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Sony Open: Day 2

Jan. 15, 2005     By     Comments (3)

Michelle Wie is not the only story in Hawaii this week. Shigeki Maruyama fired a 5-under 65 to take the lead.

Shigeki MaruyamaWe'll get it quickly out of the way: Michelle Wie missed the cut by seven, six shots worse than last year, finishing at +9. She played well in spots but couldn't make a putt. She beat 16 men, though, and out of respect for those men's dwindling self-respect, we won't be publishing their names. Just kidding - losing to Michelle Wie is not something about which to be ashamed. Shooting +10 or worse? Well, maybe…

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The Next Tiger Woods: Michelle Wie?!?!

Jan. 15, 2005     By     Comments (0)

Wie may have missed the cut at the Sony Open, but in terms of marketability, she's a cut above the rest.

WieMichelle Wie has missed the cut. She finished at +9 - seven strokes back - six worse than her effort last year relative to the cut. Yet many believe she's going to be the next Tiger Woods. Not necessarily in the game of golf, but in the business of marketing.

This article hints at it, with quotes like this: "Michelle's creating excitement because she's breaking down barriers," said Greg Nichols, general manager at Ko Olina Golf Club and a junior golf coach. "She has created a huge wave for golf."

Greg Nared, a business affairs manager for Nike, has been scouting Wie for several years. He noted that "she's good for the game because she could attract younger people and females." He was also quick to point out that Wie's South Korean heritage could broaden appeal in the Asian market.

What mega-deal awaits her when she graduates to the ranks of "professional golfer"? "Wie" can only wait and see.

Driver Fitting

Jan. 15, 2005     By     Comments (7)

Instant improvement doesn't come often, so take advantage of it when you can. Get your driver fitted.

Have you had your driver fitted? If you can reasonably repeat your swing, get thee to a pro shop. You deserve a fitted driver.

The mantra these days is "high launch, low spin." A little bit of that will depend on your ball, cut the clubhead and the shaft (particularly the shaft) matter quite a bit. Use this guide to achieve your optimal distance.

Driver Fitting Guide
According to Titleist Science Van representatives, the spin numbers are a bit high.

Now, get thee to the pro shop. Get equipment that suits your game. Instant improvement doesn't come often, so take advantage of it when you can.

Grip Pressure Tendencies

Jan. 14, 2005     By     Comments (0)

Your grip is your only link to the club, and your grip pressure says a lot about you.

Your grip is your only link to the club, and your grip pressure says a lot about you. Slice? Hook? Your grip might be telling on you. With some understanding, a change in your grip pressure may help you hit better shots.

If you're looking to stop slicing the ball, ease up on your grip. A firm grip inhibits the ability of the clubhead to release through impact, holding the face square or open. A gentler grip will allow the forearms to rotate, the hands to rotate, and the clubface to release (close after impact). On the contrary, people who hook the ball may be releasing the club too much, and are advised to grip the club a little tighter.

The next time you're on the practice range, give this tip a try. Or, give it a try on the course if you're confident. Perhaps there's a hole that requires a draw when you normally play a little cut. Give it a go!

Sony, Round One: Ow-Wie!

Jan. 14, 2005     By     Comments (5)

Let us be the first to say it: Wetterich got beat by a girl. How did the rest of the field compare to Wie?

Michelle WieThe title nailed it: Ow-Wie! Amateur teen sensation Michelle Wie was anything but sensational in her 5-over opening round 75. Her round, which featured only one birdie, had one up side. "At least I'm not in last place," Wie joked. True: at least a dozen PGA Tour players finished worse than +5.

In other words, Wie's efforts to make the cut will, most likely, keep her short of her goal. Wie remains optimistic, however, saying "I think if I shoot under par tomorrow, if I end up at like 1-over-par, maybe I'll make it."

Waialae Country Club played tough in Thursday's round with winds gusting up to 25 MPH. The breezy conditions frustrated some of the game's best: Ernie Els shot his first above-par round (71) in 17 rounds at Waialae. Vijay Singh finished with a bogey on the par-5 18th to shoot -1 69. Singh, who made some comments last year regarding Wie, snuck out this year by saying only "It's tough for the boys over here, you know? Going to be tough for a girl here, too."

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Use One Hand for Solid Putting

Jan. 13, 2005     By     Comments (5)

Putting with one hand improves your ability to sink them with two, according to Jackie Burke.

PuttingThis tip comes from Masters champ Jackie Burke, widely regarded as one of the best putters of his day and, perhaps, ever.

The tip is relatively simple: practice two-footers with your left hand only. Start with two-footers, and bang several dozen of them in. It may be difficult at first, but your stroke will become smoother as you continue. You'll strike your putts more solidly. This helps to eliminate the dreaded breakdown of the left wrist.

When you're confident in your ability to make the two-footers, move back to 10 feet. When you're comfortable with that, put your right hand back on the putter. You'll be surprised at the difference.

This drill works for cross-handed putters, "claw grip" putters, and more. According to Burke, it may be the quickest way to turn you into a good if not great putter nearly instantly.

2005 Sony Open Preview: Wie Shall See

Jan. 12, 2005     By     Comments (3)

"Will Michelle Wie make the cut?" Yes, folks, it's that time of year again: the Sony Open is here, and all the talk is about an amateur girl. Ho hum.

Michelle WieThe 2005 Sony Open kicks off Thursday. The news this year? Pretty much the same as last: teenage phenom Michelle Wie is in the field and looking to make the cut. Last year Michelle came within a shot, shooting even-par 72-68 (and beating 47 men in the process).

The Sony Open, contested along the windy Hawaiian Waialae Country Club, is the first full-field event of the 2005 PGA Tour season. Waialae is one of the Hawaiian native Wie's home courses.

Ernie Els, the defending champ, played a practice round with the teen star on Tuesday. Els, known on tour as "The Big Easy" for his long, flowing swing, tagged Michelle with the nickname "The Big Wiesy" during last year's event.

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Swing Like a Hurricane

Jan. 12, 2005     By     Comments (0)

Casting" is releasing the club from the top of the swing and it results in loss of power and accuracy.

Hurricane"Casting" is releasing the club from the top of the swing. Your wrists unhinge early, and your club resembles a fishing rod "casting" a lure to a pond behind you. Casting results in loss of power and accuracy.

To stop casting, think of your body as a hurricane. Your arms are like the outward arms and your body the middle of the storm. As the head stays still (the eye of the hurricane), the body uncoils. The arms follow behind but at extremely high velocities. Your upper body effectively pulls your arms and thus, the club, into the ball.

This tip was inspired by the January 1 entry in Bill Kroen's "Golf Tip a Day" calendar. He's also written a book, which you can find at, Barnes & Noble, and other book retailers.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 on Mac OS X

Jan. 11, 2005     By     Comments (2)

Tiger Woods 2005 will be available for Mac OS X. Probably at about the time Tiger Woods 2006 ships for the PS3.</sarcasm>

Tiger 2005 LogoMac news site MacMinute is reporting that Aspyr Media announced that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 will be available on Mac OS X. Its release is anticipated for May, 2005. Y'know, only six months or so after the game came out on consoles and for the PC.

As we know, TW2005 allows you to "Tiger Proof" courses, includes a ton of playable characters and a pretty extensive "create a player" option, and quite a bit more. It should be available for pre-order soon for $39.99.

I've been playing the game since its release on GameCube and, well, I'm kind of sick of it by now. I'm 117% done. Heck, I've even got Tiger Woods 2005 for my Nintendo DS! Ho hum. But hey, today's hardly the day to complain about being a Mac user!

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