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Opinion & Analysis

Q2Q: Can modern technology, at-home swing remedies help Johnny Wunder achieve a lifelong goal?

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OK. Experiment time. Welcome to a new video series with Cobra Golf and GolfWRX in which I work to rebuild my game from the ground up. I understand that this narrative is familiar (and a touch overdone), but my journey won’t have me beating balls on the range for hours or playing three times a week.

Instead, I’ll be taking my broken game from a struggling three handicap all the way to the point where I could qualify for a tournament I love in Seattle in June. BUT here’s the catch: I live in Toronto (long winters of death) with a young family/career and little time or access to play or practice. I’m going to be doing the bulk of my work at home, in the mirror and occasionally at a facility near my house. It’s going to take a whole new level of self management.

With the help of a trusted few, including the team at Cobra Golf, Teacher Nick Starchuck, Ian Fraser, the gang at TXG, and a couple of others, I’ll be exploring a new way to play the best golf of my life.

To do this right, everything needs to be dialed in. So like my poor swing habits, the majority of my clubs will be closet bound, if not the whole bag. The biggest component here is my own self and time management, that is where Cobra Connect comes in. I’ll be playing at home (weather allowing) as well as taking some trips along the way to prep for this qualifier. Those rounds will be evaluated using the Cobra Connect system and will enable me to separate my perceived reality from the hard truths about me and my game. With this hard data, I can then maximize the small amount of practice time I do have to focus on the things that will actually get my scores down.

It’s the ultimate “work smarter not harder” scenario.

The question is this: Can a 42-year-old dude with a young family and an insane workload actually improve more than at any point in the last 20 years? Is there a home remedy to get better in my garage, my basement, hell my car? Is the abundance of information we now have at our fingertips conducive to finding the Tetris codes to get better without the traditional methods? If there is, I’m gonna find it.

Right now my target goal is lofty. To qualify, I’ll have to fire a couple of sub 70s on a tough track. My game is a big ole’ mess at the moment. My last 20 scores range from 71 to 85. Now, I have been a good player in the past (like ages ago) so it’s not not possible…or at least I’m crazy enough to believe that.

Pray for me! This could go either way…

 

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John Wunder was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. He moved to Southern California when he had the rare opportunity of working in the Anaheim Angels clubhouse and has been living in Cali. ever since. He has a severe passion/addiction for the game and has been a member of GolfWRX since 2005. He now works as the Director of Development and Production for The Coalition Group in Los Angeles, Calif.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Tom Bertrand

    Feb 13, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    If you want home practice help check my website and book. The Secret of Hogan’s Swing.

  2. X

    Feb 12, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Yeah, if you shave, Wunder.

  3. James

    Feb 12, 2019 at 1:38 am

    May I respectfully ask which tournament you are focused on? I have several events in the Pacific Northwest region this Spring and am curious if we might be playing the same tournament… Would like to give you a good luck before tee-off!

    • Bob the Burger

      Feb 12, 2019 at 4:01 am

      I think it’s the Sahalee tournament

  4. D

    Feb 12, 2019 at 1:16 am

    Qualify for what?

  5. Mark

    Feb 11, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    The headline suggests that Mr. Wunder is someone of note in the golf world. Alas, I have never heard of him in any context which might make him noteworthy. How out of touch I seem to have become.

  6. jack

    Feb 11, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    golfers don’t live in Toronto … full stop.

  7. B Wilk

    Feb 11, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Nice Pic John. North 2 is a nice birdie op. Can’t believe there used to be another massive tree near that right bunker. If you need a caddie or practice round partner when you get here lmk
    @bwilks dm

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Opinion & Analysis

College golf: What you really need to sheet to play in tournaments

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No doubt the greatest part of the collegiate golf experience is traveling, which provides amazing bonding, as well as access to some of the greatest courses in the country!

However, getting on the bus at most schools requires some good scores! How good? I collected data from 25/50 Men’s Division I programs on the subject and found that on average these teams report playing qualifying from an average distance of 7,072 with a course rating of 74. They report that on average they play four rounds of qualifying, and the winner of the qualifying averages 67.2, while the fifth player usually has an average of 71.3. This means that for a four-round qualifier, the last person to qualify must shoot 4 under, while the winner shoots about 20 under. Pretty darn good!

According to Tennessee Head Coach Brennan Webb, whose team started the season with two victories, “If you are going to be a successful golfer at any level. you have to be good at qualifying. That includes every level of professional golf. It is what makes golf the purest sport there is. There is no draft to the PGA Tour. Learning that skill in college will be very valuable to you as your career progresses. Every successful program I have been a part of utilizes qualifying as a major part of the growth process of their players.”

Players at other levels also face very strong competition in qualifying. For example, at Emory University, the No.1-ranked team by Golfstat at the end of the fall, the team usually qualifies at either Smoke Rise of East Lake CC. Both courses have slopes of at least 135 and play between 6,800-7,100 yards. In six rounds of qualifying in the fall, the best player averaged 72.15, while the fifth player averaged 73.5.

The story is not much different at the NAIA level. According to Coach Sikorski at Ottawa University in Arizona, for the first event of the year they played five qualifying rounds with the top three performers shooting 8 under or better. The fifth man for the five rounds was 2 under, and the team currently boasts 12 players with a stroke average of 75.22 or better.

According to Andrew Danna, now at LSU but who last year coached the NCAA Division 2 Champion Lynn Fighting Knights, “we had a tremendous group of talented athletes at Lynn, including seven players in the top 750 in the WAGR. The players were very driven, and the results showed daily with qualifying often below par.”

These numbers demonstrate clearly how good college golfers are day to day on their home golf courses. At the highest level, the best college players are approximately +6 handicaps on their home courses, while players who are on the cusp of traveling have handicaps of between +1 to +3. At other levels, including DII, DIII and NAIA, the competition really is not that much easier with many coaches reporting players routinely winning qualifying with between -6 to -15.

When considering these scores, it is important to remember that scores are likely to be the lowest in the fall for two reasons; it has the best weather and many players are coming off three months of summer golf where they don’t have the demands of schools. Together, these make players the most prepared and it is the reason why we often see very low scores in September.

For junior golfers in the recruiting process, understanding the qualifying process is extremely important. This includes not only what type of scoring maybe required but also the way coaches prefer to qualify which can range greatly. For example, some coaches might simply allow the lowest five scores from a certain number of rounds to travel, while others might use the point system which solely relies on their discretion has one simply rule: if they point to you, you are going to the tournament.

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Courses

Hidden Gem of the Day: ColoVista Golf Club in Bastrop, Texas

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These aren’t the traditional “top-100” golf courses in America, or the ultra-private golf clubs you can’t get onto. These are the hidden gems; they’re accessible to the public, they cost less than $50, but they’re unique, beautiful and fun to play in their own right. We recently asked our GolfWRX Members to help us find these “hidden gems.” We’re treating this as a bucket list of golf courses to play across the country, and the world. If you have a personal favorite hidden gem, submit it here!

Today’s Hidden Gem of the Day was submitted by GolfWRX member Austincountyag, who takes us to ColoVista Golf Club in Bastrop, Texas. In his description of the course, Austincountyag tells us how it’s a tale of two very different nines at ColoVista.

“The course is usually in decent to great shape, and for the price, it is very hard to beat in the greater Austin area. The front nine is a links type of layout, while the back nine provides dramatic elevation changes as the holes wind through pine trees along the Colorado River.”

According to ColoVista Golf Club’s website, 18 holes during the week will cost $40, while the rate rises to $50 should you want to play on the weekend.

@Omstar114

@VisitsBastropCo

@DillonBecker7

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Podcasts

TG2: Stacks of Kuchar jokes | What irons would you have reissued?

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Danny Lee has some SWEET Mizuno MP-32 in the bag and it makes us ask the question, “What irons would you want reissued?” But before that we have to make a bunch jokes about the Matt Kuchar/El Tucan situation.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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