Weekend Wrap

HPBNC_2011_SU_067PGA Tour
Deutsche Bank Championship
FedEx Cup Playoffs – Round Two
TPC Boston
Norton, Massachusetts

The Deutsche Bank Championship is the second event of four in the FedEx Cup playoffs. As each event is contested, the field is whittled down, leaving the top 30 in FedEx Cup points to contest the final event, the Tour Championship. The FedEx Cup points winner at the end of the Tour Championship claims the $10,000,000 prize.

One of the craziest stories this past weekend is that of Patrick Reed. Reed opened the week with two solid rounds of 68-68 and sat two shots behind the lead going into the 3rd round. The 3rd round was a nightmare for Reed. Coming into the final hole Saturday, Reed had blown up so badly he needed to make a par on the final hole, a par-5, to make the Saturday cut. A bogey sent him packing, but he still had clinched a spot in the season ending Tour Championship.

Chris Kirk raised his Ryder Cup stock price big time with his performance at the Deutsche Bank. Kirk recorded the biggest win of his career, having won twice previously. Kirk played with world #1 Rory McIlory the final two days and outplayed him. This win marked the biggest check Kirk has ever received and put him up to #1 in FedEx Cup points going into next week’s BMW Championship.

The win also put Kirk on the Ryder Cup radar. Though Kirk didn’t auto-qualify for the Ryder Cup, the win certainly will make Tom Watson consider him for one of his captain’s picks. Those picks take place this evening in New York.

The win the the check were enough for Kirk, who smiling said, “Winning the Deutsche Bank and going to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup, and $1.4 million, that’s plenty for me for one day.”

Tough to disagree with that.

Champions Tour
Shaw Charity Classic
Canyon Meadows
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Imagine playing three rounds of golf without one single bogey. Yes, it pretty much a dream for us mortals, but not for Fred Couples. Couples went bogey-free at the Shaw Charity Classic, but still did not think he had a chance to win the tournament until 2-3 holes were left in regulation. At the end of regulation, couples had carded a 9-under 61, a new course record.
Couples chipped in for eagle and carded five birdies in his final round to force a playoff with Billy Andrade. Couples closed the deal with a tap-in birdie on the first playoff hole.

Killer Course – Zotter

German chocolate, edible zoo animals, kids activities, and a “golf” course…  These make Germany’s Zotter the latest Frogger Killer Course.

Zotter makes chocolate, but also has a whole facility including many fun activities for kids of all ages.  Some activities include:

  • Choco-Shop
  • Choco-Shop Theater
  • Zoo Animals
  • Oraganic Restaraunt where all foods are prepared from their own farm
  • Edible Animals

Last but not least they offer a form of mysterious golf on what appears to be a golf course which is more “Volkswagen Golf” than real golf:

Screen-Shot-2014-08-29-at-10.04.35-AM

The Zotter website is German so the translation of their golf course description is even more intriguing:

Farmer’s golf – the slightly different type of golf, with rubber boots as projectiles

Attempts to research more information about the course, par, slope, rating, or number of holes have failed.  That said, it looks like a fun round.

The $40,000 Golf Training Aid

We feel that our training aids are very useful, help players improve their games, and are very reasonably priced.

Our $19.95 Swing Hero aid helps golfers eliminate the “death grip” and actually increase distance by helping the player grip the club in a more relaxed fashion.  The unit can also be used to help golfers manipulate their grips to promote draws, fades, or eliminate that pesky slice.

Swing Hero

Swing Hero

Our $29.95 Arc Angel putting training aid is easy to setup, and provides great feedback and help for golfers who would like to get their putter traveling on a better swing path.

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Arc Angel

If you have a little bigger budget, around $39,970 more, you could check out the Gears system.  At around $40,000 you can have a “golf MRI” which shows in 3D every aspect of your golf swing, club positions, ball flight, and body positions like spine angle and much more.

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You decide: Shave strokes off of your game for $19-30, or $40,000!

For more check out the Gears website, or this article on Gears at Golf Digest.

Tuesday Tip – Fowler Flop

Did you know that CNN has a whole area full of golf video tips and instruction.  Yes, CNN.  Not sure how I stumbled upon that, but it is there and there is some great material which can be helpful for your game.

On great video there features a younger Rickie Fowler.  Fowler had a great 2014 in the majors, with the lowest aggregate score of any player in the world.  He has shined lately in the majors and most think it is only a matter of time before he claims one.

At some point in a round, or a tournament, a tough situation will present itself.    You have nearly no green to work with and/or may have to carry a hazard like a bunker and stop the shot on a dime.  There’s only one shot which can work in that situation, and it can be very difficult.  We are talking about the “flop” shot.  In the flop shot, the highest lofted club is used (preferably a lob wedge).  The blade is opened up and a steep, full swing is used to pop the ball straight up in the air.  Rickie Folwer is very good at this tough shot and talks us through it in this piece dating back to 2012.

Weekend Wrap – FedEx Cup Playoff Round One

TPC Four Seasons 18th Green

PGA Tour
FedEx Cup Playoffs Round One
The Barclays
Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, NJ

With his fantastic play over the last several weeks Rory McIlory had climbed to #1 in the FedEx Cup points race. But the “playoffs” were designed to be more volatile and exciting, giving just about any player in the field a chance to get hot and win the $10,000,000 first prize. That volatility came into play in round one.

During the final round there were as many as six players who had the lead, or part of it. Hunter Mahan emerged from the pack, firing a calm and collected 65 to clear himself of the pack by two shots. Three tied for 2nd place: Stuart Appleby, Cameron Triangle and Jason Day.

With the win and the 2,500 FedEx Cup points, Mahan overtook McIlory for first place in the FedEx Cup race with a 776 point lead. Mahan collected a check for $1.44 million and a fine trophy, however in the moments following the tournament the trophy was broken. As long as the $1.44 million check clears, I suspect the broken trophy will not be an issue.

Perhaps the most entertaining part of the tournament was when Phil Mickelson found the grandstand on the fifth hole Friday. Tables and chairs were cleared and he played his next shot off of the astroturf in the grandstand. The next day Mickelson made the same mistake again, and once again found the grandstands. Markings on the ground were painted in white saying “Phil was here,” and “…and here too.”

Following Mahan’s win he became an instant point of discussion regarding the upcoming Ryder Cup. WIth the win many feel he should be one of Tom Watson’s captain’s picks. Perhaps those bandwagon jumpers have forgotten Mahan’s performance in the 2010 Ryder Cup, where his poor play at the end of his match secured the win for the european Ryder Cup team.

LPGA Tour
Canadian Women’s Open
London Hunt GC
London, Ontario Canada

24-year-old So Yeon Ryu claimed the women’s canadian open fired a final round 3-under 69 to finish at 23 under par, breaking the tournament record relative to par by five strokes. She wanted to break the tour record of 27 shots, held by Annika Sorenstam but fell short.

Ryu outpaced fellow South Korean Na Yeon Choi, who finished two shots back and Inbee Park who finished three shots back.

With the victory Ryu will crack into the top ten in the world, likely at the 9th position.

Duck and Cover

Golf is fun, yes. But it can be dangerous. Most golf injuries are not from golf balls hitting people, they are from club impacts when someone is standing too close to a person swinging.

This week this horrifically entertaining picture of a swedish man has been flying around golf social networks, almost as much as the ALS ice bucket challenge. This poor guy’s noggin was the recipient of an impact with a Titleist ProV1.

Have a great weekend and BE CAREFUL out there!

Posted in Fun |

Mickelson’s Golf Advice to Obama Good for All Golfers

TorreyPines_12It must be nice to have Phil Mickelson giving you advice on your golf game.  Case in point was a discussion Phil had with President Obama.  Obama had been struggling with his sand play.  Mickelson gave him some tips to help him improve and apparently they worked well.

The tips?  Phil’s bunker play tip came with two focus points.

First, when in the sand keep the body weight forward.  If the body weight is level, the ball will not drive into and through the sand properly.

Second, put the ball forward in the stance.  By doing so, this allows the shot to come out high and soft.  The club hits behind the ball, taking out sand along with the ball.  If the ball is not far enough forward, bad shots like blades or simply hitting the shot way too far can happen.

Did the advice work?  Obama was thrilled to tell Phil that his advice made a big difference in his bunker play.

The big question then is, does Phil have any advice on foreign policy?

Tuesday Tip – Penny Putting

coin-puttGolfers often struggle with moving their heads or “looking up too soon” when putting.  If the head is moving there are all sorts of “bad” things which can happen to the putt.  The contact on the club face is likely to be off-center.  The swing path is likely to be outside-in (club traveling across the ball from outside the target line to inside), and distance control is likely to be compromised.

One great drill to help keep the head down and eyes on the ball through the stroke is the penny drill.  Put a penny (or other coin) on the practice green heads up and put the ball on top of it.  When putting you cannot move your head or eyes away from the ball spot until you’ve actually read the date on the penny.

Another side benefit to this drill is making sure that the penny stays in place and that the putter does not hit it.  If the penny stays that means the putter is not bottoming out on the ground, which would result in many other problems.

In the video below from the 1999 U.S. Open, watch how long Payne Stewart kept his head down on the winning putt.

Weekend Wrap

HPBNC_2011_SU_067PGA Tour
Wyndham Championship
Sedgefield Country Club
Greensboro, North Carolina

This time of year on the PGA Tour is huge for the players on the Tour’s “bubble.” The bubble meaning the breakpoint for qualification in the FedEx Cup as well as breaking into the top 125, 150, or top 200. Each level (125,150, 200) has significant meaning for the players in those areas. Top 125 means an unconditional Tour card for the next season. Top 150 means conditional status, top 200 means avoiding having to qualify for the Web.com Tour.

The pressure of this event and the numbers above was too great for many players to overcome. Players like Heath Slocum, Jason Allred, and Brad Fritsch missed the opporunity and will have to compete in the Web.com Tour finals to qualify for the big Tour. Players like Kevin Foley who finished 201 or above, have no guarantee at all and will have to head back to the Web.com Tour Q-School.

One player who shined, while pumping his amazing muscular arms, was Camilo Villegas. Villegas has been quiet since his last win in 2010 at the McGladrey Classic. Villegas started and ended the tournament with rounds of 63, while filling the space between with rounds of 69 and 68 for a one shot victory over Bill Haas.

With the wind Villegas renews many opportunities which present themselves to Tour winners, along with a big check of $954,000 to renew the bank account.

LPGA Tour
Wegmans LPGA Championship
Pittsford, New York

Inbee park came into the Wegmans as the reigning champion and will retain that status for at least another year until the event is again contested in 2015. That win came after her par putt dropped on the first playoff hole, defeating opponent Brittany Lncicome.

After 38 years in Rochester, the event will be moving to Westchester Country Club in 2015.

Champions Tour
Dick’s Sporting Goods Open
Endicott, New York

Until further notice, mark down Bernhard Langer as the winner of whatever current Champions Tour event is being contested.

Langer rallied from behind to win his fifth Champions Tour event of the year, playing the entire event without making a single bogey. Langer outpaced Mark O’Meara and Woody Austin.

The biggest news of the week was the Friday score of Kevin Sutherland, who despite making bogey on the final hole, carded a Champions Tour record 59.

Woods and McIlory on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show Monday

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 9.37.30 AMJimmy Fallon will have two big golfing guests on the Tonight Show this Monday night, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory.  Boy will there be a lot to talk about.

I’m sure they will not get to half of the possible subject matter regarding Woods and his performances, withdrawal from the Ryder Cup, back injuries and more.

And none of that even touches the recent hot streak and success of Rory McIlory, who won the season’s final two majors in the British Open Championship and the PGA Championship.

 

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