Friday, July 22, 2011

3Jack Reviews August 2011 Golf Magazine

I’m going to try and do this for both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest in the coming months. Giving a rundown of what each has to offer while not giving away exactly what they are saying. I’ve found from my years as a golfer that the golf magazines tend to confuse golfers as much as they help them and vice versa. Here I’ll try to give my thoughts and be pretty blunt about it.


Some good stuff about Ken Venturi. I have heard some negative and some positive things about Venturi. I get the feeling that he’s probably like the rest of us, it depends on what mood you are in that day. I really appreciate the work he did with giving TV tips. I remember a lot of it being on trouble shots. He had such a good way about being succinct and making sense that it added to my interest in the game because I would want to try it out on the course afterwards.

They also referred to previous month’s article on ‘The Pain Events’ (players player in pain in sporting events and where the stand). As a born and bred Yankees fan, the 2004 ALCS Game 7 with Schilling was really more poor hitting by the Yankees than good pitching by Schilling. He was consistently missing his spots and had less velocity on his pitches than normal. One reader rightfully points out the over-hype of Willis Reed. Kirk Gibson’s home run was insane, but as the reader points out, it was just one at bat. I agree with the reader, there should be something said for Venturi and Tiger at Torrey Pines…going thru an entire round instead of one at bat or a couple of jump shots. But, my vote goes to Emmitt Smith, dominating the Giants in the Meadowlands with a separated shoulder on the old Astroturf. If you have ever separated a shoulder, playing football seems almost impossible. And if you have ever walked on the old Astroturf, playing football on it seems insane. Doing both at the same time is something legends are made of.


Some words from the editor….who cares?

An advertisement for Myrtle Beach discussing the fall season there. As an alumni of Coastal Carolina University which is right nearby Myrtle in Conway, SC, fall was by far my favorite time in the area. The weather is generally perfect and for the first half of September, the courses are getting back into great shape and the prices are still excellent. Generally the fall prices are the second most expensive of the year, next to the spring prices. But between the better weather, football season and the University opening back up, it’s a great time for me. My issue with Myrtle Beach is that in a time where the economy is stagnant and golf’s popularity continues to dip, they still insist on setting very high prices.

Myrtle Beach was born on solid golf courses and hotels with a lot of things to do in your spare time at a fair and reasonable price. Over the years it’s become more and more expensive to the point where it’s quite pricey and they lost that niche they had that made the area so appealing.

Anyway, after that they show some pictures from the ‘Teeing Off Section.’ One thing that catches my eye is the picture of Mark Steinberg. Between Steinberg and Chubby Chandler, I’ve already grown tired of hearing about agents in the game. Funny how I never heard of Nicklaus’ or Arnie’s agent when they played.


The front 9 part did an interview with Adam Scott and most of the conversation revolved around the long putter he now uses. Here’s what gets my goat….later on in the magazine they give instruction from Lucas Glover on putting because as they note, he is (was) #1 on the Tour in the new statistic, ‘Putts Gained.’ What is Adam Scott ranked in this category? 169th. Yet, they discuss his switch to the long putter like he’s putting ala Crenshaw in ’84. These are the things that confuse the average golfer.

The ask the rules guy stuff wasn’t very interesting.


I usually like this section when the questions are serious. Unfortuntely they weren’t.. Some decent stuff from Goydos on preparing to play golf. I don’t quite like the setup stuff he talks about because it comes off as a universal thing and we get into that ‘fundamentals’ of golf argument. But, remember what works for him is more important and it does have some good insight on how to get ready to play when you’re on the range before the round.


Debate whether or not the Atlanta Athletic Club is worth a PGA Championship. The main argument against it is that there are no memorable holes. I think if that was the case, then a lot of places wouldn’t be having US Opens, Britich Opens and PGA Championships. I think AAC has the logistics to hold the event (I used to live down the road from AAC and was there when David Toms won it). And it’s a good test of golf. I think that’s more important than memorable golf holes. Rochester’s Oak Hill Country Club is not exactly filled with memorable golf holes, but it’s still an awesome course to play, with a rich history as well.

They mention that it costs $300K for a 100-seat chalet at the PGA Championship. Typical Atlanta, never figuring that it’s probably not the time to do it and then wondering why their sales would be down. They may catch on by the end of this decade.

The PGA and USGA are teaming up together to get golfers to play the ‘correct tees’ for their handicap and power off the tee. The goal is to make the pace of play faster. I think we have a bigger issue with lost balls more than anything and I think it’s because course design in the US has revolved more around what I call ‘carry golf.’ For those who started playing the game before 1985, you may remember that there was probably one island green in the entire nation…#17 at TPC Sawgrass. Now they are everywhere and water has become a huge part of golf course design. And strategically placed creeks have gone to the wayside in place of large ponds. I prefer the old school design of a Rio Pinar where there are few creeks and a lot of woods that allow golfers to more easily find the golf ball and punch it out of the woods instead of having to take a drop.


Feherty waxes poetically about Seve. Kostis complains that there are no more risk takers on Tour. I’m not sure about the behind the scenes stuff, but I think most of the current day players are risk takers on the course. I just don’t see a guy like Bubba Watson as being conservative on the course. Of course, they could be bigger risk takers with their swing mechanics, putting and green reading and think outside of the box more…but then they would be ripped for doing that. Go figure.

Typically that’s my issue with the entire risk taker argument, in just about any spectrum of life. It’s not about taking risks for the hell of it. It’s about doing the right thing. Sometimes it’s a conservative approach, sometimes it’s a ‘think outside of the box’ approach, sometimes it’s an aggressive approach.

They then show a DTL view of Ben Crane’s swing sequence. He looks laid off to me here, although they may not have caught him at p4. I know Crane made some swing changes to gain some extra distance and one of them was ‘get my head behind the ball at impact.’ Not good. And he’s paid the price for it as his driving and Danger Zone play have dipped since then.


I’ll try not to be too specific here, but I’ll grade them on a 5 star grade basis.

TJ Tomasi’s ‘Use Your Eyes to Build a Better Backswing’ - *

Brady Riggs’ ‘Get Your Takeway Right’ - * * * *

Tom Stickey’s ‘ How to Pitch Clean from a Downslope’ - * *

Kip Puterbaught’s ‘Pure Every Iron - * ½

Mark Hackett ‘Punch It From the Pines - * * ½

Mike Bender ‘The Best Drill for an Anti-Slice Release - *


I remember reading a couple of months before the PGA Championship that the leader in driving distance at the time (and by a wide margin) was some guy named John Daly who is known for this super long backswing.

Some people forget that Daly was the 9th alternate. They also forget that Crooked Stick got a lot of rain leading up to the tournament and with Daly hitting his driver accurately and the soft fairways on a course that has pretty wide fairways by PGA Championship standards, he was hitting fairway after fairway and because he carried it so long, he had an enormous advantage that week off the tee. I remember Daly playing the final round with Kenny Knox and hitting it 70+ yards by him and down the middle. That’s tough to beat.

IMO, Daly should probably be credited with the modern day bombers as much as anybody. Where I think he loses the credit for that is he just struggled to maintain that level of play. That’s where Tiger comes along and forces the rest of the Tour to change their game. But had Daly maintained his play, I think the ‘bomber revolution’ would’ve taken place earlier.


Pretty good interview. They asked him if he ever looks at driving stats and he said he usually doesn’t other than he knows he’s been the longest on Tour for the past few years. But, he said he doesn’t care because he would rather be the shortest hitter on Tour that wins than the longest hitter on Tour that doesn’t win.

Well, he should pay attention to my Advanced Total Driving statistic because he’s been #1 in that category for most of the season. There’s a reason why he’s been successful and that is it.


Good look at the 18th at Atlanta Athletic Club. While most remember it for David Toms laying up and then sticking a wedge and making the putt to win it…most forget Jerry Pate sticking a 190 yard 5-iron to a few feet to win the 1976 US Open.

Also a good look at AAC member Larry Nelson with some snapshots of his career. They then have a piece from the novel ‘The Swinger’, fictional story of ‘Tree Treemont’ who had won 13 majors while carrying a dark secret of his life. Not bad, but seemed like a blatant shot at Tiger.


The Glover piece, which made front cover, was pretty basic stuff. Although I liked how he mentioned he uses a laser to check alignment of the putter face. Practically no amateurs do that and I think it’s beneficial, although you can eliminate alignment issues by getting fit for an Edel putter. I’d give it * *

Marius Filmalter co-created the SAM Puttlab and created the TOMI putting system. As far as your typical golf magazine instruction, this stuff is very good and probably the highlight of the magazine. Lots of this stuff you can learn from Geoff Mangum’s ‘The Reality of Putting’ DVD, but he also debunks some commonly held myths as well. * * * * ½


Goes over some putters from Bettinardi, Bobby Grace, Coutour Bolt, Plop, STX and SIK MO. The new Plop putter (RSVP 2 CSH 1) looks interesting. The rest don’t really pique my interest. Then they do an overview of the new Ping G20 driver which looks pretty darn good.

Then they do a WITB with Bubba Watson who has been done quite a few times, so nothing really new here. Personally, I’m more interested in WITB for top Danger Zone and Short Game players.

The Private lessons stuff starts out pretty well with some tips for hardpan play versus bunker play and how to use the bounce angle of the club. But then it gets ugly pretty quickly. Too much ‘learn feel from mechanics’ and no real attempt to explain the mechanics of flattening your angle of attack with the driver. * ½

And that ends it.

Overall a slightly above average issue due to the Filmalter and Riggs pieces. The rest was typical with some pretty poor instructional pieces that were cancelled out by some good looks at the Atlanta Athletic Club, interviews, and a look at golfers like Larry Nelson and John Daly.


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