A Giant Has Fallen. Farewell, Arnold.

Our Arnold Palmer is gone. Rather, his visage is gone. His deeds and spirit will live powerfully forever within the multimedia presence he created for his beloved game and ours.

He soared into each of our lives, and therefore he was part of our family of golf, of what we cherished in our lives.

It is a sad day that the King no longer strides his earth. But his influence left us a robust and growing future. He remains our golf soulmate and ever-present inspiration.

Farewell, and thank you.

DJ Wins U.S. Open and Loses Invisible Ruling

Okay, DJ won, whew!  Now, the controversy over the (a) ruling about his ball moving by some source invisible to the video camera, and (b) the wording of the rule itself can both be abandoned as merely vocal fodder for the TV tongues and bar stool geniuses, right?

Not so fast. This post won’t be yet another pro/con word fest about the entire issue of whether the rules and the interpretation of the rules are and should be two entirely different things. But that is close to what it is about.

What I’m concerned with is this: 

How in H E double L are players supposed to know what or what doesn’t move a ball when acts of God and gravity aren’t taken into consideration?

There’s a parkway running up the spine of Oakmont, so there must be vibrations of cars and trucks. Couldn’t they move the earth a bit? They sure do shake the collectible china from my grandmother’s shelves.

Golf balls are heavier than grass and spiked up turf, couldn’t the ball have simply been working on a move for many minutes before coincidentally succeeding just when DJ raised his putter behind the ball?  I say, sure.

What about grass insects or worms hired by the competition to burrow and sabotage a DJ putt?  What about sun and shade, known to move a ball tipping on the edge of the cup on a hot day?  What about a drop of moisture that just then evaporated?

If DJ had lost the U.S. Open because of this guilty-unless-proven-innocent decision there would be chaos right now. It would be turmoil the likes we haven’t seen since Craig Stadler’s Towelgate incident.

But DJ won, the penalty did not take that away from him, and all is right with the Rules of Golf.

I think not. In this game, chaos does have to ensue to save the future innocent from an unjust demise. This time, no chaos, no change. Peace.

Congrats, DJ. Whew! At last.

#

My Magic Bullet Putting Tip

gimmicksNo more crazy gimmicks.

I have discovered a magical putting tip that has held up for dozens of hours so far. It may not be what you need, but it is certainly the key I have been searching for.

I will first begin at the beginning. I started my focus on putting by laying aside my brand new putter that totally betrayed me last season. I instead chose the old brass Ping Zing I had loved from the late ’80s until something happened around the turn of the century. I cleaned it up spectacularly and slid on a slightly oversized Winn grip.

Next, I simplified my stroke. One, two. One, two. One, two. You get the idea. No Snedeker pop stroke for me. One, two. Virtually the same length back as forward. I don’t really think about it, except that I don’t want to go too far back or I’ll decelerate on the forward stroke. Every once in a while, for some reason, I feel my right hand playing in to the forward stroke. This doesn’t seem to hurt accuracy, but I don’t even think about it.

Even though pro teachers say that to improve putting one should focus on speed, not line, my problem is line. My speed has always been good. Furthermore, my problem isn’t on seeing the line–oh, I see it fine from behind the ball–it’s on setting up to the line and seeing it sideways.

After observing myself for many putts, I realized that I had the same success whether my feet were too far open or too far closed. My real problem was where my toes were pointing. That would change where the ball was in my stance. Not good for me.

How to clean this up?  It was like magic.

Since I could aim the putter accurately on my line, why couldn’t I also aim my feet? But how?

Then it dawned on me:  line my feet up parallel to my putter face. If the putter was aimed correctly, then just aim my feet correctly. Then my eyes, shoulders, hips and knees had a better chance of synergy.

And it worked. It still works. This has been all indoors here in Virginia, so I can’t wait to get out on the putting green.

Again, I have a putter I do not doubt, my stroke is under control, I have confidence in my choice of line, I can feel the distance to the hole, and now I trust my set up to make it all happen.

Summary: I started with fundamentals. I made certain my putting stroke was solid and I didn’t sway, ingraining a one-two tempo to my stroke, finding the right grip and the mental notion that makes it happen (I push away with the back of my left hand, and I lead the putter through with the back of my left hand, traditional right hand low grip, with thumbs parallel down the face of the wide grip).

It’s really odd the things that can improve your game. Two other things have helped me in my full swing: 1) picturing my hands and and wrists like Lee Trevino’s at the top of my swing, then 2) swinging like Steve Stricker with no wrist action at all. Neither of those things truly happen, but they are controls that work for me.

So I suggest, with any swing improvement you are trying to make, be as visual and position-oriented as you can. It is a lot easier to picture Lee Trevino’s swing in my mind than to force my own hands into someplace around my head.

Good luck this season.  And keep it fun and fast.

 

 

GolfWRX works

Here’s a little shoutout to one hard-working golf news, player, and social site that I have been a longtime member and fan of, Golfwrx.com.

Take a moment to peruse the latest news, info., and features, then join the forum and have a ball.  And read a new article by yours truly right here.

Here’s a link to a few of the articles that I posted there “back in the day”  (the day I decided to take humorous golf writing seriously).

If you mix it up over there, be sure and tell them that Tim says “fore!”

Back from a long break–with a word about the Messters, erm, Masters.

So, I am back to the blog after an extended break (unemployment/begging for work/deciding to retire).

Not able to fully retire, my wife and I embarked upon a business that is both the most fun I have ever had and the most nail biting I’ve ever done. We buy and sell vintage mid-century goods, preferably cool and wonderful items that have not been seen in, oh, 60 years or so.

(This will get around to golf in a second.)

We have booths at A & W Collectables antiques mall in Keswick, Virginia, and it’s on Facebook.

We have two Ebay stores. The store for vintage housewares and collectibles is at doubletvintage.com.  The second store is all golf, DejaGolf.com.

Two days ago, I bought a cool Dean Meyer Planet Golf putter while cruising the thrift shops at Virginia Beach. I haven’t yet found out much about it. If you know anything, I’ve opened comments and I hope you’ll chime in.  Here’s a link to GolfWRX where I posted some pictures in their forum.

How about that Masters, huh?  I had a heart attack and sudden incontinence at the same time!  Zowie, what a turn of events.  But I’ll tell ya, that kind of stuff nails the Masters as one of the hardest (and luckiest) darn American tournaments to win.

More coming soon.

Oh, this site has been updated automatically many times, and photos have been dropped from the archives. I’ll work to correct it (albeit slowly).

Tim