A slimmer John Daly 
Yes, I root for John Daly
Thursday, May 12, 2016
By Ron Romanik

Yes, I root for him. And I’m not ashamed of it.


But somewhere along the line my attitude toward Big John changed, or shall I say, became repressed. You see, I became more fascinated at the eternal fascination of his loyal fans than admitting I was still fascinated by the icon, even through the darkest of times.


Of course I was amazed when he won the British Open, and I thought at that moment that he could complete the Career Grand Slam. Like everyone else over the years, I was willing to forgive some, or many, indiscretions. For instance, the number of ex-wives one man accumulates does not necessarily reflect poorly on his character, especially when he can joke about it on a song called "All of My Exes Wear Rolexes."


The endurance of John Daly’s fame and likeability may come down to his role in our media-driven society as a Modern Everyman. Any other man with so many faults and scandals may have been long shamed and forgotten if it weren’t for his "aw shucks" openness and, one must emphasize, humility. He struggles with life like we all struggle at times, and he doesn’t mind telling you about it. People identify with him because they see in John that a person can both be responsible for his own actions and still be a victim of them at the same time.


I don’t mean to gloss over his periods of public infamy, when many wrote him off as hopeless. There were years where he dropped almost completely out of favor. But that’s just the point. Whenever he showed his face again, there were sympathetic fans and empathetic media ready to forgive and forget.


And you only have to look at ticket sales and crowd sizes following him around any tournament he managed to get into to prove his enduring appeal. So now he’s on the Champions Tour and expected to draw huge crowds there, and lead the driving distance stats as well.


And if you don’t see John as humble, I’d like to quote from an interview early in his PGA Tour career talking about his prodigious length: "Basically, it’s just something that happened. I think it’s more natural ability than anything. It’s a God-given talent, and I just worked at it a lot. And, you can’t really explain it... It’s something that just happens."


So I fell under that Everyman spell as well, and I never downplayed his talent. If your memory has revised down the impact he had when he burst onto the scene, and the mystique that followed, I can only say that he was revered like Paul Bunyan, John Henry, or Buffalo Bill—or a combination of all three. His driver had to be made of bulletproof material, for Chrissake.


His unpredictability also added to his edge. Because cell phone cameras were not ubiquitous back in the day, one incident was less scandalous than it might have been in today’s social media piranha-like feeding frenzy. A little bored at an exhibition on a driving range, John spun around and launched a full driver over the gallery behind the range. Dangerous, maybe, but let’s be honest, he wasn’t going to miss. He never has.


So this past week was Big John’s debut on the Champions Tour, and he led the field with 298-yard driving average. That would also lead for the season stats, if he were to keep it up through the rest of his Champions schedule. He also plans to play the PGA Championship and the British Open. And his all-around game showed some promise, as he made 14 birdies over the 54-hole tournament.


He’s a natural talent, for sure, and a feel player. One thing that always drove me nuts is that he takes very little time evaluating the break of putts. Though he makes many, he also misses more than his share of short ones. There’s one moment in golf history that encapsulated both extremes of John’s temperament—and maddening allure.


It was the World Golf Championship in October 2005 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Daly and Tiger were tied at the end of 72 holes, and a sudden death playoff ensued. Tiger drove first, and Nick Faldo called it at almost 350 yards. (And don’t think Tiger wasn’t trying to go toe-to-toe with the longest hitter on tour.) So Daly steps up and outdrives Tiger by almost 15 yards.


While both had long-but-makeable birdie putts, Tiger lagged his to two inches short before Daly blasted his by two feet. Daly lipped out the comebacker and the tournament was over just like that. Daly shrugged and ambled off the green, disappointed but not dismayed, perhaps. (Just a side note, Daly was 39 at the time and Tiger was 29. Here’s the drives, and here’s the missed putt.)


Yes, I also watched the short-lived "Being John Daly" reality show, as well as the Feherty episode that was oddly uncomfortable as two supposedly clean alcoholics danced around some of the realities of being clean. Two highlights were the opening with an "Animal House" homage and the destruction of Daly’s ugly wall mural (at 37:33) and the unveiling of a much better mural (at 42:14).


And then there’s the music. A sampling can be found here on MySpace, and his two albums are available on, but only "I Only Know One Way" is on iTunes. Though the opening track "Hit It Hard" is very popular and a strong country song, my favorite is his rendition of "Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door" with additional lyrics only John could write:


Mama, I can’t hit my wedge no more
It’s getting really hard to score
I haven’t made a cut in weeks
My career looks so bleak.


Many are excited about an ESPN "30 for 30" episode entitled "Hit It Hard," rumored to be broadcast-debuting July 14th, the week of the British Open. And if you heard about the bobblehead John Daly released last week but missed it somehow, it’s worth a look, sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He even looks good in the image shown here, a head shot generously used by the GolfChannel only two years ago, which was certainly not "accurate" at that time.


In the end, I believe most fans give John a break because they can see has a good—even generous—heart, has endured some tough times (whether self-imposed or not), and has never taken himself too seriously. An eternal Everyman, if you will, with childlike appetites caught in the webs of adult responsibility.


Twitter: @RonMyPhillyGolf.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand, packaging and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. His full bio is here.

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Fluff Cowan and Peter Jacobssen 
The ageless caddie Fluff Cowan
Monday, April 4, 2016
By Ron Romanik

Just in case you missed it last month, veteran looper Fluff Cowan turned a journeyman into a star in a few short weeks—almost immediately, actually. As his regular bag, Jim Furyk, is still recovering from injury, the tireless 68-year-old was off-duty but glad to take a call from one Sung Kang, a tour grad.


You see, Kang had missed three cuts in a row in his first Big Tour run since 2012. With Fluff on the bag, Kang almost shoots 59 on his second round with the legendary caddie (at the Monterey Peninsula course). He finishes 17th at Pebble Beach, 8th at Riviera, and 10th at PGA National for the Honda Classic.


So much for the overrated caddie argument. Three cuts missed to three top-20 finishes. Not too shabby.


Just to review, Fluff’s resume is primarily filled with long stints with Peter Jacobsen, Fred Couples, Tiger Woods, and Jim Furyk. All marquee players in their prime, proving the best caddies are teammates, no matter what the astute zeitgeist observer Stephen Anthony Smith opines.


Just a reminder, when Fluff got on Tiger’s bag, after stumbling out of the gate with a low finish at the Greater Milwaukee Open, then went 11, 5, 3, 1, 3, 1, 21, 3, 2, 1... and on to the Masters win in 1997.


The best PGA Tour caddies bring a number of skills to the table. They have experience on the course, they know their yardages and wind, and they stay out of the way. Many say they also play psychologist on the golf course, delicately managing their players’ emotional ups and downs during a round.


That may be true, but I think the most salient talent is instilling confidence in the player at the moment of truth, right before the swing. Fluff is one of the best at this. Others that come immediately to mind are Bones McKay, Squeaky Medlin, and Joe LaCava. I hate to include LaCava—not because he’s another Tiger hanger-on—but because he doesn’t have a good nickname.


There’s many things to love about Fluff, though. He’s an International Man of Mystery: Wikipedia editors can’t confirm a birthdate. He’s a certified Deadhead. He has fine taste in golf courses (a member at Congressional). He made two memorable "This is SportsCenter" commercials (This one is the better one, short and sweet). And he tweets at @CaddyFluff, but nearly enough.


A shout out to Rick Arnett (@ArnettRick) of for the tweet of Fluff pictured here.


Twitter: @RonMyPhillyGolf.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand, packaging and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. His full bio is here.



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From Ben Hoganís Modern Fundamentals of Golf 
Back in the grove
Saturday, March 19, 2016
By Ron Romanik

But is there just one groove? Is there one ideal swing? Well, if you’re a fan of Adam Scott, you might be nodding your head in the affirmative manner, emphatically.


As technically sound as Mr. Scott’s swing is, us mortals will never come close to that level of perfection—and repeatability. And there have been so many other odd, unteachable swings that have been quite successful as well. It is for this reason that I believe it’s better to make the most of what you have, and find a way to make the instinctive work with you, not against you. As we’re rebuilding our swings for a new season, I think this is a timely discussion.


Or, to put it another way, maybe we should start with looking at your strengths and weaknesses, and admit where we are. And, maybe even start with our unique anatomies, and build from there. Instead of trying to achieve—and ultimately failing—to achieve an unattainable ideal, let’s build a repeatable swing from the ground up, as it were, based on our natural abilities.


I was in this vein of deliberation when I came across a tip in Golf Magazine by Jessica Korda. And I was struck by its common sense approach and the fact that I had never heard of this tip before in all my readings and video watchings. The tip posits that everyone has his or her own natural left hand position, and that’s the one you should be using. It’s so easy to try, and it seems to work!


Korda instructs: "Stand behind the ball and grip the club with your left hand only. It's simple: Just grab the handle without looking. This sets your left hand in its natural power position." Natural power position? Could it be that easy?


Korda goes on: "Depending on your anatomy, your left wrist will be either flat or flexed. What's important is that you maintain your left wrist position as you swing. Changing it disrupts your hitting instinct. Take note of the flex and accept it."


Yes! Accept what’s natural because it encourages and supports your hitting instinct. This idea made so much sense to me, I ripped the page out of the magazine and have kept it out on my desk ever since.


But now turning to the other extreme, Mr. Hogan, I have long had some rhetorical—and not-so-rhetorical—questions about his alleged "secrets" bouncing around in the back of my head. In the image here are two perplexing parts of his elaborate ruse on the golfing public.


First, if Hogan was the greatest ball striker ever, why doesn’t anyone today follow his advice for adjusting the stance for the length of the club? (See image.) Every pro or accomplished player around these days is pretty much square to the target line on every shot. In the image on this page, the top half illustrates Hogan’s strategy on stance. His argument is that the hips need a little more space to get out of the way of an ideal swing plane for the longer clubs. Why no one follows this advice today is probably a conundrum that has no answer, redundancies aside.


Another perplexingly revealed element in Mr. Hogan’s quiverful of secrets is when he tries to describe how the wrist (ideally) rotates and bows simultaneously near impact. The dictionary says "supinate" means: "to turn (or hold) a hand so that the palm or sole is facing upward or outward." But it’s always been my assertion that Mr. Hogan had a unique definition of "supinate" in his head that he never shared. One person brave enough to try to parse out anatomically everything that’s going in in Hogan’s wrist at the millisecond before impact—and succeeds as well as anyone—is Kelvin Miyahira, on the Around Hawaii website.


Of course, Kelvin says in the title of the piece that you have absolutely no chance of replicating what Hogan does, so you might stop trying before you start. Or maybe try strengthening your left wrist like one Hogan legend claims he did—by banging his left fist down repeatedly on a bedpost. Or maybe we should all just start with what comes natural, like Ms. Korda suggests. That sounds like more fun.


Twitter: @RonMyPhillyGolf.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand, packaging and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. His full bio is here.

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A Tiger eulogy, with Youtube
Friday, January 1, 2016
By Ron Romanik

Well, it was a good run. A full 40 years of the carousel carnival ride that was Eldrick, in various but cyclical and somewhat predictable left turns of anticipation, drama, tragedy, redemption, expectation—and fun!


There are so many somber and clever ways to sum up the greatness of the golfer separate from the man, but one always rang the most true for me. It was an offhand comment by a longtime PGA Tour color-commentator. The conditional sentence he posited crystallized how many felt about Tiger’s obvious supremacy. If the goal of golf is to hit it far and straight and get it into the hole the fastest, Tiger’s particular combination of talents accomplished this with startling efficiency.


The commentator in question was Ken Venturi, and I think he hit the nail on the head when he said conclusively (paraphrasing): "If PGA Tour events were played on courses that consisted of 18 580-yard par-fives, Tiger would win every tournament." Hard to argue with that assessment.


In February 1997, two months before his dominant first Masters victory, I wrote only semi-tongue-in-cheek:


"We are on the brink of a new era, an era of truth, beauty and joy unbounded. A time of feats unequalled in any past time of human endeavor. And I must pay witness to this new age in recorded history. The time before 1975 will be known as B.T., and the current era, now in the year 21 A.T., will be the boldest and strongest in the brief history of mankind...


"In addition, the look in Tiger’s eyes has an intensity that I've seen only a couple of times before. To me, it appears that winning isn't enough—he wants to drive his opponents into submission, to bury any doubts of his supremacy, to lap fields of mortals, and to reveal the weaknesses of his opponents so that they'll limp home broken men."


Bold predictions of the past now seem a good deal less hyperbolic now.


And so we must bid adieu to an era of unprecedented dominance. Indulge me to refer back to some highlights that you might have forgotten, from a number of different perspectives.


First, let’s hear from the man himself, with Tiger’s favorite shot of all time. Then there’s Tiger-worshipper Feherty, with his own favorite Tiger shot, and an added bonus of an Ernie Els unbelieving reaction.


Two of my own personal jaw-droppers are a shot from Medinah Country Club, at the 1999 PGA Championship, I believe, and at the Memorial on an otherwise routine day.


And let’s review the most exciting nine holes I’ve ever witnessed, at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, the back nine on Saturday. The iron shot out of the right rough on 13 to set up an eagle is at 15:52 is just phenomenal, and the slow motion replay at 17:11 is worth studying for its perfection. In that same back nine, the chip-in birdie at 17 starts at 26:40, and the painful 18 tee shot starts at 28:30 (slow-mo at 29:23). Not to mention the hobbled five-wood approach shot that set up the eagle at 18 (at 30:00).


(A side note: I had forgotten this was the era of the Tiger pre-shot right-toe-tap-pre-address-stance dance. Fun, yes... but the importance of a consistent pre-shot routine is cannot be underestimated! A small lesson for you kids out there.)


And for Tiger haters... Yes, he had fun himself some times, this one time joining fellow pros skipping balls off Augusta National’s 16th pond. And yes, he loved saying "GOD-d***-it!" (Here’s a collection.) And if schadenfreude is your thing, watch a Top Five moments compilation of Tiger in pain.


Now if you ever wonder why Tiger has had so many back surgeries, take time to watch this Top Five miraculous shot compilation. The first two crazy swings in the video, #5 and #4, would give a circus contortionist pause, but I recommend freezing the frame at 0:59 and wincing in empathy.


And to conclude, I leave you with two over-the-top struts from the Best Ever: I’ve named them "The Hold That Pose I’m the Baddest Badass Walk" (to seal a President’s Cup victory) and "The Twirl with the Foregone Conclusion Walk" (to set up a short eagle putt on 15 at Augusta).


Thanks for the memories, Tiger, and thank you YouTube channel compilers for your tireless, thankless work. Revered or smeared, lionized or oft chastised, a man of esteem or the Perennial Mr. 14, indubitably, Eldrick the Great will be greatly missed.


Twitter: @RonMyPhillyGolf.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand, packaging and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. His full bio is here.


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15th at Doylestown CC (USGA photo) 
DO NOT keep your head still
Monday, November 9, 2015
By Ron Romanik

I take my responsibility to you, the readers, to scour the YouTube for the most useful/entertaining content. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly.


If you’re bent on finding some swing theory ideas and mechanical recommendations for your own game, there is no better place than YouTube to disappear down the rabbit hole of high hopes and dashed dreams. Many topnotch instructors have great ideas but less-than-great methods for communicating those concepts.


If you scour YouTube long enough, you’ll actually be disappointed in the amount of instruction from the Master himself, Ben Hogan. Little snippets appear here and there and, of course, there’s an endless supply of secondary theory building on Hogan’s precepts outlined in the beloved "Five Lessons" tome. There is one man, under the username "myswingevolution," who has attempted to model his swing as absolutely close to Hogan’s as he can get. He did a decent job, actually.


But my favorite YouTube swing analyst has to be Wayne DeFrancesco. If you’ve lived in the Mid-Atlantic region for the last couple of decades, you’ve likely come across his writings in Washington Golf Monthly or GolfStyles magazines. His articles were rather wordy, but he always had interesting things to say, and he’s an undeniably accomplished teacher.


At Wayne’s YouTube homepage, you can find detailed analyses of many of the greatest golf swings of all time—and with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. But my favorite Wayne videos are when he takes TV analysts to task on their sloppy surmizations (yes, I made up that word) on some of the swings they are observing on Tour. Two of his favorite targets are Brandel Chamblee and Johnny Miller.


When Tiger was having some control issues a few years back, one common diagnosis among commentators was that he was "dipping" his head excessively on the downswing. After watching a few of Wayne’s video analyses, it has become clear to this misguided golfer that "Keep your head still" is the worst advice possible.


In one video analyzing Tiger’s swing, Wayne demolishes Johnny Miller’s comments about the "dipping." Tiger has always done this, as have many greats. Wayne also goes on to show how Tiger’s torso is at an angle to the ground that few golfers have ever consistently been before or since—about 25 degrees from the plane made by the ground. (You can go right to that segment of that video here.) Along with head movement, obviously, is posture.


In his analysis, Wayne also calls out Johnny because Johnny himself had quite a "dip" in head position in his prime. (That comes at the 3:00 mark.) Wayne points out that Tom Watson, standing behind, doesn’t even want to watch all the movement that goes on in Johnny’s swing, lest he be infected by it.


Indeed, in his prime, Johnny moved just about everything in his swing in a violent fashion, including his feet. Where his left foot started and where it ended are amazing to watch today, as this short video and this short video show. The only golfer I can think of that moves their feet this much is—you probably guessed it—Bubba Watson.


Wayne also takes dead aim at "Maintaining Posture" in a swing, and the silliness of that concept in modern golf instruction. All this talk, I believe, amounts to what Mac O’Grady used to call "conservation of momentum."


Think of it this way. The closer the club is to the axis of rotation, the faster it can go. Try this experiment. Sit in swivel office chair. Start spinning the chair as fast as you can. Then alternately stick your arms and legs out laterally and pull them in. You’ll find you go much faster with your limbs closer to the axis of rotation. Food for thought, I suppose.


The most head movement I could think of is Lorena Ochoa, who takes it to another level. It seems many women pros are okay with "leaving" their head back, or tilted, to promote a consistent plane and a proper release. But that’s just my personal "surmization."


But many of the greatest male pros of the last century had a related head movement that is subtle but meaningful. As these players come into the impact zone, their heads, still behind the ball, would move further behind the ball. Sam Snead is a good example, and you can even see it in Tiger’s swing near his prime. This move seems to transfer an extra amount of power from the weight transfer into the ball. More YouTube research is obviously needed.


And for one last perspective on head movement, here’s Tiger’s swing from a camera in his hat. Happy YouTube surfing!


Holes of the Week:


The two holes of the week are similar in style, but mirror images of each other. Great straightaway, or "freeway," holes are not as easy to make interesting, so when they do, it’s an achievement. Both of these holes have length from the tips, which gets your attention right away. In addition, with only minimal elevation change, the fairway hides your view of the green.


The Public Hole of the Week is Wyncote’s straightaway par 4 #11, which has no fairway bunkers but begs you to shoot down the left side, closer to rough on a steep slope and closer to OB. The mirror of that is the Private Hole of the Week, straightaway #15 at Doylestown. This hole has fairway bunkers that might come into play with some weaker shots, and OB down the right.


Both are better played as slight doglegs. Playing the less aggressive line will give you a bit longer shot, but the landing area away from trouble is actually more forgiving and flatter for your approach.


Twitter: @RonMyPhillyGolf.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand, packaging and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. His full bio is here.





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17th at Ledgerock GC 
What I learned from Chip Lutz
Friday, October 16, 2015
By Ron Romanik

Chip Lutz has been an integral part of golf in Berks County for a long time and, as they say, a fine ambassador of the game and of his home turf. The newly crowned U.S. Senior Amateur Champion started winning Berks County Amateurs at the age of 24, piling up nine of those trophies in the ’80s and ’90s.


You could say Lutz has had two careers—but his current career is exceptional. He’s been the No. 1 or 2 ranked Senior Amateur in the world for the last few years, having gone on a 2nd-win-win run at the British Senior Amateur from 2010 to 2012, right after he turned 55, among other high USGA finishes.


But when I was growing up, I knew him as the predominant favorite in any local tournament. I got the golf bug around 16 years old when I got my first car and could drive to a range, right when Chip was establishing his creds at Berkshire Country Club.


The Berks Amateur is a three-day event, Friday to Sunday, in early August every year. I was fortunate enough to be in the small galleries that followed him around on couple of those Saturday rounds.


What did I learn? This: Good amateur golf is boring. I mean that, in regards to Chip, with the utmost admiration.


There is nothing flashy about his game or swing. (There still isn’t – video.) He hits it in the fairway, hits it on the green, and either two-putts or one-putts. He makes very few bogeys and hardly ever any "others."


The "good golf is boring" axiom has a corollary that my one golf buddy likes to repeat: "Good golf is easy, bad golf is hard." That saying has a few layers, one of which is: "Try to think of it as easy, and simplify your mind, and maybe you’ll do better."


The U.S. Senior Amateur win was Chip’s white whale. He had come close a few times, but this year he was not to be denied. In the match play portion this year, he was only ever behind in one match, for a grand total of three holes when he was one down. In the final he went up early and never looked back, carding six birdies in the 15 holes that it took to close out the title.


Other things that many might not know about Chip are that his family was a little golf-crazed a generation before Chip and his brothers, Putter and Wedge (all nicknames, just in case you were wondering). His father, Buddy Lutz, was an accomplished player as well, winning Berks County events and two Sunnehanna Invitationals (in ’47 and ’49).


For Berks Countians, Chip’s most impressive run as at the Hawley Quier Memorial, having won four times there, played at Moselem Springs CC every August. Also notable was his contribution to keeping the Berks County Golf Association up and running when it hit some troubled times. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, one man, Gerry Gerhart, tried to run the Berks County Amateur almost singlehandedly. At the end of some years, Gerry was not sure there would be a Men’s Amateur the next year. But gradually, the Amateur regained the respectability that Gerry wanted. Gerry made his goal to "Establish your own credibility, and convince the guys that you’re trying to make it a first-class tournament."


At a crucial time, Chip Lutz stepped in to lend his name and reputation to the BCGA in support of what Gerry was trying to accomplish, and things started falling into place. A mutual friend of Chip and Gerry, attorney Tom Golden, helped draft the BCGA by-laws based on the by-laws of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. Included in the by-laws was a term limit on the BCGA president – Chip Lutz served for three years, and then Tom Golden served for three.


The challenge the trio faced at the outset was how to get all the Berks County private clubs fully on board with the organization concept. The BCGA was going to be reborn into an organization that served and benefited both its playing members and its member clubs. Lutz feels Gerry’s perspective and experience from years running the amateur were invaluable during the rebirth. The culmination of the rebirth came when Moselem Springs joined the cause, at once giving the BCGA respectability, strength, and stability.


Chip now calls LedgeRock Golf Club his home course. I can attest personally that LedgeRock, as the USGA is wont to say, is "A thorough test of golf." A test that I’ve gotten an "F" on many times.


The picture accompanying this article is the approach shot to the par-four #17 green at LedgeRock (a par five by any measure but LedgeRock’s). Trying to hit a long iron up the impossibly steep climb to a shelf green is one of the toughest golf shots in Pennsylvania. But I’m sure it’s no big deal for Chip.


Twitter: @RonMyPhillyGolf.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand, packaging and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. His full bio is here.

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A sketch of Stonewall No. 4 
End of Summer Reflections
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
By Ron Romanik

Most fun on TV: Louis Oosthuizen’s brilliant 29 on Sunday on the back nine at the U.S. Open. Here’s a few of his shots compiled in under two minutes. Louie birdied six of last seven holes—and he did it with such apparent ease, like he was out walking his dog in the park.


Least fun on TV: Same day... Dustin misses eight putts from inside 10 feet. Yes, the greens were ridiculous, but still. Here’s a list of his misses on Sunday, compiled by Gary Van Sickle at


Big question to ponder: Will the USGA go back to Chamber’s Bay for the U.S. Open? My guess is yes. The USGA does not like to admit mistakes, and they won’t, so they have to go back. My guess is 2026 or 2027.


Bomber alert: The most impressive swings I saw at the U.S. Women’s Open were by one Morgan Pressel. Big, high draws that were placed with precision. On Saturday on the long, uphill 18th, Morgan took a good rip at her driver and the fans tee-side were perplexed. We all saw the ball head toward the right fairway bunker, but Morgan quickly picked up her tee and started strutting confidently off the tee. A few fans mumbled: "Did she hit it in the trap?" No, actually... she flew the trap, got a decent kick forward and rolled past the gallery crosswalk—while the fans were walking across! The TV didn’t catch the drive, but it did broadcast the second shot.


Reviewing the DVR later, I could hear Greg Norman’s voice betray his own mild disbelief when he said: "Only 106 yards left, that's quite a drive." But Greg

 didn’t have enough time to do the math in his head, because no one else was anywhere near that close to the green on that hole. The upshot: 308 yards, by my calculation.


Caddie experience: I enjoyed caddying for a friend of mine on the last day of the Pennsylvania Open at Rolling Green Golf Club. It’s a three-day event, and he had another friend lug his bag on the first two days, so I offered to help on the third day because he was on quite a roll. On the first day, he made an incredible eight birdies (but only four pars). After making the cut after two rounds (top 40 and ties), on day three he... well... let’s just say the putts weren’t dropping. (He wasn’t letting me read the breaks, so...)


Kudos and kudos: I cannot say enough about the Pennsylvania Golf Association and the Golf Association of Philadelphia. These organizations run really great tournaments. And a lot of them. The courses are set up perfectly every time, and the staff and volunteers are excellent.


Putting clinic of another kind: Inbee Park must be one of the best putters on the planet. I think she could give many PGA Tour pros a run for their money. She seems to make most of her 15-20 foot putts, week in and week out. Too bad the LPGA doesn’t have ShotLink, or her dominance on the dance floor could be measured more thoroughly.


Alarming statistic: According to a Global Golf Post article by Lewin Mair, there are as many as 2,000 junior girl golfers in Korea with handicaps of scratch or better. Wow.


Save the Dates: The USGA has a bit of a love affair with Pennsylvania golf courses. There are three USGA events are slated for 2016.

2016 U.S. Open at the venerable Oakmont Country Club will be June 13-19.

2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Rolling Green will be at Aug. 1-7. (This is a recent date change, due to the Olympics.)

2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Stonewall Links near Elverson will be Sept. 10-15.


ICYMI: This boy’s one-arm swing will either inspire or discourage you.




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