Everybody wants to improve their skills. You want a better swing, the ability to hit more short-game shots and a pretty putting stroke—I get it. But if I was riding in your cart and coaching you the next time you played, I’d cut at least five shots off your score by fixing things that don’t have all that much to do with your swing mechanics. I’d focus on simpler stuff—the things that cause most players to bleed strokes over and over. I’d help you make better decisions off the tee, show you how to get out of trouble on the approach, and take a bunch of risk out of your short game. With those tweaks, you’ll be playing much closer to your potential with the game you have on the day you’re teeing it up—which should be your goal whether you’re a 20-handicapper or a tour player. Heck, if your course has a brutal starting hole like mine does, you might even save five shots by the time you get to the second tee! — With Matthew Rudy

DRIVER

Here are two ways to save strokes off the tee, because the driver can do damage to your scorecard by slicing shots, or using it when another club would be a better choice. If you slice, it’s probably because you’re body is moving too fast in relation to your arms. Change that by slowing down your body’s rotation toward the target while speeding up your arm swing. If you keep your arms moving fast, you’ll close the clubface before impact and start hitting that draw everybody wants. The other stroke saver is to use your 3-wood off the tee (below). It has more loft than the driver, making it more forgiving by reducing sidespin. And many 3-woods are adjustable like drivers, so you can tune in the ball flight you want while sacrificing only a little distance. Fifteen less yards in the fairway is preferable to hitting it longer but into somebody’s back yard.

IRONS

The secret to saving strokes is controlling the ball better. That means avoiding the grounders that don’t advance it very far and successfully getting out of trouble in one shot. Curving the ball intentionally around an obstacle is useful but hard to execute without the right plan. Start with club selection. To play a hook, use clubs with more loft (6-iron or shorter). A club with too little loft will likely drill the ball into the ground. Conversely, to hit a slice, you’ll want to use a club with less loft (hybrids and long irons). Extra loft tends to reduce the spin you need to slice a ball around trouble. As far as technique, keep it simple. The club should be open in relation to your swing path at impact to slice it and closed to hook it. The more open or closed it is in relation to the path, the more it will curve. That means you don’t have to do anything funky with your swing to curve it.

CHIPPING

You might laugh when you hear this, but my best advice about chipping from a good lie can be summed up in one word: don’t. If you’re in fairway grass with an open line to the flag, use your putter instead of a wedge. Modern agronomy has made this shot the no-brainer choice. Why risk chunking or skulling a wedge off the tightly manicured grass many courses now have. The only reason most players aren’t good at putting from off the green is because they don’t practice it, and they do a poor job getting the ball near the hole. To improve your distance control, make two practice swings—one much bigger than you think you need, and one less than you think you need—and then make your real stroke a size in between. You’ll quickly start calibrating the speed, and I can promise you that your worst putt will be way better than your worst chip.

BUNKER

The irons you play probably aren’t the same ones tour players use. Neither is the shaft in your driver. Those players use specialized equipment for their skills, including wedges with less bounce designed to take advantage of their precision in the sand. You, on the other hand, need to use a wedge in the bunker that will let you expand your margin for error. Go with one that has lots of bounce—12 degrees or more. Bounce is the feature that keeps the club from digging too deeply in the sand. You want to skim right through it. When you get the right club in your hands, make a swing concentrating on throwing a six-inch circle of sand around the ball out of the bunker. If you don’t swing very fast, the extra bounce will give you the forgiveness to strike the sand several inches behind the ball and still hit a good bunker shot. Think of how many shots that could save you.

 

Source: golfdigest.com

Specials for 10/12-10/13:

Appetizer:

Spicy Mussels

Entrees:

Pasta Rustica

Seafood Trio

Salisbury Steak

Specials

1/2 Price Limited Appetizers:

Onion Rings – Mushrooms – Cheese Sticks – Blue Tee Chips Nachos – Bavarian Pretzels

Drinks:

$1.00 Domestic Drafts

$4.00 Well Drinks

$5.00 Mules

$6.00 Call Drinks

$3.00 Tangled Roots Drafts

$5.00 Glass of Wine

To earn his first PGA Tour victory on Sunday at the Safeway Open, Kevin Tway had an uphill battle, entering the final round three shots back of leader Brandt Snedeker. After bogeying two of his first four holes, the task became virtually impossible.

But Tway remained steady, slowly creeping his way back up the leader board and getting some much needed help from Snedeker, who looked completely lost down the stretch. By the time Tway had reached the 17th tee, even without his A-game, the 30-year-old son of eight-time PGA Tour winner and major champion Bob Tway, still had an opportunity to win the tournament. Two clutch birdies on the 17th and 18th holes gave him a one-under 71, enough to get into a three-way playoff with Snedeker and Ryan Moore at 14-under 274. Tway kept it rolling in sudden death, making birdie on all three playoff holes to claim his maiden tour title.

Moore came up big late in his round as well, grabbing birdies on three of his final four holes to put him in position for a sixth career victory. But his birdie effort on the third playoff hole stopped inches short of the cup, opening the door for Tway to win with a birdie. The T-2 finish is Moore’s first since the 2016 Tour Championship, where he also lost in a playoff just six weeks after winning the John Deere Classic.

As for Snedeker, this loss will sting, especially considering he had lead the tournament by five strokes at one point on Sunday. His T-2 finish is his fifth inside the top eight in his last 11 events.

Source: golfdigest.com

Its Back to the drawing borad for the U.S. Ryder Cup contingent after another miserable effort in Europe. Maybe they should throw out the drawing board, too.

The United States was no match for Europe in the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, losing 17½-10½, the second largest setback for the Americans in the history of the matches. The loss was even bigger than the supposed train wreck Tom Watson oversaw in 2014 at Gleneagles, in Scotland. That squad, without Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, lost 16½-11½, a defeat so dyspeptic that the PGA of America convened a special Task Force to address U.S. shortcomings in the biennial competition that Europe now has won nine of the last 12 times.

Of course, there no longer is a Task Force; decisions run through a Ryder Cup Committee. It’s difficult to figure out what decisions they could have made differently that would have changed this outcome. Europe’s dozen players outplayed their American counterparts, hitting more fairways, making more putts, converting more birdies.

“At the end of the day I tip my cap to the European side,” said U.S. captain Jim Furyk. “My team fought hard. I’m proud of them. I would take these 12 guys back into this tournament at any time. It’s just that their team played great. Every time we tried to put a little pressure on them, they responded.”

Conversely, the U.S. did not respond. It never seemed in sync, even when winning three out of four matches in the opening four-ball session. It just appeared to be hard work for three days, and in the end, the Americans had no answers to a spirited European defense of its home soil, extending America’s frustrations abroad for at least another four years.

What went wrong? Why did America, which has lost six straight times in Europe dating back to 1997, fall so far short? A few clues:

The Fatigue Factor: Eleven Americans competed in the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Europe had five. While this is not anything new for the United States—it sure didn’t affect the squad in 2016—it made a difference this week when they had to travel abroad. It appeared to be especially hard on 40-somethings Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, the latter who won the season finale, always a draining enterprise. The two captain’s picks, 48 and 42 years old, respectively, went a combined 0-6 this week, leading to a seventh team loss in eight Ryder Cups as teammates. Both looked sluggish and out of sorts. They just didn’t have it after playing seven of the last nine weeks.

“I think the fatigue would be making an excuse, and we’re not making excuses,” Furyk said.

“It’s disappointing, because I went 0-4, and that’s four points to the European Team,” said Woods, who was competing in the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2012. “And I’m one of the contributing factors to why we lost the Cup, and it’s not a lot of fun.”

He’s a big reason, though more because of things out of his control. See the next two items.

The Tiger Effect on Team USA: It continues to be a net negative when he plays. Woods can’t seem to bring his A-game to these matches, and after an 0-4 record at Le Golf National, he slipped to 13-21-3 overall. His two partners this week, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau, were of little help in the team games. He now has had 14 different partners in Ryder Cup four-ball and foursomes competition and is 9-19-1. He is the sun burning up those closest to his orbit.

The Tiger Effect on Team Europe: Woods isn’t currently No. 1 in the world like he had been many times in earlier Ryder Cup appearances, but he remains the man everyone wants to beat. And when Europe beats him, the satisfaction is unmistakable. Look at the emotion Jon Rahm exhibited after closing out Woods, 2 and 1, in singles. It appeared over the top. It was just an honest, visceral reaction that meant plenty to a player who has been influenced by the 14-time major winner. A Tiger scalp is a memory to savor. In the case of this Ryder Cup, it also was the catalyst to Europe’s comeback after losing the first three four-ball matches on Friday. When Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood rallied to beat Woods and Reed, it sparked a run of eight straight European wins, which is a record. The U.S. never recovered.

Putting: It always seems to come down to putting. The Europeans enjoyed a massive advantage in familiarization with the greens. USA came into the week with seven of their 12 players ranked among the top 44 this season in strokes gained/putting: Webb Simpson (sixth), Mickelson (10), Dustin Johnson (30), Woods (39), Rickie Fowler (40), Bryson DeChambeau (41) and Justin Thomas (44). Europe had one, Justin Rose at No. 17, and only four of the top 100 starting with Rory McIlroy at 85, Paul Casey (89) and Ian Poulter (97). Francesco Molinari was a staggering 181st in the statistic. And yet Europe dominated on the greens. Alex Noren, who won the 2018 French Open at Le Golf National, capped off this Ryder Cup, appropriately, by sinking a monster birdie putt at the last to beat DeChambeau, 1 up.

“I think the Europeans definitely did a good job on the golf course. They know it pretty well,” Furyk said. “It was set up well, they thought, in their favor. It was a tight golf course. Their players played very well. We’ve just got to tip our caps.”

The Buy-In Factor: This wasn’t supposed to be an issue. But it still is. The U.S. commissioned a Ryder Cup Task Force to get the players more involved in the process of how the team is assembled and organized, and it seemed to work well at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn. But if the U.S. Ryder Cup Committee and the players were fully invested, then more than six of the 12 players on the team should have seen Le Golf National’s Albatros Course before Tuesday. The U.S. was outplayed because it was out-prepared. In an era when most players either use NetJets or have their own airplanes, there’s no excuse to not make a scouting trip sometime in the last two years. Is it any surprise that rookie Justin Thomas was the leading U.S. scorer with four points when he was the only player who competed this year here in the French Open?

Picks: Furyk’s choices for his captain’s picks—Woods, Mickelson, DeChambeau and Tony Finau—scored two points, both by Finau. It was hard to argue against any of the choices, even Mickelson who deserved to be here after nearly qualifying automatically. Still, that doesn’t mean that Furyk should have selected his good friend. Ryder Cup, with five pressure-packed sessions compacted into three days, is a young man’s game; there’s simply no other way around it, and it’s been proven time and again. Mickelson’s experience counts for plenty, but the young legs of Xander Schauffele or Kyle Stanley, the latter who ranked sixth in driving accuracy on the PGA Tour this season and would have been well suited for the narrow course setup, almost assuredly would have counted for more.

Furyk said he looks forward to meeting with the Ryder Cup Committee soon to discuss next steps and review the factors that contributed to the thorough U.S. defeat. “I hope it’s as soon as possible,” he said. “I’ll definitely kind of go through some things in my head and probably work with the PGA of America and our Ryder Cup Committee, and we’ll move forward.”

Forward would be ideal—after at least two steps back.

Source: www.golfidgest.com

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