Photos of the Year Part II

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 25, 2010, 11:54 pm



Mean Golf Ball

THE BOGEYMAN: A fan wears a mask as he watches play during the second round of the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club on July 2, 2010 in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)


Miguel JimenezSPANISH STYLE POINTS: Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain celebrates with the trophy after winning in a play - off on the 18th hole after the final round of the Open de France ALSTOM at the Le Golf National Golf Club on July 4, 2010 in Paris, France. (Getty Images)

 

139th Open Championship

YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!: A sign cautioning fans is on display during practice for the 139th Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews on July 13, 2010 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Getty Images)


Seve Ballesteros 

AT ST. ANDREWS IN SPIRIT: Seve Ballesteros fans pose during practice for the 139th Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews on July 14, 2010 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Getty Images)



Tom Watson & Arnold Palmer DR. OF GOLF: Tom Watson (L) and Arnold Palmer receive Honorary Degrees from Scotland's oldest university, University of St. Andrews prior to the 139th Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews on July 13, 2010 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Getty Images)

  Old Course at St. Andrews

GOLF IN THE KINGDOM: Alejandro Canizares of Spain walks with his caddie Loren Duncan on the 18th hole during the third round of the 139th Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews on July 17, 2010 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Getty Images)

 

Senior British Open

LONELY AND FEELING BLUE?: A lone spectator sits in the grandstand during the second round of the Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard played at Carnoustie on July 23, 2010 in Angus, Scotland. (Getty Images)



Mike Weir fansINSERT JOKE HERE: Mike Weir fans watch a shot off the 11th tee during round two of the 2010 RBC Canadian Open at St. George's Golf and Country Club on July 23, 2010 in Etobicoke, Canada. (Getty Images)

 


PGA Championship

GOOD LUCK GETTING THAT IN THE HOLE: A fan waits for autographs during a practice round prior to the start of the 92nd PGA Championship on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits on August 10, 2010 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Getty Images)







Pauls Creamer

G.I. PAULA:
Women's US Open Champion Paula Creamer stands in front of an F-16 after flying with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds on September 9, 2010 at the Air Force Reserve Base in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)

 


Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson

DRUM PLAYING FOR THE AGES: Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson attend during the photo session ahead of the PGA Champions Tour - Posco E&C Songdo Championship at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club on September 8, 2010 in Incheon, South Korea. (Getty Images)

 


BMW Championship leaderboard

NUMBER CRUNCHING: Daily scores are posted on a leaderboard during the second round of the BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club on September 10, 2010 in Lemont, Illinois. (Getty Images)




Jose Manuel Lara
 

AHH THE PERKS OF VICTORY: Jose Manuel Lara of Spain with the winners trophy and two hostess from Botarin after winning in a playoff against David Lynn of England after the final round of the Austrian golf open presented by Botarin at the Diamond country club on September 19, 2010 in Atzenbrugg near Vienna, Austria. (Getty Images)

Ceremony
KEEPING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE: The color guard partakes in the opening ceremonies prior to the start of the first round of THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Getty Images)


 
Ryder Cup ball

WASHED AWAY: In this photo illustration a golf ball is seen sitting in standing water after play is suspended during the Morning Fourball Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 1, 2010 in Newport, Wales.(Getty Images)

 

Fans at 2010 Ryder Cup

A DOUBLE-FISTING GOOD TIME: Europe and USA fans mingle during the rescheduled Afternoon Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 2, 2010 in Newport, Wales. (Getty Images)

 


Cup

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH: A view of the damage done to the hole on the 16th green after Anthony Wall of England's tee shot landed in the hole before jumping back out again during the final round of the Portugal Masters at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course on Oct. 17 in Vilamoura, Portugal. (Getty Images)


Palm Tree WHY UNPLAYABLE LIES WERE INVENTED: A golf ball is found stuck in a palm tree during the second round of the Castello Masters Costa Azahar at the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo on October 22, 2010 in Castellon de la Plana, Spain. (Getty Images)

 


Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island

SCARY TEE SHOT: Jason Gore, far right, hits a drive as a hole marshal dressed in a halloween costume stands at the 18th tee box during the third round of the Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island Club on October 30, 2010 in Daniel Island, South Carolina. (Getty Images)


Halloween costume at Daniel IslandCARL SPACK-TACULAR: Hole marshal Zak Allmand is dressed as greenskeeper Carl Spackler from the movie Caddyshack during the third round of the Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island Club on October 30, 2010 in Daniel Island, South Carolina. (Getty Images)


WGC-HSBC Champions

CROUCHING TIGER, PHIL THE WARRIOR?: Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods receive a Tai Chi lesson with swords during the 2010 WGC-HSBC Champions Photocall at The Peninsula hotel on The Bund, Shanghai on November 2, 2010 in Shanghai, China. (Getty Images)

 


Great Exuma Island, Bahamas

BAHAMIAN GOLF: General view of the 11th green during the Virgin Atlantic PGA National Pro-Am Championship Practice Round at Sandals Emerald Bay Resort on November 26, 2010 in Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. (Getty Images)



Golf balls

NO WONDER THE PROS ARE SO GOOD: 
Practice golf balls are seen on the range during a practice round prior to the start of the LPGA Tour Championship at the Grand Cypress Resort on November 30, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. (Getty Images)

 

 
South African Open 

THEY GO BANANAS FOR GOLF: Monkeys are seen on the course during round three of the South African Open Golf Championship at the Durban Country Club on December 19, 2010 in Durban, South Africa. (Getty Images)

Getty Images

The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

Getty Images

Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

''Wind was down again,'' Landry said. ''It's like a dome out here.''

Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.

''It's tough to come back because I feel like I expected myself to go to the range and keep just flushing everything like I did yesterday,'' Rahm said. ''Everything was just a little bit off.''

Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

''You need to hit it a lot more accurate off the tee because being in the fairway is a lot more important,'' Rahm said about the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course, a layout the former Arizona State player likened to the Dye-designed Karsten course on the school's campus. ''With the small greens, you have water in play. You need to be more precise. Clearly the hardest golf course.''

Landry pointed to the Saturday forecast.

''I think the wind's supposed to be up like 10 to 20 mph or something, so I know that golf course can get a little mean,'' Landry said. ''Especially, those last three or four holes.''

The 30-year-old former Arkansas player had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine. After winning his second Web.com Tour title last year, he had two top-10 finishes in October and November at the start the PGA Tour season.

''We're in a good spot right now,'' Landry said. ''I played two good rounds of golf, bogey-free both times, and it's just nice to be able to hit a lot of good quality shots and get rewarded when you're making good putts.''

Rahm had four birdies and the two bogeys on his first six holes. He short-sided himself in the left bunker on the par-3 12th for his first bogey of the week and three-putted the par-4 14th – pulling a 3-footer and loudly asking ''What?'' – to drop another stroke.

''A couple of those bad swings cost me,'' Rahm said.

The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the world, Rahm made his first par of the day on the par-4 16th and followed with five more before birdieing the par-5 fourth. The 23-year-old Spaniard also birdied the par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth.

''I had close birdie putts over the last four holes and made two of them, so I think that kind of clicked,'' said Rahm, set to defend his title next week at Torrey Pines.

He has played the par 5s in 9 under with an eagle and seven birdies.

Johnson has taken a relaxed approach to the week, cutting his practice to two nine-hole rounds on the Stadium Course.

''I'm not saying that's why I'm playing well, but I took it really chill and the golf courses haven't changed,'' Johnson said. ''La Quinta's still really pure, right out in front of you, as is the Nicklaus.''

Playing partner Phil Mickelson followed his opening 70 at La Quinta with a 68 at Nicklaus to get to 6 under. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer is playing his first tournament of since late October.

''The scores obviously aren't what I want, but it's pretty close and I feel good about my game,'' Mickelson said. ''I feel like this is a great place to start the year and build a foundation for my game. It's easy to identify the strengths and weaknesses. My iron play has been poor relative to the standards that I have. My driving has been above average.''

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on a sponsor exemption, had a 70 at Nicklaus to match Mickelson at 6 under. The Southern California recruit is playing his first PGA Tour event. He tied for 65th in the Australian Open in November in his first start in a professional tournament.