Grouchy Golf Blog

Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 8:23 PM

Watch "The Science of Golf"!

Last month there was a really cool golf TV show produced by the PGA Tour and IBM called "The Science of Golf":

"The Science of Golf will show how the best players on the PGA TOUR utilize cutting edge technology to elevate their game to the highest level," said Gil Kerr, the Tour's SVP of Programming. "We went inside the laboratories of virtually every major golf equipment manufacturer. We sat down with the best swing coaches in the game today—including Butch Harmon, Hank Haney, David Leadbetter, Jim McLean, Jim Flick and Dave Pelz—and we have combined this with the best of the PGA TOUR archives and never before seen super slow motion footage to capture how the best players in the game utilize science and technology on and off the course."

It featured a lot of great slow motion swing and ball impact sequences all in glorious HD! If you missed the original airing, you'll have another chance to watch it:

"Part 1: The Power Game" will be re-broadcast Sun., June 24th from 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST.

"Part 2: The Short Game" will be re-broadcast Sat., July 7th from 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST.

If you're a golf junkie, be sure not to miss it!

Update: "titleistman1" has posted "The Science of Golf, Part 1: The Power Game" in seven parts on YouTube. Below is the first part. Thanks titleistman1!

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Monday, June 11, 2007 at 10:42 PM

Driver on a Par-3? Sacrilege!

Back in April, Tiger Woods played Oakmont Country Club, site of this week's U.S. Open, for the first time. Based on his experience, it sounds like we're in for a doozie! According to the world's #1, "Overall, I'd say it's a lot harder than Augusta National...The greens were running about 10 ½ on the Stimpmeter, and they were plugged last week. I don't think they were designed for that kind of speed, so it should be interesting."

But what I found the most interesting was reading about the par-3 8th hole. From the tips, it plays to 288 yards! It will be the longest par-3 in major championship history. Are we going to be seeing players hit driver on this hole? Most of the field will let the big dog eat, but not Tiger Woods! During his practice round, he hit 3-wood and managed to reach the middle of the green.

"I refuse to hit driver," Woods said, smiling. "It's against my religion."

If that's the case, forgive me Father, for I have sinned! I have hit driver on par-3s several times, but all on one course. Ironically, it is the site of next year's U.S. Open, Torrey Pines South Course. On the back nine, there are two monster par-3s: the 221-yd. 11th and the 227-yd. 16th. While not as daunting yardage-wise compared to Oakmont's 8th, both of the tee shots on these holes face directly towards the ocean. As most of us know, ocean breezes can have a adverse affect on golf balls. The first time that I played Torrey Pines, a storm played with me. The blustery conditions forced me to hit driver on both of these hellish par-3s but it still wasn't enough! The gale force winds spade and neutered my normally 250-ish yd. drives to mere hacker-like 200 yd. drives. I guess it was the Golf Gods' punishment for my sins!

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007 at 6:23 PM

Michelle Wie vs. Ernie Els

It's almost en vogue these days to hate on teen golf phenom Michelle Wie. It wasn't too long ago that she was the darling of women's golf. She was supposed to be to the LPGA what Tiger has become to the PGA. Alas, a series of odd mishaps and a Kobe Bryant-esque stubborn desire to play with the big boys have dropped her popularity amongst her peers and fans alike.

It's too bad that her life is becoming stranger than fiction. But let's not forget that this girl can flat out play golf. Her golf swing is a thing of beauty. In fact, I would rate her swing among the top ten of all active players, male or female. Clearly, there's not a better better swing on the LPGA. Just check out how her swing sequence compares to arguably the best swing in golf, Ernie Els:

It's remarkable to see the similarities of their swings both in positions and tempo. But as we all know, owning the best swing doesn't amount to jack unless it is coupled with solid putting and a winning attitude. Unfortunately, Michelle has yet to demonstrate either on a consistent basis.

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