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August 22, 2002
Volume I, Issue 8
 
Fringe Clippings
 
Striped Ratings
 
Associated Press - In the overnight ratings of the final round of the PGA Championship, Rich Beem's victory ranked second only to Tiger Woods' duel with Bob May back in 2000. With an overnight 8.0 share, this year's final round ratings were up 25% from last year's 6.4. Thus proving once again it is the hunt we crave, not the Tiger's kill.
 
Disappointed
 
Associated Press - Tommy Armour III was charged with domestic violence after allegedly slapping a woman in his Irving, Texas, home on August 14th. Armour posted bond and was released from jail late the next day. He could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine if convicted.
 
Left holding the bag
 
Golf Week - Ken McCluskey recently fired his man in the middle of the second round at The International Tournament. What makes this story newsworthy is that McCluskey was the caddie. He walked off the course, leaving golfer and PGA Tour winner Garrett Willis "high and dry" after the first nine holes on Friday. It certainly didn't cost McCluskey much in money for the weekend, seeing as Willis didn't make it that far. For the record, Garrett's wife Jennifer carried his bag the rest of the way Friday.
 
Lacking Harmony
 
Associated Press - Tiger Woods recently announced that his swing coach, Butch Harmon, would be assuming a reduced role. Tiger cited a thorough understanding of his golf swing as the reason for going day to day without a coach. He did note, however, that from time to time he would be seeing Butchie for some fine tuning. In related news, The Butch Harmon School of Golf is seeking outside investors for the first time. (Just kidding, of course...)
 
Meanwhile over in Sweden...
 
Associated Press - Annika Sorenstam was noticeably not in attendance at this week's Canadian Women's Open, won by Meg Mallon in a stunning come from behind victory. Annika was playing in her native Sweden because over the course of the two years in between Solheim Cup's she must participate in six events on the European Women's Tour — and oh yeah, she won that too.
 
 
Paralysis by Analysis
 
Tempo
 

It is often said that your tempo dictates how well you swing a golf club. It does indeed. However, the malnutrition of this advice is found in the myth that your tempo must be like that of Fred Couples or Ernie Els to be effective. It simply does not!

All one needs to do to see that a quick, uneasy tempo can sometimes be a good thing is to look at the swings of Sergio Garcia or Nick Price. You can realistically watch Nick swing two to three times in the same amount of time it would take to watch Els. Who is the better golfer for it? Well, the big easy is ranked 3rd in the world, but the speedy South African does pretty well!

So how to establish your premium tempo is the question on the floor of the house then!

Here are five tips to determine the best swing tempo for your game:
  1. Swing ten times both fast and slow. Watch what happens to your shots and also pay close attention to how it feels.
  2. Practice with a weighted club to slow your tempo down. If this feels incredibly uncomfortable then lose the weight and swing fast.
  3. Play five rounds of golf alone. Concentrate solely on your game and how it feels. If you must step up and hit quickly to achieve a quality score, then so be it. If you feel more comfortable with analyzing and keeping things slow then you should stick to this format for your game.
  4. Try not to emulate swings or tempos. Imagine yourself hitting a good golf shot in your mind. See it from the set-up to the finish and emulate that tempo.
  5. Pay attention to your chipping practice. When you are hitting chip shots and hitting them well pay close attention to the tempo of your swing. This tempo is what you should use in your full swing.
Focus and self-observation are the two cornerstones of tempo in your swing. And just like a human fingerprint, each golf swing belongs to the individual who possesses it and no one else. The unexamined swing is not worth taking — or something like that.
 
 
Reading the Line
 
What a feeling!!!
 
Rich Beeeeeeeemmmm! E-Nuff said...
 
If ya can only watch one...
 
Has anyone noticed that the last four straight PGA Championships have completely out-entertained just about every other Major Championship in the same time frame? Yeah, yeah — there have been some compelling finishes at the British lately, but they were results of bad shots and poor decision making by charismatic front-runners.
 
Who doesn't like the Funk?
 
Someone bottle the Funk! This guy has nailed it! "I don't want to make a fool out of myself," Funk said. "I just have fun really reacting. In golf today, nobody really reacts at all. I say, 'Let yourself go.' That's the biggest difference for me. Enjoy this for a moment instead of saying, 'OK, let's go to the next hole." And if you order your Fred Funk doll in the next 24 hours, we'll throw in a "Funk Punk" T-Shirt and a Lipps Inc. greatest hits CD absolutely FREE! We love this guy.
 
The only guy not satisfied with 2nd
 
Despite the loss, if you don't love Tiger's resolve as a human being and competitor you simply don't get what competition is...
 
Frat party continues
 
If you really liked what you saw in Rich Beem, be sure to pick up a copy of the book Bud, Sweat, and Tees, which chronicles his rookie season. The book was written by Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck and wreaked havoc on the golf world with its stark illumination of life on the tour. Incidentally, Tommy Armour III was profiled very poorly in Shipnuck's work. Irony? I'm guessing probably not.
 
Opinionated, my kind of journalist
 
Sticking with the Alan Shipnuck theme, Shipnuck recently wrote that Annika Sorenstam was quickly becoming known as the next Nancy Lopez, an un-mistakable winner, but unable to control her emotions at the Majors. This was in response to Annika's recent early departure at the Women's British Open.

Off the Fringe Analysis:
  • Nancy Lopez = only LPGA star to transcend to mainstream and become household name.
  • Karrie Webb = Major Tournament juggernaut who is aloof with the press and is second best player of her generation.
Which sounds better?
 
 
 

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