Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Whirlwind Clinic

Last Saturday I attended a golf clinic at Whirlwind. It was two hours and cost a mere $25 so it was a no-brainer. There were 3 stations: full swing, chipping, and sand trap.

Here's what I learned from each station:

1) full swing
  • Drill - place a ball a little to the right of my target line and a few feet in front of me and swing out towards this ball. This stops me from pulling my irons.
  • Stand Taller - I tend to hunch over the ball
  • Wider Stance - With a narrow stance, my weight gets over the right side of my right foot a little too much.
  • The Barkley Drill - Charles Barkley does a drill with Hank Haney on the Golf Channel show "The Haney Project" that the instructor said would work for me as well.
2) Chipping
  • Put feet close together
  • Left foot a few inches back
  • Open left foot a little
  • Ball position on back foot
  • Putting stroke
  • Drill - This drill helps your feel. Chip the first ball a short distance on the green. Chip the second a little further than the first...the third a little further and so on. Try to keep chipping a little further each time and see how many you can do before going off the back of the green.
3) Sand
  • Place ball in middle of stance.
  • Open to the target
  • Club face at the target
  • Swing along body
  • Drill - Make a footprint in the sand. Swing in the sand and take out only the footprint. Not more...not less.
  • For a short, high shot (ball in front of bunker near the green) place the ball back in stance to force a steeper swing.

Friday, March 06, 2009

FBR Open in Scottsdale, AZ no longer?

I just saw this article on the Golf Digest website...will someone step up to sponsor what was previously known as the "Phoenix Open"? Will this be the end of the famous 16th hole...the loudest hole in golf? I hope not!

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PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem addressed sponsorship issues at a news conference at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

The good news: Accenture has agreed to an extension to sponsor the Match Play through 2014. Travelers also also agreed to sponsor the Travelers Championship through 2014. Two-thirds of the title sponsors are signed through 2012.

The bad news: FBR will discontinue its sponsorship of the FBR Open in Scottsdale, Ariz., after 2010, and as had been previously announced U.S. Bank will discontinue its sponsorship of the U.S. Bank Championship after 2009. Then there was Ginn Resorts, which pulled its sponsorship of a Champions Tour event, prompting the PGA Tour to file a suit.

The potentially ugly: Finchem said the Stanford St. Jude Classic will go forward, though he would not comment on Stanford Financial's troubles with the SEC. He also had this to say about Northern Trust, which suddenly has Congress angry at it (see the previous post): "We're pleased with the direction of the Northern Trust Open. Northern Trust has turned out to be a fantastic partner, as we thought they would be, but also there's a lot going on to help build the quality of our tournament in Los Angeles."

In summary, Finchem said, "We're going to keep blocking and tackling and work our way through this."

-- John Strege

Blair Douglass lesson

I had a lesson with Mr. Douglass again last week and he really liked my swing. I've come a long way I think under his tutelage. He liked my take away, but I still have a tendency sometimes to take to the inside. I think this tendency will take me a long time to fully remove from my swing, but it's getting better.

A couple things he told me to work on:

1) Look at the ball a little longer. See my club hit the ball. I tend to look up just a little to early and Blair thinks that is causing other problems, like coming out of the shot too early.

2) Don't over rotate the right heel in my follow through. Keep that right heel pointing upwards.

3) Maybe feel a little more weight in my heels. I tend to lose my balance going forward on my toes.