April 06, 2006
Volume V, Issue 7
Thank goodness her shirt didnt say, Quickest on Tour
Remember last year’s brouhaha between Rory Sabbatini and Ben Crane regarding pace of play? Sabbatini was so annoyed by the pace of Ben Crane that he walked to the next tee while Crane was putting out. Fast forward to this year’s Players Championship. This time, six-time major champion Nick Faldo was paired during the first two rounds with Sabbatini. Their group was put on the clock for slow play during the first round, although Sabbatini felt it was solely the fault of Faldo, who is known to be somewhat deliberate in his play. PGA Tour rules call for all players to be timed -- and possibly fined -- if the group gets behind. Sabbatini complained about the situation to officials. When Sabbatini’s wife, Amy, arrived at the course on Friday wearing a shirt that read, "Keep Up!'', Faldo quipped: "It's very embarrassing to bring their sexual problems to the golf course. Poor fellow, he has enough problems as it is without her announcing it to the world."
Im playing with whom?
Think of some interesting pairings: Sabbatini and Crane, pace of play problems; Mickelson and Singh, let me see your spikes problems. These pairings are possible. The PGA Tour‘s pairings for the first two days of tournament play are computer generated, or as we used to say, the luck of the draw. Pairings are not totally based on luck and randomness. Players are first broken into several categories based on things like money winners standing, PGA Tour life member status, Major championship wins, etc. Your pairing is based on luck of the draw within your category. The top category player pairings get the middle set of tee times. The “lesser” players bracket them. The pairings for the Masters, the US Open and the PGA Championship do not follow the PGA Tours pairing formula. These tournaments tend to manipulate the initial pairings to accommodate viewer interest. The Masters has many nice touches, one of which is to always pair the defending Masters champion with the current U.S. Amateur champion. Wow, no pressure there!
What a dump
The TPC-Sawgrass Stadium course used for the Players Championship is scheduled for a major overhaul, and no time was wasted. The last rounds of golf were scheduled to be played on the course Tuesday following the tournament and Wednesday began the process of excavating the greens and fairways, part of an $8-million renovation to the course that will make for better drainage and a firmer, faster test. Soon, demolition of the clubhouse will begin, with construction of a new state-of-the-art facility to begin by the summer. The course is expected to re-open in November, with the clubhouse to follow in April. The first round of next May's Players Championship is May 10.
LPGA looking a little pale
The dearth of African-American golfers is nowhere more apparent than on the LPGA Tour, where LaRee Pearl Sugg was the last to compete in 2001. That will change at the end of April when Andia Winslow will play in the inaugural Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open at the Reunion Resort near Orlando, Fla. Winslow is the niece of NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow and was the first African-American to compete in the Ivy League for Yale University. Winslow is playing amateur tournaments with the hope of qualifying for the LPGA Tour. She lives in Winter Garden, Fla. It is startling to think that five years have passed since an African-American last played on the LPGA Tour.
Teach them well, Casey
Casey Martin is in the running to replace Steve Nosler as head golf coach at the University of Oregon. Nosler retires this year. Despite suing the PGA Tour and winning the right to ride a cart in competition due to a circulatory disorder in his leg, Martin gave up his golf career last fall because the disorder made it difficult and painful to stand and to walk. Martin, who played college golf at Stanford and helped the Cardinals to the 1994 NCAA title, lives in Eugene, Ore. Casey is a stand-up guy who played through considerable discomfort. Any supposed advantage gained by riding in a cart was more than overshadowed by the pain he was enduring. Despite his disability, he was an amazing player who could hit the ball a mile. He maximized his potential. We wish him the best.
Rules and more rules
My buddy the rules Czar hooked his drive deep into the woods on our number 5, par 5 hole. Unsure whether the ball would be found, he hit a provisional ball. His provisional ball was mediocre at best but did reach the fairway. He hit his next shot with his provisional ball before searching for his original drive. He then found his original drive and declared that he would play his original ball. Is this allowed?
The answer is yes.
Because the provisional shot was not as far as his first drive was anticipated to be, hitting the provisional ball a second time before looking for the first shot is allowed. However, had the provisional drive been further, upon hitting the provisional ball a second time, it would have automatically become the ball in play. USGA Rule 27-2 is the applicable rule allowing that a player may play a provisional ball until he reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be. If he plays a stroke with the provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place, the original ball is deemed to be lost and the provisional ball becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance.
Tiger facing lifes challenges
Tiger Woods may or may not defend his Masters title, depending on the health of his father, Earl. No matter the situation, the coming weeks and months promise to be difficult for Woods, who owes so much to his father, a Vietnam veteran who helped mold his son into the champion golfer he has become. Earl Woods had the vision to get his son involved in golf and helped him become one of the best ever, while never pushing too hard. Woods has often spoken of the influence his father had on him. Earl is suffering from cancer and has been in poor health for years. Tiger spent the holidays with him. He abruptly left the Players Championship to visit him in California. Woods is now married and children could be on the way. As we all age, life seems to become more complicated and offer distractions. Tiger’s seemingly perfect life offers no exception to life’s trials. No matter the vantage, here’s hoping Earl sees Tiger win even more green jackets.
Let the winners back in
One of the perks of winning on the PGA Tour had always been the knowledge that, if nothing else, a victory meant an invitation to the Masters. That all changed several years ago when Augusta National took away the automatic invitation, instead using the top 50 from the Official World Golf Ranking and the top 40 from the previous year's PGA Tour money list to set its field. Obviously, some who won tournaments still failed to crack those lists -- which was exactly the point. The Masters didn't want its field watered down by so-called fluke winners. But it's time to bring the winners back. It was always part of the drama, a player going for victory knowing that a Masters invitation was on the line. Several winners from last year are not in the 2006 Masters field. Let them back.
Mah-velous, simply mah-velous
What can you say, he owned the course. Congratulations to Phil Mickelson on his domination of last weekend's BellSouth Classic. What a warm up to this week’s Masters! 28 under par, winning by 13 strokes, it was a great display. Of course he used two drivers to help pull it off, one that fades the ball and one that draws it. Will we now start to see drawing and fading specialty clubs as the newest things to add to our arsenals? Ca-ching, Ca-ching! I can see the marketers in action already.
If a major is played in a forest and no one is around to see it ...
Annika finishes 2 under for a 6th place tie, Michelle finishes 8 under for a 3rd place tie, and Karrie Webb hits a wedge 116 yards on the 18th hole par 5 for an eagle to go 9 under and tie with Lorena Ochoa in the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Karrie then made a short Birdie putt on the same hole to beat Lorena Ochoa in the playoff. The leader board was changing all afternoon. If you missed this one, you missed exciting golf. And yes, Michelle has game. But I still fail to understand how the Rolex Rankings have her as the number 2 woman golfer in the world. The potential is all there, but rankings should be based on performance to date, not potential.
Help eliminate back pain and improve your golf game
A stretching exercise can be the silver bullet you’ve been looking for to improve your golf swing range of motion, power, and finally get rid of that nagging back pain! In fact there is no genuine golf exercise program that does not include stretching exercises along with golf specific strength exercises. That is how critical stretching exercises are for golf.
There are many stretching exercises for golf. Some of them can comfortably be done in the office while you are still seated on your chair in your workstation. Others can be done standing up when you have a few minutes to spare or you need to spend a moment or two thinking about something, maybe a decision you have to make. You can easily do your thinking as you execute a simple stretch exercise.
One of the great sitting in a chair stretching exercises that can be done is twisting your upper body to reach and touch as far back on one side of the chair as you can. In the picture
, you’ll see the author in his office taking a little break from the grind of running his golf training website. This stretching exercise for golf
should be repeated reaching out for the other side of your chair. You should do this exercise a couple of minutes every day.The reason why stretching exercises for golf are so effective in improving the golf swing and eliminating back pain is because they put your body in the same positions rotationally and stretch the same muscles that you use during a golf swing. Stretching will give you an increased range of motion and make you more flexible.
This will remove the tension in your swing due to restricted muscles, and enable your golf swing to feel more comfortable and free-flowing, allowing maximum club head speed and ultimately greater distance. The results will noticeable!There are dozens of effective stretching exercises for golf that will have a positive impact on your golf swing, game and body. There’s no denying golf is a physical game…and you need to work on your “machine” to maximize your results. In future articles, we will show more stretching exercises. Some like the chair stretching will need no equipment, and we will also demonstrate some great stretching exercises that benefit from the use of simple equipment.
About The Author: Mike Pedersen is a recognized golf fitness expert and author. He is Golf Magazine's golf performance expert. For information on his Golf Fitness System, visit www.performbettergolf.com.