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GolfWRX Morning 9: What went wrong for the U.S.? Here’s the list… | Reed sounds off

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

October 1, 2018

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1 Throw out the drawing board
Golfworld’s Dave Shedloski with some of the best Ryder Cup postmortem writing…”It’s back to the drawing board for the U.S. Ryder Cup contingent after another miserable effort in Europe. Maybe they should throw out the drawing board, too.”
However, Shedloski also curates some of the explanations/excuses for the U.S. thumping.
  • “The Fatigue Factor: Eleven Americans competed in the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Europe had five.”
  • “The Tiger Effect on Team USA: It continues to be a net negative when he plays. Woods can’t seem to bring his A-game to these matches.”
  • “The Tiger Effect on Team Europe: Woods isn’t currently No. 1 in the world like he had been many times in earlier Ryder Cup appearances, but he remains the man everyone wants to beat.”
  • “Putting: It always seems to come down to putting. The Europeans enjoyed a massive advantage in familiarization with the greens.”
  • “The Buy-In Factor: This wasn’t supposed to be an issue. But it still is. The U.S. commissioned a Ryder Cup Task Force to get the players more involved in the process of how the team is assembled and organized, and it seemed to work well at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn. But if the U.S. Ryder Cup Committee and the players were fully invested, then more than six of the 12 players on the team should have seen Le Golf National’s Albatros Course before Tuesday.”
  • “Picks: Furyk’s captain’s picks-Woods, Mickelson, DeChambeau and Tony Finau-scored two points and both by Finau.”
2. Furyk
…but Captain Furyk is happy with the doodle.
Golf Channel’s Jay Coffin on Captain Jim…”Furyk split up Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. He put Reed with Tiger Woods and Spieth with Justin Thomas. Furyk thought he took one dynamic duo, split them up and formed two dynamic duos. Only Thomas and Spieth performed well. Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka gelled well together, but only played together once, and lost.”
  • “His captain’s picks seemed obvious at the time. How do you leave Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau off the team? But they combined to tally a 2-10 record, and Finau won both the points.”
  • “No matter the second guessing by others, Furyk – who played on nine Ryder Cups and collected a career 10-20-4 record – didn’t seem like he was going to do that to himself. Sure, he will give input to the Ryder Cup committee in hopes of strengthening the process for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, but as for his team, he had no regrets.”
  • “I’m going to say it over and over and over again – I have every confidence in these 12 players. I think we have a great team,” he said. “I would take them right back into another Ryder Cup and play it all over again if I could. You can call me crazy, but I have every belief that these guys could get it done. I still do and I still would again.”
3. Tiger
ESPN’s Bob Harig…”One of golf’s great mysteries continues: Why is Woods’ Ryder Cup record so lousy?”
  • “He went 0-4 at Le Golf National after what was an inspired effort to even be part of the U.S. team. He came to France off the jubilation of victory at the Tour Championship, a satisfying-yet-emotional win that obviously left him spent, and he departed with the worst record of any player in the competition.”
  • “Two more Ryder Cup partners went on his résumé — Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau — adding to a long list of infamy that has seen Woods’ overall record drop to 13-21-3. He’s 9-19-1 with partners, and lost at singles for the first time since 1997.”
  • “All manner of explanations have been given over the years, none of which really apply now, if they ever did: he doesn’t care; he doesn’t like playing with a partner; he’s horrible at team events…Woods might have had his issues 20 years ago, but now as one of the game’s elder statesmen, he has become heavily involved in the U.S. Ryder Cup process that selects the captains and assistant captains. He has already signed on to be the U.S. Presidents Cup captain in 2019 — and why would a guy who doesn’t give a rip do that? — with an eye on a future Ryder Cup captaincy.”
Of course, there may not be an overarching explanation for Woods’ entire body of Ryder Cup work. This year, he simply looked gassed and struggled to keep the ball in play off the tee. Facing energized opponents who are having no such issues is tough.
4. The mystery remains
PGATour.com’s Mike McAllister…”Jim Furyk – who stands to garner most of the criticism, as Captains generally do when their teams lose – said he will work with the PGA of America and the Ryder Cup committee to improve on areas that were lacking for this week. “I’ll definitely go through things that are in my head,” said Furyk, who did not reveal the specifics of those things.”
  • “One of the obvious things is making sure the Americans are acquainted with the course – and perhaps making sure the American players on the roster are best suited to play that course. The fear entering Friday’s first day was that the tight, driver-unfriendly Le Golf National would pose issues for big American bombers. That seemed to play itself out, as the U.S. found more trouble off the tee than its counterparts.”
  • “The best American player this week was Justin Thomas, who just happened to be the only American who played the French Open at Le Golf National this summer.”
  • “We thought this course suit us and our style of play,” said Rory McIlroy, the PGA TOUR’s driving distance leader who may have been the only European to feel at a disadvantage. He still won two points.”
  • “Furyk, to his credit, took the blame for the loss, saying he would gladly take the same 12 players into battle once again. He knows he will be second-guessed for decisions such as breaking up the Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed pairing, or picking Phil Mickelson to play a tight course in which he ranked second-to-last on the PGA TOUR in driving accuracy”
5. Le Ryder Cup National
Geoff Shackelford writes Le Golf National sets a new standard for Ryder Cup venues.
  • “Much was rightfully made of the narrowness here, most of it artificially created with a purpose in mind. Landing areas were tightened by the European Tour paint guns, though modern driving distances also created pinch points unforeseen by the architects. But modern players have seen narrowness before. The rough density was excessive, particularly on this side of the Atlantic where they love their natural golf and once railed against the American harvesting of tall grass.”
  • “So flat in spots they seem laser leveled, the Americans regularly missed on the high side as late as Sunday singles when a late-morning mowing had the greens rolling slightly faster. Still, the lethargic-by-modern-standards Stimpmeter reading of 10 feet, 2 inches proved another wise move by the setup masterminds since the European Tour players generally see slower week-to-week speeds.”
  • While Shackelford praised the T.V. viewing experience, he said this about watching from on site…”As a fan experience, reviews ranged from mixed to poor, with never-ending reports of overwhelmed infrastructure. By day’s end, the venue was littered with piles of trash thanks to a minimum of receptacles. The sight of male fans openly urinating in nearby creeks, sometimes within a wedge shot of the action, suggested a few more of the European Tour’s Ryder Cup millions should have been spent on proper preparation.”
6. Explanation for the Spieth/Reed split…or not?
While Jordan Spieth and Captain Furyk toed the party line, Patrick Reed did otherwise following the U.S. side’s defeat.
  • “The issue is obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” he told the New York Times.
  • BBC Report…”I don’t have any issue with Jordan,” added the world number 15. “When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success.
  • “He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”
  • Reed also took issue with not playing in every session…”For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice.”
The Woods/Reed team failed to earn a point. However, Spieth/Thomas won three of their four matches.
7. Time for Tiger & Phil to go?
Here’s a hot take from the AP’s Paul Newberry…the soccer national team example…
  • “Then there’s the Ryder Cup, which, for whatever reason, has dealt out far more disappointment than achievement.’
  • “As Europe romped to a seven-point victory, Woods’ career record dipped to 13-21-3. He’s played on eight of these teams but only one has captured the Cup – at Brookline, nearly two decades ago. Even then, approaching the peak of his career, he managed only a 2-3 record and is a largely forgotten figure in the historic U.S. comeback on the final day.”
  • “Woods would be the losingest player in U.S. history if not for Mickelson, who slipped to 18-22-7 with his two defeats this weekend. The Americans have won the Cup three times with Lefty on the roster, but they’ve lost nine times. His most noteworthy moment might’ve been ripping into 2014 captain Tom Watson after he was benched on Saturday at Gleneagles.”
  • “What Woods and Mickelson should do instead is follow the example of top soccer players as the years creep up on them. While they may continue to play for their club teams, even with a great deal of success, they’ll often step aside from international duty – passing the baton to the next generation in a symbolic acknowledgement that their time has passed.”
8. Sergi-oooo!  
Golf Channel’s Will Gray on Sergio’s Ryder Cup resume-capping week…”Sergio Garcia came to Le Golf National this week as the most scrutinized combatant on either side. He left as the most prolific winner in Ryder Cup history….Garcia’s addition by Thomas Bjorn received plenty of scorn given his lack of form over the last few months and the strength of other possible candidates left at home. But the Spaniard delivered in a big way, going 3-1 while helping Europe to a 17 ½ to 10 ½ victory.”
  • “That individual mark included a 2-and-1 win over Rickie Fowler in Sunday’s singles play, a full point that vaulted him past Sir Nick Faldo as the highest point earner in tournament history. Faldo amassed 25 points for both Great Britain and Ireland and Europe, but Garcia has now earned 25 ½ with a career record of 22-12-7….”I think Sergio’s Ryder Cup story tells its own,” Thomas Bjorn said. “It’s a whole thing of its own, and it’s a brilliant story. It’s a fantastic achievement.”
In other words: Nice pick, Captain Bjorn.
9. Do the Europeans just care more?
Not the first time the suggestion has been made, certainly, but our Ron Montesano has some thoughts.
“Who wants it more?” is a common commentator cliche, and a bad one at that. But in this article, I’m talking about really care, as in, if your backs are up against the wall you’ll do anything to win, including provide energy and spark even when getting trampled. Not just maintain acceptable body language despite losing, but acting in ways that inspire teammates. Fight and claw until the bitter end. And it starts at the top, with the veterans and future hall-of-famers, who know who they are….The United States needs more care in them, it seems.”
“I’m going to call it the “Larry Nelson Curse.” Until the PGA of America publicly apologizes to Larry Nelson, the last guy to go 5-0 before Moli-Moli-Moli-Moli-Moli-Moli MOLINARI, for not giving him his richly-deserved captaincy, Team USA will never again win on foreign soil. Sad part is, it doesn’t seem they care. Very few players showed urgency, passion, zeal or enthusiasm this week in France. Take note of the “Or” and not the “And” in the preceding sentence; to hope for more than one of those adjectives was asking too much of Team USA.”
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Morning 9: Spiething again? | Daly requests cart for The Open | Ben Hogan doc coming

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

May 24, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Finau leads, Spieth 1 back at Colonial
AP report…”If Jordan Spieth is going to end a victory drought that’s approaching two years, he picked a good place to give himself a chance.”
  • “Spieth opened with a 5-under 65 at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Thursday in his second Texas homecoming in three weeks — coming off his best finish of the season at the PGA Championship — and trailed Tony Finau by one shot. Roger Sloan joined Spieth in the tie for second.”
  • “Back when he was collecting trophies regularly three years ago, Spieth won on the cozy course made famous by Ben Hogan, and that was between a pair of second-place finishes in Fort Worth. So when it comes to feeling good about his game, Spieth’s in the right place, just a few miles from his hometown of Dallas.”
2. Meanwhile, at Oak Hill
AP report…”Scott Parel took advantage of ideal scoring conditions Thursday morning to shoot a 4-under 66 and take the first-round lead in the weather-delayed Senior PGA Championship.”
  • “The gusting afternoon wind, which buffeted flags and shook hospitality tents across Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course, hadn’t yet fully arrived when Parel closed with birdies on the par-4 17th and 18th. Retief Goosen, Marco Dawson and Ken Tanigawa were a stroke back.”
  • “The round was completed just before 9 p.m., about a half-hour after the sun set, and 14 hours after the first group teed off. The long day was the result of late-morning thunderstorms that caused a delay of 2 hours, 15 minutes.”
3. Bronte!
And another AP report…“Bronte Law chipped in for eagle on the par-5 third hole and shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday for a share of the lead in the Pure Silk Championship with Anna Nordqvist and Jennifer Song.”
  • “Law added a birdie on the par-4 seventh – her 16th hole in a bogey-free round at windy Kingsmill Resort.”
  • ”Started finding myself with a good score. Nothing more to it,” Law said. ”On days like this when it’s windy just got to keep grinding all day, take the chances when they come.”
4. Finau’s grip switch paying dividends…
Tony Finau is in the grips of the claw…
PGATour.com’s Mike McAllister with Finau’s remarks…
  • “It’s something that I’ve kind of been thinking,” said Finau, who entered this week ranked T-100 in Strokes Gained: Putting this season. “It’s an itch I wanted to scratch … To me, it was just perfect time. … If I feel like something is better, I’m not afraid to change, no matter the results.”
  • “In truth, the move to the claw may not be as dramatic as it seemed. Finau said he often has practiced with the claw in order to make sure his left hand is in the proper position.”
  • “I’m left-hand dominant when I roll the stick,” he explained. “I used to putt cross-handed for about five years. Been putting conventionally now for a couple years.
  • “But I just wanted to switch it up. I haven’t been putting great … Standing over the ball, the most important thing is, do you feel like you’re going to make the putt or not? Outside of everything else, do you believe you can make the putt?
5. Strong start for (Edoardo) Molinari…
After 1 in Denmark…
  • “Edoardo Molinari will take a share of the lead into day two of the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA after high winds made scoring tricky in round one at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort.”
  • “The three time European Tour winner had got to seven under but, as the winds increased, he gave up two late bogeys to sign for a 66 and a share of the lead at five under alongside Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares and English trio Tom Murray, Matthew Southgate and Paul Waring.”
  • “Defending champion Matt Wallace – fresh off finishing third at the US PGA Championship – was in the group at four under, with 46 players within three shots of the lead.”

Full European Tour report.

 

6. Ben Hogan doc
Geoff Shackelford discusses the upcoming Golf Channel documentary about the Hawk…
  • “Producer Israel DeHerrera kindly let me screen parts of Hogan knowing my affinity for all things Ben Hogan and research into the Hawk’s Los Angeles years. All I can say: it’s the film you hoped would be delivered on Hogan’s incredible life and times.”
  • And a bit of the press release…
  • “Hogan (trailer), a two-part biopic on 64-time PGA TOUR winner Ben Hogan chronicles one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history, reflecting on the Texan’s indelible impact on professional golf in spite of a near-fatal automobile accident that put the prime years of his career in serious jeopardy. Coming from humble beginnings, the film examines Hogan’s incredible journey to becoming one of the greatest golfers of all-time, serving as the inspiration for the 1951 motion picture “Follow the Sun”. Being presented with limited commercial interruption by Charles Schwab, Hogan’s two parts – Monday night’s “Perseverance” and Tuesday night’s “Perfection” – will be narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Kyle Chandler, and be produced for GOLF Films by 13-time Emmy Award winner Israel DeHerrera.”
7. Monahan talks gambling again
Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…
  • “Speaking at the Sports Business Awards Wednesday night, Monahan implied the Tour is working on new gambling developments that will be announced by the end of the year.
  • We’ve spent a lot of time over the last two and a half years clearly understanding all of our options and getting ourselves in a position where we can participate,” Monahan said. “Participate with the right partners, and participate in a way that we think resonates with fans. Without getting in front of it, I think you can expect to hear developments from us in the second half of this year.”
  • “The Tour has been testing an upgraded version of its data system called ShotLink Plus, according to Sport Techie, and Monahan has already announced a deal with IMG Arena to distribute data directly to betting operators.”
8. Daly requests cart for Open
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”After driving his way around Bethpage Black last week, John Daly has submitted another request to use a cart when The Open heads to Royal Portrush this summer.”
  • “Daly petitioned the PGA of America under the Americans with Disabilities Act for the use of a cart at last week’s PGA Championship, citing his ailing right knee. While a similar request for the U.S. Senior Open was denied last summer by the USGA, he was approved by the PGA and used a cart en route to rounds of 75-76 and a missed cut on Long Island.”
  • “We have received a request from John Daly to use a buggy at The Open, and it is currently under consideration,” said an R&A spokesperson.
9. Heckuva putting performance
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers points out that…“Starting on Colonial’s back nine, Spieth was four under through eight holes before a double bogey on No. 18. But while big numbers have been derailing the 25-year-old Texan all season, he rallied to make four more birdies (against one bogey) on the back nine, including one on his final hole after knocking an approach shot to six feet on the par-4 ninth.
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Tony Finau goes to the claw grip; fires a 64 to take the early lead at Colonial CC

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Tony Finau tied his lowest round of the year on Thursday at the Charles Schwab Challenge, and the impressive opening was fueled by a move to the claw grip on the greens.

Finau’s 64 has put him on top of the leaderboard after day one at Colonial Country Club, and after his opening round, Finau explained to reporters the reason behind the change-up on the greens this week, stating

“I just wanted to switch it up. I haven’t been putting great I feel like, and standing over the ball the most important thing is do you feel like you’re going to make the putt or not. Outside of everything else, do you believe you can make the putt? So for me, I needed to switch something.”

The switch proved very effective on Thursday, as Finau gained over three strokes on the greens on a day where the American managed to hit just three fairways in total.

Finau previously used the cross-hand technique on the greens earlier in his career for a period of five years, but this is the first time the 29-year-old has made the change to the claw grip in tournament action despite using the technique at times on the practice green.

Sitting T100 for strokes gained: putting this season, Finau told the media on Thursday that the time was right for a change this week at Colonial CC, saying

“But I just wanted to switch it up. I haven’t been putting great. I needed to switch something. Decided to try the claw today and it worked out. If I feel like something is better, I’m not afraid to change no matter the results. I’ve been playing OK. I feel like it was just time. Like I said, I think it was just time to scratch that itch and see how it goes.”

Finau begins his second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge today at 12.44 PM ET alongside Brian Harmon and Patton Kizzire.

 

 

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Morning 9: What clubs would a mid-handicap hit at a major? | NCAA Women’s champs | Marty Jertson speaks

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

May 23, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. What clubs would a mid-handicap hit at a major?
Cool stuff from Golf Digest’s E. Michael Johnson…
  • “A USGA study once suggested that average golfers only hit the green from the rough 13 percent of the time. But that was data collected at a resort course, not major championship rough. It’s probably safe to say that the average chopper would never hit the green from the rough at any distance that required a full swing. Indeed, Cobra Connect’s data from Arccos shows that an Average Joe hits the green only a third of the time with only his 8- and 9-iron and his wedges, clubs he’d only be using on Bethpage Black’s two par 5s. Maybe.”
  • “In fact, according to the numbers, he would only hit the green on about one in four chances with his 6- and 7-irons, one in six chances with his 5-iron, one in eight chances with his 4-iron and just one in 10 chances with a 3-hybrid. And about that 3-wood? According to the numbers, the average golfer’s GIR percentage with that club, as they say, has no grade point average.”
  • “All of those missed greens (and the attendant tragic golf despair and perhaps some measure of physical injury) then would be compounded further by plenty of around-the-green misadventures and misplays. Arccos data suggests the average 15-handicap gets up and down less than one in five times. Furthering this ugliness would be all those 3-putts, which Arccos data suggests might happen on at least four holes a round, particularly at major championship speeds.”
An example of the calculations…
1st hole, par 4, 430 yards
Koepka: Driver, half-lob wedge
Average Joe: Driver, 3-wood
2nd hole, par 4, 389 yards
Koepka: 4-iron, gap wedge
Average Joe: Driver, 6-iron
2. NCAA Women’s champs
Golfweek’s Adam Woodard with the report…“For the seventh time in program history, Duke is the 2019 NCAA Div. I Women’s Golf National Champion after defeating Wake Forest 3-2 in an all-ACC final match at Blessings Golf Club.”
  • “I couldn’t feel more proud than I do right now,” said Duke head coach Dan Brooks. “We’ve had a tough team all year long and they were tough this week.”
  • “It was Duke’s anchor, Ana Belac, who put the first point on the board in the national championship match. The Blue Devil junior defeated Wake Forest freshman Vanessa Knecht 5&3 to give Duke the early lead.”
3. A confident Spieth following PGA
Golfweek’s Steve Dimeglio…”His history bodes well as Spieth seeks his 12th PGA Tour title. And his solid performance in last week’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black restored some much sought after confidence and has him energized at Colonial.”
  • “This is the best I’ve felt in quite a while. I’m very happy,” Spieth said after he tied for third in the PGA Championship, six shots behind victor Brooks Koepka.
  • “…But on a course that favored bangers like Koepka and fellow Bash Brother Dustin Johnson, who finished second, Spieth rode four days of strong putting and worthy iron play to get into contention on the weekend.”
  • “I knew that it was unlikely on this golf course that I was going to have a chance to win, and that’s a humbling feeling for me,” Spieth said. “But I knew that if I played the course the right way, had the right mentality, kept putting the way I’ve been putting, that I would be in it and having a chance to make some noise.
4. Oak Hill weather
AP Report…“It didn’t take long for Jay Haas to be reminded of how gusting winds can wreak havoc on players attempting to navigate the narrow fairways of Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course.”
  • ‘”Got here on Sunday night and played nine holes Monday, and it was blowing, what, 25, 30 (miles per hour),” Haas said with a laugh Wednesday, a day before the Senior PGA Championship opens.’
  • “In some ways, the 65-year-old’s experience was no different than his previous visit to the Rochester suburbs 11 years ago. That’s when Haas overcame frigid conditions, heavy wind gusts and a one-stroke final-round deficit to finish with a 7-over 287 and win his second Senior PGA title.”
5. Johnny’s back
Our Gianni Magliocco...”Johnny Miller is back sharing his opinions on the game on Callaway’s new podcast: Real Golf Talk, which aired its first episode today (listen here on Soundcloud).”
  • “The longtime NBC golf announcer retired from broadcasting earlier this year, but Miller now features alongside avid golfer and television host Chris Harrison on the podcast, which will air six episodes in 2019 and eight in future seasons.”
6. Marty speaks!
Good stuff from PGATour.com’s Andrew Tursky talking with Ping’s (now legendary?) Marty Jertson…
  • Tursky: “Can you describe how tough the conditions were on the weekend, and put those weekend rounds into perspective? Like, what would say a 5-handicap shoot out there?”
  • Jertson: “Oh man. My caddie and I were talking about that a lot… ‘What would a scratch golfer shoot? What would a 5-handicap shoot out there?’ Let me put it this way: We had a hard time finding the golf balls in the rough with an army of spotters. So if you played by the real rules of golf where you had 3 minutes to look for your golf ball and you put a 5-handicapper out there, no joke I think they would shoot – if they followed the textbook rules – they would shoot 120 or more, because they would be losing so many golf balls in the rough and you only have 3 minutes to find it. Yeah, it was brutal. The ultimate test of precision and accuracy in terms of… you had to hit it both long and straight. You couldn’t do one or the other. You had to have both. That’s why I think some of the commentators and whatnot really like that style of golf.”
7. GolfWRX chats with Ryan Palmer
JN: Do you have a home field advantage here at Colonial?
RP: To a point, I guess. Obviously, I have played this golf course in every type of wind. I mean, I know certain holes play shorter than they are. So, a little bit of an advantage because I don’t put much stress into the golf course itself. I just know it. And of course, James, my caddie, knows it. And that is nice. But I do put more pressure on myself because I want to play well here
  • JN: What are your thoughts on not having a full bag club sponsorship?
  • RP: It is just a matter of playing with what I like. When I first got on tour, you would sign a full deal and it was pretty good. Now you are signing for balls and all 14 clubs. I love the Taylor Made driver but they cut out the driver only deals. They went just full line. Fortunately, with the help of Mike Chisholm and Chisholm Sports, I have some great corporate partners. United Rentals, a great deal with Unisys, RBC. I am able to have these corporate sponsors allow me to play what I want. I made some comments like ‘two hundred grand is not worth an equipment contract on tour because of what you can make that week.’
  • So, I got ribbed a little bit for making that comment but honestly it is not worth it in today’s game. We play for so much money now each and every week that by the time you get a $200,000 deal, you’re paying taxes and management, at the end of the day its worth a top 20-finish. And then you have to play those clubs all year long, whether you like them or not. So now I can play whatever putter or iron or driver I want. I am only under contract with ball, shoes and gloves. Footjoy and Titleist. I test and I tinker now and then but I always go back to what I have performed with in the past. I stand over a tee shot and I think, I know I hit this driver this way at this tournament at this particular moment. Why would I change?
8. Why it was great: Bridgestone’s J33R driver
For your viewing pleasure, a new video series from GolfWRX in general and equipment expert Ryan Barath in particular.
  • This video series breaks down why certain clubs maintain such a cult following, and what made them so popular to begin with.
  • The first club in this series is the Bridgestone J33R – a driver from 2005 that was both hard to find and extremely sought after. Ryan Barath breaks down some of the design attributes that still makes this a great club today.
9. Golf jokes!
Mark Townsend at National Club Golfer rounds up some of the worst…
Best golf jokes: Caddiesmack
  • A golfer walks off the 18th green, hands his putter to his caddie and says, “Kid, you’ve got to be the worst caddie in the world.”
  • The caddie replies: “Sir, that would be too much of a coincidence.”
  • Verdict: Not bad and a punchline that most of us weren’t expecting. Quick and to the point though how you’re going to bring this one to the table is anyone’s guess.
Best golf jokes: Clucking mad
  • A golfer sliced a ball into a field of chickens, striking one of the hens and killing it instantly. He was understandably upset, and sought out the farmer. “I’m sorry,” he said, “my terrible tee shot hit one of your hens and killed it. Can I replace the hen?”
  • “I don’t know about that,” replied the farmer, mulling it over. “How many eggs a day do you lay?”
  • Verdict: Better and unlike many of its golfing jokey contemporaries the punchline can’t be said to yourself about a third of the way in. Quite quirky for a golf joke and, told in the right manner, might be worth using.
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