Rickie Fowler always seems to be that guy that is right there on Sunday, but can never seal the deal. But I think this is his Justin Thomas like breakout year, and here is why I think so.
A 54-hole golf tournament is a lot on your body. To do that week in and week out, takes a lot out of you. So it isn’t that surprising that he is getting physically worn down, and collapsing on Sunday’s.
I think his new girlfriend is going to help him raise multiple trophies this PGA Tour season. His new girlfriend’s name is Allison Stokke. She is an American track and field athlete specializing in pole vault.
But that is a side note.
Since they have been together, like most couples, they have been going virtually everywhere together. The most prominent was at Fowler’s alma maters, Oklahoma State’s homecoming. Fowler was accompanied by his new lady friend. But that was what the media saw.
Fowler posted a video of the two of them doing sprints on the Oklahoma State’s football in the early hours of the morning. Instead of being hungover, Fowler was out there with her running. Since then Fowler has posted pictures on Snapchat and Instagram of cone setups and him running.
Assuming it is with his new boo.
My theory is that all these early morning workouts will pay off. Not only is he going to be focused on golf, not chasing tail. He is going to arguably be in the best shape of his life.
With that, I believe will come trophies.
He will be able to stay fresh all four days of the tournament and his body will be in good enough shape to keep up and keep the elite level of golf up.
If Fowler wins a lot this year, you heard it here first.
Wilfore’s Golf Bucket List
Most people as they get older get a mental idea of a bucket list.
Not many people actually write out this list, but they have it.
For golfers, they have this same list but for golf.
Although I am young, I have a small bucket list that is golf themed already made up.
Here are my few bucket list items.
Go to The Masters: Thankfully this one will be checked off the list soon. My friend won tickets to The Masters this season so I will be heading down south in April. This is every golfers dream, I imagine, to walk the grounds of Augusta National. It isn’t even the golf you go for; it is the mythical feel you get walking around the place.
Play Liberty National: Before the President’s Cup I was really intrigued by this course. I always like the location and the whole Statue of Liberty feel. But after watching four days of beautiful golf on the course it is my top “must play” courses before I die. From the gorgeous views, the amazing clubhouse, and the course itself. Holes 10 and 12 seem like some of the most fun holes in golf and most underrated holes in golf. It is a must play.
Break 70: This may be the hardest one to achieve. 1. Because I suck and I can’t even break 80. 2. It is the one thing on my list that I can’t buy/ isn’t a physical thing. It is easy to buy tickets or pay for a tee time. It will be tough to break 70 but with a few lessons and learning to control my anger after a triple bogey, I am sure I can get there.
Bucket lists are ever growing and I am sure in a few years my list will be a lot longer. And hopefully a few of them will have check marks next to them.
Justin Thomas is my Player of the Year
Winning the player of the year award in any sport is pretty impressive.
To get that, you have to do something historic or be the best player in the league by a lot. This season in the NBA we saw Russell Westbrook average a triple double and win the NBA MVP. So you could say that winning five tour events in one season would be a solid campaign for the MVP.
I think it is, and it is not disputable. Starting off the season with a few wins at the early year events seemed cool for JT. Get some wins under your belt and get geared up for a long year.But when he won the PGA Championship it opened a whole new can of worms.
Winning a major compared to a “pre season” event gives you an entire different look to your resume. In a major everybody is playing at the top of their game and the course itself are such a tough setup it takes you’re A game to win. After that, he added yet another win. In the Fed Ex Playoffs even.
To win five PGA Tour events in your life is one thing, but to do it in a year is amazing. I think Justin Thomas had the best year on the PGA Tour.
I would argue he is the unanimous player of the year, but I have Spieth a close second and I think the voters may give him a few votes. Between the unreal Open performance, we will be talking about for years. And not to mention his bunker shot in our backyard in Connecticut that may go down as the shot of the year.
Justin Thomas may not have had the most memorable shot of the year, but he has had the best year and deserves to win player of the year.
Oh and there is two events left, anything is possible.
Millennial Pushing the Envelope on the Course
Changing The Game of Golf
We all grow up being told not to stereotype, but it’s human nature to pair certain qualities with certain groups.
Some may be true; some may not be. One thing golf does have is a very strong stereotype among non golfers around the world.
Rich. Snobby. Proper. No fun. Quiet please.
Those are some of the words that some people associate with golfers.
Rich people who enjoy their weekends at their country club, wearing fancy clothes, only clapping and not cheering and being quiet for most of their four-hour round.
But the millennial golfer may be breaking that mold. Myself included, millennial golfers like to push the envelope.
Instead of wearing a proper polo, we like to wear polos with crazy patterns and colors, untucked with a backwards hat on.
We are still going to hit the golf ball the same.
We like to bring our Bluetooth speakers and play our favorite songs while we play with our friends. We like to prank each other and try trick shots. Golf is a game, lets make it fun.
With all that being said we respect the history and tradition of golf, but with the direction it is heading, we need a drastic change to get todays youth excited and involved.
What better than bright fun clothes, loud music, competition and a whole lot of fun. The older generation may see our loud music as disrespect.
Come on dude, you were going to shank that ball into the woods even if my 50 Cent wasn’t blasting on my speaker. Golf needs to lighten up.
Until the older generation gets their ego and pettiness out, this game may never grow.
Millennials are not trying to ruin golf, we are trying to put our own fun spin on it.
Either join us, or get left in the dust. This is the future of golf.
The Pros and Cons of Playing a Par-3 Course
“Pitch and Putt” Par 3 Course
Sometimes, you just want to have a nice relaxing round.
A great way to do that is play a par 3 course.
Playable: It is only a par 3. So it is relatively playable for the non golfer. Whether that is an old friend who has clubs but never plays, a kid or even your girlfriend. Par 3 courses are short enough to where even someone who tops the ball 9/10 times can have fun.
Walkable: Some people hate walking on a normal course. Par 3 courses are nice to walk because it isn’t all that much walking. 18 holes is going to be right around 3,000 yards compared to real courses that could be up to 6,500.
Time: Since the holes are smaller, they take less time to play. 18 holes will take a lot less time at a par 3 course. So if you are just trying to squeeze in some swings, this is a great option.
Irons: Unless you are very very old. Driver and woods are going to be staying in your bag most of the day. This means all irons. Which can be good. This is great time to get some practice with your irons and maybe even a hybrid on the longer holes.
Putting: Most of the time, when you hit a green in regulation, you are outside of 10 feet from the hole. Unless you are a PGA Tour pro. But this means you get to practice long lag putts, speed control and other things that come into long putts. Instead of you missing the green and chipping close.
Pace of Play: Because they are relatively easy and family friendly, the people at these courses suck. I recently got stuck behind a father and son playing and the father topped everything and the son would scream “Kobe” every time he swung as if he was mimicking Kobe Bryant.
Only Irons: You never really get to pull out the diesel stick or even 3 wood. So just keep them in your car so you aren’t tempted to do something stupid.
Price: Although it is a lot less course, most of the time the rates are the same as a normal par 72 course.
Par 3 courses can be fun and relaxing. Leave the expectations at your country club and just have a fun day.
Who Will Get The Career Grand Slam First?
Speith or McIlroy?
The big talk after The U.S. Open this year was how Jordan Spieth was one major away from the career grand slam.
However, Rory McIlroy is also only one away, so this sparks a new debate…
Who will get it first? Well, here is my take.
When you look at their last legs of the grand slam, Spieth needs the PGA Championship and Rory needs the Masters.
Let’s look at Rory’s odds.
He doesn’t play terrible at Augusta, but he seems to never be able to get over the hump.
A T7 finish last season and a few more top 10 finishes make one think that he could string a few rounds together in April and finally get a green jacket.
Rory has said publicly that he would not feel complete without a green jacket.
But I think the door is going to shut, just about when it’s open enough to walk through.
This years PGA Championship is at Quail Hollow. Quail Hollow is the usual stop for the Wells Fargo, but it got changed.
Spieth’s lone performance on this course finished T32.
Experts say they have made so many changes and renovations into this course that it’s virtually a new course.
Why am I picking Spieth to not only get the grand slam first, but to do it this year?
Well, he is the hottest golfer on tour right now.
He walked into TPC River Highlands never played that course before and won the whole thing.
Took some time off and people didn’t think Royal Birkdale fit his style.
He went from Sunday meltdown to Sunday heroics and won the whole thing. I see that coming again.
He is top notch on the greens and if he can hit his driver mediocre, he will win the PGA Championship, set himself up perfectly to win the FedEX Cup and earn the career grand slam.
Jordan Spieth On Pace With Jack Nicklaus, Ahead of Tiger Woods
But yet after all his wins, all his majors, all his close calls.
“He is terrible off the tee.”
“He can only putt.”
“He will never be Tiger.”
These takes and attitude towards Spieth are ridiculous.
People are trying to compare a 23-year-old kid who may not have even peaked yet to arguably the best to ever do it…
I have a few theories.
It is almost the Jordan and LeBron argument. I feel that people that watched them at their peaks, have a weird connection and think it is their responsibility to continue their legacy. Not often you meet and older person who watched Jordan in the 90’s say LeBron is better. I think this is the case with Spieth and Tiger. People who watched Tiger come up and dominate people year in and year out, will never admit Spieth is better. Even if he is. For us young golf fans, we need someone to cling on. Spieth’s victory at Chambers Bay brought us in now we love him. But we have old guys telling us to calm down when we see his greatness in front of our eyes because “You were too young to remember Tiger”.
People saw Tiger or heard of how great Tiger was. And that set the bar for them. So as long as people aren’t winning tournaments by double digits, outdriving everyone off the tee and dominating every weekend they wont be great or even close to Tiger.
If we don’t wake up, we may miss the greatness of one of the best golfers of all time, just because of another golfer.
Golf Will Continue to Remain in the Olympics
Last year was the first time in a while that golf was a sport in the Olympics.
Like everything, it had its critics. But for the most part the tournament and the golfwas a success and a lot of people enjoyed watching Justin Rose capture the gold.
The International Olympic Committee must have agreed because last week they announced that golf would be in the Olympics through 2024.
The 2024 Olympics will be held in either Los Angeles or Paris.
The next Olympics will be held in Tokyo in 2020, where they will be playing at Kasumigaseki Country Club. This club has two courses and the 2020 Olympics will be played on their East course.
A big discussion happening in Japan right now is how the golfers will play that course. Many traditional Japanese designs have two greens, one for summer one for winter.
So instead of a temporary green, you have a whole separate one. A genius idea, but people are debating whether to leave them there to keep the integrity of the Japanese style or to switch it up.
For the next few summer Olympics, the golf is in good hands.
BBC reported that it seems like the IOC is going to pick Paris as the host of the 2024 Olympics, so golf would be played at Le Golf National.
Le Golf National, host of the 2018 Ryder Cup, is a gorgeous course in the south-western outskirts of Paris.
And then for the 2028 Olympics, if they are to vote for it to stay in, as reported by BBC, would be in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles would host the golf portion of the Olympics at the famed Riviera Country Club.
Riviera is a private club in the Pacific Palisades that has endless great moments over the many tournaments it has hosted.
Golf seems to be a great sport for the Olympics, the only improvement may be making it a team event like the Ryder Cup.
But other than that, good job IOC, you did something right.
The Pros and Cons of Early Tee Times
The Early bird gets the worm
Everyone knows that one person that loves to get out and golf early in the morning.
But, with that early morning tee time comes its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of an early tee time
You Lead The Way: Nothing better than playing like you’re on your own private course. No on in front of you as soon as you finish a hole you can go right on the next tee. You get to play at your pace as long as no one is really rushing you from behind.
Fresh Greens: You get to play on greens that are virtually untouched. They haven’t been walked on all day and beaten up on. Tour players will attest to this, they prefer to play in earlier groups because the greens aren’t covered in spike marks and just generally worn on.
Get It Done With: This makes it kind of sound like a chore, but this means you can still have an afternoon to be productive. If you tee off before 7 am you will finish up in enough time to do stuff all evening.
Won’t Waste Money On Beer: Unless you are a freak, you wont be drinking too much beer at a 7 am tee time. Maybe one or two in the last couple holes.
Now for the disadvantages…
Frost Delays: Nothing worse than getting to a course, ready to go and there is a 45-minute frost delay. While you have already been at the range for 30 minutes. Throws everything off.
Forget Something: While you were hung over and stumbling out of the house to make you early tee time, you completely forgot to grab that dozen Pro V1’s out of the garage. Now you got to waste money and buy a few sleeves in the pro shop.
Too Early: Early in the morning your body isn’t fully awake. By 11 am you have done enough that your body is awake and naturally stretched out. Early in the morning you can be really stiff and almost still asleep. Stretchingbefore a morning round is pivotal.
Weather: Depending on the time of year, it can be pretty cold for early tee times, hence the frost delay. If it isn’t the summer months, morning tee times can be quite chilly.
Putting: First 4-5 holes will probably have dew on the greens, slowing your ball down. Once the sun comes up and dries the due off the greens, they will be playing a lot faster. Adjusting to this for a few holes may cost you a few strokes if you are unfamiliar with the greens.
Waking up alone is a chore for some people, so you make the call whether to reserve that early tee time or not.
The Five Best Workouts For Golfers
Struggling to get distance?
It isn’t your swing or your ball, you got to get in the gym.
The big thing with golf exercising for golf, isn’t about doing huge weight. It has a lot to do with flexibility and core strength.
Glute bridges: Lay flat on your back, with your feet on the ground and your knees pointing straight to the sky. Now squeeze your butt muscles and thrust your hips into the air.
How does this help? It is the same motion you do in your golf swing when you thrust your hips through the swing, towards the target. One of the most important parts to adding distance to your drives.
Medicine ball perpendicular wall throws: Grab a medicine ball that feels like a reasonable weight for your strength. Find a wall that will take the impact of a medicine ball being thrown, stay away from glass or sheetrock. Now you stand like you are addressing a golf ball, with the wall being your “Target”. Hold the ball out in front of you and activate your core muscles and turn and throw the ball against the wall. Switch sides and keep activating your core muscles. Also, make sure you catch the ball as it bounces off the wall.
How does this help? You are activating the same core muscles, hips and glutes that you would in your normal golf swing. Adding weight will increase your speed through the ball, making it go further.
Medicine ball core rotations: Along the same line as the workout above, this one is all about core and activating the muscles you use when you are on your downswing trying to crush the ball down the fairway. To perform this exercise you sit on the ground with a medicine ball and tuck your knees in the air so the only part of your body touching the ground is your butt. You then turn the medicine ball from side to side tapping it on the ground on either side of you, isolating your core.
How does this help? It works on building your ab and core muscles, helping you rotate your body as you swing your golf club.
Cable wood chops: A personal favorite, this exercise mimics the golf swing, just adds weight to it. To perform go to a cable cage and attach a handle type piece to it. Put both hands on it, like a golf grip, and start up top of your swing and swing your hands across your body and down. While doing this you should be in golf posture and firing your hips through, simulating a golf swing.
How does this help? It builds the necessary core and shoulder muscles to hit the ball as far as Dustin Johnson.
Walking lunges: This is the simplest of exercises and you can do them virtually anywhere. To perform this, you simply walk in a straight line and with every step you lunge. If you want to amp up the intensity when you lunge out and then on your way up raise your knee that was behind you to your chest.
How does this help? For one it stretches out your hips. But most importantly it teaches you to push off the ground and create power through exploding off the ground. So when you are swinging you can generate power from your legs.
Fitness was overlooked for many years in the game of golf. We saw guys like John Daly on the PGA Tour and figured golf was a game you could just kind of power through. But today with golfers like Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, we realize how important fitness is.