The 43rd Ryder Cup – Captain and Vice Captains

Have you ever wondered if the Captain and Vice Captains of the Ryder Cup have any impact on the play of their respect team? The are high profile players who have played in the Ryder Cup in the past and are there to offer insight and support to players who might be feeling the pressure. Also, from time to time, they are people who are thrown under the bus for the loss. They are second guessed constantly and, depending on their personality, provide inspiration to the players. The history of the Ryder Cup is riddled with great Captains and Vice Captains and this year looks to be the same.

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Who Will Be Named the Team USA Ryder Cup Captain in 2020?

Team USA has yet to choose their leader. There are five players in the running according to various sites, however I believe that there are only two should be considered. I feel either would provide the type of leadership that Team USA needs to defeat the powerful Europeans.

As we know, Team USA has not performed well despite being the odds on favourites. It is a perfect example of “it looks good on paper”, but in reality their chemistry wanes and as a result are coming up short. Well, maybe in 2020 at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, Team USA will pick a Captain that will provide the type of leadership required to unite these great individuals into a cohesive unit. Continue reading

Golf and Moneyball

Have you ever watched the movie Moneyball?  If not, it is about the “Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.”  Basically, it is about statistics; how to read them, work them to your favor and pray your decisions work out. Statistics are important when talking about a sports team, but are they really that important in golf?

In golf, statistics lie.  You heard it here first, stats mean nothing in golf.  They might be great to keep, fun to watch, but have no real value when predicting the outcome of any tournament, yearly money list or world ranking.  In 2013, the following were leaders on the money list and number of wins:

  1. Tiger Woods               8,553,439         5
  2. Henrik Stenson           6,388,230         2
  3. Matt Kuchar                5,616,808         2
  4. Phil Mickelson             5,495,793         2
  5. Brandt Snedeker         5,318,087        2

These players, who “dominated” the golfing world in 2013, rarely show up on any of the PGA statistic charts.  They show up on one or two, but basically, they are absent. However, a 47 year-old player, Steve Stricker, who had 0 wins in 2013, finished 7th on the PGA money list, and finished 8th in the world ranking, shows up on 5 of the major statistic charts.  Yet, he is considered in the twilight of his career with little chances of winning a Major or any professional tournament.

If Steve Stricker was 24 years old with the same statistics, he would be an up and coming phenom!  He would have the status of Rory McIlroy and be touted as one of the next great golfers.

Statistics do lie.  At this time, McIlroy ( in all likelihood will be one of the golfing greats) did not make the top 5 of any 2013 of the statistical category.  Is this just an anomaly?

I suggest not.  Gone are the days of Tiger Woods dominating the professional tour and the statistical categories.  The number of outstanding unknown players winning tournaments is on the rise.  Except for Webb Simpson, the statistics vs money list applies to the early 2014 golfing season.  As the world of golf grows and new events open up, how will the stats apply to top ranked players who more and more chose to play in places like Dubai vice Phoenix?

Statistics are not a good barometer of the golfing world.  The evolution of golf makes statistics meaningless and at the very least an exercise in futility.

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

The Domino Effect

Everyone wants to hit the ball far like Bubba Watson;  Hit your wedge shots like Phil Mickelson;  Putt like Steve Stricker; Have the mental concentration like Jack Nicklaus.  All golfers know they can do better regardless of their success on the links.  The key is to first identify adjustments required to lower scores and improve your mental toughness. Regardless, there is one critical point that all players must remember when making any change – the Domino Effect!

Similar to the Domino Theory of the 1950s, the domino effect is a chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then causes another similar change, and so on in linear sequence.  Any changes to a golf swing will directly or indirectly cause changes to other areas you are happy with.  The above video shows that it is critical to keep the sight of the big picture and that minor adjustments to all areas of your swing might be required.

As an example, hitting the ball further off the tee or fairway will have a tremendous impact on your overall game.  However, stepping up to the tee and bashing the cover off the ball is really not the answer.  Chances are it might go further, but who wants to keep hitting their second shot out of the woods!  It will take some major and minor adjustments to make sure the maximum effort produces the maximum results.

It is very important to understand that any change to your golf swing will produce a domino effect in your game.  Knowing and understanding this fact will help shape your golf swing into a birdie machine.  Do not forget that changing your swing and improving different areas of your game will also change how you manage your rounds.  Regardless of what you change, be prepared to adjust the unexpected!

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

The Open Champion – Phil Mickelson


USA’s Phil Mickelson holds the Claret Jug after winning the Open Championship at Muirfield on the fourth day of the 2013 Open Championship in Muirfield, Scotland on July 21 , 2013.Mickelson won with a score of three under par. UPI/Hugo Philpott

Congratulations to Phil Mickelson for winning the 2013 Open Championship.  It is the first time he has won this prestigious tournament and he did it with style.  Mickelson is one of the top players in the world and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame….and rightly so!

It is no secret that Phil Mickelson is my favorite golfers.  He embodies all the positive aspects of golf and yet is not afraid to speak his mind on issues of importance. His performance at The Open was solid and consistent.  He really did not do anything spectacular until the last six holes of the final day.  And what an awesome last sic holes! He hung around and hung around; pressing where required and playing safe when needed. There is a lesson in his win for all golfers.

Breaking 100

Practice your short game.  Mickelson practices 25 yards and closer all the time.  That is where real strokes are saved.  He is considered one of the best wedge players of all time; so to break 100 work on your short game!

Breaking 90

After practicing your short game, practice your putting!  Mickelson is a great putter.  He is no Steve Stricker, but Mickelson seems to sink the important putts when required; much like his putt on the final hole at Muirfield….simple spectacular!

Breaking 80

After conquering your wedges and putting, the next step is the range from 150 to 75 yards. This distance will determine your greens in regulation stat.  I believe this is the most important stat in golf.  If a player can be putting for birdie eight times out of ten….their scores drop considerably.

Phil Mickelson played great during the Open this year.  His steady approach shots, chipping and putting clearly demonstrated where most players should focus their practice time to lower their score.

Phil Mickelson’s quote “A great shot is one that you pull off and a smart shot is the one you hit when you don’t have the guts try it!”  I love this quote!

However, as amateurs to break 100 or 90 or 80, it is better to play more smart shots than great shots!

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