The courses have been closed for months here in northern Utah. I’ve enjoyed the break from golf, mainly the break from my short game. So during the winter layoff while working in my office I’m watching Tom Watson’s Lessons of a Lifetime II, a multi-DVD golf instructional program with over 3.5 hours of instruction. Who better to teach me chipping and pitching than one of the best ever?
Watching some short game lessons during the big snowstorm
Every aspect of the golf game is covered by Mr. Watson, from full swing to short game to putting. There are even lessons targeted specifically to kids, and seniors. Here are most of the topics:
- Basics of the grip
- Ball position
- The swing (takeaway, backswing, downswing, finish)
- Shotmaking (high, low, draw, fade, hook, slice)
- Bunker play
- Playing in varying weather conditions
- Short game
- Handling pressure
- “The Secret”
- Pre-shot routine
- Bottom of the arc (perhaps the most important factor in many swings)
What I like about Tom’s style is how clearly and easily he describes the situations, the objectives, and how to execute the shots. I’ve been trying to absorb as much as I can from Tom, especially that pesky short game.
Most Valuable Lessons For Me
I’ve found there are several things I’m not doing in my short game which Tom says are crucial: Find the bottom of the arc and put the ball slightly behind it. Set up square to the target, then open up the body, but close the left hip/side. Pick a landing spot, and see how long the roll is with varying clubs while still hitting the same landing spot.
I’ve watched Tom’s tips for handling pressure a few times now. Since I only compete in high pressure situations a few times per year, I seem to get pretty jumpy and nervous. I find it hard to slow my heart rate down and calm down. When the snow melts and I’m in one of those first pressure situations this next season, I’m looking forward to employing Tom’s advice.
This multi-DVD set is full of great golf lessons and I should be better at playing it more often to help my own game. It’s nice to pick a point of focus, like short game, putting, bunker play and try to absorb the concepts.
For a price less than a single golf lesson, this DVD set from Tom Watson has hundreds of great golf teachings which can be viewed over and over again. What a value.
I missed the gym yesterday. That makes three years in a row. But now that I have some of the new Dunning Golf “Technical Sportswear” I may finally have the motivation to get back at it.
Dunning’s new sportswear line is so luxurious and comfortable it’s impossible for me to put into words. Here’s what they say:
“Dunning combines luxury fabrics with clean athletic designs to create a collection of technical sportswear for men. Today’s active lifestyles demand clothing that performs; Dunning delivers unsurpassed quality, year-round versatility and timeless styling, making it ideal for athletics, travel and leisure.”
I’ve got a pair of sweatpants, shirt, and a 1/4 zip sweatshirt to test.
Stay tuned for my full review soon.
As much as I want to support my local golf course and help “grow the game,” sometimes I just want to pack my own PB&J or ham sammich. Let’s face it, $9.75 for a dried out sandwich that’s been sitting there for three days is not what I’d call a good deal.
Cookie Monster Sandwich Holder
For the times I do pack my own sammy, I use my little boy’s Sesame Street sandwich holder. I used to make the sandwich and put it in a sandwich bag, then throw that in my golf bag. By the time I’d get around to the sandwich it would be smashed and messy. Not conducive to making birdies. The sammich protected by the Sesame Street sammich holder is in perfectly pristine condition, ready to be munched and helping my score.
During the last couple of practice sessions on the putting green I tried the technique Jordan Spieth sometimes uses on shorter putts. He will actually look at the hole and execute his putting stroke. He’s not looking at his golf ball or having his head/eyes down in the stroke. Conceptually it is not that odd. Think about foul-shooting in basketball. The shooter is looking at the basket, not the ball. Well maybe anyone but Shaquille O’Neal. No idea what he was ever looking at.
It was weird trying this technique. I made the first one. It felt strange and was very odd to see the hole, then have the ball appear in my field of vision, let alone being on the proper line and then going into the hole.
I’d say using this technique I was making a large percentage of the putts in short range. I was surprised to make as many as I did without even looking at the ball. I suppose that means my stroke is fairly pure and consistent, even when I’m not looking at the ball.
Will I put this in play? Nope. I make a lot of putts and I’m very confident in my putting. No need to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Someone should have told that to Tiger Woods.
A gentlemen recently asked me a question which he wasn’t sure was etiquette related or rules related. The question is about playing order. He wanted to know if it is a rule that the person who won the previous hole goes first, or just etiquette. This is actually a really good question and there are two basic answers, one for stroke play and one for match play.
In stroke play it is common courtesy or etiquette for the person who shot the lowest score on the previous hole to go first. It is not a rule and if it speeds up play for other players to go first, in other words “ready golf,” then do it.
It is also common courtesy for the farthest player from the hole to go first but is also not a rule. In the interest of pace of play, or perhaps getting a tap-in putt out of the way of a longer putt, the closer player can and should go first. In my opinion “honors” is trumped by pace of play. Always go for the faster option!
Match play is a different animal than stroke play with regards to playing order. In match play the person who won the previous hole must go first. Further, the person farther from the hole must go first. If another player goes out of order, his opponent(s) may require that his shot be replayed.
The gentleman who asked the question also asked if a golfer who has the honor can “defer” playing first and make his opponent play first. The answer to this question is no.