Monday, July 31, 2006

Butch Harmon Golf School - Tiger Woods Coach

I've been doing some more research on golf schools and I was curious to see what the Butch Harmon Golf School had to offer. Since he's Tiger Woods golf coach, I wanted to see what it would cost the regular golfer to have him as a golf coach for a few days.

Well I can tell you it's not cheap to have one of the best golf instructors in the world as your golf coach for 3-days. While the package does include accommodations in Las Vegas, the golf instruction is really what matters. Butch has some of the most sophisticated and advanced software and equipment to analyze your golf swing. You can bet that having Butch analyze your golf swing that you'll be getting the best golf instruction money can buy.

There's a golf school site I've been using that has reviews of a lot of golf schools including the
Butch Harmon Golf School. It's called U.S. Golf Schools and you can even get a free Golf Fitness e-Book by golf fitness guru Mike Pedersen by visiting the web site.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Double-Eagle At The Evian Masters

Did anyone see Lorena Ochoa's albatross at the LPGA Evian Masters on Sunday? She hit a hybrid from 191-yards on the par-5 ninth hole and made it... a 2 on a par 5 must look pretty weird on the scorecard. She ended up at 13-under 3 shots behind the eventual winner Karrie Webb and 2-shots behind Michelle Wie and Laura Davies.

Michelle Wie had a 2-shot lead when she birdied the 11th hole, which Webb bogeyed. Wie ended up bogeying the 13th and with Webb birdieing the 12th and 14th holes she never relinquished the lead winning by 1 stroke over both Wie and Laura Davies.

There was definitely a lot of excitement in France this weekend at the LPGA Evian Masters golf tournament. I think once Michelle Wie gets her first win under her belt she's going to gain a lot more confidence in her golf game and go on a winning streak.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Dream Golf Vacation

If I asked you what you would consider the ultimate golf vacation what would you say? Would it be at a famous golf resort playing with one of the top PGA Tour players? Would it be at Pebble Beach Golf Course with 3 of your golf buddies?

If you were to ask me I would want to play at Augusta National with Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer. Wouldn't that be awesome to play with these legends? Just to be in their presence would be good enough for me... I could just ride along in the cart with Tiger and chat it up. Just think of all the golf tips you'd get from these guys. Just being around them for 18 holes you'd probably drop 5 strokes from you handicap through osmosis.

You know on every hole you'd be swinging your driver from the rafters trying to out drive Tiger and I'm sure the three of them would get a little laugh from it. I'm pretty sure I could give Jack and Arnold a run for their money on their drives.

I definitely would want to make it interesting too by putting a little wager on the game by playing skins. I'd have to ask for a lot of strokes from these guys to even compete. Since this is my dream golf vacation money is no object so we'd play $1000 skins with $5000 for closest to the pin on all par 3's and $1000 sandies.

What a golf experience that would be? What is your dream golf vacation?

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Say Yes To A Yes Putter

A golf buddy of mine just get a new Yes putter. It has a similar shape as the Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2.0. I've heard a lot about the Yes putters and their patented C-Grove technology, but this was the first time I took a really good look at it.

I putted a few golf balls with it and it had a nice balanced weight to it. All the putts felt solid and kept their line. After a few more golf balls I had a lot of confidence with it. The golf ball seemed to roll very smoothly and rarely bounced after impact. I'd have to say confidence with a putter is probably 70 to 80 percent of a good putting stroke. If you have confidence in a putter it makes all the difference in the world in your putting game.

Even the golf club reviews I read on the Yes putter stated how well the putter kept the ball from bouncing as well as keeping its line. Solid feel was also and common comment amoung the reviewers.

I was very impressed by the Yes putter and I just might have to borrow my buddies for a round or two to see how it compares to my Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2.5. I'd hate to part with my Scotty Cameron, but if it produces better golf scores then I'd have no choice would I?

Do you play any of the Yes putters? If so I'd like to here from you.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

An Odd But Effective Putting Drill

Here's a putting drill that I use on occasion while I'm on the practice putting green. The purpose of the putting drill is to work on taking you putter straight back and straight through. It will probably take a few minutes for you to get use to this putting drill, but I guarantee it will keep you steady through the entire putting stroke. The drill works the best with blade type putters like the Scotty Cameron Newport designed putters.

1. Set up to putt a golf ball.
2. Turn the putter head so that the blade part is inline with your putting line. The tip of the putter blade should be right next to the ball.
3. Now attempt to strike the golf ball towards your target. You'll probably need a few attempts before you get the hang of it.

First try this from the 5 foot range with several balls. There's very little margin of error so you'll need to really concentrate and bringing your putter straight back and straight through. After you've made several putts in a row, move on to the 10 foot range. You may get some weird looks on the putting green at first, but they'll soon be amazed at you draining 10 footers with the tip of your putter.

Perform this drill for about 10 to 15 minutes and then go back to your normal putting. You should find yourself extremely accurate on all your putts.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Do You Have a Pre-Putt Routine?

If you've been keeping up on my putting tips you know how much I stress the importance of a good putting game. There are many parts to making a putt and one of the most important parts is the pre-putt routine. I'm sure you have a pre-shot routine for your golf shots and if you don't you should, but you should also have one for your putting.

Consistency is something that you should have throughout your entire golf game... and consistency starts with your pre-putt and pre-shot routines. You should be doing the same things over and over every time without exception when it comes to your pre-putt routine. This routine will help to get you into a rhythm, which should help with your entire golf game.

If you're not sure what your pre-putt routine should be then think about how you go about putting today when you're on the course. Write the steps down on a piece of paper and take it to the practice putting green to work on a pre-putt routine. If you don't have one then watch the PGA Tour pros pre-putt routine to see if one of them fits your style of play.

Remember that putting accounts for nearly half of all the golf shots you make during a round of golf so it makes sense to become very proficient with the putter... it will be where you'll cut the most strokes off of you score.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tried And True Putting Drill

There's a putting drill that I've been using for 20+ years that has never failed me. I don't remember where I read it, but all I know is it does wonders for my putting stroke. There are probably variations on this putting drill that you may have come across in some of the golf magazines.

The drill is performed with 6 or more golf balls from 5 and 10 foot distances:

1. First grip your putter like you normally do and remove your left hand from the putter and start putting with just your right hand. You want to be sure and keep your same putting stroke using only your right hand. Putt at 5 feet from the hole until you've made all 6 balls in a row. Repeat this for 10 feet.

2. Now grip you putter like you normally do and remove your right hand from the putter. Start putting with just your left hand making sure to keep your same putting stroke with only your left hand. This is the most awkward part of the drill for me because my left arm isn't as strong as my right and I feel a little more clumsy. Putt at 5 feet from the hole until you've made all 6 balls in a row. Repeat this for 10 feet.

3. Now grip your putter with your left hand choking down to the end of the grip with the putter grip resting on the inside of your left arm. You want the putter handle to be inline with your left arm so that the putter is an extension of your left arm. Now take your right hand and grip your left forearm at the top of putter. The palm of your right hand will have the putter underneath it with your fingers gripping on to your left forearm. Putt at 5 feet from the hole until you've made all 6 balls in a row. Repeat this for 10 feet.

4. Finally take your normal putting grip and start putting. Putt at 5 feet from the hole until you've made all 6 balls in a row. Repeat this for 10 feet.

This is an easy putting drill to remember and it will really get you putting with a lot of confidence and consistency. I sometimes perform this putting drill in my home when I'm not able to get to the golf course practice putting green.

I recommend this putting drill to any golfer from beginner to scratch. If your in search of a good putting drill as part of your golf practice routine then you should definitely tuck this one into your golf bag.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Cleveland CG10 Wedges

I've been playing the Cleveland CG10 wedges for over a year now and they've performed very well. I have the 52 degree gap wedge and the 56 degree sand wedge in the black pearl finish. Before these wedges I was playing with the Cleveland 588 GunMetal Wedges in 53 and 56 degrees. These wedges performed almost as good as the CG10's.

The Cleveland CG10 wedges definitely have a noticeably softer feel. Even though they have a softer feel the golf ball comes off the club face very solid. I feel like I have more control and touch with the CG10's. I'm able to put more spin on the ball as well, which has helped my short game quite a bit. I have the 2 dot bounce with both of the wedges, which allows me to hit off of tight lies as well as still get it out of the sand.

I searched some of the golf forums and golf club review sites and the Cleveland CG10 wedges have received excellent reviews with 4 to 5 stars as the typically rating.

I know the CG10's and the new Cleveland CG11's are played by many of the professional golfers on tour today so that says a lot about the quality of these wedges. If you've been thinking about getting the CG10 or CG11 wedges then I hope this golf club review helped you out.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Tiger Woods Down And Out

I don't know how many times I've heard from the golf world that Tiger Woods is down and out. I can't believe some many golf writers and enthusiasts actually thought Tiger Woods was somewhat washed up because he missed the cut at the U.S. Open this year. All I have to say to those golf fans who wrote Tiger off is "Wake Up!!!".

Tiger Woods is undoubtedly the best golfer in the world and for the golf world to write him off is ludicrous. I feel Tiger is going to become even better golfer than he was in the past. I felt that Tiger was somewhat distracted over the last few years because of his dad's health issues and understandably so. He's past the honeymoon phase of his marriage and has more balance in his life than ever before.

He's going to set the golf world on fire with even more focus and determination. All I have to say is "Watch Out" PGA Tour because Tiger Woods is back and he's going to shake up the world of golf with a winning streak like we've never seen before in golf. The British Open is just the beginning so mark your calendar and watch golf history in the making.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Nike Sasquatch 460 Driver

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about the Nike Sasquatch 460 Driver and decided to hit a few golf balls with it to see how it feels. The very first thing you notice about this driver is the size of the head. The head is huge. It's the biggest driver I've ever seen. Standing over the golf ball with the club in your hand is somewhat distracting because of it's size. I suppose I'd get use to it if I played a few rounds of golf with it.

I was at Roger Dunn's Golf Shop in Santa Ana, CA and pulled out a demo Nike Sasquatch 460 Driver from one of the bins. I stepped into one of the golf swing booths and took a few practice swings. The club felt pretty good, but the golf shaft I had was a stiff and I typically play with extra stiff. I teed up a golf ball and made a nice smooth swing and the ball exploded of the face. I didn't have a launch monitor hooked up so I could tell how far it the golf ball carried. I hit a few golf balls with the Nike Sasquatch and it felt pretty solid, but I really had a hard time getting over the size of the head.

I didn't end up buying the golf club mainly because I'm still hitting my TaylorMade TP R7 Quad pretty good and because the club head was just too big for me. I know the Nike Sasquatch probably has a bigger sweet spot than my TaylorMade R7, but confidence over the golf ball is very important to me. I felt I'd be distracted by the size of the driver head.

I read some golf club reviews of the Nike Sasquatch 460 and it got mixed reviews. The biggest complaint I saw was the size of the head. The biggest praise was it's length and accuracy off the tee, but I also read a few reviews saying it wasn't a very accurate driver.

Is the Nike Sasquatch 460 Driver in your golf bag?

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Tiger Woods Against Me In Golf

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play golf against Tiger Woods? Do you think you could handle the pressure of playing golf with the best player in the world?

I know most golfers have probably thought about this. I know I have. I think about how nervous I would be on the first tee... no make that first 3 or 4 holes. Since Tiger is a very personable guy, I think he would make me feel at east pretty quickly. The most important thing I would want is to be able to show off my best golf to Tiger and hope that he would occasionally say "nice shot!" I think about him giving me some pointers during our round of golf and seeing some immediate results in my golf swing.

Tiger would probably want to make the round interesting by making a little wager in a skins or other type of game. I would definitely want as many strokes as I could get from him and probably add on another 5 just for the Tiger factor.

Now I know most of us have thought about what it would be like to out drive Tiger Woods, but that's about as likely as me winning the Masters Golf Tournament. But think about what kind of golf story that would be... to tell every golfer you know that you out drove Tiger Woods. To me that would be the highlight of my golfing career.

Have you every thought about golfing against Tiger Woods? If so what was your round of golf like?

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Golf And The Single Dad

I know there are a lot of us full-time single dads that love to play golf, but have difficulty finding time to just hit golf balls at the range let alone playing a round of golf. Trying to create a balance between your kids time and your own time to do things like play golf.

I spend the better part of my day at work and occasionally I'll sneak away to hit golf balls at the range during lunch, but those days are rare. Getting away after work for 9-holes is difficult too because of soccer practice. Trying to play a round of golf on the weekend is pretty much out of the question because of my son's soccer games.

I remember the days when I was single and answered to just myself and I played a round of golf and both Saturday and Sunday... and went to the golf range 3 nights a week with an occasional 9-holes after work. Those days seem like a lifetime ago.

I tried early on with my son to get him interested in playing golf when he was about 5 to see if we could play together when he got older. I would take him to the golf range and he would get tired after about 20 minutes of hitting and wanted to go home. Well now he's 13 and loves to play golf. Its summer and he plays golf with his friends since he has no school so I feel like I can't win. I did manage to get a tee time for the two of us to play golf on Father's Day and that was great.

I now have one of those golf nets set up in the backyard so we can practice hitting golf balls together any time we want. Golf is a great game because I know me and my son will be able to play together for many years to come. On the golf course with my son is special now when he's 13 and it will be just as special when he's 40.

Golf is one of those games, sports, hobbies that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. I know I've been fortunate to be playing golf for 30+ years since I was 11... and I have at least another 30 years of golf left in me.

As a single dad golfer how do you make time for your golf game?

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Golf Gadget, SkyCaddie Approved For Play

Golf technology seems to be springing up every where for practically every part of the golf game. All of the space age metals these day to manufacture the golf heads of drivers, irons, and putters. The high-tech manufacturing of golf balls as well especially with the new golf balls from TaylorMade.

There are also the handheld GPS golf devices that have been around for a couple years to help in computing yardages on the golf course. These devices have been forbidden on the PGA and LPGA tours as well as in tournament play, but one such device has recently been given the nod. The SkyCaddie powered by SkyGolf's advanced SG2 technology, gives you the same information that a Pro would receive from a top PGA TOUR Caddie — all in the palm of your hand. The SkyCaddie was chosen by the PGA Learning Center and is the FIRST electronic measuring device approved for use during the Adams Golf Tight Lies Tour!

The SkyCaddie measures over hills and around obstacles. It calculates yardages up to 40 targets per hole in less than a second, automatically! No aiming, no missing. You don't need a clear line of sight or reflective target with the SkyCaddie. Because the targets are pre-programmed, the SkyCaddie eliminates the need to aim through a lens, accidentally hitting the wrong target on a hole, or trying to hit a pin with a laser beam at 200 yards.

It'll be interesting to see how long it will take for these devices reach their way into the PGA and LPGA Tours.

Have you tried this golf gadget? If so I'd like to hear your comments.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Great Golf Course

Last week I spent a few days at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (Ojai, California), which is home to the Ojai Country Club. This golf course was designed in 1923 and in my opinion it's one of the best golf courses I've seen. The golf course is manicured beyond anything I've seen accept on the PGA tour. When looking down the fairways you see the crisscross cut grass in the fairway, which is distinctly defined by the first and second cut of rough. The tee boxes are as nice as some of the greens I've putted on at other golf courses.

It was designed and built in 1923 under the direction of George C. Thomas, Jr. and Billy Bell and the course was hailed as "a marvel of golfing architecture." Thomas also designed courses at the Riviera, Bel-Air and Los Angeles country clubs. The golf course has been host to 7 Senior PGA Tour events as well as two EMC2 Golf Skills Challenges, as seen on NBC.

The golf course is extremely mature with it's massive trees lining the fairways and rolling hills. While the course isn't very long from the blues at about 6300 yards, it is a good test of golf at Par 70 with 6 par 4's over 400 yards and 3 par 3's over 200 yards.

The resort is also impeccable with the staff treating you like royalty. This is high on my list of places to go back to next summer during my golf vacation. I just might have to make it a regular golf vacation.

I highly recommend this this resort and golf course to any golfer who wants to experience a world class golf course. If you've played this golf course I'd really like to hear your opinion.

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That's Golf For You

How many times have you heard a golfer say "That's Golf For You" or something like it.

I think golf is a sport all on it's own when it comes to humbling any and all that play the game. This even includes the professional golfers. One day you'll go out and play and score like you've never done before. The very next day you can play the worst golf of your life and you have no idea how it happened.

I heard Tiger Woods talking after his final round at the Western Open this last weekend and he said those words "That's Golf For You". He was referring to his inability to make a single putt on the front nine and on the back nine he practically made everything.

It's those rounds of golf when we shoot a career score or a career drive that keeps us coming back for more. I truly think golf is in a class all by itself.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

New U.S. Golf Schools Resource Center

Here's a new golf schools website geared specifically towards U.S. Golf Schools. It provides golf school reviews, golf school vacation specials, golf school articles, among other golf school related information.

On the home page there's a Featured Golf School Special with $300 off the PGA Tour Golf Academy golf school in Florida. This golf school is taught by some of the best golf school instructors in the business.

There are many other golf schools reviewed on the site. It's worth checking it out.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

3 Steps To Hitting The Long Ball

Looking to drive the golf ball with the big hitters? Here are 3 simple steps to give you that added distance off the tee:

1. Widen your stance by moving your back foot about an inch farther back than normal.
2. Play the golf ball a little more forward in your stance than normal.
3. Tee the golf ball a fraction higher than normal.

Follow these 3 simple golf tips and it will set you up to launch the golf ball higher so you get more carry off the tee. No need to swing any harder. Just put your normal golf swing on the ball and watch it roll past your golf buddies golf ball in the fairway.

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