While we all want to get ahead in life, that doesn’t seem to translate to the golf course. In fact some of us are going backwards…as in tee boxes. A good majority of golfers are playing the blue tees when they should play the white tees or playing the white tees when they should play the forward tees (which many golf courses now offer). And playing the wrong tee boxes leads to – you guessed it – slower play. Let’s look at it this way; the yardage difference between tee boxes can be the equivalent of an extra hole! That means you are playing 19 holes, scoring 4-5 shots higher and taking an extra 10 minutes to play your round. So check your ego at the bag drop, move on up and my guess is you’ll score lower and have more fun. What is your take? Take our poll at www.facebook.com/worldwidegolfshops
On one of the biggest sports days of the year, Titleist Brand Ambassador Kyle Stanley charged to a victory more than worthy of Super Bowl-sized acclaim.
One week after finishing runner-up in a playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open, Stanley, 24, came from eight shots back Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to earn his first PGA Tour victory, authoring a story of perseverance that golf won’t soon forget.
“I just tried to focus on playing golf,” said Stanley, who combined with Titleist Brand Ambassador Kieran Pratt and Pro V1x loyalist Paul Lawrie to sweep the three events played last weekend across the worldwide professional tours.
“I knew I was playing well coming into this week,” Stanley said. “I think the biggest challenge was seeing if I could put last week behind me. I think I did.”
Trusting a Pro V1x golf ball and bag full of Titleist equipment, including a new set of Titleist MB (712 Series) irons, Stanley closed with a bogey-free 6-under 65 for a 15-under 269 total and one-shot victory, leading a 1-through-7 finish for Titleist golf ball players.
Fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Ben Crane (Pro V1x) finished runner-up after a final-round 5-under 66. He was followed by Spencer Levin (3rd, Pro V1x) and Titleist Brand Ambassadors D.J. Trahan (4th, Pro V1x), Brendan Steele (5th, Pro V1x) and Kevin Na (5th, Pro V1x), and Pro V1x loyalist Bubba Watson (5th).
A total of 92 players in the field at TPC Scottsdale relied Titleist golf balls for their success, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 11 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist was also first in irons sets (39); sand, lob and approach wedges (128); and putters (59).
Stanley’s victory in the desert was highlighted by both power and precision, not to mention some grit and determination.
At the par-5 13th, Stanley ripped a 376-yard tee shot with his 910 driver and hit his Titleist MB 9-iron to 20 feet to set up an eventual two-putt birdie. On the par-4 14th, he drove his Pro V1x golf ball 325 yards down the middle of the fairway, pitched to 12 feet and rolled in the birdie putt with his Scotty Cameron Timeless GSS.
On the par-4 17th, Stanley used his Vokey Design Spin Milled 56•14º wedge to hit a highlight-reel recovery shot from beneath a cactus (see video below), and two-putted for par. Stanley, who hit 89 percent of his greens in regulation Sunday, sent his approach shot on the par-4 18th to 12 feet above the hole. He two-putted for the one-shot victory.
“You know… this week I just kind of tried to just let it happen, not think about it, and just focus on things that I could control,” said Stanley.
Two weeks ago, Stanley paid a visit to the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, Calif., a short drive from Torrey Pines and the Farmers Insurance Open. There, he worked with Dr. Greg Rose on his alignment, getting himself squared up from what had become an open stance.
As a result of the realignment, Stanley lost some backspin with his Titleist 910D3 7.5º driver. Enter: Senior Club Fitting Analyst Dino Antenucci, who changed Stanley’s driver head from 7.5º to 8.5º, keeping the SureFit Tour hosel in the A•1 position (standard loft, standard lie).
Immediately, Stanley had a better ball flight, more shot-shaping control and about 2,400 rpm of backspin.
The Old Tiger Is Gone Forever
Tiger Woods will likely win again. He will probably even win at least one more major, if only for old time’s sake. But despite what his recent resurgence may indicate, the Tiger we once knew is gone and is not coming back.
After winning his own “tournament” in dramatic fashion late last year and leading a European Tour event into the final round before finishing third, the golf media, desperate for their golden goose to return to his past glory, quickly heralded his rebirth. However, as a long-time Tiger watcher, it seems pretty clear to me that this is little more than wishful (almost desperate) thinking.
Before the scandal, I used to literally be Tiger’s biggest fan (back when there was fierce competition for that honor). I still consider myself lucky to have been living in the first part of the last decade when we saw what was clearly the best golf ever played in the history of homo sapiens. There was even a time when I wondered if Tiger even technically qualified as a mere human being.
But with this version of Tiger Woods, the thrill is gone and not just because we now know that as a person he is nothing remotely special. In fact, from purely a golf perspective, Tiger Woods “3.0” is usually downright boring and, even at his best, not particularly spectacular.
In his prime, even the casual fan could instantly see that Tiger was fundamentally different/better than anyone else on tour. He hit the ball farther than almost anyone and (especially in 2000-2001) his swing was both incredibly powerful and almost perfectly symmetrical. At his best, his follow through looked exactly like the mirror image of the top of his swing. While he didn’t hit every fairway, his recovery skills were so Seve-like you almost looked forward to him making the rare mistake just to see the magic which would inevitably ensue.
Today, when everything is clicking for him, he morphs into a poor man’s Nick Faldo with a little more distance. He is no longer a highlight machine waiting to be turned on, but rather just a steady contender who hits fairways and greens and makes the occasional putt. Tiger is certainly one of the best players in the world, but not significantly better than anyone else in that group and nothing really to write home about.
His swing, once a feast for the eyes, no longer inspires awe. While seemingly becoming more efficient, his swing now finishes either with the shaft pointing straight towards the sky or, when he is playing a fade, across his no longer geometrically ideal stance.
Tiger still hits it far, but isn’t close to the longest player on tour. Perhaps more disappointing, it seems as if this Sean Foley version has sapped most of the magic out of Tiger’s swing and stripped him of his prodigious powers of recovery. Even his short game doesn’t seem to create nearly the fireworks it used to and his putting is no longer the definition of clutch.
In short, as sleep inducing as golf can be to watch on television without Tiger, it is almost as dull even with him now. The biggest reason it isn’t is simply the great memories we associate with Tiger and his incredible career. Without those reminiscences, watching him would be pretty much the same as anyone else, which, in some ways, might be the most damning indictment of what he has become.
My personal view as to why this has happened is that it is mostly tied to those couple of months after the scandal broke when Tiger was in hiding. It seems pretty clear that he underwent some sort of significant mental therapy, which probably included a rather harsh tearing down of many of the belief systems which helped make him so great to begin with. In a sense, his internal hard drive was fried and then partially restored. Obviously not all of the files (including the ones labeled “magic” and “intimidation) made it through the rebooting process.
While this is all very sad and somewhat tragic, there is a bright side to it. While we will never again get to see Superman in action, we still have the fascinating spectacle of finding out what Clark Kent is capable of achieving while armed with little more than the distant memories of what he once was.
So the Tiger Woods saga will still be “interesting,” just don’t expect it to be “amazing.”
John Ziegler has played in three national amateur championships and won four private club championships in three different states, including the last two at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale. He is currently a member at Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo.
Meet Jim Flick at our West Los Angeles Roger Dunn Store, 1801 So. Bundy Drive, LA 90025 on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 from 5 – 7 pm PT.
ABOUT JIM FLICK
Some people are natural-born teachers, and Jim Flick is certainly one of them. He has spent a lifetime dedicated to helping golfers become better players – from novices to some of the greatest champions of our time. Jim has been motivated and driven by his enthusiasm and love for the game of golf. His 31 years of experience with over 200 touring professionals has earned him the uncontested title of America’s Master Golf Teacher.
Jim feels that the teaching of golf has become much too complex and mechanical. The resulting confusion and tension lead to the deterioration of the player’s athleticism and ability to score. He also knows that golfers want help on a more personal basis, more short game training and more time on the golf course. While there are many ways to teach and play, time has shown that simplicity is best for most. Jim believes that the true art of teaching golf is in helping each student to better understand their challenges and to become their own coach thereby enabling the self-confidence and self-reliance to continue learning and improving long after the formal lessons.
Golf is a game of constantly making adjustments which requires a deep understanding of tendencies and habits. Even the best of players need another set of eyes from time to time. Jim provides that invaluable extra set of eyes through customized group instruction, individual instruction and corporate golf outings.
TEACHING BACKGROUND OF 50 YEARS:
• Club professional, 1954-1974
• Golf Digest Schools, 1972-1990
• Director of Instruction, 1976-1990
• Co-Founder Nicklaus/Flick Schools, 1991-2001
• Jim Flick Premier Schools, 2002
• ESPN Golf Schools, 2003
CONGRATULATIONS to Brandt Snedeker and the NEW Tour B330 for their first victories in 2012! In the same week the NEW Tour B330 series were unveiled in Orlando, FL, Brandt shot a -16 under with a -5 under 65 Sunday in La Jolla, CA to capture the Farmers Insurance Open title.
The Tour B330 has a NEW 6% softer Urethane cover for increased Spin Control to help Brandt stop his approach on 18 to within a foot for a crucial birdie forcing a playoff. The unique Dual Dimple technology enhances wind performance for longer distance and higher initial ball velocity.
Golfing Superstar, Rickie Fowler, Signs with COBRA Golf
CARLSBAD, CA (JANUARY 23, 2012) – Today COBRA Golf made it official, golfing sensation, Rickie Fowler, will join their worldwide roster of professional golfers. COBRA Golf will supply Rickie with the latest golf clubs as well as Tour Staff Bags and a selection of accessories. Rickie, who signed with PUMA Golf in 2009, will now represent the full COBRA PUMA GOLF brand both on and off the course. Rickie will also be featured in upcoming marketing campaigns for both COBRA and PUMA Golf.
“Rickie’s focus, determination and performance combined with his stand out style and joy for the game make him a perfect match for COBRA Golf,” said Bob Philion, President of COBRA PUMA GOLF. “He has had a tremendous effect in the golf industry over the past few years and his influence continues to grow. As we continue the revitalization of COBRA globally, Rickie Fowler will be instrumental in bringing our core DNA to life by being grounded in performance while bringing an edgy, unique personality and style to life. He will help us introduce the new COBRA Golf to a new group of consumers.”
To celebrate Rickie’s full COBRA PUMA GOLF partnership, ‘orange-outs’ will happen at various Tour events, COBRA PUMA GOLF Experiences, retailers and this week at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show. ‘Orange-outs’ will celebrate Rickie Fowler, his favorite color and the new COBRA AMPTM line of drivers, irons, hybrids and fairway woods. In some instances, fans will be able to participate and support Rickie, like this week at the Farmer’s Insurance Open. For information how you can join in on the fun, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cobragolf.
Rickie will start out the year with COBRA’s brand new AMPTM Driver featuring E9 Face TechnologyTM with dual roll, Advanced Material Placement TM, Adjustable Flight Technology TM with details in Rickie’s favorite color, vibrant orange, the AMP 3-Wood and AMP Pro Prototype Irons. Throughout the year, he will continue to test new COBRA Golf product and add it to his bag.
New Ashworth Ambassador Wagner Captures Third Career PGA Tour Victory After Switching To Ashworth Apparel.
Playing calm and confident all week at the Sony Open In Hawaii, the season’s first full-field event, new Ashworth Golf Staff Professional Johnson Wagner captured his first win of 2012 in style. Johnson closed with a 3-under 67 Sunday at Waialae Country Club to card a two-shot victory and his third career PGA Tour title.
The win earned Wagner the top-spot in the FedEx Cup points race and puts him in this year’s Masters. Since joining Ashworth at the beginning of the year, Wagner has a top-finish and a win after two events.
• Johnson Wagner wins his third career PGA Tour title
• Johnson Wagner leads the 2012 FedEx Cup points race
• Wagner’s Sony Open victory earned him a spot in the 2012 Masters
• Wagner joined the Ashworth team in 2012 and wears Ashworth apparel
CALLAWAY GOLF’S 2012 PRODUCT LINE TOPS GOLF DIGEST’S “HOT LIST”
Callaway Earns More 2012 Medals than Any Other Club Manufacturer in Comprehensive Review
RAZR Fit Driver Named Editor’s Choice; Odyssey’s New Metal-X Line Dominates Putter Categories
CARLSBAD, CA, January 3, 2012 – Callaway Golf Company’s (NYSE: ELY) soon-to-be-released 2012products received an outstanding vote of approval from Golf Digest’s annual “Hot List” issue, arriving onnewsstands this week. The Hot List is a comprehensive golf equipment evaluation conducted by Golf Digest Publications’ 38-person team of equipment editors, scientists, low-, mid- and high-handicap playertesters, as well as golf retailers. Over the course of several months, 286 separate entries were submitted and evaluated for the 2012 Hot List. In the end, only a fraction received Gold and Silver Medaldistinctions, and Callaway Golf Company earned more of them than any golf equipment manufacturer.
Leading the charge was Callaway’s new RAZR Fit Driver, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choiceselection, was distinguished as the best in Performance among the 32 drivers that were considered, and earned top marks in Innovation and Look/Sound/Feel. “It was love at first smite,” said Golf Digest HotList judge John Strege, who added that the club was “Straight on two counts. Straight down the middle and straight into my bag.”
Also in the bags of elite Tour Pros such as Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els, RAZR Fit made a resoundingstatement last month on a grand stage when Callaway Staff Professional Alvaro Quiros rode Callaway’s adjustable driver to victory at the Dubai World Championship, averaging an incredible 312.7 yards perdrive. The much-anticipated RAZR Fit Driver will be available at retail on February 17.Callaway’s RAZR X Black™ Driver, also new for 2012, earned a Silver Medal in the 2012 Hot List, as well as high praise from the editors and testers. Player comments featured include, “it just crushes the ballwith a natural draw, and mis-hits are in a tight pattern.”…“The nice, powerful sound lets you know you’ve hit it well.”Callaway’s three new additions to the RAZR X® Family of Irons, RAZR XF™, RAZR X HL™ andRAZR X Black™, all earned Gold Medals. Callaway’s new RAZR X Black Irons earned a Gold Medal inthe competitive Game-Improvement Irons category, prompting one low-handicap player to comment,”Every shot felt pure.” RAZR XF captured Gold in the Super-Game Improvement Irons category andwas awarded 5-stars for Innovation. Golf Digest labeled RAZR XF “a technological tour de force.” Alsoin the Super-Game Improvement category, Callaway’s new RAZR X HL Irons prompted Golf Digest tooffer that “…you can hit it all over the face and still get a decent result.” Callaway’s original RAZR XIrons were a big hit once again, winning a Hot List Gold Medal for the second straight year.In the Putter categories, Callaway’s leading Odyssey® brand dominated the competition with theintroduction of its new line of Metal-X™ putters. Both the Blade and Mallet submissions for Metal-Xwon Gold Medals for Odyssey. More impressively, they both were distinguished as the very best inPerformance among the 92 models considered.-moreCallawayand Odyssey 2012 Products Top Golf Digest’s “Hot List” – Page 2Metal-X’s innovative face design combines a layer of dimpled aluminum with urethane to create anunmatched blend of great feel and pure roll. One low-handicap tester commented, “It has great pop to theball and a smoothness of roll unlike anything else. The balance is flawless.” Odyssey’s Metal-X line willbe on display at The PGA Merchandise Show in January and available at retail on April 13.Rounding out the Putter categories for Odyssey were Silver Medals in both the Blade and Mallet sets forthe premium ProType® Tour Series. The #1 Putter in Golf’s new 1025 carbon-steel offerings feature amilled face design and struck a chord with Golf Digest’s testers. “’Gorgeous’ is the first word that comesto mind,” said one player. Another added, “It feels completely weightless, and the ball tracks perfectlylike it knows where it’s going.”Adding to Callaway’s list were Gold Medals in the Fairway Woods and Hybrids categories. The newRAZR X Black Fairway Woods earned a Gold Medal and received a 5-star Performance rating. “Itinspires confidence at address, and it sounds great when you catch it off the grass,” said one panelist.RAZR X® and RAZR X Tour® Hybrids were also awarded with a Gold Medal and drew the followingpraise from Golf Digest: “It’s Callaway’s best hybrid ever.”Overall, Callaway and Odyssey won an industry-leading 16 Golf Digest Hot List Medals. The full list ofdistinguished products includes:GOLD MEDAL WINNERSDriversRAZR Fit *Editor’s Choice Recipient*Fairway WoodsRAZR X BlackHybridsRAZR X / RAZR X TourGame Improvement IronsRAZR X BlackRAZR XSuper Game Improvement IronsRAZR XFRAZR X HLBlade PuttersOdyssey Metal-XMallet PuttersOdyssey Metal-XSILVER MEDAL WINNERSDriversRAZR X Black- more -Callaway and Odyssey 2012 Products Top Golf Digest’s “Hot List” – Page 3Fairway WoodsRAZR FitHybridsRAZR X HLPlayers IronsRAZR X TourWedgesCallaway® ForgedBlade PuttersProType Tour SeriesMallet PuttersProType Tour SeriesHigh-resolution images of Callaway Golf products are available for download via the Media Centerportion of Callaway Golf’s website: www.callawaygolf.com/presscenter.About Callaway GolfThrough an unwavering commitment to innovation, Callaway Golf Company (NYSE:ELY) createsproducts and services designed to make every golfer a better golfer. Callaway Golf Companymanufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf apparel, footwear and accessories, underthe Callaway Golf®, Odyssey®, Top-Flite®, and Ben Hogan® brands in more than 110 countriesworldwide. For more information please visit www.callawaygolf.com or shop.callawaygolf.com.# # #