Monday, September 25, 2006

How To Hit The Dreaded Buried Bunker Shot

Having your golf ball buried (fried egg) in the sand trap doesn't happen very often, but when it does it can be daunting golf shot to golfers of any level. Here are a few simple tips to help you pull this golf shot off.

The first thing you should remember is to not take a big swing and follow through. I know this sounds a little strange, but let me explain why. The idea is to pick your sand wedge up quickly, swing down steep with your golf club and have it stick into the sand. The force of the golf club coming down will cause the golf ball to pop out, but it will have very little spin if any. You'll have a much better chance of getting your golf ball out of the bunker than if you tried to blast it out.

This swing works because it allows for the golf club to get underneath the ball. When the golf ball is resting below the surface of the sand you need to compensate to get underneath it. The short, steep, attacking type of swing works best.

Here are the 3 swing thoughts to remember when confronted with a buried lie from a greenside bunker:

1. Set up with a much squarer stance than you would with a regular sand shot.

2. Also square the clubface more, which will allow the leading edge of the golf club to enter the sand first.

3. Pick a spot about 1-3 inches behind the golf ball. Pick up your sand wedge quickly and steep on your backswing, and then swing down with same step angle of attack with no follow through. Your golf club should remain stuck in the ground. If you make the correct swing you won't be able to follow through because of the steep angle of attack, which will be a sign that you made the correct swing adjustment to hit this golf shot.

Like I said in the beginning you won't be faced with this golf shot very often, but it's worth practicing it a couple times so you know what the swing feels like. After a few practice shots you'll see that this golf swing isn't that difficult to make. Put this swing into your bag of golf shots and it could save you a stroke or two.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

US Makes Late Run In Ryder Cup Matches

The US attempted a late run in Friday's foursome matches, but were only able to halve 3 of the four matches. Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk were the only US team to not secure any points during today's matches. Europe leads 5 points to 3, which is a lot better result than what it looked like late into the matches.

Here's a summary of the US's late run.

Through 14 holes it looked as if the US were going to possibly loose 3 of the 4 foursome matches, but the US made a late charge to halve a couple of those matches.

With being 2 down with 3 to play Chad Campbell and Zack Johnson were able to win the 18th hole to get back to all square and halve their match and adding a half a point to the US total.

Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk got their match to all square on the 14th hole where Woods knocked it stiff on a the par 3 and Furyk drained the putt. Garcia and Donald go 1 up on 17 with a great approach shot by Garcia within 4 feet. Woods and Furyk just needed to win 18 to halve the match, but Furyk picks a horrible time to hit his worst shot of the day when he pulls the Americans' third shot into the water. Europe's par putt is conceded when Furyk's put for par missed.

Stewart Cink and David Toms got their match to all square on the 15th hole where Howell found the water. David Toms had an excellent chance to with the 17th hole with a fairly easy putt, but the whole was halved. Cink and Toms were able to get half point in their match against David Howell and Henrik Stenson where both teams pared the 18th hole.

Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco went 1 up on the 16th hole where Montgomerie's 2nd shot into the par 5 found the water. Phil lagged his putt for birdie and the American's left the hole one up. Going into 18 the match was dormie in the American's favor and they could do no worse than a half a point. Lee Westwood made a 5-foot birdie putt with DiMarco missing his from 12 feet. The matched ended with a 1/2 point for each teams. The US missed a golden opportunity to get the only win of the day for the US.

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US Down Early In Ryder Cup

Here's a short summary of the Ryder cup as off Friday morning.

In the early morning foursome match play the US finds themselves down on 3 of the 4 matches. While all the matches are still pretty competitive the one that's down the most is Woods and Furyck against Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald, which they're down 2 holes through 13.

Chad Campbell and Zack Johnson started their round with the first hole win where Chad Campbell almost holing out his approach shot, which left Johnson with a tap in birdie. That didn't last long and the US are down in this match 1 hole through 14 holes against Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley.

Stewart Sink and David Toms are also down 1 in their match through 12 against David Howell and Henrik Stenson.

The remaining match is all square through 11, which is with Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco against Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Save Strokes With This Lag Putting Drill

A lot of amateur golfers have difficulty with putts from distance that usually cause them a few extra strokes during their round of golf. Here's a putting drill to quickly improve your lag putts.

I've usually seen this drill performed with white kite string, but it can also be done with golf tees. This drill is excellent for uphill, downhill, or flat putts. It is a great putting drill for golfers of any level of play.

The idea behind the drill is to focus entirely on distance control and to not worry about the line or hole. You start off with taking your kite string and cutting it into five 4 foot pieces. Lay the pieces of string down about 3 feet apart. If you don't have string then you can use 2 golf tees to replace each string with the tees representing the ends of the string.

First start off by rolling the first ball just past the first string and try to make it stop between the first and second strings. You then want to roll the second ball over the second string stopping it before the third string, and so on.

Once you've been able to successfully do this for each length of putt from closest to farthest, you then want to mix it up. Putt to the last string, then to the first, then to the third, and so on.

One of the great things about this drill is once you've mastered it to the point of having each ball stop between the strings then the longest second putt you'll have will be 18 inches (imagining the hole located midway between the strings).

You'll be amazed at how good your direction control becomes while doing this drill. Golfers who are line-bound putters have a tendency to have poor distance control. So make sure you take your mind off the line because distance is all we're concerned with during this drill.

Try this lag putting drill the next time you're at the practice green and I know your distance control will improve. I bet you'll drop a few strokes from you next round by eliminating those 3-putts from distance.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

15 Tiger Woods Trivia Facts

Here are some Tiger Woods trivia facts for you:

Q: What is Tiger Woods' given first name?
A: Eldrick

Q: At what age did Tiger Woods make his national TV debut?
A: 2 years

Q: On what television show did Tiger Woods' national TV debut come?
A: Mike Douglas Show

Q: Tiger Woods' mother, Kultilda, is from what country?
A: Thailand

Q: Tiger Woods made his PGA Tour debut in the Nissan Los Angeles Open. How old was he?
A: 16

Q: Where did Tiger Woods attend college?
A: Stanford

Q: Tiger Woods joined the PGA Tour at age 20, in 1996, and got his first title that year. In which tournament did his first victory come?
A: Las Vegas Invitational

Q: Tiger Woods completed the career Grand Slam - a win in each of golf's four majors - in 2000. Which of the four was the last to be won by Tiger?
A: British Open

Q: Tiger Woods is one of only five players to win the career Grand Slam. Of the golfers listed below, which one has not won the career Grand Slam?
A: Arnold Palmer

Q: Tiger Woods' official PGA bio lists his hobbies as basketball, all sports and one more activity. What is that other activity?
A: Fishing

Q: Tiger Woods won three majors in 2000. Only one other male golfer has won three professional majors in one year. Who?
A: Ben Hogan

Q: True or False: Tiger Woods has appeared on Mr. Blackwell's Best-Dressed List?
A: True

Q: True or False: Tiger Woods has appeared on Hanes Hosiery's Sexiest Celebrity Legs list?
A: True

Q: True or false: Tiger Woods holds or shares the scoring records, in relation to par, in all four of golf's majors?
A: True

Q: How many USGA national amateur championships did Tiger Woods win?
A: 6

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Friday, September 08, 2006

What's In Tiger's Golf Bag?

As everyone probably knows already, Tiger Wood's captured 5th victory in a row on the PGA Tour. Do you want to know what was in Tiger Wood's golf bag during his win at the 2006 Deutsche Bank Championship?

Driver: Nike SasQuatch 460 Tour 8.5* Driver
Irons: Nike Forged Blades (3-PW) Irons
Wedges: Nike TW (60*) Wedge
Other: Nike Ignite T60 (15*) 3 Wood
Putter: Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2 Putter

You'd probably give Tiger a starter set and he'd still finish in the top. His level of golf is amazing. I'm sure the other golfers on the PGA tour are now just thinking about finishing second.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Top 10 Hottest Golf Clubs

I stumbled across this top 10 list of golf clubs for sale both new and used. If you have one of these golf clubs or sets and you've been thinking about selling it then this is probably the time to do it.

1. Ping Eye 2 Iron set
2. TaylorMade r7 quad Driver
3. Nike SasQuatch Driver
4. Titleist 983K Driver
5. TaylorMade R580 XD Driver
6. Nike Forged Blades Iron set
7. Titleist Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2 Putter
8. Ben Hogan Edge CFT Ti Hybrid Fairway Wood
9. Titleist 905R Driver
10. Cleveland Launcher 460 Driver

I've found eBay the best place to buy and sell used golf clubs. Both my Taylormade TP R7 Quad driver and Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2.5 putter were purchased used from eBay.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Maui Lani Golf Course A Hidden Gem

During my stay in Maui and play a few rounds of golf and one of them was at the Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course. I played in the afternoon and I was concerned that the tradewinds were going to be a bear, but on that particular day the conditions were nice.

The golf course was wide open and my and my son didn't see another golfer until the 6th hole. It was a foursome and they let us play through. The golf course was in good condition with the greens being a little firm. Some of the holes took us back into the foothills with some amazing greenery.

The cost for a round of golf after 1:30pm was $65 and only $10 for a junior golfer, which was very reasonable for the quality of golf course. The golf carts were gas powered, which was a treat from the regular electric golf carts.

Even though the golf course only measured 6413 yards from the blue tees, it was still very challenging with a slope of 130. The course measures 6841 from the black tees with a slope of 136. Here's a link to the
score card on their website. You can even take a virtual tour of the golf course from this page.

Overall the golf experience was excellent and I would highly recommend this golf course to anyone. Have you ever played the Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course? If so I'd like to hear about your golf experience.

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