Dr. Gio Valiante, Sports Psychologist and Author

Dr. Gio Valiante offers up his opinions on making fearless swings, the “other” golf psychology books, and who he thinks has the strongest mind on the PGA Tour.

Throwing Darts TitleToday’s interview is with sports psychologist Dr. Gio Valiante, who has worked with PGA Tour players such as Chris DiMarco, Justin Leonard, Camilo Villegas, and Chad Campbell. Valiante has also authored a book entitled “Fearless Golf.” Dr. Valiante is a professor at Rollins College and is also the mental game consultant to Golf Digest.

We hope you enjoy the interview.

Byron Nelson

A gentleman both on and off the course Byron Nelson has carried himself as a humble, true, and generous champion. His influence has continued since walking away from the game as a full-time player in 1946.

ProFilesThose who knew Byron Nelson recognize that his records and trophies all take second place to his tremendous depth of character. Anyone who witnessed Nelson at the tournament that bore his name, the EDS Byron Nelson Championship, knew how respected he was by every participant. The Byron Nelson award ceremony was always a tender moment as Nelson greeted and congratulated the victor.

Nelson’s achievements are pinnacles of excellence that rival that of any athlete in any sport. His high level of play over a relatively short time-span amassed an impressive number of victories, set a new standard for the golf swing, and left us with the memories and example of what every sportsman should be: a gentleman.

Europe vs. America in Numbers

After the Ryder Cup I thought it would be interesting to compare the European Tour and the PGA Tour. Players participating on both tours provided interesting, and somewhat strange results.

The Numbers GameA stat appeared on my television while I was watching the Ryder Cup on Sunday. The stat listed Paul Casey as being sixth on the European Tour in Greens in Regulation (GIR) at 75.1%. As the resident “numbers guy,” I was taken aback. I knew that Tiger Woods was ranked first on the PGA Tour… but with a GIR rate of nowhere close to 75%.

So I thought it would be worthwhile in this installment of The Numbers Game to compare players stats on both sides of the pond – the European Tour and the PGA Tour – to see what it might reveal. I’m not looking to identify the better tour – just see what the numbers tell us. I was surpised what they had to say!

Golf Talk [Episode 038]

If misery loves company, you’ll appreciate Jeff and Erik’s take on the Ryder Cup beatdown this week.

PodcastThe U.S. Ryder Cup team suffers yet another horrible defeat at the hands of the wily Europeans. This week, we talk about this loss in-depth, along with Karrie Webb, Eric Axley, 14 whacks in a bush, and a whole lot more in our Ryder Cup wrapup. Tune in to this episode of Golf Talk for more.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 038 as an MP4 file. For those who want to subscribe to us in iTunes, click here.

For this week’s Show Notes – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information – just read on.

Ryder Cup Rundown

The Europeans thumped the United States for the third straight time, and I’m tired of it.

Thrash TalkI still haven’t recovered from the Ryder Cup beatdown the Europeans gave the United States this past weekend, but there really isn’t anything I can do about it. The European team was favored, so the result shouldn’t be that shocking. The final score was the same as it was in 2004 at Oakland Hills, 18½ to 9½. The complete domination is what really blows my mind, and it’s quite obvious some things need to change for the Americans.

The United States team didn’t play great golf, but they certainly played good golf. The Europeans, on the other hand, played lights out. Anything the Americans did, the Europeans did even better. I have never seen so many holed long putts and chip-ins in my life, at least in a three-day period. I take my hat off to the golfers from across the pond. They handed us a third consecutive beating, and all the credit should go to them.

FootJoy Introduces Boa Lacing System in ReelFit Shoes

Remember when your mother taught you how to tie your shoes? Well, with FootJoy’s latest model, you can forget it. You twist instead of tie.

Bag DropThere’s a reason we don’t play in loafers. Golf requires a stable platform not only for the swing, but also for all the walking we do uphill and down. Short of wearing high tops, most golfers rely on shoes that lace up over the instep to get a firm fit.

FootJoy is taking lacing a step further, however, with its new ReelFit shoes that feature the Boa lacing system that tightens up over the instep and around the ankle.

It’s a high-tech solution that lets you dial in the support you’re looking for. What’s more, the laces will never break. Here’s the scoop…

2006 Ryder Cup Singles Matches Live Blog

We’re live blogging the final round of the Ryder Cup. The Miracle at Brookline remains untouched in Ryder Cup history. The massacre at Oakland Hills, however, is equalled.

2006 Ryder Cup Score

11:27 – Verplank halves the 15th to win his match 3&2. Mickelson and DiMarco are both down dormie two on the 17th, likely losses. There will be no record-setting loss today for the U.S. team. Just a record-tying one. Ugh. Final score: U.S. 9½, Europe 18½.

11:23 – If the matches finish the way they are, Europe will have won the last three rounds of singles play, today 3½-8½. Over those three years, the score is 23½-12½ in favor of the Europeans.

2006 Ryder Cup Rookies

What kind of dent will rookies make in the 2006 Ryder Cup? Take a peek at rookies on both sides of the isle and get an idea of what kind of impact they’ll have.

ProFilesThis is it. All the predictions are in. All any fan on either side of the pond can do is sit back and enjoy the competition. Europe has fielded a very good team once again and it is incumbent upon the Americans to validate their potential.

Lehman and Woosnam have made their crucial pics. With the top three players in the world on the United States team there is good reason to expect good things. But Europe has made a habit of foiling U.S. plans.

What impact will this year’s rookies have. Read on to find out…

2006 Winners by the Numbers

So what does it take to win on tour? Greens and putting once again rule. With all the talk about distance, are you surprised?

The Numbers GameLast week I talked about what the winners had in their bag. This week in The Numbers Game I look at the winners again, but not at what driver or putter they used. This time I wanted to see what they excelled at in winning the tournaments they did.

Was it putting? Greens in regulation? Or was it one of the driving stats that they led on their way to victory? Read on to find out.