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WATCH: John Senden’s driver shaft snaps mid-swing



As challenging and unpredictable as golf is, professional golfers can usually count on one thing, making contact with the ball. However, when John Senden attempted to rip his tee shot at the par-5 ninth hole in his opening round at the Australian PGA Championship, the Aussie’s club snapped mid-swing producing an air shot.

Despite not causing himself a severe injury, Senden did wound his hand during the bizarre incident, and after deliberating with a rules official, things got even worse for the Aussie. After failing to make contact with the ball, rules officials told Senden that not only would that swing count as a stroke but that he would also be forced to play his next shot from the original high standing tee. A decision that left his fellow countryman Geoff Ogilvy seething.

Senden did, however, end up making a bogey on the hole, and despite being forced to finish his back nine driverless, the two time PGA Tour winner managed to get in the house with a solid round of level par.

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag



  1. Dave f

    Nov 30, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Good explanation from the full axcent of the one and only Charlie Rymer on the golf channel report, along with mr know it all Mr. Brandel man are they a pair or what they sure have it figured out.

  2. James A.

    Nov 30, 2018 at 11:44 am

    That happened to me with one of the early gen lite-weight graphite shafts – I’ll just say it was 23yrs ago & they were bright red & light years ahead of the other offerings at the time. I had been using XXX Penley – which weighed in ALMOST twice as much as these did and the designer/owner was very good to us. It played almost as firm in the tip, but to do that a lot of material was taken from the butt. We still saw a lot of high breaks in many different shafts until maybe 8 yrs ago but these Red ones were cutting edge. If you leaned on it at all teeing up? – SNAP. Bag fell over? SNAP- but you could hit 300+ balls on a test day at 115-120 club head speed and (almost) no problem.

    I did snap 10 one day but was testing a couple versions for them and most snapped if I let it bounce off my back on a ‘gorilla swing’ follow through.

    The bad one was another gen later when they changed the outer layer material to be stronger lengthwise. I had a relatively slow backswing for my swing speed to force a big turn – being a big guy with a back injury. I capitalized on 20+ yrs of karate & being a professional drummer with fast hands. In a pro-am, I went after it on a reachable 340yd hole & the shaft snapped halfway into the downswing – at peak lag when my hands started to turn into impact, but instead of half the club flying away, the head stayed on – connected by a strip of the new outer layer. I hit the ball, but the head wrapped completely around my back & came up and drilled me right on my right eye brow…inch or so lower, it would’ve shattered the orbit & I might’ve lost the eye. As it was, I just saw all blue light – like gettin’ KO’d and almost went down. The missing 2′ of shaft hit someone 10yds away (no harm done) and I just put my hand on the spot which was golf ball size in 3 seconds…I was lucky.

    I ended up with 6 stitches. I called the company & ‘my guys’ were out & the person I talked to sounded a little spooked & just said “I don’t think I can talk to you about this…sounds like you need to speak to our legal dept (lol)…I told him I was a sponsored test ‘driver’ & I wasn’t gonna sue! I just needed them to know it happened & maybe they needed to let the head/broken piece just go flying down the fairway if one broke. They stopped using that material lengthwise & created ‘Rings’so to speak – to make sure if it broke it’d be ‘cleaner’…

    True story 🙂

    For 8 years I didn’t carry a 3 wd. Used a Big Bertha one iron with ‘the red shaft’ and couldn’t miss. Best combo EVER. Eventually, just got tired of them breaking hitting off the deck, & other – now the all well known ‘high end’ shafts got so good I moved on ????

  3. Ray Bennett

    Nov 29, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Come on USGA and R&A, surely this circumstance needs to be addressed in the Rules of Golf in the players favour.

  4. jc

    Nov 29, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    one of my friends just ticked the ball and it fell off the tee, he used his 3 wood, then an iron and made the putt…one of the best pars I had eve seen.

  5. Curt

    Nov 29, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Was that a TPT Shaft?

    • Michael

      Nov 29, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      I think so. Those shafts are incredibly overpriced for the lack of quality control that seems to exist. I’ve heard of many of these snapping, way above the norm.

      • Scheiss

        Nov 29, 2018 at 8:38 pm

        What do you expect from ski poles, they’re not meant to be swung at something lol

  6. Kevin

    Nov 29, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Very stupid ruling and yes they should be fkd off. Should the club shaft stay intact he would have hit the ball, it is the one thing that the player does not have any control over. There was no obstacles, no roots in the ground, it is a faulty shaft and the player could not anticipate nor be prepared for. Its the same as punishing a Bus taker for the bus’ engine failture as soon as he stepped into the bus.

  7. KL Nix

    Nov 29, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    I had that happen to me once with a 1 iron during a tournament. Just after impact i heard and felt a snap and it didn’t compute until I felt the club pinching my hands and the head smacking me in the leg. One of the most bizarre things that I have ever had happen to me and until now I thought I was the only one to have that kind of luck. The following 16 holes of viagra jokes were not that funny at the time but in hindsight have grown on me.

  8. Kevin

    Nov 29, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I very well may be mistaken, but should he not have been able to tee off again without a penalty? He did not make contact with the ball and that would only be a stroke if he intends to make contact with the ball. Much like Kevin Na from years back, he still followed through but was able to say that he did not intend to hit the ball. It very much looked like after the club snapped he tried to stop his swing?

    • Tips

      Nov 29, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      In this case, it happened during the normal action of the actual swing, and the judgment is the same as if you were to break a club against a tree, for example. You can clearly see that it was not a practice swing or a waggle, it happened during the actual intended swing.
      Whether the shaft was poorly made or not is irrelevant.

      • Kevin

        Nov 29, 2018 at 3:27 pm

        This is the ruling of which I am talking about.

        14/1.5 Intent to Strike Ball Ceases During Downswing; Club Not Stopped But Path of Clubhead Altered to Avoid Striking Ball

        Q.A player begins his downswing with the intention of striking the ball but decides during the downswing not to strike the ball. The player is unable to stop the club before it reaches the ball, but he is able to swing intentionally over the top of the ball. Is the player deemed to have made a stroke?

        A.No. The player is considered to have checked his downswing voluntarily by altering the path of his downswing and missing the ball even though the swing carried the clubhead beyond the ball.

        If the player had not successfully checked his downswing (i.e., he had struck the ball), he is considered to have made a stroke.

        Any doubt regarding the player’s intent must be resolved against the player.

        Although it does not match perfectly and the rules in Australia may vary slightly I think this would apply. I would say once the shaft broke he clearly made an attempt to not make contact/check his swing and he did not make contact.

    • jc

      Nov 29, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      nope, if you take a swing, it is just like a whiff…the only thing that will change wit the new rules is that if the ball was falling off the tee, you no longer get a penalty for hitting a moving ball…

      • Willem van der Merwe

        Nov 30, 2018 at 5:22 am

        Under the new rules, the ball is still on the teeing are, so although the stroke counts, he would be able to re-tee, put the ball on the ground or on any surface irregularity, whether created by the player or natural.

        In fact, if you had hit a shot which rebounded and ended up back on your teeing area (the 2 club-length space behind the tee markers for your tee on the hole), you would be entitled to tee it up again for your second shot.

  9. Thomas Horonzy

    Nov 29, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I would have never assessed him a swing. I feel Geoff felt likewise. Where’s the logic?

  10. KingSingh

    Nov 29, 2018 at 9:53 am

    What shaft was Senden using in his driver?

  11. Nigel Kent

    Nov 29, 2018 at 9:39 am

    He did not have to finish the round driver-less . If you break a club deliberately (in temper across your leg ,against a tree or the ground ),that would be true .If it just breaks in normal play , you are allowed to have it replaced either from the pro-shop or your own spare supply in your vehicle , as long as you don’t delay play . I saw Sam Torrance snap a driver across his back on the follow-through,they sent a buggy to the pro- shop ,had a new one back to him in 15 minutes .

    • GP

      Nov 29, 2018 at 9:48 am

      The commentators said he didn’t have a back-up driver that day, but was hoping to get one for the next day from some place.

    • Eric Clancey

      Nov 29, 2018 at 9:51 am

      Good call Nigel.

      It looked like a snap at the grip from banging the club head on the ground after a bad shot.

      • Engineer Bob

        Nov 29, 2018 at 3:26 pm

        No…. that’s the result of applying a hands force couple to the club handle and the very thin-walled butt section of the shaft collapsing under the grip. Do not apply a hands force couple approaching impact because that signifies you are attempting a swing compensation.

        • gps

          Nov 29, 2018 at 5:53 pm

          Its very natural that there are forces at the point of the fulcrum, between the hands.

          In 5L, Ben Hogan pointed out the center of gravity of a golf club, without the golfer
          and fulcrum when it becomes a lever in the hands of the golfer.

          • Engineer Bob

            Nov 29, 2018 at 6:57 pm

            Sorry but there is no golf swing ‘fulcrum’ between the hands during a force couple, just a rotation axis. A fulcrum is a support whereas the rotation axis just floats through the downswing. You are confusing a lever with a static fulcrum and a moving object subject to a force couple.

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Greg Norman: “If I had to do it all over again, I would go to one-length clubs”



Greg Norman has never been a man to shy away from speaking his mind, and during Saturday’s Golf Channel broadcast of the QBE Shootout, the Australian declared that if he had the opportunity to begin his career again, he would do so with single-length irons.

Norman stressed how his experience while experimenting with Cobra King One Length irons led him to conclude that single-length irons are more beneficial than standard irons because “your spine angle stays the same” no matter what club you are using.

“Believe it or not, if I had to do it all over again as a 13 or 14-year-old, I would go to one-length clubs,” Norman said. “I actually had a set made for me when [Bryson DeChambeau] first came and joined, and I got it straight off the bat. When you think about it, my 4-iron and my 8-iron are the same length, but my ball flight was so good on all of them because your spine angle stays the same.”

The Australian went on to say that anyone looking to introduce their kid to the game of golf, should give them single-length irons to optimize their chances of success.

“I think parents now, for longevity, golf is a sport you can play your entire life, so if you look at that motion that [DeChambeau is] going through there, it’s such an effortless motion. He’s stacked up beautifully. At the end of the day, the motion is so simple through there. So the one-length golf club, in my humble opinion, give a kid at six, seven, eight…get him used to it and he’ll do well.”

Norman won 88 times in his career, including 20 wins on the PGA Tour and two major championship victories. Could the Shark have achieved even more if he had have used single-length irons during his career instead of standard irons?

Let us know what you think, GolfWRXers!

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News Tour hopeful suffers heartbreaking finish to miss out on Tour status by one stroke



With the careers of many players hanging in the balance at Tour Q-School, the agony of those who miss out matches the ecstasy of the few that make their way through the brutal process.

On Sunday, there was one particular man who suffered the agony of missing out more than others.

Patrick Sullivan was inside the top-40 and heading for his status on the Tour for 2019 before it all went wrong. Playing the back nine of Sunday’s final round, the 35-year old faced a birdie attempt on the 14th green but struck his ball off the green and into the water. Sullivan ended up making a costly double bogey on the hole and followed the error with another bogey on the 15th hole.

To his eternal credit, Sullivan showed incredible resolve. Needing to play his final three holes in four-under par, Sullivan managed to make a birdie and an eagle before heading to the final hole.

A three on 18 was a must, and Sullivan faced a nerve-jangling four-footer to claim his Tour status for next season. The putt, however, slid by, leaving him one shot outside of the magic number.

Golf can be a cruel sport at times.

Sullivan does, however, have conditional status for next year, meaning he will have the opportunity of playing events through Monday qualifiers.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Louis king again | Q-School craziness



By Ben Alberstadt (

December 10, 2018

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. King again!
Louis Oosthuizen captured his home country’s open for his first win in three years.
  • Ryan Herrington writes…”Louis Oosthuizen was already the winner of a historic Open title, but on Sunday he claimed arguably a more meaningful one to the 36-year-old. With a closing 67 at Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg, Oosthuizen posted a runaway six-stroke victory over France’s Romain Langasque at the South African Open, his home country’s oldest tournament.”
  • “I wish the family was here,” said a tearful Oosthuizen, ending a nearly three-year winless drought. “The crowd was great this whole week, it was nice to do it for them.”
  • “It was Oosthuizen’s eighth career European Tour triumph, four of which have come in events in South Africa. But this was the first time he’s won his country’s Open after playing in the event for the first time since a third-place finish in 2010.”
2. St. Simons boys triumph
Patton Kizzire and Brian Harman, both residents of St. Simons Island, joined forces to win the QBE Shootout.
  •’s Cameron Morfit …”We’re normally trying to get into each other’s heads,” Kizzire said after the St. Simons Island, Georgia duo shot a best-ball, final-round 61 in blustery weather to reach 30-under and win the unofficial QBE at Tiburón Golf Club. “And this week he was nice to me, which was kind of weird.”
  • Added Harman: “I was hoping I wasn’t going to throw him for a loop.”
  • “For the second straight year Graeme McDowell finished second, this time with a new partner, Emiliano Grillo. They made par on 18 to finish 29-under, one back.”
  • “Three teams shared third, two back: Charles Howell III and Luke List, who was 9-under on his own ball over the last nine holes as they shot 61; Kevin Na and Bryson DeChambeau (62); and Charley Hoffman and Gary Woodland (63), their highlight coming when Woodland aced the 202-yard 5th hole.”
3. A horrific stolen clubs story…with a happy ending
From our Gianni Magliocco…:” Tour Q-School is well known for being a gruelling process, and while 49 players graduated over the weekend, one man was forced to go to hell and back to do so.”
  • “Cody Blick sat three shots outside of the desired Top-40 heading into Sunday’s final round, and on waking up that morning to prepare for the biggest round of his life, the 25-year-old realized that his clubs had been stolen.”
  • “Blick took to social media immediately, desperately hoping that anyone could help him, offering $5k no questions asked should his clubs be returned.”
  • “Blick was unable to recover his clubs though, meaning he was forced to put together a mishmash of different clubs before Sunday’s final round. According to the Mackenzie Tour Twitter account, they consisted of the “Superintendent’s driver, pro shop’s wedges, random irons and a heavier than usual putter.”
  • “After all of that, Blick pulled off a miracle. The American fired a sensational round of nine-under par 63, which included birdies at his final three holes, to take him into the coveted Top-40.”
4. Walker: Q-School Medalist Staff report...”With a tight leaderboard down the stretch at Final Stage of the Tour Qualifying Tournament, University of Virginia alum Danny Walker emerged from the pack to birdie his final three holes and claim medalist honors at 27-under at Whirlwind Golf Club. Coming from the fourth-to-last group, Walker posted an early 9-under 63 before waiting for his fate as the final groups finished. With the victory, Walker earns fully-exempt status on the Tour in 2019.”
  • “Players who finished top-40 (and ties) earned guaranteed starts next year. This year, the cutoff came at 18-under 270 with 49 players earning guaranteed starts.”
  • “I’m super excited right now – my goal was to come top-10 this week, so I wasn’t really thinking about winning,” Walker said. “But I’m excited about it now obviously and relieved to have the week done, it’s a stressful week for everybody so it feels good to play well.”
5. The Shark wishes he went single length!  
Here’s an interesting note (or maybe just a Cobra staffer hyping a product his sponsor has cornered the market on among major OEMs).
  • Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…”The equipment issue came up on air Saturday afternoon while Norman was watching Bryson DeChambeau. The 25-year-old has already picked up five PGA Tour wins using Cobra King One Length irons, and Norman said he wishes he could have put them in play when he first started out as an amateur.”
  • “Believe it or not, if I had to do it all over again as a 13 or 14-year-old, I would go to one-length clubs,” Norman said. “I actually had a set made for me when (DeChambeau) first came and joined Cobra Puma and I got it straight off the bat. When you think about it, my 4-iron and my 8-iron are the same length, but my ball flight was so good on all of them because your spine angle stays the same.”
  • “I truly do believe that,” Norman said. “I think parents now, for longevity, golf is a sport you can play your entire life, so if you look at that motion that (DeChambeau’s) going through there it’s such an effortless motion. He’s stacked up beautifully. At the end of the day, the motion is so simple through there. So the one-length golf club, in my humble opinion, give a kid at six, seven, eight … get him used to it and he’ll do well.”
6. Steph’s tourney to Lake Merced
Golf Channel’s Will Gray...”A new PGA Tour event in the Bay Area hosted by NBA superstar Steph Curry is now expected to debut next fall at Lake Merced Golf Club.”
  • “According to a San Francisco Chronicle report, the club’s membership voted “overwhelmingly” to approve an estimated $3.6 million in renovations that are viewed as a “prerequisite to holding the tournament.” The planned changes will reportedly be overseen by Rees Jones and could stretch the Daly City, Calfornia, course beyond 7300 yards.”
  • “Lake Merced has hosted an LPGA event four of the past five years, with Lydia Ko winning three times. It is slated to host the LPGA’s MediHeal Championship from May 2-5 next year. The Curry-hosted event is expected to take place in September as part of the fall portion of the 2019-20 season and likely close to the Safeway Open, which is annually played in Napa.”
7. LET in Limbo
Golfweek’s Alistair Tait…”The 2019 LET Qualifying School is scheduled Dec. 16-20 in Morocco. Once again, those players who earn one of the 25 cards have no idea how many tournaments they will play next year. The LET has yet to publish its 2019 schedule.
  • It cost $1,450 to enter this year’s Q-School. Imagine getting your dream job and having no idea where, when and if you’ll be working?”
  • “There were just 15 events on this year’s LET schedule. Two of those – the $3.25 million Ricoh Women’s British Open and $3.85 million Evian Championship – were majors and basically out of reach for most Q-School grads. The $1.5 million Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open is essentially an LPGA event and also is off-limits to most Q-School grads. In other words, those who earned cards were playing in low-purse events.”
  • “By low purses we’re talking between a low of $140,000 for the Jabra Ladies Open to $500,000 for the Hero Women’s Indian Open. The first four events on this year’s schedule were co-sanctioned with the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour. Two of those were worth just over $100,000. You don’t have to be a math genius to work out that traveling to, and accommodation in, Australia isn’t cheap. Even a top-10 finish in those events could leave players taking a loss on the week.”
8. Pining for the Q-School of yore?
According to the Forecaddie, some Tour vets are feeling a bit of nostalgia.
  • “For almost 50 years, the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament was the coliseum for Sansabelt soldiers, where battle-scarred veterans and fresh-faced rookies fought it out over six days to earn their stripes. For every career launched at Q-School, many others crashed to earth. Stories from that make-or-break week are plentiful and almost always painful. Like Steve Haskins, a journeyman who entered the arena 14 times but never made it out with a Tour card.”
  • “Even those who survived the gauntlet have scar tissue. It’s been 35 years since Brad Faxon’s only trip to Q-School, but he can recall it with forensic detail still. Fall 1983, TPC Sawgrass, 108 holes with a cut after 72.”
  • “I shot 71 in the fourth round to move way up,” Faxon said. “Then rain and lightning came and they cancelled everybody’s scores. Next day I shot 76 and went from the top 10 to, like, 50th place.” He narrowly made the cut and secured a card that he kept for almost three decades.
9. Q-School heartbreak
Move over, Cody Blick…
  • Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”Sullivan, a 35-year-old journeyman who missed 20 of 23 cuts on the Tour last season, looked to be in fine standing to retain Web status for 2019, in 23rd place heading into the final round of Q-School at Whirlwind G.C. in Chandler, Ariz. Unfortunately for Sullivan, on a day when the field went low, he hovered around par for 13 holes, and then had the bad fortune of finding the water on the 14th hole.”
  • Sullivan tweeted…”We’ve heard all the QSchool horror stories over the years. I was wondering if anyone had ever putted it into the water on the back nine to miss by one? If not…..dibs.”
  • “Sullivan ultimately made a double, and followed with a bogey on the 15th. And while he did mount a commendable charge, answering with a birdie on the 16th and eagle on the 17th, Sullivan missed a four-footer on the final hole.”


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19th Hole