Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ian Poulter #5 in the World and Paul Casey #6 in the World.

It does not suprise me that Ian Poulter won the Accenture World Golf Championships Match Play Event for 2010.  Because Ian plays on both the European Tour and the American PGA Tour, he splits time and does not play in as many events on either tour compared to players dedicated to one tour or the other.  While Ian has won on the European Tour, this win in the World Match Play is his first win in an official PGA Tour Event. 

In 2009 Ian ranked 4th in Scrambling Percentage (Up and Downs) getting up and down 65.14% of the time, he also ranked 7th on the PGA Tour in Putting with only 28.18 putts per round.  In 2009 he ranked 25th on the PGA Tour Money List playing in only 17 PGA Tour Events.  Ian is 32 years old and is listed by the PGA Tour as 6'1" tall and 189lbs.

This helps to establish my theory once again that when you get your Driving and Full Swing to an advanced level, what will get you to the Elite Level of Winning the Championship Flight in your Club Championship or Winning The Accenture World Golf Championship, will be your short game.

With some of the amazing up and downs that Ian had today, it's no wonder that he's been quoted saying he devotes at least half of his practice time to his short game.

As of the Match Play, here are the current World Rankings ... previous to the World Match Play, Ian Poulter was ranked 11th and Paul Casey was ranked 7th.

1 Tiger Woods, USA 12.60
2 Steve Stricker, USA 7.93
3 Phil Mickelson, USA 7.68
4 Lee Westwood, Eng 7.04
5 Ian Poulter, Eng 6.31
6 Paul Casey, Eng 6.03
7 Jim Furyk, USA 5.35
8 Martin Kaymer, Deu 5.30
9 Rory McIlroy, Nir 5.00
10 Padraig Harrington, Irl 4.93

In my opinion Ian Poulter earned a big advantage in the finals over Paul Casey.  The advantage was that after he sank an 7 foot putt on the 18th hole of his morning match on Saturday to beat Thongchai Jaidee, he went out and braved the elements much better than Sergio Garcia did in the afternoon and waxed him 7 and 6.  He only had to play 12 holes in the afternoon for a total of 30 holes on Saturday.  Good for him for getting it done and getting it done early in his Semi-Finals match.  On the other hand, it took Paul Casey 5 extra holes on Saturday afternoon to beat Camilo Villegas which meant that he was out in the cold weather on Saturday afternoon for 11 more holes than Poulter.  Then Paul Casey had to wake up super early to continue his battle with Camilo which luckily for him ended after only one morning hole.  Ian Poulter got it done on Saturday, to be a little more ready on Sunday ...  

Between Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, I see two great golf games.  They are both great players, but their games are different.  Paul Casey hits it a little longer, and statistically Ian Poulter has a little bit better short game.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Woods made me think of Lama Kunga and also the book The Mulligan today.

Great Job Today Tiger!  In his position and for his mental well being, I think he needed to do it.  He needed to do it for himself and to also give all of us a chance to wipe the slate clean and wish him well in his time of maturity and spiritual growth.

Forgiveness is the most wonderful thing in the world.  I believe that Buddha and Jesus have never stopped loving you Tiger and today they are able to be a little more proud of you.  Listening to your press conference today made me think of two things: 

One thing is the time I've been so fortunate to spend with my friend Lama Kunga, a Buddhist Lama in Berkeley CA .  Lama Kunga mentioned at different times how wonderful forgiveness is ... wonderful and healthful for both the person receiving the forgiveness and the person doing the forgiving.  Lama you are a wise and wonderful friend and teacher. 

The second thing I thought after seeing Tiger today was about the wonderful story in called The Mulligan written by Ken Blanchard and Wally Armstrong.  If you have never read it, even if you don't play golf it is a fantastic book.  If you do play golf you absolutely have to read it.

Good Luck Tiger, I believe you are getting  back on the right path.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Golf News | Golfweek | Why now? Players react to Woods’ plans

Golf News Golfweek Why now? Players react to Woods’ plans: "'It’s selfish. You can write that. I feel sorry for the sponsor. Mondays are a good day to make statements, not Friday.”

– Ernie Els"

Way to go Ernie!  He took the words right out of my mouth. 
Tiger was Selfish in his Personal Life, he'll now be Selfish towards The PGA Tour, The Game of Golf, and his fellow Tour Players as he takes attention away from the tournament they are competing in to tell us all what?  I sure hope this "statement" that he is going to give tomorrow doesn't make him look like more of an @#$%^&* than he does already.

I'm all for Mulligans in Life and Second Chances ... I just hope that Tiger is going to humble himself, ask for a Mulligan and make the very best of it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Driver Swing Sequence: Ernie Els Swing Sequences:

Ernie Els' Swing Sequence & My Method of Teaching Golf.

If you ever find yourself searching for some answers for your swing. You cold do worse than by taking a gander at Ernie Els' Swing Sequence. I particularily like this swing and would encourage anyone to study it.

I found myself studying swings this morning in search of common bonds between great ball strikers. Particularily I was comparing the following: Set-Up, First Move from the Ball, and the transition area (top of the backswing). The great thing about these still frames of Ernie is that we can examine all parts of his swing, just like I try do do when I begin a golf lesson.  You see, when I teach, I'll almost always begin the lesson the same way. After introductions etc. I'll have the student chip 5-10 balls twenty yards, then have them hit a few full swings with a PW, then a few full swings with a 6 or 7 iron, sometimes a few hybrids, and then enough drivers for me to have made a proper diagnosis of the very best place to begin improving that students ball striking and overall game. When you are a real doctor or a swing doctor like me, you don't want to miss the diagnosis and give people medicine that they don't need. Prescribing the wrong medicine may make the patient (golfer) worse or at the very least delay them from getting better. So, I always use this Pre Shot (Pre Diagnosis) Routine for Teaching to make sure I don't jump to judgement to quickly about the primary and secondary problems in students swing.

During this "Pre Diagnosis Routine" I get to see how well they hit these different clubs and now I also have time to check their: Grip, Posture, Stance/Alignment, Weight distribution, Takeaway, Turn, Weight Shift, Concentration, Clubhead Speed, Hinge, Impact, Release, Swing Plane, Swing Path, Ball Flight, Angle of Attack, How they Bottom Out, and their Finish. So, just like when we urge you to use a pre shot routine to make sure you have prepared properly to hit the shot your best, as a teacher of golf, I use a Pre Diagnosis Routine to make sure I have prepared my best to diagnose and treat your golf swing.

Having you hit a range of different clubs gives me a chance to see you hit enough shots to check all the important components of the swing but also it allows me to see you hit these different shots: Chipping, Full Swing From The Fairway, and Driving The Ball. Getting to see these different shots is so important because as you know, some people can drive the ball but can't hit irons well, some people have a good full swing but a bad short game, and some people could really really benefit by just being able to get off the tee better. Chipping, Irons, or Driver, whatever the student needs the most improvement with, and whatever component of the swing needs the most help can now be addressed and the student will be on their way to better golf and lower scores.  They can achieve success now if they will work to bring the prescribed habits into their swing and work to force the bad habits out of their swing.  A doctor can diagnose an infection in a person but it might never improve unless that person takes all of the prescribed medicine, just like a good teacher can show a student how to get better but in the end the student still has to be the one to incorporate the necessary improvements to their swing.

 To Summarize all of this I have named my Style of Golf Instruction, THE "READY SET GO" METHOD.

In My Method of Teaching Golf, I'd breakdown the swing into three parts.   1. Ready  2. Set   3.  Go

The First Picture of Ernie at Set Up is READY. 
The next two pictures of the initial takeaway and top of the backswing are SET.
The Action in the Swing ... The Downswing, Impact, Release, and Finish are GO.

Are you READY for some Great Golf in 2010?

Driver Swing Sequence: Ernie Els Swing Sequences:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Natalie Gulbis: 10 Rules For Wedging It Close Magazines:

Some fresh ideas for a better wedge game from Natalie Gulbis. This is a neat article and not the same old blah blah from Dave Pelz or David Leadbetter. Not that the same old blah blah isn't valuable, but just like working out, you need to work with a new mindset and try different drills to keep progressing and getting better. + Natalie seems like a lot more fun than David Leadbetter :) ... Thank you Natalie and Thank you Golf Digest.

Of the Ten Rules Natalie mentions, here's what I think of each rule.

#1. Beat the Distances that scare you. All this pursuit of leaving yourself with a certain yardage into the green doesn't say you are good at that distance as much as it says you stink from distances you should be better at. So to compliment Natalie and also to help your game no matter what your handicap is, here is what you should do. First, get super good at a half swing and full swing distance with your SW or Lob Wedge (whichever you like more). Then after you have mastered those two distances it will be easier for you to get the in between distances all set and ready for action. Now you will look forward to hitting it close from any distance.
#2. Make practice competitive. I totally agree. This is one of the biggest reasons why I see teenagers with better short games than adults. Kids through College age golfers are always having chipping contests and putting contests against one another, getting better and having fun. Sometimes adults could benefit from acting like a kid again.
#3. Learn to go high and low. Ahhhh the necessary Ying and Yang of scoring around the greens. This is very true, some folks only like pitching it up high and making it check up. Some folks only know low chips that run. People stick to what they know even if it's the wrong call on the course ... work on getting it close to the hole both ways so you can make the right call to get it up and down.
#4. Strong wrists are essential. This is pretty straight forward. Go online, there are a million devices you can buy online to help strengthen your wrists to make your game better and to help avoid injury.
#5. Never let a good tip go bad. Boy does this happen a lot with good students. Good students practice what you tell them to and sometimes they will practice and practice and eventually if for example they had a problem aiming right and they work on fixing it a little too much, they will wind up with a problem aiming left. For this reason alone, check up lessons are really important to make sure you don't go from one extreme to another.
#6. Keep your grooves clean -- always. Enoujgh said.
#7. A good test, Hit it with One Hand. Now Natalie is preaching gospel I tell you. There may be no better way to increase your feel and focus, try some chipping and putting with only your left hand and only your right hand ... trust me, it will make you better.
#8. Your grips must fit your hands. Again, not rocket science here but true nonetheless.
#9. Make changes wedges first. I tell people this all the time, chipping and wedge shots are merely a shorter version of a full swing with your irons. The work you put in chipping and pitching will not only help that part of your game but a nice side effect will be a better iron shots too.
#10. Find a spark for getting better. I believe Winston Churchill said that "Motivation is like bathing, it's something you need everyday." Keep yourself motivated to get better, stay hungry. Or like the Most Interesting Man in the World says ... Stay Thirsty My Friends!

Natalie Gulbis: 10 Rules For Wedging It Close Magazines:

Callaway X-Forged - 1 - Golf Magazine ClubTest 2010 Better-Player Irons - Photos -

If you are interested in new irons this year, here is a good look at some options for irons with little to no offset, and a more traditional shape. My favorites are the first iron shown, the Callaway X-Forged which actually was introduced on a limited basis in 2009 and is the best iron I have ever seen. Also, The Wilson FG Tour iron looks phenomenal. Wilson irons have been used to win more Major Championships than any other iron ever. Back in the day, every good player played Wilson irons at one time or another. This year Wilson really has the best line up of new irons I have seen from any company in a long time. The other irons listed all look pretty darn nice. Take a look ... click the link.

Callaway X-Forged - 1 - Golf Magazine ClubTest 2010 Better-Player Irons - Photos -

Thursday, February 4, 2010

World Golf Tour is a Great Computer Golf Game

Click or follow the link to the World Golf Tour website. You get to play a golf video game on some of the nicest courses in the world and if you get really good you can win a SkyCaddie GPS Yardage device. I just started playing and it is fun and can be a little frustrating too, kind of like real golf. I think when you play more and earn more points, you can get better clubs and a cooler looking avatar etc, or you can just buy your game but who would do that? Enjoy the game and enjoy the Superbowl, I like both the Colts and the Saints, may the best team win.

Also, if you see someone on the top of the Leaderboard on the WGT with the username ELSFAN, that is me. I think Ernie seems to be a pretty stand up guy, he's always had a swing I've admired, and I think this might be his year to win the Masters.

Finally, take the Tutorial on how to play before you start, it takes a couple of minutes to go through and it will help a bunch. None of it is complicated unless you don't know what you are doing. Swinging the darn club is simple, put the cursor on the swing line, until it says swing, then raise it towards the player while your backswing goes back as far as you want, then click to let it go, then click again right in the middle to make it go straight.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fitness: Get to the core of your swing Golf Instruction:

In December I attended a day long conference conducted by The Professional Golfer's Association of America. One of the speakers was an expert in physical fitness; David Donatucci. David really explained a lot of great stuff that day and showed us some super exercises that I have been doing since that day. I've been doing these exercises since and even though I have a new born who likes to keep her Mom and Dad up all night, I feel great. Truly my posture feels better and my waist is smaller from doing these exercises. I have been trying to find these exercises on line to share with you and I finally found them here in this article by Mark Verstegen with Ron Kaspriske on Many of the exercises are the same ones that David explained to us at the conference. Exercises 5,6,8, & 11 are my favorites. I hope you can begin to use these to feel better in your daily life and to improve your golf performance as well.

Fitness: Get to the core of your swing Golf Instruction:


Does the use of Ping Eye 2 wedge by tour players violate the spirit of the new groove rule?


Click the link to vote on Golf Digests Poll. Remember this only affects PGA Tour Pro's now. All of you amateurs can use any of the iron and wedge grooves that had been legal up until this Dec. 31 2009 even though the pros may only use the new 2010 conforming grooves. Go on, click the link, vote, and have a great day!