Category: Uncategorized

10 July
2016
  • July 10, 2016
  • 1 Comments

AL BADIA TAKES GOLD AT GOLF

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sit amet ultrices turp quiaConsectetur adipiscing Donec a tincidunt dui, vitae posuere ipsum. Praesent vehicula nunc eget risus vehicula rutrum. Golf pulvinar sapienipsum. Praesent vehicula nunc eget risus vehicula rutrum. sapien tellus, sit amet ultrices turp quiaturp quiaConsectetur .

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10 June
2016
  • June 10, 2016
  • 1 Comments

GEEN TIGER WOODS IN US OPEN

Golf ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec a tincidunt dui, vitae posuere ipsum. Praesent vehicula nunc eget risus vehicula rutrum. Vestibulum pulvinar sapien tellus, sit amet ultrices turpis vestibul consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec a tincidunt dui, vitae posuere ipsum.

Consectetur adipiscing Donec a tincidunt dui, vitae posuere ipsum. Praesent vehicula nunc eget risus vehicula rutrum. Vestibulum pulvinar sapien tellus, sit amet ultrices turp quiaConsectetur adipiscing Donec a tincidunt dui, vitae posuere ipsum. Praesent vehicula nunc eget risus vehicula rutrum. Vestibulum pulvinar sapien tellus, sit amet vehicula nunc eget risus vehicula rutrum. Vestibulum pulvinar sapien tellus, sit ametultrices turp quia.
Golf is pulvinar sapien tellus, sit amet ultrices turp quiaConsectetur adipiscing Donec a tincidunt dui, vitae posuere ipsum. Praesent vehicula nunc eget risus vehicula rutrum. pulvinar sapien tellus
sit amet ultrices turp quiaConsectetur adipiscing Donec a tincidunt dui, vitae posuere ipsum. Praesent vehicula nunc eget risus vehicula rutrum. Golf pulvinar sapienipsum. Praesent vehicula nunc eget risus vehicula rutrum. sapien tellus, sit amet ultrices turp quiaturp quiaConsectetur .

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  • March 7, 2015
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NO PROBS, RORS

NO PROBS, RORS

At 2:45PM on Friday, March 6th, Rory McIlroy whirlybirded his three iron sixty yards into Lake Comb Over during the second round of the WGC Championship at Donald Trump’s Doral Resort and Golf Club. A few nudge nudge, wink wink, comments from the announce team, an aw shucks I was just, you know, a little frustrated, response from the impish prodigy, and all was forgiven, swept under the carpet, put to bed and forever blotted from our collective consciousness. A few years ago Tiger Woods kicked his club on the sixteenth tee at Augusta and one would have thought the very fabric of human life as we know it had been torn asunder, that plagues and floods were imminent, and our sense of moral rectitude had been dealt a blow from which it might never recover. So what gives? Do enough of us hate the guy that much that we react one way for him and another for everyone else? Is it a race thing, or is it an accumulation of consistent and dependable arrogance from the fourteen time major champion that has thinned our skin and sets our nerve endings on high alert for any misstep? Just asking.

How great was it to see Padraig Harrington win last week at The Honda? The guy defies logic. He wins three majors, goes back to the drawing board for a swing revamp, falls off the radar for seven years, then from out of nowhere wins on arguably the sternest seventy-two hole grind on tour. Truly remarkable. It was an ascension from the ashes. Too bad Phoenix was last month.

Big Jack called the Ryder Cup Task Force ‘over the top.’ He was being diplomatic. It was glaringly obvious, as he sat in the booth with Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks, that he thought the idea of circling the wagons to figure out a strategy to beat the Euros was just plain silly. Want to win? Play better, period. Make more putts, hit the shots when you need to. There are no X’s and O’s on a chalk board for golf. Go out and do your job. If you win, great. If you don’t, too bad. Don’t look to blame anyone but yourself. Lee Trevino said last week that if he had a losing record In the Ryder Cup like Phil Mickelson’s, he’d keep his mouth shut. Sounds like some good advice.

Write it down: Patrick Reed will win this year’s Masters. He hits it right to left, putts great, and has all the shots. He lives on that fine line between confidence and arrogance, and nothing rattles him. He doesn’t flinch and he doesn’t give up. He is tough as nails and as focused as a hungry cat outside a wood pile. He showed what he was made of at last year’s Ryder Cup. Bet the farm.

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  • November 5, 2014
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IT’S YOUR MIND, NOT YOUR
HEART

THE MISS You are an above average player, with a handicap somewhere between 10 and 14. You have been at it for more than five years, and no matter how hard you practice, no matter how many lessons you take, or how deeply you have dived into the bottomless chasm of game improvement i.e. high tech equipment, fitness, swing aids, etc., you cannot break through that invisible force field and into that rare air breathed by the single digits. What’s going on?

 

THE CURE It is not your heart, it is your mind. The average or slightly above average player is caught in a mind warp of swing thoughts and expectations, while the advanced player lives in a world of visual images. It is that simple. The average player arrives at his next shot and thinks about keeping his left arm straight and his spine angle constant, and maybe one or two more thoughts thrown in for good measure. Swing thoughts are best realized on the driving range, practiced on the range, then left on the range. The advanced player sees the shape of the shot he wants to hit and allows his mechanics, which he has practiced on the range, to create the shape. The advanced player lets go of the mechanical side of the game and trusts himself to make a good swing. He may have a broad brush stoke thought like ‘smooth,’ or ‘finish.’ The intermediate player is still trying to be perfect and becomes tangled up in his own thoughts. If you have been at it for a significant period of time, and you are on an endless plateau of unsatisfactory results, it is time to make a big change in the way you approach the game.

 

MAKING IT STICK Training you muscles and training your mind are not mutually exclusive. You can train both on the practice tee with simple drills. Understanding what physical laws are in play to make a golf ball curve or fly in a particular way is a big step in training both. Once you understand the mechanics involved, set up drills to drive home the point. For example, if you want to hit a draw that starts slightly right of target (for the right handed players) and curves back left, you realize that an inside out swing path with a closed club face will do the job. Set up a work station on the practice tee and put a driveway marker pole two feet directly behind the ball on the target line, close the club face slightly, and hit shots until you own it. Then, to educate your mind, remove the pole and put it out in front of your work station about ten feet or so on the extended target line and hit shots with the sole mental image of starting the ball to the right of the ball and drawing it back. On the range it is mechanics first, mental image second. On the golf course it is just the reverse. During a round it is all about painting pictures in your mind and subconsciously allowing the mechanics to perform the shot desired.

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  • October 31, 2014
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TOUR PLAYERS TODAY ARE NOT AS GOOD
AS YESTERYEAR

TOUR PLAYERS TODAY ARE NOT AS GOOD AS YESTERYEAR

Don’t let the new GPS system in your cart depress you just because you found out those three hundred yard drives you were crushing were actually only two ten. Drive your cart another hundred and look back toward the tee and appreciate that a bunch of skinny guys on all the major tours hit the ball that far on a regular basis. Realize that they are hitting wedges into most holes, and turning par fives into par fours.

Staggering, right? Then why haven’t scores plummeted? Why isn’t sixty the new seventy? Back in the day tour pros hit mid-irons into many par fours. When do we see that today? Par fives were for the most part three shot holes. The greens sucked back then, hairy things that wouldn’t pass for fringe today. Tee boxes were uneven. Fairways were patchy. Guys smoked and hit the bar instead of the barbells.

Are players today really better than the pros of yore? What would Lee Trevino’s scoring average have been if he had hit wedge everywhere? The pros today are not better than the guys who came before them. There are just more of them. Advancements in equipment and agronomy have leveled the playing field and allowed guys with what once would have been considered marginal talent, a ticket to the big show. Does anyone out there remember the anonymous rumblings when Mark Calcavecchia hit the scene in the eighties? Remember the disparaging remarks regarding his talent and how his results were a product of the new fangled perimeter weighted, investment cast PINGS he was playing? Was it fair to dismiss him? Since then there has been a technological sprint for equipment enhancement. Some would say enough is enough.

The modern swing is based on the fool proof construction of the equipment; two levers and swing hard. Timing, though still important, takes a back seat to speed. When once it was imperative to swing in a more flowing, almost elegant motion in order to let the torqued out shafts catch up and fall into place, it is now a wonder that the young players of today can keep their internal organs within their thoracic cavities when they swing.

To the young guys I would recommend going out to their dad’s garage and digging out his old irons from the seventies and swing ‘em. Heads the size of butter knives. Shafts that were for the most part mismatched. Take them out and see what you can do with them. Maybe there is an old MacGregor Tourney ball or two you could play with. That’s what Nicklaus used. Those things were barely round. Hell, those old clubs and balls were a giant leap forward in the technology department compared to what the guys played with thirty years before then.

BTW Byron Nelson averaged 68.06 strokes per round in 1945.

Am I alone in this assessment? Am I correct? Or am I a bitter, reactionary old dinosaur? Go ahead and give it to me one way or the other. Weigh in. I’m waiting.

 

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  • October 28, 2014
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BORN TO RIP IT

BORN TO RIP IT

Are certain people born to succeed in sports? Are some of us just naturals? Was it nature that made Michael Jordan Michael Jordan? Mike Trout Mike Trout? What percentage is present at birth, and how much of the end result is earned through blood, sweat and tears? As a golf instructor I see different degrees of organic influence every day, whether it is a propensity of some for better balance, or hand eye coordination, or maybe the natural advantage is a more advanced ability to process information, the bottom line is we all have some inherent ability. That is not to say that if we all practice hard we can one day slam dunk it from the foul line, or drive it three thirty. Physical limitations will always supersede genetic pre-dispositions when it comes to sports. But we all have a spark inside us, whether it is learned or genetic, we need to find it and make it work for us.

Every lesson I begin by asking the student about his or her game. In other words, why are you here? The answers vary. “Oh, man, I stink.” Or “I don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing. I feel like my swing is all over the place.” I ask them to make some ‘air’ swings to loosen up. It is within these ‘air’ swings that I see their immediate potential, their ‘spark.’ It is where the stuff you are born with shows up first. I will even video these swings so they can see just how good they look. They will invariably tell me that that pretty swing turns to crap when we put the little white ball down in front of them. But that is not the point. The point is, we can all be better than we think we can. Like John Lee Hooker sang, “it’s in him, and it’s got to come out, boogie chillen.”

Ever watch MLB Network? The show Quick Pitch? It’s a re-cap show with Heidi Watney as the host. Prior to Quick Pitch, Heidi had been the Red Sox reporter from 2008-2012. She is a rising star in the sports broadcasting world who also happens to be cousin to PGA Tour multiple winner Nick Watney. They are the same age. They grew up together in Fresno like brother and sister. Heidi’s dad was Nick’s college coach at Fresno State. Dad Mike was inducted into the Golf Coaches Hall of Fame last year. Golf is in the gene pool, that’s for sure. You just have to watch Heidi swing the club on my website paulrudeen.com to see that. The amazing thing is she is a beginner. She gravitated to other sports as a kid, and stayed away from golf. Even now she rarely touches her clubs. Once in a great while she tees it up for charity scrambles, but that is it.

Over the course of twelve lessons for my site, Heidi’s golf swing improved exponentially. She was getting the ‘big picture.’ The major elements of her swing were taking shape. Her real swings started to imitate her ‘air’ swings. There were obvious improvements to her weight shift and turn. She was able to maintain a stable spine angle in relation to her swing plane, and on and on. The bottom line is she started getting results.

So don’t be a nattering nabob of negativity. Even you have that spark. Find a good teacher and flush it out.

 

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  • October 25, 2014
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DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YA
WHERE THE DOG SHOULDA BIT YA

DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YA WHERE THE DOG SHOULDA BIT YA

It’s seems as if it were just last month that Ted Bishop was beaming down the fairways of Gleneagles, riding shotgun alongside his hand picked Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson. Wait a minute, it was just last month. My how time flies. Following the Euro beatdown, Ted took some hits, but nothing compared to his captain. We all remember the ‘team’ press conference where Phil Mickelson whined about the way we operate in all things Ryder Cup. He might have been better served to have whined about his own coaches, Butch Harmon and Dave Pelz, considering that he stunk the place up all weekend (except for Saturday when Captain Tom had the gall to sit him him down for his poor play. Imagine that.). If you are hell bent on passing the buck, why not start with Butch? Hell, why not start with the quality of the amniotic fluid in the womb?

But I digress. Ted is the issue this morning. From this point forward let’s refer to him as Poor Ted. Poor Ted meant well. Like so many leaders he became a victim of his own self-certainty. Remember George Armstrong Custer? Same sort of deal. George knew how to get ‘er done. Follow me boys! Buck up, tis but a flesh wound.

But like all overly self-assured numbnuts Poor Ted lost his way. He lost his way because much of his self-governing personal boundaries disappeared. Did he learn nothing from the game of golf? Successful golf is a product of knowing what you can and cannot do. A lay up on the par five is sometimes the prudent play. But there was no lay up in Poor Ted’s mind. In Poor Ted’s mind he ‘had that shot.’ This attitude was no doubt fueled by the overall positive reaction to some of his good work. He closed the gap between the PGA of America and the PGA Tour. He worked hard to fight the ridiculous ban of anchored putters (and don’t tell me that the ball and the big headed drivers were not a more obvious assault on the integrity of the game. Long putters don’t make great golf courses obsolete.). He had the wheel when women were finally being heard outside the gates of Augusta National and the Royal and Ancient. He seemed to be going along just fine. So what happened?

The Ryder Cup outcome stung him like a swarm of hornets. He was a walking open wound, and when he read about Ian Poulter”s remarks he lashed out without thinking. His choice of words were stupid to say the least, especially at a time when the PGA is trying to embrace all demographics, but it wasn’t so much his words, as it was his reaction to being called out. His ego did not allow him to put forth a heartfelt, contrite and unconditional apology. He had to add the sinful and irrevocable three letter word at the end: BUT. Oh, Poor Ted. BUT for three letters you might still have your throne, junkets and photo ops with celebs galore. BUT, that is not to be. Like Harry Truman said to General Douglas MacArthur, it’s time to go.

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  • October 22, 2014
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TOUR PROS DON’T GET IT

TOUR PROS DON’T GET IT

What’s worse, a player blaming the coach, or a coach blaming the player? Seems the Ryder Cup has inspired both sentiments recently. Just when the furor of the Blame Captain Tom For No Pods press conference is finally dissipating, more hubbub from the other side of the Atlantic is taking on a life of its own. Those of us who were watching the first day of this year’s Ryder Cup competition recall when commentator Nick Faldo blamed Sergio Garcia for being useless in the 2008 event in which the Euros went down in flames at Valhalla, and Captain Nick went home a loser. My first reaction was: Wait a minute, Sir Nick, Sergio didn’t lose it for you, we had pods. Hello.

Obviously golfers don’t know how to conduct themselves in team competition. If there is no “I” in TEAM, then “I” can’t blame anyone else. Whatever happened to “We win as a team, we lose as a team?” Sure, in the vast history of sports there have been famous goats. Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner comes to mind. But how many of his teammates poured blame on him after the 1986 World Series? Uh, that would be none. Real sportsmen know how to act. Blame and harassment come from the media and the fans, never the teammates. What is up with golfers? Why don’t they get it?

They are spoiled. Most guys on the PGA Tour come from white bread cultures where they heard the word ‘no’ about as often as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. They simply cannot wrap their heads around disappointment as well as athletes in other sports, and therefore respond inappropriately. I promise you that Tiger Woods would have never in a million years cast blame on Captain Tom. It is not that the fourteen time major champion is some paragon of virtue. Hardly. But he did grow up hearing the word no. He went through things as a kid that the vast majority of us could not imagine, such as being turned away from a golf course because of the color of his skin. Real competitive fire grew inside of him. There is a fierceness there that transcends the game of golf; an ‘I’ll show you’ attitude, not an “I’ll show you until I lose and then I’ll blame someone else.”

Give me scrappers. Give me the Billy Horschels out there. The throwbacks. The guys who have had to scrape and claw to achieve anything. Give me guys with chips on their shoulders. Guys with something to prove. Where have you gone Ben Hogan? Lee Trevino? Arnold Palmer? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

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  • October 17, 2014
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RYDER CUP TASK FORCE: HERE WE COME
TO SAVE THE DAY

RYDER CUP TASK FORCE: HERE WE COME TO SAVE THE DAY

Finally, a task force. PGA of America big shots, some former Ryder Cup captains (can’t have Tom Watson on the force because he was the sole reason why we lost at Gleneagles because he didn’t employ pods), and some current players are going to have yet another reason to ensconce themselves in a luxury hotel no doubt somewhere atop some glorious cliff overlooking a breathtaking view so they can pat each other on the back over cracked crab and a case or two of Glenfiddich, and tell themselves that this is the only possible answer to the question of why we keep getting the crap knocked out of us every two years by a bunch of guys who talk funny. And what about that french guy who never talks? What’s up with him? Aw heck, we put our heads together we’ll figure him out, pass me them pigs in a blanket, will ya?

The first order of business at the summit will be to determine whether the task force should be broken up into pods. This question, a damn good one, will have to be voted on and then sent to committee for ratification. There it will be passed by a unanimous first vote which will set the no-nonsense mood of the meetings. Prior to organizing the pod situation, the esteemed members will have a private short straw drawing to see who gets stuck with PGA of America president Ted Bishop. There will be some murmuring about Ted being the reason they are there in the first place since he was the one who chose Tom ‘The anti-Christ, half a commie’ Watson to head up the 2014 Ryder Cup team. And didn’t he look smug that first day riding right alongside Captain Tom, tooling down the fairways of Armageddon. You take him. No, you take him.

Once the members break up into their pods, the flow of ideas will be inspiring. Small conference rooms will be set up to accommodate the steady flow of mensa-like repartee. U.S. flags draped everywhere, an audio feed of George C. Scott’s speech from the movie Patton will be piped into the pods to welcome the members. Blood will surge. Adrenaline will pump. Some of the members will wear camouflage to show they mean business. It’s all about image, they will tell you. Someone will suggest that the 2016 team unis ought to be camouflage. Positive nods and grunts will ensue around the pod. Things will get straightened out if its the last thing they do. The mount Everest of doughnuts is a nice touch after the buffet breakfast. Iced shrimp will be waiting just outside the door for the ten o’clock break. The wives will be leaving for a tour of a winery at nine, back at the spa for full treatments at one, then cocktails…

It is decided early on, that the foursomes part of the match needs to be done away with. It’s not even golf, someone will blurt. Where’s the rugged individualism in that format? Leave it to the Euros to come up with a format that requires participants to bail each other out. We’re tired of it. Sure, the Euros will complain, one of the older members will say. Let ‘em. We can always hit ‘em with a trade embargo. If they get too nervy, we can hit ‘em with something a little stronger, if you know what I mean. More nods and grunts abound in the pod.

A suggestion that maybe the Euros cheated arises. Heck, they were 110 under par for the three days. Heads nod. This is a new wrinkle. Not a few of them suspect the french guy. Ted Bishop, sitting alone in the rear of the room, suggests we use surveillance drones next time. U.S. air space. We can do whatever we damn well please. Heads turn, more nods. Now we’re getting somewhere. One of the members invites Ted to sit up here with the rest of us. Ted blushes and slides his chair forward. Soon, cocktail hour beckons. Where did the time go? The Star Spangled Banner is piped in as the august members, each imbued with a sense of solemnity and purpose, exit the pod.

A good first day of meetings. Pods, cammies, drones, possible embargoes. How can we lose?

More to come, because this task force has not yet begun to fight!

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  • October 10, 2014
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THE SOFT FLOP

THE SOFT FLOP

Wanna hit those high softies that land next to the hole and stop like a cow pie on the Mass Pike? No probs. Here’s what you do. Open the club face then take your grip. Play the ball slightly forward in your stance, maybe a ball left of center. Position your hands even with the club head. Widen your stance and flex more at your knees. Put seventy percent of your weight onto your left side and leave it there for the whole swing. As you take the club away from the ball feel as if it is looping to the outside of your target line. Don’t go crazy with the loop, just a subtle move maybe three inches to the outside. When the club head reaches the apex of its arc, loop it back to the inside. Remember, you are only hitting this shot from fifty yards and in. Be aware of how far back you are swinging. Have a friend watch you. If you don’t have any friends, go home to your bunker and oil your guns. Your swing path should resemble one half of a bow, or for you geometricians out there, a parabola. Maintain the open club face position through contact and into your finish. The key to the shot is steady acceleration. Feel as if you are cutting the legs out from under the ball. If you slow down, you’ll blade it or chunk it; the only thing it will have in common with a cow pie landing on the Mass Pike is it will stink.

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