Golfobserver.com has posted the finale of writer and architect Geoff Shackelford’s series on the plight of Riviera, the George Thomas design that hosts this week’s PGA Tour stop.
It is well worth a read and can be found here.
I’ve always enjoyed Geoff’s writing — he’s not a contrarian, more of an advocate. However, I wonder if the brand of advocacy that he is suggesting in his writing about Riviera is counter-productive to his cause. I doubt very much that the powers-that-be will read it and think, ‘Yes, we’re wrong. Fazio is the wrong guy and we’ve been misguided in our views.’
It has always been my experience that powerful people, like the owner of Riviera, rarely are swayed from their opinions by having their mistakes pointed out to them publicly. However, I wonder if Geoff was just fed up enough with what has gone on at Riviera that he felt there was nothing to lose by writing a sharply-worded criticism of all that has gone on.It probably won’t accomplish anything, but it likely made him feel better to speak the truth as he saw it.
I actually feel the same way about his most recent book, The Future of Golf. His comments on the USGA are smart and likely correct. I just don’t see him accomplishing that much through his current method. He doesn’t have wide support, it would appear to me, and one has to be careful not to be viewed as the solitary individual constantly saying he knows better.
I think Geoff’s heart is in the right place — but I’d be surprised if this kind of writing accomplishes anything. Then again, in respect to Riviera, he said he doesn’t want to work with the current ownership. That’s too bad — he should be the one who protects such a great course.
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Since when has being controversial ever been a bad career move?
Tom Doak roundly criticizes people and designs left and right, yet in doing so firmly defines what and who he is (and what he creates).
Smart people voice opinions. “Playing nice” is for middle-of-the-road wannabes.