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Breaking down Jesper Parnevik’s ‘Gangnam Style’

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There are moments in the history golf which have propelled the sport forward: Francis Ouimet’s 1913 U.S. Open Victory, Ben Hogan’s triumph at Merion, Bobby Jones’ Grand Slam, Nicklaus’ 1986 Masters Win, Tiger Woods’ incredible performance at the1997 Masters … and then, there is Jesper Parnevik’s “Gangnam Style” remake, posted three days ago to YouTube by the Swede’s wife, Penny.

I assume the majority of readers have unfortunately been acquainted with the international YouTube driven phenomenon that is PSY’s “Gangnam Style.” If not, the you can watch the video is below. On second thought, to the unfamiliar: run, don’t finish this article, don’t pollute your minds with the song’s contemptible yet utterly irresistible backbeats and ludicrous dance moves.

The first point of note about the Parnevik video is that it is a serious labor, replete with lip synching to the entirety of the song, coordinated scenes, costumes, wigs, dance sequences and precise editing. The Parnevik’s put a lot of time into the absurd offering, which is reportedly a birthday gift for a friend. All this begs the question, what other “gifts” have the Parnevik’s given in the past — video of he and his family dancing to “Crank That” by Soulja Boy?

On Morning Drive yesterday morning, Parnevik said the video took 15 to 20 hours to edit and that he did it himself. Apparently, Parnevik routinely shoots and edits video. Parnevik said also that Mark Calcavecchia, Rickie Fowler and Camilo Villegas were originally slated to appear in the video. It’s a great tragedy the world didn’t get to see Calc gyrating in a fluorescent wig.

[youtube id=”9bZkp7q19f0″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

Additionally, it seems the Golf Boys (Click here to watch their video) have a rival in the form of three Swedes—Jesper Parnevik, Richard S. Johnson and Fredrick Jacobsen, and three Americans—Will MacKenzie, Dustin Johnson and Mark Turnesa. Hopefully the dynamic sextet will collaborate again to produce … absolutely nothing. Let’s hope they stick to the range, rather than the recording studio.

Parnevik himself is the real star in the video. The “Spaceman” plays the part of PSY wearing a slim-fitting pink suit and pink aviators. His wife and children act as both backup dancers and his doting female entourage. The other tour players dance around in bold colors with wigs on head.

Will Mackenzie, clad in canary yellow, is a pretty capable dancer. Dustin Johnson, however, for all his athleticism, is surprisingly lacking in rhythm. At 3:22 in the video, Johnson plays (I believe/ hope) his girlfriend, Amanda’s Caulder’s nearly exposed behind like a drum. There are a number of other bizarre quasi-sexual moments throughout which blend unusually with children playing dress-up and prancing around.

The PGA Tour is full of less than compelling personalities: bland golfers playing bland golf. Parnevik, with his signature up-turned bill and flamboyant clothing has always stood in stark contrast to the legions in khaki, bad visors and oversized shirts. From a certain standpoint, then, I am glad to see professional golfers in a casual setting having a good time acting goofy.

I am glad to see Dustin Johnson, the 15th ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, dancing around in a wig to an atrocious pop song. I’ll even condone the frivolity as the PGA Tour season is effectively over and assume he put the clubs away for a couple days.

On my first viewing of the video (which I was pretty sure would be my only viewing), my prevailing thought was, “I don’t think you would have seen Ben Hogan or Jack Nicklaus or even the more ebullient Arnold Palmer participating in such shenanigans.”

Then, I realized I had actually had the term “shenanigans” enter my consciousness in a semi-serious fashion and felt like a geezer shaking my cane at children having fun. I remembered, too, hearing anecdotally that Ben Hogan did “The Twist” on top of a table at gala after his 1953 ticker tape parade.

Perhaps, I need to lighten up. At least the Parnevik video features lip-synching, which is a step-up from the Golf Boys (notably, Hunter Mahan) “rapping,” and most of the golfers keep most of their clothes on. Ultimately, I’d welcome another offering from Parnevik and company before a sequel to “Oh Oh Oh.”

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

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  1. Freddie

    Oct 30, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Love to see this clip.

    He was one of my favorite Player when I started to watch Golf.

    Glad to see his dance in Korea!!!

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The Gear Dive: Discussing the drivers of 2020 with Bryan LaRoche

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In this episode of The Gear Dive, Johnny chats with his good buddy Bryan LaRoche. They chat on life and do a deep dive into the drivers of 2020.

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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The Wedge Guy: The 5 indisputable rules of bunker play

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I received a particularly interesting question this week from Art S., who said he has read all the tips about how to hit different sand shots, from different sand conditions, but it would be helpful to know why. Specifically, here’s what Art had to say:

“I recently found myself in a few sand traps in multiple lies and multiple degrees of wetness. I tried remembering all of the “rules” of how to stand, how much to open my club, how much weight to shift forward or back, etc. based on the Golf Channel but was hoping that you might be able to do a blog on the ‘why’ of sand play so that we can understand it rather than memorizing what to do. Is there any way you can discuss what the club is doing and why you open the club, open your stance, what you’re aiming for when you open up, and any other tips?”

Well, Art, you asked a very good question, so let’s try to cover the basics of sand play–the “geometry and physics” at work in the bunkers–and see if we can make all of this more clear for you.

First of all, I think bunkers are among the toughest of places to find your ball. We see the tour players hit these spectacular bunker shots every week, but realize that they are playing courses where the bunkers are maintained to PGA Tour standards, so they are pretty much the same every hole and every week. This helps the players to produce the “product” the tour is trying to deliver–excitement. Of course, those guys also practice bunker play every day.

All of us, on the other hand, play courses where the bunkers are different from one another. This one is a little firmer, that one a little softer. So, let me see if I can shed a little light on the “whys and wherefores” of bunker play.

The sand wedge has a sole with a downward/backward angle built into it – we call that bounce. It’s sole (no pun intended) function is to provide a measure of “rejection” force or lift when the club makes contact with the sand. The more bounce that is built into the sole of the wedge, the more this rejection force is applied. And when we open the face of the wedge, we increase the effective bounce so that this force is increased as well.

The most basic thing you have to assess when you step into a bunker is the firmness of the sand. It stands to reason that the firmer the texture, the more it will reject the digging effect of the wedge. That “rejection quotient” also determines the most desirable swing path for the shot at hand. Firmer sand will reject the club more, so you can hit the shot with a slightly more descending clubhead path. Conversely, softer or fluffier sand will provide less rejection force, so you need to hit the shot with a shallower clubhead path so that you don’t dig a trench.

So, with these basic principles at work, it makes sense to remember these “Five Indisputable Rules of Bunker Play”

  1. Firmer sand will provide more rejection force – open the club less and play the ball back a little to steepen the bottom of the clubhead path.
  2. Softer sand will provide less rejection force – open the club more and play the ball slighter further forward in your stance to create a flatter clubhead path through the impact zone.
  3. The ball will come out on a path roughly halfway between the alignment of your body and the direction the face is pointing – the more you open the face, the further left your body should be aligned.
  4. On downslope or upslope lies, try to set your body at right angles to the lie, so that your swing path can be as close to parallel with the ground as possible, so this geometry can still work. Remember that downhill slopes reduce the loft of the club and uphill slopes increase the loft.
  5. Most recreational golfers are going to hit better shots from the rough than the bunkers, so play away from them when possible (unless bunker play is your strength).

So, there you go, Art. I hope this gives you the basics you were seeking.

As always, I invite all of you to send in your questions to be considered for a future article. It can be about anything related to golf equipment or playing the game–just send it in. You can’t win if you don’t ask!

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Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: Task to target

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In this week’s episode: How having a target will improve your direction and contact you have with the ball.

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