Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The reason that the TaylorMade RocketBallz line has been so widely successful in its first year of production is because of the speed pocket in their woods. TaylorMade has now been the first to introduce this into an iron. This is to help the golfer get the ball up into the air quicker, and they claim that you will not only achieve longer distance, but you will also have great consistent distance control.
What the pocket does is create a spring-like surface towards the bottom of the club face, which makes sense because that is where you would hit the ball. When struck, the pocket will spring up and create a higher launch and the ball should lift off the ground effortlessly resulting in a higher trajectory. Since the face is very thin, it allows the sweet spot of the club to be larger and lower for more consistent and forgiving shots.
The TaylorMade RocketBladez irons are available for pre-order at this point in time and will be officially released on November 30th this year. Click the link below to view the RocketBladez mini site and product page, and/or watch the video to the right.
RocketBladez Mini Site
RocketBladez Product Page
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Saturday, October 20, 2012
TP3: The Penta TP3s are really the best of both worlds. They have enough spin to stop sufficiently on the greens, but not so much that they can bring down your long game. They are versatile golf balls. I don't find that the urethane cover scuffs up very easily (like the Nike One Platinums that I used this year) so you won't be changing golf balls every other hole. The TP3s compress easily for a 3 piece ball and really have a nice soft feel especially around the greens. Around the greens they perform like any 4 or 5 piece ball. It is a great ball that will perform well on every type of shot and every type of club.
TP5: I found that the Penta TP5s perform as well as a ProV1. They really do provide excellent spin around the greens. I don't think that I ever actually got substantial backspin until I used the TP5s. They do have a lot of spin (since they are a 5 piece ball) so if you have problems controlling your ball flight, these balls wouldn't help you there. I am fairly certain that these have the same urethane cover that the TP3s since that they both are versatile. For some reason with the TP5s I don't particularly like the feel when hitting them with an iron. It could be because my swing speed isn't quite high enough to compress it properly.
I find that with both golf balls that you will get a nice high ball flight which is a pro in my eyes. I would rather have a higher flight than a lower one, but that would really depend on the person. The Penta TP3s are comparable to the Callaway HEX Chrome both in pricing and performance (checkout my review of those if you haven't already) at $35.99 a dozen. The Penta TP5s are at a more pricey $45.99 a dozen. To be honest, I don't think that I would ever buy them (I got them free for being on the golf team) on my own considering that the TP3s are nearly just as comparable and they are even $10 cheaper. If you really need a lot of spin (and I mean a lot) and you really know how to control your ball flight as good as a pro, then you would be a better fit with the TP5s They TP5s are also meant for golfers with higher swing speeds and are harder to compress due to the 5 layers. I don't think I am quite there so if I had a choice, I would go with the TP3.
I just want to update and give my feedback of what I have been playing with in the 2012 season.
Driver: Cobra S3 10.5 degree set on neutral, regular flex Fujikura Blur.
I love this driver! I have had it since mid last year and it is very forgiving. Most of my mishits happen to be on the heel and I can still get near full distance. The stock shaft is very fast, but not whippy. I can hit this driver straight every time.
Woods: Cobra Baffler Rail F 5+7, regular flex Fujikura Motore.
I can hit these 2 clubs extremely well off of the fairway, off the tee, and even in the rough. I bet many of you are wondering why the heck I would hit a 7 wood. It is the same loft as a 3 hybrid/3 iron, and I just prefer this. Simple as that. I like the feel and can hit it better. If I ever need to hit a long shot out of the rough, the 7 wood is my club. The 5 is mainly a fairway club, though I can obviously hit them both well in the fairway.
Irons: Ping i3 O-Size 4-PW, regular flex Cushin JZ.
I started off the year using some TaylorMade rac LT 3-PW irons, but they just weren't very forgiving at all. They were great, but I couldn't hit the longer irons. With the Pings (which I started using in May or so), I gained about 5 yards per club and a LOT of forgiveness. The only club that I have trouble with is the 4 iron. I may buy a 4 hybrid in order to make up for the yardage gap.
Wedge: Cleveland CG14, wedge flex Dynamic Gold/Ping ISI wedge, Ping graphite shaft (can't remember name).
I started out the year using a 56* CG14 wedge which I loved. It was an overall great feeling wedge with good spin and I loved the feel chipping around the greens. I lost it during a golf match about a month ago so I then started using a 55* Ping ISI wedge. I like this wedge better on full shots. It delivers better forgiveness and better spin, but I don't like chipping with it. There is just a little too much bounce. I need some more wedges!
Golf Balls: Just the balls that I have used this year that I really like and have positive things to say:
Callaway HEX Chrome
Bridgestone B330 RXS
Nike One Platinum (top of the line ball a few years ago, found a dozen)
TaylorMade Penta TP3
TaylorMade Penta TP5
Possible Future Purchases:
Cobra Baffler irons (haven't actually tried yet but I want to)
Cleveland CG16 irons
Cobra Baffler T-Rail 4 hybrid (before the irons though)
Cobra Trusty Rusty wedge (51, 55, 59)
Cleveland CG16 wedge (52, 56, 60)
For the possible purchases, I have demoed many different clubs and I just like trying new things and those are the ones that have really stood out. I really don't plan on making any real changes with my clubs, I just would like to fix my yardage gaps.
I obviously use these clubs and balls because they work for me so I obviously have positive things to say. What works for me might not work for you. It all really has to do with feel.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
As we all know, Tiger Woods became the first golfer in the 2012 season to have 3 wins under his belt. Bo van Pelt really challenged him right to the finish in the at&t National. I think this has really helped boost Tiger's confidence and will help him along the way in the FedEx Cup, which he is now currently in first place for the standings.
Woods had a few great scrambling opportunities and shots from behind trees and in the woods where he manged to save par. I will admit I was impressed with his play this weekend.
He hasn't been very consistent this year. One week he will win, and the other he will be +7 or so. Tiger is really either one of the extremes. I have noticed that he also rarely hits his driver, but when he really needs that shot, he will deliver. Tiger Woods has come a long way since the start of this season, and he is always interesting to watch when the game is on the line.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
You need to hole short putts to post a good score, so here are a couple of keys. First, hit the middle of the ball with the middle of the putterface. To help you do that, align the stamp on the side of the ball with your putter's alignment aid (left, inset). Next, when you stroke the putt, keep your head down for a count of at least one after the ball is gone (left). You might want to think to yourself One-thousand-one, especially on a must-make putt. As Sam Snead used to say, listen for that sweet rattle of the ball in the bottom of the cup.
—Tom Watson / Golf Digest Playing Editor"
You should really do this on all putts, especially hitting the middle of the ball with the middle of the putterface. Some people don't use the alignment stamp on the ball, but I recommend it especially if you have a hard time sinking putts. You are also going to want to have the ball on a straight line down from your eyes as it will help you with the line. A tip from me: when you mark your ball, use the alignment stamp at first to line up the putt when you replace your ball. If it is a big breaker, forget about the hole and just find the point that you need to putt to in order to get the ball in the hole. Then when you are putting, just have confidence in your line and forget about alignment. Use the line on your putter for your line and putt with confidence Just worry about the stroke now. It helps when you break it into 2 parts
Saturday, June 23, 2012
I would like to see Padraig Harrington, Matt Kuchar, or Camilo Villegas win this tournament. Villegas hasn't really played any decent golf since 2010 or possibly earlier. Even though he is a relatively big name, you tend to forget about him now that he isn't mentioned and is at the bottom of the leader board.
As for top shots go, I am really going to have to take my hat off to Marc Leishman on the 15th hole where he birdies by hole-ing a pitch/chip shot.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
My uncle did get a chance to get his hands on some tickets because his friend is volunteering down there, but we won't be able to go since we wouldn't have a chance to get down there because of his schedule...pretty bummed. We are going to go to the Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston in August since we are actually planning for it. It is a FedEx Cup playoff event so it'll be exciting!
For the Traveler's, all I got to watch were some top shots including Bubba Watson's Eagle on the 10th hole, where he holed an approach shot. Vijay Singh also had a Par putt on the 15th hole from well off the green. Matt Kuchar also really had to work for a Par on the 18th hole too.
Our leader is David Mathis who is -6 for the round, though there are plenty at -5 including Jacobson, last year's champion. Hopefully my favorites will stick around for the weekend
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
"TIP: BE ATHLETIC AT ADDRESS
The way you set up to the ball has a major impact on your swing. Here are my tips on posture: Stand up as you normally do, then relax your legs. Bend slightly from the waist. Now hold the club and drop your shoulders (left). Where your arms fall, that's where the club goes. I try to keep my back straight but not tense, with my arms hanging. I want my chin up so my shoulder turn is not restricted. The feeling for me is athletic and relaxed.
—Jack Nicklaus / Golf Digest Playing Editor"
Very true. You want to have your knees bent slightly, butt out, and your back straight. The most important thing is to not be tense as it says. An athletic stance will be the first thing you will be taught with your feet about shoulder width apart. In order for your arms to be in good position, make sure the butt of the club if pointing towards your belt buckle. During your backswing, make sure you don't extend your body (stand up) because your hitting will be inconsistent and you will lose power.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Simpson played a good round of -2 which obviously was enough to win the U.S. Open at +1 for a total score. McDowell was 3 over for the round and didn't seem to hit a whole lot of greens. It as also somewhat disappointing to see Beau Hossler let the low amateur title slip away to Jordan Spieth, who I believe also competed in The Masters.
Overall, I am greatly disapointed that Jim Furyk didn't end up on top. This round was a nailbiter and had me sitting on the edge of my seat for the entire time. The one good putt Furyk made was to save par on the 12th. I thought that might've been the turning point, but it all came down to the 16th hole. I am disappointed that one of my favorite golfers let the tournament slip out of his grasp so late in the round. I think a veteran like him could have used a win the most, but I sympathize for his loss.
Tiger Woods Struggled today. He only had 1 birdie and really struggled to make putts. Most of his troubles came on the opening holes, which is key to winning this tournament. If you mess up on those holes, then you need to make up for it later in the round. Woods did not and added 2 more bogeys to his score on the back 9. Even with the bad round, Woods still didn't play himself out of contention since anything could happen.
There are tons of golfers at +2 (Colsaerts, Adams, Westwood, and Ernies Els who eagled to bring him here), and +3 (Hossler, Dufner, and Simpson to name a few). Most of these people actually shot under par for their round, with the lowest being a 67 from Lee Westwood.
Friday, June 15, 2012
I really liked Jim Furyk's play today. He made a putt well off the green, and nearly holed one on the 15th as well. Overall, he had a confident looking round. Tiger played well also. He shot an even par while Furyk was -1. Tiger had a few awkward shots all around the bunkers. On the 18th he had a terrifying lie in the bunker where the ball was close to the lip, and the lip was a good 4 feet above the ball. Tiger managed to get it up and save par. Furyk and Woods will be playing together Saturday.
I was happy to see some veteran golfers such as Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, and especially Retief Goosen will be around for the weekend. Goosen finished strong with 3 birdies. It is nice to know that those who have paid their dues to this game for many years will still have a chance to finish off the US Open. A lot of the world's top such as McIlroy and Donald won't be around for the weekend which is disapointing to most.
The real story today was Beau Hossler, a 17 year old amateur from Texas who I at first mistook for Davis Love III (the visor and striped polo and impressive play). He looked great from the 9th-1st (some started on the 9th hole) and even took the lead at one point at -2. Somewhere during the back 9, his fairway shot bounced off the flagstick, and chipped one in on the 7th...talk about precision. This kid can play. Hossler shot even par the 1st round, but shot a +3 which is still solid. As I said, he played excellent for the first half, but he ran out of gas midway through. Even though the front 9 was swamped with bogeys and worse, he still played confidently and seemed fairly calm throughout. Hossler had some great shots including great drives, a chip in, and a bold shot from far off the fairway through the trees. I look forward to him in the weekend and I would like to see him break some records. The real question is: will Hossler be able to hold up for the weekend?
Thursday, June 14, 2012
To be fully honest, I didn't get to watch the full round since I was watching it on NBC and it was cut short because of the news. To say the least I was angry considering I got to see 1 or 2 shots from Kuchar and none from Poulter. Their threesome which also included Steve Stricker just got done playing. Both Poulter and Kuchar posted an even par which turned out to be great considering there are only 14 golfers at par or under.
Olympic is a tough golf course and combined with fast greens, fast fairways, and tricky hole positions, it was tough playing for everyone.
The group of Tiger, Bubba and Phil was a letdown for all since Watson posted +8 and Mickelson shot +6. Naturally, neither seemed happy with their play in interviews but neither made excuses. This is the 2nd bad tournament (so far) in a row for Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson so they need to find a way to step their game up. This isn't really a course for Watson considering he just whack the ball out there somewhere in the fairway when this course requires pinpoint precision.
Tiger played solidly and played confident from what I saw of him. He posted a solid score of -1. His putting seemed to be in line.
I did get to notice on the scorecard that Poulter eagled the 7th which made me happy since it brought him to par for the round. That was the same hole that Love missed his 6' eagle putt. The only thing that is really hurting Love's game is his short putting.
Our leader Michael Thompson was -4 for the day, 3 strokes better than the crowd at -1. He played early in the day, so I didn't get to see him play either.
With Olympic playing tough and with players having a tough time scoring, there is about 2 dozen people I would say who really have a chance to make a comeback going into cut day of the US Open.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Of course, I am still planning on rooting for my personal favorite Ian Poulter who has been playing on the European Tour since The Players. Since he splits his time, I don't get to see him as much as I would.
Other notables playing in the US Open are the more "obvious" choices which include Tiger, Mickelson, Donald, McIlroy, Bubba, and those big names. I still have my main pick as Matt Kuchar even when considering the so called "best of the best" who have all been pretty up and down all season.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
"TIP: SCOOP IT FROM THE SAND
In a steep-faced bunker, your goal is to get the ball up in the air as quickly as you can. Start by addressing it with a slightly open stance. Next, open the face of your sand wedge, then take your grip—in that order. Now's the tricky part, because you must do the opposite of what you've been taught: You must let the clubhead pass your hands before impact and slide under the ball. I feel as if I'm flicking my right wrist at the shot (left). Do it right, and the ball will land softly and stop fast.
—Matt Kuchar, four-time PGA Tour winner"
I personally rarely open my stance ever in golf, but unless it is an extraordinarily steep bunker, I will. It is a good idea to always open the face up during almost all bunker shots. The important thing, as noted is to do it in that order: open stance, open face, then grip because if you do the process in some other order, your alignment will suffer. On normal shots, you should finish high and keep your hands relatively straight. In this situation, you don't want to take a completely full swing, and you want to curl your wrists upward.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
The one person who did struggle with shorter putts, especially in the 3rd round was Davis Love III. He gave up a lot of birdie chances which definitely came back to bite him, though this was the first great tournament of -7 for the veteran golfer.
As a follow-up round of +3 from yesterday, Ken Duke surged back with a 5 under round today bringing him to a total of -6, but it was a little to late. It was a strong tournament for Duke, but he had to have been kicking himself for that one round that he gave the tournament away. He is still searching for his first win in his great rookie season.
Rory McIlroy also gave the tournament away in the last two rounds. He was 2 over in round 3, and played great for the first 9 today. On the back 9, he was 2 over which included a double bogey on the 18th hole...not a great way to end. McIlroy did lead the field in driving distance, but his driving accuracy killed him considering that it was under 50%, and he only hit about a third of his fairways today.
As you can tell, there was a lot of talent that threw away their chances at the winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Johnson surprised me considering this was his first start after he spent months recovering from back surgery. In fact, his driving distance was above 300 yards. The U.S. Open is just around the corner, and I am looking forward to the talent in this year's field. My pick would have to Ian Poulter considering that he is always my main golfer of choice.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
I wish that the veteran Davis Love III had played a little better. He finished strongly with a -2, and started the round solidly, but he had a few bogeys scattered on the latter half of the front 9, and 1 on the 14th. Davis made a nice jump-back birdie on the 6th, but then was followed by a bogey on the 7th, and another on the 9th where he found himself in the trees. Love was lucky to get out of it with only a bogey.
John Daly played a solid round at -2, though he ended up with a double bogey on the 11th where he hit his tee shot in the water. It was followed by a great 12th hole which resulted in a birdie. Daly is tied for 2nd in GIR, which definitely helped him, and his long putting was exceptional as usual.
My personal favorite in this tournament would be Ken Duke. He had a good looking scorecard, with his only bogey coming on the 17th. Nothing extraordinary, just good consistent golf that Duke has played all season. On the 11th hole though, Ken was joking around with Ryuji Imada about a water snake that was lurking in the pond. Duke finished -2
Though I didn't get to see him play, McIlroy also had a good round of -2, with 2 bogeys coming on the 3rd and 8th. Since I didn't see him play, I don't have much to say except it is about time he shot a round under par. In his post round interview, he acknowledges his recent struggles and obviously feels happy with his -2 start.
There are a few guys at -3 (Atwal, Overton, and Henry) who I didn't mention, but I didn't get to see them play either. Considering that they are only 1 stroke off the lead, they and the mass of golfers at -2 are in a great position to take the lead in round 2 at TPC Southwind
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Graeme McDowell: Graeme has played well here during his first start at TPC Southwind a few years ago. He usually plays good, consistent golf as well.
Justin Leonard: He has won this tournament twice before and enjoys playing the course. Even though his year hasn't been that great, Leonard will have at least one good tournament.
Zach Johnson: Johnson recently came off of his 2nd victory at The Crowne Plaza Invitational. This year, he has played very consistently and has always been hovering near the top of the leader board. It wouldn't surprise me if he joined the group with 2 wins.
I would like to see Camillo Villegas at the top of the leaderboard sometime soon considering he hasn't done much this year. The same with John Daly who is also playing at TPC Southwind. He would be a long shot, but he can be interesting to watch especially with the putter and driver.
TV coverage of The FedEx St. Jude Classic will be from 3-6 PM Eastern time, Thursday and Friday aon the Golf Channel, and Saturday and Sunday on CBS.
TIP: GET YOUR FEEL BACK
"Sometimes you have to do something radical to regain your feel for the swing. Try this: Swing a broom like you would your driver. You'll instinctively support the weight of the broom at the top, let the broom lag on the downswing, and balance it in the finish. This helps overcome the urge that many players have to lift the ball in the air—that's when they lose a lot of power. So swing the broom (left) and then recreate that feel when you hit your tee shots.
—Randy Smith / Golf Digest Teaching Professional"
What I do when I struggle with my swing is hit some balls at the range, but swinging only at about 50%. While doing this, I don't change anything but the speed. When I am hitting balls consistently, then I will up it to about 75%, and eventually 100%. I have done this with a broom before and the increased wind resistance will help those who turn their hands over too early, and have a closed face on impact. For more power, a weighted driver will help as well because your normal driver will feel very light in your hands.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
I even have a GPS and stat tracker app on my phone, but I only use the stat tracker because I find the GPS feature a bit of a hassle. I have considered buying a real one, but didn't think I would really use it. I know that there are a lot of people out there who really feel the need to get everything perfectly precise, but I might be better at eyeballing the distance some people.
I do know a lot of people that fully use and rely on a golf GPS, and who won't go to the course without it. I am not that type of person. I couldn't see myself pulling out my golf GPS, taking a while to find the exact distance, but then missing just a tad long, or just a tad to the left. My shots are usually accurate, but I know I am not accurate enough to get it within inches of the pin each time. The distances marked on posts on the fairway are enough for me. Vote in the poll on the right hand side of the page to tell me what you think.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
The leader going into round 4 of The Memorial, Spencer Levin, finished in a tie for 4th scoring +3 for the day where he completely fell apart on the back 9 with a double bogey on the 13th, with 3 other bogeys and only 1 par. He now has to qualify tomorrow in order to play in the U.S. Open.
Andres Romero had a great round of -5 including an eagle on the 15th hole, and he finished in a tie for 2nd place at -7 with Rory Sabbatini. Sabbatini had a round of even par with just as many bogeys as birdies (3), and he really didn't do anything special to get him in a position to win, considering that Woods passed him with his chip in on the 16th. Sabbatini had good shots on the 11th and 12th which lead to birdies, and had a great shot on the 10th where he saved par.
Rickie Fowler....there isn't too much to say about him. All you have to do is look at his scorecard. He was +12 for the day, and ended with a total score of +7. He started the day -5. Fowler had a total of 3 double bogeys today on the 3rd, 14th, and 18th, and his entire scorecard was swamped with bogeys. Not the best of day, but it'll happen to the best.
This year's Memorial was a great tournament, though a lot of the big names played badly or got cut. Tiger came out on top, and he is now 1 of 3 people to have 2 wins this season (Dufner and Mahan are the other two). Like I said in my post before about Woods, he will definitely have a good tournament here and there, but there is too much talent out in the field for him to win them all.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Dusin Johnson played an erratic round today with 7 bogeys, 4 birdies, and an eagle on the 13th hole. He bogeyed the last 3 holes and finished with +1 for the round, a total of -1.
Jim Furyk had an up and down front 9. He eagled the 5th hole (the same one that Levin eagled), but he had double bogeys on the 3rd and 6th. On the back 9, he played well until the 16th where he bogeyed, and then double bogeyed the 18th, and he finished the round +3, for a total of -1. Furyk basically gave away his chances during this round, and reversed his great round yesterday.
Rickie Fowler had a great round 3 under round today. He only had one bogey on the scorecard which came on the 6th. Fowler had a great birdie on the 17th hole, and he nearly had a chip on the 18th, but he settled for a par instead. His total score is -5, and he will be playing with Tiger Woods on Sunday.
Tiger had a solid front 9 with 2 birdies on the 1st and 7th. The back 9 was up and down. Woods had 4 bogeys on the back with only 1 birdie, and he didn't look comfortable at all, especially towards the end. He finished the round +1 with a total of -4 in 4th place.
Rory Sabbatini was another one who had an erratic front 9 with 3 birdies and 3 bogeys. He only had 1 birdie on the back 9 on the 11th, and he finished the round -1, in 2nd with a total -7.
Scott Stallings who was -5 at the start of the round was +3 for the round with 2 double bogeys and 2 bogeys, with 2 birdies. He didn't seem to play very confidently, so I would count him out for tomorrow.
Tomorrow should be a good round with Levin playing great today along with Sabbatini. Tiger and Fowler should also be an interesting group to watch, but hopefully there won't be the same cell phone issue that happened to Mickelson in round #1. I would say Fowler, Levin, and Sabbatini have the best chances. Levin and Fowler both played well today, and Sabbatini is close by in 2nd. I don't see Tiger in it, but you never know...especially since he is going for his 73th win to tie Jack Nicklaus himself. Tune in tomorrow at 2:30PM Eastern Time on CBS to find out.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Some other great golfers that jumped up a bunch of spots are Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods. Tiger did have one double bogey during the round on the 12th, but other than that played great with 5 birdies. He hit a lot of greens today (14/18) and looked pretty well putting. Tiger's total score is 5 under.
Jim Furyk had a very neat looking scorecard free of bogeys. He had 4 birdies, with 3 coming from during the first 9 holes. He putted well today with only 25 of them. Furyk hit a decent amount of fairways as well, and has a total score of -4.
Davis Love III................+3
Main Contenders for the Weekend (my picks):
Woods (needs to stay consistent)
Furyk (with another surge like the one today, he is a shoe in)
Baddeley (not his year so far, but he needs to break out of his consistent par play)
Coverage for tomorrow starts at 3PM Eastern Time on CBS. There was a lot of talent that was cut, but there still is a lot of talent in play.
Levin and Stallings at the Lead with -5, but there are still more People to Finish (Another Post to Come)
Stallings Interview Round 2
Levin Interview Round 2
Both golfers really sounded like they were glad the round was over, and the wind seemed to take a toll on everyone. Neither Scott Stallings or Spencer Levin had exceptional rounds, and they weren't anything to write home about, but they are still the leaders with more players close on their tails.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
A fact that they showed on the screen was that Phil had the most rounds under par this year with 34. Fowler was right behind him with 32. After this round, Rickie has 33 total rounds, one back from Mickelson. Fowler really has surprised me this year, because I thought he was all talk until recently.
For most of the round, there were nearly a dozen people tied for the lead at -3. That was until Stallings birdied the 11th hole bringing him to -4. He then gave that birdie back with a bogey on the next hole. On the 7th hole, Spencer Levin eagled bringing him to -5 where he then birdied and bogeyed leaving him at -5 for the round. Stallings birdied 3 of the last 4 holes and he finished in the lead with -6.
On the 11th hole, Rickie Fowler had a great eagle putt which brought him to -2. He finished the day with -1, with all pars and 1 bogey for the rest of the round. Fowler Eagle 11th
Dustin Johnson was also back for his first tournament since March, and he didn't seem too rusty even after his recovery. His putting did not improve one bit since he last played.
Bubba Watson played some spotty golf. He had 4 bogeys on the back 9, with his only birdie coming on the 5th hole. On the 10th, Bubba had a great imaginative bunker shot hitting it on the other side of the green and using the slope bringing the ball about 4 feet from the hole. He tried to go for the green on the 11th, but ended up bogeying with his 2nd shot in the water. On the 12th hole, a 169 yard par 3, Watson hit a WEDGE, and the ball landed on the back half of the green. He finished the round +3.
With round 1 finished at the Memorial Tournament, there is Stallings leading at -6 and 2 more at -5. There are still a handfull more at -3 under. It could be anybody's tournament. Let's see what cut day has to bring.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
"TIP: DON'T TRUST RANGE MATS
When you hit balls off artificial turf, you can't always believe everything you feel. Fat contact is often disguised, because the club rebounds off the mat and you hit a decent shot. So focus on swinging down to the ball with your weight rotating toward the target onto a firm left leg (left). It should feel as if you're "trapping" the ball. This move ensures that the club will reach the bottom of its arc at the ball, not before it.
—Rick Smith / Golf Digest Teaching Professional"
This is mainly true from my experiences. You feel that you are hitting everything perfectly at the range and then mess up on the course. Unless your range has actual grass, you won't be able to practice truly. I try to stay clear of mats as much as I can because they tend to wreck my game. After every time I use them, I often top the ball. This is because you can't get get under the ball as much or make a divot. Mats will get you into a tendency of hitting the ball skinny. I would recommend trying to stay away from mats. You won't get a true feel for your clubs on mats, or even on the range...only on the course.
Steve Stricker: He is the defending champion, so I included him in the list even though he hasn't done much this year.
Justin Rose: He has won the tournament in 2010, and is currently leading the European Tour in the Race to Dubai (placed 2nd in the BMW Championship), though Rose hasn't been spectacular on the PGA Tour this year.
Bubba Watson: His first start since New Orleans. I am looking forward to seeing him play because it has been a while. Wonder how rusty he is?
Phil Mickelson: Mickelson is always a contender and you can never count him out (even when there seems to be no hope) due to his consistent play. He has played very well over the years at this event, but has never won.
Tiger Woods: He has won here four times in the past...but remember: that is the past. I didn't choose Tiger because I think he will do well, I chose him because he can be entertaining to watch.
Rory McIlroy: In both of his starts here, he has earned top 10 spots. Even though his play lately has been worse than average, McIlroy is due to come out of his slump.
Luke Donald: He just reclaimed the world #1 spot after winning the BMW Championship. Another consistent golfer. Donald has played well at Muirfield Village in his last few starts with top 20s.
Jim Furyk: With a handfull of top 20s and 1 win at this tournament in the early 2000s, Furyk is definitely a contender. Though he hasn't won yet this year, this could be his tournament. I would love for him to return to his 2010 season state.
The tee times for this event would be located in the link scoreboard at the top so you can find your favorite player. The Memorial Tournament tomorrow (5/31) will be televised from 3-6 PM on the Golf Channel. My favorite players in the field would be Keegan Bradley, Fred Couples (who won the tournament in the 90s), Jim Furyk, Ken Duke, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, and Jonas Blixt. I would love to see Duke win for the first time since coming off of the Nationwide Tour. He has played a lot of great golf this year and is truly a caring person, especially with his talk with people with scoliosis over the last weekend after the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Duke is one of the nicest guys on tour. For the whole story on Duke, checkout this link: Ken Duke Offers Encouragement, Support to Fellow Scoliosis Sufferers
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The hybrid is designed so that is has a loft and lauch angle slightly higher than its counterpart, plus it has a larger head with a lower center of gravity. All of these contribute to the golfer getting the ball up in the air much easier. Most now are designed so that less turf hits the head as well which will result in a smoother shot.
I personally can't hit hybrids. Instead of a 3 hybrid, I hit a 7 wood. It has the same loft as a 3 hybrid, but I just hit it better. My woods are Cobra Baffler Rail F, F standing for "fairway" while the Baffler Rail H was the hybrid model. They are both basically the same except that one is a wood. A lot of people knock out the 7 and 9 woods (yes...some companies still make a 9 wood) in favor of a 3 and 4 hybrid. They might not know what they are missing. Some people have problems hitting woods, and some have problems hitting hybrids. For those who struggle to hit a long iron AND a hybrid like myself, you may be able to hit woods. You may get laughed at a little, but it will be a great feeling when you smoke the ball on the green while they miss. See what works for you.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Callaway HEX Chrome: ($36) Great overall golf ball. Has a nice soft feel to it, good distance and accuracy with great spin. It is basically the HEX Black only meant for a little bit slower swing speeds (85-105mph probably).
Bridgestone e5: ($26) This is a rare ball...the only 2 piece with a Urethane cover. I chose this over the e6 or e7 because of the Urethane which means more spin. Spin is crucial for me on the greens. I really liked the feel especially with iron shots, and the flight was higher than a HEX Chrome which I liked. the e5 had better spin the the Q-Star The ball did have some serious stopping power. The only thing (as with all Urethane balls) it will tend to scuff. If spin is important to you, then these would be a better fit for you when compared to the Q-Star.
Srixon Q-Star: ($25) You would really have to work at it to slice or hook this ball. It's not that I have that problem, but the ball flight was a bit straighter than the e5 or a HEX Chrome (3 piece). It has a little better feel with the driver and woods. I chose a sleeve of these because I heard good things about them and just wanted to explore the market a little. The spin wasn't quite as good as the e5, but it was much better than other 2 piece balls which will just roll off the green. The feel when putting might've been a little softer though when compared with the e5, but that is a personal preference type of thing. If you have trouble slicing, this would be an excellent choice if you don't want to spend big bucks.
I personally would take the e5 as my next ball because of the spin. If that isn't your top priority, then the Q-Star is an excellent choice. I still like my HEX Chrome's but the e5's are much more affordable.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Early in the round, Tommy Gainey looked like he might've had a change with -9 as his peak. He then lost 2 shots on the 11th and 12th holes. Gainey ended up with a respectable 3rd place finish of -7.
On the 8th hole, Zach Johnson duffed his chip shot which resulted in a widened lead gap with Dufner leading -16 to -14. On the very next hole, Dufner gave Johnson a break when he had a wedge shot in the water. Dufner ended up swith a double bogey on that hole while Johnson par'd. They were then tied for the lead at -14.
The 11th hole was also in favor of Zach Johnson. He took advantage of the fact that Dufner ended up in the sand and shot a bogey. Johnson ended up with a birdie which widened his lead to -15 to -13.
The 12th hole brought some drama for Johnson. He had a tough fairway sand shot which hit the lip and was re-shot. Because of that extra shot, Johnson ended up with a bogey. Jason Dufner had a birdie bringing the score back to a tie at -14.
On the 14th hole, Johnson took the lead again at -15 to -14. Dufner then went on to make a mess of the 15 hole where he had his 2nd shot of the day in the water where he ended the hole with a dreaded triple bogey widening Johnson's lead to -15 to -11. Johnson then bogeyed the 16th which brought the score to -14 to -11, still in Johnson's favor.
The last hole was where the game got really interesting. Jason Dufner shot a par and so did Johnson...except he didn't. He really had a double bogey. Johnson had to move his ball marker in order for Dufner to putt. Johnson then forgot to move it back to where it was. His caddie noticed and asked him, but after he had putt. Zach Johnson should thank his caddie for bringing that to attention before he signed his scorecard or he wouldn't have won the Crowne Plaze Invitational for the 2nd time -12 to -11.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Earlier in the round, Zach Johnson caught up to Jason Dufner quickly. As the round goes on, Dufner starts making more birdies which Johnson is narrowly saving par. On the 12th hole Johnson had a very nice clutch par, but it wasn't enough since Dufner made a birdie. Zach Johnson is in 1st place in scrambling in the tournament. The "theme" of his round (if that is what you want to call it) is: It doesn't matter how perfect you play, it matters how well you can play when you find yourself in trouble. He didn't hit many fairways, greens and he hit a lot of sand (especially on the back 9) but his high scrambling percentage really helped him in this round. He only had 1 bogey. Johnson had a beautiful shot on the water hazard line on the 15th where he saved par.
Where the tide started to turn was on the 16th hole where Johnson had a clutch birdie. Jason Dufner ended up bogeying bringing him to only a 1 shot lead. On the 17th hole, Both Dufner and Johnson had great 2nd shots...they were identical. Dufner hit his about 8 feet from the hole. Johnson then hits the same shot that spins and lands (even touches) right next to Dufner's ball. They both birdied the hole.
It seems pretty obvious that round 4 of the Crowne Plaza Invitational will be all about Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner. It would be highly unlikely that anyone else will come close to the lead considering that the next person is 7 shots off Zach Johnson. I was impressed with how well Johnson played considering his lack of greens and fairways hit which is the sign of a true player. Dufner hasn't really had a chance to show that skill, but no one knows that there is to store in round 4 of the CPI.
Friday, May 25, 2012
On the other hand, Sergio Garcia didn't have the greatest round. He started out excellent, but then on the 9th hole hit 2 balls in the water and finished the hole +4 and went from -6 to -2. Garcia finished the day with a total of 1 under par.
Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey also played a great round. His total score is -7 and in the 2nd round, he too went bogey free. Gainey only had 25 putts in the round. It has been a while since he has played great and if he continues this consistent play, he still has a chance to win. Gainey had a very positive attitude in his post round interview and I look forward to watching him in the weekend.
In 2nd place is Zach Johnson. He went 3 under for the round which included an eagle on the 1st hole. Zach looked very good off the tee today accuracy wise and distance wise. In round 2, Johnson averaged 305.5 yards with his driver which is much more than his season average (over 30 yards more).
The Main Contenders in the Weekend:
Bo Van Pelt........ -7 (Great round out of no where, 6 under)
John Daly..............-1 (Been a while for him)
Davis Love III
Thursday, May 24, 2012
On a more relatable note, Zach Johnson ended up in the lead with a -6. I didn't get to watch him play at all today, but in his post round interview he sounded very confident. The one person who surprised me was Sergio Garcia. I didn't expect him to play so well today beause he hasn't done great all year. Garcia had a great eagle putt during the round, but it was shortly followed by a bogey. I was also surprised at Hunter Mahan and I expected him to play much better than he did. He had a solid round, but he didn't really seem like he had it all together.
The group of Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler and Jason Dufner didn't really have the greatest rounds (with the exception of Dufner). Kuchar made me nervous every time he was on the green and didn't make nearly as many GIR's and greens hit as he usually did. Rowler didn't do much better at his putting either, though I love his calm "get back on the horse" mentality. Fowler always seems to keep his cool no matter what his mistake is and that is what I think has led to his success. Dufner, who finished round 1 in a tie for 2nd place with -5 had a pretty good round. He did a much better job putting even though he never seems to be impressed with it. One thing that Kuchar, Fowler, and Dufner all had in common was that they all hit into a LOT of bunkers. The difference was that Kuchar and Fowler had a sand save percentage of 100%
On the 12th hole, Kyle Riefers hit the longest drive of the day on the 12th which went 315 yards. On that drive, he also lost his driver head which landed in the fairway about 50 yards or so from the tee box. The link for the video is right here: http://www.pgatour.com/video/r/highlights/top_shots/2012/05/24/mine12colonialrnd112teereiferspg-2108726/index.html
One thing to keep in mind about the current leaders is that you can't count on them to play the same throughout the tournament. Just remember 2 weeks ago with Ian Poulter (my personal favorite) in The Players. He led with -7 in the first round and then had 2 double bogeys in the 2nd round and 1 more later in the tournament which he ended tied for 25th.
Zach Johnson probably has the best chance at winning right now because of his win at the CPI 2 years ago along with his earlier success. As I said, his confidence showed in his post round interview which is a great sign. Then again, you can't count out Jason Dufner who is hungry for his 3rd win.