Fixing The Loop In My Swing Takes Motivation And Discipline


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , | Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010

I have been working with Mike Southern for the past couple of weeks on fixing the loop in my swing. The source of the loop was in my takeaway. My takeaway was flawed from the start of my swing which set me up for disaster.

While Mike has become my virtual swing coach, it seems as though he is subtly imploring some mental tactics as well...but I am on to him. Mike published a post entitled, How Long Does a Swing Change Take? He discusses his research into how long it really takes for a habit to form.

Throughout the process Mike has been telling me to be patient, work hard, and I should begin to see real results in about a month. Well as it turns outs, according to studies, and Mike's post, it takes on average about sixty six days for a habit to form.

As I was practicing the other day, I had already began to have my doubts about how long it would take for my swing to be fixed. I was not having a good practice session, and I was reverting to my old swing. I was really frustrated.

What made it worse, there was a guy watching me swing and he came over and proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong with my swing. He gave me all kinds of swing tips which confused me even more. I had to get out of there. I entertained him for a few more minutes and I made up an excuse as to why I had to leave.

When I got home I turned on my laptop and read Mike's post. I told him about my frustrations and how I thought it would definitely take more time than I wanted it to. I want the results immediately. I want the perfect swing now. He replied with this quote...

The secret of discipline is motivation.
When a man is sufficiently motivated,
discipline will take care of itself.
~Sir Alexander Paterson~

Mike obviously knows that I like quotes. As a matter of fact I used this quote as part of this post on my other blog. As all good teachers/coaches do, they find a way to teach their students in a way that they can understand the easiest. This quote was exactly what I needed to read at that moment.

No matter what we do in life we have to be motivated to do it. There has to be a reason why we do the things we do. I set my goals at the beginning of the year to break 80 and to become a 12 handicap or better. That is my motivation to practice. I have other goals as well in golf. Bigger goals. But one step at a time.

This quote is a reminder to me that I have my goals. I have my motivation. The discipline will take care of itself. I have to stay focused on what I have learned thus far. Every time I hit a straight shot I am motivated and have more and more confidence in what Mike has taught me.

This is another quote that I used today for my quotes blog which really hit home with me in regards to my swing change...

Most people have come to prefer certain of life’s experiences and deny and reject others, unaware of the value of the hidden things that may come wrapped in plain and even ugly paper. In avoiding all pain and seeking comfort at all costs, we may be left without intimacy or compassion; in rejecting change and risk we often cheat ourselves of the quest; in denying our suffering we may never know our strength or our greatness ~Rachel Naomi Remen~

I realize now that I have to go through this process in order to appreciate the game of golf more. If it came easily, I probably would not enjoy it as much and take it for granted. We have all heard the quote, "anything worth having is worth working for." This is the same thing. Suffering through this change will make me stronger both mentally and physically in respects to the game of golf. The mental aspect of golf is what drew me to try out golf in the first place. It is amazing how you can apply all of these quotes to the game of golf and all areas of ones life.

A special thanks to Mike Southern for taking the time to work with me. Not many people would have taken the time to help out a stranger. I will be sure to pay it forward somehow. Have a great round and always hit your target.

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Colin Montgomerie Makes His Captain's Picks For The 2010 Ryder Cup


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , | Posted on Sunday, August 29, 2010

The 2010 Ryder Cup will be hosted on European soil this year at Celtic Manor, Newport Wales. Captains Corey Pavin, and Colin Montgomerie have the daunting task of leading their respective teams into one of the most hotly contested tournaments in sports. Equally a daunting tasks for both leaders is making their three captains picks.

Montgomerie was scheduled to make his selections today and the players just outside the top 9 in Ryder Cup points made it very interesting for Monty. There were five players that everyone agreed were fighting for three spots. The five in contention were Justin Rose, Paul Casey, Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald, and Edoardo Molinari.

I wouldn't want to have to make this decision but Monty does, and he did. He picked Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald, and Edoardo Molinari. These are great picks despite the fact that this means that half of the team will be making their rookie appearances.

Earlier in the season I would have picked Justin Rose as a lock to make the team. At one point I started to wonder if he was the best player in golf. He won twice, but started to fade as the season progressed. Paul Casey is great in match play, but he has been fighting injury for much of the past two years.

Padraig Harrington is a three time major winner and he deserves to be on the team. He is a player that can catch fire and keep it going for a long time. He is an exciting player to watch and he will certainly fire up his teammates.

Luke Donald played great in the Ryder Cup two years ago. He is a streaky player who when he is dialed in, is as good as any from tee to green. This was made evident when he rattled off six birdies in a row to start the final round of The Barclays. He finished with a twenty eight on the front side, adding two more birdies at eight and nine. Great timing to start playing well, and Monty took notice.

Montgomrie also took notice of Edoardo Molinari who birdied the last three holes of the Johnnie Walker Championship to win it by a stroke over Brett Rumford and three over his brother Francesco, who had already made the team. Molinari showed poise as he finished down the stretch, hitting the clutch shots when he needed them. This is something that is needed to be successful in Ryder Cup competition.

Montgomerie gave a surprise pick in Sergio Garcia as the fourth assistant captain. Garcia, who qualified for the Fed-Ex Tournament, but opted to sit it out, will be there as a spark for the team. I am not sure how that is going to work out. Garcia has not had the fire in his game for some time now. Maybe being around the team will renew the passion that he once had for the game of golf.

Pavin still has his picks to be made, and the players on the outside will be stating their case for a selection to the American side. Most think that Tiger Woods is a lock for a pick despite his sub-standard play. Interestingly enough, it seems that Tiger has found something this weekend. He is driving the ball better and today he is putting like the Tiger of old.

The Ryder Cup is always a great competition to watch. All the players talk about making the team at least once in their career. There is a lot of history in this event and it looks like there will be many more stories and tales written again this year. There always is. Have a great round and always hit your target.

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Mike Southern Gets Ruthless With My Golf Swing Part 4 - Coming Over The Top


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I am feeling so much better about my swing. It is like night and day. The loop is gone and I am swinging the club much more consistently. In part 4 of Mike Southern's "Dexter's coming Over The Top" series, Mike shows us how to get from waist high to the top of the swing. He explains that there are two positions at the top of the swing that we need to fall within. They are upright and neutral.

Mike explains "upright" and "neutral" as such:

In the "upright" swing your elbow bends less,so your hands go more up than back; and in the "neutral" swing it bends quite a bit, so your hands go more back than up.

Like I said we want to fall somewhere within these two. Whatever is the most comfortable for you, then you should stick with that. Mike used these pictures of Ai Miyazato and Justin Leonard to demonstrate to the two positions. Ai is much more upright which means her elbow comes up higher. Justin is in the neutral position. His elbow is closer to his body but still not touching his side.

In my former swing, I would start the takeaway by tucking my right elbow into my ribcage. It stayed tucked until I got to the top of my swing. From there I had no choice but to throw the club out and over in attempt to get back on the proper swing plane. I was the extreme opposite of Miyazato. The result was me hitting across the ball instead of down the line.

Now I am closer to Justin Leonard at the top of my swing. After practicing the drills that Mike gave me for getting to the top of the backswing, the neutral position just felt more natural. When I tried to get upright like Miyazato, it felt like I was picking my head up, thus losing my posture.

The drills for getting to the top are very easy. Mike explains what it is supposed to feel like and what we are looking to accomplish by practicing these drills. When you read his post, you will find that it easy to understand and with practice the results follow.

Mike posted a bonus article today as closure to this series. It deals with the downswing. Throughout this process I have only been taking half swings during my practice sessions. I just wanted to take it step by step. Now that we have the takeaway, it is time to let the ball fly.

But like I said do not get ahead of yourself. Practice the drills in part 4 and then move onto the downswing. It is all about baby steps. But soon we will be making giant leaps and bounds. Have a good round and always hit your target.

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Mike Southern Gets Ruthless With My Golf Swing Part 3 - Coming Over The Top


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on Monday, August 23, 2010

I just got back from practicing and what a huge difference. The loop is gone. Mike Southern of the Ruthless Golf blog has been working with me to help cure the coming over the top move in my golf swing, and I must say, Mike knows what he is talking about.

In part 3 of his Dexter's Coming Over The Top series, Mike gave me and my fellow over the top swingers drills we can do to remedy our struggles with the loopy swing. Mike explained what a one-piece takeaway is and why it is a effective way to start the swing. He also explained how to know when you are doing it right, which I feel is important, because if you understand this, you can stop yourself before you make an incorrect swing. Here is the set up for the drill:

1. Hold your left hand out in front of you, as if you were going to shake hands. (You lefties out there will need to use your right hand.)
2. Make a fist and stick your thumb straight up as if you were giving somebody a “thumbs-up.” Your thumb is the “shaft” of your club.
3. Take your normal golf grip by placing your free hand on the “shaft.” You’ll be surprised how much this feels like your normal grip; at any rate, it will give you a solid way to position your hands.

Who would have thought that your thumb could become a golf club? Mike broke down the drill into four parts. You will have to read it for yourself, because I will not be able to explain it as well as he did, but I'll say that it works. The information was easy to understand and easy to replicate. Mike used this picture of Paula Creamer as a demonstration as to where the arms should be at waist high in the takeaway.

I practiced the drill, without a club, in my living room, while watching the final round of the Wyndham Championship(congratulations to Arjun Atwal on being the first Indian born golfer to win on the PGA Tour). I was trying to ingrain the move so that it became second nature. When the tournament was over, I went out to practice.

The move completely got rid of the loop. It did take some getting used to, but I rehearsed the move before each swing. I was getting some funny looks from the people around me, but I didn't care. Anything to get better.

I only hit my 52 degree gap wedge and didn't take any full swings. Mike only gave us a drill for the takeaway up to the waist and I did not want to get ahead of myself. The most I would go to was just above 9 o'clock. I noticed that anytime my back swing got too long, I pulled it.

The other thing I noticed was that all my divots were straight at the target, which is new to me. With my old swing, my divots were always left of the target, probably because I swinging across the ball. Mike confirmed this by telling me that the over the top swing often causes the hook.

My balance throughout the swing was greatly improved. With the loop, I was all over the place, often fighting to keep my posture throughout the swing. I felt a lot more centered and was able to hold my finish without swaying.

It is incredible that such a simple change could make such a big difference. Throughout this process, Mike has been telling me that I am close. But to be honest, I did not believe him. How could I be close with a swing like mine? He pointed out the fact that we always hear Tiger and Phil say "I'm close." "The swing is almost there." Now I understand.

We tend to make things more complicated than it has to be and that is what I did. I had a case of information overload. I watched every video I could find to fix my problem and all I did was confuse myself even more. As Mike put it, and this true in golf and in life;

"Too many times we try to make big changes and get nowhere; that's because we're attacking symptoms, not the source."

Find the source of your problems and change will come much faster. Have a good round and always hit your target.

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Mike Southern Gets Ruthless With My Golf Swing Part 2 - Coming Over The Top


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on Saturday, August 21, 2010

I played a round of golf today at Keysgate Golf Club in Homestead, FL with my good friends Hurchell and Marc. I was excited because it was the first time we were playing at this facility. I love playing new courses. My collection of club logo balls is growing. I am up to 35 as of this post. It should be more, but there have been a few pro shops that did not have one available.

Marc had to work in the morning and we had to rush to make our tee time. As a result, we did not have time to hit balls before the round. We got to the course, paid for our round, and went straight to the first tee. Hurchell lives near the course so he was warmed up and ready to go by the time we got there. It ended up being a rainy afternoon, so on top of not being warmed up, we had to deal with soggy course conditions.

I was disappointed that I did not get a chance to warm up because I wanted to work on some things in my swing that Mike Southern of the Ruthless Golf blog had pointed out too me. Mike is doing a four part series on my swing demonstrating how to get rid of the over the top swing or the "loop" as I like to call it.

In part 2 of Mike's dissection of my swing, he pointed out a few quirks in my takeaway that were causing my loop. The areas were:

* Dexter has an over-the-top swing because he gets his hands in a bad position early on.

* He gets them in this bad position because he bends his right elbow too soon.

* He bends his right elbow too soon because he doesn't turn his shoulders early enough in the backswing.

* If we teach him how to turn his shoulders properly, then his elbow won't bend too soon, which means his hands won't go to that bad position and he'll stop swinging over the top.
The following stills illustrate what Mike is talking about. The black lines are where the club should be. As you can see, my right elbow is tucked into my side and bent way too early in the takeaway. Even Marc, who has no real idea of swing mechanics, pointed this out to me on the tee box.

Two stills of Dexter's swing

In Mike's next post(part 3), he will give me and my fellow loopers(not caddies, but guys & gals like me who swing over the top) some drills to work on to help cure our ugly swings. Now that I understand why I am coming over the top, these drills should help to ingrain the proper technique in my takeaway in order to stay on the proper plane throughout the swing.

The following is footage of my approach shot into the 18th green. The loop is evident but I have to stick with it until I get the drills from Mike. The flag was placed on the top level of a two-tiered green. Unfortunately I hit it onto the bottom tier. This left me with a difficult 45 foot putt uphill to save par(I hit a bad tee shot and had to chip out on the prior shot). So what do think? Do I make it? Check it out.

Have a good round and always hit your target.

P.S. Marc wanted to make sure that he received credit for his camera work. So...Thank You Marc!

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Mike Southern Gets Ruthless With My Golf Swing Part 1 - Coming Over The Top


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010

I just got back from practicing and the loop is still there. Last night while I was watching television, I was practicing the hanger drill which Michael Breed demonstrated on The Golf Fix. This drill is supposed to help put the swing on the proper plane. It felt good as I was practicing in my living room, but it did not transfer to my practice today.

Actually, I started off pretty good, but the loop crept back in slowly but surely. I quickly became frustrated and packed it in after about an hour and a half. Plus it is brutally hot and humid today. Nothing positive was going to be accomplished today, so no use practicing bad habits.

Since writing a post about needing "Medicus" attention, Mike Southern of the Ruthless Golf blog and I have been talking back and forth about the solution to my problem. He said that he needed to see a down the line shot of my swing to make a positive assessment of what the problem is in my swing.

I posted a few videos a couple of days ago for scrutiny and Mike said he would get back to me. Today I was pleased to see that he had posted this article about my swing. He posted these stills of my swing and the results are very telling.

Two stills of Dexter's swing

Mike said that the black lines are where the club should be during the takeaway. Because my takeaway is so shallow, I have no choice but to come over the top to try to get back on the proper swing plane. I had no idea I was dropping the club that flat. I guess it really is a good idea to film your swing so that you can see exactly what is causing the problems.

Mike also said that this type of swing produce a serious hook, which is exactly what happened in this video that he chose to feature. I am looking forward to part 2 of Mike's swing analysis of my swing. I really hope the fix is as easy as Mike says it is. I can not take much more of this ugly swing that is robbing me of distance and accuracy. This may be the fix that helps me to finally break 80. Have a good round and always hit your target.

*This is the video that Mike used to analyze my swing.

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Golf Is Not A Life Or Death Situation - Chi Chi Rodriguez Quotes


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , | Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010

~No one has as much luck around the greens as one who practices a lot~ Chi Chi Rodriguez

~Golf is a thinking man's game. You can have all the shots in the bag, but if you don't know what to do with them, you've got troubles~ Chi Chi Rodriguez

~Remember you have to be comfortable. Golf is not a life or death situation. It's just a game and should be treated as such. Stay loose~ Chi Chi Rodriguez

~Maintain a childhood enthusiasm for the game of golf~ Chi Chi Rodriguez

~The winds were blowing 50 mph and gusting to 70. I hit a par-3 with my hat~ Chi Chi Rodriguez

~I don't fear death, but I sure don't like those three-footers for par~ Chi Chi Rodriguez

~Golf is the only sport that a professional can enjoy playing with his friends. Can Larry Holmes enjoy fighting one of his friends~ Chi Chi Rodriguez

~Only fools live in the past or carry envy to the present~ Chi Chi Rodriguez

~A three putt is just about the worst thing in golf. I hate them. I could make the longest putt you could think of, and if it's a third putt or for bogey, I can't bring myself to do the sword dance~ Chi Chi Rodriguez

~I never pray to God to make a putt. I pray to God to help me react good if I miss a putt~ Chi Chi Rodriguez

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What Is The Golf Fix For The Loop In My Swing?


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I have been trying to fix a loop that has crept into my swing. When I first started playing, I did not have it. I have tried everything and nothing seems to help. I shared video of my driver swing from the front on position in a prior post. I received some great feedback. Mike Southern of Ruthless Golf and others seem to think that it may be something in my takeaway.

In order to be sure I was ask to post video of my swing from down the line. Well here it is. And I still need a fix. This footage is from my round on Sunday with my buddy Marc. Yesterday I posted video of us mimicking Happy Gilmore, but today it's time to get down to business. I need a fix. A golf fix that is.

I played pretty well. I have been struggling with a groin injury and had not played since returning from Hilton Head Island. I just wanted to take it easy as it was still kind of sore. The injury is on the left side, so it was difficult to finish on my left side with a balanced finished. After a few holes though, I warmed up and it was hardly noticeable.

After posting a triple bogey on the first, I settled down and played pretty well for my standards. I am a bogey golfer right now, but I feel I can improve my distance if I can get rid of my loop. There are so many moving parts, that I know I am sacrificing a lot of distance off the tee and from the fairways.

The first video is of my tee shot on a par 3 with a 7-iron. I Came up about ten feet short of the green. Again, I feel like I am not getting the most out of my clubs because of the loop. The second and third videos are with my driver. I hooked both of them. I do have footage of a drive that was perfect and the loop was barely noticeable but I can not post it due to the fact that Marc likes to do commentary, and sometimes said commentary is filled with colorful language if you know what I mean.

I actually drove the ball well hitting 10 of 14 fairways. We just happened to catch the my worst swings. Isn't that always the way. Whenever you do something good, no one is around to see it. With my luck I will probably get my first hole in one when I am out on the course by myself.

I need to work on my greens in regulation. My best rounds have been when I hit a lot of greens. I am mostly shooting in the 80's now, and when I shoot in the low 80's, it is due to the fact that I am putting for birdie instead of trying to save par with an up and down. I know this aspect of my game will improve if I rid my swing of the loop.

So here it is. What's the fix? I need to change it so that I can take my game to the next level. My goal at the beginning of 2010 was to break 80 and get down to a 12 on the handicap index. To date, my best round is an 81 and I currently have a 13.3 handicap down from 17.0 at the beginning of the year. I still have some work to do.

Well, I am off to go practice. Hopefully I can conquer this thing soon. I have about three and half months to break 80. I am close. A few better approach shots, and a few more made putts and I am right there. And then what...? Set new goals and work from there. Golfers are always trying to get a little bit better. It is what draws us to the course. The quest for the elusive perfect round. Have a good round and always hit your target.


Posted: 8/15/2010
Miami Springs Golf & Country Club (Miami Springs) Tees: Blue, Par: 71

Miami Springs Front Nine
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


7 5 5 3 7 4 5 3 6

# Putts: 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 1

Back Nine
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


4 5 4 6 4 5 4 6 5

# Putts: 0 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 2

Pars: 6
Bogeys: 8
Doubles: 3
Other: 1
Par 3 Avg: 3.5
Par 4 Avg: 5.1
Par 5 Avg: 6.0
FIR: 10 / 14
GIR: 4 / 18
Putts: 30
Putts per GIR: 2.0
Scrambling: 2 / 14
Bounce Backs: 5 / 11

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A Few Happy Gilmore Swings Before Watching The PGA Championship


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010

My Buddy Marc and I got in a round of golf yesterday at Miami Springs Golf & Country Club. We wanted to get out early before the South Florida heat could set in. I also wanted to be home in time to watch the final round of the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Unfortunately we did not tee off until about 11:30 AM, so it was hot and I would have to miss part of the tournament(I did make it home in time to see the leaders finish the back nine).

I can play whenever. I've played in Arizona with temperatures soaring over 115 degrees. I just like to play. Give me lots of water and Gatorade and I am good to go. It takes a little coaxing to get Marc out in the heat, but once he is out there, he is as game as any.

Marc has really come along this summer. He has improved his chipping and pitching tremendously and he has a natural eye with his putter. If I can get him to practice more he could really develop a decent golf game.

In a prior post, I shared Marc and I attempting a tandem Happy Gilmore swing. I am obsessed with trying to perfect the swing. I even started a Facebook group dedicated to the Happy Gilmore swing. Members send in their own hilarious attempts or those that they find on Youtube. Some are excellent, some are okay, and some border on the ridiculous. The course was wide open so we decided to get some more footage on the 18th tee.

It is not as easy as it looks. It takes a tremendous amount of timing and coordination to pull off this shot. Even the young golf sensation Rory Mcilroy struggled when he tried it in front of the cameras.

Our feeble attempts were hilarious. Needless to say, we each needed multiple takes to pull it off. Well, I pulled it off(sorry Marc). Marc was not so successful. We ended up spending five minutes on the tee box filming ourselves acting like fools. Like I said it was hot and I guess no one else was crazy enough to be out there, so we had all the time we wanted.

Marc made me promise not to show this to the general public. I think he even tried to use the Jedi mind trick on me, but it makes for good viewing. So again. Sorry buddy. I'm sure he will get over it...I hope. Have a good round and always hit your target.

Marc's 1st Attempt - This is just a warm up. Yeeaahh...That's it.

Marc's 2nd Attempt - I think he tries to get under the ball and scoop it up. Never try to help the ball into the air. Let the club do the work. HA!

Marc's 3rd Attempt - Contact! But where did the ball go? Don't think we have to look very far.

My 1st Attempt - All I did was make myself dizzy. do I hit the ground a foot behind the ball?

My 2nd Attempt - Success! Pushed it a little right, but I got it out there.

Medicus Dual Hinge Combo Chosen by golf pros as top swing trainer clubs in the world. Try now!

The 1001st Bunker Does Dustin Johnson In At Whistling Straits


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , , | Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2010

Are you kidding me!?!? Seems like I am beginning a lot of post like this lately. This time I am in disbelief over the outcome of the 2010 final round of the PGA Championship. Dustin Johnson stepped up to the 18th tee with a one shot lead over Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer. All Johnson had to do was par the hole and he would win his first major championship.

Simple enough. Unfortunately, this was the final round of the final major of the season, at one of the hardest courses known to man, and it happens to be littered with bunkers of varying shapes and sizes. One of these "bunkers" proved to be Johnson's undoing.

Johnson hit his tee shot into what seemed to be a trampled dirt patch. As he got to his ball there were people standing in the sandy earth surrounding Johnson errant ball. He was left with over 230 yards to the hole. A tough shot from the fairway. Even tougher from this precarious lie.

Johnson weighed his options and chose to go for the green. He went through his normal pre-shot routine which includes grounding his club and struck the ball. He overshot the green and found himself behind a mound. Now he was playing for bogey to join Watson and Kaymer in a playoff. Johnson got up and down and he was heading to the playoff. Or so he thought.

As he was leaving the green Johnson was approached by a rules official who explained that they were checking to see if he had grounded his club in a bunker. What! A bunker? What bunker? Apparently, that sandy patch that he had hit his second shot from qualified as a bunker. Pete Dye strikes again.

I heard a quote from Dye, the legendary course architect. He said, " isn't a fair game, so why should I build fair golf course." Nothing is truer when having to face "Bunker Straits". There was nothing fair about what happened to Johnson. I was upset the ruling at first, but after hearing the explanation, I completely understand. It still stinks, but I understand.

This is the Local Rule that the PGA of America Rules Committee made available to each of the competitors before play began at Whistling Straits:

Bunkers: All areas of the course that were designed and built as sand bunkers will be played as bunkers (hazards), whether or not they have been raked. This will mean that many bunkers positioned outside of the ropes, as well as some areas of bunkers inside the ropes, close to the rope line, will likely include numerous footprints, heel prints and tire tracks during the play of the Championship. Such irregularities of surface are a part of the game and no free relief will be available from these conditions.

It will be a tough pill for Johnson to swallow, but he showed maturity and poise as he was bombarded with questions about his thoughts on the ruling. Many people questioned whether or not he would be able to bounce back after his collapse at the U.S. Open. He proved he could by being in contention this week, even though the focus of the tournament had been on the race to be the number one player.

Johnson will undoubtedly be in this position again. He has the game to become a superstar. He is crazy long off the tee and has really soft hands around the greens and he has putted very well this season. The day belonged to Kaymer. The story belonged to Johnson. But the victory goes to Pete Dye and his many many bunkers. They definitely stole the show. Have a good round and always hit your target.

Getty Images

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Tackling The Over 1000 Bunkers At Whistling Straits


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on Friday, August 13, 2010

Over 1000 bunkers? Really? How would you like to face this shot in the picture to the right? The pros competing in the 92nd edition of the PGA Championship are up against one of the mot difficult courses that they will see this season. Whistling Straits boast an obscene amount of bunkers positioned throughout the course to make the golfer think before he swings.

PGA pros and their caddies map out the entire course before each round so that they have an idea of where they want to land each shot. Such attention to detail is what sets them apart as pros. As amateurs, we tend to just hack away without thinking about where we should land the ball to leave ourselves with the best shot at par or better.

It is imperative that the pros put the ball in the fairway off the tee. There are bunkers in places one would not expect. One analyst(I can't remember who right now) talked about walking the grounds and moving a two foot by two foot patch of grass and finding a bunker. If they miss the short grass, finding a bunker is likely.

Approach shots become even more important with the threat of finding the beach. Any chance at birdie must come from hitting the greens in regulation. During the first round, Vijay Singh found himself in the altar bunker on the par 3, 17th hole(It's the elevated bunker on right side of this picture). He came up fifteen feet short of the green, but also found himself about thirty feet above it as well. Who practices this shot? Nobody. That's who. If a player misses the greens, they will have to put their imaginations to good use.

Personally, I do pretty well out of bunkers. Rarely do I leave a ball in the bunker after a shot. My proximity to the pin could stand to improve, but at this point I am happy to get out safely. Nothing is worse than having the ball roll back to your feet after a bunker shot. Or even worse. Sculling it, and putting the ball in the bunker on the other side of the green, Talk about demoralizing.

Here is a video about hitting out of a greenside bunker. Practicing and perfecting this shot will help to lower your scores. Leaving it in the bunker inevitably leads to doubles and triples on the scorecard. It can be a round killer. Tomorrow we look at probably the most difficult shot in golf. The thirty to fifty foot bunker shot. It is hard to control the distance on this type of shot. Even the pros have fits when placed in this situation.

The second round is going to be interesting. There is a great group of talent at the top of the leaderboard. The player that avoids the bunkers will have the best chance of making the biggest move. Hold on. Did Michael Breed just say that there is a bunker behind the 15th tee? Wow! What for Pete Dye? You are an evil genius my friend. Have a good round and always hit your target.

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Watch The PGA Championship Online With Michael Breed Of The Golf Fix


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010

If you have ever visited this blog before you know that I love The Golf Fix with Michael Breed. He has been like my personal instructor, via television, for the past two years. I never miss an episode on Monday nights. I make sure I have everything in order by 7:00 PM to insure I get my weekly lesson.

Today begins the 92nd playing of the PGA Championship and The PGA is broadcasting live from their website. They have several features to help enhance your golf viewing experience.

They have a par 3 cam which features the par 3's on the course at Whistling Straits. They also have a picture-picture option for people like me who just can not get enough . If they had an option to follow each group, I would opt into it. Then again...maybe a bit much.

GolfTraxx is a GPS hole tracking system which allows the viewer the ability to see the ball flights of the players. The simulation of the course is great. It looks like the real thing. This is a good feature if you are interested in how the pros shape their shots. Navigating this difficult course successfully will require working the ball around the bunkers and into the tough pin placements.

The 3-D feature highlights the 12th and 17th green(that's the two holes on the right). You will have to download some software and purchase the glasses. If I had known about this beforehand, I might have downloaded it. It would be kind of interesting to see the ball coming into the green in 3-D action. The landscaping will probably look amazing as well.

The whole experience is centered around the Marquee Group. Each round will feature a group that they will follow for their entire round. Today's group includes, Vijay Singh, Y.E. Yang, and Tiger Woods. There is some history between Tiger and these two talented players. It will be interesting to see how this group does playing together for the first two rounds.

As an added bonus, viewers can send in their questions to Breed via email, twitter, or facebook. This is great because, so far, Breed has been going though each shot step by step. It is a great way to get a little insight into how the pros play the game from a course management aspect.

There is a lot of golf to be played over the next four days. It may go even longer if the mornings continue to start out as foggy as it did today. Continued delays will make it hard to finish on time on Sunday. I would not mind. It would be more golf to watch. TNT and CBS will be splitting the television coverage duties. If that is not enough for you, now you have another way to get your golf fix. Have a good round and always hit your target.

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