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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Dame's at It Again!

It was just a few months ago that Dame Laura Davies blitzed the field at the Senior Women's Open by ten strokes. And while she doesn't look to put on that kind of show this week, Laura is once again in the lead at the LPGA Senior Championship.

Laura Davies putting at the French Lick course

It's been cold and windy at the French Lick course in Indiana (and for those of you overseas who might not know, French Lick IN is famous for being the home of NBA legend Larry Bird) so it's put a bit of a damper on the scoring. After two rounds there are only nine players under par and Laura has a two-shot lead at -6 (68-70).

Laura finished her first round with two bogeys, then added two more in the first four holes of her second round before righting the ship to take the second round lead. Her closest competitor, Brandie Burton, has been on a roller coaster, shooting 74-66. And the oldest player in the field, Jane Crafter, is at -3 after rounds of 70-71. Silvia Cavalleri is also at -3, but it's hard for me to believe she's old enough to be in this field (LPGA seniors start at 45).

Perhaps that just shows my own age.

Anyway, the final round is today. I'm going to miss it because of work but at least I can check the scores on the LPGA's live leaderboard. If you're where you can watch it, GC will carry it at 4-6pm ET.

I'll be interested to see if Laura can make it two in a row, regardless of the victory margin. She's definitely making a good go of it so far.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The New Rules for Greens Books

We knew it was coming but the USGA and the R&A finalized their decision on how green-reading books will be regulated.

Typical greens book page

The new rules will limit the size of the books, the scale of the diagrams and even how you read them. (That last bit is the most interesting to me.)
  • The books' size will be limited to 4.5x7 inches, which makes them small enough to put in a pocket.
  • But you could just use smaller print, right? Au contraire, mon ami! The scale at which you draw the books will be limited to 3/8 inch of page for every 5 yards of green (1:480).
  • And just to make sure nobody tries microprinting the details, you can't use a magnifying glass or anything other than prescription eyeglasses to read the books.
The two ruling bodies will continue to allow handwritten notes as long as the writers are the player or his caddie -- in other words, no mass printing of the handwriting!

How is this going to affect the game? I don't know for sure. I suspect we may see a surge in the number of players using AimPoint Express, and I won't be surprised if some enterprising player (Bryson, are you listening?) figures out some new way to notate the contours of the green. All those tiny little arrows you see on the photo above? A few well-placed and well-drawn complex curves might give players the same amount of info without requiring so much detail.

Of course, that would make greens book reading more of an art. But that IS what the ruling bodies are after, isn't it?

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Limerick Summary: 2018 CIMB Classic

Winner: Marc Leishman

Around the wider world of golf: In-Gee Chun blitzed the field to win the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship; Bernhard Langer did likewise at the SAS Championship on the Champions Tour; Jared Wolfe won the Volvo Abierto de Chile on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Nick Voke won the Clearwater Bay Open (and a Web.com Tour card) on the PGA TOUR China; Eddie Pepperell won the Sky Sports British Masters on the ET; and Tirawat Kaewsiribandit won the UMA CNS Open Golf Championship on the Asian Tour.

Marc Leishman hoists the CIMB trophy

It only took five holes for Marc Leishman to make his plans for the day clear. Four straight birdies on holes 2-5 gave him a lead that he never relinquished.

And when he birdied the final hole, he left no doubt in anyone's mind that he could be trouble going forward. After all, he's won three times in the past 18 months... and the last two were five-shot blowouts. He set a tournament record (-23) at the 2017 BMW Championship and tied the record (-26) this week.

Oh yeah, the field will take notice of this one.

As for Leish, he knew exactly what his plans for the night would be as well:
"We'll sit that (trophy) in the middle of the table tonight and have a few beers and just talk about it and just have a good night with friends really. I'm looking forward to doing that tonight."
Spoken like a true Aussie. There's not much more I can add...

Well, okay. Just this one little Limerick Summary. Leish is gathering quite a collection of them!
The field knew low scores were a must—
And Leish STILL left ‘em all in the dust!
Once he went five shots clear,
No one else could get near;
All their hopes for a victory went bust.
The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Tommy Fleetwood on Chipping (Video)

This video is three years old, right about the time Tommy started his run back to the top of the game. I won't repeat everything in this video -- that's why I include the video, after all -- but I'd like to point out a couple of things that you may be interested in.



First of all, Tommy now carries four wedges. That's nearly a third of the clubs in his bag, which shows you how much importance he puts on this part of his game. Note that he says the fourth wedge he added, which has slightly less loft than a sand wedge, allows him to take longer clubs off the tee on shorter holes if he so desires. So this fourth wedge is as much a strategy choice as a short game choice.

You'll also want to note that Tommy plays a cut shot for all his chips. As a rightie, he lines up with his feet aimed slightly left and swings down his foot line, which gives him a slight out-to-in swing path. A lot of players and instructors these days prefer to hook their chips to get them running sooner. There is no right or wrong here, but you need to pick the one you think benefits you the most. Tommy is very clear that he thinks a cut shot is the best shot, so that's what he plays. Confidence is important in your short game!

One extra thing I'll mention is that, while Tommy generally plays his chips from a narrow stance, he says he does widen his stance for longer chips that require a longer swing. Note that he doesn't put a length on when he does that, so it's clearly a feel thing for him. That's also worth remembering when you're developing your own set of fundamentals.

And I think that is the biggest takeaway from Tommy's video lesson. You have to develop your own fundamentals, decide on which techniques you're going to use in your own game. I don't care what any player or instructor tells you, there's only one truth when it comes to golf technique:
If it works for you, it's right for you.
There are a lot of ways to get the job done, so the important thing is to make your stroke with confidence. Don't let anybody tell you differently!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Kirk Jones on Hand Motion (Video)

You can think of today's tip as the flip side of Thursday's tip. Martin Hall talked about how grip affects your tendency to hook the ball; in today's video Kirk Jones talks about how grip affects all club motion.



While Martin talked about creating a more neutral hand position, Kirk shows why you need to pay attention to HOW you use that hand position.

Even with a good grip to create a desired clubface position, you can alter that clubface if you get sloppy with your wrist motion. Cupping your lead wrist can open the most neutral clubface, while rolling your trail hand over your lead hand (also called bowing the wrist) can close the face down.

Kirk also mentions exaggerating your wrist cock. That contributes to both problems, depending on whether you cup or bow your wrist to create more cock during your swing.

The irony here is -- and I know some instructors will disagree with me but it's true -- you can play good golf with a bowed wrist and you can also play good golf with a cupped wrist. Just look at the history of our game and you'll find great players who used both of these positions at the top of their swings.

The key here is consistency. If you bow your wrist, you need to keep it bowed the same amount throughout your swing. The same is true of cupping. It's when you use a cupped (or bowed) grip at address, bow (or cup) it on the way back and then try to square the face at impact that you get into trouble. For example, DJ bows his wrist during his backswing and then maintains that bow all the way through impact. That makes him a fairly consistent driver despite his length.

Finally, I shouldn't have to say this but I will: Obviously you want to avoid the extremes. A slight bow or a slight cup is pretty easy to maintain throughout your swing; exaggerated cups and bows like Kirk shows in the video are recipes for disaster. Find your most natural position and maintain it throughout your swing, and you'll be surprised at how much more consistent you'll be.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Power Restored!

As you may have guessed from the missing post this morning, we got hit by the storm. Hurricane Michael (you have no idea how many jokes I've heard about that!) hit us Thursday afternoon. It was pretty quick but it was messy, taking down trees and power lines all over the place. One of our neighbors actually had a two-foot diameter tree blown over UPHILL through the branches of a stronger tree that didn't fall.

Anyway, this post is just to let you know that I'm back on line and will be posting as normal tomorrow. We're still straightening out the mess today, but at least we and most of the other folks locally are okay. Be sure to pray for all the people who have been or will be in the path of this storm.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Martin Hall's Hook Stopper (Video)

I do a lot more tips for slicers than hookers simply because there seem to be more of them on golf courses. (Okay, that doesn't sound quite right but we'll press on. ;-) Anyway, this Night School video from Martin Hall has a very simple way to help stop your unwanted hooks.



As you know by now, I love simple fixes... and the simpler, the better. The more complicated a "fix" is, the less likely it is that you'll be able to repeat it. But this grip tip is wonderfully simple. I'll even call it pure genius!

If you hold the club shaft parallel to the ground in your trailing hand and make sure that the face of the club looks straight up at the sky -- Martin says the grooves are parallel to the ground, which means the same thing and it's just a matter of which thought helps you get the face in the correct position -- if you hold the club this way and THEN take your lead hand grip so the back of that hand also faces the sky, you'll get a weaker grip.

And a weaker grip makes you less likely to flip the clubface at impact and hook the ball.

So if you're hooking the ball and yet can't stop using a strong grip, this is a very simple tip to help you get a weaker grip on the club and do it consistently. Consistency is always the key to a permanent fix; if you can't do something the same way every time, you can't correct the problem.

Yes, I love simple tips. And this is a great one if you have trouble with a chronic hook.