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19th Hole

Should we be talking more about Patrick Reed’s family and past? Or less?



As is customary with major champions in general, and perhaps Masters winners in particular, the golf media rushed to present Patrick Reed’s backstory after he captured the green jacket, Sunday.

To that end: Patrick Reed, as I assume most golf fans are aware, has no contact with his parents, Bill and Jeanette. Both Alan Shipnuck of and Ian O’Connor of spoke with Reed’s estranged parents about their son’s victory. (Shipnuck followed up with this explanation for why he decided to write the piece)

Reed’s mother and father didn’t discuss in detail the reason they haven’t spoken to their son since 2012, and the pieces focus more on the couple’s experience, and mix of powerful emotions, watching Reed win the green jacket.

Additionally, the allegations of Reed’s collegiate cheating and stealing leveled in Shane Ryan’s 2015 book, Slaying the Tiger, have resurfaced in a range of outlets.

Again, while most who follow the game closely are familiar with Reed’s dubious history, the Masters champion is arguably the most visible of the four major winners. General sports fans may know little about Reed, so it’s worth painting the full portrait of the 2018 Masters winner.

Or is it? Geoff Shackelford and Matt Adams discussed the merits of digging into Reed’s past, particularly his family situation, on Morning Drive. Similarly, we’d like to hear what GolfWRX members think.

It’s also worth noting that, while Reed is currently estranged from his parents, there have been no recent accusations of cheating, stealing, etc. Additionally, reporters are not merely presenting the past, they’re actively fueling the fire by interviewing Reed’s parents and writing new stories.

Is this problematic, or is it good journalism? Can it be both? We want to know what you think, GolfWRX members. We’d like to take the pulse of the readership on this situation, as it dictates content decisions in the future.

And if you’d like to take the discussion even further, here’s something else to chew on: Assume Tiger Woods had won the 2018 Masters. Would reporters feel the need to reexamine his 2009 sex scandal? His 2017 arrest? Should they? 

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  1. Bill

    Apr 14, 2018 at 12:49 am

    When a football or basketball player succeeds after a troubled past, they’re praised for making something of themselves. When a white golfer does it, people question their validity.
    Reed may have a troubled past, but he is a fantastic talent and now a major champion. Cover his masters win, not his college mishaps.

  2. Richard

    Apr 13, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Patrick Reed showed incredible guts down the stretch to win The Masters. That’s the story journo’s should focus on, but I guess the grubby, controversial stuff gets more clicks or sales. That’s all that really matters to most of them in the end anyway.

    But I’m guessing PReed couldn’t give a damn what people say about him.

    • Max

      Apr 13, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      You writers come across like a group of vultures ready to dredge any negatives you can. And you will come across the same if Tiger and you do the same lowlife reporting.

  3. Ryan

    Apr 13, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Golf in college: less. Personal life: not at all. Last I checked this is a golf website, not Dr. Phil.

  4. rogolf

    Apr 13, 2018 at 8:32 am

    It seems the University and Reeds manager are quiet. If someone in the golf world saw him cheat, come forward. Make the accusation. Wait and see if you get a defamation of character lawsuit. Other than that, as the John Goodman in the “Big Lebowski” said, “shut the f… up”.

  5. Tim Armington

    Apr 13, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Let the guy enjoy his well deserved victory.

  6. JThunder

    Apr 12, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    His family story, from what I can gather, is truly personal, and no one’s business unless Reed makes it so.

    His college career, including cheating or not, is certainly part of the story of his golf career, and therefore absolutely fair game. College careers are discussed ad nauseam during telecasts. If he was falsely accused, let him say so and the media remind us of his innocence. If guilty, it doesn’t need to be repeated at every win, but it remains part of the story of his career.

    For any professional golfer in the post-Tiger era, they absolutely are aware coming up that fame is part of the equation, and everything they do is potentially under the microscope. On the course and off. None of them can claim ignorance or surprise that the media covers their lives. This is equally true of Tiger and his “indiscretions”; he’s been on TV since he was 3 years old. To suggest he was unaware that anything wrong he does will catch up with him would be ridiculous.

    NOW – if you want to discuss if it SHOULD be this way, that’s a different conversation. We spend WAY too much time and effort idolizing “sports heroes”, turning them into “role models” not just within their sport, but for their entire generations. This is tied directly to their fame and their wealth; they get sponsorships and generate ad money because corporations know people “trust” and “admire” them.

    So, yes, I absolutely think we should idolize athletes less, and therefore be less concerned with their private lives and behavior. Hand-in-hand with that, we should pay them far less as well. Find some real heroes for the world (which might include some athletes who are deserving of that mantle), and let these folks make a *decent* living playing golf to entertain us.

  7. Lovejoy

    Apr 12, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    This is a pathetic and cowardly way to make a story out of nothing,the author absolves himself of any responsibility by repeating second-hand rumour.

  8. Judge Smeills

    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    More, that way I can stop visiting the site

  9. Walter Jenkins

    Apr 12, 2018 at 11:43 am

    No need to further delve into his well reported past issues. They are behind him now. Instead we should rejoice in his recent accomplishments. Heartiest congratulations to Captain America!!!!

  10. W Breaux

    Apr 12, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Hoping golf reporters do not go the way of mainstream media.
    Did not have time to celebrate his victory without the piranhas beginning their attack. SAD

  11. Birdswing Golfer

    Apr 12, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Let’s be real here you know right to discuss his personal life this is a golf forum not a gossip rag!

    If you want to discuss issues related to his college career and golf in general then discuss away

  12. A. Commoner

    Apr 11, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    It’s a bit wearisome to hear/read underachievers’ so frequent attempts to tear down the more successful people.

  13. Patricknorm

    Apr 11, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Frankly, Patrick Reed’s backstory doesn’t affect the way I view him as a golfer. He was the best golfer at the Masters and deserved his victory. It’s really hard to win on Sunday with a lead, and Reeds two clutch putts on 17&18 proved that he has ice water in his veins. His personal issues apparently don’t affect his play so, why should it be an issue to the public?
    I applaud CBS for sticking to the script and not making any noise about Reeds past indiscretions.

  14. Dude

    Apr 11, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    All this talk about his “cheating”. Did the PGA or USGA ban him? No. I hope he wins ten more majors to shove it down everybody’s throats. Golf’s anti-hero had arrived and will tell everyone to pound sand.

  15. Harry Goss

    Apr 11, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Reeds past seems fair game because he’s white. Remember, we just learned Earl Woods racism and womanizing were covered up by golf journalists to protect the coming messiah. Reed, being who he is, has no protection from the SJW’S WHO COVER GOLF SO VALIANTLY!

  16. Zach

    Apr 11, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Why is this even a question? Less.

    • Saigonlawman

      Apr 11, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      Oh please!!!! Will real journalists please raise their hands. We are all flawed, make mistakes and try and learn from them. Let’s not shoot our wounded. Reed’s game was superlative. Bravo! Don’t give a hoot about his private life.

  17. c

    Apr 11, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Don’t let golfwrx become part of the problem. Don’t debase yourself to the level of the tabloids.

  18. dj

    Apr 11, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    I’d rather just talk golf. Let their personal life stay personal.

  19. Bob

    Apr 11, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    It just shows what a sick society we live in these days. My hat off to Patrick for his win at the Masters. He is my hero, my Captain America.
    If any of you are getting off on this sick news coverage, then you are not part of the problem, you are the problem.

  20. Bill

    Apr 11, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    I’m afraid in today’s culture it’s the nature of the game ,he seems to have thick skin so I think he can take it

  21. Larry hagel

    Apr 11, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    My God, leave it alone. Find something else that matters to report on. News media just can’t get off running a so called into the ground until something else is found to gossip about. Chill out!!

  22. kevin

    Apr 11, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    our media is mostly garbage. its clickbait. very little relevance. they aren’t interested in reporting the story, they want to create the story, and that revolves around what will drive ratings or clicks over fact every time.

  23. William

    Apr 11, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    He’s NOT a Kardashian, he’s a golfer. Leave his personal life out f it..

  24. Mike Bryan

    Apr 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Don’t see how it’s related to winning the Masters. It’s nobodies business except his and his family and shouldn’t be made cannon fodder for overzealous reporters. Also in regards to his college days, people do grow up and I’m sure that most reporters have things they did as teenagers they wouldn’t want dug up and discussed by strangers.

  25. Stump

    Apr 11, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Why don’t we dig into Shipnuck’s past? It’s got to be relevant, right? How can we trust his reporting if we don’t know what he was doing when he was 21?
    Reed’s family life is his business. Those events from college are between him and those involved. Sure, it might speak to character, but more importantly, what has his character been in the last 5 years.
    It seems he is being treated differently than others that have won the same tournament and have much worse behavior problems that have occurred much more recently.

  26. Steve O

    Apr 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    It’s old news. Shipnuck, like many lefty reporters, looks for ambulances.

  27. CW

    Apr 11, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I hate how he is treated in the press,because he is not handsome he is an easy target. I did not walk in his shoes and there for have no view to judge him. Not everybody has perfect parents and is indebted to them for the rest of their life.
    He is obviously a dedicated family man now and his reasons are his alone why he is estranged from his parents. So to the press I say lay off him, we have read this story over and over and over again. It is not news anymore than Fowler left a disgruntled girl at the alter.
    When he said at Doral win I feel like a top 5 player many took it out of context and I became his fan then from a headline distorting press.

    I root for him every time he goes out. (I am not a handsome guy either)

  28. Bob Jones

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:58 am

    To the question: no. No, no, no.

  29. Joe

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Cheating and stealing is very relevant !! It’s part of the foundation of the game. He needs to own up to it rather than pretend it didn’t happen. All is forgiven when he can truly admit his mistakes in the game. Key word “Game” that is what we are talking about right? How he conducts and represents the game! Who cares about his relationship with his parents…Unless there was a crime caused it’s completely his business.

    • David McNab, Vero Beach, FL

      Apr 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Joe (and Bob Parson)…..I think that everyone agrees that cheating and stealing reflect character. In Reed’s case, I am not aware that any of these (old) allegations have been proven to be true (or, even ‘probably true’), and, repeating them won’t make them any moreso. However, now that these allegations have been resurrected, Patrick Reed may have to address them once and for all. As far as family ‘issues’ go, there is not need whatsoever to report on any of these unless they bear on character.

    • William

      Apr 11, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Did u see him cheat?

  30. David McNab, Vero Beach, FL

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I agree with Brian DeGraf……it wasn’t a story before the event, or even during it….how can it be a story now?

    Digging it up now (especially as regards any fallout with his family) borders on disgraceful. It isn’t ‘reporting news’. Nobody (to my knowledge) has ever verified any (very old) allegations of ‘cheating at play’, and the family angle has absolutely nothing to do with his golf. It is all typical media muckraking, and the public already has a steady diet of this kind of ‘reporting’ when it comes to politicians and others — I expect much more honorable behaviour from those covering golf. Kudos to the Golf Channel for ‘reporting’ or commenting on the ‘reporting’, but refraining from joining in.

  31. Bob Parson Jr.

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:46 am

    All is fair game, specially if it emphasizes the truth and his character or lack there of. I personally don’t care for Patrick Reed, but his past and story is relevant to those of you who claim to be fans of this individual.

    I’ll be interested to read the comments from people who think his cheating and stealing allegations are irrelevant. That will tell me more about you than Reed.

    • cox

      Apr 11, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      We all did very stupid things when we were younger. For some to say they didn’t says a lot about them. Hopefully most of us learn from those mistakes and don’t look back except to learn from them. If there had been allegations(issues or problems) that his PGA Tour playing partners noticed since coming out on tour we would have heard about it way before now. SO…keep his past and his family out of it and lets keep them all in our prayers.

  32. Nilopol

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:29 am

    His family is his business. Family dynamics are unique. However it is just a shame when families can’t work out their differences.

  33. Bill

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Wasn’t Tiger remorseful for his past? Didn’t he ask forgiveness? Not seen any penitence from Reed. Americans love it when their heroes fall but rise again to prove themselves.

    • Ron

      Apr 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Penitence for what?? For not talking to his parents anymore? For being “accused” of cheating? That’s all it is, is an accusation from college. This is way different than Tiger’s situation and in my opinion he doesn’t need to say sorry to anyone

    • Bob Parson Jr.

      Apr 11, 2018 at 11:48 am

      Hey now, don’t expose the truth, the fanboys won’t like it, lol…..Captain America he’s not.

  34. Brian DeGraf

    Apr 11, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Reed’s past is totally is immaterial. If it wasn’t a story 2 weeks ago, ity’s not a sytory now. Period.

    • Bob Parson Jr.

      Apr 11, 2018 at 11:49 am

      If you are a tour insider you will know Reed’s story has been pretty material and relevant for years.

      • Ron

        Apr 11, 2018 at 11:53 am

        They didn’t seem to mind too much when he was owning Europe’s a$$ for the USA at the Ryder Cup in 16.

  35. Mark

    Apr 11, 2018 at 10:45 am

    My opinion is that journalist should only talk about Reed’s past if she/he can demonstrate its relevance to his life today and his future. If the journalist cannot make the connections, then all she/he is doing is generating clickbait.

    • Jeff

      Apr 11, 2018 at 11:38 am

      I totally agree.

      • Art Williams

        Apr 11, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        Less. His problems at Georgia were years ago when he was still quite young. UofG won’t speak about them and we shouldn’t either. Families who broke apart over who marries whom are quite common and being a celebrity shouldn’t make it an everyday subject. I know the press will still bring it up until the man dies but it doesn’t make it right or relevant. Congrats to Patrick for his success on the course. I don’t need the sordid details of his past.

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19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf



We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.


But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”


We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Justin Rose shows off his Honma clubs, Justin Timberlake does Happy Gilmore and Barack Obama’s new swing




Over the last seven days, Matt Kuchar brought home the bacon at the Sony Open, while golf fans got a look at plenty of new equipment releases for 2019. But here’s some things you may have missed, and some of the quirkier moments from the world of golf dished out in the Twittersphere in the last week.

Justin Timberlake’s Draw

Ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, and he can hit a perfect draw Happy Gilmore style. Bit annoying.

Rose Showcases His New Honma Clubs

Still waiting to make his first start of 2019, the World Number 1 is ready to go as a member of Team Honma.

Chez Reavie Goes Bananas

In case you missed it, Chez Reavie became the first player since the PGA Tour began keeping records to make three eagles on three par 4’s in a single round. The fact that he holed out each one from the fairway is quite incredible.

Obama’s New Swing

Barack Obama has had a bit more free time over the past couple of years, since, well you know, he’s not running the country anymore. How do you rate his swing, GolfWRXers?

Double Hit Rule

This video has caused much confusion over the past week on social media. The double hit rule may have changed in 2019, but this attempt is still illegal. Impressive either way you look at it though.



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19th Hole

Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 4. Bearna Golf Club, Galway



In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses to visit in some of the loveliest spots in Ireland. I’ll also be highlighting the best and most authentic Irish bars in these spots, as well as places to stay, eat and how to get there. Whether you’re taking a golfing holiday to Ireland in 2019 or are interested in doing so sometime in the future, I’ll make sure to let you in on the best places to spend your time.

In Part Three of our Exploring Ireland Series, we went west and focused on Spanish Point Golf Club in Clare. Now it’s time for Part Four, and we’re staying on the west coast and taking the short trip up to County Galway.

Galway city is famous for its bustling nightlife, and in terms of bars to choose from, there are few better places in Ireland. Whether it’s a quiet night out and a meal, enjoying a few pints with some live traditional music, or a wild all-nighter you’re looking for, Galway certainly has you covered. Conveniently, the city also homes some top golf courses, which makes it a must-visit destination for anyone coming to this island.

Bearna Golf Club, Galway


Galway Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Resort are usually the two golf courses that people think of when they mention this county. But lurking under the radar is Bearna Golf Club, which will provide you with just as incredible an experience as those two courses, at a lower price.

Located within a 15-minute drive of Galway City, Bearna GC offers an authentic Irish golfing experience. Surrounded by bogland, you can expect your nose to take in all of the scents of Ireland as you navigate your way through the rugged land of humps, gorse bushes and ditches that will give your game a real workout.


Creeks will appear on most fairways, so don’t expect to be able to turn up and grip it and rip it. Bearna is a golf course that is going to make you think, and with the challenges provided, will most likely test your patience as well as your skill.

The track offers five different sets of tees, all of which provide for a fun test. The course ranges between 4,897 yards and 6,271 yards and plays as either a Par 72 or 71 depending on the tees you choose. Thirteen holes feature water, and the one relief that you will find here that is different than other courses in the area is the lack of fairway bunkers.


Robert J. Browne designed the course back in 1996, and as well as the feeling you will have of being amongst nature, you will also have impressive views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the famous Burren.

During the week, 18 holes around Bearna GC will set you back just under $50, while to play on the weekend the rate rises to $75. Don’t be surprised if after your round you want another crack at this deceptive course.

Food & Drink – Tig Coili, Galway


There is no “best pub in Galway.” The city has an inordinate amount of amazing watering holes to spend your night, and it just comes down to personal taste and what experience you are looking to have for your night. As someone who loves the feel of an old traditional Irish pub though, Tig Coili gets my vote.


Located in the Latin Quarter of Galway City, this place will often have swarms of people flooding out from the bar onto the street. Traditional music plays here every night, with 14 music sessions each week. The pub prides itself on its music, with pictures of famous musicians that have played here in the past covering the walls.

Also, Tig Coili’s pint of Guinness is renowned for being one of the best in the area, and it’s what 90 percent of folks will be drinking for the night here.


As for food in Galway, it can only be oysters. Described by multiple top chefs as the “best flavoured in the world,” the oysters here come from Galway Bay and are so popular in the city that should you visit here in September you can enjoy Galway’s three day Oyster festival.

You can hop into most bars in Galway serving food and throw back half a dozen oysters, but if you want to experience them for a sit-down meal then go and visit Oscars Seafood Bistro, where the flavour will blow your socks off. An early bird two-course meal of half a dozen oysters and a plate of steaming hot mussels with fries will cost just $20. The perfect drink pairing for oysters? Guinness. Ideal.

Where To Stay

My recommendation is to stay in the center of Galway. We’ve gone traditional in our visits to Donegal and Clare, but for Galway, the city is so alive that you will want to stay right in the heart of it. The Jury’s Inn is a solid option, which will leave you within walking distance of the best bars, restaurants and sights to see in the city. A double room here will set you back in the region of $100 a night.


If you like to shop then visit Quay Street, where you can take in the shops while plenty of buskers on the street entertain you, while the bronze statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde is an imposing outdoor sight that is a trendy spot for a photo.


But as we’re sports lovers, then when in Galway do whatever you can to catch a game of hurling. Galway’s hurling side are currently one of the best teams in the land, winning the All-Ireland title in 2017, and they possess some of the most passionate fans. Just try not to mention the last final when you get here.

How to Get There

Galway is about as accessible as it gets from anywhere in the island. You can take the train from any major city in Ireland, and it’ll take you right into the city center of Galway. A direct train from Dublin City will arrive in Galway in just over two hours.

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19th Hole