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GolfWRXer caddies for Jin Park at the RBC Canadian Open

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July 23 was a day I had been looking forward to for weeks — I was going to be inside the ropes with PGA Tour player Jin Park at the RBC Canadian Open.

As my cousin and I drove to the course, we discussed the endless possibilities of what could come from our days experience walking along with Jin.

At 8 a.m., we arrive at the course and were greeted by sunny skies and the sound of pros striping it on the range. We knew we were in for a treat.

After watching Jin warm up for a little while, we headed toward the first tee with his close friend Y.E. Yang for the pair’s usual Tuesday practice round. On this walk was where my day started to fall into place – Jin turned to me and asked if I would be interested in caddying for the day.

Without hesitation I said yes, and took Jin’s Iliac golf bag from Mike Bestor, Jin’s usual caddy, and slugged it onto my own shoulder. Once we got onto the first tee, Y.E’s caddie, James Walton, looked to Mike and sarcastically asked if I had a friend who could loop for him. Little did he know that my cousin Travis was more than willing to lug the bag!

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The day was a surreal experience that was filled with laughs, bets and a shocking number of good shots. I knew that PGA Tour players were good, and I didn’t consider myself to be a slouch on the course. However, after following Jin and Y.E around for 18 holes watching them pure shot after shot after shot, I was mind boggled. I don’t just consider PGA Tour pros to be good anymore — they’re unbelievable!

Just as good as their ball striking was their putting. Y.E. and Jin left almost every putt in or beside the hole, blowing nothing by and leaving nothing painfully short like most amateurs.

Jin, Y.E., Mike and James were all extremely down to earth, and took an interest in all the things we had to say. They took two young guys under their wing for the day and stopped at nothing to make sure we enjoyed ourselves

It could have poured rain and Jin could have slipped sacks of sand in the bag for me to lug, and I still would have had an awesome day.

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Nick Boyd is an 18-year-old journalism student at Carleton University in Ottawa, with hopes of one day becoming a sports reporter.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. charley phx

    Aug 9, 2013 at 10:31 am

    hey Nick. sounds like a great experience – i found this article after meeting your dad and brother in florida – your brother and my son played in an event a few weeks ago and became fast friends and i heard about this story.. best wishes on your golf and writing!

    • Nick Boyd

      Aug 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Hey Charley, thank you for reading the article! Yea I heard Cameron and your son became good friends down south, it sounded like an awesome trip – too bad cam couldnt get the golf going. Thank you for the well wishes and again for giving the article a read!!

      Nick.

  2. Jadon

    Jul 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    wow, how cool is that?! I bet you learn a lot more from those guys watching up close in person that watching on TV. Especially on shots around the green.

    • Nick Boyd

      Aug 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Oh around the greens those guys are incredible!

  3. Sean

    Jul 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Nice! What a great experience for you. Yeah, those guys are good. 🙂

    • Nick Boyd

      Jul 28, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      It was an awesome experience one of the best I’ve ever had on the golf course! Ha good is an understatement! Thanks for reading and for the comment Sean!

      Nick.

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: The best drill in golf (throwing the club)

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If you are struggling with weight shift, clearing your hips, or have issues freeing up your golf swing, then what you want to do is start chucking that golf club. No joke! In this podcast, we will explain how to properly throw the golf club from a safe area and the results will be absolutely transformational.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

Ways to Win: A New No. 1 – How Justin Thomas overcame a poor putting performance

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In the final tuneup before the PGA Championship in San Francisco, many of the world’s best teed it up at Memphis’ TPC Southwind in the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational. The final day showcased a stacked leaderboard and plenty of volatility, but in the end, it was Justin Thomas who came from four back to win for the third time this year. This was a quick bounceback after a letdown at The Memorial just a few weeks ago. Winning on the PGA Tour certainly takes stellar play and, typically, a little luck like Thomas’ pulled drive on 15 that skirted off a cart path, over a bridge and into prime position for a late birdie. Had that tee ball found the hazard instead, this article would likely be about Brooks Koepka and his late charge.

Golf is a game of misses and taking advantage of good breaks. That is not to take away from JT’s week of stellar ball striking. He finished the week first in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green and second in Strokes Gained Approach. That’s no surprise for the new number one in the world. What is surprising is how poorly Thomas putted throughout the week. It is extremely rare for a PGA Tour winner to lose strokes to the field with the putter, but that is exactly what Thomas did.

In Ways to Win, it is rare that we highlight Short Game as a differentiating factor for winners. That is typically because to excel in the short game, one has to miss quite a few greens. When you miss greens, it’s hard to score. However, Justin Thomas was able to consistently get himself out of difficult situations, minimize damage, and turn bogeys into pars throughout his four rounds.

If you want to be an elite player, you can’t do it with your short game alone. It sure comes in handy on those off days, though. Just how good was Thomas’ short game? He finished fourth for the week in Strokes Gained Around the Green and got up and down inside 75 yards more than 80 percent of the time (including several clutch up and downs late on Sunday). His touch was particularly crucial, given that his putter wasn’t really cooperating.

Again, it is very rare for a PGA Tour winner to lose strokes with the flatstick. Typically the winner is the best putter out of the best ball strikers, but not so this week. Thomas only three-putted twice for the week. However, he lost strokes to the field from three out of nine distance buckets that we analyzed using V1 Game’s putting breakdown.

In four other buckets, he was almost “net zero” in strokes gained with the putter. He only gained strokes with the putter from inside six feet. Making short putts is certainly a big key to golfing success. That is why short misses are highlighted in V1 Game’s post-round analysis: missing short putts is a quick way to compound errors. Thomas is not an elite putter by any means, but he is typically solid in the clutch.

V1 Game makes it easy to keep track of personal bests and track progress in a tournament. Any stat that the PGA Tour gives can be recreated with V1 Game. Here are some quick stats for Thomas’ week using V1 Game’s Personal Bests feature:

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Worst Round: 70
Longest Drive: 347 yds
Longest Holeout: 28 ft
Most consecutive holes without a bogey: 24
Scrambling Streak: 9 in a row
Holes without a 3 putt: 20
Most birdies in a round: 6

Thomas certainly played well when it mattered, resisting the urge to look at a scoreboard throughout the final round and focusing on the job at hand. His patience paid off with his 13th victory in a young career. Short game play is a fantastic equalizer and a great tool for any golfer’s bag. However, Thomas really separates himself with ball striking.

The best way to improve your short game is to miss fewer greens, like JT. For most amateurs, short game practice should focus on eliminating mistakes, such as “two-chips” when you do miss the green. Once you can consistently get on the green and have a putt to get up and down, focus should shift to the long game. Tee to Green play is where the game’s best separate themselves from the weekend warriors.

V1 Game can help you with each of these items.

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On Spec

On Spec: Talking Kirkland wedge, LPGA Tour, and teased irons from TaylorMade & Mizuno

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In this episode of On Spec, host Ryan talks about the recently discovered Kirkland Signature wedges on the USGA Conforming list, as well as what recently spotted TaylorMade and Mizuno irons may have in store
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Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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