Lets See Grip It Like This What

By George WhiteOctober 21, 2004, 4:00 pm
Its one of the real mysteries of professional sports. Its as if an aging baseball player suddenly forget how to catch a fly ball, a grizzled basketball player lost the knack for shooting free throws.
Its putting, of course. How many guys/gals have we heard about now lets see, theres Ben Hogan, theres Sam Snead, theres Arnold Palmer, theres Tom Kite, Nancy Lopez, Craig Stadler, Mark OMeara, Tom Watson all once were deadly rollers, but when they begin getting on in years, voila ' they had to face the deflating realization that they no longer could get the ball into the hole.
Some managed to turn it around. Bedeviled by a faltering stroke, they turned in desperation to a radical grip. They turned the right hand around on the club and now utilize the Claw, the Saw, the Paint Brush ' whatever you prefer to call this weird-looking sweep of the ball.
You score better if you one-putt vs. two-putt ' of even two-putt vs. three-putt, said Kite in a sudden flash of brilliance. Its amazing! Its a great concept!
Kite was one of the surest of all putters until he reached his mid-40s. And then he was dismayed to discover the ball wobbling everywhere but toward the hole. He plodded along in misery until May of this year, when at age 54 he turned in desperation to the whacky grip.
Toms wife, Christy, had been giving him subtle messages for a year. She had placed pictures of Chris DiMarco using the Claw grip in Kites exercise room at home. Kite steadily resisted until the sad results of a Champions Tour event in his home town of Austin. He didnt break par in either of the final two rounds at the Kinkos Classic. At that point, he decided he would use a shovel for a putter if it would help.
I just putted horrifically, he said. It was the straw that kind of broke it. I finally said, Ive got to do something.
But when you see guys like Stadler and Mark OMeara have such great success with it, after putting so poorly for so long, it gives credibility to it. Finally I just picked something up and found something that seemed semi-comfortable.
That sounds startlingly similar to something Stadler said.
I had putter issues beginning about 89 or 90, said Stadler. I was a wonderful putter in my teens and early pro career. But about late-80s on, the putter was always prone to go south. About three or four years it just stayed there, and it didnt come back.
He, like Kite, changed only when he became desperate, clutching the putter with this zany grip.
Its made a world of difference, because I was late 90s, 2000 I was almost 32 putts a round, he said. Ive got that down to about 29.5. So youre talking about 10 shots a week in a four-round tournament.
I was standing over it from 4, 5, 6 feet and trying to figure out which side I wanted to miss it on, he said. And the odds were pretty good that it would be one or the other.
I was missing cuts by two or three, said Stadler. You cant make the cut, you go to $5,000 from $100,000 in a hurry.
The upshot? Stadler is now the No. 2 putter on the Champions Tour.
OMeara? Yes, him, too.
You're talking about a guy who stood there on the 18th green at Augusta National four or five years ago (when he won) and made the putt, he said. But to be honest, early in the week at Augusta that year in '98 I still had a little bit of yip in my stroke.'
It got steadily worse, and OMeara watched the misses in disbelief. He tried every putting device he had ever heard of on the putting green. And ' he discovered he froze on the course each time he was over a putt, blocking the ball to the right side.
Finally, at the Father-Son tournament last off-season, his coach ' Hank Haney ' convinced him to change.
He said, I want you to put your right wrist right on the putter like that, remembers OMeara.
'I can't do that,' he protested.
'No, no. Do it.'
I said, I can't, that looks so bad. I'm such a conventional guy, I just cannot do that.

He says, Listen, can I ask you a question? I said sure. How are you putting right now?
I said, Terrible. He said, Well, why don't you just try this? Maybe it will help.
So, all right, I tried it, and even though it looked goofy and I was a little conscious about it, all of a sudden, no yip in my stroke. Played in the pro-am with Tommy Roy of NBC, I was rolling them 20 feet. I'm like, You've got to be kidding me, where is this coming from?
Makes you wonder why the whole world hasnt changed. Looks weird, feels weird, it IS weird. But it propels the ball into the hole. And, like Kite says, one putt is better than two, two is better than three. So just grab it like a crazy man and shut up. Then, watch the ball roll into the hole.
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Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

“I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.

Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

“Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

“When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament

In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

“It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

“I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’” 

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First photos from Norman's 'Body' shoot

By Grill Room TeamJune 21, 2018, 6:35 pm

It was revealed earlier this week that Greg Norman would be one of the athletes showcased in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features the models stategically posed in the nude.

Well, the first photos are out from Norman's shoot and ... here they are, if you want them.