Are you ready for the BEST Black Friday EVER?!
We have major gift card deals & lesson discounts coming your way.
We have major gift card deals & lesson discounts coming your way.
There was more than a little bit of stumbling and fumbling along the way, but Justin Rose eventually claimed the Turkish Airlines Open title in a playoff with Li Haotong. The pair, two-thirds of the final group on the final day, had earlier tied on 17 under par over four rounds at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort on Turkey’s southern shore.
Which sounds pretty good only until a wee bit more detailed look at the leader board reveals Rose reached 19 under par after 70 holes. And that both men were 18 under on the 72nd tee. In other words, Rose, the defending champion and needing a win to get back to World No. 1, finished bogey-bogey; Li contented himself with a dropped shot at the last, taking four shots to get down from just under 150 yards. Pretty this was not.
And it got worse.
After watching Rose two-putt for par from roughly 25 feet on their second visit to the 18th green, Li settled down over his 12-footer for birdie and what would have been his third European Tour victory. Would have been. Never online, the ball missed low and left and, not insignificantly as things turned out, ran maybe a yard past. The second putt was … how to put this … awful. Really awful, the ball missing the cup by maybe an inch on the right.
The sad thing was, over their first 16 holes, both men had put on a terrific display. Yes, each rode his luck at times, but the general standard gave no hint of the carnage that was to follow. Li’s pars at the seventh and eighth holes had more to do with good luck than good judgement. Rose’s pitch to the par-5 12th was headed well past until it struck the pin and stopped a few feet away. And one hole later his tee shot was headed for oblivion in the right trees until it hit an unfortunate individual on the left knee (yes, Rose did shout “fore!”).
Otherwise, each played some terrific stuff. Li’s highlight was a 3-wood to the par-5 15th green that pulled to a halt no more than two-feet away, the resulting eagle hauling the Chinese player into a tie for the lead on 18 under par.
Rose was his usual clinical self—at least until his last two holes in regulation. Not one bogey and five birdies dotted his card to that point.
“There were moments out there where it looked like both of us weren’t holding our nerve very well,” said Rose, who picked up €1,166,660 for what was the first successful defense of a title in his career. He also moved to third in a Race to Dubai, although he cannot win that year-long race to go with his FedEx Cup title on the PGA Tour. For reasons he was loathe to reveal—“they will become apparent next year”—Rose said rather mysteriously that he will not be playing in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in two weeks.
“But this was a fun battle overall,” he continued. “And obviously I do have to spare a thought for Haotong. That was a tough way to finish. He hit a positive putt to try and win, but that 18th green is very tough. Getting back to No. 1 is something to be proud of. It doesn’t make you one under par on the first tee the next time you play, but it’s something to be proud of for sure.”
As for Li, who had started the day with a three-shot edge over Rose, even his broken English was up to the task of conveying exactly his understandable disappointment.
“It is a tough day for me,” said the 23-year old, who memorably outdueled Rory McIlroy down the stretch to win the Dubai Desert Classic in January. “I think I played well the whole week, but didn’t hole a few putts on the last and that was it.”
A little further down the leader board there were signs of redemption for two Grand Slam champions whose recent play has been more minor than major. Former U.S. Open and PGA champion Martin Kaymer’s closing 66, five under par and bogey-free, lifted the German into a tie for fifth alongside Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark, one shot head of Danny Willett.
“I played very well,” confirmed Kaymer, who dropped only two shots all week. “I could have made a few more putts here and there, but the game was really spot on this week. I think I gave myself enough chances, and I needed a good finish to get into (the season ending DP World Tour Championship) in Dubai. Hopefully that was enough. But I’m really looking forward to playing next week [when the European Tour plays its next playoff event in his native South Africa]. I’m very close.”
Former Masters champion Willett had less to say about his T-7 finish, but the Englishman, one of 20 in the 78-man field, must have been encouraged by his play after so long in the doldrums. In recording his third top-10 of the season and only his fifth on the European Tour since winning at Augusta in 2016, the 31-year-old Yorkshireman hit an array of splendid shots. As with Kaymer, only his putting let him down over the closing holes.
Which was a familiar tale at the end of an ultimately strange day.
We have major gift card deals & lesson discounts coming your way.
I’ve come to accept I’m not one of the longest guys on tour, so if I’m going to beat guys who are 20 to 30 yards longer off the tee—like I did at the 2015 RSM Classic and the 2017 Dean & DeLuca Invitational—I have to keep the ball in the fairway. My stats prove that. Heading into the British Open in July, I was 35 under par on approaches from the fairway between 50 and 175 yards. In the same range from the rough, I was 14 over. That’s a big difference. Being a solid driver means having more than one way to find the fairway. I’m going to teach you four, one for each type of wind condition. Pair the correct play with that wind, and you’ll be hitting your next shot from the short grass. — With E. Michael Johnson
SLICE WIND: PLAY IT FORWARD
With most tee shots, I start by determining where I need to drive it to leave the best angle into the green. Then I check to see how the wind might impact that plan and adjust for it. I struggle the most with a slice wind (coming from the left for right-handers), but my adjustments are to play the ball way up, off my left toe, and aim farther left than normal. The ball position and alignment help me start the ball on a path left of the fairway and, hopefully, let the breeze push it back into the fairway in the ideal spot.
DOWNWIND TEE: IT HIGH AND LOAD UP
Everyone loves a hole where the wind is at your back. To take advantage of that, I tee the ball higher than normal—with half of it sitting above the driver when I sole it. I also position the ball just off my left heel. The last thing I do at address is tilt my right shoulder slightly down and to the right. All of this promotes a higher launch angle, which gets the ball up and riding the wind. When I swing, I load up on my right side and then fire into the ball from the inside, trying to draw it for even more of a distance boost. If you do this, be careful not to get too much weight on your right side when you take the club back. It makes it harder to hit it so
HEAD WIND: STAY SHORT AND CENTERED
We’re lucky we play mostly on firm fairways on tour; at least the ball will roll when the hole is into the wind. I play for that, trying to hit it 20 feet off the ground and chase it out there. At address, I tee the ball only an inch off the grass, play it about two inches back of my left heel and grip down a little on the driver. I also aim slightly left of the target, because the tendency is for the shot to squirt right as a result of the ball position—it’s harder to square the face. The swing keys: Keep your weight centered between your feet, and make a short-but-smooth swing back and through. The mistake is to lean forward and hit down on it to keep the shot low. That creates extra spin, killing distance.
HOOK WIND: LET IT RIDE
I love when it’s coming from the right, because my natural shot shape—a draw—curves with the breeze and goes forever. With this one my setup is standard, but you might want to close your stance a little (aim your body right of the target) to promote an in-to-out draw swing path. The shot’s start line is important. I aim down the right edge of the hole so the ball will ride the breeze into the fairway. Note how I’ve released the club through impact. Don’t try to steer it into play. With this wind, just hammer it.
Cameron Champ’s performance at the Sanderson Farms Championship proved he’s more than just a long-ball hitter. His four-shot win over Corey Conners, however, was built largely on his prowess off the tee combined with a deft touch on the greens.
For the week Champ averaged 334 yards off the tee, leading the field. Champ also picked up more than 5.5 yards off the tee in strokes gained/off the tee with his Ping G400 Max driver, albeit a backup that he had on site in his car after his gamer cracked shortly before teeing off Sunday. Champ’s driver has a 44.75-inch Fujikura Pro White TS 63x shaft tipped 1.5 inches and a swingweight of D-3.
At the other end, Champ displayed a nice touch on the greens with a Ping PLD Mid Tyne 4 prototype putter that is 34.5 inches with 2 degrees of loft and half a degree flat. Champ used the putter to roll in birdie putts of 10, 7, 5 and 38 feet respectively on holes 13 through 16 to boost his cushion to two shots after a slow start. Champ added a punctuation mark with one more seven-footer for birdie at the last. For the event Champ picked up more than nine strokes on the field in strokes gained/putting, ranking second. The PLD stands for Ping Lab Design which offers the opportunity for players to get putters that specifically meet their needs outside of production-run models. The Tyne 4 head is a mallet with wings in back for added stability.
What Cameron Champ had in the bag at the Sanderson Farms Championship
Ball: Srixon Z Star XV
Driver: Ping G400 Max (Fujikura Pro White TS 63x), 9 degrees
3-wood: Ping G400, 14.2 degrees
Irons (4): Ping i500; (5-PW): Ping iBlade
Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (50, 54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Ping PLD Mid Tyne 4 prototype
Stop me if this sounds familiar. You set up to hit a chip. You’ve got your weight forward, the shaft leaning toward the target, and you’re playing the ball off your back foot. When you swing, you catch the ball super low on the face, and skull it across the green. On the next attempt, you gouge a chunk of sod behind the ball, and it goes nowhere.
This might surprise you, but although the results of those two mis-hits are very different, they’re often caused by the same mistakes. The first is the bottom of your swing is in the wrong place, and the second is the club is not interacting with the turf the way it’s designed.
The name of this page is Gimme One Thing, but I’m going to give you two things to think about the next time your chipping issues flare up. Remember the words bottom and bounce. What do they mean and how do they apply to better chipping? When you think bottom, your focus should be on getting the club to hit the turf consistently in the same place. For chipping, that should be slightly ahead of the ball’s position on the ground. You can help make sure that happens by checking your shirt buttons and nose at setup. They should be slightly closer to the target than the ball. I like to say, as the nose goes, so does the bottom of your swing.
The second word to think about, bounce, means how the club interacts with the turf. You want the club to glide along the grass, not dig into it. The leading edge and trailing edge of the clubface should contact the ground evenly. The beauty of this technique is that the swing bottom can be a fraction off, and you’ll still likely hit a decent chip shot. No one will be the wiser.
So set up with your weight favoring your front foot, the ball in the middle of a narrow stance, and your nose and shirt buttons slightly closer to the target. Now when you swing, focus on letting the leading edge and trailing edge of the club make contact with the ground simultaneously right below your nose. Fixate on that, and your body and arms will intuitively move to get the bounce just right.
You’ll notice that I’m relatively still with my body going back; it’s mostly an arm swing. I do that to make sure my swing bottom won’t change from where I want it to be.
And when I swing down, I’m letting my body rotate toward the target. This rotation guides the club through impact on a shallow approach. There’s no chopping into the turf; it’s the right amount of interaction between the leading edge and the trailing edge. One final tip: Keep your body rotating long after the ball is gone like I am here.
Next time you struggle around the greens, remember: bottom and bounce.
Golf instruction on the range is great, but sometimes you need help while you’re playing—stat! In his video series, “Bad-Ass Short Game,” Ritter tackles many of the issues regular golfers have around the greens and gives his unique—and bold—approach to correcting them.
Did you know that Raceway Golf Club doesn’t completely shut down in the winter? We have the perfect private space for all your business meetings, holiday parties, conferences, lunches, etc!
The Raceway Restaurant and Banquet Hall has provided Northeast Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts with great food and service for over fifty years. We can cater to a variety of needs, whether you are planning a corporate event, wedding, or party.
Brooks Koepka’s four-shot win at the CJ Cup propelled him to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time. It also created a different kind of first in OWGR history.
Koepka kept alive a musical chairs situation in the top spot the likes that has never been seen before. For the first time since the ranking’s inception in 1986, the current top four (Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Justin Thomas) is comprised of players who all made it to No. 1 in the same year.
“It’s amazing to go World No. 1 on a win,” Koepka said after pulling away from the field in South Korea. “I think is something I’ve always wanted to do. I always wanted to earn my way to No. 1 in the world, and I felt like if I played and won, that would be exactly how I could draw it up. To do that this week has been special.”
It’s also just the second time that four different players ascended to No. 1 in the same year. The only other instance occurred in 1997 when Greg Norman, Tom Lehman, Tiger Woods, and Ernie Els all spent time in the top spot.
Overall, Koepka, 28, is the 23rd player to be No. 1 in the OWGR and the 11th in the past eight years.
It is arguably one of the few sports terms believed to be named after a person, and with ramifications beyond the border of a course and into politics and daily life.
You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy the benefits of a Mulligan – the term is now widely used to describe any “do-over,” or second chance after initial failure.
Of course, the rules of golf forbid the Mulligan, though it’s become part of the game. Some golfers apply their own “rules” that the Mulligan will be in “play” once per round, or just on the No. 1 tee.
So, where and when did the Mulligan begin in golf? Well, that depends.
The USGA, and supported by research by GriffGolf.com, found the Mulligan became rooted in the game’s lexicon sometime between the late 1920s and mid-1930s. During that period, Canadian-born amateur David Bernard Mulligan had established himself as a prominent member of clubs that included Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
In the late 1920s, Mulligan had a regular club foursome, which he often drove to the course in a 1920s vintage Briscoe, a touring car.
Once on the first tee, the story goes, his partners allowed him to hit a second ball after mishitting his drive. Mulligan complained that his hands were still numb after driving rough roads and a bumpy Queen Victoria Jubilee Bridge (now Victoria Bridge).
Mulligan joined Winged Foot Golf Club sometime between 1932 and 1933. A generation later, in July 1985, journalist Don Mackintosh interviewed Mulligan for a column, “Around the Sport Circuit.”
Said Mulligan: “I was so provoked with myself that, on impulse, I stooped over and put down another ball. The other three looked at me with considerable puzzlement, and one of them asked, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘I’m taking a correction shot,’ I replied.”
His playing partner asked what he called that.
“Thinking fast, I told him that I called it a ‘Mulligan.’ They laughed and let me play a second ball. After the match, which Mulligan and Spindler won by one point, there was considerable discussion in the clubhouse about that free shot.
“It all worked out amicably enough, but after that it became an unwritten rule in our foursome that you could take an extra shot on the first tee if you weren’t satisfied with your original. Naturally, this was always referred to as ‘taking a Mulligan.’ From that beginning, I guess the practice spread, and the name with it.”
Such a tale appears to be on solid footing, though USGA research hints there’s wiggle room for another “Mulligan.”
John A. “Buddy” Mulligan, a locker room attendant in the 1930s at Essex Fells CC, N.J., would finish cleaning the locker room and, if no other members appeared, play a round with assistant professional, Dave O’Connell and a club member, Des Sullivan (later golf editor of The Newark Evening News).
One day, Mulligan’s opening tee shot was bad and he beseeched O’Connell and Sullivan to allow another shot since they “had been practicing all morning,” and he had not. After the round, Mulligan proudly exclaimed to the members in his locker room for months how he received an extra shot.
The members loved it and soon began giving themselves “Mulligans” in honor of Buddy Mulligan. Sullivan began using the term in his golf pieces in The Newark Evening News. NBC’s “Today Show” ran the story in 2005.
Thus, a “Mulligan” found its niche along in our culture. Its popularity thrives because of who we are – lovers of a good story and a term that somehow fits. It thrives as we are reminded in a classic line from the 1962 John Ford Western film, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”
Jordan Spieth failed to meet the PGA Tour’s minimum appearance requirement last season when he did not to advance to the Tour Championship. Perhaps making sure he doesn’t fall short of that number again, the three-time major winner has committed to his first career fall event in the United States.
On Friday, the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open announced that Spieth would be in this year’s field at the start of November.
“I’m really excited to be playing in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open,” Spieth told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “The event has been on my radar for a while, as the course has a great reputation on tour and I absolutely love the affiliation with the hospital. It’s going to be a really fun week in a great city.”
Although not meeting the 25-event perquisite is subject to a “major penalty” and fine, Andy Pazder, the chief of operations for the PGA Tour, said in Atlanta last month that the tour and Spieth had “come to a resolution” regarding the provision and promised, “I’m not going to be able to share the details of that, [but] I will say the result is something that you will see next season. It’s resolved in a way that’s going to be a win for our tournaments, our fans and golf in general.”
Other commits to the Shriners include Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau and Patrick Cantlay (who is the defending champion). The Shriners begins on November 1 at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
In Season (April thru October)
Mon to Fri open 7am to 1 hour before sunset
Sat, Sun & Holidays open 6am to 1 hour before sunset
Off Season (November thru March)
Course will open at 9am to 3pm daily, weather depending!