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19th Hole

Rick Shiels shoots +41 in 3-round pro-am tourney. GolfWRX members discuss.



There’s no way to sugarcoat this: Rick Shiels’ golf game did not travel with him to coastal Spain. Sorry, Rick, (who is by all accounts a great guy). The YouTube personality, instructor, and club reviewer extraordinaire teed it up in the three-round Costa Daurada International Pro-Am at Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club in Spain.

Shiels carded rounds of 88, 88, 79 to finish at 41 over par, last in the field of 17 golfers and seven strokes worse than any other pro.

Not surprisingly, GolfWRX members are discussing the popular YouTuber’s performance and asking some tough questions.

Londoner writes

“This is not intended as a bashing thread. We have all had rounds where it felt like our first. But I thought pros had some level of consistency cracked. Ric hit 41 over for 3 rounds in a pro am…
The winner was +2. How does a pro unravel like that?”

Cornwall1888 suggests

“He’s simply not very good, that’s why he makes money from YouTube and sponsors, not playing golf. He’s probably a 2 or 3 handicap who had a terrible week.”

Stumpnav continues the thought that Shiels may simply not be a good tournament player

“I think Rick spends most of his time at the range using his launch monitor and not enough on the course. He knows how to play swing but not how to play golf. Doesn’t diminish his instructional ability or the enjoyment of his channel.”

Hawkeye77 doesn’t think the scores necessarily reflect his abilities as a player

“On vacation with his family, little or no play or practice in winter, not all that surprising. I’ll bet anyone he played with had a great time.”

Plenty, like Merkury10, defended Shiels and offered potential explanations

“All pros can have a stinker like that. We just aren’t watching them on Sunday. They either missed the cut or played the early tee time not televised. I agree with what was said earlier. I suspect he spends the majority of his time in the hitting bay and not out trying to shoot low scores. Rory 5 putted this weekend, and he’s no Rory.”

03trdblack has a theory about where Shiels is deficient

“Serviceable swing but his chipping and putting are pretty bad. He’s a driving range pro that lives on the GCQuad instead of on the practice green.”

There’s much, much more to the discussion and plenty of hot takes on both sides…and plenty of folks who loved or hated the new Driver vs. Driver panelist before he fired three miserable rounds. In other words, you’ll want to check out this thread.

And it’s neither here nor there, but still worth disclosing, Shiels contributed to this site in the past. You can see his archive here.


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  1. mlb

    Feb 22, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Who gives a &^%$#@( Rick Shiels is still a solid guy and player:)

  2. BenAlbersDad

    Feb 21, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    WTF is the point of this discussion? Who really cares what Shiels carded in some Podunk tourney in Guam? Get a life WRXers!

  3. TigerArmy

    Feb 20, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    This is a joke. Rick Shiels was introduced on golfwrx about 18 months ago. Almost no activity on this site since then. I guess both parties have fallen out with each other. Golfwrx is a sinking ship and Mr. Shiels.will get along alone much better. Now golfwrx wants to throw him under the bus with this vile discussion. Disgusting stuff!

    • Milton Gombo

      Feb 20, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      Throw him under the bus they did. The man is a legitimate PGA-Euro card holder, competing in a
      silly off season event, which has all the credibility of a spring training baseball game.
      Don’t know who put Ben up to this hatchet job, or why, but WRX as a whole would have been better by another level if they could have found a place for Rick’s reviews.


    Feb 20, 2018 at 11:16 am

    So Rick Shiels had a horrible tournament showing… It happens! What people fail to realize is that most “instructors” are better teachers than they are tournament players. There’s nothing to see here aside from a man having a tough go-at-it over the course of three days. He’s human…

  5. S

    Feb 20, 2018 at 8:14 am

    For three straight days??? seriously? I love watching his equipment reviews all the time. Now I just need to adjust my point of view slightly. Reviews from a long mid-handicapper, basically one of you many GolfWrx’ers. No wonder you guys love him so much LOL

  6. Jeremy

    Feb 19, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    This thread is an absolute joke. I would expect better from GolfWRX. Rick is an awesome PGA Golf Professional! We need more guys like this to continue to help grow the game of golf and less threads like this. WRX, this thread is a triple bogey.

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 20, 2018 at 1:19 am

      What are you talking about? WRX handled it about as fairly as anybody could. The guy gets ad money for handing out golf advice, but he shot 41 over in three rounds. Doesn’t make him a bad guy, doesn’t mean he would always shoot that bad. Does mean it’s newsworthy within the world of golf journalism. What should they do? Ignore it? Pretend it doesn’t raise at least a glimmer of a question about instructional value? It’s not conclusive, but it’s absolutely a fair concern to raise.

  7. Sandy Bunker

    Feb 19, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Unable to produce the goods when it matters……….typical ,…….too busy filming himself & chasing You Tube subscribers…suck it up Princess.

  8. sam

    Feb 18, 2018 at 3:24 am

    he shot 74 with a hole in one at the British Open qualifying … he can play and he is a great guy too. Stop the hating America, it is getting old and tiresome.

    • ouch

      Feb 18, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      I totally agree with you.

      Unfortunately people here on this site (not everyone obviously but more than enough) seem to love to tear people down, especially youtube guys of late. It’s unfortunate really.

      Honestly kinda surprised this was considered “front page worthy”. Isn’t he a Golfwrx contributor? Might be hard to get other youtubers or coaches to give their opinion to this site when 1 awful tournament score is considered front page news. I guess it’s the American story, build them and wait to tear them down…. Again unfortunate really….

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 20, 2018 at 1:21 am

      A hole-in-one doesn’t make you a player. With 3 on that hole he shoots 76. Not 90, not terrible, but whether that’s “can play” within a group of pros is a legitimate question.

    • James Glenn

      Feb 20, 2018 at 9:27 am

      He shot 74…WITH a hole in one? That means one lucky shot took what would have been a 76 — middling, at best, from a professional even playing in a British Open Qualifier. That most definitely does not mean, conclusively, “the guy can play.”

  9. AriTechnical

    Feb 17, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Sad part is he could still take Tiger. That guy is horrible! At least Shiels provides some valuable content to the world.

    • Mark

      Feb 19, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      Lol..true. But no one wants to talk about how Tiger is DONE!! ANd time to focus on the future of the sport, not a toothless tiger

  10. Daniel Annand

    Feb 16, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    To all the trolls how many subscribers do you have? Get a life you keyboard warriors

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 20, 2018 at 1:24 am

      What possible difference does “number of subscribers” make? Talk about a nitwit millennial mentality. Golf is a score. This was a bad score for somebody who gets paid based on perceived instructional value. Period. Doesn’t mean he hasn’t had better weeks. Isn’t conclusive as to the value of the instruction. But it _does_ raise legitimate questions about how much authority they would see as inhering in it, aside from questions that would arise on the substance and could be evaluated on the substance.

  11. rex235

    Feb 16, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Surprising there wasn’t a WITB for Shielsy….


    Feb 15, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Course is only 6317 yards off the back.

    This is obviously a low level Pro Golf tournament and is a resort course, being 4 shots inside bogey golf for 36 holes is horrendous however you cut it.

    There are very good club pros out there there are also a lot that are not very good

    Making a launch monitor read a certain number, is not golf


      Feb 15, 2018 at 8:27 pm

      It’s actually in metres, which is 6908 yards.

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 20, 2018 at 1:25 am

      Possibly the truest line I’ve seen in months in any golf publication:

      “Making a launch monitor read a certain number is not golf.”

    • Paul CORRADO

      Feb 20, 2018 at 5:20 am

      The courses hosted the final stage of the European Tour Q school, there were a lot of wind, Tell you this is not easy courses.

      • Stephen Finley

        Feb 21, 2018 at 12:37 am

        Yeah, kinda looks like like conditions were difficult and the course wasn’t so much a lark, but averaging 14 over a round when you’re teaching people how to play the game is still a newsworthy story. I doubt this indicates his normal level of play, but nobody should ask a golf publication to ignore it. Imagine what would happen if Sean Foley went out and shot triple 90s in a tournament. Doesn’t mean his theories are necessarily wrong, doesn’t mean he’s always that bad, but it’d be news.

  13. RG

    Feb 15, 2018 at 10:01 am

    What I find really funny is that he calls himself a “teacher.” If your a good teacher, why don’t you figure it out after day 1 and make the correction?

  14. Sam Sung

    Feb 15, 2018 at 2:37 am

    Wait a minute! Rick Shiels plays in tournaments?

  15. chris

    Feb 14, 2018 at 7:57 am

    The real numbers to look at are # of putts. Then penalty strokes. When discussing a bad round.

  16. John

    Feb 14, 2018 at 7:36 am

    I noticed that 27 out of 51 of the rounds played were 77 or over. Either bad or tough conditions or bad Pros. I have a hard time believing that this is the norm for these guys .

  17. CB

    Feb 14, 2018 at 1:08 am

    So he tests drivers all the time purely for ball speed and feel pleasure for you idiots to gawk at on Youtube, and you expect him to be able to hit the driver straight onto a fairway , tight iron shots into pins and make putts? I am not surprised in the least.

    • indyvic

      Feb 14, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      CB your comment that people are “idiots” for watching him on YouTube is what’s idiotic and low class and IMO comes in even worse than his score. This is a gentleman’s game with exception to people like you. But hey, nothing stopping You from going on YouTube and showing us “idiots” how it’s done. Be sure and post on WRX and let everyone know when you’re ready so we can become your “idiots.”

      • Mark

        Feb 19, 2018 at 10:04 pm

        Lol exactly..dude is a troll shields is the man. Guy could’ve shot 100 n it doesn’t change the fact he is great at what he does

        • Brandon

          Feb 19, 2018 at 10:55 pm

          Shooting 100 and being a golf pro don’t go together. I’m not a pro but I still shot 74 this weekend from tips. I’m surely not a pro and not bragging, I’m just saying there are lots of “pros” who got really good for a few months and then stopped practicing like they did to get their certification.

        • Stephen Finley

          Feb 20, 2018 at 1:28 am

          “Guy could’ve shot 100 n it doesn’t change the fact he is great at what he does.”

          Are you even remotely serious?

          Having a bad week doesn’t automatically or conclusively mean everything (or anything) he says is wrong, but acting like there’s no connection between some level of playing ability and instructional theory is just ridiculous.

        • James Glenn

          Feb 20, 2018 at 9:33 am

          It absolutely does. There’s a reason the PGA make you play in a Playing Ability Test. Would you take business advice from someone who’s bankrupted a company and currently broke?

  18. John Ireland

    Feb 13, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    What’s the story with the half irish/half GB flags???

  19. the dude

    Feb 13, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    who is he????…seriously

    • Benny

      Feb 16, 2018 at 7:01 am

      I have no clue either lol…

    • Scarface

      Feb 18, 2018 at 3:48 am

      It’s Ok, I don’t mind the confusing flag situation, it’s the same as all those morons in Boston who call themselves Irish, oh I’m Irish but then when you ask them well then did you support the IRA when they went around bombing things in the UK, they all say no because I’m an American lmao

      • Stephen Finley

        Feb 20, 2018 at 1:30 am

        I’m Irish-American, and it’s ludicrous to suggest either support for the IRA or opposition to the IRA makes you more Irish or less Irish. What are you even talking about?

        • Andy

          Feb 21, 2018 at 7:01 pm

          Maybe, but whether or not you support people who blew up babies may make you more humane or less humane…

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19th Hole

Another rules incident for Lexi Thompson



For Lexi Thompson and the LPGA Tour, the day they hoped would never come has arrived. Lexi Thompson made a rules blunder and nearly signed for an incorrect scorecard for her second round of play at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Details are scant, but based on a report from Keeley Levins at Golf Digest, it seems Thompson’s ball came to rest near an advertising sign at the 15th hole. Believing the sign was a moveable obstruction, Thompson moved the sign. And, well, you know where this is going. The sign was an immovable obstruction. It’s unclear who Thompson consulted before making her decision, but it doesn’t appear she sought out a rules official.

Unaware that she was in violation, Thompson was told of the two-stroke penalty while she was in the scorers’ tent. After the rules official’s intercession, Thompson signed for a second-round 68, rather than 66.

The LPGA issued this statement

“During the second round of the Honda LPGA Thailand, Lexi Thompson incurred a two-stroke penalty on hole 15 for breach of the Local Rule regarding temporary immovable obstructions as prescribed in Appendix 1. The Supplementary Rules of Play for the Honda LPGA Thailand state that advertising boards are temporary immovable obstructions.”

Now, opinions on what befell Thompson at the 2017 Ana Inspiration range from “she was a victim” to “her cavalier ballmarking finally caught up with her.” Regardless of where you sit in that continuum, you’d have to expect Lexi Thompson would be calling in a rules official in any potentially dubious situation, or at the very least, giving the local rules a close read.

Ultimately, you’d have to think the takesmiths will remain largely entrenched in their post-Ana rules fiasco positions on this one. What say you, GolfWRX members?

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19th Hole

Retired pro cricketer blasts Kevin Na for slow play. Is he right?



A tweet and follow-up video from a retired English cricketer are making the rounds in the golf social mediaverse and snackable content realms. And while most agree that it’s not a good look for golf when Kevin Pietersen, who has more than three million Twitter followers, mocks Kevin Na for taking a small eternity over a putt and slow play is an issue on Tour, Pietersen may not exactly be hitting the mark.

Anyway, here’s the tweet and succeeding tutorial.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Surely it’s hyperbole to call the putt a “tap-in,” no? But given the length of the putt, how excessive is the amount of time Na took?

And for the millionth time, expecting players like Kevin Na (who prefers a…deliberate pace) to play quickly because it’s courteous, isn’t going to happen. Pro golf is the man’s job, and he clearly believes he does it best when he does it slowly with great deliberation. Expecting Na, or any other player of a similar mindset, to change without outside influence (slow play penalties) is unrealistic.

In other words, Pietersen ought to include @PGATour in his tweet as well.

Update: Na posted this defense/explanation on Instagram. 



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19th Hole

On the range at PGA National: Gerald is missing, a major winner throws down the WITB gauntlet, Artisan sighting



GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. And just like Monday, there was plenty of visual interest Tuesday. We got WITB looks at Sergio Garcia, Harold Varner III, and Ian Poulter, in addition to others, as well as a look at a new Toulon offering. Two galleries of general range photos as well, for your viewing pleasure.

Here are a few of the best shots.

We’ll start with Sergio Garcia, who is gaming some absolutely savage stuff since signing with Callaway. Apex MB irons with the Sergio Garcia logo and a chrome finish that’d make an exhaust tip blush.

Garcia is also gaming this Toulon Azalea putter, appropriately.

Also in the Toulon department, Cody Gribble’s Toulon San Diego is, classy. It…stays classy, if you will.

Interestingly, we spotted Gribble with this Nike Engage wedge. And is that an Artisan Golf stamp? Hmm…

A quick scan of Harold Varner III’s bag revealed Gerald, Varner’s iconic puppet-like headcover to be absent. Upon closer inspection, Gerald is embroidered on HV3’s putter cover. Does this mean Gerald the headcover is no more? Say it ain’t so!

The only Ben Hogan staff bag on Tour. And a beauty it is! J.J. Henry with a set o’ Hogan PTx irons.

We spotted Ian Poulter with some Superspeed Golf sticks and a…baseball bat? That can’t be right. What is that thing? At his side in case Ted Bishop comes around?

Poulter, one of the most frequent flatstick flippers, also looks to be a new admirer of the work of Rife Guerin, as he was testing both an Evnroll and Rife Antigua putter. We’ll see what he puts in play.

Oh boy, the putter buffet was fully stocked at PGA National Tuesday. Golden Corral has nothing on these offerings.

A helping of Odyssey…




…makes you want to fill up a plate and come back for seconds.

Check our full spread of photos from Tuesday at PGA National below.

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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19th Hole