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

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 Humana Challenge

Winner: Bill Haas

Around the wider world of golf: Things are still just in the "getting cranked up" stage this season. Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai on the Champions Tour, and Branden Grace won the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on the ET.

Bill Haas with trophy

Bill Haas didn't win any tournaments last year, the first year that's happened since he got his first win in 2010 -- which, ironically enough, was at the former 5-round event called the Bob Hope Classic. You know it these days as the Humana Challenge.

The reason for Bill's lack of production can be blamed on a wrist injury he got at the RBC Heritage in April last year. He didn't take time off to recover, although doctors told him he would eventually be forced to do so. Finally, after a lost 2014, he decided to bite the bullet and get well.

But he didn't expect to play very well at the Humana. Seems that his game was a bit flat when he hooked up with his teacher Billy Harmon and his dad Jay the week before.

Didn't look that flat, did it? Bill managed to work his way to the top of the leaderboard Saturday evening, and his scrambling on the final hole Sunday -- especially that bunker shot on 18 that looked more like a baseball swing -- seemed right on the mark.

So Bill not only has a Bob Hope Classic win, but a Humana Challenge win as well. Of course, this is the last time Humana will be the event sponsor. Wonder what it'll be called next time he wins it?

Whatever they call it, I call this win deserving of a Limerick Summary. Bill now has six PGA Tour wins... and he has a Limerick Summary for each. What a fortunate young man!
Bill sure likes the desert a-plenty!
His first win—not coincidently—
Came right here, in ‘Ten;
In ‘Fifteen, again…
So next time? Should be Twenty-twenty.
The photo came from the tournament page at PGATOUR.com.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Can Erik Compton Break Through at Humana?

Let's face it: Of all the possible storylines on the Humana Challenge leaderboard, a victory for Erik Compton probably leads the list...

A two-time heart transplant recipient is tied for the lead at an event that's built its image around health and healing, and finds himself on the verge of getting his first PGA Tour win.

Erik Compton

Of course, Compton isn't the only guy in the running. Rookie Justin Thomas is also at -17, as are Bill Haas and Michael Putnam. None have yet won on "the Big Tour."

Last year's runner-up Ryan Palmer is just one shot off the lead, as is Matt Kuchar (along with some other players).

And lurking just three shots back is last year's winner Patrick Reed. I didn't even think he would be in the conversation after Friday's round found him twice that far behind.

The simple fact is that last year's total of -28 looks unlikely this year; that would take a 61 from the leaders. And while such scores aren't unheard-of on PGA West on a Sunday, there are rarely more than two and they usually come from someone farther back in the pack. No, it's looking more like -23 or -24 could do it.

And that's very much within Erik Compton's wheelhouse. He shot 66 on PGA West earlier this week and seems quite comfortable with himself, especially after his runner-up at the US Open last year:
“[I’m] probably more at ease with myself and not really feeling like I have to prove anything. Confidence is huge in this game.”
Hey, the guy's survived two heart transplants. I'm not willing to bet against him today.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Me and My Shadow Coach

This tip from Cheryl Anderson, a Golf Digest 50 Best Women Teachers who works with Mike Bender, was so simple and so cool that I had to pass it on.

How about using your shadow instead of a video camera to give you instant feedback on the range? Check out these 3 checkpoints she mentions in the article that I linked to above:

3 shadow checkpoints

Here's the super-simple version of her instructions:
  1. Get the sun behind you and place 3 balls on the ground -- one on each side of your hips and one in the center of your neck. This is your setup position.
  2. Then swing to the top of your backswing and make sure your shadow 's hips and neck are still in the same place.
  3. Finally, go to impact and make sure that the "neck ball" is still in place but your lead hip has moved forward enough to cover the "lead hip ball" closest to the target.
Now notice that these aren't big movements, nor are they rigid. As you see in the photo, the neck shadow can move a bit -- just don't let the sun hit the ball. And you aren't moving a huge amount to cover that lead hip ball -- you just want to move enough to get that forward weight shift.

Also note (when you read the article) that Cheryl's big no-no is covering the trailing hip ball.That means you're moving too far behind the ball -- the one you're trying to hit, that is! -- which can lead to mis-hits.

It's a very simple and free way to check yourself. Hard to find a coach that cheap!

Friday, January 23, 2015

The New "Golf For Her" Website

Golfweek.com ran an article yesterday about a new website for women called Golf For Her. I flipped over to take a look, and I think you should know about it.

Golf For Her site logo

This is really an ambitious project. The article says:
Mona [that's Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation] said he wasn’t aware of any other sport where all the governing bodies had come together to support an ecumenical site.

“Over time,” he said, “we hope it can become the recognized entry point for women’s golf.”
There are more than just governing bodies involved. I saw logos for at least 11 different organizations on their front page, ranging from the PGA Tour and LPGA to the USGA, Golf Digest, First Tee, National Women's Golf Alliance and more.

Like I said, ambitious.

The World Golf Foundation launched the site on Wednesday and enlisted Stacy Lewis to serve as both launch ambassador and a regular site contributor. The idea is that women who are interested in the game can pop over and find all kinds of info:
  • guidance on how to get started in the game
  • news about new equipment
  • help finding other women golfers in their area
  • instructional articles
  • just entertaining features to read
There's also a newsletter you can sign up to receive.

All-in-all, it's pretty impressive-looking for a new site and appears like it has the potential to do just what the WGF has in mind. You can check it out at golfforher.com.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Piece of the Blueprint

While I have taken Hank Haney to task (a couple of times) for the way he's been advertising his Haney Blueprint system (in this post and in this one, in case you're interested), I've always said I suspected the material in the DVDs themselves was useful.

Well, Haney was on GC's Lesson Tee Live Wednesday night and, while I didn't get to see much of the show, one of the parts I did get to see concerned the Blueprint... and it certainly was good advice.

Haney's ads say his DVDs will help you learn how to eliminate your "big miss," among other things. What he talked about on LTL was part of the strategy that eliminating the "big miss" allows you to use. (In case you haven't seen any of the ads -- don't you ever watch TV? -- Haney says that lowering your score isn't just about your swing. It's also about your strategy around the course, and the Blueprint is supposed to teach you that as well.)

According to Haney, part of the Blueprint strategy simply involves eliminating wasted shots. He divided those into 3 different categories:
  1. Penalty shots: An OB penalty adds 2 shots to your score. Dunking one in the water adds 1 shot, as does having to chip out sideways. You can probably think of others... and if you can't, I assure you that the USGA and R&A have done so for you!
  2. Two-chips: That's when you mis-hit your first chip and have to chip again. Includes two-pitches and two-sand shots.
  3. Three-putts: This one's self-explanatory, isn't it? One interesting thing Haney mentioned -- if I heard him correctly -- was that Steve Williams used to keep his own stats on Tiger's game and he calculated that if Tiger had eliminated all his three-putts, he would have won nearly 85% of his tournaments. In case you didn't know, three-putts are BAD.
Haney said that if you totaled up all of these in your round and subtracted them from your actual score, you'd have some idea of what you were capable of shooting if you just eliminated wasted shots from your game.

Alright, perhaps that sounds like "well, duh" material. But isn't that the stuff that always trips us up?

Whatever you think of Haney's teaching -- many players dislike his approach to plane (he tends to favor flatter planes, for one thing) -- this is definitely good advice if you're looking for a quick way to lower your scores. Even if you can't get rid of your "big miss" right away, do you have a shot you can use when you're faced with a threatening OB? Can you find a little time to improve your short game and putting? Are you willing to try?

If so, then you just might be able to drop a few strokes from your game within the next few weeks. And Haney definitely gave you that info for free. I'd say that's a pretty good deal.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DJ, Paulina and Baby Makes Three

In case you missed it, Dustin Johnson and girlfriend Paulina Gretzky's little boy finally arrived Monday morning. Here's the link to the golfdigest.com article about the announcement.

Since you've no doubt heard about the interview DJ gave Sports Illustrated, here's a link to the article reprint posted at golf.com. (Remember, SI and Golf Magazine are owned by the same people.) And if you just can't spend the time to read it, here's a link to the Golf Digest condensed version.

DJ and Paulina

What we don't know yet is exactly which tournament DJ will choose for his reappearance on the Tour. But based on what his agent said a month or so ago, either Phoenix or Torrey Pines is a good bet. Now we wait.

In the meantime, congrats to the new parents!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Final Part of My Golfballs.com Series Is Out

Yes, you can finally read the entire Why the Future of Golf Lies in Its Past series. The fourth and final part has been posted, and here's the link.

And of course, I've posted links to all 4 parts over in the sidebar in case you missed any of them.