05June2020

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Tiger is making his big return next week at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.  I can't wait to see him back in action. I think Tiger's impending comeback will be great for the game of golf.  I am slightly concerned that is he rushing back after his serious leg injury.  I only hope he is able to perform 100%.  Many athletes have been in this position.  You have a lingering injury that may realistically need more time to heal, but your ego and anticipation get the best of you.  I am hopeful that Tiger is fully healed and prepared to make a strong return. Also noteable, Steve Williams, Tiger's longtime friend and caddy, will be missing. I am curious to see how it all unfolds and will most definitely be tuning in! 

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The last hole of my round consisted of a very daunting tee shot.  I was 3 under par going into the last hole, but I had not been hitting my driver very straight or long all day.  The hole was 420 yards long with a slight dog leg right.  Out of bounds lined the left side of the hole, so any drive left or too long down the left side through the fairway may reach.  Down the right side of the hole had a bunker at about 270 yards and a tall group of dense trees lined the entire hole.  The hold dog legged right at the bunker and over hanging limbs jetting out.  Any shot short right would either find the bunker and would be blocked out from the a direct line to the green or a shot too far right would inevitably end up blocked by the trees.  My good round relied on a good tee shot. It was time to dig down deep and be mentally strong, trusting my swing.  I find that making an aggressive swing at a conservative target with good alignment is the key to this type of pressure packed shot.  I picked a tree in the far distance that was directly behind the middle of the fairway.   I ended up hitting the best drive of my day.  The tee shot was far and hit right at my target.  This left me with just 110 yards left to the hole. This gave me a good opportunity to make birdie on the 18th instead of bogey.  I was very happy with my confidence and execution during this pressure packed situation.  Keeping calm under pressure will lead you to a better game of golf. Just be sure to remember that keeping focus can take the unnecessary stress off and improve your overall performance.
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Tiger Woods has let go Steve William from his job as caddie. The dynamic duo has been together for 12 years. Together they have won tons of championships and majors around the world. So why the sudden split? I have no idea! This could be just another downward turn in the Tiger Woods decision making process. I believe that Steve Williams is an asset toTiger and his game, but just like Hank Haney, he has been fired abruptly. Steve did recently caddie for Adam Scott at the Open and that could be reason for the pink slip. However, the exact cause for termination may never surface, but stay tuned, I have a feeling that we will hear more details soon.
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Congratulations to Daren Clarke for The Open victory!  This couldn't have happend to a nicer guy or a person so respected by his fellow competitors and liked by the common golfer.  There were a few keys that I noticed which lead to victory.  The ball striking by Daren was solid all week especially in the last couple rounds but what really stood out to me was his tenacity to keep grinding and not being discouraged by all of the missed putts.  If Clarke had putted well from the 10 to 25 foot range, he might have won by 10.  He did make almost every single putt inside of the 10 foot range.  This was the difference between he and Phil Mickelson.  Phil missed many short putts and still finished tied for 2nd.  I think there is no secret that putting wins championships but this was a glaring example of it.  The lesson here is to practice from inside 10 feet all the time so that you are on the positive side of this example.

I thought that even though the championship was not won by an American it was a great showing out of the U.S. players.  Dustin Johnson tied with Phil Mickelson for 2nd but had a great run until he pressed a little to hard on par 5, sending his second shot out of bounds and made it nearly impossibly to catch Clarke with only 3 holes remaining.  Ricky Fowler also had a great showing for a youngster.  There were a lot of American flags on the leaderboad and it was very refreshing to see.  I believe this is a greatly positive sign for the near future of american golf. 

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This is hilarious!
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British Open 2011The British Open starts tomorrow and the headline topic will probably be will Rory Mcilroy win the open. He has already caputred the U.S. Open with a convincing record setting display of golf at Congressional and now Rory has his sights set on a second title out of the four majors. Mcilroy is the early odds on favorite for a vicory at Royal St. George's but who will step up and claim the claret jug? The secondary story will probably be, will the Europeans continue their strangle hold on major championships and top ranks in the world. The USA has pretty much blanked since Tiger has gone M.I.A., then which American will have finish the highest? The story line that is redundant year after year when it comes to the Open has to be the windy conditions, bad weather, pot bunkers and putted balls from the fairway. This is a much different game so you have to give the advantage to the Europeans. I do not think that Rory will win the title but I do believe it will come from the other side of the Pond. I think that top finishers will be from over seas and I will pick Lee Westwood to break out with his first major. I also think Sergio Garcia, Graeme Mcdowell and Martin Kaymer will be the top finishers for the home team other than a top 10 finish for Rory. I think the Americans that will fair well will be Matt Kutcher, Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson. These are my picks, I am interested to see who you think will come out on top and why?

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The proper golf swing setup requires several key components including alignment and an athletic stance.  When preparing the athletic stance you need to make sure your feet are shoulder width apart.  Your knees should have a slight bend to them while bending at the hips and letting your arms hang down to be placed on the club.  The bend forward at the hips should create a spine angle between 40 to 60 degrees. This stance should create an athletic position in which you feel incredibly sturdy.  Your feet should be angled 10 to 20 degrees and flared out to give your hips the ability to rotate in a full swing.  Although your feet are slightly flared, your alignment will have your feet and shoulders aimed toward the target.  The best way to check your stance is to put a club across your chest from shoulder to shoulder and that club should be pointing directly at the target.  Then place another club down at your feet and walk away.  That club should be aimed at the designated target as well.  When you return to your stance, the left shoulder should be slightly higher than the right shoulder when your hands are placed on the shaft.  This happens because your right hand is lower than your left in the proper grip.  The right elbow should be closer to the ground than the left.  This correct position will form a triangle with your arms and shoulders. You can see this by looking in a mirror.  The proper alignment and athletic stance are necessary components which will lead to a better swing and a significantly improved game of golf. 

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Click the Article Title to Watch Video

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsl7aozegEM&feature=player_embedded#at=17 ]

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One of the most important lessons in golf is the grip. This is your only connection with the golf club and the foundation of a proper swing. For a right handed golfer the correct placement for your hands on the grip should start by placing your left hand on the club first, followed by your right. The handle of the club will run diagonally across the base of your fingers, from the base of the pointer finger to a point atop the callus pad below your pinky finger. The grip should be higher than the callus on the pointer finger while running just lower than the callus of the middle, ring, and pinky fingers. This will have the grip moving slightly further away from the base of each of those fingers in that progression.

The thumb should then be placed over the top of the grip, just running past the thumb straight down the shaft. To check that you have the correct grip, take a look at the line formed by the thumb and the pointer finger should point up to your armpit. You should be able to look down and see the 2 knuckles of your pointer and middle finger on the top of your left hand. The right hand grip is similar to that of the left. The biggest difference is the club is placed more in the fingers. The grip handle should be running from the callus on the base of the pinky finger to the middle of the pointer finger. The thumb should come over the top of the club and form the same line or crease between the thumb and pointer finger which should point to the armpit of your right arm while being able to see two knuckles on the top of the right hand as well. I prefer to interlock while others may prefer to overlap. This is related to the placement of the pinky on the right hand and the pointer finger on the left hand. I put my pointer finger on my left hand in between the pinky and ring finger on my right, wrapping them onto the knuckles of the opposite hand. This is called an interlock grip.

The overlap grip is taking the pinky finger on the right and resting it in the crease formed by the space between the pointer and middle finger on the left hand. The grip you choose is based upon personal preference. Whichever makes you feel most comfortable swinging the club. I would advise that you choose one grip and be consistent with it. You also want to check the grip by the "V's". The V formed by the thumb and pointer finger should point up to the arm-pit of the same arm. This should happen with both hands while being able to see two knuckles on each hand as well.

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One of the key components of a consistent golfer is good tempo. Tempo is the speed or pace of your swing and putting stroke. Each person typically has a unique internal clock causing different rhythm. There is a clear difference between Nick Price’s golf swing and Ernie Els'. Nick has a very quick tempo while Ernie’s is very slow. They are both great players and have many victories on tour which proves different speeds work for different players.

What is important is to find your own rhythm and be consistent with it. The best way to find this would either be with a metronome or by counting if you don’t have one handy. I like to count to three. 1. On my takeaway. 2. By the time that I reach the top of my back-swing and start back down. 3. When I get to my finish. Many people prefer to use the two count. One back and one through. I make sure that my back swing is full and not too quick. When I putt and chip I actually prefer to use the two count tempo. Find a tempo of your own and work on keeping it consistent. If you play with the same tempo on every shot throughout a round, I promise that the amount of strokes saved will be countless.

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Lucas Glover closed with three tough pars on the rugged finishing stretch at Quail Hollow, then won the Wells Fargo Championship in a sudden-death playoff, his first win since capturing the 2009 U.S. Open.

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Steve BallesterosSteve Ballesteros, the charismatic Spanish golfer whose imaginative and passionate play led to five major championships and a No. 1 ranking in the mid-1980s, died May 7 at 54. He had a malignant brain tumor.

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