Justin Thomas, Charles Howell, LeeMcCoy. How do they hit the ball so far? Yes, there's this video among others. You look at Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Gary Woodland you'll go, oh, okay, I see why they bomb it. Intellectually, I know the answer - talent, maximizing impact conditions like angle of attack, lots of hard work and good info, but if someone who's relatively shorter and weighs less than his counterparts, although probably taller than the average male but not by that much, can drive the ball 300 yards on average, why do golfers who are intently trying having problems carrying 250? I have no answers, to me, it just reenforces how talent is a major differentiator. Otherwise, I have nothing. Thoughts?
I used to believe impact is king. Lots of pros, announcers and good players say this, but it's more nuanced than that. Impact is important. Your shaft should have some forward lean, your hands should be ahead of the ball, you should hit the ball first, divot should be in front of the ball. These are musts.
But it's not the whole picture. How you arrive at impact and where your path and face are headed just after it are just as important. You could be coming into the ball way "dumped under" and have a path that's like +8. That's hard to control and subject to blocks and hooks. I might have seen myself on video face on, with perfect impact conditions, with a driver, bowed wrist, forward leaning shaft, hands ahead of ball, a look I used to die for, but I've hit a low bullet that would just barely clear an NBA center.
This is just one of so many common cliches to "simplify" learning the game. It's all about impact, hit it to right field, keep your head down, hit down on the ball, etc... Have they really helped golfers learn the swing, or have golfers learned in spite of them? Imho, it's time to dispense with these one liners along with that mystical golf pro that charges $30/hour and will fix you in 5 minutes.
Jimmy Walker on Charlie Rose, 13:52. Is golf an art? Yes.
I agree. With all the technology and more technically oriented talk about the swing (you can listen to Walker get into technique in the middle of the interview), I must bang this into my head. Golf imho, is ultimately, a form of art. On the course, it's a flow, no?
Don't know the exact model of the car I rented, an Octavia 4 door sedan, rental guy (who looked and sounded like one of the assassins in a Jason Borne movie said it was equivalent to a VW Passat or Jetta.
In stop and go traffic, the engine auto shuts off when at rest. Radio and A/C stay on. When you engage the shifter or clutch, turn the wheel, car auto turns on. In the US, I sometimes did this manually, shut off the car when I knew we were going to be at a complete rest for a bit. Great gas and environmentally friendly feature. I wonder about the wear and tear on the starter though.
Car recovers from stall outs much quicker. If you let go of the clutch while the car is in gear, not as much lurch.
Love the yellow and red lights on simultaneously to indicate green is coming.
Road closures in London are crazy, plays havoc with GPS directions.
The only step up to an automatic is 75 pounds a day, a Mercedes Benz, what a way to extract money. No thank you, please don't buy me a Mercedes Benz Janis.
Rest stops (called Services) on the major highways have a motel, like a Days Inn, for example, attached to them.
There's a dichotomy, between saving gas - manual transmission and people cruising around 80-85mph, some going much faster, on the fast lane on your motorways. To me, that's more an income distribution divide than a driving style one.
The English countryside is beautiful. There is nothing like it in the US. The verdant greens and bucolic vistas are something. I've seen them before, but they're still breathtaking.
There are so many old school cliches there in a space that usually trends young, it's a non sequitur. I don't claim to have it all right, but I've been around a lot longer than some of the young'uns and have made many, many mistakes and I hope to prevent these guys from doing the same. So downvote me, I don't care, just stop banging your head on the wall and get better faster. Getting off my soapbox.
This is my primary stereo receiver:
It's nearly 30 years old and still kicking although mine looks a little more worn. It has no remote, no surround sound, no spdif output, no hdmi inputs, no BT, the list goes on. It is the equivalent of an old car with manual steering, manual roll up windows, no antilock brakes but with a finely tuned and maintained engine that never breaks down. Its amplifier parts were taken from another NAD model, the 3020, which was known for its awesome sound and yes, musical goodness flows out of it, clean and warm.
It is very Apple, it does very few things but it has a great "interface", intuitive and simple, no manual required. It looks like it belongs in a museum, almost a work of art. Every time I consider replacing it, I'm just about to pull the trigger, but I say, never mind, it works well, seems excessive to replace it. Eventually one day, the always advancing tech out there will make it a burden. It needs a digital to analog converter to play audio output from the tv. It's a pain you can't control the volume from a remote. You can't play music wirelessly from a smartphone or computer.
The day will come when it'll be replaced by something with all the bells and whistles, but that will have a remote with as many buttons as an airplane cockpit, the back will have a million outputs and it'll be a spaghetti of wires to hide away and there won't be a piece of art on the cabinet anymore, but hey, I won't have to get up to change the volume.
Lord, I was born a ramblin' man - The Allman Brothers
Yesterday, Jim Nantz on the Masters broadcast referred to Homer Kelley's, "The Golfing Machine" as "The Golf Machine.” Maybe Nantz has an aversion to gerunds. You don’t expect him to be Grammar Girl or William Safire, but being an announcer for decades, you'd expect him to grasp the subtleties of the English language.
No matter, language is more de facto than de jure, no? It matters more that the average person understands you than what’s written in the textbooks, yes? It’s a mixed bag. Google yields more hits for “The Golfing Machine” than “The Golf Machine”. You wouldn’t write a book titled, The Footballing/Baseballing/Basketballing Machine. But you would call someone a running machine, a hiking machine, a picking machine (see the movie Moneyball.) The official website has the gerund plastered all over its pages. However, search results also yield a lot of people who intimately know TGM refer to it as “The Golf Machine”. So basically it’s interchangeable.
It would take a few seconds for Nantz to say “The Golf Machine, or the official title of the book, The Golfing Machine.” God knows there is enough time in a golf broadcast to fill. So why does this matter? It wouldn’t make a lookup easier, ecommerce and search algorithms would easily “fix” your mistake, Did you mean “The Golfing Machine”?
The subtle read, to me, is he never looked at the book at any length. He works with Gary McCord, who definitely knows TGM, there’s a 1 hour video of him talking about it with Mac O’Grady, but maybe McCord refers to it as The Golf Machine, but McCord probably had a copy of the book floating around and maybe Nantz never bothered to go through it given he had chances. Nantz has a lot more things to do to prepare for the broadcast (I'll give him he's probably got a lot of football and basketball knowledge taking up space in his memory) I guess, like prepping for the Tom Watson send off, schmoozing with TPTB, figuring out his opening and closing lines, friends. It makes me think that the way television and people who run golf, see golf differently than I do, way, way, differently. There's a dichotomy, talking with the best players, working with execs who basically control golf empires, versus me, the guy who just loves to play golf, learn golf.
The golf industry talks about popularizing golf, gaining a broader appeal. To do so, you need to start catering to a wider demographic. In my humble opinion, better instruction is part of that and starts with the little things. Like learning the basics of radar and Aimpoint and giving the public a simple, unbiased assessment of them, rather than something like “the fickle finger of fate” or old cliches of Rae’s Creek drawing putts in its general vicinity. Yes, the proper title of a book is an extreme case (and very anal), but it’s basically a step in the general direction. Facts, not opinion.
All this is stemming from an offhand interpretation of three letters, or maybe I misheard him or there was something wrong with the audio, so I could be totally wrong, but I ramble.
There is no such thing as a quick get in get out visit to B&H Photo. Didn't plan on looking at anything photo related but wound up in the photo department anyway. This is a nifty lightweight low end Manfrotto with a gun handle joystick ball head thingy.
Another one with just a ball head.
And you can't leave without taking a couple of Zaza kosher candies. Chag Pesach Sameach!
Ever have a mutterer a stall or two away from you? Usually a nattering nabob of negativism and with a mouth as foul as Nixon in his lost tapes. I've been there, when it's frustrating and nothing seems to work. But don't go emanating your black cloud towards others. Laughter is contagious and it goes the other way around too, dourness will tend to make other people dour. Do something different, change it up. Go out there and read how to practice better, try out different pros. But F this. F that. F me. JFC F me. F all is working. GD it S F F me. Not productive. Luckily, my concentration was good and I was focussed and tuned him out, but dude, lighten up. There are a lot of anal type As I'm very good at what I do so I must be pretty good at everything else at this range. This guy was no exception, must be a blast as a partner.
I went to a site to buy some instructional content. I couldn't believe it when I didn't see https - that's the green padlock - that indicates encryption is being used. There is no way I'm buying your stuff over the internet if you're not using the https protocol.
NBC announcers flaunt their lack of curiosity like... peacocks. If I were interviewing someone for a job and asked for his/her opinion of the new programming language Beta, which has been available for years, and that person said, I don't know anything about it, I've always used Alpha and it's better in my opinion, for me, that would not represent the candidate well.
In the video, Peter Jacobsen says he tried Aimpoint Express and still hasn't figured it out. Miller then asks Gary Koch if he tried it and he says no, plumb bobbing would get the same result. Miller follows up with plumb bobbing is more accurate. David Feherty calls it The Fickle Finger of Fate, a disparaging moniker with the randomness it invokes, or maybe it's more for chuckles - Feherty seems like a smart guy and would figure out Aimpoint straight away.
Listen, if you're going to knock something on national TV, at least take a detailed look into what you're dismissing. I'd have more respect for these statements if they were, I took a clinic, gave it a concerted effort to try it, I just don't get it. Maybe we don't know the inside politics. Maybe there's some friction between the media and the company behind Aimpoint. Maybe there's some kind of extenuating circumstances. But if this isn't the case, there's no excuse for all the announcers not to have taken a clinic (Aimpoint Express isn't hard to learn, kids learn it.) That's their job, to know golf, right? Putting is one of its aspects.
Due to account restrictions, could only upload a 6 minute video, had much longer coverage in the original, which proves my point better but here is a regular tour event, the recent Honda Classic, with all action, no commercials, no blimp, no CEOs, no reporters. Isn't this just a better watch? Of course you can't eliminate ads, but there are ways to make improve the quality of current broadcasts as a recent blog post by @nolayingup outlined. There's probably more golf action in this 6 minutes than in 40 minutes of a typical broadcast. Apologies in advance for the shoddy video editing.
Christ on a cracker,
One minute into the video below, the crew at NBC is gushing over Garcia's lag. They've been doing this for years and it just pains me how this is screwing up people who are less informed or experienced. And before I start, let me ask, aren't all genes, "God given"? Where would genes come from otherwise? The fairy golden space fantasy unicorn that poops multi colored ice cream?
If you face a mirror, make an L with a golf club and then rotate your forearms so the clubhead goes behind you, that's the same exact look. That's just massive shallowing from the top or even before it a little. The angle between Garcia's forearms and the shaft is still 90 or thereabouts. If you literally take a dry erase and draw an angle on your tv, sure, it's ~120 degrees, but that's the shallowing that makes it look that way, the wrists are around 90. It's an illusion. Garcia is a supremely talented golfer, I love watching him, but he's not some X-Men Mutant outcast or Richard Reed or a guy with rubber band wrists. Holding the angle in general, is not conducive to a good swing. I bet lots of people will be at the range tonight, tomorrow morning, and they're going to try this, and for the most part, it's going to be for naught. Look, I understand it's partially marketing, they're making the product look good. But there's a balance of that, and informing your audience with facts and good information.
And it's not just NBC, so I'm being fair.
Recently, there's been a lot of "golf" you can watch on tv not Golf Channel, not anything coming from a multinational conglomerate, but by way of individuals and social circles.
There's the 3 things video that @iacas posted here, which was excellent. In addition, the 5SK videos that were included with the subscription was an excellent overview of 5SK, plus there were a couple of videos from Dana Dahlquist and a ton from Chuck Evans.
Here's an overview of the video goodies that you might have seen in your social media feed:
A limited number of the Top 100 Summit talks were available via Periscope (it only keeps videos for 24 hours, so not there anymore), Mark Broadie's was the best (if you want a copy, PM me), he really did a good job of encapsulating his book into an hour talk and it seems like he integrated some LSW like concepts into his presentation w/respect to decision mapping. Sasho MacKenzie's went way over my head, I'll have to revisit it.
The Open Forum 3 videos, which include 2 live lessons (Brian Manzella and Rob Houlding), 3 biomechanics lectures, a golf stats panel, skills acquisition panel and dog & pony shows from Trackman, K-Vest and Gears Golf. The most interesting parts were the Q&A portions of the panels, golf instructors were probably a majority of attendees, so the questions were practical. The last bit of Dr. Cheetham's talk about twist velocities where an instructor outlined his practical takeaways from Cheetham's dissertation was fun - he put up photos of two golfers and asked the audience who they thought had the higher twist velocity and the results were not what you'd expect. The skills acquisition panel gave some insight into practicing (internal vs external, block practicing) and TPI. @david_wedzik and @iacas were on the stats panel, but the Q&A portion, the questions weren't that interesting, actually, that was the shortest video. The live lessons were what you'd expect.
If you follow ggswingtips, George Gankas, you know that many of his juniors have crazy good swings so couldn't resist and signed up for the early bird deal for his new online video lessons site. So far, his videos on the full swing are very good, there's lots of great insights into many different aspects of the swing, especially what he said about the grip, shallowing and rotation. The site is more focused towards juniors and he also posted actual lessons with juniors.
Available soon will be videos in which Martin Chuck, Dana Dahlquist, Andrew Rice and Trackman Maestro present and also give lessons, but it's pricey and we'll have to see whether that's worth it or not. There was a Periscope of them giving a lesson to the same guy, but the video was very short and low quality.
And those are the ones I know of, bet there are some I missed. I'm not sure if I'm information overloading myself with all this content but it's certainly been interesting seeing more of what's out there, hearing different points of views, and getting more informed.
Is making a shorter backswing harder than a longer one?
When coming back from not playing for awhile, the first noticeable thing on video is my backswing is longer. Both the big muscles and the small. Shoulders turn more and wrists hinge even more so.
It seems like if you look at swings at your typical driving range, you have more swings going past parallel than not. PGA Tour and good amateurs less so these days because the "modern" swing you don't see the shaft go past parallel as much w/exception of driver, longer clubs.
You'd think it'd be easier making a shorter backswing than a longer one, fewer moving parts but I think it's easier to make a longer one because a longer swing gives you more "time" to make a swing. Plus it feels more powerful because you're taking more of a windup.
A shorter backswing, I intellectually know its advantages, easier to shallow, less opportunity for things to go wrong, simpler, but human instinct seems to take precedence over what you're brain "knows" is "right".
A shorter backswing is uncomfortable because you have less time to make the swing, it feels rushed if you're used to a longer backswing. Like you're trying to compress the pieces you want to implement in 1/2 the time. You hear so many times during a lesson that the shorter swing felt like a 1/2 swing or even 1/4 one.
I guess you could write this same piece saying the exact opposite, but if I had to guess, more people, 60/40, maybe more, would say shorter is harder, especially as the club gets longer.
I would think all three in varying degrees for different players.
Can a man or woman carry their own bag, get their own distances and be their own best friend? Absolutely. It's not an inherent essential element of golf play, professional or otherwise.
But why take a chance really?
In general my take would be similar to @bkuehn1952's. The arena is so cutthroat competitive for relatively large sum of moneys, that any advantage, however small or even if it only perceived at best, would be acquired.
I know I would. Especially the 'carrying my own bag' thing sounds like it would cost me some physical fatigue strokes over 72 holes.
I'm not a mudder either. Especially in the Winter months when the fairways are dormant. Our club doesn't overseed even though we play year round. This year our course has been wet since October. It's just not much fun playing on thin soaking wet Bermuda. While our greens drain pretty well there are some low areas in our fairways that will have to be re-sodded when Spring arrives.
I think you summed up the why do use caddies pretty well in three reasons:
Pack mule / course maintenance
GPS / course scout / game manager
Emotional Support / Coaching
I think the real question is why do pros maintain a regular caddie as opposed to using someone different each week. I think the answer is obviously NOT #1 and obviously YES to #3.
But I think #2 is an interesting issue. I would imagine most tour stops have good local caddies - I must assume that Riviera has some good caddies that really know the course so well they might be an advantage over a regular caddie - think the guy Crenshaw used at Augusta. But I would guess some of the issues with using a local caddie are: 1) there's probably not one for the entire field; 2) how do you know / do you have confidence that you are getting a good one? Still I'm a little surprised no head strong pro has tried the "local caddie" strategy. Maybe because there might be more downside than upside.
I don't know if this will work but this links to an article from two years ago where a tour pro talks about what the tour would be like if there were no caddies.
Undercover Tour Pro: What If We Had To Play Without Caddies? - Golf Digest
Here's the question: What would the World Ranking look like if we had to carry our bags? No caddies.
Also, FWIW, there was an interview podcast last year with Webb Simpson's caddie right after he won the Players. He talked about one of the things he does to prepare for a big round is prepare a list of non-golf things to talk about to keep Webb from thinking about golf every minute of the round.
Interesting subject to discuss.
I mostly go long with your ideas. Outside of the physical effort of carrying the bag and grooming the course, I imagine one of the biggest reasons every pro has a caddie is because they can have one. And they are afraid that IF a caddie might make a 1 or 2 stroke difference, then they sure as hell want to have that advantage when everyone else in the field has a caddie.