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January, 2005

Shoulders and Chins

Jan. 21, 2005     By     Comments (1)

You're not David Duval or Annika Sorenstam. Those two can get away with lifting their heads before, during, or just after impact. You? Me? We've gotta keep our heads down, because when our head comes up, our whole body comes up. We hit shots thin, we hit shots right, and we hack our way around the course.

Simple solution: get in the habit of feeling your right shoulder on your chin before checking out the ball flight. As your arms swing through the ball, your head will naturally come up because your right shoulder forces it up. Swing normally, but focus on letting your head be pushed up, not lifting it up yourself.

Do this right and you'll see the club pass through the ball and take the divot. What's the point in looking up if you're only going to see a bad shot?

Tom Lehman Leads Buick Invitational

Jan. 20, 2005     By     Comments (0)

Tom LehmanThe story line was set, the 2005 Buick Invitational would be the first time the fantastic four of Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, and Phil Mickelson all competed in the same tournament this year. Now, with the first round of the tournament in the books, the big four underachieved to a combined 11-under par. Today, it was 2006 Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman who has jumped out to an early one-stroke lead after firing a red hot 10-under 62 on the North Course at Torrey Pines. Lehman's 62 tied his career low and included birdies on nine of his last twelve holes. Lehman said, "I'm doing a lot of things right that you need to do right out here." Lehman was followed by Dean Wilson at 9-under par and Aaron Oberholser at 8-under par.

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Rhythm Without a Pinkie

Jan. 20, 2005     By     Comments (0)

Having trouble with your rhythm? Tried envisioning the swing of Sam Snead and hitting balls barefooted to no avail?

Try taking your top pinkie off the club.

Take your normal grip and stance, but then slide your hands further up the grip until the top pinkie (the left pinkie for a right-handed golfer) comes off the top of the club. Swing away.

Removing the pinkie forces you to slow down your swing a little bit because the club will feel a bit less secure in your hands. You'll feel it set a little more at the top and you'll feel a better release through the ball. Hit normal shots with a 7I or so, focusing on maintaining control of the club throughout the swing.

We pinkie swear, this one works.

Tiger’s Broken Camera, Explained

Jan. 20, 2005     By     Comments (3)

Nike AdTiger breaking the camera in that Nike commercial is all the buzz these days, and we've got more for you: a clip from "Inside the PGA Tour" featuring the director, Tiger, and some lovely footage of what a striped 3I from the Tiger can do to a piece of expensive glass.

Click here to play the commercial (8.8 MB, QuickTime MPEG-4 video).

Rumor has it that on the first take, they told Tiger to hit the ball a foot or so over the camera. He hit it about four inches above. From sixty yards away. That shot wasn't quite good enough, so on the second take, they told Tiger to hit the camera.

It is rumor no more. Check it out.

P.S. Be sure to also check out our forum after you've checked out the video.

Posted in: TV/Media Comments (3)

Advice for Juniors

Jan. 19, 2005     By     Comments (0)

This tip comes from Robert Speirs:

  1. Learn the Basic Fundamentals Grip, stance, and setup will make this game a lot easier to learn. Once you understand the basics, the rest will come quite easily. Don't worry about swing plane, launch angle, clubhead speed, or anything else. Just worry about getting set up in a good stance, with a proper grip, and accelerate through the ball. The rest will fall into place.
  2. Learn to Putt and Chip the Dots Off It The nicest thing about putting is that there are a million ways to do it and nobody can say a darn thing so long as you get the ball in the hole. There are some simple basics - squaring the clubface, accelerating through the ball - but there's lots of room for style within those rules.

    The nicest thing about putting is that you can do it at just about any time. Challenge players to putting and chipping costs. Keep a roll of quarters in your bag and you'll be surprised how often you'll beat golfers that are much better than you, but pick up what you can from them. Chip frequently and vary the kinds of shots - low spinners, high flops, downhill, uphill. Tie the two together into chip-and-putt contests.

One-Handed Chipping

Jan. 18, 2005     By     Comments (4)

Amateur players tend to flub chips a lot. When they should be getting up and down, instead they're taking three or even more shots to get down from just off the green. Many amateurs flub their chips because they break down their wrists and attempt to scoop the ball.

Hinging your wrist going back is fine, but through the ball you want firm, solid wrists that don't have a lot of break in them. To ingrain the feeling, practice hitting your chips with only your left hand on the club. Just stick your right hand in your pocket.

This drill is tough at first, but as you go on you'll be forced to develop a solid wrist at impact or you'll see all manner of bad shots. It's impossible to scoop reliably with only one hand: only a firm wrist through impact will lead to good shots.

“You Have a Decision to Make”

Jan. 17, 2005     By     Comments (6)

Nike AdNike filmed a few new commercials recently, and Tiger Woods is the star of one we've titled "You Have a Decision to Make." This is no ordinary commercial, though: Tiger pulls off something a little special in the final seconds.

Click here to play the commercial (18 MB, QuickTime MPEG-4 video).

Rumor has it that on the first take, they told Tiger to hit the ball a foot or so over the camera. He hit it about four inches above. From sixty yards away. That shot wasn't quite good enough, so on the second take, they told Tiger to hit the camera.

So he did.

Posted in: TV/Media Comments (6)

World #1 Wins #1 at the Sony Open

Jan. 17, 2005     By     Comments (2)

Vijay SinghErnie Els came from way back and tied the course record with a 62, but it was not enough to hold off the world's highest ranked player. Of course, it didn't hurt that Singh himself fired a 65.

Following a tournament in which Singh had the lead after three days of play and didn't win, Vijay wins the 2005 Sony Open never having held the lead until the final thirty minutes. He finished at -11 while second- and third-round leader Shigeki Maruyama fell backwards, finishing at -9.

Els charged hard, finishing birdie-birdie-eagle to get to -10, tying the course record 62 in a round that included two bogeys. Els, winner of the last two Sony Opens, said of his round that he "always felt like it was going to be just a little shy. He [Singh] did what he had to do."

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Managing Mental Pressure – 3 Keys

Jan. 17, 2005     By     Comments (0)

You start strong on the first two holes. You par the first, birdie the second and feel like it's going to be a great outing. After a bogey on three you mutter under your breath at the twosome that is crowding you from behind. And then the jerks behind you start consuming your thoughts. If only those freaks would back off because you're getting tense. Tense is not why we play golf. We play for fun, for competition, for reasons other than tense.

All of us have experienced something like this on the golf course and under normal circumstances you start to melt under the pressure of having someone climb up your backside on the course. What do you do? How are you going handle it? There's some things you can do to manage pressure that goes beyond just letting the twosome play through.

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