders, and PGA execs bail to NGLA
Andy has returned home to Chicago but not without relaying one final misadventure from his immersion in New York life. We get into the opening round from the PGA, leading with the obvious news of Bruce/Brooks Koepka rocketing to the top of another major leaderboard with a course record round. How far down the board do you go to find names still in it? Then we get to the anomaly of Danny Lee’s 64 as well as Rory’s day on the putting greens. A “contender or pretender” segment covers some of the, well, less publicized names on the first or second page of the leaderboard. In news, we hit on the PGA board’s big day out at National Golf Links of America in the middle of their biggest week of the year as well as the cheap ticket prices this week and if it means the NYC area has been oversaturated with majors. We also briefly discuss John Daly’s day rolling around a major on cart. Flashback Friday wraps up with a past PGA from the NYC area that left Tommy Tolles on the outside of the Ryder Cup roster.
Live from B. Draddy HQ: PGA Championship preview
We return for this Wednesday edition with a special live recording with an audience at B. Draddy’s Manhattan headquarters. We start by running through the schedule for the week, which leads us into a discussion of whether the governing bodies need to get on the same page together and whether that will ever be possible. Our PGA preview begins by addressing two of the favorites this week, Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka. We get into Tiger’s choice to take the last month off and how it might pay off at Bethpage. Then we get to Brooksy’s comments that the majors are actually the easiest to win, and his calculus for eliminating most of the field before it even starts. We then move to this week’s host course, discussing our favorite and least favorite aspects of Bethpage and whether it’s more of a USGA or PGA venue. Then we are joined by Billy Draddy to make some PGA picks, discuss New York golf, players getting their own logos, and Bethpage’s Warning Sign brand. We wrap with a discussion on some fun tee times to watch the first couple rounds at the PGA, including the fascinating “Cart Boy” and Beemer duo.
Shaggy Kang’s big win, early PGA thoughts, and soccer comes to Golf Channel
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend ready for the second men’s major championship of the year. But before looking ahead, first they review Sung Kang’s big win at the Byron Nelson, giving Andy a chance to play his walk-up music one more time. They also get into Matt Every’s comments on Kang’s pace of play and the sudden death of #ToddWatch. The subject of Trinity Forest being “easy” simply because of scores relative to par is addressed with vigor. On the Euro Tour, they rejoice at the confirmation of Westy hosting the British Masters again as well as his trip to the States for the PGA. Now comes the question of whether he’ll play or just do appearances at parties. Andy also gets off a rant about a soccer game impeding the Sunday morning coverage on Golf Channel. They sprinkle in some thoughts on a few early PGA topics before diving headlong into the major later this week. We wrap going over a listener submitted document purporting to list every single FedExCup No. 1, ever.
PGA coverage prep, Danny Chops’ big break, and Romo’s rough day
We begin with an edict from Andy about complaints over next week’s PGA Championship coverage. This leads to Brendan reading some of the amusing and terrifying show descriptions for TNT programming during the season’s second major. Then we get into Danny Chops’ big moment, and ponder if a pro has ever gone from announcing PGA Tour Live to a featured group on PGA Tour Live within a month. Then we review Tony Romo’s day, which was not great, but still came in below the over-under line set for his first round score. The results of Fan Vote Friday Jr. have us discussing the derivation of Kris Blanks’ name, a past tweet about coitus that had him apologizing, Beau Hossler’s shoulder injury, and the little mountain town where Jimmy Knous hails from in Colorado and if he should be rightful PGA Tour scientist, not the “fraudulent physicist.” In news, we hit on the footage of John Peterson doing Happy Gilmore swings on the range of just his second event in his comeback as well as a backboarding scandal erupting at a major championship. We wrap with a Flashback Friday that takes us down memory lane to the Brendon Todd era.
Trinity Forest chat, Tony Romo’s big ambitions, and ‘walk or ride’ comes to the PGA
This Wednesday episode goes long on this week’s event, the Byron Nelson. We get into the unique (for the PGA Tour) course, Trinity Forest, in Dallas. We discuss some of its key features and why it makes for such a different watch and test on the PGA Tour. We also chat about the British Masters, its quality venue, and whether Chicagoan Matt Fitzpatrick will ever be able to host this event. Then we get to Tony Romo’s exemption at the Nelson, his hockey style putting stroke, his intense practice habits, his sizable over-under number for round one, and his big plans to play more tour golf. In news, we hit on John Daly getting approval to use a cart at next week’s PGA Championship. How will this work, especially on what could be a rain-soaked Bethpage? Is the 90-degree rule in effect? Cart path only? Will you get relief from a tire mark? So many questions before we wrap with Paulie’s Picks and an abominable and astonishing Nelson one-and-done selection from one participant.
Homa’s breakthrough, Brooks-Brandel beef, and Quail Hollow’s spot on the schedule
We return from the weekend with a double worse-for-the wear feature, which means you may want to just set this episode to 1.5 or 2x speed at the start. We run through the results and commend Max Homa’s work to get to the point of winning on the PGA Tour. We also use that as a jump off to contrast it with some players who may be the beneficiary of repeated exemptions. Then there’s a wild divergence on the Minneapolis business community as well as this Quail Hollow event getting eaten by some of the elevated status titles and WGCs that line the schedule. After the Kentucky Derby controversy, we put out a few golf hypotheticals that might come close to comparing to that overturn and ruling at the sport’s biggest event. In news, we hit on the joy of the Brooks Koepka and Brandel Chamblee beef that reignited with Brooksy’s weekend photoshop work. We sign off with the weird story of Steve Sticker being used for a charity outing scam and ponder who you would choose for such a scam to make it both believable enough and also draw interest for your outing.
The Pace Car breaks down, Nepotism comes to Colonial, and Staff Sergeant Jason Day
We get a little loose on this Friday episode. We begin with a quick leaderboard check-in, discussing Rory and Joel Dahmen in Charlotte and Anne van Dam (and the Dutch population at large) leading on the LPGA. This also leads to Andy proposing a dramatic overhaul to Olympic golf, where regions, and not nations, are represented. We also discuss The Pace Car blowing a tire and withdrawing after an opening round 80, as well as the telepathic Team Reed maybe sorting out their swing. In Flashback Friday, Andy takes us down a memory lane occupied by Rory McIlroy, Billy Mayfair, and Wells Fargo Ironman J.J. Henry. We wrap with news we either care or don’t care about from the past couple days, hitting on teetotaler Bubba endorsing CBD, some extreeeemely crooked exemptions at Colonial that will leave you choking on nepotism, Keith Pelley’s tone deaf comments on the Euro Tour’s role in Saudi Arabia’s evolution, Lydia Ko parting ways with another coach, Tiger’s big boat sailing to Long Island, Jason Day’s dream of being in the military and the idea of him blowing into balloons in the trenches or on the Black Hawk, and lastly, Victor Dubuisson giving up wine, getting in shape, and dreaming of a return to the Ryder Cup.
Wells Fargo’s J.J. Henry problem, PGA Champ conditioning, and a Carson Daly rant
This Wednesday episode begins, as you’d expect, with a lengthy divergence on J.J. Henry after Andy comes with the little fact that he’s one of two players that have made a start in every iteration of the Wells Fargo Championship. We discuss the odd and arbitrary “300 career made cuts” category that allowed him to keep his card this year. Then we get into the full schedule for the week, comparing the purses of some LPGA events to Champions Tour events and then discussing the leaderboard at the PGA Professional Championship. The event of the week has us reviewing the career earnings of the all-time wins leader on the Minor League Golf Tour. In news, we discuss some comments from PGA Championship setup man Kerry Haigh on the weather and conditioning they’re hoping for over the next two weeks to fill out Bethpage Black. We also rant on the absurdity of Carson Daly’s latest interjections about the “Spirit of Earl Woods” in his podcast with Rory McIlroy. We wrap with some Quail Hollow picks and intel from Fried Egg Paulie.
Under the thumb, Dodo Molinari reveals slow play names, and more wedges to add to your bag
We return from the weekend to run through a full slate of tournaments across the world of golf. We get to Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer’s runaway win at the Zurich Classic, and Andy offers some misgivings about the fallout and impacts that a win or a successful finish has on some of the weaker links in these two-man teams. Then we get to Jorge Campillo winning the dagger in Morocco and revisit our claim that more young American players should go see the world and come up through the European Tour. We review Minjee Lee’s cruise to an LA Open title at Wilshire and also hit on the Champions Tour event at Big Cedar, which Andy argues “does not need to exist.” The start of the PGA Professional Championship is also addressed, and we posit that the new schedule puts the pros from the Northern U.S. at a severe disadvantage. In news, we discuss Eduardo Molinari’s bold move to tweet out all the slow play times on the European Tour and what more can be done to affect real change. We also get back to Tiger’s announcement that he’s skipping the Wells Fargo and why it doesn’t matter. Before we get to Andy’s weekend wearing mittens and Brendan’s long afternoon coaching youth soccer, we wrap with the news that one LPGA pro uses lemon wedges to focus and wonder if this is a real aid we should put in the bag or if it’s more quackery.
Name that Walk-up Tune Part 2, Tiger’s in love with the ZoZo, the un-retirement heard round the world
“Hey, how you doing? It’s Friday!” We head to the weekend with a quick check in around the world of golf, from Morocco to Los Angeles. We debate whether the Zurich Classic, two-man format or not, stinks. We also get into whether upstart pros should go to Europe to work their way up the world rankings. Then, by popular demand and from the mind of Andy Johnson, we play another round of the guessing game for a few more walk-up music selections most appropriate for some Shotgun Start favorites. In news, we get to Tiger committing to the first ever PGA Tour event in Japan, his scheduling choices, and the overreaction to his gait from a social media video on Thursday. Then we hit on the news of John Peterson’s fifth or sixth or seventh un-retirement of the past year, and some of the absurd quotes he delivered about why he made the choice to come back. Ernie Els’ special exemption into the U.S. Open has Andy bursting with joy, but we also provide some intel about some International players maybe not thrilled about being told who to play with this week. The disastrous deal a Euro women’s pro announced with Golf Saudi, as well as the awful caption for it, get a review. We conclude with a Flashback Friday on a 1980s (sorta) legend.
The 2-man team format, walk-up music we’d like to hear, and the women go to Wilshire
This Wednesday episode begins by running through the full schedule for the week, with commentary on the Champions Tour pilgrimage to the Ozarks, the Web Tour playing again with no TV coverage, and the utility of the European Tour handing out a trophy that can also be used to prepare dinner. Then Andy crowns his Event of the Week, which goes to a classic Los Angeles design that has, rightly, ripped its name from PGA Tour. The Zurich Classic format comes into the crosshairs as we examine the end-around of players who have little-to-no status using another player’s (who does have status) shots during a competition that could land them a two-year exemption. We also dabble with a walk-up music game, as Andy comes up with some song options for a few Shotgun Start favorites that Brendan has to guess. In news, we hit on the Hero World Challenge still going up against the Aussie Open, John Peterson coming out of retirement again, and a call to action to help a PGA Tour pro design his new logo. We wrap with some one-and-done picks after getting blown off by Paulie.
Bummed in Bratislava, Tiger’s attire, and Larry Nelson slander
After a brief diversion on Easter candy, Andy and Brendan return from the weekend to run through the results from the golf world. They get into C.T. Pan’s big win at the Heritage, DJ’s staggering implosion on the back nine, and Rory Sabbatini’s Sunday fade. The Sabbatini contention brings us to a possible scandal revealed on the coverage over the weekend and has us questioning whether his decision to become Slovakian came from pure intentions. On the Champions Tour, we discuss the two MLB pitchers that made starts at TPC Sugarloaf with limited success. Then we get to the matter of Tiger rolling out to The Woods in mesh shorts and his dri-fit gear. We wrap with a Sunday Scaries segment that suddenly dives down a rabbit hole on the life and times of Larry Nelson, war hero and three-time major champion.
OWGR board’s grand troll of the PGA Tour, Midwest money, and Zurich as a Member-Guest
We begin this Friday episode with the news that the PGA Tour’s grand finale and the crowning FedExCup test will now feature two leaderboards, one hidden and one for public consumption. We revel in the OWGR sanction board holding this over the Tour’s head and making them work for it, and also the fact that a move made for simplicity has resulted in this weird and convoluted two-leaderboard system. Then we get to the matter of Mike Weir playing in Alabama and wonder how many players have gone from the Masters one week to RTJ Trail the next. We also address the news of some big names committing to the new Detroit event and, combined with some star commits to the new Minneapolis event, question whether something untoward is happening on the money side with these events. Some two-man teams for next week’s Zurich Classic are out, including one father-son duo that will certainly raise eyebrows and maybe even tempers in the locker rooms. We wrap with a Flashback Friday on two-time Heritage winner Payne Stewart and some of his early career achievements and under-achievements, including that stretch when he played Top Flite cavity back irons.
The “Fraudulent Physicist,” Alabama golf corruption, and Fortnite Tent research
We’re back recording remotely after a week in Augusta and this Wednesday episode quickly devolves into covering all absurd corners of the golf world since Tiger won the Masters. We run through the schedule of the week and Andy delivers some intel on the great Pasatiempo when crowning his event of the week. We also ponder why Mitsubishi is putting all their marketing money into sponsoring senior events as well as some background on the sketchy circumstances that brought the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail into existence in Alabama, site of this week’s Web Tour event. Then we get to the news that a physicist has disproven Bryson DeChambeau’s crackpot science of putting with the flagstick still in the hole. We discuss the news of Hosung Choi’s exemption to the John Deere Classic and what he might do exploring the Quad Cities region in the heartland of America. Also in news, we hit on the PGA Tour releasing a new mobile video game, which gives Andy an opening to provide some field research he did on if the Fortnite tents have brought kids out to the PGA Tour events. We wrap with some quick picks for the Heritage.
Live from the Bixby House: Sunday Night at the Masters
Tiger Woods is a Masters champion again. Andy and Brendan react to an unforgettable, legendary day at Augusta National. But not without first discussing results from the Haikou Championship on the PGA Tour China series. Then we get into Tiger’s win, our favorite moments of the day, and his future prospects. Andy changed up his worst-case scenario fears and explains a moment of panic when he thought it might come to fruition on Sunday. We discuss The Pace Car’s smooth round of 80 and also hit on Matt Kuchar’s continued FedExCup stranglehold. We are joined in the Bixby House by the PGA Tour’s Sean Martin and CBS Sports’ Kyle Porter for some lightning round questions on Sunday at the Masters. After a solid two months of dispensing facts, we wrap with some final Masters Facts of the Day.
Live from the Bixby House: Saturday at the Masters
It’s Saturday night in Augusta and Andy and Brendan have come down from the high of Friday night’s off-the-rails episode. They have some intel from a doctor on the efficacy or quackery of Jason Day’s balloon treatments. They bring you a quick recap of the third round as well as some picks for Sunday’s early start. They react to Tiger’s 67 and charge into the final Sunday tee time at the Masters, as well as the machine Frankie Molinari refusing to give up an inch at the top of the leaderboard. They also address Adam Scott messing around with a table top putting stance just minutes before teeing off in the final group of a weekend round at the biggest event of the year. They get to the news of Rory saying Augusta’s rough is having a negative impact on the competition. Updated odds and picks for Sunday’s final round wrap up this truncated edition as they prep for an early start of the last 18 holes.
Live from the Bixby House: Friday at the Masters
An off-the-rails Friday night edition comes to you from the Bixby House recapping a wild day at the 2019 Masters. We begin with a story of Andy chasing a UPS truck down the streets in Augusta in the hopes of finding Lee Westwood. Then we get to the matter of Jason Day blowing up balloons as a medical remedy. We also hit on the Zach Johnson’s five-yard drive at the 13th tee and how one might play the hole if he’d been forced to from that spot. Then we get to the security slide tackle of Tiger Woods, which opens the door for Andy to reheat his take that there should be no fans on the golf course. We wrap with the sad news of Woosie’s retirement and hold out hope that it might be a Brett Favre situation.
Live from the Bixby House: Friday Jr. at the Masters
Brendan and Andy come to you live from the Bixby House with a raw and unedited episode reviewing the first day of the 2019 Masters. We get in to the flurry of late activity on Friday Jr. afternoon with Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, and Phil Mickelson going low in the last two groups on the tee sheet. We address Brooksy popping off at the haters on his weight loss and call out the SMU Physics Department after Bryson completely misused “terminal velocity” to explain why his ball didn’t go in the hole on the 18th. Then we get to the matter of Jason Day and if the simple fact of “being a good father” has cost him a shot at the Masters this year. We discuss Tiger’s 2-under round of 70 and what it might mean heading into the weekend. Then Kyle Porter appears to offer some hot takes on the “lost” Jordan Spieth. We do a lightning round of predictions on a few players who might miss/make the cut before wrapping with a Flashback Friday on the year of Woosie and a Masters Fact of the Day on a defunct opposite field event.
The first ever Shotgun Start Live: Masters Preview
It’s Masters eve and appropriately, we roll out a preview podcast recorded with a live audience from the B. Draddy house in Augusta. We start by reacting to some of our favorite tee times for the first two rounds and what to expect from some of these featured groupings. Then we move to the course and assess how the weather and conditions have changed this 2019 edition and who benefits the most. Pat Reed’s dinner menu gets a quick review. Then we welcome in Billy Draddy, a golf fashion icon, to discuss Masters scripting, mock necks, and some legendary Masters fashion looks and catastrophes. In a quotables segment, we run through some highlights from Masters week so far, including comments from Bryson that he’s figuring out how the club shaft works and comments from Brooks about how this is a “recovery” week following a puzzling diet change. We wrap with some dream scenarios we’d like to see come Sunday afternoon and our picks to win the green jacket.
So you’re saying Woosie has a chance? Paulie’s Picks, Masters edition
It’s the most heavily wagered and biggest fantasy week of the year in golf. So we broke off a special Paulie’s Picks episode to discuss some Masters pool strategies, one-and-done options, and daily fantasy plays. We also run through a lightning round, throwing names, including that of a diminutive Welshman, at Paulie for intel and fade-or-play judgments. Some interesting props are discussed, such as the over-under for highest round, another occasion to discuss the diminutive Welshman.
ANA recap, ANWA appreciation, and Canada’s new Masters hope
Greetings from Augusta! After 95 episodes, Brendan and Andy meet again to record their first ever in-person Shotgun Start. They begin with a review of the season’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration. Then they get to the final round of the ANWA, appreciating what we got to watch over the weekend from the women at Augusta. Corey Conners’ big win in Texas is hailed after a season of banging the drum for improved status for our fine Canadian friend. We get into the machinations of how a guy with such lofty FedExCup status needed to Monday qualify to win. The Jordan Mixed Open, of course, is not lost in the shuffle as we examine that fascinating experiment. After a thorough review of the weekend, we begin our look forward with a few things we’re looking for early in the week at Augusta National. Finally, we wrap with a bucket of Masters facts, including the one about the time an amateur had a guest up to the crow’s nest.
ANWA backlash, Tiger’s new venture, and Masters betting with Golf Odds’ Jeff Sherman
It’s Friday! We begin with some thoughts on the first two days of the first ever Augusta National Women’s Amateur. We offer some critiques on the odd sequence of a practice round wedged in middle, the need for an 11-for-10 playoff, and if this is the right week on the schedule for it. Then we move to a discussion on the early action at the ANA Inspiration and the Texas Open, which provokes a Flashback Friday on how the ProV1 left Justin Leonard, and a potential legendary career, behind. In news, we hit on the revelation that Tiger Woods will be doing a series of matches with GolfTV and discuss what that might mean for the future of golf networks in the States. Then Jeff Sherman, expert handicapper and oddsmakers of the SuperBook and GolfOdds.com, joins for a quick segment on what the market looks like for next week’s Masters. We wrap with multiple juicy and enlightening Masters facts of the day, including one on the amateur who was thrown out of the Tournament for potentially salacious reasons and a body of water named after a famous 16th century explorer who allegedly crossed the grounds.
An analytical dive in to the 2019 Masters with the brilliant Joe Peta
It’s a Friday Jr. miracle! With the Masters bearing down, we bring you this special edition to help you get dialed for the first men’s major of the season. Joe Peta, famed author with a prior focus on advanced baseball analytics and betting, shifted to golf and published a 2019 Masters Preview. It’s out on Amazon now and we wanted to pick Joe’s brain about next week’s Masters and what went into his work. He brings it as we talk Tiger, Spieth, Rory, DJ being more like Matt Kuchar, and course changes to Augusta. We finish with a mind-blowing segment on the man known as Sir Nick. Thanks to Joe for the time. You can buy his Masters preview, a fast and fascinating read before the tournament, on Amazon.