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Putting Aid Presents for Christmas

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‘Tis the season of goodwill and and bad presents. When someone finds out that you are a golfer, you can almost see the little light go on in their head as they think ‘I know just what to get him for Christmas’. This of course means grinning fixedly at the boxes of cheap balls, spare 6 irons and ill-fitting and bizarrely patterned jumpers that your nearest and dearest will inflict on you.

Bag Chatter has had a dig through some of the putting aids for some ideas of what you might want to find in your stocking on Christmas morning

Triangulator

This little device looks at your alignment and can be used two ways. Firstly, you can set yourself up for a straight putt and then align the Triangulator to see if you are aiming in the right direction and secondly you can line the aid up prior to set up and get used to aiming directly at the hole. The Triangulator also has a piece of nylon cord attached so that if you are having difficulty lining up the device you can stretch out the cord and make exactly sure of your alignment.

Misalignment is one of the most common mistakes, especially for higher handicappers and a simple aid like this allows you to make sure that you are aiming your putts where you think you are.

For more info, see www.seemore.com or www.seemoreputter.co.uk

Absolute Reader

Green reading is a bugbear for almost every golfer. Informal studies show that amateurs golfers regularly underestimate the amout of break by about 50%. The Absolute Reader allows you to putt a ball on a repeatable line allowing you to match the amount of break to the slope. Setting this up on a slope not only allows you to see how much break a particular putt but also the importance of speed. Faster putts take less break and go high while slower putts take more break and go low. All very simple but a mistake almost all of us make and practising it can be difficult as putting on a repeatable line without any sort of guide is almost impossible as your body subconsciously tries to help you get the ball in the hole.

The Absolute Reader is very easy to use and you only need to be able to putt the ball down the slotted piece of aluminum. The ‘walls’ of the reader are low at the putting area minimising any chance of you damaging your expensive flatstick, and they slowly rise and tighten which forces the ball out of the Reader and on a consistant path. Practise with this aid is actually very fun, especially on sharply breaking greens, and putting competitions with others on the green are faily common as you set up the Reader so that the ball must die in the hole to go in. Because of its ease of use, the Absolute Reader is suitable for any age.

For more info, see www.esotericgolf.com

Pure Ball Striker

You might wonder why something that was designed to improve your full swing can help your putting stroke. Unlike the other aids here, the Pure Ball Striker is not designed to help the technical side of your stroke but the feel side. What the PBS does is make you more aware of the feedback during any golf stroke.

The PBS is a small hemisphere of orange rubber that fits on the bottom end of the grip thanks to a channel cut into the underside. It sits underneath the trigger finger of the bottom hand (with a standard grip) and the enhanced feedback allows you to become aware of how smooth or jabby your stroke is and at what pace you accelerate and decelerate during your stroke. While it sounds simple (and it is incredibly simple) the PBS is surprisingly effective at highlighting any tendency to jab or poke at the ball and instead make you focus on making the sort of smooth and positive putting stoke that gives the ball the least amount of backspin to produce the straightest and most consistent putts. With a good putt, you don’t even notice it but break the wrists or decelerate and you feel as though you are holding a small rock in your hand.

For more info, see www.pureballstriker.com

Path Finder

This is a training device that allows you to groove a repeatable putting stroke and hopefully one that is straighter and more consistent. It consists of a flat base plate on which you can stick 6 small carbon fibre posts via magnets at various locations on the base plate. These 6 posts create 3 gates which the putter has to pass through and are variable enough be able to use virtually any putter. The location of the posts can be altered to let you swing either straight back straight through or on a gated stroke and the width is wide enough for beginners to use. The better you get, the closer you can set the pins and the more demanding the aid becomes. The base plate also has a small mirrored section so that you can check where your eye-line is in relation to the ball. It also comes with a useful (if slightly cheesy) DVD and a booklet that features the lessons from the DVD as well as a smaller version of an alignment device called the Square Triangle.

While the Path Finder is a bit fiddly, it makes you think about your stroke more than any other putting aid I’ve tried and regular practice with this will see you reap rewards on the green.

For more info, see www.yesgolf.co.uk and www.esotericgolf.com

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Morning 9: Women’s PGA | Fox: best golf coverage in the biz? | Michelle Wieturns

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

June 19, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Henderson, Thompson sizzling heading into Women’s PGA
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Brooke Henderson and Lexi Thompson couldn’t get hotter at a better time.”
  • “With three major championships over the next seven weeks, they’ll be looking to make the most of their winning form. They each have a chance this week to reach No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings for the first time.”
  • “Henderson won the Meijer Classic last week, Thompson the ShopRite Classic two weeks ago.”
  • “Ladbrokes makes Henderson the co-favorite to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with Jeongeun Lee6 at 11/1 odds, with Thompson at 12/1 odds.”
2. Wieturning again
Ron Sirak for LPGA.com…
“But perhaps the most difficult digits to digest are those detailing the impact of the injuries that have disrupted Wie’s career. Without the constant interruptions, her five career wins with one major championship would almost certainly be more. Now, she tries once again to get back into action.”
  • “I’m feeling hopeful,” Wie said Tuesday at Hazeltine National where, on Thursday, she will tee it up for just her ninth tournament round of the year. “It’s still a process. It’s been hard sitting out during the middle of the season. There’s really nothing worse. But I had to take the time to get myself back to where I want to be.”
  • “There is almost no a part of Wie that has not been damaged, beginning with an injury to her left wrist when she fell while jogging in 2007. Since then, she’s had issues with a finger, knee, hip and the other wrist. At times, it almost appears as if her body is held together by multi-colored physiotape.”

Full piece.

3. Arrival of the Wolff
Sean Martin at PGATour.com…”This week’s Travelers Championship is Matthew Wolff’s first tournament as a professional. It may be the most anticipated pro debut in a decade. The consensus collegiate player of the year combines charisma with a swing that is identifiable from a few fairways over.
  • “He wins. He’s unique. His swing is different, so it catches everybody’s eye,” said Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee. “And then there’s the incredible speed.
  • “When you see somebody with speed … it gets your attention.”
4. Fox the best?
An interesting take from Sean Zak at Golf.com…
  • “In its five years as the USGA rights-holder, Fox has added something new every year, which, for a sport whose visuals seem to never change, is refreshing and important. One year it was the mic’d up holes, even shadows on the greens to display slopes. Some of it sticks from year to year, some of it doesn’t, but Fox is trying new things and adding new context.”
  • “This year the novelty was epic, highlighted by delicious drone shots along the coast. Blimp shots are great and were more relevant this week than most, but the drones that floated up over Carmel Bay, gliding along with the players, providing the perfect scale of the property – those were new and beautiful. A good broadcast shows viewers everything they must see to better understand a course, but also makes them a bit jealous of everyone there on the grounds.”
5. JT pain free
A few quotes from Thomas…”I have zero pain. I can do everything normally.”
“I could have played Colonial – easily – but it would have been stupid and [my wrist] could have been lingering the entire year,” he said. “This injury should never be an issue again in my life, as long as I do the proper things and don’t do anything stupid. That’s why I waited as long as I did.”
6. Not a fan
The Herald’s (Scotland) Nick Rodger…
  • “As everyday life hurtles along at a furious rate of knots, the golf season too is hammering on. Three men’s majors have already been played and in just four weeks’ time the curtain will come down on the quartet of grand slam events at the Open Championship. It’s rather like uploading a Youtube video onto your laptop and quickly spooling through to the best bits.”
  • “It’s all happening a bit too quickly for my liking,” gasped Colin Montgomerie as the dust settled on last weekend’s US Open even though there’s still probably dust lingering from the previous majors of the US PGA Championship and the Masters.”
7. Jin Young Ko dreaming of Brooks?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“On a day when LPGA stars filed in and out of the press room at the KPMG Women’s PGA, Ko delivered the line of the day. When asked what it is that she likes about Koepka and how he inspires her play, Ko said: “I met him in my dream, and then we had really great time.”
  • “…He always (has) like a poker face and then like stone.”
  • Ko, 23, put her arms out wide and said, “I like big guy.”
8. What Gary was aiming for
Our Gianni Magliocco…“U.S. Open Champion Gary Woodland made an appearance at SiriusXM’s Manhattan studios on Tuesday, where he sat down to discuss a multitude of topics with Adam Schein on his Mad Dog Sports Radio program – Schein on Sports.”
  • “Woodland also discussed beating Tiger Woods’ total of 12-under-par from the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. The 35-year-old first mentioned how he recognized that Woods won that tournament by 15 strokes, before adding how he was aware of beating his 72-hole total, saying…”
  • “I knew it, but I was trying to two-putt. I wasn’t trying to make that putt. Once it got halfway there and it went in I obviously let the emotion out. My caddie came over to tell me congrats and I said, ‘You know that clipped Tiger by one?’ And he said, ‘No I didn’t.’ He was focused on the wrong stuff, he was focused on winning, I was focused on beating that record.”
9. A Phireside chat
How to introduce Phil Mickelson’s first Phireside with Phil video…? Mickelson tells a story of an early morning restart at the Memorial some years back and a, um, crappy situation.
My question: This is a clear violation of the rules of tournament play. Is there a provision for situations that make the hole/toilet unusable after restart and necessitate cutting a new cup?

 

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Equipment

TaylorMade signs Matthew Wolff to a multi-year deal; Wolff WITB

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TaylorMade Golf has officially announced the signing of Matthew Wolff on a multi-year agreement that will see the 20-year-old play the company’s metal woods, irons, wedges, putter and ultimately, TaylorMade’s flagship golf ball, the TP5x.

Wolff had previously unveiled that he would be making his professional debut at this week’s Travelers Championship, and just as top prospect Collin Morikawa did earlier at this month’s Canadian Open, Wolff will do so as a TaylorMade staffer.

The NCAA All-American and 2019 NCAA Division I individual champion made his debut on the PGA Tour at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year where he finished T50 after opening his week with a round of five-under par.

Matthew Wolff WITB

Driver: TaylorMade M6 (8 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design TP 7TX

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 6.5 TX

Utility Iron: TaylorMade P760 (2)
Shaft: Nippon Modus 130x

Irons: TaylorMade P750 Tour Proto (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon Modus 130x

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (52, 56, 62 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper

 

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5 questions with Justin Kinney of Virtual Golf Caddy

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We chatted with Justin Kinney, founder and CEO of startup Virtual Golf Caddy about his product, which serves both courses and players, by offering drone arial photography of golf courses (with graphics overlayed).

While drone photography and videography of golf courses is an established phenomenon, using the photos and video for better course management and preparation is a relatively new approach.

We wanted to learn more about what VGC is doing, and Kinney was kind enough to answer a handful of questions and include an example of the company’s work.

1. Tell us a bit about your background

I am 38 years old, born and raised in Connecticut. Lifelong golfer. Just finishing up my career as a middle school math teacher to focus on VGC full-time. I also have five years of business experience managing people’s retirement accounts. I played as many sports as I could growing up, and love the thrill of competition.

2. What’s the opportunity you saw?

I agreed to caddie for one of my students two summers ago. When researching the courses he was going to play, there was NO info on the courses. I thought there was a huge opportunity to provide course management strategies for players and give players a view of the entire courses with drones. No one was really doing anything like that, so I spent the past two years working on and building my business plan. Two months ago I secured funding to work on this full-time.

3. What is Virtual Golf Caddy, exactly?

VGC is a golf preparation and mental conditioning program designed to help give golfers a game plan to attack courses with. We provide drone views of each hole as well as course management strategies on how to best play each hole. Shot suggestions are given based on how far and confident players hit their clubs. We include mental conditioning tips and exercises to help players “zone in” more often and consistently. We are considering getting into golf fitness and nutrition as well to help build the whole golfer. Players purchase access to each course’s videos and info for either $15 or $25 per course, depending on how much info they want. They get unlimited access to the videos and can watch them wherever (home, airport, hotel, course).

4. What stage is the business in, and can you show us an example of VCG in action? 

We are still in the start-up phase. We are making agreements with and filming at courses. The website is being redesigned and will be up in June. It appears like things may take off quickly so stay tuned!

For an example, check out the video below.

6. What else should GolfWRX members know?

We are looking for courses to partner with. We will give courses free publicity on our site, a promotional video from the footage to use on their site, and share 15 percent of their courses profits with them. A win-win for everyone involved! If readers know of any courses, please email us.

One other thing to add: the mental prep/conditioning program is being built by renowned sports psychologist Bill Cole, MS, MA. It is legit and comes from over 40 years of research and experience! We’re also pursuing options in fitness and nutrition.

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