Sunday, November 23, 2014

5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

via Golf Digest


From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. Woods v. Jenkins: By now you've heard all about the article Tiger Woods wrote for Derek Jeter's website, The Players Tribune, in which he voices his complaint about Dan Jenkins' satirical Q&A in the December issue of Golf Digest. But the whole situation leaves us with a much more pressing question than who was right or wrong. We wonder which one of Jeter's senior editors -- Russell Wilson, Blake Griffin or Danica Patrick -- had to post Tiger's story?

Related: Tiger Woods' long list of enemies

2. Buffalo: SEVEN feet of snow? In TWO days? In NOVEMBER? We feel for . . . Buffaloans? Buffalites? (*checks Google*) Buffalonians. Seriously, this is awful as Buffalo is on pace to match its annual snowfall (93.6 inches) by the end of the week. Wherever else you live that's being affected by this brutal cold front, just remember, it could be worse.

3. Giancarlo Stanton: Two weeks ago, the Miami Marlins slugger turned 25. This week, he signed a 13-year contract for $325 MILLION. In case you've never seen Stanton destroy a baseball, watch this:

The contract is heavily backloaded to allow the team to sign other players and Stanton has an opt-out clause after the sixth year if he's not happy with the team at that point. But that would mean Stanton walking away from the final seven years and $218 MILLION. Yeah, that's not happening.

4. Oakland Raiders: So this happened near the end of Oakland's upset win over Kansas City. Here's the funniest take (via @Hokey_Wartooth on Twitter) on the couple bozos celebrating a Raiders sack instead of getting back on defense, playing off that recent Geico commercial with Ickey Woods:

 

 

Thank goodness for ex-Giant and two-time Super Bowl champion Justin Tuck (miss you on the Giants, Justin!) alertly calling a timeout before the Chiefs had a free play with an 11-to-9 player advantage. Then again, what should we expect from a team that had lost 16 straight games?

Related: NFL stars who love playing golf

5. Sexiest man alive: Chris Hemsworth? Really? The actor was chosen by People Magazine, which apparently forgot that Matthew McConaughey is still alive. Here is Hemsworth, who looks like a slightly manlier version of James Van Der Beek:

 

 

Sorry, don't see it. And here's Hemsworth with his actress/model wife, Elsa Pataky.

 

 

OK, so he must have something going for him.

 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

MEDITAÇÃO

 

via Joris marengo | Mude o Mundo. Comece por Você! | Um Universo ...


 

Uma reflexão sobre meditação por Joris Marengo

Meditar não é um ato de esforço

Mas de desistência.

Criamos padrões pré

Estabelecidos do que seja o

Estado meditativo e qualquer

experiência que não

reflita este padrão, mesmo a meditação,

é rejeitada por nós.

Nos esforçamos, prática após

prática, para nos

aproximarmos daquele padrão.

Que ginástica mental!

Nos aproximaremos mais da meditação,

quanto menos esforço fizermos.

Desistirmos enfim, de fazer tanta força.

Assim talvez, numa sexta-feira qualquer, sem esforço, sem pose, nos surja o estado meditativo, bem de repente.

5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

via Golf Digest


From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Remember when many cautioned this team and all its new pieces would get off to a slow start, referencing the Miami Heat's 9-8 record to begin its first season with LeBron? Well, apparently, everyone has quickly forgotten to take that approach after the Cavs' 1-3 record has everyone in full panic mode. Point guard Kyrie Irving taking 36 shots without handing out an assist (again, he's the team's point guard) is a bit alarming. So is the fact LeBron and Kyrie reportedly got a little heated in the locker room. But it's way too early to start worrying about this team. They might play 100 more games this season.

Related: LeBron tops Tiger as world's most valuable sports brand

2. Cleveland Browns: More surprising than the Cavs' rocky start is how well the city's football team is playing. A total embarrassment for most of the past two decades, the Browns moved to 6-3 after a blowout of the in-state rival Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football. With seven regular season games remaining, the six wins is already more than the team has had in any of the past six seasons. Imagine if star wide receiver Josh Gordon hadn't been suspended? Imagine if the team hadn't picked Johnny Manziel (not that you shouldn't check out his Golf Digest cover story!) in the first round? In any event, all this Cleveland talk has us thinking about the two greatest YouTube videos ever made: "Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video" and "Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video: 2nd Attempt." Enjoy. Unless you're from Cleveland.

3. Midterm elections: As expected, the Republicans took control of the Senate adding to their majority in the House of Representatives. What does it all mean? Having Congress work with President Barack Obama isn't going to get any easier. Just a friendly reminder to the ladies and gentlemen representing our interests in Washington D.C.: Like we've seen in Cleveland this past week, someone has to be the point guard and share the ball if things are going to get any better.

4. "Interstellar": I like Christopher Nolan movies. I LOVE Matthew McConaughey. So why am I not super stoked about this blockbuster coming out this weekend? Outer space. Sorry, I just can't get into it. But that's not going to stop millions of people from going to the movie theaters this weekend. Let me know what you think and I might reconsider my stance. I mean, it is Matthew McConaughey, after all. . .

 

 

Related: Our favorite golf movie scenes

5. "Eaten Alive": Another thing I don't plan on watching. Have you heard about this Discovery Channel special? About the guy who is going to let a huge anaconda snake EAT him?! Apparently, the guy, conservationist/lunatic Paul Rosolie, emerges from the snake's belly alive. Still, I can't, um, stomach it.

 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Get your right brain in the game

via GolfWRX - Golf news, equipment, reviews, classifieds and discussion


You’re sitting at home watching TV, you hear a buzzing noise and see something whiz past your face. You look around to survey the room, then watch a fly land on the wall — what do you do? Chances are, you find the nearest magazine, newspaper (do they still make those?) or TV guide (…kidding), roll it up, creep up on the pesky insect, reach back and take a mighty swing. SPLAT!

What just happened? You swung an object in the direction of a moving object by channeling your RIGHT side brain. You didn’t think about straightening your arm, unwinding your hips before your shoulders or shifting your weight — that would be left-brain thinking, which we use way too often in golf.

The greatest athletes in all sports naturally use the right side of their brain and turn off the left side during their performance. That’s because they are reacting to a object in motion rather than something stationary, like a golf ball. Let’s think of golf like we’re swatting a fly instead of working out a calculus problem as we dive deeper into this line of thinking.

 

 

Your brain has two sides — left and right.

The left side controls important types of thinking such as language, logic, critical thinking and reasoning. The right side is much better at creative and expressive tasks, such as reactive movements and motor skills.

In golf, being reactive is not as natural as it is in other sports. That’s because the ball sits still and waits for the player to engage in action. This allows the left brain too much time for analysis. In sports like baseball or hockey, the left side of the brain is active, but not fully engaged. It is the right side that calls the muscles to fire and create the motion we need to contact the ball or puck. Our left side engages with the target and the right responds with the motion to send the ball to that destination. When the left side of the brain tries to cause this motion, it is not doing the job it’s built to do. That is the right side of the brain’s job, and we must become more reactive to play our best possible golf. The trouble here is that we have too much self-chatter due to the time we have to accomplish the task of hitting a golf ball.

How many times do you get over a shot and talk to your inner demons?

  • Don’t hit it in the woods
  • Stay out of the bunker
  • What would happen to my score if I hit it out of bounds?

Or have more mechanical conversations with yourself?

  • Keep your head down
  • Start back inside
  • Stop short of parallel

Many of us do this and the results are rarely favorable. We need to quiet the mind and let the subconscious do its job. That is the right side of the brain. We need to learn how to turn on the right side and turn off the left before we sole the club behind the ball, and the best way to train this is through mental exercises. We can do these exercises right at home and take them to the range once we’re ready. Before long, the exercises will become second-nature, and you’ll be channeling your right brain naturally throughout a round of golf.

So let’s look at the first step toward turning on the right side of our brain and letting go of our conscious thoughts during our swing.

This exercise is much like meditation and needs to be done in a spot where you can get comfortable. Choose your favorite easy chair and settle in. Once you feel cozy, pick a point to focus on — maybe on the wall or floor. I like to place a ball mark on the floor and just focus all my attention on the mark. Inhale deep through your nose and blow the air out through your mouth. Focus on the sound of your breath and allow your eyes to only see the mark. Quiet your mind and if a thought passes through just let it. Don’t dwell on the thought, but concentrate on the mark. Be aware of any outside sounds that may be going on around you. That might be a car going by outside or one of your kids watching television in the next room. Try to focus only on the sound of your breath and let the other outside noise fall into the background This will take practice and this exercise should take about 5 minutes total.

Do this each day for 5 minutes and soon any outside distractions will disappear during the exercise. Five minutes will seem like a very long time at first, but with practice you will get use to it. Once you get good at it, take this same exercise to the range.

Once on the range, the exercise will only be for about 5 to 10 seconds. Do your pre-shot routine as normal — this engages the left side of the brain. Then focus on a point in front of the ball to engage the right side of your brain. If you want to place that same ball mark you used in your exercise at home, go right ahead. Focus on the mark and let your mind go to the place it was when all you heard was the sound of your own breathing. Once you get to this point, let the club swing and hold your finish until the ball lands. Once the ball lands, feel how relaxed your body and mind is. If the result is poor, there’s no need to worry. Let it go and move on to the next shot. This will help keep the mind quiet once it is time to hit the ball again.

In no time, you’ll be treating golf balls like flies, and you might just have a little fun while you’re at it.

 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Find a release that squares the clubface at impact

 via GolfWRX - Golf news, equipment, reviews, classifieds and discussion


The last time we discussed release, we defined it as the point of extension of the lead arm and the golf club. The other part of release we need to concern ourselves with is that of squaring the clubface, which is the impact condition that leads to straighter shots. This, too, is defined as part of the “release,” albeit somewhat ambiguously.

The extension of the lead arm and the golf club, which I discussed in my last story, is a result of what is known as ulnar and radial deviation. The squaring of the face, which I am going to discuss in this article, is a result of the pronation and supination of the hands and arms. Both are essential parts of the release. The first part achieves a consistent swing bottom, while the second part squares the club face.

At address, the face of the golf club is at a right angle to the target line and the plane on which the club is about to swing. To facilitate the up-and-around motion, there is a certain amount of rotation of the arms so that at the top of the swing the club face is no longer at right angles to the plane — it is actually lying on the plane.

This position is referred to as “square,” but it is in fact 90 degrees open to the target line. If it were “square” as it was at address it would not be lying on the plane; it would coming off it at a right angle. All you’d need to see this is to pull the club down with no rotation and it would be precisely 9o degrees open to the ball at impact. So because the club was rotated by the arms and turning of the torso on the way up, it must be “re-rotated” on the way down. I think of this as “releasing the face,” an essential movement in solid contact.

In Part 1 of the release, I suggested that golfers uncock their wrists at different points in the downswing depending on the path and plane on which they are swinging. This also holds true for rotation and roll of the arms and hands into the ball. The factors determining when and how the face is released are also allied to the path and plane on which the golf club is swinging into the ball.

If you are a steep swinger, you need a conscious rolling of the forearms into the ball. That’s because the more vertical the club transitions, the more the face tends to open.

The flatter the swing arc into the ball, the less you need to roll your forearms into the ball. Your hands can be more “quiet” into impact. You still will need to square the clubface, but you can be more passive in doing so.

Here’s a great checklist if you’re struggling with hooks or slices

  • Low snap hooks are the result of too much hand action from a flat arc.
  • High, weak slices are the result of not enough hands from a steep arc.

It’s that simple.

If you tend to uncock the wrists early, this part of your swing may be in your golfing DNA. Don’t sweat the small stuff — simply play around it by making the necessary adjustments in your plane and path to facilitate it. The same goes for your freedom to release the club. If you’re coming in low on the swing plane, you can turn your body through and use less hands. If you’re high and steep coming down, let it roll, baby, roll. Any Doors fans still around today?

The best release drill I know is still one of the very first ones I learned: The Split Grip Drill. Simply split your grip so your left hand (for righties) is on the golf club normally. The position your right hand all the way down on the shaft below the handle. Now take some baseball swings; you’ll feel the roll-over, or the rotation. Do it several times. It helps.

For those of you who are regular followers of my writing and teaching, you see one consistent theme — work with what you already have in your swing. This is not a cop-out on my part as a teacher; I’m merely suggesting that certain motions are very difficult to change, but the good news is that you don’t have to.

What’s the problem with a flying elbow, a weak grip, a flat plane, bent left arm, across the line, laid off, etc.

Answer: Nothing. Qualification: Nothing in and of itself.

There are any number of golfers in the Hall of Fame who have swung the club with one or more of the positions I just described. How did they get away with it? They balanced their swing to arrive at impact correctly. That’s been the case since the first Scot slapped the first brassie from a mud peg and it remains the case today.

I can help anyone play better and become their own teacher if they are willing to make changes that are more compatible with their core move.

 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt Golf Laser Rangefinder Review

via Hooked On Golf Blog



Bushnell Tour Z6 Laser Rangefinder with Pinseeker + Jolt

I’ve had a Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt laser rangefinder in the bag for a while now.  The Tour Z6 Jolt is a small golf laser rangefinder which has some very nice features, the most useful and obvious is providing yardages to the golfer.  Armed with exact yardages to the pin, to the lip of bunkers which need to be carried, to trees, to hazards, the golfer can confidently pick the right club and right swing for the shot.

Features

The key feature of a laser rangefinder is to give the golfer a yardage to the pin.  The “Pinseeker” component of the Bushnell Tour Z6 is designed to easily lock onto flagsticks quickly and accurately, delivering that yardage fast and dependably.

The unit is capable of delivering yardages from five to 1,300 yards.  Nice to be able to get a yardage to the pin on a 1,300 yard hole for you big hitters.

When the unit is fairly sure it has locked in on a flagstick, it vibrates or produces a “jolt” which gives physical feedback to the user.  Thus the “jolt” name.

The numbers, crosshairs, and other on screen display items are shown in a very vibrant glowing red.  That glowing red is much easier to read than lasers with black numbers.

The focus adjustable viewfinder magnifies the viewing area by 6x, making the flag or other items the user is shooting very easy to see.  Since the focus is adjustable, the viewfinder can be tweaked for those who need prescription glasses or contacts.

The case and housing are very sharp looking.  The skeleton of the unit is covered in very tough and durable rubber, which is also waterproof.  Great for those rounds in Scotland, Florida, or the northwest USA.

On The Course

I like the small footprint of this particular laser.  It easily fits in pockets on the golf bag.  It is not heavy or cumbersome.  The included case hangs nicely on a towel loop or other place on the bag for easy access.

For the most part the yardages are acquired quickly and accurately.   The jolt feature is a nice addition, giving confidence that the unit is locked in on the flagstick and not the trees behind the green.

I really dig the red display characters and crosshairs.  They look so much better than the standard black/gray LCD type display characters.  The numbers are easy to read.

I wear prescription glasses on the course.  Because of how they are working, I need an adjustable diopter to do a custom focus for my eyes.  That way I don’t have to take off my glasses to see what’s in the laser’s display area.  The adjustment works great and saves me the inconvenience of having to remove my glasses to use the unit.

Critiques

Above I mentioned that “for the most part” the yardages are quick and accurate.  I have found on occasion that the yardages can sometimes vary by as much as two yards.  One time I may shoot a pin at 150 and the next two confirmation shots could be 151 or 149.  I’m not necessarily good enough to worry about the difference between 149 to 151, but it may bring into question whether or not the yardage is accurate.

Conclusion

I typically prefer lasers over golf GPS units.  The only time a GPS is better is when hitting over trees or objects which block the laser’s line of sight, which is not often.

New drivers can cost $500 and up.  But they can’t help you with as much of your game as knowing exact yardages to the pin and all sorts of other targets on the course.  The roughly $400 investment for this unit is steep, but will be used far more times in a golf round than 14, the typical number of times a driver is hit.

The Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt is a solid golf laser rangefinder and it is my new gamer.  I love the feel of the unit in both tactile terms and the jolt feature.  The red display is awesome.  I can use it in the rain, which I play plenty of rounds in.

The only thing better than a Scottish caddie is… a Scottish caddie.  When I can’t use a Scottish caddie, I use the Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt golf laser rangefinder!

Video

A Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt promotional video:

Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 Race To Dubai Obituary Notices: Who Lost Their Cards

via GolfCentralDaily


For all the glitz and glamour of professional golf on the European Tour there is also the harsh reality of playing for your livelihood every week and losing your privileges should you not perform.  Follow @golfcentraldoc Here are the Race To Dubai Final "Bubble" standings following the Perth International with only the top 111 players retaining their cards.  However there are players appearing below that mark with exemptions from tournament wins. The list starts with unlucky Lee Slattery in 111th place. 
 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Step By Step: Greenside Bunker Shots

via Golf Digest


 

Photograph by J.D. Cuban, taken at Concession Golf Club, Bradenton, Fla.

November 2014

Most golfers understand the concept of executing a basic greenside bunker shot: You want to swing through the sand under the ball. But when it's a longer bunker shot—say, 20 to 40 yards—the fatal mistake I see is swinging harder to try to hit the ball farther. Do that, and you usually end up taking too much sand and dumping the shot well short. Instead, follow this checklist.

David Leadbetter runs 26 golf academies worldwide.

Illustrations By Todd Detwiler