Musings On A Cold Friday
Typically, we have pretty nice weather in South Texas, though a freak snow fell last Friday (second one in five years, third in the last 20 or more). This week has been cold and gloomy, rain, clouds, wind . . . not even a break that would let me get out even to putt a little. [You guys living in the north, are probably saying “cry me a river, Wedge Guy”. And I deserve it, but you can get used to the winters down here.] So, today, I’m going to just visit a few topics that have been on my mind, not necessarily triggered by your questions, but I’m sure some of them were. It’s great to hear from you all daily, as well as those that ask questions of us on the EIDOLON site. It keeps me grounded, if you know what I mean.
I’ve been doing some reading this week, revisiting my favorite golf instruction book of all time, “Five Lessons – The Modern Fundamentals of Golf” by Ben Hogan (Buy It Here). I think it is still the “bible” of the golf swing, and there’s not a golfer alive who couldn’t benefit by reading that book. Or better yet, studying it for the winter break. I’m convinced that you can learn a lot about the golf swing, and improve your own, just by reading and understanding. This is one of the best dissections of the golf swing ever.
But I was perusing my golf library for other reading, too, and thought I would pass along some titles that you might look for if you want to improve your understanding of the golf swing and playing the game.
For the short game, Tom Watson’s “Getting Up and Down” is the best I’ve seen, both from a technique standpoint and getting your mind right. He shares that he learned the game from the hole backward when he was a little tyke, and seeing that ball go in the hole was always a thrill for him . . . still is. How many of us rake short putts most of the day and only get that experience a few times a round? Something to think about.
For putting, I really like Dave Stockton’s “Putt To Win”. Dave knows more about putting than most anyone, and he always seems to come back into the news when he helps a tour player – most recently Phil Mickelson. This book really clarifies “the other game of golf”, as the subtitle (and Mr. Hogan) calls it.
And recently, I read one of the best books on the mental side, which was an instruction book contained within a wonderful story. David Cook, in “Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia”, intertwines golf and your spirituality to really get to the heart of taking it from the range to the course, in my opinion.
So, there you have some winter reading. If you guys have any other favorites, let’s hear ‘em.
Cheering for the LPGA
This may sound strange, but I think women’s golf is much more fun to watch that the PGA Tour, with exception of the majors, that is. These women are G-O-O-D! And the way they play the game is much more similar to us than the young bomb-and-gouge generation. Hear me out, please.
When I was in my 20s and 30s, watching Watson, Miller, et al, I could relate to the TV announcer . . . “He’s 165 and has a 6-iron to the green . . .” Well, I was about 158-160 with my 6-iron, so I could relate. But now? “This shot is about 190 to the green, and it looks like he’s got a 7-iron . . .” What the heck is that? At 190, I’m between a hard 4 and a hybrid. I can’t relate, and actually find it boring to see these guys throw darts at soft greens all day. That’s just my take.
But the women hit it straight, hit their irons not much shorter than I do (maybe) can really play. With very few exceptions, there’s not a club in the country that has more than one or two guys (if any) that can play head up with the rank and file LPGA players on a 64-6600 yard course. If you have a chance next year, take in an LPGA event in person and hang around the range. You’ll see some great swings and shots being made. And watch how they manage golf courses, too. It’s enlightening.
I know the LPGA has its challenges, but they put on a helluva show, so I hope the new commissioner turns it around. The economy is tough, and they’ll be down for a while, but it would be golf’s loss in my opinion.
The Groove Issue
If you haven’t already, please visit a new site we’ve put up called www.GrooveSurvey.com. Here you can find a FREE ebook called “The Spin Zone – The Real Story On Grooves”, which I authored with award winning golf writer Steve Pike. In it, we’ve delved into the groove rule change in a more complete manner than anything you can find anywhere, and offer you a chance to participate in “The Great Groove Survey”, where you can share your opinions about how this new rule will affect you. We’re shooting for thousands of respondents, so please take a few minutes and help us out, OK? Results will be published after the first of the year.
The Wedge Guy on PGA Tour Network, Sirius Satellite Radio
Next Wednesday, December 16, I’ll be a guest on Peter Kessler’s morning radio show, “Making The Turn” on Sirius Satellite Radio’s PGA Tour Network – channel 209. My segment is scheduled for 10:25 a.m. ET, and we’ll be talking about the changes to the groove rule and other topics regarding the short game and wedges, I’m sure. I always have fun visiting with Peter and hope you will join us.
So, that’s my ramblings for this Friday morning, oobers. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to send in your questions for me. We give away a FREE EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge every Tuesday!!!
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
[ comments ]
i too live in Texas and because of this freak cold snap, i oddly enough purchased my copy of Ben Hogan's book this morning to read until this wintery mess passes.
YA its 5* here in chicagoland. so shut up. jk im just jealous.
I agree with you that the LPGA sometimes is more interesting to watch than the PGA. I know anyone in the field would kick my butt. I really like it when they put a mike on one of the ladies. It was a hoot when Christina Kim was wearing it.
I've go a copy of the Hogan book which I always refer back to when my swing is off. The book that really helped me out last spring is Bob Rotella's Golf is not a Game of Perfect. Talks entirely about the mental aspect of golf, practice habits, and other such things. It says nothing about swing mechanics. After reading that book (no joke), I took six points off my handicap. From 18 to 12 over the course of a few months following.
Sunday is going to be beautiful in Fort Worth TX! 70°
man I love living in Phoenix... I'm playing tomorrow morning... might wear shorts
I live in Yuma,,,,I too am playing tomorrow. But I almost always wear pants why I am on the course.
"This may sound strange, but I think women’s golf is much more fun to watch that the PGA Tour, with exception of the majors, that is."
I totally agree. Most of the men's tournaments I watch, with the exception of the big majors, is on golf channel (late at night when I get a chance to relax). While they are interesting, I mostly watch them to check out the swings and techniques used by pros playing. Really couldn't care less who wins.
The LPGA tour though....just fun to watch. And I agree with Mschad about C. Kim. Seems like the type of person I would enjoy hanging out with. Those women are vastly underpaid when you compare them against the PGA players...
I like Hogan's book. I bought it back in July and read it cover to cover. Not a lot sank in on the first read, but taking each chapter at a time with a 5i handy certainly helped my basic mechanics. Every tip I have read across a variety of magazines and media appears to come (directly or indirectly) from Hogan's masterpiece. It is certainly a valuable asset in my golf arsenal and I would recommend at least going to the library and taking a read if not parting with a couple of bucks and buying a copy for yourself.
Bryan K says:
I've read Hogan's book twice, and there are still quite a few things directly from that book that I think about every time I line up for a shot. Also, oddly enough, the parts of my swing I find most deficient right now are parts that the book doesn't really go into very well....club face, swing plane, and followthrough. That said... Thirty degrees is golfing weather. It was -10 here this morning.
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