Geoff- looking good.
Interview With Geoff Shackelford
By Kickntrue on 3/14/08
I had the pleasure of asking golf writer Geoff Shackelford a couple questions this week about his work and interests. I think talking to people who cover the game professionally can often provide more insight into the game of golf than hearing pros repeat the same cliches over and over. He keeps a great up-to-date personal site/blog. You can check it out at

Geoff is the author of ten books, with his writing also appearing in The Los Angeles Times, Sports Illustrated, Golf Magazine, Links, Golf Digest, Golf World, The Golfer, Golfweb, Golf Journal, The Masters Journal, Golf Course Architecture, Golf Architecture, Golf Digest Index, the Journal of the Shivas Irons Society and

Geoff is currently a contributing editor to Golfdom Magazine, where he writes a monthly column as well as feature stories for the respected industry publication.

Are you a good golfer? What is your handicap?
I was. I'm thrilled if I break 80 now. I played in college for Pepperdine, which won the NCAA title in 1997. It's not a coincidence that I graduated in 1994.

Were you a writer first or a sports fan first?
Sports fan all the way. Though I did edit my school paper, I can't say that I aspired to be a writer. Especially when you consider that I resisted reading books until I had no choice in college.

My dad used to announce a lot of sports, particularly basketball, so I traveled with him a bunch and have been an avid sports fan for as long as I can remember.

Based on your books it seems you are a big fan of golf course architecture. How did you get into that and who is your favorite architect past and/or present?
Yes, I think golf course design is pretty swell and the most interesting thing about golf. No other sport has anything comparable to course design and I've always been unsure why more people are not fascinated by what goes into building and setting up a course. So that's what has driven my interest in writing about golf architecture, initially through books, and more recently with magazine writing and my blog. Hopefully the next stage will be more designs and one of the things I will be doing on upcoming projects I'm working on with Gil Hanse is to do lots of stuff online explaining what we are up to. Both video text and photos, and also with little videocast type movies.

As for architects, George Thomas and Billy Bell are my favorites. They teamed up for only a handful of designs, but they were pretty swell ones in their original form: Riviera, LACC-North, Bel-Air, La Cumbre, Ojai and Stanford.

What is your favorite course?
Well if I had to pick one to play every day for pure fun, ease of use, walkability, challenge, beauty and climate, it would be The Valley Club of Montecito. It's not Riviera or the Old Course when it comes to strategy, nor is it comparable to Royal Dornoch or Cypress Point in terms of pure joy to play, but somehow it's just perfect as a place that you would enjoy teeing up at every day.

What do you think of golf blogs and/or the use technology plays in golf's future?
Tough to say, but obviously I think the Internet and golf will be great for one another. Golf has been slow to warm up to the Internet in virtually all areas, but is picking up steam now. I love things like where you can monitor course conditions and read reviews from real golfers. And I've had fun with my blog stirring things up and tracking the state of the game. I'm very interested to see what's next in the way of technology and the internet. Of course, I'm very much against letting technology overtake the need for skill in the actual playing of the game. On the professional level, I think that has happened with the ball and to a lesser extent, the grooves. Unfortunately, at the recreational level a lot of courses have made changes to accomodate this shift in the game and in general, I don't see that being a good thing.

What is your perfect day of golf... covering a Major Championship or strolling around a muni with your 3 favorite playing partners? (Feel free to make up an answer, no need to choose.)
Neither. Sitting on the beach reading a good book or magazine! But a fun round a Rustic Canyon would be ideal. However, I'm really looking forward to spending the week at Torrey Pines for this year's U.S. Open. It's a fun city and the atmosphere should be pretty charged. A Tiger-Phil showdown on their old stomping grounds would be something to see. I just hope the fog stays away!

Geoff does a great job keeping an up-to-date blog with great updates and links to great golf insight. You can visit him at

[ comments ]
mbills1015 says:
Is Geoff going to be an oobgolf member?
[ post comment ]
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