The Cut – The 2021 Masters Tournament

It’s now “Moving Day” at the 2021 Masters. A quick look at who made the cut and who didn’t. Who out of the first groups could make a move today to get back into contention. Thoughts on Will Zalatoris, Justin Rose, DJ, Rory, and Bryson DeChambeau.

Even the trees at Augusta National Golf Club have helped Justin Rose thru 36. (Photo Credit: PGA Tour)

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Introduction to Testing – Rypstick Golf… The Unboxing

There is no doubt that when it comes to professional golf, there’s a bit of an “Arm’s Race”. For this, we have many thanks to give to Bryson DeChambeau. Bryson, the intelligent, savvy golfer that he is has combined mathematics, science, and a vaunted physical fitness regimen to be the longest hitter on the PGA TOUR. For proof, look no further than his drive during the third round of the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in. He drove the golf ball and carried some 370 yards. Rory McIlroy’s 360 yard effort was impressive too.

Bombers on TOUR aren’t just about one or two guys like it was back when John Daly was pulverizing drives. Or, more recently when everyone was in awe of Bubba Watson every time he cranked up the “watts”.. The list is long now with names like Matthew Wolff, Cameron Champ, and Dustin Johnson to name a few. Meanwhile, across the pond you have the European Tour’s Wilco Nienaber of South Africa. who quietly averages 341 yards off of the tee.

South Africa’s Wilco Nienaber (Photo Credit: Sky Sports)

If there’s one thing that the “arm’s race” has done it’s that it’s motivated or inspired golfers of all levels to try to find more speed. With more speed comes more distance and which golfer amongst us, wants to hit it shorter? Certainly not I, as I approach my 50th birthday in less than a year. If only there was more way to reach my potential. Develop more speed if you will.

Well, the good news is that there is. There are a few golf training tools out there dedicated to helping golfers achieve more speed, via overload or overspeed training While I won’t list any names, I want to talk about a newer product to the market.

RYP Golf wants you wants you to “Reach Your Potential”. Get faster and hit the golf ball longer with Rypstick. Based in Minnesota, Rypstick is from the mind of Dr. Luke Benoit Ph.D who is the Founder of Ryp Golf. I had the pleasure of talking with Vice-President Scott Macdonald (Director of Speed) during the 2021 PGA Show Virtual Experience. I learned a great deal about what Rypstick is all about. To say that it’s intriguing is a little understated. This is a product that some golfers might contend that its been done before.

Sure, the “end game” is the same. Develop more clubhead speed and hit that little dimpled beast further. But, instead of carrying an additional 3 sticks in your already crammed golf bag, there’s just one stick. Just from a convenience standpoint, I like this design already compared to the other option. I used to take my three sticks into the gym to make swings, but frankly, it was a pain in the posterior.

To achieve weights from light to heavy there are removable weights, in total there are actually 8 weight combinations that you can create to train with. Overall, the weight can range from 270 grams all the way to 420 grams. Not to mention a free swing analysis and fitness assessment with purchase (I misspoke in the accompanying video saying that it was a trainer for a month). They also come in five different lengths, shorter ones will be lighter. By visiting their website, you’ll find a “Fitness Hub” and “Golf Swing” tab to help you along the way that provides plenty of information, workouts, and training videos.

Since their inception in 2020, Rypstick has managed to add “30+ PGA Tour Players, 150+ Top Teachers, and over half of the top World Long Drive Athletes”.

I admit it, I’ve lost clubhead over the last few years but my stroke in 2018 was a major contributor of my loss of speed. Whether I can get back to my former self or not, remains to be seen (I topped out at 113 mph and cruised at 107 mph). But, I’m looking forward to getting down and dirty with the Rypstick. Let’s see where this new journey takes me. Will I get faster? “I have the need… the need for speed!”

Stay tuned to Until The Next Tee for more coverage and information on Rypstick. Also, look for an upcoming episode of my TeeBox Chatter golf podcast where I will be having a chat with the minds behind Rypstick. I hope that you enjoy the unboxing video.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson Signs Extension with TaylorMade Golf Company

THE REIGNING MASTERS CHAMPION HAS BEEN WITH TAYLORMADE SINCE HE TURNED PRO, AND THE PAIRING SHOWS NO SIGN OF SLOWING DOWN

CARLSBAD, Calif. (January 7, 2021) – Team TaylorMade has one of the strongest lineups in all of professional golf. As a company built around product innovation, technology and authentic golfer relationships, the brand has attracted some of the best and most magnetic players in the game.

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© TaylorMade Golf

There’s no better example of that than Dustin Johnson. He has been a centerpiece for the brand’s team of world-class tour professionals since turning pro 14 years ago. Armed with TaylorMade equipment, Johnson has amassed 24 victories over the course of his career including two major championships.

He’s currently ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings, having regained the top spot with a stretch of spectacular play following the 2020 PGA Tour restart. Johnson delivered a record setting performance at The Northern Trust, where his total score of 30-under-par included a run of 11-under through 11 holes. He added yet another milestone victory at the Tour Championship en route to claiming the FedEx Cup title.

As arguably the greatest encore in the game’s history, Johnson capped off his year by winning his first green jacket at the 2020 Masters last November.

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© Getty Images

With all the challenges of 2020, it was one of my best years on the golf course. TaylorMade was right there with me each step of the way, just like they’ve been for my whole career. There isn’t a better golf equipment company in the game, especially the guys out on Tour. I’m looking forward to being part of Team TaylorMade for a long time to come.Dustin Johnson

Each marquee victory was earned with 14 TaylorMade clubs and his trusted TP5x golf ball. As Johnson prepares to tee it up this week in Maui at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, his first event of 2021, his bag is expected to have a few updates for the start of the season. His current WITB is below:

DUSTIN JOHNSON WITB

  • SIM2 10.5° driver
  • SIM2 Max 16.5° #3HL fairway
  • SIM Max 21° #7 fairway
  • P•730 Irons (3-PW)
  • Milled Grind Wedges (52° and 60°)
  • Spider Tour IB Limited Putter
  • TP5x Golf Ball (#1)
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© TaylorMade Golf

Having now spent 111 weeks atop the OWGRs, Johnson is third all-time in total number of weeks at World No.1 trailing only Tiger Woods and Greg Norman. The new multi-year contract extension reaffirms TaylorMade’s commitment to fielding the strongest Tour staff in the industry and putting the highest performing equipment in the hands of the world’s best athletes as they compete on the sport’s biggest stages.

When we look back on everything DJ has accomplished over the course of his career, we couldn’t be prouder to be on his team. The victories, the major championships, the record-setting performances. He’s done it all, and with TaylorMade equipment in his hands for each moment. That’s humbling, but it also fuels us to keep innovating and pushing the limits of performance so that we can continue to help DJ play the best possible golf – while rewriting the history books along the way.David Abeles, CEO, TaylorMade Golf

Hot Takes… A New Champ is Crowned – The Masters (Final Round)

The 2020 Masters Tournament has reached its conclusion. 2020 has been a different kind of year and this was a different kind of Masters. Congratulations to World #1 Dustin Johnson on winning his first Green Jacket. Who knows, there might be a couple of more in him before he’s finished. More in him later.

DJ looking great in green. (Photo Credit: PGA TOUR)

The 16th Green – I know that it’s been a different kind of year and with it, the committee at the Masters opted to change the pin placement on the 16th green. The commentators had said that it was a more difficult pin placement, but even with the lack of fans present (if that was the reason for the change) going away from the traditional Sunday pin placement was boring. I hated it and there has to be an overwhelming majority of golf fans that, even though we were without the buzz and roars, would have preferred to watch some shots into the usual pin location. The pin placement on Sunday was a bogey.

An imPerferct 10 – Speaking of bogey’s. How about heptuple (if that’s a word) bogey? Was anyone else in shock watching Tiger in “Amen Corner” take a 10 on “Golden Bell”. My mouth just hung open and I was in absolute shock. Golf is a funny game. It just goes to show you that if it can happen to Tiger Woods, it can happen to anyone else.

If it can happen to Tiger…

Im – How good is Sungjae Im? If he wasn’t on your radar by now as a golf fan, he should be. Watching him, you can see the potential greatness in this native of South Korea. His driving at the 2020 Masters Tournament was like watching “Iron Byron”. Had it not been for a couple of big pulls, who knows. He could’ve placed a ton of pressure on the champion. He’ll take a lot from this Masters Tournament and now that he has the experience of “where to” and “where not to” hit it he will contend again. Im isn’t going to be #25 for long as he’ll be Top 5 at some point. Under the radar, Im will win a Green Jacket before his career is finished. Imagine the celebration in South Korea and that of South Korean golf fans.

Smith Sub 70 – The Aussie served notice this week. The runner-up played all 4 rounds under par. Cameron Smith is the only player in the history of the Masters Tournament to fire 4 rounds in the 60’s.

The young Aussie acquitted himself nicely at the 2020 Masters.

Don’t Mess With the Golf Gods – The ghost of Bobby Jones was in attendance this week at Augusta National. Par 67? How’d that work out?

Silence is Deafening – Other than a smattering of applause from volunteers and what I assume are members of ANGC as well, the silence was deafening. Say, who else heard the random “hoots” on Saturday? Where did those come from? Imagine the gasps from the galleries during Tiger’s miscues on #12. It was so weird seeing nobody lining the fairways, surrounding the greens, or hearing the roars from the patrons. It was so bizarre. I still say it didn’t feel like a Major.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Champ – On his way to winning The Masters, Dustin Johnson set a scoring record. The record previously set by Tiger in 1997 and tied by Jordan Spieth was broken by Johnson with a cumulative score of -20. He was masterful going around Augusta National, where his discipline never strayed and he never really played under stress or duress.

Just think, we get to do this all over again in a few short months.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Hot Takes – The 2020 Masters (Round Two)

Let’s get right down to business. The Second Round awaits its completion, but here are some “hot takes” from the second round of the 2020 Masters.

Play Suspended – Well, seeing that I already touched on it, let’s start there. A residual effect of yesterday’s weather delay, coupled with the month of November, and clocks going back an hour have seen the first two rounds run out of daylight. Play will get caught up once the cut line is determined upon the conclusion of round two tomorrow morning.

Abraham Ancer – Casual golf fans may not be aware of the diminutive dynamo from Mexico. Even more aware golf fans may not have been aware of him until the last Presidents Cup in 2019. Ancer, was a stud for the International Team. Quietly, he’s emerged atop the leaderboard in Augusta. Not a huge hitter compared to others in the field (he ranks 151st in Driving Distance at 296.4) he’s proving that with solid iron striking ,you don’t need to be a hulk. There’s more than one way to play this game and score at Augusta National.

The Internationals– Sticking with the International side from the 2019 Presidents Cup, how good has the showing been by members of that team? Australia’s Cam Smith is tied atop the leaderboard at -9 with Ancer. Lurking one stroke behind with holes left to play to complete his second is Hideki Matsuyama. So are Sungjae Im, C.T. Pan, and Louis Oosthuizen. 2022 at Quail Hollow could be interesting.

Abraham Ancer. (Photo Credit: Sportsnet)

Stacked Leaderboard – How insane is this leaderboard? The scoring has been so low, that it’s almost hard to comprehend. In a way, it makes this edition of The Masters almost feel like a regular TOUR event. Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, and Patrick Cantlay are all on the first page of the leaderboard. Brooks Koepka is ready to make a move. Not to mention, my sentimental pick (Career Slam), Rory McIlroy has turned things around. A little further down, defending champion Tiger Woods is lying in wait, waiting to ambush his prey. Past champions, 50 year-old Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed are there. Speaking of past champions, at -3 so is Bernhard Langer.

Bernhard Langer – I joked around about the geriatrics in the field after the first round. Upon completion of the second round, it appears that the ageless wonder, Langer, is about to make the cut. Langer making the cut will make him the oldest player in the field to ever make a cut at The Masters. What a feat and a testament to the wiley veteran. Maybe Ponce de Leon discovered the faux Fountain of Youth. Maybe, Rae’s Creek and the grounds at AGNC are the true “Fountain of Youth”.

A record-setting performance at The Masters.

Record-setting Scoring – There has been a ton of talk about the scoring. I mentioned it in this article and in last night’s round one recap too. But, it’s a story line that’s awfully difficult to ignore. Thanks to extremely receptive greens, ANGC hasn’t really put up much of a fight. It’s sort of disappointing. Is it possible that Even or better is the cut line? It’s entirely possible. Has that ever happened? Let’s hope that the greens dry out and at least put up a little fight. Maybe, mess with the hole locations? Who knows, maybe the SubAir system will do its job. After all of that rain on Thursday, this will take some time for that system to catch up..

On the outside looking in? – Let’s just say that the cut line ends up being is Even par. Who potentially sits out the weekend and becomes a casual observer like the rest of us? Tyrrell Hatton, social media favourite Max Homa, and Kevin Kisner would be out. The same fate would happen to “big boppers” Matthew Wolff and Bryson DeChambeau. The latter has quite a few holes left to play in his second round, so don’t count him out, yet.

Matthew Wolff… Cut! (Photo Credit: LA Times)

Let’s see who makes the cut and who makes a move on Masters Saturday.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee