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He’s Back !!!!!!!!!!

It’s been nearly 10 months since Tiger’s last win, a memorable one legged masterpiece at Torrey Pines that made Woods the 2008 US Open Champion. Since that time, Tiger has undergone knee surgery, his wife gave birth to beautiful new baby boy, and the two of them spent 10 months relaxing. In light of his surgery and time off, people questioned whether Woods would be able to return to the form that made him an international icon.

The questions can officially be put to bed now, as Tiger came back from 5 down to win the Bay Hill Invitational in dramatic fashion yesterday. It wasn’t a surprise that Tiger calmly canned a 16 footer to win the tournament on the 72nd hole for the second straight year. It was actually relief that swept the nation. He’s back, and the game couldn’t be more in need of the boost. The recent battleground that is the American economy has taken a toll on our game. Sponsors have pulled their support, crowds have been smaller, and TV ratings way down. If yesterday is any indication, the game’s savior is back to… well…SAVE THE GAME. Yesterday’s TV ratings were up 23 percent from last year’s tournament, and actually drew a bigger audience than both the PGA Championship, and the British Open. Tiger of course never played in either of those events due to his injury.

The game’s most popular player, showmen, and ambassador is back under the bright lights, and I expect the drama we saw yesterday to continue for another 10-20 years. The only thing this comeback lacked was a green jacket ceremony at the end. Hugging Arnie is one thing, but a trip to Butler’s Cabin would signify to the world that the game of golf is healthy and here to stay.

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Posted 14 hours, 9 minutes ago at 2:25 PM.

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The Hank Haney Project

There is a new show on the golf channel where the coach of Tiger Woods (Hank Haney) works on improving the golf game of Charles Barkley. Anyone who has seen the videos of Sir Charles’ swing can acknowledge that this has the makings of a pretty funny show. Below I have included a segment of the first episode. Tune in and enjoy.

Posted 3 weeks, 3 days ago at 9:28 AM.

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Understanding the 9 Ball Flight Laws

To be able to self correct when out on the golf course is the most valuable lesson any teacher could ever teach you. Learning the concepts of why your ball might react to a miscue in your swing is a paramount step a student must undertake, before he can begin to correct himself out on the golf course. This Diagram and blog entry will provide you with a base understanding of how your swing plane and clubface affect the direction and distance your ball travels.

The first thing you need to know is that the face of your club is the overriding factor in where your ball will travel. This essentially means that you could make a swing that was perfectly in rhythm and perfectly on plane, and yet you could still hit a slice that went 40 yards out of bounds. How is this possible? Well, if the face of your club was severely open at impact, it wouldn’t matter how you compensated, your ball would have slice spin on it. If your club was severely closed, it would have had the opposite affect, and the ball would have had hook spin on it, causing it to have hooked 40 yards out of bounds the opposite way.

1. If your clubface is OPEN at impact, your ball will have SLICE spin on it. If your face is CLOSED at impact, your ball will have HOOK spin on it.

The second thing you need to know is how the Swing Plane affects the direction of your ball. But before we go there, lets talk about what a swing plane is. 2. The Swing Plane is basically just the arc or path your club travels along throughout the swing.

But how does this arc or path affect the direction your ball travels? First of all, 3. there are 3 basic types of Swing planes. A swing plane that is Inside-Square-Inside, a plane that is Inside to Outside, and a common problem among poor golfers, a swing plane that is Outside to Inside.

In the Diagram above. A swing that is Inside-Square-Inside will follow along the blue line. A swing that is Outside-In will follow along the red line. A Swing that is Inside-Out will follow along the yellow line. As shown in the picture above, an Outside-In swing plane will lead to a pull (left), and Inside-Out plane will lead to a shot that is a push (right). Flip everything if your a lefty. (and shame on you)

OK. Everyone with me so far? Now let’s put these two concepts together to understand the 9 ball flight laws.

When you are looking at the diagram above, pretend you are looking at it from a birds eye view.

In ball flight # 1 (the duck-hook) the player is coming outside-in and with a closed clubface. With this plane the shot will be a pull, and due to the clubface being closed, it would have hook spin on it. Had the cluface been square at impact, it would have been ball flight #2. Had the face been open, it would have been #3 since in all three shots the plane was outside in.

In ball flight #9 (the push-slice) the player is coming on a plane that is inside out. On top of that the clubface is open at impact. Had the player come inside-out and managed to square his clubface, the shot would have been a dead push (ball flight #8). The swing-plane causes the push, but it is the position of the clubface at impact that decides whether or not it will be a push-hook, a push, or a push slice.

Everyone wants to hit a draw or fade on command. To do so, all the player needs to do is swing on a plane that is square and close or open the clubface a tad at impact. Easier put on paper than applied on the course, I understand that. But at least now you are armed with the knowledge and information to practice efficiently and groove a swing plane and impact position that works for you.

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Check back next week as I will be talking about THE PIVOT. (How your body works throughout the swing)

Posted 3 weeks, 4 days ago at 6:13 PM.

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Match Play Championship
Ogilvy vs. Casey

Don’t think anyone woke up tuesday morning thinking this would be the duo duking it out for the Accenture Match Play Championship tommorow. The final four didn’t include Tiger Woods, nor did it feature Phil Mickelson. There was no Vijay Singh, no Sergio Garcia, not even Anthony Kim. The final four consisted of an American Ryder Cup staple Stuart Cink (always flying under the radar), Geoff Ogilvy (two time major champion), Paul Casey, and Englishman Ross Fisher. Not quite the way we all dreamed of it going down. Anyone who was holding their breath for a Tiger vs. Phil showdown on Sunday didn’t need to wait long to exhale as Tiger went down in round 2 to Tim Clark. Nevertheless the buzz was on and the world’s #1 player and most marketable athlete is back. That’s a good thing for golf no matter how you shake it. Casey upended Fisher 2&1 and Ogilvy dismantled Cink 4&2. The Final match between Ogilvy and Cink isn’t sexy but it does provide for two callected, course managers to execute and entertain in the dessert.

I like Casey to win 3&2.

Nolan Shulman

Posted 1 month ago at 12:38 AM.

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