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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Jason Sedan on Blasting It Like Sadlowski (Video)

I saw this on Morning Drive yesterday and knew right then that I wanted to post this today. Their Coach of the Week, Jason Sedan, has the computer motion studies of Jamie Sadlowski's swing and it shows that restricting your lower body is NOT the way to create clubhead speed. Instead, you have to let your hips turn freely.

Look, I'm not even going to try and explain what he's talking about here. But I do want you to go back to this video I posted of Arnold Palmer's swing during his heyday. Pay particular attention to his hip turn. Look familiar?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My "5 to Watch" at the WGC-HSBC

Okay, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth aren't in the field list for the WGC-HSBC Champions. But just about all the other big names are -- including Andrew "Beef" Johnston. As long as they have the Beef, who else do they really need?

Dustin Johnson

The WGC-HSBC Champions returns to Sheshan International in Shanghai, China this week, and it's a track known for giving up low scores. The last three winners -- DJ, Bubba and Russell Knox -- have all been very accurate players (Knox isn't a long hitter) so we could very well see a large number of low scores this week. This post on contains several charts showing which players have been the most "comfortable" at this event, which may help you fantasy golf fans out there.

In the meantime, here are my "5 to Watch":
  • My first three choices are no-brainers, really. Dustin Johnson's play this season definitely gives him an inside track on this course. Do I really need to explain why?
  • Likewise, this is a place where Bubba Watson seems to play well even when his game has been off a bit.
  • And defending champs have tended to play well this year, although only one of them has actually repeated (Justin Thomas last week). So Russell Knox has to make my list as well.
  • Now it gets a bit tricky for me, simply because so many players are hitting fairways and greens so far this year. Paul Casey is way overdue for a win so I'm going with him. He's been so consistent over the last year or so that I think this course may be just what he needs.
  • And for my flier... I'm taking Kevin Na. Kevin's another player who's been right on the cusp of victory so often over the last year or so that I believe he might break through this week.
I realize that I've left off a number of obvious picks, like Rory McIlroy. I would also really like to take Hideki Matsuyama again, after that second last week, or Patrick Reed. But I only have five picks available, and there are way too many players in form to pick them all.

And obviously -- just in case the photo wasn't enough of a clue -- I'm picking DJ to win this week. I see a very real possibility that this comes down to a battle between the Player of the Year and the FedExCup winner (despite my not picking Rory). But I'll put my money on the POY.

Especially since he's won here before.

The WGC website says that live coverage begins on GC at 11pm ET tonight, but I suspect GC will come on a bit earlier with a pre-game show. It'll be good to see the big guns back in action again.

And yes, I guess Beef counts as a big gun now. Golf is an unpredictable game...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

More Late Night/Early Morning Golf This Week

Well, here we go again. While I realize that it's great for those international viewers among you, these Asian events -- whether they're LPGA or PGA -- are tough for us American fans.

Hana Jang, Ariya Jutanugarn and Lydia Ko

The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia will be played at the same facility where the PGA Tour played this past week -- TPC Kuala Lumpur -- only the ladies will be on the East Course. (The men were on the West Course.) And as usual, Tony Jesselli has done a preview of the event at his website, so you can get the particulars there.

The big news, if somehow you missed it, is the change at the top of the Rolex Player of the Year race. Since Lydia Ko didn't play last week, Ariya Jutanugarn moved 13 points ahead of her. With only three events left in the season, Lydia will have her work cut out for her.

And as the photo above makes clear, both women are playing this week. The photo is from this LPGA page, where you can find other info about the field breakdown. The breakdown says nothing about Lydia's caddie, however. I think everybody is very interested to see how Lydia performs with her new caddie, since she split with her recent caddie last week.

If I understand the time zones correctly, Kuala Lumpur is exactly 12 hours ahead of us here on the East Coast of the US. The Sime Darby website has a live streaming widget on their front page, so it may be possible for us US folks to catch some of the event live. The widget shows the broadcast time as "27 - 30 Oct 2016 , 9:00-10:30am Thursday to Sunday," which I assume is Kuala Lumpur local time. If so, we should get some live streaming golf from 9-10:30pm ET Wednesday to Saturday. We shall see.

In the meantime, Tony lists the scheduled tape-delayed times in his post, with the first round starting in the wee hours of Thursday morning at 4am ET. GC lists a replay of the first round late Thursday from 6-7:30pm ET, but that's seriously cut down because there's so much PGA Tour and Champions Tour golf this week.

Just be aware that the LPGA may be a bit tricky to catch here in the US. You international viewers are so lucky this week!

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Limerick Summary: 2016 CIMB Classic

Winner: Justin Thomas

Around the wider world of golf: Padraig Harrington won the Portugal Masters, his first ET win since 2008; Satoshi Kodaira won the Bridgestone Open on the Japan Golf Tour; Minjee Lee won the Blue Bay LPGA; and Tyler McCumber won the Lexus Peru Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.

Justin Thomas receives the CIMB trophy for the second time

They say the best defense is a good offense. That certainly proved true for Justin Thomas as he pursued the defense of his CIMB Classic title.

He started the final round four strokes back of Anirban Lahiri, who lost his entire lead with one quad on the third hole. After that, it was a free-for-all as players unleashed their aggression on the TPC Kuala Lumpur. It's a course that has proven susceptible to low scores since the event arrived -- a tradition that continued this year.

One player after another surged to the front, only to stumble slightly as other players passed them by. Leishman, Fathauer and Matsuyama all made their own bids for the lead, but Justin was just too much for the field. His 64 was two shots better than anybody else on Sunday.

Justin set the tournament record last year at 26-under. He came up three shots short of that this year... but he was still three shots ahead of second-place finisher Hideki Matsuyama, who matched Justin stroke-for-stroke down the back nine but was too far back to catch him.

And in keeping with his pledge to donate $250 for each birdie he makes during this three-tournament span to the victims of Hurricane Matthew, Justin added 22 birdies and one eagle to bring his current total to $13,000 with one more event to go. No matter how you look at it, Justin has certainly earned this Limerick Summary:
The race for the top spot was on.
Contenders would rise, then were gone
'Cause no one was trustin'
Their game the way Justin
Did. Down the stretch, he turned it on.
The photo came from this page at

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Early Reports Say Dick's Bought Golfsmith

Granted, we don't know all the details for sure yet, because this comes from those nameless "sources" who provide early info. But Reuters is certain enough that they put the word out late Friday.

It looks like Dick's Sporting Goods is going to buy Golfsmith.

Dick's Sporting Goods store

I've been scanning the net for details, and here's the best I can do at this point.

There was an auction for the chain last Wednesday, which Dick's won, although the US Bankruptcy Courts still have to approve it.

Supposedly the deal included all the stores, the inventory and the intellectual property. Intellectual property includes all the printed materials (instructional and otherwise) that Golfsmith made available to the public.

The belief is that Dick's will keep about 30 of the stores open and close the rest, but nobody knows yet whether they'll be rebranded as Dick's stores, Golf Galaxy stores (which Dick's also owns), remain as Golfsmith stores, or there could be some other arrangement. But a Golf Digest article about the sale says it would likely give Dick's "the largest collection of golf retail stores in the country. It currently operates 72 Golf Galaxy stores and adding the 30 Golfsmith stores would give it 102, compared to Worldwide Golf Shops 72 stores." The article adds that Worldwide was the other major bidder in the auction.

What does that mean for the rest of us? Well, unless Dick's removes the golf departments from its regular stores -- which I suspect is unlikely, given that a Dick's golf department employee told me several months ago that Dick's is training its own golf techs now -- your next set of clubs will most likely come from a Worldwide or Dick's-owned golf store.

At least, they will if you want to have your clubs custom-fitted.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

How to Adjust Push-ups for Your Strength Level (Video)

I'm a big fan of bodyweight exercises -- that is, exercises that use your bodyweight rather than individual weights or machines to provide resistance. They generally don't require any equipment (there are a few exceptions, like pull-ups) and they usually work a lot of muscles at once, so it's easier to work your muscles evenly in less time.

Ron Kaspriske at Golf Digest did this little video on how to make push-ups harder. I know that most of you need to make them easier! Don't worry, I'll tell you how that's done after the video. But the versions he does in this video -- which, yes, require equipment -- are pretty cool.

Alright, for the rest of you who have trouble doing push-ups, here is a quick course on how to adjust the effort level. Are you ready?
  • If you want to make push-ups HARDER, move your HEAD farther from the ground.
  • If you want to make push-ups EASIER, move your FEET farther from the ground.
Now let me explain that. It's much simpler than it may sound.

The basic push-up is done with your feet and hands on the ground. This is a medium level push-up. Let's say you want to make your push-ups easier. The easiest way is to stand up next to a wall and face it, take one small step backward so your toes are maybe 12-18 inches from the wall, and then put your hands on the wall and lean toward it.

Your head is now as high above the ground as you can get it, and this is a very easy-to-do push-up. (Perhaps it's more of a push-out. But it takes more strength than you might expect.) To increase the difficulty from there, you increase your forward lean so your head gets nearer the ground. At first you just move your feet away from the wall a little, but eventually you're going to need something flat to put your hands on to support your weight. So you can use the edge of the kitchen sink or a table, then move down to a chair seat, then use stairs or a footstool, and finally back down to the ground.

Some of you may remember the old Charles Atlas bodybuilding course. (Remember the ads in comic books with the bully kicking sand in the guy's face?) The cornerstone of the Atlas program was a push-up that used two chairs. You put one hand on each chair, which made the exercise easier than the "flat on the floor" version, but you lowered your body between the chairs so your chest could go lower. That increased the range of the motion so you got more good from the exercise. It's still a very good exercise to use as a basic piece of a workout program.

To make the push-ups harder, go in reverse but with your feet. Keep your hands on the floor but put your feet on the stool or some stairs, then on a chair seat, and so on until you're putting your feet high against the wall. These are almost the hardest you can do, and they're called handstand push-ups. (And yes, there's one version that's harder. It's called a freestanding handstand push-up, and obviously your feet don't touch the wall at all. Those are hard!)

Now, there's one other way to make push-ups easier or harder, and we used to mix these two techniques in Tae Kwon Do to build strength in different sorts of ways. You can do the push-ups on your knees instead of your feet, and then you can put your hands in awkward positions to stress different muscles. You'd be surprised how much strength you can build doing those... and yet even the students who hadn't done many push-ups before were able to do them.

BTW, that medicine ball push-up that Kaspriske does in the video? We got the same effect by doing knee push-ups while putting one hand close to our side and stretching the other hand much farther away. You can isolate individual muscles that way.

So that's your primer on push-ups. They're a convenient exercise that you can do almost anywhere... and now you know how to adjust the difficulty to fit your current strength level.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Tiger's Interview with Charlie Rose (Video)

I suppose the big news on Thursday was Tiger's interview with Charlie Rose on his PBS show. I didn't get to see it, although I've seen a couple of different clips. (The entire interview was an hour long.) This is an almost 6-minute clip from the CBS This Morning show that I could embed here on the site. And here's the link to the page, because it includes a transcript of this part of the video. (And in case the video doesn't embed properly -- I can't see it when I preview this post -- you can click the link to see the video.)

One thing which isn't in this clip but was shown on GC concerns why Tiger withdrew from the Safeway last week. Tiger's reason was very interesting to me. He said that, before the Ryder Cup, he was in a groove at his home course -- that is, that his feel for distance was there. But after he took the week off for the Ryder Cup, he was surprised to find that he no longer felt his distance control as well. He thought he could get it back with the practice in California, but he was wrong. Over the weekend he realized that, while he could hit the shots alright, he couldn't hit them well enough to shoot a low score and that since he hadn't hurried his comeback, he needn't hurry it then.

Given how low the scores were at the Safeway, that was probably a good decision. In the clip above, you can hear him tell Charlie that he believes he can get his game in shape in time for the Hero.

I also found one other clip from CBSN that I can't embed here but that I think is worth listening to. It's at this page and it's a 7-minute interview that Charlie Rose did about the interview itself. Charlie talks about what Tiger's own people said about the interview -- that he simply doesn't do them but he wanted to talk to Charlie -- and about some of the things he and Tiger talked about after the interview finished, as well as his own take on what Tiger told him.

Very interesting stuff in these two clips. They're worth a watch.