One of the very first things I teach a student who takes a three-day school with me is pre-shot routine. Its is so critical to understand that a pre-shot routine is like the dress rehearsal before the play. If the dress rehearsal goes badly, opening night is going to be a disaster! Brian Gaffney, PGA Professional at Quaker Ridge Golf Club, is one of the club professionals who have qualified to play in the PGA Championship at Baltusrol this week. He is doing exactly what he tells his students to do – breath and follow your pre-shot routine. Good luck Brian! Thanks to Keely Levins of Golf Digest for this interesting article!
One of the coolest things about the field at the PGA Championship is that your local PGA pro could be in it. That is, if he happens to be ridiculously good and makes it through qualifying. The 20 PGA pros in the field this year at Baltusrol aren’t just great players, they’re great teachers, too. Each day this week, we’re asking them what advice they give their students that they’re going to use themselves while taking on the best in the world.
One of the more notable PGA pros in the field this year is Brian Gaffney. Last year, Gaffney of Quaker Ridge Golf Club became the first club pro in four years to make the cut at the PGA Championship. After that performance, it’d be easy to feel the pressure this year.
“Something I tell my students is when you’re nervous, make sure you breathe. You want to slow your heart rate down and get rid of the tension. This is important because tension messes with your tempo and the timing of your swing. Tension is the last thing I want this week.”
The LPGA’s UL International Crown offered a fun wrinkle at this year’s event, with the teams arriving at the first tee via entrance music! What would your song of choice be? I know mine would be “The eye of the Tiger!” from the Rocky movie. Here is a list put together by Joel Beall of Golf Digest, of what he thought your top 14 golfers would choose. Check it out!
Jordan Spieth — “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” Jake Owen
A Texas-themed song is too cliche, and Spieth hates the nickname “Golden Child,” canceling out the possibility of any auric-related tunes. So let’s go with Owen,Spieth’s friend and frequent playing partner.
Patrick Reed — “You’re The Best Around,” Joe Esposito
There’s a 95 percent chance Reed already walks out to this in his head.
Beef Johnston — “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” Jimmy Buffett
It was too hard to pick from the 83 rap songs that have “Beef” in the title, so I’m copping out with this selection. In my defense, feel like golf galleries are a pro-Buffett crowd, and I can definitely envision Johnston tossing burgers to fans during his walk to the first tee.
Adam Scott — “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” Chuck Berry
Dustin Johnson — “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang,” Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
The guy was unfazed by the USGA’s snafu at Oakmont. Only Johnson’s nonchalant vibe could pull off rolling up in a dropdown, hydraulic car.
Baltustrol is one of the iconic Championship Golf Courses in the USA. It has hosted 7 US Opens, 4 US Amateurs, 2 US Women’s Opens, and 2 US Women’s Amateurs. Quite a resume. This year, the PGA along with longtime greenkeeper Mark Kuhns is setting the course up for a grandstand finish. With the rough over 4″ high and the greens running at 14 on the stimpmeter, the winner here will have to have all the shots! Thanks go to Ron Whitten writing for GolfWorld on all the details!
Who can forget Phil Mickelson’s chip on the 18th to seal the win in 2005!
It’s a different Baltusrol for this year’s PGA Championship, with different dates and a different finish. Yet the Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., is poised to deliver what the PGA has consistently delivered over the past decade: the most exciting and entertaining competition, year in and year out, of any of the four majors.
Let’s start with the different dates. The PGA has been bumped from its traditional hot-and-humid mid-August slot by the Olympic golf competition. So this year it will be contested July 28-31, just 11 days after the Open Championship wrapped up in thrilling fashion at Troon. That could bode well for the winner of the claret jug, Henrik Stenson, if one believes in momentum. Or it could spell trouble, if jetlag and fatigue are factored in.
How the date change impacts the tournament from a weather standpoint is similarly uncertain. The earlier dates don’t guarantee there won’t be dog-day afternoons at Baltusrol; as the current forecast would suggest. “During our PGA Championship here in August 2005,” says Mark Kuhns, the club’s veteran course superintendent, “the temperature hit 100 degrees every day. July can’t be any worse. It’s a crapshoot. There are some Julys where the temperature never exceeds 80. But some years, we’ve seen it hit 100.”
It can also be stormy in New Jersey in July, but indeed no worse than it was at Baltusrol’s last PGA in 2005, when an early Sunday evening lightning storm delayed the tournament conclusion until Monday morning, when 12 players had to return to finish their final rounds.
One of the lucky ones to finish before the storm was Tiger Woods, who posted a two-under 278 late Sunday afternoon to trail leader Phil Mickelson, then on the 13th hole, by two shots. Unbeknownst to tournament officials, Woods flew home to Orlando that evening rather than stay over for a possible playoff. His reasoning was that there were five players between him and a win and it was unlikely all five would collapse with less than half a dozen holes remaining. In retrospect, that stands as perhaps Woods’ first acknowledgement that his intimidation factor was starting to wane. It conjures up the amazing possibility that Mickelson, or one of the other four, could have been declared a playoff winner by default, merely over the price of a hotel room.
There are the usual suspects on this list, but there are some surprises as well. But Sergio Garcia at 30/1 is a pretty good bet. I think it’s time to get the monkey off his back and take home a major trophy to Spain! With 3 first time winners of Majors in 2016, I’m not going to buck the trend. Second will be Branden Grace and third Dustin Johnson. Who do you like? Comments below, please!
1.) Jason Day
PGA Championship history: Defending champ; top 15 in four of six PGA appearances.Current Vegas odds: 8/1 (Co-favorite; All lines according to Golfodds.com)
Reason to pick: Day has been the best golfer on the planet in 2016. After winning seven times in 17 starts, he comes to Baltusrol on a four-tournament winless streak, but that includes a near-miss at Firestone and being on the bad end of the draw at Royal Troon.
Cause for concern: As much as any other player in the field, Day is feeling pressure to win a major this year to validate his title as the world’s best golfer.
2.) Rory McIlroy
PGA Championship history: Winner in 2012 and 2014.Current Vegas odds: 8/1 (Co-favorite)
Reason to pick: Other than a missed cut at the U.S. Open, McIlroy has played brilliant golf since March, including a T-5 at the Open Championship despite being on the wrong end of the draw.
Cause for concern: Given all the high finishes, McIlroy still hasn’t won a PGA Tour event in more than 14 months.
3.) Phil Mickelson
PGA Championship history: 2005 champ; runner-up in 2014.Current Vegas odds: 20/1
Reason to pick: Mickelson is coming off one of the great performances in major championship history. He’s also returning to the site of his lone PGA Championship victory.
Cause for concern: Moving on from a close call like the one he had at the Troon is a tall order. It becomes even tougher when you only have a week off to get ready for the next major.
4.) Patrick Reed
PGA Championship history: T-30 in 2015; T-58 in 2014.Current Vegas odds: 40/1
Reason to pick: Reed’s nine top-10s on the PGA Tour this season trails only Dustin Johnson. He’s also coming off a career-best major finish with a T-12 at the Open Championship, despite being on the wrong side of the draw.
Cause for concern: Reed hasn’t won in 18 months and has never seriously contended at a major championship. However, a win by him would complete a sweep of first-time major winners in 2016.
5.) J.B. Holmes
PGA Championship history: Two top-25s in six starts.Current Vegas odds: 80/1
Reason to pick: Let’s make this clear. We don’t believe Holmes’ has the fifth-best chance of winning at Baltusrol, but at 80/1, we think he’s the fifth-best bet. Why? Two players have finished in the top four at two majors this year: Dustin Johnson and Holmes.
Cause for concern: Finishing in the top four, especially when you’re 14 strokes behind the winner, is a lot different than actually being in the hunt at a major on Sunday.
To see the Vegas odds of the top 13 to win the PGA Championship, go here!
There have been some spectacular moments in the history of the PGA Championship. They are indelibly etched into our brains and we watched with awe as these amazing moments transpired. T.J. Auclair of PGA.com describes these moments with the aid of some great video footage!
Major championships provide the best drama we see all year in golf.
Next week’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol, sadly marks the last major of the season in men’s golf. Without question, there will be shots hit and stories told that will become a part of golf lore.
It always happens that way. And with that, here are five great moments in PGA Championship history.
5. Sergio Garcia’s shot from behind the tree on No. 16 at Medinah in 1999. Garcia, then just 19 years old, pulled off one of the most memorable shots in PGA Championship history with this masterful shot from behind a tree.
On the 452-yard par 4, Garcia faced an approach shot of 189 yards from the green in the exposed roots behind a large tree. Garcia elected to hit the ball instead of chipping safely back into the fairway. He opened the face of a 6-iron and as he swung, closed his eyes at impact. The ball soared into a high left-to-right trajectory, landing on the green some 60 feet from the hole. Garcia sprinted up the fairway and did a scissors kick leap to see the green.
He two-putted for par, but no one will forget that remarkable shot.
4. Shaun Micheel’s 72nd hole 7-iron at Oak Hill in 2003. Not many were familiar with Micheel before the start of the 2003 PGA Championship. But, by the time it was over, he left a mark on his lone major victory with a shot for the ages.
Micheel, showing incredible composure in a situation he’d never been in before, closed out his magical week with this magical 7-iron on the final hole. The ball soared in the air and settled within inches of the hole after Micheel ordered it to, “Be right!”
A tap-in birdie and the PGA Championship was Micheel’s. And let’s be honest, the fact that the ball stayed out of the hole is almost better than it going in. It would have been a fantastic shot either way, but since it stopped just inches from the cup, you can’t call it luck. It was an exclamation point on the best golf week of Micheel’s life.
To see the other 3 great moments in PGA Championship history, go here!
Source : T.J. AuclairPGA.com
Pictures : jpellgen
Tiger Woods’ shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the 2000 Canadian Open was one of the top 5 shots I have ever seen in my life. The main reason being, that I have played that hole several times and know what kind of shot is needed to carry the water. When the announcer said Tiger was taking a 6 iron, I said to my wife “This is going to be wet!” Wow, was I wrong. I literally jumped out of my chair with excitement! Thanks to the PGA Tour for this video reminding us of the genius that was Tiger woods.
En route to victory in the final round of the 2000 Bell Canadian Open, Tiger Woods hit what many consider his greatest shot ever on the PGA TOUR, at the par-5, 18th hole.
A few weeks ago I posted that it was time for Graham DeLaet to get rid of the Grissley Adams beard. It made him look 20 years older and not like a professional golfer but a lumberjack! Thank heavens he must have read my post and said: “Mel is right, the beard needs to go!” Thak a look at the two pictures below and tell me he does not look 20 years younger! Maybe now his golf game will get back to the “Pre-beard” era! It certainly looked that way last week. Thanks to Joel Beall of Golf Digest for reporting on this fun fact!
Canada has given society four gifts, and four gifts only: Basketball (inventor James Naismith hailed from the Great White North), Ryan Gosling, Bloody Caesars and Graham DeLaet’s beard. Sadly, that list has been whittled down to three.
After taking a month-long sabbatical from the PGA Tour to deal with anxiety issues over his short game, DeLaet has returned, and in strong fashion, finishing T-8 at last week’s Barbasol Championship. But I noticed something amiss from DeLaet; chiefly, his world-renowned whiskers were gone:
Changing putting grips mid-round is something I certainly have done in my career. If I am having a poor or inconsistent putting round, I will not hesitate to change my grip to get something going. But changing grips continually between short, medium and long putts is something completely different, and Phil Mickelson did it in a Major Championship! He certainly has his reasons, so read on as Matthew Rudy of Golf Digest brings us this interesting article and asks the question “Would you change your putting grip mid round in a Major?
Whatever the reason was for Phil Mickelson’s second-place finish to Henrik Stenson, it wasn’t the putter.
Mickelson one-putted 35 out of 72 holes — second best in the field — and made only four bogies the entire week to go with 19 birdies and an eagle. His final score of 267 would have won every other major in history with the exception of one.
He did introduce an interesting quirk on the back nine Sunday, moving from the claw putting grip — with his lower hand turned sideways on the bottom of the grip — he had used for the entire tournament to that point to a conventional grip. Standing over a mid-length putt on the 16th, he started with a conventional grip and turned his hand around to the claw before pulling the trigger.
They don’t call him “Phil the Thrill” for nothing. Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson just provided one of the most thrilling final rounds in a Major Championship since Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson at Turnberry in 1977. Take a look at this swing sequence that has Phil playing great golf again. I think his new coach, Andrew Getson, has done an amazing job of tightening up Phil’s swing and has certainly made him a contender in Majors once again. Thanks to Peter Morrice of Golf Digest for the swing analysis and to J.D. Cuban for the great pictures!
Try as he might to inject technical excellence into his golf swing, Phil Mickelson remains a feel player at heart. His driver swing is in many ways an extension of his magical execution with the wedges—long on imagination, inspiration and innovation, and short on textbook regimentation. But even as his driver swing strays from the biomechanical ideal, it exhibits traits well worth adopting. When Phil is running well, his driver is a formidable weapon that has helped him win 42 PGA Tour events, including five majors.
A massively long hitter for most of his career, Mickelson also has spells of great accuracy off the tee. And he’s a true shotmaker with the driver, drawing and fading the ball at will, shaping shots to fit any fairway. His driver swing is eye-catching and fun to watch, with athleticism from start to finish and amazing tempo and rhythm.
At age 44, Mickelson still swings with a reckless freedom that exudes confidence. After a career-long quest to make his technique more efficient and reliable, Phil has emerged with a swing that average golfers should admire. Below are a few moves to copy.
SETUP AND TAKEAWAY
Start tension free, then swing back wideThe keys to Phil’s setup and takeaway reflect his feel-oriented approach to the swing. His address is “plain vanilla”—the grip neutral, ball inside the front heel, posture nice and tall, knees flexed. Nothing unique there. The most outstanding feature of Phil’s setup is the obvious lack of strain in his arms and hands. Amateurs would do well to copy his tension-free setup. If you grip the club tighter than Phil is demonstrating, tension will creep up your arms and spread through your upper body. The result: a choppy, forced backswing devoid of rhythm and smooth tempo.
SETUP AND TAKEAWAY
From a relaxed setup, Phil swings the club back wide, his arms extending well away from his upper body and the clubhead moving straight away from the target. This is another great move to copy, because it creates a bigger swing arc and lengthens the backswing—keys to storing power for the downswing.
Make a level strike, and stay in balancePhil has always been a power player, with his distance coming more from speed and athleticism than sheer muscular strength. As you approach the ball, try to swing your arms as fast as possible, allowing them to pass in front of your upper body. By the time you reach this stage of your swing, your weight should be almost fully shifted to your front side. In Phil’s case—and in the case of every good player—the weight shift occurs gracefully, not with a forward lunge.
Through impact, let the ball simply get in the way of the clubhead. Swing through
than at the ball, with the clubhead traveling level well after the
is gone. Phil has talked frequently about trusting the loft of the clubface to get the ball airborne. There’s no need to help the ball up to send it on a nice, high trajectory.Phil likes to hit the driver hard, and who doesn’t? For more distance, you should feel as if the clubhead is continuing to accelerate after the ball is on its way. Like Phil, allow both arms to straighten after impact, a sign of a full release. You want to sustain that wide arc you established on the takeaway.
Then let the momentum of the swing carry you into a balanced finish. Your weight should be firmly on your front side, your arms folded comfortably, and your belt buckle turned to the target.
Everyone loves the beauty of Augusta National and the toughness of a US Open course, but there is none that can compare with the history of the Open Championship! These venues are hundreds of years old and are on every golfer’s bucket list! Alex Myers of Golf Digest has put together the complete list of Open Championship courses that are used in the rotation. Learn a little history!
A crash course on the nine venues that comprise the current Open rota.
Royal Troon Golf Club
Where: Troon, South Ayrshire, ScotlandTimes hosting:9, including this year
You know it as: “That place with the ‘Postage Stamp’ green.”
Unique features: Has both the shortest (Pictured left, the par-3 eighth “Postage Stamp”) and longest (Par-5 sixth “Turnberry”) holes in the Open rota; Colin Montgomerie played here often during the summers growing up. His dad was the club’s secretary and his house was just a half mile down the road.
Noteworthy moments: In 1973, Tom Weiskopf won his lone major championship by holding off Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus. And yes, Todd Hamilton and his hybrid that he used to chip and got up-and-down 13 of 14 times that week won in 2004 by beating Ernie Els in a playoff. In fact, Troon’s past six winners have all been American.
Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp hole. I came within 1″ of a hole in one here!
Old Course At St. Andrews
Where: St Andrews, ScotlandTimes hosting: 29 (last in 2015)
You know it as: “The Home of Golf.” There’s not much more to say than that.
Unique features: The “Road Hole” (left), on which a road and a hotel come into play; Swilcan Bridge (think Jack Nicklaus waving goodbye); Hell Bunker, large double greens, Valley of Sin, etc.
Noteworthy moments: This course has so much history that five players (Bob Martin, J.H. Taylor, James Braid, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods) have won two Open titles there. None were more impressive than Woods’ eight-shot romp in 2000, though, when his 19-under-par total set a major championship record. Five years later, Woods would win again here during a week that also saw Jack Nicklaus play in his final major.
The famous Road Hole. You don’t want to be there!
Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake
Where: Merseyside, EnglandTimes hosting: 12 (last in 2014)
You know it as: “That place where Tiger Woods cried.”
Unique features: A short drive from Liverpool’s Penny Lane of Beatles fame; Site of first contest between Great Britain and the U.S. in 1921, an event that became known as the Walker Cup the following year.
Noteworthy moments: In 2006, Tiger Woods (left) won the British Open just two months after his father passed away. He accomplished the feat by only using his driver once all week. The previous time Hoylake hosted the Open — 39 years before — Roberto De Vicenzo managed to sign a correct scorecard to claim his lone major title.