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Saturday, August 18, 2018

A Drill for Squaring Your Driver at Impact (Video)

This is a Golf Monthly video hosted by the guys from the MeandMyGolf YouTube channel. It's a drill to help you keep the face of your driver square at impact.



This is a very simple drill. Just grip down on the club until your trailing hand is almost touching the shaft, then make sure the butt of the grip is pointed at your trail hip as your hands pass your hip on the way back. That will help you keep from twisting your forearms on the way back, and that means you won't have to try and twist them forward the same amount on the way down.

Less excess motion means less inconsistency.

I hope you're starting to notice how many instructors are beginning to stress "stable clubfaces" -- that is, that you don't open the clubface on the way back. If you do, the more clubhead speed you create, the less time you have to compensate on the way down... and the more often your ball ends up in the woods. The only time you should even consider twisting your forearms during your swing is when you're playing FROM the woods and have to hit a duck hook around a tree. Please, please, PLEASE stop twisting your forearms on the way back!

You'll thank me for it.

Really, you will.

Friday, August 17, 2018

59 Watches Everywhere! (Video)

It started when Angel Yin shot 29 on her first nine holes to start the 59 watch at the LPGA event. She didn't make it -- she finished at 64 (-8), a personal best for her -- but that was exciting.

Then Lizette Salas got the 59 watch, but she finished at 62 (-10) to take the lead.

Derek Ernest also got the 59 watch at the Web.com Tour event. He finished at 61 (-10).

But Brandt Snedeker did more than get the 59 watch in Greensboro. He GOT the 59 (-11)! Here's his interview with Lisa Cornwell.



What I'd like you to get from this is that Brandt didn't do what many players try to do. Once he knew he had a chance at 59 -- he says it was at the 16th green, when he knew he was one shot away with two holes to go -- he didn't pretend that it wasn't happening. He embraced it and made a plan.

In Brandt's case, that was simply to get a tee shot in the fairway. He had been there before and had played too timidly. He knew his wedges and his putting are his strengths, so he played to those strengths. He would give himself a wedge shot to the green, try to put it where he would have an uphill putt (so he could putt it firmly) and then, when he needed the putt on the final hole, he decided he would go for the birdie and not worry what he might make if he didn't get it. He didn't smash the ball too hard, but he made sure it got to the hole.

He wanted that 59, and he played to get it. And, because he had been there before and failed to get it done, he had a good idea of what he needed to do.

Those are things you can learn from as you try to get better during your rounds. Know what you need to do, play to your strengths and don't worry about what happens if you don't get the results you want. If you get in that position enough times, you'll eventually break through.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Thinking Your Way to Breaking 90

Most of the time I write about improving your mechanics or related subjects. Today I want to talk about strategy, and specifically for those of you who are struggling to break 90. That seems to be a mental barrier for many weekend players but, once you learn how to do it consistently, even breaking 80 doesn't seem that far away.

A couple of years ago I wrote a post called A Different Approach to Breaking 90. It introduced the concept of "level fives" from a book called (appropriately enough) How to Break 90. The idea is simply that if you average five strokes for 18 holes, you shoot 90. And the book included a quote which, while obvious, may never have occurred to you:
Consider, if you will, that on a par-72 course you can bogey 17 of the 18 holes and still break 90.
As I said, obvious but probably something that never occurs to most golfers who are trying to break 90 for the first time.

By all means, go back and read the post I linked to earlier in this one. Today I'd like to put some numbers to this line of thought. Perhaps it will make the strategy that much clearer to you.

Let's forget about your driver for a moment, maybe even your 3-wood. Do you have a club that you can hit 170-180 yards with reasonable consistency? By "reasonable consistency" I mean you can hit it pretty much that same distance time after time, and you have a decent chance to put it in the fairway each time. It might be a 3-hybrid, or maybe a 7-wood. (For some of you big hitters, it might be just an 8-iron or 7-iron. Whatever.) Let's do a little simple math here.:
  • Two 170-yard shots travel 340 yards.
  • Three 170-yard shots travel 510 yards.
  • Two 180-yard shots travel 360 yards.
  • Three 180-yard shots travel 540 yards.
I'm going to use a 7-wood and the 170-yard distance for this example.

I'll be able to reach a 510-yard par-5 with three shots. If the par-5 is shorter than that, it's two 7-woods and a shorter club. If the par-5 is longer, it's three 7-woods and (probably) a chip or pitch. If my short game is just decent, that should give me a good chance at a bogey six at worse.

I'll be able to reach a 340-yard par-4 in two shots. If the par-4 is shorter than that, it's one 7-wood and a shorter club. If the par-4 is longer, it's two 7-woods and a shorter club. On a lot of those longer holes the third shot will only be a chip or pitch. Again, if my short game is any good, I should have a good chance to walk off with a bogey five at worse.

And even on a long par-3, I'm probably just looking at one 7-wood and a chip or pitch, and I walk off with a bogey four at worse.

If we make a couple of putts somewhere along the way, we could break 90 by two or three shots. And not once will we have had to use one of our longer woods -- you know, the clubs we keep hitting into the rough.

Even if you don't use this strategy on every hole, it's a good one to try on holes on which you consistently find yourself making double-bogey or worse.

Remember: Many times, bad scores are not the result of poor play so much as of poor thinking.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Two Events I'm Watching This Week

Well, I guess everybody will be watching them, but they're the events that have storylines I'm interested in this week.

Defending Indy champ Lexi Thompson

The LPGA will be at the Indy Women in Tech Championship, which is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (aka "the Brickyard," where the Indy 500 is held every year). Tony Jesselli has a preview of the event here, but there are two things that particularly interest me this week.
  • Lexi Thompson is defending her title, and it's her first event back after her self-imposed exile for personal reasons a few weeks back. I'll be interested to see how she plays.
  • I'm equally interested to see how Emily Tubert plays this week. For those of you who missed it, Emily caught the bug for long drives after attending an event a couple of weeks back. This week she decided to try Monday qualifying for the Tennessee Big Shots tournament... and she not only got in, she won the thing! Then she drove to Indianapolis for the LPGA event, which she was already in. I'm curious to see how she does after her unexpected victory.
On the other hand, the PGA Tour will be in my backyard this week, teeing it up at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro NC. As I'm sure most of you know, this is the last regular season event before the FedExCup Playoffs start, so a number of players are under pressure to secure their Tour cards. But there's more on the line than that.

Henrik Stenson is the defending champ, so his card is secure... but his spot on the European Ryder Cup team isn't. A number of players are in the same boat, jockeying for a spot via the World Rankings point list before the Euro automatic qualifiers are determined. Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Matthew Fitzpatrick are all in the field trying to make it in... or at least begin the "impress the Captain" process.

Ironically, none of the most likely American choices will be at the Wyndham. They have apparently decided to take their chances with the FedExCup events. (I should note that Webb Simpson, who snagged the last qualifying spot, WILL be playing this week. This is a home game for him.) But it's worth noting that some players who are more than a dozen spots down the US list ARE playing this week. These are players who usually play here -- guys like Brandt Snedeker and Ryan Moore -- and some good play at a place where they're comfortable could give them a jump on the other guys if that play continues during the Playoffs.

I have my own thoughts on who might be the US picks but I'll wait a bit closer to the Ryder Cup to post them. And I need to see who the Euro qualifiers are before I even try to guess theirs!

Bear in mind that both events begin on Thursday this year. The LPGA event was only 54 holes last year, but it's a full 72 this time around. The LPGA event begins at noon ET while the PGA Tour event follows it at 3pm ET, both on GC.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Brooks Koepka's Warm-Up Routine (Video)

The PGA Tour posted this video a couple of months back, showing how Brooks warms up before a round. The video begins 44 minutes before his tee time and even tells you exactly how many shots he takes with each club.



I'm not going to go through this video step-by-step because I really can't make it much simpler. I simply thought some of you might be curious about his pre-round routine, especially since he told the media that he is very meticulous about his routines, both on and off the course.

I don't know that it will make you a three-time major winner, but this is what works for Brooks.

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Limerick Summary: 2018 PGA Championship

Winner: Brooks Koepka

Around the wider world of golf: Kristen Gillman beat Jiwon Jeon to add a second US Women's Amateur to her record (the other was in 2014); Trevor Cone won the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic; Corey Pereira won the ATB Financial Classic on the Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada; Lauren Coughlin won the PHC Classic on the Symetra Tour; and Team Sweden3 (Cajsa Persson and Linda Wessberg) won the gold medal in the women’s team golf event at Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course on the LET.

Brooks Koepka with the Wanamaker Trophy

Let's get a couple of things out of the way first, before I forget them.

Teaching pro Ben Kern was the only club pro to make the cut and he finished at T43 (-3), the best finish by a club pro in 13 years. Can't forget the club pros, especially when they play that well!

And both Adam Scott and Tiger, while neither won, should leave Bellerive with a huge confidence boost. Adam proved to himself that he actually can putt. And Tiger actually broke some of his own major records, which says something for how far he's come in less than a year. (Among other records, his 64 was his lowest score ever in a major.)

But the star of the show was Brooks Koepka. His performance was amazing, put him into some rare company at the Majors Club, and almost certainly locked up the Player of the Year award. But you'll be hearing about that all this week, maybe all winter until the Masters next April.

Let's talk instead about how this victory likely changes the competitive landscape on the PGA Tour for the next few months.

With three majors under his belt, Brooks has tied Jordan Spieth and lapped his buddy Dustin Johnson. Even Rory is only one ahead of him now! With this victory -- three of his last six majors -- Brooks has established himself as the "it" golfer of 2018. He's the Golden Boy now and, while he won't be #1 on the OWGR after this win (he will ascend to the top of my own Ruthless Golf World Rankings), there's no question that he's the man to beat going forward.

And with the FedExCup Playoffs and Ryder Cup just ahead, 2018 could get even better for him.

So I'll simply add my Limerick Summary to his haul this week. And I'll do it without a lot of fanfare -- that seems to be how Brooks does things lately.
Hey, Jordan and DJ—step back!
Make way as Brooks gives it a whack
And steps into the record books.
Hist’ry belongs to Brooks;
Now HE’S the head of the pack.
The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Brooks Looks Dangerous

I have nothing profound to write today, just a few thoughts that are banging around in my head.

Brooks Koepka

First, as the title of this post says, I think Brooks Koepka is very dangerous. The long day on Saturday, along with the extreme heat, plays into his hands. Bear in mind that Brooks didn't have to come back out on Saturday morning and, adding that to his fitness level, he is probably the freshest of the players going into the final round today. He's a hard man to bet against.

Next, the slim two-shot lead Brooks carries into today's round could vanish in an instant if he sprays a few shots. When you start thinking about how many players are within two or three shots of the second spot -- guys like Tiger, Rahm, Fowler, Woodland, Day and Thomas -- a Koepka win is NOT a given.

Finally, don't sleep on Adam Scott. I know the bad rap his putting has given him, especially since the anchoring ban took effect. But Adam's got everything else he needs to run the tables at Bellerive, and all he needs is 18 good holes of putting on greens that aren't all that tricky. And that isn't such a long shot, when you think about it.

One thing is for sure. While the rains prevented the PGA from getting the conditions they wanted for their last August major, they managed to give us a really tight, really competitive leaderboard for Sunday. And I'm not sure a fan can ask for more than that.

But Brooks Koepka certainly controls the outcome here. If he can post, say, a 65 -- just one shot better than Saturday, when he stumbled a bit -- he's going to make it really hard for anybody else to catch him, let alone pass him.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Bobby Jones on the Feel of a Golf Swing

This quote comes from the book Bobby Jones on Golf. It sort of goes against the grain of most modern thought, but I think a lot of golfers would find the game much simpler if they believed this legendary golfer.

Bobby Jones with the Grand Slam trophies

Here's the complete quote:
There is nothing occult about hitting a golf ball. In fact, although the application may be a bit more complicated, we use no more than the ordinary principles of motion we encounter numberless times every day. Once started upon a correct path, the club will tend to hold to its course until outside forces cause a change.

The great fault in the average golfer's conception of his stroke is that he considers the shaft of the club a means of transmitting actual physical force to the ball, whereas it is in reality merely the means of imparting velocity to the club head. We would all do better could we only realize that the length of a drive depends not upon the brute force applied but upon the speed of the club head. It is a matter of velocity rather than of physical effort of the kind that bends crowbars and lifts heavy weights.

I like to think of a golf club as a weight attached to my hands by an imponderable medium, to which a string is a close approximation, and I like to feel that I am throwing it at the ball with much the same motion I should use in cracking a whip. By the simile, I mean to convey the idea of a supple and lightning-quick action of the wrists in striking – a sort of flailing action.
That doesn't mean that strength isn't useful, only that it's used to create speed rather than create power. It's a different way of thinking about golf.

And most players would probably be longer and more accurate if they tried to swing as Jones suggests, rather than pretending to be cavemen (or cavewomen) beating a mastodon to death. I'm just saying...

Friday, August 10, 2018

David Frost on Getting Out of Bunkers (Video)

This GC video, with David Frost's quick lesson on getting out of bunkers, was shot at St. Andrews in the Road Hole Bunker. But there's something you might misunderstand here, so let me point it out to you.



First David gives you some general strategy tips. You can get those yourself; they're pretty simple.

The steps to getting out of the bunker are equally clear.
  1. Turn the club in your hands, then take your grip. That way you'll be less likely to flip the club at impact.
  2. On your backswing, make sure the heel of the club gets up higher than the toe of the club.
  3. On your downswing, hit just behind the ball and don't flip the club.
That second part is what I think you might misunderstand. I bet you'll try to twist your forearms on the way back, to make sure you twist the heel over the toe. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO! If you grip the club with the face open, the heel will AUTOMATICALLY move above the toe when you swing back. You don't need to rotate your forearms at all to get the face in the correct position all the way through to the finish.

If you try to twist your forearms, you'll add inconsistency to your swing and make it harder to hit the sand properly with the sole of the club. As long as you keep turning your shoulders all the way through the shot, you don't need to twist your forearms at all.

David says this tip will help you get out of the bunker first time, every time. You may not always get the ball real close but, with just a little practice, your next shot will be a putt. For most of us, that's a major accomplishment!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Remembering Jarrod Lyle

When Jarrod announced a few days back that he had stopped his cancer treatment, I decided not to mention it because I felt there was more to the story. I would wait until we knew something more solid.

Now we know. Jarrod quickly went into a coma and he passed Wednesday -- at least, it was Wednesday here in North Carolina. I suppose it was early Thursday in Australia. Either way, it's clear that he was in worse shape than the initial reports indicated.

Jarrod Lyle

How much has this touched people? You would expect the golf media to report his passing, but a quick Google search will reveal that wider media groups, ranging from People Magazine to CNN, picked up on this quickly, sometimes only minutes after his wife's tweet. Jarrod may not have had the celebrity status that many other pros do, but it's clear he will be missed by many many people from many walks of life.

He was only 36.

In case you haven't heard, a number of fundraising sites have already been launched to help care for Jarrod's wife and two daughters. His friend Tripp Isenhour set up a page at GoFundMe.com called "Jarrod Lyle's Girls" that you can be sure is a legit fund (it's a shame we have to worry about such things these days) where you can go if you want to help. I'm sure you'll find others as well.

I never met him, but I will remember Jarrod Lyle. My best wishes go out to his family and friends.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

My "5 to Watch" at the PGA

It's the final PGA Tour major of the year, the 100th PGA Championship. It's being held at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis MO, and it looks to be hot and wet for its final playing in August.

Defending champion Justin Thomas

Everybody has a favorite this week, a player who they believe is a clear favorite to win, yet the only thing we know for sure is that the PGA almost always surprises us with an unexpected winner. Still, when you're trying to pick "the guy," it's really hard not to take the players who are in the best form or have a special skill that suits the conditions -- which, no matter how hard they try to find something different, is almost always length off the tee.

Nevertheless, I shall press on and try to do better this week than I did at the Ricoh last week. (Seriously though, Minjee Lee looked really good until Georgia Hall discovered the afterburner switch and torched the field.)
  • I have to take defending champ Justin Thomas as one of my picks. While it's unusual for a player to follow a win at a big tournament with a win at a major, JT has been in great form all season -- perhaps better than most of the players in the field -- and seems to be relaxed coming into this week. While I can't predict how his game will go, I like his mental state. That could make all the difference by Sunday.
  • Likewise, I have to take Dustin Johnson for similar reasons. These two are battling it out for #1 in the world every week, or so it seems, and have a total of five wins between them in 2018. (DJ has three, JT two.) The soft course conditions really could help him this week, and his ability to shrug off bad shots might give him an edge when guys start hitting balls into that deep wet rough.
  • Rory McIlroy. Two-time PGA champion. Wet conditions. Need I say more?
  • Tommy Fleetwood keeps knocking on the door, and eventually it's going to give way. He's not getting anywhere near the attention he should, given how well he's played, and I like the way he's flying under the radar this week.
  • And my flier is... Ian Poulter. Not the 42-year-old you expected, right? But Euro Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn put the word out Tuesday: He wants to see "something" from Poults, and that may be just the thing Ian needs to get over the hump and get a major. He's coming off a T12 and a T10, which I think would truly qualify him as a surprise winner.
And my pick is... Poulter. I can't help but think the Ryder Cup is just the tonic Poulter needs for his ailing history in majors.

Bear in mind that the PGA isn't televised by GC, but rather by TNT and CBS. TNT coverage begins Thursday at 2pm ET.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Georgia Hall on Hitting a Stable Drive (Video)

With Georgia Hall having won the Ricoh Women's British Open this past weekend, I thought it might be good to take a quick look at her swing. She did this video on driving for the LET.



I'm not going to focus on any specific tip from this video. Rather, I want you to notice what she calls this video -- "The Stable Drive." As she says, too many players move too much over the ball, and that makes it hard to get consistent and predictable hits.

Georgia's not talking about being immovable over the ball; she specifically says that she works on rhythm, which requires you to stay relaxed. We all tend to get so tight! We freeze over the ball during address, then we jerk around when we finally try to move and we wonder why we can't stay steady over the ball.

If we want to get better, we have to learn to relax and move freely during our swings. And as she says, trying to hit the ball too hard works against that. It's better to accept what feels like a little less clubhead speed at first while we learn how to "swing casual," to borrow an old Han Solo line, then just move a little quicker as we get more relaxed.

Hey, it worked for Georgia Hall. It couldn't hurt to try it, could it?

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Limerick Summary: 2018 WGC-Bridgestone

Winner: Justin Thomas

Around the wider world of golf: Georgia Hall got her first LPGA/LET win at the Ricoh British Women's Open; Kenny Perry won the 3M Championship on the Champions Tour; Sepp Straka won the KC Golf Classic on the Web.com Tour; Tyler McCumber won the Syncrude Oil Country Championship – which, incidentally, was played on a course designed by his father, former PGA Tour player Mark – on the Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada; Kendall Dye won the Fuccillo Kia Classic of NY on the Symetra Tour; Gaganjeet Bhullar won the Fiji International on the Asian Tour; and Andrew Putnam won the Barracuda Championship, the alternate field event for the PGA Tour.

Justin Thomas with the Gary Player Cup

Justin Thomas finally got his first WGC win... and it wasn't even close.

It was quite different from the first two WGCs this year. Phil Mickelson took him to a playoff in Mexico, where he needed only one hole to take the event from JT. And at the Match Play in Texas, Bubba Watson took him out in the semifinals on his way to winning, leaving a disappointed Justin to finish in fourth place.

Those losses, along with a missed cut at the Open, sent him and his team into a huddle. And their decision? Justin needed a little more patience. This week he had it... and he not only got his first WGC win, but he won in front of his grandparents for the first time. The emotion of it all nearly got to him at the end of the round but he finished it off in style, winning by four strokes.

Justin has been at the top of my Ruthless Golf World Rankings for quite a while, and this event demonstrates the reason why. While many of the top players have won in streaks, JT seems to win more consistently than most of his peers. Starting with last year's PGA Championship, look at how often he has won:
  • August 2017: PGA Championship
  • September 2017: Dell Technologies Championship
  • October 2017: CJ Cup
  • February 2018: Honda Classic
  • August 2018: WGC-Bridgestone Championship
And in-between, despite getting in his own way, he had some close calls like the other two WGCs.

So besides winning in style this week and making a case to be the favorite to defend next week, he got the REAL big prize this week. Here, Justin, is your well-deserved Limerick Summary. Enjoy!
Phil beat him first, south of the border;
Then a Bubba win came in short order.
And so JT decided
A win this lopsided
MUST work, lest his patience grow shorter!
The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Silver Scot on Using Your Hands

Tommy Armour is a legend of the game and a great teacher, one whom the great teacher Harvey Penick named as an influence on his own teaching. Armour's book How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time was THE golf manual before Hogan's Five Lessons became popular.

I've been posting quite a bit about using your hands lately, so I thought I'd add some of Armour's thoughts from his book. These are some various thoughts from his tenth chapter, called (appropriately enough) The Art of Hitting with the Hands. Where Armour mentions the right hand, you lefties can substitute the left hand. He's just talking about using your TRAILING hand.
Whether you or anybody else calls the pay-off a hit or a swing, I don't care. That's only a matter of terminology. The action is that of whipping the clubhead through the ball with the hands. Not slapping it, waving it, flinging it, stiff-arming it, but whipping it with a tigerish lash.

The great hitters in golf are those who move their hands faster than those whose distance and precision are inferior. That also is the case in sports other than golf. A fighter accomplishes knockouts by having his fists move with devastating speed. Ruth's home-run record was set during seasons when the liveliness of the ball varied, but because The Babe's hands moved faster than those of any other batter, he was supreme as a long hitter. When Jimmy Thomson was consistently the longest driver in golf, motion pictures showed his hands moving at amazing speed.

To let you in on one of the great secrets of good golf, which really isn't a secret at all, one golfer gets more distance because he uses his hands for power, while the other fellow is trying to get distance by using his body.

The long hitter gets his body in position so his hands can work most effectively.

What misleads people into thinking that swinging and hitting are different is principally a matter of the player's temperament. Macdonald Smith and Byron Nelson have been generally identified as swingers because of the graceful appearance of their actions. Hagen and Sarazen were labelled hitters because their common characteristic was to wield their clubs with what appeared to be violent and impetuous slashing.

But, all four of them – and every other great player – had the clubhead coming in with all the speed they could command while retaining steady balance of their bodies.

Hitting the ball a long way isn't a matter of size or weight of the player. It depends on effective use of the hands, rather than on trying to throw the weight of the body into the shot or even, within reasonable limits, lengthening the backswing in the belief that a longer backswing will enable one to accelerate clubhead speed more and get the clubhead moving at maximum speed at contact with the ball.

The more you can get your hands ahead of the clubface in the downswing, the more power you can apply with the right hand.

The late uncocking of the wrists, or the delayed hit, as you may hear the effect called, instinctively causes a decided acceleration of right hand action at the most effective period.

If you'll pause to consider, you will realize that if your hands are behind the ball at impact, you can only scoop the ball up. But if your hands are in front, you've got to smash the ball with lightning speed.
That's a cross-section of what he says, but it gets his main points across. Here are two specific things to note:
  • Even lengthening your backswing has limited effect if you don't use your hands. That means flexibility isn't as important as you may have been led to believe.
  • If you get your hands ahead of the ball at impact but don't use your hands to get the clubhead to hit the ball at the same time, you won't hit the ball very far.
He says more in the chapter, obviously – I can't print the whole chapter for copyright reasons – but this should be enough to let you know how important using your hands is to getting distance.

How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time is an underused instruction book these days. If more people read it and applied it, we'd be a world of better golfers.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Martin Chuck on "Hand-Controlled Pivots" (Video)

I'll have to come back to this video at a later date, but I've been looking for something like this. Revolution Golf instructor Martin Chuck explains how to let your hands control your pivot to create clubhead speed.



Chuck says this will help older golfers, but note also that he references how Bobby Jones used this technique, so it's not just for older folks!

Most modern players are taught to use their pivot to control their hands (because they tend to overuse their hands), but this is the exact opposite of that technique (although most pros do use a combination of both). I've written about using the momentum of your hands and arms to help pull you through to your finish; Chuck uses the word inertia, which is the same thing.

It's basic physics: An object in motion tends to remain in motion. By using your hands to get the club moving, the club can help you keep moving all the way through your swing. You start the motion by bending your trailing elbow on the backswing, then you straighten it on the downswing just after you strike the ball. This straightening is what creates the momentum to pull you through to your finish.

As I said earlier, I'll come back to this video in a few days. But for now, be aware that this is the same sort of thing you learn when you use the L-to-L drill that I mention every so often. (Here's a link to one of the posts that includes video showing how it's done.) Combine the info from Chuck's video with the L-to-L drill, and you should find it pretty easy to make a hand-controlled pivot.

I know I say this a lot, but the golf swing isn't all that hard. It's just that we spend too much time focusing on trying to do things that would happen on their own if we just focused on the important things. This is one of those important things that will help simplify the game for you.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Getting Caught Up on the "Big Money Match" Rumors

Okay, you've heard that Phil and Tiger are going to play a (possibly) $10mil winner-take-all match. GC has talked about it, and they mentioned ESPN.

So here's the link to the ESPN article that has everyone buzzing.

Mickelson V Woods?

Of course, as Tiger said, nothing's been signed yet. But the source of the ESPN article is Mike Greenberg, who currently is one of the hosts of ESPN's morning show GET UP! and is unquestionably a golf nut like the rest of us. (It's a running joke that he'll do anything to get golf mentioned on the show.)

Anyway, sources told him that the match would take place at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, probably on either Friday (Nov. 23) or Saturday (Nov. 24) of Thanksgiving weekend.

What you have to remember is that NONE OF THIS HAS BEEN FINALIZED. But Thanksgiving used to be the time when the Skins Game was played, so it's a logical time if this one-on-one showdown ever gets out of the talking stage.

But until then, I'd take this with a grain of salt. It's clear from what Tiger said that the two have been talking about it, but talk is cheap...

And this match could be worth $10mil.

Aren't you glad to have Tiger and Phil back playing well?

Thursday, August 2, 2018

David Howell on Hitting a Hybrid (Video)

David Howell did a great little video on hitting a hybrid solidly. I want you to see his ball position.



You can get several good views of his address position in this video, but there's a really good one at the 1:23 mark. Here's a still that I snagged:



The ball is just ahead of the center of his stance, maybe a third of the way between his heels. The shaft points almost straight up, pointing at his lead ear or perhaps just a fraction inside it. (Maybe his lead eye? No more than that.) I'd pay a lot of attention to that vertical shaft at address; if you get that right, you'll probably get the ball position correct for your swing.

And when he swings, he takes a slight divot; you can see the dirt fly when he does.

That's the big thing I'd like you to get from this, although you can certainly pick up some other tips from what David says. But if you put the ball too far forward or too far back, you're going to have trouble getting a consistent strike on the ball.

And ball position is something EVERYBODY can learn. You don't need any specific physical gifts to learn where your best ball position is!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

My "5 to Watch" at the WGC-Bridgestone

Well, I guess I should pick a "5 to Watch" for a WGC also, don't you think? And since this is the last time this event will be at Firestone, it should be very competitive.

World #1 Dustin Johnson

Let's skip all the small talk and get right to my picks.
  • Of course, Tiger Woods is going to get a lot of TV time. His record at this course is ridiculous, with 8 wins and 12 Top10s in 15 starts. He's coming off his best playing yet at the Open -- he made some clutch shots on the back nine, which he hadn't been doing earlier in the year -- and he's comfortable here. It's really just a question of whether he's learned enough about how his body reacts down the stretch to get the results he wants.
  • Dustin Johnson bounced back from a poor Open with a win in Canada, and I can't help but think he feels he has something to prove. Not that DJ hasn't proven himself at WGC events, having won more of them than anyone but Tiger. Besides that, he's the World #1. Still, I think he'd like to pick up another one and make himself the favorite going into the PGA Championship.
  • Francesco Molinari. Need I say more? The Champion Golfer of the Year would love to add a second WGC to his resume -- excuse me, his CV. (Americans use resumes, most of the rest of the world use CVs. In case you didn't know.)
  • Rory McIlroy has been absent from my lists for a while, but he's been playing better as of late and -- this is important -- it appears that Firestone will be wet this week. Rory always seems to be at his best on wet courses and, with just a little help from his putter, the conditions could put Rors back in the winner's circle.
  • And for my flier... it's hard to call anybody a flier at a WGC, since you generally have to qualify through the world rankings just to play. So I'm going to pick someone I believe has been almost forgotten -- Justin Rose. He's #3 in my Ruthless Golf World Rankings, and you don't get there without a considerable number of wins, yet he's hardly being talked about. He too plays well in wet conditions, and I think he'd like to remind the golf world that he should still be taken seriously. Firestone is a great place to do just that!
And my pick is... hmmm. I'd really like to pick Tiger, but I don't think he's quite ready yet. Instead, I'm going to ignore the power hitters and go with Molinari. A win this week just might make him the favorite in the Player of the Year race, and think that matters to him.

GC goes to live coverage at 1:30pm ET Thursday, which probably means there will be a half-hour PreGame Show at 1pm. The Ricoh all morning and the Bridgestone all evening -- how lucky can we get?