Makeover Diary - Ken Dashow

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 3, 2004, 4:00 pm
Natural Golf Makeover ChallengeEpisode1: Bright and early--the course is gorgeous and tough. 1st hole, all you can see is the sand traps, blind fairway. Four video cameras, two film cameras, crane, two boom mics, we're each wired for sound and I'm supposed to relax and hit??? Ha! I know I'm supposed to get better but I don't want to totally flub it off the tee. Please golf gods, give me a good one to start. Thank you golf gods--long, straight down the middle; as Gleason used to say, 'And away we go!'

Later, my game falls into its usual fits and starts a combination of slow-going because of all the cameras and having not played for five months. I'm spraying the ball pretty good.

Funniest golf moment: over-swing on the tee box, fall out of my shoes and drill it into a fairway bunker 170 yards away. Get to the bunker, ball is on a slope, 150 yards to the green. I smoke a 7 iron 150 yards within 3 feet of the pin...this is the definition of golf for me: how can anyone miss-hit a tee shot so badly, then hit an incredibly difficult bunker show so perfectly? Should be one or the other, not the same guy three minutes apart. Yoyoma doesn't occasionally play like a screaming cat and if you gave me a cello, I couldn't occasionally play Bach either.
You can or you can' least that's how it should be.
Episode 2: You've heard of the book 'Tuesdays with Morrie?' Well, my life is now 'Tuesdays with Mick,' as in my Natural Golf instructor. What a wonderful guy and a great teacher for me. He doesn't lecture, he doesn't participate, he just explains the mechanics of the swing, what I need to work on, etc.

We're just working on the basic swing. I'm ready to go out and play 18, but Mick is steps.
Episode 3: More baby steps, straight back and through. I tell Mick that my short game stinks - we begin working on really teaching me the wedge game. I love this.
I can honestly say in all the years I've been playing, I never understood the mechanics of chipping and putting - finally, someone to teach me!
Episode 4: More baby steps; straight back and through. I tell Mick that my short game stinks, and we begin working on really teaching me the wedge game. I love this.
I can honestly say in all the years I've been playing golf I never understood the mechanics of chipping and putting. Finally, someone to teach me!
Episode 5: Filming my lesson, a cold, rainy day in NYC, but I am so thrilled that my golf game is coming together. Still plenty of miss-hits, but when I 'get it,'it feels like 'buttah!'
It's coming, I can feel it!
Episode 6: Driving, wow. I'm not hitting it off the tee, I'm blasting it off the tee, all with what feels like a half swing. So, I really don't use my back in my swing. These Natural Golf boys might be onto something!
Thanks to Kelly Blackburn, I am seeing amazing results! Just by cutting my portions in half and doing my exercises, my clothes fit better and I just feel better overall!
Episode 7: I am SO comfortable with my swing now, I feel totally confident singing the praiseS of my new game, 'I am one of Moe's children!'
I'm going to tune up my short game with Mick before I head to Orlando but I am relaxed and trust that my ball is going up in the air.
Episode 8:
Check back next week!
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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.