Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

The day we made Phil Mickelson cry

Published

on

There used to be a junior event in Southern California called The MacGregor Cup Matches. It pitted the best players from all the chapters, and almost 30 years ago there was a clash of the titans. A virtual “Celebrity Death Match” of golf.

It was Phil Mickelson and Harry Rudolph (another great junior player from San Diego who had a similar success on the Web.com Tour that I did) against Bob May (for those who don’t remember, he had a great struggle with Tiger at the 2000 PGA) and door No. 4: namely me.

We were teenagers. I was the oldest, but the least accomplished of the four, which was not a disgrace as these were three of the greatest players in the history of junior golf in Southern California. I will just say, Phil was acting like a punk and it started on the very first tee.

“Harry, you don’t even have to play, I can beat these guys by myself,” he said.

That sounds like a playful boast among competitors, but it was obvious to the three of us, it was not — and that “‘tude” continued without relent. By the third or forth hole it was so bad, even Harry was becoming annoyed. We then began discussing a subject that was not golf related.

I won’t reveal the subject matter, but let’s just say it was something that is at the forefront of the minds of teenage boys and this time, Phil was the least accomplished. OK, fine, it was teenage girls and Phil was a bit of a dork at the time and not likely to be suave with the ladies.

Trying to fit into the discussion, Phil made — how do I put this? — a faux pas. Well, the three of us sensed weakness and jumped on him without remorse and it continued through the turn. By this time, Phil was walking down opposite side the fairway by himself and was crying.

The funniest part was that he was still lighting it up on the scorecard, and despite some exceptional play from Mr. May and myself, we lost.

I did not see Phil after that for about six or seven seven years.

The question begs:

“Monte, why are you telling this story about Phil? Are you trying to make yourself look cool that you had the upper hand on one of the all time greats because you had a little more experience with teenage girls.”

No, that is not why. At best it could be said I was just as afraid of girls as he was at the time, but I was just a little funnier and drove a fancier car. I tell this story because I am a huge fan of Phil and have been ever since he has been on Tour and this story is at the heart of why.

A few years ago, athletes of several sports were polled about which athlete in their own sport is the biggest jerk and most hated by his peers. To no one’s surprise, Terrell Owens topped the list. It surprised many that Phil was also on the list — the only golfer who made it. He has a nickname on the PGA Tour among many players and caddies who don’t care for him, FIGJAM, which stands for “(Expletive) I’m Good, Just Ask Me,” and I don’t get the animus.

Now back to my experience. Throughout the 90s, I lived at PGA West in La Quinta, where some famous rounds of the Bob Hope were played. One year I was hitting balls on the range because I was getting a sponsor exemption into the Bob Hope (it was later given to Mac O’Grady before the tournament started, but that is a story for another time) and here comes Phil walking right toward me. He was the new star on Tour and the darling of all the fans.

“Monte, how are you?” he asked.

“Good Phil, thanks,” I said.

“Congratulations on winning the long drive championship, how’s the rest of your game doing? Hoping to see you out here soon,” Phil said.

“Thank you, I am hoping to be out here soon too,” I said. “Um, Phil, forgive me for saying so, but I am surprised you are talking to me, since the last time I saw you, Bobby, Harry and I weren’t very nice to you.”

“Nah, I was being a punk and I deserved it, good luck this week,” he said.

I saw him a few more times after that and he went out of his way to say hello and encourage my progress to join him on the Tour. It is the opinion of this golfer that Phil is a class act and many of his peers don’t like him because he does what he wants and doesn’t care what other people think. The number of fans that love and root for him is second only to Tiger.

He is always there for the media, the autograph seekers and pro-am partners. The same cannot be said for many of the other Tour stars. Even though I was a player myself, I am still a fan of golf. And I put Phil’s first major victory at Augusta as one of favorite golf moment as a fan.

It was a long time coming, and for all he has done and continues to do for golf, he deserves it.

Your Reaction?
  • 18
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK1

Monte Scheinblum is a former World Long Drive Champion and Web.com Tour player. For more insights and details on this article, as well as further instruction from Monte go to rebelliongolf.com

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Patrick Wells

    Jun 13, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Awesome article! I hope he wins it. Plus I think he figured out the girl thing….Amy is a babe!!!

  2. Princeton_tn

    May 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    This was a great read, for those that know Phil, his Brother and Sister, the entire family is first class. We all have a bad day now and then and you hope your bad day isn’t a day that makes first impressions. Phil is long a fan favorite, for a reason, there are not many that stay out signing autographs for the kids and adults for an hour after a round. He does, never says No, and his encouragement of others on tour is unsurpassed. He like the rest of us, can make people feel small especially when they deserve it. Sometimes with nicknames like FIGJAM you must first consider the source.

    Thanks for sharing Monte, great story, even better read!!!

    All the Best…

    Princeton

  3. Blanco

    May 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Can’t stand the JAM.

    Best article ever.

  4. Shawn

    May 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Great Story Monte! Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Nora Grove

    May 30, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Phil Mickelson has been playing golf from his childhood. He is a classical player. He has many achievement in this side. I like him so much.

  6. Pingback: My latest GolfWrx story | Monte Scheinblum's Blog

  7. Joe

    May 29, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Wow, This story is an attention grabber, who are you? Phil cried when he was a boy, I bet you still cry yourself to sleep…

    • Jetski

      May 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Joe, is English your first language? Do you actually understand the point of the story? Did you make it all the way to the end? One day the internet is going to destroy itself through the weight of the inane stupidity dumped on it by the likes of you.

  8. Servost

    May 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Ive never heard that Phil was unliked on tour.

  9. Steve

    May 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Nice story. I had heard all that negative stuff about Phil as well. I tended to believe it until I met him one day. He was hanging out at a pool in San Diego. He must have been there for a couple of hours. He would throw a ball to his kids (perfect spirals right handed) and chatted with strangers who approached him. He seemed like a great guy.

    • MtnGgolfer1

      Jun 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      I am sure there are countless stories out there about how good of a guy Phil Mickelson is. He is deservingly so a fan favorite.

      I will go way back over a dozen years ago I can’t even remember the year. It was at the old International PGA event in Castle Pines, CO. The tournament was played at the Castle Pines Golf Club. The adjacent course is the Country Club course. I was still single at the time and every year at tournament time I spent every spare minute I had either watching or playing golf in Castel Pines Village. I had played an afternoon round with family members on the Country Club course and after the round we were having dinner in the club house and I caught word Phil Mickelson was on the putting green. ( I was and I still am a huge Phil fan) I excused myself from the table and went out to the green. Of course grabbing my putter from my bag on the way to the green. Phil was doing his famous putting drill where he putts from around the hole. I did my best not to be a distraction, members for the most part left the tour players alone but, every now and then someone walked up to say hello. I just watched and putted around trying to putt like Phil without much success though. After about an hour Phil walked over to me and asked what I thought of the milk shakes I was like huh what? He chuckled, asked my name and said let me see you roll a few. I putted a few and he gave me a couple quick pointers. Phil then excused himself said it was nice to meet you calling me by name and went on his way.

      My interaction with Phil was only a few minutes but, I still cherish it today. I noticed how he always smiled and never seemed annoyed no matter how many people interrupted his routine. I followed Phil without fail every year of the tournament and not once did I ever see him deny a autograph or sign without a smile. I admire his confidence, but I also admire how humble he is with his fan base. The chocolate Milk Shakes at CP are awesome BTW.

  10. naflack

    May 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Great story! Thank you for sharing it.

  11. JMD

    May 29, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Phil has consistently proven for over 20 years to be the CLASS Act ON AND OFF THE COURSE!!I’m tired of the bringing up of the “poll of biggest jerks” story of other sports stars who obviously were jealous of Phil and never were revealed. A story that grew wings at the time an IMO was a bunch of BS, but hey that is the press for you.

  12. Sean

    May 29, 2013 at 8:10 am

    ps: what also impressed me was that Phil was still able to play good golf even though we was upset with teenage shall we say angst?…as a teenager that’s not always easy to do. 🙂

  13. Sean

    May 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I enjoyed that story Monte. Thanks!

  14. greg

    May 29, 2013 at 6:25 am

    well, i guess if we ever hear figjam shouted out on tv at the tee box after phil’s tee shot, we know your a wrx’r

  15. Chris

    May 29, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Nice story Monte. You both turned out well!

  16. Long Drive Sheriff

    May 28, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Monte, you won the 1992 National Long Drive Championship. It was not called the World Long Drive Championship until the late 90’s

    • Monte Scheinblum

      May 29, 2013 at 12:24 am

      Good grief. I just had this discussion with Brian Pavlet. It’s the same contest, people know what the Remax World championship is, it’s just easier rather than explain what you are forcing me to explain now.

      Just like saying a web.com event instead of Nike or Ben Hogan event. Most people don’t know what a Hogan Tour event is.

      Did it make you happy to be the sheriff?

      • Long Drive Sheriff

        May 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm

        It’s not the same contest. It was called the National Long Drive Championship because the qualifiers were all held nationally. There was no international participation or qualifying participation from Europe, South Africa, Australia, Japan, etc etc etc at that event. I’ve never heard Big Cat say he is a 2 Time WORLD Long Drive Champion.

        • Snake Ize

          May 30, 2013 at 2:57 am

          It’s OK Monte…..LDS is likely jealous of your “World” Long Drive titles because he can’t get it past the ladies tees! It’s also likely that it was LDS who called CBS to rat out Tiger on his illegal drop at The Masters! Go figure!

  17. memphisunited

    May 28, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Monte – Great story and insight on Phil. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Reid

    May 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Super write up!

  19. G

    May 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    So, Monte, are you apologizing, is that it? Why not just say that you’re very sorry for not knowing how to not be a jerk. :-p

    • Monte Scheinblum

      May 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Show me a teenage boy who knows how to not be a jerk…lol

    • R?K.Laury

      May 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      I have always found Phil Michelson to be great with the fans and always stays around to sign autographs. He sm a good father and husband and is not afraid to poke a little fun at himself. In my mind, he has proven himself as a great champion, especially in light of arthritis, a wife who suffered cancer and a difficult childbirth, never using any of those things as excuses. Dial in his last Masters win and look at the love between him and his wife after the victory. Truly a classy human being if I ever saw one.

  20. Mat

    May 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

    FIGJAM!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Opinion & Analysis

The best bets for the 2023 Valero Texas Open

Published

on

Forget the $1.5 million due to the winner. The real prize at the end of this week’s Texas Open will be that last-minute invite to the 87th Masters starting on April 6th.

That payout is also nothing compared to the $3.5 million that Sam Burns copped when winning last night’s World Match Play, or the obvious prestige of what is to come. That has to affect the field this week, and we even lose local hero Jordan Spieth, veteran of seven outings around the San Antonio Oaks course.

The  29-year-old has, of course, an enviable record at Augusta with a win and four top-three finishes, so it’s no surprise he takes a break to prepare for the big one, after seven events since the start of February to prepare for the big one.

That all leaves world number 17 Tyrrell Hatton as clear favourite with his closest challengers (according to the market) being Hideki Matsuyama (#21) Si-Woo Kim (#39) and Corey Conners (#40). Behind there is a host of likely candidates that rank just off that vital top-50, with the likes of Rickie Fowler looking to continue his comeback and qualify for next week’s Masters after being a regular for 10 years straight until 2021.

The course itself ranked in the top third for overall difficulty last season and requires a solid overall game, favouring neither bombers or plodders. All styles have a chance here this week, and many of the past challengers confirm that view.

2016 champion and three-time runner-up Charley Hoffman said, “Tee to green is very visual, shapes with the trees and it’s a tough driving golf course,” whilst 2019 winner and three-time Masters top-10, Corey Conners summed up the test.

“Basically took care of the holes that you need to take care of, the par 5s, and No. 5, a short par 4, I was able to make birdie,” he said. “Other than that, just kept it pretty simple. There’s a few pins that are close to some slopes, so played a little safer on some shots, but struck it really well. So just tried to keep it simple and scored well.”

Wind is the main defence here, and therefore it’s no surprise that all the last four winners show form at the likes of Bay Hill, Waialae, Mayakoba, Hilton Head, and, in the case of Spieth, Conners and Kevin Chappell, at Augusta.

J.J Spaun

Since moving to its current slot just before the Masters, nobody has defended the Texas Open title, but it looks as if J.J Spaun is ready to strike again after an encouraging display at the Match Play last weekend.

After making his way through the grades, winning on the PGA Tour Canada and the Web.com tour, a misdiagnosis of his diabetes stalled the 32-year-old, and he dropped from just outside of the world’s top 100 to a place closer to 500th. However, in the second half of 2021, he ran up to Grayson Sigg at the Albertsons Boise Open before a top-10 in Bermuda settled the drop.

2022 was another year of progress as he took in four top-30 finishes early in the year – at La Quinta and, more relevantly, at Pebble Beach, Honda and Valspar – before a two-shot victory here. The final half was equally decent with one missed-cut in 10 outings, with top-15 finishes at the Shriners and (again relevant for comp course fans) at Mayakoba and at Sea Island. On top, he led the better-class St. Jude field for every one of the first three rounds before a final round collapse.

The new year has been mixed, with Spaun making the weekend in only half his eight starts. However, those 50 percent take in a fifth place at Kapalua (in second place going into Sunday) and 12th at the Sony, where again he was in the final group for the last round.

Again the 33rd finish at Riviera disguises that he was in the top-10 going into payday and he bounced back again with comfortable victories over Matt Fitzpatrick, Sahith Theegala and Min Woo Lee at Austin last week to head his talented group.

With a solid tee-to-green required this week, be encouraged that he ranked fifth at both his first two efforts this year in Hawaii, whilst his short game has seen him in the top-22 for scrambling in six of his last eight recorded starts.

Coming into this event last year, the Scottsdale resident had three midfield finishes mixed with missed weekends, something very similar to his lead in here this week.

Aaron Rai

Perhaps inspired by Matt Wallace’s victory in the Dominican Republic last week, Aaron Rai can continue a great run for British golfers following Wallace, David Skinns on the KFT and Georgia Hall’s very nearly come-from-behind effort at the LPGA Drive On Championship.

The 28-year-old stormed to the front rank in Europe after gaining automatic qualification from the Challenge Tour after three wins before the end of July 2017, before beating Matt Fitzpatrick in Hong Kong and Tommy Fleetwood in a play-off for the Scottish Open.

Hopefully that Boise Open is of some relevance, as Rai finished alongside Spaun as runners-up in 2021, letting a one-shot lead slip on Sunday, but still gaining his tour card.

It’s hard to argue against the view that everything since has been very one-paced, but on the pick of his form he has to be of interest here this week, particularly after a strong showing at Sawgrass.

2022 saw Aaron Two-gloves finish top-20 at Mikey, Houston, Canada, Shriners and Houston on the PGA Tour, and when dropped to the DPWT, he finished in the top echelons of the Italian and Irish Opens.

Rai hasn’t set the world alight in 2023 but was just outside the top-20 after round one at the Sony, led the Farmers field after the first round, was a never-nearer 29th at the Genesis, fifth after round one at Bay Hill and went into the final round at Sawgrass in the top five.

It’s going to be about putting it all together the same week, and he comes here after an encouraging top-30 here last year when two rounds of 74 and 73 spoilt the first and third rounds that saw him twice in the top seven.

In an interview after his first round 67 last season, Rai admitted it was useful to know the course:

” I think putting together how the course is on the Tuesday and having in mind how the course is going to change and I think that’s where it’s very good asking questions and speaking to people who have been here for a long time. So those are the most important things for me.”

Over the last three months, Rai ranks top-10 for driving accuracy, 11th for ball-striking, 10th for greens, and top-20 for tee-to-green at all of Riviera, Pebble Beach and Sawgrass. Perfectly able to find the short stuff in the wind, it’s clear that the flat stick is the one thing holding him back, but any improvement allied to those sharp stats will see him right there on Sunday.

Kevin Chappell

Although always tempted by the younger, unexposed brigade, I’ll finish this week with two stalwarts.

First up is former top-class major contender Kevin Chappell, who was put up at 90/1 for the Corales last week, did nothing wrong and is now a much bigger price!

Formally 23rd in the world, the 36-year-old has dropped to outside the top 600 but has dropped hints over the last three weeks that he may be approaching the play that won the Texas Open, run-up at Sawgrass, and finish top-10 in four majors.

Since his body broke down in 2018, golf has been a struggle, and he has not recorded a top 10 since the CIMB in October of that year. However, after missing nine of his last 10 cuts, the Californian resident has improved to 29th at Palm Beach Gardens (round positions 84/48/50/29) and 15th at Puerto Rico (47/54/33/15).

Strokes gained were positive throughout at the Honda, and he ended up almost repeating his 2022 effort at the Corales, finishing one place worse, in 16th place.

Given his efforts also at the Honda (13th), here (18th) and Barbasol (21st) in the recent past, we need to heed any nudge that Chappell has made his way back.

Now on a run of 16/15/29 it appears that the four-time major top-ten player is over his near career-ending surgery, and he returns to San Antonio after a career record that reads one win, one runner-up, fourth, 15th and 18th.

With nine of his last 12 rounds being 70 or under, and none worse than 72, quotes in triple figures border on the insulting.

Kevin Streelman 

We don’t see many teenage ‘Kevin’s these days, so there is no shock in finding the final selection is in his 40s.

Rather like his namesake, Streels has been in the doldrums, and whilst his return to form is not as obvious as Chappell’s, it’s worth jumping on the positive parts of his resumé from the past 14 months or so, again returning to a favoured track.

Another with back-form that gives him a serious shout – top-three finishes at the Farmers, Sawgrass, Pebble Beach, Bay Hill and Harbour Town – he also backs it up with consistent form at Summerlin, home of the Shriners (amongst other titles), an event won twice by 2013 Texas champ, Martin Laird.

While the 44-year-old has dropped well outside the world’s top-100, it’s noteworthy that he can still post top finishes and has recorded nine top-10 finishes over the last couple of years, including second-places at Bay Hill and River Highlands and a third at Silverado.

2021 saw several top-15s that incorporate Bay Hill (again), Wyndham, Match Play and at top-20 finishes at three of the four majors, whilst last season found him posting runner-up at the Barbasol, seventh at Valspar, and top-20s at Shriners, Honda and here, at the Texas Open.

Suddenly the results look far better than at first glance and many of his final figures tend to hide some decent play.

Since October ’22, Streelman was in 10th at the halfway point at the Sanderson, sixth going into Sunday at the RSM, 14th after round one at Riviera and made his way from 85th after day one at the Valspar to lie top-20 after the third round.

He’ll pick and choose his events but he’s still got fire in his belly, posting his best iron play for a while at Innisbrook last time out, and he’s back at a course that he’s played eight times, racking up every cut, an average position of around 21st and posting last three years finishes of 18/6/8.

Recommended Bets: 

  • J.J Spaun WIN
  • Aaron Rai WIN/TOP-5
  • Kevin Chappell – WIN/TOP-5
  • Kevin Streelman – WIN/TOP-5
  • Kevin Streelman – Top-20
Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

2023 PGA Championship: Interview with Jeff Corcoran, GCS

Published

on

As ticket-holders exit their shuttles and enter the main gate to Oak Hill Country Club this May, their eyes will be attracted to so many sights. The 100-year old, Tudor-style clubhouse, designed by Thompson, Holmes, and Converse (of New Tammany Hall fame in New York City) catches and holds many glances. The market boardwalk will feature emporia of food, drink, and memories, all featuring the designs and flair of marketing teams. It’s a lot to take in.

Most attendees won’t enter the clubhouse, and their time along the merchandise promenade will be restricted to acquisition of souvenirs and sustenance. The majority of their time will be spent in the rough, adjacent to tees, greens, and fairways. Their eyes will roll across the hills of Pittsford’s jewel, but they might be forgiven if they don’t consider exactly how the course and surrounds came to reach this pinnacle of preparation.

Fortunately for them, we’ve tracked down the gentleman who knows more about Oak Hill’s preparation than any other. Mr. Jeff Corcoran is the Manager of Golf Courses and Grounds at the venerated New York state club.

GolfWRX: We’ve introduced you already in your current role. Please tell us how you met golf and golf course maintenance, and what the a-ha moment was that this would be your career.
Corcoran: I started playing golf when I was about 9 years old, a friend and his father took me golfing, and I was hooked. I started playing every chance that I could get and that eventually lead me to a job when I was 13 years working on a public golf course in my hometown of Groton, NY called Stonehedges Golf Course. Working on the golf course was an end to a means, as it allowed me the opportunity to play a significant amount of free golf. I enjoyed working at the golf course so much, that I eventually figured out that I could go to college to study Turfgrass Management. I pursued that endeavor and eventually my way to SUNY Cobleskill and then Penn State University.
GolfWRX: Please trace your career path, from your first job in the industry to your current one.
Corcoran: As stated above my first job in the industry was working at Stonehedges Golf Course as a teenager. While I was in college I worked at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University, and eventually made my way to Oak Hill Country Club as an intern in 1994. I graduated from Penn State in ’95 and I came back to Oak Hill to work the ’95 Ryder Cup and soon after was made a 2nd assistant. While I was at Oak Hill I was fortunate enough to meet my mentor, Paul B. Latshaw, and I became his first assistant until I left to take my first superintendent position in 2000. My first superintendent position was at The Weston Golf Club which is located just outside of Boston. I was there until 2003, when I was asked to interview for my current position at Oak Hill, as Paul Latshaw had moved on to Muirfield Village. I have been at Oak Hill ever since, and in way or another have been a part of every championship held at Oak Hill since that ’95 Ryder Cup.
GolfWRX: The 2023 PGA Championship will be the 4th at Oak Hill’s East course, but it will be unlike the previous three. How did the course play, from your acquired knowledge, for those first three championships?
Corcoran: I can’t really speak to the 1980 Championship; however, I have a considerable knowledge of how the East Course played for the ’03 and ’13 PGA Championships. In ’03 the East Course went through a renovation performed by Tom Fazio/Tom Marzolf, where all of the bunkers were renovated and relocated to areas where they would affect playability of the professional golfer. Additionally, a considerable amount of length was added to the East Course prior to the ’03 Championship. The Fazio/Marzolf renovation had a significant impact on the playability of the East Course, and it proved difficult to the tour professional of the time. Ten years later in ’13 we held the championship again, and the course was essentially the same as it was in ’03. We didn’t really add any length or adjust any bunkers, however the tour professionals’ game had adjusted and improved significantly in that same 10-year period. In 2013, we had significant rainfall during the week, which softened the golf course, and the scoring for the event reflected the softer, easier conditions.
GolfWRX: Andrew Green’s 2019 restoration returned much of the course to its architectural roots. What will stand out most for those who have attended or competed in prior championships?
Corcoran: If I were to venture a guess that the most noticeable aspect for many individuals will be the reduction in the amount of trees on the East Course. We have been reducing the amount of trees on the East Course for 20+ years, however during the renovation we hit a point where the value of the tree removal hit a critical point where the vistas and views throughout the East Course were impacted in a way that allowed much more enjoyment of the property and its features. For the competitors, I believe they will also notice the severity of the Andrew’s bunker style combined with the ability to take the pin position out to the extremities of the greens. There will be many more pin locations in 2023 that will have a very close proximity to the hazards.
GolfWRX: Speaking of restorations, how was the Oak Hill grounds crew involved in the East Course’s return to its legacy?
Corcoran: The grounds crew was involved in every aspect of the renovation and worked directly with Andrew Green and LaBar Golf Renovations to ensure the product that was produced on the East Course was representative of Oak Hill and the legacy of the East Course.

GolfWRX: Tell us a bit about the re-invention of the fifth hole. What sort of hole did it replace, and how does it join itself to the course’s Donald Ross roots?

Corcoran: Andrew always indicated that he wasn’t designing anything on the East Course, that we was just taking what Donald Ross had designed and was tweaking it. With regard to our current 5th hole, Andrew drew inspiration from the original 6th hole, which was a classic Donald Ross heavily bunkered par-3. We fortunately had a considerable amount of pictures of this hole, and Andrew utilized them during his design phase. Additionally, Andrew made more than one visit over to our West Course and looked at our 4th hole, which is also a classic heavy bunkered par-3. The difference between our original 6th hole and the new 5th hole that Andrew produced is the location, and this is where the brilliance of Andrew Green came into play. Andrew tucked the new 5th green into the northwest corner of the property and it looks as though it has been there since day #1. To be able to achieve that immediate impact and value, really demonstrated his true genius.
GolfWRX: What will the final two months of preparation (April-May) demand from you and your staff?
Corcoran: I think that Mother Nature will hold the answers to the last 2 month of preparation, however it will be demanding and difficult. I anticipate that the my staff will work a considerable amount of hours, and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the playing conditions for the PGA Championship are exemplary.
GolfWRX: The weather for the championship week is anyone’s guess. A cold front came arrived in Tulsa last year, for the 2022 playing at Southern Hills. Ironically, Rochester’s temperatures that weekend were the warmer ones! How does your game plan change for unseasonable (both colder and warmer) weather and temperatures?

Corcoran: Our game plan doesn’t really change at all based upon the temperature. There are inherent agronomic aspects that need to happen to be successful, and some of that depends on the temperature and some of it doesn’t. Our focus is to plan for those aspects that we can control, and have a plan to react to any variables that are throw at us as we prepare.

GolfWRX: What question haven’t I asked, that you would love to answer? Please ask it and answer it. Thank you for your time.

Corcoran: “What is the most important aspect of your job as you prepare for the 2023 PGA Championship?”
The most important aspect of my job is building, taking care of, and facilitating our team that comprises golf course maintenance staff at Oak Hill. Without those individuals the championship doesn’t happen, and they will work a tremendous amount of time to ensure that golf course is ready for a spring championship. I am very proud of our team members, and I am extremely excited that their product will get the opportunity to shine on the world stage.
Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Instruction

The Wedge Guy: What really needs fixing in your game?

Published

on

I always find it interesting to watch how golfers interact with the practice range, if they do so at all. I certainly can figure out how to understand that some golfers just do not really want to get better — at least not enough to spend time on the practice range trying to improve.

What is most puzzling to me is how many golfers completely ignore the rationale for going to the range to at least warm up before they head to the first tee. Why anyone would set aside 4-6 hours of their day for a round of golf, and then not even give themselves a chance to do their best is beyond me. But today, I’m writing for those of you who really do want to improve your golf scores and your enjoyment of the game.

I’ve seen tons of research for my entire 40 years in this industry that consistently shows the number one goal of all golfers, of any skill level, from 100-shooter to tour professional, is simply to hit better golf shots more often. And while our definition of “better” is certainly different based on our respective skill level, the game is just more fun when your best shots happen more often and your worst shots are always getting better.

Today’s article is triggered by what we saw happen at the Valspar tour event this past Sunday. While Taylor Moore certainly had some big moments in a great final round, both Jordan Spieth and Adam Schenk threw away their chances to win with big misses down the stretch, both of them with driver. Spieth’s wayward drive into the water on the 16th and Schenk’s big miss left on the 18th spelled doom for both of them.

It amazes me how the best players on the planet routinely hit the most God-awful shots with such regularity, given the amazing talents they all have. But those guys are not what I’m talking about this week. In keeping with the path of the past few posts, I’m encouraging each and every one of you to think about your most recent rounds (if you are playing already this year), or recall the rounds you finished the season with last year. What you are looking for are you own “big misses” that kept you from scoring better.

Was it a few wayward drives that put you in trouble or even out of bounds? Or maybe loose approach shots that made birdie impossible and par super challenging? Might your issue have been some missed short putts or bad long putts that led to a three-putt? Most likely for any of you, you can recall a number of times where you just did not give yourself a good chance to save par or bogey from what was a not-too-difficult greenside recovery.

The point is, in order to get consistently better, you need to make an honest assessment of where you are losing strokes and then commit to improving that part of your game. If it isn’t your driving that causes problems, contain that part of practice or pre-round warm-ups to just a half dozen swings or so, for the fun of “the big stick”. If your challenges seem to be centered around greenside recoveries, spend a lot more time practicing both your technique and imagination – seeing the shot in your mind and then trying to execute the exact distance and trajectory of the shot required. Time on the putting green will almost always pay off on the course.

But, if you are genuinely interested in improving your overall ball-striking consistency, you would be well-served to examine your fundamentals, starting with the grip and posture/setup. It is near impossible to build a repeating golf swing if those two fundamentals are not just right. And if those two things are fundamentally sound, the creation of a repeating golf swing is much easier.

More from the Wedge Guy

Your Reaction?
  • 20
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending