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The Shotgun Start
42 minutes | 2 days ago
Frigid under par, a FedEx hitman, and Huh? A flashback
This Friday episode begins with a new example from office life emails for another creative name for Thursday, or maybe Friday. Then Brendan and Andy get into the absolutely frigid conditions at the LPGA event in Dallas. In a warmer, and certainly softer setup, the Mayakoba got under way with plenty of players living under par, including Rickie Fowler, grinding to stay in the top 50 in the OWGR at the end of the year. An ad read for Smith Devereux (SGS listeners go here for that holiday vine) turns into a story about reckless FedEx drivers in both of their neighborhoods recently and a theory that should perhaps have Andy’s head on a swivel during his runs. On the Euro Tour, the Pissbear is in the mix and another player with two drivers in the bag is making moves in Dubai. Will this just become the new normal? Flashback Friday is on John Huh, who won the Mayakoba by parring Bob Allenby to death in 2012. Research for this shed some light on the incredible story of Huh just to find golf, excel at it, and eventually make it on Tour. Listen to the end for the story of a new player to root for.
43 minutes | 4 days ago
Name that Snake, Poofers Paradise, and Mac Miscellany
Andy and Brendan begin this Wednesday episode with a few leftover Mac O’Grady stories that rolled in over the last few days. Then they relay an item, formerly used by Hunter Mahan, that they would absolutely push in their holiday gift guide, if they had one. The schedule for the week begins with Mayakoba and its unique (for the PGA Tour schedule) ability to reward accuracy relative to distance. It’s a big week for cave bunkers and mangroves but could it also be a big week for the Bracelet Boys? And where’s Matt Kuchar? The LPGA Volunteers of America Classic gets event of the week honors while the Euro Tour somehow has dueling events in Dubai and South Africa. This prompts some research into the “Fire Course,” the venue in Dubai. A news segment hones in on the continued announcements of fans-less events but the Phoenix Open announcing their intention to have some sort of scaled down operation at the 16th hole. They close it out with a few thoughts on Rory’s interview with Golfweek and the potential catnip feeding frenzy coming at the PNC Challenge next week.
119 minutes | 6 days ago
An SGS Spotlight on the inimitable and eccentric Mac O’Grady
Following the typical episode on Sunday is this bonus Spotlight episode on Monday and the subject is the legend of Phil McGleno, aka Mac O’Grady. Andy and Brendan spend nearly two hours relaying their research on the life and career of Mac and it still seems insufficient. They begin with his rough upbringing, how he found the game at Rancho in LA, how he lived in a storage box in a garage, and how he turned pro with a network of backers in the LA area. The 16 Q-school failures over a decade are recounted, as is the final moment of triumph when he broke through and it’s described through the colorful prose from Mac’s journals. His talents and eccentricities, too numerous to list here, are given a full account, including the ambidexterity and obsessive search for every piece of information on the golf swing. The many conflicts and controversies, including his years-long feud with PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman, are also a major part of the story. O’Grady is a nonpareil figure in the history of golf and thanks to Rukket for sponsoring our attempt to dive into at least a portion of his story.
39 minutes | 7 days ago
Strategic Alliances, Elephants, and Sir Charles
Preceding a Monday Spotlight coming on the inimitable Mac O’Grady, this Sunday episode is a quick jaunt reacting to some of the golf events from the weekend, notably Match III, the PGA Tour and Euro Tour alliance, and the Dunhill Championship. Andy laments Dick Bland’s fade at the Dunhill, but praises Christiaan Bezuidenhout’s second victory in his home country. There’s also a brief interlude on Polish golf following Adrian Meronk’s contention. Then they get into the weeds on the PGA Tour and European Tour’s strategic alliance announcement -- what it means for the schedule, the Courier Cup, the Ryder Cup, and the PGL. There’s a debrief on the latest Match, the handicap disparities, the grotesque venue, the entertainment factor, and the sustainability of this series. News closes out with DJ’s announcement that he will, shockingly, not be able to make it to the Mayakoba this week.
46 minutes | 11 days ago
USGA gets in bed with Bay Hill, another Match, and the scourge of “Gift Guides”
This Wednesday episode begins with the discovery of Brendan’s distaste for anything with banana in it. Then both Andy and Brendan discuss a few things they’re thankful for, mostly you, the audience, before rambling on some golf odds and ends in a light week. One of those items is the announcement of the Walker Cup practice session taking place at Bay Hill next month. Could this mean the USGA is eyeing Bay Hill for a U.S. Open? Who can say? The schedule for the week touches on the Euro Tour heading to Leopard Creek and the next iteration of The Match. They discuss the format, the ridiculous odds, and a few props, including an influencer challenge with four influencers they’ve never heard of, that appear to have made-up names, and millions of followers on YouTube.
45 minutes | 13 days ago
The Blueberry Brigade, the Road to Mallorca, and a Streb Quiz
It’s a Funday Monday/Taco Tuesday Eve smorgasbord on the Shotgun Start. There’s some initial NFL thoughts and a debate over the golf equivalent of winning the NFC East this year. Then they get to the golf, starting with Ondrej Lieser and his display rack trolley winning on the Challenge Tour and its Road to Mallorca standings. There’s a Takumi Kanaya appreciation segment and a discussion about Kyle Reifers’ pasta sauce sponsor. Then they get to the Pelican Championship in Florida, where speedy Sei Young Kim made an argument as the best golfer in the world. There were also Pelican members in vibrant blue coats. The RSM Classic outcome is an excuse for a Robert Streb quiz as well as several other smaller inanities, like which PGA Tour hotbed would you choose (e.g. Sea Island) to live in. The Joburg Open is also recapped after a lengthy chat on merchandise and the concept of Black Friday now lasting a month.
57 minutes | 16 days ago
Cupcakes for Mr. 600, Airplane angst, and a Web Tour schedule review
“That felt like we talked about nothing for an hour” was the instant review from Andy after this episode finished recording. So either dive in and confirm that, or don’t. It’s a winding Friday episode that hits on some amusements from early Sea Island action, like a cupcake delivery from the Commish for a player making his 600th start, the Courier Cup points allure, and a BfB vs. Peppy Peter fantasy matchup. There’s also a flashback Friday on the inaugural RSM winner, the Tiger slayer himself, Heath Slocum. Brendan addresses some push back from Tampa denizens on the conditioning of this week’s LPGA venue prior to its purchase and conversion to a private playground. A schedule news segment discusses the Western Open setting up shop in the Mid-Atlantic, the NCAAs heading to SoCal, the Bobby Parsons College Golf Showcase, and a de-brief on the newly announced 2021 Web Tour lineup.
52 minutes | 18 days ago
The Bo(es) knows Sea Island and Tampa corruption comes to the LPGA
This is a Wednesday episode full of vim and vigor following a brief post-Masters respite. Brendan and Andy begin by cleaning up a few Masters items, apologizing to Paulie, delighting in DJ’S Tequila Tour, finding a truly interesting Tyler Duncan fact, and re-hashing Tiger’s rally after the 10 for further appreciation. Then they turn to new days and new opportunities for Courier Cup points. Andy shares his “three things” to watch at the RSM, focusing on the distinctly Euro flavor in the field. They share some scoop on the origins of Frittelli’s sun sleeves and they also nominate candidates for the DL3 Phenomenon, which they explain. The “notables” of the Euro Tour event present a real challenge for Brendan’s already limited pronunciation abilities. The LPGA is back this week after a lengthy hiatus and Brendan puts Andy in a bad mood by spotlighting some of the sketchy conflicts of interest surrounding the changes and development of this week’s host venue, a formerly public Donald Ross. It’s enough to make it lose Andy’s event of the week honors.
65 minutes | 20 days ago
DJ affirmation, organic matter balls, and Masters surprises & disappointments
A long week of Masters podcasts comes to a close with this recap edition following Dustin Johnson’s 5-shot victory. The first big question they ask is whether he’ll remember this or his FedExCup in September more from his remarkable year. Then they get to the more serious, discussing his legacy as perhaps the greatest player of the post-Tiger generation. In conjunction with his process over results essay from earlier in the week, Brendan celebrates the experience of watching DJ play golf for the last decade-plus and the affirmation that a jacket, while not required, brings to that experience. They chat about the Rory tease, the JT disappointment, the sneaky Brooks week, and Bryson getting put in a bodybag by Bernhard. Citing all those names also leads to a debate over who will finish with the most majors, and whether DJ will have a second green jacket here in six months. Dylan Frittelli’s geography expertise is also highlighted. A tweet from Alan Shipnuck on the “wear and tear” conditioning at Augusta showing this week prompts a closing segment on how the course played and what Andy will remember most from this 2020 edition. Thanks to all for a fun week and for supporting the daily podcast format!
68 minutes | 21 days ago
A podcast about Dylan Frittelli with some Dustin Johnson mixed in
Brendan and Andy are joined by Hurricane Shane Bacon for this Saturday evening podcast on the Masters. They discuss Dustin Johnson’s four-shot 54-hole lead, how impressive it’s been, and how it’s likely to bag him his second major. But they also go to the dark places in their minds and try to write a horror story about how exactly it could go bad over the final 18 holes. The entire episode is a ramble, a mishmash, a potpourri of inanity and analysis on all that’s happened so far at the Masters before fielding some listener questions. Thanks to Shane for joining us!
52 minutes | 22 days ago
Masters Friday: Is a ball ever really “lost?, the Rory ride, and Westy dejection
Andy and Brendan have a merry chat about all that went down on Friday at Augusta National. They inadvertently begin with Bryson’s lost ball, pondering the last time a ball was lost like that in the middle of the property at Augusta National and Bryson exploring the limits of the definition of “lost.” There’s amusement at Paul Casey perhaps changing his shirt due to Twitter shaming and Justin Thomas telling SVP “I love you.” They ponder whether Tiger or Phil has a better chance to win heading to the weekend. Then they re-live Rory’s absolute whirlwind of a day that followed the usual Rory blueprint for the Masters. Andy’s mood and voice then plummets as he assesses Westy’s putting. With a football weekend now on tap, they close with an amusing game of “If Bryson is a linebacker, then…” Thanks to Twitter replies, ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg, Will Knights, and others for contributing to this fun Friday game wherein Phil is Brett Favre, Woosie is a fullback, and Rory is Aaron Rodgers.
12 minutes | 23 days ago
Process over Results: Preparing for a weekend at the Masters
This is an experimental episode for the Shotgun Start. It’s an essay from Brendan on what it means to have this Masters in 2020 and how to best enjoy and appreciate it given all that’s happening in the world in this current moment. There are no comparisons of Lucas Bjerregaard to the Miracle on Ice, but if it doesn’t work for you, we won’t try it again. Or maybe that means we will. It’s sponsored by Bixby Coffee and the new Shotgun Start Holiday Blend, which contains hints of cinnamon, milk chocolate, and graham crackers. Enjoy the weekend at the Masters, everyone.
52 minutes | 23 days ago
Masters Thursday: Dartboard National, Appreciating Tiger, and Bryson’s Adventure
Brendan and Andy fire it up to start their now traditional daily recaps of the Masters and there’s plenty to discuss after an eventful first day at Augusta National. They begin with the soft and wet conditions, the “controversy” surrounding the early morning delay, and the different expectations we have for course setups for different majors. There’s a lengthy chat on Tiger, a rarity for SGS, and his contentment and control on display in his opening round. A leaderboard full of different skillsets leads to a discussion trying to suss out why Augusta National favors the big hitters but never excludes the shorter, precise hitters. Naturally then, Larry Mize and Mike Weir get their run, and Sandy Lyle is the subject of a brief fashion review. Nick Faldo’s comments on an equipment rollback are also praised in a segment on “most surprising” developments of day one. Bryson, of course, is giving the full treatment before a concluding chat on some big names flirting with a potential MC.
102 minutes | 25 days ago
Bryson’s moment, Ridley’s moment, Chili’s Fajitas, and Paulie’s Picks
This Wednesday episode is an expanded Masters preview covering a range of serious and amusing topics for what will be a truly unique tournament at Augusta National. But first, a warning to read the fine print if you ever do a merchandising deal with a certain drinkware company. The event of the week is the Masters, and Brendan and Andy begin by discussing the potential weather impacts, the agronomy impacts, and some players to watch. They hail the new MyGroup digital broadcast feature for appearing to be a truly groundbreaking change, and then set up an ideal MyGroup strategy similar to the “League Pass Teams” of the NBA. There’s an early rumors from the ground segment ranked in order of ridiculousness. There’s a segment on what Bryson might do this week, his lengthy driver, and the comments from Phil that the future adopted practice will be carrying two drivers. That leads them to a chat on what to expect and what they want to hear from Chairman Fred Ridley in his annual press conference, the one time he offers a real state of the game from an ANGC perspective and fields questions. There’s a softer segment on the meaning of the Masters, using less of their own words and rather leaning on the testimony and actions of what they’ve seen from players this week as evidence of what place this tournament holds in our imaginations. A closing chat with gambling ace Fried Egg Paulie focuses on some one-and-done strategies, fantasy strategies, Sandy Lyle vs. Larry Mize, some more serious head-to-heads, Bryson’s o/u yardage props.
52 minutes | a month ago
Plumb bobbing wedge shots, early Augusta conditions, and Bryson’s yardages
The year 2020 is not all bad -- we got an extra day of Champions Tour golf! And what better way to start Masters week than with a chat about the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, where Ernie was plumb bobbing from 110 yards, microphones picked up ample grumpy cursing, and a playoff went deep into the dark night without a resolution. Then Brendan and Andy transition to a review of the Houston Open, celebrating Carlos Ortiz’s victory against the “battlefield curse,” which Andy explains. They also commend DJ and Brooksy’s showings as well as how the new Memorial Park showed for a Tour event. Big Shot Bob is praised for his maiden victory on the Euro Tour, even though he didn’t capture low gross. Then they transition to early Masters chatter, pondering what an unexpected Fred Ridley press conference announced for Monday could be about. They also hit on some of Rory’s comments about conditions and how it will play “very different” and then go over the early reports of Bryson’s yardages and landing areas in a recent practice round with Mr. Flimper.
61 minutes | a month ago
An SGS Spotlight on Frank Stranahan, “Muscles” at the Masters
Here’s a Spotlight appetizer for the 2020 Masters, where the Thicc Boi Bryson and his protein shakes will be a headline story at Augusta National. The subject is Frank Stranahan, often thought of as the first great weightlifter and physical fitness obsessive in the game (and also someone who claimed he would live to 120, 130, and even 150 years old). Brendan and Andy discuss Stranahan’s world class bodybuilding career, his marathon running career, and his golf career, where he’s often characterized as the greatest amateur on the lengthy bridge between Jones and Woods. Aside from his play, he was also a lightning rod figure as a trust fund kid out of Toledo. This episode covers not only his wins as an amateur and close calls at the majors, including a runner-up at the Masters, but also those controversies, most notably when he was expelled from the Masters during a practice round just a year after finishing second. This tension and outright conflict with the Masters, Clifford Roberts, and Bobby Jones is discussed in depth -- the rumors behind it, the expletive laced arguments that led to his invitation being yanked during a practice round, and the continued Roberts antagonism even after the Augusta National co-founder’s death. This Spotlight is made possible thanks to Rukket, which is giving away two SPDR portable driving ranges to SGS listeners and 20 percent off a next purchase -- enter here.
53 minutes | a month ago
A jacketless Masters, A re-born Houston Open, and the legend of Toby Tree
This Election Day episode begins with Brendan and Andy rehashing some amusing answers from past anonymous players’ polls. Then they transition to the Masters Fact of the Day based off a tip about a potential change in jacket policy coming this year. The shhhhedule for the week begins with the Houston Open, featuring an extended discussion on the new venue, Memorial Park, and the work done by Tom Doak. What was Brooksy’s input in the work and how will it play for a Tour event? Also, has the Tour stopped caring about par, and living under it? There’s amusement over the format for the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown, where scores will be reset multiple times and could expose some hypocrisy in future Net Tour Championship critiques. Discussion of this Euro Tour event also leads to the discovery of the English golfer Toby Tree, a new SGS favorite. The Champions Tour season-ender is also briefly covered as a potential coronation for Ernie, who “feels like a rookie again.” News hits on Bryson’s deal with DraftKings and if he’d be the worst possible pro to get a lesson from, which is part of that activation (and who would be the best pro to get a lesson from, which is an excuse for a spotlight on #WestysWisdom). Lastly, they chat about a pro describing his use of a 48-inch driver “like a sledgehammer.”
38 minutes | a month ago
Bermuda Brian, the fraud of “distance debate,” and The Old Course
Nothing can dampen spirits on this Victory Monday thanks to the work done by one Brian Gay, he of team Centinel Spine. Brendan and Andy rejoice in a win from an older poofer of the golf ball, and perhaps the oldest wearer of a flat bill on Tour. The spine discussion leads to an aside on the physical troubles of D.A. Points, which was painful to watch in Bermuda. Gay’s win, however, is not some evidence that there’s no distance problem in golf, but rather proof of variety borne out of a different setup and shorter course. This leads to a mini-rant from Brendan on the phrase “distance debate” and a plea to abolish the use of it. Callum Shinkwin is given his due as the Cyprus winner. On the Champions Tour, they ponder how the TimberTech Championship forced a split screen with the damn playoff on the regular PGA Tour. Is the title sponsor providing some free deck work at Sawgrass? They wrap with misgivings about their crappy football teams and praise for Joe Buck and Troy Aikman’s pointed criticisms of the Bears playcalling, with a hope for similar critiques from PGA Tour coverage.
58 minutes | a month ago
2020 Halloween golf costume ideas and Friday with Gellerman
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.
55 minutes | a month ago
GameDay at Augusta, Funky in Bermuda, and Aphrodite Goddess of War
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.
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