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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Your All Day Golf Reminder

Just to make sure you don't forget. Here are today's golf times:

  • GC's ISPS HANDA World Invitational coverage runs from 9am-2pm ET.
  • GC's Olympic coverage runs from 6:30pm-3am ET.

Golf is on virtually all day. You have no excuse not to catch some of it!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

For the Non-Olympic Contenders

The men and women who didn't make the Olympics aren't necessarily sitting out the week. After all, there's still the ISPS HANDA World Invitational.

2019 winners Stephanie Meadow and Jack Senior

The event now known as the ISPS HANDA World Invitational has gone by several names and formats since it was born in 2013 -- sometimes as an all-male event, sometimes with both men and women. The last time the ISPS HANDA World Invitational was actually called that and played in the format it will be in this week -- back in 2019 -- the champions were Stephanie Meadow and Jack Senior.

But things are a bit different this time. Although it's still played in Northern Ireland at the Galgorm Castle and Massereene Golf Club, this time it's a tri-sanctioned event between the LPGA, the LET and the ET. Here's a brief summary of the format from an article I found at let.com.

  • This event hosts 288 players, 144 men and 144 women, with the men's field coming from the ET while the women’s field is split equally between the LPGA and the LET.
  • The tournament will count towards the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and carry Team Europe Ryder Cup points, while the women’s tournament will count towards the Race to the CME Globe for women on the LPGA Tour, the Race to Costa del Sol on the Ladies European Tour (LET) and Solheim Cup points for both Team Europe and Team USA.
  • The $3 million prize purse will be split equally between the men and the women. The tournament consists of two separate 72-hole stroke play events, one each for the men and women, and they compete at the same venues at the same time.

Yes, this is very similar to the format of the ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia and somewhat similar to the Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik & Annika in Sweden, although the latter had the men and women competing against each other.

In my opinion the coolest thing about this event is that the time zones mean this event slots in rather well between Olympic golf broadcasts. GC's coverage begins Thursday at 9am ET. So we have almost nonstop golf this week!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Men's Olympic Golf

Twofer Tuesday settles down for a little me time with the TV and the Men's Olympic Golf.

The American Men's Olympic Golf Team

Do I really need to tell you about the Olympics? They're in Tokyo, with most of the populace there having to watch it on TV the same as the rest of us, and this is the second appearance of golf in the Olympics.

Let's make a couple of picks.

  • My American pick is Collin Morikawa. Really, is there any other reasonable choice? Maybe asking him to put on yet another iron show in Japan is pushing it, given how much he's already done this year. But with two majors and a WGC under his belt -- and especially with Jon Rahm not in the field due to the pandemic -- he seems to be the odds-on favorite.
  • And my international pick is Viktor Hovland. With three worldwide wins in the last year-and-a-half he's proven that his game travels well. And like Morikawa, he's got a great iron game. I think the first Norwegian to win on the PGA Tour may have a few surprises in store for the rest of the field.

GC's live coverage starts Wednesday at 6:30pm ET. (Remember, Tokyo is 14 hours ahead of the US East Coast.) With a limited field and so many of the top players not playing -- especially Jon Rahm -- this event could be wide open.

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 3M Open

Winner: Cameron Champ

Around the wider world of golf: Minjee Lee came from seven shots back to win her first LPGA major, the Amundi Evian Championship; Stephen Dodd won the Senior Open Championship on the Champions Tour; Dylan Wu won the Price Cutter Charity Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour; Patrick Newcomb won the Bupa Championship on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Lilia Vu won the Twin Bridges Championship on the Symetra Tour; Jiyai Shin won the JLPGA's Daito Kentaku Eheyanet Ladies; and Hanbyul Kim won the KPGA's Yamaha Honors K Open. [Thanks again, IC!]

Cameron Champ with 3M trophy

Six on one hand, a half dozen on the other; that describes my Twofer Tuesday picks. I had Louis Oosthuizen (T2) and Dustin Johnson (MC). I don't know what's up with DJ but King Louis continues to put himself in position. He's gonna break through soon, I think.

  • Top10s: 18 for 60 (14 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 29 events

I don't know which was the bigger story -- Cameron Champ dealing with dehydration on Sunday or him taking driver off the 18th tee and almost hitting it off the course. The announcers seemed equally taken by both events.

The dehydration was certainly the bigger worry. With the heat index pushing triple digits, the last thing you want to see is a player on the verge of collapse. Fortunately he was able to get some water and a sports drink before it got too bad.

As for that drive... I know Cam said it was a safety play although it didn't look like one to me. But hey, what do I know? Cam only needed a bogey to win the 3M, and he only needed one good shot to the green to make that possible.

And he made a perfect shot, a wedge that basically left him a tap-in for par. So in the end, it really didn't matter.

For Cam this may have been a gamechanger. He's been struggling this year; his last seven events included four MCs, a WD, a T11 and now a win. He said he needed to be kinder to himself -- probably good advice for most of us, especially the overachievers among us -- and it seems to be just what he needed.

So who am I to argue? I'm going to be kind to him and give him a shiny new Limerick Summary!

On 18, when Cam pulled his drive,
They said, “There’s no way he’ll make five!”
But Cam wasn’t fazed…
So announcers were dazed
When his wedge showed them how he’d survive.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Playing Ugly Shots from Deep Rough (Video)

Paige's new video focuses purely on shots from deep nasty rough. She demonstrates the techniques for long shots, short shots and chip shots from the heavy stuff. Some of it you may already know... but I bet you'll learn at least one new thing.


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Driving It Long... (Video)

Neil Tappin and PGA Pro Alex Elliott made this new video from Golf Monthly that gives you five tips -- and accompanying drills -- to help you hit longer drives. Not every tip will help every player but there is a good variety of things you might want to try.

I would like to add one thought to this post concerning the last tip. You've probably heard the "X-Factor" taught by different instructors, and I agree that it can be an effective way to create power in your golf swing.

But I always encourage caution when using this technique because I believe it puts too much stress on your lower back, even when it's done properly. I know many golf pros disagree with me... but this is my blog and I don't think this particular technique is suitable for everybody. Those of you who have read my blog for a while know that one of my key beliefs is that a good swing doesn't hurt. So take my opinion for what it's worth.

Friday, July 23, 2021

I Forgot the Senior Open Championship!

It always happens the week after THE OPEN and yet I forgot about it. The first round was played Thursday, but at least there are three rounds left.

And the leaderboard is already kinda interesting.

2019 defending chmapion Bernhard Langer

Darren Clarke is tied for the lead at -5, 2019 defending champion Bernhard Langer is tied for 3rd at -4, and Jerry Kelly and Ernie Els are in a large group in 6th place at -3. Jim Furyk, the US Senior Open champion, is in a tie for 35th at even par.

Perhaps the most interesting story at this point is James Kingston, who's tied with Clarke for the lead. The South African just recently got out of the hospital where he was recovering from COVID. He said he felt unprepared but he loves the course and thinks that may have helped him a lot.

And the course? That's Sunningdale Golf Club in Sunningdale, Berkshire, England, roughly 30 miles WSW of London. If that course sounds familiar, it's because Karen Stupples won the 2004 Women's British Open there. She started the final round with an albatross and a birdie on the first two holes of the final round on her way to a 64. So there are scores to be had at Sunningdale if you play the course properly.

Clarke alluded to this in his post-round remarks Thursday. He said:

“I played smart around here. I hit away from the flags to the middle of the greens and gave myself some chances, and kept giving myself chances there in the last few holes. Didn’t make anything at the end, but just played smart. I think the winner is going to have to play smart this week.”

GC's live coverage on Friday starts at 7:30pm ET.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Anne Van Dam Talks About Her Game (Video)

Rick Shiels posted this interview with Anne earlier this week and, since she's playing Evian and will be in the Olympics, I thought this would be a good time to post it.

BTW, Anne gives a few tips on hitting the ball farther. You might be a bit surprised at how she says she does it.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Before They Go to Japan...

The LPGA has a little unfinished business in Evian-les-Bains, France.

2019 defending champion Jin Young Ko

The Amundi Evian Championship couldn't be played last year, but this year it will be played... a mere week before the women head off to the Japan Olympics. And make no mistake about it, the Olympians plan to play at Evian this week.

A warmup?

2019 defending champion -- and Korean Olympian -- Jin Young Ko is there. Rolex #1 Nelly Korda is there. Defending gold medalist Inbee Park is there.

Next week the women are scheduled to play the ISPS Handa World Invitational. I don't know how many will play that event as it's held in Northern Ireland. However, it's a new event that is jointly sponsored by the LPGA, the LET and the European Tour -- yes, it's a mixed event featuring both men and women. I suspect the women will think long and hard before they choose to skip it.

But the very next week is the women's Olympic golf competition. This stretch could be quite the warmup for Japan!

GC's coverage is broken up into two parts on Thursday. The first session runs 5am-7am ET, the second session from 9:30am-11:30am ET. There's also a bit of streaming coverage on GC, from 7am to 8am and from 11:30am till noon. This will be a very challenging stretch for the ladies so we should see some good golf this week.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: 3M Open

Twofer Tuesday skips back across the pond to check out the 3M Open.

Defending champion Michael Thompson

In some ways this week may seem a bit anticlimactic. With the Japan Olympics starting up later this week, many of the top players will be winging their way to Asia.

But not all of them. TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota (the northern part of the US, for those of you unfamiliar with our geography) benefits from the decisions a few players made to skip the Olympics and the stringent pandemic protocols the Games will be under.

I'm afraid I can't resist the temptation to pick some of them.

  • My first pick is Dustin Johnson. Granted, he hasn't played his best this year, at least since the WGC-Workday. But he's the top player in the field, coming off a T8 at THE OPEN. Maybe he'll be a bit jetlagged, I don't know. But I can't afford not to take the highest-ranked player in the field.
  • And my other pick -- perhaps surprisingly to many of you -- is Louis Oosthuizen. I know he's got to be disappointed... but I bet he's also a bit tired of just good finishes. It's his first time at the 3M, and I feel his breakthrough is going to come at an event like this before he finishes the job at a major.

GC's coverage begins Thursday at 2:30pm ET. With the Olympics beginning Friday, maybe these players have something to prove. I for one am curious to see whether they will!

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 THE OPEN

Winner: Collin Morikawa

Around the wider world of golf: Seamus Power won the Barbasol Championship, the alternate field event on the PGA Tour; the team of Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn won the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational on the LPGA; Emma Broze won the rain-shortened Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic on the Symetra Tour; Matilda Castren won the 2021 Gant Ladies Open on the LET (I think that makes her eligible for the Solheim Cup); Taylor Moore won the Memorial Health Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour; Ye Sung Jun won the KLPGA'S Ever Collegen Queen's Crown; and Maiko Wakabayashi won the JLPGA's GMO Internet Ladies Samantha Thavasa Global Cup. [Thanks again, IC!]

Collin Morikawa holds the Claret Jug

Things went much better for my Twofer Tuesday picks over on the links. I had Louis Oosthuizen (T3) and Jon Rahm (T3). I didn't get the winner like I'd hoped, but I'll gladly take two Top5s!

  • Top10s: 17 for 58 (13 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 28 events

To some degree, my success this week is a function of how well the top players did at Royal St. George's. Roughly eight of the eleven players who made the Top10 were definitely on the short list of likely winners.

And as usual, links golf proved that being long isn't necessarily the key to victory. Of the Top4 finishers, only Jon Rahm has a driving average over 300 yards for the season (307.7 yards, 20th on Tour). But if you compare their stats for the season, Collin Morikawa is dramatically better in Strokes Gained for Driving Accuracy and GIR (11th and 2nd, respectively). And he used these skills to great effect over the weekend in England.

Of course, there's no stat for staying calm or making wise decisions, both of which Collin did with amazing consistency. Even after he won, the victory speech he gave will be remembered less for talking about his win and more for thanking his team and the crowds, reminding the crowd to be thankful for being able to have and attend THE OPEN this year, and even for getting the crowd to sing 'Happy Birthday' to his caddie.

I suppose a huge number of parents watching the event expressed a desire that their daughters would marry Collin Morikawa. He's so sweet and polite!

But make no mistake: If Matt Kuchar is the 'Smiling Assassin' then Collin is golf's equivalent of Genghis Khan. He and Tiger are the only players to win two majors before they turned 25, and Collin was a speed demon getting there, requiring only eight majors to win two. Nobody else is better than ten! And he didn't seem surprised by winning two so quickly.

Or so politely.

So Collin also sets the record for getting two Limerick Summaries for majors won. The rest of the Tour better watch out -- it seems the new Khan has his eyes on an empire of his own!

Impatient—that’s Collin alright.
His star’s rising fast, burning bright,
Rewriting golf history.
But here’s the real mystery:
How can he? He’s too darn polite!

The photo comes from this page at skysports.com.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Stop Thinning Your Irons (Video)

Yesterday I posted a video on aiming your irons more effectively. Today we follow on with that line of thought, this time on how to stop hitting your irons thin. If you've followed my blog for a while or read some of my books, you may recognize most of the advice here.


Even if you haven't been following this blog for a while, some of the material in this video may sound strangely familiar. That's because I posted a video a couple of weeks back -- also by Rick Shiels -- specifically on hitting the ball before you take a divot. That video is a more general approach to getting solid contact while this video focuses specifically on the irons. If you need more info than this video gives, the other video includes drills and such to help you.

I know that some of my posts seem to focus on really basic things, but any pro will tell you that it's the simple things that mess up our games. It's amazing how often the top players in the world cite something small like ball position as the source of their problems. So don't write this video off so quickly -- a short reminder about fundamentals is often all we need to keep our games in shape.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Build Your Aim Around the Clubface (Video)

If you're still having trouble aiming the ball where you want it to go, Todd Kolb has a very simple routine that may be different from what you're used to hearing. But it has the advantage of being extremely simple, perhaps the most simple of any method I've seen.  Best of all, it's very easy to tell if you're doing it right or not! Check it out...


Friday, July 16, 2021

Paige's Field Cardio Workout (Video)

I know some of you will see this as little more than an excuse to watch Paige jiggle, but this is actually a great alternative to just running. In fact, many fitness instructors would say this routine is superior to merely running.

The video is short because she's just demonstrating the exercises. I'll give you some ideas for adjusting the workout to your fitness level after the video. And I have to remind you that I'm not a doctor, and that you should consult a doctor before you begin any fitness program.


First, in case you are unfamiliar with the terms, a set means you do a number of repetitions of a single exercise. For example, you might do 5 pushups, take a few seconds to catch your breath, then do 5 more, catch a breath, and do 5 more. That would be 3 sets of 5 pushups.

Supersets are simply sets of multiple exercises. If you did 5 pushups followed by 10 squats, took a break and then repeated both exercises, that would be 2 supersets of pushups and squats.

In the video Paige is doing 4 supersets of two exercises, then doing 4 sets of two different exercises, and so on. To adjust to your fitness level, you can reduce the number of repetitions of each exercise within the supersets OR reduce the number of supersets OR BOTH. It's up to you.

You can also take a longer 'breath' between each set and/or superset. It's okay to be breathing deeply but you don't want to be gasping for breath.

As for the sprints, she is catching her breath after each individual sprint. You can reduce the number of sprints you run OR the length of the sprint OR BOTH. Again, up to you.

And remember, how often you exercise is really more important than how long you exercise. You don't necessarily have to exercise everyday -- the harder your workout, the more time you need to rest between workouts -- but you don't want to exercise two days in a row then take five off, then exercise for one day and take three off. You want to be exercising regularly. You may find that working out every other day works well for you, or maybe workout for two days then take one off. If you're doing it right, you shouldn't feel tired all the time.

Like I said, Paige's idea is a pretty good one. But let me repeat myself one last time: I'm not a doctor, and you should consult a doctor before you begin any fitness program.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The PGA Tour Alternate Event

Another quick post, this one on the alternate event opposite THE OPEN, the Barbasol Championship.

2019 defending champion Jim Herman

This event is played in Kentucky and Jim Herman is the defending champ from 2019. It looks like it's going to have a pretty good field with players like Charl Schwartzel (the player highest in the OWGR who didn't make THE OPEN), Luke List, Sam Ryder, Tom Lewis and Patrick Rogers.

Why should you be interested in this event with THE OPEN going on? Because after this week there are only four events left before the FedExCup Playoffs and the Korn Ferry Tour Playoffs, and they affect some other domestic and international qualifying criteria as well. There is a lot on the line for many of these players and not much time left to get the job done.

GC's coverage starts today at 5pm ET.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

A Quick LPGA Update

Lost in THE OPEN excitement this week is the LPGA team event known as the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. Here's the quick 411:

2019 defending champs Cydney Clanton and Jasmine Suwannapura

First off, this is a Wednesday-Saturday event. It's a similar concept to the PGA Tour's Zurich Classic, and 2019 champs Cydney Clanton and Jasmine Suwannapura are back to defend.

Possibly the three biggest-name teams to join them will be the Korda Sisters, Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu, and Danielle Kang and Lydia Ko. But the most interesting pairing may be Nasa Hataoka and Lexi Thompson. (Hataoka's caddie used to work for Thompson, so there's your connection.)

However, my main reason for this short post is that the time for the coverage hasn't been made clear in the ads. GC's coverage starts today (Wednesday) at 3pm ET and it's supposed to be live. The live coverage for Thursday and Friday will stream on the NBC Sports App (and presumably golfchannel.com) while GC will broadcast tape-delayed coverage. And Saturday's final round will be on CBS.

Should be a fun event, just like the Zurich. At the very least, it will be a nice way to spend Wednesday afternoon. And don't forget, next week is the LPGA's next major at Evian.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: THE OPEN

Twofer Tuesday heads across the pond for a lonely stay in a hotel room at THE OPEN.

Defending champion Shane Lowry

We don't really need me to write a lot of intro, do we? THE OPEN is the oldest golf tournament in the world, this week it's making its 15th appearance at Royal St. George, and Shane Lowry is the defending champion from 2019.

Let's get on with making the picks.

This isn't as easy as you might think, at least not if you pay attention to past trends. For example, I think Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Matt Fitzpatrick are all in good form to win this one. However, THE OPEN hasn't been kind to Englishment lately -- the last to win was Nick Faldo back in 1993 -- and Royal St. George even less kind. The last Englishman to win here was Reg Whitcombe way back in 1938.

A number of players have had good showings in THE OPEN over the last few years. However, players like Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka haven't played as consistently as I would have liked going into a links event.

But I have made a couple of picks who I think just might pull this off.

  • Louis Oosthuizen is a previous OPEN Champion of course, having gotten his back in 2010 at St. Andrews. But he's been a runner-up twice in the last couple of months, at the Masters and the US Open. His game is in shape for the majors and, given the premium on driving this week, it's hard not to believe he'll put up another good run.
  • And then there's Jon Rahm. I admit that my feelings are a bit guarded concerning Rahmbo. Last week at the Scottish Open, I didn't worry that his putting was off; that happens to all players and it generally comes back soon enough if the player doesn't panic. But Jon seemed more shaken by the problem than he has shown recently, and he can't afford to run on a short fuse this week. Nevertheless, he came in T7 and he has two Irish Opens under his belt -- all links events. And let's not forget he just won that US Open where Louis ran second on a windy, linksy course. It's hard not to take him.

Coverage of THE OPEN moves around to different channels this week. On Thursday we get:

  • Peacock Premium: 1:30am-4am ET
  • GC: 4am-3pm ET
  • Peacock Premium: 3pm-4pm ET

Remember that Peacock Premium is the pay version. But if you have the pay version, you can also get some special channels with featured groups.

It's great to have THE OPEN back this year. And since Royal St. George is a course that tends to give players fits, we might see -- and hear -- some frustrated players!

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 John Deere Classic

Winner: Lucas Glover

Around the wider world of golf: Nasa Hataoka was declared the winner of the rain-shortened Marathon LPGA Classic; Min Woo Lee (Minjee Lee's brother) got his second ET win at the abrdn Scottish Open; Jim Furyk got his first Champions Tour major at the US Senior Men's Open; Tag Ridings broke a 19-year winless streak at the TPC Colorado Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour; Tomoyasu Sugiyama won the Japan Players Championship Challenge on the Japan Golf Tour; Casey Danielson won the Donald Ross Classic to capture her second Symetra Tour win; Team Cowan won the Aramco Team Series – London (and Marianne Skarpnord won the Individual Title) on the LET; Min Ji Park won the Daebo hausD Open for her sixth KLPGA title this year; Sang Hyun Park won the Woosung Construction Aramir CC Busan Gyeongnam Open on the KPGA; and Kotone Hori won the JLPGA's Nipponham Ladies Classic. [Thanks again for the Asian results, IC!]

Lucas Glover with John Deere trophy

What can I say about my Twofer Tuesday picks? I had Daniel Berger (T34) and Steve Stricker (T41). So much for sure things!

  • Top10s: 15 for 56 (11 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 27 events

If you were looking for a long shot rather than a sure thing, I still doubt many of you picked Lucas Glover. His last win was the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship, a good ten years ago. And he moved up eleven places with his final round 64.

Lucas was three-under on the front nine but the madness really began on the 12th hole. Five birdies in six holes sent him shooting up the leaderboard and his competitors, Kevin Na and Ryan Moore, just couldn't keep up.

Of course, Lucas summed it up in his usual understated way:

“It's been a long 10 years. There's been some struggles. I knew it was in there. I had to clean up my brain a little bit and just hit some shots, just play golf. I never lost sight of believing I could do this and win again. It's always nice to prove yourself right.”
Well, that was a right nice 'clean up' job there, Lucas, and I hope you think the Limerick Summary you just picked up is right nice as well.

Another drought comes to an end.
No longer must Lucas pretend
That the wait wasn’t tough—
A decade’s too much
When you’re trying to win once again!

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Some Thoughts from Hale Irwin (Video)

This is the end of an interview Mike Malaska did recently with Hale Irwin -- who, for those of you who don't know, is the winningest player ever on the Champions Tour. They talk here about equipment and about strategy and, while I don't think the equipment situation is as bleak as they do -- I have copies of magazine articles where O.B. Keeler writes about a teenaged Bobby Jones hitting 300+ yard drives back in the 1910s -- I do think they make some valuable observations about what kind of help weekend players should expect from modern equipment and about the importance of strategy.


Saturday, July 10, 2021

Amazon's Most Popular Wedge (Video)

Since I posted Paige's video on choosing wedges yesterday, I thought it might be fun to post this video on what appears to be Amazon's most popular wedge. Rick Shiels tested the Wilson Harmonized Wedge, which is popular in large part because it is so inexpensive -- for the 56° that Rick tested, his UK price was £39.99 while I found the US price at $39.99 (on sale for $34.99). Here's the video of his tests and conclusions:


Rick said he didn't see many poor rankings and when I checked Amazon US for the same loft (56° right-handed) I found that 92% of the ratings were 5 or 4 stars. The other lofts, 'handedness' and genders (male or female) were rated roughly the same, although the left-handed version wasn't on sale and I saw a black version that was $10 more.

But it's not hard to see why this wedge is so popular. While I could find wedges ranked higher -- for example, TaylorMade Golf's MG2 Wedge had 98% 5 and 4 star ratings -- the price was also considerably higher at $169.99. The Wilson also had the high ratings with FOUR TIMES the number of TaylorMade ratings.

Still, it's worth considering what Rick said about the limited choices. While neither the TaylorMade nor the Wilson gives you any choices about the shafts, the TaylorMade gave you a number of choices for loft and bounce in both left- and right-handed models. The Amazon listing for the Wilson didn't even list how many degrees of bounce you'd get standard. (For what it's worth, I didn't find that info on wilson.com either.)

Nevertheless, it's good to know what kind of options you have when you buy clubs. The Wilson trades fitting options for a lower price point, and that may be fine with you. Just be aware of what matters to you when you buy.

Friday, July 9, 2021

A Quick Class on Picking New Wedges (Video)

Paige Spiranac had to replace her worn wedges so she did a video in cooperation with Club Champion discussing the technology, how to choose new wedges -- how to match the new technologies to your own skills and preferences -- and how to get fit for them. It skips back and forth between Paige's and the fitter's advice. All-in-all, I think it's a worthwhile watch if you're thinking about new wedges.


Thursday, July 8, 2021

Don't Forget the Marathon LPGA Classic

With so much golf this week it's easy to overlook the LPGA's event, the Marathon LPGA Classic. To be honest, it looks to be a bit tricky to catch the event at all.

Defending champion Danielle Kang

Today's (Thursday) GC's coverage is tape-delayed, beginning at 9pm ET.

The NBC Sports App and golfchannel.com are showing live coverage starting at 3:30pm ET. The link at lpga.com goes to golfchannel.com/watch but I didn't see the usual streaming page when I checked.

Danielle Kang is the defending champion. Bear in mind that the Evian is only a couple of weeks away so players are trying to get their games in shape. We could see some good golf this week, despite the limited coverage.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

I'll Never Get Used to This Spelling...

When I typed abrdn Scottish Open into Google, it promptly responded with "Did you mean aberdeen Scottish Open?"

Apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't understand the logic of this spelling, despite its usage on all the signs and articles I've seen... but that doesn't change the importance of this week.

Defending champion Aaron Rai

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open is the second of eight Rolex Series events on the European Tour, which is fitting because this has become a very important event for any player slated to play in THE OPEN the following week. Aaron Rai is the defending champion from the October date of this event in 2020.

This is the third year that the Scottish Open will be staged at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland. It's a par-71 links course measuring out at 7293 yards -- and the words links course are key here. Players will be looking to get some practice for Royal St George’s, and The Renaissance Club should provide all the weather and atmosphere necessary to get them in the mood for the 'bigger event' that follows.

I think it's safe to say that Jon Rahm is the primary name on everybody's radar this week. This is his first event since winning the US Open at Torrey and it's hard to believe he won't be amped up for this run of links golf.

GC's coverage starts early Thursday morning at 7:30am ET here in the US and runs until 1pm ET. That's fitting for a big event like this.

Even if they insist on using that weird spelling.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: John Deere Classic

Twofer Tuesday leaves the Motor City and heads for Tractor Central at the John Deere Classic.

2019 defending champion Dylan Frittelli

As courses go, TPC John Deere isn't terribly difficult. A par-71 track measuring a little under 7300 yards, it has a lot of elevation changes with a lot of opportunities for low (and high) scoring. It's one of the rare courses on Tour that can boast a 59, shot by Paul Goydos back in 2010. (Winner Steve Stricker shot a 60 the same day.)

TPC John Deere does seem to fit some players better than others. Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson are the #1 and #2 money winners at this event. Among active players Steve Stricker has three wins and Jordan Spieth two. Defending champion Dylan Frittelli -- from 2019 since this event wasn't played last year -- could make it two in a row himself.

But this is also a track that favors new winners and that does make this a tricky event to pick. TPC John Deere is much like TPC Sawgrass, in that it doesn't favor one style of play over another but some players seem to understand it better than others.

  • My first pick is Daniel Berger. With 6 Top10s in 17 starts, including a win and a 3rd, he's been a worthwhile pick this season. And with two of those Top10s in his last four starts, he's not someone to overlook at a track like this.
  • And my other pick is Steve Stricker, the only back-to-back-to-back winner at this event. It was jokingly referred to as the Steve Stricker Annual Annuity Tournament for a while! The Ryder Cup Captain is the  #1 money winner at this event... and he has 7 Top10s in 11 starts on the Champions Tour this season (including a major). It's hard to believe he won't post another Top10 this week.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 3pm ET. A number of players in the field (15) are already qualified for THE OPEN and one more will gain an exemption at the John Deere, so this week might give you some cues on who might win next week.

Monday, July 5, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic

Winner: Cam Davis

Around the wider world of golf: Former World #1 Jin Young Ko returned to the winner's circle for her first LPGA win of 2021 at the Volunteers of America Classic; Cameron Beckman won the DICK'S Sporting Goods Open on the Champions Tour; Lucas Herbert won the ET's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open; Stephanie Kyriacou won the LET's Big Green Egg Open; and Seong-Hyeon Kim won the Japan PGA Championship on the Japan Golf Tour.

Cam Davis with the Rocket Mortgage trophy

My Twofer Tuesday picks are definitely back on their previous performance arc. I had Matt Wolff (T58) and Webb Simpson (MC). Halfway through Wolff looked like he might have a chance but... Happy Fourth of July, right?

  • Top10s: 15 for 54 (11 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 26 events

To be honest, I didn't expect the Rocket to be so close. I didn't necessarily expect a huge blowout as we have seen the last two years but I didn't expect a three-way playoff that lasted five holes either! Even worse -- for me, at least -- I had seriously considered Joaquin Niemann as a Twofer Tuesday pick but decided his game wasn't quite on form nor did it quite fit this course.

But Niemann's birdie-birdie-par finish matched Troy Merritt's, and Cam Davis put up that eagle-birdie finish to make it a three-man playoff. And while some might say that Cam struggled with the putter, he put up four pars and a birdie to outlast the other two.

Never underestimate the Aussies, folks. Especially when it comes to scrambling!

Since this is Cam's first PGA Tour win, you know what that means... it's his first Limerick Summary as well. Good on ya, mate, and hopefully this will be only the first of many!

When four rounds of golf weren’t enough,
Cam Davis proved he had the stuff
To outlast the others
Betrayed by their putters;
His own let the Aussie hang tough.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Raymond Floyd on Playing Comfortable

Given how much we've heard lately from pros about mental stress, I thought this advice from Raymond Floyd would be appropriate. After all, the mental stress they talk about comes from trying to gain the approval of others, and putting pressure on ourselves to meet those unrealistic standards.

Raymond Floyd

Here are selected quotes from his book The Elements of Scoring.

...I think this is the best advice I can give anyone about playing golf. It's the biggest factor in consistently getting the most from your game.

To me, playing "comfortable" means understanding what you're capable of, and playing at a level just inside that boundary. It's also called playing within yourself.

It means playing golf the easiest way you can. Avoiding high-risk shots in favor of safe ones. Swinging easy instead of hard. Playing shots that allow you to relax rather than to feel pressure. Taking what the golf course gives you.

On its surface, this might not seem a very appealing concept. After all, isn't it part of the fun of golf to test your ability? Why intentionally underachieve when the way to improvement lies in stretching your limits?

Well, the truth is, you won't be underachieving at all, you'll be growing as a scorer, and your scores will come down, which is hardly a sign of underachieving. Playing within oneself is a time-honored method of sports performance, one the greatest athletes practice regularly...

It's important to make the distinction between playing comfortable and being "on" -- which occurs on those rare days when everything is clicking physically. Playing comfortable means accepting what you have that day -- no matter how little that might be -- and not forcing more. It's a mind-set more than a physical state. And it's a key to getting the most out of your game.

It's a lesson that came to me slowly, but once it came, I was in contention to win a lot more often.

On the mental side, playing comfortable engenders a calm, confident state of mind. You know you're hitting the shot with the greatest margin for error, so there's less pressure to hit the ball perfectly.

Or, as many of the pros have said recently, they needed to learn how to relax and just have fun on the golf course. Isn't it good to know that something so simple can be the key to better scoring?

Floyd writes much more about playing comfortable in his book -- including how this can actually result in getting the control you're pressuring yourself to develop -- but I think this enough to get you started.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Hitting the Ball First (Video)

Many players have problems hitting the golf ball before they take a divot. Learning how to hit a stinger, which was the focus of yesterday's post, requires you to hit the golf ball first. But if you're still having a problem hitting the ball first, maybe Rick Shiels can give you some help in this video.


Personally, I think the techniques in Rick's video are a bit more than most of you need. But if learning to hit a stinger is giving you trouble, then here are some drills that just might make a difference.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Zac Radford on the Stinger (Video)

Zac Radford is a mini-tour player who has become something of a legend for his mastery of the stinger -- enough of a master for golf.com to run an article on his ability just under a year ago. The article focuses on his five technical basics, as well as providing a link to his Instagram. (He also has a YouTube channel, and that's where I got the video below.)


You can read the article and watch the video to get the details -- the video also teaches you how to hit a slicing stinger, a hooking stinger and a rising stinger -- but his first key is one you don't usually hear and I think it may be the real key to learning how to 'sting' it effectively.

Don't reach for the driver, at least not at the start. Begin with your 5-iron. Zac says he uses a 4-iron most of the time. And I think this one piece of advice could be the most critical for those of you trying to develop a stinger.

A 5-iron has more loft and a shorter shaft than a driver, making it easier to get the ball up off the ground while making it easier to make solid contact and get the ball in the fairway. And since a stinger is intended to get much of its distance from rolling, a 5-iron stinger is going to give you A LOT more distance than a standard 5-iron... and probably more than a wayward drive as well.

In short, if you're looking for a dependable shot to get you in the fairway, Zac just may have just handed you the keys to a very desirable drive. Give it a try and see if you don't agree.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Rick Shiels Tests an Armlock Putter (Video)

I know you have only one question: Will this putter help me make more putts? Watch this video and see whether it helped Rick or not.


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The LPGA Catches Its Breath

The KPMG is over. The jockeying for Olympic spots is finished. The new Rolex #1 has been announced. But golf goes on, and most of the big names of the LPGA are taking a week off.

That doesn't mean we have nothing to watch this week. The Volunteers of America Classic is on.

Defending champion Angela Stanford

Of course, defending champion Angela Stanford is teeing it up. And a lot of the field consists of players we don't get to see as often, players trying to keep their cards. That's good news for fans of the players who don't get much coverage.

But that's certainly not the whole story. For example, while the American Olympic qualifiers -- Danielle Kang, Lexi Thompson and the Kordas -- are taking the week off, along with a number of the qualifiers from other countries, Korean qualifiers Sei Young Kim and Hyo Joo Kim are in the fields, as is Indian qualifier Aditi Ashok. And since there are five LPGA events before the women's golf (August 5-8), with the next major -- the Amundi Evian Championship -- starting on July 22, I think we should expect the top names to take at least one event off before their Olympic appearance.

And then there are players in the field that we haven't seen as often lately. Players like Juli Inkster, Paula Creamer, Yani Tseng and Natalie Gulbis are in Texas, so that will add a little spice to the mix.

So don't skip this event just because so many of the big names have. GC's main coverage is tape-delayed, starting Thursday at 6pm ET. (There will also be some streaming coverage on the NBCSPorts app and golfchannel.com starting at 5pm ET.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Rocket Mortgage Classic

Twofer Tuesday leaves the playoff atmosphere of the Travelers for the 72-and-done atmosphere of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau

Although it's only been played twice, the Rocket Mortgage at the Detroit Golf Club has been characterized by blowout wins -- a 6-shot win by 2019 champ Nate Lashley and last year's 3-shot win by newly-supersized Bryson DeChambeau.

One thing that excites me is that the inaugural John Shippen National Invitational event was won by Tim O'Neal, getting him a spot in the tournament. I've been a fan of Tim's ever since he barely missed a chance at a PGA Tour card way back in 2001, and I keep pulling for him to get that spot on Tour. He's 48 now so perhaps my hopes are more for a Champions Tour career, but he does have three PGA Tour Latinoamérica wins so I'm hoping he'll add the Rocket to that total.

He'll join 13 of the Top50 players in the OWGR. I know that doesn't sound like a particularly strong field, but you'd consider a lot of the players teeing it up in Detroit this week 'strong players'. (Like Phil Mickelson, for instance.) And it gives me a pretty good group to make my picks from.

  • I like Webb Simpson this week. While Detroit Golf Club is a longish course at 7370 yards it's also a par-72 course, which means Webb will have four par-5s to exploit each day. It's a Donald Ross design and Webb likes classic courses. And the greens are kinda small, which should play into his putting and short game strengths.
  • And my other pick is Matt Wolff. I know he hasn't played particularly well lately, but I think it's just a matter of time before he gets it back together -- and I expect that to be sooner rather than later. He finished 2nd here last year, so the good feelings may be just what he needs to make that move.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 3pm ET. I wonder if we'll see another blowout winner this week?

Monday, June 28, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Travelers Championship

Winner: Harris English

Around the wider world of golf: Nelly Korda moved to the #1 spot in the Rolex Rankings by winning her first LPGA major at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship; Steve Stricker won his third Champions Tour victory at the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship; Viktor Hovland became the first Norwegian winner in European Tour history at the BMW International Open; Chad Ramey won the inaugural Live and Work in Maine Open on the Korn Ferry Tour; Meghan MacLaren won the Prasco Charity Championship on the Symetra Tour; Conner Godsey won the Banco del Pacífico Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Atthaya Thitikul won the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open on the LET; and Ryosuke Kinoshita won the Dunlop SRIXON Fukushima Open on the Japan Golf Tour.

Harris English with Travelers trophy

Well, after two glorious weeks my Twofer Tuesday picks are back on form. I had Patrick Cantlay (T13) and Paul Casey (T36). What else can I say?

  • Top10s: 15 for 52 (11 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 25 events

For a while it looked as if Nelly Korda and Steve Stricker were going to steal the spotlight this weekend. Both won their majors by fairly large margins -- Stricks won by 6 and Nelly by 3 (although second place finisher Lizette Salas was 6 ahead of third place, making Nelly's win a legitimate runaway). But while Nelly did mention Bubba Watson and Matt Wolff as players who helped her mentally this week, that hardly helped the Travelers, did it?

Then came the playoff in Connecticut. Harris English and Kramer Hickok went toe-to-toe for eight holes, an extra two hours of play, each man making incredible shots that the other matched, before Harry emerged as winner.

It was the longest playoff in Travelers history and tied the record for the second-longest playoff in PGA Tour history.

Suddenly the Travelers event wasn't an also-ran after all!

Kramer didn't get his first PGA Tour win as he had hoped, but now everybody knows his name and just how tough he is under pressure. Things are also going to change for him going forward, not least of which is due to the 300 FedExCup points he gained. That catapulted him from outside the Top125 all the way up into the Top70.

As for Harry, he joined the ranks of multiple Tour winners this season... and you know what that means. Multiple Limerick Summaries! Man, some guys have all the luck!

Both Harris and Kramer had goals
That took those two EIGHT extra holes
To get the job done.
And while Harris won,
I bet both guys’ shoes need new soles!

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

What? Three Takeaways? (Video)

There are many swing methods because different instructors teach different methods for getting the swing on plane. All will work if you do them right, but more than likely one feels more natural to you than the others. Mike Malaska explains the basics of all three methods in this short video.


You can divide these three approaches into two groups, single-plane and two-plane swings. And you can call the two-plane approaches looped swings. But none of them are hard to understand.

  • In the single-plane approach, the backswing and downswing are pretty much on the same plane. This is a method that comes and goes in popularity, but it's always fairly common. Most people associate this swing with the late Moe Norman and, while a lot of players use it, I'd say Bryson DeChambeau is the most popular current user.
  • In what is probably the most common two-plane approach, the backswing is on plane and the downswing drops slightly beneath it. It's most commonly associated with Ben Hogan, but you can't turn on a golf broadcast without seeing someone using it. I'll give you Sergio Garcia as an obvious example.
  • And in the other two-plane approach, the backswing goes back low and under the plane, then it loops up and onto the plane for the downswing. As Malaska makes clear here, this swing isn't as popular because most players tend to lift their hands too high above the plane when they start down and end up coming over the top. Malaska mentions several players who have played this way, like Hale Irwin and Sam Snead, but probably the most famous player to swing this way was Bobby Jones.

As I said, any of these will work if you do them correctly... but one of them probably feels more natural to you and is the easiest for you to use and get good results. As long as you can get the clubface to hit the ball where you meant to hit it, it doesn't matter which one you use. And chances are good you already know which way is your way.

But it's worthwhile to understand how all three work because it can help you figure out swing problems when they pop up. That's why I've posted this video.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

The KPMG Performance Insights Program

No doubt you've at least heard about the new stats program that KPMG initiated this week at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Here are a few more details.

LPGA player and KPMG banner

You need to understand that the LPGA has been moving toward something like this for nearly five years, trying to restructure their historical scoring and stats database to get more complete info. Why has it taken so long?

I think it basically comes down to money. (Doesn't everything these days?) Don't make the mistake of thinking this is the LPGA equivalent of ShotLink, because it isn't. The PGA Tour's ShotLink program is an expensive program that has used both lasers and cameras positioned all over the course to capture all kinds of info.

KPGM Performance Insights is, at least for now, far less expensive to implement. Caddies are paid to keep a second pre-formatted scorecard, and the info they collect will be compiled and analyzed by KPMG. Still, as the NewsTribune article referenced below puts it, "The women would have access to the popular 'strokes gained' statistics off the tee, to the green and putting, along with shot dispersion and proximity to the hole from various distances."

By comparison, the LPGA is currently pretty much limited to fairways hit, greens hit, and putts taken. The new system is similar to what the European Tour does, albeit initially a bit slower to get the results out. (KPGM hopes to get the lag down to an hour after the rounds are finished as the system gets up-to-speed.) According to lpga.com, "There will also be data on how players perform from 25-yard increments and on proximity to the pin from certain distances. Also available will be shot dispersion charts, average birdie putt length and performance indexing over time against the field."

In addition, KPMG will now be promoted as the official data and analytics advisor of the LPGA Tour. And given how much effort KPMG has already put into eliminating the huge disparities between the men's and women's game, this is still a pretty big deal.

So while it isn't ShotLink, it's still a huge step forward. And officially, although caddies have already been working with the new system, it officially began at this week's major.

Those are the basics. The best single article I found on this new program came from an article published by both the NewsTribune website and the USAToday website. There are also a number of articles out there that go into detail about what we've got to look forward to as the program progresses. But the big news is that the LPGA will finally get more complete analytics showing just how good the girls really are.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Three Tips to Help You Break 90 (Video)

I like this Rick Shiels video because it's so thorough. For each of these tips he'll teach you:

  • how the shot is supposed to work
  • what clubs are best for hitting the shot
  • how you should address the ball to hit a good shot
  • the correct technique to get the best results

These tips are how I like to play these shots. I usually don't see videos this good that are this short. This video really can help you shoot lower scores!


Thursday, June 24, 2021

And Another Major as Well

As if the KPMG Women's PGA Championship wasn't enough, the Champions Tour is playing a major of their own this week -- the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

Defending champion Jerry Kelly

Bridgestone is a legendary course all on its own and, when it became the site of the SENIOR PLAYERS, it didn't lose any of its legendary status. This is the third year at its new home, and last year Jerry Kelly picked up his first ever major. You can bet he's excited to defend!

The Power Rankings at pgatour.com have Kelly on top, but the list reflects a loaded field. Steve Stricker, Retief Goosen, Fred Couples, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Ernie Els and Jim Furyk are just a few of the names... and all have experience at Firestone from back when the WGC was held there.

Looks to be a fun week!

GC's coverage starts today at 7pm ET. It's only a couple of hours but there's a lot of golf being played this week. Still, it's a bunch of legends playing a legendary course. How can you not at least check in?

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

LPGA Major = Olympic Dreams

This week is the final week for women golfers to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. It also happens to be the week of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, where a major win can mean a big change in the standings.

And for the American women, that's exactly what might happen.

Defending champion Sei Young Kim

Defending champion Sei Young Kim doesn't really need to worry about that, as she's ranked #4 in the Rolex Rankings and #3 on the Korean Team; it's unlikely that she'll drop far enough to fall out of the Top4 Korean players. So Yeon Ryu would have to make up over 3 points to knock Sei Young off the team.

But Jessica Korda is already #13 in the Rolex and #4 on the US Team... and Ally Ewing at #18 in the Rolex is just over a quarter point behind her; that's a deficit that's doable. In fact, Jennifer Kupcho at #24 and Austin Ernst at #26 are each less than a full point back.

And who knows how many other players from other countries could lock up their own Olympic dream with a good finish at the KPMG?

This is another week where the golf coverage is all over the place. Thursday's coverage looks like this:

  • 11am - 3pm ET on GC
  • 5pm - 7pm ET on Peacock Premium

That's right, the Peacock coverage isn't free this time. But NBC will adding some coverage on Saturday and Sunday, so NBC and GC will give us plenty over the weekend.

At any rate, with so much on the line, this is shaping up to be a great major!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Travelers Championship

Twofer Tuesday catches its breath after a wild US Open Sunday with a trip to the more laidback Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson

After a long hard four days at Torrey Pines players should find the leisurely par-70, 6841 yards of TPC River Highlands very relaxing. Defending champion Dustin Johnson may even rediscover some form this week as he returns to the site where his four-win run began last June.

The same could be said of Bubba Watson, who owns three wins and a T2 at this event. (As well as the earnings record at Travelers. PGATOUR.com says "His margin of $2.08M over Kevin Streelman in second is the same as Streelman’s over the next 60.")

Presumably I should take at least one of the three players I just mentioned in my Twofer Tuesday picks... but I haven't. I'm not sure any of them are in quite the form necessary for the challenge this shorter course presents. Granted, after last week I'm not sure many of the top players have much left in the tank so we may see a surprise winner this week. Who knows?

  • My first pick is Patrick Cantlay. Cantlay's play this year has been... sporadic, MCs interspersed with wins (2 this season). I can't find any real pattern to the courses he's played well (or poorly, for that matter) but I like his resilience. The more relaxed feel of this week may be just what he needs to pick up his third win of the season.
  • My other pick is Paul Casey. Paul has been playing really well as of late, even getting into contention at Torrey (T7). He's been posting Top10s in streaks this season, and historically he's a strong player at TPC Highlands with four Top5s in six appearances. He may be the one to overcome the US Open hangover and get the win this week.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 3pm ET. Perhaps I'm just intoxicated by getting two winners in two weeks, but I'm excited about these picks. Maybe I'm on a streak as well!

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 US Open

Winner: Jon Rahm

Around the wider world of golf: Harry Hall won the Korn Ferry Tour's Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics; Laird Shepherd won the R&A's Amateur Championship; Nelly Korda won the LPGA's Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give; Jiyai Shin won the JLPGA's Nichirei Ladies (her 60th career victory worldwide); and Min Ji Park won the KLPGA's DB Group 35th Korea Women's Open (a major on that tour).[Thanks, IC!]

Jon Rahm with the US Open trophy at Torrey Pines

My Twofer Tuesday picks just prove this is a crazy game. I had Garrick Higgo (MC) and Jon Rahm (1). Higgo didn't really surprise me, as I figured he might run out of energy after nabbing three wins on two continents in two months. As for Rahm... well, let's just say that after an entire season of losing picks I got two winners in two consecutive weeks. A crazy game indeed!

  • Top10s: 15 for 50 (11 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 24 events

This was truly a week of surprises as big names fell helplessly to the wayside on Sunday. But while some of them really surprised me -- like Bryson DeChambeau shooting +8 on the back nine Sunday -- I don't think anything surprised me as much as Louis Oosthuizen's pulled shot on the 17th. When players have fallen out of contention it's not unusual for them to lose concentration. But for Louis to make the one mistake he simply couldn't afford with the trophy within reach...

On the other hand, Jon Rahm did exactly what we all expected of him. Almost all of his wins have included some sort of miraculous putting exhibition to seal the deal. I guess it's just part of that wild hot-blooded Basque exuberance that's almost a stereotype these days.

But Jon no longer makes the kind of mistakes that have accompanied that exuberance in the past. A fist pump after draining a crucial putt? Sure. But a careless shot at the worst possible moment? It's been a while since we saw one of those. We sure didn't see any at Torrey Pines this week.

That's why Jon's holding the trophy as Spain's first US Open winner. And you've got to love it, no matter who you were pulling for.

So while Jon's picked up Limerick Summaries before, this Father's Day edition probably means more to him than the others. Zorionak, Jon!

It’s not hard to root for Jon Rahm.
He plays every shot with such calm…
But then, on the green,
There’s a fist-pumping scene
As he wins big by dropping a bomb.

The photo came from this page at cnn.com.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Creating a "Square" Takeaway (Video)

This video from Russell Heritage talks about something you don't hear very much. Take a look...


First, let me point out that he says something I really like and you probably remember reading something similar on my blog -- simply, if what you do is working for you, don't change it just because me or anybody else says it's wrong. Everybody swings a little differently and "wrong" for one person may be good for you. So if what you're doing works and it doesn't hurt, stick with it!

What caught my attention is what he says about shaft lean -- namely, that if you lean the shaft forward at address, the natural result will be taking the club back too much to the inside rather than taking it straight back on plane. He doesn't go into detail about why this is a problem, but it's because taking the club back inside too much on the backswing can create an over-the-top swing on the downswing.

I don't want you to think that this move is necessarily always a bad thing. On a short game swing, where you don't swing above waist high, this move might help you get better results on your chipping and pitching. Only you can be the judge of that, but that's the reason short game teachers tell you to set your weight more on your lead foot and put the ball back in your stance.

But that's short game, not full swing. It is possible to make this kind of full swing work; I can think of two ways but neither is particularly popular these days.

The first is Stack and Tilt. It never caught on with most teachers, but the swing does work if you do it properly. The address position creates a steep downswing that mimics a short game swing while making a full swing. Clearly Russell isn't a proponent of Stack and Tilt!

The other swing is what used to be called the St. Andrews swing, and Bobby Jones was a great example of that. The reason his version worked was that he had a very flat swing so the club never rose high enough to get over the top of a proper downswing plane. But that loopy move uses slightly different fundamentals than most of us learn these days, so it's a bit tricky to get it right.

What Russell demonstrates in this video works very well with the fundamentals Hogan taught, and will work with most other modern swing methods. You might want to experiment with it if you're having trouble with a slice because you aren't squaring the clubface at impact.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Rick Shiels, Min Woo Lee and Hickory Clubs (Video)

To commemorate Old Tom Morris's 200th birthday (06/16/1821) Callaway worked out an interesting celebration for Rick Shiels and Min Woo Lee. They played alternate shot on the Old Course at St. Andrews in the reverse direction -- Rick will explain during the video -- with an original set of hickory clubs. For the first few holes Rick plays the hickories while Min Woo plays with modern clubs, but for the final three holes they both play the hickories and use an original gutty ball. It's a great lesson on how golf has changed in 200 years as well as being really entertaining.


Friday, June 18, 2021

Rick Shiels Tests a LEGAL Oversize Golf Ball! (Video)

This just struck me as a curiosity. The Callaway Supersoft Max is an oversize two-piece golf ball that is completely legal, very soft, flies high and long... and promises to be easier to hit. Can it live up to the hype? And is it really the answer to your questionable game? Rick has the answers you're looking for.


Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Meijer LPGA Event Returns

Last year the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give was cancelled. This week it's back.

2019 defending champion Brooke Henderson

2019 champion Brooke Henderson is the defending champion, but the field should be fairly well stacked. Again, this is a product of Olympic qualifying -- this week's event and next week's KPMG Women's PGA Championship (the next major) are the only two LPGA events left in the qualifying process.

Of course a number of popular players who aren't going to make the Olympics are also playing -- Juli Inkster, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Gabriela Ruffles among them.

One interesting note is that, while most of the event will be televised by GC (today's time is from 10:30am-12:30pm ET), Sunday's coverage will be on CBS. It's nice to see more networks covering the LPGA, especially when it's not a major.

While watching the US Open will be the big thing this week, we shouldn't forget the LPGA. At the very least, this week will definitely serve as a warmup for the major next week so it should make for some great TV.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Finding the US Open on the Peacock App

Today I'm giving you a quick look at what the free Peacock TV app looks like if you want to download it for the extra US Open coverage.

First you go to www.peacocktv.com. If you scroll down that page a bit, you'll find the sign-up area:

Sign up screen

You'll want to choose the free option. But note that there are two 'Premium' choices -- the $4.99 version shows commercials, the $9.99 does not... or at least most of the time it doesn't. You can't read the small print on this photo but it says that some events have an agreement whereby you see ads even if you picked the more expensive 'no ads' choice.

In my opinion, if you want Peacock Premium the $4.99 is the best bet. I'd only take the more expensive one if I wanted to binge watch shows without commercials. But I digress...

After I chose the free option a couple of weeks back, I believe it only asked for my first name, an email address and a password. That's not too bad.

Once you sign up, the interface is similar to Disney+. You create a profile (just picking a picture to identify yourself when you sign on) which basically just remembers where you were if you stop a show in the middle, etc. (You're all used to this kind of thing, right? Let's move on.) When you click your picture you go to the main screen:

Main screen

See the menu across the top? Just click on 'Sports' and scroll down that page till you get to "2021 US Open.".

Sports screen

Now you just click on the program you want -- you can scroll sideways to see more -- and you're ready to go.

Just one more thing to show you. Obviously most of the choices are free but some require Peacock Premium. Here's how to tell the difference.

This program is free. The button just says "Add to Watchlist."

Free program

And this one requires Peacock Premium. See the button now says "Watch with Premium"?

Pay program

And that's pretty much it.

Overall I'd say the free version of Peacock TV is worth the price. (Heh heh.) Phil left me a note that Peacock has also added the KPMG Women's PGA to their programs. And with the Olympics coming up, I imagine a lot of the content will be available only on the app. So if you want to watch a lot of sports this summer, this is a good time to download the free app and get acquainted with it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: US Open

Twofer Tuesday trots crosscountry from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean for the US Open at Torrey Pines.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau

Torrey's a bit more of a beast during the summer than in its normal Farmers Insurance Open spot, although that shouldn't surprise any of the participants. But while Bryson DeChambeau is the defending US Open champ (at Winged Foot) and Patrick Reed is the current Farmers champ, neither will find similar conditions to those of the events where they won. In that sense, they won't have any advantage whatsoever.

There are any number of storylines at play this week, none more interesting than that of Phil Mickelson. Phil has spent the last week 'cramming for the exam' at Torrey, hoping to capitalize on his hometown vibe and the confidence gained from becoming the oldest major winner ever at Kiawah.

I'm pulling for Phil, of course, but he's not one of my Twofer Tuesday picks.

To be honest, I debated long and hard over who I should pick this week. At a major -- especially one at Torrey's South Course -- your picks need to be in solid form. But it seems as if everybody has at least some question mark beside his name. So I finally stopped thinking so hard and just went with my gut.

  • Of course I'm choosing Jon Rahm. You can argue that Rahm hasn't played in a week, that Torrey's harder than he's seen when he's won there, that he won't have as much time to figure out his strategy. But I don't think a week is going to give him much rust, especially after he'd built a six-stroke lead in three rounds at the Memorial before he had to WD. In fact, that WD may be the motivation that pushes him over the top.
  • And while he may be tired, I'm sticking with Garrick Higgo. He's won three times on both sides of the Atlantic in only two months, he's coming off his first PGA Tour win last week, and this is only his second major. But he's still on form, probably the best of anybody in the field (like he was last week), and I see no reason to stop betting the thoroughbred.

The viewing schedule for Thursday is complicated, even without counting GC's Live from the US Open broadcasts, and the times listed on pgatour.com don't jive with each other. After comparing several listings, this listing appears to be the most accurate. These times are only for actual coverage and all times are EST.

  • 9:45am-12:30pm on Peacock
  • 12:30-7pm on GC & Peacock Premium
  • 7-10pm on NBC & Peacock
  • 10-11pm on Peacock

Peacock also has four Featured Group broadcasts, 2 morning wave and 2 afternoon wave, so there's a lot of opportunities to watch.

You may remember that I downloaded the Peacock app before the US Women's Open, just to see what it's all about. While my schedule limited my chances to use it, I was pleased overall with what I did get to see. Tomorrow I'll do a short post about the free version of the app, what to expect if you download it and how to find the golf most easily. With so much coverage available for free it just seems like a reasonable thing to do.

Monday, June 14, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Palmetto Championship

Winner: Garrick Higgo

Around the wider world of golf: It was a busy week for golf! Mito Pereira got the battlefield promotion to the PGA TOUR by winning the BMW Charity Pro-Am on the Korn Ferry Tour; Jerry Kelly successfully defended at the American Family Insurance Championship on the Champions Tour; Brandon Matthews won The Club at Weston Hills Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Matilda Castren became the first Finn to win an LPGA event at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship; Morgane Metraux won the Island Resort Championship on the Symetra Tour; Jonathan Caldwell won the inaugural Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik & Annika jointly sponsored by the ET and LET (Alice Hewson was 'low female', finishing 2 shots back in solo 3rd); Joo-hyung Kim won the SK Telecom Open on the KPGA; Min Ji Park won the KLPGA'S Celltrion Queens Masters; and Serena Aoki won the JLPGA'S Ai Miyazato Suntory Ladies Open. [Thanks for the Asian updates, IC!]

Garrick Higgo with the Palmetto Championship trophy

Talk about extremes -- my Twofer Tuesday picks this week were feast or famine! I had Patton Kizzire (MC) and Garrick Higgo (1). Patton surprised me by missing the cut but Garrick did even better than I dared dream, giving me my first winner of 2021!

  • Top10s: 14 for 48 (10 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 1 for 23 events

Let me start by saying I feel really bad for Chesson Hadley. It's got to be a gut-wrenching feeling to lose a 4-stroke lead on Sunday... but I hope he'll step back and realize how much this tournament gave him to build on. Even Jordan Spieth coughed up some leads on his way back from his struggles and Chesson's win drought lasted over twice as long as Jordan's, plus Chesson had a lot more missed cuts over the last few months. It's just tough to get a win when you're working your way back. 

But then again, he -- and the rest of the field -- ran into a buzzsaw when Garrick Higgo showed up in South Carolina. As you'll remember from my Twofer Tuesday post, I picked Garrick because he had won twice in Europe over the last couple of months, made the cut in his first major at Kiawah Island, and came from a part of the world where courses like Congaree are common. I felt he was on form and could easily post a Top10.

Then he posted the clubhouse lead at -11 with a final round 68 (-3)... and all the favorites just couldn't keep up. I mean, six players finished in second place, all of whom (except Chesson) shot as low or lower than Garrick but were too far back when the day started to catch him.

Now Garrick has his PGA Tour card, along with three wins on two continents in just two months. Who knows what he might do going forward? At least we know he's getting his first Limerick Summary!

He’s won twice in Europe this year
And he’s done it again over here!
The PGA Tour
Now has Garrick for sure
And his odds for success are quite clear.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Collin Morikawa's Three Driver Shots (Video)

In this video Collin Morikawa demonstrates three shots with the driver -- a low trajectory 'fairway finder' shot, a regular trajectory 'go-to' shot, and a high trajectory shot for carrying trouble or riding the wind. You'll probably find a use for at least one of them!


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Learning to Use the Clubface (Video)

Mike Malaska calls this 'aiming the hands to get on plane' (no forearm rotation!) but I tend to think of it as simply learning to use the clubface. This is something you probably do naturally if you have played baseball or tennis or even hockey, but for some reason we just don't do it when we make a golf swing. Mike demonstrates a great drill that will help you learn how to use the clubhead properly; he starts talking about it at around the 1:30 mark but the actual demo starts around the 1:45 mark. It's a great drill to teach the feel of 'hammering' that ball!


Friday, June 11, 2021

How to Use a Chipper (Video)

If you have a lot of trouble with your short game, you may have considered getting a special club called a chipper. In this video Neil Tappin from Golf Monthly puts a Mazel Chipper through its paces, explaining the design of a chipper, showing the proper technique and helping you understand what kind of shots it is and isn't good for. If you're considering adding a chipper to your bag, you'll want to watch this video.


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Just a Reminder

I almost forgot to mention the Scandinavian Mixed event on the ET this week. This is a seriously cool event.

Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam

As europeantour.com summed it up:

Tournament hosts Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam are hoping to inspire the next generation of golfing superstars as the European Tour breaks new ground at the 2021 Scandinavian Mixed.

For the first time, a field of 78 men and 78 women are going head to head on the same course competing for one prize fund and one trophy at Vallda Golf and Country Club.

All the players share the same practice facilities and men and women have been drawn together for the tournament days, as well as playing practice rounds together.

GC's coverage starts this morning (Thursday) at 7am ET. This is such a unique event that I didn't want it to slip by unnoticed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Question: Why Did the LPGA Cross the Road?

Answer: Because this week's tournament was on the other side.

The LPGA moves from the US Women's Open at The Olympic Club to the LPGA Mediheal Championship at the Lake Merced Golf Club. According to Google Maps, it's a six-minute drive down John Daly Blvd and Skyline Blvd. It's almost literally across the road.

Map

The Mediheal event is only two years old but -- yeah, you've heard this before -- the pandemic forced its cancellation last year. So the 2019 champion, Sei Young Kim, is the defending champion.

2019 defending champion Sei Young Kim

While the event is only two years old, Lake Merced hosted three Swinging Skirts events from 2014 t0 2016. Of these five events, Lydia Ko has won three (2014, 2015, 2018) and since she's already won once this season, you have to figure she might be a favorite this week.

I guess the real excitement concerns the Olympics. There are now only three LPGA events left for players to make their way into the Japan Games, and eight of the Rolex Top10 will be teeing it up. We won't be seeing last week's winner Yuka Saso although she accepted her LPGA membership. Of course, she doesn't need to worry about the Olympics -- the US Women's Open win guaranteed her appearance as the top Filipino player.

But for those of you wondering, we will be seeing Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie West and Lucy Li (Li's playing on a sponsor's exemption).

Just like last week, this West Coast event gets prime time coverage so GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 6pm ET. I wonder if Lydia can make it four wins in six events?

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Palmetto Championship

Twofer Tuesday leaves Jack's Place and heads back to South Carolina for the third time this season, for the Palmetto Championship at Congaree.

Congaree Golf Club

I'll let pgatour.com explain the situation here:

The Palmetto Championship at Congaree is a one-time replacement for the RBC Canadian Open, as lingering concerns tied to the U.S.-Canada border and ongoing COVID-19 challenges made it too difficult to host Canada’s national open for the second year in a row.

This is the third PGA TOUR event contested in South Carolina this season (RBC Heritage and PGA Championship) while the Korn Ferry Tour’s BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation will be hosted in South Carolina the same week as the Palmetto Championship.

But while this is a stand-in of sorts for a national championship, don't make the mistake of thinking it's a second-rate course. Congaree Golf Club is long -- par 71, 7655 yards -- and built to mimic an Australian sandbelt course. It's not going to be a pushover by any means.

And a number of the big names are already at Torrey Pines, prepping for the US Open next week. That means we could see someone whose game has been almost there step up and get a win in SC.

  • My first pick is Patton Kizzire. Patton's been erratic this season to say the least. But while he missed the cut last week at the Memorial, he posted T3s in both of the Texas events he played before that. And being from the Southeast, he should feel pretty comfortable at Congaree.
  • My other pick may be unfamiliar to many of you -- Garrick Higgo. Garrick plays the ET and, at only 22 years old, he's showing some real promise. He's 8th in the Race to Dubai and 54th in the OWGR. (He caught my attention when he won the Canary Islands Championship last month.) Since February 2020 he's posted four wins -- the Sunshine Tour's Tour Championship and three ET events. In fact, in his last four ET events, he posted two wins and no worse than T8... and he followed them up with a T64 at the PGA Championship. Not bad for his first major appearance! And since he's from South Africa, I think Congaree's similarities to sandbelt courses may work to his advantage. In my opinion, he's the most promising choice in the field.

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 3pm ET. I'll be honest here -- I think I'm most excited to see what Higgo can do this week. He's going to be in the US Open at Torrey next week, so this will be his warmup. I think this young man has some real potential!

Monday, June 7, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Memorial

Winner: Patrick Cantlay

Around the wider world of golf: There were a number of playoff wins this week! Yuka Saso got one at the US Women's Open on the LPGA; Mito Pereira got one at the REX Hospital Open on the Korn Ferry Tour; Pia Babnik got one at the Jabra Ladies Open on the LET; and Hana Jang got one at the KLPGA'S Lotte Open. Among 'normal' wins, Alex Haindl won the SunBet Challenge on the Sunshine Tour; Stephen Ames won the Principal Charity Classic on the Champions Tour; Ritsuko Ryu won the Yonex Ladies on the JLPGA; Dong-min Lee won the Descente Korea Munsingwear Match Play Championship on the KPGA; and Ryosuke Kinoshita won The Japan Golf Tour Championship Mori Building Cup Shishedo Hills. (Thanks for the Asian Tours updates, IC!)

Patrick Cantlay with Memorial trophy

The pandemic gypped me out of a probable winner. My Twofer Tuesday picks this week were Collin Morikawa (P2) and Jon Rahm (WD). I had a chance at two Top5s and the winner before Jon -- with a six-stroke lead -- had to withdraw after testing positive. At least I got one Top5. (And yes, that P2 means Collin lost in a playoff.)

  • Top10s: 13 for 46 (9 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 0 for 22 events

Of course, when Jon WDed he left Collin and Patrick Cantlay tied at the top. Neither player set the course on fire (both shot -1 for the final round) although heavy rains certainly share some of the blame. In any case, they held on well enough to go to a playoff.

That lasted precisely one hole, which Patrick won with a par. It was his second victory at Muirfield Village.

Jon's positive covid test definitely put a damper on the final round, with Jack Nicklaus saying he felt sorry for Jon, fans and sponsors but also for the eventual winner, who might feel the victory was a bit hollow since Jon had such a huge lead. But I like what Patrick told pgatour.com about it:

“I'll definitely remember it slightly different. But the way it felt today, it felt no different. It is a very unfortunate situation and not anything I would wish on anybody. (Jon) played so great for the first three rounds. So there's a little something that I can't quite put my finger on that makes it feel a little different but I really hit a lot of clutch solid shots today and so I think I'll remember that mostly,” Cantlay said of the circumstances.

So today's Limerick Summary simply turned out to be a bit prophetic. I can't help but wonder what Patrick might do at the US Open in a couple of weeks.

When Jon Rahm withdrew from the field
And his huge lead could no longer build,
Patrick Cantlay swept in
And walked off with the win…
But I know that he’s still just as thrilled!

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Just My Luck...

As you probably heard, Jon Rahm had to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament after the third round because he tested positive for covid. I feel bad for Jon, as this is horrible timing for him.

But it's just my luck...

Jon Rahm

If you remember my Twofer Tuesday picks earlier in the week, Jon was one of them. Having picked him and Collin Morikawa at the Memorial, I was on my way to getting two Top10s or better as well as a potential win -- my first of the year.

So Jon racks up a six-stroke lead after three rounds... and has to WD.

I'm not insensitive here, folks. Unless there's some way to clear him in less than two weeks, Jon's going to miss the US Open. I think we'd all agree he's a favorite to win at Torrey since he's won there before.

There's also the complication of having a new baby (as well as his wife) that he won't be able to see while he's in quarantine. That's a double whammy that nobody deserves, let alone a good guy like Jon.

Granted, with Jon's WD Collin moves up into a tie for the lead with Patrick Cantlay. I'm likely to get at least a Top10 and maybe even the eventual winner.

But I admit it. I'm greedy and I wanted the sweep.

I'm going to be so glad when this pandemic is over. If you haven't gotten your vaccination yet, please consider doing so. The sooner we reach that 'herd immunity' level, the sooner our lives can get back to some semblance of normal.

I'm sure Jon feels the same way.