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Danny Willett wanted to quit golf during dark period after Masters win

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Danny Willett hasn’t won since his surprise 2016 Masters victory. His recent form has been horrendous, missing the cut or withdrawing in eight of his last 13 starts.

He’s changed swing coaches, battled injury, and admits in a blog post for the European Tour there have been times since winning the green jacket that he “just didn’t want to play golf.”

Here’s are a few of the more interesting morsels from Willett’s blog.

On the aftermath of his Masters win…

“What’s funny is that we, as golfers, spend so much time practicing for those moments, working on our swings, those chip shots, pressure putts, how to deal with being in contention mentally but no one ever really prepares you for what happens next, after you achieve greatness like that. Ultimately I’ll be able to look back on that day and be thankful for all that it has given me but it’s not always easier dealing with the aftermath.”

“After the Masters, every time I went to the range, every time I was on a putting green or in a practice round, there were cameras on you and everything’s being filmed and recorded. That magnifies everything to the nth degree.”

“People that know me, know that I wear my heart on my sleeve and if I’m having a bad day on the course, I’ll show it and if I’m playing well and everything’s great in the world, you can tell. That’s just who I am. When the spotlight was on me constantly, I felt I had to dull that side of me down a little. It’s much harder to show some of that emotion, good or bad, when everyone’s eyes are on you.”

On low points…

“There’s been quite a few low points over the last few months. At the end of 2016 I was in contention in the Race to Dubai and I just didn’t want to play golf. Think about that. It’s utterly ridiculous.”

On remembering his Masters win often…

“After Augusta, I began opening up to friends and people around me and trying to take a look at what I could do to improve. It wouldn’t be an easy few months but I still look back on that dinner and tell myself there was a reason I had a name card and a place at that table. I had earned an invitation and I often find myself remembering that meal.”

“I’d find myself watching YouTube videos. The number of times I’ve watched clips of my final round at Augusta is ridiculous.”

On his ailing back…

“I had to pull out of a couple of events and it became a problem. It was annoying as working out didn’t hurt it, drills didn’t hurt it but firing into the ball at full speed and just being a little off could cause a lot of pain.”

“It ended up taking over my game as I’d be taking painkillers in the morning after waking up in pain, getting an hour of physio before each round, playing the round with a swing that hurt, then needing an hour of physio after the round. I was just knackered.”

On the nature of professional tournament golf..

“Golf is a strange sport. When you’re playing well, it seems very easy but when you’re struggling it feels like all the time on the range makes no difference out on the course. That can be a hard challenge to deal with mentally, especially when you’re traveling week-to-week trying to find that form against some of the best players and toughest courses in the world.

“That being said I’m very lucky to have friends and family off the course that do what they can to keep my on that path to success and help put things in perspective.”

Willet’s entire blog post is more than worth a read. Check it out here.

Few players are truly candid about the ups and downs of the professional game. Willett, going from relative obscurity (in the U.S. at least) to Masters winner, then failing win in the 18 months since is an extreme case.

Certainly, plenty of critics will cite his privilege as a tour pro and suggest he should never complain. Many will question his underlying desire and hammer him for admitting there were times he didn’t want to play golf.

Here’s the thing: Willett is not alone in this experience. Don’t you think Shaun Micheel experienced something similar? Ben Curtis? Willett is singular in having the courage to be transparent about his struggles as he continues his effort to improve and follow up his Masters win.

You’ve gotta root for him to do just that.

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19th Hole

Bryson DeChambeau’s coach, Mike Schy, explains why his student was spraying water on golf balls

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Plenty of folks freaked out about Bryson DeChambeau misting golf balls with a spray bottle to simulate morning dew ahead of the Tour Championship.

“Peak Bryson!” was the widespread refrain regarding the driving cap aficionado’s on-range antics. The strangest on-range occurrence since Padraig Harrington’s pre-shot maneuvers! For DeChambeau’s coach since his junior days, however, the behavior was emblematic of the young maestro’s mindset.

Mike Schy, appearing on our Two Guys Talkin’ Golf podcast, said,

“Everyone was making fun of him spraying his golf ball, trying to figure out how the water would hydroplane on the ball…blah, blah, blah. The reality is, that’s how his mind functions. “Wait a minute: So if my ball has water on it from dew in the morning…” For him, if he doesn’t know or he’s not sure, he will go insane and possibly implode…for him, understanding barometric pressure, understanding a five mile per hour wind coming from 11 o’clock with my 7-iron is going to affect it three yards…all it is is to help him understand that it’s a 175 or 174 shot. That’s all it is. But if he has any doubt…doubt now creates problems in execution, so that’s all it is.”

Schy then went on to poke a bit of fun at his pupil, saying that once DeChambeau realizes dew could be of a different consistency than water from a spray bottle, or that dew at different locations may have different consistencies, he’ll be keen to test those variables as well.

And here’s a bonus morsel: Schy talking about DeChambeau’s original interest in single length clubs and the initial set composition.

“He said, ‘Why do I have to have variable length clubs?’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s an easy question to ask and a difficult one to answer.”…we did some research, and we discovered Bobby Jones played one length when he won his Grand Slam…So basically what I did is I took a set of Nike forged cavity backs and I destroyed them. We made them all 284-gram heads heads. We put Dynamic Gold 6-iron shafts in all of them. We had to take 40 grams of weight out of the sand wedge. We had to add 50 grams of lead tape to the 4-iron.”

For more with the Madera, Calif. based coach, be sure to give a listen to the full TG2 podcast.

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19th Hole

Kyle Thompson films man taking his dumped Staff bags, then finds them listed on Craigslist

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Earlier in the week, PGA Tour professional Kyle Thompson put three old Srixon golf bags (that he has since stressed “were in bad shape”) out with the garbage.

What the 39-year-old wasn’t expecting, however, was for someone to come by and snag the items from his trash. That’s precisely what happened however, and Thompson managed to capture the incident, which he then uploaded to his Instagram account (second slide):

The bag burglar displayed some smooth moves as he tiptoed his way across Thompson’s driveway before snagging the items and hopping back into his truck and driving off for a clean getaway.

Thompson then turned investigator, found the items listed on Craigslist, which the seller, who he christened “Cowboy,” had priced at $175.

If that wasn’t enough, the clubs were also spotted on eBay where the items were unashamedly listed as a “Kyle Thompson model,” and the seller, who was clearly struggling to move the bags, had dropped his asking price down to $100.

As for Thompson, he appeared to find the entire episode amusing, even praising his man “Cowboy” for his ingenuity.

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The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today: 9/20/18

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If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Aiken Golf Club, looks like y’all are good to go. All bag room and cart barn photos are 100% WRX approved.

Some puttorial handiwork from Bradley Putters, here. Acrylic + wood = nastiness.

A post that will only resonate with golfers of a certain age…

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When golf balls were golf balls….

A post shared by NCW Fine Furniture Department (@ncwfinefurniture) on

Do lambs travel in a herd? (Technically correct, according to Google)

Lovely Lincoln ball makers, indeed. Nice work here from CNC Creations.

The expected singular ferrule work from Boyd Blade & Ferrule. Very nice.

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1958

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Lovely Red Bird & Avian wand.

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Heat-stained, Stamped & Fitted. ??

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If you’re on Instagram, remember to hashtag your photos #GolfWRX. And if you’re not on Instagram, well, don’t.

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