Ban Belly Putters? For the Good of the Game?

Where do you stand on the belly putter debate? Are they an unfair advantage? Or are they just as likely to help you miss putts?

USGAIt all began quite suddenly a year ago. After Ernie Els lost to Trevor Immelman at the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open, Els called for the USGA to ban belly putters. Since then the debate has raged on: should the USGA and R&A ban long putters? These putters have become all the rage with golfers who develop cases of the “yips” and can no longer keep short putters stable. Yet some golfers continued to cry out against belly putters. Even players like Colin Montgomerie who have resurrected their careers with these putters agree they’re an unfair advantage. Once again, the rumor mill is spinning and there are grumblings around golf that the USGA is about to make a ruling outlawing belly and long putters. New developments have only added fueled to this fiery debate: many new putter companies such as Yes! Golf haven’t introduced belly and long putter models. Furthermore, established ones like Titleist’s Scotty Cameron house haven’t added new belly putters to their existing lines. Where do you stand on the belly putter debate? Discuss it in our forum!

Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Round 2

Jeff Ogilvie takes the lead in the second round of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

Joe OgilvieDuring the second day of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, the strong trend of low scoring continued across the professional ranks. Today it was Joe Ogilvie who took a three shot lead with a stellar nine-birdie, no-bogey round of 63. Ogilvie, who played at Bermuda Dunes, recognized that the most difficult rounds of golf were still to come, saying: “Mickelson shot a 64 today at La Quinta. I’d say technically he’s probably leading. Score-wise, I am, but technically I’d say he’s leading.” Indeed, Mickelson has played well early in this tournament, now at 14-under par after turning in rounds of 66 and 64. First round leader Robert Damron is also close behind 4-shots back with five other players.

TaylorMade Rac Y-Cutter Wedge Review

TaylorMade’s y-grooves are all the rage on the PGA Tour, but are they worth it for amateur golfers?

TaylorMade LogoFor the past year and a half, two of my favorite clubs have been my 56° and 60° Titleist Vokey Oil Can wedges. These wedges performed superbly on approaches from the fairway, out of the rough, and were a sure bet out of the sand. However, many people have been raving about the incredible spin produced by TaylorMade’s y-groove wedges which are found only on their tour versions of the RAC wedge series. Recently I had the opportunity to purchase one of these wedges from Bomb Squad Golf and pounced on it just to see what all the hype is about. A few days ago, a 56° oil quenched RAC y-cutter with 12° of bounce was delivered to my door and I tested it at the course the next day.

Trajectile Dysfunction

If you suffer from trajectile dysfunction, Cleveland Golf is here to help.

Trajectile DysfunctionHave trouble getting it up? Cleveland can help. Cleveland has put together a marketing campaign for men who suffer from “trajectile dysfunction.”

The ad campaign was kicked off on the Web at a few weeks ago at trajectiledysfunction.com and is now hitting television screens across the country (particularly in homes with The Golf Channel). The campaign, which plays off of Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and countless other pills for men who have trouble “hitting their woods,” is an attempt to draw attention to Cleveland’s Launcher 460 Comp, a composite-crown driver being played by a man who’s “risen” to the top of the world golf rankings, Vijay Singh.

If you’re not satisfied with your ability to “go long,” Cleveland Golf is looking to help.

Less Is More

Next time you head to the range, get fewer range balls to hit, but spend more time on each one. You may be surprised to find out that less is more.

We’ve all heard the axiom “practice makes perfect,” and so in an effort to improve our swings, we head to the driving range, armed with a jumbo bucket (or two) of range balls. And often we get so engrossed in hitting ball after ball that we lose track of time. But not in the usual sense. Typically, losing track of time means you took too long, but in this case it means not taking enough time.

As yourself, have you ever emptied your bucket(s) of range balls and asked yourself “where did they all go?” If so, you are probably not taking enough time to focus on each shot. We all know that focusing is important during a round, but we often forget that taking enough time to properly visualize each shot on the range is just as important. Spending more time and effort on each ball will yield greater results, making the improvements in your swing more permanent.

Next time you head to the range, get fewer range balls to hit, but spend more time on each one. You may be surprised to find out that less is more.

Playing in Gusts

Learn to read the gusts based on a little scientific knowledge and you’ll play better in the wind.

Wind GustGusty conditions can make for a heck of a challenge on the golf course. However, with a little understanding, you can learn to read the wind gusts to hit shots when they’re most likely to be unaffected.

As a general rule, gusts of wind last for about 750 to 1200 feet and can continue quite a bit longer. If you’re hitting into a headwind, it’s possible to choose an appropriate time. As a 25 MPH gust slackens against a flag 100 yards away, it will blow past you within about ten seconds. Because wind affects a ball dramatically more so towards the end of a ball’s flight than at the beginning, the ideal time to hit the ball is about six to seven seconds after you feel the gust. If you wait too long, the conditions may be still where you are, but another gust may have started by the time your ball reaches the peak of its flight.

Learn to read the gusts – and use the above as a general starting point – and you’ll score better in the wind.

2005 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Preview

The Bob Hope Chrysler Classic tees off tomorrow, will Phil Mickelson be able to defend his title?

Bob Hope Chrysler ClassicThe Bob Hope Chrysler Classic tees off tomorrow morning and will spread professional golfers and big-name celebrities over four courses throughout five days of competition. Unfortunately, this tournament has failed to attract the top four players in the world: Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els,and Retief Goosen. However, if recent trends continue that may be a big mistake since the past two champions, Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir, have gone on to win the Masters. The format for the tournament is different from others on tour due to the large amateur presence. During the first four days, teams of players and amateurs rotate through four different courses. Finally, on Sunday the top 70 professionals “make the cut” to play for the championship at PGA West.

Stress and Relaxation Responses

We don’t recommend farting after hitting a bad shot, but it may just counter the stress response.

BrainThe Golf Channel last night showed Dr. Gio Valiante, a regular guest on the show and the man behind fearlessgolf.net.

Last night, Gio was talking about the stress response as manifested by anger over a bad shot. Anger all too frequently forces itself upon us in the form of stress. Though some great players have found ways to make anger motivational, it’s rare. More frequently, anger turns on the stress response – mentally and physically – and bad play continues.

Gio’s suggestion? Laugh. Yawn. Make a silly sound. Do something to counter the stress response with the relaxation response. Stretch. Anything – relax yourself. You’ll free yourself from the grips of stress and put yourself in a better position to focus on the next shot.

Whistling Strait Back

The diabolical Straits course in Kohler, Wisconsin has locked up a Ryder Cup and at least two more PGA Championships.

Whistling StraitsThe 86th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, WI was such a success that the course was recently named the home of the championship in 2010 and 2015. Additionally, the course will host the Ryder cup in 2020 pending guarantees of sufficient hotel rooms.

The Straits Course, Pete Dye’s latest major design to receive a national audience and a large tournament, was opened in 1998 alongside Lake Michigan and ranks among the top 5 places you can play according to Golf Magazine. At 7,536, the Straits course is currently the longest course in major championship history.

Said Herb Kohler, fauce man extraordinaire, “We are honored that the club professionals of The PGA of America have made such a strong long-term commitment to return to this venue.”