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Book Review: A Course Called Scotland

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The great temptation for a mediocre critic, is to find an esoteric passel of words, then title the review in that manner. In A Course Called Scotland, Robert Thomas Coyne supplies such parcels to excess. A great critic would have flagged each combine with highlighter or a sticky-note tab, for future reference. Alas, you are not blessed with a great critic…

A book like A Course Called Ireland, Coyne’s first swashbuckler’s travelogue of golf-country conquering, awakens or sows in the reader an equally-mad notion of I can do that, followed by I will do that, and concludes with Maybe I won’t, but I might do something similar. Throughout the same reading, Coyne subtly, or unwittingly (or both) gave us clues to impending changes in his personal life, which would play an unforeseen and extraordinary role in the follow-up, A Course Called Scotland. I didn’t open Scotland expecting that revelation, but its woven strands shape the sequel in a manner no other writer could manage.

With those two paragraphs as introduction, I’ll gladly access a familiar method of recalling a trip, or reviewing a tournament: four reasons why. Equal parts list, equal parts prose, this format offers a proper inspection of the writer’s work, but leaves the scrutiny and analysis to the reader. Onward, then, with four reasons why you should read Tom Coyne’s A Course Called Scotland.

Reason One: The Golf

Let’s remember precisely why we are here: we love golf, we have visited Scotland, we have read Coyne’s previous works, or we know the game of golf is credited to the territory north of England. No matter how, why nor when, it’s the golf that brings us to this tome. And Coyne seeks no shortcut in his survey of Scotia’s layouts, great and small. Unlike the Ireland volume, he drives this one. As he explains, Scotland is not nearly as compact as Ireland. Attempting to walk it would be a fool’s errand. Instead, Coyne somehow survives the entire endeavor with only one mainland rental car, akin to golfing a round without losing the ball with which you began. Cheers to that large feat!

Along the roadways, Coyne visits most of the 9-, 12-, and 18-hole courses of Scotland. He establishes two goals at the outset: to compete in Open Qualifying for the 2015 British Open at St. Andrews, and to play all 14 courses that have served as Open Championship venues. How these two missions resolve themselves is for the reader to discover, but remember that Coyne spent an entire year apprenticing to play the PGA Tour, detailed in his novel Paper Tiger. In other words, the writer has game and savvy. Does he have enough?

Over the course of Coyne’s time in the kingdom, he plays 111 rounds of golf. He plays 2, sometimes 3, rounds a day. While he doesn’t hoof the entire highway, his 37-pound weight loss (despite all the bacon rolls) is testimony to the demands of the quest. At novel’s end, Coyne contributes an appendix of lists, in which he sorts courses into the following categories and more: Only Doing Scotland Once; True Wanderer; I’d Change My Flight; Wee Ones; and Loves That Didn’t Make A List. He discovers courses built by common people and captains of industry alike. He rekindles his affection for links golf, if not for the weather that accompanies it in the British isles. Coyne goes where all men and women should go, playing courses on a whim, to add to the experience. Despite his confessed mania for control, he often defers management to another, to the delight of the reader.

There is the question of the secret of the game, the Arthurian saga that lingers in the back of every golfer’s mind. Coyne is transparent about his need to learn the answer to this question, and that he expects to find it in the land of the Celts and Picts. So far, we’ve the mysteries of Open qualifying, playing the 14 Open Championship courses, those named to Coyne’s lists, and the secret of the game. And we’ve just begun! So many reasons to read this work. Will it be sufficient for you?

RM: What about the golf surprised you the most?
TC: A lot about the golf in Scotland surprised me, especially since I’d already done all of Ireland and thought I had the links thing down pat.  I was surprised by the sheer quantity and proximity of so many great, legendary links.  Around St. Andrews or in East Lothian or up in Inverness or over in Prestwick, you can’t swing a seven-iron without knocking into another great course you need to play.  That convenience was most appreciated given my itinerary.  I was also surprised by the affordability of club memberships over there; it’s a pittance of what we pay, likely because they allow visitor fees to help offset costs to the members.  And I was struck by the competitive nature of golf at Scottish clubs–every week there was a trophy on or an open or an event for some hardware.  They play make-everything golf all the time.  Surely makes them better players.

Reason Two: The Travel

Travel provides different things to different readers. It begins with the roads taken. Highways offer speed and efficiency, while side roads gift long views of our world, along with layovers in restaurants, stores, hotels and parks. Gastronomy, photography, biography…they are all provided for along the roadways of a land. We travel with Tom Coyne as he visits a castle, a restaurant recommended at a Georgia diner, islands, mountains, and a great deal more. We miss appointments with him, thanks to weather, exhaustion, and other factors of fate. We round curves, struggle with left-side driving, and nearly miss entryways, to reach our appointed rounds, accommodations, and reservations.

Through the author’s eyes, we are reminded that much that is new awaits, always. Even though we have been many places, and seen many things, the expanse of the golfing world, the traveling world, is vast. It harbors many unexpected vistas and footholds, and is always worth exploring. Tom Coyne shares these discoveries with us, in a voice that echoes our own sense of wonder amid discovery. Although he knows what he knows before we do, he allows us to hear precisely what he felt as he rounded each turn.

RM: What aspect of travel have you yet to master?

TC: I have yet to master total flight comfort.  I still get anxious around the airport, even though I spend so much time around them.  The control issues that inspire and allow one to plan 57 tightly packed and planned days of golf are not as useful when you get on a prop plane headed for a Scottish island where you are going to land on a beach.  I see people sleeping on prop planes and wonder if they’re alive, or what did they take to knock them out.

Reason Three: The Humans

Gramma Billy, Duff, Penn, et al. Leading into the trip, Coyne confessed to having done a dumb-ass thing. While on a well-followed interview show, he invited strangers to email him and join him for parts of the trip through Scotland. While combing Ireland at the turn of the last decade, he had survived in no small part, thanks to the presence of family and friends. It’s the curious moments of indecision that often shape lives, and Coyne’s curious decision to open his world to the unknown offered a shape to the journey that would be inimitable otherwise. Noted in the footnotes are the near-death experiences of two of the compatriots, if that sort of thing interests you. Also noted are the rise and fall and rise of others, as they come to understand not only what Coyne is attempting to do, but what they themselves have enlisted to accomplish.

There are other humans that figure in the resolution of the task: Coyne and his family. Coyne writes about golf and history, but behind the words is his desire to also be a part of golf’s history. He impacts the game by sharing its courses and its experiences with others, and he has rightly earned his small corner of the game. Without the understanding of his life partner, nor the hope that his efforts will one day matter to his offspring, he might not find the wherewithal and the impetus to carry out his impossible dream, part two.

RM: How did the inclusion of complete strangers alter the way your conception of the story to your telling of the story?

TC: I invited people I did not know to join me for a few reasons — one, I’d be pretty damn lonely if all the golf was solo.  And the book would be pretty damn boring as well.  I think this story, and any good story, is about the characters, so I was eager to welcome all-comers.  The stranger, the better.  I looked at it as, hey, if someone is a nightmare, or does something ridiculous, that will be great for the story.  The people who did come absolutely carry the story and steal the show, in my opinion.  So many became dear friends.   Their contributions as people and golfers and as my caretakers exceeded anything I could have anticipated.

Reason Four: The Humanity

It’s never easy to say farewell to someone you’ve known your entire adult life. Coyne does precisely that, in the most unanticipated of ways. He hints at the sendoff throughout the book, forcing the reader to consider the outcome, even as she/he digests the courses, events and persons that populate the pages. When you connect with someone during your undergraduate years, the bonds are born of contrasting moments of affection and distress, making them that much stronger. Forced to let go offers a unique finality to what was expected to be only as much as a a golf book. Truth be told, I was more interested in the impending departure of Robert than I was in the discovery of new courses, and that’s quite a compliment to the writer.

There are times that Coyne frustrates, as his story unfolds. He confesses to knowing how to eliminate the errors that hold him back from realizing his golfing potential, but somehow fails to do so. I came to understand that knowing and doing, despite myriad opportunities, might simply be separated by a gulf to difficult to bridge. By the end, oddly enough, I empathized with the emotions, flaws and failures inherent to the task undertaken. No sympathy, mind you; he set the table and was compelled to eat every last morsel. Empathy, however; yes.

Coyne has worked as a professor of English at St. Joseph’s University in his native Philadelphia for a number of years. His work as an instructor of language and literature, along with a linguist’s life fully lived, has brought a maturity to his perspective and writing. In previous novels, the suggestion of such arose, but fruition is apparent in this one. It is worth your money and your time, as Scottish and British Open season approaches.

RM: Can you share a bit about exorcising some of your personal demons?

TC: I don’t shy away from telling the reader pretty early on that I don’t drink anymore.  Given that my last book had a pint of beer on the cover, I think it’s fair that I’m upfront with readers about the change in my lifestyle.  I also don’t let my sobriety overtake or bog down the narrative.  It’s there, and I’m honest about it, but the book is written for laughs and smiles more than it is any sort of sobriety tale.  Me not drinking is just there in the backdrop, but I hope it does add some meaning and poignancy to the story.  There was a time I could not get out of bed, and a time I didn’t think I would golf anymore, let alone travel to golf like this, so if I didn’t touch on where I had been just a little, I think part of the joy I feel in the end wouldn’t quite come through in the way that I genuinely experienced it.  And I did experience it.  I didn’t write the book for this purpose, but if there are people who are thinking about giving up the sauce but keep bumping up against this idea that they wouldn’t have any sort of life if they did so, be sure I was once that guy.  For a long time.  And this book sits on my desk and reminds me that I was a fool for ever believing that.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Hawkeye77

    Jul 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Author never answered, so I will for anyone thinking of purchasing – it is not a novel in any sense, and it is a great first hand account of his time in Scotland. Buy it!

    • Ronald Montesano

      Jul 13, 2018 at 9:45 am

      “a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism.”

      Depends on how much you believe Tom Coyne:)

      Not fiction. A travelogue, On The Road without the drugs but with the golf, a first-person narrative of time spent abroad.

  2. Hawkeye77

    Jul 5, 2018 at 7:12 am

    I may not purchase – the article keeps calling it a novel, which is a work of fiction – is it a work of fiction?

  3. Greg V

    Jul 5, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Ron, thanks for the review. I will be purchasing the book.

    Greg Vogelsang

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Carner, 79, shoots her age at USSWO | The “problem” with Hogan | Praising slow greens

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Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below.

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

 

July 13, 2018

Good Friday morning, golf fans. PSA: It’s Friday the 13th, for what that may or may not be worth to you.
1. JoAnne Carner shoots her age at USSWO

 

How can this not be today’s No. 1 story? Especially after the USGA took 79-year-old JoAnne Carner’s wedge of 30 years out of her hands the day before the tournament started.
  • Heck the woman said she doesn’t even walk golf courses anymore and she’s walking her fourth round this week. She’s almost 80! She’s tied for 50th at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open! Only five women were under par Thursday!
  • And “Big Mama” wasn’t even happy with her round: “I hit some good shots, but I hit some awful shots, really,” Carner said. “I had some 6- and 7-irons into the greens and just really hit awful shots. One went in the water. I was fighting it all the way.”
Cheers to you!

 

2. Luke List leads after 1 in Scotland, Fowler 1 back

 

AP Report…”American golfer Luke List equaled the Gullane course record with a 7-under-par 63 to start the Scottish Open on Thursday. List moved into the lead with his ninth birdie on the 15th hole and held it to finish the round ahead by one stroke.”
  • “He was followed by five players in a tie for second; Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood, Robert Rock, Scott Fernandez of Spain, and Jens Dantorp of Sweden….Masters champion Patrick Reed was part of an eight-strong group a shot further back following a 65, with Danny Willett continuing his resurgence with a 66, and Olympic champion Justin Rose returning a 67.”
  • Phil Mickelson opened with an even par 70. He saved his best work for media center.
3. Your first ever U.S. Senior Women’s Open leader is…

 

Golf Channel’s Randall Mell sets the scene…”Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez couldn’t play after undergoing knee replacement surgery, but she was on the first tee at day’s start. She introduced players as the ceremonial starter.”
  • Pause. How cool is that?
  • “Hollis Stacy, whose eight USGA titles include three U.S. Women’s Open titles and three U.S. Girls’ Junior titles, savored starting in the first group with Carner and Sandra Palmer. “It means a lot, because as I’ve said all along, the USGA has been the custodians of golf,” Stacy said. “They’ve done a great job, and they want to do what’s right. Having a Senior Women’s Open is the right thing to do, and they did it in such a first-class way, coming to Chicago Golf Club and making it first class.”
  • “Laura Davies and Juli Inkster, favorites to win the event, moved into early contention, but Elaine Crosby topped the leaderboard at day’s end….A two-time LPGA winner, Crosby opened with a 3-under-par 70. She plays the LPGA Legends Tour, but she had to play her way into the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. She earned a spot in one of the 17 sectional qualifiers staged around the country.”
4. In praise of slow greens, featuring Rickie Fowler

 

Interesting thoughts from Rickie Fowler, conveyed by Geoff Shackelford (who certainly has skin in the game)
  • “While Gullane is playing firm and fast tee-to-fringe, the greens themselves are kept much slower than the typical European Tour course due to the possibility of high winds. Fowler enjoys the challenge of slower greens and even suggested they expose mis-hit putts more than fast surfaces.”
  • “”I think it’s kind of nice because (you) actually get to hit the putt, you’re not just trying to hit it to a spot and letting it work to the hole unless you have a downhill, downwind putt,” he said. Fowler, who played North Berwick on Monday, enjoys the challenge of greens in nine to ten Stimpmeter-speed range. Especially when the wind blows.”
  • ‘”You have to use your imagination as far as creativity and trying to judge how much the wind will affect it,” he said. “At the end of the day, you just have to hit solid putts.”‘
  • “Slower greens may accentuate a mis-hit putt more,” he said. “Whereas if you have a downhill putt in the States you kind of just have to hit it to get it going. Here, you mis-hit it a little bit uphill, into the wind and it can be a pretty big difference.”
5. Mucho Mickelson

 

I wrote yesterday…Coming on the heels of Alan Shipnuck’s superb ride along with Phil (as in, riding in Mickelson’s souped-up golf cart) the other day, Lefty had plenty of noteto say at the Scottish Open (per John Huggan).
  • Question: Do you think the backlash has been over the top?
  • “You have to be accountable for yourself,” said Mickelson. “I do a lot of dumb stuff. I had that rules deal at Greenbrier last week. And last year at Greenbrier I picked up my ball in the middle of the fairway, marked it and cleaned it. I have these like just moments where I’m in a ‘cloud.’ I’m not really sure what I’m doing. I’m just going through the motions and not really aware of the moment. I’ve done that a bunch in my career. I keep doing stuff like that. That’s the way my mind works.”
  • And here’s a snippet of an anecdote from Xander Schauffele…”Phil’s about to tee off, and he’s pretending to struggle. He was like, ‘Oh, gosh, it’s so hard to swing.’ I was like, what’s going on? And Phil goes, ‘Here Charley, you mind holding onto this?’ And he pulls this wad of cash out of his back pocket! The whole day, I was sitting in the cart, just lookin’ around, like, ‘I’m not gonna say anything here; I’m just gonna let these guys battle it out.’ And it was so much fun. Phil showed how competitive and fun he can make golf.”
6. DeChambeau injured

 

I don’t make jokes about athletes’ injuries, but if I did, I would say Bryson DeChambeau poked his eye out with his compass. In reality, BAD injured his shoulder on shot out of the rough and withdrew from the John Deere Classic.
  • The defending champ offered a decidedly Bryson analysis after the round…”They said there was some instability in the joint,” DeChambeau said. “On 2, I hit the shot out of the rough on the right, and I just didn’t feel right after that. I probably overloaded the muscle, my [deltoid], and that’s something I gotta work on in the future, to get a little stronger so that stuff doesn’t happen.”
  • He’s hoping with a few days of rest he’ll be good to go for next week’s Open Championship.
7. The “problem” with Hogan

 

Quotations mine, because, well, how many greats in the world of sport are without their issues, neuroses, and outright disorders? It ain’t normal to be a world-class competitor singular obsessed with winning! And with respect to Hogan, the man was in the house, possibly in the room, when his beloved father shot and killed himself…I think he could have turned out worse saddled with that trauma!
  • Anyway, John Barton, a “London-based counselor and psychotherapist,” filed a breakdown of the Hawk’s psyche for Golf Digest.
  • A few morsels…“For many, Hogan is an icon of what it means to be a golfer and a man. Clean-shaven, immaculately dressed, scrupulously honest. Modest. Hard-working. Disciplined. Stoical. A lone wolf, battling nature and the elements, internal ones as well as external.”
  • “The Austrian psychoanalyst Alfred Adler argued that men often overcompensate for their fear of vulnerability with a lurch toward stereotypical male aggression and competition. What fellow analyst Carl Jung called the anima, the feminine, is denied; the animus is embraced. (To be whole, Jung said, both must be integrated.) The boy-man is pure animus-animosity-shorn of anything that might be considered anima-the animating effects of emotion, creativity, compassion, collaboration.”
  • “Adler called this the “masculine protest” and regarded it as an evil force in history, underlying, for instance, the rise in fascism in the 20th century. To be taken seriously as a leader one must appear devoutly unempathetic, unfeeling, uncompromising, unflinching. When men get together-in locker rooms, strip clubs, prison movies-often a kind of competitive manliness ensues. The buddies trip degenerates into a PG-version of “Fight Club.” The most macho are the most afraid.”

 

8. I’m practicing, but I’m not getting any better!

 

Instructor Will Shaw offers some suggestions.
  • “To super-charge our learning, we must first realize that practice itself does not make us better at golf. This is an empty promise. It is close to the truth but incorrect. Instead, practice, when done correctly, will cause changes in our body to make us more skillful over time. This is a subtle, but important difference. There is no magic type of practice that universally builds skill, however, there are a handful of factors that can speed up, slow down or even stop your progress.”
  • The most important elements, according to Shaw: Give your body clear and precise feedback, and make your practice suitably difficult.

 

9. For your listening pleasure

 

If you have a bit of time this weekend, as some of us are blessed to, I wanted to call your attention to a couple of GolfWRX podcasts.
  • First, Michael Williams got a first-hand look at the already legendary goat caddies at Silves Valley Ranch.
  • Second, the Two Guys Talkin’ Golf talked about the recently spotted TaylorMade GAPR iron as only they cand.
  • Third, Johnny Wunder talked with Patrick Boyd of National Custom works about what the upstart company has going on, including its work for Jason Dufner.
All three pods can be found here.And remember: No goats, no glory.
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Augusta National reportedly adding 30 yards to 5th hole

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The venerable club is pleading the fifth with respect to confirming that its moving the tee box at the 455-yard fifth hole back 30 yards.

However, Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte reported Wednesday night on “Golf Central,” that the club is going ahead with plans first discussed (publicly) in February.

“The new hole will play upwards of 485 yards in an attempt to restore the shot value that has been taken away by the distances achieved by the modern game,” Rosaforte said. “Instead of 3-woods and 7-irons, the new fifth should require a driver and a 5-iron, at the very least, depending upon the conditions.”

As you can see, the fifth tee is extremely close to the fourth green. Moving the tee beyond the existing Old Berckman’s road would help solve that problem. The road would then curve behind the tee.

In February, Golf Channel’s Will Gray wrote that former Masters chairman Billy Payne (essentially) highlighted the fifth tee as an area ripe for change.

“We are always looking at certain holes, certain improvements to the golf course,” Payne said. “We have a great opportunity now in that we now own the Old Berckmans Road. It gives us the ability, as it touches certain holes, it gives us some way to expand or redesign – not redesign, but lengthen some of those holes, should we choose to do so, and all of them are under review.”

For reference, here’s a crude illustration of the area in question, with the existing teebox in the lower right hand corner of the yellow box.

This would be the first course change since six holes were altered in 2006.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Non-conforming wedge at U.S. Senior Women’s Open | Compassgate | ANGC lengthening the 5th?

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Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below.

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

 

July 12, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. A non-conforming wedge…at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open

 

One the hand hand, this makes sense: The competitors at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open are largely amateurs or pros who are no longer playing. Thus, it was always going to be likely that some of the women were, say, playing with wedges that no longer conform, etc.
  • Still, it’s a shocking headline along the lines of “senior citizen gets arrested”
  • Per Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…”JoAnne Carner got the shock of her life when she got to player registration at the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open. At the end of the table was a gentleman from the USGA who manages equipment conformance who asked Carner a few questions. It wasn’t long before Carner realized that her trusty Wilson R-90 wedge wouldn’t make it to the first tee.”
  • Carner estimates she’s had the club in her bag for three decades, roughly the same amount of time she has waited for a Senior Women’s Open. “Oh, it was awful,” said Carner of parting with a club that’s been critical to her game around the greens and from 75 yards out for so many years. It felt like parting with an old friend.
  • Full story…and note the featured image is a Wilson R-90 not Carner’s actual R-90
2. Latest in Compassgate 

 

  • “Look, I’ll say one thing on that,” he told reporters. “I will say it’s unfortunate. That was never my intention, to skirt the rules or anything like that. It was just a device I thought had been used for a long time in different fields. It shouldn’t be an issue. It’s not a distance-measuring device. It’s just a referencing tool.”
  • “I’m not trying to push the game in any direction; I’m trying to utilize every tool in my brain to be able to reference information and get information in a way that I can utilize to the best of my ability,” he said Wednesday. “We want to see what’s allowable, and what information we can gather, and how much resolution can we have under that type of information.”

 

3. ANGC lengthening the fifth?

 

While the venerable club is surely pleading the fifth, sources say the home of the Masters is in the process of adding 30 yards to the fifth hole.
  • Per Golf Chanel…“The hole currently plays upwards of 455 yards and was the fifth-most difficult par 4 at this year’s Masters Tournament.”

 

  • “The new hole will play upwards of 485 yards in an attempt to restore the shot value that has been taken away by the distances achieved by the modern game,” Rosaforte said. “Instead of 3-woods and 7-irons, the new fifth should require a driver and a 5-iron, at the very least, depending upon the conditions.”
  • “It was first reported in February that the fifth hole would likely be lengthened. The change is expected to alleviate congestion between the tee and the nearby fourth green and includes plans to curve the road – which has been closed to public traffic since 2015 – around the new fifth tee…This is the first club-enacted course change since six holes were altered in 2006.”

 

4. 2 big problems with club fitting 

 

Writing for GolfWRX, the eminent Bobby Clampett says…

 

  • “The first culprit is clubs that are designed to correct a slice. I’ve had several first-time students take lessons with me this season who had been recently fit for clubs from a wide range of club fitters. Some of these students had significant out-to-in swing paths through impact and all were chronic faders/slicers of the golf ball. The clubs recommended to them were “anti-slice” clubs. All the grips were small (standard size), and the woods (especially the drivers) were upright with the sliding weights put in the heel. The irons were “jacked-upright” as much as 8 degrees.”
  • “The second problem that seems to be growing in the industry is the focus on increased distance with the irons. I don’t mean to be too blunt here, but who cares how far you hit an 8-iron! Today’s pitching wedge is yesterday’s 9-iron. My pitching wedge is set at 49 degrees, and my 9-iron is 44 degrees (about the standard loft for today’s pitching wedge). The only two clubs in the bag that should be designed for distance are your driver and your 3-wood. All the other clubs should be set for proper gapping and designed to improve consistency and proximity to the hole.”

 

5. Reed: Tiger & Phil should put up their own money in match
 
It’s a sentiment that has been voiced elsewhere, but to hear Patrick Reed say it is interesting: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson should each wager $5 million of their own money in their potential $10 million duel.
  • “I would pay a little bit more to watch it if it was for their own money, for sure,” Reed said. “It’s going to be entertaining. I think it would be more entertaining if it was for their own money because I think the guys would grind even harder. 
  • “I’ll be curious to see it because I feel like one match, 18 holes, not your own money, it’s just kind of an exhibition.”
  • Captain America also offered this suggestion: “I think it would be pretty cool if it was at night, like a three-round knockout,” Reed said. “Have old school (equipment), persimmon woods and balata balls, and then put them in their normal stuff and play a round at night. Have fun with it.”
6. On that note: Tiger vs. Phil prop bets

 

While the match between the two golfing heavyweights is yet to be confirmed, and a date is yet to be set-heck, Tiger Woods hasn’t even said anything about the possibility since The Players-that hasn’t stopped the oddsmakers from SportsBettingDime.com from setting lines and configuring prop bets.

 

  • Odds to Win the $10 Million Tiger-Phil Match…Tiger Woods 2/3…Phil Mickelson 3/2
  • Odds of being selected to play in the “Undercard” of Tiger-PhilPGA Tour Pros-Rory McIlroy: 4/1-Patrick Reed: 4/1-Dustin Johnson: 7/1-Rickie Fowler: 9/1-Jordan Spieth: 12/1-Sergio Garcia: 15/1-Brooks Koepka: 15/1
7. “It’s awesome”


Phil Mickelson took a spin
around upcoming Ryder Cup venue, Le Golf National.

  • “”It’s awesome,” Mickelson told Golf Channel’s Tim Rosafortelate Tuesday. “Not many drivers if any at all…long irons and poa greens. I love it.”

     

  • Mickelson played the course Monday ahead of his traditional appearance at the Scottish Open.
8. Place your bets!

 

Odds to win the John Deere Classic (via Bovada)
  • Francesco Molinari 10-1
  • Bryson DeChambeau 11-1
  • Zach Johnson 12-1
  • Joaquin Niemann 18-1
  • Ryan Moore 18-1
  • Steve Stricker 22-1
  • Chesson Hadley 22-1
  • Kyle Stanley 25-1
  • Austin Cook 33-1
  • Wesley Bryan 33-1
9. Nearly $20K to charity, thanks to TW’s bag

 

The camouflage bag Tiger Woods used over the weekend in his previous start at the Quicken Loans National has raised a nice sum of money for his foundation.

 

  • Woods autographed and signed a personal message to the highest bidder on the bag. Auctioned off, it raised $19,000 for his TGR Foundation, according to Golf Channel
  • Why don’t we do more of this: one-off bags for tour pros…auctioned off for charity? Add some spice to the redundant staff bag/billboard space!

 

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