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June 10, 2006
Volume V, Issue 10
 
Fringe Clippings
 
First class tickets: $20,000. Room: $260,000. Privacy: priceless…
 
The British Open is going to Royal Liverpool this summer for the first time since 1967 and apparently the accommodations in the area are not in abundance. Or at least they are not to the liking of a certain high-profile golfer. So Tiger Woods decided to take one place all to himself. According to the Daily Mirror, Woods has rented out the entire Hillbark hotel, a 15-minute drive or 60-second helicopter ride from Royal Liverpool. The hotel has 19 rooms. The Mirror reported that Woods is spending about $260,000 to take the hotel for five nights. Is room service extra?
 
More than just the course record…
 
Ever heard of Kris Wasylowich? Me neither. I mean just because he was last year's winner of the Alberta (as in Canada) Open doesn’t make him exactly a household name. But that may not be far off. Early last month Kris carded a 57 playing in a foursome at his home course, Paradise Canyon in Lethbridge, Alberta. According to the Calgary Sun, Kris shot a front round 27 and a back round 30.
 
For comparison …
 
59 is the lowest score on the PGA Tour, posted by Al Geiberger, Chip Beck and David Duval. Annika Sorenstam is the only LPGA Tour player to have carded a 59. Shigeki Maruyama posted a round of 58 in a U.S. Open sectional qualifier in 2000. Come to think of it, Shigeki is not exactly a household name either.
 
The downside of hitting a 57…
 
  1. Can’t hustle bets at the course anymore.
  2. As Kris Wasylowich said, “I played two days later and shot a 69 but it felt like I shot 80.”
 
It’s good to be on top…
 
Jim Furyk moved to No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking after his recent victory at the Wachovia Championship and in doing so, he bumped Ernie Els to sixth. It was the first time since Sept. 5, 2004, that the top five did not have Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen and Els. Davis Love was fifth then and Goosen was sixth the last time the top five looked different.
 
You mean to tell me a saved putt counts the same as a real stroke?
 
The old adage that driving is for show often has merit. Take the recent FedEx St. Jude tournament on the PGA Tour. Jeff Maggert didn't particularly impress anybody off the tee. But the man seemed to make everything on the greens. In fact, he became just the second player this year to play a 72-hole event and require less than 100 putts. Maggert needed only 99. The only other player to break 100 (on the greens) this year was Aaron Baddeley, who took 97 putts in winning the Verizon Heritage.
 
And for the finale, they hit a shot out of The Donald’s hair…
 
As if there have not been enough versions of the Golf Channel reality series, the Big Break. Now, coming this fall, the Big Break VI: Trump National. This competition will feature eight men and eight women competing with and against each other in an attempt to win exemptions into professional events. The event will unfold at Trump National Golf Club near Los Angeles. Trump will make unannounced appearances throughout the series to reveal major twists in the competition. It is scheduled to begin airing in September.
 
And in the realm of really stupid rules…
 
Drew Tate plays quarterback for the University of Iowa, a status which got him invited to a charity golf tournament recently. Tate then proceeded to make a hole in one at the par-3 sixth, using a 6-iron from 178 yards, entitling him to $25,000 toward the purchase of a new vehicle. Problem is, his eligibility at Iowa would be compromised if he accepted. Lucky for Tate, Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby was there to tell him he could not take the cash because he has a year of eligibility left. Tate accepted the news much better than I would have.
 
 
Paralysis by Analysis
 
Rules and more rules, a quick reference guide…
 

Player Action

Stroke Play

Match Play

Player plays out of proper order

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Carrying more than 14 clubs

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Using another player's club (except with partners)

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Any practice swing that strikes the ball or intended swing that strikes the ball

Ball in play, counts as one stroke.

One stroke

Missed swing, 'air ball'

One stroke

One stroke

Indicating line of play

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Refusing to disclose score

Two strokes

Loss of hole


Teeing off from outside the box

Two strokes and replay shot

Replay shot

Ball falls off tee

No penalty

No penalty

Ball struck poorly off tee, goes only a short distance

Ball in play, counts as one stroke.

Ball in play, counts as one stroke.

Playing wrong ball

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Moving ball during search

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Improperly lifting a ball to identify it; lifting ball in bunker

One stroke

One stroke

Shot goes out-of-bounds

One stroke

One stroke

Improving a lie

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Making a shot while another ball is in motion

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Standing on line of putt

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Testing surface of green on line of putt (touching)

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Improper lifting of ball

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Ball strikes Flagstick

Two strokes (must play as is)

Loss of hole

Ball strikes Flagstick attendant

Two strokes (must play as is)

Loss of hole

Unauthorized attendance of flagstick (without knowledge of player concerned)

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Moving flagstick when ball in motion

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Any action that affects a ball in motion, accidental or otherwise

Two strokes

Loss of hole

Movement of ball at rest

One stroke

One stroke

Ball lost in water hazard

One stroke, take drop

One stroke, take drop

Ball lost in casual (standing) water

No penalty, take drop

No penalty, take drop

Wrong ball played from Bunker (cannot lift to ID)

No penalty, replay shot

No penalty, replay shot

 
 
Reading the Line
 
No shame in falling short for the Big Wiesy ...
 
The casual observer looks at the final result and is not surprised. Michelle Wie, a girl competing against men, failed to qualify for the U.S. Open. But the final number does not do her day at Canoe Brook Country Club in New Jersey justice. For most of the grueling 36-hole sectional qualifier on June 5, Wie had a gallery estimated at 2,500 spectators hanging on every shot, gasping with every putt, believing history was there to be made.

That she finished five shots short of her goal was certainly no indictment of her game. Wie, the 16-year-old prodigy from Honolulu, held her own for most of the day, with poor putting finally failing her and leading to a tie for 59th. Only the top 18 advanced to the 106th U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club. But Wie proved she belonged. From tee to green, she was every bit as formidable as any of her competitors. Where she did not stand up was on the greens, where she was often tentative. Although she hit 27 of 36 greens in regulation, Wie made just three birdies, and one was a chip-in from off the green. So there is plenty of room for improvement. And there is also plenty of time.

"I'm not going to quit after this year,'' she said. "I don't see the point in doing that. I'm really excited for next year. Hopefully next year will be the year.''
 
Make ‘em go to every tournament; it’s only fair…
 
Annika Sorenstam played the Sybase Classic because it was required. The LPGA Tour has a rule that all players within the top 90 money earners schedule each full-field official event at least once in a four-year period. Sorenstam has never said she doesn't like the place, but for the past few years it hasn't fit into her schedule. This year, she had to make it work.

It's a good idea, and it is one the PGA Tour should seriously consider. No doubt, there will be howls of protest from the "independent contractors'' but it is hard to argue with the rule's value: it guarantees a sponsor that the top names in the game will visit their tournament at least once.

For the PGA Tour, which has more tournaments than the LPGA, perhaps the rule should be amended to be once in five years. Or, they could go so far as to say at least once in the new six-year television deal that begins next year and goes through 2012.

That would mean that Tiger Woods would have to get out of his comfort zone and visit some places he's never seen. And it might mean some regular stops might get skipped once. Shouldn't the wealth by shared? It might be a problem for international players who hold membership on more than one tour. Scheduling conflicts will arise. Still, it seems a small price to pay for PGA Tour membership, which provides an unbelievable living to the best players in the world.
 
What’s a guy got to do to make the team?
 
When Sweden's Carl Pettersson won the Chrysler Championship, the victory should have gone a long way toward making the European Ryder Cup team. Same with his runner-up finish the following week at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic. One problem. Pettersson was not a member of the PGA European Tour at the time. Not that he didn't try. He attempted to join the tour last summer, a request that was denied until the end of the season. That meant those high finishes on the PGA Tour did not help him earn any Official World Golf Ranking points, one of the criteria the European tour uses. So instead of being near the top on the World Points list (the top five automatically make the team) Pettersson was not even in the top 20 heading into the Memorial Tournament. "There's nothing I can do but play better,'' Pettersson said. "It's not the end of the world, but it doesn't seem fair. It's hard to win on the PGA Tour, and it's too bad I didn't get points for it. You'd think they'd want to get the best 12 guys.'' Well, Pettersson did himself a huge favor by winning Nicklaus' Memorial tournament. A good showing at the U.S. Open wouldn't hurt, either.
 
What to make of Tiger
 
This is a very interesting time in the career of Tiger Woods. He is 30 now, a man contemplating a future and certainly his own mortality Amazingly, his 10-year anniversary of turning pro nears. Surely the thought has crossed Woods' mind -- whether it be five or 20 years away -- as to when chasing golf titles may no longer matter to him. Woods surprised some by deciding to skip the week's Memorial Tournament, an event he had not missed as a pro. It figured to be the perfect time to ease back into competitive golf, a month removed from his father Earl's death, two weeks before the U.S. Open. It would have been an opportunity to answer the obligatory questions about his dad, how he has coped, how he will move on. It would also give him the chance to get some competition, his first since tying for third at the Masters on April 9. But Woods elected to skip the Memorial, certainly his right. Nobody should be able to tell someone how to grieve, and if Tiger is not ready. . . well, let him take his time. Still, he will have gone more than two months without competing when the U.S. Open comes around, although if you need any evidence of Woods' ability to bounce back from a lengthy layoff, remember back to 2003, when Woods returned from a two-month layoff following knee surgery and won his first tournament back. Yes, this situation is completely different. There is a mental component that is unknown at the moment. But it is highly unlikely that Woods won't be ready the first time he puts a tee in the ground. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see what transpires.
 
 
Golf Bodies
 
A Weight Training Exercise tailored for golfers will increase swing power ...
 
Golf Swing Trainer - You'll Be Thinking Differently

The term swing trainer might make you think about a golf training aid, or even a golf teaching pro.

Next time you read or hear the term golf swing trainer After reading this brief golf training article, you will think differently.

Golfers Don’t Need More Golf Lessons

I’ve heard over and over again, how a golfer has taken many lessons only to play about the same. This is not a knock on golf instructors or training devices, but I’m trying to make a point. If you’ve taken more than a couple of lessons or strapped on or in a “swing trainer” and not seen improvement, don’t you think the key to improvement might be something else, that something might be holding you back?

Improved Golf Swing Mechanics Are Impossible…

The main ingredient to a high level of golf swing proficiency is your body’s ability to move in a dynamic, stabilized and sequential way, through a range of motion that allows for maximum torque, stored energy and tension-less power.

You can work on your golf swing till the cows come home and it won’t make significant difference if your body will not let you take full advantage of range of motion needed to play optimally.

Does this sound familiar? Have you been in this picture? If so, it’s time to change your approach…immediately!

Golf Swing Improvement with a Different Approach

Having expressed my strong beliefs above, what is the answer to a better golf swing, that’s repeatable for 18 holes? You look at it in the mirror every day! It’s your body! It’s the machine that fuels the swing. If you don’t work on the “machine”, the swing will never get better! I say this strongly, but with total conviction.

The golf swing requires (demands) many “physical” attributes that need to be addressed to see progress in your golf swing. These attributes are many, and I’ll address them in future posts in Off the Fringe, but for now, they are:
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Endurance
  • Stabilization
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Body Awarenes
These are the main attributes, and they cannot be developed by just pounding golf balls and taking more lessons. You’ve got to work on them “off the course”.

Golf Specific Swing Training

The quickest way to achieve better swing mechanics (but is only one aspect of total golf improvement training) is to perform your golf swing with resistance, preferably in front of a mirror, checking body positions and technique.

You can’t get anymore golf-specific in your training than that. I do a ton of exercise tubing, medicine balls and even dumbbell training exercises in all my golf fitness DVDs and training manuals.

In the accompanying picture, you can see I am doing a golf downswing phase of the swing. You can see how it’s stretching me to a 90 degree shoulder turn at the top, and a good impact position at the bottom.

This is just one of many effective golf swing training exercises you can do that will have an immediate impact on your golf swing.

You Heard It Here First

A golf swing trainer should have superior knowledge of the golf swing from a mechanical standpoint as well as from a physical standpoint. If one or the other is missing, then you are only getting half the picture and only partial results. Your golf swing will not be all it can be.

So next time you hear the phrase golf swing trainer…think of improving your body…not just taking more lessons, buying the latest, greatest gimmicky training aid, or hitting more balls.

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.

Please check out Mikes father’s day fitness gear and training specials at http://www.performbettergolf.com/fdaysale.html
 
 
 

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