All Day Golf On A Rainy Afternoon


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , | Posted on Sunday, January 31, 2010

I just finished watching The Farmers Insurance Open and I have to say I was the definition of a couch potato today. It rained all day so I couldn't get out to practice. I did practice some putting though so it wasn't a totally useless day.

I wasn't too upset though because golf was on television all day. The final round of the Qatar Open was on early in the morning and The Golf Channel started coverage at Torry Pines shortly after.

I'm one of those rare people(or maybe not so rare) who can watch golf without getting bored. My friends still can't understand how I can do it. You see I grew up playing basketball and baseball and that was my life. I used to be able to name every player in the NBA, where they came from, and how long they have been in the league. Not anymore.

I was watching a game the other night and the analyst mentioned a players name and I was like, "who"? Now times have changed and I now recognize many if not all the names that have been in the early tournaments of the 2010 PGA season. Maybe it's because I don't play anymore, or maybe it's because I think these sports have become too businessy(okay, I'm making up words now. Been on the couch too long).

The first two days of the Farmers Open was aired on The Golf Channel. I think I prefer their telecast better to that of CBS. I like how The Golf Channel is putting an emphasis on teaching the game of golf as well as presenting it.

I'm all about improving my golf game and I look forward to the swing tips segments. I've always been a good copycat when it comes to sports so when I see these drills I am able to take it to the practice course until I get it right, or at least as close to right without the aide of a teacher.

The Golf Channel featured Michael Breed of The Golf Fix at the first two tournaments of the season during the Hawaiian swing. These tutorials are just the fix I need to get me through the day. I hope that The Golf Channel continues to bless us with these great tips and drills. There are some of us out here who are crazy and just like to practice. I'm one of them, so keep 'em coming Golf Channel.

By the way. The Golf Channel does an encore presentation of the CBS telecast. Looks like I'll be on the couch for a few more hours watching the beautiful backdrop of a legendary course. It's still raining anyway. Have a good one and always hit your target.

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Hybrid Club To The Resuce


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , | Posted on Friday, January 29, 2010

Most amateurs have a hard time hitting their long irons. I am no exception. I really haven't learned how to hit my 3 and 4 iron, and I still struggle with my 5. From time to time I will get a good shot off, but they are few and far between.

As a result on long par 4's and par 5's I am forced to layup a lot. My greens in regulation percentage is currently around 11%. Not good. In most situations I am putting a lot of pressure on my short game to get up and down just for par. Sometimes I get close and can salvage par. On a lot of occasions I leave myself with a long putt which if I'm not careful results in the dreaded 3 putt, leading to a double bogey.

I needed to find a solution to my problem and the solution came in the form a new hybrid club. My girlfriends father(Big Ron) visited for Christmas and he took me to Dick's Sporting Goods. He was asking me what ball everyone was playing now. I told him that the most popular was the Titleist pro V series. I don't play them because they would all end up in the water anyway. Until I get better I'll play whatever is cheapest in the pro shop.

He said that he was going to by me a box of Titleist. Cool I thought. When we arrived at the golf section, he passed the ball section and went straight over to drivers. He picked up the TaylorMade R9 driver and asked if this was the new driver everyone was raving about. I said yes and he said, "Okay, I'll get it for you."

I was surprised. I thought I was going to get a box of Titleist which would have been awesome, but now I'm face to face with the R9. You are not going to believe this but I didn't take it(I still can't believe it myself). A friend of mine had just given me a brand new Ping G10 driver and 3 wood. He had purchased the G10's and a week later demoed the Ping Raptures. He like those better and bought them. He let me borrow the G10's for a round and I loved them and he just gave them to me. Lucky me.

So anyway Big Ron said that he still wanted to get me something so I looked around and remembered that I had been wanting a hybrid club. While my driver and 3 wood are by Ping, I play TaylorMade R7 Draw irons, so I decided to get a club from TaylorMade. I picked out the Rescue Mid with a 22 degree loft. I know you're supposed to get fitted but we were in a hurry so I went with gut feeling.

When we got home I read some reviews and most of them said that it was easy to hit, look good behind the ball, and it produced a draw. Everything I needed as most of my misses are to the right.

I finally got a chance to take the new club out about a week ago and I am too excited. The first shot I hit with it was on a par 3 measuring 218 to the flag. Usually I would hit my 4 iron and hope for the best. Now I had my hybrid. I teed it up and hit the ball within 10 feet of the cup. I nearly did a cartwheel. I barely felt the club hit the ball and it did indeed produce a soft draw.

My next opportunity to use it was on a par 4. It was my second shot and I was about 225 from the front of the green. Normally I would lay up to about 100 yards. This time I took out the new hybrid. I hit another soft draw that landed about 20 feet short of the green and just barely trickled up onto the surface. I still had a 40 foot putt but I was still on in regulation.

I'm excited about my new hybrid. I'm hoping that I will be able to drop at least 4 to 5 shots over the next year. More greens in regulation leads to more chances at birdies and easy pars.

If you're struggling with your long irons, look into getting some hybrids. They are easier to hit which will build up your confidence. A confident player always plays better.

Here's a short video explaining how to hit the hybrid club. Once you get the hang of it your score will begin to drop. Have a good one and always hit your target.

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Phil Mickelson's Two Ball Bunker Trick Shot


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This morning I practiced out of the bunker. If you have read any of my prior posts you know about my nemesis. I am getting better but the blood pressure still rises at the thought of having to hit long bunker shots.

I always hear the announcers say that the pros don't mind being in the sand. They practice it so much that it is second nature to them. Some of the shots they pull off are simply amazing. They are able to put the ball within tap in distance when all I can think about is not sculling it and putting it in the water on the other side of the green.

One of the masters out of the bunkers is Phil Mickelson. What he does out of the sand is just pure beauty. And the sheepish grin that he gives when he knocks it close is classic. To us it says, "I'm so embarrassed. I got lucky." To him it means, "Suckers. That's exactly what I knew was going to happen." While we hold our breaths in anticipation, he has already seen the shot in his mind and predicted its result.

Like I said Phil is amazing. I came across this segment from his instructional video Secrets of the Short Game on youtube. This is nuts. Here I am just hoping to get it within comfortable putting range and he has developed a two ball trick shot from the bunker.

I'm looking forward to watching Mickelson during the 2010 season. I think he is going to do well. He finished the 2009 season strong and has a legendary camp surrounding him which includes Butch Harmon, Dave Pelz and Dave Stockton. He begins his 2010 campaign at The Farmers Insurance Open(formerly known as the Buick Open) held at Torrey Pines.

Enjoy the video. See if you can pull it of. I'm going to try it tomorrow. Just have to make sure no else is too close to the green. Have a good one and always hit your target.

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Hitting Out Of A Fairway Divot


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , | Posted on Monday, January 25, 2010

The fairway divot. You finally get a good drive off the tee box and you ride/walk up to your ball only to find that your ball is resting comfortably in a divot. This happened to me during my round yesterday and there was nothing comfortable about the situation at all.

I like to practice. I could stay out on the range all day if it were up to me. I was a gym rat when I played basketball and now I guess I'm a range rat. I love to see the improvement over the course of time and practice.

When I used to practice for basketball I would put myself in every possible situation that I might face on the court. By practicing under these difficult situation, when I encountered it on the court it was natural for me and I knew how to handle it without panic.

I have been trying to use this same technique for my golf game. I'm still a relative newbie to the game and one of areas I haven't worked on is hitting out of a divot. I like hitting off of a nice lie so that I can see the ball come off the club face cleanly. In reality and especially at my current handicap, I encounter more bad lies than I do good ones.

Looking at that ball laying in that divot, the sweat starting build up on my brow from nervousness, I realized that I need to practice all aspects of the golf swing. And that means putting myself in difficult situations from time to time instead of just practicing from the ideal lies.

I found the following video on youtube. It's a short instructional on how to hit out of a fairway divot. It's going to come up in one of your rounds so you might as well practice it and be prepared when it happens. Better to be prepared than to be surprised.

Have a good one, and always hit your target.

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