Not many people can say they had to guard Kansas Jayhawks star Kirk Hinrich when playing college basketball, and then a few years later go head to head with Rory McIlroy in the WGC World Match Play Finals on the PGA Tour.

So it goes for Gary Woodland, who joins us in this episode of GolfBetter courtesy of Under Armour.  You can listen to it below, on our website or subscribe free on iTunes.iTunes_Logo

Woodland talks about growing up as a 2 sport start in the state of Kansas, playing those 2 sports at the college level, the current state of his game and the relationship he has with Under Armour.

Oh, and he goes on the clock with our “5 Questions in 50 Seconds” challenge.

Many thanks to Gary and the folks at Under Armour for arranging the interview.



Runs like a Deere…..and then some!

ZachCongratulations to Zach Johnson for winning The Open Championship. Zach, with his Titleist clubs and SeeMore putter, now has 2 majors under his belt and has been a consistent winner on tour for a while.

But, the big winner this week may just be the John Deere Classic. There was a lot of talk about Jordan Spieth playing in the Deere the week before The Open Championship. Many said that it would not give him enough time to prepare for the tournament or get used to the time change.

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

Spieth countered that he wanted the competition and if he contended the pressure of being in the hunt for the title. He believed if he played well at the Deere, he won in a playoff, that the momentum of his good play would carry over to St Andrews.

And he was right. He was in the hunt to the end and ended 1 shot out of the playoff. By the way, another very good player contended at the Deere this year. He missed the playoff by 1 shot.

His name, Zach Johnson. Don’t be surprised if the Deere folks have to charter an extra plane for players to get to The Open next year. The company says “Nothing Rides like a Deere”.

Maybe they have to add “Nothing Prepares you like a Deere”.


Are the stars aligning for Jordan Spieth?

Two majors down with 2 to go.

Jordan Spieth heads to the Open Championship next week with the chance to win his 3rd straight major. He won the Masters in convincing style and got a little assist from Dustin Johnson in the U.S. Open.

Now it seems Rory McIlroy, the world’s #1 and betting favorite in the Open  Championship, will also assist Jordan’s in his quest for the next major. Rory’s ankle injury, injured while playing soccer, will keep him out of the tournament and quite likely the PGA Championship.

With Tiger’s game not ready for prime time yet Jordan’s quest for 3 majors in a row at St Andrews is starting to look plausible. And if that happens the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits becomes “the tournament of the century” as Jordan attempts to win the calendar Grand Slam.

As we all know in sports, luck, timing, circumstances and fate often determine the outcome. Just recently the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter in the skies has created what is called a super-star.

This bright phenomenon may have been what was known as the “Star of Bethlehem” in 3-2 B.C. That’s 2,000 years ago!

Sometimes things just align perfectly.

Bob Vokey works on a wedge (photo courtesy

The Dual Wedge is Back

When I started playing golf back in the dark ages there were dual wedges available.

Robert Streb putts with his 56 degree wedge at the Greenbrier

Robert Streb putts with his 56 degree wedge at the Greenbrier

This cross between a pitching wedge and sand wedge was often seen in partial sets and also sold separately.

As club making became more sophisticated and wedge gurus like Bob Vokey and Roger Cleveland came on

the scene this club was replaced with gap wedges and many other types of specialty wedges.

Roger Cleveland (photo courtesy Callaway Golf)

Roger Cleveland (photo courtesy Callaway Golf)

Now, players carry at least 3 wedges and some carry 4. The idea of having just 1 wedge seems crazy.

But, after watching Robert Streb at The Greenbrier yesterday putting with his 56 degree wedge, maybe the term dual wedge has a new meaning. Players practice putting with their wedges, called bellying, but that’s for the purpose of using it when their ball is up against a green collar or perhaps a horrible lie near the green.

Using it on the green as a putter is not often seen unless your putter breaks during a round like happen to Streb. Ironically, he putted  pretty well with his wedge and even ended up tied for first in the tournament.

He eventually lost in a playoff but he makes one wonder. If I’m having an off day with my putter do I pull out a
wedge and try it on the greens?

Bob Vokey works on a wedge (photo courtesy

Bob Vokey works on a wedge (photo courtesy

I’m headed to the putting green today with my 56 degree wedge to see if it can be my new dual wedge.

I bet Scotty Cameron never thought Bob Vokey would be a competitor.


Bring on the Barn Rat

You’ve heard of the “Alpha-Dog.”

And the “Alpha-Male.”

But how about the “Alpha-Barn Rat?”Kiradech_Aphibarnrat

Meet Kiradech Aphibarnrat, also known as Anujit Hirunratanakorn.

John Wayne was born as Marion Morrison.  All the greats must need to have 2 names.

Without question, this is the one international golfer that is most needed on the PGA Tour.  Hands down. Bar none.

Ok, ok, technically his name’s not “Alpha-Barn-Rat,” it’s Aphibarnrat, but it’s so close, it’s scary.

20130918_Kiradech-CROPFirst, a little bio on my big man, the Barn Rat.  He’s 25 years old, is from Bangkok, Thailand, and makes his living on the Asian, European and Japanese Tours.  With 4 wins worldwide, plus 4 junior world titles, the guy’s no hack.

However, he’s referred to as “Asia’s John Daly!” Yep, this is not your typical PGA Tour clone.  For instance, checking in at 5’8″ and 230 lbs, he’s already working on that “Baby Daly” frame. He’s also known to tug on the the smokes like JD, but here’s the best part.  The backswing!  Daly-esque! Almost to his left knee it goes!  Check it out in slow-mo below.barnrat

Plus (along with being a plus size), the guy’s a player.  Golfer, that is. The svelte one is currently 84th in the Official World Golf Rankings, which means he’s almost lapping that guy named “Woods” twice, you know the one we keep writing about and the TV can’t quit showing when he decides to play in at tournament here and there.

All it took was one major at Crooked Stick for Daly to become a folk hero.  Give the Barn Rat a few months on the PGA Tour and if a win happens, it’ll be like the Beatles hitting the states on their first U.S. tour in 1964.

Loudmouth Golf will be all over him.

Instead of Rap Music, the tour can have “Rat Music!”

We gotta have this guy over here!

Certainly a GolfBetter Podcast opportunity that we could add that to our list of notables.  Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Trevino, Watson, Norman, Venturi……Barn Rat!

I like the sound of it!

Bring on the Barn Rat!