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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Few Unrelated Thoughts

I had several things I wanted to mention today, but they're not related beyond all being about golf. So here, in no specific order, are some of the things buzzing around my skull...

Martin Hall talked about putting on Tuesday night's episode of School of Golf. He talked about several of the things I've talked about as well:
  • a square clubface is the most important aspect of putting
  • the clubface position has 5 times more effect on the ball than the club swing path
  • a good swing tempo has a backswing 3 times longer than the downswing (he even used my "one-thousand-one" count... although he didn't accent the "thou-" like I do, Court ;-)
  • he even said one putting style isn't better than another!
Yeah, I'm feeling pretty smug right now...

Lexi Thompson beat the men in a mini-tour event on the Minor League Golf Tour Monday. It was on her home course, the TPC at Eagle Trace, and she shot a 4-under 68. She then went into a two-hole playoff which she won, thank you very much. She only won $1100 but she's also only 16 years old, which I figure gives her some serious bragging rights. You can read the Golf Digest write-up here, and there's also a link there to a swing sequence of Lexi.

I keep telling everybody that if they don't keep up with the ladies' game, they're missing some good stuff. Guess I'm right again...

And finally, I've been listening to some interesting debates about the Accenture Match Play which begins today. I have no idea who will have the best chance of winning the thing, but theoretically the Top 4 in the world could end up facing each other in the semifinals.

In case you didn't know, theoretically is a big word that means "highly unlikely." So the actual question being debated is "Which one of the Top 4 will go deepest into the tournament?"

I choose -- and apparently I'm in the minority -- Lee Westwood. I know he doesn't have a great record here (ok... it stinks; I don't think he's ever been past the second round), but I believe being #1 will make a difference this time. So Lee's my pick to last the longest of the Top 4.

And that's some of the stuff that's been bouncing around inside my head today. (I've been considering the galactic significance of dark chocolate as well, but that subject's much too deep for a short blog post...)


  1. psst - keep your wallet in your pocket on that Westwood bet. He hasn't been playing much or well while recovering from his leg injury. Having your name in the top spot of a piece of paper ranking doesn't improve your game.

    It IS kind of strange having four guys in the top seed spots who aren't playing well at all coming in. Mickelson is the closest to what might be called "on form" - but his putter just hasn't been working very well.

    Tell the whole story on Lexi's win. She played less of the course than the men, and this "tour" is more of a "for fun" series of tournaments for local pros looking to make some extra cash than it is a tour of guys trying to make a living playing tournament golf. They are one and two round tournaments. Good players and a good win - but don't make too much out of it. She's doing this to stay sharp for her LPGA starts later in the year - and you have to like that about her. (can Lexi buy a round for the guys with her winnings ?) :-D Michelle Wie only played the men when she got invited to play with tournament pros on big tours - not to stay sharp and practice her skills.

    I just can't get into the Martin Hall show. I like the guy, but it just sounds too much like Sesame Street or Dr Seuss with all the cute little signs and catch phrases. Just personal preference.

    and NOBODY emphasizes the "thou" part - you'd make a terrible orchestra conductor with that system. :-D

    Did you see the Hank Haney Project ? He finally has a student who listens during the lesson and doesn't have seizures during the downswing. People might not like Limbaugh and his radio show - but he has a lot of enthusiasm for golf and really wants to learn. Now THERE'S a lesson to take home.

  2. Of course Lexi's not the only woman to play a mini-tour event to sharpen her game -- Lincicome did it earlier this year -- but winning against the men is still a big deal, especially at 16. Yeah, that's worth some kudos.

    I think "Rushbo" has probably surprised a lot of people. Haney's remark that he's a really good listener probably caught people by surprise... but THP has been nothing but surprises, has it?

    For all the grief he gets, the fact that Limbaugh is willing to look like a fool on national TV in order to improve says a lot about the man. That really IS a good lesson for everybody watching.

    And if an incorrect syllabic stress makes me swing better -- which it does -- I'll sound like a fool every time. ;-)

  3. I think you need to do a video of your swing so we can hear you counting. :-)

    Yeah - that line from Haney about Rush being a good listener probably rattled a few people - but Rush has been saying that since day one. When he goes into a room of people, he's there to listen. He said that he assumes that everybody on the golf course knows more than he does. He said that we should listen to good teachers.

    This series has changed my mind about Haney. The first two seasons, they barely showed him teaching anything. I still think he was wrong with Barkley - and Romano barely listened to anything Haney had to say - and it showed at Pebble a few weeks ago - his swing looked horrible.

    I think we're going to see more and more of the LPGA caliber women doing things like this until they get the schedule filled in a bit more. It's impossible to stay tournament tough when you have 3 and 4 weeks between tournaments.

  4. Just for the record, I don't count out loud. ;-) And for what it's worth, I stress that syllable because that's when my hands reach the top and start changing direction, but the club is still moving back. By stressing that syllable, it slows my counting just enough for me to gather myself and start down smoothly.

    You know me... as long as it gets results in my swing, I think it's good.

    I agree about THP -- Barkley's problem is mental. He's lost the rhythm of his swing, and that's what he needs to work on. He's really got a bad case of yips, and I think it's because he wants to hit that ball soooo perfect that it paralyzes him. They say he used shoot around 80, so he knows how to swing. He just needs to learn how to make a smooth rhythmic swing again and not worry about mechanics.

    And I really questioned Hank's decision to keep Ray's loop. I think it would have been easier to get rid of it than try to reverse its direction. I had a bad loop when Carl taught me, and he got rid of it in one lesson. I'd be surprised if Hank didn't know how to do the same thing.

    When you see what Hank's done with Rush, it's easy to see why Tiger chose to work with him after he left Butch.

    As for the women... yeah, I can't see them traveling halfway around the world to play in events that get no ranking points when they can get a good challenge from the guys, most of whom they're probably friends with anyway. That's how Lincicome said she ended up playing the guys -- they were practice partners already.

  5. Now it makes even less sense. Working on the 3:1 ratio theory back to impact - emphasizing "thou" to get to the top puts you at the top on the second syllable. :-D

    When I saw the Barkley show and how Haney was handling him - my first thought was to turn him around to play left handed. Guess what he's doing these days...yep - leftie.

    Do you think anything Haney tried with Romano would have worked ? He didn't listen to much of anything Haney wanted to try.

  6. You're thinking too rigidly about the change of direction, Court. Remember how all the teachers and players talk about starting down before the club finishes going back? My hands reach the top on thou- but my club doesn't really finish going back until -sand, which is when my wrists feel like they "set" or "cock fully" or whatever you want to call it.

    I start back on the first One in the phrase One-thousand-one. How can I describe what I feel at the top? If you imagine the top of a letter "C," thou- is the rounded top of the C and -sand is the top end of the C. Then I "draw" the C with my downswing and hit the ball on the second one. Does that make more sense?

    Something would have worked with Ray. Apparently it just wasn't the something Hank tried. ;-)

  7. Ok - this weekend - you - club - camera - count....out loud ! It's just not making sense. :-D