This week, “A Lesson Learned” focuses on how Gary Woodland made a series of small changes that created great progress and led to his first PGA victory. It’s a great story of patience and persistance and a strong desire to improve – one that will work for your game as well as the best players in the world.
There were so many great storylines and lessons that all golfers could take from this past week’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera. I could have written about how ageless good golf can be, as it was great to see Corey Pavin and in particular, Fred Couples, up near the top of the leaderboard all week. I could have written about how Riviera is a shotmakers course, and that distance is not as important as the ability to work the ball – something all of us could probably work on a little more. And I could have written about how difficult it can be, for even the world’s best players, to maintain focus when weather and pace of play means lots of downtime between shots.But to me, the most intriguing part of the week and most applicable lesson for amateur golfers was the resurgence of Mr. Aaron Baddeley. Many golf fans and teachers have long recognized the talent Baddeley has had, and it was just a matter of him finding his own personal comfort zone in order to flourish on the PGA Tour.
Aaron went through a well-publicized break from his long-time swing coach a few years ago and had mixed results with a couple of different philosophies. However, he struggled on the final day of the 2007 U.S. Open when he entered the final round with a lead and he ultimately went back to his childhood coach, Dale Lynch.
This week’s “A Lesson Learned” is not about what swing philosophy is better than another, it’s about the fact that there are multiple swing philosophies because there are multiple ways to play good golf. One of the things that we all – teachers and students – need to remember is that the purpose of golf instruction isn’t to make a perfect swing, it’s to lower scores.
It’s important that you find a teacher that you feel comfortable with, whose philosophy makes sense to you, and that you can remain patient and committed as you two work through several elements of golf that will make you a better player.
Baddeley’s success this week is not a testament for or against a particular type of instruction. It’s an example of what commitment, dedication and patience can do for a golfer who is willing to put in the work with a teacher they believe in.
Kirk Oguri is a PGA Professional at Spring Rock Golf Center in New Hyde Park, NY. He is also the Equipment Expert/Specialist/Tester at Pete’s Golf Pro Shop, Mineola, NY. Oguri has played on professional golf tours around the world and is President and owner of A-Balance Inc., a golf product company. You can follow Kirk on twitter at @kirkoguri.In fact, I don’t like the term “swing instructor” so much as I do “golf coach.” I’ll help you swing better, but that’s a means to the real goal, making you play better golf, lower your scores and enjoy your time on the course more.
As the world’s largest professional golf equipment testing event, the PGA Merchandise Show Outdoor Demo Day will welcome some 5,000 PGA Professionals and invited VIP retailers for the industry’s exclusive preview and hands-on testing of the newest innovations in golf equipment, tomorrow (Wednesday), Jan. 26, at Orange County National Golf Center in Winter Garden, Fla. (The event is not open to the public.)
Within 200-plus hitting bays of the circular range and short game areas of the 42-acre practice facility of Orange County National, influential PGA Professionals and golf retailers will test the hottest equipment and accessories that will drive golf retail sales in the upcoming season from more than 90 top manufacturers including Bridgestone, Callaway Golf, Cleveland Golf/Srixon, Cobra-PUMA, Mizuno, Nike Golf, PING, TaylorMade Golf, Titleist, Tour Edge, Wilson and more.
The PGA Merchandise Show Outdoor Demo Day also will feature several special appearances by PGA Tour and LPGA players.
While Outdoor Demo Day tees off the biggest week in golf for many, the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show doors officially open to more than 40,000 industry attendees from more than 75 countries on Thursday, Jan. 27, at the massive Orange County Convention Center. Nearly 1,000 top golf manufacturers and brands, from today’s golf market leaders to emerging companies, create the world’s largest business-to-business golf event. All of golf’s market leaders join industry manufacturing veterans and emerging companies are introducing an abundance of new products to drive golf retail in 2011.
The PGA Merchandise Show annually attracts international industry leaders, top CEOs, influential retailers and scores of celebrity endorsers from the realms of professional golf, golf instruction and entertainment. Matt Kuchar, 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup Team member and winner of the 2010 Vardon Trophy for lowest average score by a Tour professional, will be joined by celebrated saxophonist and golf enthusiast, Branford Marsalis, and PGA of America officials in the event grand opening at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday morning, Jan. 27.
Kuchar and Marsalis are among a long list of participating celebrities at this year’s industry-only PGA Merchandise Show. Many exhibiting companies will host PGA and LPGA players and renowned PGA teachers including Greg Norman, Paula Creamer, Peter Jacobsen, Annika Sorenstam, David Leadbetter, Rosie Jones, Brittany Lincicome, Dave Pelz, Rick Smith, Hank Haney, Natalie Gulbis, Brian Gay, Ryan Moore, Michael Breed, Lexi Thompson, Anna Nordqvist, Nancy Lopez and Johnny Damon.
In addition to the busy marketplace among nearly 12 miles of Show aisles in the Orange County Convention Center, Show days are full of professional learning opportunities in the PGA Show Education Conference, at the PGA Equipment Forum industry presentations and within a full schedule of events at the PGA Show’s Fashion Gallery stage. Each setting offers multiple opportunities for PGA Professionals to earn MSR credits.
The PGA Merchandise Show Opening Day features a global golf announcement by the PGA World Golf Alliance and subsequent headliner panel discussion on the Asian golf marketplace with Greg Norman, Hank Haney and Michael Breed. Also, The PGA/USA Today Golf Tips Hotline 2.0, the PGA Merchandise Show’s only consumer connection, will take place on Opening Day, Jan. 27, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., to include live streaming golf lessons by the nation’s top teachers, plus PGA Professional golf instruction via telephone, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and E-mail.
Attendees will find an energetic Show floor featuring exhibits, hundreds of vendor Show specials and promotions, plus some 47 equipment testing bays at the Indoor Demo Days; multiple New Product Centers to centralize the latest introductions for buyers; a new Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion for patented products not yet available at retail; numerous specialty exhibitor pavilions including fitness, training aids and golf travel; plus the second annual PGA Merchandise Show Career Fair.
Each day offers a full calendar of special events and each night, attendees can participate in and network at special industry events including the Association of Golf Merchandisers Product Preview and Reception on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; the prestigious PGA Awards Night on Thursday, Jan. 27, 5:30 -7:30 p.m.; and the entertaining Elations “Rocks the Joint” Industry Concert featuring Lou Gramm of Foreigner on Friday, Jan. 28, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
A bum back. Weyburn, Sask.’s Graham DeLaet isn’t the first pro golfer to be knocked off course by a sore spine, but there’s always concern when a young gun is put under the knife to fix. Today DeLaet, who became the first Canadian PGA Tour pro to retain his tour card in his rookie season when he made slightly more than $950,000 last year, will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disc.
The injury stemmed from an old hockey accident, DeLaet told me last year, and recurred last fall while he was attempting to retain his tour card. Despite not being able to practice, DeLaet had some of his best tournaments of the year, with three Top 20 finishes in his last four events.
According to DeLaet’s agent, the golfer will be in rehab for eight weeks after the surgery. His agent characterized the surgery as “minor.” In my mind there’s no such thing as “minor” back surgery when it comes to golfers. Bad backs have derailed the careers of some of the best in the business — like Fred Couples and Davis Love III.
Hopefully DeLaet will manage to make it back in time for the Shell Houston Open at the end of March, the tournament where he had his breakthrough in 2010, finishing third.
In the meantime, expect several of the six Canadians on tour to tee it up at next week’s Sony Open.
President Obama takes a lot of heat for playing too much golf, but to PGA golf pro-in waiting Matt Frey, it’s the Duffer-in-Chief’s links-wear that deserves trashing.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for President [Barack] Obama,” Frey wrote on his “Golf Today” blog Wednesday, “[but] his shirt is not of the right cut.”
Cringe-worthy. Frey, a recent college grad with a “PGA Golf Management option,” said tacky threads on the golf course make him “cringe,” even if it’s the president of the United States suffering a wardrobe malfunction. In the case of Obama, Frey believes a tapered polo or a smaller shirt would help POTUS sport a slimmer figure out on the fairways.
“Someone should really tell him to buy a medium next time,” Frey typed. “That’s change I can believe in.”
But Frey was not finished with the Obama makeover. There’s the little matter of the president’s headgear.
Get this man a new golf cap. “Please invest in a new cap,” Frey implored, “this one [from a recent photo of Obama golfing in Hawaii] looks like it was hung off your clubs, which were then placed in a closet under two fifty pound boxes.” Ouch!
Frey’s suggestion for the leader of the free world? Have PGA professional and golf director John Lyberger at nearby Congressional Country Club help him take an ensemble Mulligan. “He’s right down the road from the White House and he won The PGA’s Merchandiser of the Year Award in 2008,” Frey noted, “so he’ll be able to pick out the right [duds] for you.”
Just wrong. Oh, and don’t even get Frey started on former President Bill Clinton. “Wrong, wrong, wrong,” was Frey’s admonition about the “wild and busy” shirts and “too short” shorts that Hillary’s husband favored.
As for W, Frey liked the way the second President Bush presented himself at the outset of a round. By the second hole, not so much.
“His presentation went horribly awry, maybe because it was hot outside,” Frey observed. “Either way, my advice: keep at least one button buttoned.”
Tiger Woods certainly does not need Frey’s fashion advice. In fact, read how, despite losing a bunch of sponsors and going 0-fer-2010, No. 2 remains golf’s top money maker.
Despite what the songs on the radio, the decorations in the stores or the nip in the air may say, the holiday shopping season truly begins after Thanksgiving. Well, it’s after Thanksgiving now and the joy (?) of shopping for the perfect gift is now the part of our collective tasks. But your favorite golfer (and that might be you!) already has a new driver, loves their trusty putter and maybe they’re not quite ready to get that new set of irons just yet. Is there a great golf gift still out there? You bet there is.One of the great things about working in the golf industry is getting a sneak preview at some of the latest and greatest offerings from the brilliant minds in the business. This past year saw innovations and improvements that every golfer should be aware of, though many have not had a chance to make a part of their game — yet.
PGA.com will unveil a series of Holiday Shopping Guides through the remainder of the year. Most will be written by top PGA Professionals, what they recommend to their members, visitors and students. But this week’s feature is my own, based on the question I am asked the most — even from those already in the industry. “Is there anything out there that I don’t have that I should?” There’s actually quite a few new items that would make even the most experienced golfers offer fist pumps of joy. Here’s my Great Eight list for the best of Holiday Shopping 2010.
1.) TRUE linkswear shoes. Imagine playing golf in your most comfortable slippers. But these slippers are stylish, offer great traction and feel so light on your feet, you have to remind yourself you’re wearing shoes from time to time. And don’t just take my word for it, listen to PGA Tour star Ryan Moore. “These are the lightest, most comfortable golf shoes I have ever worn,” he says. Moore was so impressed, he’s become a major investor in the company. The shoes have just now hit the market and media and social media have been all abuzz about them. The company’s biggest issue could be keeping up with demand. TRUE linkswear is available at many retail shops such as PGA Tour Superstores or online at their website: http://www.truelinkswear.com.
2.) VedaloHD sunglasses: Every golfer loves a great pair of sunglasses, and there are a ton of great sunglasses out there. But rarely have I seen a pair that makes even the most cynical golfers do a double-take after trying on a pair and then taking them off. The high-definition lens from VedaloHD does just that, everytime. “Without a doubt, the best I’ve ever worn” said a certain caddie on the PGA Tour. Not sure if that impresses you, but considering that caddie is Stevie Williams, who could probably wear anything he wanted, that says quite a bit I’d say. You can order them at: http://www.vedalohd.com/.
3.) The Last Bag from Club Glove. I find it amazing how people will spend thousands on their clubs and then trust a glorified garbage sack to transport them from city to city. The PGA Tour players need to protect their instruments of their trade above all else and more of them trust Club Glove’s Last Bag than any other travel bag. There’s a reason. These can be found at most retail golf shops, ordered through most PGA Professionals or via their website at: http://clubglove.com/home.htm.
4.) Stiff Arm from Club Glove. Going to give Club Glove a little extra love in this list (hey, I don’t even have an endorsement deal!) but their Stiff Arm is a ‘must have’ for your travel bag, regardless of what type you use. It’s a metal rod with a concave plate at the top that will absorb most of the pressure that your clubs may endure when in their travel cases. For $26.95, it could be the best investment you could ever make in your clubs. Order at: http://clubglove.com/User/ViewProduct.asp?ProductID=18.
5.) Wine from Annika. LPGA Tour icon Annika Sorenstam has joined the growing number of golf personalities who have come out with their own line of wine. But considering Annika’s well-known passion for fine cuisine and her penchant for excellence, it doesn’t seem to be much of a stretch to believe her signature wine collection would be top notch. Early reviews have been favorable. The one caveat is that you should wait until after your round of golf before partaking. It’s never good to drink and drive. (What?, you don’t like bad puns?) More importantly, Annika wines can be purchased through her website: https://shop.annikavineyards.com/.
6.) Tiger Woods 2011 from EA Sports. At some point, these games are going to get too good. I mean, how long until you get a virtual burger from The Tap Room after your round at Pebble Beach? If your golfer also has a penchant for video games, this one is a ‘must have.’ The inclusion of the Ryder Cup means you can recreate the most dramatic golf event of the year, right in your living room. Without going into every detail, suffice it to say that if you love golf, and you can work your way around a Wii or Xbox or Playstation, you need this game: http://tigerwoodspgatour.easports.com/home.action.
7.) The Littlest Golfer apparel. The youngest golfers among us need proper apparel too. Not that they have to adhere to every dress code or norm, but they certainly need to be comfortable and protected from the elements as much, if not more, than their adult counterparts. One of the best companies around for children’s golf wear can be found at: http://www.thelittlestgolfer.com/.
8.) Golf Lessons from your local PGA Professional. Do I write this because I work for PGA.com? No. Do I write this because I want you to spend money with PGA Professionals that I know? Not really. Do I write this because I’ve run out of things to include? Absolutely not. And though golf lessons are not new to 2010, they are still the best gift you can get for your favorite golfer (yourself include). The one guaranteed item that will make every golfer enjoy golf more is to play better — and the only sure way to do that is to learn under the guidance of an expert instructor. I’d guess I’ve recommended lessons to over 100 people over the last few years. I’ve had zero tell me they wish they’d have purchased something else. Now I’m not math whiz, but that sounds like a pretty good percentage to me. Find a PGA instructor near you here: http://www.pga.com/golf-instruction/find-instructor.
These are the eight items I’ll be recommending this year. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any other items you think golfers would enjoy this holiday season. Enter your thoughts below and share your expertise with golfers around the world as to what will make their holidays full of good cheer.
Who doesn’t love to see shiny, new golf equipment under the Christmas tree?
Peter Alliss’s illustrious career was acknowledged today (Friday, December 17) when he received the PGA Recognition Award at The Professional Golfers’ Association’s annual fundraising lunch.
The legendary golfer and BBC commentator, who has been a longstanding PGA member during which time he has scaled the heights as a player, course designer and broadcaster, collected the award at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
Also honoured was his great friend, Sir Terry Wogan who was presented with a special PGA award celebrating his contribution to the world of television and radio.
Alliss who began his career alongside his father Percy as an unpaid assistant at Ferndown Golf Club, quickly blossomed as a player and between 1954 and 1969 won 21 professional tournaments including three PGA Championships.
He was also a two-time winner of the Vardon Trophy and in September 1958, he won the national championships of Italy, Spain, and Portugal in three consecutive weeks. In addition he made eight Ryder Cup appearances and is one of only two father-and-son duos to have represented their country at this level.
Alliss twice captained the PGA – in 1962 and 1987 – and golf is still going strong in the family with his son Gary a PGA Master Professional and his grandson Craig also a PGA professional.
“Peter is one of the best loved people in golf who has excelled in several areas of the game from playing through to course design and most famously as the voice of golf on television,” said PGA Chief Executive Sandy Jones.
“As a broadcaster particularly, he has done a tremendous amount to generate interest and awareness in the sport and his passion and enthusiasm remains undimmed.
“He comes from a family steeped in the traditions of golf and it is a great honour for the Association to be able to bestow this award on Peter to reflect his outstanding contribution to the game stretching back more than 50 years.”
Jones also paid tribute to Sir Terry Wogan who is a keen golfer and famously holed one of the longest ever televised putts of 33 yards at Gleneagles in 1981.
“Sir Terry Wogan is one of our most popular TV and radio personalities and we’re delighted that he will be a guest of honour at the PGA lunch which will raise valuable funds for the PGA Benevolent Fund,” he added.
In addition to raising money for the PGA Benevolent Fund a special cheque presentation of £34,000 was made to the Golf Foundation by PGA captain Jim Farmer on behalf of the Association.
The season of giving is upon us. With all that giving, you’re sure to be receiving too. And who are we kidding? It sure is nice to receive, isn’t it? It’s OK, we’re all (Facebook) friends here — you can admit it.
“Winter golf” has different meanings depending on what area of the country you happen to be in. In Florida or Arizona, it means peak season. In Minnesota and Massachusetts, it means a time to put the clubs into storage. But for some areas, the weather is just warm enough to keep the greens cut and the pins in the hole, but still cool enough that you’ll need to properly prepare yourself for a day in the elements.
One of those regions is Charleston, South Carolina, one of the premier golf destinations in the country. Most courses are open here all 12 months, but at this time of year, there are days when frost warnings and dipping wind chills can make a round of golf as trying as it is enjoyable.
We asked Jeff Minton, PGA Professional and Director of Golf at Wild Dunes Resort in Charleston, SC to advise you on how to prepare yourself for playing golf in colder conditions.
With the cold weather upon us the following tips will help keep you and your game in tip top shape. The tips are geared towards golf however they would be beneficial for all sports.
- It is important to stretch before playing golf anytime of the year; however in the winter months it is imperative. On the first tee or at the practice range spend a few minutes doing some golf stretches. An easy stretch to do to improve your shoulder turn is to put a golf club behind your back and between arms, bend from the waist slightly and slowly rotate your shoulders level as if you are making a backswing and a forward swing. This will make that first tee-shot much more comfortable!
- The way you dress in the winter season will have significant impact on your swing or stroke. Try to avoid wearing tight fitting, heavy outerwear. This will hamper your ability to create the proper motion and not allow your body and arms to swing freely. When heading to the course or the courts on those chilly mornings dress in several loose fitting layers that you can shed when the temperatures rise. Keeping you head, hands and feet warm will also make those winter rounds much less frigid. Wear a hat, warm socks and winter gloves. This will take the bite out of the winter chill.
- If you can, walk the Golf Course. Walking will keep you warm not only by the exercise you get, but also will reduce the chill of riding in a golf cart.
- While swing the golf club in cold weather focus on maintaining a steady tempo throughout your swing and good balance. This will ensure that you are hitting solid shots that will fly farther and stay on line.
- On days where the winter chill is too much for you to handle (for me that’s below 60 degrees) there are a couple drills you can do indoors to improve your game. The first is to position yourself in front of a full length mirror and take some simulated swings while watching yourself in the mirror. The more your eyes see the proper positions in your golf swing the easier it will be to re-create that motion when playing a round. This is also great tip for Tennis players as well.