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You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Rick Shiels Tests 2-Irons (Video)

I know this video won't help all of you. Many, if not most, weekend players have no need for a 2-iron -- or in many cases, even a 3-iron. A good hybrid is a better choice for most players.

But if you are one of those players who can get good use from a 2-iron, then this video is for you. Rick will give you an idea of how to test a 2-iron and how to know when it's right for you.


Friday, October 30, 2020

More About the Topgolf/Callaway Merger

Today I'm linking you to Rex Hoggard's interview with Callaway Golf president and chief executive Chip Brewer and Topgolf CEO Dolf Berle. Now that the two are planning a formal business merger, it doesn't hurt to learn what they have planned.

View from a Topgolf driving bay

Callaway had bought into Topgolf back in 2006 and now owns around 14% of their stock. When this merger is complete, they'll own 51.5%.

I think it's worth knowing about this merger because the pandemic is going to affect all kinds of businesses and, while this merger was already in the works before COVID reared its ugly head, the changing economic environment will dramatically change profitability going forward. In this case, it sounds like Callaway is going to have a way to profit from the playing habits of casual players in a way the other equipment companies won't.

We are entering an economic situation where the price of playing a traditional golf course is going to be out of reach for more people than in the past... and price had already proven to be a deterrent to many potential players. Alternate ways to play, like Topgolf, are likely to become a bigger part of the landscape.

I'll be very interested to see what kind of impact this has on the other equipment manufacturers over the next few years. It's clear from this interview that Callaway and Topgolf are trying to get ahead of the curve.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Congrats to the East Lake Cup Victors!

The team match play at the East Lake Cup definitely showed who the best teams so far this year are.

Winning men's team Pepperdine and women's Ole Miss

In the men's portion, the Pepperdine Waves beat the Oklahoma Sooners with a solid 4-1 performance. The fact that they won without their top player William Mouw winning either of his matches just demonstrates how dominant they were.

As for the women, the Ole Miss Rebels beat the South Carolina Gamecocks 3-2. Ole Miss (that's the University of Mississippi, for those of you unfamiliar with their nickname) has been rebuilding their women's golf program and it looks like they're succeeding.

With all the disruptions the pandemic has caused to NCAA golf this year, this win will definitely help them both in the college rankings going forward. Congrats to the champs!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The New Old Champions Tour Event

You can be forgiven if you're a bit confused about this week's Champions Tour event. Let me set you straight about the TimberTech Championship.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer

This event was originally played in early February, and you're probably most familiar with its original name, the Allianz Championship. In 2018 it was the Boca Raton Championship and it was still played in early February.

Last year, when Bernhard Langer won it, it was the Oasis Championship. And yes, it was played in early February.

All of those events were played on the Old Course at Broken Sound, in Boca Raton FL. And it will continue to be played there this year.

However, when the AZEK Company, which owns the TimberTech brand, came on board as sponsor in early 2020, it was decided that this event would be one of the three playoff events in the Charles Schwab Cup. The pandemic -- notorious for altering plans this year -- didn't change that decision but it did result in the event not getting an official announcement until September.

As a result, the TimberTech Championship will now officially be the second of the final three events of the Champions Tour season going forward. And this week is the first playing of the event at its new place in the schedule.

To the best of my knowledge, Phil Mickelson isn't playing this week despite being #8 on the points list. But the rest of the 2020 rookie class will probably tee it up since this is the penultimate event.

GC's coverage starts Friday at 3pm ET. (This is still only a 54-hole event.) It looks as if it will be in the 80s with possible thunderstorms all three days, so the course may play quite a bit differently than it did in February. I can't help but wonder if that will change the fortunes of the favorites this year.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Twofer Tuesday: Bermuda Championship

Twofer Tuesday makes like Captain Jack Sparrow and sails away for a Caribbean vacation at the Bermuda Championship.

Defending champion Brendon Todd

Maybe it's not the pirate utopia of the 17th century, but the Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda offers quite the haul for braver members of the PGA Tour. Once host to the Grand Slam of Golf, victory at this event now carries a bounty worth 500 FedExCup points and -- for swashbucklers like defending champion Brendon Todd -- the chance to get your PGA Tour off the ground or back into winning ways.

And for some players it may indeed require a little bravery. The Bermuda Championship will be the first event since the restart to allow spectators, although the number is limited to 500 a day.

So arr, mateys! Let's be making some picks and see if the winds favor the brave.

  • Will Zalatoris is back in a PGA Tour field with the chance to get Special Temporary Membership. Check this: All he needs are THREE FEDEXCUP POINTS, which is no more than a two-way tie for 69th to qualify! He's finished in the Top10 in three of his last four Tour appearances, so I'm hoping he'll sail into another this week.
  • Any pirate worth his salt needs to take a few risks now and then... and mine is Rasmus Hojgaard. This European Tour player got his ET card just last year, but he's already got two wins over there and is #10 in the Race to Dubai. This is a great opportunity to pick up his first PGA Tour win.

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at noon. With Halloween just ahead and the mainland starting to chill down a bit, a little bit of the Caribbean may be just what the rest of us need to quell our shivering timbers. (Okay, that didn't sound quite right but I'm running with it.)

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Limerick Summary: 2020 ZOZO Championship

Winner: Patrick Cantlay

Around the wider world of golf: Ally McDonald got her first LPGA title at the LPGA Drive On Championship - Reynolds Lake Oconee; Ross McGowan returned to the winner's circle after an 11-year absence at the ET's Italian Open; Merrick Bremner won the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge on the Sunshine Tour; and Aaron Pike won the NT PGA Championship on the Australasian Tour. Plus IC sent me these results from the Asian tours: Won Joo Lee won the KPGA's Bizplay Open; and Somi Lee got her first KLPGA title at the Huencare Ladies Open.

Patrick Cantlay with the ZOZO trophy

The West Coast just isn't being kind to my Twofer Tuesday picks. I had Tyrrell Hatton (T28) and Patrick Reed (T14). After Friday's round I was looking at two Top5s. Ironically, I had Patrick Cantlay last week, when he finished T38. *sigh*

  • Top10s: 23 for 58 (9 Top5, 14 other Top10s)
  • Winners: 2 for 29 events
Yes, Patrick Cantlay came back from last week with a monster showing in Cali to get his third PGA Tour victory. Only Kevin Streelman had a better final round (64) and only Xander Schauffele matched him (65)... but neither of those players even made the Top15.

All the attention was on World #2 Jon Rahm and World #3 Justin Thomas as they began the day at the top of the leaderboard in second and first place, respectively. But while both shot decent front nines (-4 and -3), neither could do better than even par on the back nine. In fact, they seemed determined to find the worst places on the course down the stretch!

But Patrick not only matched them with a -4 on the front nine, he posted an equally impressive -3 down the stretch. By the time his opponents had reached the 18th, JT had been eliminated and Rahmbo needed a birdie to force a playoff.

Needless to say, a playoff was unneeded.

Perhaps this victory was overdue. (In my opinion, by at least a week...) But this win should set Patrick up for a good run at the Masters in a few weeks.

And of course, it gets him yet another Limerick Summary.

While Two and Three valiantly fought—
A struggle that soon came to naught—
Pat Cantlay slipped past them
To calmly outlast them;
He simply refused to be caught!

The photo came from the tournament page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Justin Thomas Critiques His Own Swing (Video)

Earlier this year Justin Thomas did a critique of his swing for Golfing World. Since he's leading another tournament, I thought it might be interesting to hear his own thoughts. Don't worry -- the video is very short.


There are a number of good things you can learn from this short video, but I think the most interesting thing is that he doesn't like how he jumps when he swings, although that's something that many players try to do now. He says he has tried to stop and, when he does, he can't even hit the ball!

So he says he has had to 'own' it and just content himself with the knowledge that he is hitting the ball well.

I think that's something most golfers need to learn. Everybody has quirks in their golf swing that are simply natural to them and, instead of trying to change those quirks, they need to simply accept them and exploit them to their fullest potential.

Again, this is a very short video but it's amazing how much you can learn from it. Enjoy!