Tuesday Tip – Battering Ram

Kris MoeHere’s a great drill to help you gain some power and leverage in your swing.  Frogger pro Kris Moe demonstrates the “battering ram” drill.  If you were trying to break down a door with a stick or a golf club, you wouldn’t “flip” your wrists to do it.  You would not use just your arms either.  You’d use a combination of your body and arms to achieve the full amount of power.   The same applies to the golf swing.

Once again, you don’t get power or speed in the golf swing from flipping your wrists.  Power is not achieved by only arm action either.  The combination of the upper body turn with the release of the arms will result in optimal power and speed, which equals more distance.

Weekend Wrap – Open Championship

royalbirkdaleOpen Championship
Royal Liverpool
Hoylake, England

What a fantastic weekend of golf at Hoylake, also known as Royal Liverpool. Hoylake was the scene of the famous 2006 Open win for Tiger Woods.

Woods was one of the many stories coming into the event. Would he be as ready to compete as he said, following a return from back surgery? When asked by the media about his chances before the tournament he said he was there to win. But realistically, making the cut was a more reasonable goal. Woods did make the cut on the number, by making birdie on the final hole Friday.

By the end of Friday though, Woods was 12 shots behind the leader and would never be a threat the rest of the weekend.

Rory McIlory started the tournament with a fantastic 6-under round of 66 to lead the tournament after the first round. One of the most difficult things to do in golf is follow up a low round with another, but that is just what he did. A 2nd round 66 put McIlory at 12-under and firmly in command of the tournament.

McIlory’s lead varied, but for the most part was 4-6 shots for the bulk of the tournament, blowing up to seven at one point. Sergio Garcia put some pressure on McIlory during the final round, but McIlroy’s lead was too be for anyone to overcome.

McIlory’s ball striking and putting were quite impressive, leading to a wire-to-wire win.

With the win McIlory has moved to #2 in the world golf rankings. More importantly, he captured the Claret Jug and the 3rd leg of the four major championships. He’s one Masters win away from achieving the rare “grand slam,” owning all four major championships.

Friday Fun – Links Golf

royalbirkdaleWith the British Open going on this week it would be fun to talk links golf for our Friday Fun subject.  The term “links” refers to the location of the golf course.  Links courses are typically buffers between the ocean and the mainland in Scotland.  The course “links” the land and the sea.

Because of the wind and weather and location of links courses, the ground is typically very hard.  Links courses play quite differently than courses in the USA as a result of the hardness of the course.  In the USA golfers “fly” their shots onto the putting surface where the ball will leave a pitch mark, and stop a relatively close distance from where it landed.  But in links golf the ground, even the green, is so hard that this type of shot results in the ball bouncing hard and traveling far over the green.

The proper approach shots in links golf are shots which hit quite a distance short of the putting surface and bounce/roll to their final position.  Because of this, combined with wind, links golf is often played “low.”  Low flying shots and running shots are the primary shots played.  Not many high wedges are played on true links courses and lob wedges are practically obsolete.

Tee shots are also subject to the hard ground.  It is crucial to play the tee shot in such a way that the contours and bounces are factored in.


So then next time you play some golf, try some links shots.  Rather than hitting high wedges from 50-100 yards, try hitting a punch 8-iron or something which bounces short of the green and bounds up.  Of course this must be done on a course which does offer that shot as an option.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and the final rounds of the Open Championship.  Be sure to watch how the pros play some of their “links” style shots and try to emulate them the next time you are on the course.

Ways to Watch the British Open

royalbirkdaleIf you are a night owl and love golf, this week is for you.  It is Open Championship week at Royal Birkdale.  Some know the Open Championship as the British Open.  If you’re not an night owl, your DVR technology is your friend.

Phil Mickelson is the defending champion, having won an unexpected Open Championship last year, along with the Scottish Open in 2013.

There are several ways to watch the broadcasts from across the pond.  ESPN is the carrier here in the USA, with coverage starting at 4:00 a.m Eastern Time Thursday and Friday, 7 a.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday.  See below.

JULY 17 First Round 4 a.m. – 3 p.m. — ESPN
JULY 18 Second Round 4 a.m. – 3 p.m. — ESPN
JULY 19 Third Round 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. — ESPN
JULY 20 Final Round 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. — ESPN

Live hole by hole coverage is also available on “Watch ESPN,” which is a subscription service for browsers or mobile devices.  Depending on your current television subscription package, you may be able to watch for free.  The Watch ESPN app is covering every shot of Tiger Woods through the entire 2014 Open Championship.

The Open website, at TheOpen.com, has all sorts of information, leaderboards, and even a live radio broadcast of the tournament as well.

Golf Tricks

Wow you have to love the creativity of these guys, who set their back yard up for a string of very cool golf trick shots and captured it all with their GoPro cameras.

This video below has some absolutely stunning golf trick shots captured on video by players like Rory McIlory and Jason Day.

Here are some fun golf trick shots featuring Ian Poulter.

Posted in Fun |

Weekend Wrap

royalbirkdalePGA Tour
John Deere Classic
TPC Deere Run
Silvis, Illinois

This season on the PGA Tour has been very interesting in terms of how even the fields have been. There have been numerous first-time winners, a breakneck pace. Once again, the Tour produced a first-timer, this week at the John Deere.

This week’s first-time winner is the 27-year-old Brian Harman. Harman’s first victory came by holding off the very hot playing Zach Johnson. Harman’s final round 5-under 66 was enough to edge the veteran Johnson.

With the win many doors are opened up for the 27-year-old, not the least of which is the door to the bank with a winner’s check of $846,000. In addition to the cash Harman claimed the last exemption into this week’s British Open as well as invites to the Masters and the Tournament of Champions.

A good week.

European Tour
Scottish Open
Aberdeen, Scotland

Who is the hottest player on the planet right now? One might argue that distinction belongs to Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion. Rose claimed a victory last week at the Quicken Loans National at congressional. This week Rose displayed his links golf skills for a Scottish crowd, claiming the Scottish Open.

Last year’s Scottish Open winner was Phill Mickelson, who then carried that momentum into the British Open, claiming his first Claret Jug. Can Rose carry that same momentum? If so, he would have won his third event in as many weeks.

Women’s British Open
Royal Birkdale
Southport, England

Those watching the final round of the Women’s British Open were treated to an incredible golf shot on the last hole. Mo Martin was 240 out with a 3-wood in her hand at Royal Birkdale.  The shot was so pure and so on-line that hit ended up hitting the flagstick and nearly dropping for a double eagle.

“An absolutely perfect 3-wood.  When it was in the air, I said, `Sit.’ And then I said, `Stop.’ And then when it was going toward the hole, I said, `OK, I don’t have anything more to say to that ball.’ I actually heard it hit the pin. It’s definitely one to remember.” ~Mo Martin

The ball settled to six feet, where Martin would drain the eagle put, securing a one-shot victory for her first major win.

Phil Mickelson’s Short Game on Display at Scottish Open

How fun is this?  We all know how great Phil Mickelson’s short game is and now we get to see a little comparison between him and many PGA Tour and European Tour players at the Scottish Open.  Check the video below, the Mickelson challenge.  In the video tour pros like Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlory hit flop shots over a cardboard cutout of Mickelson.

Keep in mind that the ground they are hitting off of is very hard.  Most amateur golfers from the USA could blade these shots because of the bounce of the golf club.

There are some other great Phil short game happenings this week already.  During a practice round Mickelson hit a flop shot over his own head, backwards.  He also made par off of a road.

If you get the chance, watch some of the Scottish Open this weekend.  It is quite entertaining.

Women’s British Open Preview

RICHOH Women’s British Open
Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Southport, Lancashire, UK
Par: 72

This week marks the beginning of a great time in the professional golf world. We have a couple of weeks of links style golf, starting with the LPGA and the international professional women golfers at the RICHOH Women’s British Open.

The venue for this year’s Women’s British Open is Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, Lancashire, United Kingdom. This links course plays to a par of 72 for the ladies and the event is 72 holes of stroke play.  How the ladies adjust to links style golf will be interesting to watch.


Stacey Lewis is the defending champion. Michelle Wie is perhaps the hottest lady in golf now and should be a big factor.  Other notables to keep an eye on in the field include Tiger Woods’s niece Cheyenne Woods, Suzann Pettersen, Lexi Thompson and Inbee Park.

TV Times

TH Jul 10 – ESPN2 9:00 AM-12:00 PM ET
FR Jul 11 – ESPN2 9:00 AM-12:00 PM ET
SA Jul 12 – ESPN2 8:00 AM-12:00 PM ET
SU Jul 13 – ESPN2 8:00 AM-12:00 PM ET

Full Field

Sun-Ju Ahn
Holly Aitchison
Marina Alex
Beth Allen
Amy Anderson
Bree Arthur
Maria Balikoeva
Laetitia Beck (a)
Christel Boeljon
Amy Boulden
Stacy Lee Bregman
Becky Brewerton
Cathryn Bristow
Hannah Burke
Katie Burnett
Nikki Campbell
Dori Carter
Chella Choi
Na Yeon Choi
Carlota Ciganda
Holly Clyburn
Jacqui Concolino
Paula Creamer
Laura Davies
Valentine Derrey
Paz Echeverria
Austin Ernst
Jodi Ewart Shadoff
Shanshan Feng
Katie Futcher
Sandra Gal
Sophie Giquel-Bettan
Julieta Granada
Georgia Hall (a)
Erina Hara
Mina Harigae
Caroline Hedwall
Mamiko Higa
Charley Hull
Karine Icher
Jeong Jang
Eun-Hee Ji
Tiffany Joh
Trish Johnson
Malene Jorgensen
Hannah Jun Medlock
Ariya Jutanugarn
Danielle Kang
Haeji Kang
Kim Kaufman
Stacey Keating
Sarah Kemp
Cristie Kerr
Christina Kim
I.K. Kim
Joanna Klatten
Lydia Ko
P.K. Kongkraphan
Jessica Korda
Candie Kung
Vikki Laing
Brittany Lang
Louise Larsson
Ilhee Lee
Jee Young Lee
Meena Lee
Mi Hyang Lee
Minjee Lee (a) *
Mirim Lee
Camilla Lennarth
Amelia Lewis
Stacy Lewis
Xi Yu Lin
Brittany Lincicome
Pernilla Lindberg
Diana Luna
Player Name
Mo Martin
Caroline Masson
Catriona Matthew
Kristy McPherson
Stephanie Meadow
Ai Miyazato
Mika Miyazato
Rikako Morita
Belen Mozo
Azahara Munoz
Stephanie Na
Misuzu Narita
Gwladys Nocera
Haru Nomura
Anna Nordqvist
Ji Young Oh
Su-Hyun Oh (a)
Shiho Oyama
Lee-Anne Pace
Se Ri Pak
Brooke Pancake
Hee Young Park
Inbee Park
Florentyna Parker
Emily K. Pedersen (a)
Suzann Pettersen
Pornanong Phatlum
Gerina Piller
Titiya Plucksataporn
Morgan Pressel
Beatriz Recari
Marion Ricordeau
So Yeon Ryu
Miki Saiki
Lizette Salas
Onnarin Sattayabanphot
Dewi Claire Schreefel
Giulia Sergas
Alena Sharp
Jenny Shin
Jiyai Shin
Ashleigh Simon
Marianne Skarpnord
Sarah Jane Smith
Klara Spilkova
Nontaya Srisawang
Angela Stanford
Karen Stupples
Thidapa Suwannapura
Emma Talley (a)
Lauren Taylor
Lexi Thompson
Yani Tseng
Ayako Uehara
Mariajo Uribe
Line Vedel
Kylie Walker
Sophie Walker
Alison Walshe
Ayaka Watanabe
Sally Watson
Karrie Webb
Linda Wessberg
Michelle Wie
Cheyenne Woods
Amy Yang
Sun Young Yoo
Liz Young

Tuesday Tip – Step Into More Power

We golfers tend to make things worse when we are attempting to summon up a little more power and distance.  When trying to swing harder or hit it farther our golf swings suffer all sorts of breakdowns and technique problems.  Usually those issues result in LESS distance and power, not more.  They also can result in less accuracy, as in hitting that awful banana ball slice, weakly to the right.

In the video below our pro Kris Moe shows us a drill we can use to gain more power.  Simply by stepping into the shot “Happy Gilmore” style, we can understand the weight shift and the tempo of the golf swing.

The step-into move also helps prevent the flipping of the arms and wrists, and helps prevent slicing.

Give it a shot.  Step into some practice on the range to get the feel.