Monday, February 25, 2008

How to play positive, Leadbetter's long distance putting and could you live with a tainted trophy?

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During last year's Honda Classic one caddie remarked to another, entirely off-the-cuff, that his player used a certain golf club off of the tee. PGA Tour golfer Mark Wilson wound up calling a two-stroke penalty on himself after finding out about this infraction, thus proving to viewers the importance of playing by the rules. In spite of losing the two strokes he still won the tournament (in a sudden-death playoff), and with his integrity intact!

Wilson continued, "The rules should be held in high regard by every player."



With the honor of the game at stake, some people may find Rule 8-1 to be a bit illogical noting that you must still hit the shot no matter what help you receive in selecting a club. Other common rules infractions I regularly behold on the publinks include improper ball marking on the green as well as failing to hole out.

Do golfers really want to abide by the rules or simply use whatever guidelines they remember hoping they don't get caught? Everyone remembers the Wie/Bamberger incident forcing a DQ on Michelle?

The fact that the enforcement of the game lies predominantly from calling penalties on yourself, I have noticed that golf is one sport where players really want to keep the competition above-board!!!

As the great Bobby Jones once said, "When you cheat in golf, the only person you're cheating is yourself."

Greens at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship are an average of 90 feet which means long putting was the order of the week. Although Tiger Woods' putting was dynamic throughout the contest, David Leadbetter helps us get closer to the hole (and even sink a few) with an easy reminder on this week's Golf for Beginners podcast.

We also offer a few simple mental game tips to instill a positive mindset!


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Monday, February 18, 2008

PGA Tour needs Mickelson, Bivens says LPGA prospers without Wie, Tom Watson says don't be a slouch and how to proceed when your ball is unfit for play

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Jeff Quinney patiently stalked Phil Mickelson during the final round of the Northern Trust Open, waiting perhaps for Lefty's golf club to become entangled in the kikuya grass or for Mickelson to erupt as with his eleven last week. Four birdies over a six-hole stretch for Quinney placed Lefty in a precarious position leaving the possibility of another playoff and yet another close call.


Mickelson is used to hanging tough, but rarely for making a charge and instilling fear into his opponents.

Instead, Mickelson watched as the tables turned and Quinney fell to pieces, bogeying four of his final six holes at Riviera. It might have taken Phil longer to come out of his winter cocoon but the results couldn't have come at a better time.

Still, the "I can beat Phil" mentality makes any tournament in which Lefty contends exciting and that is precisely why the PGA Tour needs Phil Mickelson.

In contrast to the interesting faces on the men's tour, Carolyn Bivens claims that the rising stars of the LPGA are enough to sustain it without Michelle Wie's assistance.



"The fate of the LPGA doesn’t rise or fall with any one woman, and that includes Michelle." voiced an emphatic Bivens last month.


But, like Phil Mickelson, Michelle Wie is exciting to watch. Whether she's up or down, heading for an 88 or mixing it up with Annika Sorenstam, golf fans will tune in to an LPGA Tour event not as much to watch Morgan Pressel or Paula Creamer but to see what commotion will come from the Wie Camp. This week's Fields Open should prove very interesting as to the emotional and physical state of Michelle Wie.

Golf for Beginners podcast this week questions the success of the LPGA Tour without Michelle Wie. Can Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa maintain the ratings that Wie can achieve? We also discuss Rule 5-3 from the Rules of Golf which deals with the replacement of a damaged golf ball. Tom Watson posture tips rounds off this week's popular internet radio show.


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Monday, February 11, 2008

Mickelson and Singh pursuits fall short of Tiger Woods perfection. Getting out of a divot and onto the green, sweet spot myth and when balls collide

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Where an eleven on a hole is a mishap which any golfer would prefer to forget, Phil Mickelson will be reminded of his m/c at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am for weeks, even months to come. He wasn't even in the list of golfers on the cut line who got paid for their efforts and went home...nope, not Lefty. He made sure that this collapse would be one for the history books. Recall the 2006 U.S. Open? I'm sure talk of that previous loss will now be regurgitated along with this mishap throughout the golf season until Mickelson returns to form, does something spectacular and/or wins a major tournament.

And what about Vijay Singh who easily had the edge on Sunday but fell apart when his solid play needed to carry him to victory? Singh held a three-stroke lead with only five holes remaining...the deck was stacked in his favor! Defeated by Steve Lowery, a player who was 305th in the world rankings prior to this weekend and had a seven-year gap in the "win" column of his PGA Tour resume, this loss looks strangely familiar to last week's playoff defeat of Mickelson to relative unknown J.B. Holmes.

Singh stated, "One bad shot after another, three holes in succession." Phil's statement? He's says striking the ball well but he "never felt good on the greens".

Those words could have been echoed by either Vijay or Phil, take your pick. Playing aggressively instead of safely, choosing the wrong clubs, problems with the putter...these errors happen to even the greatest golfers. Well...almost all of the top golfers...all except Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods has the mental game needed to rebound from a slight lapse in judgment. He doesn't dwell on his mishaps but uses quick thinking to adjust to his surroundings and overcome obstacles. Both Mickelson and Singh made errant shots which caused their following efforts to careen into a downward spiral in which they could not mentally recover.

This could be the difference between winning the Grand Slam this season and simply accepting loss as a part of the game. As Phil remarked, "Well, it's just the way it sometimes goes. Sometimes I just don't score well, and I try not to weigh too much into that because I hit a lot of good shots this week." Would Woods have taken an eleven in such a matter-of-fact manner?

This week's Golf for Beginners podcast is loaded with tips from the fairway to the green. What happens when your beautifully hit tee shot woefully lands in a divot? How do you recover? We also discuss the sweet spot myth with the assistance of LPGA Teaching Professional Lana Ortega and the Rules of Golf that pertain to hitting another golf ball either when chipping up, or, from on the green.


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"Shiny Tech" courtesy of Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"

This podcast is supported by Myrtle Beach Golf Vacations and Florida Golf Travel.

This podcast is supported by New Roc Harley Davidson, your worldwide parts and accessories distributor. Great rides start here!
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Monday, February 04, 2008

Mickelson answers putting question, Tiger Woods tenaciously scrambles. Also, Laura Davies doubts Michelle Wie's mental state. And, Odyssey XG Two-Ball

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It's easy to see why professional golfers become distracted when Tiger Woods is somewhere in the pack. If he's only a few strokes back, chances are his resolve will carry him to victory. That is precisely what happened this weekend at the Dubai Desert Classic.

On the flip side, no one seems to be afraid of Phil Mickelson.

J.B. Holmes' memories of a 2006 victory at the FBR Open was all he needed to maintain his purpose for this year's event. And, the claim to fame that he beat Mickelson was also a good incentive.



Phil's putter let him down once again claiming that a misread putt and a few that "slid by the edge" contributed to a playoff. Although Butch Harmon has been working with Mickelson on his 150-yard approach shots, Lefty found that his golf ball wasn't as close to the hole as was Na's. That must have also frustrated him.

This week on our Golf for Beginners podcast we discuss Mickelson's views from the putter. Is it better to keep your eyes over, or behind, the ball?

We also talk about how the amateur golfer can use Tiger Woods' scrambling ability and tenacity to improve your own game.

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Michelle Wie takes center stage once again as she receives an exemption to the Fields Open. Has her physical injury healed? Has her mental game improved? All questions will be answered in two weeks.

Is Michelle Wie ready for 2008?


Laura Davies believes that psychological damage that Michelle Wie endured from playing golf in men's tournaments will take a year to heal. She also thinks that her own game is ready for the next level, affirming that this is her year to dominate the LPGA Tour..and that includes toppling Lorena Ochoa! At least Davies understands what it takes to win, but, at forty-four years old and with a plethora of new stars on the horizon as well as Annika Sorenstam back in form, the LET star is going to have her hands full.


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The Odyssey two-ball putter has become a mainstay on the PGA Tour. From professional golfers to amateurs, all gain assistance from the golfball-sized white discs on top of the clubface which help align a ball to its target.

Where the design was initially unusual, the technology which offered exceptional resiliency and performance became the mainstay of Odyssey's line-up of putters. And, with the introduction of the elasticore multi layer insert technology, the advancements are noticeable.

With the introduction of the Divine Line of putters designed specifically for women, I wondered if I would notice a difference between the new White Hot XG and the Divine, or if one should rely on a putter's performance predominantly based upon the length of its shaft?

This question, and more, are answered in our golf podcast.


Send your golf questions and comments to golfforbeginners@aol.com.

Subscribe to our weekly podcast through this RSS feed:http://feeds.feedburner.com/golfforbeginners or through iTunes.

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Click Here
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"Shiny Tech" courtesy of Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"

This podcast is supported by Arizona Golf Packages and Florida Golf Travel.

This podcast is supported by New Roc Harley Davidson, your worldwide parts and accessories distributor. Great rides start here!
.

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