ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Martin Hall's Sponge Drill (Video)

This is a super-short Home School video from Martin on how to use a sponge -- no club -- to keep your hands, arms and shoulders in sync during your swing.

The drill is self-explanatory, but here's why it works: The flat side of the sponge should stay parallel to your chest throughout the drill. You're using a half-swing, about shoulder height. If the sponge starts to tilt so one edge or the other is angled, then your arms and chest aren't swinging together.

This drill will show you whether you're "getting stuck" (your trailing elbow collapses before you hit the ball) or "scooping" (your lead elbow collapses as you hit the ball). It's a nice visual way to get feedback, even without a club.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

More Prime Time LPGA Action

As the LPGA prepares for their first major of the year -- the ANA Inspiration next week -- we (here in the US, at least) get another prime time LPGA broadcast with the Kia Classic.

Mirim Lee with caddie

Tony Jesselli's weekly tournament preview is at this link. I'll just remind you that the event is held in Carlsbad CA and the defending champ is Mirim Lee. She's hoping to recapture last year's magic, having not cracked the Top20 since.

Seven of the eight past Kia champs will be in the field this week. (2010 champ Hee Kyung Seo is the missing one.) Kia does tend to pull a strong field as many players are preparing for the ANA next week. Inbee Park is also in the field -- she's never won but she has a couple of runner-up finishes.

After last week's performance I wouldn't bet against her.

Beyond that, the #1 spot in the Rolex is up for grabs again. Shanshan Feng leads Lexi Thompson by a mere .21 points, with So Yeon Ryu .5 back and Sung Hyun Park another .2 behind her. We could see a shake-up this week.

GC's coverage is tape-delayed at 8:30pm ET Thursday and Friday night, but goes live at 7pm ET on Saturday and Sunday. And I'll say it again: The ANA comes up next week, so this should be a very competitive event.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Your Printable Dell Match Play Bracket

Yes, today is just a link to the bracket for this year's WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. (Just look for the words Print Your Bracket in the tabs above the web version.) In case you've forgotten, the event is held in Austin TX and Dustin Johnson is the defending champion.

Dustin Johnson with 2017 Dell Match Play trophy

You can get a summary of all the event details at this page. The Tour leaderboard has a list of all the matches and their tee off times (all times there are CST -- Central Standard Time, which is an hour earlier than the normal ET times -- Eastern Standard Time, on the East Coast of the US).

You can even find all the individual matches for the first three days listed at the event's Wikipedia page, if you so desire.

GC's broadcasts begin at 2pm ET on Wednesday. Get your brackets NOW!

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Limerick Summary: 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Winner: Rory McIlroy

Around the wider world of golf: Well, she did it again. Although Laura Davies gave it a great run, Inbee Park rode a five-stroke lead to victory at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup on the LPGA; Lauren Kim won the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic on the Symetra Tour; Ben Polland won the Stella Artois Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; and Jeffrey Kang won the Chengdu Championship on the PGA TOUR China.

Rory with API trophy and sweater

And another drought bites the dust. This time it belonged to Rory McIlroy, who ended a winless run of nearly 18 months.

Granted, that wasn't quite as dramatic as it could have been, had Tiger ended his drought after exactly the same number of days that it took Phil to end his. But with the Masters coming up, and Rory looking to win the career Grand Slam at Augusta, it couldn't have come at a better time for Mr. McIlroy.

Although his opponents probably aren't all that happy for him. Given how badly Rory torched the field Sunday, posting a bogey-free 64 that was three strokes better than anybody else, they probably feel the immediate future looks pretty bleak.

Only Bryson DeChambeau managed to put the heat on Rory -- or at least it would have been heat if Rory was playing like everybody else. But Rory's stats for the week read like an entire fantasy draft dream team, with him leading the field in Driving Distance, Proximity to the Hole, Scrambling, and Strokes Gained Putting. (That last one was probably a shocker for most of them!) It's kinda hard to beat a fella when he's posting those kind of numbers.

And Rory hopes to keep posting them for another couple of weeks.

In the meantime, he can take a few minutes to relax with a nice cold Arnold Palmer (tea and lemonade) -- with a little umbrella in it, of course -- while lounging in his new red alpaca sweater and gazing lovingly at his shiny new trophy.

And if he feels like it, he can read his new Limerick Summary a few times if he wants, just for kicks. It's been a while since he had one of these as well.
Another drought comes to an end—
The field couldn’t hope to contend
After Rory got hot
(He nailed shot after shot)
And his putter became his best friend!
The photo came from this page at

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Inbee Park Proves That Length Is Overrated (Video)

Inbee Park missed several months with back pain and considered quitting the game. But she decided to keep playing.

And now she's leading the Bank of Hope Founders Cup as if she hadn't missed a beat. She even had a 59 watch going for a while on Saturday. That tends to happen when you're six-under after five holes.

You might want to read Randall Mell's article over at about the last few months of her life. It's very interesting. And the video here lets you hear a bit of how she's thinking right now.

But what fascinates me is how she continues to blow her competition away when she's not as long as the big guns. In one round this week she was playing from 40 to 50 yards behind her opponents.

And this is something that weekend players should learn from.

Look, I'm not saying that length isn't an advantage. It can certainly help you post a low score if you're able to capitalize on it. But even among the pros, length doesn't make most players into contenders. DJ and Justin Thomas are the exceptions, not the rule. And unlike Tiger in his heyday, even they haven't proven they can win as consistently as the Big Cat did. I mean, DJ has won every year for over a decade now... but Tiger won five times a year for over a decade.

The players who win consistently are the players who learn to take what they have and post a good score with it. That's a matter of mindset ("I can compete with these other players") and strategy ("My game allows me to do these things really well"). And even if you can't knock the cover off the ball, you can learn to capitalize on your strengths by playing smart.

It's still working for Inbee Park. And while she doesn't win all the time, wouldn't it be wild if it worked today?

I'm not betting against her.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Stacy Lewis on Beating the High Lip Bunker

I've done a number of posts on bunker play but I think this is the first to focus on DEEP bunkers! Stacy Lewis did this great post for that -- pardon the pun -- hits the high points.

Stacy Lewis in a deep bunker

If you take nothing else from this post, remember this: The deeper the bunker is, the more sand you have to dig out. In a bunker you don't hit the ball, you hit the sand; and to make the ball go higher, you have to move a lot more sand with your wedge. Stacy gives a great drill to teach you how to get that extra sand moving!

Draw a four-inch diameter circle in the sand with your ball in the middle. Set up with the ball opposite your lead foot, then remove the ball. Dig your feet into the sand so you have a solid footing, then grip the club with an open clubface. (Remember that the open clubface won't send the ball out sideways because the clubface never touches the ball.)

Then she says to swing as if you're trying to stick your hands in your left pants pocket. (If you're a righty, that is. Lefties, stick it in your right pants pocket!) That's because you want to cut across the ball -- an out-to-in swing. This image will help you do that.

Finally, when you make that swing, try to take all of the sand out of that four-inch circle. And once you get the hang of doing that, put the ball back in the circle and watch that ball fly high and soft!

This is a beautifully simple drill for learning a shot that gives most players fits.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Mariah Stackhouse Meets Hank Aaron (Video)

In case you don't know, Hank Aaron is a baseball legend, one of the greatest home run hitters in history and a member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. He also created the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation, which he began to help children with "limited opportunities" (which can cover a lot of territory) pursue their dreams.

As it turns out, Mariah was one of the kids he helped... and Thursday was his first time getting to see her play. GC posted this video of the two finally getting to meet.

This was just so cool that I wanted you all to see it in case you missed it