THE FUTURE OF GOLF

I’ve written a lot about Bryson and the power he possess, and how the game has changed because of it. He clearly demonstrated that hitting fairways is not required to win a US Open if you can fly a golf ball 325 yards in the air.

Lets examine this new phenomena – lets take a 500 yard par 4 with graduated rough on both sides of a 28 yard wide fairway. Lets say the graduated rough is 10 yards on each side of the fairway. That gives these bombers almost 50 yards to enable them to have a lie that most likely they can advance to the green.

Additionally if Bryson flies a ball 325 yards with no roll, he then has 175 to a pin, but only needs to fly that shot 150-160 yards in the air, that’s a pithing wedge for Bryson and Wolff. The average tour pro is flying the ball just over 285 yards, which in this example would still leave 215 yards to the green. Even with a 7 iron out of the graduated rough its a very tough shot with over 10 degrees less loft. THAT IS NOT A FAIR FIGHT

So what will the USGA do to combat this length that these players possess rendering their rough almost a joke to them. They have three choices in my view.

  1. The USGA decided to cut the primary rough on Tuesday making it a lot easier for the bombers to negotiate, they will need to make the rough so deep that even the strongest golfers will need to chip it out. This I do not see possible, you’d need rough at 6-8 inches high to accomplish this.
  2. The USGA can roll back how far the ball goes, but still this will allow the bombers to have an advantage over the other players and would hurt the shorter hitters more than the longer ones.
  3. US OPEN course would need to be redesigned with more hazards and OB catching errand foul balls. Most USGA Open venues have very few hazards and OB. Torrey Pines the site of next years US Open is very similar to Winged Foot, with very few hazards and OB in play.

I sent a congratulation text to Bryson and today received a thank you! back from him. We connected when Bryson was only 7 years old, and then later in his career when he decided to try side saddle putting. If you ask him today, he still says that side saddle is a better way to putt than his current awkward way of putting.

Bryson is not the most liked player in world, but I have huge respect for him. Like I’ve always said, nobody knows what goes on behind doors, and Bryson has certainly put the work in to transform his body into a powerful machine that thumps a ball into the stratosphere.

I’d love to hear more on what you think about what the USGA can do to protect the course from the bombers?

My text to Bryson on Sunday eve was almost this”Dude, we both won golf tournaments today, you the US Open and me the Tracy City, I’ll trade you…lol”

More on this subject later- stay tuned!

US OPEN PREVIEW- BEST BETS

Now that sports gambling is totally legal in the USA, you may want to enjoy some extra motivation in rooting for your favorite player. The information below I pay for, and has been very accurate. My own personal picks for this years Open do not include Dustin Johnson or John Rahm.

The best bets are not the odds to win (that’s very tough to pick the winner unless it was Tiger in his prime) but easier to pick the matches. Below you’ll see he likes Colin Morikawa vs. Bryson. I totally agree with this pick as Bryson will be bombing the ball in the rough which you CANNOT do at Winged Foot.

I played in the USGA Four Ball at Winged Foot a few years ago, and its very tough with the narrow fairways and the very tricky greens. I think his pick to win of Web Simpson is a good one, although Web is a very boring player (to me he is because he is not a bomber and just plods along, which is why he’s already won a US Open at Olympic Club in 2012)

Winged Foot is very similar to the Olympic Club with relatively small greens to fire at where shots must be coming from the fairway, not the rough. r

Read below and let me know what you think?

2020 U.S. OPEN: DATA SCIENTIST REVEALS PICKS TO WIN, PROP BETS, MATCHUP PLAYS

Golf handicapper Rick Gehman, who nailed Webb Simpson winning the RBC Heritage at 30-1, gives his best bets for this week’s major championship at Winged Foot.ByRick Gehman@RickRunGoodSep 15, 7:44AM PDT . 6 min read

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With his data-driven approach to betting golf, Rick Gehman routinely crushes sportsbooks. Over the last 18 tournaments, Gehman’s bets are up almost $2,300 for $100 players.

At the RBC Heritage in June, Gehman told SportsLine readers to bet Webb Simpson at 30-1, saying he “certainly appreciates the books dropping Simpson all the way down to 30-1” following a bad performance the week before and noting Harbour Town was the perfect course for Simpson’s game. The result? Simpson fired a 22-under to win the RBC Heritage! 

At the Travelers Championship, Gehman played Doc Redman to make the top 20, a +750 longshot, and Redman cashed easily with an 11th-place finish. At the Rocket Mortgage Classic last month, Gehman put Bryson DeChambeau atop his rankings. DeChambeau fired a final-round 65 to win by three strokes.

And at the Tour Championship, Gehman cashed his 12-1 bet on Xander Schauffele winning (without strokes) in the FedEx Cup playoff finale.

Now Gehman, whose models have produced 11 outright winners in the past year, has analyzed the latest U.S. Open odds from William Hill and revealed his picks to win, top prop bets and head-to-head picks. We can tell you Gehman loves Collin Morikawa  (-118) to win his matchup over Bryson DeChambeau (-106). Gehman said DeChambeau’s grip-it and rip-it game is unlikely to succeed at Winged Foot, and Morikawa “has a game that translates everywhere.” 

Gehman also has isolated three players to win, including a 40-1 play who has been trending toward victory the past several weeks! This player thrives on tough courses and has the grinding mentality a U.S. Open requires. You ABSOLUTELY need to see who it is, along with Gehman’s detailed bets and picks, before you bet the Tour Championship!

Rick Gehman (@RickRunGood) is a co-host of The First Cut podcast (CBS Sports) and a regular contributor to The Pat Mayo Experience (DraftKings). 

Here is Gehman’s writeup (posted Tuesday): 

Last Event’s Recap 
(Tour Championship)

Mackenzie Hughes was a big mover at the Tour Championship, and while he missed out on cashing our top-10 ticket, his matchup victory over Cameron Champ added to our winning week. The big chunk of our success came from Xander Schauffele winning, without strokes, at +1200. It was good for +3.79 units on the week and +15.92 units on the season, and we’re at +22.92 over the past 18 tournaments..

Event Preview

The U.S. Open won’t be for the faint of heart. All reports and expectations are that Winged Foot will play incredibly difficult, with challenging greens and rough that will be extremely penal if you miss the fairway. Not only will it take a complete game to contend, you’ll also need to be mentally tough to deal with four days worth of challenges.

Winner – Webb Simpson (+2500) – 0.55 units

Once they walk off the tee box, Webb Simpson becomes the best player in the world. He gains 1.76 strokes per round in the approach, around-the-green and putting categories. It’s the most of any golfer in the field. And while Simpson’s lone detriment is that he is not a long hitter, being able to find the fairway will be much more important than bombing it over 300 yards at Winged Foot. Simpson hits 67.3 percent of his fairways, which ranked him 18th on Tour last season. Already with one U.S. Open Championship on his resume, Simpson will look to add a second this week.

Winner – Collin Morikawa (+1600) – 0.60 units

The recipe for success at Winged Foot is very clear. Hit the fairway and turn this into a second-shot course. Morikawa can certainly find the short grass off the tee, and when you put an iron or wedge in his hand, he’s one of the best players on the planet. He’s answered every question we’ve asked of his game and continues to improve on a weekly basis. 

Winner – Tyrrell Hatton (+4000) – 0.40 units

Hatton definitely has the “grind” mentality needed to find success at a U.S. Open venue. He was the winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. That was actually the most difficult course played on Tour last season, and Hatton was the one raising the trophy on Sunday. He’s trending in the right direction, with three consecutive top-25 finishes, culminating with a fifth-place finish at the Tour Championship. 

Top 10- Matthew Fitzpatrick (+500) – 0.45 units

It’s not pretty, but Fitzpatrick finds a way to get it done. The more difficult the course, the better. Fitzpatrick played well at Bay Hill, Muirfield Village and Olympia Fields this past season. Those were three of the most difficult courses played, and Fitzpatrick finished T-9, T-6 and T-6, respectively. His back-to-back T-12 finishes at the U.S. Open prove that no stage, course or field is too big for Fitzpatrick.

Top 10- Brendon Todd (+600) – 0.50 units

At first glance, you’d cross Todd off your list of considerations for a major championship, but U.S. Open venues are different. There’s a premium placed on hitting the fairway, which Todd accomplishes 71.36 percent of the time (fourth-best on Tour). There’s also a premium placed on great putting, since these greens are so difficult. Todd ranked 20th in strokes gained putting last season. When you dig deeper, you realize that Todd’s unique game does indeed create a path to success.

Tournament Matchup – Collin Morikawa (-118) over Bryson DeChambeau (-106) – 1 unit

DeChambeau is committed to a strategy that emphasizes distance over accuracy. That works well the vast majority of the time on Tour, but it is untested at a U.S. Open venue like Winged Foot. Morikawa, on the other hand, has a game that translates everywhere. Morikawa’s floor is as high as any golfer on Tour, which usually comes in handy when wagering matchups.

PUTTING – How important is it to putt well – PUTTING LESSON FROM DAVE STOCKTON JR.

It’s an obvious answer to this question. You can do some things in golf very mediocre and still compete, but putting is not one of them. Putting poorly is not going to result in tournament wins or even a possibility of competing.

I’ve won small events with poor putting, recently I won the Oakland City and Concord City tournaments with very suspect putting. But would never come close to winning some of the bigger events that I have aspired to do well in.

So how did I even beat 10 other players this last weekend in the smoke and heat at the Concord City? I did something the pros do all the time, I finally changed putters and gave up on my old faithful STX Side saddle putter and when to the very first putter I used over 20 years ago. Its a Jack Koski “so easy” putter made in his garage. It has a much more solid face so I don’t have to hit my putts so hard, especially on slow greens like at Diablo Creek in Concord.

Sports Psychologists always tell me that you need to show your brain something new, either a new putter or new grip or method of putting. Since I spent $5,000 on a Hypnotist (which made me putt worse) I have finally decided to go with an old look that was good to me in the early years.

On day 1 at Concord I had 27 putts as opposed to 42 and 43 putts at the Truckee event that I bombed out in. If you want to putt well in competition you need to be comfortable over all length putts and not just some certain lengths.

All the top professional players change putters and usually go back to something from the past that they’ve had a positive experience with. Also I think getting a putting lesson is WAY more important than a swing lesson. The foundation of the game is on the greens, you need to have the right feel and technique otherwise the rest is rather mute.

My good pal MM just went to Dave Stockton Jr for a lesson last week in So Cal. he said that Jr had him firm up his left wrist and forearm, while creating more pressure on his overlap left pinkie on top of his right hand. He then said he looks at the cup and then back, but right before he strokes thee putt, he looks about six inches in front of the ball and then quickly strokes the putt.

How did he putt at Concord, well lets just say he made almost every putt he looked at and even called then going in before he hit them. That is not being cocky, that’s the confidence you need to have with your putting to putt like the pros.

And as always I roll quickly here and do not proof read my work, so sorry in advance for typo and gramatical errors.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE ON THIS SUBJECT

TRUCKEE GOLF

I’ll start by ranking the courses that I’ve now played in the Truckee area.

  1. Old Greenwood pros-beautiful layout with good holes and beautiful trees, in decent shape for a resort course. Cons- Its a resort course so the rounds are longer, its very close to highway 80 so there is some freeway noise. They use variable pricing so you can play for less on a weekday later in the afternoon
  2. Martis Camp Club- Pros the condition is very good, and the holes are nice. They have a great finishing 18th hole with a spectacular clubhouse up on a rock bed. Cons- its very private and thus impossible to play without a member. Lots of snooty rich members, and the holes could have been better designed. But sill well worth playing.
  3. Lahontan Golf Club-Pros-very similar to Martis camp in many ways, very well manicured course with beautiful views and practice facilities like MC. Cons- private and hard to get on. Many holes could have been better designed
  4. The Golf Club at Grays’ Crossing- Pros- Very nice resort course and well worth playing. The holes are well designed and the condition of the course is typically quite good. Cons- like Old Greenwood its a resort course so its a slower round than at these private clubs. Practice facilities not as nice as others
  5. Schaffer’s Mill Club- Pros not much here, a few good holes on the back nine Cons- its an expensive disappointment with very poor course conditioning and poorly designed holes, I heard the whole development is in trouble, and I can see why. I would not play this course.
  6. Northstar California Golf Course. Pros- if you are a beginner and don’t mind very poor conditions, Northstar is ok. It goes from a meadow on the front nine to a crazy tight back nine. Cons- very poor course conditions and very slow public course with NO practice facilities. I will never play this course again.
  7. Coyote Moon Golf Course- I have not played this course but have heard its a nice public course, so I would consider playing it in the future.

HELIUS UPDATE AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE PUTTER

I had a draft post about my two rounds at the Antioch City and decided that nobody wants a hole by hole of my horrible bogey, double bogey start, and the yipped 3 and 4 foot putts ending in a 69-69=138 total and a 4th place finish. The course has 4 easily reachable par 5’s and two drivable par 4’s so par is really 66.

The problem is that when you’re standing over a 3 foot putt and know that your going to miss, guess what…your going to miss. I used to have the yips with my chipping and became famous for my sneak attack chipping. I’d assess the chip, walk around looking at the sky and then walk straight into the chip and hit it before the Demonds could interact with my brain.

I’m now doing that with my putting. I’ll look at the putt, assess it and then without a practice stroke hit it quickly. And my goodness I putt side saddle to prevent these F_____Ing yips.

Of course I am violating everything I was ever taught by my swat team of therapists that all said you CANNOT admit or ever talk about the YIPS. You need to think your the best putter in the world. I tried that and it does not work.

So what is the answer? I’ve tried every possible variation of putting grips, and none seem to work. I putt half the time with my eyes closed, and half with em open and sometimes half open. Perhaps the lifelong amount of stress I’ve endured has taken its toll and frayed my nerves into this state.

NEXT SUBJECT- HSDT

This is another reason my putting has its nervousness, this stock has buried me for going on three years now. But what happens next with the removal of my pal Phillip DeChamps. Guys its a huge positive!! The people replacing him and rock stars in the finance and investment industry and will allow HSDT to reach its full potential. Phil was a marketing guy, had no experience running a public company and made mistake after mistake.

THE PoNS device works and will end up helping millions of people with MS. So is the stock cheap at $0.40 HELL YES. But the clearance from the FDA will not come for a while, sometime between 3-9 months from now. Then the sky is the limit for this company under its new leadership.

UP NEXT- Golf in Truckee, its a golfing paradise

STAY TUNED

GOLF IS A FRATERNITY OF GREAT PEOPLE

In golf, it doesn’t matter what political affiliation, religious beliefs or what your race creed or color is. This is a sport of commonality, a sport of understanding how challenging and difficult it can be at times. It will test your patience and calm.

We’ve seen displays of poor behavior even from the best players in the world. My favorite being when the normally fairly cool headed Rory McIlroy launched his 4 iron into the middle of a lake after a very poor shot. It wasn’t that one shot that got him, it was an accumulation of a tough day with a lot of bad breaks.

Most of have snapped, some more than others. But in the end the game is a game of integrity and union amongst those of us that love and respect it. I have forged my greatest friendships through the game of golf. I have met individuals that without golf, would have never met. It’s truly the one sport for life that allows us to meet other fellow golfers of any skill level and share one common love.

Recently on a trip to visit my father in Houston Texas, while dining at the very best high end Steak House in the Memorial area, I started a conversation with our excellent waiter. He recognized the Olympic Club logo on my golf shirt, and instantly a bond was forged of two guys that love golf, and respect the game.

I mentioned this golf blog to him and he said he’d follow it. In a few short weeks, I would say that I have a new friend, and someone that I will look forward to playing a friendly round of golf with on my next visit to Houston. I have met people like this all over the world, where I am constantly reminded how like-minded golfers are in their passion for the game.

I share my golfing stories with you not to monetize this blog, the opposite is true, I have turned down every opportunity to advertise on this blog. This blog is just about an amateur golfer that has been blessed to play in many amazing events around the world at some of the worlds best venues. I enjoy sharing with you how I prepare for competing at the level I aspire to compete at. I have some many crazy golf related stories that I enjoy sharing with you, both good and bad.

This is the comment left by my new friend in Houston I wanted to share with you:

Really great story about your beginnings in golf and all the hard work you had to do to make it happen. I was a part of the first tee program here in Houston. We could play free at three of the city’s municipal courses, I was also obsessed, I would walk 36 a day in the Texas heat. I did that for about 3 summers, my goal was to break 90. I called my grandparents when I first shot 89. They were very supportive of my game. Your blog brought back old memories for me, thanks for sharing your story.

Since COVID 19 we are all living in a different world, with different rules. Instead of going to Europe and playing in the Senior Open and Amateur, I am playing in the Livermore City. This is not a major event by any stretch, and perhaps it will be impossible to play because of the smoke we are experiencing in California. Right now I cannot even go outside to tend to my Vegetable garden.

During these unprecedented times, I hope you are all safe, and able to enjoy some golf wherever you may be.

I’ll be back with photos of the smokey Livermore City at the public course called Lone Tree.

Stay Tuned