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Friday, December 31, 2021

Yet Another Unusual Approach to Shoulder -- and Hip -- Turn (Videos)

Yesterday I posted a video from Alex Fortey that -- let's be blunt here -- sounded somewhat unorthodox but certainly looked a lot like what Jon Rahm does. Today I'm going to do something similar.

Here's a video from Tom Saguto and I have no doubt that you'll think his approach is even crazier than Fortey's sounded. And to be honest, I have never liked the phrase "effortless power" because it's just not true -- to create power, it takes effort. (Just watch Bryson DeChambeau if you still question that.) What you need is relaxed speed, which is how most pro athletes trying to create speed would describe their efforts.

But the wording doesn't invalidate what Saguto is teaching here.

If you compare the Fortey and Saguto videos you'll hear a number of differences in their teaching... but you'll also see a number of similarities in what they're actually doing. Take a look at Saguto's video and then I'll show you something you may not expect.


Saguto and Fortey both seem to be teaching some sort of Stack and Tilt move, as the hips appear to move toward the target on the backswing and stay there during the downswing. But if Fortey's move resembled Rahm, check out how closely Saguto's move resembles that of Arnold Palmer. The following video show Palmer in slow motion, and at around the :20 mark he makes it in front of a grid.


So do the Fortey and Saguto videos overturn all the traditional teaching you've heard? In a word, NO. But there are a number of ways to make a dependable golf swing and, while neither Rahm or Palmer fit the traditional mold, both have been extremely successful at the game.

As we prepare to begin 2022 and many of you are planning your attack on the "perfect golf swing," I'd like you to remember that your "perfect" golf swing is the one that you can make consistently and without pain. Don't pursue perfection -- pursue improvement. Accept your limitations and learn how to make the most of what you've got. This is YOUR golf swing. As long as it works for you, you don't owe any apologies to anybody. And if your partners laugh at your unorthodox swing, just remember...

Kicking ass is the best revenge.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

A Different Way to Think About Shoulder Turn (Video)

You're going to hear what Alex Fortey says at the beginning of this video and think it's heresy, but don't tune out too soon. Alex isn't telling you not to turn your shoulders, but rather he wants you to think about creating a shoulder coil with more relaxation and far less lateral movement. He demonstrates two different approaches that give similar results but one may appeal to you more than another.

As crazy as this sounds, he's creating a shorter golf swing that looks very similar to that of Jon Rahm and some other players on Tour. It's worth a listen -- and maybe a little bit of experimentation on the range -- before you write it off.


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Another Chipping Drill (Video)

I keep running across this drill so I thought I'd post it. It's a sample that's been put out for free by GC's GolfPass channel showing a chipping drill that uses a small pillow to help eliminate "chicken winging" during your chips. It might help some of you -- and you can use it indoors -- so give it a try.

Let me mention that there's more than one way to chip and, if you're working with some of the alternate chipping methods like Bobby Jones used to use, you might find this drill doesn't help. (Some of those alternate techniques do bend your trailing elbow and only keep the lead elbow straight.) But don't be afraid to experiment to see if this drill feels more natural to you.


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Can Shot Tracking Help You? (Video)

If you've ever wondered what it's like to use a shot tracking system, this is the video for you. Neil Tappin at Golf Monthly has been using the ARCCOS system for a year and here he tells not only what sort of things you might learn from it but the last third of the video tells you what the whole process is like. If using this sort of system is part of your new year's plans, this video may be just what you're looking for.


Monday, December 27, 2021

Collin Morikawa's Iron Play (Video)

Obviously there's no Limerick Summary today so let's look at a master at work. Collin Morikawa is considered one of the best iron players in the game today. In this video he talks a lot about how he approaches full iron shots, his drills, his practice routine and his strategy on the course. There's A LOT here, folks, so be prepared to take some time with this video.

From what I can find, he approaches his wedges a bit differently from his other irons but I haven't been happy with the videos I've found yet. (And yes, I'm still looking.) But I think you'll find it much easier to understand his wedge play once you understand what's in this video.


Sunday, December 26, 2021

One of My Favorite Chipping Tips (Video)

I like to do posts about this particular tip every so often because I feel this is an important yet overlooked chipping technique. If you watch video as old as Bobby Jones's teaching videos, you'll see him teaching this very same technique, and it has been repeated by various short game masters in the decades since. This very short video from Rick Shiels doesn't waste time explaining why you should use it; it just gives you the basics of how to do it in less than a minute. Don't skip this video!


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Merry Christmas!

Why Aren't You Getting Better? (Video)

Sometimes equipment problems are the reason we stop improving, but more often it's because we just don't know what we should do. This Golf Monthly video covers ten things that can cause our improvement to stop dead in its tracks. Perhaps you'll see one or two things you can build your New Year's golf program around and start lowering your scores again.


Friday, December 24, 2021

Tommy Fleetwood's 5 Pro Tips (Video)

Rick must have locked Tommy away for several days to make all the videos he has! In this one Tommy gives you five tips that successful pros follow. Your first reaction will likely be "I've heard these before" but what makes this video useful is that Tommy not only gives you tips but also various drills and strategies to put these tips into practice. A very useful video indeed.


Thursday, December 23, 2021

A Simple Footwork Drill (Video)

My last two posts have focused on the swings of Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead. Today I decided to round out this trilogy of videos with a drill that gives you a new way to feel the basics of their footwork. It's a short video but you might find it helpful.

The basic idea here is that power hitters have always tended to lift their lead heel in their backswing but, if you were taught to keep that lead foot glued flat to the ground, it can feel a bit awkward. This drill has you lift your lead heel very slightly at address and keep it off the ground until you change direction at the top of your backswing.

I know this sounds a bit strange but the lift is so slight that it may be enough to teach you the feel of rocking your swing from foot to foot without swaying. And when you've got good footwork it's much easier to create a relaxed swing with a big arc that generates a lot of clubhead speed. It's simple enough to try and see if it works for you.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Learning from Sam Snead's Swing (Video)

After watching Sam Snead's swing in yesterday's post, I thought you might like a closer look at the "Slammin' Sam" swing. (Yes, they actually called him that.) There are two things I think you can really learn from when you watch Sam:

  • the freedom of this swing back and through, and
  • what is sometimes called the "Snead Squat," which is simply how Sam stays down and level until he actually hits the ball, which allows him to hit it solidly every time. (Yes, he does push up as he he hits the ball, as you can see it in this video. He just doesn't straighten up before he gets to the ball.)

There seems to be a trend among some of the younger pros to create this kind of swing -- Justin Thomas comes to mind. And this video does a good job of showing how it all works together.


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

So Let's Watch Some Classic Golf Swings! (Video)

Since we'll be without new golf for a couple of weeks, let's watch some classic golf with some legendary swings. Today I've got a 1963 episode of Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf featuring Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead. Sam was 50, Jack 23 -- an elder statesman taking on a young upstart. Both players have similarities in their swings and some differences as well. And since the show focuses on only these two players, it's a good opportunity to study two legends of the game. Enjoy!


Monday, December 20, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 PNC Championship

Winner: John Daly and John Daly II

Around the wider world of golf: None of the major tours had regular field events going on this week.

The winning team of John Daly and his son

Again, I made no no Twofer Tuesday picks this week. But that doesn't mean there was no excitement at the PNC Championship.

First, Charlie Woods gets at least some bragging rights over Justin Thomas. He and his dad beat JT and his dad by by one shot for the week, giving the Woods team solo second while the Thomases had to settle for T3 this year.

Second, Charlie and Tiger made a record 11 birdies in a row to shoot 57 in the last round. Given that Tiger didn't even know if he'd even be able to play this week -- at what he termed a "hit and giggle" event -- until the last minute, it was pretty impressive all around.

But it wasn't nearly as impressive as the Dalys also posting a 57 to win by two shots, setting a new event scoring record in the process. After all, their record sealed the win.

Just because John Daly is sporting a beard that makes him look older than he is -- and which, btw, allowed him to play a very cool-looking Santa at the get-togethers this week -- doesn't mean he can't still play golf. And his son JDII (which he says is how he wants to be known now) is clearly getting even better at the game than he has been in the past. (I'm sure his college coach -- JDII's a freshman at Arkansas -- is smiling from ear to ear.) They made their win look easy.

Do I really need to say more than this? This father-son team has been knocking at the door for a while. Sunday they finally kicked it open... and then slammed it shut, right in their challengers' faces. That's a nice Christmas present to give yourselves.

And a nice way to pick up a Limerick Summary as well!

It’s Santa & Son for the win!
The Dalys went deep at the end.
With John Jr’s guts
And JD’s clutch putts,
It’s more like a “crush it and grin.”

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Rick Shiels VS Tommy Fleetwood? (Video)

Since there's not much golf going on leading up to Christmas, I thought this would be something fun to watch. It's simple enough -- Rick Shiels is playing 18 holes of stroke play against Tommy Fleetwood EXCEPT Tommy is going to spot Rick 10 shots! Sounds like an interesting challenge...

But really, will that be enough?


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Chris Ryan on Getting More Driver Distance (Video)

In this video Chris describes the relationship between swing path, attack angle, ball speed and distance. He also includes a drill to help you. You may think you've heard this before but I'd be willing to bet you'll be surprised. Chris actually gets extra carry distance with less ball speed! The technique is relatively simple but remember: This is how to get more distance off a tee.


Friday, December 17, 2021

Don't Forget: Tiger Plays TODAY!

I'm sure you know that Tiger is playing in the PNC Pro-Am today and GC's coverage officially starts at 12:30pm ET. But you may not have heard that, since he's teeing off at 9am ET, GC will be doing extra coverage during Golf Today starting at 9:30am ET. So if you want to see more of Tiger's first public appearance since the accident, don't forget to tune in.

Tiger and Charlie

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Mike Malaska on Creating Driver Speed (Video)

In this short video Mike Malaska teaches you the basic "feel" for creating a speedy driver swing. Much of this you've heard before while some may be new to you.


But part of the key to using this "feel" is to avoid the temptation of just hitting positions. Watch the video and try to imagine how the swing feels. Focus on making this free-swinging motion with as little tension as possible to get the most good from it.

Part of the key is avoiding another temptation -- that is, over-emphasizing the motion while you swing. Most of us don't realize how much we exaggerate moves when we try to copy them. Your goal is to make the swing as economically as possible, avoiding big bends in your knees or moving too far from side-to-side when transitioning from backswing to downswing.

What you're after is a motion that feels as easy as turning from side-to-side while holding a tray of food at a party -- it gets the job done without slinging food and drinks everywhere. When you get that feel, you'll find it much easier to make consistent contact.

And consistent contact -- or, if you prefer, smash factor -- is the biggest factor in hitting it long. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

I Don't Think Caddies Should Worry Yet... (Video)

Rick's tested some crazy things before but I think this robot caddie takes the cake. Enjoy this... glimpse of the future?


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The PNC Championship is Back

It's not listed on the PGA Tour schedule but you know all the guys are ready for it. It used to be called the PNC Father-Son but since the event (rightfully in my opinion) agreed that daughters should be allowed to play as well -- I don't think we've seen a Mother-Daughter pairing yet -- the name has been streamlined to the PNC Championship.

Defending champions Justin and Mike Thomas

The event will once again be played (as it has since 2002) at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando FL. While it's listed as a par-72 course measuring 7100 yards, the fact is that there are different tees in play because the younger players -- and this year, perhaps Tiger -- simply can't play from the same set of tees as the adults. But however the officials figure out who plays which tee, they've done it well in the past so I see no reason that should change.

Tiger does add an element of interest to the event though. Will they put him on an adjusted tee to compensate for the severity of his leg injury, or will they just let Charlie take care of the tee shots? It does seem a bit unfair to Charlie if they decide on the latter!

There are 20 pairings, all standard father-son pairings except for Nelly Korda who's playing with her dad and Bubba Watson who's playing with his father-in-law. Justin and Mike Thomas are back to defend their 2020 win.

  • Justin Thomas & Mike Thomas (Defending champs)
  • Bubba Watson & Wayne Ball
  • David Duval & Brady Duval
  • Gary Player & Jordan Player
  • Henrik Stenson & Karl Stenson
  • Jim Furyk & Tanner Furyk
  • John Daly & Little John Daly
  • Lee Trevino & Daniel Trevino
  • Mark O’Meara & Shaun O’Meara
  • Matt Kuchar & Cameron Kuchar
  • Nelly Korda & Petr Korda
  • Nick Faldo & Matthew Faldo
  • Nick Price & Greg Price
  • Padraig Harrington & Paddy Harrington
  • Rich Beem & Michael Beem
  • Stewart Cink & Reagan Cink
  • Tom Lehman & Sean Lehman
  • Tom Watson & Michael Watson
  • Tiger Woods & Charlie Woods
  • Vijay Singh & Qass Singh

There are only two rounds, on Saturday and Sunday. Each day starts on GC then moves over to NBC, although there's a three-hour gap between the coverage on Saturday. GC's Saturday coverage runs 11am-noon ET then moves over to NBC at 3pm ET.

I know most of the excitement for this event concerns Tiger's first public return as a player since his accident, but this is always fun to watch because the kids get such a good chance to show off, just as Charlie did last year. We should expect more surprises this year.

Monday, December 13, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 QBE Shootout

Winner: Kevin Na/Jason Kokrak

Around the wider world of golf: Alan Wagner won the Scotia Wealth Management presented by Volvo on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.

Jason Kokrak and Kevin Na with the QBE trophy

Once again, there were no Twofer Tuesday picks this week. Those won't be back until January.

But that doesn't mean there was no golf. The QBE Shootout (formerly the Shark Shootout) with twelve teams of two players -- some of whom seem almost random in their pairings -- did their annual 54-hole December competition. And this one actually had some drama at the end.

I won't belabor Jason Day and Marc Leishman's failure to close out when they had a three-stroke lead to start the day. With the alternative formats in use each day -- and the final round being basically best ball by some of the best players around -- you can't take anything for granted.

Kevin Na and Jason Kokrak started the day three back, fell to five back after the fifth hole and then rattled off TWELVE birdies in thirteen holes to take the title. Na himself posted seven birdies in a row. You simply can't predict that kind of play, especially when you have a long player and a short player teamed together.

Especially when both get hot with the putter. It's unlikely that any course will effectively prevent them from attacking every hole.

While the QBE isn't an official event, it's certainly the kind of event where players can find something to launch them into the new year. (Even Day learned that the swing changes he's made to help his back are starting to work.) And it certainly gives both Na and Kokrak encouragement that their good play over the last year or two is still with them.

And of course they walk off with another Limerick Summary, which is never a bad thing.

One long and one short off the tee,
They started the day back by three.
But Kokrak and Na
Had the final hurrah,
Shooting 60 to grab victory.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Tommy Fleetwood on Working with Just One Manufacturer (Video)

This is another clip from the Rick Shiels/Tommy Fleetwood interview that covered something I had never considered. Why do the pros sign with a single manufacturer so often when they can afford to play any brand they want? The answer might surprise you. It certainly suprised me.


Saturday, December 11, 2021

Introducing a Young Child to Golf (Video)

Here's something many of you may wonder about: How do you introduce a young child to the game you love? In this video Paige is spending some time with her two-year-old niece Delilah on the golf course. After watching the two of them, maybe you'll get a few ideas of your own.


Friday, December 10, 2021

Just a Quick Reminder...

GC's coverage of the QBE Shootout starts today at noon ET.

Defending champs Matt Kuchar and Harris English

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Alistair Davies's 5 Putting Tips (Video)

UK Golf Coach Alistair Davies has five tips that might improve your putting. I think you should pay particular attention to the first one regarding eye line and aim. Too many of you haven't heard it before and I think it's something that isn't stressed often enough.


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Tommy Fleetwood on Playing with Tiger (Video)

I stumbled across this excerpt from a podcast Rick Shiels did with Tommy Fleetwood. Tommy got to play with Tiger quite a bit during his amazing run at the end of 2018 where he won the ZOZO and the Tour Championship, and in this excerpt he talks about what it was like.


The entire podcast is nearly two hours long. If you're interested, you can watch the whole thing at this link.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Holiday Team Event

This isn't a Twofer Tuesday event so let's just take a quick look at the QBE Shootout.

Defending champions Matt Kuchar and Harris English

The QBE is an unofficial event -- and unlike the Hero, no points up for grabs this week -- with 12 two-player teams. The 54-hole event uses a different format each round -- scramble, modified alternate shot and better-ball rounds. And the defending champs are Matt Kuchar and Harris English, who posted -37 last year.

Yes, this is a LOW scoring team event.

The QBE is played at Tiburon, which also hosts the LPGA's Tour Championship. That's convenient as the most interesting team this year is the pairing of Bubba Watson and Lexi Thompson. Both have had success on this course and this first-time pairing should be fun to watch.

For those of you playing fantasy golf, here's a link to pgatour.com's Power Rankings. It will give you the skinny on all 12 pairings, some of which look pretty random and could result in unexpected contenders on Sunday.

GC's coverage starts Friday at noon ET. This is certainly not a high-pressure event but it's hard not to enjoy an event where the pros play the kind of games that amateurs play and still manage to shoot -37. It's a nice relaxing way to pass some time as we recover from Christmas shopping.

Monday, December 6, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Hero World Challenge

Winner: Viktor Hovland

Around the wider world of golf: Daniel van Tonder won the Sunshine Tour's South African Open which, if you didn't know, is the second oldest tournament in the world; Jorge Fernández-Valdés won the 115 VISA Argentine Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; and Hideto Tanihara won the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup on the Japan Golf Tour.

Viktor Hovland with Tiger and the Hero trophy

My decision to make some picks this week paid off after all. My Twofer Tuesday picks were Collin Morikawa (T5) and Justin Thomas (T5). Collin looked to give me a win before stumbling, but at least he got me a Top5, and JT rallied for a nice finish as well.

  • Top10s: 4 for 20 (2 Top5, 2 Top10s)
  • Winners: 0 for 10

Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas turned out to be much harder this week than the players expected. And Sunday's wild scoring swings just added to the excitement. Players were missing fairways by a lot and greens by a little -- and either way, they paid a stiff price.

The final pairing of Brooks Koepka and Collin Morikawa was a classic example. Collin had a five-shot lead over Brooks when the day began, but the two ended the round +6. Several players made runs, only to have their brief leads snatched away as soon as they came.

Except for Viktor Hovland, that is. Coming off his win at Mayakoba just a month ago, he overcame the chipping problems most players faced by simply hitting awesome full shots and putting like it was going out of style.

But even he wasn't immune. His final five holes were eagle-eagle-birdie-bogey-bogey to win by a single shot.

Nevertheless, a win's a win and under tough conditions at that.

As a result, Viktor gets his third worldwide win of the season. Therefore, he gets his second Limerick Summary for the same time period. Perhaps his fellow players should start looking over their shoulders for him!

He roared through the field from six back
When Collin’s game started to crack.
And once Vik got going
His lead started growing;
The field fell before his attack.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

How Rick Shiels Fixes a Hook (Video)

Most players struggle with a slice but lots of players fight a hook. In this short video Rick explains how he would fix it. Even if you don't want to try this, Rick does a good job of explaining what causes a hook in the first place. Once you understand why you do it, it's much easier to fix it!


Saturday, December 4, 2021

Golf Gift Ideas (Video)

Nothing spectacular today but I hope it's useful. With Christmas coming, here are some ideas for golf gifts at a variety of price levels. Even if the suggestions themselves don't appeal to you, perhaps they'll stimulate your imagination a bit.


Friday, December 3, 2021

Another Approach to Chipping from Tight Lies (Video)

This video is different from many of the 'chipping from tight lies' videos I've posted before. Usually the demonstrations use different clubs to get different results, but Paige really is teaching you three different techniques because she's using the same club for each shot -- in her case, that's a 54° wedge. If you pay attention, you'll learn how small variations in technique can affect the way the ball reacts when it lands on the green.


Thursday, December 2, 2021

10 Tips for Better Winter Performance (Video)

If you don't want winter to keep you away from the golf course, Kit Alexander has two handfuls of tips to help keep your game sharp when the weather gets cold. Some you may have heard before, but some may make your winter golf a bit more enjoyable. Give this video a watch if you sneer at the cold!


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

It's Nice to Have Him Back

No news here. Tiger showed up to host the Hero World Challenge, this time in a non-playing role. Totally expected.

Tiger at the Hero

I'm not going to belabor the presser. You've been hearing about it all day Tuesday and will likely continue to hear about it from now on.

The two big things he said?

  1. He probably won't be a regular Tour player going forward but sees no reason he couldn't get it together for a few events a year once he gets back in playing shape. That includes finding some distance again, as he joked about possibly being competitive if the Masters par-3 event was the standard length of a Tour venue.
  2. He also threw his support behind the PGA Tour as opposed to the rumors of a Greg Norman-headed world tour. No big surprise there either but, with both Rory and Tiger taking this stand, any new tour will likely now find itself in an uphill battle to draw off any major players.

Many of the commentators were complaining that Tiger was giving no real information and none of the media at the presser were willing to push for more. Again, nothing new there.

As for my take on all this, the post title says it all. It's nice to have Tiger back in the spotlight, even if all he can do is let us see that he's getting better and is in good spirits. I'll take that as a major win.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Hero World Challenge

Twofer Tuesday swallows its pride and decides to pick winners at the Hero World Challenge after all.

Defending champion Henrik Stenson

Yes, two weeks back I said I was done with Twofer Tuesday until January. But my chance of picking at least one Top10 player -- when the field is only 20, mind you -- is at least 50%. So here I am, hoping to pad my pitiful 2020 results with one or (is it even possible?) two Top10s!

The Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas is hosting Tiger's event for the sixth time. It's a par-72 with five par-3s and five par-5s playing just over 7300 yards. And since only light winds are expected this week, the players in this field will likely tear it to shreds. The event wasn't played last year so 2019's winner Henrik Stenson is the defending champion.

In my opinion, the beauty of this event is that there truly are no bad picks this week. So I've got at least a coin flip's chance of adding to my stats.

  • Can I really pass on Collin Morikawa? The kid's coming off an amazing season and I just don't see him finishing outside the top half of this field. So let's see if he comes to play or not.
  • And with a short field like this, I feel pretty good about taking Justin Thomas. I've been leery of taking him in full field events this year because his traditional consistency just hasn't been there. But in a relaxed situation like this, I think he might regain some of his swagger.

GC's coverage starts Thursday at 1:30pm ET. Surely my chances of having a pick actually perform the week I pick them are pretty good this time around!

Monday, November 29, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Joburg Open

Winner: Thriston Laurence

Around the wider world of golf: Carlota Ciganda won the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España on the LET; Kana Mikashima won the JLPGA Tour Championship RICOH Cup (Ayaka Furue won POY and Mone Inami topped the money list); and Mikumu Horikawa won the Casio World Open on the Japan Golf Tour. [Thanks, IC!]

Thriston Lawrence with Joberg trophy

I didn't make any Twofer Tuesday picks this week as I didn't know the field well enough. So at least my record didn't get any worse this week!

Of course, some things did get worse this week. A new COVID variant made its appearance in South Africa, causing officials to shorten the first DP World Tour event from 72 to 54 holes so players and staff who weren't from South Africa could return home before new international travel restrictions went into effect. They really had no choice, as more than a dozen European players had already WDed from the Joburg Open for that very reason.

And then bad weather arrived, forcing them to shorten the event even further -- all the way down to 36 holes. It was a nerve-wracking situation for everybody.

But Thriston Laurence made the best of it. After shooting two 65s to take the lead going into the third round, he led by four strokes as he teed off Saturday. But he played only a few holes before the horns blew and, with no option to finish on Sunday, the event was called after two rounds.

This truly is a career changer for Laurence. Not only did the win get him a European Tour card but it also got him a spot in THE OPEN next year. I think that counts as turning a bad situation into a blessing, and it grabs him his first ever Limerick Summary. Way to go, Thriston!

For Thriston, a life-changing week.
Though COVID made things pretty bleak
And storms caused delays—
He had only two days!—
From this valley he reached a new peak.

The photo came from this page at europeantour.com.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

My Step-in-Place Drill

Earlier in the week I did a couple of posts with videos from Mike Malaska and Be Better Golf that focused on weight shift and footwork, and I promised to give you a drill of my own that might help you get a better handle on your own swing issues.

I call my drill the Step-in-Place drill because it tries to create a good feel for body movement during your swing similar to what a Step-Through drill does but without the excess movement that results from such drills. I'll give it to you in three steps so you can see how it's built.

The first step is simply to swing your arms. Chances are good you've done things like this since you were small. I actually remember doing something like this in elementary school as part of the calisthenics we did during phys ed. (We used it to loosen up a little before we actually had to do jumping jacks and stuff.) The diagrams below show your upper body from behind, so your right arm is on the right and your left arm is on the left. I did left-handed and right-handed diagrams because, while the movements are the same, the labels below the pictures show that the arm motion for a rightie's backswing is the leftie's downswing, and vice versa.

Arm swings are simple enough. On the backswing your lead arm swings forward and your trailing arm swings backward, and on the downswing they reverse.

In the first diagram below you can see that we're not turning our shoulders any. That's because I just want you to get the feel of swinging your arms. Note that we aren't swinging them straight forward and back either. We're swinging them at roughly a 45° angle across our body. When you do this you should lean slightly forward, as if you're addressing a golf ball, and you want to maintain that spine angle as you swing your arms.

..

Do this for a little bit, just to get the feel of the motion. You don't need a golf club to do this. What you want to feel is the rhythm and smoothness of the swinging... and I bet you'll feel a little footwork that creates a gentle weight shift as your weight moves slightly from one foot to the other. You won't have to try and feel it. It just happens because that's how our bodies naturally move.

Got it? Good. Let's move on to the second step, which is adding our shoulder turn.

As you can see, your shoulders turn so now your lead arm mimics the backswing of your golf swing and swings almost straight to the side -- away from your target if you actually intended to hit a golf ball.. Then on the downswing you turn into your followthrough and your trail arm swings almost straight toward the target.

Don't worry if you don't get a 90° shoulder turn; that's not the point here. We're just after a smooth swinging motion. Remember to keep your spine angle fairly constant as you do this. And your footwork will become more rhythmic and pronounced naturally because... well, that's how your body naturally works.

..

That's our basic backswing and downswing. Simple, right? After you've done that for a bit and feel comfortable with it, we'll add the final piece of the drill, the 'step-in-place.'

See the diagram below? This represents your trail foot. To start your backswing without stepping away from or toward the target -- in other words, we're going to mimic the footwork during your golf swing -- I want you to lift your trail heel slightly off the ground so your weight is on the big toe side of your trail foot. That's shown in black in the diagram below. 

To get your heel off the ground without lifting your trail hip or moving the rest of your body, just bend your trail knee slightly. It doesn't matter whether you bend it in toward your lead knee or bend it straight forward, just bend it a little bit so your heel comes off the ground and you can stay in that position for a few seconds.

You haven't taken the weight off your trail foot. You've just put the pressure on the front side of your foot. That's your start position.

..

Now, when you swing your arms and turn your shoulders into your backswing, let your trailing heel go to the ground and put your weight on your heel. That will give you a steady base on which to finish your shoulder turn and let your trail hip move backward instead of creating a sway with your body. Your lead heel is probably going to come off the ground when you do this and that's to be expected. But your upper body shouldn't move away from the target.

At the top of your backswing, just swing your arms and turn your shoulders and let your weight move naturally to your lead foot. From this point you're just making your followthrough.

You can practice this all you want this winter, in front of the TV, no club, just getting that rhythm into your body. And when the weather improves and you can go outside, use this motion with the L-to-L drill that I seem to recommend for almost every problem that plagues your swing. That way you can learn to match the body motion up to your golf swing.

This is a really simple drill intended to teach you how your body moves during a golf swing when you just let it move naturally and rhythmically. I think you'll be surprised at how much it can help.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

10 Uses for Alignment Sticks (Video)

If you like using alignment sticks during practice, here are ten different ways you can use them. This video covers drives, approach shots, sand shots, chipping, putting and even shaping shots. You've probably seen a lot of these but I bet you'll find a couple of new uses as well.


Friday, November 26, 2021

...And the LET Finals

Since they didn't play last week, I almost missed the LET's final event of 2021, the Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana.

Defending champion Emily Kristine Pedersen

This year the women are playing at the Los Naranjos Golf Club in Marbella, Spain. While the course changes from year to year, Marbella has been the site of the Spanish Open for at least six years now. Emily Kristine Pedersen is the defending champion.

The Race to Costa del Sol -- Marbella is part of the Costa del Sol (which, my American friends, means 'Coast of the Sun' or simply 'Sun Coast') -- is the LET's equivalent of the LPGA's Race to the CME Globe and, to be blunt, it's not really a race this year at all. Atthaya Thitikul from Thailand (you've seen her post some great finishes this year around the world, like her 5th at the Evian) is only 18 years old but she's #22 in the Rolex Rankings and so far ahead in the Race that nobody is going to catch her.

She's T13 (par) after the first round.

GC is broadcasting the second round starting today (Friday) at 8:30sm ET. Although nobody's going to take the yearlong race from Thitikul, the leaderboard is pretty tight with a dozen players under par (the lead is -3). And let's face it -- Marbella is a beautiful place for a tournament. Why wouldn't you watch?

[UPDATE: Apparently the live broadcast for this event is streaming at GC, not on the regular channel. A rebroadcast on GC proper is scheduled for 2:30pm ET. Sorry, folks -- my bad.]

Thursday, November 25, 2021

The Rear Wheel Drive Golf Swing (Video)

Yesterday I posted a Mike Malaska video that viewed weight shift in terms of shoulder turn. Today I'm posting a video from Be Better Golf that views the same move in terms of leg drive. The two concepts describe the same move but from different reference points. I think there's something important to be learned from this -- namely, that the same move can feel very different to different players.

Here's the video. I'll try to explain the differences in the text below the video and, after you've had a couple of days to digest it -- to be honest, I'm not sure BBG's explanation is as plain as it could be -- I'm going to try and combine the two approaches into a single drill that will help you build a smoother golf swing.


What BBG calls a "rear wheel drive" swing is basically built on a step-through drill, which you may have seen players like Gary Player use. But while the weight shift is more pronounced with a step-through move, the backswing position you achieve with either yesterday or today's approach is pretty much the same.

The real difference between the two results from how wide your stance is. BBG's move uses a wider stance while Malaska's uses a narrower one. The wider stance requires more lateral movement simply because human bodies aren't flexible enough to get a good shoulder turn from a wide stance. In the same way, using a lot of leg drive from a narrower stance results in way too much lateral motion; your body ends up moving outside the width of your stance and you get a sway.

But of course step drills have problems of their own. It can be difficult to feel the rocking motion of a step drill without actually stepping backward and forward, which works against getting consistent contact with the ball. After all, you don't really step backward or forward when you make a golf swing.

There are a lot of good things to be gained by combining some lower body motion with a good shoulder turn. I think the key to combining the two is by using some simple footwork to combine the two -- footwork that doesn't require you to take actual steps.

In a couple of days I'll show you a drill that might help you combine the two into an easy-to-feel motion that has some similarities to that old-fashioned move called a forward press. In the meantime, see if you can understand what BBG is trying to do with this "rear wheel drive" move.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Shifting Your Weight Properly (Video)

Hopefully this short video from Mike Malaska can help you understand the difference between a weight shift and a sway. Between what Mike says and my attempt to explain the move after the video, I hope you get a clear understanding of what's happening.

What we normally refer to as a weight shift is more of a momentum shift (that's a better name for the correct move). When you turn your shoulders away from the target during your backswing, the momentum toward your trail leg (which remains straight) allows you to unweight your lead leg (which bends). Then your trail leg pushes forward on your downswing; that's when you replant your lead foot and push up slightly with your lead leg as you actually hit the ball.

The turn of your shoulders away from the target during the backswing creates enough momentum to increase the pressure against your trail leg. I know, it's a subtle thing. But unlike an actual weight shift (which Mike is calling a sway in this video) which would allow you to balance over your trail foot as long as you wanted without putting weight on your lead foot, this momentum shift can't be maintained once your shoulders stop turning. Once you stop turning, you'll start 'falling toward your lead side'... and that's what creates the sensation of your weight shifting forward.

I hope this makes the proper move clearer to you. Once you know what you're looking for, it's pretty easy to tell if you're doing it or not. But if it's still not clear, just let me know in the comments and I'll see if I can come up with a better explanation.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The DP World Tour Kicks Off Its New Season

This is Thanksgiving week in the US, the holiday itself taking place on Thursday, and so there isn't much in the way of golf going on in my country. We're celebrating an older and underappreciated holiday that is nevertheless fundamental to our history and identity as a nation, and I plan to enjoy it.

But everything is new at the DP World Tour, it seems. The tour name, the tour sponsor and the season itself all point to the future. So let's take a quick look at the first event of the newly renamed tour, the Joburg Open..

Defending champion Joachim B. Hansen

Joachim B. Hansen made this his first European Tour victory last year. He'll make his defense at the Randpark Golf Club, near Johannesburg in South Africa, where he won last year. That course is a par-71 measuring roughly 7500 yards. I know that sounds long but it's built at altitude, around 5000 feet, so Randpark doesn't play quite that long.

But that's where the familiarity of the event ends.

Last year the Joburg utilized two courses and boasted a 200-man field. Not this year. We'll see a more standard field playing Randpark only (I've heard both 144-man and 156-man fields, so I'm not sure which is correct). I don't know how that will affect the players, although obviously they'll need less time to get used to the course -- only one this time, after all -- and I imagine some of the later tee times might have an issue with darkness.

Given my poor showing picking Top10 players thus far this season, I've decided to skip Twofer Tuesday until the PGA Tour starts back up in January. I have enough trouble picking from players whose games I'm more familiar with. I don't even want to think about how badly I'd do since I don't know this field nearly as well. While I recognize many of the players, I don't see them nearly enough to judge their chances, especially since I see no Top50 players in the field.

It looks as if GC's coverage will begin early Thursday morning at 5am ET. I like the idea of starting off my Thanksgiving holiday with some DP World Tour golf. The Joburg is always fun to watch, as most of the African events are. After all, you never know what kind of animal will wander onto the course and crash the party!

Monday, November 22, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 RSM Classic

Winner: Talor Gooch

Around the wider world of golf: Collin Morikawa won both the Race to Dubai title and the DP World Tour Championship on the ET (this is the last week I can call it that); Jin Young Ko won the Race to the CME Globe title, the LPGA POY and the CME Group Tour Championship on the LPGA for the second year in a row; Erika Hara won the Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open on the JLPGA; and Chan Kim won the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament on the Japan Golf Tour. [Thanks, IC!]

Talor Gooch with RSM trophy

Well, at least I have something to show for my efforts this week. My Twofer Tuesday picks were Webb Simpson (T8) and Kevin Kisner (MC). They were the Top2 scorers coming into this event; at least Webb gave me a little ray of hope.

  • Top10s: 2 for 18 (2 Top1)
  • Winners: 0 for 9

But one thing is very clear now: Talor Gooch officially hates me. He had posted two Top10s in three starts early this season--and both were good scores, not flukes--so I picked him for two weeks running and got only a T11 and a 60th. So I didn't pick him this week and what does he do?

He goes out and wins the tournament, that's all. He just basically walked away with the title, winning by three.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm very happy that Talor finally broke through for his first PGA Tour win. He's been due for some time now. But why couldn't he do it on a week when I picked him?

I won't belabor the point. I will gladly give Talor his first ever Limerick Summary and wish him well in his efforts to win many more. But damn it, Talor, could you see your way clear to do it on the occasional week when I've picked you? I mean really, is it all that difficult to show me a little love...?

Talor struggled to get the job done
But he’s finally reached Number One.
While I’m glad he’s on top
And his waiting has stopped,
Why’d he have to make me look so dumb?

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

How to Play Speed Golf (Video)

If you've ever wondered how you play speed golf, Rick Shiels chased Luke Willett around 18 holes in less than 45 minutes to see how it's done. As far as I can tell, it's really just the putting that's affected because you don't have time to do much greensreading. Even at that, Willett posted an 88 for this round. It's pretty cool!

Saturday, November 20, 2021

It Snuck Up on Me!

I've been so busy this week that the DP World Tour Championship slipped completely under my radar until I happened to catch part of it Friday morning. It looks to be a seriously good competition.

2020 tournament winner Matt Fitzpatrick and Race to Dubai winner Lee Westwood

Last year's tournament winner Matt Fitzpatrick is in the Top13 (5 strokes back) at the halfway point, with McIlroy just one stroke off the lead. And while last year's Race to Dubai winner Lee Westwood is unlikely to repeat, this year's leader Collin Morikawa is just two strokes back.

I'm having to try and keep up with the scores through recaps, which is very frustrating for me -- especially when the action looks so good. And with this being the last event before the European Tour becomes the DP World Tour, it feels like the end of an era. But at least it looks as if the old tour will get an excellent sendoff, which is well-deserved after so many years of great events.

Friday, November 19, 2021

More Tips for Better Scores with Your Same Old Swing (Video)

Consider this a companion to yesterday's video. Nick Dougherty has five tips for improving your scores without actually changing your swing. It's all about learning to use what you already have in an intelligent way. After all, that's what the best players have always done.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Tips for Breaking 85 (Video)

I do like this kind of video because it's about thinking golf rather than just hitting the ball thoughtlessly. Rick Shiels has five tips, most of them tips that you can take out on the course right now and lower your score.  Good tips that you may have heard before... but I bet you haven't heard all of them quite the way Rick uses them.


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

At last! The CME Group Tour Championship

They're finally here. It's the final week of the LPGA season, the CME Group Tour Championship.

Defending champio Jin Young Ko

The LPGA returns to Tiburon Golf Club in Naples FL, where last year Jin Young Ko casually won the event on her way to a four tournament season-winning Race to the CME Globe title. It solidified the World #1 as a force to be reckoned with, regardless of how likely she seemed to lose.

It's no surprise to hear that the real story this week is the battle between Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda. The two have been passing that #1 title back and forth this year, and a head-to-head contest is just what fans want. Not that they'll be the only players with a chance to win, but they're certainly the ones under the closest scrutiny.

According to the CME site, GC's live digital coverage begins Thursday at 2pm ET with their live TV coverage beginning at 3pm ET. This should be another great finale to the season. But really, has the LPGA given us any reason to expect less?

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: RSM Classic

Twofer Tuesday skips from the Gulf Coast over to the East Coast for the RSM Classic.

Defending champion Robert Streb

The boys are leaving Houston for Sea Island and the Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort, a mere 7000-yard par-70.

Robert Streb is the defending champ, who picked up his second Tour victory last year at this event. In fact, BOTH of his wins have come at the RSM. I'm sure he's looking forward to teeing it up again!

Given that none of my tactics for choosing winners have actually produced one -- I guess I'll have to chalk my single Top5 pick this season to dumb luck -- I'm just guessing at this point. A shorter course gives shorter hitters a better chance to win, so let's pick two shorter hitters

  • Webb Simpson tends to score well here but he hasn't won. Well, perhaps he'll continue to post low scores and actually get a win this time. Even a Top10 will score well with me.
  • And Kevin Kisner is the all-time earnings leader at this event so why not pick him?

Yep, that's it. No complex explanations, no reason to think this week's approach is any better than any other week's has been. Let's see if either player is willing to be my hero this week!

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at noon ET. I have no expectations at this point and the pros say that's generally when they score well. Let's see if they're right. (I certainly haven't been.)

Monday, November 15, 2021

Limerick Summary: 2021 HP Enterprise Houston Open

Winner: Jason Kokrak

Around the wider world of golf: Phil Mickelson won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on the Champions Tour (and Bernhard Langer won his sixth yearlong Cup); Nelly Korda won the Pelican Women's Championship on the LPGA; Joachim Hansen won the AVIV Dubai Championship on the ET; Mone Inami won the Ito En Ladies Golf Tournament on the JLPGA; and Hae Ran Ryu won the SK Shieldus Telecom Championship on the KLPGA. Min Ji Park won their POY and Hana Jang won the scoring title. [Thanks, IC!]

Jason Kokrak with HP trophy

Another heartbreaking week! My Twofer Tuesday picks were Aaron Wise (T26) and Talor Gooch (60). I have no explanation for why their games started to slide last week when I first picked them nor why they got even worse this week. Such is life I guess.

  • Top10s: 1 for 18 (1 Top10)
  • Winners: 0 for 9

But while my boys quietly faded into the pack, Jason Kokrak was pulling off some serious magic. When he had to finish his second round on Saturday morning and shot a miserable +7 in seven holes, it looked as if his hopes of winning were done for the week. But then he rallied big time, posting 66-65 over the weekend and finishing -4 in the last 6 holes. Four straight birdies gave him a three-shot lead.

He won at -10 by two shots.

This definitely puts Jason in the 'hot' player category. With two wins this season (and a third at last year's CJ Cup) he's clearly becoming someone to watch over the next year. Could a major be in his near future? Stay tuned!

In the meantime, Jason adds to his growing collection of Limerick Summaries. Way to go, big man!

The weekend threw Jason a curve.
It looked as though he'd lost his nerve
But that last 36
Showed his full range of tricks
As he pulled off the win he deserved.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

A Busy Week Ahead

This is just to let you know this week's posts will be showing up at different times than usual.

As it happens, I've got a very busy week ahead and that means I've got to get up earlier than normal.

Most nights I write my blog, post it after midnight ET and then copy the link to Facebook and Twitter... but I can't do that this week. I've got to get to bed!

As a result, the post will show up just after midnight on Blogger -- because I can schedule it -- but I've got to hit the sack earlier and won't be able to post the links on Facebook or Twitter until I get up the next morning. That means they'll probably show up sometime around 7-8am ET when I get going.

So the posts will show up on time in Blogger but if you're used to catching them on Facebook or Twitter you won't get them until a bit later. But they WILL be there eventually. Things should get back to normal in a week or so.

I hate early mornings...

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Paige on Creating a PreShot Routine (Video)

In this video Paige Spiranac takes you through her full swing, chipping and putting preshot routines to teach you the sort of things you may want to include when you create your own.

Don't miss Paige's main point here: PreShot Routines have a purpose for existing. You might create one to help you deal with nerves, loosen up before a shot, be more confident about your alignment, gauge the distance you need to hit the ball, or for any number of other reasons. But your routine should help you improve in specific areas where you struggle, and you should be able to use most (if not all) of it while waiting for other players to play. Prepare with a purpose!


Friday, November 12, 2021

Rick Shiels on Buying Secondhand Golf Clubs (Video)

This post may only apply to a few of you but if you're in the market for a secondhand set of clubs, this short video from Rick Shiels will give you some idea of what to look for as well as what to avoid.


Thursday, November 11, 2021

...But It's the Final Event for the Champions Tour

Yes, even as the LPGA speeds toward their Tour Championship, the Champions Tour has already reached theirs. This week they play the Charles Schwarb Cup Championship.

Defending champion Kevin Sutherland

The Schwab Cup returns to the Phoenix Country Club, which probably explains why Phil Mickelson is teeing it up this week. He can't win the Cup although he could win the tournament. The same is true of defending champion Kevin Sutherland, who has won this event twice in the last four years.

And the storyline -- once again -- is predictable. Can Bernhard Langer win the yearlong race again? He's got five of these, although he's never won the Championship itself. But there are only three men who can beat him for an unpresidented sixth Cup -- Jim Furyk, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ernie Els -- and only Furyk can win it without help from Langer. If you're interested in the scenarios, pgatour.com has a concise breakdown of what must happen for each man to win.

In the meantime, the field is stacked and anybody can win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Yes, even Phil.

GC's live coverage begins today (Thursday) at 4pm ET. It's going to be a pretty crowded weekend for golf, what with all the tours in action, but this should be a good show.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Just Two More to Go for the LPGA

The women are on the verge of closing out the 2021 season. This week's Pelican Women's Championship is the penultimate event.

Defending champion Sei Young Kim

This is only the second year for this event. Sei Young Kim won the inaugural playing by three shots at -14. The Pelican Golf Club in Florida is a par-70 measuring 6268 yards, which should be gettable for all the ladies this week. And with the need to make the Top60 and ties to get in the final event next week, there should be some serious jockeying for position.

I suppose the big thing this week will be the Player of the Year race. Jin Young Ko leads with 176 points while Nelly Korda (who just regained her #1 position on the Rolex Rankings) is in second place with 161 points. The victor this week gets 30 points so Nelly really needs a win if she hopes to stop the Jin Young train. If Jin Young wins, she'll lock up the POY race Sunday.

GC's three hours of live coverage begin Thursday morning at 10am ET. Expect some tough competition this week!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: HP Enterprise Houston Open

Twofer Tuesday makes the short flight from Mayakoba to Houston for the HP Enterprise Houston Open.

Defending champion Carlos Ortiz

This is a tricky event to predict, in large part because Memorial Park Golf Course in its present state -- a par-70 course measuring just over 7400 yards -- has only been used once, and that was in 2020 with no fans in attendance. The course had been used before but that had been around 60 years before 2020 and before it had been renovated by Tom Doak and advisor Brooks Koepka.

The defending champ is Carlos Ortiz, who is coming off a runner-up finish at Mayakoba. And by default -- since this event has only been held at this revamped venue once -- he holds the scoring record at -13.

I'm going to do something I don't do very often. I'm going to take the same two picks I had last week.

  • Aaron Wise
  • Talor Gooch

While the boys let me down last week, it's worth noting that their highest scores leading into Mayakoba were -15 each... and had they posted those last week, they would have given me two Top10s. As it was, they missed by only one stroke (Gooch) and two strokes (Wise).

Both of those scores would have given me Top5s at this event last year... and Gooch would have won. I know that's no guarantee of success this year -- we've only got one event at this course to see what a likely winning score might be -- but the fact is that both players didn't score badly last week. They just stumbled down the stretch. Perhaps this week will be different.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 1pm ET. I'll hope for better results from my two players this week.

Monday, November 8, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 World Wide Tech Championship

Winner: Viktor Hovland

Around the wider world of golf: Thomas Pieters won the Portugal Masters on the ET; Steven Alker won the TimberTech Championship on the Champions Tour; Lydia Ko won the Aramco Saudi Ladies International on the LET; Ji Young Park won the KLPGA'S S-Oil Championship; Bio Kim won the LG Signature Players Championship on the KPGA; and Ayaka Furue won the Toto Japan Classic on the JLPGA. [Thanks, IC!]

Viktor Hovland with World Wide Tech trophy

This was a heartbreaking week! My Twofer Tuesday picks were Aaron Wise (T15) and Talor Gooch (T11). Both started the week in the Top5, and ended Sunday by just missing the Top10 -- Talor fell out on the very last hole. Ouch!

  • Top10s: 1 for 14 (1 Top10)
  • Winners: 0 for 7

Viktor's parents were certainly more prophetic than me when they named their son. The first player ever to successfully defend at the World Wide Tech, he's also only the fourth European player to win three times on the PGA Tour before the age of 25. And he said he wasn't playing that well on Sunday. All he did was win by four strokes!

He may have been a bit slower hitting his stride than fellow PGA Tour members Matt Wolfe and Collin Morikawa but Viktor seems to be making up for lost time. He won over the members of the European Ryder Cup team and now he seems to be winning more often here in the US.

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy but if he keeps winning at this rate, he may lose a few of his more competitive friends along the way. In the meantime, he gets another cheery Limerick Summary as he wins his way into the holiday season.

At 24 Viktor’s still young
But he knows how to get the job done.
The first to defend here,
He’s made his place quite clear—
Just say his name. He’s Number One!

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Jonathan Kim-Moss's Impact & Sequencing Drill (Video)

Longtime readers know I am a HUGE proponent of the L-to-L drill because it's so versatile. (I believe this is the most recent of many posts I've done on it.) Well, PGA of Canada instructor Jonathan Kim-Moss has given me a new version of the drill that can dramatically improve your ability to hit the ball solidly -- increasing both distance and accuracy -- as well as smooth out your swing sequencing. And all he did was shorten the followthrough! I really like this adaptation and think it's a valuable tool to add to your arsenal of drills.


Saturday, November 6, 2021

5 Strategy Tips from Billy Foster (Video)

You know Billy Foster. He was Lee Westwood's caddie for a long time and now he caddies for Matt Fitzpatrick. In this new video he gives you some help with five strategy decisions that all golfers face, as well as some guidance on how to plan your strategy for a round.


Friday, November 5, 2021

3 Easy Short Game Shots from a Tight Lie (Video)

Sometimes you miss the green and putting is not an option. In this video Paige shows you three shots -- with clubs other than a putter -- that you can use from a tight lie when the ground between you and the green just isn't suitable for putting.


Thursday, November 4, 2021

Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, Round 2

The Champions Tour continues their playoffs this week. Welcome to the TimberTech Championship, the second of three tournaments.

Defending champion Darren Clarke

The defending champion is Darren Clarke, who claimed his first Champions Tour victory at the 2020 edition. He'll defend at the same course, the Old Course at Broken Sound in Boca Raton FL, a par-72 measuring just over 6800 yards. And combined with the fact that this is only a three-day event we can expect a real shootout.

For those of you who don't know, Phil Mickelson is skipping this week's event. My understanding is that he has until 5pm ET on Friday to decide if he'll play the final event next week. Whether he will or not is anybody's guess. He can't win the Charles Schwab Cup but he says he likes playing in Phoenix -- what a shock, huh? So I guess it's just a question of which is more important to him.

Anyway, the big news this week is Bernhard Langer who, after his history-making win in Virginia a couple of weeks back, is on track to win yet another Schwab Cup and it's going to take something special in these last two events for anybody to catch him.

GC's live coverage begins Friday at noon ET. With Langer having broken the age barrier for winners, it's not unreasonable to make him a favorite in both of these last two events. Hale Irwin's win total could be within Langer's reach after all!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Why You Need to Hit Up with a Driver (Video)

This is a graphic illustration of how much yardage you gain when you hit up on the ball properly with a driver. Chris Ryan does an awesome job of making the difference clear, as well as giving you an easy-to-use drill to get better at driving. And pay attention, folks -- he got this carry and overall distance increase despite losing some ball speed during the demonstration!


Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: World Wide Tech Championship

Twofer Tuesday flees stormy Bermuda for the warm shores of Mayakoba and the World Wide Technology Championship.

Defending champion Viktor Hovland

This week the Tour touches down at El Camaleón Golf Course, a par-71 course measuring roughly 7000 yards. This Greg Norman design puts a premium on hitting fairways and greens, and at 7k yards length just isn't as important here as it is at some courses. Shorter hitters who can maneuver their shots around the tropical layout have dominated here in the past.

Dominating isn't something my Twofer Tuesday picks have done this season. In six events I have managed to pick only one Top10 in twelve tries! This week I'm approaching my choices from a different angle in hopes of improving my odds.

That doesn't mean I'll do any better but I don't see how I can do any worse.

Weather reports project that Mayakoba will be hot and dry with winds around 10mph or less. That sounds like good scoring potential for my picks, so I'm looking for some scorers this week... and I think I may have found them.

  • My first pick is Aaron Wise. He's played three events this season and posted T26, T8 and T5. All three final scores have been between -15 and -21. If he can do that again this week, I should have a chance.
  • My other pick is Talor Gooch. He's also played three events this season, posting T4, T11 and T5. Ironically, he too has posted final scores between -15 and -21.

To be honest, the recent winning scores at this event have been lower than any of the scores these two players have posted this season. But I'm happy with Top10s and I believe these two players give me the best chance to get two of them this week.

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 3pm ET. With the November chill settling in here in NC, I'm just excited to see some nice warm sunny weather. And if I'm lucky, maybe my picks will warm up my record as well!

Monday, November 1, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Butterfield Bermuda Championship

Winner: Lucas Herbert

Around the wider world of golf: Bronte Law won the Dubai Moonlight Classic on the LET; and Tomoyo Ikemura won the ISPS HANDA Gatsu-n to tobase Tour tournament on the Japan Golf Tour.

Lucas Herbert with Bermuda trophy

The Caribbean weather wasn't kind to my Twofer Tuesday picks. I had Matt Fitzpatrick (T30) and Garrick Higgo (T34). Garrick was in the Top10 until the bad weather got him on Sunday. C'est la vie.

  • Top10s: 1 for 12 (1 Top10)
  • Winners: 0 for 6

It's the shortest golf course on the PGA Tour... and apparently the toughest one to get a tee time for. The weather kept players from even arriving in Bermuda on time. Then it kept them from getting practice rounds at the Port Royal Golf Course. Then it kept stopping and starting play.

And when it was all over, Lucas Herbert had his first-ever PGA Tour victory. All it took was a 2-under round of 69 on Sunday. Four birdies, two bogeys and a whole lot of heart. The Aussie said he actually enjoys tough weather -- something he shares with Patrick Reed who, with Danny Lee, finished a single shot back -- and no one is going to doubt his word after getting it done in the final round weather.

With his one-year Tour card now safely bumped up to a multi-year one, Lucas can start preparing his game for Augusta. (Hey, it's never too early!) And of course he gets a shiny new Limerick Summary to seal the deal!

In Bermuda, golf’s short battlezone
Posed a challenge that made the field groan.
Wind and rain ruled the day,
So to say that Luke’s play
Was amazing is not overblown.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

A Ball That You Can't Lose? (Video)

With all the technology available today, why doesn't somebody put a tracking microchip inside a golf ball? Apparently someone did and Rick Shiels decided to test it. Before you ask, it's pretty clear the people who did it have no idea what makes a golf ball playable; as Rick points out, this thing is a failure as a golf ball. But beyond that, he's more interested to know if the tech actually works. Consider this a "state of the art" report about the practicality of the idea should a big name golf ball manufacturer decided to try it.


Saturday, October 30, 2021

Creating Ball Speed without Creating Tension (Video)

This is an older video from Mike Malaska and Be Better Golf on how to create more ball speed. The video itself is entitled "How to Build Golf Swing Speed" but, while it does teach that, it actually focuses on how to get more ball speed from the swing speed you already have. Let me give you a few things to look for in this video, things that will help you apply the info in it to your game more quickly.

First of all, you know you're getting the most ball speed from your existing swing speed when the ball speed is about 1.5 times your clubhead speed. That 1.5 multiplier is your smash factor, and when it's less than 1.5 then you aren't hitting the ball as efficiently as you can. You get your best smash factor -- and therefore your highest ball speed -- by hitting the ball in the center of the clubface at impact.

Although you'll hear them use the phrase "effortless power" to describe the best way to increase your clubhead speed, I'd rather hear you use the phrase "relaxed speed." This is the best description of how you create clubhead speed and they actually explain it that way in the video. You'll find both physical drills and mind games you can use to help you remain relaxed while you swing fast.

You'll also get some instruction on how hand action, arm swing and leg action all work together to create that speed with less effort. Please note that spinning your hips doesn't create clubhead speed!

Finally, bear in mind that this video doesn't show their entire practice session. (In one spot, you'll actually see a message on the screen that the video was edited for time.) So bear in mind that you will need more than 23 minutes of range time to get these kind of results.

This is another of those videos that will reward you for watching it several times and putting the ideas in it to work on the range. Have fun!


Friday, October 29, 2021

Three Real Life Stats to Help You Improve Quicker (Video)

I think most players put too much emphasis on stats, but this video from US Golf TV gives you three stats that I think will really help your game. Ironically, these are 'made up' stats -- you won't see them on most stat lists. Why are they helpful? Because these stats help you figure out where the weak spots in your game are, rather than just telling you what you're good at... and those are the kind of stats that tell you where you need work. Put in that work and you'll improve more quickly. Prepare for a unique lesson in strategy!


Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Quarter-Speed Driver Swing Drill (Video)

I found this older Mike Malaska video (done with Be Better Golf, the invisible student here) about how to practice effectively using a quarter-speed driver swing. That means you swing the driver slowly and limit the backswing to shoulder height. The slower swing allows you to more easily feel how your hands, arms and club are moving, and that makes it easier to correct swing problems. Pay special attention to the last 60 seconds of the video, where Mike shows more of a head-on view of how a proper throwing motion looks when done with a golf club.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

3 Simple Tips for Straighter Long Irons (Video)

This short video from Rick Shiels will help you hit your long irons (any irons, really) where you intend the ball to go. There are three tips -- the first is an old Jack Nicklaus tip to improve your aim, the second helps you eliminate excessive forearm rotation, and the third is a drill to help you with ball position and proper angle of attack at impact. These are all very simple tips but don't underestimate their effectiveness, especially when you use all three of them together!


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Butterfield Bermuda Championship

Twofer Tuesday leaves the island of Hideki and sets sail for Captain Brian Gay's harbor at Port Royal for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

Defending champion Brian Gay

I'm only being a little facetious here, as Brian Gay has plundered the Bermuda event for a couple of years now. Port Royal was once notorious as a pirate paradise and, despite what Disney would have you believe, Captain Jack Sparrow isn't its most prominent visitor -- not since Gay arrived, anyway. The rechristened event has only been played twice now, with Gay posting T3 and a win in his appearances.

But at a par of 71 and a mere 6828 yards, Port Royal GC in Southampton, Bermuda is ripe for a freebooter like Captain Gay. The course favors an accurate driver and a skilled shotmaker.

Alas, Captain Gay's cutlass hasn't been as sharp lately as I would like. And while we all know that golf is no respecter of persons -- nor of what you shot last week or even the last few months, as my recent picks have proven -- I'm looking for some other up-and-coming scourges of the seven seas at Port Royal.

  • My first pick is Matt Fitzpatrick. He won at Valderrama only a couple of weeks ago, another short course that rewards accurate drives and skilled shotmaking. He's had a week to down a few kegs of rum in celebration, so I'm thinking he's ready to raise the old skull and crossbones again.
  • And my other pick is Garrick Higgo. Admittedly he's still a bit inexperienced as a freebooter, and he's been out of form since winning his way onto the Tour back in June, but he's certainly proven himself capable in the last couple of years. I think he's long overdue to take another big prize, so why not reassert himself at the traditional haunt of pirates?

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 1:30pm ET. Arr, matey, it's time to make that bloody parrot shut up so we can relax and watch some island golf!

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 ZOZO Championship

Winner: Hideki Matsuyama

Around the wider world of golf: We saw some records this week. Bernhard Langer became the oldest-ever winner on the Champions Tour at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic; Jin Young Ko made it 200 Korean wins on the LPGA Tour at the BMW Ladies Championship; Jeff Winther won the Mallorca Golf Open on the ET; Luke Brown won the Blair Atholl Championship on the Sunshine Tour; Taehoon Lee won the Hana Bank Invitational on the KPGA; and Ayaka Furue won the Nobuto Group Masters GC Ladies on the JLPGA. [Thanks, IC!]

Hideki Matsuyama with ZOZO trophy

Finally! One of my Twofer Tuesday picks got the message. I had Collin Morikawa (T7) and Harry Higgs (T39). Thank you, Collin!

  • Top10s: 1 for 10 (1 Top10)
  • Winners: 0 for 5

What's old is new again as 2019 returned for a one-time appearance. Just as Tiger won the Masters and the ZOZO that year, Hideki did it this year. That's pretty cool, winning in front of your home country when you're the equivalent of a combination sports legend and rockstar.

And in so doing he became the third history maker this week, as his seven PGA Tour wins is more than the total number of PGA Tour wins by all other Japanese players combined.

Plus he did it in style, eagling the final hole to push his winning margin out to five strokes. This year is one that Japanese fans won't soon forget... and one that may keep Hideki from ever having a normal person's day in his home country ever again.

But that's the price of becoming a legend, I guess.

Of course, Hideki can take some solace in the fact that he also becomes a Limerick Summary legend... and that kind of fame won't ever keep him from having a peaceful meal in a public restaurant. Maybe now he'll be like Tiger and just start his own!

On the wings of an eagle he flew—
As a Masters champ often will do
When his fans cheer him on—
‘Til the field’s hope was gone
And Hideki’s fans’ dreams all came true.

The photo came from this page at golfchannel.com.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Bobby Locke's Putting Technique, Take 2 (Video)

About a week ago I posted Michael Breed's explanation of Bobby Locke's putting stroke. Today I have a much shorter video about the same topic, only this time the explanation comes from Gary Player himself. Player knew Locke and learned directly from him, so comparing his explanation to Breed's should give you a pretty good idea of how Locke worked his putting magic.


Saturday, October 23, 2021

Why Hitting Up with Your Driver Isn't Enough (Video)

Have you tried teeing the ball higher and more forward but you aren't getting the distance -- or accuracy -- you expected? Ali Taylor has a great explanation about the 'magic formula' necessary to get both. This may be a challenging video for many of you to understand, but I promise the effort you put into doing so will be well worth it.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Hitting a 3-wood Off the Deck (Video)

Hitting a 3-wood off a tee isn't so hard. Rick Shiels did this short video on how to hit a 3-wood off the fairway. And since no piece of instruction fits everybody, I'll add another thought after the video that you might find helpful.


At the 1:49 mark Rick shows a position with the sternum, club shaft and clubface all in a line with the ball just in front of it. He's standing with his spine pretty straight and his arms hanging straight down, and that's what creates this straight line.

But suppose you still have a bit of trouble hitting your 3-wood — or any fairway wood, for that matter — off the deck?

This is where you need to think more about ball position. Rick is showing you to set up with your hands just barely behind the ball, which is how you get the ball just in front of the clubface. But if you're still hitting a bit fat behind the ball, set up the same way but change the ball position just slightly so the ball is directly under your hands. That will cause you to hit ever-so-slightly down on the ball. You might not hit the ball quite as high this way but you should hit the ball cleanly and take a small divot just under the ball.

Use whichever method allows you hit your 3-wood best. One of the two should work.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

And the Seniors Went to Virginia

Yes, while the other tours headed to Japan and Korea, the Champions Tour began the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. In Virginia. In the USA.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic is the first event in the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, and last year it was the site of Phil Mickelson's second Champions Tour victory. He's back to defend this year, looking to win his fourth event in five starts.

Of course, the usual suspects intend to upset his plans. Miguel Angel Jiménez is in arguably the best form entering the playoffs but he's hardly the only man playing well... and as usual, Bernhard Langer is lurking at the top of the Schwab Cup rankings. Phil is in the 26 spot, just under $1.8mil behind him.

I don't think Phil can win the Cup in three events but he can certainly play spoiler for the other guys.

This first playoff event is only three days long, so GC's live coverage window begins Friday at 2pm ET. I'm curious as to whether Phil will commit to play all three Playoff events this year. If he does, we could see some scrambling by the rest of the tour to get that top prize.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Japan for the Men, Korea for the Women

Seems like all the golf is on the other side of the planet this week. While the men tee it up in Japan at the ZOZO, the ladies are teeing it up in Korea at the BMW Ladies Championship.

Defending champion Ha Na Jang

First let's get the venue straight. Originally called Asiad Country Club, it was renamed LPGA International Busan in 2019 when it became the home course for the inaugural BMW. It's a Rees Jones renovation and the first LPGA-certified golf course opened outside the USA.

Next, the inaugural champion is the defending champion. Since the pandemic cancelled this event last year, Ha Na Jang is the only winner of this event so far.

Finally, there are only three events left in the LPGA schedule -- this one, the Pelican Women’s Championship starting November 11 and then the CME Group Tour Championship the following week. Both of those events will be in Florida.

Few of the top Americans in the Race to the CME Globe are in the field -- I think Danielle Kang at #12 is the highest -- but that doesn't mean this is a weak field. There are only three Americans ahead of Kang in the standings but many of the other Americans are there, jockeying for position, and most of the other top players from that part of the world are teeing it up. Trust me, this will be a strong field.

The biggest drawback to this event is that the ZOZO is also being played this week and, as you may expect, the PGA Tour grabbed GC's live coverage window. That means you'll have to catch GC's streaming coverage to watch the event live (it begins tonight — yes, it really is Wednesday this time, IC ;-)  at 11pm ET) or catch tape-delayed coverage at 2pm ET on Thursday. Given how little time the women have left to make the Tour Championship it should be a fun event.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: ZOZO Championship

Twofer Tuesday heads for Japan and a touch of that Tiger magic as the ZOZO Championship returns home.

Defending champion Patrick Cantlay

Since last year's event had to be held in the USA at Sherwood Country Club in California, this is only the second time the ZOZO has been played at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan. The inaugural event, way back in 2019 before the pandemic started, was the site where Tiger tied Sam Snead's record of 82 PGA Tour wins. Tiger couldn't return this time but, after photos surfaced of him walking without crutches, there's no doubt that he'll be on everybody's mind.

On my mind? Desperately getting off the schnide and putting up some scores with my Twofer Tuesday picks. So far I've picked eight players in four events... and I have yet to get even one Top10 finisher. I've tried all kinds of strategies but all have failed. So this week I'll try yet another tack.

  • My first pick is Collin Morikawa. I don't know how Collin will fare in Japan, given his great finish in Vegas last week and the recovery problems this time change may pose. At least he's posted some consistent high finishes this year so I'm going to take a chance on him.
  • And my second pick is far down the other end of the spectrum -- I'm taking Harry Higgs. Harry has yet to win on Tour and his most consistent finish over the last year has been MC. But he had a runner-up back in September 2020 and a T9 in Vegas last week, so I know he's capable of putting up four good rounds. And who knows, maybe a trip to Japan will agree with him.

Because of the huge time difference between Japan and the East Coast of the US, GC's live coverage begins tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11:30pm ET for a three-hour window. I suspect they'll have a replay sometime during the day, of course, because this is the Tour's only event in Japan. In the meantime, I'll see if my luck takes a turn for the better in the Land of the Rising Sun.