Moe Norman - The Best Golfer You Never Heard Of


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A few post ago I wrote an article called, Just Put That Dumb Guy On That Dumb Guy. It was quote from the greatest golfer you never heard of. I came across this video while browsing around the blogs of my fellow golf fanatics. It's the story of Moe Norman. He did things with the golf ball that left onlookers in a state of amazement.

I had actually seen footage of him on The Golf Channel's Top Ten Ugliest Swings. Everyone regarded him as one of the best ball strikers of all time except for the "suits" who ran the golf world. They couldn't grasp his quirkiness and shunned him, which deterred him from playing professionally.

Enjoy the video. Do some research, and you will discover that it doesn't matter what your swing looks like. All that matters is that you get the ball in the hole. Have a great round and always hit your target.

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I Just Donated $1.00 To The Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children...


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, March 26, 2011

...and you can too. Just visit the Arnold Palmer Invitational Facebook page and hit "like." For every person that likes the page, Mastercard will donate $1.00 to the Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, and will do so up to $200,000.

Palmer has done a tremendous amount to promote the game of golf world wide. He was the guy that made golf cool and was one of the first athletes to gain product endorsements because of his efforts on the golf course. All of the commercials and sponsorships that we see today was all started by the King.

When you get a chance, scoot on over to Arnie's page and hit the like button. You will be helping out those in need, and in a way, saying thank you to the man who helped to make golf what it is today. Have a great round and always hit your target. 

Arnold and Winnie Palmer photo found here.

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Treat The One-Piece Takeaway As If It Were A Putt


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , | Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011

If you have been reading this blog, you know that Mike Southern, my virtual swing coach, has been helping me to improve and understand the mechanics of my swing. I was telling him that he is becoming somewhat of a mentor of mine both on and off the golf course. 

For example, he gave me a entire tutorial on how the copyright laws work in America, so that I am protected as I publish this blog and other projects I may undertake. He is a published author with his own publishing company, so I understand why he takes this issue so seriously.

The most valuable lesson he gave me as far as my swing is concerned is on how to make a proper one-piece takeaway(The picture above is from this post). Before I met Mike, my takeaway was way to the inside, causing a severe coming over the top move, which robbed me of a lot of distance and accuracy. My swing has definitely improved as a result of his efforts.

I am always on youtube searching for tips, which sometimes is a problem, because I am getting so much information from different teachers with their own philosophies. It is easy to get confused when you have too many swing thoughts floating around the brain while standing over a golf ball.

I like simple, and when I came across this video explanation of the one-piece takeaway by Paul Wilson at Peak Performance Golf Swing, I was eager to try it out. Coupled with what Mike has taught me, I think I'm on the right track to making my swing even better.

I don't want to try and explain the drill as I am not a PGA Teaching Professional. Remember these are just the drills that I find that are working for me, so I like to share my progress. You should always visit your local Head Pro to get proper instruction.

I'll just say that what is taught in this video, is very easy to understand and implement right away. I saw the video last night and was able to take it to the range today. Take a look at the video and see if it helps you. Then get back to me with your thoughts. Until then, have a great round and always hit your target.

Photo courtesy of the Ruthless Golf Blog.

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Don't Let Your Ego Get In The Way Of Your Golf Swing


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , | Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2011

I was at the driving range yesterday and two guys settled in to the area next to me. They were pretty buff. The kind of guys that I'm sure played high school football and are still living off the fame of winning the State Championship. I didn't really pay attention to them. Just a simple head nod and I went about my business.

By this time in my session, I was swinging my driver. I always start with my wedges, work my 7-iron then 6-iron, and then progress to my woods. These guys, however, pulled out the big stick right from the start. No warm up. No stretching. Just all out, one hundred percent swings.

I am still working very hard on tempo and accuracy, so I was only swinging at about sixty five to seventy percent. Even at this rate, I was getting the ball out to about 240 yards, which makes me a firm believer in the philosophy discussed in this video from Peak Performance Golf Swing. Paul Wilson explains that power and distance come from good tempo and a proper wrist hinge as opposed to trying to swing the arms at one hundred miles per hour.

I noticed that the competition between the two jocks became a competition between me and them. I could tell that they were wondering how my skinny butt was out-driving them despite the fact that they outweighed me by about eighty pounds each. They just kept swinging harder and harder. Faster and faster, but their tee shots barely made it past the one hundred and fifty yard marker, if that.

I acted as if I didn't notice that they were trying to outdo me. They were getting so frustrated. It took a lot for me not to start laughing at them. Instead, it just reaffirmed everything I have been learning for the past few months. Proper technique and a good understanding of the golf swing will make me a better golfer.  I just hope these guys lose the ego and learn this some day. They will have a lot more fun when they do. Have a great round and always hit your target.

Photo found here.

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"How Ridiculous" Golf Stunt


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

 I came across this video while visiting the crew over at Pro Golf Talk. I doubt that they were able to pull it off in one take, or as some speculate, the validity of the shot at all, but I am tempted to give it a try. Still, it could never beat pulling it off with a 6-iron in my hand. Check it out.

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My 3 Favorite Words In Golf..."Pick It Up"


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , | Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011

It's raining in Phoenix today so I couldn't get out to practice. For the past few weeks, all I have been working on is my chipping and putting. I need to get familiar with my wedges around the greens if I am going to post lower scores on a more consistent basis.

I'm working on trusting my 56 and 60 degree wedges and am finally starting to feel comfortable with these clubs in my hand. My greens in regulation percentage is very poor but I am not missing the greens by much. I am often just off the green, but these are the shots that can make or break a round.

If you are not comfortable with a wedge in hand, chipping around the green can be a nightmare. I've had shots where I'm just off the green and I'll scull the shot and put it 40 feet off the green. Now I'm having to shoot over a bunker or some other hazard which usually ends up being a double bogey or the dreaded "other".

Hitting a fat chip shot is even worse. We have all been there. We're standing over a little chip shot and we hit it about six inches. Nothing is more frustrating and embarrassing. Everyone goes silent. Your playing partners just look the other way and now you have another chip shot of similar length. A disaster hole.

I was practicing yesterday and while everyone else was hacking away, I was on the practice green for two hours(This a picture from another day. I had it all myself yesterday. Just wanted you to see where I practice). I noticed a couple walking towards me and the boyfriend said, "That's a lot of chipping you're doing today." I said, "I'm working on putting it in that "pick it up" range." He just laughed because he knew exactly what I was talking about.  This is when you hit a good shot and to keep up the pace of play, your buddies just say, "Pick it up."

I love hearing those words. Plus I think it's cool. I've said it before, but it takes a certain amount of finesse and style to execute these shots. Everyone remembers Tom Watson's chip shot on the 17th at Pebble Beach, and Tiger's chip shot on the 16th at Augusta. These are the shots that send the crowd into a frenzy. These are the shots that stand out in the minds of golfers.

As I continue to work on my irons and until my G.I.R. percentage improves, getting it in that "pick it up" range will help me to save a lot more pars. When I look at my stats, if I hit the fairway, get on the green in regulation, I make par ninety percent of the time. If I have four or five of theses holes and have the rest be where I am chipping it close, I'll have a good chance of meeting my 2011 goal of breaking 80.

Tomorrow and the rest of the week is supposed to be beautiful, so I'll be back out there. Maybe I'll make a video so you can see what I am working on. Until then I'm stuck indoors watching chipping videos. If you have any good chipping drills that you have been working on, I would love to hear about it. Anything that will help us so that we can hear those three beautiful words. Pick It Up. Have a great round and always hit your target.

First two photos found here.

*This is a drill I have been working on for both chipping and putting. Good luck!!!

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Can I Handle The Heat?


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , | Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It is about to get hot out here in Phoenix. Really hot. I have been mentally preparing myself for the 115 degree weather that is the norm in The Valley of the Sun during the summer months. I'm used to hot. I lived in Miami for fifteen years before making the move to Arizona a month and half ago, but it rarely reached triple digits.

Everyone says that it is a good hot. During the summer, it is in the 90's in Miami but the humidity can be 90% percent as well. This means that you are sweating while even in the shade. The claim in the desert is that if you find a shady place, you will be fine because there is hardly any humidity.

Let's face it though, hot is hot. 115 and no humidity is still hot and it is no wonder the golf courses drop their prices significantly to entice golfers to get in a quick eighteen in spite of what it feels like outside.

Last July, I came out to visit my fiancee just to see if I could handle the heat. The Doctor and I played at The Phoenician and The Raven Golf Course at South Mountain. During peak season, it will run you close to $200 to play eighteen at The Phoenician. The Raven tops out at about $150. During the summer, one can get on either of the courses for as low as $30. That is how slow it gets because of the weather.

If you can brave the heat, you can play some the best courses in Arizona for dirt cheap. The tracks remain in pristine condition, so the quality of the course is not affected. Each cart comes with water and ice, standard. And the cart girls are always there to refill the ice buckets. I haven't experienced it yet, but I've been told that some courses feature carts that have misters attached to them, which will surly make the summer golf experience a lot more bearable.

I'm looking forward to the summer. I'll get to play great courses at a fraction of the price, without the long waits that is experienced during peak season. Can I handle the heat? I think so. I'll just have to get used to drinking 5 gallons of water a day. Have a great round and always hit your target.

Top photo found here.

He's At It Again - Ben Crane's New Video On Slow Play


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , | Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2011

He's at it again. Ben Crane has released the latest in a series of videos that show the lighter side of a three time winner on the PGA tour. Crane has come under scrutiny for his slow play as of late. Some of his peers have complained about Crane not keeping the natural pace of a round. So how does Crane handle the criticism? With humor of course.

In an interview with Rich Lerner of The Golf Channel, Crane admitted that he has a problem with slow play and that he is trying to do better to keep pace. When many people would have fired back at what was said, Crane chose to use it as a chance to make us laugh. And laugh, I did.

So without further ado, here's Ben Crane on "Slow Play". Have a great round and always hit your target.

***Watch Crane's outtake video on youtube. It may be the funniest of the bunch.

Photo found here

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54 Holes In One Day...At The Driving Range


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I had a great session at the driving range yesterday. Originally, I had planned on just working on my chipping and putting. They usually have a bunch of balls sitting on or near the practice green for anyone to utilize. Since the majority of the people only use the range, I usually have the entire practice area to myself.

I love working on the short game. I think getting a 30 foot chip shot close to the hole is way cooler than hitting a good shot off the tee. It takes a certain amount of finesse that leaves people in awe of you when you execute a difficult up and down.

When I first got there, I noticed a bunch of balls just sitting there at the end of the range. I went on with my practice for about an hour and a half and no one touched the balls. No one even walked near them the entire time I was there. I saw one of the employees I have become friendly with leaving for the day, and asked him if anyone was using the balls. He said, "There yours."

I grabbed a few of the balls that I had been using to chip with and went over to where the vacated balls were sitting. There had to be over 200 hundred balls. I don't know who left them behind, but thank you very much.

I started with my pitching wedge and then moved on to my 7-iron. I try to get the most out of every practice session, trying to be as efficient as possible. I don't want to be one of those people who aimlessly hits ball after ball without working on anything specific.

I had heard from a few instructors, including Michael Breed of The Golf Fix, that it is beneficial to act as if you are playing a specific course while at the driving range. When you do this, you end up using all of the clubs in your bag. Instead of just banging out balls, you are now practicing with a purpose. 

Since I had so many balls, I ended up playing three simulated rounds. I don't know the courses out here in Phoenix that well yet, so I had to imagine three courses from Miami. I played Miami Springs Golf and Country Club, Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne, and Miami Beach Golf Club. I have played these courses numerous times so it was easy to see them in my minds eye and play them as if I was really there.

All I know is that I wish I was really on the course because I would have had some great rounds. Maybe had a chance at braking 80. I hit the ball really well. My driver would have found the fairway the majority of the time and my irons were dead on. Maybe it's all the chipping work I have put in during the last week. Instructors say that the better you get around the greens, it will carry over to the full swing.

I did everything that I would have to do during a real round. If I hit a bad shot and the ball would have ended up in a bunker, I simulated hitting out of a bunker. If I hit a drive into the "trees", I practiced a low punch shot to get back into the fairway. If I hit it short of the green and I had to get it up and over a bunker, I hit a flop shot. I continued this process until I finished the round.  So much more stimulating than just swinging away.

Next time you are at the range, try playing your favorite course. You will be hitting meaningful shots and it will make your practice session a lot more fun. Hitting ball after the ball can get a bit monotonous. Work on what you need to for the day and then play a simulated round. Do this before one of your real rounds and you will be more relaxed by the time you step up to the first tee. Have a great round and always hit your target.

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I Need One Of These In My Backyard - Tiger Woods Moves Into His New House


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , | Posted on Monday, March 7, 2011

If I had this as my backyard I wouldn't have a reason to leave the property. Tiger Woods reported on his blog that he is finally moving into his new home in Jupiter, FL. He fashioned Jupiter Island Practice Facility to mimic similar conditions he faces on tour. Check out the fellas at Devil Ball Golf for more details about the house.

Imagine being able to stumble out the back door and having the luxury of playing a few holes in your P.J.'s before breakfast. Since moving to Phoenix, I have done a lot of hiking. The golf courses that back up to the mountains are beautiful. Some of the homes have little putting greens in the back yard. Tiger has entire holes in his.

The Phoenician Resort Golf Course At Camelback Mountain Phoenix, AZ

Maybe this will give Tiger the privacy he needs to work on his game. With all that has happened in the past year and a half, it will give him some time to think about his game and his life. Tiger will be back, and even if he never gets back to what he used to be on the golf course, he still has one in his back yard. Have a great round and always hit your target.

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The More I Practice, The Luckier I Get - Gary Player Quotes


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Friday, March 4, 2011

~Golf is a puzzle without an answer. I've played the game for 40 years and I still haven't the slightest idea how to play~ Gary Player

~If there's a golf course in heaven, I hope it's like Augusta National. I just don't want an early tee time~ Gary Player

~Each shot is important~ Gary Player

~A good golfer has the determination to win and the patience to wait for the breaks~ Gary Player

~We create success or failure on the course primarily by our thoughts~ Gary Player

~You must work very hard to become a natural golfer~ Gary Player

~I try to work with God as a partner~ Gary Player

~What I have learned about myself is that I am an animal when it comes to achievement and wanting success. There is never enough success for me~ Gary Player

~You have to be there and say, well, how is this possible~ Gary Player

~The more I practice, the luckier I get~ Gary Player

Photo found here.  

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