Lets be Frank

By Frank ThomasSeptember 30, 2008, 4:00 pm
Match Play Gimmies
Hi Frank:
I have always wondered why in match play, some putts, some outside the gimmie range, are conceded?

Match-play strategy and tactics are quite different from a regular stroke play round. The psychology involved is fascinating and I really liked your question because many golfers (unless they have played a lot of competitive matchplay) are unaware of some of the subtleties of this format.
In some cases (depending on the match and the personalities of the players involved), giving a putt from just outside gimmie length can be a sporting gesture of goodwill and this gesture may be returned later in the round.
However, there can also be some gamesmanship involved. If you give all the 4-5 footers at the beginning of the match and then when it really counts, dont give a 3-footer, your competitor may choke and miss it, wondering why it wasnt given. This adds extra pressure over the short putts.
You should never expect to be given any putt in match play. Go into a match expecting to hole everything out and if your opponent does give you any putts, think of these as a bonus.
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Hope this helps

Graphite and Tennis Elbow
Dear Frank,
I just had surgery to repair a tennis elbow injury to my left elbow. I have been playing with sensicore stiff shafts for about 10 years. Now it has been suggested by my playing buddies that graphite shafts would be easier on my elbows and even my shoulders. Is this possible if the golf ball is struck with the same speed with shaft stiffness being about equal?

I have seen no sound evidence to show that the use of graphite shafts will prevent tennis elbow. I am led to believe that the vibrations which cause damage to the joints are the low frequency vibrations which are not damped out by many devices, either in the shaft, on the head or by changing to graphite shafts.
The matrix holding the graphite fibers in place around the shaft is epoxy and this has a low modulus which will dampen some high frequencies ' when compared to steel shafts ' as will most soft grips and the meat on your hands. These high frequency vibrations are the ones you generally feel in your hands and fingers.
The miss-hits, which cause twisting of the club head, are absorbed more by a shaft with less torsional stiffness and for this reason the graphite shafts, which generally have less torsional stiffness than steel, may help.
Or just try to prevent the miss-hits and make contact with the sweet spot every time.

Graphite shafts will allow you to swing easier and this easy swing will have more of an effect on avoiding tennis elbow than the shaft material or its properties. One of the problems with switching to graphite is that we swing just as hard as we did before we made the switch.
Go for the graphite but dont expect it is going to be the cure for your problem.
Hope this helps.

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Frank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf, a company dedicated to helping golfers. Frank is chief technical advisor to Golf Channel and Golf Digest. He served as technical director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN system and introduced the Stimpmeter to the world of golf. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email letsbefrank@franklygolf.com
Frank Thomas
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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm