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Opinion & Analysis

The Scientific Classification of Hackers

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By Brian Chipper

GolfWRX Contributor

Before we start off here, this is not a trip down memory lane where in 10th grade biology your flirtatious note to Suzy was intercepted by the substitute teacher.

Focus.

The Scientific Classification system was a ground breaking universal academic way to properly designate every living thing on planet Earth: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, & Species. Remember?

Recently a groundbreaking discovery in genetics has identified a genetic sequence on Chromosome 12 that directly links to the type of golfer you will turn out to be. This genetic sequence is so blatant that academia is now considering adding a sub-species of humans to differentiate their golfing inabilities.

We will be examining the sub-species of Homo Sapiens Golferii. Specifically the variations deemed “Hackus.” Some biologists from very well regarded universities across the world have claimed some of the Hackus characteristics are actually that of more Neanderthal on the golf course, but as it stands, the research and literature will keep Hackus in the Homo Sapiens classification.

In a lab somewhere outside of Milwaukee, 200 males had their DNA examined and placed into like categories which were then able to be named after the testing was completed.

ANDREW REDINGTON/GETTY IMAGES

Hackusbrontus:

13 participants carried this exact genetic sequence.  Characteristics that were present in all of their golf games:

  1. Long, straight drivers of the golf ball. 300+ average.
  2. Complete inability of having “touch” around the green.  No control of half swings.
  3. Average putters, more luck than talent.
  4. Most drank an average of five beers per round and showed no affect of alcohol in their system.

Hackusmaximus:

39 participants carried this exact genetic sequence.  Characteristics that were present in all of their golf games:

  1. All had over the top, quick elbow drop, high hook shots as their normal shot
  2. All overcorrected this after about five swings and became push slicers of the ball.
  3. Surprisingly mediocre on the green.  Could sink a miracle 45-footer that broke two ways, but were unable to drain anything from 3 to 8 feet.
  4. Most driven player of the people examined. A diagnosis of psychosis would not surprise the researchers.

Hackusminimus:

64 participants carried this exact genetic sequence.  Characteristics that were present in all of their golf games:

  1. Had nice fluid swings.
  2. Average two greens in regulation per round. Which isn’t terrible, except;
  3. Anxiety filled chippers and putters. A train wreck waiting to happen. One participant putted the ball into a pond that had three yards of flat fairway between the green and itself.
  4. Everyone of these players had a “double hit” chip/pitch during their round.

Hackusquitus:

11 participants carried this exact genetic sequence.  Characteristics that were present in all of their golf games:

  1. Swearing, lots of swearing.
  2. Post round interviews showed serious damage to one’s psyche. Possible father issues?
  3. After examination of their car trunks post round, they owned an average of 2.8 broken clubs, most likely hiding them from their significant others.

Hackuspotentialus:

73 participants carried this exact genetic sequence.  Characteristics that were present in all of their golf games:

  1. Extremely inconsistent ball flights off the tee.
  2. If they had a 2nd shot to the green, they could hit the green 39 percent of the time.
  3. All were above average short game players and showed confidence on the greens.
  4. In post round interview, all but one player had replaced at least 4 golf clubs or shafts in the past six months.
  5. These players looked to be the most stressed about their score and in it was their self fulfilling prophecy to double bogey the hole “they needed to par”

Scientists were amazed by the exactness of the sequence and clear categorization of style of hacker each player turned out to be.  The detailed reports are due out in Scientific Golf Quarterly: January 2013 edition.

To get your DNA tested to see which player you officially are, send a blank check and a hair sample of no less than 15 or more than 20 strands to your local Club Pro.

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

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Topical writer for GolfWRX. Minnesotan. Father. Golfer. Has convinced himself that if he played on nicer courses he could truly be a scratch golfer.

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Opinion & Analysis

More Distance Off the Tee (Part 1 of 3): Upper Body Training

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If you read my previous story, Tour Pro’s Revealed: 3 Tests to See How You Stack Up, you are well aware of the fact that improving your upper body power is one of three sure ways to increase your distance off the tee. If you have not, I strongly suggest you check it out to gain some context about what is to follow and what is critical for your golf game.

Through our testing and the testing done of many of the industry leaders in golf performance, we have found that the ability of golfers to generate “push power” from their upper body is critical to maximize efficiency and speed in the swing. The way that you can test your power is simple. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Keeping your back on the chair, chest pass with both hands a 6-pound medicine ball as far as you can. When you compare this to your vertical jump as described in More Distance Off the Tee (Part 2 of 3): Lower Body Training Plan, the number in feet you threw the ball should be relatively close to your jump in inches.

If you threw the ball and it went 5 feet, you have an upper body power problem. If you threw the ball 25 feet and jumped only 14 inches, your upper body is not the problem — you probably need to focus on your lower body. It’s not rocket science once you understand what you are looking for. What can be challenging is knowing how to improve your power once you identify a problem. That is where the rest of this article comes in. What I am going to outline below are three of the most common upper body power exercises that we use with our amateur, senior and professional golfers.

The key with any power training exercise is to make sure you are as rested as possible between sets so that you can be as explosive as possible for the repetitions. Try not to do more than 6 repetitions in a set to assure that each one is as fast and explosive as possible.

Med Ball Chest Pass on Wall

This is one of the most basic exercises there is for developing upper body push power. Make sure your feet are about shoulder-width apart and don’t be afraid to use your legs to help maximize the punishment you deliver to against the wall!

Med Ball Wall Ball

Watching the video, you may be scratching you head and wondering why this is in the upper body power article when clearly the athlete is using his legs. The reason is that in the golf swing, power starts with the legs.

Med Ball Sky Chest Throws

This one is simple. Laying on your back, all you need to do is push the ball up as high as you can, catch it on the way down and the explode it back up into the air as high as you can. If you incorporate this exercise into your routine even once a week, you will see huge gains in your ability to swing faster if this was a problem area for you.

That being said, power creation requires not only speed but also strength development. It is also important that you have a solid strength program to increase your ability to generate more force. While this is beyond the scope of this article, finding yourself a solid golf fitness expert will help you create your ideal program.

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Podcasts

GolfWRX Forum Member dpb5031 talks about the TaylorMade Twist Face Experience

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Forum member dpb5031 (aka Dewey) joins TG2 to talk about his Twist Face Experience at The Kingdom. Recently, him and 6 other GolfWRX Members went to TaylorMade HQ to get fit for new M3 and M4 drivers. Does Twist Face work? Dewey provides his answer.

Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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Opinion & Analysis

Inside the Ropes: 5 things you didn’t know about playing on the PGA Tour

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Golf finds a way to take a hold on you… whether you become entranced by the skill of the world’s best professionals, fall in love with the feeling and beauty of a well-executed shot, or simply enjoy getting outside and having fun — the game is addictive.

I started playing at the age of 4 and began watching the pros on TV dreaming what it would be like to play golf on the PGA Tour. When I earned my PGA Tour status for the 2014 season, that dream became a reality. And like anything, it’s not until I actually experienced that life did I have any idea what it entailed.

For those of you who are curious what it’s like to be on the PGA Tour, here are 5 things to describe it.

1) The Culture

Traveling the world to various cities can be fun, and it’s an underrated part of the Tour lifestyle; you get to see new landscapes and taste the cuisines that define different regions across the country and the world. Unlike some other professional sports, where players stay in one place for maybe a night or two, we get to stay in places for a week or more, which allows for plenty of time away from the course to see the sights and get a feel for what the cities and their cultures offer.

2) The Show

The setup and time that goes into planning an event — the grandstands, concession stands, volunteers, and the whole network that makes these tournaments run — is beyond impressive. We see the finished product at the event in the epicenter of it all, but the planning goes on behind the scenes all year. When it’s game time and the golf ball gets teed up, it’s time for us players to block all of that out, but we certainly appreciate all of the hard work that goes into putting on an event. It may feel like being in a circus at times, but performing in the show is a thrill.

3) The People

The game of golf in general brings people together, but especially so on the Tour. Thousands and thousands of fans come to watch the golf action and enjoy the festivities. The Pro-Ams are a great way for the fans to get an up-close look at what goes on at a Tour event, and they’re also a great way for us pros to interact with fans and maybe provide some helpful swing tips, too. In my opinion, one of the best events of the year is the Pebble Beach Pro-Am — a gathering of pro golfers, athletes, musicians, actors and other celebrities. It’s a testament to how the game can bring people together from different walks of life.

4) Inside the Ropes

The Tour is almost like a private school of sorts. It’s a select group of a couple hundred guys traveling around playing these events. The jocks, the nerds, the geeks, the loners; you see a little of everything. As much as there’s a sociable aspect to traveling on Tour and getting to know these people, it’s a dog-eat-dog world where everyone is playing for their livelihood and playing privileges.

5) The “Pressure”

A season-long race can come down to a single shot making the difference — for some it’s between winning and losing a tournament, and others it’s between keeping and losing your card. The cameras, the grandstands, the noise… it can all be quite distracting. The idea is to block all of that out and pretend you’re playing like a kid, focusing with pure imagination for the shot. All the extra attention can help heighten the focus further, adding inspiration to “give the people what they want” and hit even better golf shots.

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