How To Break 90

By Dean ReinmuthJanuary 21, 2002, 5:00 pm

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For as long as I have played the game, there have always been these predetermined benchmarks of improvement: 100, 90, 80, 70. However, the reality is anytime you shoot a score lower than your previous best, even by one shot, it should be considered a success.
Of all these incremental steps of 10, breaking 80 is probably the most notable one. It finally puts you in the category being a truly good golfer.
There are three key steps to focus on in improving your skills to break 90.

Manage Your Tee Shots and Recovery Shots ' The secret here is to consistently hit your best shots more often. Dont try to play a shot where you have a low success rate. Its much easier to score well from the fairway. So, manage your tee shots into the fairway - use a 3-wood or an iron.


Also, make sure you stand on the proper side of the tee box. Its like bowling. If you want to hit the pin, start from the opposite side of the lane and bowl across instead of down the gutter. By doing this, you improve your odds of not only performing your shot correctly, but you reduce the risk of a mishit going into big trouble. So always tee off on the side of the tee nearest the trouble and angle your shot away from the trouble area.
When you miss the fairway or are faced with a recovery shot use what I call option thinking vs. result thinking. Using this type of thought process, youll be able to determine what shot you should play instead of what shot you would like to play.
This means use shots that you can perform with a high degree of consistency and will accomplish what you need. When you can manage your emotions, you may not hit shots any better, but you wont give shots away, either.
For example, instead of the 3-wood out of the fairway bunker over the water, play an easier shot into the fairway and utilize your next shot - and your putts - to recover from the errant tee shot. Remember, playing from the fairway always makes achieving a lower score easier than from the rough, trees or hazards.
A good way to visualize the recovery shot process is to imagine hitting to a spot that leaves you with a distance similar to the length of a par-3 hole. If you are in the woods 250 yards from the green, first punch out to a spot 150-180 yards from the pin that leaves you with an easy approach. Hopefully you can hit your approach close enough to have the chance to make a putt and save the shot.

Short Game Play ' The key to short shots is practice, practice and more practice. For your short wedges, there are three areas of concentration where you should focus - set-up, swing length, and pace.
  1. Set-Up: For your short wedges and chips, set your weight to your left side and use three possible positions with your hands in front of the ball:
    1. Solid contact/lowest trajectory: Hands in line with left hip bone
    2. Semi solid/high trajectory: Hands half-way between left hip bone and belt buckle
    3. Soft contact/highest trajectory: Hands in line with belt buckle

  2. Swing Length: It is important to make the length of your backswing equal to the length of your forward swing. Concentrate on creating three even-length swings: 1/4 length (five oclock to seven oclock), 1/2 length (waist to waist) and 3/4 length (shoulder to shoulder).
  3. Pace: The pace (or speed) of your club should be consistent throughout your swing. Do not make your forward swing faster than your backswing.
Once you get good at these standard options, you can mix and match these elements to create any shot you desire.
One last thought on the short game: practice your bunker play ' learn to get the ball out of the bunker and onto the green.

Putting - Again, the key to becoming a good putter is practice, practice, practice. Two areas are of particular importance;
  1. Lag putting ' Practice your speed so that you leave your longer putts inside a three- or four-foot circle around the hole.
  2. Practice your two-foot putts ' Make 20 in a row, then move back 2 1/2 feet and make another 20 in a row ' keep moving back at six-inch increments until you can make 20 putts putts in a row from four feet.
Focus yourself in these key areas and not only will you break 90, but breaking 80 will be well in your sight.
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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.