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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 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

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, "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 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. 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

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 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 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

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 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.


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 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 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

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.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Paige Spiranac on Recovery Shots (Video)

With all the difficult recovery shots the women are using at The Olympic Club, I thought this video would be appropriate. I've used a lot of the shots Paige demonstrates here and can attest that they don't require a lot of technique, just a knowledge of how to do them.

I do want to give you a few details to pay particular attention to in the video.

  • Some of these recovery shots are just arm swings. Your first thought will be to try and make a normal shot, but too much leg action will ruin these shots. These recovery shots aren't power shots, they're positioning shots.
  • All you need to make some of these shots work is to change your setup a little. The lefthanded recovery shot will take a little getting used to, but that's just a matter of practicing the shot a few times on the range.
  • And don't forget that a lot of this is simply about making good strategic decisions. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just chip the ball back out into the fairway, as Paige says. Good strategy should always win out.

Just remember that recovery shots aren't about being aggressive. They're about getting your ball back in play while hurting your score as little as possible in the process. That's what you should learn from Paige in this video.

Friday, June 4, 2021

The New Cobra Putter Lineup (Video)

Rick Shiels tested five models from the new Cobra putter lineup -- two traditionally manufactured models and three 3D printed models -- to see how they stack up against other manufacturers' models. Will you agree with his conclusions? I don't know but it seems like a pretty good introduction to Cobra's latest equipment line.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Let's Get the TV Schedule Straight...

We've got two big tournaments today, the PGA Tour's Memorial and the LPGA's US Women's Open. Let's try to get the schedules for today straight so we can watch the most possible golf.

The Olympic Club

This post has some weird coding but at least it's readable.

Here are the Thursday broadcast times and 'sources' for the Memorial coverage, running from 7:15am to 7pm ET.

Golf ChannelGolf Channel
7:15 AM - 3:00 PM EDT
3:00 - 7:00 PM EDT
3:00 - 7:00 PM EDT
7:15 - 9:00 AM EDT
12:00 - 6:30 PM EDT

And here are the Thursday broadcast times and 'sources' for the US Women's Open coverage.

Featured Group
11:27 AM - 4:30 PM EDT
Peacock 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM EDT
Featured Group
5:12 PM - 10:30 PM EDT
Golf Channel 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM EDT

Hope this helps you find the best ways to watch today.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The US Women's Open Is Back!

Defending champion A Lim Kim only got to bask in her 2020 victory for six months. Now the LPGA is off to San Francisco for the 2021 US Women's Open.

Defending champion A Lim Kim

This is arguably the biggest event in the LPGA schedule. The reason why is simply its history. According to Wikipedia's entry about the event:

Established 75 years ago in 1946, the U.S. Women's Open is the only event to have been recognized as a major by the LPGA since the group's founding in 1950. adds this:

This event began in 1946 and is the longest-running tournament currently on the LPGA Tour.

See that? It's the ONLY major that has always been an LPGA major, and it's also the oldest event on Tour. For those of you who have wondered, that's where its status comes from.

The field is, as you would expect, absolutely stacked. There are definitely amateurs in the field but they won't overshadow the pros, not by a long shot. The Olympic Club might give them a run for the money though -- the women's majors continue to finally get spots at the championship venues they deserve, and this week is no exception.

Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer received Special Exemptions to play, the first such invites given to players since 2018. Both players are previous Open champions coming off injuries, so I think these were good decisions.

Since the US Women's Open will be played on the West Coast, we've got prime time golf going again... but the TV options are a bit complicated. The USGA's website lists the following viewing options for Thursday (all times are ET):

  • 11:27am - 4:30pm on the USGA's website app
  • 5pm - 7pm on the Peacock app
  • 5:12pm - 10:30pm on the USGA's website app (again)
  • 7pm - 11pm on GC

The Peacock webpage lists the time as 6pm - 7pm, so I don't know which is correct. However, it's being streamed free on the app, so I've downloaded it and may try it to see how well it works.

In any case, I'm just glad we've got several options for watching as much of this major as possible for free. It should be a great tournament!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Memorial

Twofer Tuesday trades one legend for another as it leaves Byron Nelson's event for Jack's event, the Memorial.

Defending champion Jon Rahm

When last we saw Jack's Place it was the scene of back-to-back events in July, as Jack made Muirfield Village available to the Tour for two weeks to help get the post-break schedule up and running. Jon Rahm won the Memorial then -- and I will point out that, should he win again this week, I will count both Memorial wins in the RGWR in the sidebar since both will happen within less than 12 months.

As usual, we can expect a strong field at the Memorial. A number of players will take next week off to practice at Torrey Pines for the US Open, so this will be their last competitive event before the major. Besides, Jack's event is a huge event for anybody to win -- and the renovations that got underway even before last year's final groups walked off the course should present some new challenges.

My picks seem pretty clear to me this week.

  • My first pick is the defending champion, Jon Rahm. I know, way to go out on a limb, right? But Rahm has been showing up for the majors -- he posted a T9 at THE PLAYERS, a T5 at the Masters and a T8 at the PGA. I can't help but feel he's due soon, so why not this week as he prepares for the US Open?
  • And my other pick is Collin Morikawa. In case you've forgotten, the other event at Muirfield Village last year was the Workday Charity Open, which Morikawa won. Although he's been a bit sporadic this year he did post a T8 at the PGA, where he was defending, and he won the WGC-Workday earlier this year. He, like Rahm, has to be excited at his possibilities at the US Open, and where better to get his game in shape than a venue where he's won before?

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 3pm ET. Last year's event was the most difficult players had seen in over 40 years. I can't wait to see what Jack has in store for them this time!