Weekend Wrap

Jimmy_WalkerPGA TOUR
Valero Texas Open
Dates: March 26-29
Venue: TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course), San Antonio, Texas

Quick quiz:  Who is the hottest player (translation: most wins) on the PGA Tour over the past two seasons?  Rory McIlory?  No.  Phil Mickelson? No.  Dustin Johnson?  No.  Tiger Woods? Definitely not.

The answer is last week’s winner of the Valero Texas Open, Jimmy Walker.  Walker beat fellow Texan, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth by four shots to claim the Valero Texas Open.  The tournament was contested in some very difficult conditions, especially the wind.  It is, after all, Texas.

This event marks the second win for Walker this year, the first being the Sony Open in Hawaii.  Walker won the Sony by a massive NINE shots.  Combined, Walker’s two victories in calendar 2015 are by 13 strokes, an average of 6.5.   Walker has collected the winner’s check five times over the last two seasons.

LPGA TOUR
Kia Classic
Dates: March 26-29
Venue: Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, Calif.

It had been nearly two years since Cristie Kerr won on the LPGA Tour before the 2015 Kia Classic. Kerr relied on a fantastic final round, which included a string of four birdies on the final nine holes, to seal the deal. Kerr finished with a final round 7-under 65 to leave the nearest competitors, Lydia Ko and Mirim Lee, in the rear view mirror.

For Kerr the 2015 Kia Classic victory marks her 17th win on the LPGA Tour and her first since 2013.

CHAMPIONS TOUR
Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic presented by C Spire
Dates: March 27-29
Venue: Fallen Oak Golf Club, Biloxi, Miss.

An odd rules violation nearly cost Robert Frost a victory on the Champions Tour. When marking his ball on the 17th hole in the final round, Frost dropped his ball. The ball landed on his coin which was marking his position, causing it to move. For that Frost suffered a one-stroke penalty.

That opened the door for Tom Lehman, who could could have force a playoff had he made a four-foot birdie putt on his final hole.

Lehman failed to convert the birdie giving Frost a one-shot win.

EUROPEAN TOUR
Trophee Hassan II
Dates: March 26-29
Venue: Golf du Palais Royal, Agadir, Morocco

Despite a bogey and triple-bogey sequence of holes in the final round, Scotsman Richie Ramsay claimed a one shot victory at the Trophee Hassan II in Agadir, Morocco.

Avoid a “What the Heck” Moment

Certainly Phil Mickelson has access to the best golf clubs and best club technicians in the world, right? The video below might raise a few eyebrows given that statement.

During round one of the Valero Texas Open Mickelson was presented with a bunker shot of about 150 yards on the 12th hole. After changing club choices, Phil took a lash at the ball with his 8-iron. The club head snapped off just above the hosel and nearly went as far as his golf ball did. The ball went 40 yards.

If you listen close enough to the audio you can hear Mickelson say “what the heck?!”

Check your gear before you go out this weekend for a round of golf. You might find a club which is loose and be able to avoid a “what the heck” moment.

Founder Post 03

jeremiahSpecial product offer at the end of Jeremiah’s message.

I want to talk about caddies and golf equipment. Caddies are a critical part of the game when it comes to competitive golf. They do so much more than lug a big golf bag around and clean golf equipment. Nearly all caddies are amazing golfers themselves. Their opinions are respected and valued on the course and begs the old adage that two heads are better than one.

So what about the rest of us? It begs the question, Who’s Your Caddy?

If you are like most of us, you don’t have a caddy on your bag either, at least not regularly. Unfortunately, we just can’t afford to have a personal caddy all the time. We have rely upon our own devices and thinking out on the course.

Nothing can replace having a second (and potentially smarter) golf mind than just our own helping out on the course. However, since the age of ten, I have felt golf gear beyond the club and ball could be improved. If we don’t have a caddy, why shouldn’t our gear make the game as hassle free as possible?

All the big boys have innovation on clubs and balls covered. Yet I was shocked when the same old golf brush I bought as a kid was still what I was forced to buy as an adult.
I always figured someone else would finally make a better golf brush but it just wasn’t happening. So, given I wasn’t thrilled with my day job, I decided to go start making improved golf gear.

I hope Frogger has earned a place in your golf game and that we continue to earn your respect. When golfers are asked “Who’s Your Caddy?” I want their answer to be Frogger! Get ready for some really cool stuff coming out for the 2016 golf season!

Special Offer:

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Buy One Get One Free through March 7th: Buy on HOP! Green Repair Tool and get a second one free, simply add two HOP! to your shopping cart and enter this Promotional Code: BullFrogsHOP2

Weekend Preview

dustinjohnsonPGA TOUR
Valero Texas Open
Dates: March 26-29
Venue: TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course), San Antonio, Texas

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 3-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday 3-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 1-3 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1-3 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday 3-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 3-6 p.m. (Live)

The Valero Texas Open is the first of the two remaining events before the season’s first major championship, the Masters Tournament. This two week span is one in which some players choose to take a break and work on their Masters game on their home turf, while others like Phil Mickelson prefer to play actual tournament competition a week or two before the major as a tune-up.

Speaking of the Masters Tournament, this event will mark the final chance for players to qualify for the Masters via being ranked in the world’s top-50 players.

Defending champion this week is Steven Bowditch, who beat Will MacKenzie and Daniel Summerhays by one shot in 2014 for his first win on the PGA Tour.

Notables in the field: Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Jim Furyk, Billy Horschel, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Matt Every and Graeme McDowell.

lydiakoLPGA TOUR
Kia Classic
Dates: March 26-29
Venue: Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 6-9 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday 6-9 p.m. (Live)
Saturday 6-9 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 6-9 p.m. (Live)

The Kia Classic is the final competition before the LPGA Tour’s first of five major championships this season. A last chance for players to sharpen their games. This week’s field includes all 20 of the top-20 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

Cheyenne Woods will be the focus of the television coverage’s “Rookie Spotlight.”

Defending champion: Anna Nordqvist.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Hyo-Joo Kim, Shanshan Feng, So Yeon Ryu, Suzann Pettersen, Michelle Wie, Karrie Webb, Lexi Thompson and Cheyenne Woods.

miguelangeljimenezCHAMPIONS TOUR
Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic presented by C Spire
Dates: March 27-29
Venue: Fallen Oak Golf Club, Biloxi, Miss.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday Noon-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-2:30 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 3-6 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 3-6 p.m. (Live) / 5-7 a.m. (Monday replay)

The most interesting man in golf, Miguel Angel Jimenez, is going for his third consecutive Champions Tour victory this week at the MIssissippi Gulf Resort Classic. Watch for his warm-up gyrating dance, and his cigar puffing. Great entertainment. His golf game is even better.

Defending champion: Jeff Maggert.

Headlining the field: Miguel Angel Jimenez, Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie, Jesper Parnevik, Jay Haas, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin, Kenny Perry, Bart Bryant and Jeff Maggert.

EUROPEAN TOUR
Trophee Hassan II
Dates: March 26-29
Venue: Golf du Palais Royal, Agadir, Morocco

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 7-9 a.m. / 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)
Friday 7-9 a.m. / 10:30 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)

Defending champion: Alejandro Canizares defends at the Trophee Hassan II.

Headlining the field: Matteo Manassero, Marcel Siem, Jose Maria Olazabal, George Coetzee, Ross Fisher, Tommy Fleetwood, Pablo Larrazabal, Oliver Wilson, Alejandro Canizares.

Tuesday Tip: Trust Big Muscles Under Pressure

Great release here. Can you tell who this is?

Whether in our club championship, a tournament, a match, or simply a game against the regular weekend buddies, pressure can be a big part of golf.  How we deal with that pressure and how our minds and bodies react to that pressure can make the difference between winning and losing.

Accept

First, we must accept that we feel pressure.  It is okay to be nervous.  In fact, it is a good thing. That’s our body and mind telling us they are in a heightened state.  It tells us we really value the moment.

Small Muscles

When we are under pressure our big muscles don’t move well and the smaller muscles can take over.  The smaller muscles move quicker and move in many more directions, which can be a recipe for disaster. We might twitch or produce jerky movements in the full swing or in putting.  We become more dependent on hands and arms in the swing, rather than the big muscles and the body.

Big Muscles

When we are under pressure it is best to concentrate on the big muscles and how they are moving.  Make sure the swing is initiated by big movements, not small muscles or single areas like the nands.  The transitions in the swing should be done via big muscles and big movements, no one small part like the hands or arms.

Take some practice swings with a full shoulder turn and concentrate on the body rotation, not its individual parts.

Commit to the shot and make sure the small muscles are under control and the big muscles are doing the work.  The swings will be more consistent, more powerful, and more dependable.

Weekend Wrap

Matt EveryPGA TOUR
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
Dates: March 19-22
Venue: Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Fla.

If the PGA Tour only played Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Matt Every would be the #1 player in the world. Coming into the Arnold Palmer Invitational Every was the defending champion and managed to come away with his second consecutive win on Arnie’s home course.

The scoring was tight right down to the final few holes between Every and Henrik Stenson. But Stenson was irritated that their group was given a warning for slow play, and that may have caused his two three-putts at the 15th and 16th holes. Those two three-putts opened the door for Every, who finished one shot ahead of Stenson.

Meanwhile Rory McIlory, hoping to use his round at Bay Hill as a tuneup for the Masters, struggled. McIlory’s wedge game was suspect at Bay Hill, and for McIlory (and most players) the wedge game at the slick and fast Augusta National Golf Club is on the top of the priority list, along with putting.

“I’m not taking advantage of getting it up and down close to the green. There are quite a few wedges for me at Augusta so I’m going to concentrate a lot on shots from 120 yards and in and get that as sharp as I can.” ~Rory McIlory

LPGA TOUR
JTBC Founders Cup
Dates: March 19-22
Venue: Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Ariz.

South Korean Hyo Joo Kim finished very strong in the JTBC Founders cup. With a barrage of five birdies in the final eight holes, Kim finished with a three-stroke cushion over Stacy Lewis.

The 19-year-old winner Kim closed with a final round of 67, 5-under par after draining a 10-footer on the 18th hole, claiming her second winner’s check on the LPGA Tour.

CHAMPIONS TOUR
Tucson Conquistadores Classic
Dates: March 20-22
Venue: Omni Tucson National (Catalina Course), Tucson, Ariz.

Marco Dawson was winless in 412 events on the PGA Tour, and 161 events on the Web.com Tour. It only took Dawson 21 events on the 50-and-over circuit for Dawson to finally claim a winner’s check.

Dawson finished with a final round 3-under 69 for the victory after separating himself from a tie at the 16th hole with a 20-foot birdie putt.

“I’m just thinking about all the work I put in over the years, especially the last few years; more mental work than anything. I’m really happy with the way I played. I’m just glad I played the game that I wanted to play.” ~Marco Dawson

Tuscon National, the host venue, was formerly the home of the PGA Tour’s Houston Open.

How to Play Bay Hill’s 18th Hole

This week the PGA Tour is at Arnie’s (Arnold Palmer) home course, Bay Hill Club and Lodge. The event is the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The field for this event is by invitation only and that invitation comes straight from the King himself, 86 year-old Mr. Palmer.

Bay Hill has some challenging holes, most notably the famous 18th finishing hole. The 18th is a tough par-4 of 458 yards. 458 isn’t that unmanageable for a PGA Tour pro, but due to the difficulty of the 2nd shot, the hole plays tougher than the number on the score card.

The approach to 18 is over water to a peanut shaped green which runs away from the player. If the approach is slightly mis-hit, there’s a watery grave, or a rocky finish. Many players over compensate and go long-left, which leaves them with incredibly difficult chips or pitches toward the water.

The one other way a player could play the hole is the way Brandt Snedeker did in the first round, bouncing his ball off the rocks TWICE before it came to rest a few feet below the hole for birdie.

Well played.

Weekend Preview

Woods is in action this week.  Gotcha.  Cheyenne Woods is competing in the LPGA Tour’s JTBC founders Cup.

adam_scottPGA TOUR
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
Dates: March 19-22
Venue: Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 2-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday 2-6 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-5 p.m. (Live, Spotlight Coverage) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m.
(Replay)
Sunday 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-5 p.m. (Live, Spotlight Coverage) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday 2:30-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 2:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Tournament Highlights

The Arnold Palmer Invitational is hosted by “The King,” Arnold Palmer.  The tournament takes place on Arnold’s home course, Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Traditionally the winner is honored and greeted right off the 18th green by Arnold at the end of play, an honor every player wishes to experience.

Matt Every is the returning champion, having carded his first PGA Tour victory at the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Every finished one shot ahead of Keegan Bradley.

World #1 Rory McIlory makes his first-ever appearance at Bay Hill, honoring “The King.”

In the field this week is Adam Scott. Keep an eye on Adam’s putter. Will it be the regular length putter he used in his last event, or the long-achored putter he has been using for many years, including his Masters win.

Other notables in the field include Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson, Keegan Bradley, J.B. Holmes and Matt Every.

lydiakoLPGA TOUR
JTBC Founders Cup
Dates: March 19-22
Venue: Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Ariz.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 6-9 p.m. (Live)
Friday 6-8 p.m. (Live)
Saturday 7-9 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 7-9 p.m. (Live) / 5-7 a.m. (Monday replay)

Tournament Highlights

2015 Pioneers in the LPGA will be honored this week, including Golf Channel analyst Judy Rankin, Sandra Palmer, and Donna Caponi. They’re credited for “trailblazing spirit and exemplary participation in the development of the LPGA Tour and women’s golf.”

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Hyo-Joo Kim, Karrie Webb, Amy Yang, Paula Creamer, Anna Nordqvist, Na Yeon Choi, Mirim Lee, Jessica Korda and Cheyenne Woods.

Jesper_ParnevikCHAMPIONS TOUR
Tucson Conquistadores Classic
Dates: March 20-22
Venue: Omni Tucson National (Catalina Course), Tucson, Ariz.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday 8-10 p.m. (Tape delay) / 3-5 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra) / 3-5 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 5-7 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 5-7 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Monday replay)

Tournament Highlights

2015 marks inauguration of this event.

Jesper Parnevik, five-tipe PGA Tour winner, will be making his Champions Tour debut this week at the Tuscon Conquistadores Classic. Parnevik of late has been the center of a new reality show, “The Parneviks.”

Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Tom Watson, Colin Montgomerie, Kenny Perry, Tom Lehman, Jay Haas, Lee Janzen, Kirk Triplett, Corey Pavin and Jesper Parnevik.

Tuesday Tip: Reading Sand Texture

Green-side bunker/sand shots do not have to be that difficult if the player is able to read the sand properly and use the correct technique.  Just like reading a lie (how the ball sits) in grass, one must read the sand.  Different lies in the sand will mean different shot types may be needed, and will produce different types of results.  Today we are going to discuss soft sand versus firm sand.

Sand Trap

Read The Sand

When entering the bunker the golfer should use all available senses to get a read for the type of sand.  Most of this read is done through the feet.  The golfer should be aware of the texture and firmness of the sand, and how the feet sink in or if they stay on top.  Visually one should be able to gain more information as to how firm or soft the sand is, for confirmation.

The golfer can’t use a club to test the firmness of the sand though, as that is a violation of the rules of golf!

Techniques

If the sand in the green-side bunker is firm, the club will bounce quickly.  Therefore it is important to position the sand wedge close to the back of the ball.  If the club is too far behind the ball the club will bounce up and “blade” or hit the ball with the leading edge.  The blade shot will produce horrible results, either over the green or perhaps embedding the ball in the lip of the trap.

With the sand wedge opened up and closely located behind the ball, the shot will be a crisp strike which produces a fair amount of spin and not a lot of roll if executed properly.

If the sand is soft one must depend on the bounce of the sand wedge to prevent the club from digging into the bunker too much.  The club should be placed farther behind the ball, and opened up to produce more bounce.  A full swing which enters the sand a few inches behind the ball should take out a good amount of sand, and the golf ball with it.

This shot will land and roll quite a bit, so plan accordingly.

Conclusion

Green-side bunker shots do not have to be that tough or intimidating.  Often times PGA Tour pros “hope” to hit the ball in the sand if they’re going to miss their approach shots to the green.  It can actually be an easier shot out of sand than out of long rough next to the green.

As always, practice these shots if possible before trying them on the course.

Weekend Wrap

Jordan_SpiethPGA TOUR
Valspar Championship
Dates: March 12-15
Venue: Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club (Copperhead Course), Palm Harbor, Fla.

Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club was a great venue for this week’s PGA Tour stop, providing some challenging golf and a few holes which have hints of Augusta National, home of the Masters Tournament coming up in a few weeks.

In our preview last week we posted a picture of Adam Scott.  Hopefully that was not the Frogger equivalent of the SI cover jinx, as Scott missed the cut.  He had the current longest cuts-made streak on the PGA Tour before this past weekend with 45 consecutive appearances on the weekend.

The course difficulty was part of the story, and the only three players who finished double digits under par at -10 entered an intense playoff.  Sean O’Hair, Patrick Reed, and 21-year-old Jordan Spieth had an epic playoff.   On the 3rd playoff hole Spieth canned a long birdie putt to capture the victory and perhaps open the floodgates of what many are predicting to be a historic golf career.  Time will tell, but at 21 Spieth is off to as good a start as any 21-year-old in the Tour’s history.  With his 2nd victory on Tour, Spieth joins Tiger Woods, Robert Gamez, and Sergio Garcia as the only others with two wins at this age.

Spieth will undoubtedly be one of the favorites heading into Masters week, though it often takes players a few years to adjust to Masters-style conditions.

EUROPEAN TOUR
Tshwane Open
Dates: March 12-15
Venue: Pretoria Country Club, Waterkloof, South Africa

Home course advantage and course knowledge can be a big help. Just ask the latest European Tour winner George Coetzee. Coetzee, following a final round 65, wrapped up his second European Tour victory by one shot over Jacques Blaauw.

Coetzee’s other victory came on the same course which he learned how to golf. He played junior golf at Pretoria Country Club and had captured his first junior competition on the same course at age 10.

Course knowledge indeed.

Blaauw, the second place finisher, made it interesting in the final round as he torched the course with a round of 61, though it was one shot shy of enough.