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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: TOUR Championship

After a long super-season Twofer Tuesday drags its weary... bottom to East Lake for the TOUR Championship.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson

You know this stuff, right? Culmination of the PGA Tour season, winner gets the FedExCup trophy and $15mil, lots of bling and everybody gets one whole week off before the whole circus starts again. Dustin Johnson won the big prize last year and he's back, starting at -3 this year.

Likewise, you know my picks because I already said I'd stay with the same picks all the way through the Playoffs as long as they continued to make it to the next round. Just to remind you:

  • Pick #1 is Abraham Ancer. He's coming off a Top10 at the BMW this past week so he's back in form to make a run at the big prize this week. He'll start off at -4.
  • And Pick #2 is Xander Schauffele. Has he been continuing the gold medal celebration ever since Tokyo? Well, it would be hard to blame him... but this is the BIG prize in terms of money so he needs to get his butt in gear.  He starts the week at -2, quite a ways down the list, but he's won this event before and (technically) he shot a lower score than DJ last year. He was just too far back to win.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 1pm ET while PGA TOUR LIVE starts streaming at 11am ET. There's only 30 guys in the field after all, so extremely early morning hours aren't needed. But it seems to me that the biggest question is how many of the players have enough stamina left to hold it together for one last week, especially given the pressure.

Monday, August 30, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 BMW Championship

Winner: Patrick Cantlay

Around the wider world of golf: Rasmus Højgaard got his third European Tour win at the Omega European Masters; Pauline Roussin Bouchard got her first LET title at the Didriksons Skafto Open; Joe Durant got his fourth Champions Tour win at The Ally Challenge; Adam Svensson got his third Korn Ferry Tour win at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship; Michael Blair won the Prince Edward Island Open on the Mackenzie Tour; Peiyun Chien got her third Symetra Tour win at the Circling Raven Championship; and Scott Vincent got his first Japan Golf Tour win at the Sansan KBC Augusta.

Patrick Cantlay with both BMW trophies

My Twofer Tuesday picks did a little better this week. I had Xander Schauffele (T49) and Abraham Ancer (T9). Xander is still struggling after Tokyo but Abraham is getting back on track.

  • Top10s: 20 for 70 (15 Top5s, 5 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 34 events

Yeah, let's talk about the newly-christened "Patty Ice." The folks up in Baltimore definitely like their new champion. It's been around two decades since Caves Valley Golf Club saw some Tour action and they were ready to rock!

So rock they did. Not just for 72 holes but for an additional six holes of sudden death... except nobody was dying, were they? Bryson and Patrick just kept trading and taking punches. If I remember correctly, the announcers said only eight players have ever shot lower than 27-under but both of these guys shot 27-under in the same event. Bryson is the first player to shoot that low and not win in PGA Tour history.

In fact, there was a lot of history made. Every player in the field finished under par. Patrick made nearly 500 feet of putts over 72 holes. I don't know how many drives over 320 yards Bryson hit but it was a lot! The fans in Baltimore had a blast.

So Patrick heads to the Tour Championship in first place with a new nickname and a new Limerick Summary to go along with it. Some guys have all the luck!

A few zillion feet of putts made,
Paired with six holes of sudden death played,
Made Patrick a star—
Took two birdies, four pars
And a heavyweight fight at the Caves.

The photo came from this page at

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The US Curtis Cup Team Successfully Defends

Because of the time difference I didn't get to see a lot of the Curtis Cup. But I did get to see most of the ending on Saturday morning here in the US, and I admit I was a bit shocked.

The victorious US Curtis Cup team

If you were following the whole event, I'm sure you can understand why.

After the first day the US trailed GB&I by three, 1.5 to 4.5 points.

After the second day the US had dramatically narrowed the margin, making the matches 5.5 to 6 points.

The GB&I team started the final day very strong... but then the US won 6.5 of the available 8 points to take the matches 12.5 to 7.5.

I can only ask, "What do these girls know that the US Ryder Cup team doesn't?"

It was one very impressive win, and I didn't think the GB&I team played as badly as the score might seem to indicate. (At least, they didn't during the part I saw.) I did find myself wondering if Louise Duncan's awesome week at Carnoustie finally caught up with her a little, but I think that was to be expected.

The US accomplished something else amazing, in that this is the first time they've won as the visiting team since 2008. I guess that just follows the theme we've seen this year of droughts being broken.

At any rate, all of the girls did themselves -- and the countries they represented -- proud. I can't help but wonder how many of them (from both teams) will go pro, because they all look to have promising futures to me. Congrats, ladies!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

What Is a Neutral Grip... Really? (Video)

Many if not most instructors recommend using a neutral grip to better square the clubface. But is a neutral the grip the same for everybody? In this video Mike Malaska explains how to find what your neutral grip really feels like, and what problems you can create when your grip is too strong or too weak.

Friday, August 27, 2021

How to Test a New Set of Wedges (Video)

I'm not posting this video because of the make of these wedges, but because Rick demonstrates how to test wedges to see how well they fit your game. Every piece of equipment you select is a compromise, as features that help you in one area may hurt you in another. Follow Rick's tests here and you'll get some clues on what those compromises are, so you can make better choices.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

A Drill for Developing Distance Control on the Greens (Video)

LPGA pro Maria Palozola has a different sort of drill to help you improve your distance control. The trick is that you don't look at your target! This one looks like fun as well.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

NOT Twofer Tuesday: BMW Championship

Twofer Tuesday towels off, dons dry clothes and shoes, heads for Baltimore County, Maryland and shows up on Wednesday for the BMW Championship.

Defending champion Jon Rahm

In many ways the big news for the BMW is its new venue. Caves Valley Golf Club has hosted the US Senior Open, Constellation Senior PLAYERS Championship, and the LPGA's first International Crown, but this is its first time hosting a PGA Tour event. A par-72 measuring over 7500 yards, it's been lengthened, rebunkered and 'roughed up.' With very little time to scout the course, it should give the field a nice challenge.

As for my picks, I decided last week -- even before Henri showed up -- that I would stick with last week's picks through the Tour Championship as long as they were still in the running. Since they are 10th and 13th respectively in the FedExCup Points List (and therefore unlikely to WD) I'm sticking with Abraham Ancer and Xander Schauffele.

GC's live coverage picks up Thursday at 3pm ET while PGA TOUR LIVE begins streaming at 7am ET. Hopefully we'll see drier weather this week and a course that puts up more of a fight.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Northern Trust

Winner: Tony Finau

Around the wider world of golf: Anna Nordqvist won the AIG Women's Open; Ron Pampling won the Boeing Classic on the Champions Tour; Greyson Sigg won the Albertsons Boise Open on the Korn Ferry Tour; Noah Steele won the Osprey Valley Open on the Mackenzie Tour; Johannes Veerman won the D+D Real Czech Masters on the ET; Hee Jeong Lim won the KLPGA's HighOne Resort Ladies Open; Sakura Koiwai won the JLPGA's CAT Ladies Golf Tournament; and Kazuki Higa won the JGTO Sega Sammy Cup. [Thanks, IC!]

Tony Finau with Northern Trust trophy

My Twofer Tuesday picks struggled this week. I had Xander Schauffele (T16) and Abraham Ancer (T64). How much of that struggle was weather-related, I don't know.

  • Top10s: 19 for 68 (15 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 33 events

The Monday finish pushed me for time -- the Limerick Summary is always a bit tricky -- so I'll make this short.

Tropical Storm Henri had a twofold effect. It both strained the players with the somewhat unpredictable schedule while making Liberty National much easier to attack. And with the field as stacked as it was, it was anybody's guess who would get the job done.

But we got a surprise. Tony Finau has been criticized repeatedly for not stepping up and closing out events. Well, he definitely did it this time. Nobody shot a lower round on Monday -- that birdie-eagle-birdie stretch on 12-14, plus the birdie on 16 sent him into a playoff with Cam Smith, who shot a 67 and still came up short.

As for the playoff, Cam hit a wild drive while Tony calmly piped one down the middle. Game, set and match!

So Tony ends a five-year winless streak with a huge tournament that puts him on top of the FedExCup Points race. That definitely deserves a Limerick Summary!

Ironically, Henri or no,
The Finau drought ended. The flow
Of Tony’s smooth swing
Overwhelmed everything
Mother Nature could bring to the show.

The photo came from this page at

Monday, August 23, 2021

Anna Makes It Three

Since Tropical Storm Henri has delayed the Limerick Summary and Twofer Tuesday for another day, let's take a quick look at that awesome AIG Women's Open that wrapped up Sunday, shall we?

Anna Nordqvist with Women's Open trophy

First, let's get the overall 2021 major picture squared away. According to

Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit has won the 2021 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award (RAMA), which recognizes the player who has the most outstanding record in all five major championships during the current LPGA Tour season. Tavatanakit earned the honor thanks to her win at the ANA Inspiration and cemented it with a tie for fifth at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and a tie for seventh at the AIG Women’s Open.
With that said, let's talk Carnoustie.

As you know by now, Anna Nordqvist won her third different major at Carnoustie, getting her three-fifths of the way to a career Grand Slam. But it was hardly an easy win, as the final round started with a huge number of players -- many with majors already -- within three or four shots of the lead. And after the lead shifted around and around and around until we weren't sure who would get it done, Anna and Nanna Koerstz Madsen came to the final hole tied at -12, only to have Nanna slammed with a double-bogey after shanking the ball from a bad lie in a greenside bunker.

Anna two-putted for par, like she was playing a practice round with no pressure.

I'll be honest, I was pulling for Lizette Salas. She's been so close this year, and now she's got two runner-ups in majors -- she was three shots back of Nelly Korda at the KPMG and now one shot back of Anna at the AIG. I'm looking forward to her chances next season.

In the meantime, I'm sure she's looking forward to the coming off-week. After all, she made the US Solheim Cup team as an automatic pick from the Rolex Rankings. She's gonna need some rest!

Just for the record, nine US players and six Euro players made the automatic qualifiers after Carnoustie did its own number on the players. I'll go over the teams here on the blog once the Captains have made their picks for both teams.

Of course, Anna was one of the six automatic picks. No surprise there.

Just another day for a European superstar. Congrats on #3, Anna!

Sunday, August 22, 2021

That Jon Rahm TPI Video (Video)

On Saturday's Golf Central Brandel Chamblee talked about how Jon Rahm creates so much clubhead speed from a short swing. He also said there was a TPI video that explained it better than he could. So I went hunting and I believe I found it. The video was made in 2017 and it features Dr. Greg Rose and Dave Phillips explaining how Jon's kinematic sequence works.

For my part, I think Brandel explained it much more simply but I know a lot of you are into the science, so here's the full video.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Why Do Some Golf Balls Sell Better Than Others? (Video)

I'm not telling you to buy Srixon AD333 balls. But they've been a bestseller for many years, and Rick Shiels decided to find out why. If you're looking to change golf balls, this video might help you decide what qualities are most important to you... and which ones aren't.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Paige Spiranac on Shaping Shots (Video)

There are many different ways to swing a club, and as many different ways to shape shots. That's why I post a variety of players' techniques for hitting fades and draws -- just in case one player's method doesn't work for you, perhaps another's will. Here is Paige's recipe for shaping shots.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Collin Morikawa's Pre-Round Warm-Up (Video)

TaylorMade shot this footage THIS WEEK at the Northern Trust. Collin demonstrates his wedge warm-up before a round, which he does about 20 minutes before he tees off.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The Women's Open Is Finally Here

The women are back at Carnoustie for the first time since 2011 for the AIG Women's Open.

Defending champion Sophia Popov

Sophia Popov is defending her very emotional win at Royal Troon last year, but Carnoustie will be a very different animal even if the wind stays down. The extended forecast doesn't look bad but the women will still face some significant wind -- at least, significant for a course with 112 bunkers! The weather forecast from predicts winds around 10-15mph each day, although rain looks unlikely and the temperatures will be in the low 60s F during the event.

The field is going to be strong since this is the final major of 2021 and everybody wants it. I'm very interested to see how the Olympics affect this event. A number of players who normally aren't considered likely winners got to play in the Olympics and played well, gaining a lot of confidence. While the medal winners clearly gained confidence at the games, look at all the other players -- Aditi Ashok and Hannah Green among them -- who had their existing confidence boosted by their close calls in Tokyo.

I suspect a larger number of players enter this major believing they can win than at any other major this season.

GC's live coverage begins Thursday morning at 6am ET. Although specific times weren't given, and the NBC Sports app are supposed to stream coverage. And you can find links for the international carriers at this link.

Ryann O'Toole showed some serious mental strength last week. But can she do it again and win in back-to-back weeks? We shall see.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Northern Trust

Twofer Tuesday heads to New York for the first of the FedExCup Playoffs, the Northern Trust.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson

Things will change next year as FedEx takes over this event and moves it to Memphis, but for now the first Playoff event takes place in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty at Liberty National Golf Club. Defending champion Dustin Johnson picked this trophy off on his way to winning the 2020 FedExCup.

After yet another week where I picked a player only to have him withdraw from the event, I'm a little gun shy about my picks. But hopefully no one decides to get sick or skip the Northern Trust and I get a valid shot at picking two Top10 finishers.

  • My first pick is Abraham Ancer. He's no longer a 'best player yet to win' and he had a T2 here in 2019.
  • My other pick is Xander Schauffele. In case you didn't hear, he won the gold medal in Tokyo.

That's it, folks. I have no elaborate explanation for picking either player. Both have played well, with Xander picking up the gold and Abraham winning the WGC the next week. And both have taken a week off, so they should be fresh coming in. Basically, I'm just shooting in the dark and hoping I get a couple of bull's-eyes.

On Thursday GC begins their coverage at 2pm ET and PGA TOUR LIVE begins streaming at 7am ET. Let's see how much the packed 2020 schedule has taken out of this field. Can $15mil get them charged up? (Just a thought: Based on recent performance, I'm not sure I'd bet on Brooks Koepka here.)

Monday, August 16, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Wyndham Championship

Winner: Kevin Kisner

Around the wider world of golf: Ryann O'Toole got her first LPGA and LET wins at the Trust Golf Women's Scottish Open; Lilia Vu got her third win of the season at the Symetra Tour's Four Winds Invitational; Calum Hill got his first European Tour title at the Cazoo Classic; Doug Barron got his second Champions Tour win at the Shaw Charity Classic; David Skinns won his second Pinnacle Bank Championship title on the Korn Ferry Tour; Trevor Werbylo got his first pro win at the Forme Tour's Fuzzy Zoeller Classic; James Piot won the US Amateur Championship; Yeosub Seo won the KPGA Championship; So Mi Lee got her second KLPGA title at the Dayouwinia MBN Ladies Open; and Sakura Koiwai got her fifth JLPGA win at the NEC Karuizawa 72 Golf Tournament. [Thanks, IC!]

Kevin Kisner with the Wyndham trophy

My Twofer Tuesday picks were a disappointment this week. I had Hideki Matsuyama (MC) and Louis Oosthuizen (DNP). Hideki looked good the first round but I guess the excitement from Tokyo finally caught up with him, and Louis apparently withdrew from the event after I checked for withdrawals. Just my luck!

  • Top10s: 19 for 66 (15 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 32 events

A six-man playoff. Totally insane! And it would have been seven men had Russell Henley managed a par on the final hole. Unfortunately, leading for 71 holes wasn't good enough. But SIX MEN!


And it was a real cross-section of the field. Adam Scott, Si Woo Kim, Branden Grace, Kevin Na, Roger Sloan and Kevin Kisner -- you had players from just about every level of experience teeing it up for extra holes.

You also got to see how to play the 18th from every possible spot -- from the rough, the bunkers, the fairway, short of the green, long to the green, uphill, downhill, sidehill. Adam Scott gave himself the best chance at birdie on the first playoff hole, only to spend several minutes watching the others make amazing pars... and one badly-read putt gave him par as well.

On the second trip down it was more of the same but this time Kevin Kisner stuck it even closer... and he didn't miss.

This was the first time in six tries that Kis has won a playoff.  And he DID win it, as none of the guys he beat shot less than 66. It was a day of 'ball in hand, we might have to deal with rain' play and the scores showed it.

Kisner hadn't won since the 2019 WGC-Dell Match Play. Perhaps it's appropriate that he finally won a playoff that looked more like a multi-player match play scramble!

The big question now is whether Captain Stricker will invite him onto the US Ryder Cup team. (Stricks does have six picks this time.) But there is NO question that Kis gets a shiny new Limerick Summary. In fact... here it is!

Six battled, just one took the prize.
Down 18, most played from tough lies
And couldn’t close out…
Till Kis staged a rout
With a birdie that spelled their demise.

The photo came from this page at

Sunday, August 15, 2021

My Drill for Relaxing During Your Swing (Video)

Normally I wouldn't post two Rick Shiels videos in a row but this one reminded me of a swing tip that helps me stay relaxed. It can even help you develop more distance control. Watch Rick's video first...

Okay, it was his first tip -- the one about breathing -- that reminded me of this. I'm not sure I've ever mentioned it before and I don't know why I hadn't thought about it.

When I was younger I took a couple of years of Tae Kwon Do. You may know that Sei Young Kim is (I believe) a 4th-level black belt in that martial art, and a number of golfers have trained in it over the years. It's an extremely helpful martial art for golfers because of all the rotary motion involved.

One of the key things I learned during that time was how important breathing is to proper -- and powerful -- strikes and kicks. While Rick is correct that breathing during your address can help you relax, there's actually more to it than that.

Tae Kwon Do teaches you that, to punch or kick effectively, you need to inhale as you prepare to strike and then exhale as execute your strike. In fact, I actually learned to control how hard I punched or kicked by controlling the force of my exhale. And it's not difficult to do at all.

Here's a drill to help you learn to do the same with your golf swing: Simply inhale as you make your backswing and then begin your exhale as you start your downswing. Ideally, you want to exhale most forcefully as the clubhead strikes the ball. You do the same thing when you perform almost any physical motion that requires a lot of effort. When you try to lift something heavy, don't you take two or three deep breaths and then exhale as you make the actual lift? Same principle.

Use this drill on the range to get comfortable with that forceful exhale. Once you get used to it, you'll find it's not that hard to take it to the course. And with just a little more practice, you'll learn to use it as a way to control the distance of your less-than-full shots as well -- more forceful exhales for longer shots, less intense ones for shorter shots. It's an amazing technique once you get the hang of it.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Beginner Bunker Play VS Advanced Bunker Play (Video)

It's simple enough. Rick Shiels shows beginners how to make sure they get out of the bunker (plus a drill to improve that basic skill) and then he shows how to build on those skills and start hitting your bunker shots close. All players forget the fundamentals at times; consider this short video a refresher course.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Long Irons VS Hybrids VS Fairway Woods (Video)

Paige Spiranac recently went through a fitting to fix a problem with a club that simply wasn't carrying its weight. What she learned -- which resulted in changing the composition of her bag -- may help you understand how a club fitter determines what kind of clubs are best for your game. You might be particularly interested in how trajectory figures into a fitting.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

NEWS FLASH: Golf Returns to Canada!

Yes, it's a reason to celebrate. Canada welcomes pro golf back this week as the Champions Tour tees it up at the Shaw Charity Classic.

Defending champion Wes Short Jr

It's been quite a while since any pros teed it up in Canada because of -- what else? -- the continuing pandemic. The PGA Tour still doesn't have a Canadian event planned in the foreseeable future; the 2021-22 schedule is silent.

However, the Champions Tour is going to change that. According to the site it's going to be different this year, of course. The normally well-attended event will be limited to 2000 fans per day, but after two years of COVID-19 fears that's an amazing number. They'll get to watch 2019 defending champion Wes Short Jr and his companions tee it up again.

But there's more. Not only will the three-day event be played this year, but there will be charity pro-ams on both Wednesday and Thursday. This must feel like a miracle to Canadians fans.

The event starts Friday on GC with an 8:30pm-10:30pm ET broadcast, but will get a more traditional 4pm ET time starting Saturday. Here's hoping this event goes smoothly and Canadians get the fresh breath of hope they deserve.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Links

It looks like the ladies are going straight from the triple-digit heat index of Olympic golf straight into the mid-60s of the Scottish links. That might be a relief... but it might also make things tough. That's a huge temperature change!

Defending champion Stacy Lewis

Trust Golf is the new sponsor for the Women's Scottish Open in Fife, Scotland, where Stacy Lewis will try to defend her 2020 title. And this is an important week overall because this is the women's chance to get ready for next week's AIG Women's Open.

Some of the ladies have chosen not to play. For example, Nelly Korda and Mone Inami, the golf and silver medal winners, have chosen not to play this week. I don't guess you can blame them, as the media attention alone must have taken a huge amount of their remaining energy.

But that doesn't mean this is going to be a weak field. Bronze medalist Lydia Ko is in the field, as is Aditi Ashok, Emily Kristine Pedersen, Hannah Green (who I didn't know is half-Scot), Stephanie Meadow, Yuka Saso, Minjee Lee, Sophia Popov, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Madelene Sagstrom, Ariya Jutanugarn and Gaby Lopez, among the many other women who made a run at the medals last week.

So we're still looking at a pretty stacked field.

Here is the listing for all the ways to watch the Women's Scottish Open here in the US. Take note that while GC is covering only two hours on Thursday and Friday, from 10am-noon ET, the NBC Sports App and are covering four hours those two days. You can catch four hours on any of those outlets Saturday and Sunday.

There's also a link for the streaming outlets in other countries. Have fun!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Wyndham Championship

Twofer Tuesday takes a break from its worldwide travel and heads home to North Carolina for the Wyndham Championship.

Defending champion Jim Herman

It's the field's last chance to make the Top125 and the FedExCup Playoffs... so they better make it a good one!

Sedgefield Country Club isn't a long track by any stretch of the imagination but it's a proven course with a long history. Formerly known as the Greater Greensboro Open -- or just the GGO -- until 1988, it was established in 1938 and has been played every year except for 1943 and 1944. Sam Snead won here a record eight times, the first in 1938 and the last in 1965, the latter making him the oldest PGA Tour winner at 52 years, 10 months and 8 days -- a record that still stands.

At just over 7100 yards this par-70 Donald Ross track still manages to draw some of the best players simply because it's still a valid test. And it's the only Donald Ross original design that still hosts a PGA Tour event.

In my opinion the great thing about this course is that anybody can win here, provided they can navigate the tiny undulating greens -- and that's almost a prerequisite for winning here these days, as it's not unusual to see scores lower than -20.

So who do we pick this week? As usual, there's a pretty strong field to choose from...

  • Yeah, I'm taking Louis Oosthuizen again. He's playing so well at this point, I can't help but feel he's going to get it done any week now. Bear in mind that another solo 2nd would send him into the Playoffs as a Top10 player without even getting a win this season. Yeah, he's on the verge of something big.
  • And I'm also going all in on Hideki Matsuyama. This year's Masters champion barely missed the playoff for the Olympic bronze medal, then he MADE the playoff for last week's WGC. Another player on the verge of doing something great.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 3pm ET. Depending on traffic, Sedgefield is between 30 and 60 minutes from where I live and, while I don't plan to risk the surging infections to be there in person, I'm really looking forward to the TV coverage. As the last chance to make the Playoffs, we're going to see some great golf this week!

Monday, August 9, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 WGC-FedEx St Jude

Winner: Abraham Ancer

Around the wider world of golf: Nelly Korda, Mone Inami, and Lydia Ko won the gold, silver and bronze medals respectively at the Olympics; Erik van Rooyen won the Barracuda Championship, the PGA Tour's alternate field event; Grant Forrest won the Hero Open on the ET; Joshua Creel won the Utah Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour; Fernanda Lira won the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship on the Symetra Tour; Team Buhai and Alison Lee won the team and individual trophies at the Aramco Team Series – Sotogrande on the LET; and Jensen Castle won the US Women's Amateur.

Abraham Ancer poses with the WGC trophy

My Twofer Tuesday picks were a disappointment this week. I had Brooks Koepka (T54) and Louis Oosthuizen (T17). Louis was in the Top10 starting Sunday and got derailed by the wind but Brooks never really showed up. I don't know what's wrong with him these days.

  • Top10s: 19 for 64 (15 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 31 events

I'm not going to say a lot about Sunday's round. Clearly the wind got the better of most of the field -- only 22 players beat par, and leaders Harris English and Bryson DeChambeau were nowhere near doing so. The two were a combined +11 on the back nine.

And that brought a whole lot of players back into the game.

Abraham Ancer remarked that he thought he was going to finish four or five shots back at one point, only to realize down the stretch that a single birdie might be all he needed for the win. He was correct... except that single birdie came in a three-man playoff on the second hole, where he outlasted Hideki Matsuyama and Sam Burns.

I think we all were pulling for Abraham. He's been so close so many times recently, and it's great to see him get his first PGA Tour win. And he gets it at a WGC -- next year this will be the first event in the FedExCup Playoffs instead -- which vaulted him up into the sixth spot in the FedExCup Points List. If you want to win the Tour Championship, going into the Playoffs in the Top10 is the way to improve your chances. That's where the big bucks are, after all!

So I'm very happy to give Abraham his first Limerick Summary. Hopefully he'll get many more.

Next year it’s a playoff event,
But this year it marked the ascent
Of Abe—with this win—
To the FedEx Top10
Where he hopes to win every last cent!

The photo came from this page at

Sunday, August 8, 2021

A Few Thoughts on the Women's Olympic Golf

The women won't get a Limerick Summary this week because -- as usual -- that will go to the WGC being played by the men. But the women definitely deserve some 'blog space' after such an awesome event.

Aditi recognized by the Indian Express

By now you all know who medaled:

  • Gold: Nelly Korda (USA)
  • Silver: Mone Inami (Japan)
  • Bronze: Lydia Ko (New Zealand)

Lydia and Inami tied for silver and needed one playoff hole to break the tie. The field had to dodge a tropical storm just to get the event completed. And yet this whole event was super-competitive and the results were in doubt until the last hole. It's hard to ask more than that for golf's second appearance as an Olympic event, isn't it?

While Nelly will understandably get more attention overall and Inami will probably get the most in Japan, it shouldn't be forgotten that Lydia is the only golfer, male or female, to have TWO Olympic medals in golf. That's impressive, especially considering what Lydia's game has been through in the years between Rio and Tokyo. Perhaps her place in modern golf now needs to be reevaluated.

And while we saw some really great performances from the various players, how can I not focus on Aditi Ashok? The photo above came from a collection of internet posts that gathered together to show how much her performance affected the country of India.

Bear in mind that India has nearly 1.4 BILLION people but, according to this Wikipedia page:

India currently has 196 registered golf courses and around 50% of those registered courses are situated on military bases, which are only accessible to military. 35 additional courses are un-affiliated (approx 17 Pitch and Putt Courses). This leaves roughly 135 courses to cater for a civilian golf demand.

Imagine that! And now Aditi has been in two Olympics, placing 41st (at age 19!) and 4th. It's possible that she could have a similar effect to that of Se Ri Pak in South Korea.

How long will golf continue to be in the Olympics? The 2024 Paris games, the 2028 Los Angeles games and the 2032 Brisbane games have all named their golf venues so we can expect them for at least the next three Olympics.

And while there has been some debate concerning the format of Olympic golf, it's hard to see why the IGF would change what has been such a successful event. It seems to me that match play or team play, the two most commonly recommended changes, would only make sense if additional formats were added to the existing events. In that case, I can't see anything more than a two-day team event being added... and even that would take some serious planning since the Summer Games are only two weeks long.

In the meantime, I think the ladies have proven that golf belongs in the Olympic games. And with all the difficulties faced by the Tokyo games, I think they have a lot to be proud of. Congrats to all the women, medalist or not!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Rick Shiels Tests the Srixon Q-Star Tour Divide Golf Ball (Video)

You know I love Rick's equipment tests... but how do you test a two-color golf ball? How does the color line actually affect your overall play? His test of the new Srixon ball reveals some things you might not think would matter... but those things might really help (or hurt) your game. This is a thoughtful test that could challenge your ideas about how a simple paint job can change the game.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Is the Golf Swing Really So Difficult? (Video)

Some instructors say that golf is difficult because the movements are somewhat unnatural. But is that really true? Mike Malaska takes a look at some of the common movements shared by all Olympic sports, regardless of the sport you're talking about -- even when that sport is golf -- and how recognizing those similarities can help you improve your own game.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Three Challenging Putting Drills (Video)

Need some new putting drills? Rick Shiels has three you might want to try. But pay attention -- while these drills look familiar at first glance, Rick has added some slight twists that make them much harder than the versions you expect!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

My Wish List for the "Strategic Alliance" (Video)

The plans for the first year of the PGA Tour/European Tour "Strategic Alliance" have been announced and they sound pretty cool. Here's the Golf Today interview with Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley from Tuesday.

I'll give you some links to articles on, and later in this post but first I want to talk a bit about what I'd like to see moving forward. The details of the 2021-22 schedule changes I'll mention below can be found in those articles.

The big changes we'll see in the next year are that (temporarily) there will be only two WGCs this coming season, we'll have three events (one ET, two PGAT) that will offer both Race to Dubai and FedExCup points, FedEx will now host the first of the three FedExCup Playoff events and -- this one is specifically for the ET -- the Irish Open's purse will double from $3mil to $6mil.

These are great things on which to build the future of both tours. This will certainly give both tours a certain amount of immunity against rival golf tours luring the top players away, as well as providing a lot more opportunities for all the players and better fields for all the fans to watch. But these things are only the beginning, according to the big wigs on both tours.

Here's what I'd like to see going forward.

While I understand that making every event on both tours provide points for the money races on both tours is probably counterproductive, I do think this 'dual points' offer could give both tours some real benefits if used for strategic reasons.

For example, both tours call themselves 'world tours.' But think about this: The ET could certainly benefit from an 'American Swing' and the PGA Tour from a 'European Swing,' which I envision as three-event swings giving each of those events dual points. This would be an excellent spot for Monahan to set up new events for New York and the surrounding area, which he specifically mentioned as a goal. And this overlap would provide superstrong fields in events based in the home regions for each tour. A win-win situation.

Dual points might also give some of the smaller events an extra draw for those big name players who cross tour lines for the bigger events. That certainly seems to be the reason for making the Scottish Open (the week before THE OPEN) a dual-points event, as well as giving the ET players who don't make those big events a reason to come to America and play the Barracuda and Barbasol events (the opposite field events to the Scottish Open and THE OPEN which will also be dual-point events).

The temporary change from four to two WGCs also offers some real possibilities. One complaint about the WGCs is that most of them were played in America, and my personal complaint is that with the exception of the Dell Match Play, they're all just stroke play events. With only two in the new schedule -- the Dell Match Play in America and the HSBC (a stroke play event) in China -- we now have the freedom to set up WGCs in different parts of the world and with different styles of play. I would love to see the Irish Open made into a WGC featuring links play. A WGC in Australia that focused on sandbelt courses, which provide their own unique challenges, would be another possibility. And while the Mexico Championship will no longer be a WGC, I like the idea of a high-altitude WGC. Let's mix it up!

And returning to the dual point idea, you could effectively create the World Tour series that has been batted around for a couple of decades or so by setting up all the events that are opposite these big events -- regardless of which tour has them -- as dual point events. That way the big names get the big events they want while giving the players who don't qualify for them an opportunity to play at an alternate event that will help them improve their position on their regular tour. If you do that, I don't think rival tours have much to offer.

If you want to read more of the details about the 2021-22 'prototype' season, you can check out these links:

That's my wish list, at least given what little we know so far. Mike Whan used to say that a rising tide lifts all boats, and I think the PGA Tour and the ET have an opportunity here to prove just how powerful that idea is.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: WGC-FedEx St Jude

A quick note: The Women's Olympic Golf Competition starts its live broadcast TODAY (Tuesday) on GC at 6:30pm ET. The women's event runs from Tuesday-Friday here in the US.

Although it keeps one eye on the women's golf at the Olympics, Twofer Tuesday jets back to the States for the WGC-FedEx St Jude.

Defending champion Justin Thomas

Defending champion Justin Thomas -- along with a number of other men -- took the red-eye from Japan to tee it up at TPC Southwind in Memphis TN. That does make it a bit difficult to make picks this week because I'm uncertain how JT and Friends will handle the 14-hour time change. Consequently I'm thinking twice about picking the Olympic players this week.

So let's see if I can do a bit better with my picks since I'm picking from a smaller pool of players.

  • I don't think I've picked Brooks Koepka very often this season; I haven't felt his game was quite back to normal. But he won this event in 2019 and finished T2 to JT last year, and a lot of the top players in the field were in Japan. If he's going to show up at a big event that's not a major, this should certainly be the one.
  • And how can I ignore Louis Oosthuizen? King Louis is definitely in form, given the number of Top3s he's had this season and, as I said with Brooks, this seems to be a short field if we look for rested players. I'll take the South African again.

GC's coverage of this WGC begins Thursday at noon ET. The women's Olympic golf is definitely the big event this week but a WGC is still a WGC. I won't be surprised if Xander gets a win this week while he's riding on his gold medal high... but I'm not holding my breath. I'm sticking with the rested players this week.

Monday, August 2, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 Men’s Olympic Golf

Winners: Xander Schauffele, gold; Rory Sabatini, silver; C.T. Pan, bronze

Around the wider world of golf: Pajaree Anannarukarn won the women's division and Daniel Gavins won the men's division of the ISPS HANDA World Invitational on the ET/LET/LPGA; Annika Sorenstam won the US Senior Women's Open; Michael Thorbjornsen won the Western Amateur; Ji Hyun Oh won the KLPGA's Jeju Samdasoo Masters; and Yuri Yoshida won the JLPGA'S Rakuten Super Ladies. [Thanks, IC!}

Gold medalist Xander Schauffele

I wanted a photo of all three winners but I couldn't find one without them wearing masks. Apparently only the gold medalist gets the photographers excited.

All things considered, my Twofer Tuesday picks didn't do so bad. I had Collin Morikawa (T4) and Viktor Hovland (T14). Viktor got derailed by a 71 in Round 3 but Collin made the bronze medal playoff.

  • Top10s: 19 for 62 (15 Top5s, 4 other Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 30 events

I don't even know how to sum up this event. There was no runaway in this event -- although Schauffele's victory wasn't really in doubt, it was just a one-shot victory -- and there was a seven-man playoff for the bronze medal. The playoff was a golf promoter's dream, with OWGR Top15 players Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Collin Morikawa battling Paul Casey, Mito Pereira, Sebastián Muñoz and C.T. Pan, who ultimately won it. Pan shot a final round 63 to make that playoff.

The real shocker was Rory Sabatini's Olympic record 61 to miss the gold medal by a single shot. Rory said he had taken Slovakian citizenship (via his wife Martina) to help out her relative's fledgling Slovak Golf Federation. I guess he succeeded!

So this week's Limerick Summary salutes all three winners... because, after all, Olympic medal winners are one of the most exclusive clubs on the planet, regardless of your medal's color.

The results opened everyone’s eyes!
While Schauffele was not a surprise,
Sabatini and Pan
Made a final-round stand
That reminds us… it’s anyone’s prize.

The photo came from this page at

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Rick Shiels Tests a Beginner Set (Video)

The set in question is Cobra's FlyXL, a 10-club plus bag package. This video gives you an idea of what to expect in a set like this and what kind of changes you might want to consider if you (or a friend) picks one up. It might even alert you to things you should be aware of next time you buy any kind of prepackaged set.