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Houston Golf News, Houston Golf Lessons, Golf Interviews, and everything golf.

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I have recently had a few questions regarding what GHIN Handicaps are and why should they have one. To set the record straight, GHIN is the acronym for Golf Handicap Information Network.  The service was established by the United States Golf Association to provide players a way to keep track of their progress and even the playing field by adjusting strokes given or taken, when playing against people of all levels.  It is strongly suggested for you to have one and even required to sign up for most tournaments.  If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to message me.



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It is now public knowledge that Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia don't like each others company.  The two golfers played together in yesterdays round and had another incident. Tiger pulled a club to hit while Sergio was hitting.  This caused the gallery to react while Sergio was in his down swing.  He was disturbed by this and thought it was partially on purpose, which then spurred a couple pointed comments from both parties after the round.  Tiger said "he was not surprised that he was complaining about something"  while Sergio came back saying that "he did nothing wrong" and that "it is better off that they don't play together because they don't enjoy each others company". Was the move by Tiger malicious, or was it harmless and Sergio was overreacting?  What opinion do you have on an incident like this and more importantly who will come out on top of The Players Championship?

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The Players Championship is the biggest tournament in the world without the label of being a major.  Once again, we have a star studded leader board going into the weekend.  This tournament is really shaping up to have a great finish.  It has a major championship type leader board with Sergio Garcia currently in the lead.  Tiger Woods is just one shot off the pace and Rory is lurking just a few shots back as well, just to name a few.  The TPC at Sawgrass has been playing fairly easy this year and yielding low numbers to the field. These low scores are the only thing that holds this tournament back from having the ultimate "Major" feel to it, but I suspect that it will toughen up a bit through the weekend.  Players have to successfully navigate the infamous island green on 17 and tough 18th hole to finish as a champion.  Under this kind of pressure, there isn't a lead big enough to feel comfortable but it sure makes for great television.  This begs the question, should The Players Championship be the fifth major championship?  With this difficult of a last few closing holes and a field that has every top player year in and out, shouldn't it be a major?  The players regard it as such, so why not the PGA Tour?  Will Sergio win and still be regarded one of the best to never have won a major, or will Tiger win and it go as just another one of his 77 PGA Tour victories? This will not count in the chase of Jack's major championship record but shouldn't it?  The winner has to beat all of the best in the world at a venue that would give them nightmare about finishing, sounds like some major qualifications to me.  When I look at a list of the past victors and see all big names, it makes me lean toward it being the fifth major, but what do you think?

Day 1 Results


Day 2 Results


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“Great Moments of the U.S. Open” Now Available for Purchase
Foreword Written by Four-Time U.S. Open Champion Jack Nicklaus

Far Hills, N.J. (May 9, 2013) – To celebrate the best of America’s most prestigious golf championship, the United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced the release of its new book, “Great Moments of the U.S. Open.”

Written by Robert Williams, director of the USGA Museum, and Michael Trostel, the Museum’s senior curator and historian, the book celebrates the accomplishments of U.S. Open champions, shares their inspirational stories and chronicles the extraordinary circumstances that each faced. Rand Jerris, senior managing director of public services for the USGA, served as supervising editor, and among the contributors are Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA, and John Mummert, manager of creative services and senior staff photographer for the USGA.

Complete with a foreword by four-time U.S. Open champion Jack Nicklaus, “Great Moments of the U.S. Open” draws together heroes, past and present, who persevered under the most demanding conditions to become America’s national champions.

Release of the book coincides with the 100th anniversary of amateur Francis Ouimet’s shocking victory over top British professionals at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., and the return of the U.S. Open in June to Merion Golf Club, site of Ben Hogan’s 1950 comeback from a near fatal car accident.

From Horace Rawlins’ improbable victory in the inaugural U.S. Open in 1895, to Nicklaus’ narrow defeat of Arnold Palmer in 1962 for his first professional win, to Tiger Woods’ breathtaking triumph on a broken leg to capture the 2008 U.S. Open, “Great Moments of the U.S. Open” uses the USGA Museum’s collection of stunning archival images and artifacts to bring to life some of the most memorable U.S. Open victories.

“The U.S. Open has long been celebrated as the game’s premier championship,” said Jerris. “Its history is full of unforgettable moments – spectacular shots, amazing comebacks and legendary champions who have inspired generations of golf fans. As some of the stories in the book demonstrate, the U.S. Open has also been marked by incredible stories of courage and determination that have been all but forgotten with time, but that deserve to be remembered among the most inspirational moments in golf history.”

“Great Moments of the U.S. Open” features 27 stories that provide readers a unique and authoritative view on America’s most prestigious golf championship.

“The U.S. Open helped to solidify golf’s standing in America and has expanded the game’s reach around the globe,” said Trostel. “This book celebrates some of the defining moments and iconic champions in the U.S. Open’s rich history. While the championship has evolved dramatically since its origin in 1895, the critical ingredients remain the same. It is golf’s most complete test, played on the country’s greatest courses and is open to all who have the skill, passion and determination to compete.”

Published by Firefly Books, “Great Moments of the U.S. Open,” is a 216-page celebration of one of the world’s premier sporting events, making it a must-have for golf fans and sports history enthusiasts. The book is currently available for purchase at www.usga.org/publicationsstore, as well as Amazon and Barnes & Noble stores.

About the Authors

Rand Jerris is the senior managing director of public services at the USGA, and one of the foremost historians of American golf. He has authored three books on golf, including Golf’s Golden Age: Robert T. Jones Jr. and the Legendary Players of the ’10s, ’20s, and ’30s.

Michael Trostel is the senior curator and historian at the USGA Museum. He develops historical content and manages research activities at the Museum, and writes about several USGA championships each year.

Robert Williams is the director of the USGA Museum. He is a former theatrical lighting designer, who, in more recent years, has directed the design and construction of many museum environments, including the USGA Museum.

About the USGA

The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.

The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.
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Once your signup for your Official GHIN Handicap with Golf Houston Club you can easily post your rounds on the go with the GHIN App for the Texas Golf Association available for download now.

GHIN Mobile (Click to download from Google Play) 

GHIN Mobile (Click to download from iTunes)

The GHIN Mobile App is free and offers a personalized mobile experience allowing you to manage and follow your game with ease. 

  • Post your score*
  • View your official USGA Handicap Index® 
  • View your most recent scores
  • Interactive Course Handicap™ Calculator
  • Handicap Index Lookup (GHIN #, Name & State)
  • myCourses Listing
  • News
  • Tournament Calendar and Sign-up*
  • Tournament Pairings, Real Time Scoring and ResuLTS*
  • Get Partner's Handicaps

* Some features are optional and Score Posting requires club permission.

For Blackberry and Windows Phone/Windows Mobile users, GHIN continues to maintain its mobile site,m.GHIN.com.
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With the Insperity Championship ramping up in The Woodlands, Texas at the WCC Tournament Course this weekend, Golf Houston was lucky enough to catch up with last year's champion Fred Funk before he kicks off his first round tomorrow.

GH:  What First got you into golf, and at what point did you realize that you were skilled enough to go pro?
FF:  My dad got me playing when I was 10 years old, I also played basketball, football, and boxed.  I got a job at The University of Maryland as a golf coach right after I finished up college there.  I always seemed to make the cut, or be close to making the cuts, for U.S. Amateurs and U.S. Opens and realized that I was close. However, I got my PGA Tour Card in 89', and then had to go back to Q School after that year.  I retained my card and was lucky enough to have a long career thereafter.  

GH:  How nervous were you for your first event on the PGA Tour and is it any different now vs. then? 
FF:  I was a bit nervous and still can be to this day, nerves are normal and a good thing.  I try to focus on the fundamentals of my practice and trust them in tournament rounds.  Try and see the positive and not the negative.  I think everyone is choking a bit, just at different levels and all tournaments are different in regards to how your nerves come on and affect you. 
GH:  Do you work on the mental game in-depth for that?
FF:  I do work with a coach out of Dallas by the name of Lanny Bassham.  He was a gold medal shooter in the Olympics and now works on the mental game to program the mind and reinforce the positive.... it isn't always that easy.
GH:  What is it about Houston that brings the best out of your game?  You've won the Shell Houston Open in 1992 and now the Insperity Championship in 2012?
FF:  Houston is like home to me.  I have family around here that I stay with, I met my wife here.  I qualified for the PGA Tour here, won my first Tournament here, have a course record here.  I like being back around the Woodlands as much as I can, it has a lot of great memories and means a lot to me.
GH:  When you're in town, where do you like to revisit? 
FF:  I really like Pappasito's.  I have already been there once this week.
GH:  You had 4 birdies in the final 5 holes of last years tournament at the Woodlands CC, to win the Insperity Championship, how did you come through with that many birdies in the clutch?
FF:  I just try to trust my fundamentals and got a pretty lucky bounce on 14.  The next three holes, I hit quality shots but the one on 18 was one of the best of my life.  I got a little opening from Tom (Lehman) and was going straight for the pin with a 5 iron.  I wasn't nervous, but excited to hit the shot.  It's nice to have that opportunity to hit the shot to be the hero or the goat. That is the kind of shot I look forward to and we want to put ourselves in the position to hit.  I was fortunate enough to hit probably the best shot of my life under the circumstances to about 18 inches.
GH:  Over many years, you're highly regarded as the straightest driver on all tours.  What is it that you do to work on being that good with that club?
FF:  I work on taking the club back on about the same path that I want it coming down on.  I try to keep the club head straight down the line at impact, as long as I can.  I am one of the shortest hitters, so I have to hit it pretty straight to be very competitive.  I also like to play by myself, go out and hit 6 or 7 tee shots on a hole and play them.  I like playing more then just range time.
GH:  You have been so consistent for so long, when you do practice, what percentage of the time is spent on what aspect of the game to give you that kind of longevity?
FF:  I like to focus on the fundamentals of the swing and impact, to make sure my divots are uniform and that I am striking the ball cleanly, not chunking it. I spend some time on short game but should probably spend more time on it.  Even when I was on the PGA Tour I feel like I was saying that same thing, and that I need more time there.  You have to have a great short game out here.  The mental game is probably the most important...everyone hits it, chips and putts well, but the edge is in the mental game.  Guys like Tiger and Jim Furyk are some of the toughest that I've seen and it pays off.
GH:  Who mentored you when you were a rookie? 
FF:  I played a lot of golf with the guys that I graduated Q School with and others that I became good friends with, like Chris Dimarco.  I would go out of my way to try to find other older guys to play with and now I am trying to play golf with the younger guys as well.
GH:  Is there a swing coach that you are working with?  
FF:  I live over in Ponte Vedra and work with Travis Holton a bit but I can't really work on the game as much as I did a few years ago, I am currently battling through a sore lower back.
GH:  How is your knee feeling after the surgery a few years back?
FF:   It's feeling a lot better.  Stryker Medical has really helped me with my knee to be successful in playing again.  I was lucky enough to get a sponsorship opportunity out of it too.  In conjunction,  I am also working with The Fisher House Foundation which is a non profit to help support military veterans and their families.  They are the real heroes out there.
GH:  Have you seen security on tour increase at all since the attacks in Boston or 9/11?  
FF:  That was a terrible tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to those families. I have noticed a lot more at the airport and more bomb sniffing dogs at events.  People are a bit more cautious of back packs laying around now.
GH:  Do you have any of your kids playing golf now?  
FF:  My son plays, he is a quite an accomplished junior player with a pretty good swing.  He works with Travis a bit and probably will play at The University of Texas.
GH:  What advice would you give to the Golf Houston Club amateurs that are either just starting or are fairly accomplished but looking to improve?  
FF:  Work hard on the fundamentals.  I built my game from the ground up with not a lot of lessons.  Keep working and improving at whatever level you are at... you can always improve, that is what is great about this game!
GH:  I've seen the new Mitsubishi commercials that you are in and they really had me laughing, any chance of taking a spot in the booth in the near future?
FF:  Not any time soon, I have a renewed enthusiasm for competitive golf and working at it.  I plan on playing late into my 60's or as long as I still can be competitive.
GH:  Thank you for taking the time to talk with me, while sharing your knowledge and experiences for the Golf Houston Members and Community.  Good luck with defending the Inspirity Championship this weekend, play well!
FF:  I appreciate it and thanks for having me!
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Congrats to Adam Scott for the sensational victory at the Masters.  He is the first Austrailian to put on the green jacket.  He made a good birdie on 18 and the second playoff hole for the win.  He putting was very clutch.  What will happen to his game when they ban the long putter?  Will Scott be become even better or regress on the difficult greens of August National?

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This week is the superbowl of golf, The Masters!  The green jacket is up for grabs again this year.  Bubba Watson shocked us with a hooked wedge from the pine straw for the victory.  Will we see another amazing finish at the most magical golf course in the world?  Will Tiger finally win a major after a 5 year drought?  There are many questions that will be answered by late Sunday afternoon and I can't wait to watch, but who do you think will win?

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Congratulations to D.A. Points for his victory at the 2013 Shell Houston Open.  The tournament was hosted by Redstone golf course in Humble, TX and was the second PGA Tour vicotory of D.A.'s career.  Points made a 15 footer to fire a final round 66 and fend off many big name pros knocking on the door step.  Once again, the Shell Houston Open lived up to its billing as one of the best tournaments on the PGA Tour.  Next up is the Valero Texas Open and Augusta National, any early favorites for the Masters?

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The 2013 Shell Houston Open now has a mobile application ready for this years tournament. It is free for download in the App Store or Google Play store You can buy your tickets right from the app, find directions, and view the Spectator Guide. There is also live scoring and pairings on the PGA Tour mobile site that easily links right back to the Shell Houston Open mobile app.

There is also a small More button in the bottom right that will allow you to see up-to-the-minute weather forcasts around the Redstone Golf Club, tournament social media links (Facebook & Twitter), and the Tell online Blog.

The Fact Section is nice too with images of every hole and data on how they have played since 2006. Other updated information includes a list of players, benefiting charities and the title sponsor Shell Oil Company.

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With the golf season just gearing up, it is important to know where you stand now, to make progress throughout the season.  Having an official GHIN Handicap is a great way to keep track of your rounds and improvement.  This will also make it fair and fun to play different types of matches with friends, local club members, or even co-workers.  I am even guilty of not keeping an accurate handicap in past years and saw my golf game suffer because of it.  I use an easy system now to make this very convenient.  As soon as I finish a round, I will jump onto Golfhouston.com and post my rounds.  Here is a step by step process to post your score and get your official GHIN Handicap through Golf Houston Club.

1) Click the tab that says Get USGA Handicap, at the top of the website.  Then hit Subscribe Now.

2) If you're already a member, Log In, if not, then Insert your Username, Email and Password into the required fields and then click Register

3) Hit Check Out at the bottom of the screen and then fill out Payment and Billing Information as applicable. You will then receive an official GHIN number.

4) Once you have this accomplished, at the top of the website task bar, click the drop down arrow to Post a GHIN Score.

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October 2012 (Houston, TX)—Pro-Vision Academy hosted its 7th Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, October 15, 2012 at Westwood Golf Course, raising nearly $50,000.00 for Pro-Vision’s students.  Notable participants included NBA star Bob Sura and NBA head coach and Pro-Vision board member Jeff Van Gundy. The tournament kicked off with registration at 10:30a and a shot gun start at 12p. In addition to golf, attendees had the opportunity to win a free day of golf for four at various golf courses, signed sports memorabilia, wine tours, and more from the tournament’s raffle. Since the start of the yearly tournament in 2006, the event has been chaired by the Vice Chair of Pro-Vision’s Executive Board of Directors Paul Steets of The GMS Group, along with fellow Board Member David Aaronson of CBRE.

“The Golf Tournament is one of three annual signature events that raise funds to support Pro-Vision’s mission of ‘inspiring hope and purpose by building confidence through character’ in Houston’s most vulnerable youth. A good time is always had by all, as everyone always looks forward to an opportunity to support our students while ‘putting for a purpose, ” says Pro-Vision’s founder and Executive Director Mr. Roynell Young. 

Pro-Vision is a non-profit organization which operates, among other programs, the Pro-Vision Middle School and the Vision Academy High School on its 21-acre campus in the Sunnyside community.  Founded in 1990, Pro-Vision, opened the first single-gender public school in Texas in 1995.  Since the beginning it has offered young men from Houston’s most under-served neighborhoods the guidance and support they need to realize their full potential academically, morally, and spiritually. 


For more information on Pro-Vision and the 7th Annual Golf Tournament, or for media requests, please contact:

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I constantly have problems with slicing the driver. Here are a few videos that assisted me in curing the slice with the driver.

The first video deals with ball placement and adjusting your initial stance.




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Coming soon will be a completely revamped, much more feature rich Golf Houston with better functionality. The members that have already signed up will be taken into consideration on the transfer process and will be awarded for being the members that helped start us in the right direction. More updates coming soon. Thanks for supporting your local Houston, Texas Golf Online Resource!

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When making the golf swing it is very important to stay connected.  The left arm (if you're right handed) should stay touching with your chest on the backswing and down to impact.  This will increase both power and accuracy.  Keeping connected will reduce the chances of going outside the club plane and hitting a weaker fade or slice.  The easiest way to check the swing without becoming disconnected is to put your golf glove under your left arm and hold it there for the backswing all the to the top of the swing to the bottom without letting it fall out until just after impact.  This tip will certainly improve your ball striking.
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An annual event that always creates excitement in Houston is the Shell Houston Open, to be hosted again on March 26, 2012. It is sure to be a weekend of fantastic golfing entertainment. 

Spectators will go to Redstone Golf Club to see the golfers take part in the competition. Many will take a break from their everyday lives to attend the event, whether they are missing out on parties, regular get-togethers, or activities such as party poker
. Tickets will sell fast and golf enthusiasts will not want to miss this event. 

This competition has been held in many different locations, beginning at the River Oaks Country Club in 1946. It then moved on to the Memorial Park Golf Course for a year in 1947, before changing yet again, to Pine Forest Country Club. There was even more moving around, from the BreaBurn Country Club to a longer time spent at Memorial Park beginning in 1951 and ending in 1963. 

The event continued to move around, to Sharpstown Country Club, Champions Golf Club and Westwood Country Club. It was even held outside of Houston in Missouri in 1973 at Quail Valley Country Club. It finally settled at its current location in 2003, after moving to Texas and back. 

There have been many happy winners at this competition over the years. Two players have even won the tournament three times each. These golfers are Curtis Strange, who won in 1980, 1986 and 1988, and Vijay Singh, who won in 2002, 2004 and 2005. There have been others who have won twice, and it will be interesting to see who comes out top in 2012.


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A common misconception that amateurs have is that if they tee the golf ball further away from the trouble will keep them away from the potential watery grave. It is actually the opposite. Teeing the ball closer to the side of the hole with the most trouble will actually force you to aim back to the fairway and away from the trouble. If the hole has water down the right side and you tee the ball on the left side of the tee box, will cause you to aim back to your right, where the fairway is but also where the hazard is too. Teeing it on the right side of the tee box will increase the landing area and force you to aim away from the trouble. This will help you hit more fairways and eliminate bigger numbers on you score card.
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The slice is probably one of the biggest issues most golfers face and can be fixed with a little work and a couple key tips.  There are two reasons that people slice.  One:  The club face is open at impact.  The fix: When approaching impact, rotate your forarms so that the back of your left hand is facing the target.  Two:  The swing plane is traveling outside to in.  This is also known as coming over the top.  This traditionally happens at the top of the golf swing, when the club is routed outside to inside on the downswing.  This will produce a divot that is traveling outside to in and pointing left of your target.  The fix: try to get your divots to point right at the target or even a little right of the target.  Keep your right elbow very close to your right hip when approaching impact and strike the inside back corner of the golf ball.  This is the part of the ball that is closest to you.  Proceed too release the club head by turning your hands over and up around to the finish position.  The more level your swing, or parallel to the ground, the easier it will be to draw the ball.  So, swing around your body on more of a flat plane, or more like a baseball swing than a more vertical plane which will produce a slice.  Shorten your backswing to about 75 percent while practicing so that you have better control of your swing path.  This will also help by preventing you from rerouting the club at the top of the swing where the flaw most commonly occurs.  This will take a little work but will be well worth it when you start to pick up effortless distance and accuracy.
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Congratulations to Adam Scott for his victory this weekend at Firestone Country Club.  It seems the most talked about story of the week is not the win itself but that he was working with Tiger's ex-caddie Steve Williams.  Williams then commented on the win by saying that this was the best victory of his career though he had won 7 times previously at Firestone C.C. with Tiger and many other major championships on his bag too.  These comments had to sting a bit because Tiger mentioned at an interview that he was suprised about how vocal Williams was and wouldn't comment any further on the conversation they had after the round.  The great news for every fan of golf and drama is that the PGA Chamionship is teeing off tomorrow at Atlanta Athletic Club.  Tiger could get his redemption very quickly here.  There is sure to be plenty of good golf and drama, as it is the coveted fourth and final major of the year that is up for grabs.  The last time this major was played at Atlanta Athletic Club, David Toms defeated Phil Mickelson on the final hole with a very controversial lay-up, that wound up being the deciding factor for the win.

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In this video we can watch Tiger hitting his driver. This is one of my favorite slow motion videos. There are a lot of great positions worth pointing out in this swing. Notice the take away. Look at how long Tiger keeps the triangle of his arms and how this creates a wide arc, which produces power. This triangle can be seen again with an accending blow at impact. This position produces both power and consistency. Look at how straight Tiger keeps his left arm throughout the entire backswing and up until the finish. This also helps produce power through a larger arc as well as superior control. The most remarkable positions that I see in Tiger's swing are his head movement and finish position. He only moves his head a few inches laterally and vertically during the entire swing. This produces great consistency. Look at his finished position. The left side of his body is completely straight . This positon creates an almost perfectly straight line and a very repeatable swing for increased consistency.

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