Golf Can Sting Sometimes

Golf can sting, literally.  Just ask European Tour player Pablo Larrazabal.

Larrazabal was playing the 5th hole at the Maybank Malaysian Open.  He was struggling to try and make the cut.  On his approach shot he was attacked by a swarm of hornets.  Unable to fend off the swarm of hornets he ran and jumped into a nearby pond.

After being stung 20+ times in the head and neck area and jumping into a pond, Larrazabal eventually hit his approach shot and calmly stroked his birdie putt dead center into the hole.

Golf can be tough.

Posted in Fun |

15 Inch Golf Holes – No More Pesky Three Footers

An article today in Forbes (I hear they know a little about business and money) poses the question “can a 15 inch hole save golf?” There’s a new movement spearheaded by TaylorMade golf called “hack golf,” which was created to help grow the game of golf and reverse the downward slide the industry has been on for many years.

One of the interesting suggestions the movement has introduced, is making the golf hole bigger. Not just a little bigger either. They’re talking about making it about making the cup 15 inches wide. Boy would that make those knee-knocker three footers easier or what?

Here’s the article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2014/04/15/10890/

Screen capture from the Forbes article:
Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 8.52.06 AM

What are your thoughts? Does this help the game grow? Will it prevent people from quitting the game and bring more people into the game than have been joining it without the 15” holes?

Opinion

Obviously golf is better off if more people owned Frogger products, a much better solution than making the golf hole bigger…

Tuesday Tip – Circles

Kris MoeAmateur golfers often think that hitting “up” on the ball with their irons helps the ball go in the air. By hitting up, we are referring to the angle at which the golf club is striking the ball. So the club has bottomed out, and is traveling from the bottom point upward as it strikes the ball.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Hitting up on the ball more often than not produces a bladed or thin shot which goes much lower, and a much more unpredictable distance. If the player manages to hit the ball squarely on the upstroke, it will travel far too high and lose distance, often hooking.

The best ball strike is in a downward motion with the irons. Mind you, we are not talking about the driver. “Hitting down” on the ball compresses it, gives better distance, imparts the proper spin on the ball, and launches the ball at a proper angle.

So how do we get rid of the old habit of trying to “lift” the ball with our irons and learn how to strike down on it? Frogger pro Kris Moe has a very easy drill called “circles,” which can help.

Masters Wrap

Hole 16 at Augusta National. Photo courtesy of HookedOnGolfBlog.com

Hole 16 at Augusta National. Photo courtesy of HookedOnGolfBlog.com

Once again the Masters was a tournament like no other. The course as always, was in immaculate condition. As always, the greens were extremely fast and difficult. The green speed doesn’t just tax putting. It makes approach shots and their accuracy much more important. The speed also makes short game extremely important. Players who putted well and came to the tournament with solid short games, performed well.

With Tiger Woods gone, there was a different feel this week. Many thought the tournament was “wide open.” Well, it certainly wasn’t open for the 60+ crowd, or most of the older and shorter hitting crowd. For the most part the Masters is with a few exceptions, a long hitter’s course. Those exceptions would be players like Mike Weir and Zach Johnson.

The first surprises of the week came Friday as many big names missed the cut, including Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson, Angel Cabrera, Keegan Bradley, and Jason Dufner.

Rory McIlory struggle to make the cut on the number and would not be a factor through the weekend. One oddity was the fact that McIlory was the first out on Saturday. As a single he had to play with a marker, a player from the golf club, for scoring. The marker beat McIlory by one shot, shooting 70 to his 71.

As the weekend unfolded a few players rose to the top of the leader board. Jonas Blixt John Senden, Thomas Bjorn, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott were all in great shape, with long time favorite Fred Couples in the hunt. Couples would stay close to the lead through the weekend until hitting his second shot on hole 11 into the water during the final round.

By Sunday the players who had a chance to win thinned out. Jordan Spieth, a 20 year old who turned pro in late 2012, was tied for the lead with former champion Bubba Watson. One shot back was Matt Kuchar and Jonas Blixt, with “The Mechanic” Miguel Angel Jimenez and Rickie Fowler two back.

As the front nine unfolded Sunday, Spieth and Watson separated themselves from the field with a birdie barrage. Amazingly both players made birdie on both par-3’s on the front. These are not easy holes either. On hole nine Watson made birdie while Spieth struggled to make bogey, a two shot swing. Spieth’s two shot lead on the front nine evaporated and he started the back one shot back of Watson.

The back nine was not quite as exciting as the front, quite unusual for the Masters. Watson kept his foot on the gas and Spieth struggled making no birdies on the back. By the 13th hole Watson would hold a 3-shot lead over Spieth, and keep it until play was completed.

With the amazing win Watson joins an elite group of multiple Masters winners, and an even more elite group of players, like Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo, who won the Masters twice in three years.

Masters Friday

haasblastYesterday’s first round of the Masters Tournament was quite entertaining, despite world #1 Tiger Woods’s absence.  There were many surprises, both in the form of players near or at the top and players who didn’t quite play up to expectations.

Bill Haas holds solo first place after the first round with a great round of -4 68.  Many casual golf fans may not know who Haas is, as he’s not a household name.  Haas is not unfamiliar with pressure golf.  As you may recall, he won the FedEx Cup and the $10 million with the shot of the year back in 2011 when he blasted out of the water on the 17th hole at East Lake Golf Club in a playoff against Hunter Mahan. See photo.

Another player near the top of the leaderboard who is a bit of a surprise is Jonas Blixt.  At one point Blixt held the solo lead, but finished tied for 5th place with a round of -2 70.

Another fun player who held the lead for a short time was golf’s most interesting man, Miguel Angel Jimenez.  He finished tied for 12th Thursday with a round of -1 71.

Players we expected to see near the top of the leaderboard and have made their way there after one round include Adam Scott, tied for 2nd place one shot behind Haas.  Scott fired a first round -3 69 as did Louis Oosthuizen and 2012 champ Bubba Watson.

Notables finishing at -1 Thursday includ Rory McIlory, Fred Couples, Rickie Fowler and Masters rookie 20-year-old Jordan Spieth.

In the “not out of it but need a great round Friday” crowd at four over par are Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, and Justin Rose.

Too far gone are players Luke Donald (79), Tom Watson (79), Trevor Immelman (79), Jason Dufner (80).

The highest round from Thursday belongs to Branden Grace, a +12 80.

The weekend will prove to be exciting as the Masters Tournament always does.  Enjoy!

2014 Masters Preview

Hole 13 - Par-5 - Photo coursesy of HookedOnGolfBlog.com

Hole 13 – Par-5 – Photo coursesy of HookedOnGolfBlog.com

This year’s Masters should prove to be exciting with a wide open field of many players who have the game to win. Tiger Woods is out after having back surgery, and some feel his absence opens the field up. I say perhaps not, as Woods was not playing well coming in to the tournament.

Players to watch this week include favorites Rory McIlory, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Day. Sergio Garcia has been playing well as of late and has surged to the top of the favorites list.

More than any other tournament though, the golf course and the history of the event are a bigger story than the players. The course setup is unlike the other major championships in that it does allow for low scoring and hot streaks. That setup produces guaranteed excitement year after year.

This is the 80th anniversary of the Masters Tournament. With the event taking place in the same venue every year, historic shots and happenings can be remembered from nearly every hole. Some of those include the Bubba Watson gap wedge hook shot on hole #10 in the playoff, Phil Mickelson’s 6-iron on the par-5 13th from the pine straw, and Tiger Woods’s chip-in on the 16th hole as the Nike swoosh appeared a split second prior to the ball dropping. Older shots include many putts from Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer to seal the deal, and of course perhaps the greatest shot in Masters history, the “shot heard ‘round the world” by Gene Sarazen. That amazing shot was a double eagle on the par-5 15th hole in 1935.

Masters Coverage

Thursday April 10
ESPN
3-7:30 p.m. — Live First Round Coverage
8 p.m. — First Round Encore

Masters.com/Masters App/CBSSports.com
11 a.m.-1 p.m. — Masters On the Range (Also On CBS Sports Network)
2 p.m. — Masters Radio coverage begins
12 p.m. – Completion Of Play — Featured Groups 1 & 2
10:45 a.m.-6 p.m. — Amen Corner Live
11:45 a.m.-7 p.m. — 15th & 16th holes

Friday April 11
ESPN/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
3-7:30 p.m. — Live Second Round Coverage
8 p.m. — Second Round Encore

Masters.com/Masters App/CBSSports.com
11 a.m.-1 p.m. — Masters On the Range (Also On CBS Sports Network)
2 p.m. — Masters Radio coverage begins
12 p.m. – Completion Of Play — Featured Groups 1 & 2
10:45 a.m.-6 p.m. — Amen Corner Live
11:45 a.m.-7 p.m. — 15th & 16th holes

Saturday April 12
CBS
3-7 pm — Live Third Round Coverage

Masters.com/Masters App/CBSSports.com
11 a.m.-1 p.m. — Masters On the Range (Also On CBS Sports Network)
2 p.m. — Masters Radio coverage begins
12 p.m. – Completion Of Play — Featured Groups 1 & 2
10:45 a.m.-6 p.m. — Amen Corner Live
11:45 a.m.-7 p.m. — 15th & 16th holes

Sunday April 13
CBS
1-2 p.m. — Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta: Nick Faldo At The Masters
2-7 p.m. — Final Round Live Coverage

Masters.com/Masters App/CBSSports.com
11 a.m.-1 p.m. — Masters On the Range (Also On CBS Sports Network)
2 p.m. — Masters Radio coverage begins
12 p.m. – Completion Of Play — Featured Groups 1 & 2
11:45 a.m.-6 p.m. — Amen Corner Live
12:30-7 p.m. — 15th & 16th holes

Tuesday Tip – Driver, Masters Style

This week at the Masters driving is very important. The players who can hit long and accurate drives have a big advantage and will score much better than the average shorter hitter. Long par-4′s like the 10th, 11th are great examples. All of the par-5 holes are reachable in two shots provided the drives are long enough and positioned properly in the fairway.

In the video below, part of the Frogger Golf YouTube Channel, our pro Kris Moe shows us two ways of hitting drives. One focuses on distance while the other sacrifices a little distance in favor of accuracy.

Kris Moe even tells us the best height to tee the ball up. If you’re like this frog, even that simple question had not been answered until watching this video!

Watch the players this week at the Masters and pay close attention to how they drive the ball and what results come of that driving.  How high are they teeing it?  You’ll gather what type of shot they are trying to hit.  Also note that it is easier to hit draws with the ball teed higher, and cuts with the ball teed lower.  So on the many draw-holes there, like the par-5 13th, watch for players teeing it high for the draw!

Weekend Wrap – Major Accomplishments

This past weekend’s LPGA and PGA Tour events should be called “Major accomplishments.” Both events involved major championships and breakthroughs for each winner.

LPGA Tour
Kraft Nabisco Championship, Final Round (5-9:23 p.m. ET)
Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, California

It was a perfect setup for a great finish Sunday in the LPGA’s first major championship, the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.

In the final group where to LPGA stars looking to break the ice on their first major championships, Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie.

Tied for the lead coming into Sunday Wie managed a final round of 1-under 71, a respectable score on Sunday in a major. But the 19 year old Thompson dropped a fantastic -4 round of 68 to take her first major win with a three shot margin of victory.

“On the first tee I was definitely nervous but it just shows how much I care about it. I’ve worked my life to win a major. This was my main goal coming into this year to win a major. I’ve always seen myself winning the Kraft Nabisco and taking a leap into Poppie’s Pond, so I am so excited and so grateful for this opportunity.” ~Lexi Thompson

With the win comes the ceremonial plunge into “Poppie’s Pond.”

PGA Tour
Shell Houston Open
Golf Club of Houston, Humble, Texas

At the end of regulation in the Shell Houston Open there were two players tied atop the leaderboard, Tour veteran Matt Kuchar and relative unknown Matt Jones. Jones came from six shots behind to tie Kuchar and force a playoff. How he got into the playoff and how he eventually won it comprised of two of the best shots of the year to date, and will be hard to beat the rest of the season.

With the unthinkable 45 foot birdie putt followed by the incredible chip-in on the first playoff hole, the Aussie Jones punched the last available ticket to the Masters field.

Friday Fun – Golf Digest Fitness Issue

The recently announced Golf Digest Fitness Issue features Paulina Gretzky on the cover.  Paulina is the fiance of golfer Dustin Johnson.  This cover has certainly created quite a stir and heated discussion on social networks, both positive and negative.

golfdigest

As a reminder, Frogger Golf has a special Golf Digest deal.  You get a one year subscription to Golf Digest as a special bonus included with the online purchase of a product valued at $17.95 or higher.

Details here: http://www.froggergolf.com/golf-digest-offer/

Posted in Fun |

Masters One Week Away

Hole 16 at Augusta National. Photo courtesy of HookedOnGolfBlog.com

Hole 16 at Augusta National. Photo courtesy of HookedOnGolfBlog.com

It would have been the best and biggest April Fools joke in history. Tiger Woods posted on his website Tuesday April 1st, that he had undergone back surgery and would miss next week’s Masters Tournament. This was following weeks of he and his PR team telling the press that his bulging disc in his back was treatable and would not require surgery. So you know Tiger is about to go under the knife if he says he’s not going to?

Turns out it was not a joke and the biggest draw, the #1 player in the world, will miss out on an opportunity to snag another major championship in his quest to catch and/or overtake Jack Nicklaus in the all time record books.

Tiger is not the only injured big-name player. Phil Mickelson has a torn oblique muscle and was at one time questionable for the Masters. Phil is playing this week at the Valero Texas Open in preparation for the Masters, so barring further injury we expect to see Phil in action at Augusta.

Hunter Mahan withdrew from Arnold Palmer’s tournament at Bay Hill a couple of weeks ago, citing back pain. Mahan is arguably one of the best current players without a major win. Will the back bother him at Augusta next week?

Finally one of the top favorites for the Masters is Jason Day. Day has not seen much action coming into Masters week because of a thumb injury. Day is a powerful player and a nagging thumb injury could result in a power loss and decreased accuracy. It will be interesting to see if he can get himself in contention on Sunday at the Masters like he has the last few years.

Lost in much of this discussion are the healthy players to watch for like Rory McIlory, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, and Lee Westwood.