I’m Working Here

As I sit here in what seems to be the “Dog Days of Summer” with sweltering heat and nary a breath of wind, I have a question for all of you. I think that the question I pose is a relatively fair one, and it’s a question that I’m asking out of nothing more than simple idle curiosity. So, here goes.

When you go to the driving range, do you want to be left alone and just focus on yourself, or do you welcome conversation about the mechanics of the golf swing?

I ask because the following story is a situation that arose the other day during a “focused” session at a nearby facility (Brock Golf Course).

Lately, since receiving a new set of SUB 70 699 Pro irons (that review here) my practice approach has taken on a renewed intensity. What some of you may not realize is that I took a kick at the proverbial can of playing professionally in some Mini-Tour events a few years ago. The timing was as poor as my results (see embarrassing). At the time, I was going through a complete swing reconstruction, however, I have no regrets because it got me valuable tournament experience (I had none prior) and as it turns out, I inadvertently invested in Canada’s Michael Gligic (while playing on The Great Lakes Tour). Too bad, my health got in the way for good measure. So here I am, thinking about it once again. I turn 50 in less than two years and with it, I get the equivalent of a “sort of” golf vasectomy. So, I’m thinking about playing in competition again and I’m working towards it in every way.

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Loving the graphite-shafted SUB 70 699 Pro irons.

Every now and again, I fall into a trap of working on things where I lose my sense of feel as it relates to the golf swing. I wrote an article earlier this season in which, to sum up, I screwed myself over getting too mechanical while practicing in isolation. It took a while to break the habits in my swing that I suddenly had acquired. I had a serious issue with hitting blocks. A shot shape that I’ve never had, and then shortly thereafter I had an issue with hitting pulls as I was coming out of “the blocks” and the pulls, those were eerie Hell! It grossed me out. Since then, I have rectified both misses and my sessions have gone extremely well. Phew! (insert wiping off brow here).

It feels great, and in a way, it feels like I’m in cruise control. My typical shot shape has returned, straight to baby draw. The shot shape that I know and trust. Which gets me to the point of this article.

The other day I went into the Pro Shop at Brock Golf Course, purchased my bucket of balls, found some grass in the hitting area, and dropped off my balls and golf bag there. Typically, I spend time on the putting green working on my putting stroke, and then head over to the chipping/pitching area to work on my short game. This day was no different. Like I said, my focus has suddenly changed. Now that I’m sitting here, thinking about it. My focus began to change on the back nine during a recent round with a friend. I felt the competitive juices start to flow within myself and rise to the surface.

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Feeling the flow. About to ride the bronco.

As I was working on my short-game, I noticed that a woman was watching me closely from the range. Upon finishing up my short-game practice I slowly meandered over to where my golf bag awaited and standing beside my golf bag was… the woman. We exchanged pleasantries and she sat down. I worked with my Orange Whip and she asked if it was an Orange Whip Trainer to which I responded “Yes ma’am, it is! It’s been in my bag for 5 or 6 years”. “May I see it?” sure, why not? I have hand sanitizer in the golf bag. So now, I’m engaged in an ongoing conversation. Honestly, I didn’t mind. But then the conversation took a turn.

From out of nowhere, she starts talking about the golf swing after I make a few swings with my wedge, settling into my routine. She starts talking about a whole bunch of technical thoughts, about seven of them (my head was spinning after the third) and she’s demonstrating them sounding like a robotic parrot. Demonstrating all sorts of angles and why they’re happening, she explained that she’s been struggling with her swing. In the interest of transparency, I feel that I should say that while I was practicing my short-game, I casually glanced over and observed her making swings. It was a series of thins and fats. I realized that she was looking for some free swing tips, and I vaguely recollected her from last year too. It was the pitch of her voice that stood out.

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The more that she spoke, the more that I felt she felt like this. 

Realizing that she was likely working with someone (I never, ever talk or help someone that’s already working with another instructor) I asked her “So, who do you work with?” She ignored the question and continued with technical speak about the golf swing without missing a beat or taking a breath. So I asked her again, “Who do you work with?” she finally responds. “Why do you ask?” So I explained to her, “I ask because, you ma’am, are way too mechanical for your own good”. An allegation that she denied and debunked saying nothing more than “No” and walked away. As she walked away, I said to her “Have a fantastic day!” That was the end of the conversation. By the way, I’m doing this as I’m working through my routine making swings.

I don’t mind talking on the range, and I don’t mind discussing the golf swing. But if you’re going to fill my head or anyone else’s with swing thoughts and not be open to hearing what others think.  Keep them to yourself and leave me or others the heck alone. After all, I’m working here.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

How The Winds of Change… Have Changed (Brand Image)

I actually had started this article and almost completed it at the end of the second round of the Memorial Tournament. However, I wanted to sit and digest this before I published it. Apparently, my digestive tract is quite slow.

There are three non-Major tournaments on the PGA TOUR schedule that I always pay attention to. The first one is the Genesis Invitational held at the historic Rivera Country Club. The second tournament that I love to watch is the RBC Heritage at HarbourTown Golf Links. I love that tournament because it’s a course that I can relate to because I’ve played it, and I would love to again. It’s the nicest course that I’ve ever set foot on. Lastly, I love watching the Memorial Tournament. I love the way that the host (Mr. Jack Nicklaus) has it set up. The conditions are “Major-like”.

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Muirfield Village. The place that Jack built. (Photo Credit: PGA TOUR)

So much has been said since the PGA TOUR resumed play, with much of the focus being on Bryson DeChambeau. And rightfully so. Look at the way that he’s bulked up (in a very short period of time) and consequently started to annihilate golf course architects’ designs. Driving the golf ball 400+ yards routinely and when you really think about it, it’s a spectacle. He has both length and control and that’s scary formula for his competitors and perhaps the future of golf. Other than maybe the Par 5 15th at Muirfield Village perhaps, but more on that later.

There was a time not too long ago when I used to like everything about Bryson DeChambeau. Bryson was fresh and he was different as far as his approach to playing the game of golf. His single length golf clubs, he brought the side-saddle putting stroke to the TOUR although he wasn’t the innovator of the stroke, and of course his mathematical/scientific approach to attacking the golf swing and the golf course.

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Counting. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

But then my admiration for Bryson started to shift. Like winds on a lake or a prairie before a storm rolls in. Little by little, I started to dislike Bryson. It was the little things. Little issues like his tantrum that he had on the putting green during the WGC-Mexico event in 2019 (that he never knew was caught on camera), his slow play garnered attention amongst fans and pundits (who knew that he was actually acclimatizing us, prepping golfers and fans alike for 2020 DeChambeau). At the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic (an event that he won) he chastized a cameraman who caught a mini-tantrum on camera stating that it was bad for his brand. Most recently, at the Memorial Tournament, his quintuple-bogey 10 on the Par 5th 15th led to his caddie looking like a “goon” trying to block the cameraman from filming Bryson’s frustration. All in all, Bryson has repeatedly acted like a primadonna and if I could offer up some advice to him, it’d be this.

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Where’s Bryson? (Photo Credit: Awful Announcing)

Bryson, the only one that’s hurting your brand, is you. When you’re accomplishing what you are and you want to be in the spotlight. Expect the spotlight to shine brightly on you, when you’ve brought this much attention to yourself. How long has Tiger Woods been doing it and coping?

Recently, the Memorial Tournament has shown us something amidst the distance debate. There is something to course set-up and there is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. You can score without bombing drives 423-yards like Dechambeau. Jon Rahm went on to win, but long-hitters like Ryan Moore, Jim Furyk, and Chez Reavie were all there for a while on the first page of the leaderboard. Personally speaking, this was the first PGA TOUR action that I’ve watched since the re-start, and it was worth it. A course set-up in a way that practically evened the playing field. Mr. Nicklaus, I applaud you for it and I can’t wait to see how your place looks in 2021. It might be worth a several hour road-trip for a day or two. I cannot wait to see how you make it “better”.

 

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Jack Nicklaus and Miura Introduce Commemorative Irons

The Nicklaus-Miura Commemorative Irons brings together two masters of their craft who have inspired generations with finesse, class, and a lasting passion for perfection. 

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (July 20, 2020)– The idea was simple: unite Jack Nicklaus, legendary golfer, with Katsuhiro Miura, legendary club-maker.

The result? A limited series of hand-forged iron sets for serious collectors drawn to both beauty and function.

Japanese clubmaker Miura Golf today announced a historic collaboration with Jack Nicklaus for a limited-edition set of irons devised by the 18-time major champion. Nicklaus and Katsuhiro Miura, Miura Golf’s revered master craftsman, have joined together to construct a breathtaking adaptation of the classic Miura blade, designed by the influence of Jack’s preferred specifications.

Both Nicklaus and Miura-san stand for the same things: timelessness, class, artisan craftsmanship – and the lasting legacy of family. Their coming together was meant to be. The limited-issue irons combine Nicklaus’s club-design ideas – developed over 60 years – with Miura-san’s 60-year obsession in the pursuit of club-making perfection.

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The Nicklaus-Miura Commemorative Irons are the first clubs to bear the Nicklaus name in more than a decade. The sets arrive in the first quarter of 2021 and are available now for preorder at www.miuragolf.com/nicklaus.


A Collaboration Years in the Making

Nicklaus has an abiding respect for the Miura family that goes back decades. In 2014, he visited the Miura forging house in Himeji, Japan to meet Miura-san. Two patriarchs, living legends of the game, speaking the same language: golf. On that day, Nicklaus became the second person, only after Miura-san, to sit in the grinding line’s first chair.

“The day Jack visited the factory was the best day of my life,” Miura-san said. “My family is honored to produce this set of irons for golf’s greatest champion and see our family’s crest share a clubhead with his seal of approval.”

Following the visit, Nicklaus was inspired to integrate his timeless insights with Miura’s six decades of craftsmanship.

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“I’ve spent decades designing golf equipment, and I cherish the painstaking craftsmanship that goes into enhancing the tools of my trade,” Nicklaus said. “The Miura family and I share this passion for doing everything the right way and leaving no detail overlooked, and we have worked closely in this collaboration to highlight the superior subtleties of Miura forged steel.”

In 2007, Nicklaus partnered with the entrepreneur and philanthropist Howard Milstein to further the growth of the Nicklaus Companies. Subsequent to Nicklaus’s introduction to Muira-san in Japan, this partnership eventually evolved into 8AM Golf, the holding company that oversees Milstein’s golf companies — which includes Miura Golf.

“This collaboration between two of the greatest giants in our industry has been a true melding of generational genius,” President of 8AM Golf and CEO of Miura Golf, Hoyt McGarity said. “It’s a union that’s nothing short of inspiring and together they have produced a remarkable set of irons.”

 Over his illustrious career, Nicklaus’s finely tuned eye for detail has dictated how his equipment is molded. Forged from premium S20C soft carbon steel and finished in satin chrome, the Nicklaus- Miura collaboration is designed to visually and viscerally delight golf purists.

The Dream Has Finally Taken Form

Nicklaus’s discerning eye and immense feel helped him develop specific preferences in his clubs. The Nicklaus-Miura Commemorative Irons leave no detail overlooked in capturing the Golden Bear’s meticulous standard of excellence. These irons have design elements dear to Nicklaus.

The ultimate goal in this collaboration was for Miura-san to understand Nicklaus’s preferences and then use his design and craftsmanship to deliver a modern version of the Nicklaus blade. Key in the implementation were the “look” and “sole,” both of which were achieved through grinding techniques so subtle that most might not notice unless they were pointed out.

Miura-san was able to move the center of gravity closer to the toe by removing a precise amount of material from the hosel of each individual iron, all the while making certain that the distribution of weight in the head allowed the club to perform as Jack needed.

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Nicklaus’s preference was to have his irons designed with standard offset, uniform through the set. This delivered the ball flight and performance he wanted. Additionally, subtle grinding in the neck of the club enabled Miura san to give Nicklaus his preferred “look” and resulting confidence at address. This grinding delivers more “effective offset” without increasing the measured offset Jack preferred.

Now, for the first time, Nicklaus’s preferences carry the stamp of Miura.

The Nicklaus-Miura Commemorative Irons are constructed to the legend’s distinct specs. The clubs can also be preordered for a custom fit. The irons are currently available for order online at www.miuragolf.com/nicklaus.

About Miura Golf

Miura Golf makes the world’s finest forged golf clubs, which are designed and manufactured by the Miura family in their factory in Himeji, Japan. The entire family works hands-on in the factory and continues to carry on the Miura legacy.

World-renowned craftsman Katsuhiro Miura began hand-crafting and grinding irons in 1957 and has created one of the most-respected brands in the golf industry. Miura’s endless quest for the perfect club has brought to the world more than 10 product series, a number that grows as the next generation of the Miura family – led by sons Shinei and Yoshitaka – continue their meticulous refinement and evolution of product lines. Each club is individually handcrafted and will never be mass-produced, as generations of steel-making skill and passion bring us the world’s finest golf clubs.

About 8AM Golf

Miura Golf is part of the 8AM Golf family. 8AM Golf was created by golf entrepreneur and philanthropist Howard Milstein as the holding company that oversees his golf companies — all of which help golfers at every level enjoy the game more. In addition to Miura, other 8AM Golf companies include the Nicklaus Companies (in partnership with Jack Nicklaus); GOLF Magazine and the GOLF.com website; True Spec Golf, a brand-agnostic club-fitting company that has fit more than 30,000 golfers worldwide; GolfLogix, the most-downloaded GPS app in golf; and Club Conex, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of adjustable golf club adapter systems.

JON RAHM WINS THE MEMORIAL AND BECOMES WORLD NO.1

Team TaylorMade’s Jon Rahm collects his 4th PGA TOUR victory in as many years as a professional using SIM driver, SIM fairways, and TP5 ball.

 

Carlsbad, Calif. (July 19th, 2020) – One of the most consistent players on TOUR, TaylorMade’s Jon Rahm won the Memorial at Muirfield Village GC with rounds of 69-67-68-75 to win by 3.

 

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© Getty Images

In becoming world no.1, Jon becomes just the second Spanish golfer to reach the no.1 spot with Seve Ballesteros being the only other. He’s been on a steep OWGR (Official World Golf Ranking) ascent ever since he turned professional in June 2016 and even during his amateur year’s where he earned OWGR points.

Rahm’s OWGR end of year ranking by year is as follows:

  • 2014: 1,548
  • 2015: 585
  • 2016: 137
  • 2017: 6
  • 2018: 4
  • 2019: 3
  • 2020: 1* (* year-to-date)

Jon plays 14 TaylorMade clubs and balls including the SIM driver, two SIM fairways, P750 irons (which he has weakened since the re-start to adjust for a slight reduction in iron spin rates from his swing), MG2 wedges, Spider X and the TaylorMade TP5 ball.

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© Getty Images

NEED TO KNOW

  • This is Rahm’s 4th PGA TOUR victory since turning professional in June 2016
  • Rahm moves to world no.1 for the first time in his career
  • Jon switched into TP5 from the TP5X earlier this year for more spin and control with his irons and wedges
  • Rahm weakened the lofts in his irons slightly as he was hitting them further since the break and wanted to better manage his trajectory and descent angle
  • Cumulative through all 4 rounds, Jon was ranked 1st in SG: Tee to Green (+15.426) and SG: Around the Green (+6.261)
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JON RAHM WITB

  • SIM 10.5 driver Aldila Tour X
  • SIM 15.0 fairway Aldila Tour X
  • SIM 18.0 fairway Graphite Design Tour AD X
  • P750 4-PW
  • MG Hi Toe 52°
  • MG2 56° and 60°
  • Spider X chalk
  • TP5 #10
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© Getty Images

NIAGARA PARKS ANNOUNCES NEW TAYLORMADE PERFORMANCE CENTRE AT LEGENDS ON THE NIAGARA GOLF COURSE

Niagara Parks Golf partners with leading golf supplier TaylorMade for the opening of the newest TaylorMade Performance Centre

Performance Centre to open on July 18, at Legends on the Niagara Golf Course

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Niagara Falls, ON – Legends on the Niagara Golf Course will now have another reason for players to visit. Niagara Parks Golf has partnered with the sport’s leading equipment manufacturer TaylorMade and will be home to its newest TaylorMade Performance Centre. As one of only eight of these facilities in Canada, Niagara Parks is proud to offer this exciting new addition to the local golf community, and further, establish the course as one of Canada’s premier public golf destinations. The Performance Centre will officially open to the public on July 18.

TaylorMade Performance Centres offer state-of-the-art fitting services that represent the latest technology to optimize player performance and game improvement while providing the ultimate golf club fitting experience.

TaylorMade’s Launch Monitor Technology allows a Certified Club Fitter to gain scientific data using a player’s ball flight analysis to recommend a correct fit. A wide variety of custom and stock metalwood, iron shafts and clubs will be available for guests to test on-site to validate the correct fit. An on-site concierge service will assist golfers with purchases and any follow-up appointments needed to check or adjust specs.

Fitting services at the Niagara Performance Centre will be facilitated by Niagara Parks Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Professional staff who have been certified and trained to facilitate high-performance club fittings.

The Niagara location will include an industry-leading instructional programming in addition to custom fitting services. More information can be found at niagaraparks.com/performance.

ABOUT LEGENDS ON THE NIAGARA

The Legends on the Niagara facility is Canada’s premier public golf destination. The grounds feature two championship courses, a par-3 executive course, a 360° driving range on 45 acres, state-of-the-art training academy, and spectacular clubhouse facilities.

For more information, or to book an appointment at the TaylorMade Performance Centre, visit www.taylormadefitting.ca/tmpc-niagara/

For more information on Niagara Parks Golf, or to book a tee time, visit www.niagaraparks.com/golf

ABOUT NIAGARA PARKS

Since its establishment in 1885, Niagara Parks has remained a self-financed agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport, entrusted to preserve and protect the land surrounding Niagara Falls and the Niagara River. Today, Niagara Parks boasts gardens, a horticulture school, recreation, golf courses, restaurants, heritage and historic sites, gift shops, and, of course, Niagara Falls. In short, natural landscapes, history, family fun, hiking, culinary delights, attractions, and adventure.

For more information, please visit niagaraparks.com or contact:

Chris Giles Acting Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations

(905) 809-0182

Stay Connected:

Facebook: @NiagaraParks

Instagram: @niagaraparks

Twitter: @NiagaraParks

#NiagaraParks