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On Tuesday, August 25th, we will be performing our necessary course maintenance.
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Why we Aerify?
Aerification is the mechanical process of creating air space in the soil that promotes a healthy rooting system for natural turf. Healthy rooting systems are an integral part of a successful golf course and athletic field management programs.
When is Aerification beneficial?
· When the ground is not frozen, Aerification, can be beneficial at any time of the year.
· March is a great month to use a quality solid tine on golf course fairways. The solid tine will help remove moisture from the surface and assist in the drying out process from a long wet winter
· Deep tining is common in the months of April, May, and June. Turf roots are very active during these months and will benefit from added oxygen and water that deep tining provides
· The most popular time for Aerification, however, are in the fall months. Turf roots are preparing for the winter. In addition, less play on golf courses and some athletic fields during this time make the turf easily accessible for Aerification
Hall of Fame instructor Butch Harmon says this is the secret to golf
Butch Harmon is one of the most revered golf coaches on the planet — ever, really. The World Golf Teacher’s Hall of Fame member is an inspiration for golf instructors everywhere, and has helped thousands of golfers over the course of his storied career. When he talks, we listen.
This week, the legendary golf coach appeared on GOLF contributor Mark Immelman’s podcast, and dropped a series of fascinating, hilarious and utterly brilliant pearls of wisdom he’s learned through the years. There’s so many of them, and the only way to do it justice is to listen to the podcast in its entirety. Trust us, it’s well worth you time:
My favorite pearl came when Butch, in passing, revealed what he says is the “secret to golf.” He literally used those words, so, naturally, my ears perked up.
What’s the secret, according to Butch Harmon? It’s “repetition”:
“Anybody who loves golf should go to St. Augustine to the World Golf Hall of Fame, because there’s hundreds of strange-looking swings in there, and they all work. Because the secret to golf is repetition.
He continued by pointing to Jim Furyk as an example; someone whose swing isn’t something you’d teach to anybody, but it’s one that he has the ability to repeat on command:
“Look at Jim Furyk, he’s just about to turn 50, he still competes on the PGA Tour with a swing that … if his father had changed that swing to make it look perfect, we’d have never heard of Jim Furyk. [The legends of golf] had a lot of strange characteristics in their swing. The common thread was getting the club square at impact and being able to repeat it time and time again.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking. That “repeatability” isn’t much of a secret, because people want to know how to be repeatable. That’s the tricky part, but Butch goes on to say that your best chance is not to try and imitate another golfer’s swing, but to perfect the tools at your disposal. Work with a good coach who keeps things simple, and remember that the common thread is getting the clubface back to square at impact.
“I don’t care how you do it,” Butch says, “just do it.”
Michael Jordan, Steph Curry, Charles Barkley and all the other big names we would want to see tee it up with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have always made it clear this new partnership in made-for-TV matches would not be a one-time thing. On Sunday, they gave us the second installment, adding Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to the mix for The Match: Champions for Charity, which raised $20 million for coronavirus relief.
A few times this week, Mickelson has floated more ideas, most notably to the Los Angeles Times and the Dan Patrick Show. But who might be next? Who would we want to see tee it up with or against Tiger and Phil? We asked around and got some interesting responses, including the ultimate match. (Hint, think Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley).
Ian O’Connor, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Charles Barkley vs. Phil Mickelson/Michael Jordan
I might have gone with Brady and Belichick before Peyton Manning stole my Belichick thunder Sunday, but Jordan and Barkley would bring a ton of star power and tension to the table. It might take some convincing of MJ, since he apparently is no longer on speaking terms with his ex-good friend Chuck. But that strange dynamic would only add to the spectacle. Phil would loosen up Jordan, and Barkley would loosen up Tiger. Barkley would need a bunch of strokes to make this work, since he makes Brady seem like Ben Hogan. But coming off his “Last Dance” tour de force, Jordan would be feeling a lot of pressure on that first tee, as it has been a long time since he competed live with millions watching his every move. Can he keep it on the planet with Barkley needling him about his past big-money golf losses and a winning percentage, as an executive, that’s not in Jerry Krause’s ballpark? A lot of people would tune in to find out.
Tom VanHaaren, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan vs. Phil Mickelson/Steph Curry
I would’ve stuck with the rivalry theme and put Michael Jordan against Isiah Thomas, but we all know now that Jordan wouldn’t have played if Isiah was invited. I’ll see myself out. In all seriousness, the golf would be fun to watch, the trash talking would be outstanding and having Jordan and Mickelson on opposite teams means we also might get some added excitement from side bets. This match would have the star power needed to draw a big audience, and while it isn’t a rivalry, it would combine the old-school NBA with the new school in a fun competition. To follow up the success of the Brady-Manning match, you would need to go over the top and this matchup would check all the boxes to make for entertaining TV.
Bob Harig, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson vs. Rory McIlroy/Justin Thomas
There are numerous ways this can go, but I like the idea of a pure golf competition with two of the game’s legends against two of the game’s young stars. And this time, let a Tiger-Phil pairing be a positive instead of a negative, as it was all those years ago during the Ryder Cup. To spice it up, make the competition true alternate shot or foursomes, not the modified version employed in the match with Manning and Brady. Having to play your partners’ foul balls makes for a stressful way to play golf and can lead to some interesting scenarios. Based on the way he handled his role as an on-course commentator, you can bet that Thomas will fully embrace the trash-talking spirit. And given McIlroy’s driving prowess, it could make for an interesting, competitive matchup. As for a location, how about Bandon Dunes to make for an impressive backdrop?
Charlotte Gibson, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Annika Sorenstam vs. Phil Mickelson/Karrie Webb
Why should the men have all the fun? Seriously, if we’re even entertaining the idea of Match III, this time women better be involved. Of course, it would be phenomenal to watch Woods and Mickelson tee it up with the likes of Jordan and Curry, but wouldn’t it be equally as phenomenal to see them tee it up with two Hall of Famers with a combined 113 LPGA Tour titles? This time, let’s leave it up to the two biggest rivalries in golf both past and present. Sorenstam and Webb have one of the best LPGA rivalries that dates back to the mid-1990s.
Who else has that type of history? Woods and Lefty. The parallels in their careers are uncanny. And yes, I know that Sorenstam officially retired in 2008, and Webb took a break from golf for a few years before returning to the Tour last year. But the world hasn’t witnessed a co-ed pairing like this since 2001 when Woods and Sorenstam started their storied friendship while playing the Battle at Bighorn, a made-for-TV event, that also featured David Duval and Webb. We’re long overdue for men and women to face off on the course in a big, made-for-TV event — and why not do it with some golf legends?
Michael Eaves, ESPN
Tiger Woods/Matt Damon vs. Phil Mickelson/Will Smith
If you’ve ever spent time on their Instagram pages, you would know that Phil and Will would make a natural pairing. Plus, they are two of the biggest stars in their respective fields, who have cashed in on their fame and performances like few others, despite a few flops on the biggest stages.
On the other side, Matt could bring a little something to the match that Tiger has clearly been reluctant to do in front of the cameras: NSFW trash talking! Those who have played privately with Tiger tell tremendous tales of his R-rated commentary, so with Damon as his partner, he can leave the F-bombs to the South Boston native.
And lastly, most importantly, Smith and Damon could make up for the utter disappointment that was “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”
Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan vs. Scottie Pippen/Phil Mickelson
They could call it the “Last Match,” because either Jordan or Pippen probably wouldn’t make it to the 18th hole in one piece, given what was said during “The Last Dance.” The trash talking would be epic. Like MJ, Pippen is an avid golfer. Jordan gave him his first set of clubs as a Bulls rookie so he could take his money on the course. Pippen and Mickelson are used to playing in the shadows of MJ and Tiger, so the matchup makes sense. With Phil and Jordan in the foursome, there would be some serious cash being thrown around, which would make it mighty interesting. If Pippen won’t play, I’d settle for Isiah Thomas and Phil.
Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Chris Paul/Larry Fitzgerald/Mike Trout/Lexi Thompson vs. Phil Mickelson/Steph Curry/Patrick Mahomes/Justin Verlander/Danielle Kang
Hey, there are no rules here. So why not make it a one-day, Ryder Cup-style event? The Tiger/Phil Cup? Play three six-hole rotations of best-ball, alternate shot and singles. Look at those names … think they won’t have some fun? And all of them can play, too. Also, none of them are all that shy, so the trash talk should be strong.
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Better Chips Through Quiet Hands
Occasionally, newer and seasoned golfers alike get nervous over the ball when faced with a tough lie, forced carry or tight pin. But if your knees are knocking over every short shot, this tip is for you and better chips are on the way.
Next time you miss a green, let the thumb and index finger of your trail hand go along for the ride.
We’ve all heard “quiet hands” when it comes to chipping. What that really means is the muscles in your arms should be more active than the muscles in your hands. The easiest way to feel this separation is to take the thumb and index finger of your trail hand off the club when practicing chips. Using the muscles in those fingers are great for writing or throwing, but are very often the culprits to miserable chip shots. By removing these fingers from the grip you’ll take the flip move out of your swing, create a wider – more forgiving – impact area, and get up and down more often.
The Great Golf Ball Search
With so many brands of golf ball overloading the marketplace, it’s difficult if not confusing to figure out which one best fits your golf game.
Here’s a sensible game plan to help you logically conduct and conquer The Great Golf Ball Search.
First, ask yourself what you are looking for:
A – Distance
B – Accuracy
C – Short Game: touch, feel, and spin
If you answer all three, the search is over, as far as I’m concerned … the Pro V1 family. Look no further. For me, Titleist’s premier line is the best all-around ball, regardless of skill level, to deliver all of the above traits. Market research and testing proves that. Period, end of discussion.
To me, anyway. For you, the discussion may be different. There are a lot of good golf balls out there. Either way, here’s my advice on finding the perfect ball.
If your answer is A – Distance, be careful, because by boxing yourself into the “distance matters most” request (granted, every manufacturer has a ball to fulfill this request), you are severely tying one hand behind your back when it comes to the touchy-feely scoring shots.
B – Many balls today with a bevy of dimple designs and patterns do a wonderful job of helping the average golfer hold their line in windy conditions, and in fact almost self-correct to a degree, minimizing those off-line shots when you make the occasional poor swing.
C – Some manufacturers advertise their “softer feel” ball for the lower-swing-speed player, and also tell you these balls feel better around and on the putting surface. When you see this type of ad on your TV, change the channel or leave the room. It’s nonsense.
Let me tell you a personal story that happened in winter 2018-19 in Naples, Florida, where I live and teach. I have been a Titleist Leadership Advisory Board Member for many years.
I’m prejudiced with reason. As a competitive professional player many moons ago, and before that a fairly successful college player, I had access to any golf ball I wanted to play. It had always been an incredibly easy choice to make through the years: Whatever was the Titleist premium ball of the time period was the ball of choice. In my experience, they always out-performed the other balls hands-down.
Anyway, in October 2018 I turned 60. Ouch — it hurts to type and look at that number. I wondered if it was time for the Old Pro to find a ball (in the Titleist line of course) that would help me find a few extra yards while not hurting me on the scoring shots (my bread and butter), on and around the green. In the past, I had gone on similar journeys and always found yardage, but hated the greenside touch and feel results. About that time, Titleist suddenly launched the AVX, and it was and still is receiving rave reviews.
I grabbed a dozen Pro Vs and a dozen AVXs. For three consecutive evenings, after I finished teaching, I went out and played holes on the golf course, hitting several drives, second shots, pitches, chips, sand shots, and putts with several of each ball. I then played several rounds with the AVX on my home course. I’m sure you know on your home track where you generally drive the ball, as I do, and how your regular ball reacts when you hit any particular club into a green, how it feels off the putter face, and so on.
With the driver, both balls were similar. The AVX was a bit longer in the air (about half a club) with my irons, and compared to any previous distance-type ball it had much better feel on short shots. Still, the Pro V won out across the board. Just more consistent, better feel, better all-around performance.
You may very well find a different result.
What you must do when contemplating a ball change is conduct side-by-side on-course testing, hitting many golf shots with every club in your bag over several days (conditions change, as do you). Then and only then will you be able to make a sound decision.
Take a hard look at the Darrell Survey results the last 100 years. Titleist is played by a landslide percentage of tournament professionals around the globe. A small percentage of world-class players are paid big bucks to play a particular ball, but the vast majority are not. Given the choice, those golfers still choose Titleist.
Whatever brand and model you choose, don’t base it on some ad, or your buddies’ prompting; do it based on your own mini-testing. Play the ball that performs best tee through green for you. It’s the only piece of equipment that is involved in every shot you hit.
There is no Masters this week, but had it been played at Augusta National, Tiger Woods says he would have been there in good health and ready to go.
Woods, who has not competed since Feb. 16 at the Genesis Invitational and missed at least two tournaments he would have normally played, told endorser GolfTV that he has been using the time away due to the coronavirus pandemic to his advantage.
“Night and day. I feel a lot better than I did then,” said Woods, who skipped the WGC-Mexico Championship and the Players Championship after complaining of back stiffness. “I’ve been able to turn a negative into a positive and been able to train a lot and get my body to where I think it should be at. I’ve been able to play some golf. Fortunately, Medalist Golf Club is still open here — virtually every course to the south of us is closed — but we remain open, so it’s been nice to go out there and hit some golf balls a little bit.
“You need to get some fresh air and do something. Obviously we have our social distancing; you can’t touch rakes or touch the flags. One person per cart, but at least the members and their kids are able to play a little bit, get out there and do something active. Some want to walk the dog, some want to roam the golf course, just doing some daily activity to get some exercise and give you peace of mind.”
Woods, 44, has played just twice in 2020, finishing in a tie for ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open in January and then 68th — last among those who made the cut — at the Genesis Invitational.
It was there where he disclosed back problems that led him to skip the following week’s tournament in Mexico. There had been little information about his health in the interim.
“The hardest part that we always talk about ourselves, as professional golfers, is that it’s weird practicing with no end goal to get ready for,” Woods said in the interview. “Hypothetically, it could be this, it could be that. It changes from day to day. There seems to be something new, something different, and that’s one of the more difficult parts about it.
“You’ve seen players out there walking their dogs, some run the golf course, just doing some kind of daily activity gives them exercise and some peace of mind. Especially for the guys who were playing quite a bit and then have been shut down, they were gearing up, and I was talking to JT [Justin Thomas] about this the other day and I felt energetic, I felt really alive and wired and kind of irritable and I didn’t know what was going on.
“And I realized it was Sunday morning. I was supposed to be flying out to an event to hand out trophies to all the award winners. And my body, subconsciously I knew I was supposed to be getting ready to leave and start playing the Masters. [I thought] it’s not that; you’re not playing this week.”
Woods would have been on hand Sunday for the Drive, Chip & Putt event that has since been canceled. The Masters has been rescheduled for Nov. 12-15, and if it takes place, Woods would host the Champions Dinner on Nov. 10
In a photo he posted to social media Tuesday, Woods showed that he had replicated a Champions Dinner at home with his family while wearing the green jacket. He used the same menu he had predetermined for the former champions.
“I had exactly the same,” he said. “We had steak and chicken pieces, sushi and sashimi. We had cupcakes and milkshakes for dessert. So it was exactly what I was going to serve. As I said, Masters dinner quarantine-style with my family. We had a lot of fun, and eventually it got a little bit interesting at the end, a little ugly, where icing was flowing across people’s hair and face.”
As for not getting to defend his Masters title this week, Woods said: “This is not the way that I would’ve wanted to keep the jacket for a longer period of time. I wanted to get out there and compete for it and earn it again, like I did in ’02 [when he became just the third player to win back-to-back Masters]. But it’s not a normal circumstance, it’s not a normal world. It’s a very fluid environment, and it’s very different for all of us. Fortunately, we potentially could have a Masters in November and play it then. I guess I’ll be defending then, and hopefully that all comes about.”
On Monday, the various golf organizations announced the outline of a potential revamped schedule if government and health authorities approve a return to public activities. It has the PGA Championship in early August, the U.S. Open in September, the Ryder Cup a week later and the Masters in November.
The PGA Tour has not announced when it hopes to return to weekly events, but the Charles Schwab Cup in late May is still on the schedule, although there is considerable talk that the tour will wait until at least mid-June to attempt a return.
“I’m going to sit down with my team and figure out what is the best practice way, what is the best practice schedule, what are the tournaments that I need to play to be ready,” Woods said. “How much should I play; how much should I rest? All the things that are kind of up in the air.
“Again, we don’t exactly know when we’ll be playing these events. This environment, this world we’re living in right now is changing daily, sometimes even hourly.”
Asked for any words of wisdom during this time, Woods leaned on advice from his father.
“I go back to what my dad used to say, and that it’s true that he got through a lot of tough times, don’t look at it day by day,” Woods said. “He used to say, ‘Take it one meal to the next.’ So you go at it until the next meal, and then you figure it out, go out and get it until the next meal. When times are slow like when days feel like months or even years, you just try and break it up into pieces when you can accomplish things.
“Unfortunately for myself, I’ve been through episodes like this in my career with my back where seconds seem like months. You have to slow things down and do things at a different pace. Look at things with a different lens, from a different perspective, where you can accomplish goals, and I think at this point in time going from meal to meal has worked. I don’t know long this is going to work, how long we’re going to be in this pandemic, but for us it’s been these mini-goals that’s allowed us to keep going forward, and next thing you know it’s nighttime and it’s time for bed.”
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