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Friday, August 31, 2018

How Long Can Brooke Keep It Going?

The next FedExCup event starts today (2:30pm ET on GC). The Tour is in their second playoff event as well. And the European Tour is trying to finalize their Ryder Cup team.

But it's Brooke Henderson up at the Cambia Portland Classic who has my attention today.

Brooke Henderson

I love this photo, with her hair flying all over the place. That's probably a good metaphor for how she feels after her win last week -- everything is in motion, and she has no idea where it's going to end up! I know both she and her caddie/sister said they were worn out after Thursday's round.

And I can't help but believe she feels some pressure this week. Although a win in Portland wouldn't be as big as her win at the Women's Canadian Open last week, she has won this event two times before. A third win would tie her with Nancy Lopez, the only three-time winner of the event.

Given Brooke's aggressive mindset, I imagine she's putting some pressure on herself regardless of what she says.

For those of you who haven't already checked it out, Tony Jesselli's preview of the event is at this link. You should already be aware that defending champ Stacy Lewis isn't defending because she's on maternity leave from the tour. Again, Brooke has already won this event two times -- in 2015 (when she Monday qualified her way in) and in 2016, making her the most recent champion of the event to be playing.

Despite being tired, Brooke fired an eight-under 64 on Thursday, putting her just two strokes behind leader Marina Alex (who went just stupid low with a 62). Can she keep it up? You can find out at 6:30pm ET today, just after the PGA Tour broadcast.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ernie Els on Swinging Easy (Video)

Here's a clip of Ernie Els from this week's PGA Champions Tour Learning Center. He's talking about how to swing easy... but I don't think most people understand what that means.

Swinging easy, as Ernie says, is about swinging under control. It doesn't mean you swing slow. Rather, it just means you don't swing flat out.

This can be a hard concept to get your mind around. How do you swing fast without swinging hard?

In a word, this is where mechanics become important. I've written a lot about the L-to-L drill, and that's really the key to what Ernie is talking about here. The bulk of Ernie's swing speed is created at the last minute when his own 'L' starts to uncock about halfway in his downswing. If your wrists uncock in the top part of your downswing swing -- and there's a good chance yours do -- then it doesn't matter how hard you swing, you've already lost most of your speed above your waist.

I'm not going to belabor the point in this post, but it's important for you to understand what Ernie is saying here. If you practice that L-to-L drill to learn how what most players call a 'late release' feels, and then practice getting that same feel with a longer swing, you'll see a huge increase in clubhead speed without swinging out of your shoes.

This really is a case where how you think can affect how far you hit the ball. Learn to think about making an 'L-to-L' at impact -- using that drill will help train your mind as well as your body -- and you'll start to see more distance with less effort.

At least, it will feel as if you're using less effort. It's just that the effort will be expended at the ball and not above your waist.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Thoughts on the Rumored Changes to the FedExCup Playoffs

Everybody knows some of the changes coming to the FedExCup next season.

The FedExCup

For example, the Playoffs will finish before football season begins and the number of events will be reduced from four to three. That's part of the reason the PGA Championship was moved back to May. And these changes aren't very controversial for most fans.

But there are rumors of more changes -- none of which are more than rumors at this time -- which will likely cause a lot of debate among Player Advisory Council members, not to mention the public at large. You can read about some of the rumors in this Golf Magazine post.

There's some disagreement concerning when the regular season should end. Currently that's at the Wyndham in Greensboro NC, about a half-hour from where I live. Some folks want it to end a week earlier, at the WGC event. However, that could affect the field at Wyndham adversely, and hurting a Tour stop isn't something the Council will want to do.

I think most folks would like to see the points system changed, although the rumors that it could be eliminated completely may catch many fans off-guard. There's a suggestion that it be replaced by a staggered starting score, where the top player may begin the Tour Championship as many as ten shots under par and other players would start at varying scores beneath that; the further back you start, the more shots you have to make up in order to win.

The winner of the Tour Championship would automatically win the FedExCup, which would mean only one winner would be crowned. The prize would be greater than the current $10mil, and there would be additional payouts at the end of the regular season for the guys who lead the points list at that time.

And those might be only the tip of the iceberg, as there will certainly be more options debated before any decisions are made.

I think it's dangerous to make serious overhauls to a system that has done exactly what the PGA Tour wanted it to do when they created the FedExCup Playoffs. Some of the current ideas make sense to me:
  • I like the idea of a payout to the FedExCup point leaders at the end of the regular season. That would give the regular season added weight, as well as perhaps giving the top points getters a reason to play a bit more as the season ends.
  • I don't mind cutting the number of Playoff events to three, since many of the players only play that many now. I don't see it changing the outcome much, and it makes each event feel more important.
I'm less certain whether making the Tour Championship winner and the FedExCup winner one and the same is a good move. As it stands, if one of the Top5 wins the event, they DO win the Cup. I understand the reasoning behind the potential change -- presumably, the overall winner should always be the last man standing -- but perhaps the fans like having two winners. It does put a bit more pressure on the Top5 to play well in order to win the Cup.

But while changing the points system to something more easily grasped for the Tour Championship makes sense, I don't think trying to jigger the system is the way to go. Presumably the points will continue to be used until the final 30 players are identified, so basically we're just trying to figure out how to make the standings during the Tour Championship easier for the fans to follow.

Match play has been suggested for the final event, and there is merit in this idea. Seeding potentially gives the #1 seed the easiest route to the title, since the higher seeds play the lower seeds, who are theoretically the easiest to beat. But I think the regular approach to match play skews the odds too much in favor of certain players. Ian Poulter and Patrick Reed are two examples of players whose seeding, determined through stroke play, would be inaccurate for match play.

I'm not going to weigh in on all the different rumors in the linked article, but I do have a thought on how the Tour Championship should be handled... and there's no guesswork in how to "handicap" the field.

Once the Top30 are identified, the Top8 in FedExCup points are seeded 1-8 and they skip the first round of the Tour Championship (which will now have five rounds, as you'll see). The remaining 22 players play a single round of stroke play; eight players move on -- use a playoff if necessary to determine these eight -- and the rest of the players receive a payout, as they are done.

The eight who servive the first round are then seeded 9-16 based on their scores in the first round -- lowest score is 9, next lowest is 10, and so on. If players are tied, they simply draw numbers from a hat to determine their seeding. For example, if three players are tied for tenth, three papers marked 10, 11 and 12 are placed in a hat.

The Final16 then play one-on-one 18-hole STROKE PLAY matches to determine the winner, cutting to eight, then four, then two, and finally the winner. (You would have four top players, with "layers" of finishers after that. You guys know how match play events pay out!) This would give the event a unique format that isn't seen in any other pro event, and every shot would count. Fans would know at every stage exactly where players stood, without any attempts to create some bizarre handicapping system. All that would matter is a player's ability to score.

And in my opinion, that's how it should be.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Zach Lambeck on Controlling the Distances You Hit Your Pitches (Video)

Zach Lambeck, "the GOLFTEC Guy," did this short GC video on controlling distance with your pitches.

This isn't anything new, but it may make the concept clearer for some of you.

We often talk about developing three swings of different lengths in order to get three different "part shots" with our wedges and short clubs. But the important thing is to find a couple of distances that you can repeat easily, and learn how far you hit your clubs with each of those swings.

Zach is recommending a three-quarter swing and a half swing.
  • In his three-quarter swing, your lead arm is parallel to the ground at the top of your backswing.
  • In his half swing, your lead arm is at a 45° angle to the ground. (Zach describes this angle in terms of the shaft, but it's the same thing. The arm angle may be easier for you to remember.)
Now the three-quarter and half designations have nothing to do with the actual distance the ball flies. By that I mean that, if you hit your normal gap wedge 120 yards, the three-quarter swing probably isn't going to travel 90 yards or your half swing 60 yards. The actual label you use doesn't mean anything; in fact, you'd probably find it easier to remember that you're making a 9-o'clock swing and a 7:30 swing. You can call them whatever you want!

The idea is simply to find a couple of extra swing lengths -- lengths besides your full swing, that is -- that you can easily remember and repeat, then learn how far you hit the ball with those swings. It just happens that those two swing lengths are fairly easy to remember, simply because of where your lead arm is pointing.

There is no such thing as a perfect golf swing. If you want to score better, the goal is to find swings you can repeat and then get really good with them. Adding a couple of easily remembered partial swing lengths is a good way to add more distance control to your game.

And don't forget that you can use this concept with all of your clubs -- mid-irons, hybrids and fairway woods as well as short irons and wedges. Distance control doesn't have to be complicated, so make it as easy as you can.

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Limerick Summary: 2018 Northern Trust

Winner: Bryson DeChambeau

Around the wider world of golf: Brooke Henderson became the first Canadian since 1973 to win the LPGA's CP Women's Open; Robert Streb won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the first of the Tour Playoff events; Scott Parel got his first Champions Tour win at the Boeing Classic; Andrea Pavan got his first European Tour win at the D+D Real Czech Masters; and Daijiro Izumida won the RIZAP KBC Augusta on the Japan Golf Tour.

Bryson DeChampbeau hoists Northern Trust trophy

There won't be any more questions about Bryson DcChambeau's mental toughness. He started the final round with a four-shot lead -- not the easiest thing to do, because everybody expects you to win -- and when things started to slip (as they inevitably will), he pulled it together and finished with his four-shot lead intact.

It was an impressive show, but I doubt I need to tell you that. What needs to be talked about -- and probably will be over the next week -- is how much this affected the rest of Bryson's season.

I speak, of course, of the Ryder Cup. Bryson wanted Captain Furyk's attention, and you can be sure he got it.

With his win Sunday, DeChambeau got his second win of the season and moved to the top of the FedExCup points list. Since it's unlikely that he'll fall out of the Top5 before East Lake, that means he'll "control his own fate" at the Tour Championship -- no matter what anyone else does, if he wins that event, he wins the Cup.

So when Furyk makes his first three picks next week, we're all pretty sure whose names he'll call. DeChambeau, Mickelson and Woods were 9, 10 and 11 on the Ryder Cup points list, and even before this week we were sure Tiger and Phil were locks. We also knew that Tiger liked Bryson as a partner. Phil could easily team with Rickie, as much as they've played together, so there's no rush to make a Phil-specific pick. Given these facts, does anyone doubt now that Bryson will be the third choice?

Me neither. And that means Furyk really has only one spot left to fill.

But that's a discussion for later. This is Bryson's stage, and he proved he's not ready to take his final bow this season. So his Limerick Summary anticipates his encore performance:
You need guts to make the big shot—
So Bryson said, ”That’s what I’ve got!”
His two wins this season
Are clearly the reason
His Ryder Cup spot seems a lock.
The photo came from this page at

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The 5 Most Helpful Golf Apps

Brian over at Hampton Golf, a golf course management company, provided me with a brief survey of what he thinks are currently the five best available golf apps. If you're thinking about adding an app to your phone, one of these five apps could be just what you're looking for.

Post header - player using app

If you're a golf enthusiast and have been playing for years, you're probably used to doing it the old-fashioned way.

However, there's nothing wrong with using a little technology to bring your game to the next level.

There are many golf apps that can help you do just that. Keep reading to learn about the five best golf apps out there.

1. GolfLogix for iPhone

GolfLogix app

Many iPhone users choose GolfLogix as their preferred golf app because of the great features.

Thanks to the aerial views it provides, golfers have a bird's-eye view of each hole. The view allows them to plan their strategy and improve their game.

It also makes predictions, shows the lay-up, and marks distances to hazards. Users can save their scores on the app and the scorecard even looks like a real paper card.

2. Mobitee Premium iPhone Golf GPS

Mobitee app

You can get this app for both iPhone and iPad. Mobitee shows real aerial satellite views of the course.

Other features include:
  • Keeps track of distances with each club
  • Tracks the score of up to 4 players
  • Maps the distance to a hole with a moving target
  • Finds any range and shows distance on the screen
The app is free and it's simple to use.

3. Golfshot: Golf GPS for iPhone

Golfshot app

This app comes in two versions, the classic version or the "Plus Scorecard and Tee Times," depending on which one the user prefers.

The app also comes with additional features such as:
  • Stat visualizations
  • Ability to email scorecards
  • Shot distance tracking
  • HD support for iPad
  • Course handicap calculator
  • Aerial view with zoom and TruePoint
Golfshot has over 40,00 courses for users to pick from.

4. Golf GPS Rangefinder: Golf Pad

Golfpad app

Golf GPS Rangefinder is an app for Android and other smartwatches. It has over 40,000 golf courses available for users, so they can use it anywhere in the world.

With the help of this app, you can map your location and plan your strategy accordingly. You'll be able to save your playing history, penalties, accuracy, game scores, and more. You can always refer back to your scores and past history to help you improve your future games.

5. GOLFLER Rangefinder & Golf GPS


This Android app is free. GOLFLER has some great features that allow users to track their location. It also acts as a rangefinder.

It provides weather updates, gives live scores, and offers an option that allows you to order food and drinks right from the app.

Not only does the app show your location, it also lets you know the type of terrain. Even though the app is free, it still has many golf courses from around the world available.

Check These Golf Apps

Although there are many useful golf apps out there, these are some of the best ones out there (in my opinion). Whether you have an iPhone or Android, these have the ability to help you take your game to the next level.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Nine Practice Drills (Video)

This is an older Golf Monthly video -- about two years old -- showing nine different players and a drill each uses. You'll want to look at all of them to see which ones might help you, but my attention was drawn to one very simple drill from Marcus Kinhult that I've never seen before. It starts around the 2:05 mark.

This is just an alignment drill. Why did it catch my attention? Because unlike most alignment drills, which involve laying out alignment rods or golf clubs, I believe this is a drill you can actually use during a round of golf without breaking any rules. Yes, I know Marcus has clubs laid out on the ground, but I believe you can get some value just from using the one club you're about to hit.

All Marcus does is flip his club upside down so he can hold the head. By holding the club vertically, you can use the shaft to make sure the ball is consistently located in the same spot in your stance every time. It's like plumb-bobbing with a putter or standing behind your ball and using the shaft to help visualize your aimline, and you don't even need to touch the grip to the ground. Since you can easily tell if the shaft is vertical, it gives you a convenient way to doublecheck your ball position.

The video has drills from Ian Poulter, Branden Grace, Jordan Spieth and Ernie Els to name a few. Some of the drills are familiar, others are specific to the players using them. But it's likely you'll find something you can use in this short video.

Sometimes all you need to solve a problem is a simple drill to help you focus better. Perhaps one of these will give you some ideas for drills that will help your game.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Mariajo Uribe Sets a Course Record

...and it was tied just an hour later by Ariya Jutanugarn and then by Nasa Hataoka. Such is the way of life in the women's game.

Still, it's exciting (to me, anyway) to see Mariajo at the top of the leaderboard.

Mariajo Uribe

Many of you may not even recognize her name. She's struggled since joining the LPGA, and she only has one professional win -- the 2011 HSBC Brazil Cup, which was an unofficial LPGA event.

Mariajo (a Colombian) first caught my attention when she won the 2007 US Women's Amateur. She was walking around the course, fist-pumping and ordering that ball to get in the hole! It was an impressive performance, and I couldn't wait to see how she did as a pro.

As it turns out, she's struggled to find her place on the Tour just like so many other good young players who come out of college. Don't get me wrong, we've seen flashes of her brilliance -- she won the the gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games and the silver medal at the 2014 South American Games. But while she's had numerous Top10s on the LPGA, she still has no official wins and she's struggled in the majors.

I still keep a watch for Mariajo's scores. She's got a lot of talent, although she -- like most players -- probably needs to work more on her short game if she wants to break through. She had a runner-up finish to start the year but has seen her finishes drop further and further down all year. (She missed the cut in Indy last week.) But I keep hoping that maybe this week will be the week. She's a fiery competitor who could really add to the already fascinating mix if she could get in on the action more often.

Maybe a good start like this will be the catalyst she needs to get things going. Maybe...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Tiger-Phil Match, Now Confirmed

I was going to write about the LPGA playing the Women's Canadian Open, or maybe the first FedExCup Playoff event. But no, I can't ignore the new details on "The Match," so here's what we have so far, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Match banner

The article is short and to the point. It says:
  • 18 holes of match play on the Friday after Thanksgiving (November 23), to be played at the Shadow Creek course in Las Vegas.
  • $9mil prize, winner take all. In addition, the two will make side bets during the match on things like who hits the longest drive or hits it closest to the pin.
  • Woods announced that it was "on" in a tweet, which started some exchanges between him and Phil, who finally started his own Twitter account on Wednesday.
  • It will be a pay-per-view event. WarnerMedia has the rights, cost to be announced later.
  • About the availability of the pay-per-view, WarnerMedia said " coverage will be distributed through Turner's B/R Live, AT&T DirecTV and U-verse, and other on-demand platforms. HBO Sports and Bleacher Report will take part in the promotion."
That's all pretty simple, right?

I'm sure there will be more coming out over the next few months leading up to the event, so get ready for the media blitz.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Martin Hall on Hitting Your Irons Higher (Video)

This could be a useful video for many of you. This is Martin's Extra Credit video from last week on how to hit your irons higher. It focuses, of course, on mid-irons because short irons usually have enough loft for anybody to get height on those shots.

Note that Martin says the first thing you should do is consider a hybrid. While Martin mentions this in reference to mid-irons like your 4- and 5-irons, it is possible to get hybrids for some of your shorter irons as well. But if you're having problems getting height with your short irons, it's probably due to your technique.

Note also that Martin is clearly talking about shots off the turf. If the ball is on a tee, it's pretty easy to hit up on it and get as much height as you need, so bear in mind that these tips are to help you hit the ball off the turf.

And Martin has two tips to help improve your technique.
  • Make sure you're looking at the back of the ball. Martin suggests setting the ball so the clubface will contact the logo.
Don't underestimate the power of this tip alone. Just as you tend to steer your car in the direction you're looking -- which is why you don't want to rubberneck at accidents -- you'll tend to hit the ball on the spot where you're focused. If you're looking at the back of the ball, you'll tend to stay more behind the ball, which means the face of the club should contact the back of the ball, and that should help you get the full loft of the club into play.
  • Practice swinging your trailing shoulder under your chin in order to contact the ball further forward in your swing. That should also help you get more of the full loft of the club into play.
Martin's "swing under your lead arm" drill is intended to help you get the feel of this move. If you don't have someone to help you with this -- as Martin does with Blair in the video -- you may be able to use your driver or a chair as a hand rest for your lead hand.

An interesting aspect of this drill is that -- as many useful drills do -- it helps your footwork so you shift your weight to your lead foot, and that helps you get a fuller finish with your shoulders.

Hitting the ball higher increases the chance that you will hit behind the ball, so you'll need to practice this shot. But this isn't a shot where you try to swing out of your shoes. As long as you try to remain relaxed while you swing, you should be able to get good contact -- and some pretty good height -- with your mid-irons.

And if you decide to use hybrids, it should help you hit them more crisply as well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Lower Your Score by Hitting It Shorter

Yes, it sounds wild. But today we're time-traveling back to the December 2015 issue of Golf Magazine where that very piece of advice was given!

It's in that issue's Private Lessons section for High Handicappers (which defined a high handicapper as someone who has "potential but must fix some fundamental swing flaws"). The section gives two steps geared toward getting your driver in the short grass more often, but I can see where these tips could help you with any club that you have trouble controlling.
  • Grip down on the club. The article says that most Tour pros use shafts that are an inch or so shorter than the shafts you get off the shelf at most golf shops. So they recommend that you grip down about two inches on your driver. The shorter shaft length makes it easier to control the club. (As an aside, the typical driver back in Bobby Jones's day was around 42" long, so this advice isn't as strange as it might sound.)
  • Make a shorter backswing. Again, this is about controlling the club better. The article recommends swinging your hands back to shoulder height and no longer. I can tell you from personal experience that this isn't an arbitrary length. I did a lot of experimenting years ago and discovered that you can make almost any kind of swing and get decent results if you don't swing past shoulder high. Why? Because this is the normal range of motion we make in most sports when swinging a bat or a racket, so it's the range in which we tend to have the best control of the club.
This probably won't surprise you, but I would recommend you practice these tips while using the L-to-L drill I recommend so often. The drill will ensure that you get a good wrist cock and, since this is the length swing that is natural to most people, you should get better distance than you might expect. Combined with improved accuracy, this could easily lower your score by a few strokes.

So much for our journey into the past. Welcome back to the present -- now go try it!

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Limerick Summary: 2018 Wyndham Championship

Winner: Brandt Snedeker

Around the wider world of golf: Sung Hyun Park won the Indy Women in Tech Championship on the LPGA; Paul Waring won the Nordea Masters on the ET; Sungjae Im won the Portland Open on the Tour; Bart Bryant won the DICK'S Sporting Goods Open on the Champions Tour; Tyler McCumber won the The Players Cup on the MACKENZIE TOUR - PGA TOUR CANADA; Marta Sanz Barrio won the FireKeepers Casino Championship on the Symetra Tour; Yuta Ikeda won the RIZAP KBC Augusta on the Japan Golf Tour; and Viktor Hovland became the first Norwegian to win the US Amateur.

Brandt Snedeker with Wyndham trophy

Brandt Snedeker has spent the last couple of years dealing with physical problems that doctors told him only come from contact sports.

This week, the rest of the field must have felt like Brandt was playing full-contact golf.

From Thursday's 59 to Sunday's nip-and-tuck battle with C.T. Pan, Brandt led the whole way. And while Pan's unexpected OB drive on 18 made the ending less of a challenge, Brandt still drained a 20-footer to seal the deal by three strokes.

His return to the winner's circle couldn't have come at a better time. His 59, coupled with this win and his reputation for streaky good play, will certainly grab Jim Furyk's attention as he ponders his four Ryder Cup picks. And let's not ignore the possibilities ahead in the FedExCup Playoffs. After all, Brandt has won the FedExCup before!

Of course, there was also a battle to make the Top125 in order to make the Playoffs, and a couple of things there stood out to me. I'd like to salute Sam Saunders for making his first-ever Playoffs and, while Captain Furyk didn't make them, he finished T4 with his lowest-ever tournament score -- even while he had to take care of Ryder Cup business.

But this was all about Brandt. And, since he didn't need the Wizard to 'tap' his final putt into the hole, I feel totally fine about giving him his newest Limerick Summary.
His game’s not the kind to enchant,
So his chances of late have been scant.
Still, it must be conceded:
When magic was needed,
The true Wyndham Wizard was Brandt!
The photo came from this page at

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Brandt Snedeker on Playing in Tough Conditions (Video)

Brandt will have to play 29 holes today, and in this short video he talked about what he needed to do to play well. I'm posting it because this is good advice, no matter what your tough conditions are.

If you know beforehand that you're going to be in tiring conditions, make sure you get enough rest before you go out.

Most weekend players don't realize you can dehydrate just as badly in cold weather as in hot weather, in wet weather as well as in dry weather. Your body needs water no matter what the conditions are. (And food too. Taking some easy-to-digest snacks along is a good idea as well.)

And finally, avoid "mental lapses." In other words, you'd like to have a plan before you tee off and then stick to it. When you're tired and/or dehydrated, your mind can wander more than usual. If you're in decent shape, you're more likely to make mental mistakes than physical ones.

We'll have to see how well Brandt follows his own advice today. The weather looks iffy again, so he'll have the double challenge of playing more holes than normal and doing so in tough conditions. That three-shot lead may not seem as big by the time he reaches the final nine.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

A Drill for Squaring Your Driver at Impact (Video)

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

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

Less excess motion means less inconsistency.

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

You'll thank me for it.

Really, you will.

Friday, August 17, 2018

59 Watches Everywhere! (Video)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Thinking Your Way to Breaking 90

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Two Events I'm Watching This Week

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

Defending Indy champ Lexi Thompson

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Brooks Koepka's Warm-Up Routine (Video)

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

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

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

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Limerick Summary: 2018 PGA Championship

Winner: Brooks Koepka

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

Brooks Koepka with the Wanamaker Trophy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Brooks Looks Dangerous

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

Brooks Koepka

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Bobby Jones on the Feel of a Golf Swing

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

Bobby Jones with the Grand Slam trophies

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 10, 2018

David Frost on Getting Out of Bunkers (Video)

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Remembering Jarrod Lyle

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

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

Jarrod Lyle

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

He was only 36.

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

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

My "5 to Watch" at the PGA

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

Defending champion Justin Thomas

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Georgia Hall on Hitting a Stable Drive (Video)

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Limerick Summary: 2018 WGC-Bridgestone

Winner: Justin Thomas

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

Justin Thomas with the Gary Player Cup

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Silver Scot on Using Your Hands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 4, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 3, 2018

Getting Caught Up on the "Big Money Match" Rumors

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

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

Mickelson V Woods?

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

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

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

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

And this match could be worth $10mil.

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

Thursday, August 2, 2018

David Howell on Hitting a Hybrid (Video)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

My "5 to Watch" at the WGC-Bridgestone

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

World #1 Dustin Johnson

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

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