Open Prognosticating

Alright, I admit it I love The Masters. I look forward to that tournament every year. Of course, this year I received my usual “Dear John” letter stating “We regret to inform you… you’re a loser and you will not be going to the 2019 Masters” yadda yadda. So as is my usual custom I develop a faux dislike of The Masters and everything they stand for. At any rate…

The reality here is that its Open Championship week and this is my favourite week of the golf season. I look at the courses in the rota and think a few things. Golf courses the way that golf was meant to be played. Of course, there’s the obvious. The history. This year, the venue is Carnoustie Golf Links. The grand old gal was designed by Allan Robertson with an assist from Old Tom Morris and consequently opened in 1842. The venue hosted its first Open Championship in 1931 (Tommy Armour won The Claret Jug). Many duels have been won and lost at Carnoustie with one particular championship being synonymous with the course. “The Van de Velde” in 1999. Coming up the 72nd hole of the 1999 Open Championship Jean Van de Velde just needed to card a double bogey to win. He would card a triple bogey instead and would lose the championship. Paul Lawrie would eventually win in a playoff.

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Oh the humanity! (Photo Credit: Golf Digest)

So this year. The field is set and many players from the PGA Tour have been overseas for a week or two. In full preparation mode getting ready for the season’s third Major. I didn’t do any sort of predictions for the U.S. Open and quite frankly I don’t know why. But this time around I will no be denied. So in the same manner that I did for The Masters (where I boldly predicted Patrick Reed’s victory) I will handicap the odd separating my picks by using the odds. So without anything else to say here we go…

Favourites (12-1 to 20-1) – The usual suspects adorn this category. Guys like Dustin Johnson (12-1) and Tiger Woods (20-1). However, sitting at 16-1 is Justin Rose. He’s my pick in this grouping. He’s had a nice season, he’s straight and quite frankly I can see him planting a kiss on The Claret Jug come Sunday. #TeamRose

Not Quite The Favourites (25-1 to 40-1) – Jason Day leads the pack of this grouping. But I don’t like him to win The Claret Jug. I have no real basis for saying this but I do. Yes ,he’s quietly won twice on Tour this season but in this range I’m going with the most underrated golfer in men’s professional golf. Marc Leishman! He’s 40-1 and a bit of a longshot already without being a longshot. Even though Sergio Garcia, Masters Champ Patrick Reed and Hideki Matsuyama are in this pod… Leishman sits lurking in the bushes. Like a stealthy assassin he lies in wait. You don’t even know he’s lurking but then all of a sudden.. there he is!!!

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All of a sudden.. he’s there! (Photo Credit: Golf Digest)

 The Darkhorse (50-1 to 80-1) – These are the interesting picks with some real notable names in the mix. I love Zach Johnson but not this week. Ian Poulter could be a mover and shaker and you never know what ‘The Wizard” Bryson DeChambeau has up his sleeves. However, there is one golfer that has had a great season in 2018. Sitting at 66-1 is Bubba Watson. Yes, he had a rough tourney at The Military Tribute (Greenbrier) but I simply dismiss it. He was really pressing to win at his second home and maybe just maybe he was thinking too far ahead to this week. Imagination, length and a total arsenal of crazy shots that he can. Bubba will be there Sunday… if he doesn’t wound too tightly (like at Greenbrier).

The Longshot (100-1 to 300-1) – If you’re a betting type (I’m not) then someone in this category could win you some money. These guys aren’t in the conversation during your morning coffee or round but there are a few names that would make for an intriguing pick. In this case my eyes just can turn away from Austin Cook. Admittedly, I don’t know much about him and quite frankly I know more about his caddy (Kip Henley of Big Break fame) than I do about the 250/1 man. Cook has serious game and has shown flashes of brilliance thus far in his career.He does hold a PGA Tour victory so he does know how to win. He’s ranked 24th in the FedEx Cup race and also finished Top-5 at Greenbrier.He’s pretty steady with greens and fairways hit (albeit nowhere near the top echelon) but he’s just long and accurate enough to win at Carnoustie.

The Off of the Board (500/1 to 2000/1) – So you want to hold lightning in a bottle and seriously cash in on a $20 wager. These are the guys for you. Using my highly scientific methodology I look at names like 500/1 crowd Bernhard Langer and Ernie Els. But can the old man really win this? Sure he can… anybody in the field can. Heck, even a 2000/1 guy can win this thing. I mean if you’re in the field you have a chance right? SO looking up and down I actually feel really good about a name on the list. At 1000/1 I like Sean Crocker!!! Enough to make him my overall pick? We shall see but not likely. He’s won before granted many others in this category have won. But it’s just a gut instinct and maybe worth a “penny of your thoughts”.

So, I’ve tabulated my picks over the six categories and placed them into my “Magic Eight Ball”. My fearless prediction is…

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Greenbrier was an anomaly and he has loftier goals than winning at his second home. Green Jackets are always nice but Jugs are pretty nice too!! He’ll be focused. Keep him in line Ted Scott!!

**Pulling for Rose

Until The Next Tee!!

JumboMax® Team Member Bryson DeChambeau captures a 2nd Place Finish at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Several years ago I tried some of the original JumboMax grips. To be totally honest, I loved the feel of them and what they offered. I always felt like my hands and arms were relaxed. I felt like I was able to swing freely. But if there was one con about them (at the time) it was that the grips really took away from swingweight points. I was using Callaway Golf Diablo Forged irons at the time that were weighted at D3-D5. By the time I placed those JumboMax grips on I had gone well into the C range of the scale. The result was that it felt like I was overswinging and was never able to adjust. I would definitely give their new Tour Series grips a try.

Did you know that PGA Tour star Bryson DeChambeau was a JumboMax team member? Many observers think that he’s unconventional, different, eccentric… a genius. I like the later and those other things too because he is the exact opposite of “golf oatmeal”. He uses ONE Length irons by Cobra Golf (would LOVE to know his swingweight), tried a version of side-saddle putting on Tour, a putter from SIK Putters and yes those are the oversized grips from JumboMax Grips. I think at the heart of who I am… I have a little DeChambeau in me. I find him relatable other than my lacking IQ.

DeChambeau finished in Second Place at Mr. Palmer’s tournament (Arnold Palmer Invitational). Please see the press below shared by Joe Wieczorek of The Media Group.

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JumboMax® Team Member Bryson DeChambeau captures a 2nd Place Finish at Arnold Palmer Invitational

 

(JUPITER, FL) – JumboMax® Grips announced today that Tour Staff Professional, Bryson DeChambeau, captured a 2nd Place Finish on the PGA TOUR this past weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational held at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida.

DeChambeau fired rounds of 67, 66, 72 and 68 to finish at 15 under par for a 2nd Place Finish. He recorded 21 Birdies, ranked T-4th in Total Birdies, 1st in Strokes Gained Tee to Green and 2nd in Driving Distance for the tournament.

This runner-up finish earned him a paycheck of $961,200.00 and 300 FedEx Cup Points. He’s currently ranked 19th on the FedEx Cup Points List and 61st in the Official World Golf Rankings with earnings of$1,715,587 for the 2017-2018 season. This is Bryson’s 2nd Top 5 and 3rd Top 10 in just 10 starts this season.

DeChambeau has been playing JumboMax Grips for over 6 years now and he’s as well known for his accomplishments on the golf course as he is for his unorthodox set of irons that are all the same length. DeChambeau plays the new Tour Series Grips from JumboMax that he personally helped develop.

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In 2017, JumboMax collected a victory and two 2nd Place Finishes on the PGA Tour and JumboMax Team Members, Bryson DeChambeau and Kelly Kraft had combined earnings in excess of $3 Million Dollars.

About JumboMax Golf Grips

JumboMax Grips garnered the attention of the golf world by offering golfers an alternative to the standard-size or “skinny” grips typically found on clubs. The super-oversized JumboMax Grip, with its patented design and larger diameter, provides a more secure Finger-Palm™ Grip which makes for a tension-free connection to the club. This Finger-Palm Grip Technology promotes relaxed grip pressure, more consistent squaring of the clubface, a more fluid and powerful swing, and the most shock-absorption for continuous comfortable play.

In independent player testing administered by GolfTest USA, JumboMax® Golf Grips outperformed standard golf grips in head-to-head testing in nearly every category and were awarded the company’s Seal of Excellence and its Highest Achievement Award.

Results with the JumboMax Grips versus the standard grips showed improvement in nearly all categories tested including Carry Distance, Total Distance, Clubhead Speed, Smash Factor and Wedge Dispersion; particularly impressive was the 10+ yard Increase (6.2%) in Carry Distance that testers experienced with the Driver and the 22.8% better dispersion average they experienced in the Wedge test.

Dominant Golf, LLC is the parent company and manufacturer of JumboMax Golf Grips. The company was created with the goal of developing a better way for people to learn, play and love the game of golf. The JumboMax Grip was designed with computer and laboratory technologies and has been studied extensively on golf ranges and courses with golfers of varying skill levels including low, intermediate and high handicap players.

For more information about JumboMax Golf Grips, visit www.JumboMax.com.

 

 

Until The Next Tee!!

REVIEW – Bridgestone Golf Tour B Golf Balls

Until recently I had limited to no experience with golf balls from Bridgestone Golf. All of this changed recently when I sold the house and started packing for the move. While cleaning out my golf room I stumbled upon a dozen Bridgestone Golf Tour B330 golf balls that I acquired a couple of years from the PGA Show. So I thought that I would put them to good use and do some testing. My intentions at the time was to do write a review.

Then one night on Twitter I posted a picture of the aforementioned golf balls and was contacted by an unknown member of the social media team from Bridgestone Golf. The individual and I started to talk and I was then asked if I would be interested in testing a new line of golf balls that have yet to be released. Of course I had to say yes. After all we are talking about an opportunity to test a golf ball that not many others have played as of yet. So a few days later an envelope arrived from Bridgestone Golf and in it was a sample pack of the new TourB golf ball range.

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With the launch of the new TourB line-up from Bridgestone Golf comes four different golf balls that intend to hit various demographics in the golf market. With this new line-up there is a golf ball for most types of golfer. The TourB offers two golf balls that are geared towards those players who average lower scores (note the wording). These golf balls are the TourB X and Tour B XS. For golfers who average scores that are considered to be low to mid-range the TourB RX and TourB RXS are the “recommended” golf balls. Below is a breakdown of each of their characteristics and in bold my testing observations.

TourB X – The TourB X is a golf ball that is designed to give those that shoot lower scores a combination where feel and accuracy are at a premium. The enhanced feel is a result of a softer cover that stems from “SlipRes Technology”. Meanwhile, the enhanced accuracy is a by-product of the lower spin created by the “gradation core construction”. Not to mention higher initial ball speed and reduced spin with the driver. Bridgestone’s “Dual Dimple” pattern delivers more distance and roll. “Seamless Cover Technology” (SCT) also adds to the accuracy while delivering a more consistent ballflight along with more distance.

The new TourB X is a golf ball that I am extremely excited about. The feel off of the driver is one where you feel like you’re really compressing the golf ball and this holds true throughout the golf bag. The cover is indeed durable but I hit a cart path or something that scarred my tester. Instead of pulling the ball out of play I continued to play with it. To the naked eye the scuffing never affected the performance of the ball. I was astonished with the sheer length of this golf ball. The TourB X consistently produced long drives and there is definitely something to the gradation core construction. It seemed like that the B X was always hitting the middle of the fairway or landing on the GIR. Yesterday on very firm greens this was the ball that ran the least on approach shots into the green. The Tour B X was a champion in strong winds… seemingly cutting through the air being unaffected. Greenside it was a very admirable performer that was very consistent. The TourB X has been put into play recently by Bridgestone Golf staffer Bryson DeChambeau.

TourB XS – The TourB XS is a golf ball designed to deliver enhanced feel and distance for golfers who tend to score lower. Feel and distance are the characteristics that the TourB XS delivers. The TourB XS features the same “SlipRes Technology” as seen in the TourB X. A softer cover means more feel for all shots from the driver to the green. Less drag created by Dual Dimple technology and less drag created by a more efficient trajectory equals more distance.  The cover on the TourB XS also features a seamless construction creating more consistency from a balanced dimple pattern.

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The TourB XS was a fun golf ball to play. It’s a long golf ball that was consistently a touch longer than the TourB X. This was the case seen throughout the golf bag. Perhaps all of the man hours spent by Bridgestone Golf’s R&D team investigating the dimple pattern was well-rewarded. The feel of the TourB XS I felt was equally as good as the TourB X however I felt a slight difference on shorter shots (putting and chipping) where the TourB XS felt just a little more… firm?? The cover is durable as this golf ball has seen a decent number of golf holes played with nary a blemish. In the wind the XS cheated the wind and the ball was seemingly unaffected. The Tour B XS definitely gets my nod of approval. The TourB XS was put in play by Bridgestone Golf staffer Matt Kuchar at the President’s Cup.

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TourB RX – For golfers that don’t post consistently low scores the TourB RX is built for you. If you’re a golfer with a swing speed that isn’t described as Tour-like then the RX is definitely worth a look. First and foremost the TourB RX is designed to be a distance golf ball with the addition of enhanced accuracy. This extra distance is the result of similar technologies found in the “Tour-level” golf balls in the family. “SlipRes” cover technology, a gradational compression core, “Dual Dimple” pattern and “Seamless Cover Technology” are all present. The SlipRes cover yields more friction at impact which leads to more spin.

My findings with the TourB RX weren’t that far off from what I saw with the TourB X. It’s a long golf ball and it is an accurate one at that. If anything it might have felt more firm with the driver but maybe it’s just how I was feeling during the testing process. That said, the RX is a good all-around performer with no blemishes or weaknesses to speak of. I really liked what this ball did from a ballflight standpoint with the flight maybe being a touch higher than it’s TourB X counterpart. This ball is built on a similar chassis that was the Tour B330-RX which had a cult-like following. Remember when I said I had minimal experience with Bridgestone Golf? I did use the B330-RX and I feel that the replacement to the original RX model is an upgrade. I would suggest better length and more control. Greenside it might have spun less than the Tour-level balls and this fact was noticed on firmer greens in particular. The runout was a little more yet it was still consistent and predictable. The TourB RX is also offered with a highly visible yellow cover as well.

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TourB RXS – This is the golf ball that is the heir to the B330-RXS throne. A golf ball designed with more distance and feel in mind. Technologies are the same across the board where the RXS features all of the technologies as stated above in the other three models. “SlipRes” cover, “Dual Dimple” pattern, gradational compression core and “Seamless Cover Technology” are all found here.

 

When it came to the testing of the TourB RXS it was conducted at the same time as all of the other golf balls in the line-up. The TourB RXS was as you might suspect a great performer like the rest of its brethren. Durable and solid around the greens. I felt that the RXS had a higher ballflight than the rest of the stable and maybe it’s because this golf ball might be a tad more “spinnier”. From a length standpoint I felt that it was a little shorter than the TourB RX again leading to me believing that the spin rates of the RXS were higher than it’s RX counterpart. In no way am I suggesting that this ball is inferior because it simply is not. I thought it performed better around the green and let’s face it… if a golf ball is going to help us it would be around the greens when greens in regulation are scarce. The TourB RXS was very admirable in all facets of the game. The TourB RXS is also offered with the high visible yellow.

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The bottom line with this golf ball range from Bridgestone Golf is that there is not one weak offering in this line-up. This stable of balls from Bridgestone Golf is terrific throughout. If I had to pick one I am definitely leaning towards the TourB XS. I just preferred the all-around performance and feel of the TourB XS . When it comes to selecting one of these golf balls from the TourB range consider a few things. Firstly, there is no difference in the cost of the TourB from one to another. The suggested retail price for all of the TourB offerings is $44.99 USD. Putting the price aside focus on your game and what you need help with to improve your scores. Do you prefer more feel or more distance? Say you prefer feel what’s the next important variable. If you say distance then you know that your baseline for selection is the TourB XS. Personally I love that Bridgestone Golf made it this way for golfers to select a golf ball. It makes it easier. One other thought. If you go to the Bridgestone Golf Fitting Guide they can definitely get you on your way to selecting the correct golf ball for your game. I used the Fitting Guide out of curiosity and for me it recommended the TourB XS. For me it would be my second choice. Go ahead and join the “TourB Revolution”. #DareToBridgestone