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Noonan!

Unlike in the movie Caddy Shack, where everything seemed to be fair game to try and cause Danny Noonan to miss that final putt, we in the real world rarely if ever appreciate the well-timed distraction of a yell, throat clearing, or orchestrated club slamming in the bag during a back swing.  The guy who yelled during Tiger’s birdie putt yesterday at Torrey Pines, ostensibly causing him to miss, paid a price from the crowd right away.  Had the event not been televised and in front of millions of people, I am not sure we would be able to find him today.

What, exactly, should happen to someone who does something like this on purpose?  It depends on when and where you are playing.  In Florida, for example, the soil tends to be too sandy and damp to actually bury a body and it stay undetected.  Luckily, most golf courses down there have plenty of predator wildlife available that one could dispose of the body by perhaps feeding it to the alligators.  If it happens to occur farther north during the Winter months, the ground can often be too frozen to dig a pit deep enough so, maybe carry an orange vest in your bag.  Do this so that when you have to eliminate the perpetrator post- flagrante delicto you can simply shoot him in the face (with the pistol you always carry in your bag), put the orange vest on him and dump him in the woods a few yards from the edge of the golf course.  That way it will look like an innocent hunting accident.

All kidding aside (am I really kidding?) – there is nothing so infuriating as going through months of practice, swing thoughts, reading, playing through yips, etc…only to be purposefully distracted at the moment of truth by a f*****g a*****e who can’t stand to lose a $2 bet!

Now, there are distractions and there are distractions.  I have played with people whom I believe don’t necessarily realize they are causing you grief during your moment of concentration.  Examples of these:

1.  The guy who hits from the senior tees who can’t wait to get there.  He hovers just in your eyesight and just as you begin your backswing he starts moving wuickly to his tee – all while you’re thinking about him instead of hitting the green on the 200 yard par 3.

2.  The guy who decides to be a good steward of the golf course and fill in divots with sand all behind you while you are trying to make your approach shot to the green from the fairway.

3.  The guys who whisper on the green within earshot, having a conversation that absolutely CANNOT wait until after you pull the trigger on your putt.

4.  The phone that rings at just the right (wrong) moment…need I say more.

These people can be talked to, and maybe….just maybe the behavior can be corrected.  But sometimes, people being who they are, they simply cannot change.  Time to move on and play with someone else.  This article isn’t really about these guys.  I am talking about the guy who knows exactly what he is doing.  Who jingles his change while you waggle.  Who coughs when you pull back your putter.  The guy who bangs sand from the bottom of his shoes as you stroke the 4 foot birdie putt.

Now, I can take gamesmanship.  Guys who talk about all the trouble in front of you after they have already hit.  You know what I mean.  That is fair game I suppose.  But, I will not abide the obvious purposeful distraction.

I know some of you will say that maybe I just have “rabbit ears.”  Guys who have “rabbit ears” are the kind of guys who blame the guy two fairways over who did something that made a little noise in his back swing.  He blames the bird for making bird noises.  No, I do not have rabbit ears.  Hell, after years of flying helicopters from the pitching decks of Navy ships I can barely hear a normal conversation.  I am speaking of intentional distractions like the one Tiger had to endure yesterday…the kind that in the seconds afterward one could justifiably choke the living s**t out of the guy.  You know.  It’s like pornography, hard to put a razor’s edge on the definition, but you know it when you see it.

Whover that guy was yesterday at Torrey, I hope he left with his life.  Because, even I, after a moment of reflection understand that life – no matter how low – is not less valuable than a stroke on a score card…usually.

 

What’s in a (Nick) Name?

Where’s the Beef?  The Beef as in Andrew Johnston, professional English golfer who became famous at The Open in 2016.  He was embraced by his home crowd due in large part to his dumpy looks, hairy face, and happy-go-lucky demeanor.  And he was given the nickname Beef because of all of that plus he just looks like a side of beef.  He’s since accepted and celebrated that moniker and now, whenever anyone talks of Beef during a conversation about professional golf, there is no doubt of whom they are speaking.

Nicknames are nothing new in golf.  There’s quite an extensive list that we have come to know many great golfers by.  There’s The Big Easy (Els), Boom Boom (Couples), The Squire (Sarazen), The Mechanic (Jiminez), and of course, The King (Palmer) to list a few.

What is the procedure for giving and gaining a nickname?  Certainly, it would (and should) be frowned upon to give one to your self, although Tiger may be the exception….but, then again, his father gave him that one when he was a kid I believe.  I venture it is the domain of players and sports writers to assign them in professional golf.  Nicknames are what you get when you are part of a club, part of the inside group.  It seems most tend to be derived from playing attributes – smooth swing, long ball hitter, etc…, some from physical attributes, and others from impact on the game.

In the Navy and Marine Corps, aviators are all given nicknames – or call signs – early in a career and these call signs follow them the rest of their time in service…and beyond.  Call signs are assigned, much like in golf, based on just about anything and at a “formal” gathering called a Kangaroo Court.  When determining a call sign, unless the pilot has already done something that begs for nickname, members of the squadron generally first take a look at his/her last name.  An example may be that if your last name is Hindman, your call sign will in all likelihood become Buster.  Let’s say your name is Cable….call sign Snappa.  Get it?  It may be that he’s done something unfortunate that he would really like to forget – this is prime grist for the call sign mill.  I recall a young Lieutenant Cobra pilot who, after landing his aircraft with his instructor pilot, got out of his cockpit seat to check fluids leaking (as is normal procedure) before the  instructor pilot shut down the helicopter.  This guy saw a fluid on the ground under the tail boom, tested it with his finger thinking it might be oil or hydraulic fluid, tasted it – as oil and hyd fluid taste different – only to find out later that he had actually sampled the urine of the plane captain who had taxied them to their parking spot.  Call sign – Samples.  I know 4 star generals now that I still call by their call signs – the nick names endure, as they should.

I like to play golf at my club because there is a great group of guys who compete.  There aren’t so many nick names in the group, but there are a few.  I like to think a nick name is a moniker of endearment, that said, you can really get tagged with an unfortunate one if you’re not careful.  Just consider Assman (due to his uncanny resemblance to Kramer from Seinfeld) or Boner (I’ve known two people with this call sign – both not really happy with it).  So, if you end up with a nick name like Chili (chili dipping) or Topper at your local club…don’t get downtrodden.  Take it as a sign you’re part of the club, the team, one of the guys.  Then, get even.

Short Game Frustrations

Long on desire, short on game…at least short game that is.  Anyone else having issues with chipping and short pitches?

I like to think I have pretty darn good hand / eye coordination.  I flew helicopters in the Marines for crap sake.  But, for some reason, I find myself flinching at the chips and short pitches.  Some days on the course I see more chili dip than a Super Bowl party.  Other days, its all about the blade.  What the hell?!

I have resolved to correct this issue this spring.  I believe these short shots are a combination of technique and confidence.  As confidence wanes, it seems, technique gets adjusted until it is all lost.  I have been searching for instruction to get me back to a basic primary approach to each – chipping and short pitches.  (We all agree that there is a distinct difference here right?)

I took a lesson in Florida this past December with a young pro.  Explained all this to him and he offered me the “ball off right toe, lean the shaft to the left thigh” approach to chipping.  Nothing new here, but to be fair because of my lack of confidence, I had begun to move excessively on these short shots as well.  He helped me with some of that.  It was a good start, but I need more. (OBTW he really helped my putting set up as well.)

Paul Runyan is a renowned short game artist from years WAY past and he has some videos on YouTube worthy of review.  He has a very distinctive approach to both chipping and pitching.  I am watching them and learning – he is very good at explaining his techniques and certainly demonstrates them to perfection.

I like to watch Adam Bazalgette (Scratch Golf Academy) on YouTube for tips, he gives some great 4-5 minute instruction on all aspects of the game.  He referred to a gent in one of his videos on chipping and pitching who I am watching now – James Sieckmann.

James is Director of Instruction, Shadowridge CC in Omaha, Nebraska and is on the Titleist staff.  He teaches many tour pros on the short game and has some things to say in his videos that are very encouraging.  One was particularly instructive for me – on a Golf Channel instructional episode (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ikSZqh0s5c) – he said some things that helped a light bulb come on for me.  First thing, I have been treating these finesse shots with too much of a mechanical mindset…that is…holding too tight, too stiff, my hands too far forward, etc… He says in the video that from the backswing to essentially “let the club make its way to the ball then turn your torso”…in so many words.  That is the kind of guidance I require!  It is from this mindset that you can manufacture shot trajectory and spin for many different variations. Most instructors say something like let your arms hang loosely and hold the club with an easy grip and leave it at that.  He takes it slightly farther in this video intimating to just let the clubhead release – not a wristy flicky thing – but as a natural result of the rotation.  Eureka!

Anyway, it has been exceedingly frustrating for me to hit a good drive and a decent approach only to screw up the hole with a pitiful attempt at a chip or pitch.  Chili dip a couple and all of a sudden your entire round seems to go down hill.  Lots of work to do around the green and so far, I’ll be practicing Mr. Sieckmann’s approaches to the short game.  Maybe, if you’re in the same boat I am, give him a try.

Kenny Perry and Charity

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“Tees and Tunes” Charity Event

My wife and I had the great pleasure of attending Kenny Perry’s “Tees and Tunes” Charity Event with several friends in Franklin, Kentucky on the 6th of September.  The event proceeds were raised to support the Boys & Girls Club of Franklin-Simpson.  The event was held at The Arling, a venue owned and operated by his sister Lydia Perry Petersen and her husband Chuck on the grounds of Kenny’s Country Creek Golf Course.  The event included dinner and a concert by Vince Gill.

Franklin is a small community in south central Kentucky located just above the Tennessee line along interstate 65.  It is about an hour straight north on I-65 from Nashville, Tennessee.  In Franklin, everyone knows Kenny…he grew up there and still lives there with his family.

A History of Charity

Kenny Perry is well known for his charitable efforts.  In 2009 he won the prestigious Payne Stewart Award.  The Payne Stewart Award is given to a player whose “values align with the character, charity and sportsmanship that Stewart showed”.  These values include respect for the traditions of the game, commitment to uphold the game’s heritage of charitable support and professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through his dress and conduct. In 2002, he was named the winner of the Charles Bartlett Award, given to a professional golfer for his unselfish contributions to the betterment of society, by the Golf Writers Association of America.  His other awards include being inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame, the Western Kentucky University Hall of Fame, the Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni and the Lipscomb University Athletics Hall of Fame.

The PGA website lists his charities as:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee – Franklin
To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.


Lipscomb University
Lipscomb University is a private coeducational institution whose principal focus is undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, combined with a number of pre-professional fields and masters degree programs. Its primary mission is to integrate Christian faith and practice with academic excellence. The mission is carried out not only in the classroom but also by involvement in numerous services to the church and the larger community. Institutional Values The core values that under-gird the works of Lipscomb University include: Christ-likeness Lipscomb exists because of the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. The constant aim is for each member of the Lipscomb family to grow in His image. Truth Truth is sought in each class and should be lived out in the behavior and speech of each employee and student. Excellence In every facet of our work, Lipscomb University seeks the highest level of performance and service. “Perpetual improvement” is the mantra for each class, department, or administrative area. Service Everything we do and teach should reflect the second great command “to love your neighbor as yourself.” Knowledge acquired and skills gained are to be used to bless the lives of others.


Potter Children’s Home and Family Ministries
The mission of Potter Children’s Home & Family Ministries is to be a tool in the hands of supporting churches of Christ and individual Christians to deliver God’s justice and mercy to children and families in need.

I chatted with several folks during the evening and understand his charitable connection with Lipscomb began as a promise to return through a percentage of winnings the favor of support he received as a struggling pro starting out.  He still tithes a percentage of each purse.

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Vince Gill and Charity

Vince Gill’s performance was very personal and entertaining.  With only a microphone, a stool and his guitar, he held the 250-ish crowd spellbound with stories and music.  During one of the songs, a young man proposed marriage to the surprise of all but a select few.  A scratch golfer in his own right, Vince Gill has also had a long relationship with charities and golf with his course The Vinny in East Nashville (in my neighborhood!) and The First Tee.  Gill and Kenny are close friends and Vince provided an intimate look into his professional and personal life because of it – and all for the price of some great fried chicken.  Kenny showed his appreciation by presenting Vince with a custom set of Callaway Clubs and bag – all to Gill’s specs.  Nice.

Entertainers and Charity

It’s inspirational that these entertainers, one a professional golfer and the other a singer/song-writer would give so much of themselves in support of these worthy charities.

Gym Work and Golf

GolfGym.com

GolfGym.com

Is lifting weights compatible with golf?  I think it depends on the goals you set for your workouts and the results you’re looking for.

During The Open Championship this past week, Dan Hicks asked Johnny Miller what he thought might be going on with Rory McIlroy.  Miller, in his usual semi-acerbic tone replied, “I think he overdid the weight room, I don’t (think) that helped him at all. Same thing with Tiger Woods. You just get carried away with wearing the tight shirts and showing off their muscles.”  Miller might be just a bit jealous about how they look because they both look great, but he may have hit onto something about overdoing it in the weight room.

Tiger bulked up quite a bit during his last few years of playing and I think it may have affected his swing.  He got noticeably bigger in his chest and arms, that had to change things.  As he embarked on his last comeback try, you could see some of that bulk had “melted off.”  I’m not sure he didn’t grow to think the same thing and slimmed back down, or it was just coincidental.

Rory, on the other hand, is sporting quite a chiseled physique these days.  He may like to “show off his muscles” with tight fitting shirts like Johnny suggests, but I see nothing wrong with that and I am sure Nike loves it.  I don’t think he displays the kind of bulk that Tiger acquired however.  In fact, golfgym.com says, “Golf Fitness Ain’t Bodybuilding.”  (You can read their blog post about Rory at this link if you like: http://golfgym.com/Blog/golf-fitness-aint-body-building/) I agree, golf fitness is exactly that, getting and staying fit to play better golf.  As I suggested at the start, it all depends on what you want.  It seems Rory is doing it with the right purpose, let’s hope he doesn’t cross a line that affects his game.  Now, if it isn’t weights, then what else could be going on with Rory’s game – if anything?

Olympics, the Zika Virus and Golf

mosquito-circHow important are the Olympic Games for golfers?  That’s the question for players as some have already made the decision not to go to Rio and others are still considering.  Some of the biggest names in golf have opted out – Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordon Spieth, and Rory McIlroy, the top 4 professional golfers in the world.  On the other hand, our Champion Golfer of the Year – winner of The Open – Henrik Stenson has been quoted as saying he is not afraid of mosquitoes and will attend.  So what is it about the Zika Virus that keeps some away?

 

Zika Virus

I have included some FAQs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website that should clear up some of the controversy.  Since most of these professional golfers are youthful and still (or about to be) in the “family-making” business there are some obvious risks and limitations the Zika virus presents if infected.  Interestingly, no woman golfer has opted to drop out from the competition that I am aware of.  In fact, a few weeks ago the LPGA made a statement to that effect.

Q: What is Zika?

A: Zika virus disease is caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting up to a week, and many people do not have symptoms or will have only mild symptoms. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe brain defects.

Q: How do people get infected with Zika?

A: Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). A pregnant woman can pass Zika to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Also, a man with Zika can pass it to sex partners. We encourage people who have traveled to or live in places with Zika to protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.

Q: What health problems can result from getting Zika?

A: Many people infected with Zika will have no symptoms or mild symptoms that last several days to a week. However, Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, is also very likely triggered by Zika in a small number of cases.

Once someone has been infected with Zika, it’s very likely they’ll be protected from future infections. There is no evidence that past Zika infection poses an increased risk of birth defects in future pregnancies.

Q: Should pregnant women travel to areas where Zika has been confirmed?

A: No. Pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika. Travelers who go to places with outbreaks of Zika can be infected with Zika, and Zika infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.

Q: If I am traveling outside the United States, should I be concerned about Zika?

A: Travelers who go to places with Zika can be infected with Zika, and CDC has issued travel notices for people traveling to those areas. Many people will have mild or no symptoms. However, Zika can cause microcephaly and other severe birth defects. For this reason, pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika, and women trying to get pregnant should talk to their doctors before traveling or before their male partners travel. It is especially important that women who wish to delay or avoid pregnancy consistently use the most effective method of birth control that they are able to use. Those traveling to areas with Zika should take steps during and after they travel to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.

Q: What can people do to prevent Zika?

A: The best way to prevent Zika is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites:

Zika can be spread by men to their sex partners. People whose male sex partners have traveled to or live in an area with Zika can prevent Zika by using condoms condoms correctly every time they have sex or by not having sex.

Q: What are the symptoms of Zika virus disease?

A: The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Other symptoms include muscle pain and headache. Many people infected with Zika won’t have symptoms or will have mild symptoms, which can last for several days to a week.

Q: How is Zika diagnosed?

A: To diagnose Zika, your doctor will ask you about recent travel and symptoms you may have, and collect blood or urine to test for Zika or similar viruses.

Q: Can someone who returned from a country or US territory with Zika get tested for the virus?

A: Zika virus testing is performed at CDC and some state and territorial health departments. See your doctor if you have Zika symptoms and have recently visited an area with Zika. Your doctor may order tests to look for Zika or similar viruses like dengue and chikungunya.

Q:What should pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area with Zika do?

A: Pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area with Zika should talk to their doctor about their travel, even if they don’t feel sick. Pregnant women should see a doctor if they have any Zika symptoms during their trip or within 2 weeks after traveling. All pregnant women can protect themselves by avoiding travel to an area with Zika, preventing mosquito bites, and following recommended precautions against getting Zika through sex.

To Go or Not To Go

I suppose the decision to go is at its core a personal one and comes down to the level of risk one is willing to take on.  Rio is in the hot zone for Zika-carrying mosquitoes and I for one completely understand if an athlete declines based on their concerns.  To compete for one’s country is an honor and a privilege, but it is not a requirement or a duty.  These are professional athletes and are allowed to make personal decisions for themselves regarding their health and the health of their families.

 

(Picture of Mosquito from CDC&P Website)

Patriot Golf Day / Folds of Honor 2015

logo-medIt is always a good time to honor those who keep our freedoms and protect us.  It is also a good thing to combine efforts such as those of Folds of Honor with activities many Americans love…such as golf.  From the FoldsofHonor.org website:

On Labor Day weekend, golfers across the country are asked to add an extra dollar to their greens fees to fund Folds of Honor scholarships. The Patriot Golf Day campaign is jointly supported by The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association. In the last eight years, golfers nationwide have been instrumental in raising donations through Patriot Golf Day events, resulting in over 7,500 scholarships in all 50 states and 41 PGA sections.

Patriot Golf Day 2015 will again be held during the Labor Day weekend, September 4 – September 7.  If you are interested in joining our mission to empower the lives of deserving military families with educational opportunities, then please become a participating facility in 2015. PGA Professionals who host an event and submit funds to the Folds of Honor Foundation will receive 2 MSR credits.”

Look for your nearest participating golf course during Labor Day weekend and play!  This is an easy way to do what you love to do and feel even better for it – giving a little so that many have a better chance at life.  If your course isn’t yet planning to participate, speak with your pro and get started!

This is why:

“Of the one million-plus dependents adversely affected by deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly nine out of 10 do not qualify for federal scholarship assistance. Folds of Honor seeks to meet this need by providing annual educational scholarships to the military families of those who have been killed or disabled while in active duty. These help support private education tuition, tutoring and educational summer camps for children K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and children. Since its founding in 2007, the organization is proud to have awarded over 7,500 scholarships, including over 2,000 in 2014 alone.”

The Man Behind the Putter – Part Deux

This past Sunday I made 8 birdies in 27 holes.  I actually heard the words from a competitor as I struck a putt from 20 feet into the hole for a second straight birdie, “Okay, we’re just about sick of this performance…”  Corey Pavin, thank you for the “palms out” putter grip.  Also, Odyssey putters, thanks for the white hot mallet!  34″ of pure joy and perfection. Yes, I changed again ONE FINAL TIME!

This Wednesday I play in a Virginia State Amateur qualifier at Virginia Beach National Golf Club (formerly a TPC).  It was to take place last Wednesday, but a tropical depression precluded play.  I actually avoided getting wet because my tee time was so late, most were soaked after – for some 8 or more holes – and relieved beyond words that it was finally cancelled.  I played one practice round a couple of weeks ago and timing and schedule has precluded another.  I am hoping that putting as described above coupled with the Hogan chipping technique on the par 5s discussed in the previous post will win the day (thanks Tom McCarthy, Jim McLean, and Mr. Hogan).  My iron play has improved dramatically (thanks PING S56s), but my driving has been a bit streaky.  Driving the ball is a personal thing requiring confidence, connection, and care.  Patience and trust will be their own reward I think.  I am a nearly 52 year old man who will be competing with high school and college players as well as established amateurs in the area.

I am a long shot and underdog.  I love underdogs!  My morning tee time is the next to the last on number 10, which means, for the afternoon round (of 36 holes total) I will be in the next to last group playing into number 18.  I want to own this opportunity – I want people waiting for MY SCORE!

Oh yeah – how can I forget my inspiration?!  My wife encourages success for me at the golf course every step of the way.  The photo shows not only the red, white and blue club head covers she made for me, but also the putter head cover – my “Sock Monkey” putter head cover.  The other night sitting in the den watching television she suddenly declares – “I made something for you!”  Hmm…”what is it sweetheart?”  “A putter head cover Chris!”  I immediately loved the idea of it, my wife making something for me without coaxing – a surprise – and something as cool as a sock monkey for my putter!  How can I putt badly after that?!  Look at that sock monkey peaking out over the top of the bag…he really wants the putter to be great…

The Ben Hogan Collection and More!

Ben Hogan

I bought The Ben Hogan Collection interactive CD set a couple of years ago. It had been some time since I reviewed it in any detail, so I broke it out a week or so ago and went through all of it again.  I am as impressed now as I was then with the quality of work, archive films, and the analysis of Jim McLean.  The folks at McTee’s Champions LLC have done a wonderful job of putting this together.

The set provides a “Legacy DVD” which is a brief biopic of Ben Hogan, two instructional DVDs (Swing Revealed 1 & 2), and a software CD.  I normally look for things on Amazon.com first and the package can be purchased there for just under $60.00.  Unfortunately, the set is “temporarily out of stock” on the Amazon website.  With a quick google, I found the set on PracticeRange.com for $35.00.  If you are any kind of a golf aficionado then this is a must for your library and continuous review.   

As I re-reviewed it and listened carefully to McLean’s analysis while watching the vintage footage, I had a couple of epiphanies.  One especially enlightening segment for me was in the chipping/pitching segment.  McLean shows the viewer in detail how Ben Hogan pitches the ball with a “mini-swing.”  Interestingly, McLean uses the cigarette, still in Hogan’s mouth, as a reference point for analyzing his head movement through the pitch.  I have incorporated Hogan’s pitching technique to great reward!  (8 birdies in 27 holes yesterday!!!  Won a few “cuts” thanks to Mr. Hogan, Jim, and McTee…)

McTee Champions LLC has some exciting new products out and coming.   Tom McCarthy of McTee –  “Thanks for the compliments on the dvd set.  I worked really hard to get that done over the course of several years and Jim McLean was terrific. 

We have put together a couple of new things recently.  One is the iPad app called Ben Hogan 5 Lessons.  It works on the iPad and Android type tablets.  The spirit of the Five Lessons book is in there plus some!  We are also building and soon to release the Ben Hogan 5 Lessons mobile app that marries the critical information in the Five Lessons book to the V1 instructional software.  It will include some Hogan video clips for swing comparisons. 

Jim McLean and I just finished in January a new book with Wiley & Sons called ‘The Complete Hogan.’  I took old pre-accident footage of Mr. Hogan’s swings and made stills with Jim providing observations and analysis over 30+ frames for each of 3 swings.  Plus, Jim has some incredible additional information in the book.  I am pretty hyped up about it.” 

Whether a seasoned player or a beginner, The Ben Hogan Collection will inform and entertain.  Spend the few dollars and put it in your library.  Also, look for the new McTee products  – I am excited to get the mobile APP and book Tom describes above!

 

 

2012 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

I watched with interest the World Golf Hall of Fame presentations Monday night (May 7, 2012).  There, Hollis Stacy, Sandy Lyle, Dan Jenkins, Phil Mickelson, Peter Alliss, and were inducted – each had a unique perspective and story.

  • Hollis Stacy – An 18-time winner on the LPGA which includes 4 majors as well as 3 consecutive U.S. Girls titles.
  • Sandy Lyle – A Scotsman and 29-time winner world-wide with a British Open, a Masters (first British player to win), and a Players Championship included in that number.
  • Dan Jenkins – He is only the third writer to be inducted and the first still living.  From Fort Worth, TX, Jenkins is a revered and celebrated writer winning recognition for his golf coverage and his books.  A best-selling author, Jenkins has written arguably the “best ever golf book” – “The Dogged Victims of Inexorable Fate.” 
  • Peter Alliss – A professional player in his early career, Alliss was inducted as a broadcaster.  The distinctive British announcer was inducted as a result of his lifetime achievement for excellence in broadcasting.
  • Phil Mickelson – He has 48 world-wide victories, with three Masters and one PGA included. 

Hollis Stacy is still active in promoting women’s and girls’ golf.  A product of a large family of ten children (fourth) she attributed her competitiveness and spirited nature and ultimately her success to her family.  She did not really talk about her car wreck in 1988, but some attribute that event to effectively ending her career.

Through his words, Sandy Lyle provided insight into his personality that I would otherwise never had known.  Not unlike Billy Casper was overshadowed  by the big three in his time (even though his numbers should have made him the number two to three of that cohort), Sandy Lyle was overshadowed in his time by names such as Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, and Ian Woosnam. 

I loved listening to Dan Jenkins.  I knew of him for years and hadn’t read much of his stuff.  I recently bought the book referred to previously and it is not cheap!  It is out of print (or whatever the right term is) and so there are only so many out there.  I found one with Dave Marr and Al Geiberger autographs in it (lucky find) and am halfway into it.  I have already found quips and quotes that have made me laugh out loud. 

Peter Alliss is quite a character.  A little self-deprecating, but knowing of his status, he played the crowd beautifully.  He did acknowledge that he was “quite beautiful” when he was young.  He finished his speech with a bow to his parents above in Heaven and “the finger” to a grade school teacher (if she were watching from wherever) who wrote in his report that though he has a brain, he was loathe to use it and she was afraid for his future.   

PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem provided some commentary prior to Phil Mickelson’s introduction.  In his words he essentially called Phil a great role-model and ambassador for the PGA Tour.  He lauded Phil’s conduct and comportment on and off the course and implied all should take his example.  I second that assertion.

Phil mentioned briefly in his commentary and more directly in pre-event interviews that perhaps 40 was too young an age threshold for consideration.  Like Ernie Els last year, he said he still has a lot to do and a lot of game left.  In fact, he said that he may be entering the best part of his career.  When asked in an interview pre-Players recently, Tiger agreed with Phil’s questioning the age threshold, but came to no specific conclusion with what the right age should be.

Phil made another interesting comment in a pre-induction interview at the World Golf Hall of Fame.  He was asked about the state of the game and its future.  He took a different view than many.  Essentially, instead of creating strategies to “hurry along” the game (referring to tee it forward, fewer holes, etc…), let’s find a way to make the golf course a place people want to be.  Make it more “family friendly.”  He said part of what he loves about golf is not only playing the game, but “the hang” at the club with friends and family after a round.  I think there are some valuable nuggets there…


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