Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

My Master’s Hangover

Published

on

By Brant Brice

GolfWRX Contributor

The 2012 Masters had the possibly the biggest story lines leading up to a major in history and maybe in all of golf. It included the resurgence of Tiger Woods, Phil looking like he was ready to add to his green jacket collection, Rory’s desire to make up for his 2011 choke at Augusta National and world No. 1 Luke Donald proving everyone wrong about little guys and long courses.

But since Bubba amazed us all with what could be the greatest golf shot in Masters history, my interest has been a bit under the weather and the adrenaline rush from the finish numbed me a bit since it ended. Am I the only one who has been a bit underwhelmed this last couple of weeks?

For a guy who can’t get enough golf on TV, I have watched maybe 20 holes over the last few weeks and have been wondering why. Is it because of the quality of the fields after majors or was it the emotional release I experienced as a result of the Masters finish?

I think it’s a combination of both: In typical fashion, many of the top card holders will rest a week or two prior to and subsequent to major championships. This practice, especially after the majors, spreads the field very thin in those events where there is a large number of conditional and sponsor’s exempt players competing, many of whom are seemingly older competitors, the middle of the pack PGA Tour and well known Nationwide members.

The perennial top-20 players like Brandt Snedeker, Jim Furyk, Adam Scott and the Zach Johnsons of the world win many of these post-Masters tournaments. They have a better than normal chance to pick off a win where within a full field they may have finished second or third. For me not very compelling; a DVR fast-forward fest.

I have to come clean; I didn’t think Bubba had a chance coming down the stretch. He continually amazes us with his impossible shot shapes, incredible distance and deft touch around the greens. He is nearly impossible to dislike in that he isn’t afraid to show how he feels both anger and joy. His self admitted A.D.D. and sometimes lack of focus shows up in his consistency throughout a tournament. I don’t like to pick sides but Bubba is one of the guys I root for every week not only for his golf but for his character and faith.

So after nearly two useless weeks at work prior to the Masters taking in any and everything golf, followed by the entire week of the tournament, I was a balloon ready to explode with anticipation on Sunday with a couple holes to go and one of my guys with a chance. I sat impatiently watching the drama unfold.

After he sank the winning putt, I replayed Bubba Watson’s hook shot on the playoff hole from the straw over and over again and expected a different outcome every time I watched it. I couldn’t believe he could bend a pitching wedge that much from that distance, 155 yards uphill and almost a 90 degree hook. He could be the only guy on tour capable of that shot with one exception in Phil Mickelson since he is also a lefty. Right handed golfers would have struggled to cut a ball with that high of a loft from that spot. Simply amazing!

Strangely, when he made the putt to win I realized I had been holding my breath and exhaled noticeably. I felt the release from three weeks of anticipation followed by absolute joy in my heart for Bubba. My only regret is that I wasn’t there to see it firsthand. What an amazing finish!

So after searching for the reason I have to admit I’m afraid I will be disappointed from here on out. When I woke up on Monday it was like I had a hangover. I felt a little empty for I knew no matter how many tournaments I watch from here till my last; I may never see a fairy tale ending quite like the 2012 Masters for it was truly a finish unlike any other!

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum. 

Click here to read more from Brant on his blog: Golfensive thoughts and other shallow observations. You can follow Brice on Twitter @BrantBrice

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

We share your golf passion. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX, Facebook and Instagram.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: My Master’s Hangover | Augusta Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

On Spec

On Spec: Dr. Paul Wood, Ping Golf’s VP of Engineering

Published

on

Host Ryan Barath talks all things design and innovation with VP of Engineering at Ping Golf, Dr. Paul Wood.

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. 

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

19th Hole

GolfWRXers Vote: Best U.S. Open venue showdown – Quarter-finals

Published

on

@neilhartmantv

There were no major shocks in round one of our GolfWRXers vote for best U.S. Open venue, but five-time host Olympic Club was a casualty, losing out to Pinehurst in what was our most competitive match-up. The west coast venue was defeated by a margin of 63% to 37%, in a round which saw the majority of match-ups prove comfortable for the heavy hitters. 

Here is a look at how WRXers voted during round one.

Game 1: Pebble Beach (90%) vs Torrey Pines South (10%)

Game 2: Winged Foot (81%) vs Oakland Hills (19%)

Game 3: Baltusrol (73%) vs Chambers Bay (27%)

Game 4: Pinehurst Resort No.2 (63%) vs Olympic Club (37%)

Game 5: Oakmont (74%) vs Bethpage Black (26%)

Game 6: Southern Hills (76%) vs Olympia Fields (24%)

Game 7: Merion (90%) vs Erin Hills (10%)

Game 8: Shinnecock (86%) vs Congressional (14%)

Now we’re onto the quarter-finals, with some tasty match-ups. We’ll leave voting open for 48 hours. At that time, we’ll determine the winners and lock in our semi-finalists.

Get voting!

*Years hosted, winners and avg. winning score from 1950 onwards*

QF 1

Pebble Beach

  • Years Hosted: 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2010, 2019
  • Winners: Nicklaus (+2), Watson (-6), Kite (-3), Woods (-12), McDowell (E), Woodland (-13)
  • Avg. winning score: -5.33

Winged Foot GC

  • Years Hosted: 1959, 1974, 1984, 2006
  • Winners: Casper (+2), Irwin (+7), Zoeller (-7), Ogilvy (+5)
  • Avg. winning score: +1.75

QF 1

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

QF 2

Baltusrol GC

  • Years Hosted: 1954, 1967, 1980, 1993
  • Winners: Furgol (+4), Nicklaus (-5), Nicklaus (-8), Janzen (-8)
  • Avg. winning score: -4.25

Pinehurst Resort (No 2.)

  • Years Hosted: 1995, 2005, 2014
  • Winners: Stewart (-1), Campbell (E), Kaymer (-9)
  • Avg. winning score: -3.33

QF2

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

QF 3

Oakmont CC

  • Years Hosted: 1953, 1962, 1973, 1983, 1994, 2007, 2016
  • Winners: Hogan (-5), Nicklaus (-1), Miller (-5), Nelson (-4), Els (-5), Cabrera (+5), Johnson (-4)
  • Avg. winning score: -2.71

Southern Hils CC

  • Years Hosted: 1958, 1977, 2001
  • Winners: Bolt (+3), Green (-2), Goosen (-4)
  • Avg. winning score: -1

QF 3

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

QF 4

Merion GC

  • Years Hosted: 1950, 1971, 1981, 2013
  • Winners: Hogan (+7), Trevino (E), Graham (-7), Rose (+1)
  • Avg. winning score: (+0.25)

Shinnecock Hills GC

  • Years Hosted: 1986, 1995, 2004, 2018
  • Winners: Floyd (-1), Pavin (E), Goosen (-4), Koepka (+1)
  • Avg. winning score: -1

QF 4

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Your Reaction?
  • 9
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

Clark: A teacher’s take on Brandel Chamblee’s comments

Published

on

Because I’m writing to a knowledgeable audience who follows the game closely, I’m sure the current Brandel Chamblee interview and ensuing controversy needs no introduction, so let’s get right to it.

Brandel Chamblee, a former PGA Tour player, now plays a role as a TV personality. He has built a “brand” around that role. The Golf Channel seems to relish the idea of Brandel as the “loose cannon” of the crew (not unlike Johnny Miller on NBC) saying exactly what he thinks with seeming impunity from his superiors.

I do not know the gentleman personally, but on-air, he seems like an intelligent, articulate golf professional, very much on top of his subject matter, which is mostly the PGA Tour. He was also a very capable player (anyone who played and won on the PGA Tour is/was a great player). But remember, nowadays he is not being judged by what scores he shoots, but by how many viewers/readers his show and his book have (ratings). Bold statements sell, humdrum ones do not.

For example, saying that a teacher’s idiocy was exposed is a bold controversial statement that will sell, but is at best only partly true and entirely craven. If the accuser is not willing to name the accused, he is being unfair and self-serving. However, I think it’s dangerous to throw the baby out with the bathwater here; Brandel is a student of the game and I like a lot of what he says and thinks.

His overriding message in that interview is that golf over the last “30-40 years” has been poorly taught. He says the teachers have been too concerned with aesthetics, not paying enough attention to function. There is some truth in that, but Brandel is painting with a very broad brush here. Many, myself included, eschewed method teaching years ago for just that reason. Method teachers are bound to help some and not others. Maybe the “X swing” one player finds very useful, another cannot use it all.

Brandel was asked specifically about Matthew Wolff’s unique swing: Lifting the left heel, crossing the line at the top, etc. He answered, “of course he can play because that’s how he plays.” The problem would be if someone tried to change that because it “looked odd.” Any teacher worth his weight in salt would not change a swing simply because it looked odd if it was repeating good impact. I learned from the great John Jacobs that it matters not what the swing looks like if it is producing great impact.

Now, if he is objecting exclusively to those method teachers who felt a certain pattern of motions was the one true way to get to solid impact, I agree with him 100 percent. Buy many teach on an individual, ball flight and impact basis and did not generalize a method. So to say “golf instruction over the last 30-40 years” has been this or that is far too broad a description and unfair.

He goes on to say that the “Top Teacher” lists are “ridiculous.” I agree, mostly. While I have been honored by the PGA and a few golf publications as a “top teacher,” I have never understood how or why. NOT ONE person who awarded me those honors ever saw me give one lesson! Nor have they have ever tracked one player I coached.  I once had a 19 handicap come to me and two seasons later he won the club championship-championship flight! By that I mean with that student I had great success. But no one knew of that progress who gave me an award.

On the award form, I was asked about the best, or most well-known students I had taught. In the golf journals, a “this-is-the-teacher-who-can-help-you” message is the epitome of misdirection. Writing articles, appearing on TV, giving YouTube video tips, etc. is not the measure of a teacher. On the list of recognized names, I’m sure there are great teachers, but wouldn’t you like to see them teach as opposed to hearing them speak? I’m assuming the “ridiculous” ones Brandel refers to are those teaching a philosophy or theory of movement and trying to get everyone to do just that.

When it comes to his criticism of TrackMan, I disagree. TrackMan does much more than help “dial in yardage.” Video cannot measure impact, true path, face-to-path relationship, centeredness of contact, club speed, ball speed, plane etc. Comparing video with radar is unfair because the two systems serve different functions. And if real help is better ball flight, which of course only results from better impact, then we need both a video of the overall motion and a measure of impact.

Now the specific example he cites of Jordan Spieth’s struggles being something that can be corrected in “two seconds” is hyperbolic at least! Nothing can be corrected that quickly simply because the player has likely fallen into that swing flaw over time, and it will take time to correct it. My take on Jordan’s struggles is a bit different, but he is a GREAT player who will find his way back.

Brandel accuses Cameron McCormick (his teacher) of telling him to change his swing.  Do we know that to be true, or did Jordan just fall into a habit and Cameron is not seeing the change? I agree there is a problem; his stats prove that, but before we pick a culprit, let’s get the whole story. Again back to the sensationalism which sells! (Briefly, I believe Jordan’s grip is and has always been a problem but his putter and confidence overcame it. An active body and “quiet” hands is the motion one might expect of a player with a strong grip-for obvious reason…but again just my two teacher cents)

Anyway, “bitch-slapped” got him in hot water for other reasons obviously, and he did apologize over his choice of words, and to be clear he did not condemn the PGA as a whole. But because I have disagreements with his reasoning here does not mean Brandel is not a bright articulate golf professional, I just hope he looks before he leaps the next time, and realizes none of us are always right.

Some of my regular readers will recall I “laid down my pen” a few years ago, but it occurred to me, I would be doing many teachers a disservice if I did not offer these thoughts on this particular topic!

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

Your Reaction?
  • 246
  • LEGIT28
  • WOW5
  • LOL4
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP7
  • OB4
  • SHANK24

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending