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ShackHouse Central: West Coast vs Florida Swings!

High School Varsity

House:  OK Geoff Shackelford, let’s get a little match started as we debate which swing is better, the west coast swing or the florida swing.  Being that the sunshine state is way closer to the DMV, I will of course take Florida and let me remind you I am undefeated in email match play situations.  I’m the Patrick Reed of this genre so here goes my opening shot.

The Florida swing is better than the west coast swing on the strength of fields.  From Honda all the way to Bay Hill, many of the European stars will make their PGA Tour debuts.  I’m talking about the likes of Stenson, Garcia, and - if healthy - Rory.  Those folks missing from the left coast make Florida the easy winner.

Shack: Whoa!  We’ve already seen Day, Spieth, Justin Thomas, Matsuyama, Phil, and that Tiger guy, need I go on House?  The fields are just fine out here.  Yes, you get a few European stars who need to get ready for the Masters, but Justin Rose, major champion and gold medal winner is teeing it up out west because Florida courses mess up his game.  The west coast swing is a runaway winner above else? The GOLF Courses.

Look at the variety and memorability: Pebble, Riviera, Torrey, Kapalua, Waialie, TPC Scottsdale…all PGA Tour, even national treasures, and three of those have hosted some of the greatest MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS of all time!  

House: Yes Shack, your courses are great.  Some could argue that beauty is your strongest asset.  But what you don’t have is nicknames.  And in Florida, I have nicknames.  I have a Bear Trap and a Snake Pit.  Yes, we lost a Blue Monster - but if Ray Romano had to play either of those nicknamed venues he’d run out of golf balls before finishing.  Plus, the Florida swing winds up with Bay Hill, and no one who has a heart will have a dry eye when we return to the home of The King for the first time since he passed.  The golf courses are way tougher in Florida, Shack - no 25 under par winner on this coast.

Shack:     Not going to argue you on The King, what a moment that will be for sure though it sure would have been nice if some players played last year too.  My final argument: golf takes center stage out west as it has since...the 1920s!   Football is over, baseball has yet to begun, and the very unimportant race for 65 spots in college hoops is not capturing anyone right now.  The PGA Tour was built on the LA Open starting a few days after the Rose Bowl with a $10,000 purse!  And now, this is golf’s time to shine with week-to-week variety unlike any other time on the schedule. Besides the history, and architecture, the west coast whets our appetite for the major season, weeds out the fields and sets the stage for the great events to follow.  The west coast swing could and should be the most important part of the season, and the TV ratings after Hawaii back me up on that.  

House:     Did you just make the argument that the West Coast swing is an appetizer?!?  How about this – I AGREE!! My congrats to the West Coast swing - truly the wings and nachos of the golf season!!  Here is what I leave us with.  The Florida swing is the lead up to Augusta, which no sane person would argue is anything but … the most delectable 32oz, fifty-day dry-aged prime Tomahawk Chop … accompanied by a wonderful pimento cheese sandwich!  Those who play well in Florida absolutely, positively will receive an allocation of my hard-earned capital allocated to them in April.  In fact, Florida is so good for the game, the tour rolls back in May, (for now…) for the Players.  This match is over.


Ok so there you have it, the first match of the Shackhouse season played right here in ShackHouse central.  Please comment below on which swing is better, and who won this match.  And please, don’t forget to subscribe and listen to every episode of ShackHouse which you can get on iTunes, Soundcloud, stitcher and wherever you get your podcasts.  SHACKHOOOOOOUUUUUSSSSEEEE!!!

High School Varsity ⭐⭐

I live on the West Coast, I love the West Coast, I love the events for what they are, but...



These events are structured in a way that makes them less serious and more silly than the Florida swing and the lead up to the Majors. But they do a good job of getting the year going.


Let's be honest, serious golf fans like to chuckle for a few minutes when we see Bill Murray being Bill Murray. But multi-course, pro-am centric, birdie barrages with multiple players breaking 60 and finishing scores -20 or more just is not what get serious fans jazzed about golf. I guarantee that we will be subjected to Peter Kostis doing multiple frame by frame swing analyses of Chris Berman and some multi-millionaire CEO's with vanity handicaps who are trying to string together a bunch of net-pars in order to make the cut. 


Sure, #16 at Phoenix is a novelty and it used to be a really fun novelty. But now it is a contrived glorification of people who get drunk and yell "baba-booey." The closing holes at Phoenix are well designed risk-reward, and high drama golf holes.Jim Nantz did his best to try and make the golf compelling while Gary McCord is interviewing a drunk in a big-bird costume.  


It is good for golf to have a few events where fringe golf fans can see some celebrities who are super-passionate about the game play alongside the pros. It's probably good for the persona of professional golf to be "fun." But the kind of golfers who listen to golf podcasts, and find their way into the depths of a forum on a golf manufacturer's website are probably really looking forward to:

Having all of the top 10 golfers on the course at the same time.

Seeing golfers fight for pars and make heroic birdies.

The drama of the best players in the world, really grinding over putts.

Watching the up and comers really begin to find their footing competing with the best in the world.


The west coast swing set us up really well for the drama that is coming.  Rahm, Matsuyama, Thomas, these are the guys on the verge of winning majors and breaking into the elite. But it doesn't get serious and high stakes until we head into the gauntlet back east. 

College Recruit ⭐

I am an oddity, I think. I do like seeing great golfers making birdies and going for the pin and all. But I also enjoy the majors and them struggling to be -5 or so. I do get a bit tired of the monster 12" rough that some tournaments (USGA looking at you) deem required for a good tournament. Just pick a good course and let the pros go after it.

Community Manager

First of all, very awesome of @GeoffShac and @HousefromDC to be in the Community.


Completely selfishly, I enjoy the West Coast swing because I now live on the West Coast.  I'm lucky enough to be able to play Torrey regularly so I am a total sucker for watching the guys play there. ("Oh boy, I've been where he just hit it and that is NOT a good place to be.")



It still amazes me that the best players in the world can still be so particular that they don't want to play in certain regions. Having made trips to Florida and the Carolinas and struggled mightily with Bermuda rough, I can completely empathize, but it still amazes me.


On the topic of guys not wanting to putt on poa greens -- I wonder if there's a statistically significant analysis out there that can do an apples-to-apples comparison of putting stats across poa and non-poa tournaments. If so many people hate poa, do you think it's factual that the TOUR players actually do putt worse on those greens?  WHERE ARE ALL THE STATS MAJORS?

High School Varsity

Think he had you @GeoffShac at "the West Coast swing - truly the wings and nachos of the golf season."  I'm in agreement with the winner, @HousefromDC!


High School State Champion

Is there really a winner??  The West Coast Swing and the Florida Swing are serving different purposes in my opinion.  For some pros it is an opportunity to battle test some new equipment changes or swing changes....and for that the West Coast swing is the perfect venue to do it...To other pros....the scheduling conflicts and traveling arrangements make the Florida swing more condusive since a majority of them, including the Europeans are already based in the Orlando area....


as as for playing conditions, I am sure that each pro has there own preference as to the type of courses that they enjoy playing on....some thrive on Bermuda, some thrive on Poa, and others are simply playing that next tournament simply because they placed high enough the previous week to earn an automatic exemption into the next weeks tournament ( the grinders)....


i volunteer at the Travellers Tournament every year and would love to get Tiger there, or Jordan but the scheduling of the tournament is usually right after the U S Open....and the top players that aren't regulars every year like Bubba, Sergio, Zach Johnson and others are simply spent and take the week off..



enough of my