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.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

A Club You Don't Even Swing? (Video)

Most of you won't need this but, if you know someone who used to play golf but can no longer swing a club, you might like to know about this. Rick Shiels posted this Friday -- it's a review of a club that can give you a 200-yard drive without even swinging it.



Actually, it can hit the ball a variety of distances and Rick runs it through its paces to see if it might actually work for someone physically incapable of swinging a club. It can also hit fades and draws, although it certainly won't do everything. It's definitely an interesting piece of specialized equipment.

With this club, a chipping club and a putter, it just might make golf an option again for those incapacitated golfers who miss the game.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Some Different Game Formats to Try (Video)

In this video Golf Monthly's Neil Tappin and Jezz Ellwood suggest some new game formats to try if you're getting a bit bored with the same old thing. And no, we aren't talking about simple alternate shot or Stableford!



The first one, Yellow Ball, sounds like fun to me. If you like to have the pressure moving from one player to another during the round, that one may do the trick!

And the String Game is an interesting approach to handicapping.

This video might give you some new ideas for fun out on the course, especially if some of you aren't playing particularly well that day.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A 100-Year-Old Golf Ball Lesson (Video)

Yes, I found another Rick Shiels video that I love. Rick found an unused 1920 Spalding KroFlite golf ball on eBay for £50, took it out and compared it to a Pro V1, then cut it open to see how it looked. Here's a good opportunity to learn a little about how golf balls have changed over the last century.



Just a couple of observations:
  • I suspect that the effect of the wind that Rick noticed was also partially due to the core being a bit off-center. We take balanced golf balls for granted these days but the technology to make them -- and make them consistently -- is still a relatively recent innovation. Notice how the ball wanders when he's putting at the beginning. That ball isn't tracking the same each time!
  • The ball is softer in part because it was designed for use with woods and (at that time) irons that often didn't have very deep (if any) grooves. But age probably has something to do with it as well. Bear in mind that manufacturers were experimenting with all kinds of materials in the early part of the 20th Century. Do you see the dark spots in the core when Rick cuts it open? Those are either impurities or (more likely) air bubbles, although I don't know if that's a manufacturing flaw or just age causing a breakdown in the core material.
Modern golf balls are a wonder, folks. Hopefully this video gives you an appreciation for just how good even the cheapest 2020 balls are.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Forget Golf -- Let's Talk SPACE TRAVEL!

Just a reminder that the SpaceX/NASA manned mission to the Space Station is supposed to go off today at 2pm ET. And you've got a lot of options to watch it.

Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley

Space.com has an article with a listing of all the ways you can watch the launch, and there will likely be even more as various news outlets will want to cover this historic mission. But here, from that article, is one of the links that will probably be the most widely available around the planet -- the official NASA stream on space.com:
You'll be able to watch the SpaceX launch live here and on Space.com's homepage, courtesy of NASA TV, beginning at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT). But NASA's webcast won't be the only game in town. 
Veteran NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will be in the pilots' chairs for this first-ever commercial manned space launch (that's them in the photo above). And if you haven't kept up with the amazing story of how SpaceX and NASA got to this point, here's a CNN article that will give you most of the basics to get you up-to-speed.

This is going to be so cool!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

How to Pick the Right Shaft Flex (Video)

Here are a couple of the guys from 2nd Swing Golf with some tips to help you pick the right shaft flex for your clubs.



Just to mention a few things I found interesting:
  • There is no real standard for what makes a "regular" or "stiff" flex. Every company makes their clubs a bit differently.
  • A good place to start is to ask what club you generally use for a 150-yard shot. The video gives you some ideas for understanding what that tells you about your shaft.
  • There are a lot of things about your shaft that can only be figured out at a fitting. But that doesn't mean you can't figure out roughly what shaft flex you need... and if you just get the flex close, you're going to help your game a lot.
This is a particularly good video for those of you wondering if you can help your game by getting new clubs. If the flex of your current clubs is wrong for you, the answer is almost certainly yes.

Monday, May 25, 2020

The Limerick Summary: 2020 Phil/Tiger Rematch

Winner: Tiger Woods/Peyton Manning 1up

Around the wider world of golf: Jin Young Ko played Sung Hyun Park in the Hyundai Card Super Match. The match finished in a tie, which seems a bit anticlimactic to me, but they did generate a lot of money for COVID-19 charities.

Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods

Take two superstars like Phil and Tiger and put them in a match play event -- especially since Phil beat Tiger the last time they did so -- and throw in two Hall of Fame NFL quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as their partners.

Break the 18-hole event in half -- the front nine as fourballs, the back nine as alternate shot. Throw in some wet weather.

Then let them play for $10million dollars for COVID-19 charities, and give viewers a chance to add money as the event progresses.

That was the idea behind The Match: Champions for Charity... and it appears it was a success. As you can see from the photo above, the fans eventually doubled the original charity amount.

And I'm not sure that total includes the 300,000 meals that Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson pledged on one of the challenges.

For those of you who missed it, here's the quick version: Tiger and Peyton went 3up in the first six holes, but Phil and Tom made it a game on the back nine. It came down to the final hole, with Tiger and Peyton winning 1up.

Of course, this makes Tiger and Phil even in one-on-one match play. You know they'll have to have a tiebreaker, right? We'll have to wait and see when that happens. In the meantime, Tiger can gloat a bit over getting another one over on Phil... and on picking up another Limerick Summary.
With Peyton and Tiger and Tom
And Phil teeing up, it was on!
Their charity play
Was the win of the day…
But now Tiger is tied one-and-one.
The photo came from this page at foxnews.com.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Match 2 Is Today!

A reminder so you don't miss the Tiger/Phil rematch today, officially named The Match: Champions for Charity.

Tiger, Ernie Johnson of TNT and Phil

It's Tiger and Peyton Manning versus Phil and Tom Brady, playing at the Medalist Club in Florida. According to Golfweek:
The first nine holes of the match will be in a four-ball format followed by a modified alternate shot format on the back nine in which each golfer will tee off then each team will play alternate shot from the selected drive.
Not being mentioned as much but equally interesting to me is that Justin Thomas will be doing the on-course commentary. And he told Scott Van Pelt on ESPN's SportsCenter that he would indeed be talking trash with them as the round progresses. Given that he knows all but Peyton pretty well, this should be a very entertaining part of the match and I give TNT props for coming up with it.

According to CBS Sports, the full team will include Brian Anderson, Charles Barkley, Trevor Immelman, Justin Thomas and Amanda Balionis. They also say that the event will be broadcast on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN, plus (if you can't get it on one of those channels) you can watch it for free on fuboTV. There's a link for that in the CBS article as well.

The TNT broadcast starts at 3pm ET today. Don't miss it!