Monday, November 24, 2008

Sorenstam career cut short, Wie redux. Will Thanksgiving pay off for Mickelson? Also, Kodak's $1 million challenge, play automatic golf

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Annika Sorenstam’s missed cut at the $1 million dollar ADT Championship resembles the 2008 LPGA season as a whole. As Sorenstam limped through the early rounds, a noticeably hurt Bivens on crutches did the same as she gave her “State of the Tour” address. Both were frustrated by their final tallies. Sorenstam definitely wanted to ace the finals and Bivens wanted to let everyone know that under her jurisdiction the LPGA was just dandy but neither could muster up the drive needed to do so.

The new season will show a loss of three tournaments (to 31) as well as a drop of over $5 million in prize money. To further the bad news, this year’s ending was lackluster at best as top golfers Sorenstam, Ochoa and Pressel all packed their bags early leaving the Asians to save face at the event.

Sorenstam and Bivens during happier times at the 2005 ADT Championship



To add insult to injury and add to the ineptitude of the LPGA Tour, Annika was randomly selected after her last event for a drug test after already passing one given to her last month. "Pathetic" mentioned Sorenstam’s fianc├ę, Mike McGee. "I don’t know what they’re trying to prove."

Wonder Woman to the rescue! Now would be a great time for Michelle Wie to ace Q-School and revive the Tour! Bivens would be grateful for any light at the end of this tunnel.




Also in the spirit of giving thanks for no more Euro Tour events, Phil Mickelson will be back in the States playing in the LG Skins Game this weekend. No trophies, no standings, means no pressure and that Mickelson can let loose, showing fans why he is rated the number three player on the PGA Tour.

We will discuss all of the above news on this week’s Golf for Beginners broadcast as well as offer up how to play golf on automatic and how to hit your woods like a pro. The $1 million Kodak Challenge is also mentioned as we further talk about the company’s switch of funding from NASCAR to the PGA Tour.


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Photo Credit: © Editor’s Blog, Golf Digest, Photo Credit: © Jamd.com

Monday, November 17, 2008

Euro Tour ships Mickelson back to the US. Are Mickelson, Woods Olympic hopefuls? Rhythm and Rules

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Phil Mickelson has dropped out of the 2009 Race to Dubai because he said he doesn’t have enough time to dedicate to both the European and PGA Tours. With second-rate performances at the two opening Euro Tour events in China, Mickelson may have felt his chances of making an upward move were slipping deciding instead to get out early and “save face”.

Add Sergio Garcia’s leapfrog into second place in the World Rankings and that Tiger Woods may return for the 2009 PGA Tour season and Mickelson is probably more concerned with defending interests here at home than the struggle to climb atop yet another ranking system.

One slip at a time Phil, although Mickelson insisted, "I really don't think about the world rankings right now very much."

Go ahead Phil. Keep asserting that you’re not losing any sleep over your drop in the World Rankings and I’ll bet that, eventually, you’ll start believing it too!

As Barry and I watched the final round of the Barclays Singapore Open, it appeared evident with every failed putt that Mickelson would be relieved to be heading back to the States on his new fourteen passenger Gulfstream conveyance. Life can be really tough on the Tour!

Add to the above an article in the latest Callaway Golf Magazine written by the extremely outspoken Johnny Miller which mentioned, "Who wouldn’t relish the prospect of Tiger and Phil battling it out for individual gold at the Olympics" and the fuel was flamed for this week’s Golf for Beginners broadcast!



Whereas Miller states that golf has gone global, he also mentions that the two men fighting for gold honors would be two Americans…so where then has golf gone global? Also, if golf is approved as a summer sport, it would not be introduced until the 2016 games. Woods would be about forty years old and Mickelson would be about ready to join the Champions Tour. Now, where’s the fun in that, I ask?

Also, with guys like Phil and Tiger going after "gold" every week in the form of million dollar payouts and glimmery FedEx type trophies, an Olympic event would seem more like just another stop on the PGA Tour. Instead, listen to what Golf for Beginners has in mind if golf becomes an Olympic sport!

In addition, we talk about Lorena Ochoa’s belief that a lack of rhythm affected her quest to win her own Invitational. Rules taken from the glossy and easy-to-use Golf Rules Quick Reference Guide about embedded and damaged golf balls, are also featured.

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This podcast is supported by San Diego Golf Central, 866-825-4094.



Photo Credit: © BBC Sport

Monday, November 10, 2008

Barack Obama swings left on the course. Kodak waves checkered flag for PGA Tour. We have the fix for your mental game.

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It has been said that you can tell a good deal about a person by the way he/she plays golf, and former Presidents are no exception. Which of our Commanders, for example, exemplified the integrity of the game and which men have bent the rules in their favor?

In his book, "First Off the Tee: Presidential Hackers, Duffers and Cheaters From Taft to Bush", Don Van Natta Jr's neatly organized categories helped define Presidential proclivities noting that more than just a few in the top job have "improved their lie" during a round.

Both Clinton and Nixon made it into the book's "Hail to the Cheats" category with number forty-two often giving himself "billigans" and "Tricky Dick" often not counting wayward shots. FDR, Ford and Kennedy, on the other hand, were considered "purists."

So, where does that leave President-elect Barack Obama?

According to a golf swing analysis by Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs, Obama is a good study of preparedness however the outcome lacks aggressiveness, pushing his shots far left. Perhaps that makes the future president just like the "Average Joe"?

The category which President-elect Obama falls into will eventually become apparent as the story unfolds.

In addition to our assessment of Mr. Obama, we also discuss techniques for positive thinking from William Oliver's new book, the "Law of Focus for Golfers". A few fixes from his ebook, "Master the Mental Game of Golf" are also mentioned.

Kodak, the EWGA and a notable distinction for Turning Stone Resort round out our News summary.





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

This podcast is supported by MyrtleBeachGolf.com, 866-409-2177.

Learn more about Thumb Caddy, the simple way to get a grip on your game!

Photo Credit: © USAToday.com, Alex Brandon, AP, LifeintheTrap.com

Monday, November 03, 2008

European Tour Shanghai's PGA Tour golfers on road to Dubai. Mickelson swing changes tested at HSBC and Thumb Caddy training aid

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The European Tour is sending a message to PGA Tour players, loud and clear, that a new era in golf is beginning with the 2009 season.

A new spruced-up tour, in which the European Order of Merit has been replaced with "The Race to Dubai" offers a $10 million pie at the end of the season with another shared purse after the season-ending Dubai World Championship.

Phil Mickelson may be defending this week at the first stop on the Euro Tour, the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, but guys like Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas are ready to pounce. Villegas, for example, is not content to just play, he's "definitely going there to win." Mickelson, on the other hand, is hoping that swing changes he has been working on since 2007 will finally take effect. We discuss a few of these swing changes in this week's show.

With players like Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott working towards another FedEx Cup-like purse on the European Tour, how soon will it be before golfers like Anthony Kim "jump ship" entirely and shift alliances? Or, perhaps one day, the PGA Tour might be forced to "merge" with the European Tour forming one huge conglomerate. Then there would be no more "off-season", no more "silly season" and viewers would be able to watch their favorite golfers throughout the year!

As Garcia noted, "Some of the tournaments we play in the Middle East ... are bigger than the ones they play in the U.S. You get good players there, so world rankings points increase. At the end of the day, that's what the big players do it for."

Of course, if Tiger Woods has any input, his new golf course in Dubai might just host one of these events. Woods' foray into golf course design is yielding several new courses, possibly with a consideration towards building his own "mini-tour". It is conceivable that Tiger could one day be "tapped" as the head of this global Tour...perhaps aptly named the World Tour! Who knows...stranger things have happened!

We also review Thumb Caddy, an inexpensive training aid which helps keep hands in their proper position throughout the golf swing.




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

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to receive our archived podcasts and 100's of easy golf tips free!

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This podcast is supported by Premier Golf, 888-439-1831.


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