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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Third Ben Shear Core Workout (Video)

I almost forgot to post this! I posted the first two of Ben Shear's core workout videos for Golf Digest (that link takes you to the second post, which also has a link to the first one). The first video introduced three half-kneeling exercises, while the second video gave you three standing static exercises. (Static because you just stood still and held the positions.)

Today's post gives you the third and final core workout video, which presents three standing dynamic exercises. (That means you move while you do them.) Here's the video:


Again, three simple exercises that work your core in three planes of motion, with the resistance provided by an exercise band:
  • The band is stretched parallel to your shoulders. You straighten your arms in front of your chest and try to keep them there while doing backward lunges.
  • The band is still stretched parallel to your shoulders. You straighten your arms above your head and try to keep them there while doing side lunges away from the band's anchor point.
  • Finally, the band is stretched perpendicular to your shoulders and tries to pull you backward. You straighten your arms above your head but you try to keep them there while doing forward lunges.
The other videos measured your progress by the time you held each position; for these exercises you count repetitions. And of course, you need to do the first two exercises on each side of your body. (You don't have to do backward lunges with the final exercise.)

Shear suggests at least two sets of 8-10 reps of each exercise. If you combine the exercises on this video with the exercises on the first two, you should get a pretty stout core workout without straining yourself. (After all, you're using an exercise band. It's easy to reduce the tension by just standing closer to the anchor point!)

And again, the real beauty of these exercises is how simple they are, as well as how quickly they can be done. The three exercises on each video are pretty much identical, they just add more movement as you progress through them. If you're looking for a decent core workout, these nine exercises might be just what you're looking for.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Butch Harmon on Hitting Irons Perched on Short Rough (Video)

A quick note about GC's golf schedule today: I did a post with a complete schedule yesterday. If you ignore the 6am listing for Golf Central and then move all the other times up a half-hour (for example, the 7am Senior OPEN to 6:30am), everything is in the same order.

Here's another Golf Digest video from Butch Harmon on something you don't hear much about -- how to hit an iron shot when you got a lucky lie in short rough. Your technique has to change just a bit.


The simple summary here is that you sweep the ball off the grass with your iron, just as you sweep the ball off a tee with your driver. But it's not exactly the same.

With an iron, your stance is considerably narrower than it is with a driver. All things being equal, it's more natural to hit down on the ball with an iron. (Yeah, I know many of you struggle with hitting down. But that's because you exaggerate your leg movements, and it causes you to hit the ball thin or fat. You probably aren't hitting your driver well either, are you? It's the same problem.)

I've done a couple of posts that can help you get better at keeping your height during impact, which is what you need to do when you use Butch's advice.
Both of them will teach you to "pick the ball" while making solid contact. If you move the ball slightly back in your stance you'll hit down more solidly on the ball, but if you move the ball slightly forward you'll be able to sweep the ball cleanly without hitting it thin. I recommend both because you may find that one of them is easier for you to use. They're just different mental approaches for the same technique.

Give them both a try. One or the other should help you develop that sweeping motion that Butch wants you to use when you get a nice lie in the rough.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Keeping Track of Today's Golf

There's so much golf on GC today (Thursday) that I thought you might want a quick guide you can read at a glance, rather than scrolling through the GC listings.

All times are Eastern Standard Time (ET).
  • 6am: Golf Central
  • 7am: Senior OPEN Championship, 1st Round (CHAMPIONS)
  • 9am: Morning Drive
  • 10am: Senior OPEN Championship, 1st Round (CHAMPIONS)
  • Noon: UL International Crown, 1st Round (LPGA)
  • 4pm: RBC Canadian Open, 1st Round (PGA)
  • 7pm: Utah Championship, 1st Round (WEB.COM)
  • 9pm: Golf Central
And at 9:30pm the re-airs begin with the RBC Canadian Open.

One other note: The 10am broadcast of the Senior OPEN is live afternoon coverage. Remember, it stays light until almost 10pm at night at Carnoustie this time of year.

That's a lot of golf to keep up with! I hope this helps you make sure you see the events that interest you most.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My "5 to Watch" at the Senior OPEN

Yes, let's get a little more links golf under our belts, shall we? The Senior OPEN Championship starts Thursday at Carnoustie, and it should be a good one. Marco Dawson is the defending champion, and he played in last week's OPEN (T68, +12).

Carnoustie

For those of you who don't remember, Carnoustie is the site of Jean Van de Velde's notorious OPEN loss in 1999. (Do you remember the eventual victor? Paul Lawrie.) Van de Velde will be playing this week also, and I hope he gets some revenge.

But in the meantime, I need to pick my favorites.
  • It's impossible for me to make these picks and leave Bernhard Langer off the list. He already has three wins this season, including two majors. Why not one more?
  • And how about the Mechanic, Miguel Angel Jimenez? He hasn't played much on the Champions Tour this season but he still has a win. Not only that, he played the OPEN last week and finished T18, at even par. I think you have to like his chances at Carnoustie this week.
  • Billy Andrade hasn't won yet this season, but he has two 2nds and a 3rd, and he hasn't missed a cut. I don't know how well he plays links golf, but when a player like Billy is in good form on a well-conditioned course -- and I have no doubt that Carnoustie will be absolutely pristine -- you have to think he'll contend.
  • Paul Goydos may not be on a lot of people's radar, but he's played very well this year and picked up his first win just a couple weeks back. He hasn't really contended at a major this year, but there's no time like the present.
  • And my flier is Jesper Parnevik. His good friend Henrik Stenson just ripped the history books apart at Royal Troon, so I'm thinking Jesper may be playing with a new sense of what's possible.
It's true that I accurately picked Dustin Johnson to win the US Open but other than that, my record hasn't been too good of late. I've tended to go chalk, and the top players have let me down. For that reason -- and this is probably a bad time for me to do so, given his record -- I'm not going to take Langer, who is the obvious choice.

Instead, I'm taking Miguel Angel Jimenez to snag his first major on any tour this week. The Mechanic has played well this season, and I love that even par finish last week at Troon.

I also predict that Jean Van de Velde, out of practice or not, will successfully avoid the bern on 18. At least that way I should be right about something!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bubba's Got a JETPACK???

I kid you not. Here's a picture of Bubba's new jet-powered golf cart -- as well as his hovercart, which you've seen before -- from the Oakley website. Yes, it's a bonafide jetpack!

Bubba and his jetpack

I've also got a video of said "jetcart" in action. I first saw this at Golf Digest, but there's a lot more about it popping up on the Web.



According to the Oakley site:
"The BW-Air is equipped with a bespoke rotary 210 horsepower engine that allows it to climb as high as 3,000 ft with air speeds up to 46 mph. It also has all the features of a typical golf cart, including space for clubs, sand bottle holders and everything else you need for a great round."
They've made no secret that this is a promo for golf's reappearance in the Rio Olympics... but that doesn't make it any less cool.

Dang. Why does Bubba get to have all the fun?

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Limerick Summary: 2016 THE OPEN Championship

Winner: Henrik Stenson

Around the wider world of golf: Lydia Ko won the Marathon Classic on the LPGA; Aaron Baddeley won the Barbasol Championship, the alternate field event on the PGA Tour; Martin Flores won the Lincoln Land Charity Championship on the Web.com Tour; Taylor Moore won the Staal Foundation Open on the MACKENZIE TOUR - PGA TOUR Canada; Clariss Guce won the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic on the Symetra Tour; and Mi-Jeong Jeon won the Samantha Thavasa Girls Collection Golf Tournament on the JLPGA (bangkokbobby has details).

Henrik Stenson with Claret Jug

You’ll have to forgive the pun, folks, but… How Swede it is!

This was a tough one for me to watch because I wanted both players to win. I've been a fan of both for a long time. Both Phil and Henrik would make history; both were playing at an absolutely insane level. You know the numbers, I'm sure; they were quoted enough afterward. But they prove that the comparisons with the Nicklaus/Watson "Duel in the Sun" are certainly appropriate.

I mean, really. Mickelson's -17 would have won 141 of the 145 Opens that have been played, and he set the record for the largest gap between 2nd and 3rd place (11 strokes) while still losing by three strokes. Stenson tied the record for birdies made in a single round (10), the lowest final round score to win a major (63), and the record for lowest major score to par (-20); and he set a new record for aggregate score (264).

These sorts of numbers are rarely seen in a generation, let alone in a single championship. So I'm not going to do any kind of tournament summary. There's no need. They'll be showing replays of the 145th Open for decades to come!

So Henrik Stenson becomes the first-ever male major winner from Sweden. He does so in historic fashion, effectively slapping down all his critics who said he was too timid and unable to close out when he had the chance.

And in the meantime, Henrik and Company will be toasting his victory with a tasty beverage -- served from the Claret Jug, of course -- while enjoying his latest Limerick Summary.
We saw two men who just wouldn’t crumble.
Alone, Stenson and Mickelson rumbled
Neck-and-neck at the top.
When the final putt dropped
It was Henrik who couldn’t be humbled.
The photo came from this post at theguardian.com.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Can Stacy Get It Done THIS Time?

She's in position to win yet again at the Marathon Classic. Can Stacy Lewis finally break her drought and post a win?

Stacy Lewis

It's an intriguing situation for many reasons. Not only has Stacy gone winless for a bit over two years, but she's a native of Toledo (the Marathon Classic is played in Sylvania, Ohio, which is a suburb of Toledo) and also a spokesperson for Marathon. And she finally seems to be swinging freely, not getting in her own way out on the course -- her 65 on Saturday was only one shot off the best score of the week.

Unfortunately for Stacy, that 64 was also shot on Saturday -- by Hyo Joo Kim, the leader going into the final round today.

The whole line-up for today seems tailor-made for some drama. Just look at the Top5, who have separated themselves from the rest of the field:
  • Hyo Joo Kim leads at -15. She was tied with Lydia Ko at the start of the day, and just left her in the dust.
  • While Hyo Joo shot 64, Lydia Ko could only manage a 67 and now trails by 3 shots at -12. Of course, if Lydia gets going, that's not too much for her to overcome.
  • Tied with Lydia is Alison Lee, who shot a 66 Saturday. Alison has been recovering from a torn labrum and is just now starting to get healthy. If she wins today, it will be her first win as a pro.
  • Then, just one shot back at -11, is the impressive tandem of Stacy Lewis and Ariya Jutanugarn, who shot 65 and 66, respectively.
Things get even more interesting when you realize that Hyo Joo, Lydia and Stacy all went bogey-free on Saturday. If they're all on form today, and Alison and Ariya can put together some good rounds...

Granted, it won't be the Stenson-Mickelson duel everybody expects at The Open, but it should still be pretty good. And best of all, The Open will be over by the time the LPGA coverage starts. It's on CBS at 4pm ET.