June 2009 Archives
Today The Front Nine talked about playing some games within the game of golf, especially for the average player.
Yes, you can play match play, or alternate shot, or better ball or even four ball when you pair up. And, aside from alt. shot, you play your own ball anyway. It just adds some fun to the round. In the spirit of the upcoming Solheim Cup, bring some games within your game.
But there are some things to know.
On the serious side, there are some different rules for match play. Be sure to check them out here.
On the fun side, PGA and Wilson Golf professional Billy Nestel gives you a couple of other match play games:
This is a great 2 Person Best Ball Game to play if your looking for something different this US Open weekend.
2 on 2 teams within your foursome
Play your own ball throughout the hole
Establish a point value if you wish
Points are awarded per hole
Point values -
1pt - "The Prox" (Closest to the hole in regulation)
2pt - "Low Ball" (Lowest score in the foursome)
2pt - "Low Total" (Lowest team total of the two)
1pt - "Birdie" (Awarded to the team if one of the two make birdie)
If all six points are won by one team, then the points are doubled, equaling 12pts.
Otherwise known as a "Blitz or Umbrella"
This is a great game to keep everyone involved on every hole, while getting a taste of both, stroke and match play!
Nestel was also kind enough to give you some strategic tips for playing match play...
Match Play Strategies
As a PGA Member, I have commonly been asked if I prepare differently for match play events versus stroke play events. The answer is, yes!
Since stroke play events are usually multiple days and match play is one round the mind set and preparation must be different.
I will always break a match play event into 3, six hole matches when preparing. Just like a team in baseball, football, or basketball, in match play there are always in game adjustments that need to be made.
Holes 1 - 6
I will prepare for these first six as if it were a stoke play event. I want to play my game against the course and remain focused on how I want to play each shot on each hole. I will normally play all six holes in my mind on the range before I tee off. This gives me a sense of relaxation that I have already played this hole or hit this shot.
Holes 7 - 12
As I enter the seventh hole I want to know exactly where the match stands and at that point will have a general idea of how my opponent is playing. My first "In Game" adjustments are then put into play. If we are all square, I continue to play my own game. If I am 2 down or more I will begin to play much more aggressive. I may hit driver off the tee where I normally would or aim at flags that I wouldn't usually go at. If I am up 2, I do the opposite. Play for middle of fairway and center of greens!
Holes 13 - 18
If the match goes this far you should have a pretty good idea of where this match is headed. At this point you may need to make another "In Game" adjustment. I always try to keep in mind that there is no, let's make a couple pars and get to the clubhouse and we make some birdies tomorrow. In match play there is no tomorrow!
So, I watched the Cubs-Sox game today. Sox win, 4-1. John Danks was fantastic, the Cubs were not.
The Lt. didn't see the game - some people have to work all day - so he turned on Baseball Tonight at 9 p.m.
At 9:52 they showed John Danks striking out a batter and flashed a quick box score on the screen saying "The White Sox win 4-1."
But, I will say I was so happy to see the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, had to hear that captivating phone in from Dusty Baker, then replay after replay of the game ESPN just televised in Toronto and Philadelphia...brutal.
The Lt. just gets up, puts the remote next to me and says "That's bull!@#$."
It's been a little bit since we've delved into our favorite Chicago baseball topic - The Fire and The Passion.
We all know that Aaron Rowand is the keeper of the flames and driver of the chariot that rules the kingdom of The Fire and The Passion. But just when you thought you could get away from him - maybe think a Chris Getz or a Gordon Beckham might have the ability to break in and capture the flame - Rowand comes roaring back to torch any and all comers.
On The Score today a guy called in and said Rowand "single handedly won the 2005 World Series."
Talk about The Fire and The Passion coarsing through the veins of Southsiders. That's what Nicky the Swish couldn't accomplish in his one miserable year here. That's what a Getz or Beckham won't accomplish. Oh, they may be part of a world champion down the line - but to single handedly destroy the American League Central, the Boston Red Sox, the Anaheim Angels and Houston Astros by hitting .267 in the playoffs and .264 in the second half of the regular season.
Bah, don't youz remember dat game in New York when Aaron Freakin' Rowand saved the day like 2-1 when Contreras wuz pitchin? Aaron Freakin' Rowand dove and caught doze two ballz and widout him, the White Sox wouldnta dun nuddadatstuff.
Don't worry meathead Cubs fans..you've been well represented too. Now, Cubs fans tend to stay away from the words "fire and passion" (for the most part) and today was just another example.
A caller said Mike Fontenot should be a National League All-Star for keeping the Cubs "in it and above .500" in the absence of Aramis Ramirez and has really "kept the team together."
Many had to catch an early flight out of the East Coast (4 am wakeup; 7 am departure) to make the trip, which shows just how important this event is to these players.
In attendance were Angela Stanford, Nicole Castrale, Brittany Lang, Christina Kim, Kristy McPherson, Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome and Laura Diaz.
"It's definitely a huge goal for a lot of Americans to get on this team," Castrale said. "It's an honor to represent your country and be one of the 12 best Americans every two years. It's something spectacular."
The Americans have won 7 of the 10 Solheim Cup's contested since 1990 and have never lost at home.
Well, the Sox took a dump again today, losing 7-2 to the Brewers up in The Good Land...
no fun there.
but ths is fun. Enjoy.
I've seen her up close at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, and not only is she a great golfer, but she's a huge star and the biggest on the LPGA Tour. She would draw tens of thousands to Rich Harvest alone, which would make the entire event that much more special.
Now, the point of the Solheim is to win, and if the Big Wiesy is playing well she will only help the US team continue its run of dominance over the weakend Euro's. She's a big hitter, which will be needed at Rich Harvest, and she has experience winning in match play.
For the tip of the week, Hughes Creek head pro Sam Bradberry helps us get aligned correctly with a simple foot drill....check out the club here and sign up for several of their great events in the coming weeks.
Tim Floyd is resigning from USC , which leaves East Aurora junior-to-be Ryan Boatright in limbo.
The point guard verbally committed to the Trojans the summer before his freshman year at East, and has stayed the course even through Floyd's dalliance with Arizona and a scandal involving the recruitment of former Trojan OJ Mayo.
But now, Boatright is unsure of what's going to happen with his recruitment.
"I really don't know. I'm going to talk to my mom and call the school and see what's going on. I really don't know."
This week's Front Nine examined how the average player can save at least two shots a round by doing some simple things before a round, off the tee and around the greens.
Area head professionals Kyle Rich of Fox Bend Golf Course in Oswego, Tom Tierney of Orchard Valley Golf Course in Aurora and Chad Johansen of Blackberry Oaks Golf Course in Bristol gave us some insights.
Before the round
Here's a putting drill from Johansen that he says will help you shave those shots (visit his golf academy here).
"Take a golf ball and put a line completely around the middle of the ball. Take a chalk line from a hard ware store and you snap a chalk line five feet from the hole. Put the line that's on that ball on that chalk line and you putt two tees in between your putter. Do that for 10 mintes a day.
"All you're going to do is just putt in between the two tees and you want that line to stay on the chalk line for five feet. Any time you've had a good round, ever, you've made a lot of five foot putts. If you want to take 2 strokes off your score, if you do that for 10 minutes a day it's definitely going to help."
Johansen also says that many players don't know how far they actually hit their clubs. At Johansen's studio at Blackberry Oaks, they print out a bag tag of that player's average yardages per club. It's a service that costs just $50.
"If you did that first drill I gave you and came out and did one of these training sessions and knew how far you hit every club, I can guarantee you'll lose two strokes off your score, no doubt about it."
Off the tee
A lot of players find themselves off the fairway after launching a tee ball, and many times that ball is nestled among the tree line. Naturally, there are gaps in the trees, but this is where players can save shots.
Said Rich: "Guys try to hit that shot and the ball kicks 20 yards into the woods and now they're really making a high score."
Rich says that a way to save those shots is to get it in your mind before the round that this round is the one where you're going to think your way around the golf course and play the smart shots.
And a beneficial side effect of such a strategy is that it becomes habitual - and you start doing it all the time.
"That's the way I play. If I hit a bad shot or I'm in a bad situation in a tournament, if I can just get it back into play and move on from there, my score is going to be much better than trying to hit that one spectacular shot you see the pro's pull off."
Around the greens
A lot of times, players choose to get too creative around the greens with wedges when the smarter play would be to use a putting stroke - either with the putter or by using a 7- or 8-iron from 30 feet away.
Said Tierney: "You're playing a less lofted club. Even if you belly it and you hit it in the middle of the ball, the thing is still going to roll out there about 10 feet from the hole. If you swing a sand wedge hard enough to loft it up to the hole and hit it in the middle of the ball you're over the green. Or if you hit behind it, you stubbed it. It's pretty hard to stub a runner or a chip and run."
Tierney also suggested the age old formula for improvement: Practice.
"If you miss a green, you're throwing another stroke in there, so in order to get that stroke back you need to have a good short game. Is it fun to practice your short game? Not for most people."
"The short game - that's where you do your scoring and its the most important part of the game and it's probably the most neglected."
Well, it's finally done.
The Sox called up Gordon Beckham from AAA Charlotte to replace the God-awful Wilson Betemit ...
Now, it's good that Betemit is gone. The guy was terrible. But what are they going to do with Beckham?
Ozzie said he wants the kid to play and will move him around at third, short and second base.
That's a huge mistake.
Baseball is a hard enough game, let alone when you're a rookie being thrust into a tight division race and then having to bounce around a handful of positions.
The guy needs to play second base or third base. That's it.
So either Chris Getz (.248 avg) or Jayson Nix (.220 avg) or Josh Fields (.238) need to go to the bench, and I vote for the Getz/Nix combo. I think FIelds has a better upside than either Getz or Nix, and Beckham needs to play every day.
the MLB Amateur Draft is next week, with Marmion Academy's Matt Milroy expected to be selected early on. East Aurora's Dan Okapal also has a shot to get picked.
There's a chance Morse could make his college decision this summer.
Following a late victory tonight on the strength of solid pitching and, what else, a home run the Sox are 25-25 on the year.
Some people are excited, others aren't so much - at least judging by friends and the reaction on the radio. More people seemed concerned that "we can't dump Dwayne Wise and/or Brian Anderson and/or The Prancing Pony when Carlos Quentin comes back - what do we do?"
Whaddaya mean you can't dump D-Wise? Last I checked Wise is 31 years old and is hitting .180. I don't care if he's left handed or has slightly above average speed. Brian Anderson, at least, is 27, hitting respectably and plays a stellar outfield.
Sox fans whine and complain about the dumbest crap. Dwayne Wise? C'mon....
An oh by the way EDIT: This guy says its nearly impossible for the Sox to make it to the World Series this year...