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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

An important way Tiger Woods changed professional golf

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Tiger Woods is, without a doubt, one of the most influential players in the history of golf. 80 tour wins, 14 majors (10 of them before he was 30) are all incredible numbers.

But this article is not about his amazing stats.

Today, I want to talk about one thing he has done for the game off the course. Most of us remember the Nike commercial with all the little kids saying “I am Tiger Woods.” What we didn’t realize at the time was that an entire generation of young players were growing up idolizing Tiger.

While other kids may have had posters of Michael Jordan or Troy Aikman on their walls, these kids had posters of Tiger. They watched his every move. They all had black shorts or pants with a red shirt to wear on Sunday. They all wanted to be him. Some of those kids were Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Rory Mcllroy, and Lexi Thompson. They watched him and were amazed at how dominate he was and wanted to be like him.

As these kids grew up, they understood that the physical shape that Tiger always seemed to be in played a key role in how many tournaments he won and how, even on bad days when his skills seemed to take a day or two off, his physical conditioning got him through it. The young people watched him and started to include physical conditioning in their game. They were spending time in the gym and working with personal trainers. They still worked with swing coaches and in most cases played NCAA golf but the difference in their game was the work they did without a club in their hand.

So what is it that gives these players an edge? Is it because they are stronger? Maybe. Is it because they hit the ball further? No, because John Daly could bomb the driver but was in no way the most dominate player of his day. The key here is endurance. Because of the incredible shape these players keep themselves in, they can walk 72 holes of golf in brutally hot conditions and still have their A games on Sunday.

This is exactly what helped Tiger to be so good his competition couldn’t keep up with him and just faded down the leaderboard. Playing Tiger in his prime meant you had to have your entire game at its best and hope he missed a few shots or got sick. If he didn’t he was going to sneak up on you and pounce or he was already so far ahead that you were in a race for second place.

Today’s players have swing coaches and athletic trainers they work closely with nutrition experts and monitor everything they put into their bodies. These are the type of things we historically have expected to see from top NFL, NHL and NBA players, not golfers. This is the difference that Tiger has made and this may be the thing that impacts golf for decades to come. He has made golf into a sport that requires you to be in the best shape of your life if you want to play at the highest levels. It is also exactly what the game needed.

I can’t imagine the players of 25 years ago wearing golf shirts that were designed to be skin tight. I never would have believed seeing players with biceps bigger than some peoples legs (Brooks Koepka) but today it’s a reality. Most of the top players on both the PGA and LPGA are in great shape and reap the benefits of it on the 18th green on Sunday. Tiger will be remembered as an amazing player with amazing numbers. He is one of just a few players whose galleries could rival that of small cities. He is also a player that changed the way a generation of greats now play the game.

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Courses

Hidden Gem of the Day: WildHorse Golf Club in Gothenburg, Nebraska

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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 Gizmogolf, who takes us to WildHorse Golf Club in Gothenburg, Nebraska. In Gizmogolf’s description of the course, he singles out the fast greens as being the main attraction for a visit to this track.

“Nearly as good as Sand Hills.  Less isolated just off I-80.  Best greens you’ll ever play–lightning fast.”

According to WildHorse Golf Club’s website, walking 18 holes during the week will set you back $51.50, while the rate rises to $61.50 should you want to play on the weekend.

@ericpeytongolf

@MellissaTeaches

@ericpeytongolf

Check out the full forum thread here, and submit your Hidden Gem.

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Podcasts

TG2: Do the new USGA rules even matter?

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Knudson and Rob discuss the new USGA rules for 2019, wondering if they will make any difference at all. Dropping from the knee, time to find your ball, ground in the hazard, and stroke/distance are all talked about.

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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