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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Congrats to the East Lake Cup Victors!

The team match play at the East Lake Cup definitely showed who the best teams so far this year are.

Winning men's team Pepperdine and women's Ole Miss

In the men's portion, the Pepperdine Waves beat the Oklahoma Sooners with a solid 4-1 performance. The fact that they won without their top player William Mouw winning either of his matches just demonstrates how dominant they were.

As for the women, the Ole Miss Rebels beat the South Carolina Gamecocks 3-2. Ole Miss (that's the University of Mississippi, for those of you unfamiliar with their nickname) has been rebuilding their women's golf program and it looks like they're succeeding.

With all the disruptions the pandemic has caused to NCAA golf this year, this win will definitely help them both in the college rankings going forward. Congrats to the champs!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The New Old Champions Tour Event

You can be forgiven if you're a bit confused about this week's Champions Tour event. Let me set you straight about the TimberTech Championship.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer

This event was originally played in early February, and you're probably most familiar with its original name, the Allianz Championship. In 2018 it was the Boca Raton Championship and it was still played in early February.

Last year, when Bernhard Langer won it, it was the Oasis Championship. And yes, it was played in early February.

All of those events were played on the Old Course at Broken Sound, in Boca Raton FL. And it will continue to be played there this year.

However, when the AZEK Company, which owns the TimberTech brand, came on board as sponsor in early 2020, it was decided that this event would be one of the three playoff events in the Charles Schwab Cup. The pandemic -- notorious for altering plans this year -- didn't change that decision but it did result in the event not getting an official announcement until September.

As a result, the TimberTech Championship will now officially be the second of the final three events of the Champions Tour season going forward. And this week is the first playing of the event at its new place in the schedule.

To the best of my knowledge, Phil Mickelson isn't playing this week despite being #8 on the points list. But the rest of the 2020 rookie class will probably tee it up since this is the penultimate event.

GC's coverage starts Friday at 3pm ET. (This is still only a 54-hole event.) It looks as if it will be in the 80s with possible thunderstorms all three days, so the course may play quite a bit differently than it did in February. I can't help but wonder if that will change the fortunes of the favorites this year.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Twofer Tuesday: Bermuda Championship

Twofer Tuesday makes like Captain Jack Sparrow and sails away for a Caribbean vacation at the Bermuda Championship.

Defending champion Brendon Todd

Maybe it's not the pirate utopia of the 17th century, but the Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda offers quite the haul for braver members of the PGA Tour. Once host to the Grand Slam of Golf, victory at this event now carries a bounty worth 500 FedExCup points and -- for swashbucklers like defending champion Brendon Todd -- the chance to get your PGA Tour off the ground or back into winning ways.

And for some players it may indeed require a little bravery. The Bermuda Championship will be the first event since the restart to allow spectators, although the number is limited to 500 a day.

So arr, mateys! Let's be making some picks and see if the winds favor the brave.

  • Will Zalatoris is back in a PGA Tour field with the chance to get Special Temporary Membership. Check this: All he needs are THREE FEDEXCUP POINTS, which is no more than a two-way tie for 69th to qualify! He's finished in the Top10 in three of his last four Tour appearances, so I'm hoping he'll sail into another this week.
  • Any pirate worth his salt needs to take a few risks now and then... and mine is Rasmus Hojgaard. This European Tour player got his ET card just last year, but he's already got two wins over there and is #10 in the Race to Dubai. This is a great opportunity to pick up his first PGA Tour win.

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at noon. With Halloween just ahead and the mainland starting to chill down a bit, a little bit of the Caribbean may be just what the rest of us need to quell our shivering timbers. (Okay, that didn't sound quite right but I'm running with it.)

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Limerick Summary: 2020 ZOZO Championship

Winner: Patrick Cantlay

Around the wider world of golf: Ally McDonald got her first LPGA title at the LPGA Drive On Championship - Reynolds Lake Oconee; Ross McGowan returned to the winner's circle after an 11-year absence at the ET's Italian Open; Merrick Bremner won the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge on the Sunshine Tour; and Aaron Pike won the NT PGA Championship on the Australasian Tour. Plus IC sent me these results from the Asian tours: Won Joo Lee won the KPGA's Bizplay Open; and Somi Lee got her first KLPGA title at the Huencare Ladies Open.

Patrick Cantlay with the ZOZO trophy

The West Coast just isn't being kind to my Twofer Tuesday picks. I had Tyrrell Hatton (T28) and Patrick Reed (T14). After Friday's round I was looking at two Top5s. Ironically, I had Patrick Cantlay last week, when he finished T38. *sigh*

  • Top10s: 23 for 58 (9 Top5, 14 other Top10s)
  • Winners: 2 for 29 events
Yes, Patrick Cantlay came back from last week with a monster showing in Cali to get his third PGA Tour victory. Only Kevin Streelman had a better final round (64) and only Xander Schauffele matched him (65)... but neither of those players even made the Top15.

All the attention was on World #2 Jon Rahm and World #3 Justin Thomas as they began the day at the top of the leaderboard in second and first place, respectively. But while both shot decent front nines (-4 and -3), neither could do better than even par on the back nine. In fact, they seemed determined to find the worst places on the course down the stretch!

But Patrick not only matched them with a -4 on the front nine, he posted an equally impressive -3 down the stretch. By the time his opponents had reached the 18th, JT had been eliminated and Rahmbo needed a birdie to force a playoff.

Needless to say, a playoff was unneeded.

Perhaps this victory was overdue. (In my opinion, by at least a week...) But this win should set Patrick up for a good run at the Masters in a few weeks.

And of course, it gets him yet another Limerick Summary.

While Two and Three valiantly fought—
A struggle that soon came to naught—
Pat Cantlay slipped past them
To calmly outlast them;
He simply refused to be caught!

The photo came from the tournament page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Justin Thomas Critiques His Own Swing (Video)

Earlier this year Justin Thomas did a critique of his swing for Golfing World. Since he's leading another tournament, I thought it might be interesting to hear his own thoughts. Don't worry -- the video is very short.


There are a number of good things you can learn from this short video, but I think the most interesting thing is that he doesn't like how he jumps when he swings, although that's something that many players try to do now. He says he has tried to stop and, when he does, he can't even hit the ball!

So he says he has had to 'own' it and just content himself with the knowledge that he is hitting the ball well.

I think that's something most golfers need to learn. Everybody has quirks in their golf swing that are simply natural to them and, instead of trying to change those quirks, they need to simply accept them and exploit them to their fullest potential.

Again, this is a very short video but it's amazing how much you can learn from it. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Bunker Rules (Video)

Bunkers have their own chapter in the Rules of Golf. Maybe it's time you got the basics down. Here's your 8.5-minute crash course.


And yes, this video is only a week old so these are the up-to-date rules. Here's your chance to impress your friends with your vast knowledge!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Improve Your Game Without Changing Your Technique (Video)

This new video from Rick Shiels is deceptively simple and you'll be tempted to skip some of his tips. But you should be doing these three things on every shot.


The three tips are:

  • Choose the correct club for ALL the conditions you're facing TODAY. Don't just take your 'normal' club.
  • Choose the correct target based on your shot shape and ALL the conditions you're facing TODAY. And make it a small target, not a big one.
  • Visualize that good shot you've chosen BEFORE you hit it.

As I said, these tips are deceptively simple. But they can have a dramatic effect on your score. And you don't have to change your technique at all to use them!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Just a Reminder

The Italian Open starts this morning. Bernd Wiesberger is the defending champion.

Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger

GC's live coverage begins this morning (Thursday) at 6:30am ET. It will continue at the same time on Friday, and will begin at 7am ET on Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Another Inaugural Event for the LPGA

And it's another Drive On event. The restart began with the LPGA Drive On Championship in Toledo OH. This week we get the LPGA Drive On Championship in Greensboro GA.

The Great Waters course

This is the last regular season event (2020 had a regular season?) before the Tour's final four events of the year:

  • the Pelican Women's Championship (another new event)
  • the Volunteers of America Classic
  • the U.S. Women's Open
  • the CME Group Tour Championship

There are only 108 players in the field due to the shorter days, but the field looks to be pretty good. Seven of this year's winners will tee it up, as well as a large number of past major winners. And we'll get to watch them in a four-day event.

Best of all, GC plans to televise all four rounds. GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 1pm ET. There's always a little extra excitement around new events and, given the circumstances that surround 2020, it's nice to have some good excitement.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Twofer Tuesday: ZOZO Championship

A confused Twofer Tuesday heads for yet another Asian event... and stumbles into California for this year's ZOZO Championship.

Defending champion Tiger Woods

The first PGA Tour event ever held in Japan returns to... Sherwood Country Club? The pandemic scramble continues as the second Asian event in a row finds itself staged in the US due to COVID-19 concerns.

ZOZO was a history-making event, not only for Japan but for Tiger as he tied Sam Snead's 82-win total last year. But if defending means you go to a course you're comfortable at, then Sherwood certainly qualifies. Sherwood was the home to the Hero World Challenge from 2000 to 2012... and Tiger won there five times and added five runner-ups for good measure.

But we don't know how Tiger's game will look this week -- it's not just his back, it's the havoc this pandemic has played with his schedule -- so I'm looking elsewhere for my Twofer Tuesday picks.

  • Last week I didn't pick Tyrrell Hatton because of the time and weather changes after his win at Wentworth... and he casually posted a T3 in Vegas. By all rights he should be too tired to compete this week. Therefore I'm picking him.
  • In fact, I'm going for an ET sweep. Patrick Reed finished T3 at Wentworth and took last week off. He, like Hatton, has been on his game most of this season. I think that game will work well around Sherwood. After all, a similar approach netted Graeme McDowell two wins and a runner-up here a decade ago.

I should note, in case you hadn't heard, that DJ is still not playing due to that positive virus test. It sounds like he suffered some mild symptoms and now plans to return at Houston. That was apparently announced late Monday so don't make the mistake of picking him if you're playing fantasy.

Since the ZOZO is in California this year, that means more prime time golf here in the US. GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 5pm ET. While I didn't pick Tiger this week, his past success at Sherwood certainly has to be taken into account when assessing his chances. After all, this course is like a second home for Tiger... and as we've all seen, 2020 has proven to be full of surprises.

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Limerick Summary: 2020 CJ Cup

Winner: Jason Kokrak

Around the wider world of golf: Adrian Otaegui won the Scottish Championship on the ET; Phil Mickelson is now two-for-two after winning the Dominion Energy Charity Classic on the Champions Tour; Hayden Hopewell won the Nexus Risk WA Open on the Australasian Tour; and Matilda Castren won the Mission Inn Resort & Club Championship on the Symetra Tour. Plus, IC sent me these winners from the Asian tours: Yuki Inamori won the Japan Open on the Japan Golf Tour; Jiyai Shin won the JLPGA's Fujitsu Ladies Golf Tournament; and Hyo Joo Kim won the KB Financial Group Star Championship, the KLPGA's final major of their season. (Thanks, IC!)

Jason Kokrak with the CJ Cup trophy

I didn't have a very good week in Vegas. My Twofer Tuesday picks were Patrick Cantlay (T38) and Matt Wolff (73). Ironically, I mentioned in my picks that I would have liked Tyrrell Hatton if he hadn't had all the travel and stuff to deal with... and he finished T3. So much for logic.

  • Top10s: 23 for 56 (9 Top5, 14 other Top10s)
  • Winners: 2 for 28 events
Travel wasn't an issue for Jason Kokrak, who, as an ambassador for MGM Resorts, had played Shadow Creek quite a bit.

In fact, few players in the field (except my Twofer Tuesday picks) seemed to have any issues with the course. Their only problem was keeping pace with Kokrak and Xander Schauffele, who separated themselves from the field pretty quickly.

The back nine was pretty much just match play, basically settled by a Schauffele bogey on 16 and a Kokrak birdie on 18. Kokrak's final drive was so long and accurate that it was basically just a driver-wedge for him on the par-5.

Kokrak's first PGA Tour win took ten years and some teamwork -- specifically, Jason credited his caddie David Robinson for reading his putts and recommending he go to a 36" putter earlier this season. Never underestimate the caddies, folks!

So along with all the long-awaited bling, Jason Kokrak also picks up his first Limerick Summary. In my opinion, it was certainly worth the wait!

A decade spent chasing a dream
Got real with the help of his team.
Jason picked up the prize;
Now he’s one of the guys
Who rose up to the top, just like cream.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Cleaning Your Golf Clubs (Video)

Let's go old school today! This is the shortest video I've found that covers just about any question you might have concerning how to clean your clubs. See if you REALLY know how to get the most from your equipment!


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Another Impact Drill for Your Irons (Video)

This is an older video from the Me and My Golf guys, but it's a simple to understand (and use) drill to improve your impact with your irons.


Using a line to help 'aim' your impact position is nothing new, of course. What is interesting here is how the guys describe the drill.

They don't want you to 'hit down' on the ball. They just want you to move the point where you hit the ground!

In a real sense they're telling you to flatten your swing through the impact zone rather than steepening your attack angle (which is what can happen if you try to hit down on the ball). Please note that if you do this drill, you may have to move your ball position forward somewhat. How much forward depends on how steeply you're swinging now.

Let me also refer you to a recent post I did on how your dominant hand squares the clubface. That drill and this drill can work together. In fact, you may find it easier to do the drill in this post if you start with that other drill.

One last thought: The drill in today's post can help you get more distance since it will improve your launch angle. That's worth thinking about!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Ged Walters on the 6-Foot Putt (Video)

This short video from Golf Monthly's Ged Walters has some good advice on making more 6-footers.


Let me say upfront that nobody can tell you exactly how you should make putts. Everybody is different and will approach some aspects of putting differently.

For example, I'm a righthander but I don't grip more tightly with my left hand because that doesn't help my feel, it hurts it. And I don't draw a line on my ball because it causes me to try and make a stroke that's too perfect, and that affects me badly.

However, Ged mentions one thing that's probably self-evident to many of you but I'm going to make a point of it in case it isn't: The harder you hit the ball, the less it breaks; and the softer you hit the ball, the more it breaks.

If you aren't taking that into account when you putt, no amount of greenreading skill is going to help you.

Likewise, Ged gives you a good drill in this video. If you stick a tee into the back of the cup and try to nail that tee with the ball, you're going to get much better at judging the correct speed for holing a putt.

I suspect many of you will find other tips in this video that are useful to you. But these two things stood out to me because I think they can help pretty much anybody improve their putting.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Champions Tour Gets Their Phil of the Rookies

The Champions Tour leaves my home state, North Carolina, and heads to Virginia this week. But they're gonna be packing a load of rookies when they get there.

Defending champion Miguel Angel Jiménez

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic is played in Richmond VA at The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course. The River Course was designed by William Flynn, whose name might not be familiar to you but you might know a couple of his designs -- Cherry Hills Country Club and Shinnecock Hills. I don't know how it will be set up but the scorecard lists it as a par-72 at 7025 yards.

Miguel Ángel Jiménez is the defending champion and, so far as I know, is still planning to defend this week. But he'll get to tee it up against a lot of the Tour's rookies -- Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Mike Weir and K.J. Choi are all scheduled to compete.

Phil's appearance interests me because he originally talked like he might not play with the older set all that often. Perhaps that record-setting win in his first appearance whetted his appetite for a few more wins. (This is his first start in Virginia since 1993.) But how does this fit into his Masters prep? My best guess is that he's playing East Coast courses and, after this event, will take the next two weeks off and play the Houston Open the week before the Masters.

At any rate, the Dominion is going to have a solid field despite not being the kickoff for the Schwab Cup Playoffs this year. (We get the events, just not the Playoffs.)

GC's live coverage begins Friday at 2pm ET. (Remember, it's only a 54-hole event.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

It's St. Andrews But It's Not...

Let's make sure we're clear here. This week's Scottish Championship presented by AXA will indeed be played near the Home of Golf... but we're not talking about the Old Course. We're talking about the Torrance Course at Fairmont St. Andrews

Torrance Course at Fairmaont St. Andrews

Here's a link to an ET video that will give you some views of the course as well as some of the details. The short story is that Sam Torrance finished designing this course back in 2001 after original designer Gene Sarazen passed away and -- believe it or not -- this apparent links course was actually flat farmland before they got hold of it!

Another view of the course

The field is headlined by Lee Westwood, Matt Wallace, Padraig Harrington, two-time winner (this season) Sam Horsfield and recent Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open winner Aaron Rai.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday morning at 7:30am ET. This is an inaugural event at a relatively new course... but hey, it's still St. Andrews. This should be a pretty cool event!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Twofer Tuesday: CJ Cup

Unfortunately, Twofer Tuesday spent too much time at the tables in Vegas last week and had no money for travel to the next event.

Fortunately, the Tour relocated this year's CJ Cup to another course in Vegas.

Defending champion Justin Thomas

The pandemic strikes again, making travel to Asia all but impossible and forcing the popular CJ Cup to move to the States for a one-time American staging. But that stage is one familiar to many fans -- Shadow Creek, perhaps best known for The Match between Phil and Tiger in 2018.

However, this strike of good fortune -- good, in that it allows the event to be played at all -- also means past performance at South Korea's Nine Bridges Golf Club doesn't really mean anything when sizing up the field. (Sorry, JT!)

Indeed, as we have seen in a couple of similar situations already this season, it's been hard to size up the field even when they've seen the exact same course for two weeks in a row! But last week's performance in Vegas is all I've got to go on, so I guess that's how I'll pick.

  • I'm picking Patrick Cantlay once again. Even after that bad opening to his final round, he still managed to nab me a Top10 (T8 to be precise) and I have trouble believing he'll have a similarly bad round this week. Historically speaking, Vegas has been good to him so I'm riding with him again.
  • Likewise, I've got to ride with another player who's had a hot hand -- Matt Wolff. He's put up two runner-up finishes in his last two events -- and last week's was a playoff. He's on a streak so I'm shoving my stack of chips on his number this week.

Several of the players from last week's BMW PGA are in the field and I really like their form -- Tyrrell Hatton in particular, as he's been playing really well all year. But combining the travel and the weather differences, it's just hard for me to take someone who has to make such a big adjustment so soon.

Since Vegas is on the other side of the US, we get more prime time golf this week. GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 5pm ET. Can the field finally break the same city curse and actually carry their form into the second week? I NEED to know...

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Limerick Summary: 2020 Shriners Hospitals

Winner: Martin Laird

Around the wider world of golf: Sei Young Kim blistered Aronimick to win the KPMG Women's PGA Championship on the LPGA; Ernie Els won the SAS Championship on the Champions Tour; Trey Mullinax won the Orange County National Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour; Laurent Desmarchais won the Canada Life Series Championship at TPC Toronto on the Mackenzie Tour; Justin Doeden won the Classic at The Club at Weston Hills on the LOCALiQ/PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Tyrrell Hatton cruised to a win at the BMW PGA Championship on the ET; Ren Takeuchi won the Ryo Ishikawa everyone PROJECT Challenge Golf Tournament on the Abema TV Tour/Japan Golf Tour; and (thanks, IC!) Na Rin An won the Autech Carrier Championship on the KLPGA, Mone Inami won the rain shortened Stanley Ladies Golf Tournament on the JLPGA, and Taehoon Kim won the Genesis Championship on the KPGA.

Martin Laird with Shriners trophy

A typical week in Vegas, I guess, as my Twofer Tuesday picks provided more excitement than wanted. I had Patrick Cantlay (T8) and Tyler McCumber (MC). I rolled the dice on Tyler and he came up snake eyes, but Patrick started the final round tied for the lead -- I thought I might even get a winner -- then dropped off the leaderboard before charging back to give me a Top10. Wow!

  • Top10s: 23 for 56 (9 Top5, 14 other Top10s)
  • Winners: 2 for 27 events

Martin Laird avoided most of the ups-and-downs -- at least, he avoided the bad kind. Except for a couple of bogeys he spent the day making amazing recovery shots and sinking long putts while the rest of the field struggled to keep up.

In the end Matt Wolff and Austin Cook took him to a playoff but it just seemed to be Martin's day. He won with a birdie on the second playoff hole.

It had been seven years since Laird's last win. It's totally understandable, not just because it's hard to win any event but because Laird has dealt with medical problems like his rebuilt left knee.

Apparently the knee is fine. He certainly had no problems with the buried lie he holed on the par-5 ninth for eagle.

After waiting so long for this win, Martin will certainly enjoy celebrating with his friends. Perhaps they'll all gather together for a dramatic reading of his Limerick Summary.

A seven-year dry spell now ends
As Martin Laird bucks all the trends.
The young guys were strong
But Laird led all day long
And now he celebrates with his friends.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Unusual Case of the LPGA Major

Today I've just got a link to a golfchannel.com article by Mercer Baggs that explains the unusual circumstances surrounding the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA today.

Leader Sei Young Kim

The strange situation is this:

Sunday, however, will be unlike anything the players have experienced in a major championship as the leading threesome will not be in the final group.

In fact, Kim, Henderson and Nordqvist will tee off at 8:49 a.m. ET. The last group will go out at 9:22 a.m., with no one following the leading trio within 14 shots of the lead.

It's all got to do with NBC's broadcast window for a summer golf event being played during the fall when there's a lot of other sports vying for airspace.

The article gives you the details. Just be aware that you may know the winner long before the event is actually finished.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Chris Ryan on Using the Bounce (Video)

This short video from Chris Ryan does a good job of explaining the hows and whys of using the bounce of your wedge VS using the front edge. I will add an extra thought after the video.


What I want to add is something that is logical based on what Chris says, but that doesn't mean you'll automatically realize it.

If you use the front edge of the wedge and angle the shaft a bit forward at address, he says you'll be making a more vertical downstrike. Here's what he doesn't say: That means you're standing a bit closer to the ball.

By the same token, if you use the bounce and stand the shaft up vertically as viewed by the camera in this video, you're also lowering your hands so they are a bit lower than your normal address.The club shaft makes a flatter angle to the ground if you look down-the-line at the target. And that means that you're standing a bit farther from the ball.

If you stand a bit farther from the ball, you'll also tend to open the clubface slightly so the bottom of the club still lies pretty flat against the ground.

Remember those things and you'll find it easier to get set up correctly.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Rick Shiels Caddies for Lee Westwood at the BMW (Video)

Let's make sure we're clear here: This is Lee's Wednesday practice round for the BMW PGA. While Lee's caddie is still toting the bag, Rick is going to choose Lee's shots for the last five holes of the round... but Lee gets three overrides. Can Rick get him under par? Let's watch and see...

I just think this is a cool video, and it demonstrates one of the reasons I'm always pulling for Lee Westwood -- this is just good-natured fun!


Thursday, October 8, 2020

The LPGA's Third Major of 2020

Not only do we get the BMW PGA on the ET this week, we get the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on the LPGA.

Defending champion Hannah Green

And like the BMW PGA, we get another legendary golf course. This year's championship will be played at Aronimink Golf Club just outside Philadelphia. It was established in 1896 and Donald Ross was commissioned to design the course in 1926.

We're talking serious history here.

And defending champion Hannah Green will have her hands full. Aronimink is consistently ranked as one of the toughest courses in America.

Enough said.

GC's coverage begins today at 1pm ET. What more need I say? Gotta watch!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The ET's Flagship Event

The PGA Tour has THE PLAYERS. The European Tour has the BMW PGA Championship.

Defending champion Danny Willett

The BMW PGA may be my favorite ET event after THE OPEN. Part of that is the flagship aspect, the fact that it's the Tour-specific trophy for the ET. But it goes a bit deeper than that.

Just as THE PLAYERS has TPC Sawgrass, the Pete Dye layout that has become a legendary course for determining champions, the BMW PGA has Wentworth. Wentworth is located not far from Windsor Castle in England, where it was built in 1922. It was originally designed by Harry Colt (who designed 115 courses all over the world just on his own) and has been 'tweaked' in recent years by Ernie Els.

And boy, you talk about a legend! It hosted the World Match Play Championship for 45 years -- where they crowned champions like Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, Weiscopf, Faldo, Ballesteros, Woosnam and Els -- as well as the 1953 Ryder Cup and the 1956 World Cup. This is a course with a pedigree!

This is the kind of course a flagship event deserves, so I always look forward to this event.

It doesn't hurt that this is a Rolex Series event either. This year it's the third one (and the second in a row), and it's got the kind of loaded field you'd expect. Defending champion Danny Willett will be there of course, as will Race to Dubai leader Patrick Reed. We get Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, Tyrrell Hatton, Martin Kaymer... the list goes on.

Great field, amazing course... and 64 world ranking points to the winner. What more can you ask?

GC's live coverage begins Thursday morning at 6:30am ET and continues for six hours. Given how the pandemic has shaken up the schedules on the various tours, this event could have an even bigger effect on the OWGR than it ever has. I love it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Twofer Tuesday: Shriners Hospitals for Children

Having sated itself with fried chicken, Twofer Tuesday limps its overstuffed way to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Defending champion Kevin Na

The temperatures in Las Vegas have been awful this summer, but hopefully the field will find TPC Summerlin a bit more hospitable (did you see what I did there?) to them in October. The event itself should be comfortable to the players since they've been playing it in the fall for around 30 years. We know defending champion Kevin Na will as will Bryson DeChambeau, the 2018 champion.

I should probably go with those two as my Twofer Tuesday picks this week, but this is Vegas after all. I've got to roll the dice a bit...

  • My first pick is Patrick Cantlay. The Tour hasn't been kind to Cantlay since the restart, with a T7 and a T11 early on and a T12 in the playoffs his only decent finishes. But he won this event in 2017, finished runner-up in 2018 and lost in a playoff last year. If he's going to find his game in time for the Masters, I think TPC Summerlin is the odds-on favorite to see him do it.
  • And my other pick is Tyler McCumber. True, he started the new season with a MC at Safeway. But with a runner-up and a T6 in the two weeks since, Mark's son seems primed for at least another Top10.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 4pm ET. I'll be interested to see what the weather does, as the sweltering heat Las Vegas experienced this summer -- compounded by the smoke that blew into the city from all the wildfires -- is expected to drop from the 80s today into the high 60s by Sunday. Add in the 0% chance of rain and this course could get very fast, very quickly!

Monday, October 5, 2020

The Limerick Summary: 2020 Sanderson Farms

Winner: Sergio Garcia

Around the wider world of golf: Aaron Rai got his first ET Rolex Series win (and second ET win overall) at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open; Mel Reid got her first LPGA win at the ShopRite LPGA Classic; Evan Harmeling got his first Korn Ferry Tour win at the Savannah Golf Championship; Toni Hakula won The Challenge at Harbor Hills on the LOCALiQ Series/PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Peiyun Chien won the weather-shortened Symetra Classic on the Symetra Tour; and Erika Hara got her first JLPGA major at the Japan Women's Open (thanks, IC!).

Sergio lifts the chicken trophy

After a good run of having at least one Top10 every week, I guess my Twofer Tuesday picks needed a little rest. I had Will Zalatoris (MC) and Doc Redman (T28). What else can I say?

  • Top10s: 22 for 54 (9 Top5, 13 other Top10s)
  • Winners: 2 for 27 events
Once Sergio let everyone know that he's been putting with his eyes shut -- and that he won the 2017 Master putting with his eyes shut -- then took the 54-hole lead doing so, everybody went nuts to see what would happen on Sunday. (In case you missed it, I did a post on why it works yesterday.)

We expected someone to make a run at him, of course, but I don't think anybody expected it to be Peter Malnati. Malnati, like Sergio, has struggled with his game over the last few years and his final round 63 caught everybody by surprise. He took the clubhouse lead but he finished an hour or so before the rest of the leaders and had to wait and see what happened.

By now you know what happened. Sergio weathered a rough stretch to end the front nine but played a nearly flawless back nine, punctuated by an eagle on the 14th and a particularly well-played 18th to beat Malnati by one.

You could tell this win meant a lot to Sergio when he talked about how his family had lost two of his uncles to the pandemic and that this one was for his dad. The combination of emotion in his voice and the grin on his face told the whole story.

I suppose the best part of this for Sergio is that this return to form comes only a month or so before the Masters. If this confidence boost keeps him playing well, perhaps he'll pick up a second major.

But in any case, he just picked up another Limerick Summary. I hope he enjoys it.

A shot in the dark, as it were,
Made Sergio’s putting so pure!
His mind’s eye saw clearly
And Sergio dearly
Enjoyed winning this one for sure.

The photo came from the tournament page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Why Putting with Your Eyes Closed Works (Video)

I just want to take a few moments to talk about why Sergio is putting better with his eyes closed. Here's his Saturday interview with Lisa Cornwell, and we'll go from there.


Everybody thinks the yips are some kind of mystical unexplainable problem that has no clear treatment. But in most cases, my friends, that is a pure and utter lie.

It's true that some cases of the yips are caused by physical problems. For example, the great Harry Vardon's putting stroke was altered by the effects of tuberculosis. Vardon won six majors before he had TB but only one major afterward. The disease did, on occasion, affect his full swing but for the most part it just made his putting unpredictable.

The real source of the putting yips is mental and it's easy to describe. Putting yips are merely the result of trying to micromanage your stroke. It's the same for any type of yips -- driving yips are no different.

Here's how it happens: It begins when you think you're missing too many putts and you decide you're going to improve... but that's not the problem. Rather, it's how you decide to improve. You start trying to control every little aspect of your stroke.

  • You try to create the perfect swing arc -- or straight line stroke, if that's your chosen approach to the task.
  • You try to create the perfect angle of attack, so the putterhead is moving level or just upward at impact.
  • You try to develop create perfect contact at impact so you're always hitting exactly in the center of the putterface.
  • You try to create the perfect rhythm for your stroke, with the backswing being just the right length and the followthrough being just the right length, with no recoil at impact.
  • You try to create perfect distance control so the ball always drops in with perfect pace or rolls precisely 18 inches past the cup when you miss. Again, your exact goal may vary depending on your chosen putting method.
  • And so on...

There's nothing wrong with trying to get better at putting. The problem is that you try to make it perfect and, as a result, you start trying to control movements that should happen naturally.

Imagine how horrible it would be if you had to control every breath you take, constantly adjusting for exertion, air purity, emotional state, and so on.

At the very least, you'd lose all rhythm. Your breathing would become jerky and irregular. You'd end up gasping for breath because you could never adjust for all the variables.

In a word, you would have 'breathing yips.'

What's the solution? You'd need to stop trying to control your breathing all the time and 'just let it happen.'

I know, easier said than done. But Sergio is closing his eyes when he putts in order to do just that.

Listen to what he says in the video. He says he's trying to get more smoothness in his stroke. And I like when he says that 'the less things he has in his eyes' the better he does.

That really is the key here.

Putting yips are centered around trying to overcontrol the moment of contact with the ball. As the putterhead approaches the ball you become more anxious, your muscles tighten, and as a result you interrupt the normally smooth stroke that you'd make if you weren't trying so hard.

Sergio understands. If you can't see the ball, you don't know when the club is about to make contact. And if you don't know when impact will happen, you don't tense up in anticipation of hitting the ball. Since you can't see when it's going to happen, eventually your mind stops trying to guess when and just lets the putter swing

Tah-dah! The result is a smooth stroke.

You address the ball, close your eyes and all you can do is try to feel how hard to swing in order to get the ball to the hole. You have to trust your memory -- visualize the putt -- and just trust your feel.

Over time -- and it doesn't have to be a long time, although it's hard to predict how long it will take any given person -- but over time your mind gets out of that 'perfection' mindset and just starts swinging the club the way you did when you were a kid. When you finally realize that you don't have to be perfect and you start to trust your swing, the yips go away and you just might be able to start looking at the ball again when you putt.

Basically you're just retraining your mind to think like a child and NOT think about technique.

It really is that simple... and that hard. Giving up control and just letting the putt happen can be extremely hard or extremely easy. Perfectionists tend to have more trouble with it than laidback players. But in the end it's really all up to you because everybody can do it, because you do plenty of other things everyday that you don't overthink and you do them well. Just approach putting the same way.

Stop making the act of putting so important, and you'll be surprised how easy it can be.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Rick Shiels on Hitting Fairway Woods (Video)

This short video teaches you how to hit fairway woods solidly rather than topping them. What Rick says is good but I'm going to try and simplify it even more.


The basic concept is that you need to hit slightly down on the ball as you hit it. Not news, is it? That's the idea with pretty much every shot except tee shots, where you swing slightly upward.

A fairway wood has a very wide flat bottom, which means it's okay for it to hit the ground instead of the leading edge of the clubhead. That will make a very shallow divot, which will work very nicely for a ball sitting on the ground instead of a tee.

And Rick says the basic thing you need to change to get this strike is the ball position. He gives us a few ways to describe this position -- just ahead of the center of your stance, same position as a 4-iron, under your lead pec -- all of which may or may not help you.

Let's use the description that is really helpful and easy to repeat.

Set up so the head of the fairway wood is directly under your breastbone.

Why is that helpful? Because if the ball is just in front of the clubhead after you place the fairway wood's head just under your breastbone, the ball will be in the correct place.

Then just make your swing. You should hit the ball solidly without topping it.

It doesn't get much simpler than that. Give it a try and see if it doesn't help your fairway wood shots.

Friday, October 2, 2020

The Simplest Way to Hit a Draw (Video)

This is an older video from the Meandmygolf YouTube channel that demonstrates a simple way to hit a draw. I'm going to try and make it even simpler!


The guys are changing the shot shape simply through setup. They want you to rotate the club in your hands -- more on that in a minute -- and then close your stance. (At least, they close their stance in the video.) We're going to try and make things even simpler.

Let's talk about the grip for a moment. The key thing here is that you don't grip the club and then twist your forearms because that isn't going to change anything. If you do that, you'll just roll your forearms back to normal during your downswing and slice the ball like you already tend to do!

You want to grip the club so your hands and arms are in their normal position BUT you want the club turned so the clubface is going to hook the ball. (If you're a righty, that means the clubface will be 'looking' around you to your left. If you're a lefty, that means the clubface will be 'looking' around you to your right.)

If you just do that and then you swing the club -- that is, you don't change your aim at all -- the ball is going to draw more than it normally does.

  • If you normally slice the ball, it's going to start out like normal but only fade.
  • If you normally fade the ball, it's going to start out like normal but go pretty straight.
  • If you normally hit the ball straight, it's going to start out like normal but draw.
  • And if you normally draw the ball, it's going to start out like normal but hook.

Do you understand? You don't have to change anything but your grip on the club to change the shot shape. You don't have to do anything else to get a different shot shape.

And if you're slicing the ball and you just want to straighten it out or maybe get a little draw, that's probably all you need to do. You can just change your grip enough to get that ball to land in the fairway and you'll be good to go. Congratulations!

But let's say you want to change your aim as well. Perhaps your slice was so bad that you're aimed way down the edge of the fairway and the ball is now going in the rough. What do you do?

First off, DON'T CLOSE YOUR STANCE. Closing your stance can work if, when you close your stance, you don't change the way you swing the club. But if you're trying to straighten out a slice, there's a good chance that closing your stance will make you leave the clubface open anyway and you'll STILL hit a slice or a bad push. We don't want that.

What you want to do is just move your normal stance. If you normally set up to hit the ball straight at the edge of the fairway, hoping the ball will slice back into the middle, don't open or close your stance. Instead, turn your whole body so you aim to hit the ball straight to a point closer to the middle of the fairway. (Righties, aim at the left center of the fairway. Lefties, aim at the right center.) Now your arms and hands will move the same way as they normally do and the clubface will take care of the shot shape.

If you do manage to hook the ball into the rough with this change, then you can do one of two things.

  • You can aim your body closer to the middle of the fairway or even at the opposite edge if the hook is big enough.
  • You can just turn the club a little less in your hands at setup.

The idea is to make as few changes as possible to get the shot shape you want. All that matters when you're trying to get the ball to land in the fairway is that it actually DOES land in the fairway.

The biggest problem you will have is trusting that the ball will now go where you want it to go -- and this doubt will go away once you practice enough to trust where the ball wants to go with the grip change.

Remember: The idea is to make as few changes as possible to get the result you want. You can do this!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

A Quick LPGA Reminder

Don't forget that the ShopRite LPGA Classic starts TODAY, with defending champion Lexi Thompson leading the pack.

Defending champion Lexi Thompson

The ShopRite is usually a three-round event but, as with most things in this pandemic-wracked year, there's been a change. The event has been expanded to a full four-round event, and that means GC's live coverage starts today at 1pm ET, filling the time between the Scottish Open and the Sanderson Farms events. If you're an LPGA fan, don't forget to tune in!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

How Different Will the Scottish Open Be?

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open has been rescheduled this year, from July (the week before THE OPEN) to this week in September. I can't help but wonder how different it will be.

Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger

North Berwick, Scotland usually provides some wet and slightly chilly weather for the event. We're all used to that. But I've been looking at the forecast for this week and I'm seeing temperatures predicted in the mid to low 50s F (11-13° C)  -- roughly ten to twelve degrees F lower than July.

And they're still expecting the rain. This is definitely sounding like links weather!

Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger will be there, of course, and the highest ranking player in the field will be Tommy Fleetwood, who currently sits 17 in the OWGR. There are a fair number of highly ranked players teeing it up this week so we should see a good competition regardless of the weather.

Personally, I'm interested to see how Lee Westwood fares. The field won't be used to seeing the Renaissance Club course this way and, with his experience, he could have a distinct advantage. He could really improve his position in the Race to Dubai, where he currently sits 4th.

GC's live coverage begins Thursday morning at 6:30am ET and lasts for six hours. SIX HOURS, folks! This is the first of the Rolex Series events to be played since the restart, and what a great event to get things going again!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Twofer Tuesday: Sanderson Farms

Twofer Tuesday takes a lunch break and stops at the Sanderson Farms Championship for some fried chicken.

Defending champion Sebastián Muñoz

The Country Club of Jackson isn't a particularly hard layout, a par-72 that plays 7462 yards with a winning score that has always been under par. But since nearly half the field -- 64 of the 144 -- has never won before, that makes this an excellent opportunity for someone to get their first PGA Tour win and card.

The defending champion, Sebastián Muñoz, was in exactly the same position last year. It's hard to go wrong betting on a first timer this week... so that's what I'm going to do.

  • My first pick is Will Zalatoris. Yes, I picked him last week and he didn't let me down, so I'm going to bet on him again. But I have an even better reason to do so. Will nearly has enough points to get his Special Temporary Membership; pgatour.com says he only needs a two-way tie for fifth. I think that will spur him on this week.
  • My other pick is Doc Redman. Very different logic on Doc though -- he has two T3s in his last three starts, one at Wyndham and one at Safeway. Inbetween he had a MC at the Northern Trust. But here's the deal: Unlike many other players, the first T3 came after a so-so week at the US Open while that second T3 came after a couple of weeks off. Hopefully that means he won't have picked up any rust. With a little luck he might get me another Top10.

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 4pm ET. Given the easier course layout and the (let's admit it) weaker field, this week is the closest thing to a breather that players will get until probably late November. Let's see who's the most opportunistic amongst the players!

Monday, September 28, 2020

The Limerick Summary: 2020 Corales Puntacana R&C Championship

Winner: Hudson Swafford

Around the wider world of golf: This was a week for twofers! John Catlin got his second ET win in three weeks at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open; Jared Wolfe got his second Korn Ferry Tour win of the season at the Wichita Open; Carson Young got his second pro win of the season -- but first PGA TOUR Latinoamérica -- at the Jacksonville Championship; and Laura Wearn got her third career Symetra Tour win at the IOA Golf Classic. And IceCat let me know that Song Yi Ahn won her second career KLPGA title at the Fantom Classic while Chang Woo Lee picked up his first KPGA win at the Hyundai Maritime KJ Choi Invitational.

Hudson Swafford with CPR&C trophy

My Twofer Tuesday picks had a few surprises for me. I had Will Zalatoris (T8) and Thomas Detry (T33). Early on it looked as if Thomas might give me a Top10 while Will barely made the cut, but then Thomas faded on the weekend while Will made a charge. I'll happily take whatever I can get!

  • Top10s: 22 for 52 (9 Top5, 13 other Top10s)
  • Winners: 2 for 26 events
The Corales leaderboard was filled with two types of players -- those seeking their first wins and those coming back on medical extensions. And to be honest, it was hard to tell who was having the harder time. No one could build a lead and hold it for long.

But Hudson Swafford, who had only two events left on his Major Medical, seemed to get it together best. He built a three-stroke lead that looked untouchable until he hit the back nine on Sunday. Poor pitches on 12 and 13 -- the latter of which was a double bogey -- and another bogey on 15 wiped away his cushion.

But that double? It was Swafford's only double of the week. And that bogey was one of only five for the entire week. Twenty-one birdies (which included the winning birdie on 17) and two eagles (tied for most during the week) were just too much for the rest of the field to overcome.

It was Swafford's second PGA Tour win, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Not just because his Major Medical was running out but because this time the Corales was a full-fledged FedExCup event, giving him all the perks that go with a regular win.

Including a trip to the Masters next April. The new dad has a lot to look forward to!

In the meantime, Hudson picks up a shiny new Limerick Summary to remind him that he's back in the winner's circle again. Congrats, man!

While most folks relaxed on the beach,
The field found themselves under siege.
By the end of the day
Hudson’s scoring display
Grabbed a vict’ry once out of his reach.

The photo came from the tournament page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

How Your Dominant Hand Squares Your Clubface (Video)

Unless you're someone like Phil Mickelson who swings with his dominant hand as his lead hand -- that is, he's a righthander who swings lefthanded -- you probably have trouble squaring the clubface because you use your trail (dominant) hand and arm incorrectly. This drill from Chris Ryan will help you fix that problem.


You may need to watch this video several times before you understand what Chris is saying. The simplest explanation is that your trail elbow needs to be bent when you hit the ball BUT what you're actually doing right now is straightening it before you ever hit the ball. Another way to describe this move is that your trail elbow leads your trail hand into the impact zone.

Yeah, it sounds weird. But that's the way you throw a ball at hip level, what we sometimes call a 'sidearm' throw. And that's the motion that Chris is trying to teach you with this drill.

For most of you, this is going to take a little work to learn how it feels when you hit the ball. Let me add a couple of thoughts.

  • This drill works very well when used with the L-to-L drill. (I know, I say that about almost every drill. But it's true because the L-to-L drill is a basic move in a powerful, accurate golf swing.) When you start hitting balls using this move, incorporate this 'leading elbow' move into the L-to-L drill. You'll be very happy with the results.
  • And while Chris wants you to throw the ball at the ground during this drill, you may find it makes more sense for you to also try throwing the ball toward a target in front of you, the same way you'd try to hit the ball toward a target with a club. This has the added advantage of teaching you how to place your trail hand on the club's grip in order to know you've squared the clubface. And once you can do that, it's a simple matter to learn how to open or close the face a bit to hit a fade or draw.

No matter what your golf swing looks like now, you can always learn how to aim the clubface with that swing. And once you can do that, your score will start to drop because the ball will end up where you wanted to play from -- which, if you want it in the fairway, will be a lot better place to play from than the rough!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Mike Sullivan on Playing from Bermuda Rough (Video)

Mike Sullivan runs a golf school in Raleigh NC, a couple of hours from where I live. Here are his tips on how to play from Bermuda rough, both near the green and beside the fairway.


Beside the green probably didn't throw you at all. If the ball's on top of the grass, great -- you can just chip it. But when the ball has sunk down into the heavy stuff, it's all about the bunker shot -- hit behind the ball and let the grass lift the ball out.

But out in the rough beside the fairway is a bit trickier. Mike says if the ball is less than halfway down in the rough, you're likely to get a flier. But if it's deeper, you're likely to lose distance so you should take a longer club and make more of a controlled swing in order to make better contact.

The coolest tip from this is his warning that, when you try to swing hard out of deep rough -- which is when you really need to hit close to the ball in order to make decent contact -- you're more likely to hit the ball fat and flub the shot. This is a mistake you often see, even from the pros. Don't make the same mistake!

In my opinion, the tips for around the green are pretty much no-brainers. But when you're out there in the rough after a poor drive, I think these tips might not be the whole story -- the condition of the rough has to be considered as well, since thin dry rough behaves a bit differently from thick juicy rough. Keep that in mind.

Still, these tips are a really good place to start when you're standing over an almost invisible lie in Bermuda rough and trying to choose a club.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Cindy Miller on Stopping Your Slice (Video)

Some of you may have heard of this drill, but it's something you can use on the course as well. In this video LPGA pro Cindy Miller shows you how to fight off a slice.


Slices are caused by leaving the clubface open at impact. You all know that, I'm not telling you anything new.

As you can see, in this drill basically all you're doing is closing your stance. But this is an extremely closed position because you're trying to give your hands more time to square the clubface.

The trick to this drill is WHY you're leaving the clubface open, which means this may actually be overkill for some of you and will cause you to hit a draw or even a big hook. If that's the case, you can adjust how closed your stance is.

Many of you are moving forward too much during your downswing. I know, you've been told you need to do it but you're doing it WAY too much. This super-closed setup is going to tone down that move without you really having to think about it.

Note also that Cindy hasn't changed her ball position at all. It's still just inside her lead heel. However, she has closed her stance so much that the toes on her lead foot actually point a little bit behind the ball. That forces your body to slow down its turn just enough for your hands to catch up and square the clubface.

This is going to feel weird, I know. But that's because you aren't used to using your hands properly during your downswing. That's really what this drill teaches you, much like the L-to-L drill I write about so often. (That's the link to the most recent post I did about it.) But Cindy's drill goes straight to the full swing while the L-to-L drill starts with your short game.

Once you get the hang of squaring the clubface you won't need this drill anymore. But it's a nice thing to have in your arsenal. After all, sometimes you just HAVE to draw the ball...

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Paul McGinley on Strategy (Video)

No commentary today, just a Golf Monthly video with Paul McGinley playing three holes with an 18-handicapper to teach him some basics on scoring. Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Irish Eyes Are Still Smiling...

Because the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is going to be played despite the pandemic. This is a Rolex Series event, so it's a big deal for it to be played -- even if it is four months later than usual.

Defending champion Jon Rahm

Like so many events in this odd year, the Irish Open had to change venue in order to be played this year. The new venue -- for this year only -- is Galgorm Castle Golf Club, a course regularly featured on the Challenge Tour so many of the players will likely be familiar with it.

There is one downer for the Irish fans: Defending champion Jon Rahm won't be there. (Rahm has actually won this event twice, in 2017 and 2019.) I'm guessing the one-two punch of the pandemic and Winged Foot just made the trip too demanding for him.

But that didn't stop Shane Lowry, who is making his first ET start since the restart. Lowry won this event as an amateur back in 2009 and he'll be heading up the field this year. I can't help but feel that, regardless of how tough the weather might be, this event will still be a relief after the grind of Winged Foot. I'm sure his presence will ease any disappointment the Irish fans might feel over Rahm's absence!

Also in the field -- and my favorite to win this week -- is George Coetzee, the South African player who won Sunshine Tour and ET events back-to-back earlier this month, as well as posting a T3 in Portugal last week. It's hard to bet against a run when a good player like Coetzee is having it!

GC is covering this event starting at 8am ET Thursday morning. We'll be getting a five-hour window to watch it, and what could be better than spending a few pleasant hours viewing the Northern Ireland countryside?

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Twofer Tuesday: Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

After a stressful week trying to keep up with DeChambeau's drives, Twofer Tuesday opts for the laidback shores of the Dominican Republic and the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.

Defending champion Graeme McDowell

The CPRCC has moved from the Korn Ferry Tour to an alternate field event to (this playing only) a fullblown FedExCup event offering 500 points. Defending champion Graeme McDowell would certainly love to repeat this time! And if he does so, he'll be the first player to successfully defend his title.

Unlike most of the events since the restart, the CPRCC field isn't stacked to the gills with top players. The highest-ranked player in the field is Henrik Stenson (OWGR #43), who is making his debut at this event. That means the event is more wide open for someone to break through for their first win this year or perhaps even the first of their career.

That doesn't mean this is a weak field. A quick look at the field list shows a number of solid players coming off a missed trip to East Lake as well as several players on major medical extensions. Even the sponsor exemptions strike me as reasonable bets to win.

All of which means this is going to be one of the hardest weeks to me to pick so far this season.

  • Will Zalatoris is coming off a T6 at Winged Foot, meaning he made it into this event on his own and doesn't need to use the sponsor's invite he originally had. Although he is the #4 pick on pgatour.com's Power Rankings, that's not why I picked him. I figure if you can shoot +5 at Winged Foot in those conditions, Corales Puntacana should be a breeze!
  • My other pick is Thomas Detry.The young Belgian hasn't won on the ET yet but he had a runner-up at the Celtic Classic and was only +6 for three rounds at the US Open before shooting 81 in the final round to finish T49. Still, that's a great finish in Wales and a decent showing on the toughest US Open course in the rotation. I think the Dominican Republic will be good for him.

GC's coverage starts Thursday at 3pm ET. Even with a stiff breeze, the Corales Puntacana course should be a good place for players to get their groove back... and great scenery for us fans to watch.

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Limerick Summary: 2020 US Open

Winner: Bryson DeChambeau

Around the wider world of golf: Jim Furyk went two-for-two by winning the Pure Insurance Championship, his second start on the Champions Tour; Georgia Hall got her second LPGA win at the Cambria Portland Classic; Garrick Higgo won his first ET victory at the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos; Julia Engstrom won her second LET title of this season at the Lacoste Ladies Open De France; and Ayaka Furue won the Descente Ladies Tokai Classic on the JLPGA (thanks, IC!).

Surprise winner Bryson DeChambeau with his US Open bling

My Twofer Tuesday picks, like so many other people's picks at Winged Foot, struggled with the course. But I had Dustin Johnson (T6) and Webb Simpson (T8) and both got me Top10s, so I'm satisfied.

  • Top10s: 21 for 50 (9 Top5, 12 other Top10s)
  • Winners: 2 for 25 events
Yes, I can freely admit that Bryson DeChambeau was a surprise winner. It's not that I didn't think Bryson was good enough to win -- he's pretty accurate with the driver when he's on and he's strong enough to dig the ball out of the rough. But it was his well-publicized plan to break Winged Foot with long drives that seemed unbelievable.

And once again the Mad Scientist proved that he's not so mad after all... plus he proved that the 'Mad Scientist' moniker seriously shortchanges his depth as a player.

He was the only player to shoot under par in the final round (-3) and he was the only player to finish the tournament under par (-6). And along the way he demonstrated an amazing array of imaginative shots, feel shots, skill shots and just plain mind-blowing shots. And he did it without ever losing his focus or cursing his luck.

Along the way he showed everybody that there's more than one way to play this game -- a belief that seems to take hold of this sport (and life in general) every time somebody does something new in a dominant way.

I suspect we're going to hear a lot of debate about whether Bryson's win this past week is good or bad for the game. I'll just make a couple of observations about what may happen going forward:

  • In the "How Can We 'Bryson-proof' Our Courses?" department: Despite having learned that 'Tiger-proofing' just made courses better suited for Tiger because he, better than anyone else, adapted to the extra length, my guess is that the powers-that-be will at least consider graduated rough -- that is, the rough will get longer as it gets closer to the green. It won't work because Bryson is so strong, but I won't be surprised if it gets suggested.
  • And in the "What Will Bryson Do Next?" department: Bryson was pretty vocal about his intent to try a 48-inch driver. Brandel Chamblee suggested that Bryson might try using it to draw the ball around the doglegs at Augusta... but I think he's not thinking enough like Bryson. Given that Bryson hits the ball higher than anybody else, if he can get control of a 48-inch driver in time for the Masters, I think we'll see him (in a practice round at least) try taking the ball OVER the trees on 13 to drive the green. If he's successful, just imagine the scene if Bryson gives himself a putt for an albatross every round...!

In the meantime, I hope Bryson just takes a couple of days off to enjoy this massive victory... and maybe read his first major Limerick Summary. Well played, Dr. DeChambeau, well played!

They told him it couldn’t be done
But now that the trophy’s been won
DeChambeau is king
‘Cause this whole science thing
And its test results say he’s The One.

The photo came from the tournament page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Can a Big Bertha B21 Really Straighten Your Drives? (Video)

Callaway claims their Big Bertha B21 driver will straighten your drives without changing your swing. Will it? Rick Shiels decided to test the claim by bringing in a 21-handicapper with a big slice. Did it work? Watch and see...


I have often written that good teaching should have immediate results. Rick gave this player a 10-minute lesson -- with the lad's own driver after the B21 didn't fix his ball flight -- and gave him a swing that, with a little practice, will get the job done.

Here's how Rick defines the problem:

  • Grip is too weak, which leaves the clubface open at impact
  • Setup is aimed too far left (for a rightie), which causes a steep approach on the downswing and cuts across the ball

What did Rick change?

  • Closed his setup slightly (aimed his shoulders and hips a bit more to the right) and tilted his spine just slightly away from the ball
  • Strengthened his grip, which means he made it a bit more neutral

Note that Rick didn't make big changes, just made some small corrections to his setup. And in ten minutes, this player started hitting the ball straighter.

Here's my point. New equipment may help you a little but you can't buy a good game. Fortunately, the basics of hitting decent shots aren't all that complicated.

I'm not telling you not to buy new equipment. I just want you to have realistic expectations when you do.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Mike Malaska on Shallowing Your Downswing Plane (Video)

Let me say upfront that I have no decisive opinion about this topic. Some players use a two-plane swing and shallow their downswing plane, while others use a single-plane swing and don't shallow out at all. Whether you shallow your downswing plane or not depends on which swing you use, and I believe you should use the swing that suits you best.

Having said that, some ways of shallowing your downswing plane are easier than others. Malaska does a good job of explaining the two common ways that this move is taught and the effect each has on the consistency of your swing.


One useful thing about this video is that Malaska does point out certain things that specific players do when they swing (Sergio and DJ are two that I remember). If you are trying to pattern your swing after them, this is good information to have.

Hopefully this will help those of you struggling with this aspect of your swing.

Friday, September 18, 2020

An Arnold Palmer Golf Tip (Video)

Tom Saguto is a wild man, folks. You can see that clearly in this video. But the tip from Arnold Palmer he found in an old Golf Digest is a good tip, although I think his version is a bit... stiff. I'll suggest how to 'loosen up' after the video, but watch him spaz out first. It's entertaining as well as informative!


This tip -- pointing your lead shoulder at the ball when you reach the top of your swing -- makes sense to me. I think it's a very easy move to make if you straighten your back leg during your backswing as Arnie did. I've done a couple of posts about Arnie's straight leg before:

But Tom's approach seems destined to create an overly flat swing plane which will make getting the ball out of the rough overly difficult. So let me make a trio of suggestions that will give you a more relaxed swing that's a bit more like Arnie's or Jack's swings.

  • First, connecting your upper arms to the sides of your rib cage is a sound principle up to a point. But your trail elbow HAS to move away on the backswing or you're going to restrict your swing and create that overly flat plane. The pros have frequently used a drill where they hold a glove under their lead armpit to keep that arm connected through impact. That's enough connection in your swing.
  • Second, you don't need to keep your arms ramrod straight. In fact, as you may have noticed, your trail elbow HAS to bend by the time you're at waist high on your backswing. As for your lead arm, it's okay for it to flex a bit as long as it doesn't start making an angle at your lead elbow. The pros refer to this as a 'soft' arm.
  • Finally, you don't have to keep your weight on your lead leg during your entire swing ALTHOUGH keeping your trail knee straight will help keep you from swaying off the ball. The idea of keeping your weight on your lead leg during your whole swing is basic to the Stack and Tilt swing, and it's not a bad thing. It will help you to hit crisper iron shots because it's what you do in your short game. But Arnie, Jack and most of the other players who use the straight trailing knee allow their lead heel to come off the ground, and you can't do that if you're too rigid in your efforts to keep your weight on your lead leg.

What Tom says in this video is all basically sound stuff, folks, and a lot of you will find that pointing your lead shoulder at the ball while keeping your trail knee straight (but not locked ramrod straight) will indeed help to stabilize you over the ball and should help improve your impact. Just don't get too stiff about it, okay? You don't want to hurt yourself!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Just a Reminder: US Open TV Coverage

US Open coverage begins EARLY this morning and continues all day long... as long as you go to the correct channels.

Winged Foot US Open promo photo

Thursday's TV coverage is all over the place. Make sure you know where to go and when!

  • GC starts it off from 7:30am-2pm ET.
  • Then NBC picks it up from 2pm-5pm ET.
  • Finally, the Peacock app covers the last shift from 5pm-7pm ET (and presumably until finished if they're still playing at 7pm.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

This Week's LPGA Event Gets Shortened

The continuing story of 2020 troubles strikes again. The wildfires in the Pacific Northwest of the US have caused the LPGA to shorten this week's event to 54 holes.

Cambia Portland Classic photo

According to the report at lpga.com, the course at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland OR was still closed on Tuesday, the press conferences were cancelled and the Wednesday pro-am has been cancelled as well. Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA’s Chief Tour Operations Officer, says their meteorologist doesn't expect air quality to improve before midday on Thursday so the Tour won't risk exposing anybody involved with the event to yet another health problem.

The current plan is for a three-round event this weekend, Friday-Sunday. GC's coverage will be tape-delayed, starting Friday night at 9pm ET.

2020 will definitely go down in history as a bummer of a year. This is just one more thing to add to the list.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Twofer Tuesday: US Open

Twofer Tuesday takes compass in hand and enters the high rough at the US Open.

Defending champ Gary Woodland

The US Open site rotates from year to year, with defending champion Gary Woodland having won his at Pebble Beach in 2019.

In case you somehow missed it, the 2020 US Open returns to Winged Foot Golf Club, site of numerous "Winged Foot Massacres" over the years -- the most recent back in 2006. And the delay from summer to fall hasn't made the course any more forgiving.

This year Winged Foot will measure 7477 yards and play to a par of 70. The fairways will be obscenely narrow, the rough obscenely high (as much as five inches) and the heavily contoured greens will run at a stimp of 13.

Simply put, the A.W. Tillinghast course -- and its Gil Hanse-restored greens -- is going to be a bear once again.

While I, like many fans, would love to see Phil Mickelson finally make things right and complete his Career Slam, I haven't picked him as a Twofer Tuesday pick. Don't take that to mean I don't think he can't win; quite the contrary. Mickelson's scrambling abilities should allow him to make a serious run -- as long as he's on his game. But the same can be said of just about any player in the field, and a course this tough could give us a truly unexpected winner.

But this week I've made my choices with two different outcomes in mind...

  • Should Winged Foot somehow show mercy to the field and allow a winning score that's under par, I like Dustin Johnson. Ironically this isn't because DJ has been in such great form lately, although I'd be a fool not to consider that in my pick. Rather, it's because of his strength. While I expect DJ to play a fairly conservative game and just try to outlast the field, there are few players who can dig a wayward shot from the rough as well as he can. If he can scramble and putt well this week, it's hard to bet against him.
  • But should we see the expected massacre with the winner finishing over par, I think Webb Simpson is one to watch. Despite the length of the course, a high winning score negates some of the need for length. I admit that I'm a bit concerned over Webb's lackluster performance in the TOUR Championship after taking a week off, especially since he's coming off yet another one-week break. But I'm banking on him having put his game back in order; he knows this is one of the best shots at a second major he's had in years.

I realize that DJ and Webb have repeatedly been my picks (when available) over the last few weeks but with all these big events crammed so close together, I simply have to go with proven form. Otherwise I'm just shooting in the dark because, as I said, a track this tough doesn't favor any single player over the rest.

Thursday's TV coverage is all over the place. GC starts it off from 7:30am-2pm ET. Then NBC picks it up from 2pm-5pm ET. And finally (clearly anxious to get subscribers for their new app) Peacock covers the last shift from 5pm-7pm ET (and presumably until finished if they're still playing at 7pm.)

I'm very interested to see how this September US Open plays out. Less daylight and different weather, combined with the lack of fans, is going to make this US Open unlike anything we've seen before.

Monday, September 14, 2020

The Limerick Summary: 2020 Safeway Open

Winner: Stewart Cink

Around the wider world of golf: Mirim Lee put on a short game clinic to win the ANA Inspiration on the LPGA; Curtis Thompson (Lexi's brother) won the Evans Scholars Invitational on the Korn Ferry Tour; Miguel Angel Jiménez won the Sanford International on the Champions Tour; George Coetzee won the Portugal Masters on the ET; Laurent Desmarchais won the Canada Life Series Championship at TPC Toronto on the MacKenzie Tour; and Amy Boulden won the VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open on the LET.

Stewart Cink with Safeway trophy and son/caddie Reagan

So much for my Twofer Tuesday picks. I had Brendan Steele (T29) and Si Woo Kim (T44), and neither played as well as I had hoped. Oh well, another week, another missed opportunity...

  • Top10s: 19 for 48 (9 Top5, 10 other Top10s)
  • Winners: 2 for 24 events
But I don't suppose I could have picked this week's winner anyway -- and even the Top10 on the leaderboard was a bit of a surprise, don't you think? But boy, did we have some good stories play out!

Stewart Cink's last win was the 2009 OPEN which, you may remember, is probably best known for the player he beat -- a guy named Tom Watson. It was Stewart who stole the 59-year-old legend's chance to rewrite the history books.

But it was also the last win Stewart had... and with good reason. The years since have seen Stewart deal with all sorts of personal troubles, like his wife's battle with cancer and medical problems of his own. Many have been quietly impressed by Stewart's ability to continue playing golf while being the primary caregiver for Lisa as she fought her way back.

This week, his son Reagan -- who I believe was only 12 when his dad last won -- was on the bag for the fourth time, and Stewart made no secret of how valuable Reagan's advice and support on the course were. Armed with new Ping equipment, his son on the bag and his wife following them on the course, Stewart snagged his first PGA Tour victory in 11 years while authoring one of the best stories of 2020 so far, as well as a great story to start the 2020-2021 'super season' of 50 events.

And yes, I'm excited to give Stewart his first ever Limerick Summary. You see, Stewart won THE OPEN in July 2009 but I didn't start this blog until August 2009... and the first Limerick Summary appeared on September 4th that year. Welcome to the club, Stew!

Though quiet since breaking Tom’s heart,
Perhaps this is Stewart’s fresh start.
The woes of the past
May be over at last
And his focus returned to his art.

The photo came from the tournament page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Ten Tantrums (Video)

Let's just have some fun today. Mike Cantalupo, host of the TPS YouTube channel (that stands for Total Pro Sports) and a golfer himself, made this video which he simply calls Ten Hilarious PGA Golfer Temper Tantrums. Some you'll remember but some may be new to you. Enjoy!


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Rick Shiels's Indispensible Short Game Shot (Video)

Rick Shiels posted this short video about a shot I have championed for years on this blog. He explains why you need it and -- best of all -- how to do it properly, all in less than three minutes.


I agree with Rick that, while you can use a 9-iron for this shot (and on occasion, a 7-iron or even a pitching wedge will do the job), the 8-iron is most often the best choice for the very reasons he gives. The "sweep stroke" gives you a tremendous amount of control while 8-iron loft is a good balance between getting the ball up in the air without putting a lot of backspin on it.

Let me add one other thing which Rick doesn't mention. If you look carefully you'll notice that the balls are sitting down very slightly in the rough. As long as the ball has settled less than a third of the way down into the grass -- which means it's mostly sitting on top of the rough -- there's a great chance this shot will give you great results. (Hey, every shot has its limitations!)

If you don't already know and use this stroke, do yourself a favor and learn it. It's amazing how easy it is to learn and use.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Nelly Korda's Power Drive

A little over a year ago Nelly Korda did an article for Golf Digest called Nelly Korda Shares the Three Drives You Need to Know How to Hit. I know, it's a long title but it's a good read. I'm going to focus on the first one, her power drive.

Nelly Korda shows her power position

The photo above shows the basic position at the top. (She doesn't talk about the fact that her lead hand isn't on the club in this photo, so I guess she's just giving you an idea of how her shoulders have turned.) Here's how she describes her keys.

To pick up some extra yardage with your driver, you don't have to swing harder than usual. Instead, address the ball with more weight on your back foot, about 70 percent (above). It creates a more solid base, so you can maintain balance and increase the chance of hitting the ball in the sweet spot. This stance also will help you catch the ball on the upswing provided you play it far enough forward. If you hit up on the ball, you'll launch your drives higher with less backspin, and that creates more distance. I like the visual of the ball being at least somewhere near my left heel. It promotes good extension for longer drives and makes me feel like I can really smash it.

Note that Nelly isn't moving backward, away from the ball, when she starts her takeaway as some people would tell you to do. Rather, she says her address position BEGINS with about 70% of her weight on her trail leg. That positions her upper body behind the ball and allows her to make her turn without moving off the ball at all, which is why she says it helps you increase the chance of hitting the ball in the sweet spot.

This address position also puts the ball farther forward in your stance. It's not really closer to your lead foot than normal, it's just farther ahead relative to your upper body.

The result of this -- weight back plus ball position -- is that you don't have to swing harder. Instead, the address position creates the proper launch angle to create more distance with less backspin.

Again, you can read about her other two drives in that Golf Digest article. But this one seems like a simple way to get a bit more distance off the tee.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Ladies' Next Major Starts Today

The ANA Inspiration starts today despite the fires and hot weather... but without its defending champion.

Defending champion Jin Young Ko

Jin Young Ko hasn't played any LPGA events in 2020, choosing instead to play a few KLPGA events while she stays home in Korea. So this week will see a new champion.

That won't stop a lot of the top players from showing up. Sung Hyun Park is making her 2020 debut on the LPGA and, counting her, that's eight of the Rolex Top10 who will tee it up this week.

And the course they'll see is different from what they're used to. They'll play Bermuda grass instead of a rye overseed and the weather is expected to hit 108°F by Sunday, meaning this course will be hard and fast. It also means the ladies will be tested like they are rarely tested at a tournament.

GC is giving us live coverage twice today -- the first at 12-4pm ET, the second at 7-9pm ET. Should be an interesting week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

NOT Twofer Tuesday: Safeway Open

There's no rest for Twofer Tuesday as we move right along from the TOUR Championship to the next event, the Safeway Open.

Defending champions Cameron Champ

The "Super Season" of 2020-2021, with its six majors plus THE PLAYERS, gets underway without delay at the Silverado Resort and Spa North in Napa CA. This is a place that the pros seem to enjoy, a place to relax in the Napa Valley. Granted, the pandemic has put a damper on most of the recreation in the area... but with temperatures expected to be in the low 70s all week, they'll enjoy themselves much more than the LPGA players will at Rancho Mirage and the ANA Inspiration.

Defending champion Cameron Champ will lead a reasonably strong field this week. Many of the big names -- Phil Mickelson excepted -- will be at Winged Foot prepping for the US Open. As for the rest of the field, I need to figure out who can give me some more Top10s. Dustin Johnson has spoiled me over the last few events!

  • My first pick is Brendan Steele.While he hasn't been playing his best since the restart and he didn't play so well at this event last year (although he has won this event twice before), he has shown some form at the recent events with less demanding setups. I can't help but think he could make a good show since the biggest names aren't here.
  • My other pick is Si Woo Kim. Another player who has struggled since the restart, he seemed to be finding some form before the Playoffs with a T13 at the PGA and a T3 at Wyndham. At only 7166 yards and a par of 72, this is the kind of course that could get him back on track.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 4pm ET. Quite a few of these players will have Winged Foot on their minds, and it will be interesting to see how they balance their anticipation with the need to play well this week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Limerick Summary: 2020 TOUR Championship

Winner: Dustin Johnson

Around the wider world of golf: Brett Drewitt won the Lincoln Land Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour; Albert Pistorius won the Canada Life Series at TPC Toronto: Heathlands Course on the MacKenzie Tour; Cooper Musselman won The Invitational at Auburn University Club on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica; John Catlin won the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters on the ET; Kim Kaufman won the Four Winds Invitational on the Symetra Tour; George Coetzee won the Titleist Championship on the Sunshine Tour; Sakura Koiwai won the Golf 5 Ladies Tournament on the JLPGA; and Rikuya Hoshina won the Fujisanki Classic on the Japan Golf Tour (thanks, IC!)

Dustin Johnson with the FedExCup trophy

My Twofer Tuesday picks weren't bad! I had Dustin Johnson (1) and Webb Simpson (T12). Webb came back a little flat after his week off but Dustin handed me another Top5. In fact, I now have two wins in 2020... and DJ is responsible for them both.

  • Top10s: 19 for 46 (9 Top5, 10 other Top10s)
  • Winners: 2 for 23 events

There's not much I can add to what's already been said about DJ's win. In fact, he said he wanted to add the FedExCup to his resume before the end of his career but he ended up adding much more than that.

He now has six Playoff wins, more than anybody. Even more than Tiger.

The TOUR Championship is his 23rd PGA Tour win, meaning there are only 26 players in the history of the game with more wins than him. And we know he's probably not finished yet.

Granted, he only has one major -- the 2016 US Open -- but it's likely he'll get plenty of major chances going forward. He can double this number if he just holds form for another couple of weeks.

I wonder if Brooks sat at home, watching this play out and saying to himself, "Why oh why did I have to say all that stuff to the media...?"

But today my main concern is adding to his Limerick Summary count, so here goes:

His resume keeps wanting more
So DJ posts score after score,
One event at a time,
Just to add one more line—
Now a FedExCup adds to his lore.

The photo came from the tournament page at pgatour.com.