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Monday, July 30, 2012

Feherty Lets John Daly Tee Off On A Ball In His Mouth!

This one falls squarely into the "You have to see this to believe it category."  This also seems to be the kind of thing that the admonition "Do not try this at home" was made for.  In the season finale of Golf Channel's Feherty, the show's colorful and slightly off (in a positive way) host David Feherty let John Daly tee off from a ball that was teed up in Feherty's mouth.  Below is the link to the video - it is a must see!  It is terrifying just to watch!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Loving The Bunkers At The Open Championship

One of my favorite things about watching the Open Championship is seeing the bunkers over there, and the havoc it wreaks on the pro's games when they unfortunately find themselves on the business end of one of these harrowing holes.  Bunkers are supposed to be hazards - they are supposed to serve as a penalty for a wayward shot.  But with the generally shallow and well-manicured bunkers in the United States (especially on the courses that host PGA Tour events), the bunkers are oftentimes a better place to be than the rough, because you know you can spin the ball and be confident the lie will almost always be pretty good.  I was talking recently with a PGA Tour caddie who told me there were some holes where his player would actually aim at the bunker (when trying to reach a par 5 in two, for instance) because he knew he could easily get up and down without a problem if he missed the green.

But on the Open Championship courses, you enter one of these traps at your own peril.  You are lucky if you can emerge from them with your dignity (let alone your scorecard) still intact.  I love that at least for one week, we get to see bunkers that have some real teeth!  And with 205 of them at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, they will be a big part of the story this week. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

It's The Short Game, Stupid

When I was in high school, I was really struggling through a geometry class, and I went to get tutored by my fifth grade teacher, a wonderful nun named Sr. Teresa.  When I explained my troubles, she went to the board and wrote "KISS" in big block letters and asked me what it stood for.  I said, "Keep it Simple, Stupid."  She replied that I was close, but in her mind, the last "S" stood for sweetheart - after all, she was a nun.

I thought of this story as I had my latest revelation about where to find the shots I needed to take my 9 handicap closer to a 5.  It's the short game, stupid, I said to myself.  It may have taken me a long time to get there, but now I am convinced that is the answer.

I have spent the last 15 months working very hard on my full swing, trying to get it close to a repeatable motion that I can count on under pressure.  After qualifying for my club's Presidents Cup and Club Championship, I feel like I am finally in a good place with my swing - or at least a playable place.  But the problem with spending so much time on my full swing is that I neglected practicing my short game, which is where the strokes are.  So almost every time I am out on the course, I shoot between 80-84, but i do it with 36 putts and only hitting about 1/3 of the greens in regulation.  Not good.  That means I am essentially throwing away 8-10 shots a round through three putts and not getting up and down around the greens very often.

I have finally gotten it through my thick Irish skull that I need to rededicate my practice time to focus probably 60-70% on chipping and putting.  This is even the kind of stuff I can practice in my living room.  The mechanics are easier to master than the full swing, and success is all about touch, so the more you practice, you really will see the results on your scorecard.
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