Dec 31

Best of 2016 Golf Season

Thanks to all who took the time to comment on the is past year.

There were plenty of memorable shots and moments to look back on, here are a few

Louis Oosthuizen makes a Hole In One on the 16th off of JB Holmes ball Sunday at the Masters, truly unbelievable.

Wil Wilcox Hole in One on #17 at TPC Players. His first time at the event and 1st ace out of over 6000 tee shots. Love that hole!

KT Kim at the WGC Cadilac..the eagle 3 he made from a fairway bunker 133 yards out.    Don’t forget the even more interesting 3rd round, first 11 holes without a par and still shoots 75.

Anybody have a better year than Henrik Stenson: Silver Medal at Olympics, Open Championship scoring record, and Race to Dubai. All at 40 years old, that guys is a beast!

Phil Mickelson now has 8 wins in 4 ball competition at the Ryder Cup passing Lanny Wadkins and The King A.P. in that form of play.

 

SandyG.USMA…Naval Academy Grad Billy Hurley III wins the Quicken Loans event after a 35 yard chip in on #15 and a bomb of a 27 foot birdie putt on #16. 2 year exemption on the PGA Tour. Glad to see an academy grad make it!

LMAG2SC…How about James Hahn winning the Wells Fargo after missing 8 cuts before the event. Followed him at Cal, way too good to miss 8 cuts in a row.

KJA1923….Adam Scott wins back to back events in Florida swing. First since 2001 to do so. Even after the long putter outlawed. He so cute!

StarterSteve…Two from the PGA: Jimmy Walker’s bunker hole out and Jason Day’s awesome 2 iron on 18th. I was there for both!

CaroleC…Thomas Pieters goes 4-1-0 at the Ryder Cup for Europe as a rookie. Could this be the new Colin Montgomerie?

NickJ2017…I still cannot believe every player on U.S. Ryder Cup Team had a hand in winning a match by the end of Saturday. I live to watch this event!

Now the Rory Mcilroy part of the program, take your pick from the many entries I received:
• The FedEx Cup and Tour Championship performance
• The two fairway wood shots at the Irish Open, 270 yards away on #16 or the 252 yard shot on #18. Russell Knox had his week wrecked in the last three holes
• The Sunday Ryder Cup singles match with Patrick Reed. 8th hole 55 foot putt he made for birdie was crazy.

Patrick Reed answered right back vs. Rory with his own 20 foot birdie on 8th hole and drained another birdie on #18 to win the match. One for the Golf Channel to replay again and again.

The Moment of the Year has to be having Arnold Palmer’s Ryder Cup golf bag on the 1st tee Friday at the Ryder Cup.   Nice touch by the PGA of America.  I am sure the players, spectators and officials all loved it!

Sep 27

Arnold Palmer: The King

I was thinking that I was going to write a post pertaining to Ryan Moore and how I thought he would be an excellent pick for the United States Ryder Cup team this week. Here is a guy who makes solid swings, has match play experience and isn’t afraid of the big stage. Then as I was checking my Ipad Sunday night before going to bed I learned of the passing of Arnold Palmer.
I never got the chance to actually meet Arnold Palmer but I did see him play. The summer of 1990 I was fortunate enough to land a job at The Ridgewood Country Club. I was a part of the Greens and Grounds crew. Ed Walsh was the superintendant t at the time and he decided at the recommendation of a friend to hire me for the summer to work on the golf course. This turned into a summer I would not forget. The Big Four at the time were on the Senior Tour for the first time. Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino just turned 50. Gary Player was 55 and Arnold was 60 and carrying the early days off the Senior Tour. During the prep for the event and the actual tournament week all of us on the crew would compare notes on who was out on the course and what players were talking about. Watching Arnold Palmer play that week for a 22 year old whose job was to walk mow four of the greens used during competition was an experience my kids are tired of hearing about, but one I will never forget.
Like many I have read, watched and listened to many terrific stories about Arnold Palmer through various news outlets along with social media. The terrific playing career the Arnold Palmer amassed with his seven major victories and 62 PGA tour victories is one that will never be forgotten. One interesting interview I heard yesterday was from Jim Nantz on a local New York radio show. Nantz had recounted a story about the 2007 White House Dinner for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Arnold and his wife Kathleen were invited to attend. The Queen and Prince also were guest at another State Dinner hosted at the White House in May 1991. Nantz mentioned that there were very few people that attended both events; the Queen and Prince, Henry and Nancy Kissinger, Dick and Lynne Cheney and Arnold. There is even a dinner table picture from the 1991 State Dinner on the White House website that shows Arnold and Winnie sitting at the same table with George HW Bush and Barbara along with the Queen and Prince. It is no wonder that we all heard the accolade these past few days that “We all wanted to be Arnold Palmer .” I can only imagine the conversations at the dinner table at the White House for those evenings. The generous, thoughtful and benevolent man that Arnold Palmer was will always continue to cast its shadow on so many parts of society. Rest in peace.

Feb 06

PGA Pros Favorite Golf Training Aids

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The 63rd edition of the  PGA Merchandise Show wrapped up last week at the Orlando County Convention center in Florida.  Now if you didn’t have the opportunity to go the show or watch what goes on during the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive show last week, you are not alone.  Let me tell you though just because you didn’t go to  Orlando doesn’t mean you will miss getting your hands on some of the terrific golf training aids  that are made available through the various golf teaching aid companies that were in attendance.

 One of my favorite companies to work with that has all the time tested aids that I use to help my students reach their golfing potential is Golf Around the World.   In 2001 my first purchase was the 2’x4′ Teaching & Training Mirror which I still use today.  Their website, www.GolfTrainingAids.com is a referenence that I have used and are happy to recommend to my students and readers.  I am now excited to offer you a 10% discount on any of their items on their site by opening  the link above or below and proceeding through checkout.

If you wish to talk with the customer services reps at Golf Around the World you can call 1-800-FOR-GARY.  Give them my personal discount code of  224270 and you will still get the 10% off on your items.

The tools below and their hyperlinks are some of the items that are in my arsenal:

 

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Jan 05

Best of 2015 Golf Season

Thanks to all who took the time to comment this past year.

 There were plenty of memorable moments to look back on, here are a few.

 

Rickie Fowler hit the shot of the year on the 17th tee to four feet at the TPC, on the fourth extra hole of the playoff and makes the putt to win.

Rory McIlroy at the PGA hits a shot of the water and saves par

Lydia Ko the youngest to reach #1 in the world.  Enough said.

Phil Mickelson’s bunker shot for 2 on the Par 4  6th hole at the PGA

Jordan Speith’s bunker shot for a 3 on the par 4 18th at the PGA

Zach Johnson birdie on the 18th the Open Championship to get into the playoff from 30 feet behind the hole.

Amy Yang birdied every hole on the back nine to shoot 27 and finish with 62 in the last round at the LPGA KEB Championship and finishes T4.

Wendy”GoCowboys”… Solheim Cup was filled with plenty of crazy stuff going on.  Let’s hope the “Gimmie Gate” moment between Suzann Petterson and Allison Lee doesn’t take the shine off the fact the U.S. won the last five matches to win the cup!

CoachCurtis…R & A finally admits women.  Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies are both more than deserving!

Ryan”GoDucks”…Jason Day’s vertigo episode was crazy to watch at the US Open.  Someone upstairs gave him the resolve to win the PGA.  Great Job!

BDobs…Jordan Spieth’s cut 3 wood on the par 5 18th at the US Open was the best shot I have seen in a few years.

SeveTigerGolfer…Brian Harman makes two holes in one at The Barclays #3 and #14.  I am still waiting on my first of my life.   Man these guys are good!

MikeA..PGA…I know its not a Tour moment but the final match at the Womens D1 Golf Championships between Stanford and Baylor was awesome to watch.  Haley Davis from Baylor hits one of the best pressure shots I have ever seen out of the muck to get it on the green.  Then Mariah Stackhouse just wills her way to a victoryfor Stanford in extra holes.  Terrific event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 21

U.S. Wins 2015 Solheim Cup

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The U.S. squad captained by Juli Inkster staged an epic comback on Sunday to win back the Solheim Cup from the European side in a match filled with plenty of exciting golf and a bit of controvesy.  The U.S. team entered the Sunday singles portion of the three day competition down 10 points to 6 point.  The Europeans only need to win four points to retain the cup for the third straight meeting.  With the competition taking place in Germany and after a touchy rules situation in the end of the fourball section of the event, one would think the U.S. may have just dug themselves into a hole to deep to get out of.

First the rules situation.  The  news occured on the 17th green in the fourball portion of the competition with the American’s  Allison Lee and Brittany Lincicome against  Europe’s side of Suzann Petterson and Charlie Hull.  The match was all square on when the group got to the green.  Lee had missed a birdie putt  to take the lead going into the final hole.  Just as the group was exiting the green Lee picked up her ball thinking the par putt was conceded by the Euro side.  The stroke was not conceded and the referee stepped in and spoke to both sides and concluded the Euro side never gave evidence of a concession of the par putt.  So the U.S.side went to the 18th tee down in the match and went on to loose the point on the final hole.

Now history of this kind of rules situation is evedent in these team competitions.  Seve Ballesteros and Paul Azinger argued over what ball should have been in their foursomes match Friday at the Ryder Cup in 1991 at Kiawah Island.  In the 2000 Solheim Cup Anika Sorenstam had holed a chip on the 13th hole for a birdie but unfortunately played out of turn.  American Captain Pat Bradley at the time could have let the shot stand but chose to have it replayed.  The U.S. side won that match 2 and 1.

Now back to golf on the course.  Sunday started with the U.S. needing a herculean effort to win the Solheim Cup.  That is just what they got.  The first seven matches yielded 3.5 points of each side.  At that point the European side only needed to halve one of the final five matches and lost all five.  Gerina Pillar got up and down on the 18th green to secure a win that kept the U.S. side alive, if she had halved her match the Euros would have kept the Cup.  Paula Creamer put the finishing touches on the match as she defeated Sandra Gal, in her host country,  by the result of 4 and 3.  What a Sunday comeback!

I really enjoy the team exhibitions that are on the calendar very year.  The players all say it is such a high to compete for their country. There is nothing like it in our game, unfortunately this event may be know just as much for the situation that took place at the end of the fourball session as the great comeback the U.S. side authored on Sunday.

Sep 10

September Junior Short Game Series at Sunset Valley Golf Course

Sunset Valley Golf Course will host a short game series for juniors starting September 17, 2015.  Each of the three sessions will address different areas on the golf course. The September 17th session will focus on chipping from different lies in the grass around the green.  The September 21st session will focus on bunker play and the September 24th session will focus on shots from 50 yards and in.  All three sessions will address proper grip, alignment and club selection for the situation.  All the instruction will take place on the course and the cost for the series is $85.  The series is open to juniors ages 12-17 years old.

Contact Mike Andrusin, PGA at 973-697-1041 to reserve your spot.

Click here for information flyer.

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 08

PGA Junior League at Flanders Valley

IMG_0424The Flanders Valley Golf Course has jumped into one of the fast growing junior golf programs in the country, PGA Junior League. This initiative has been growing since its inception as a pilot program in 2011 where it was rolled out in four select markets.  Now the participation has grown to over 9000 kids and over 740 teams in North America.  The Junior League matches up  local teams from geographical friendly golf clubs to play four – nine hole matches in a two person scramble format using match play scoring. Inside each of that nine hole matches every three holes creates a new competition, so each nine hole match is worth three points. There is a divisional schedule of home and home matches that is played through July then playoff start with a team made up from a group of players from within your division.  There is a Regional then a National Championship at stake as well.

Our Flanders Valley team just started this season but not without tremendous enthusiasm.  We filled out our roster with 15 players and began practice in the middle of May.  Once the schedule was set and our jerseys arrived we knew the fun was really going to begin.   Last night, Sunday June 7, the inaugural tee shots were struck and we got the 2015 season under way on the Blue course at Flanders Valley.   It was exciting to see all the faces around the first tee, on the parents  as well as their 9-13 year old golfers.

As I toured the matches as in my official coaching duties I  heard all about the great shots and how this person is carrying our team and how this player is putting lights out.  The enthusiasm for the game of golf and their teammates was something we all had hoped would develop and it certainly did.  As I waited by the last green to tally the scores it was great to see each group take off their hats, shake hands and exit the green and come over to the scoreboard and recount all the evenings high points.  Our Flanders Valley team was fortunate enough to notch a 6.5 to 5.5 victory over Somerset Hill.  I couldn’t have asked for a better performance from both squads.  We all know it is tough to go to a course and play to your potential on demand,  now imagine that for a bunch of 9 to 13 year olds.  On to Somerset Hill for our next match.

 

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Apr 14

Jordan Spieth 2015 Masters Champion

PHOTO: Jordan Spieth celebrates after winning the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Augusta, Ga.

Jordan Spieth celebrates after winning the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 12, 2015. Chris Carlson AP photo

Jordan Spieth rolled to a record tying Masters win this weekend posting an 18 under par 270 and leaving no doubts behind he is just starting what looks like an awesome career.  In the 79 year history of The Masters Spieth became the second youngest winner and fifth player to go wire to wire and collect the green jacket.  Along the way, Jordan Spieth’s play put him in the record books for his  36, 54 and 72 hole total score.  A fitting return for the 21 year old who finished second by three shots last April in the same event.

The choke hold he put on the field through the first 36 holes was almost unheard of.  64-66 for a record score 130, with 15 birdies and only one bogey before he even struck a shot on Saturday.  The weekend telecast came on with all the stories of what could happen if Spieth stumbles or makes a few errors.  That never really happened.  He went around Augusta National like a surgeon dissecting  all the angles and figuring out with his caddie all the correct ways to play the shots.  This from a player who averaged 285 yards off the tee (ranked #52) but hit 54 of 72 greens in regulation (ranked T#2).

Sunday was described by Spieth as the “greatest day of my life!”  It was nice to see and hear all the accolades thrust on him through the weekend.  Just watching him with his parents after the final putt fell and how he reacted to the crowd made me feel so happy for this humble young man.  Now the post Masters press tour is upon him.  A trip to New York City on the Under Armour jet to do the late night and morning show television  and radio circuit then back to Harbour Town for the RBC Heritage.  All with that 42 regular green jacket in tow.

Apr 04

Core Golf visits Hackettstown Tigers Golf Team

Group Stretch

We finally made it to April and the snow melted and now the golf course and driving ranges are getting open.  I get plenty of questions about what my high school does in March to get in golf shape when we can’t go outside.  That is a very good question that I would like to take a shot at answering.  This is the kind of information we could all use as golfers struggling to get back into golf shape in March.

One component I added this spring was a fitness evaluation and demonstration with Jim LaFratte.  Jim is the Director of Golf Fitness and owner of CORE Golf Consulting.  I met Jim last season as he is a resident of Morris County and called me about some of my golf clinics.  Jim invited me to his studio in Cedar Grove, NJ and put me through an extensive physical evaluation and gave me a plan to work my body and change some habits to get me to achieve a better functioning golf swing.  Jim is Titleist TPI  Level 3 Professional that has an extensive background in corrective exercise and post rehab work.  His work with some of the top private golf clubs and their golf professionals in northern New Jersey has really fourished in the last year.

Jim and I talked about putting my golf team through some foam rolling and stretching exercises to start them thinking and acting more like athletes who need to prepare to play golf.   Jim and his two assistants joined us in the wrestling room and we split up the group into three smaller groups and went to work.  The golfers worked out and stretched muscles they never heard of before.  Jim also gave us valuable information on nutrition and pre round activities we could do along with the core workout he put the group through.  My golf team thought the afternoon was full of very useful information and that Jim and his staff were on point in their presentation.

A golf fitness component with Jim LaFratte is something I will be offering my students this upcoming season.  I believe in what Jim does and his knowledge on the subject is second to none.  The Hackettstown Golf team learned more than just golf that cold day in March.

Foam rolling and stretchingFoam Rolling

 

Mar 05

Golf Season is Really Almost Here

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North Coast Golf Show 2015

 

I am sitting here at my desk taking a break from shoveling snow here in northwest New Jersey wondering when golf season will actually start by me.  It has, sort of.  Yes I know the PGA Tour is in gear and we are in the Florida swing already with Doral on television soon.  I have to admit the first few months of the PGA Tour Season has been less than captivating.  Yes we saw Tiger for a brief moment, Dustin Johnson is back playing and Phil has shown off his new physique.  I am talking about the winners.  I bet you still couldn’t pick Brooks Koepka or James Hahn out of a lineup of tour players.  Don’t get me wrong they both are very talented and off to a great start in and will be at The Masters.  Wins by Brandt Snedeker, Billy Haas, Jimmy Walker and Patrick Reed may not have move the needle to much outside the  golfing world.  The Honda Classic was a great show with plenty of drama, guys hitting shots into the water and a terrific Monday finish that even I recorded on my DVR.  Now that a WGC event is here and Bay Hill is right around the corner Spring is really coming.

What got my juices really flowing to start the golf season was the North Coast Golf Show that I attended this weekend.  I  volunteer  some teaching time for the New Jersey Golf Foundation at the show and always find it fascinating to see all the eager people wanting to swing clubs and get your thoughts on what they can do with their swing.  Now we just got another eight inches of snow and we probably won’t see the grass for a few more weeks but golfers are the eternal optimists when it comes to conditions.  When I hear things about our game’s participation rate being flat, I go back to enthusiasm I witnessed at the golf show to thwart that theory.  People of all kinds, sizes and shapes were grilling me for what they can do advance the ball the way they want to.  It was a terrific experience to see the interest from all ages and types of players.  You know what else?  We will see the grass soon enough.

 

 

North Coast Golf Show 2015

North Coast Golf Show

 

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