The Shotgun Start with Andy Johnson of The Fried Egg and Brendan Porath of SB Nation is a podcast waiting for you early in the morning that quickly blasts through a variety of topics (usually) related to golf and (ideally) relevant to the day. It covers news from the pro tours around the world, amusing and important topics from the amateur game the rest of us play, and some irreverent stuff in between. There will be short interviews, previews, reviews, and dives into the archives. It provides what you need to know on golf through a rapid and fun catch-up discussion.
Here's the Latest Episode from The Shotgun Start:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Out of respect for Arnold’s event this weekend, there will be no official comment or notes for this Friday episode.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.