Volume Three Hundred Seventy-Seven

Luke gets mad, Elkington thinks he’s funny, and Reed is seriously good (unlike Tiger’s back).

Hittin' the LinksThe WGC-Cadillac Championship had a bit of everything, a stellar field, a wicked wind, a bad back, and 318 golf balls in the drink. What a week!

After the craziness of the WGC last week, we could use a breather. Lucky for us, the PGA TOUR is heading to the Innisbrook Copperhead Course next week. Sandwiched between Doral and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bayhill, means that the Valspar Championship gets a bit of a second tier treatment, with many of the big names taking the week off. The Senior Circuit is off to California for the Toshiba Classic and the Euros are playing in Morocco. The LPGA has the week off.

Let’s hit the links.

Hole #1: It’s Reed, Again
Patrick Reed won the WGC-Cadillac Championship by a stroke over hard-charging Bubba Watson, kind-of-charging Jamie Donaldson, and fast-fading Tiger Woods. Before winning for the first time last season, 23-year-old Reed might have been best known for having his wife, Justine, caddie for him (she’s currently expecting their first child and is taking a break, her brother Kessler Karain is filling in). The win Sunday was his second title of the season and third of his young career. [Link]

Hole #2: The Donald’s Doral, the Reviews Are In
In its debut following a serious overhaul by Donald Trump and Gil Hanse, Trump National Doral got a lot of good reviews and some downright pans. The question we ask is should a ball that flies over the flag and lands just four yards past the hole (well on the green) then slide sideways off the putting surface and wind up in a water hazard, as if Pinehurst #2 had moved to Florida? That’s a tad severe. [Link]

Hole #3: Hadley Gets First PGA TOUR Win in Puerto Rico
The field included past major winners like David Toms and David Duval along with past top rank players like Chris DiMarco, but it was Chesson Hadley who emerged from the pack to win the Puerto Rico Open. [Link]

Hole #4: Roos Wins at Barclays Kenyan Open
South African Jake Roos emerged from a bunched field on Sunday to claim the victory at the Barclays Kenyan Open on the Karen Country Club course. [Link]

Hole #5: Pros Tweak Wedges in Preparation for Augusta
While Tiger works on getting his back right, most other green jacket hopefuls are trying to find just the right equipment to get the ball onto Augusta National’s tough greens and keep it there. [Link]

Hole #6: Donald No Likey The Donald’s Doral
Luke Donald was one of the more outspoken critics of The Donald’s changes to the Blue Monster. [Link]

Hole #7: Well That Explains It
No wonder Luke was in a bad mood at Doral, someone stole his ball. [Link]

Hole #8: Tweet Shows Elk’s a Twit
Steve Elkington seems intent on inserting his foot in his mouth at every opportunity. His latest was a lame joke tweeted about openly gay, NFL-prospect Michael Sam. It would be interesting to see Elk make the same joke to Sam’s face, instead of through social media. Sam’s not a small man, unlike Elk. [Link]

Hole #9: There’s No Gambling at Bushwood
A Florida golf club could be in trouble with the authorities for permitting gambling among members. The outcome, however, could have repercussions far beyond Florida because the pot games in question take place at most clubs and courses in America. [Link]

1 thought on “Volume Three Hundred Seventy-Seven”

  1. Hole #5: Interesting article about changing wedge specs for different courses.

    As I understand the physics, it is not just the degree of bounce, but also the shape of the sole (the “grind”).

    On firm desert fairways or firm Bermuda fairways or Augusta, too much bounce causes the clubhead to “bounce” because it cannot dig into the turf. On softer bentgrass fairways found farther North, more bounce is needed to keep the club head from digging in too far. Also depends on whether the player’s swing is a “digger” or a “sweeper.” Same rules apply as to bunker sand — firm versus soft. And to complicate things, short firm fairways are often accompanied by long, fluffy rough, especially around the greens.

    The challenge at Augusta appears to be to find the right wedge grouping so that you can play from firm fairways and soft sand. Since a player cannot justify carrying six wedges (two each of gap 52°, sand 56° and lob 60°), [pitching wedge lofts are really the old 9 iron loft], I suspect most pro players carry a sand wedge with higher bounce and a lob wedge with lower bounce.

    There also seems to a lot of variations on the grind applied to the bottom of each of these wedges.
    It would be helpful to me if others more knowledgeable than I about “grind” would chime in with recommendations/comments about the various grinds available — toe, heel, toe and heel, channel, wide, standard, etc. I suspect that the type of grind needs to be coordinated with the degree of bounce.

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