Breaking 100

By Kelly TilghmanJanuary 21, 2002, 5:00 pm
Kelly Tilghman

Straighten your left arm, not too tight! Stand tall, but remember to flex your knees. Chin up! Keep your head down. Loosen your grip but dont let go of the club. Dont stand too far from the ball. Hey, dont smother it either!
 
Your spine angle should be straight but dont bend over too far. Check your target line. Your feet and shoulders should be parallel to it! Okay. Theres a bunker on the left, water on the right. Anything short is dead. Anything long is in the deep rough. Relax! Remember to shift your weight. Okay, youre ready. Now clear your mind and swing.
 
Oh - and try to have fun.
 
Dont you just love golf? My boss, Arnold Palmer. may have said it best. Its a deceptively easy, endlessly complicated game. On top of its complexities from tee to green, theres the simple fact that its incredibly time-consuming.

While most people enjoy the challenge posed by this age-old sport, many fail to break 100 mainly because they dont have the extra time or the proper understanding of the swing. According to the National Golf Foundation, the average golfer shoots an average score of 100 on the nose.
 
Are you one of these people? Well, have I got a treat for you! Hackers, lend me your ears!
 
I recently witnessed a metamorphosis that is sure to spark your interest! Dave McClain is a retired police officer that resides in Key Largo, Fla. Heading into the fall of 2001, hed been playing golf for 22 years and never in his life had he broken the century mark.
 
The Golf Channel decided hed be a perfect candidate for a new series called the Troubleshooters Challenge: Breaking 100. Jim McLean is one of the Golf Channels Troubleshooters, a team of five world-class instructors that offer regular instruction on our air. McLean is one of the best on the planet and was the featured guru in this fledgling mission. The task wasnt easy, but one Jim gladly accepted. We allowed him only 10 lessons with Dave McClain to teach him to shatter the 100 barrier.
 
I know it doesnt sound like many, but Jim had Dave shooting in the 90s consistently before their final session even arrived. I already know what youre saying - give me 10 lessons with one of the greatest teachers on earth and I can do the same thing! In a modest statement from Jim McLean, that is definitely not the case.
 
McLean says, Most students think when theyre going to a good teacher, they dont have to commit to what theyre learning, but they have to. If youre shooting 30 to 40 strokes over par, things are fundamentally wrong. You should never assume that a top-notch instructor could turn your game around without your help.

Dave McClain admits that the first couple of lessons were the hardest because he battled with a strong urge to resort to his old swing. Its usually at that point where most teachers, regardless of skill level, make or break their students. However, its up to the pupil to make that commitment. In a focused effort by Dave, he entrusted his swing to Jim and the positive changes began to skyrocket from there.
 
Dave McClain spent several hours a day during the rainy season in South Florida trying to ingrain the basic moves offered by Jim, but his time wasnt always focused on the driving range. According to Dave, when the torrential downpours and hurricanes passed through, he resorted to practice swings in his house. When he couldnt get to the course, he swatted miniature coconuts across the canal in his backyard.
 
When I progressed to the medium coconuts, my neighbor on the other side of the water would get mad at me and start throwing them back, said Dave in regard to his project. He even mooned me occasionally, but that only gave me a bigger target! (??) Now, thats what I call making the most of a rough situation!
 
Yes, Dave was loyal to his mission. Yes, he had the hours to kill and invested them wisely to achieve his goals, but before you are resigned to the fact that you dont have that kind of time, listen to this:
 
Jim McLean says the average duffer can learn to break 100 in two months while putting in a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes a day! It sounds crazy, but its true!
 

There is a catch. You must stick with your instructor and commit. Jim insists that results will surely come if you approach your goal intelligently. Break your focus down into four quadrants. Concentrate on the long game, the short game, the mental game and your course management. Dont cram your practice into a couple of hours on the weekend. Spread it out evenly over the course of the week and place the emphasis on repetitiveness.
 
Thats the key. With the guidance of a qualified teacher, the possibilities are endless. If youre a total beginner, Jim claims that you will need a year to cross the 100 mark, naturally barring anyone with superhuman Tiger-like talents.
 
Dave McClains progress is inspirational.
 
Golf is a sport that challenges, frustrates, rewards and unites people. Along a similar path to the one we call life, if you approach it with a positive attitude and put in the proper amount of work that it requires, you too can have a most enjoyable experience and continue to reap its benefits.
 
By the way, Dave McClain told me the most rewarding thing about learning to play the game of golf the right way is being able to spend more time with his kids on the golf course. He also added that he wants to be the subject of our 'Troubleshooters Challenge: Breaking 90' series, starting next week.
 
Maybe youll be able to audition by then, too, if you follow Jims advice.
 
Are you looking to get your game past that 100 mark? Dont miss the premiere of the Golf Channels 'Trouble Shooter Challenge: Breaking 100' highlights show where Jim McLean walks through the steps every golfer should take to reach that goal. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 10 p.m. ET
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”