Archive for October, 2013

October 31, 2013

Defending Brandel Chamblee

As much as I can I try to stay away from talking about stories that the golf media create simply because there is nothing else going on in the golf world at the moment, but I can’t help myself but jump in on this Tiger vs Chamblee story.

If you want a good example of how back and forth the golf media is with the top stars, do yourself a favor and look back at the seemingly unbelievable breakdown Rick Reilly put together outlining who could de-throne Tiger. His conclusion was the only person to replace Tiger was Tiger himself! What? Wow! What an amazing insight Rick. The best part was that a few weeks later when Rory started winning Reilly quickly labeled him the next big thing. What about the wonderful world of Tiger you wrote about before Rick? I guess if Rick Reilly can so easily forget about his bold prediction we all should too.

Damon Hack went ahead and stepped over the line, in my opinion, with Rory a while back as well. In the beginning of Rory’s struggles Hack wrote and open letter to Rory. The letter basically questioned Rory’s work ethic, his motivations and his ability to stay focused in the lime light. How is it ok for someone to question these things but it is not ok for one writer to say that Tiger was “cavalier” with the rules this year?

I for one, think that Chamblee is a fantastic broadcaster. He brings a different view to the telecast that I enjoy. He is openly critical of not only Tiger, but all players when he feels it is necessary. Do I think he called Tiger a cheater? No. I think he stated what a lot of other people thought as well. The ruling at the Master’s was one of the strangest in golf history. Tiger openly admitted that he moved the ball backwards on his drop. that alone tells me he intended to give himself an advantage on his drop. Even other players came out and said Tiger should withdraw from the tournament due to the mix up. No one called him a cheater, they just said the rules of golf had been broken and the right thing to do would be to fess up and move on.

Can you imagine the ramification if he had been disqualified or had withdrawn himself? The TV ratings would plummet, the Master’s would be marred in scandal and Tiger would have missed another shot at catching Jack. There was NO WAY the golfing world would let that happen. If you think otherwise you are crazy.

Let’s fast forward to today. Chamblee has apologized to Tiger on air and in writing. I don’t think much more needs to be done from either end and I hope this goes away. The fact that it involves Tiger makes me know that this little feud will never go away as long as Chamblee is on air and commenting on the golf world. It will simply always be a story and I think that is sad.

The last point I will make in this whole rules debacle is the recent incident with Simon Dyson. The article is still up on Golf.com and can be read here. Dyson tapped down a mark on his putting line in direct violation of the rules and was disqualified and is now facing a fine and possible suspension from the tour. Where was this type of action for Tiger’s violation at the Masters? Why is it ok for Dyson to get the full extent of the rules and Tiger not? I firmly believe the rules should apply across the board and in my humble opinion it doesn’t seem like that is happening. It seems to me that Tiger is bigger than the game right now. I understand how much the game of Golf needs Tiger and how much he has done for the game. It can’t be quantified what Tiger means to Golf, but how can we crucify an analyst for pointing out what actually happened? It seems like a case of a slow news day that simply needs to go away.

October 16, 2013

New Golf Glove with Unexpected Comfort

Normally I don’t like to endorse products, but when I come across something I really like I want to share. Since I have started The Birdie Hunt I have talked about Club Champion and the phenomenal club fitting they provide, my online swing lesson with Fix Your Game, my in person lessons at Play 18 Chicago and today I am going to add one more item to my list. Mettle golf gloves.

I came across Mettle Golf on Twitter and randomly checked out their website. After reading a bit about the company and their products I was intrigued. After all, the golf glove is a very ho hum part of the golf outfit that normally doesn’t get much attention. Normally I just buy a glove at the course when my current one has finally broken down and torn apart.

I went ahead and got myself two of their gloves. They only come in two color combinations as of now, but I have been assured that more designs and colors are coming down the road.

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When I first took them out of the package I was surprised at the spandex like material on the top of the glove. I put the glove on and my first reaction was that the glove felt almost light on my hand. It didn’t feel like any other glove I had worn before. The leather felt great and was on the level of many of the “tour” quality gloves you can buy. The real difference was the material on the top part of the glove. It was breathable, stretchy and light weight. It felt pretty good, but I wasn’t sure how it would feel swinging a club.

The next day, I went to the range and warmed up with my normal worn down nike glove. After a short warm up with my crusty glove I switched over to the Mettle glove. I have to admit that it still gave me some hesitation because of how light it felt to my other glove. I hit some balls with my wedge, 7 iron and driver and quickly forgot that I was even wearing a glove. It felt great and performed very well. I used the Mettle glove for the rest of my range session with zero complaints. After I was done I took it off and examined the glove. It looked exactly like it did when I took it out of the packaging. There was no visible wear or tear after hitting two large buckets. This is something I could get excited about.

I played 18 holes with the glove over the weekend and again was impressed with the light weight feel of the glove, it’s performance and the fact that it stood up to 18 holes without any wear or tear. It literally looks brand new and I love that. I hate having to put on a crusty used glove and I have yet to experience that with these gloves.

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The design caught the attention of some of my playing partners who all wanted to try it on to see what I was talking about. The general consensus was the at the glove felt great and that everyone would like to see it in more colors and designs. I will admit that this is my one hang up with the glove as well. The drastic colors don’t always match with every golf outfit and can look a little uncoordinated if paired with the wrong polo. I for one will be continuing to wear my Mettle golf glove because it is incredibly comfortable and performs surprisingly well on the course. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for new colors and designs as they are released. If you are interested in checking them out for yourself give Mettle Golf a visit and see what you think!

October 2, 2013

Fall in Love with Your Weaknesses

There was an interesting article featured on LinkedIn, via the Huffington Post, yesterday by James Clear called “How to Stay Focused When Working on Your Goals Gets Boring.”  The article is interesting and incredibly relevant the everyday golfer. We have limited time to practice yet we all strive for exceedingly lofty goals. We all want to shoot lower scores and have lower handicaps. There is a reason that it doesn’t happen for a lot of us. Mainly it is the way we practice.

The author asked a coach he saw in the gym the following question, “What’s the difference between the best athletes and everyone else? What do the really successful people do that most people don’t?” The coaches response made me really stop and think about how I truly practice my golf game. The coach said, “At some point, it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training every day and doing the same lifts over and over and over again.”

After I read this quote I thought about how I go about practicing to improve my game. I thought back to my last session at the range and which clubs I spent a lot of time hitting. I started with some PW’s, 7 irons, a few 5 irons then spent quite a while hitting my 3 wood off the deck and my driver. After all that I chipped and putted for 20 mins and went home.

Next, I went through which clubs I hit the most during my last round. I only hit one 3 wood off the deck, driver on most holes, no 5 irons, and more PWs, SWs and shots around the green than I can count. My practice session did not reflect the weakness in my game at all. If I had been practicing smarter I would have spent the time on my wedge game instead of the macho long game.

The quote from the coach in the article made me think about how much I neglect my short game practice. I have put a lot of work in on it over the past year, but I have been committed to making it something I love to practice. It has to be something I am committed to practicing above every other aspect of my game. Right now, it is just another part of my game. I want it to be the BEST part of my game and think there needs to be a shift in my practice schedule to make that happen.

For the remainder of this season and the winter time I am going to make it a goal of mine to wear my wedges out. I want to go into next season needing to buy brand new wedges since I have absolutely worn them out from practice. This probably sounds excessive and it might be, but it can’t hurt to set a goal and go for it!