Archive for the ‘Graeme McDowell’ Category

I was watching the first couple of tournaments recently and was astounded at how lackluster the field was. I would guess the ratings were in the tank, as the only things that would draw viewers were the warm venues. Personally, I tuned into the match between Sam Snead and Bob Hope instead of seeking out David Toms and Mark Wilson. Over at the Champions Tour, there was Brad Bryant apologizing for his 65, more surprised than anyone that he chipped and putted his way to the top of the leaderboard. Tiger hadn’t started his season yet, flying off to Dubai for a huge appearance fee and a joust with the crackerjacks of the European Tour. This blog has predicted he will win just about everything this year, and has advised him to do so then quit competitive golf and concentrate on his foundation. Bobby Jones did this, as did Byron Nelson, and they had no sex scandals to face down. Whether Tiger stays or goes, professional golf goes downhill. He could stay and dominate, or he could go and fade away. Either way, golf suffers. The current crop in their late 20s and early 30s are not strong enough to hold up the high bar of professional golf on all levels of accomplishment. Woods was the last of the lot, and look at the bloody mess he left behind, an irreparable heap of emotional horsecrap laying by the side of the road. And please, don’t feed me all the sanctimonious BS about Tiger haters. I don’t hate Tiger. I’m angry at him for taking himself down along with the game he built up.

Golf requires what the Buddhists call impeccability, which is (more…)

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In winning the 2011 U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy broke 12 records, the most significant of which was the number of strokes he took to do it: 268. The previous best: 272 by Jack Nicklaus. That is a monumental achievement. And this is the most endearing character in golf since Wee Bobby Jones. This man has talent, guts, and class. He looks the camera in the eye and answers whatever question put before him with honesty, sincerity, and wit. He is truly the real deal.

I expect he will win a fair share of majors. Is he the next Tiger Woods? No. He is Rory McIlroy, a man of much more integrity than Woods. Not only did Woods fail off the course, I suspect he used steroids to accomplish his feats on the course. Rory will have none of that nor any suspicion of that. This lad from Northern Ireland just loves golf, and shows it (more…)

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For an amateur, good chipping may well be the best way to lower a handicap. And yet, despite how easy it looks, it remains one of the most difficult parts of the game. The reason for that is our persistent and intractable memory. If you’ve ever chili dipped or skulled a chip you know what I mean. It’s the most embarrassing and exasperating mishit in golf, as Hunter Mahan experienced on his last hole against Graeme McDowell at the 2010 Ryder Cup. Mahan flubbed a chip just off the green to lose the match, crying in shame at the press conference afterwards. But even in a friendly foursome, we’ve all been there and wanted to break the club over our knee. After all, our playing partners are standing nearby watching you, ready to say “nice touch” or…nothing. And that silence is the most deafening in golf.

What makes this shot so difficult and how can we do better? Arguably, it is the shot most affected by the mind. To strike the ball at such a slow pace gives the mind

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