7 days left in 2019 Golf Season

It’s that time of year, the hillsides have dressed in the golden hues of fall. Moody skies and cooler weather brought our first frost to the golf course over the weekend. Yes, the leaves are falling and closing time is around the corner.

The golf course will close for the season Sunday, November 3rd and return in the spring bringing warmer weather, greener grass and welcoming smiles.

Stop out for a final round and check out our 2020 Season Pass options


Woods ties Snead’s mark with 82nd win at ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP

Two legends tied at top for all-time PGA TOUR victories

They came to see history, the fans who swarmed the inaugural ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in numbers that were “insane” (Jordan Spieth), “phenomenal” (Daniel Berger), and “almost as many fans as we usually have in a full week in just one day” (Japan Golf Tour pro Ryo Ishikawa).

Then the man they’d all come to see, Tiger Woods, upped the ante as only he can.

Woods led wire-to-wire for his 82nd PGA TOUR victory, tying Sam Snead atop the official victory ledger. The only thing that slowed him down was the torrential rain that wiped out the second round, but Woods played through it. Undeterred at the end of a long week, he went 1 under for his final seven holes in front of fewer fans Monday morning, completing a final-round 67 to beat Hideki Matsuyama (67) by three at Japan’s first-ever PGA TOUR event.

RELATED: Chasing 82 | What’s in Tiger’s bag? | WATCH: Tiger’s winning put | Tiger proves Presidents Cup worth

Fans thought they were coming out to see history, but wound up seeing HISTORY, as well.

“Well, it’s a big number,” Woods said of his 82nd victory. “It’s about consistency and doing it for a long period of time. … I’m very fortunate to have had the career I’ve had so far.”

As with the other 81 victories, Woods wore red in the final round. (Also, a black sweater vest.) After being called off the course because of darkness Sunday, he and 45 other players returned Monday morning to complete their remaining holes. Woods bogeyed the 12th and saw his three-shot lead cut to two, but Matsuyama failed to convert a short birdie putt at the par-5 14th.

Woods birdied the 14th and cruised from there, punctuating the win with another birdie on 18.

Sungjae Im (65) and Rory McIlroy (67) tied for third at 13 under, six back.

“Living legend! Congrats on No. 82 @TigerWoods!” tweeted Tony Finau as reactions poured in. The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, where Woods got his first win in 1996, also tweeted congratulations, as did Jack Nicklaus and Condoleezza Rice.

“Just a crazy number,” Gary Woodland, who played with Woods the last two rounds, said of his 82nd victory. “You look at the guys that have won 10 times and it’s pretty special.”

Snead was 52 when he won for the 82nd time; Woods is 43. He converted a 54-hole lead or co-lead into a win for the 55th time in 59 chances, including his last nine.

It is tempting to look ahead. Vijay Singh won 22 times in his 40s, Kenny Perry 11, Steve Stricker nine. What if Woods, who now has three victories in his 40s, is just getting going again?

But to look ahead risks failing to fully appreciate the present moment, and how unlikely it all is. Asked to describe Woods in just a few words, the superfans in Chiba alternately likened him to a deity and a phoenix risen from the ashes, the latter imagery being especially potent in Japan.

It’s also especially apt.

From 2014 through 2017, Woods often couldn’t even swing a club. He gave updates on his health, often grim ones, at Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups, where he served as an assistant to U.S. captains. (Captain Woods will lead the U.S. Presidents Cup Team at Royal Melbourne, Dec. 12-15, and is expected to be the first playing captain since Hale Irwin in ’94.)

Finally, in April of ’17, he saw Dr. Richard Guyer of the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Back Institute, where spinal fusion surgery gave Woods a new lease on life. For the first time in years he played a full schedule in 2018, punctuating it with his 80th win – his first in over five years – at the TOUR Championship at East Lake just over 13 months ago.

“Probably the low point was not knowing if I’d ever be able to live pain-free again,” he said then. “Am I going to be able to sit, stand, walk, lay down without feeling the pain that I was in? I just didn’t want to live that way. This is how the rest of my life is going to be?”

Woods will turn 44 in two months, and with his back holding, recent events have nonetheless complicated things. His left knee was aching by the end of 2018, but as he wanted to play the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, he put off surgery. That seemed like a good choice as he won The Masters Tournament in April, his 15th major title and 81st win overall.

Alas, the euphoria gave way to more pain: His knee hurt so much that he couldn’t get down to read putts. He didn’t mention it, but his scores fell off and he faded from contention. He failed to reach the TOUR Championship, and underwent his fifth operation on the knee on Aug. 20.

As a result, Woods was something of a question mark for the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP. Would the knee hold up under the strain of tournament golf? He went 3 over for his first three holes on Thursday, but bounced back with nine birdies for a 64. A typhoon and 10 inches of rain wiped out the second round before it began, but he bounced back with another 64.

Scores of 66-67 kept a world-class field at arm’s length in Japan, the seventh different country in which he has won. (The others: America, England, Scotland, Spain, Canada and Ireland.)

“To battle through the injuries he’s dealt with – gosh, he’s young and he’s playing unbelievable,” Woodland said. “The ballstriking exhibition I’ve seen the last two days is a joke.”

Added Woods: “I didn’t really know that I would come back and play at this level.”

That the event spilled over into Monday morning was fitting. The end of the ZOZO was like the last two years in the career of Woods himself: bonus golf that has left Woods and others smiling.

When will he break the record with No. 83? That depends on when he plays next – the Farmers Insurance Open is a good bet – and whether and for how long he stays healthy.

If his career longevity mirrors Snead’s, then watch out.

“As far as playing until 52, I hope that’s the case,” Woods said. “If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have given you a different answer, but certainly the future looks brighter than it has, and hopefully I can be as consistent as he was well into my 40s and early 50s.”

Three wins in the last 13 months are an awfully good start.

Source: PGATour

Jason Day tweaks swing ahead of his PGA return

Jason Day has undergone a pre-season bootcamp with coach Colin Swatton in an effort to turn around his dwindling form ahead of his US PGA Tour season debut at the CJ Cup in Korea.

The former world No.1, who featured in the top 10 as recently as January, is desperate to climb back to the top after plummeting to 27th in the rankings.

Having endured his worst season since 2012, Day and long-time instructor Swatton made several swing tweaks during an intense few weeks of training at Day’s home base in Ohio recently.

The pair also vowed to restore the volume of physiotherapy Day received during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, when he became one of the hottest players in golf.

Despite winning his 11th and 12th US PGA Tour titles in 2018, Day’s past three seasons have been marred by injuries.

“A healthy Jason Day is a dangerous Jason Day,” Swatton told AAP.

“In 2014 and 2015, Jason was working regularly with a (personal) trainer, a mind coach, a physio and soft tissue (specialist).

“We’ve tried to reassemble a team that is world class and with one purpose; to help Jason be the best golfer he can be.”

Swatton, who has coached Day since his early teens, has also implemented a couple of changes in Day’s powerful swing.

Day’s hips tend to shift laterally on the backswing instead of rotating, which increased the likelihood of poor shots and his chances of injury.

Swatton has also attempted to straighten Day’s left arm at the top of the backswing for more control.

“Shifting laterally meant Jason was unable to rotate to his right hip, so his torso moved left and that can irritate the back,” Swatton said.

“But now he is starting to rotate away from the ball better; that should improve not only power and accuracy, but protect his body long-term.

“Swinging better and preventing injuries, I think Jason will increase the number of opportunities he has to win on Sundays.”

The CJ Cup is an elite, $US9.75 million event featuring 78 players and no 36-hole cut which kicks off the US PGA Tour’s three-tournament swing through Asia.

Day will be joined in the CJ Cup field at Nine Bridges Golf Club, on Korea’s Jeju Island, by fellow Australians Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and Matt Jones.

Multiple major winners Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka are among the event’s big names.

Source: 7news

Phil Mickelson explains why he hit driver out of that bush as only Phil Mickelson can

Leave it to Phil Mickelson to have golf fans still talking about a shot—well, really, a decision—days after finishing in 61st place of a fall PGA Tour event. But it isn’t often you see a player hit driver from a bush. It also isn’t often that TV cameras miss any of Mickelson’s shots.

As a result, we’ve had to rely on fan videos to confirm Mickelson did in fact hit a driver out of a bush at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. And that he actually hit a driver out of a bush well, because it definitely fell under the “things you need to see to believe” category. But on Tuesday, we got the ultimate confirmation when Phil himself weighed in.

RANKING: Why Phil Mickelson is the “Content King” of the PGA Tour

It happened after Barstool’s ForePlayPod twitter handle shared a different angle of the ridiculous recovery shot. Shortly after, Mickelson explained the unusual club choice in a way that only Phil—and maybe Bryson DeChambeau—can:

The “depth of the face,” you say? Hmm. OK then. Mickelson’s description also makes it clear the shot happened on the par-5 ninth hole at TPC Summerlin during Saturday’s third round. Mickelson made par on the hole after a disappointing third shot and wound up shooting 74 to tumble down the leader board. Mickelson also explained why he didn’t take relief from the cart path:

Not that keeping a sturdy stance on a cart path is difficult when you have calves like Phil. The previous day, he stood on another path and hit this incredible escape shot:

Unfortunately, no one asked Phil to explain the science behind hitting a low, hard slice out of gravel. Maybe he’ll explain on the next Phireside Chat.

Source: GolfDigest.com

2019 BigHole Results

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$400 on a putter? Golf Equipment Truths

Nothing against your neighborhood golf store, but our experts are the most knowledgable golf gearheads around. Golf Digest’s equipment editors, Mike Stachura and E. Michael Johnson, have covered the golf equipment business for decades, and there are few who know this space better. We’ve asked them to answer your questions in a weekly equipment round-up. Tweet them any equipment questions you have, and they might answer your questions next week. (Click here or here to ask them a question.)

Do I need to spend $400 on a putter or nah?@Sam_Beishuizen

Do you “need’ to spend $400 on a putter? No one truly needs to spend $400 on a putter. Of course, if you’re willing to spend $500-plus on a new driver, you could investigate the value of a higher end putter because you might be better fit at that price point than one from the bargain barrel. But fact is, most putters on the Golf Digest Hot List are well below that, and we’ve even had putters that go for as little as a hundred bucks make the list. And tour players have won with putters they picked up on sale or even used at the local golf shop or Golf Galaxy. If you’re the type of golfer that appreciates the quality of materials and the craftsmanship that comes with a $400 putter then you might not need to, but you might want to. It’s no different than the person who drives a Tesla or a Mercedes. They don’t need it to get where they’re going. A Honda CR-V will do just fine. But there’s a certain chest-puffing attitude that comes with knowing you have something special. Same applies to putters.

I can’t wait. 80 mph swing speed. 57 years old. What driver is best for me? And you can’t answer, “Go get a fitting.” Thank you.@CrupiRocky

No, sir, thank you for this tragically misinformed question. It is like asking a doctor “I’m 57 years old and I’m coughing. What antibiotic should I take?” You have not provided enough information, nor could that information circumvent a physical examination. First, age and swing speed, while helpful, are only slightly more useful in finding the right driver than hair color and favorite tour player. Would an aging, moderate swing speed player like yourself play better with an extremely heavy, low-lofted head with stiff flex shaft? Probably not. Does that mean you should only be looking at the lightest weight models with high lofts and soft shafts? Hard to say. There are lots of ways to deliver the club at 80 miles per hour. A long, languid 80 miles per hour will necessitate a different shaft than a compact swing with late wrist lag. Weight settings, face settings, even the right grip are all variables that need to be pursued with a fitting. Heck, you might only want to spend $200, in which case, you should look at the used market, but only after getting some guidance from your fitter or club pro. To choose not to take advantage of the expertise of a fitter is to decide that no, you really don’t want to find the best driver for you. But I get it your stubborn: So here are three guidelines: Loft is your friend. Choose consistency of impact over the one long ball. The best driver for you is probably one with a shaft shorter than what’s being sold.

Oh, and go get a fitting.

RELATED: Golf equipment roundtable: Why your 3-iron should be fired

With all that’s going on with the testing of drivers, I golf a lot in a hot country, the face of my driver gets very hot. Have any tests been done in these circumstances?@scotgoodtogo

First, manufacturers do a lot of durability tests, making sure clubs lasts through thousands and thousands of hits, extreme temperatures and other generalized overuse. Same is true for grips and shafts and balls. But this concern is a new one on us. We’ve heard of hot faces before but heating up a face to a degree that would change how flexible the titanium is had us reaching for the experts on our Hot List Technical panel. The consensus is that a driver face that was heated up to 120 or 150 degrees in the trunk of your car dozens of times might have its flexibility change by a percentage that theoretically could be measured by a number that would involve an awful lot of zeros after the decimal point. In other words, that would be pretty much a no. Consider this: Titanium’s casting temperature is well over 3,000 degrees. You might be rightly concerned about the epoxy that’s holding your graphite shaft in your driver’s hosel but only if you’re using something with pretty shoddy workmanship or a cheap counterfeit. But unless you routinely play your golf at Proxima Centauri Dunes, your driver should hold up just fine and remain perfectly legal. That said, there is one benefit to all that heat. The team at Trackman reports that going from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit will add at least nine yards to your drives because of the effect on air density. Lighter clothes, increased muscle flexibility and the elasticity of the golf ball could add even more yards. (Of course, the opposite is true as temps decrease, as well.) So the next time you tee it on Proxima Centauri, when you really nut one, you might hit it approximately 497 yards farther, gravitational effects notwithstanding. Assuming you don’t spontaneously combust on your downswing, of course.

Camilo Villega's wedges

Lead tape on the back behind the impact area of Camilo Villegas’ wedges helps provide a mode solid feel as well as assist in achieving the proper trajectory.

Does/could using lead tape make a club non-conforming?@BryanDFuller

Fortunately, an easy part of your answer here is covered clearly in the Rules, which allow “features for weight adjustment,” such as lead tape. Obviously, you can’t make those adjustments in the middle of a round, just like you can’t tweak the setting of your adjustable driver to help you hit a fade on a dogleg right or a draw on a dogleg left. That being said, you can do things with lead tape that would make your club nonconforming, like piling it up in the heel or toe in such a way that would change the shape and extend the measurements beyond the size rules that require a club to fit within a five-inch square box. But since we’ve been talking a lot about CT testing these days, there is some evidence that the CT test is sensitive to weight. So theoretically, if you had a driver with a very high CT measurement (at the high end of the tolerance zone) excessive weight from lead tape could push that driver a few points over the limit and make it nonconforming. This is why manufacturers routinely test their players drivers for CT just to make sure a much used driver has not crept over the limit. That “CT creep” is under careful study by the USGA and PGA Tour for the coming season. There is a belief that highly used drivers that already were close to the limit could be played into a non-conforming state. The advantage of doing that might be 0.1 mph of ball speed, but as we’ve said before a speed limit is a speed limit. That’s why more testing on the PGA Tour, as done by the USGA, is a good thing. But it does make us wonder about all those drivers at retail and whether some hard-swinging elite players who got their clubs not from a manufacturer’s representative on tour but from a retail store, might just be seeing the same sort of CT creep in their drivers. As they say in the big city, “Watch this Space.”

Are shafts such as Aerotech Steelfiber better in irons for men with arthritic joints? Or are there steel alternatives?@BobRoge321

We’re fans of the Aerotech Steelfiber shaft on many fronts and certainly graphite has its benefits when it comes to shock absorption. But there are steel alternatives. Ping for years has produced steel iron shafts with shock absorption traits and this year True Temper introduced its Elevate shaft with an internal shock absorption mechanism called VSS, which is a strip of foam that winds around the inside of the upper portion of the shaft. Depending on which weight shaft you use, True Temper says VSS can reduce vibration between 56 and 71 percent compared to a standard steel shaft without it. A cushier grip could be another way to reduced unwanted vibration, too, and give those aching joints a break from the rigors of impact.

Original post: GolfDigest

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