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An Interview with The Dan Plan

Apr. 15, 2015     By     Comments (10)

Throwing DartsDan McLaughlin is the man behind The Dan Plan, a golfer striving to "test" the "10,000 hours to become an expert" theory espoused by a few. His goal? Become a PGA Tour golfer after 10,000 hours of dedicated practice.

I have obsessed over the Dan Plan right from the beginning. Well, maybe obsessed is a strong word, but I have definitely given it a great deal of thought. I was introduced to the idea by a friend who was a member at Dan's first club Columbia Edgewater Country Club. He told me there was this guy out there practice putting everyday. His goal was to put the 10,000 theory of deliberate practice to the test. As an engineer, I was immediately drawn to the experiment.

Recently, Dan was introduced to the outstanding book Lowest Score Wins by Erik J. Barzeski and David Wedzik and as luck would have it I had an extra copy and was in the Portland area. I offered it to Dan and also the opportunity for an interview with questions coming from the forum members here on The Sand Trap. He happily agreed. Opinions on Dan here on the forum are mostly leaning toward the pessimistic side, primarily because his stated goal of playing on the PGA Tour is lofty. Calling it "lofty" is probably being nice. Perhaps Dan's goal is closer to fantasy. As such, many of the questions target not only why he chose such a nearly impossible final target as well as why he started with one-foot putts and hit them for so long.

2015 Masters Preview and Picks

Apr. 7, 2015     By     Comments (2)

Thrash TalkThe dogwoods are in bloom and Tiger's jet has been spotted in Augusta's private airport, it must be time for the Masters. Tiger is playing so the "will he or won't he" discussion is over and we now anxiously wait for him to miss a green to see if he flubs, shanks, or skulls his chip. Tiger always brings a buzz to the game and this year is no different. Traditionally The Sand Trap staff loves to pick Tiger but something tells me this Masters is going to be different.

Even with the all the buzz around Tiger there are a number of other story lines to talk about in the 2015 Masters. Is Rory going to complete the career grand slam, what about the defending champion Bubba Watson, and which rookies to look out for this year. With that let's dive into the questions.

Is Patrick Reed a Top Five…Cheater?

Mar. 18, 2015     By     Comments (3)

Thrash TalkI am no fan of Patrick Reed. My first impression was so bad that he will likely never overcome my dislike, no matter how many Ryder Cup matches he wins. My first impression was his interview stating that he is a top five golfer when he was just starting out. I like confidence but I like it in moderation.

He has proven himself to be a good golfer. There is no denying that. We can argue about whether or not he is in the top five, but he is certainly good enough to play on the US Ryder Cup team. Recently he has been the talk on tour for a piece done about his past. Shane Ryan has been working on a book titled: "Slaying the Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes on the New PGA Tour". In it he details the troubled past of one Patrick Reed. The story outlines a troubled young man who cheated, which in golf, is the worst label a guy can get. Patrick has now came back saying in an interview on the Golf Channel that the story is false and he has statements from his former golf coaches saying they are false. Now it has become a good old fashion he said he said scenario. He is now asking for a retraction from the books publishers and also Ryan himself.

The Ryder Cup Disappoints Again

Feb. 26, 2015     By     Comments (5)

Thrash TalkThe first news of the Ryder Cup captaincy came as more of a "leak" rather than an announcement. We heard from Tim Rosaforte that Davis Love III was going to be captain again.

My first feeling was disappointment that they did not take my suggestion of a Ryder Cup CEO, but rather choosing the safer route of picking a popular figure in the game. My second feeling? How could this be the result of the Ryder Cup task force? To pick DL3 again?

If the answer to the question is that, yes, this is the result of the task force, then I am extremely disappointed. This is a "more of the same" type of move rather than trying to make the big changes the U.S. Ryder Cup needs. Sure, Davis is a nice guy and he had basically won the 2012 Ryder Cup before his team's lousy Sunday singles play, but he is not change. He is one of the many losing captains the U.S. team has had in its recent past. How as a fan of the U.S. team can you not feel anything but disappointment?

Is Tiger Going to Retire?

Feb. 9, 2015     By     Comments (5)

Thrash TalkThere's a question we have to start asking ourselves.

Could this be the end? Retirement? The end of watching Tiger Woods play competitive golf?

It is hard to fathom. Tiger is too young, by golf standards, to retire. Jack Nicklaus won a major at forty six - surely Tiger can win one at forty.

Yet here we are. In the last handful of tournaments he has played he has either finished DFL or hung a WD next to his name. I know he's hurt. In fact, some have said that the injury seemed to be made worse by the fact that he wasn't playing that well, but at Torrey he had just birdied the par-five tenth hole and gotten himself to even par for the day before a final double bogey and all sorts of pain caused him to withdraw. So I call BS on that. He is withdrawing, at least at Torrey, because he is hurt. I sense he wants to play. But all this pain makes you start to wonder could this be the beginning of the end of watching Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour?

The Trouble with Dustin Johnson

Jan. 28, 2015     By     Comments (3)

Thrash TalkI probably shouldn't care about Dustin Johnson's issues, but I do. When you watch a guy at the top of his game "take six months off," it immediately makes you wonder what happened to him. How can you not?

In a very short time after Johnson made his announcement, golf.com put out a very juicy story that Johnson had failed a drug test, testing positive for cocaine. Wow. This story satisfied our need for an explanation of why such a talented golfer would take a break seemingly in the middle of the peak of his career. There was little corroborating evidence to provide support to this story, but because it satisfied a check box for most of us it seemed plausible.

Grading Tiger’s Return

Dec. 13, 2014     By     Comments (11)

Thrash TalkThere is good news, and bad news.

The good news is there are a number of positives to take away from Tiger's recent return at his Hero World Challenge. The bad news was his score. Our, or at least my, expectations for Tiger are very high. When he comes back from injury I expect low scores and a return to dominance. The only thing he dominated in this return was the bottom of the leaderboard.

Why Tiger Needs to Fire Mark Steinberg

Nov. 25, 2014     By     Comments (10)

Thrash TalkTiger Woods is really mad at Dan Jenkins. He is angry because Jenkins wrote an fake interview with Tiger saying all sorts of unfriendly things about Tiger in Golf Digest. Tiger responded posting a retort to the article on Derek Jeter's website requesting that Jenkins apologize.

I do not understand why Tiger felt the need to reply to Jenkins. Or why he felt the need to do it on Jeter's website. It was last year at this time that Tiger was angry with another golf journalist in Brandel Chamblee. Chamblee wrongly called Tiger a cheater and the heat from the article forced Chamblee out his role as a writer. Chamblee managed to keep his job at Golf Channel but only by the hair on his chinny chin chin. Tiger did not respond to Chamblee's article by writing his own article. He took to the airways lofting threatening verbiage suggesting Golf Channel might want to fire Chamblee for his poorly written article.

The Tweet Heard ‘Round the Golfing World

Oct. 28, 2014     By     Comments (5)

Thrash TalkA few years ago I was an avid listener of Colin Cowherd's radio program. Like him or not, he had a pretty wise take on Twitter. He believed that Twitter was a loaded gun, meaning you could hand it to someone and they would be likely to shoot themselves (or someone else). I think he was on to something.

I tried Twitter before it really hit the mainstream. I wasn't an original user, but I was probably in before you were. My company at the time was looking for exposure and all of the marketing people I spoke with told me I had to get on Twitter. I had both a company account and a personal one. I did not last long. At the time I was a user the LPGA was just starting their campaign on Twitter as well. I followed Christina Kim and Michelle Wie, among others, and the nasty comments made to them by random people went beyond the definition of mean. I didn't know if I was supposed to be offended or, as a parent, concerned that someone might be stalking them. I quickly left Twitter.

Colin's main point regarding Twitter was that the filter is removed. People can say things they think in their head that they would never say in person. Just type it into that little bubbly prompt and hit "Send." Ninety plus percent of tweets go without a follow up. But the five or ten percent can be dangerous and damaging.

Just ask Ted Bishop.

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