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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Twofer Tuesday: Sanderson Farms Championship

Twofer Tuesday heads down to Mississippi and the Sanderson Farms Championship, which is a full month earlier this year due to the schedule changes.

Defending champion Cameron Champ

The Country Club of Jackson is hosting the event for the sixth consecutive time, with Cameron Champ being the defending champion. The course is a par-72 layout and has been stretched to nearly 7500 yards, its longest in those six years. And we can probably count on some heat; it's not unusual to see temperatures in the 90s F. Last year the field averaged just over 71 on the track and it's reasonable to figure the greens crew will aim for the same results this year.

As far as my Twofer Tuesday picks go, the key thing that stands out about this event is ROOKIES. Yes, as you may have guessed, all six of the last Sanderson Farms winners have been rookies. (Of course, this event usually doesn't have as many vets as other events, so that probably plays a part as well.) That fact doesn't mean this year will follow suit but it's worth being aware of it!
  • My Top10er this week is -- surprise! -- Viktor Hovland. I'm still not sure Viktor is ready to win on the big stage yet, but he has tied the record for 17 consecutive rounds in the 60s. Even if he doesn't set a new record, I'm guessing he'll play well enough for another Top10 as he gains experience on the Tour.
  • And my winner is Scottie Scheffler. He's struggled with his swing a bit lately, but I don't think that will continue for long; he played too well on the Korn Ferry Tour this year for that. It's just a question of when things start 'clicking' again for him, and this week is as good a time as any for him to rediscover his groove.
In what has become something of a routine, GC's coverage begins Thursday at 2pm ET while PGA TOUR LIVE begins streaming select groups at 8am ET. I'm expecting some hot action this week, even if it's just from the weather!

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Limerick Summary: 2019 Greenbrier

Winner: Joaquin Niemann

Around the wider world of golf: Suzann Pettersen announced her retirement from tournament golf by sinking the winning putt on the 18th hole of the final match to give Europe the Solheim Cup, 14.5-13.5; Jerry Kelly won the Ally Challenge on the Champions Tour; Patrick Fishburn won the Canada Life Championship on the Mackenzie Tour; Quincy Quek won the Haikou Classic on the PGA TOUR China; Yosuke Asagi won the ANA Open on the Japan Golf Tour; Sergio Garcia won the KLM Open on the European Tour; and Rory Hie won the Classic Golf and Country Club International Championship on the Asian Tour.

Joaquin Niemann with the Greenbrier trophy

It's a new season for my Twofer Tuesday picks and at least half of them got off to a good start. I had Tom Lewis (MC) to win and Viktor Hovland (T10) to Top10. At this point I'll take whatever encouragement I can find.
  • Winners: 2 for 37
  • Place well (Top10): 17 for 37 (9 Top5s, 8 more Top10s)
  • Overall Top10s: 30 of 74 (15 Top5s, 15 more Top10s)
Perhaps I should take some consolation that I have picked a number of players just a few weeks (or months) before they broke through for a win. I had picked Joaquin Niemann to win earlier this year, but it looks like I was ahead of the curve again. He needed a few months to get finally get it together.

And boy, did he ever get it together at the A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier event! He stomped the field by six shots, finally putting Chile on the golfing map. Of course he's only 20 years old and -- in "the old days" anyway -- nobody would expect too much at this point.

But this is the age of the instant success story, and the pressure must be huge for the youngsters who need a bit more of a learning curve before they can truly hope to make a mark. And when you carry the hopes of an entire country on your shoulders...

Joaquin doesn't need to worry about that anymore. He's got his first PGA Tour win with all the assorted perks, and he made history to boot. But listen up, Joaquin, I've got some more news for you -- you're also the first golfer from Chile to take home a Limerick Summary. Life is looking good, my man!
Becoming the first man from Chile
To win should make Joaquin a really
Big sports star back home.
His potential’s been shown—
When you win by six shots, that’s revealing!
The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Sunday Solheim Cup Singles Pairings

Danielle Kang leads off the singles matches

You can read the entire article from Randall Mell at this link, but here are the pairings for quick reference. All times are ET.
  • 6:40am: Danielle Kang (USA) vs. Carlota Ciganda (EUR)
  • 6:52am: Nelly Korda (USA) vs. Caroline Hedwall (EUR)
  • 7:04am: Lexi Thompson (USA) vs. Georgia Hall (EUR)
  • 7:16am: Annie Park (USA) vs. Celine Boutier (EUR)
  • 7:28am: Angel Yin (USA) vs. Azahara Munoz (EUR)
  • 7:40am: Megan Khang (USA) vs. Charley Hull (EUR)
  • 7:52am: Lizette Salas (USA) vs. Anne Van Dam (EUR)
  • 8:04am: Jessica Korda (USA) vs. Caroline Masson (EUR)
  • 8:16am: Brittany Altomare (USA) vs. Jodi Ewart Shadoff (EUR)
  • 8:28am: Marina Alex (USA) vs. Suzann Pettersen (EUR)
  • 8:40am: Ally McDonald (USA) vs. Bronte Law (EUR)
  • 8:52am: Morgan Pressel (USA) vs. Anna Nordqvist (EUR)
GC's coverage is set to begin at 6:30am ET. And since the teams are tied 8-8 going into the singles, this could be a wild finish!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Steve Elkington on the Knockdown Shot (Video)

You'll have to scoot over to golftipsmag.com to see this video, but it's a simple thing that you might find helpful. Elk says this is an easy way to get your trajectory down without changing your swing.

What do you do? Just address the ball normally and then move an inch or two closer than normal. You don't change your ball position or anything else. You will have to lean the shaft a bit more forward in order to make your normal swing -- that's how you give your hands the extra room they'll need -- but doing so will automatically deloft the club a little and make the ball fly lower.

And just for your information, it will probably put a bit more spin on the ball as well.

As I said, it's a simple tip that could make knockdown shots much easier for you. You can thank Elk next time you see him.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Rory VS Brooks

The battle is done. Brooks got the PGA Player of the Year while Rory got the PGA Tour Player of the Year.

However, the discussion is just beginning.

Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka

I wanted to take a quick look at this somewhat unexpected turn of events -- even Rory is on record as expecting Brooks to take both awards. Still, I think this 'split decision' is just an indication of how difficult it is to say one player is definitely better than another. I'm not certain that either player should have won both of these awards but I think this is an indication that players are beginning to question what's really important in their careers.

Before we go on, let's get one thing clear. The PGA Player of the Year is determined by a point system while the PGA Tour Player of the Year is determined by player vote. Some are suggesting that the players may have voted on personality or popularity, and that the point system is therefore a more objective approach. But I believe you can make the opposite case as well -- namely, that the player vote indicates that not everyone agrees on whether the points are being given for what's really important.

That being said, let's compare Brooks and Rory's seasons and try to understand why the awards were split.

First, let's tackle the elephant in the room: Majors. Part of the discussion says that Rory's win devalues the importance of finishes in the majors. Brooks finished T2-1-2-T4 while Rory finished T21-T8-T9-MC. Brooks clearly played better and had one major VS Rory having none.

But the World Golf Hall of Fame has to be considered here. According to the criteria at their website, the WGHoF gives THE PLAYERS equal weight to a major:
A [male] player must have a cumulative total of 15 or more official victories on any of the original members of the International Federation of PGA Tours (PGA TOUR, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour and PGA of Australasia) OR at least two victories among the following events: The Masters, THE PLAYERS Championship, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship.
Two PLAYERS carry the same weight as any two majors. So whether you call it a major or not, the WGHoF considers a PLAYERS win as having equal value and that has to be taken into account. Clearly, many players did so.

Each player won three events. Giving equal weight to their 'majors' this season, let's compare the other two wins:
  • Brooks: CJ Cup & WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
  • Rory: RBC Canadian Open & TOUR Championship
Analysts are saying that players gave more weight to the PGA Tour 'majors' -- that is, THE PLAYERS and the TOUR Championship -- but my guess is that there's a bit more at play here.

The CJ Cup really doesn't carry the weight of a WGC, the TOUR Championship or a long-running national championship like the Canadian Open, which is the third-oldest continuously running tourney behind the OPEN and the US Open, respectively.

In fairness, the RBC is also the only PGA TOUR-run national championship. But you can still make an argument that Brooks's two non-majors are slightly less 'valuable' than Rory's.

In terms of consistency:
  • Rory played 19 events with 14 Top10s and two missed cuts
  • Brooks played 21 events with 9 Top10s and one missed cut
In terms of money:
  • Brooks won the money list by nearly $2mil over Rory
But Rory did win the TOUR Championship, finishing #1 while Brooks could only finish #3 after leading the FedExCup points list nearly all season.

I don't know that any of this is conclusive proof that one player is better than the other. In the end, Rory was more consistent and 'showed up' much more often than Brooks. Conversely, Brooks played better in the majors than Rory and you can chalk up his money list win almost entirely to those four finishes, because those events paid the largest purses.

Ultimately, that's the crux of the argument as it is being framed.

Not being mentioned in any of this, however, are three other awards Rory won this season:
  • the FedExCup champion (that is an award for season-long excellencee)
  • Vardon Trophy (for best scoring average, minimum 60 rounds)
  • Byron Nelson Award (for best scoring average, minimum 50 rounds)
And perhaps these three -- the FedExCup award, the Vardon Trophy and the Byron Nelson Award -- are what finally tipped the scales for Rory. The fact that Rory won all three despite how Brooks played in the majors is a statement of sorts. The big argument for Brooks is the majors -- and yes, he had a monumental year there -- yet he didn't play sufficiently well to beat Rory for any of these awards.

Rory's three awards are the definition of dominance, and that may have been enough to sway the PGA TOUR players to give Rory their POY award.

In the end, I'm glad both men won a POY award. Those awards were given on the basis of different criteria and both Rory and Brooks had 'best of' years, depending on which criteria are most important to you. But that isn't going to stop the debate over whose year was THE best.

And that's probably as it should be. I'm not sure sports fans know how to enjoy a sport they can't argue about.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Cindy Miller on Ball Position (Video)

There are two parts to ball position -- how far forward or back in your stance that you place the ball, and how far away from it you stand. Cindy Miller has a tip for the latter.



Cindy's description of this position as 'partial puke and bow' is certainly graphic enough to make it memorable! But the idea is simple enough.

After you stand up in a relaxed position with your hands at your side and the club's handle in your lead hand, you simply lean slightly toward the ball and grip the club with both hands. Let your arms hang down, with your upper arms lightly against your chest, which should put your hands more or less under your chin. That should put the clubhead the proper distance from your body, and that's where you want to place the ball when you take your actual address position.

Not every player will find this tip to be comfortable; it depends on both your normal posture and your swing technique. For example, if you hold your arms fairly straight like Bryson DeChambeau does, this tip won't necessarily help you. But the beauty of it is that, if you do feel comfortable using it, it works for every club in your bag -- except your putter, which is always a challenge, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Solheim Cup Is Here!

Of course there were the normal lost clubs and baggage at Gleneagles, but the Stacy Lewis news was unexpected.

Morgan Pressel with the Solheim Cup

Stacy's back tweak resulted in Ally MacDonald replacing her as Juli Inkster's second Captains Pick. Doesn't look to be too much of a disruption, of course -- Ally has some team experience from the 2014 Curtis Cup, where she and Annie Park played a successful fourball together. (Ironically, Ally and Annie are in different pods so they probably won't play together this week.) But Ally was #9 on the points list anyway, so she barely missed making the team on her own.

The weather at Gleneagles is currently expected to be milder than usual, which should help level the playing field against Team Europe. I know a lot of analysts say Team USA is the favorite, but I have to agree with Laura Davies -- home field is a HUGE advantage and, coupled with the number of veterans on the Euro team, Team Europe really should be the favorites.

This link takes you to a page at lpga.com with all the major info you'll need about the Solheim Cup, particularly the players on each team and the TV times here in the States. I'll just note that GC's coverage begins Friday morning at 3am ET and runs till 1:30pm ET. The Solheim Cup is always fun as well as competitive, and I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Twofer Tuesday: The Greenbrier

After a two week hiatus the PGA Tour is back. Although this event has been officially renamed "A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier," I'm going with the shorter title and trusting you'll all remember the military tie-in.

Defending champion Kevin Na

The Greenbrier sat out last season so it could assume its new position as the first event of the PGA Tour wraparound season. Physically it remains a luxury resort located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. It's a place that many of the Tour pros have moved to, and it's one of the stops where families have plenty to do while Dad whacks the old dimpled ball around.

The Old White TPC is the only Tour course with a par-3 finishing hole. At 7292 yards and a par of 70 -- and that gorgeous mountain scenery -- it's a reasonably challenging start to a long season, one that frequently gives us surprise winners. (And on occasion, very low scores.) Kevin Na is the defending champion.

As the first event of the new PGA Tour season, there are a number of newly-minted pros teeing it up after graduating from the Korn Ferry Tour. And I'm looking to them this week, in hopes that they will change the fortunes of my Twofer Tuesday picks.
  • My Top10er is Viktor Hovland. After ensuring his card at the Korn Ferry Finals, he skipped the final event to prepare for this start. I've had high hopes for Viktor since he turned pro -- some of you will remember that I picked him to win at the Deere -- and I haven't lost my enthusiasm for his future. However, I think he may (like Justin Thomas) take a bit longer to hit his stride and get his first win. That doesn't mean he can't chalk up his first Top10 as a Tour member though.
  • And my winner is Tom Lewis. The 28-year-old Englishman took a flier at getting his Tour card at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship... and promptly won his only Korn Ferry start to lock up a card. Perhaps he'll suffer the letdown so many players seem to experience after a first win but I'm willing to take a flier myself and pick him to win his first start as a carded PGA Tour player.
GC's coverage starts Thursday at 2pm ET, with the PGA TOUR LIVE stream beginning at 7am ET.

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Limerick Summary: 2019 Porsche European Open

Winner: Paul Casey

Around the wider world of golf: Taylor Pendrith got his second Mackenzie Tour victory at the Mackenzie Investments Open; Alejandra Llaneza won the Garden City Charity Classic on the Symetra Tour; Sang-Hyun Park won the Fujisankei Classic on the Japan Golf Tour; Yikuen Chang won the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship on the Asian Tour; and the US team blitzed the GB&I team in singles to retain the Walker Cup, 15.5-10.5.

Paul Casey with the Porsche European Open trophy

My Twofer Tuesday picks looked good for a day or so, but... I had Xander Schauffele (T46) to win and Thomas Pieters (T20) to Top10. It appears my luck is no better overseas than it is here at home.
  • Winners: 2 for 36
  • Place well (Top10): 16 for 36 (9 Top5s, 7 more Top10s)
  • Overall Top10s: 29 of 72 (15 Top5s, 14 more Top10s)
Paul Casey had no such troubles in Germany. He calmly -- and uncharacteristically -- stated that he felt dangerous this week and that the field should be looking over their shoulders, because he had nothing to lose and was playing free.

Uncharacteristic bravado, yes. But definitely on point! The weather had been tough on the field, forcing a scoring average that was two or three strokes over par some days. But on Sunday Paul ran down the leaders, shooting a 66 to beat leaders Bernd Rithammer and Robert MacIntyre by one.

And surprisingly enough, it was Paul's first ET victory in five years. Where did his confidence come from? Clearly it was his improved play over the last year or so -- highlighted by a win at the Valspar, a fifth place in the FedExCup and rising to 17 in the OWGR.

While I'm bummed that my picks didn't play well, I have no trouble being happy for Paul Casey. He's earned the rewards he's seeing this year... and I'll gladly add yet another Limerick Summary to his 2019 haul.
Paul said he felt dangerous, right?
The field should glance backwards with fright
As he charged from behind;
His stars had aligned—
So he took the top prize with delight.
The photo came from this page at europeantour.com.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Walker Cup Drama

Maybe the last Walker Cup (in 2017) wasn't close -- 19-7 in GB&I's favor -- but Sunday is shaping up to be a dogfight.

GB&I's Alex Fitzpatrick and USA's Cole Hammer

Golf Digest has a nice summary of Day One, which ended with a rally by the US to trail by only two points, 7-5. All but one of the 12 matches went to the 17th hole.

The US team feels they always have an advantage in singles, which they will play today, but the GB&I team seems to be firing on all cylinders right now. While two points certainly isn't insurmountable, GB&I have the home turf advantage and all the crowd support that comes with that.

Unfortunately we won't be getting any live coverage of the final day. That Golf Digest article lists the times for each of the foursomes and singles matches today (all in ET) if you want to try and follow the matches online. Otherwise you'll have to settle for a summary show on GC tonight at 11pm ET. But it's definitely going to be a battle today, well worth watching if you can find it.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Phillis Meti's Driving Drill (Video)

This Extra Credit video from Martin Hall has long drive champ Phillis Meti practicing her drives... with an iron and a putting grip?!?



I don't mean she's gripping the club as if she was putting. No, I mean she's using a flat-sided putting grip that's been installed on a 7-iron that has been set an extra 5° upright. What's the deal?

This strange piece of practice equipment makes it easy for her to match her driver setup with the shorter club, and the flat side of the putter grip lets her be sure that the clubface is square to her aimline.

In other words, the grip helps her make sure she isn't flipping the club at impact or leaving it open. She says it was her teacher's idea, so she can work on this while she's on the road without him.

Just goes to show that understanding what you're trying to do when you swing can help you better design a practice drill that focuses your effort more effectively.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Now DJ Visits the Doctor

Last week it was Tiger, this week it's Dustin Johnson. And yes, it's the left knee.

Dustin Johnson

Golf.com quoted this statement from DJ's management team that was sent out Thursday morning:
“Earlier today, Dustin Johnson underwent arthroscopic surgery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to repair cartilage damage in his left knee. He is now resting comfortably and is expected to make a full recovery before returning to competition later this fall.
The procedure is considered routine and similar in nature to his prior right knee surgery in December of 2011. Both were performed by renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. George Caldwell.”
"Later this fall" almost certainly means the Presidents Cup at the latest.

Artheroscopic surgery is no big thing these days; sometimes I think players approach it the same way they approach routine blood tests and cardiograms. But if a player needs to have a knee 'cleaned out' and doesn't do it, it can certainly affect their performance.

So now it will be interesting to see if DJ's play improves. We're used to him being so consistent but we haven't seen that from him lately. Perhaps this is the reason.

At least it will give him and Tiger something to commiserate about over the next few months.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

John Jacobs on Chipping Feel (Video)

No, it's not the legend. But this John Jacobs from Golf Monthly has a couple of drills that might help you to better judge distance when you chip.



That first drill -- let's call it the bowling drill because the arm motion is similar to throwing a bowling ball -- may or may not help you, but you should try it. Some players need a more mechanical trigger to develop feel, and this bowling drill is definitely all feel. I tend to make this motion when I'm trying to get a feel for a chip, but I used to bowl a lot during high school so it's a familiar motion for me.

John's clock face drill is far more similar to the technique Dave Pelz teaches and that I teach in my Accurate Iron Play Quick Guide. However, John is using more wrist flex than my book taught. I'm not against that, not by any stretch -- but whether it will work for you depends on how mechanical you need to be when developing your sense of feel.
  • Some players learn better if they don't flex their wrists much at all. That's a method that Lee Trevino swears by, and nobody ever accused him of having a poor short game!
  • Some players learn better if they use just a small amount of flex, which is my preferred method for normal chips.
  • And some players learn better if they use their wrists quite a bit when chipping. You can certainly learn to chip just as well that way as any other.
The thing with John's clock method and "looser" wrists -- if you choose to use that method -- is that he doesn't actually move his arms quite as much as he says. If you watch him closely, you'll see that his 7 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions are nearly identical and his 9 o'clock position is nowhere near parallel to the ground. But to him it FEELS as if his lead arm is in those positions, and that's the key you must remember:
His stated positions are not his actual mechanical positions, but rather how he feels them.
I wanted to pass this method on to you because, for some of you, this may be exactly what you need in order to improve your chipping. There is no one correct way to play golf but there is probably a way that works best for you, based on how you learn things most easily. Don't let anyone bind you to a mechanical method if a feel method gives you better results, or vice versa.

Don't be afraid to learn the way you learn best. Tailoring your game to your own natural abilities is how YOU will get better.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Critter Does It Again! (Video)

Today it's just a shout-out to Jeff "The Critter" Crittenden for winning his second World Drive Championship - Masters Division in just three years.



Jeff is from Greensboro NC -- around 30 minutes east of me -- and I'm always pulling for him. It's great to see him get another win!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Limerick Summary: 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Championship

Winner: Tom Lewis

Around the wider world of golf: Hannah Green got her second LPGA victory of the year (and her career) at the Cambia Portland Classic; Patty Tavatanakit won the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge on the Symetra Tour; Sebastian Soderberg got his first ET win at the Omega European Masters; Wes Short Jr. won the Shaw Charity Classic on the Champions Tour; Kazuki Higa won the RIZAP KBC Augusta on the Japan Golf Tour; and Miguel Carballo won the Bank BRI Indonesia Open on the Asian Tour.

Tom Lewis with the Korn Ferry Tour Championship trophy

My Twofer Tuesday picks took a last minute hit after I made my choices. I had Scottie Scheffler (T7) to win and Anirban Lahiri (WD) to Top10. Lahiri withdrew on Friday -- well after my picks -- because his family was in Hurricane Dorian's way (my Disney trip was cancelled because of Dorian as well, so I certainly understand his reasons) and while Scheffler finally ran out of gas, he did at least finish in the Top10.
  • Winners: 2 for 35
  • Place well (Top10): 16 for 35 (9 Top5s, 7 more Top10s)
  • Overall Top10s: 29 of 70 (15 Top5s, 14 more Top10s)
The winner's story seems almost unbelievable, doesn't it? Tom Lewis wasn't even planning to play -- he had his ET card for 2020 -- but his agent said he had enough FedExCup points to qualify so why not give it a shot? Then Tom comes in for the very last event of the Finals, rips the field apart and walks away with a PGA Tour card, doing so in record-setting fashion. This is the hardest course on the Korn Ferry Tour and all Tom did was win with a -23 total, after the last two years had seen winning scores of -6.

Alright... to be fair, the course was a bit soft and 32 players shot -7 or better. But Tom was five shots clear of the runner-up, which is impressive in its own right.

It's pretty easy to pass this off as playing with a lack of pressure since Tom already had a tour to play next season, but he's had his share of problems to overcome such as chipping yips. Now he has another problem, given that he has to balance playing time on two tours. They say he talked to Justin Rose about it and was told that the balancing act is tough.

We've also heard that Tom really likes warm weather. ;-)

While Tom sorts out the pluses and minuses of his various options, I'll just congratulate him with this Limerick Summary that asks the burning question on all of our minds.
In America or overseas?
We need to know, Tom—and don’t tease!
Is the PGA Tour
Or your homeland the lure?
We have to know NOW! Tell us, please
The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Twofer Tuesday: Porsche European Open

I know it's weird, but the Limerick Summary has to wait for the Korn Ferry Tour Championship to finish today. Hence, today becomes Twofer Tuesday by default. Don't worry, you'll survive.

Let's head out to this week's ET event, the Porsche European Open.

Defending champion Richard McEvoy

Defending champion Richard McEvoy (from England) leads the field at the Green Eagle Golf Courses in Hamburg, Germany. It's his first-ever title defense so you can be sure he's looking forward to it.

With the PGA Tour season in the books, several American players have flown over to join the ET's cast of regulars as well -- Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele. Given the number of ET winners this season who are already there, we're looking at a really strong field for this event.

Of course, while I'm familiar with a large number of those players, I'd hardly consider myself a good judge of who has the best chance to win this week. Then again, knowing the US players better hasn't helped me so far this season, has it?
  • My Top10er this week is Thomas Pieters. Thomas has been struggling for a few years now but seems to have finally refound his form. He won a couple of weeks back at the D+D Real Czech Masters, then followed up with a T12 at this past week's Omega European Masters. He has so much potential when he is on form that I'm willing to ride along with him for another week.
  • And my winner is Xander Schauffele. The ET players I think are in the best form right now are taking the week off and, while Xander didn't play particularly well at THE OPEN and hasn't played any other ET event this year, he has played well over there in the past and has been reasonably consistent in the US this season. In my opinion, this season's ET winners have been somewhat unpredictable so I'm going to take my chances on Xander.
As best as I can tell, GC's live coverage starts Thursday in two shifts -- 5am-7am ET followed by another at 9am-noon ET. Since the ET's Race to Dubai is approaching their home stretch, this should be a hard-fought battle.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Luke Peterken's 5-Minute Punch Shot Lesson (Video)

This Golf Monthly video is actually less than five minutes long, but hey, it's their title! This is the basic technique for hitting an accurate punch shot.



Let me list the key points from the video on how to lower your trajectory.
  • Shorten your backswing and followthrough, which creates less clubhead speed. This automatically lowers your trajectory some.
  • Lowering your trajectory causes the ball to roll more when it lands, so choose your target appropriately.
  • Take more club. You're creating less clubhead speed so you need a longer club to cover the distance.
  • Set up for a fade. That's because you...
  • Open your hips BUT keep your shoulders square to your aimline. This allows you to move your lower body more freely without spinning your shoulders, which might make you flip your hands and pull the shot. (This tip is something you often don't hear from instructors, but it makes a lot of sense.)
  • Move the ball back slightly in your stance, to hit the ball more cleanly while lowering the trajectory a bit more.
The key here is that this is how you create a controllable, accurate punch shot. Whether you're punching out of trouble or just need to keep the ball down to avoid trouble, controllability is the name of the game.