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19th Hole

“Old Man Golf Media”? Barstool Sports and some of golf’s leading journalists involved in bitter online feud




Over the weekend, Patrick Reed’s caddie altercation ironically led to another dispute, this time on Twitter between Barstool Sports and some of the sport’s leading writers – with the former branding the established journalists as being part of “old man golf media”.

The feud began when Barstool, home to one of the most popular golf podcasts “Fore Play” which boasts over 140k followers on Twitter, took issue that ESPN’s Bob Harig hadn’t credited the outlet for a statement obtained from Reed’s caddie in the wake of his exclusion from the Presidents Cup.

ESPN writers, Harig and Michael Collins, hit back at Barstool’s Sam “Riggs” Bozoian, claiming that they had obtained the statement first.

Ultimately it appears that Kessler Kerain gave similar (if not the exact same) statement to both outlets, but the conflict was far from being finished.

A feisty battle between new-school Barstool and the older guard of golf journalism was brewing, and it was a strangely innocuous video of Tiger Woods fist-bumping Riggs down in Royal Melbourne which would instigate the row.

After Barstool shared the video with their followers and rejoiced in the experience, Harig branded Riggs a “fan boy” as well as an embarrassment, claiming his behavior was unbefitting of someone with a media credential at the event.

Harig’s reaction prompted Riggs to tell the ESPN writer, in his opinion, exactly how the two men do things differently.

Things then escalated when another Barstool member, Frankie Borelli, tweeted that he wanted “Ancer to quit the game of golf when Tiger is done with him today.” during Sunday’s singles action.

Golf Digest’s John Huggan blasted the take…

…before Borelli hit back at the journalist for being a part of “old man golf media”.

Also chiming in was Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella, who launched this stinging attack on Huggan, claiming that he “epitomizes the bitterness and negative attitude that gives the game a bad name.”

Before all settled down, Geoff Shackelford, senior writer at GolfWeek, echoed Harig’s original sentiment, cryptically describing the guys over at Barstool as “fanboys granted a media pass” in his Presidents Cup article on his website. Shackelford expanded on that view on social media late Sunday night in a series of tweets, once again referring to the video of the fist-bump with Woods.

This particular exchange ended in the invitation and acceptance of Shackelford to appear on Barstool’s podcast to discuss the difference of opinion.

The war of words has subsided for now, but it would appear to portray the seismic gap between those on the side of a new form of golf media content and those on the side of a more classical approach.

Can the two co-exist?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the dispute and see where you stand WRXers!




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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito



  1. NH

    Jan 3, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    The traditional media is BORING…caters to old white guy. Don’t think I’ve ever read an entire Huggan or Shack article…also how is Shack’s podcast doing? Barstool is at least entertaining and very relatable to most people, it’s just that no one wants to admit it because morally the brand is iffy.

    The Kevin Kisner podcast and video was so much more interesting than I’ve seen out of any recent ‘official’ golf media outlet. Same with JT.

    these guys move the needle, whether you want to believe it or not, they have a piece of the future.

  2. ChipNRun

    Dec 30, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    I’m a former newspaper reporter, both hard news and sports. Barstool and their new-wave pals remind me of the “citizen journalists” who come running onto crime scenes with their cell phones. They get in the way of the police and often compromise evidence at the scene. Barstoolers and citizen j’s just don’t know the basics of journalism culture and protocols.

    To be taken seriously, the Barstool boys need to act better than TMZ wanna-bes and paparazzi.

    And, the Barstoolers violate one of the key rules of traditional journalism – don’t ride the tricycle. This refers to the reporters injecting themselves into the story rather than just covering the story. Years ago, a broadcaster at the Missouri School of Journalism did a story on tricycle races for adults. The story was interesting until the reporter rolled onto the screen at sign-off and said, “This is Joe X, covering the tricycle races.”

    Barstool Sports seems to attack “old man golf media” because the established journalists have basic manners and BSS doesn’t. As soon as BSS crew starts acting more like journalists than nuisance paparazzi, they will get some respect.

    • Hayden Davies

      Jan 7, 2020 at 10:31 am

      Have you ever considered people listen to them because they aren’t journalist annoying golfers, but just regular dudes interacting with them? Then again, it’s always better to tell customers what they want them give them what they want… Proven strategy!! Haha

  3. ffohcyaw

    Dec 19, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    These are just gorilla journalism tactics, fan boy vs good old boy and both get requisite attention or clicks they grovel for… Fake news


    Dec 19, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    yawn… who cares

  5. Brandon

    Dec 18, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    As a millennial and someone who wants media/influencers to engender broader interest and diversity in golf to keep it relevant, I think Barstool is the last group of people we want promoting golf thanks to their well documented issues with harassment, stealing intellectual property, and general attitude towards those who disagree with them. Say what you want about the old guard being out of touch, but if Barstool is what’s hip, I want no part of it.

  6. JasonHolmes

    Dec 18, 2019 at 11:51 am

    I’ve seen Steve Sands give Tiger countless fist bumps after interviews over the years. Roger Maltby gave him a huge one walking off the 18th green after he won the TOC.

    Enough of this garbage already.

    Good for Ginella, kind of surprised to read his take actually – but very refreshing.

  7. CrashTestDummy

    Dec 18, 2019 at 12:30 am

    Who really cares? This is not news. This is old ladies knitting club gossip. Lmao.

    • DOT

      Dec 19, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      CrashTest – You are so right. This is not newsworthy. It’s a total wreck, which makes it appropriate that you commented on it. . . Who are these people anyway???

  8. AceyDC

    Dec 17, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Here’s the difference between the old guys (probably my generation, I’m 57) and the young guys: the young guys invited one of the old guys to be on their podcast to discuss the issue. The old guys just write the same copy they have for decades just changing the names and not bothering to invite the young guys for an interview.

    The young guys understand modern media, what content draws eyes and clicks and therefore revenue. The old guys still can’t wait to get the print edition and flip through it to find their articles.

  9. Moosejaw McWilligher

    Dec 17, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    And the Golfwrx headline says “bitter online feud”…

    Welcome to the National Golf Enquirer.

    Bat-boy and his alien friends are right around the corner.

  10. Tim

    Dec 17, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Ive watched Barstool a bit and started to find it entertaining until they started this whole over the top hawking of sponsor products during Im NOT wearing my Peter Milar shirt as I type this…..BUH BYE

  11. Future

    Dec 17, 2019 at 9:12 am

    What’s been missed by many is that the Foreplay guys do not claim to be journalists and don’t want to be. They are simply content creators and bring eyes to the game that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

    • jlam1127

      Dec 27, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      Their audience are the type of fans I wouldn’t want at my club…… and I’m not a crotchedy old white dude either…..

    • Eric

      Jan 2, 2020 at 8:41 pm

      I think that’s what has the “traditional” journalists all upset in the first place. BSS doesn’t claim to be journalists yet they get the “Journalist” credentials at golf and other sporting events.

  12. Ed bardoe

    Dec 16, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    All golf media is corrupt since they depend on Golf industry advertising money to survive. Does the NFL run on football manufacturers to pay their way? It’s part of what makes the game expensive and exclusive, balls that cost pennies to make sold for $4, clubs with $12 manufacturers cost sold for $150. No complaints from the bought and paid for media.

  13. Bob Jones

    Dec 16, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Reason #27 why I have so little interest in professional golf. I mean, who CARES about this stuff? Really?

  14. Bobby

    Dec 16, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    After reading the Alan Shipnuck article on the Presidents cup (grading each golfer and negative comments on Reed) then listening to his interview on the drop zone broadcast I thought how out of touch old school golf journalism was. Then I check up on WRX and read this article…..must be something to my instinctive thought earlier.

    • Loneacer

      Dec 18, 2019 at 3:03 pm

      Shipnuck has been an embarrassment to golf journalism for over a decade. used to allow comments on their stories, but with everybody trashing him every week they finally removed that functionality. Bamberger is getting more like him by the week.

  15. Pelling

    Dec 16, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    As a 66 year old golf purist, who just happened to get 1.8 million hits on Barstool this summer for a spectacular cart video (Ghost Riding the Whip) can’t we all just get along?

  16. Tokyo Bob

    Dec 16, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    Reporters report, journalists sell their opinions, Barstool entertains. Old school media are huge fan boys and even more hold big grudges for past slights by any pro, biding their time till they can jump on the pro like a pack of jackels when some “controversy” surfaces, read any of Schackelford’s or Harig’s stuff and tell me that is unbiased journalism. It’s laughable. They all have axe to grind. Trying to off-load their opinions on us. Don’t kid yourself.

  17. BK

    Dec 16, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    Trash Barstool all you want, us fans will continue to support. These are probably the same guys who take 25 minutes on the green after taking 7 shots to get there. A lot of goofy pants and fat behinds on here for sure.

    • Joey5picks

      Dec 18, 2019 at 9:08 pm

      Support Barstool all you want. These are probably the same guys who play their “music” too loud on the course and take 25 minutes to make practice swings while guzzling Coors Light. A lot of baggy cargo shorts and T shirts on here for sure.

  18. Joey Adams

    Dec 16, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    It gets attention and creates drama so ultimately it’s good for everyone in the media and the game

  19. James

    Dec 16, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    “Hey, get off my putting green.”

  20. James

    Dec 16, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    All pretty silly stuff over a silly game. Sure underlines the generational differences.

  21. Carl Spackler

    Dec 16, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    So Geoff (love that name) thinks real media only reports the facts, huh? Ask him about dogging Reed’s caddie for standing up to a drunk heckler who was advancing toward the player. I called him oou on it, because you KNOW that Steve Williams would have punched the dude, and nobody would have said a word…. Also know that if Cam Smith would have done the same the reaction would have been to talk about “rude Americans” and “the brave caddie standing up for his man”.

  22. Jflem

    Dec 16, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Old white guys complaining about those danged kids that don’t respect the old ways are why theses old outlets are losing viewers and fans by the second.

  23. fla fla fooey

    Dec 16, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    barstool is regular guy journalism, some good stuff, some not so good. Frank the Tank is the best blogger of there.

  24. Erik J. Barzeski

    Dec 16, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    True journalists aren’t “fans” while they’re covering the event.

    That’s where this breakdown in communication occurs. The actual journalists in the conversation know that, and the faux “media” do not.

    While I don’t really care for Barstool, at the same time… they weren’t given “journalist” passes, they were given “media” passes. They are members of the “media.”

  25. matt_bear

    Dec 16, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Barstool sports is cool, but those tweets start to stray from journalism. Journalism is “supposed” to be neutral and fact reporting based.

  26. Dyson Bochambeau

    Dec 16, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Shackleford is a world class d-bag

  27. SEDGE

    Dec 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    “This particular exchange ended in the invitation and acceptance of Shackelford to appear on Barstool’s podcast to discuss the difference of opinion.”


    Free speech, differing opinions, and what has seemingly resulted in an open & honest discussion. I look forward to this episode and to learning more about what either side has to say on the matter.

  28. David

    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:56 am

    In the era of social media where the players announce their actions traditional reporters are often times not relevant. They regurgitate history and may add a few tidbits. Barstool is filling a need with the new generation of golfers. I think that all parties have their panties in a wad and they may in the future kiss and makeup but who cares.

    IMO if I were a player who would I gravitate towards?, a traditional reporter that asks the same question 50 different ways?, or someone who can relate better to the person and let the golfer communicate to the audience.

  29. dat

    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Barstool is a bit like Alex Jones. Entertaining, but don’t go down that rabbit hole unless it is for entertainment.

  30. Matt

    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Barstool is trash and they’ll eventually bite the hand that feeds them enough that they’ll be alienated themselves.

    • Jordan

      Dec 16, 2019 at 11:59 am

      You sure about that? They literally printed Tiger’s mugshot onto a t-shirt and wore it to an interview with him, and by they way this is the same guy getting fist bumps from Tiger now… inside the ropes…. at the President’s Cup… after he just finished his final round….

      Everyone’s daily life is serious enough, ya’ll need to lighten up and RELAX.

      • jarlaxle

        Dec 16, 2019 at 2:27 pm

        I think you’re confusing things a bit. Barstool posted a video of Tiger trying not to laugh at a guy wearing his mugshot on a shirt as he walked by… as in Tiger thought it was funny. And that wasn’t a Barstool “interview”.

        When Riggs of Barstool did actually interview Tiger briefly, at one point he does show him the shirt he was wearing… which was a pic of Tiger with his shades on and hat backwards and the initials G.O.A.T. to which replied, “That’s bad@ss”.

        One of the other Barstool personalities, Big Cat, was a huge Tiger critic (the Foreplay boys went at it with him a couple of times on the podcast and many other times on Barstool radio) but even Big Cat had to back down and bow when Tiger won the Masters. So no, Tiger and Barstool on on fine terms. In fact, they are fantastic terms with a number of guys on the tour… except maybe Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel. I’ll let you do the math on those two.

  31. jmichael204

    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Barstool has an outreach to a certain demographic that has been unable to bring more relevance to the game of golf, where the regular journalists failed to connect. The reality is people in the younger generation don’t really see journalism the way maybe people in an older demographic see it. They see pics of tiger fist bumping podcasters and them sharing their stories as a way to connect more with the game than the writer being purely objective reporting facts. Both have grown their own place in the realm of sports braodcasting/journalism.

  32. Mahbles

    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:41 am

    If Barstool can make golf relevant, help grow awareness for the game by leveraging moments/content that Millennials and Gen Z want to consume, then I’m all for it. I love golf as a sport, I love everyone’s unique perspective on it. Whether it’s Harig or Barstool, I love all the attention they give towards the sport of golf, and what it means on a competitive level and what it means when the friends roll out for a tee time to bond and have fun. I believe that Barstool loves the social aspect of what golf is, while Harig likes the individual stories behind the golfer. You can choose to like it or hate it, but just grow the game, that’s all I ask.

  33. jarlaxle

    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Barstool is hilarious and Foreplay is a must listen. They are entertainers, not journalists. In that respect, they are a lot like Rush Limbaugh who only has the most listened to radio program on the planet for the last 20+ years. This debate sounds just like the one that happened when Limbaugh first broke on the scene and you see how that has turned out.

    Listening to Foreplay is like hanging out w/ buddies at the 19th hole. They have gone from nothing to the #1 golf podcast and maybe the number one influencers in the game today. If you don’t get it, that’s your problem but step in front of that train at your peril because it isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

  34. Jordan

    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Formally educated and career journalists can’t handle the fact that the folks who work at barstool, with no background in journalism, are pulling readers away. I’m 31, have limited free time, and would rather use that time watching at 10min video of Kevin Kisner playing against one of these guys using only a 5 iron… vs the alternative of cracking open a magazine or reading some 5000 word article about why Nick Faldo only prefers to wear blue argyle socks when walking down memory lane at St. Andrews. Different strokes for different folks.

  35. Geoff or Jeff

    Dec 16, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Shackelford is the definition of privilege. Travels to the most exclusive places on the planet and finds a way to complain and be miserable.

    I don’t read his stuff but I know what kind of person he is and I’m sure he found a way to put this great event in terrible context and tell all his readers how they shouldn’t enjoy it and it was somehow a disgrace.

    I don’t have time for pessimistic people like that.

  36. Paul

    Dec 16, 2019 at 10:30 am

    I love how this is making news but no one is saying squat about Steve Sands from the Golf Channel giving high-fives to players and wife’s after Kuchar makes his putt to seal the victory. So sure, hate on Barstool but also continue to give a double standard… Watch the broadcast if you don’t believe me.

  37. Jk

    Dec 16, 2019 at 10:19 am

    Barstool is garbage media, not journalism. Of course millennials can’t tell the difference

  38. Paul Eaton

    Dec 16, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Barstool is a joke…Inept journalists, biased reporting and filthy work environment…They don’t even like each other there…

    • Paul Eaton's Mother

      Dec 16, 2019 at 11:18 am

      Paul Eaton, you’re a joke. I certainly hope you’re not the PGA Pro, because if you are you’re an embarrassment to the game.

  39. Michael

    Dec 16, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Barstool is trash.

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (2.20.20)



In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Look out for this awesome headcover from Dormie Workshop in Paul Casey’s bag this week in Mexico!

New Mizuno drivers.

Studio Select NP2 restoration from Embrace Putters.

Another great looking job from The Golf Garage.

New in the bag for WRX’s Editor-In-Chief.

Bettinardi showcasing its “Copper Candy”.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

WGC-Mexico lays commemorative plaque for vintage 2019 Tiger Woods bunker shot




Tiger Woods may not be playing at this week’s WGC-Mexico, but those in the field who are will see a new commemorative plaque on the ninth hole dedicated to a shot from the 15-time major champion at the 2019 tournament.

The plaque sits just outside the fairway bunker on the par-4 ninth hole and pays homage to Woods’ spectacular 134-yard shot with a 9-iron which he carved around a tree and spun to 12-feet.

Check out the shot below.

View this post on Instagram

Last time in Mexico @tigerwoods ???? #WGCMexico

A post shared by European Tour (@europeantour) on

Woods went onto miss the putt, and eventually finished the event in a tie for 10th place.

Do you feel the shot merits its own plaque, WRXers?

Let us know your thoughts!



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19th Hole

Brooks Koepka talks the Olympics, Kobe Bryant, and Tiger at the Masters in a SiriusXM Town Hall broadcast



Kimberly White/Getty Images for SiriusXM

While Brooks Koepka’s comments on SiriusXM regarding Patrick Reed grabbed the headlines this week, the four-time major champion spoke about several interesting subjects in the town hall broadcast, including the Olympics, Kobe Bryant and what Tiger Woods said to him following the 2019 Masters.

On the subject of the Olympics, Koepka stated how he was currently on the fence about the event, explaining how he believes it would be “cool to be an Olympian” but that it has “thrown a kind of a wrench in the schedule.”

“Right now, to be honest with you, I’m kind of 50-50. I want to do it, yes, I think it would be awesome to do. But at the same time we have majors, WGCs, the playoffs, its all kind of… I mean, these (motions to PGA Championship trophy) take it out of me, I’ll be honest with you. You come down and I need two days just to kind of mentally recharge.

It’ll be interesting just the timing of it, where it is at. The playoffs are kind of important. I’d like $15 mil. I think that’d be nice. I’d like to be fresh for that. If anything I’m leaning more towards going. It’s an honor. You play for your country.”

On hearing of Kobe Bryant’s death, Koepka spoke about how he was blown away, how he found it difficult to believe it was real, and how despite never meeting Bryant, the loss hit him so hard that he ended up crying in his hotel room.

As Bryant was his childhood idol, Koepka said he got on the phone that night to Nike to ensure that the unfinished project of his Kobe Bryant-inspired golf shoes would be completed to honor the basketball great.

The 31-year-old lost out to Tiger Woods by one stroke at the 2019 Masters, and recounted how Woods was quick to remind him that this levelled up their affair after Koepka had seen off Woods’ challenge at the 2018 PGA Championship.

“Augusta was interesting because, coming down the stretch I rinsed one on 12. We all know what happened. We all know he won. But it was crazy walking off the green and being there to congratulate him. The first thing he said was, ‘One-and-one now.’ (laughs)”

The entire Brooks Koepka Town Hall special will be rebroadcast on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio on Wednesday, Feb. 19 (10:00 pm ET), Friday, Feb. 21 (8:00 pm ET) and Sunday, Feb. 23 (noon ET). The full special is also available now on SiriusXM On Demand.

Brooks on the Olympics

Brooks on Kobe Bryant

Brooks on Tiger at the Masters

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