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Norman offered job as Fox golf analyst

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The Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” (for reasons beyond my understanding) often grabs a lot of attention and interest. Well, the world of golf may soon have its own Shark weeks and, more importantly, Shark weekends.

Greg Norman has been approached to lead some of Fox Sports’ recently acquired rights to the United States Golf Association‘s array of championships.

While Fox Sports will become the United States Golf Association’s “principal domestic media partner,” covering the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open Championships along with its national amateur championships, it is unclear how large a role Norman could play in the network’s golf coverage due to his already numerous business ventures. It seems as if the U.S. Open is the key role Norman would anchor.

The network begins broadcasting the U.S. Open in 2015, so there is time for Norman to negotiate the terms.

Norman would be another highly recognizable name that Fox could boast in its sports coverage, which will soon also feature Fox Sports 1 — a channel launching on Aug. 17 as a competitor to ESPN with a range of offerings including live sports, sports news, analysis and additional daily programming.

The network has already added former athletes such as Andy Roddick, Gary Payton and Donovan McNabb to serve as Fox Sports Live (a SportsCenter style show) analysts. Norman’s potential gig, however, would mostly likely be a grander stage, leading analysis for the network’s golf coverage that will feature major championship golf for the first time. The agreement between Fox Sports and the USGA runs through 2026.

So, how would Norman do with the job?

We know he’s not shy about his opinions, a trait shared with current U.S. Open analyst Johnny Miller. Recently, Norman has become newsworthy when he’s chiming in on an issue, such as Tiger Woods’ drop at the Masters or golf’s anti-doping procedures, both coming this spring. Other opinions voiced by Norman in the not-so-distant past include that Woods was “intimidated” by McIlroy, and criticism of Fred Couples’ President’s Cup pick of Woods in 2011.

Nonetheless, Norman is a historic name in the game of golf: former world No. 1 for 331 weeks, a 20-time PGA Tour winner, a two-time British Open champion and a 2001 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee. He’s experienced the highs and lows in major championship golf. He fired a final-round 64 to claim his second British Open title, while his heartbreaking losses at majors are well documented, including a trio of disappearing third-round leads in 1986.

While he may provide unfiltered comments on the game and its players at times, through his career he was one of those players under criticism and in the spotlight. He’s been there before and could provide a strong analysis of what players are thinking, feeling and experiencing down the stretch of a major championship weekend.

“Fox shares our vision to seek fresh thinking and innovative ideas to deliver championship golf,” USGA President Glen D. Nager stated in the USGA and Fox’s initial announcement.

As a golfer-turned-businessman, Norman could be a strong contributor to the “fresh thinking” the partnership is looking for.

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GolfWRX fan turned GolfWRX contributor. Sports fan, golf enthusiast. Looking to provide a variety of content to GolfWRX.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. gmoney

    Aug 19, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Great he can talk about how great he is……..

  2. Pingback: Fore Friday: Dufner's Major Win, Fox Catches The Shark and The Caddie Run Gets Axed - Breaking Eighty

  3. jack

    Aug 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    there goes the neighborhood

  4. tallPK

    Aug 14, 2013 at 7:40 am

    The blunder from down under… first of all the fact that FOX is going to broadcast this sucks. Just watching baseball and all of the unnecessary sound effects they add to graphics is ridicules. FOX = Seinfeld reruns and I’m happy with that. Secondly, Greg Norman can’t give an unbiased opinion. Specifically about Tiger – he hates him. FOX and Norman… dumb and dumber

  5. Michael

    Aug 12, 2013 at 10:22 am

    NOT A FAN OF NORMAN AT ALL

  6. Klaus

    Aug 12, 2013 at 1:23 am

    I think I’m fine with everybody who is NOT Johnny Miller

  7. john

    Aug 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: From “secret” to 5 basics for a better wedge game

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First of all, thanks to all of you who read and gave last week’s post such high marks. And for all of you who have sent me an email asking for me to address so many topics. Keep those coming and I’ll never run out of things to write about.

In response to so many of those who asked for more on the basics, I want to start a series of articles this week to address some of what I consider the basics as you move your wedge game from greenside chipping, back to “full” wedge distances.

While I certainly do not want to try to replace the skills and contributions of a good instructor, what I hope to accomplish over the next few posts is to give you some of what I consider the most sound and basic of fundamentals as you approach shots from the green back to 100-130 yards, or what you consider “full” swing pitching wedge distance.

So, to get this series kicked off, let’s take the most basic of greenside chips, where the ball lies in a reasonably decent lie 3-10 feet from the edge of the green. I know there are many theories and approaches to chipping the ball, from a “putt-stroke” to hitting them all with a lob wedge, but I’m going to focus on what I consider the most simple and basic of approaches to chipping, so here we go:

Club selection. For golfers who are not highly skilled in this shot and who do not yet want to try to exhibit tons of creativity, my theory is that it is much easier to master one basic technique, then choose the right club to deliver the appropriate carry/roll combination. Once you have done a little practice and experimenting, you should really understand that relationship for two to four different clubs, say your sand wedge, gap wedge and pitching wedge.

Geometry. By that I mean to “build” the shot technique around the club and ball relationship to your body, as those are static. Start with your club soled properly, so that it is not standing up on the toe or rocked back on the heel. With the ball centered in the face, the shaft should be leaning very slightly forward toward the hole. Then move into your stance position, so that your lead arm is hanging straight down from your shoulders and your upper hand can grasp the grip with about 1-2” of “grip down” (I hate the term “choke up”). I’m a firm believer that the lead arm should not angle back toward the body, or out toward the ball, as either compromises the geometry of the club. The stance should be rather narrow and a bit open, weight 70% on your lead foot, and the ball positioned just forward of your trailing foot.

Relax. This is a touch shot, so it needs a very light grip on the club. Tension in the hands and forearms is a killer on these. I like to do a “pressure check” just before taking the club back, just to make sure I have not let the shot tighten me up.

The body core is key. This is not a “handsy” shot, but much more like a putt in that the shoulders turn away from the shot and back through, with the arms and hands pretty quiet. Because of the light grip, there will, by necessity, be some “loading” as you make the transition at the end of the backswing, but you want to “hold” that making sure your lead shoulder/forearm stay ahead of the clubhead through the entire through-stroke. This insures – like I pointed out last week – that the club stays in front of your body through the entire mini-swing.

Control speed with core speed. I think a longer stroke/swing makes for a smoother tempo on these shots. Don’t be afraid to take the club back a bit further than you might otherwise think, and just make the through-stroke as s-m-o-0-t-h as possible. Avoid any quickness or “jab-iness” in the stroke at all. Once you experiment a bit, you can learn how to control your body core rotation speed much easier than you can control hand speed. And it is nearly impossible to get too quick if you do that.

Again, I am certainly not here to replace or substitute for good instruction, and I know there are a number of approaches to chipping. This is just the one that I have found easier to learn and master in relation to the time you have to spend on your short game practice.

Next week, we’ll move back to those shorter pitches up to about 30 yards.

And keep those emails coming, OK? [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

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Club Junkie

Club Junkie: Reviewing TaylorMade’s NEW SIM2 woods and hybrids!

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TaylorMade’s new SIM2 woods and hybrids are out and I have had them on the range to test. SIM2 seems to offer better shots on mishits throughout the line, keeping those shots in play better than last year. Everything seems to be improved in one way or another and I personally love the SIM2 Max driver and fairway!

 

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: What’s your takeaway waggle?

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Two wonderful examples on the PGA Tour are Sung Jae Im and Justin Thomas. We explain how this takeaway waggle brings your awareness full circle to how your backswing matches the direction you want to start the ball on. With awareness and confirmation that the backswing fits and that you don’t have to rush through it. You get a sense of calm that you can accomplish the task you set out and your chances at consistency have increased exponentially.

 

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