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Monday, October 22, 2018

The Limerick Summary: 2018 CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges

Winner: Brooks Koepka

Around the wider world of golf: Danielle Kang beat seven runner-ups to claim her second LPGA victory at the Buick LPGA Shanghai; Woody Austin won the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first of the Champions Tour playoff events; Harry Higgs won the Diners Club Peru Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; and Becky Morgan won her first LET title at the Hero Women’s Indian Open. The ET's weather-delayed Andalucía Valderrama Masters finishes up today.

Brooks Koepka with the CJ Cup trophy

Now the boys on Tour should be starting to get a bit worried...

Brooks was out for a few months early in the year. Then all he did was win two majors and the Player of the Year trophy. And now he's added another worldwide win to his total and move to Number One in the OWGR, shoving his old buddy Dustin Johnson out of the way in the process.

Do you think he feels a bit underappreciated?

Seriously -- was this tournament ever really in doubt after the third round? I know Gary Woodland made a big run at Brooks, actually tying the lead for a while. But Brooks shot a 29 on the way in -- a 29, folks! Nobody was going to stay with him at that point.

So now the analysts will begin their attempts to predict what he might do going forward. Without a doubt, this has been a banner year for Brooks. I already had him in the top spot on my RGWR. In my opinion, the OWGR is a bit behind. But we've seen players rack up great years, only to stumble a bit from fatigue or whatever and not be able to get back to that high level again -- at least, not for a while.

I don't know if Brooks will have that problem. He says that he isn't going to change anything -- and that's good, but I don't think change can be prevented. Even though he won't try to change his game, change is the rule in this life and he's going to have to juggle his own expectations as he moves forward. That alone will give him all he can handle in his attempts to keep it all going.

Still, I wouldn't want to bet against him. I'd much rather be at the height Brooks has reached and try to stay there than to try and fight my way up from underneath. And I don't envy those players trying to take him down a notch, given the beating he's laid on them this season! So I'll just give him yet another Limerick Summary, sit back and watch the fireworks going forward... because I'm sure there will be plenty!
Two majors this year weren’t enough
So Brooks showed the whole world how tough
He can be. No beginner—
The POY winner’s
Now World Number One. He’s hot stuff!
The photo came from this page at

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Zack Lambeck's Putting Game (Video)

GOLFTEC's Zack Lambeck demonstrates a putting game to help you make more breaking putts.

The game is simple enough. You find a putt that breaks noticeably, set a line of golf balls out to the side of the hole -- five balls, three feet apart -- then put a tee in the ground just inside the low side of the cup. Your goal is to hit putts that, if they miss the hole, they miss on the high side and not on the low side.

The scoring is equally simple:
  • A made putt = 3 points
  • A miss on the high side = 1 point
  • A miss on the low side resets your score to 0
  • Winning total is 15 points
You can, of course, play the game by yourself or with others.

Game drills are always more fun than simple repetition drills. And one thing I like about this one is that tee in front of the hole, which I think makes it easier to aim because it gives you a clear indication of where the edge of the hole is. Given that you don't have to buy any new equipment to use this practice rig, I think it's worth a try.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Wally Armstrong's Drill for Better Shots Off the Tee (Video)

Wally Armstrong from Golf Tips Magazine calls this drill "sweeping the dew." It's an easy drill you can do on the teebox before your shot.

Placing the clubhead on the ground well back in your stance, then dragging it along the ground and up to a full finish can help your drive in a number of ways.
  • It helps you learn to stay more level during your downswing. Many players think they lift their heads when they actually straighten their knees.
  • It helps you learn to turn fully into your finish. If your shoulders stop turning too soon, that's going to affect how square your clubface is at impact.
  • It teaches you how far to stand from the ball.
I think that last one may be the biggest advantage of this drill. If you stand too close to the ball, you won't be able to use your knees properly, and if you're too far away you'll lose your balance very easily. And it will help flatten your swing just enough to prevent an over-the-top or pull swing.

Yes, I know I harp on ball position all the time. But a huge number of swing problems are caused by incorrect ball position, and yet it's one of the easiest things to fix because it's just a setup issue.

If you do this drill correctly, you should feel rhythmic and balanced all the way to your finish. That, in conjunction with correct ball position, should really help your tee shots with a minimum of practice.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Wie Out for the Rest of the Season

In case you somehow missed it, Michelle Wie's wrist finally got the better of her. She's fought it all year, taking cortisone shots, skipping events to rest and rebuilding her swing again, all in hopes of avoiding surgery. Alas, it was not to be. The deed is done and she's done for the year.

I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” ☺️ A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. ❤️ I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise 🤝
A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on
Personally, I think it shows just how tough and how determined Michelle is to play. Say what you like about her lack of wins, she's been dogged by injuries since her teen years and yet she just keeps coming back. Hopefully she'll start next year the way she started this one, with a win.

In the meantime, get well soon, Wiesy!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Who Says Laura Davies's Best Days Are Past?

This is the first year that there have been two senior women's majors.

Dame Laura Davies owns both trophies. Need I say more?

Laura Davies with Senior LPGA trophy

This one wasn't as easy as her 10-stroke romp at the US Senior Women's Open. The wind howled at 25mph and, as best as I can tell, she still tied the best score of the day with a 70. She beat the field by four strokes in tough conditions.

I'm now watching to see if she can take this form back to the main tour. She HAS to have gotten some real confidence from these performances. Way to go, Laura!

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?