Kelly Xu became the first female champion ever at Augusta by winning last year's inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at the age of 9. She now has the opportunity to be the first back-to-back Drive, Chip and Putt Champion as the only returning champion this year. You can watch her attempt to complete this historic feat on April 5, 2015 live at Augusta or on TV at 9AM ET on the Golf Channel. The Golf Channel is also broadcasting profiles of some of the competitors during their shows "Golf Central" and "Morning Drive". While I haven't seen it, I know that there's one on Kelly because I was on the Penmar golf course when they filmed it! Below is my "behind the scenes" video. Look out for this special talent!
When I was growing up, my sport du jour was tennis. I started playing sometime in elementary school and became good enough to play on the high school tennis team. I still play to this day, albeit much less frequently. During most of this time, I've heard about the comfort wonders of Thorlo socks from countless tennis players. However, I never tried Thorlos because of sticker shock. I had become accustomed to buying the generic bulk pack white athletic socks at Foot Locker that averaged $1 per sock. So whenever I considered Thorlos, I asked myself, "can these socks be worth 10x the cost of normal socks?" My answer was always, "No friggin' way!"
But I recently discovered that Thorlo is running a promotion for a free pair of socks. While the socks are free, there is still a $4.90 shipping and handling fee so it isn't totally free. Nonetheless, this is a really good deal for socks that are normally $13.99. I submitted the order form for the padded golf socks and around a week later I was in possession of the socks that I had waited almost 30 years to try. I was eager to try them out and wore them for my next golf outing several days later. After 9-holes of walking, I can say that they are indeed the best athletic socks I have ever worn. The toe seam had always been a source of irritation for me but not so with the Thorlos. It's too early to tell whether these socks will reduce the occurrence of blisters, corns and other foot ailments, but I'm hopeful that they will. So, are these Thorlos worth $13.99 a pair? I'm still not sure since that still seems like a lot of moolah for athletic socks. But they are sure worth $4.90 a pair! Try them and see for yourself.
Watching my LA Kings' amazing march to the Stanley Cup this year was a revelation to me. Not about hockey nor the will of champions, but about the golf swing. I noticed that the hockey slap shot is quite similar to a full golf swing. The key is that a properly executed slapshot requires that the hands are slightly ahead of the puck at impact. This is the same principle that applies to the golf swing. It's no wonder that so many hockey players are great golfers, including Happy Gilmore!
They are so similar that I find it helpful to visualize a slap shot when I setup and swing a golf club. I imagine that the golf club is just a disproportionate hockey stick with a longer shaft and shorter blade. First, I picture that the leading edge of my golf club is the blade of a hockey stick and I align it square to the target. Second, I make sure that my hands are slightly ahead of the ball with the shaft leaning back to the ball like a slapshot. Lastly, I pretend that I'm Anže Kopitar blasting a slap shot past the goalie into the net for the win!
The golf swing is such a finicky thing. One day you may be striping the ball as pure as Adam Scott and the very next day you may be $hanking it like a rank beginner. WTF? Since the golf swing requires so much precision, the reason is often a breakdown of swing fundamentals. Even an infinitesimally small change can throw a monkey wrench into a golfer's swing. The fact that these changes are frequently unnoticed by the afflicted golfer in turn leads to disbelief and frustration.
I think that the most important, but also the most overlooked fundamental is the grip. I've already posted Butch Harmon's proper grip technique, but I recently came across another excellent video on the topic below. It covers some important elements that Butch does not. After viewing and fully understanding both of these videos, there's no excuse for not gripping the golf club correctly every time!
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