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19th Hole

Jack Nicklaus has an interesting idea about how to change Shinnecock for future U.S. Opens

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In his most recent 19th Hole podcast, Michael Williams asked Jack Nicklaus for his thoughts on U.S. Open setups in general and what transpired at Shinnecock in particular.

His response is noteworthy because, well, he’s Jack Nicklaus, and because his take is a fresh one in a discussion that has grown predictable and largely played out.

Nicklaus said, “I grew up playing USGA golf courses. I loved the way the USGA sets up golf courses. When you’re a junior, they set it up at the junior level…amateur set up on the amateur level, ladies set up on the ladies level and then the Open gets set up on the most difficult. That’s how I learned to play golf. That’s why majors were so important to me. And to take the U.S. Open and not make it…the toughest and the most difficult, to me, you’re making it too much like another tournament. And that’s not what I really wanted to see.”

“Now, did they set up Shinnecock poorly? No. I don’t think they set it up poorly at all. I think Mike Davis did a pretty darn good job of it. I just think that because course conditioning has changed so much, and they have courses just on the edge…the setup lends itself–you saw scores on Saturday and Sunday in the mid 60s in the morning and the mid 70s in the afternoon…I don’t think they really wanted that.”

“I think if you back to Shinnecock again, I think the wise thing would be to redo the greens…not change them…but there’s nothing under those greens other than what nature had there….but with the way they do things today, that lends itself to not being able to be controlled. And they could redo those greens exactly as they are now and control the moisture level on those greens, then the setup that they had would work fine, and work fine in the morning and the afternoon.”

The four-time U.S. Open winner added that he didn’t expect the membership at Shinnecock to approve anything so rash, and that he was merely making a suggestion should the tournament return to the Southampton course that reworking the greens could make the course “fair in the morning and fair in the afternoon.”

As for exactly what method of green rebuilding Nicklaus is proposing (presumably some reworking of soil and drainage), we’re not sure. However, his suggestion remains an interesting one.

He also added

“The greens were great in the morning, they just got away in the afternoon. When you’ve got starting times from…7:30 to 3:30…a lot of things are going to happen.”

Nicklaus added that the USGA should strive to offer players the same course in the morning and the afternoon to give everyone a “fair chance to compete.”

The Golden Bear also touched quickly on Phil Mickelson’s rules violation.

“Phil came back…and said, ‘I just lost it,’ which is probably what he should have said to begin with.”

However, Nicklaus suggested Mickelson has earned the right to be cut some slack and said all golfers can relate to his frustration.

Nicklaus also discussed his charity work on the pod, and Michael Williams has another great guest in the episode: golf fitness and flexibility expert, Roger Fredericks, who’s well worth listening to.

Check it out below, and let us know what you think about the 18-time major champion’s remarks.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. ogo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Jack: “Bulldoze the greens and flatten all of them!”

  2. ogo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 12:04 am

    I love watching multimillionaire golfers suffering on the putting greens in the afternoon and dragging them down to the rest of the field. Btw… that “socialism” too … 😀

    • bebop a lula

      Jul 8, 2018 at 5:51 am

      No it would be republicanism 101 where you benefit from the luck of the draw rather than having to earn it!

  3. Richard Douglas

    Jul 7, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Make the golf course tough. Fine. But the course must meet two criteria to be fair:

    First, it cannot be random. Good shots should get good results, and bad shots should be punished. They only got this half-right. Bad shots were punished, and so were a lot of good shots. You didn’t know what would happen even if you put the ball right where you intended.

    Second, it must be proportional. A little mistake should result in a little trouble and a big mistake should result in a big penalty. Unfortunately, even small mistakes created big trouble, so what was the point? If everything but perfection creates horrible results, why bother?

    The USGA should contract out the Open. They’re a bunch of amateurs running the most important tournament in golf. It’s not a good look.

  4. Robert

    Jul 6, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    So if it rains in the morning but the sky is sunny in the afternoon, the guys in the morning are SOL – unless of course the USGA can make it rain in the afternoon to even things out.

    Or, they can delay the afternoon round until the next time it rains.

  5. 2putttom

    Jul 6, 2018 at 10:22 am

    “The greens were great in the morning, they just got away in the afternoon. When you’ve got starting times from…7:30 to 3:30…a lot of things are going to happen.” …. BRILLIANT !

  6. Prime21

    Jul 5, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    Although I hate to admit it, The Golden Bear is right. The only way to be in complete control of a golf course any longer is to have total control of the turf. Nobody cares if the fairways burn out, but if the greens do, the consequence is note worthy. In this day and age, with sub air units that offer complete control of the agronomy above, it is essential to have inorder to truly host a Major Championship. You don’t think Augusta has had it for decades now? Whoever whines at Augusta? Winged Foot put them in over the last four years and Augusta is about the only place with green complexes that have more undulation. The time has come for technology to catch up with nostalgia and for any true US Open venue to come to term with the times! Now, whether or not the USGA should be allowed to oversee the US Open, that’s a whole nother discussion!

  7. Commoner

    Jul 5, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Why do these retired old _____’s think they have so much earth shaking, civilization changing wisdom the rest of us lowly mortals are just falling over each other to hear? There are several heroes of yesteryear that simply need to learn the meanings of modesty, moderation, and temperance. There is no need to opine on everything in the hope of setting the world right before you leave it.

  8. Jamie

    Jul 5, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    St. Andrews called. The phone was silent.

  9. truth

    Jul 5, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Who cares??

  10. Bob

    Jul 5, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    JACK .. YOUR TIME HAS PAST…YOUR COMMENTS ARE STUPID AND OUT OF TOUCH.

  11. kevin

    Jul 5, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    is the only response to setup now for usga major courses to spend millions upon millions of dollars installing sub air systems, new drainage, and basically a computer system to be able to control a course. weird coming from a guy who wants to dial back the ball because its getting too costly moving tees back.

    why not simply dial back the mowing a hair and let these greens stimp at 11 instead of 14 and let the scores, tournament, and eventual winner take care of itself.

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19th Hole

Peter Kessler lashed out at anyone and everyone on Twitter

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With 140K followers on Twitter and a website as well, No Laying Up have become one of the most popular accounts in the golfing world. However, when the group plugged the second season of their show Tourist Sauce” with a new promo, it provoked a strong response from “the voice of golf,” former Golf Channel and PGA Tour host, writer, and producer, Peter Kessler. (Kessler responded to Green Jacket Auctions, who praised NLU’s work).

Kessler, no stranger to speaking his mind, then spent hours feuding with fellow social media users who defended No Laying Up’s promo. As is often the case in the world of social media, the arguments descended into personal insults, on which Kessler did not hold back.

Consider these tweets representative of dozens more in the same vein.

Although Kessler was firmly in attack mode, he had to be on his guard when @ProV1_iron took aim at his Perfect Club infomercials from back in the day. The spots are largely a humorous relic in the golfing world, but Kessler was having none of the “people in glass houses” analogy.

The responses from Kessler went on and on, and many had been expecting the ex-Golf Channel host cool off after yesterday’s exploits. However, the opposite happened, with Kessler getting right back in the saddle this morning and continuing his tirade against defenders of the show, with Kessler claiming NLU’s promo “is like intro to entertainment in 9th grade and school just started. Surely you’ve seen good movies and tv shows. These aren’t them.”

Despite saying that he has “Gotta run,” Kessler remains locked in a battle of personal insults with other social media users.

What do you make of Peter Kessler’s social media outburst, GolfWRX members?

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19th Hole

Which Air Jordan model should Nike release as a golf shoe next?

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According to GolfMagic, Nike’s Air Jordan III golf shoe took off from the foul line and soared right out of stock.

Per the site: “Nike launched this new model back in February… but you’ll do very well to get your hands on either them right now as they have sold out on Nike’s website. However, a Nike spokesperson has since commented saying “more is on the way.”

Grammar aside, this is interesting.

Now, it wasn’t long ago that all golf shoes looked like this.

And with all due respect to the Etonic Dri-Lite of yore, and giving wide berth to the traditionalists in the golf footwear space, the transition to sneaker-style golf shoes is cool, isn’t it? I mean, even if you’re monumentally swagger impaired like myself and could never pull the “Js on the fairways” look off, it’s intriguing, no?

With that in mind, and recognizing the demand for the 3s, I thought it’d be interesting to consider what the next Jordan golf shoe ought to be.

Here are my finalists for the next wide release (yes, I know Nike made Ray Allen custom 11s and MJ has had a few customs). Many of these are new colorways of classic (OG) models. I’ve tried for a range of styles and picks from across the Jordan timeline. Images via the excellent catalogue on the Jordan website.

Air Jordan XXXII

Air Jordan VI

Air Jordan VIII

Air Jordan II (low)

Air Jordan XXX

Let me know what you think, GolfWRX Members!

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19th Hole

Looks like Tiger is exploring some innovative solutions to his putting woes…

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Tiger Woods was 39th in strokes gained: putting in 2018. Historically an excellent putter, Woods was hot-and-cold with the flatstick, even benching his soulmate Scotty Cameron Newport 2.

It looks like Woods may have an ace in the hole for the upcoming season, however, with respect to his green reading and putt sinking. Check out this video posted to his Instagram from the Tiger Woods Invitational on the Monterey Peninsula earlier this week.

Good thing the USGA is restricting the use of green-reading devices and technologies, because this kid looks close to cracking the eternal mystery of the perfect marriage of line and speed for every putt.

Cool stuff, though, isn’t it? It’s also cool to see Tiger so genuinely excited about his “mentee.”

We all know the story of how, after September 11, Woods re-evaluated his charitable endeavors and began to conceive of the Tiger Woods Learning Center. He’s spoken passionately about the students who have made their way through the various programs in the past, and there’s no doubt he cares deeply about the TGR Foundation’s efforts, but seeing a thin slice of that reality is awesome.

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