Thoughts from Day 3 at the Barclay’s

Image from: 3 from the Barclay’s is in the books. It was interesting to watch the pros navigate Plainfield Country Club in Edison, NJ. The many challenges of the course lie in the rough and placement of the many sand traps. Additionally, the greens on the course appear to be very challenging given the plethora of scores on day three.

There will be many reports on the play of Day 3, however there is one thing I noticed about the play that caught my attention. Many of the leaders were putting from the fringe. This caught my attention because most of the pros are awesome wedge players. What would drive them to use their putter instead of their wedge?

As I watch them play, I can see the undulations on the greens and pin placements are causing challenges for the players. Using their putter appears to be best way to conserve strokes and reduce errors. Very few were making the putts, but their lag distance was close as most players were able to get up and down for par.

This is an interesting defensive strategy. I will admit that recently I have started using my putter more from the fringe. This is counter to my previous strategy, but this change has saved at least 2 strokes per round because my lag distance is make-able more often than not.

Do you use your putter or wedge from the fringe? In your view, why doe you use our putter or wedge?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Unplayable Lie in Golf!

Of the many questions I answer relating to the rules of golf, the unplayable lie is one of the most popular. Rule 28 of the RGCA outlines all the details about what constitute an unplayable lie and your options regarding your decision. Additionally, the video below from Golf Canada also explains your options.

Before viewing the video, and I recommend that you do, there is one aspect of Rule 28 – Ball Unplayable that most amateurs do not fully understand. A ball unplayable can only be called by the player who hit the ball. Their playing partners cannot make the call for them. Additionally, an unplayable ball can be called everywhere except in a water hazard. Yup, that means that if you are in the middle of the fairway and for some strange reason you want to call your ball unplayable, you can.

This rule is very important. In my experience, it is a stroke saver and is one of the basic rules all amateurs should know! Now, enjoy the video!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

The Fed Ex Cup Playoffs

FedEx_CupThe FedEx Cup Playoffs start tomorrow at the Barclay’s.  This modified elimination style competition will see one player raise the FedEx Cup over their head in four weeks. The real prize is the 10 million dollars that the 2015 FedEx Champion will pocket for just playing golf!

The FedEx Cup is an interesting golf competition because of the “play well before – play well now – move on” format. At the Barclay’s, all 125 players will start, but only 100 players will move on to the next event at the Deutsche Bank Championship. The third week at the BMW championship will only have 70 players competing; then at the TOUR Championship, 30 players will be left to vie for the 10 million dollar grand prize.

I have discussed the merits of changing the FedEx Cup format to make it more exciting and I believe that a modified NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship format would be fun. Here is what I am thinking:

  • All points are finished. Everyone plays straight up.
  • Create 2 pools of 64 players (top 128 from the FedEx Standings).
  • At the Barclay’s only 40 from each pool move on to the Deutsche Bank Championship (80 players).
  • At the Deutsche on the top 25 from each pool make it to the BMW Championships. (50 players).
  • Combine the pools and the top 50 players make it to the Tour Championship.
  • Winner of the Tour Championship is the crown FedEx Cup Playoff Champion and wins the 10 million dollars!

This may seem like a strange system, but in the playoffs of any sport, all accumulated scores from previous matches are removed and everyone starts on a level playing field. Why not golf?

I enjoy watching the Fed Ex Cup playoffs. There is always exciting golf to be seen, however over the years past (like when Vijay Singh won the playoffs before the Tour Championship), the drama of players slugging it out to the bitter end was just not there. This year should be interesting with all the young lions in the field, but if Jordan Spieth wins The Barclay’s, the sprint for 10 million dollars could be over early.

What do you think? Should the FedEx Cup Playoffs change their format?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links?