Saturday, September 03, 2005

Did anyone catch the golf at the US Amateur?

The US Amateur was played at fabled Merion Golf Club this year. It just so happens I live about an hour from the course so I took in the action on Wed, the first day of match play. The primary reason I went was to see the course. Golf Digest voted it the 7th best course in the world. The members of the club restored the course to how it looked back in 1930 when Bobby Jones won here completing his Grand Slam. There's much more history associated with this course.

Bobby Jones also competed in his first US Amateur here in 1916. He also won his first Amateur here in 1924. So it was fitting that he ended his competetive career here in 1930 at the ripe old age of 28. Also, Ben Hogan won the US Open here in 1950. There is a famous photograph of him, taken from behind, as he is hitting to a hole surrounded by spectators. If you are into golf then you defenitely have seen the photo at one time or another. That picture was taken here on the 18th fairway as he hit a one iron in the green. He made birdie which forced a playoff that he eventually won. Some consider the photo the best sports photo ever taken. There is a plaque in the 18th fairway at the spot where he took the shot that commemorates the moment but it doesn't say the yardage. When I was there my friend and I waited in the rough while two golfers teed off. Their balls landed close to where the plaque was. We waited until one of the players got to his ball and figured out the yardage and then I asked his caddy what it was and figured out the plaque's yardage form it. Guess what the yardage was... 215 yds to the middle of the green. He took a one iron from 215 yds. Today, for the pros, that's a 4 iron, maybe 5. Lee Trevino also won the 1971 US Open here in a playoff against Jack Nicklaus. That's the year Lee threw a fake snake at Jack on the tee of the first hole of the playoff. Lee called the 225 yd par three 17th "The shortest par 4 in Open history". Today they lengthened it to 246 and the day I was there it played into a two club wind.

I saw some great golf played the day I was there. Two matches I watched went to the 19th hole. Throughout the whole day I saw one bad shot.

Merion was hoping to maybe get a future US Open but I'm not sure they will. When they lenghtened the course they maxed out the space. There just isn't, in my opinion enough room for the kind of crowds that would attend and the course may not be tough enough at 6840 yds to be a good enough challenge. It was for the amateurs but I don't think it could stand up to the pros. I hope I'm wrong, I would love to see more history made here.

I also hope I get a chance to play the course some day but I don't think I ever will. It's super exclusive and I don't run in the circles where I would be making friends with the members to get an invite. One can always dream.

Golf Times

Friday, September 02, 2005

For those that are golf tips junkies.

Best Golf Swing Tips: Golf Tips Magazine is: "Golf Tips Magazine is golf's most in-depth instruction and Golf Tips Magazine is the avid golfer's complete source for golf instruction and equipment reviews. Focusing on user-friendly information and golf technique more..."

You can indulge yourself with tips galore with this mag. My advice is to take one good tip at a time and try it out. Don't get yourself muddled up trying 10 different tips at once. Master one then move on to the next.

Golf Times

Thursday, September 01, 2005

It all starts with the grip!

Follow The Golfball Golf Tips - finding that winning grip and the cures for grip: "The correct grip is a key fundamental component of a golfer's
game and is required to have a consistently good straight game,
giving you the ability to shoot low scores with ease.
When the grip is faulty, poor shots often result along with an
inconsistent and unreliable game. Therefore it is essential for
your game that your grip is correct if you want to take your
golf to the next level.
Firstly place the club in your left (opposite for lefthanders)
hand, close your left hand around the grip as if you were
shaking somebody's hand. Your thumb should be pointing down the
grip, slightly to the right of centre.
Then bring in the right hand, firstly interlock the little
finger of your right hand with the forefinger of your left hand.
The underside of the grip should be placed on the joints of the
second and third fingers of the right hand. Your right thumb
should also be pointing down the grip, while your right palm
should be facing towards the target with your left hand facing
away from the target.
Two V's should be formed by the thumb and forefinger of each
hand, these should both point somewhere between your right
shoulder and eyes.
When holding the club, the club must be held firmly but with the
minimum of effort. Having the correct grip allows your hands to
work freely with the utmost control while a poor grip leads to a
lack of club head control.
Key Points: .Your arms and hands are relaxed. .Your left
forefinger is linked with the little finger of right hand, 2 or
3 knuckles should be visible. .The V's created by the forefinger
and thumb on each hand should point be to between your right
shoulder and eyes. These V's should be pretty much parallel toeach other. The grip should be comfortable yet held firmly with little effort, it is vital that the club head does not open or close on impact.
To test that you have a good grip, it should feel as though both your hands work together as if one. When you lift the club and move it, your hands should feel comfortable and secure.
Problems and cures for slightly faulty grips: You may find that you are slicing the ball; this could be due to a problem with your grip, (although it may be due to other reasons mentioned in my other article that aims to solve the slice) try rotating your grip slightly clockwise around the grip; also try holding the club more in the palm of your left hand.
If you have problems with hooking the ball, make a conscious effort to feel the ends of the fingers on your right hand pushing upwards through impact with the ball. This should help prevent you from closing the clubface on impact and so helps prevent you from hooking the ball.

This is great advice. You can't have a good swing if you don't have a good grip.

Golf Times

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Golf Club Resource Center: Katrina will make things interesting at Nemacolin

The plan called for Monday to be a relatively quiet day on the Mystic Rock Golf Course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington."

If the tourny gets washed out don't feel to bad for the owner. He's got gobs of cash and isn't affraid of spending it. He owns 84 Lumber. To give you an idea of his wealth let me tell you a quick story. A friend of mine played at Mystic Rock and he relayed this to me. The owner (I forget his name at the moment) asked the pros after one of the tournaments how they liked the course. Some of them said they thought the hotel they stayed at was too far from the course. So you know what he did? He built a hotel right next to the first tee. Now that's money folks!

Golf Times

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

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