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Friday, May 27, 2022

Tips on Gapping Your Wedges and Irons (Video)

Paige recently discovered some of her clubs weren't performing properly and she went back to Club Champion to get them adjusted. True, she does commercials for them but the tips she gives here on what you should be aware of when you get adjustments like this made -- and even how you'll know you need them -- are useful no matter where you get the work done.


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Two Champions Majors in a Row

The Champions Tour is unusual in that its first two majors are sequential, two consecutive weeks of pressure cooker golf. And this week it's the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.

Defendinc champion Alex Cejka

Last year Alex Cejka won the first two majors but that won't happen this year. After only two events back -- and winning the Regions Tradition just two weeks ago -- Steve Stricker had to withdraw from this week's event after testing positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

The rest of the field will tee it up at Harbor Shores GC in Benton Harbor, Michigan and the favorite (once again) is Steven Alker. His two wins, two runner-ups, a third and a fifth so far this season have made him seem like the can't-lose kid.

GC's coverage starts at 1pm ET today. Stricker will be missed for sure, but the field is still stacked and hey, it's a major! What more can we ask?

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

5 Days of Women's Match Play

Just a quick reminder that Ally Ewing's defense of her Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play title begins TODAY at 1:30pm ET on GC. This is a FIVE-day event, much like the PGA Tour's WGC-Dell Match Play. It was a new event last year so it will be interesting to see how things shake out in this second edition!

Defending champion Ally Ewing

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Twofer Tuesday: Charles Schwab Challenge

Twofer Tuesday leaves Oklahoma and heads back to Texas for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Forth Worth.

Defending champion Jason Kokrak

Weren't we in Texas just a couple of weeks ago? Well, we're back again, less than an hour SW of McKinney TX where the Tour played the AT&T Byron Nelson. After Southern Hills, Colonial ought to be a walk in the park. I said ought to. A par-70 at just over 7200 yards, Colonial tends to play tougher than most courses that size.

Depending on the weather, this week could be very tough indeed. The defending champion is Jason Kokrak, so it's clear that power can be a valuable resource around Colonial.

Since my picks did so well last week without me giving any explanation for why I picked them, why change my strategy? Besides, I think my choices are pretty much self-explanatory, since Colonial is a Perry Maxwell design like Southern Hills. That's my story and, as far as you guys are concerned, I'm sticking to it.

  • Justin Thomas
  • Will Zalatoris

GC's coverage begins Thursday at 4pm ET. PGA TOUR LIVE starts streaming at 8:15am ET and you can find their schedule at this link. I really have no idea what might happen this week and my picks are probably tired after that playoff. But I've got nothing better to go on and, hey, who says one of them can't win this week as well? I guess we'll find out...

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Limerick Summary: 2022 PGA Championship

Winner: Justin Thomas

Around the wider world of golf: Trevor Cone won the AdventHealth Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour; Grace Kim won the IOA Golf Classic on the Epson Tour; Albert Venter won the FBC Zim Open on the Sunshine Tour; Jung Min Hong won the Doosan Match Play Championship on the KLPGA; Eun Shin Park won the Descente Korea Munsingwear Match Play on the KPGA; Mao Saigo won the Bridgestone Ladies Open on the JLPGA; and Shugo Imahara won the Golf Partner Pro Am Tournament on the Japan Golf Tour. [Thanks, IC!]

Justin Thomas hoists seond PGA Championship trophy

FINALLY! One of my Twofer Tuesday picks came through! I had Jordan Spieth (T34) and Justin Thomas (1). Jordan started off well on Thursday but quickly lost his way. And then there was Justin...!

  • Top10s: 16 for 62 (10 Top5, 6 Top10)
  • Winners: 2 for 30
  • Top20s: 27 for 62

It was a wild week at Southern Hills. I mean, really... did any of you pick Rickie Fowler (T23, +2) to crush Scottie Scheffler (MC)? Or Brooks Koepka or Collin Morikawa (T55, +8)? Or even Jordan Spieth (T34, +4)? Or that most of the leaders starting Sunday wouldn't even have a regular PGA Tour win, let alone a major?

Or that JT would shoot -3 and still come from seven shots back to win in a playoff?

I wish I could say I knew something special was coming JT's way, but I didn't. I just thought he was due. But it was clear Bones knew even more, as Justin (and his dad) gave Bones credit simply for encouraging him and telling him not to be so hard on himself, that he was good enough.

He certainly was. He was good enough to give me my second win of the season... and I'm responding in kind. Here's your Limerick Summary, JT -- and it's well deserved!

Too far back on Saturday night
But Sunday? He’s back in the fight!
From seven shots back
Justin launched his attack—
Now the Hall of Fame’s square in his sights.

The photo came from this page at si.com.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Pitching High Without Hitting Fat (Video)

This short video tells you how to hit your pitch shots higher without hitting the ball fat. Here's a tip you might miss if you aren't paying close attention: If you dip your trailing shoulder during the downswing, you're almost certain to hit it fat. Now go out there and get better at your pitching!


Saturday, May 21, 2022

7 Simple Tips You Probably Forgot (Video)

Neil Tappin and PGA professional Katie Dawkins have compiled a list of seven things that most golfers know but tend to forget out on the course. Consider this an easy-to-watch refresher course that could help you drop some strokes immediately.


Friday, May 20, 2022

How Your Trail Toes Can Help Your Drives (Video)

This tip from Russell Heritage is so simple that I'm amazed I haven't see it before. It's a simple way to improve your driving just by making sure you finish with your trailing toes straight instead of bent. Once you've seen the video I think you'll agree -- this is a very simple way to see if you're moving through your drives properly.


Thursday, May 19, 2022

Where Is Your Trail Forearm at Setup and at Impact? (Video)

This short video from Mike Malaska can help many of you who struggle to create a good spine angle at setup and also square up the clubface at impact. The two aren't necessarily the same... and if you set up for one without considering how it will affect the other, you might be sabotaging yourself before you ever swing. This video teaches some good principles to help you maximize your consistency at both setup and impact.


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True... (Video)

Rick Shiels decided to try a new version of a club that didn't work the first time he tested it. Did the new version work? Rick says this video is a warning, just in case you haven't learned not to trust unbelievable claims online.

Or anywhere, for that matter.


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Twofer Tuesday: PGA Championship

Twofer Tuesday heads north from Dallas TX to Tulsa OK and Southern Hills Country Club for the PGA Championship.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson

Unless you've been living under a rock without cable, you know that defending champion Phil Mickelson isn't defending his title due to... personal problems. He's only the third player not to defend his PGA win in 75 years -- the first was Ben Hogan in 1949, the other Tiger Woods in 2008.

Ironically, Tiger (who won his last PGA at this very course in 2007) WILL be teeing it up this week after a miraculous comeback from his car accident last year. But this time the course will be a bit different after a redesign by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner a few years back. A par-70 measuring 7556 yards, the rework opened the course up a little so the greens complexes can take center stage.

And of course, being played in May this year means less heat to deal with. Probably.

Last week I gave reasons for making my picks and, despite being good reasons, they weren't good enough for either player to make the cut. So this week I'm just giving you the names.

  • Jordan Spieth
  • Justin Thomas

GC's limited to news coverage this week. ESPN's live coverage begins Thursday at 2pm ET. ESPN and CBS split coverage for the weekend, with ESPN+ adding extra coverage all four days. (You can find those streams at this link.) Jordan Spieth is the big story this week as he tries to complete the Career Grand Slam. Will he get it done this time? We'll find out soon.

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Limerick Summary: 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson

Winner: K.H. Lee

Around the wider world of golf: Minjee Lee won the Cognizant Founders Cup on the LPGA; Steve Stricker won the Regions Tradition, the Champions Tour's first major of 2022; Sam Horsfield won the Soudal Open on the DP World Tour; Anders Albertson won the Visit Knoxville Open on the Korn Ferry Tour; Herman Loubser won the Lombard Insurance Classic on the Sunshine Tour; Min Ji Park won the NH Investments Ladies Championship on the KLPGA; Ayaka Watanabe won the Hoken no Madoguchi Ladies on the JLPGA; Shugo Imahira won the Asia Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup on the Japan Golf Tour; and Hee Min Jang won the Woori Financial Championship on the KPGA. [Thanks, IC!]

K.H. Lee with Byron Nelson trophy

I thought my Twofer Tuesday picks were playing well but I had Will Zalatoris (MC) and Sam Burns (MC). Didn't Will say he'd played this course 'hundreds of times'? I guess everything's bigger in Texas... including misjudgments!

  • Top10s: 15 for 60 (9 Top5, 5 Top10)
  • Winners: 1 for 29
  • Top20s: 26 for 60

K.H. Lee got his first PGA Tour win last year at this very event. The question was, could he keep the trophy for another year? He got off to a great start -- although Sebastián Muñoz stole the show with a 60 on Thursday, Lee was T2 after posting a 64. And on Sunday he posted the third best score of the day with a 63. 

Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama made some serious runs at Lee (67 and 62 respectively) but Lee was just too much for anybody to catch Sunday afternoon. It was enough to secure his second PGA Tour win with a successful defense of his title. That's the kind of performance Tour pros love!

As if that wasn't enough, the win vaulted Lee up the FedExCup standings all the way from 116 to 28. Breaking the Top30 at this point in the season is a big boost on the way to East Lake. It's almost enough to make him forget getting his second Limerick Summary.

But I don't think Lee will. He knows what's important in a career!

It looks like Lee did it again!
Defense of his ’21 win
Makes Lee a two-timer
And FedExCup climber—
Up 88 spots. See him grin?

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Another Chipping Video? (Video)

You know I'm always looking for new presentations of chipping and pitching systems because different players tend to gravitate toward different techniques. This is yet another slightly different approach to the short game. Perhaps this approach will work for you.


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Ten Drills (Video)

PGA pro Ben Emerson put together this video of ten different drills to help you become more consistent in various areas of your game. Of course, that doesn't mean that every drill here will help you; you'll need to decide which ones fit your swing and which ones don't. (For a very simple example, I don't use a line on my ball so the putting drill won't help me.) But there's a good chance you'll find something here that WILL help you and, if you find just one drill that works for you, watching this will have been worth your time.


Friday, May 13, 2022

The First Champions Tour Major is ON!

The PGA Tour/LIV Golf news threw me a day late but I wanted to give a quick shoutout to the Regions Traditions, the first of the five Champions Tour majors.

Defending champion Alex Cejka

Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham AL is the (pardon the pun) traditional venue for the Regions and it usually provides a good challenge to the players -- primarily because the players don't know what to expect. At nearly 7300 yards the course can play relatively easy or deceptively difficult depending on conditions.

Last year Alex Cejka beat Steve Stricker in a playoff (and then took the 2nd major, the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship the following week). This year Stricker seems intent on avenging that loss -- and perhaps the time he lost to that mystery illness that sidelined him for several months -- by posting 7-under to take a two shot lead into today's round.

The second round of the Regions Tradition hits GC this afternoon at 1:30pm ET. It's good to see Stricker return to competitive form so quickly although I'm not so sure the rest of the field shares my excitement. But can he get the job done this week? That remains to be seen.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

A Quick Reminder

Jin Young Ko begins her quest for a three-peat at the Cognizant Founders Cup today (Thursday) at 10:30am ET on GC. This should be fun!

Two-time defending champion Jin Young Ko

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The Tour Draws a Line in the Sand...

...and things are about to get messy.

LIV Golf promo

With the PGA Tour denying player wavers into the first LIV Golf event in June, I think it's pretty clear that this will likely become a legal battle after all.

PGA Tour members are generally considered 'independent contractors.' But to play regular schedules on the Tour, players do have to sign a contract agreeing to follow the Tour's rules... and those rules limit when and where they can play outside the PGA Tour. And the legal issue in question, I think, is a very simple one:

Are independent contractors bound by contracts they sign to get and keep a job?

To me this seems like a no-brainer. The obvious answer is YES, because this is a legal business agreement and I don't see how any court could rule otherwise without completely destroying a basic tenet of business all over the world. It would throw EVERY business into chaos because it would mean, in effect, if you sign a contract and decide you don't want to follow it, then you can break your contract without any repercussions.

No business people in their right minds would allow the people they work with, either employees or contractors, to take the things that give their businesses an advantage over their competitors. That would destroy the competitive advantages that allow businesses to grow and evolve. To make such a ruling would create an unheard-of precedent, inundating the court system with millions of cases representing literally decades of standard business practice. The world economy would collapse.

In addition, the PGA Tour is a 501(c)(6) organization... and if I understand the law, that makes it a non-profit organization. Does the government want to meddle in the affairs of non-profits responsible for thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in charitable donations, again destroying decades of legal precedents? Again, I don't think so..

But will this end up in court? I'm afraid it probably will and, although I hate to say so, I think it will do so simply because Greg Norman -- who has always been one of my favorite golfers -- has apparently had an axe to grind with the PGA Tour since the 1990s over the whole idea of a world tour.

Do I think the courts will rule in his favor? If the rule of law and cool heads prevail, I don't see how it can. This idea that a competing tour has to be given special concessions that other businesses would not dream of asking for is absolutely ridiculous. But this whole thing appears to be less about creating an actual tour with a value of its own and more about egos and politics.

Buckle up, folks. Things are about to take a nasty turn. I just hope it doesn't ruin the improved social reputation that modern golf has spent so much time trying to build, just for the sake of a few people with massive egos and political agendas.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Twofer Tuesday: AT&T Byron Nelson

Twofer Tuesday leaves the chilly and wet Washington DC area for the (hopefully) warmer and drier Dallas area and the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Defending champion K.H. Lee

TPC Craig Ranch is a 7468-yard par-72 that, despite its length, has played notoriously easy for the pros, boasting a scoring average just over 69.5. Seven of the Top15 in the OWGR are in the field this week, probably warming up for the PGA next week.

So who shall I pick from this loaded field?

  • My first pick is Will Zalatoris. He's a local boy who says he's played here 'hundreds of times.' How can I not pick him?
  • My other pick is Sam Burns. No other reason than he seems to have figured some things out this year. I'm going with my gut on this pick.

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 4pm ET and PGA TOUR LIVE's streaming coverage starts at 7:45am ET. You can find the streaming schedule at this link. Let's see how the young guys handle the legendary Lord Byron's tournament this time around.

Monday, May 9, 2022

The Limerick Summary: 2022 Wells Fargo Championship

Winner: Max Homa

Around the wider world of golf: Thorbjørn Olesen went eagle-birdie on the final two holes on both Saturday and Sunday to win the Betfred British Masters on the DB World Tour; Brent Grant won the Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation on the Korn Ferry Tour; Ana Peláez won her first LET title at the Comunidad de Madrid Ladies Open on the LET; Steve Flesch won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic on the Champions Tour; Manav Shah won the Quito Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Yubin Jung won the Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament on the Sunshine Tour; A Yeon Cho won the Kyochon Honey Ladies Open on the KLPGA; Miyuu Yamashita won the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup on the JLPGA; and Bio Kim won the GS Caltex Maekyung Open on the KPGA. [Thanks, IC!]

Max Homa with the Wells Fargo trophy

My Twofer Tuesday picks did a little better this week. I had Brian Harman (T9) and Matt Kuchar (T49). I'm a bit surprised that Kucher didn't do better in the conditions but Harman proved once again he's a mudder. Still no winner though.

  • Top10s: 15 for 58 (9 Top5, 5 Top10)
  • Winners: 1 for 28
  • Top20s: 26 for 58

I don't think anybody expected what we saw this weekend. The top players just couldn't seem to get it together on TPC Potomac's cold rainy track. In the end it came down to two players -- Matt Homa and Keegan Bradley, both players known for good bad weather play -- to fight it out.

And fight they did! Bradley began the day with a two-shot lead. Homa came out firing on the first hole with a birdie, Bradley doubled the second and we saw the first of FIVE two-shot swings in the round.

In the end Homa posted a 2-under 68 and Bradley a 2-over 72, giving Max Homa a two-shot victory and his second win of the season.

While both men leave with some positives -- despite losing, Bradley is finally starting to play well and he posted his best finish in his last seven events -- Max Homa almost certainly will head to the PGA Championship in two weeks with the most confidence.

Of course, picking up another Limerick Summary will do that for you.

Behind at the start of the day,
Max started to make his own way
To the front of the field.
It was like he just willed
Things to fall his way… and they obeyed!

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

The Flamingo Drill (Video)

This drill sounds simple but it is going to challenge most of you! Instructor Jon Decker's Flamingo drill teaches you to get more consistent results from your pitch shots by improving your balance. You're gonna have to work on this one, folks!


Saturday, May 7, 2022

I Forgot All About the LET Event!

I was positive there was a women's event this week but somehow forgot to check the LET schedele. As it is, I'm writing this after the second round of the Comunidad de Madrid Ladies Open.

Second round leader Tiia Koivisto

It also took me a while to find the leaderboard. A total of 64 ladies made the cut in Madrid, led by Finnish player Tiia Koivisto  at -10. The leaderboard as a whole is pretty bunched up, and includes a Spanish amateur -- Cayetana Fernandez -- just a shot off the lead. (If you're interested, I found the leaderboard here.)

Rather than reiterate the second round summary, let me just refer you to the page at ladieseuropeantour.com that summarizes the day's play. I found it interesting that the title of the post is Tiia Koivisto Takes Control in Madrid when the page link is Ana Pelaez Makes Her Move. I'm guessing that Pelaez -- who is in fourth, two strokes back of Koivisto -- had the lead when the post was originally written but Koivisto pulled ahead at the end. It appears that there was a lot of jockeying for position as the round ended.

If you want to see the event -- GC isn't carrying it -- there's a live feed at this link that says it's unavailable in America. Since I didn't find it until the round ended, I didn't get a chance to see if I could access it using my VPN... but you might want to try. If that doesn't work, I'm guessing the GC will show the final two rounds as replays sometime next week.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Hands and Arms VS Body (Video)

Mike Malaska calls this video The Body Follows the Arms but I think that's a bit misleading. The hand action for a swing where the hands swing past the body (more of a classic swing a la Jones) and the hand action for a swing where the body moves past the hands (a modern swing a la Hogan) is essentially the same. What he describes in this video works for both approaches. Drop questions in the comments if Malaska's explanation isn't clear to you.


Thursday, May 5, 2022

More on the L-to-L Drill (Video)

If you've followed me for long you know I'm a fan of the L-to-L drill and have done a number of posts about it. In this super short video Mike Malaska answers a couple of questions people sometimes have about the drill. If you're one of them, it might give you a clearer mental image of what you're trying to do with this drill.


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The Melodic Tournament of the Week

Victory on the Korn Ferry Tour is sweet music for most players (an appropriate metaphor for this event). This week players tune up for the Simmons Bank Open benefitting the Snedeker Foundation.

Host Brandt Snedeker and defending champion Austin Smotherman

The photo shows last year's champion Austin Smotherman. However, he's not defending this week as he is now on the PGA Tour. But this week's winner will be picking up yet another guitar trophy -- yes, it's playable -- although I don't know what kind it will be. Past winners have gotten everything from acoustics to electrics.

The event is being held in College Grove TN, Snedeker's home state. They're playing at The Grove, a Greg Norman design that has hosted the event only one other time (last year) when it was ranked the 9th hardest course on Tour. A par-72, it measures 7368 yards on the scorecard with only two inches of Bermuda rough. We'll see how much of a challenge it gives the pros this year.

It appears that this event won't be getting any TV coverage, which is a shame. You would think Sneds deserves a little attention, at least for the benefit of his charity. But alas, we'll be limited to checking the online scoreboards and (hopefully) getting updates on GC.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Twofer Tuesday: Wells Fargo Championship

WHAT? Twofer Tuesday doesn't head for North Carolina! Instead, it heads for Avenel Farm in Maryland and the Wells Fargo Championship.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy

Defending champion Rory McIlroy may have his hands full this year. He hasn't been on his game of late and now, with the Wells Fargo moving to TPC Potomac, he won't have the familiarity of Quail Hollow. It's only a one-year change, as Quail Hollow is hosting the Presidents Cup this year. But Rors probably wishes he was back somewhere he feels at home.

Oh well, ya gets what ya gets, as they say. TPC Potomac has hosted the Quicken Loans National a couple of times recently so perhaps Rory won't feel quite as uncomfortable. And the course maxes out at a mere 7160 yards. Still...

My two picks for this substitute venue are:

  • Bryan Harmon
  • Matt Kuchar

Yeah, probably should go with some of the higher-ranked players but they haven't helped me lately so what the heck?

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 2pm ET. And you can find the times for PGA TOUR LIVE's streams on this page. We'll see how a move from familiar ground in NC to a course just a few miles north of Washington DC affects the players.

Monday, May 2, 2022

The Limerick Summary: 2022 Mexico Open

Winner: Jon Rahm

Around the wider world of golf: Marina Alex won the Palos Verdes Championship on the LPGA; Adri Arnaus won the Catalunya Championship on the DP World Tour; Harrison Endycott won the Huntsville Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour; Steven Alker won the Insperity Invitational on the Champions Tour; Gabriella Then won the Garden City Charity Classic on the Epson Tour; José Toledo won the Diners Club Peru Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; A Lim Kim won the CreaS F&C KLPGA Championship on the KLPGA; Mao Saigo won the Panasonic Open Ladies Golf Tournament on the JLPGA; and Yuki Inamori won The Crowns on the Japan Golf Tour. [Thanks, IC!]

Jon Rahm with the Mexico Open trophy

This is getting old. I had Kevin Na (T42) and Christiaan Bezuidenhout (DNP). It looks like Kevin took himself out by getting in that shouting match with Grayson Murray earlier in the week. Another week of bad picks!

  • Top10s: 14 for 56 (9 Top5, 5 Top10)
  • Winners: 1 for 27
  • Top20s: 25 for 56

He carried the pressure of expectations all week. Jon Rahm was tied for the lead after the first round, led by two after the second and third rounds, and finally won by a shot on Sunday.

Plenty of players made runs at him. Brandon Wu and Tony Finau both finished early and posted scores that were just a shot shy of Jon's winning -17, and Kurt Kitayama in the final group with him also made the runner-up squad.

It was a tough day for Jon. Once again he didn't have his best stuff and had to scramble his way around the course the whole time. I guess you could call it a mini-version of his season so far, as he has struggled to put four solid rounds together since he won the US Open last year. It's not as if he's played badly, but rather that he just hasn't been sharp around the greens.

And as the only player higher than Patrick Reed (#33) in the field, everybody just expected Jon -- the World #2 -- to get it done somewhat easily. But life rarely works out that way, does it?

Jon was met on the 18th by his young son and his wife, now expecting their second child. Referring to an old Spanish saying, Jon said children tend to bring gifts... and the unborn one had given him one Sunday. Let me be the first to add to those gifts with another Limerick Summary, his first of 2022.

His drought since the Open is done
So Jon shared the win with his son
And his wife, who’s soon due
With the Rahm’s number two,
Underneath the bright Mexican sun.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Smoothing Out Your Downswing (Video)

I think this video from Russell Heritage goes hand-in-hand with yesterday's video lesson with Pete Cowen. This video gives a slightly different look at one of the key things Pete was teaching, so this might help you visualize his move more clearly.