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Monday, August 25, 2014

The Limerick Summary: 2014 The Barclays

Winner: Hunter Mahan

Around the wider world of golf: So Yeon Ryu went wire-to-wire at the LPGA's Canadian Pacific Women's Open; Scott Dunlap won the Boeing Classic on the Champions Tour; Carlos Ortiz won the WinCo Foods Portland Open and also locked up the top Tour card awarded on the Tour; David Bradshaw won the Great Waterway Classic on the PGA TOUR Canada; Jamie Donaldson won the D+D REAL Czech Masters on the ET, thus locking up a Euro Ryder Cup team spot; and Momoko Ueda won the CAT Ladies on the JLPGA (the Constructivist has details).

Hunter Mahan with wife and daughter

No doubt Tom Watson is very happy today. In all likelihood, one of his "possible choices" for the American Ryder Cup team stepped up and made a really good case for being much more than just possible.

In the process, Hunter Mahan also took over first place in the FedExCup standings from Rory McIlroy. And then, as if that wasn't enough, his wife Kandi and one-year-old daughter Zoe were waiting for him on the 18th green. (They weren't supposed to meet him until Tuesday at the Deutsche Bank.)'s Helen Ross started her wrap-up with the words, "Kandi Mahan stopped short of saying she had a premonition on Saturday night," but it's clear that Kandi knew something the rest of us didn't. (Perhaps she remembered Hunter's penchant for shooting 65 in final rounds.) At any rate, she and Zoe zipped up to New Jersey just in time for the award ceremony.

With the exceptions of Cameron Tringale, William McGirt, Morgan Hoffman, and Patrick Reed, the leaderboard was flush with experience -- Stuart Appleby, Jason Day, Ernie Els, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, and Rickie Fowler, to name a few. It turned out to be a much closer race than anyone expected.

Except for Kandi Mahan, that is.

And so this week's Limerick Summary goes to Hunter Mahan, who may have had an unconscious premonition himself. If not, he got extremely lucky. After all, it's not easy to get a one-year-old to cooperate on a long trip:
With a trip to the Ryder Cup looming
Plus that purse of 10 mil, I’m presuming
Hunter said, “Gotta win!
‘Cause if Kandi flies in
And I don’t get it done, she’ll be fuming!”
The photo comes from the Tournament Upshot page at


  1. Mike, Since I"m new to your blog, perhaps this is redundant, but could you give me your take on: 1. "Hitting vs Swinging" ( Right Arm/Side vs Big Muscle/Body Core) and 2. TGM, Lynn Blake, (Down, Out, Forward), etc., etc. I ....THINK Blake knows what he is talking about, but just like Homer Kelley, hard to decipher unless you are a Physics Professor. I'm sure that you'll note that these two topics are very difficult to get a consensus on, and most amateur golfers don't even know what I am referring to. Whenever you get the chance or point me to previously written posts. FWIW: I'm retired, play around 50 rounds per year, work as a Ranger on my home course, I'm a 14 Index from the White Tees. I live 6 miles from Bethpage Black and play that 5 course complex frequently. Hope I am not being a P.I.A. I just love your blog!! Thanks, RON

  2. Thanks again for the kind words, Ron. Let me give you the easy answer first: Although they aren't exhaustive, the "Some Useful Post Series" and "The Route 67 Posts" pages (the buttons are at the top) will link you to some of my posts that deal with fundamentals and different swing styles. "The Route 67 Posts" deal specifically with different ways of approaching the golf swing.

    My take on the golf swing is fairly simple. I believe there are lots of perfectly valid ways to hit a golf ball but some ways are simpler than others. I try to focus on fundamentals and I believe all good swings tend to agree on those fundamentals, so I feel that most of what I post here (or write in my books) can help almost anybody's swing. Obviously I won't help everybody equally, but if I can help them understand how one approach to the golf swing differs from another, that knowledge can help them more easily discover which teachers can help them and which ones won't. If I can help someone find the help they need -- whether it's my "preferred" swing method or not -- then I feel I've done my job.

    As a general rule, I think "swinging" or what you might call a more classic swing technique is a simpler method for most players. There's nothing wrong with "hitting" if that feels more natural to someone but I think it tends to cause more injuries -- especially if they try to swing really hard, which most folks do -- and most weekend players simply can't afford injuries that take them out of work.

    As for the Golf Machine, I don't have a problem with the concepts -- at least, not the ones I've heard about (I've never studied it) -- but I don't want to be thinking about mechanics when I swing a club. I'm not real familiar with Blake's teachings other than his belief that alignment is the most important thing in a golf swing, and I think I agree with him there. I would add that most players move too much during their swings, destroying the alignments they established at address and sending the ball to places they never intended.

    My "method," if you want to call it that, is to (1) focus on fundamentals and (2) simplify exaggerated movements in the golf swing that mess up your alignment. I believe you can't make a good swing if you don't start your swing properly so my key fundamental is the one-piece takeaway -- the "Dexter's Coming Over-the-Top" series (especially Part 3) on the "Some Useful Post Series" page goes into detail about it, and I include it in most of my books, simply because most people do it wrong. (A properly-done OPT is a very relaxed motion, not a stiff arm movement. I'm on a one-man crusade to correct that error!) And I believe most people change direction at the top improperly -- that's why they screw up their alignment -- so I place a lot of emphasis on doing that properly. And my third fundamental would be impact, although getting the first two fundamentals correct makes solid impact a fairly simple matter.

    In short, I just want to help weekend golfers learn a simple solid swing that they can feel easily and repeat easily. And I want them to learn to use it to post decent scores and enjoy the game.

    Hope that answers your questions. And let me add that I am incredibly jealous -- it must be wonderful to play Bethpage Black whenever you want!