Who are the Highest Paid Golfers in the Game? Some might surprise you!

This list put together by Golf Digest, shows just how uneven the playing field is for men and women golfers!  When a golfer like Jason Dufner (who is no slouch on the golf course) is ahead of World #1 Lydia Ko in earnings, that is just wrong!  Folks, start watching the LPGA Tour on TV and you will find these women can really play!  Just as exciting and competitive as the men.

For the first 12 years of the Golf Digest 50 all-encompassing money list, Tiger Woods was No. 1, usually by a wide margin. But reduced play because of injuries and the loss of more than half a dozen A-list endorsement partners after the 2009 scandal caught up to him in 2016, when he fell to No. 3 behind Jordan Spieth and Mickelson. This year, Woods is No. 4 behind Rory McIlroy, Arnold Palmer and Mickelson.

10.) GARY PLAYER

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9.) ADAM SCOTT

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8.) JASON DAY

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7.) DUSTIN JOHNSON

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6.) JACK NICKLAUS

Source: Golf Digest
Pictures: Golf Digest

A case for NOT keeping your head down! Be like Henrik!

One of the biggest myths about the golf swing is “Keep our head down!”  I always like to say, keep your head level. That way there is no up and down movement to throw off your timing.  But some golfers like Henrik Stenson, David Duval, and Anika Sorenstam actually rotate their head through impact to help them generate more rotation through the ball.  Check out this article and then head to the range and give it a try.  You might be pleasantly surprised!

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Henrik Stenson has always been known as an elite ball-striker. He proved it again at the BMW International Open in Germany, capturing his 10th European Tour title with a three-shot victory over Darren Fichardt and Thorbjorn Oleson.

Stenson’s prowess with his irons — he hits his 7-iron 195 yards with almost no curve — comes from both natural athleticism and body movements that don’t get in the way of his speed.

“A lot of weekend players hold on to a really bad piece of advice, which is to keep the head still during the swing,” says Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Shaun Webb, who is based at the David Toms 265 Academy in Shreveport, La. “When you lock your head down, it stays that way after the ball is gone and keeps you from rotating your body through the shot. That costs you lots of speed.”

To read how to incorporate this move into your own swing, go here!

Source :    Golf Digest

Pictures : Dean Shareski

8 Huge Improvements for Golf in the 2020 Olympics! Love # 5.

Although I found the 2016 Olympic Golf Competition exciting and a great success for golf, some changes can enhance the competition to make the next one more spectacular.   of Golf Digest has some terrific ideas to make golf at the 2020 Olympics an even bigger spectacle!  Definitely food for thought for the next USA Olympic Committee!  Although I don’t like #3, as implementing an age limit would not only get some pushback, it is downright discriminatory!  

Despite its nightmarish pre-tournament narrative, the 2016 Olympic golf competition went as well as organizers could have hoped. The field seemed ingrained in the Summer Games experience, the Sunday leaderboard was littered with popular names and the tournament drew sold-out galleries. While the ultimate barometer of success will be the metabolism of golf in countries foreign to the game, the early returns on the Rio experience earned a thumbs-up review.

Which is not to say the tournament isn’t in need of tweaking. While golf’s long-term Olympic involvement will be decided in 2017, the sport will be a part of the Summer Games in Tokyo. Here are 8 changes we’d like to see for the 2020 Olympic golf tournament:

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A decongested PGA Tour schedule

One of the reasons why many of golf’s best passed on Brazil concerned the jammed PGA Tour calendar, accentuated by the British Open and PGA Championship separated by just nine days. Spreading the majors out not only lessens players’ mental load, but also subtracts an excuse for bowing out of the Summer Games. Our proposal:

— Move the Memorial so it takes place on…drum roll…Memorial Day weekend.

— The U.S. Open jumps to the second week of June, with the British Open ending the second weekend of July.

— The Olympics, which run from July 24th to August 9th, holds its men’s golf competition in the second week of the Games, with the women kicking off the proceedings in week one.

— The PGA Championship goes to the last week of August, a date that manages to miss the beginning of football season.

The FedEx Cup begins in September, and we’re erasing the bye week between the BMW Championship and Tour Championship, instead giving the players a week’s rest between Atlanta and the Ryder Cup.

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Bigger field

Before the mass withdrawal by golf’s preeminent figures became the overriding storyline, the Olympic tournament’s format drew the most criticism. As a refresher, here were the parameters that shaped the 2016 Olympic field: no more than four players in the top 15 from any one country can qualify; after the top 15, a maximum of two players can qualify per country; host country Brazil is guaranteed a spot.

This construction presents a few hurdles: chiefly, it limits the depth, even on the top level, of the entrants. For example, 13 of the top 22 players in the world are American, keeping talent like Brooks Koepka on the outside looking in. This issue is better illustrated on the women’s side, where South Korea accounts for half of the world’s top 30. Make no mistake, organizers emphatically want this tournament to be considered in a major light. To do that, it needs to get more of the top 30-40 players, no matter their country affiliation, involved.

That won’t come at the expense of others. Representatives from countries not often seen on golf’s biggest stages – think China, Mexico, Bangladesh — will still have a spot in the tournament. The entry of the top 30-40 players merely strengthens and deepens the field. The augments the Olympic field from 60 players — about 40 percent the size of a normal PGA Tour event — to the 80-90 range, instantly adding credibility and viability to the tournament.

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R&A via Getty Images

Age limit

Admittedly, this will likely receive the biggest pushback. However, other sports — most notably, basketball — are considering putting age restrictions on Olympic athletes. The age ceiling is not intended to discriminate: as Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Marcus Fraser proved, the old guys can pack a punch. Rather, the idea is to use the international dais to highlight young guns and fledgling talent that’s projected to be a factor in the sport for years to come. No offense to Stenson, who’s the hottest player in golf the past five weeks, but he does have a sooner-rather-than-later expiration date.

Youth won’t necessarily equate to a better show; in the same vein, it’s an easier sell to casual or fringe fans. While that marketing spiel might be tough to swallow, it’s a very real reality golf, and all athletics, have to face.

Source :    Golf Digest

Learn the secrets to Henrik Stenson’s pressure proof swing!

Henrik Stenson has a pressure proof swing!  This was proven without a shadow of a doubt on Sunday afternoon in the final round of the 2016 British Open Championship.  Henrik does a few things in his swing that I have been teaching for a long time now that buck conventional teaching methods.  Keeping the lower body stable, and moving through the ball with a strong upper torso rotation is Henrik’s secret.   of Golf Digest brings you insights from the latest phenom’s golf swing!
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TROON, SCOTLAND – JULY 16: Henrik Stenson of Sweden plays his second shot on the 9th hole during the third round on day three of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon on July 16,
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in Troon, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

You don’t keep your reputation as one of professional golf’s best ball-strikers if you don’t do things to support the claim.

Henrik Stenson piled up five more birdies to go with the seven he made on Friday, hitting lasers that cut through the 30-mile-per-hour wind at Troon. Stenson has hit 40 out of 51 greens, second most in the tournament, and has made only five bogeys in three rounds–second fewest.

He does it with a swing action that goes against some of the prevailing teaching wisdom, says Golf Digest 50 Best Teacher Brian Manzella, who is based at English Turn Golf & Country Club in New Orleans. “The trend is certainly to teach free hip turn in both directions, and I certainly subscribe to that,” says Manzella. “That usually comes from straightening the right leg in the backswing and straightening the left leg in the downswing. But Henrik Stenson doesn’t do that at all.”

To read how Henrik Stenson hits such great iron shots under pressure, go here!

Source :    Golf Digest

Pictures : Getty Images   Stuart Franklin/Getty Images   Tour Pro Golf Clubs

What is the correct strategy for playing the 18th at Royal Troon?

Piers Ward and Andy Proudman of Meandmygolf discuss the course management strategy for playing the 18th hole at Royal Troon.  Could this hole play a significant role in the outcome on Sunday Afternoon?  I’m pretty sure it will.  The tee shot must be down the right-hand side the second shot needs to carry to the front portion of the green in order to make a solid par.  I have played this course twice and have yet to make par, so good luck to all the participants this week on a great finishing hole!
In this week’s special impact show Piers and Andy are at Royal Troon, where they play the 18th and show what lies ahead for the Pro’s at this year’s Open.
Source : Meandmygolf

11 Dark Horse Picks for the Open Championship. I like # 6!

The Trophy everbody wants. The famous Claret Jug, which goes to the winner of the Open Championship!

The Trophy everybody wants. The famous Claret Jug, which goes to the winner of the Open Championship!

The British Open also referred to as The Open Championship, is the oldest and most revered of the 4 Major Championships.  To add your name to the exclusive list of names carved around the base of this trophy is an honor indeed!  To see one’s name alongside those of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, the founders of the professional game, must give the winner goose bumps up as he holds the Claret Jug aloft on Sunday evening!  It seems in all Major Championships there is an unknown who shows up and tries to take this coveted prize (at least for the first 3 rounds,)  of Golf Digest has put together a list of potential winners who might not be household names, but have the game to win at Royal Troon!

These guys aren’t among the favorites this week at Royal Troon, but under the right circumstances, they could all find themselves in contention come Sunday. If you’re looking to round out your British Open fantasy lineup, you could do worse than picking among these tour pros.

Kevin Chappell

To see the rest of these dark horse picks for the Open, go here! Source :    Golf Digest

What is your take on the study on increased distance on Tour?

The USGA and the R&A stated that these was no immediate plans to change the rules on equipment.  Using the words “slow creep” in regards to increased distance on Tour, the governing bodies see no need to panic at the moment.  I completely disagree with  that! At the current rate of a 1% gain in distance each year, it would mean that in 17 more years (not that long, considering this study is over 13 years) the Tour Pros will be hitting the ball over 400 yards! We’re talking average here, the longer hitters will be driving short par 4’s with ease and turning 500-yard par 4’s into a drive and a lob wedge.  The time to act is now, not like the anchored putter debacle when they waited too long to change the rule.  I agree with Jack, change the ball for the pros, but let the amateurs play with regular balls so they can enjoy an extra few yards and thus increase participation in the game!
USGA/R&A publish research on driving distance gains on PGA Tour
 It seems that everyone, from media critics to former players, has a solution for the problem of distance gains in golf today, whether it’s to dial back the golf ball, change regulations on equipment or to continue to lengthen golf courses. Even Jack Nicklaus offered his advice: “Change the friggin’ golf ball.
On Thursday, the USGA and R&A published research from a joint study on driver distance that may put those concerns to rest for the near future. The study looked at data on driver distance across seven major professional golf tours — the PGA, European, Japan Golf, Web.com, Champions, LPGA and Ladies European. As presented in the research, distance gains are at a “slow creep,” as opposed to what some critics have suggested. Click here to read the full study.  The chart below was used in the research study, showing yearly driving distance averages across the seven major tours — data for the PGA Tour dates back to 1980. DistanceUSGARA Also included is a look at yearly scoring averages, which the report also refers to as a “slow creep” downward.
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Pictures : USGA & R&A

The Rise and Fall of the Wentworth Club’s PGA Events!

WOW, talk about a comedown!  From those heady days back in the 60’s and 70’s when the Piccadilly Match Play at the Wentworth Club attracted the top 8 golfers of the day.  Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tony Lema, were just a few of the world class golfers who took time out of their busy schedules to compete on this impeccable golf course!  Later came the prestigious European Tour PGA Championship, the tournament that represented the very best of European Tour golf, with all the top 50 players entering.  It was a “must play” event!  It was a course I dreamed of playing as a young lad starting to play this game called golf!  This year, Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters Champion, is the only world top 20 player in the field!  A sad state of affairs to be sure, and I hope Keith Pelly can bring The Wentworth Club back to the Flagship Status it rightfully deserves!
“I’m telling you our flagship event, right here, is the DP World Championship, which is $8m plus a bonus prize,” said European Tour CEO Keith Pelley in November ahead of the circuit’s lucrative finale in Dubai. “I’m not sure how you couldn’t say this wouldn’t be our flagship event. “It [the BMW PGA Championship] has a fund of €5m. It’s a terrific event with wonderful fan engagement with 125,000 fans that experience the game of golf, and the way that we actually present it should be applauded. The tournament committee under Jamie Birkmyre has done just a fantastic job. But I don’t see it as our flagship event.” For years that title was universally bestowed upon the PGA at Wentworth, where the championship has taken permanent residence since 1984. Such a statement would have been unthinkable during the previous leaderships of George O’Grady and his long-serving predecessor Ken Schofield, but times have unfortunately changed for the historic event within the continually evolving dynamics of the modern professional game.
Pelley, the bespectacled Canadian who took charge of the flat-lining tour last year, has made his ambition clear of increasing prize money significantly to attract the leading players from the PGA Tour at key points of the season. The winter and autumn sojourns to the Middle East have proven to be strongholds in the face of the overwhelming competition from Tim Finchem’s eye wateringly rich organisation in the United States, with many of the classic events beginning to slip away. It has become incumbent on the likes of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia to support the Irish and Spanish Opens respectively, two important tournaments that would have otherwise faced an uncertain and ominous future had it not been for that star power lending a rescuing hand. Coincidentally, both of those players are two of the most notable absentees from Wentworth. That has become the most telling hallmark of the PGA’s quiet decline. For whatever reason, whether it be in the face of an increasingly packed schedule or personal preference, Wentworth is no longer a must-play for the game’s best. While the likes of Faldo, Seve, Langer and Woosie dominated in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Masters champion Danny Willett, sure to receive a rapturous reception from the English galleries, is the only player in this year’s field who is ranked inside the world’s top 20.
To read the rest of this compelling story, go here! Source :Kieran Clark    GolfShake.com Pictures : Alexander Baxevanis
 

European Tour players attempting to play the Worlds Fastest Hole!

Breaking a World Record, any record, is quite an accomplishment.  It means that you have done the tast better, faster or higher than anyone in the history of the world!  So when Sergio Garcia, Raphael Jacquelin and Thorbjorn Olesen decided to try and break the record for the fastest hole ever played, the European Tour video Taped the entire episode. I was personally involved in trying to break the worlds fastest 18 hole round at Port Elizabeth Golf Club in 1983.  The goal was to get the ball around the course from the first tee shot to the final putt in as short a time as possible.  Players were situated on each of the 18 tees, a player on the fairway to hit the second shot as soon as it stopped rolling, a person to chip on and a person to putt.  As soon as the ball fell into the hole, the person on the next tee would immediately launch the next drive!  What fun we had.  We gave it 3 tries, but unfortunately did not break the record.  Looks like these guys had just as much fun on one hole.  I would like to see the entire European Tour get involved in trying an 18 hole record.  Now that would be fun.  Thanks to the European Tour for sharing this fun video!
Open de España tournament host Sergio Garcia, Raphaël Jacquelin and Thorbjørn Olesen captained four-man teams from Spain, France and Denmark this week in a bid to break the Guinness World Records title for the Fastest hole of golf by a team of four.
Source : European Tour Picture :

Miguel Angel Jimenez wins title of Golfs Most Interesting Man!

If there is one man I would like to have as a friend on both the PGA and European Tour, it is Miguel Angel Jimenez.  To play golf with him would be an adventure and to share a meal, along with glass of wine with him, would be a relaxing and entertaining experience.  In a world where a lot of the players just don’t connect with their audience, Miguel is the fan’s man.  How can you not enjoy watching this player warm up before a round?

Miguel Angel Jimenez turns 52 today, but the “the Most Interesting Man in the World” continues to emit a unique zest for life. How does the Spaniard remain a nimble soul in the face of rising age? Here are Jimenez’s tricks for staying forever young:

He owns a sense of adventure

Most view a wall as an obstacle; Miguel sees an opportunity:

He can dance

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And baby, those hips don’t lie.

He doesn’t put up with any gruff

Confrontation amongst golfers is a rarity, and Miguel’s questioning of a Keegan Bradley drop was a tad bizarre. However, you have to respect his conviction in the rules, and for those who think it was gamesmanship, well, it worked. Bradley ended up losing the match.

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He keeps things in perspective

From an interview with SI’s Alan Shipnuck, regarding a bad round at Augusta: “I am here with the sun shining, I’m surrounded by friends and family, tonight I will eat good food, drink good wine, smoke a good cigar and make love to my beautiful wife. It’s a good life, no?”

He doesn’t care what you think

From that same interview, on haters: “I come from a different generation. And I’m not a hypocrite. I don’t hide the way I am. If I want to have a drink, I have a drink. Why shouldn’t I? Is it illegal to drink alcohol? Is tobacco illegal? So why should I care if people see me smoking? I do what I do out in the open. If people have a problem with that they can stick their tongue up their ass and let the rest of us do what we want to do.”

He likes to go fast

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While the publics knows Jimenez as “the Most Interesting Man in the World,” his fellow players refer to him by a different moniker, “the Mechanic,” for his love of cars, most notably Ferraris. He also briefly worked in a repair shop.

To read the rest about this interesting man, go here!

Source :    Golf Digest

Pictures : Global Panorama