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Accessories Overload!

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I don’t know about you but I just can’t get enough of golf accessories. No, I am not referring to matching glove and hat combinations (although that isn’t ALL bad). I’m referring to training aids and accessories that make things more convenient on the course among others. Over the past few months I’ve tried out a few things – some great, others confusing but each a kick to try out.

RoboCup

The RoboCup was voted the Best New Product at the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show. The origins of this ball return robot are rather interesting. Keith Foley, President and Co-founder of the product was watching an inventors show on The Golf Channel. He noticed a training aid that went into the hole that had strings around the hole. Soon, he realized how terribly convenient it would be to have your practice balls returned to you. After 2 years of development the product was introduced at the Show where it won the award. This I had to try.

Inside the box are instructions, caddy cord, and the RoboCup itself. I actually read the directions and saw that if I was using a full-depth cup I would need to put balls underneath so not to make the robot too deep. Why? Well, I don’t think the ball will come out of the cup if it is too deep. It needs to be an inch below the putting surface. Not only will the ball not come out but you might not get the RoboCup back out.

At any rate, I really enjoyed this product. The caddy cord was great, most of the time this directs the ball into the cup and the robot returns it to you. Only when I really belted the ball (oops) did it go over the cord and I had to go chasing after the ball. Otherwise, if I got the ball in or near the hole it came right back to me. This product lived up to the promises and made quite a scene at the practice green. A gentleman and his kids had a great time laughing at the ball popping back out at me. Of course, they had to try it out too. I was just excited not to be chasing my balls when I overshot the cup. Give this a try, you’ll like it!

Check it out in action here.

 

Rule Twenty-One

Wet towel. Dry pocket. This simple product is essentially a towel that you stick in your back pocket for a round and you always have something to clean your ball. How does this work? This is a waterproof exterior with a bamboo terry interior that is pre-folded with a plastic tab that fits into your back pocket. The terry is designed to stay wet for an entire round while the exterior keeps your clothing dry. It is intended for cleaning your ball while reading your putt or wiping off your club while away from your bag.

This is also a great addition to my collection of accessories. I’m not one to clean my ball too much during a round but I do like to keep my clubs sparkling. The wet surface did stay moist for all 18 holes and it never made a mess in my back pocket. After use, it can be put in the washing machine and then air dried. This item can also be customized for giveaways.

Check out the company website here.

 

ProStance

Good balance is a good thing to have for your golf swing. ProStance is supposed to help you balance while you practice. Yeah, if you’ve ever seen me swing a club you’d know that this is something that I really need to work on.

This product is a long tube that has a flat bottom that you put under your feet while you practice. It comes with a pump to inflate it as well. I’m not sure what I did wrong but I couldn’t get the pump to come off of the tube. It has the locking lever and I put it both ways but no luck. Someone else tried and still no luck.

Undaunted, I took it out back to give it a try. I put the pump behind me so that it wouldn’t interfere with my swing. After a few tries I got the hang of it. The key is to have the tube under your feet so that your heels or your toes are not up off the ground. It is a bit tricky at first but gets you to center yourself and stay balanced. Now I just have to get the pump to detach.

You can get more information about this product on their website.

 

Photo Ball Marker

This is a really fun product that is also a great gift. Simply go to the site, click on the icon to build your set, upload three pictures, select hat clip or divot tool, and you’re set. For only about $30 shipped you have a personalized ball marker with your picture or logo. The set comes with three markers. I got all of my pets on mine with the hat clip. I swear I started putting better with this as my marker! Not really but they made a good conversation piece and most everyone who saw my big, silly dog on my marker just had to know where I got it!

Get yours on this website.

 

Swing Reminders

This is another fun product that makes a cool gift. You get a box of tokens with simple reminders like “No 3 Putts” or “Don’t Hold Back”. Each token has a matching phrase on the back and you get a few sheets with helpful commentary for each of the tokens. Swing Reminders is the brain child of Scott Jessee, a Head Golf Professional in Arizona. He woke up in the middle of the night back in November of 2006 when the idea hit him.

The reminders have evolved since their inception and are broken down into categories, as explained in the accompanying hints. The box has 25 wooden tokens for a total of 50 tips. I find them to be great little reminders that yes, it’s only a game!

You can see more about Swing Reminders here.

 

 

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5 things we learned: Thursday at the U.S. Women’s Open

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The Olympic Club’s Lake Course is the perfect venue for a competition edged with a bit of architectural controversy. Blend narrow fairways, overhanging trees, oddly-placed bunkers and tilted putting surfaces, and you’ve a recipe for debate and finger-wagging. Thursday at the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open saw eight golfers break 70, seven more break par, and a few leave the grounds of the venerable San Francisco club scratching their heads, uncertain over what just happened.

The co-leaders stand at 4 under par after 18 holes. Some 25 other golfers finished within four shots of that number. With 54 holes left to be played, much remains unknown about this year’s event. Nevertheless, there were five things that we learned on Thursday at the national championship of the USA, so let’s unpack them and find out more about the 2021 US Women’s Open.

1. Angel Yin might finish it off this year

Two years ago, the long-hitting youngster tied for 2nd at the national open championship. Held at the country club of Charleston, the event featured a traditional golf club with a demanding golf course. Yin held up well and used the event as a springboard toward making her second U.S. Solheim Cup side. This year, Yin was the only player in the top 10 to truly solve the closing holes at Olympic. While everyone else gave shots back at the par 5-par 4 concluding stretch, Yin gained back three strokes with hear eagle-birdie finish. Sure, it might be an early-week, one-time fluke. If we see her repeat the feat, watch out for Yin come Sunday.

2. Being the best doesn’t work out every week

Nelly Korda is currently ranked fourth in the world, the highest rung for any golfer from the USA. Korda opened with 78 at Olympic, good for a tie for 119th spot, 11 shots behind the leaders. Other big numbers turned in by pre-event favorites were 76s from Sophia Popov and amateur Rose Zhang, and 75s from Patty Tavatanakit and Anna Nordqvist. Korda was undone by a triple-bogey seven at the 260-yard seventh hole. The young Floridian lost a hybrid right, slashed around the rough a bit, and took three putts from the top of the two-tiered green. Olympic will demand immeasurable amounts of patience from its winner this week. If it is to be Nelly Korda, she will need to complete an incredible comeback.

3. Just don’t lose the tournament on day one

It’s an old adage, and pairs with the notion that no one wins an event on day one. Golfers like Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, and Ariya Jutanugarn didn’t light the course up on Thursday, but they didn’t handcuff themselves, either. Each shot even-par 71 to preserve a chance at the title. At minus-one are Jeongeun Lee6 (the 2019 winner of this event) Jennifer Kupcho, and Marina Alex. A case can be made for any of these golfers to be in contention on Sunday afternoon. Unlike those who struggled, these golfers found a way to preserve a shot at the title. Most days at the Open, it’s not about the birdies you made, but the bogies that you avoided.

4. Defending champion A Lim Kim struggles

As dominant and poised as the young Korean golfer was at Champions last December, she was not today at Olympic. Kim scribbled two 7s and six 5s on her scorecard, on her way to an opening 79. Golf is fickle, and major-championship golf, doubly so. Kim never locked into the quirky California course. She stood three over par before she reached the third tee, and didn’t make a birdie until the 15th green. 2020 runners-up Amy Olson and Jin Young Ko are shaking their heads, wondering where this round was last December for Kim. Incidentally, Ko opened with 70, while Olson signed for 73, during this year’s opening day.

5. And the winner is …

It’s never to early to make an incorrect prediction on who will hoist the sizable trophy on Sunday! I like Lexi Thompson, the long-hitting Floridian. Lexi has never proven that she can win on narrow, nail-biter courses, but 2021 shows us a new and improved model, built for U.S. Open success. Thompson opened with 69, and finds herself two behind English pro Mel Reid and USA amateur Megha Ganne, the round-one leaders. Thompson won’t go low any of the next three days, but she will play consistent golf and win her second professional major title.

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Morning 9: True test ahead at Olympic Club | speaking of rough: Thick stuff aplenty at Muirfield Village | Bubba talks mental health

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Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. True test ahead at Olympic Club
Emilia Migliaccio for Golf Channel…”Drop a ball in the rough and crouch to eye level … the ball disappears. Players flood the short game area to practice their rough finesse, but and shot longer than chip from this stuff and there’s little to no chance to reach the green. Get ready for lots of punch-outs to those narrow fairways as this week harkens back to U.S. Opens of old.”
  • “…It’s hard. I love it. Small greens, high rough. Yeah, it’s going to be difficult, but I’m super excited about it,” said Jessica Korda. Her sister, Nelly, gave a similar analysis: “Tight fairways, high roughs, small greens. It’s going to be a shot-making golf course, and I can’t wait to get started on Thursday.”
2. …speaking of rough: Thick stuff aplenty at Muirfield Village
Steve DiMeglio for Golfweek…”one feature of the course felt all too familiar.”
  • “The rough.”
  • “I felt bad for the (amateurs) today,” 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed said Wednesday. “When they got in the rough, they just kind of looked down and the first reaction was to look at me and ask what do I do. And I’m like, ‘Guys, it’s a hack out.’ It’s take a wedge, hit it sideways for them.”
  • “…I haven’t seen rough like this really ever,” Reed said. “My first practice round I played I just played the front nine on Monday and I missed the fairway by maybe a yard on hole 6 to the right and Kessler (Karain, his caddie) and I spent at least five to seven minutes searching. We couldn’t find the golf ball. And it is that brutal, that thick, that nasty.
3. Heck’s wild ride continues
Beth Ann Nichols for Golfweek…”Rachel Heck’s incredible streak of strong play could only be stopped by one thing: a positive COVID-19 test. At least that’s what it seemed for a scary 24-hour period during which the Stanford freshman called her mother in the middle of the night in Memphis with the news.”
  • “She went into a quarantine dorm for a brief spell but ended up being cleared before she had to spend the night. (There’d been an entire batch of false positives.)”
  • “Heck came to The Olympic Club in the midst of final exams. Her stuff is packed up in boxes and sitting in an empty dorm room, ready to be shipped back to Tennessee. She has a paper due in a political science class that she told herself she’d write on Monday, but then didn’t start it until Tuesday and it’s due on Friday.”
  • “That’s the plan, to finish it today,” she said. “Will it happen? No. But that’s the plan.”
4. JT bankrolling Visacki
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill…”The world No. 2 felt compelled to help Visacki in any way he could. That included reaching out to play practice rounds and also to help financially. The latter was not meant to be public, but a video surfaced at last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge where the two interacted after a check for an undisclosed sum was handed over.”
  • “I was a little irritated that it got out. I didn’t really want it to. That wasn’t the intention of it. I just saw the video of Mike calling his dad after he Monday’ed in Valspar, and in a day and age where it seems like only anything in the media is negative…, I just felt it was so refreshing and great to see and how genuine his excitement and emotions were,” Thomas said ahead of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
  • “It was great because I haven’t been in a great place, both mentally and on the golf course…, and I felt joy out of seeing his joy and it just kind of totally made me forget about what’s going on in my golfing life and sometimes puts things in perspective that obviously we’re all out here to play golf and we’re all out here to try to win a lot of golf tournaments, but changing people’s lives and helping people who are less fortunate than you is sometimes, you know, more important than that.”
GolfWRX may earn a commission of “GolfWRX Recommends” products.
5. Bubba on mental health, Osaka
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”In what has become a surprisingly polarizing issue, Watson is one of a very few who can truly understand what motivated Osaka to skip her media obligations this week at Roland-Garros and then withdraw from the Grand Slam event.”
  • “Osaka spoke of dealing with depression and anxiety and how interactions with the media created unwanted doubt. She spoke of being vulnerable and not a “natural public speaker.” She skipped her post-round interview following her first-round victory and was fined $15,000 before announcing her withdrawal.”
  • “…Watson could sympathize as he settled into his virtual press conference Wednesday at the Memorial.”
  • “I can sit here and draw up a whole story for you. I’m sitting in a room right now with cameras looking at me,” Watson said. “I don’t like enclosed places. I don’t like elevators. I don’t like heights. I mean, there’s a lot of things that trigger a lot of my mental issues.”
6. Canadian Women’s Open canceled
AP report…”The LPGA Tour’s CP Women’s Open was canceled Wednesday because of logistical challenges and border restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • “The event was scheduled for Vancouver’s Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club on Aug. 26-29. Golf Canada and Canadian Pacific said Shaughnessy will host the 2023 event and that CP has its extended title sponsorship an additional year through 2024.”
7. Brooke looking for USO breakthrough
Emilia Migliaccio for Golf Channel…”The U.S. Women’s Open holds a special place in Brooke Henderson’s heart because at 15 years old, it was the first cut she made on the LPGA Tour and then at 17, she finished T-10 and placed low amateur.”
  • “I got to be on the 18th green when Michelle Wie was awarded her trophy [in 2014], which is a pretty incredible feeling,” said Henderson on Wednesday who is making her ninth appearance at the U.S. Women’s Open and looking to win her first this week at The Olympic Club.
  • “…It gives me a lot of confidence [to be a major champion] because sometimes you wonder how you’re ever going to be able to finish four rounds or be able to play well on golf courses this challenging. Mentally, I’ve made a lot of gains as of recently, and physically I’m always working hard to improve every day.”
8. Kokrak’s putter switch pays dividends
Our item for the PGA Tour’s Equipment Report…”Jason Kokrak made more than 200 PGA TOUR starts before earning his first victory. Now he has won twice in a matter of months, after staring down local favorite Jordan Spieth at last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge.”
  • “The 36-year-old ranks fifth in this season’s FedExCup standings thanks to wins at Colonial and the CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK in October. He has finished in the top 25 in nearly half his starts this season and sits fifth in the FedExCup standings.”
  • “Adjustments made in late 2020 to Kokrak’s Bettinardi Studio Stock 38 putter are bearing serious fruit. It was Kokrak’s caddie, David Robinson (no, not that David Robinson), who recommended that his boss move to a longer putter. The 6-foot-4 Kokrak now uses a 36-inch shaft in his putter, which improves his grip on the putter.”
9. Tour Truck Report
Not a ton going on at Muirfield Village this week! The most notable nugget we’ve heard from sources so far is Rory McIlroy, continuing his return to what’s worked in the past, is making a return to his Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS driver shaft. While we don’t yet have word on weight and flex, it’s presumably the same 70 X model he used in 2019-2020.
  • A morsel not as tasty as a Muirfield Village milkshake, admittedly, but Hideki Matsuyama is testing the prototype Piretti putter pictured below. No stranger to kicking tires on a couple (or a dozen) of putters prior to a tournament and ultimately returning to his gamer, Hideki is anything but confirmed to be putting this beauty in play, but it’s ours to admire, nevertheless.
  • Rory McIlroy is expected to put a Kuro Kage XTS shaft in play in a SIM2 Max head.
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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2021 Memorial Tournament

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GolfWRX is live at Jack’s place for the 2021 Memorial Tournament. As always, a strong field has turned up to take on the Golden Bear’s track.

Past winner Bryson DeChambeau as well as Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm, and Jason Dufner will all tee it up this week.

We have a buffet of general galleries for your viewing pleasure and a number of special galleries that include some very cool new putter covers and a custom Hideki Matsuyama flatstick.

General galleries

Special galleries 

See what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums. 

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