Ace. By definition according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is defined as

“a person who excels at a particular sport or other activity.”

When it comes to the game of golf there is no doubt in my mind (or any golf fan or observer for that matter) that Eldrick Tiger Woods is an ace. But the term ace has another reference. An ace is also the term that dates back to World War I for a fighter pilot that collects five confirmed kills (shoots down 5 enemy aircraft during aerial combat). By this definition, Tiger Woods is also an ace as with his victory on Masters Sunday became an Ace of Augusta National Golf Course and The Masters Tournament. Only Mr. Jack Nicklaus has more with 6 victories at Magnolia Lane.

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One Day!!

Before I continue I just wanted to reiterate a few things. These are things that some of my regular readers already know about me but some newcomers may not. Admittedly, I have never been much of a Tiger Woods fans as I readily admit in this Tweet from today.

However, what you also need to know is that I’ve never disputed that he’s been the greatest of this generation. I’ve always admired Tiger’s command of the game, his dominance over his competition of this generation (and at times golf course architects) and the fact that he brought golfers to the game of golf who in all likelihood would have never picked up a golf club in the first place. The reality is that nobody has ever nor will anyone move the needle like Tiger has. It’s because of Tiger that his peers play for millions of dollars. One other thing that I wanted to point out is that I never wrote off Tiger like so many of my contemporaries have… I said well in advance of his showings in 2018 that it was inevitable that he’d be back.

It’s been often said that you have to sink to the very depths of rock-bottom before you can truly rise again. While I’m not going to beat the living daylights out of this subject let’s just quickly summarize some of the events that have transpired with Tiger that led to today’s comeback.

  • The passing of his father (Earl)
  • The issues at home with ex-wife Elin and the infamous 9-iron incident (not discounting other family issues that we didn’t know about that occurred behind closed doors)
  • His driving while impaired (which I was very unaccepting and critical of. There’s never a good excuse for this)
  • Multiple back surgeries
  • Hater’s hating and writing him off (I’m sure that didn’t bug him… but I don’t know him)
  • The short game yips (which ties in to above)

And I’m certain that there are points that I’m leaving out. Basically, Tiger Woods ran a gauntlet to get him to this particular point in time… and history.

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Frustration at the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie

Golf and Tiger fans alike saw the signs of great things to come over several events in recent history. Sure there was his recovery from injury following the most recent procedures on his back. The world was buzzing over social media every time Tiger picked up a wedge, or a driver and showed us a video of him swinging it. There were signs of competitive progress when he finished 9th in an abbreviated field at the 2017 Hero World Challenge. That single event would springboard Tiger to several top finishes in 2018. Events like his 12th place finish at the Honda Classic. Later that month his T-2 at the Valspar Championship and then a T-5 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. The month of May saw a Top-10 at The Player’s Championship. July saw even more progress and more encouraging signs of Tiger returning to form with top finishes at the Quicken Loans National and The Open Championship at Carnoustie. The PGA Championship at Bellerive in August fans were witness to another top finish in a Major Championship which led us into the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs. It was at the Tour Championship when he won his 80th title and everyone was saying that he was back. As far as I’m concerned at the time his form was back but he wasn’t.

That changed on April 14th, 2019 on Masters Sunday. Overall, the 2019 Masters Tournament was as exciting as it gets. The number of player’s that were in contention every day of the tournament was staggering and names like Fleetwood (my pick… didn’t turn out), Langer, Corey Conners, DeChambeau, Koepka, and Woods that were there after the first round. After Round 2 we saw DeChambeau slide out and making moves were Adam Scott, Jason Day and Francesco Molinari. When the dust settled after Round 3 we saw a lurking Tiger waiting to pounce on the field, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka, and Ian Poulter very in contention which further set up the exciting finish on Sunday.

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Jubilation

I’m not going to give a recap of the final round because we all know what happened but let’s just say that Sunday was a day that was very different on so many levels. With severe weather threatening Augusta, Georgia the tee times were moved up in an effort to avoid the dreaded Monday finish. It was a fantastic decision made by The Masters Tournament Committee and it was a day like we have never seen before. We had previous major champions in contention (Molinari and Koepka both of whom outlasted Woods in major’s in 2018) at the top of the leaderboard. According to reports, after bogeying the 4th and 5th hole it was his caddie (Joe LaCava) that woke him up.

“Never lose the tenseness, but be loose out there. Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.” – Caddie Joe LaCava to Tiger Woods

On the 15th hole, Woods catapult into the lead and the rest is history. Then came the magical walk up the 18th, the final putt and the roars that shook the fabrics of the Earth. Making it even better was that his mother, daughter, and son were there to be in his arms after that final putt. The way that life intended it to be. Exultation. Redemption. Accomplishment.

Like I said in my Tweet. “If you don’t truly appreciate this for what it truly is. You have no soul”. Many of us have been through our own trials and tribulations. I have and continue to do so after my stroke in September. Recently, I played my first round of golf since that stroke. While it wasn’t the same thing from an accomplishment level as what Tiger just did I understand what it means to fight, grind, scratch, and claw your way back.  It’s because of his fighting and grinding why I appreciate this win more than any of Tiger’s previous 80. Congratulations Tiger! Now you’re back.

Tiger’s Winning WITB

M5 Fairway | 13°

M3 Fairway| 19°

Milled Grind Wedges | 56° & 60°

Golf Ball – Bridgestone Golf TOUR B XS

 

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

 

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The saying goes “Those people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. A simple saying that I heard my parents say as I grew up simply translates to shouldn’t criticize other people for bad qualities in their character that you have yourself. I admit, I’ve had my transgressions after all and the last time that I checked, I wasn’t a saint. That said, I feel like I can discuss today’s article and still look at myself in the mirror.

The first thing that I wanted to talk about is Sergio Garcia and his tirade in the desert. Now before I get rolling on this I just wanted to say that I’m going to try to be as objective as I can be. When it comes to my opinions of Sergio Garcia they’ve ranged anywhere from I like the brash teenager running and scissor-kicking his way up the fairway, to totally disliking him viewing him as a petulant primadonna, to liking him and giving him a chance after he appeared on Feherty, to really disliking him after watching him conduct himself in a practice round during the 2018 RBC Canadian Open. It appeared that he didn’t want to be there but appearance fees are dollars in the bank account. Then again, who did want to be there the week following The Open Championship?  I guess there’s a degree of me that dislikes more than likes him.

We’ve seen the pictures or the video of Sergio in the bunker having a mini-meltdown, tirade, or tantrum. Whichever you elect to call it. however, if you haven’t let’s see “Exhibit A”.

As tempting as it is to break down his mechanics like I have recently about Choi Ho-sung and Matthew Wolff I won’t. It goes without saying that he was peeved and I wish that I could translate what he was saying. But, was he really mad at the state of the bunkers? Or was it his effort out of the bunker? I’m pretty sure the conditions of the course at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City were pretty good. But the issues for Garcia “snowballed” and he was later disqualified from the tournament (Rule 1.2a allows for disqualification if a player has committed serious misconduct. He later offered an apology ““I respect the decision of my disqualification. In frustration, I damaged a couple of greens, for which I apologize for, and I have informed my fellow players it will never happen again.”

But do you accept his apologies? I asked on Twitter and you responded.

It was a small number of responses but it was a close poll. 54% of the respondents said yes. By the way thanks to all of those that took part in the poll. Out of some of the explanations for those saying yes among them was from individuals from Europe that appreciate what he’s done for European Ryder Cup Teams. I understand and respect that and other opinions that people give. Always! Here’s my issue. Sergio is nearing 40, a peer (Brooks Koepka) said that he “acted like a child” (no argument here) and it’s not like he’s a first-time offender. There is a little bit of a history of him having tantrums where if he was playing in the NHL, Sergio would have been suspended for 40 games by now for being a repeat offender.

Heck, Happy Gilmore got thrown off of the TOUR for less and nearly cost him a “Yellow Jacket”. We know that he won’t be suspended for his actions. But, I would love to see him be “put to work” by The European Tour and the Kingdom of Saud and work on their greens crew raking bunkers all day and fixing the damage that he caused. Sergio, those guys work their asses off to make sure that these courses are in pristine condition for you, your peers and the others that play the course.

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Photo Credit: Golf Digest

While I’m at it I just wanted to touch on the Matt Kuchar situation. I know that I’ve already written about it but as of today, it reached a conclusion. First, I wanted to say that I’ve always liked Matt Kuchar but I have definitely soured on him in light of “CaddieGate”. I always viewed Matt as one of the “good guys” on TOUR but the way that he handled the payment situation after his win at the Mayakoba Classic was a touch off base. I respect the fact that he and his local caddie agreed upon the $5,000 USD for the week. However, I just think that when he won I think that he should have had the wherewithal to consider the original agreement “null and void” and pay the man his dues. Maybe not the full 10% but more than the 5K.

“For a guy that makes $200 a day, $5,000 is a really big week” – Matt Kuchar

As of today (February 15th) Kuchar has said that he’ll be issuing an apology to the caddie, he’ll pay the remainder of the $50,000 he requested, and donate money back to the tournament to be distributed to charities. In a statement, Kuchar went on to say…

“This week, I made comments that were out of touch and insensitive, making a bad situation worse,”

In the same statement, Kuchar followed up by saying…

“They made it seem like I was marginalizing David Ortiz and his financial situation, which was not my intention. I read them again and cringed. That is not who I am and not what I want to represent. My entire Tour career, I have tried to show respect and positivity. I let myself, my family, my partners and those close to me down, but I also let David down. I plan to call David tonight, something that is long overdue, to apologize for the situation he has been put in, and I have made sure he has received the full total that he has requested.”

I’m glad that his caddie David Ortiz is getting his payday. The man deserved it. But there are things that I don’t like about this situation. The first is that it got to this point in the first place. If you’re Kuchar you can’t seriously be that oblivious to the situation. You have to realize that when you were signing your card in the scoring tent that the original agreement was “dead”. Secondly, the fact that the caddie came out about the situation the way that he did. Talk about a “Festivus-style” airing of grievances. Ortiz, my man, you really knocked this one out of the ballpark. Then again, if he doesn’t does he get paid? Thirdly, did Kuchar cave because of media/social media pressure? Last but not least, I actually saw people criticizing Kuchar’s sponsors. What the heck does Bridgestone Golf and Skecher’s have to do with the situation? Get a grip, folks!

Frankly, Garcia’s propensity for immaturity and Kuchar’s “insensitivity” should never have been a story and I should have been writing about “CaddieGate” in the first place. Instead, this time and energy should have been exerted on a review or press release.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

Golf Instruction. At times it has become very convoluted. Instructors too often make it more confusing than it really has to be. Some instructors may not like me saying this but it’s the truth. Then there are the other issues, for example. Whenever some new ideas come out to teach players how to play golf with an easier method other instructors do their best to refute others.

For the most part, it’s up to the students themselves to translate what the instructor is saying and then take it home where they have to practice on their own a week or two in between sessions. Often the information can be lost in translation and in some cases, the student loses the explanation of the golf swing before they leave their session.

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Even though a training aid has been used in some cases, the student still doesn’t really have a visual cue to draw from allowing them better retention of instruction. It’s a fact that people (in general) can understand something easier with visual cues. I’m one of those individuals and in the case of those with learning disabilities (Autism Spectrum Disorder), this is, even more, the case.

Colour Path Golf is a ground-breaking concept to help instructors teach golf and for their students to learn the game just a little bit easier. PGA Professionals John Glenn and Kevin Merry are the Co-Founders of this revolutionary method. Through the use of colour-coded plastic shapes. In total there are four colours (green, red, yellow and blue) that are used to show students where to apply different attention of detail to the swing. For example, where to apply power. Essentially, Colour Path Golf could almost be described as a “jigsaw puzzle for your golf swing”. Even one yellow ruler can help you improve.

The Colours

  1. Yellow – Yellow pieces are used to get your attention. Think like a traffic light… it means caution.
  2. Blue – It’s a cooling colour. Look at the instrument panel/climate control on your car. The air conditioner is cool. This is precisely what your blue pieces are for. In my case, the takeaway would reflect a blue piece.
  3. Green – This means Go. Or relax. start to accelerate upon completing the backswing and transition.
  4. Red – It can be used for a couple of reasons. The first reason is for control. Think face angle or ball position. But, red can also be used in areas of the swing where we need to apply power. Think of that 24″ or so before impact and immediately post-impact. Have you been told that you decelerate? These pieces could help relate easier.

While at Demo Day I saw Colour Path Golf set-up and knowing that I had an appointment later in the week it caught my eye. Honestly, I couldn’t fathom what it was or how it worked. I had the pleasure meeting and talking with Kevin Merry at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show later in the week and he explained everything that is Colour Path Golf to me. It didn’t take long for me to get it.  I really do think that Colour Path Golf could be “the path” to help you improve your golf game. Instructors themselves, really need to take note.

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Look for more to come on this revolutionary method in the future.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee