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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Collin Morikawa's Three Driver Shots (Video)

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


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Learning to Use the Clubface (Video)

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


Friday, June 11, 2021

How to Use a Chipper (Video)

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


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Just a Reminder

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

Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam

As europeantour.com summed it up:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Question: Why Did the LPGA Cross the Road?

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

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

Map

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

2019 defending champion Sei Young Kim

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Palmetto Championship

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

Congaree Golf Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 7, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Memorial

Winner: Patrick Cantlay

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

Patrick Cantlay with Memorial trophy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Just My Luck...

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

But it's just my luck...

Jon Rahm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm sure Jon feels the same way.

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.

PGA TOUR LIVEPGA TOUR LIVE
PGA TOUR LIVEPGA TOUR LIVE
Golf ChannelGolf Channel
TwitterTwitter
SiriusXMSiriusXM
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
 uswomensopen.com/app
11:27 AM - 4:30 PM EDT
Peacock 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM EDT
Featured Group
 
uswomensopen.com/app
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.

LPGA.com 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!