Mystic Rock

Take a small picture tour of Mystic Rock, home of the 84 Lumber Classic.

Joe Hardy, John Daly’s virtual stepfather, puts on a good show. His tournament – the 84 Lumber Classic – is attended by the big names in golf during a fairly tough week on the schedule. The 84 Lumber Classic, played at the grueling Mystic Rock course at Nemacolin in Farmington, PA, comes after the last major of the year and the week before the Presidents Cup.

I had the opportunity to play at Mystic Rock a month or so ago. The back tees were closed (in preparation for the tournament), but I was able to get a real sense of the course. On television and from the notes I took, the pros played tees that were only 25 yards longer per hole or so than the tees I played. The blue tees measure 7000 yards and the championship tees measure 7500.

Join us on a picture tour of some of Mystic Rock’s niftier holes (and an inside look at their locker room).

Volume Twenty-Seven

I hope you’re not too busy to check out this week’s links.

Hittin' the LinksOn Friday, I played in a scramble with a few guys from my office. We played great, shot -13 and ended up winning the the thing. It was a lot of fun. That score was the lowest I’ve ever been on a scramble team. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been in the double digits. I’m usually on the team who finishes -8.

What’s everyone’s lowest scramble score? Leave it in the comments. Now, on to the links.

Looking for the Long Ball? Think 3-Wood

For most golfers, the driver is like Michael Vick: Thrilling, but often unpredictable. The majority of us would be better off with a less flashy, more Tom Brady-like club: The 3-wood.

Bag DropNext time you’re at the driving range or practice tee of your choosing, take a quick look at what most of your fellow players are doing. A couple might be hitting wedges. A handful will be on the putting green. But without doubt, the majority of the players will be banging driver. Chicks dig the long ball, right?

But what should most golfers do if they want to add yards to their drive? Put the driver away. That’s right. Clubbing down to the 3-wood is the way most golfers can take it deep off the tee.

Gore Wins at the 84

Jason Gore, less than three months after shooting 84 to lose the U.S. Open, wins the 84 Lumber Classic with a solid final-round 70.

Jason GoreNo-one would have predicted that virtual nobody Jason Gore would be tied for second entering the final round of the U.S. Open. Fewer would have predicted the final-round 84 he shot to tie for 49th. It’s hard to say how many would have predicted that Jason Gore would shoot 59 to earn a Battlefield Promotion, winning three straight Nationwide Tour events to jump to the PGA Tour.

What can all the doubters say now? Jason Gore, less than three months removed from his final-round 84 at the U.S. Open, has captured his first PGA Tour victory at the appropriately named 84 Lumber Classic. With a final-round 70, Jason Gore has perhaps exorcised the demons that haunted him earlier this year when he considered giving up golf altogether. What a wild ride it’s been.

Sorenstam Successful at Hammons Hotel Classic

Annika Sorenstam holds on to her lead and successfully defends her trophy at the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic.

annika_sorenstam_trophy_hammonds.jpgIn the battle of the LPGA titans Annika Sorenstam takes the trophy this week. When Annika is in the lead heading into the final round of a tournament those that follow her should be ready to make a darn good challenge. Although Maria Hjorth took the lead in first round action with a 64 she still needed the ability to rally for two more days. Unfortunately she couldn’t put together the two good rounds necessary to keep Sorenstam from cozying up to the top spot on the leaderboard in second round action.

By the final round of the 54-hole tournament it was all Annika, even though rookie Paula Creamer rallied from a tie for fifth place climbing to second place on the scoreboard. Sorenstam held on with a 2-over par 73 while Creamer came on strong with a 2-under 69 to nearly grab the tournament from the number-one LPGA golfer in the world. In the end however, Annika prevailed.

Zero Friction Tee Review

The Zero Friction golf tee may be the best of the “alternative” golf tees around. You just can’t break these things!

460cc composite drivers with movable weights. The hybrids explosion (with movable weights). Lob wedges with y-grooves. Golf balls tuned to launch high with less spin. Launch monitors. Huge advances in agronomy.

The golf world has changed dramatically in the past ten years, but a few things have remained the same: the diameter of the hole, the location of The Masters, and the lowly golf tee.

Oh, wait, scratch that last one. Just this year alone we’ve reviewed several new kinds of tees, from the outrageous Brush-T to the fairly traditional Stinger Tee. We even reviewed a biodegradeable tee known as the Epoch-3. Now it’s Zero Friction‘s turn at the tee, quite literally. How does it fare? Keep reading…

Nine Holes With Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer is certainly one of America’s most beloved sportsman. Join him here for a quick nine.

ProFilesSomewhere between his successful career and lovable charisma Arnold Palmer became an American legend. He has enjoyed the respect and admiration of several generations of golf fans for his passionate play, sportsmanship, and respect for his admirers.

Toms Taken to Hospital

David Toms was taken to the hospital and listed in critical condition after his heart rate rose dramatically while playing in the 84 Lumber Classic.

David TomsFor the second time this week another professional golfer has been admitted to the hospital with a rapid rising heart rate. Meg Mallon had just enjoyed the closing ceremonies of the Solheim Cup in Carmel, Indiana when her rate climbed upwards to 290 beats per minute. To put that into perspective, cyclist Lance Armstrong during crucial stages of the Tour de France will rarely exceed 220 bpm. Yesterday after making the turn at the 84 Lumber Classic, PGA TOUR veteran David Toms was seen clutching his chest and taking a knee due to his escalated heart rate then being rushed to a hospital via helicopter where he is now in stable condition.

Presidents Cup

The Presidents Cup is around the corner and judging by the experience of the US golfers and lack thereof on the International team, the US team should come away with a victory. The problem is that advantages never seem to mean anything in Ryder or Presidents Cups.

The Numbers GameThe Presidents Cup: “The Tournament That Isn’t the Ryder Cup.” I think if you looked up the definition in the dictionary, that would be it. The Presidents Cup can’t and probably won’t ever shake that stigma. Even if it does plays second fiddle, the Presidents Cup offers some great golf after most of the season has passed. In The Numbers Game this week I’ll offer some thoughts on the players and what to expect in the biggest match play tournament… not named the Ryder Cup.