Saving Strokes in Golf

Everyone wants to know how to save strokes in golf. Of course, the easiest way is to hit a hole in one like Ernie Els at the Travellers Championship at the TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut, on the weekend. But, unfortunately his feat is extremely rare! There are, however, other ways to save strokes on the course; just ask Jim Furyk who shot a 58 on the final day!

We all hit errant shots while playing golf. Some end up in the woods, the pond or in the dreaded sand trap. My friend Geary has a solid game, but hates playing out of the sand!  Who can blame him right?

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The Art of Playing Great Golf!

art-of-golf

The Art of Playing Great Golf

Playing great golf is not natural for most players; or so they think. Many believe it takes effort, practice, tenacity, desire, and hope! Most amateurs find it difficult to match the silky smooth swing of Ernie Els or the power of Tony Finau! There are many reasons for this huge disparity between games, but understanding the real Art of Playing Great Golf might help.

There are many definitions of the word art. One is: an occupation requiring knowledge or skill. For professionals, the word occupation is extremely important. Comparing ourselves to athletes who work at golf for a living is really an unfair comparison by anyone’s standard! Thus, the definition of art in this context does not really fit the premise of this blog. Continue reading

The Masters – Day 1

The first round of the 2015 Masters is in the books. The stellar play by Jordan Spieth (-8), Ernie Els, Charley Hoffman, Jason Day and Justin Rose (all -5) have them leading the field. Except for Jordan Spieth and Jason Day, the rest of the names in the top 10 were not on most pundits’ radar! But, it is still the first day.

The Masters is a game of endurance, it is not a sprint. As the next three days unfold, many aspects of the leader’s game will be tested. Most of all, their ability to handle the pressure of leading the Masters.

The first day of the Masters is always exciting where the anticipation for fantastic golf changes to reality for golfing fanatics. However, for me, there is always one aspect of the Masters I look forward to seeing each year. The honorary starters hitting the first ball. This year, like others in the past, Arnold Palmer , 85, Gary Player, 79, and Jack Nicklaus, 75, thrilled the crowds with three awesome shots.

When I look at these great players, I cannot help but remember all the fantastic memories they have created. They transcend time as I see them bend over (more of a feat than we would think given their age), line up, and launch their drives down the first fairway. These three giants are worthy of our respect and admiration for making golf the game it is today. Their stats are simply amazing. Here is a quick snapshot of how great these players really are:

Honorary Starters of the 2015 Masters
Arnold Palmer Gary Player Jack Nicklaus
Masters Played 50 52 45
Masters Won 4 3 6
Masters Top 10 9 8 15
Total Majors 7 10 14
Professional Wins Worldwide 95 178 116

The stories these golfing legends could tell would be mind-boggling. Each time they tee it up at the Masters, I take a trip down memory lane. The championships they have won and lost; the spectacular shots over the years; and the grace and gentlemanly fashion in which they carried themselves is a lesson for us all. Watching the honorary starters is a tradition I love about the Masters and if you missed it:

Tomorrow is another day. The pressure will continue to build. I am looking forward to seeing if the current leaders have the game (both mentally and physically) to extend their lead. Right now, many players are working towards the privilege of playing on the weekend; I still think Rory McIlroy will win and he will start making his move tomorrow. Who are your movers and shakers for tomorrow?

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

Quiet Hands to Break 100

The touch is a much debated topic in golf.  Some amateurs confuse touch with quiet hands.  Although ‘how’ a player uses their hands during chipping and putting is extremely important, it is a topic for another day.

Listening to the golf experts, it is obvious that quiet hands are the key to lowering your golf score. The challenge for most amateurs is to figure out what “quiet hands” mean, to what part of the swing it applies, and more importantly how can they get some! Continue reading

World Match Play Tournament

even_matchplay_overview_logoWorld Golf Tournament is underway. Specifically, the Accenture Match Play Championship. Since 1999, players from around the globe have competed against one another in varied formats, representing their respective countries in memorable and exciting competition. Over the past decade, World Golf Championships have been contested on five continents and in 10 countries.  There are four exciting World Match Play events throughout the season that offer unique and exciting golfing events for all enthusiasts.

This year, the Accenture field is okay.  Without 3 of the top 5 players in the world, the normal hype is missing.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching McIlroy, Watson (Bubba), Garcia, Stenson, Rose and Els play, but for some reason the excitement just is not there. I wonder if that is a marketing challenge or an indication that match play is not really that exciting to watch.  Personally, I like a match play event, especially if I am competing.

On the positive side of things, I like that many underdogs are rising to the top.  At least in the first couple rounds anyway.  I like to see journeyman players go head to head with higher ranked players and win.  This reinforces why we compete because on any given day…..; in this respect golf is like all other sports.  Most of the time the great players will win, but every once in a while a surprise happens.

I guess I like the fighting spirit of the journeyman!  Much like the Olympics, never give and great things can a happen attitude is always there.  Just ask the Canadian Women’s Hockey team who won golf in a come from behind win for gold – way to go ladies! Ultimately, the field at the Accenture is not that strong this year, but watching how the winner rises to the top is the real story.

For anyone interested, I picked Rory McIlroy to win.  He is in a tough match right now, but time will tell how he does.

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