Extras  Members  Newsletter 
 
May 04, 2006
Volume V, Issue 9
 
Fringe Clippings
 
1932 – 2006
 
Earl, I can’t help but think you memorized the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young lyrics, “teach your children well…and feed them on your dreams, the ones they pick, the one you'll know by.” You lived life well and were rewarded accordingly. No doubt where you have gone must seem familiar for surely seeing your son win a green jacket on a beautiful spring afternoon in Augusta has got to be very close to heaven on earth. Sleep well Earl, rest peacefully knowing that you were one of the good guys whose deeds and well-taught lessons improved the world.
 
Might as well face it I’m addicted to …
 
He is such a mess, but I love this character. Maybe that’s the reason, because he is a character. The real life Roy from Tin Cup. Yes, it’s John Daly. In his autobiography John Daly: My Life In and Out of the Rough to be released next week, he reveals that he has lost over $50 million dollars over the past dozen years. Even he admits that it has done real damage to his life. Of course, just because an addict can verbalize that they recognize the problem doesn’t mean that they can control it. John’s life may sadly mirror the man who said, “You know I’ve made a lot of money in my life, broke now. I spent some money on women, some on booze, gambled a little, I must have just squandered the rest.” Let’s hope that John gets control of his demons.
 
But Daddy, I thought you checked…
 
South Korean rookie Kyeong Bae shot a final-round 68 to earn $21,000 on April 23rd in the Florida's Natural tournament played near Atlanta. Poor thing, the night before she had been in a car for 800 miles. The first 400 miles were driving home to Lakeland, FL with her dad. They had mistakenly thought that like many other LPGA events, this was a 54-hole tournament. No doubt listening to the 11 o’clock news when they got home would have been a shocker: the Florida's Natural was a 72-hole tournament. Instead of withdrawing, they drove the 400 miles back to Atlanta, where Kyeong placed 10 under and tied for 13th. My guess is that the ride back was very subdued.
 
Why aren’t peaches advertised?
 
There was some map-checking and head scratching going on at the Florida's Natural Charity Championship . . . in Stockbridge, Ga. Yep, a tournament played in Georgia had a Florida name on it. Odd, perhaps, but something that came out of necessity. The LPGA event, hosted by Hall of Fame great Nancy Lopez, lost title sponsor Chick-fil-A last year. It took all year to find a new sponsor, and the deal with Florida's Natural did not occur until a few weeks before the tournament. That kept it from being shown on television, the only such tournament this year with no coverage. Florida's Natural -- which promotes the citrus industry -- got a good deal to become a title sponsor at such a late date and discussions are underway to continue the relationship, which is expected to include a TV deal for next year. Sung Ah Yim won with a 16 under performance. Christie Kerr, Karrie Webb, and Annika Sorenstam all shot a 14 under and split a 3-way tie for 2nd place.
 
To qualify one must be bald and have a moustache ...
 
A bit of a furor ensued last year when the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews announced that it would allow women to play in the British Open. France's Jean Van de Velde went so far as to say he would be entering the Women's Open as a protest -- and would wear a skirt. But there was a huge catch associated with the R&A's ruling. Only women who finished among the top five in an LPGA major were eligible. And that only gave them the right to qualify. The British Open has regional and local qualifying, and it is hard to believe that anyone would go to the trouble of trying to get through both of them. And the first, on July 5, coincides with the LPGA's Match Play event. So far, no women have entered. They have until June 1. "It is still possible that we will get women entries and I personally hope very much that we will,'' said Peter Dawson, the R&A's chief executive. "When we devised the date for qualifying, there was no LPGA event scheduled around that week.''
 
No doubt, Fruit of the Loom…
 
Two men were arrested at the Verizon Heritage recently when they stripped to their underwear and jumped into the pond that runs along the 10th fairway at Harbor Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C. According to Capt. Toby McSwain of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, the swimmers were likely to be charged with trespassing or indecent exposure. Or "maybe harassing an alligator,'' he said.
 
Whose is longer?
 
The added length at Augusta National was a big topic at the Masters a few weeks ago. And more yardage at major championship venues will continue to be a big topic this summer. Officials at the PGA Championship announced that Medinah Country Club, site of this year's tournament outside of Chicago, will play to 7,561 yards, making it the longest major championship venue in history. It will play 25 yards longer than Whistling Straits did in 2004 and will be 160 yards longer than in 1999, when Medinah last had the PGA. Yikes.
 
 
Paralysis by Analysis
 
Rules and more rules…
 
My buddy lost a ball in a large bush in an area that was marked as ground under repair. He said he was eligible for a free drop. I said he had a lost golf ball and should take the appropriate penalty. Who is correct?

Your buddy was correct. He may take relief under the ground under repair rule 25.1. The first thing to determine is if the ball was reasonably thought to land in the under repair area. If yes, and the ball can not be found in the under repair area, then your buddy can drop a ball without penalty at the spot his ball was thought to cross into the repair area. On the other hand, if the ball could not have reasonably landed in the repair area, then it could not have been lost in the repair area in which case it would be a lost ball and incur a lost ball penalty.
 
The average golfer hits the ball 192 yards…
 
"The standard drive of a year or two hence will be approximately 300 yards — so the more conservative are claiming there is a need for calling a halt else the necessity for remodeling all the present courses will be imperative." While that quotation is from a United States Golf Association bulletin of 1907, the sentiment is one that we still hear, the prodigious distances that professional golfers hit the ball today are ruining the game. Panic over the distances the best players can hit a golf ball has been with us nearly as long as envy over the same thing. At its best, golf calls for a balance of skills: power, precision, finesse and touch. With recent gains in technology, however, many feel that power has taken undue precedence. Thus in recent years courses have been lengthened in an effort to keep the players tournaments from turning into pitch-and-putt matches. Yet, as Tiger Woods himself has pointed out, lengthening the course only increases the advantage to the long hitter.

Now officers and elders of the golf association — which, along with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland, writes the game's rules — have asked manufacturers to study the feasibility of a ball that would travel on average 25 yards less than those used now.

This idea is wrongheaded in several ways. To begin with, mandating such a ball would affect all players, and the vast majority of golfers don't hit the ball too far. (Nor do we hit the ball nearly as far as we think we do; well-supported data indicates that the average golfer hits a driver 192 yards — while thinking that he hits it approximately 230.) It's safe to say that for most of us the great layouts created a century ago still provide plenty of challenge.

Even before addressing the ball, the rule-making bodies took several foolish steps. They instituted limits that allowed some spring-like effect from the club faces of high-tech titanium drivers (a phenomenon that let the club itself enhance the ball speed at impact for the first time), while restricting both the length of a driver (which will affect few players) and the permissible height of a tee (which is downright silly). They have also explored limits on how much a club can resist twisting at impact; such a change, like the reduced-distance ball, would have a much greater effect on the average golfer than on those who play for prize money.

The goal should be to keep professionals from mindlessly bombing away while not unnecessarily hurting the average player. I have two suggestions. First, tournament courses should be set up to punish long but wayward hitters by narrowing fairways and growing higher rough (the longer grass along the margins of the hole).

The other major change would address the imbalance that today seems to favor power so strongly over touch and finesse. To place greater emphasis on the old skills required to work the ball and to hit less-than-full shots, professional players should be restricted to 10 clubs in their bags instead of the current 14.

The 14-club limit was adopted in 1938 in reaction to players who were carrying as many as 30 clubs to cover every possible occasion. The limit has remained at 14 through the eras of Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Reducing that number would again force players to make tough decisions several times in each round about what kind of in-between shot they must hit. (It would also make it almost impossible for Phil Mickelson to carry two drivers — including one that allows him to hit a power draw that moves from left to right — as he did in cruising to victory at the BellSouth Classic last weekend and said he will again at Augusta.) In sum, it would put a new emphasis on the touch and finesse that we should want from our champions.

This change will work only if the players' organization, the Professional Golfers Association Tour, goes along with it. But since the goal is to broaden the range of skills needed to succeed on tour, it should make the game even more attractive to the viewing public, which is the PGA Tour's main concern. And manufacturers will have nothing to fear from this proposal, because no special standards are being created for the equipment used by the pros.

Most of all, this proposal won't take a thing away from the average golfer, who might otherwise respond to further limits on technology by ignoring them altogether. By tightening courses before tournaments and limiting the number of clubs the pros use, the United States Golf Association can deal with concerns about the game played by the top echelon of golfers without ruining it for the rest of us.

A New York Times Op-Ed Article written and provided to Off the Fringe readers by Frank Thomas

Frank Thomas, the United States Golf Association's technical director from 1974 to 2000, is the chief technical adviser for Golf Digest and the Golf Channel. http://www.franklygolf.com/nyt_april06.asp
 
 
Reading the Line
 
Hats off to you Mr. Mickelson ...
 
There was plenty of concern about staging a PGA Tour event in New Orleans, still feeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The host venue, the TPC of Louisiana, has yet to reopen, so the tournament had to move to English Turn Country Club, its former home. And many players questioned the wisdom of going to such an economically ravaged area and playing golf for more than $5-million in prize money. Many didn't feel it was right to go there and leave town with a haul of cash. Others chose to try and help. Masters champion Phil Mickelson was among the most generous. Before the tournament, he pledged his entire earnings from the week to hurricane relief. When he tied for 15th to earn more than $81,000, he didn't feel that was enough. So he reached into his pocket to make it an even $250,000 -- after donating that amount to the effort last fall. Mickelson also said that he would be picking a tournament every year in the future and sending his entire check to help those in need.
 
Hey, if it means they won’t have commercials again, let her persist…
 
Although she has been unsuccessful in her attempts to get Augusta National to invite its first female member, Martha Burk is still trying. The former chair for the National Council of Women's Organizations is now head of the NCWO's Corporate Accountability Project, which was formed to organize stockholder pressure on public corporations that sponsor the Masters, or their chief executives who are members at Augusta National. Burk filed a stockholders' resolution with the ExxonMobil Corp. and the Securities and Exchange Commission, calling on the company to provide a detailed report on funds "spent at or in conjunction with venues that discriminate against women,'' according to a news release sent out during the Masters. Lee Raymond, who retired as ExxonMobil's CEO in January, is an Augusta National member and the company is one of the tournament's main sponsors. Burk led a well-publicized protest in 2003 and caused the tournament to drop its corporate sponsors for two years.
 
 
Golf Bodies
 
A Weight Training Exercise tailored for golfers will increase swing power ...
 
To quickly improve your power and golf swing, implementing a weight training exercise for golf program is critical!

What’s the difference between a weight training exercise for golf and an everyday exercise for fitness? The answer to this question is your missing link to a golf swing with maximum power and efficiency, resulting in optimal distance with every club in your bag.

Just going into a gym and plopping down on a “machine” is not going to improve your golf swing power and mechanics. Golf is “on your feet” and in a dynamic position (golf posture). The only way to improve your power and swing efficiency is incorporating a weight training exercise for golf program with…. Click here to read more.

Just going into a gym and plopping down on a “machine” is not going to improve your golf swing power and mechanics. Golf is “on your feet” and in a dynamic position (golf posture). The only way to improve your power and swing efficiency is incorporating a weight training exercise for golf program with a stability ball, medicine ball, exercise tubing and dumbbells.

You do not need a gym membership to participate in a very effective golf fitness program! I say this strongly to remove any reasons (excuses) for not starting right away.

You can pick and choose your exercises to suit your swing faults and physical limitations, or you can incorporate a “total body” golf fitness program of strengthening, stretching, nutrition and cardio (fat-burning).

For example, if you have a weak backswing, that doesn’t extend back fully or consistently, you can do my Single Arm Golf Posture Lateral Raise:

Instructions:
  • Bend forward at hips just beyond normal golf posture.
  • Dumbbell in right hand across your body in pre-stretch position.
  • Slowly raise dumbbell to the side and up.
  • Slowly bring back down to pre-stretch position.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 12 repetitions each arm.
Benefits to Golf Swing:
  • Strengthens back of shoulder for consistent back swing and placement of club at top of swing.
  • Creates more power through impact with left shoulder (for right-handed golfers).
  • Reduces chance of injury to shoulder and rotator cuff through excessive swings and hitting a lot of balls for practice.
This is just on example of a simple, weight training exercise for golf that can really strengthen both your take-away muscles and your follow through muscles for maximum distance.

Do this 2-3 times a week for 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions. You’ll soon feel the improved strength on the course.

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.
 
 
 

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