The Faldo Golf Institute at Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert is a great place to sharpen your game

By Travel ArticlesApril 26, 2012, 5:10 pm

PALM DESERT, Calif. -- When you come to the Marriott's Shadow Ridge Golf Course you not only have the chance to play one of California's premier golf layouts, designed by Nick Faldo with help from Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley, but you also can sharpen your game with some of the best golf instructors of the Faldo Golf Institute.

Mike Ellis -- senior golf instructor and my easy-going, two-day teacher -- made me immediately feel at ease and promoted a professional, knowledgeable and calm atmosphere to address my flat, inside swing pattern. He gave me several practice drills to become more upright -- like Faldo. And Ellis should know what works and what doesn't work.

Ellis will never forget the day Faldo sent him a new student to look at and appraise. Her name was Yani Tseng and she was 15.

'I took her out to the pitching area where we have an area that is shaped like an upside down V with various lengths of pin placements,' Ellis remembered. 'After we finished there were balls closely surrounding all the pins. I knew she could be something special.'

Ellis kept in touch, and after Tseng had qualified and missed the cut in 2005 at the U.S. Women's Open at Cherry Hills he called her.

'I only cry (sic) one hour,' Tseng told Ellis. Reversely, when Tseng won the 2004 U.S. Women's Public Links title she told Ellis, 'that time I make Michelle Wie cry.'

Needless to say, Tseng, the top-ranked women's player in the world, doesn't shed many tears these days.

Faldo Golf Institute: Instruction that's fun

'My first goal is to make the student feel comfortable,' Ellis said. 'I found my niche quickly, started teaching right out of college 29 years ago, and when I joined the Faldo Golf Institute I discovered Mr. Faldo's philosophy was to have fun learning the fundamentals. We don't have a cookie-cutter approach because we know everyone has a different swing and we try to give tips and drills to improve on it.

'The most important thing to me is to see a student improve -- that's what keeps me going in the teaching industry. I always try to make someone feel comfortable -- set them at ease and the learning experience is much better. Fun is first, and if you walk away with some things to work on your game, have a good experience and start to hit the ball better then everyone is happy.'

The curriculum at Faldo Golf Institute

Faldo, a six-time major champion, has an extensive certification process for his instructions and they all spend time with him as part of their training.

The Faldo Golf Institute offers programs aimed to match each type of player, from experts to women to kids. The curriculum is flexible to ensure learning is paced for each student and goals are established for improvement with specific practice regimens and developmental drills.

Ellis' instruction for me included putting grip and alignment, short-game chipping and pitching, sand tips, irons and driver drills, and video documentation which was emailed to me after my two days along with Ellis' audio comments. Correcting years of bringing the club too inside can't be corrected in two days, but Ellis was able to show me improvement from day one to the second day.

At one point on the range we took a break and Ellis looked up at the view from the backside of the range, peering at the panorama of the snow-capped peaks of the San Jacinto, Santa Rosa and San Gorgonio mountains on an ideal 80-degree March day.

'Not a bad office,' Ellis said.

True, and the view, weather, practice facilities and Faldo's Shadow Ridge Golf Course and time-share Villas made it even more of an excellent experience.

Faldo Golf Institute: What else is included?

Faldo believes club fitting will take your game to the next level and the Faldo Golf Institute includes a Club Fitter's Workshop and Trackman, which is a precision swing and ball flight analysis.

TrackMan uses Doppler radar -- the same technology employed by the military for tracking missiles -- to analyze the golf swing and entire flight of the ball from impact to landing: displaying the ball's 3D trajectory in real time, while delivering 22 swing and ball flight parameters/data points on every shot.

Also included is the Alumni Clubhouse, where you can login to information about new instruction videos and even access your videos at www.gofaldo.com.

Faldo Golf Institute: Free lodging promotion

Book a two- or three-day golf school and don't pay lodging package pricing. Just pay regular pricing for the Golf School and the lodging is free in Marriott's Grande Vista resort in Orlando, Fla., or Marriott's Shadow Ridge resort in Palm Desert, Calif.

Getty Images

Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

Getty Images

Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

Getty Images

Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

Getty Images

Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”