Slow Down in the Wind

Many players speed up – their swings, their pace of play – when playing the winds. Don’t.

Watch a foursome playing the course on a windy day and you’re likely to see some fast play: they walk faster between shots, they take less time in their preshot routine, and – perhaps most importantly – they swing faster. This leads to inconsistency and poor ball striking.

In the wind, make a conscious effort to take your time and to swing with a slower tempo. You’ll strike the ball with less spin and cleaner contact.


The Brush-T guarantees straighter, longer drives. What doesn’t these days?

brusht.jpgThe Brush-T claims that it can help you hit longer, straighter drives by eliminating much of the friction between ball and tee:

The unique qualities of the Brush-T mean that the side spin or interference, all too often associated with plastic and wooden tees, can be eliminated. The bristles provide raised support for the ball, but still give unprecedented flexibility. Independent testing in San Diego and California, showing a marked improvement in the dispersion rate, thereby delivering greater accuracy.

Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that San Diego is in California. Let’s also ignore that “a marked improvement in the dispersion rate” can’t “deliver” greater accuracy, it is greater accuracy. And hey, if we want to be technical, it’s not greater accuracy but greater consistency. A loose group of balls in the middle of the fairway beats a tight cluster 20 yards right, doesn’t it? 🙂

Abacoa Golf Club with N3P

Abacoa Golf Club is home to the First Ever Unofficial Non-Charity Tournament of Golf Bloggers.

I played golf with Larry of the No Three Putts blog. I shall summarize my round as follows: wwwwwssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh. The winds were whipping around quite a bit, and after making a snaking birdie on the first hole, I shot about two hundred. That sound? The air going out of my game. I’m definitely the type that likes to warm up – I didn’t have a swing thought all day long and never felt comfortable over the ball.

My PW on the second hole, straight into the wind, must have gone about 75 yards. Larry and I won the front against “the other cart,” two up. We lost the back by four to lose the overall. In addition to my 75 yard wedge (normally 130), I hit a three iron from 240 to 30 feet.

Remove Your Balls

Just a funny sign about having your balls removed…

As Shaggy (the Scooby Doo guy) would say: Yoinks! This, uuhhh, frightening image courtesy of Larry at the NoThreePutts blog. His site is called “No Damn Three Putts: a golf blog with some balls.” Unless, of course, he’s caught by the owners of the course with this sign.

I’m playing golf with Larry later today (with a hurricane cancellation possible) at Abacoa Golf Club. We shall see.

P.S. I was quite tempted to post this in the “Equipment: Balls” category, but that’d just be mean… <grin>


Experiment in your back yard and reclaim the art of shotmaking.

A week ago I spent some time in my back yard with my 60° wedge hitting shots all over the place and from every kind of lie. I discovered that if I play my ball outside of my right heel, open stance 45°, and swing inside out I can make great contact and send a lot skittering shot tremendous distances. I discovered that I can hit the ball with nothing but wrist movement quite far… but that every other body part has to remain absolutely still or I don’t get perfect contact, and wrists aren’t strong enough to fight through grass alone. I discovered that I could hit a lob wedge straight up into the air, but that it only went a foot forward and ten feet up – not a particularly useful shot.

The point is this: experiment in your back yard with your wedges. Use some practice (short flight) balls if you have to. Experimentation is the key to shotmaking – see what kinds of shots you can come up with. I highly doubt that I’ll ever see “stand 45° open, play the ball three inches behind you, and swing perpendicular to your stance to send a low chip cleanly out of even bad lies,” but I’ve got that shot in my bag now.

Why in the Hal?

Why in the Hal did the US team lose the Ryder Cup… again?

hal_sutton.jpgLet’s get all of the second guessing out of the way in one fell swoop so that we can just move on. We’ll play a game called “Why in the Hal?” as in “Why in the Hal did he do that?”

Why in the Hal were Tiger and Phil paired? Twice!? And then Tiger was paired with Davis Love III, who’d sucked it up earlier the previous day. The only player Woods won with: his friend Chris Riley.

Why in the Hal did Phil switch clubs and balls just before the Ryder Cup? Why in the Hal didn’t Phil practice with the team? Why in the Hal did the captain let him?

Why in the Hal didn’t the US team play mock matches against each other in its three days? Strategy in a team game is important and a little more complex than “I’ll hit one safe so you can really go at it, pardner.”

Why in the Hal did Sutton choose to walk on Saturday, admitting later that it prevented him from getting to every group that needed information?

Woods Backs out of 84 Lumber Classic

Tiger Woods withdraws from 84 Lumber Classic. “I’m tired” he says.

Tiger WoodsCiting exhaustion, Tiger Woods has pulled out of the second 84 Lumber Classic (of Pennsylvania). Says The Golf Channel:

Upon the announcement that Woods would be playing in this week’s 84 Lumber Classic, the second-tier tournament instantly became one of the top attractions on the late-season schedule – and an instant sell-out.

Joe Hardy – the man John Daly calls “dad” – must have drunk too much wood grain alcohol before saying “We’re certainly moving this up to a higher level. I can’t say we’ll be one of the majors, but we’ll certainly give them a run for their money.” It’s no wonder he gets along with JD so well. <grin>

In addition to the American Express Championship and the Tour Championship, six full-field events remain on the 2004 PGA Tour schedule.


Stretching is a good thing.

Stretch. Loosening your muscles before engaging in an athletic activity – one that requires timing, speed, and accuracy – is essential. Basketball players don’t just start playing – they gather around a hoop with a few balls and warm up. Stretch before you hit the range, before you putt, and certainly before you step onto the first tee. Get a swing weight and swing that before you hit balls as well.

Awesome Annika

Annika Sorenstam wins her fifth LPGA tournament this year.

The Golf Blog points out that Annika won yet another tournament: her 5th LPGA victory and her 7th overall this year. What’s more incredible is that Annika’s won at least five events in each of the last five years. Sorenstam’s 53rd victory moves her to within two wins of Betsy Rawls, who sits in fourth place on the all-time wins list.