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.
Alignment stick can fix your steep swing
With the golf swing, the smallest thing can make it go very very badly. One of the biggest issues is coming over the top with high handicapper golfers. When this happens your divots are, for a righty, pointing to the left and your ball is slicing badly. Vice versa for lefties. This is frustrating because although your divot is bad the ball starts at the target, but then starts to slice.
Here is a very simple and cheap way to fix this.
You don’t need a lesson, you don’t need a PGA teacher for this one. Go to your local golf store and buy an alignment stick. Alignment sticks are more than just a decoration in your bag, believe it or not they come in handy.
When you get to the range, stick the alignment stick into the ground at a 45. Place the ball under the stick so you have to sweep under the stick as you swing. Make sure the stick isn’t too vertical and not too laid out.
When you are swinging, think about solid contact with the ball, and steering clear of the stick all the way through your swing. What this does is makes you focus on dipping your back shoulder and getting your club on the right plane. This will create and nice straight divot, unlike that nasty left one you have been trying to piece meal for the past couple months.
Now you have hit a bucket, you obviously can’t take this stick onto the course, but through muscle memory, your swing will remember the stick being there and scare it into swinging too steep.
Practice makes perfect, so try getting to the range if you have this problem and fix that steep swing plane.
Thank me later.
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.
But when you lean on something and it gets pulled out, you usually stumble and fall.
And that is what happened on Sunday to Munoz.
He carded multiple bogeys that came along with three putts, not ideal when looking for your first PGA Tour victory.
Seeing the collapse, Schauffelle took advantage hitting about 90% of greens in regulation and carding four birdies for a -3, 67 on the day.
Streb and Lovemark couldn’t force a playoff and make things any more interesting as they were near the leader all day but couldn’t get those few important birdies when it mattered.
The real story is the rise of 23-year-old rookie Xander Schauffelle. A few weeks ago he had his best showing at Erin Hills at the U.S. Openwhen he finished T5, probably a dream come true.
Now just a few weeks later he is raising a trophy above his head.
“Everyone that knows me knows I’m a late bloomer, so to jump in the Top-30 in this fashion is something special for me.” Schauffelle said to the media after his win Saturday.
Emotions were running wild as he talked about his dad, a great moment for golf.
What Type of Putter Should You Be Using?
blade vs mallet Putters
Jordan Spieth and his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 almost go hand in hand.
But at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Spieth put a Scotty Cameron Futura in his bag.
For those of you who don’t know, the Newport 2 is a blade style putter and the Futura is a mallet type putter.
This raises the question, what type of putter should you be using?
Recently we have seen many tour players gaming the TaylorMade Spider, which is also a larger mallet looking putter.
Here is an argument for both styles, and we will let you decide.
Lighter: For the most part this putter has less material so it will naturally be lighter. This may help players who have a smooth putting stroke already.
Lines: There are a lot of sight lines in a blade putter. Some are literally painted on it like a dot on the top of it. But a putter like a Newport 2, it has a lot of natural lines in the design that will help with alignment.
Feel: Because it is a smaller piece of material, it is easier to “feel” the putt. Saying that when you crank a putt you know and can feel it, or if you leave it short. With a mallet it is a bigger piece of material so the feel is lost in the bigness.
Heavier: Some may see this as a downfall, but if you tend to leave putts short, get a big mallet behind that little white ball and it will be flying towards the hole in no times.
Forgiving: Because the material is bigger, if you have a mishit and hit the ball not on the center of the face, it will go almost on the intended line. With a blade, mishits are a lot more exaggerated.
Alignment: Many people say because of the bulk of the putter; mallets are easier to align on your intended line towards the hole.
At the end of the day, the biggest thing with a putter is confidence. Some people don’t like the bulkiness of a mallet and say it looks ugly at address. If you are not confident looking down at the putt, you wont have a confident stroke. Confidence is key when putting. Pick your line and stick to it.
Why Are Luxury Clubs Becoming More Popular?
Parsons Extreme Golf
We all know PXG.
Parsons Extreme Golf is a newish golf equipment company that makes everything you need from drivers to iron setsto putters and everything in between.
These clubs have been reviewed and have had pretty good reviews. PGA Tour players James Hahn, Ryan Moore, Pat Perez and others on the PGA and LPGA Tour play these clubs.
There is a catch though. These clubs cost a pretty penny.
Here are some of their price points.
Their 0311 irons, “Engineered for golfers at every level of the game, PXG 0311’s are the world’s sexiest, most forgiving irons that launch higher, go farther, feel softer and have a sweet spot the size of Texas.” As their website says will cost you around $300 dollars a club. Oh, and you can only order them through an authorized fitter…
Let’s look at their 0811 driver.
Available in 9 degree, 10.5 and 12 degree lofts, this driver will only cost you $850 dollars, pocket change. Also only available at an authorized fitter.
Recently PXG released a new line of wedges that are 100% milled wedges in various loft, lie and bounce options. 100% milled wedge must be a fine work of art that performs unlike any other and for the low starting price of $650 dollars you can start holing out with you 60-degree wedge, so worth it!
The only club you can buy on PXG’s website are putters. They range from $400-$600 dollars.
But this isn’t just about PXG.
Titleist JP WEdges
Recently, Titleist introduced their line of JP wedges.
These wedges are designed by James Patrick Harrington and they do not disappoint. These wedges are beautiful top of the line clubs that perform as well as they look.
When you order them you have customizable options such as stamping, paint fill, grip size and of course loft.
For a small price of $2,000 dollars you get a one on one fitting with Harrington where he will look at your swing using high tech cameras.
Once diagnosing your swing, he will tailor three wedges for your swing, but only three. Each additional wedge after the three will cost you $500 dollars a piece.
These “high end” clubs seem to be catching on. Although you may not seem many people at your golf coursewith them, people are still buying them.
What happened to just buying a Mack Daddy Callaway wedge for around $100 dollars and being happy with it?
Seems as if people that buy these clubs are putting too much stock into the game improvement of them.
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.