Your Questions Focus On Cores

By Adam BarrFebruary 25, 2005, 5:00 pm
My column last week on modern golf ball cores generated a lot of questions, demonstrating that many golfers do what I do: stare at the ceiling at 3 a.m. thinking about the mortgage, getting the kids into a good school, and an extra eight yards on our drives.
Herewith, some representative questions and responses:
OK, so based on swing speed what ball should you use? Especially those of us who cannot swing faster than 100 mph. ' Stefan Winer
Stefan was exasperated with me for not following up on the notion, included in an experts quote near the end of the column, that certain golf balls arent for 85-mph swingers. The answer, Stefan, is a ball with a softer core, which will more easily transmit the power from your swing to the center of the ball, where the most power lives.
Ball engineers often speak in terms of a swing speed getting into the very center of the balls core, and they design core formulae with a certain player in mind. Naturally, the harder the core, the faster one must swing to get all that power to the center of the ball. Conversely, a relatively soft core accepts more power in the middle, and a slower swinger can get the full benefit of it.
But I know Stefan wants to be pointed to a brand name. Were all busy folks, after all, and we want to get to the course already. Turns out hes not the only one.
Is there anywhere on The Golf Channel that gives the average guy like me (18.6 index) a good buyers guide to which ball will work best? My swing speed is in the high 80s and I drive the ball about 240 using the [insert brand name here] ball. Thanks for any help to try and get to the single digits. ' Craig Jackson
Single digits? Heres a wedge; come see me in about 60 chips. Seriously, though: We actually did a buyers guide for an episode of Whats In the Bag? in which we showed representative brands within price and performance groups. But we only had time to scratch the surface. There are so many brands out there that a comprehensive buyers guide would be hard to develop. Besides, were here to provide information on golf ball (and golf equipment) types; the brand decision is up to you, the avid and educated golfer.
Most of all, though, the reason we dont name a brand as best, worst, or even good for someone is that golf is a very subjective game, and people can get good results even by playing against type. You may not have the swing speed for a tour level ball, but if you enjoy playing with it, why not? Will you give up some yardage? Perhaps. But you have to balance your enjoyment against any potential for performance losses, and make your decision.
That s why trial and error can never be completely banished from the golf equipment buying decision. The best you can do ' and the best thing you can do for your game ' is to narrow down the options by talking to your pro, someone who knows your game. And with off-course retailers hiring PGA professionals left and right, you can be assured of competent advice.
Some readers agreed.
Those hacksawed balls of our past are just about as primitive as the ones Bobby Jones used. And if he could hit those300 yards, could you imagine what he, or Jack for that matter, could have done with todays technology in their prime? Still, when I get those little orbs to the golf course, it's still a question of trial and error to see what works best. I am now just a little smarter as to why it did that duck hook! ' Col. Michael Welsh, Vice Commander, 251 Combat Communications Group
First of all, Colonel, thanks for your service. Second, knock off that left flank operation and attack up the gut!
Email your thoughts to Adam Barr
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry