PGA Tour: Golf Oddity: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 12 Jan 2016, 7:03 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Starman: Couldn't start anywhere else really. Jordan Spieth took Kapalua to its knees last week; difficult to imagine such a performance which, shot by shot can look ordinary, but the final product is so extraordinary. And it all added up to an eight stroke win over Reed.
But amidst all the commentating orgasms in Maui, it's easy to forget that these same broadcasters are on their way to Honolulu where Jimmy Walker won by NINE strokes last year.

2).The Young Americans made a splash at Kapalua, and that got NBC's Mark Rolfing, waxing lyrical about the the prospect of Koepka, Thomas, etc joining Spieth, Reed, Fowler and the rest in making the US Ryder Cup Team, in his words probably at the expense of "middle aged guys" like "Furyk". Zach Johnson turns 40 next month too, but wouldn't bet on Furyk, Johnson or Mickelson taking a back seat to All The Young Dudes; each is as competitive as they come.

3).Laughing Gnome: Yup, Rolfing is back, not from an alcoholic time out this time, but from cancer surgery. Good health to him, just keep away from my TV set.

4).Valentine's Day: My January Valentine is Dottie Pepper. Yes she's built like a linebacker, Yes she waves her stars-and-stripes knickers to a fault, but she's a superb commentator and it is confirmed she'll be part of the CBS commentary team at The Masters, the first woman to get that gig. She'll also receive a Golf Writers Of America award recognizing "an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to golf". Plus she's a good Saratoga girl, her family growing up in the same golfing circles as the Duvals, Philos among others.

5).Rebel Rebel: Who's the Tour's Number One "Rebel"? Imagine only Tim Finchem can answer that correctly, but even his eyes must spin like saucers when he sees Matt Every's results. Another wasted week for young Matt at Kapalua. Given his results, one wouldn't be surprised if he led the Tour in drug tests, following his indiscretions at the John Deere a few years ago, his occasionally outspoken comments and, most relevant here, his results over the past nine-ish months, following the successful defence of his Bay Hill title. Two more withdrawals (5) since a T42 at The Players than cuts made (3, all in no-cut events).
He's not wasting everyone's time at this week's Sony Open; good thing, last year he d/q'd. Moron.

6).Buddha of Suburbia: Yup, Tiger Woods has been pictured with a club in his hands. Stop press.

7).Under Pressure: Interesting article in the Telegraph (tks GPB) about Luke Donald contemplating his future in the game after some poor results last spring. Unusual for a professional sportsman to sound so vulnerable. Especially as his form since getting the spring has not been much better. New (old) coach, new caddie. New outlook? He's playing in Honolulu so hopefully he'll show some improvement; if not, it'll be a long year for Lukey.

8).Heroes: Ryder Cup Heroes teeing it up at the "Sony" include Luke Donald, Harrington, McDowell and Molinari. None is assured a ticket to Hazeltine, so an important few months for that lot, among others.

9).The Man Who Fell To Earth: Robert Allenby is making his return to Honolulu following last year's ignominious exit which left him battered and bruised, physically and psychologically.
Bad karma, most of his own making, has been with him ever since, but he's looking to turn over a new leaf, not to mention a new wife. And he needs to as he's playing this year on a career money exemption, his last chance saloon, though I'm sure he'd put it another way. I've enjoyed following him in the past so hope he plays well.

10).Blackstar: Not quite but our old friend, the "Undercover Pro" comes up with a fun story from the practice range where he slags off the hangers-on who offer "bad advice and meddling on the range".
"Not enough people appreciate Vijay Singh. He was the first golfer to figure out that if you were highly abrasive, you could reclaim the range as your office. Swing coaches, caddies, trainers, reps - pretty much everyone stopped approaching Vijay because they knew they were going to get told to go f--- themselves."

Ashes to Ashes. RIP.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 5:47 pm

Not directly, GPB, at least I haven't seen it in black and white, but I have seen plenty of conjecture that this incident was instrumental in getting the R&A's attention:

http://www.todaysgolfer.co.uk/news-and-events/tour-news/2015/november/should-jordan-spieth-have-been-penalised-for-slow-play-at-the-open/

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Post by McLaren on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 6:04 pm

Kwini

As I said, we don't currently have a method to measure the pace of a player and no standard to measure against in deciding a fast or slow player.

Someone needs to really think about this a do a proper study. At the moment we know we don't want 5 hour rounds but have no idea who or what is causing such long rounds.

A caddies hunch is a long way from a meaningful result.
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Post by sirbenson on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 6:12 pm

Does slow play bother everyone as a matter of interest in terms of being a spectator or someone watching from tv?

Tbh It doesn't bother me!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 6:23 pm

Mac,
As I understand it, the PGA Tour has all that data, perhaps not on every single tournament but on, I'm guessing, 80% of them.


sirb,
Some aspects of slow play bug me, most importantly/selfishly, when I'm playing behind/with a slow poke.
And I find following groups/players who are "deliberate" very boring. Maybe that's just me, but always feel golf has a certain rhythm.
For the pros, what I dislike is seeing groups being put on the clock in what often seems a very uneven (vindictive?) application of the "rules".

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Post by McLaren on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 6:30 pm

Kwini

Interesting, why don't they do anything useful with the data? Or is this another piece of information the players don't want released, like the fines data GPB mentioned?

I guess the looker room randomly assigning the stigma of who is and isn't a slow players is one thing, but the stigma of the data proving you are a slow players is too much for PGAT players to take? Who knew your average PGAT player was staunch empiricist.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 7:27 pm

It looks like a gorgeous day in Honolulu, temps in the 80's, not too windy, perfect.
Chance of showers Friday but no significant wind or bad weather all week.
You'd think scores would reflect the weather, but no-one going crazy low as the morning wave makes the turn.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 8:26 pm

All this stuff about the young guns . . . . so it only makes sense that Vijay's tied for the lead. A long way to go Veej.

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Post by GPB on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 8:57 pm

Its strange the R&A had a knee jerk reaction to pace of play at the Old Course.

Isn't the Old Course widely regarded as one big bottleneck?  With all the parallel  fairways and players constantly playing down the 'wrong' fairways.  And holes 7-11 which looks like a traffic jam in Mumbai India during the tournament.

The article appears inconsistent, claiming Sergio made the effort to speed up but saying that Spieth thanked the officials for "kicking him in the backside".

Seems like the R&A is trying to deflect attention from some of their management of the weather problems that they had.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 10:38 pm

Spieth is always Mr.Nice Guy. And there's nothing wrong with that; a lot more admirable than advertising the dreaded Coca-Cola. Expect dieticians and obesity-fighters are thrilled.


Some interesting scores early doors in Honolulu:
Singh tied for the lead with a guy I like to follow, Ricky Barnes. A pair of 63's.
Luke taking some of the pressure off (especially if he can bring it in similar style for the next eight months) with a 65, Harrington in with a 66.
McDool "must do better", but interesting to see "anchorers" Hearn and Timmy Clark in the early top ten.

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Post by super_realist on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 7:15 am

TOC is indeed tortuously slow GPB, especially around 7,8,9,10,11. I've seen 4 groups waiting on 11.

The problem is not so much the shared greens, but the proximity of tees to greens, mind you hordes of Japanese and Yanks taking photo's every 5 yards doesn't help either.

Doubt I'd be in a rush though if I was playing something like Augusta though.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:12 am

Seems no one can be arsed to enforce the anchoring ban, and its only be in force for 2 weeks.

Spoiler:
PGA Tour: Golf Oddity: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 2 CYwOTWZWsAAx9IX

Katayama anchoring while playing in the Eurasia cup.
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Post by super_realist on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:14 am

You can't tell if he's anchoring Mac, he could very well not be.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:17 am

Super

Read the rules, you cannot anchor your arm to the body like he is.
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Post by super_realist on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:21 am

The picture is still not conclusive Mac

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Post by McLaren on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:23 am

Anyone else have an opinion?
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Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 12:13 pm

My opinion is it seems like his right elbow could be anchored to his right midriff, but being a still picture it is definitely inconclusive. I can't opine as to whether the upper hand/arm (and the more "traditional" anchor point) is anchored due to the angle of the photo.

If it is anchoring and given where it appears that the anchor may be, I would guess that the stroke path would be more arced than a centre shafted (and so presumably face balanced) putter would fit implying that it may not be anchored.

I would think that if he was consistently anchoring, his opponents would have said something through the course of the round though being able to see the strokes in full?

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 12:34 pm

Picture is not conclusive and possibly misleading.

Reasoning: Looking at it from a mechanics perspective, as I understand the rule, the objective is to ensure the butt of the putter describes an arc rather than being a pivot point. From this pic we can't even see the entire butt let alone if it or his left hand is anchored to his chest. Alternatively, if the implication of the picture is that he's anchoring with his right elbow (the only thing we can actually see in contact with his body), then this would mean the club would have to pivot about a point about a foot down the shaft. So to make a stroke he'd have to saw back an forth with his left hand - I really don't think that's what he's doing or an effective stroke could be made that way. Conclusion: The pic is useless, we'd need to see a video.

As a side bar, opening up with "Seems no one can be arsed to enforce the anchoring ban, and its only be in force for 2 weeks" is an odd way to open the debate on something so inconclusive - in the same way most Sun headlines are an odd way to write and article.
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Post by navyblueshorts on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 1:45 pm

McLaren wrote:Anyone else have an opinion?
Yes, the picture doesn't give enough info. If his left hand is not in contact with his chest/torso, he's not anchoring.

Roller_Coaster wrote:My opinion is it seems like his right elbow could be anchored to his right midriff, but being a still picture it is definitely inconclusive....
I don't think this 'anchor' you mention isn't covered by these rules. The rules were designed to outlaw the ability to putt with a pendulum sort of action, using an anchor at the top of the putter under than chin or on the torso etc.
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Post by I'm never wrong on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 2:02 pm

14.1.b. Anchoring the Club

In making a stroke , the player must not anchor the club, either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point”.

Note 1: The club is anchored “directly” when the player intentionally holds the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm.

Note 2: An “anchor point” exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club.


So does it apply to Katayama?
My view is as others, picture doesn't give enough info.
Note 1. You can't see his left hand, so you can't tell if it is anchored directly.
Note 2. His right forearm isn't in contact with his body.

I'm not very good at interpreting the rules, but in this case insufficient evidence to make a case

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 2:20 pm

The season's first Champions Tour event begins next Friday and we can be sure Bernhard Langer will push the envelope of legitimacy as far as he can. Will be interested to see what he comes up with.


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Post by McLaren on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 3:28 pm

People, stop obsessing over the picture.  I am sure you can see Katayama's putting action in all its HD glory on sky sports.  It is not like the only evidence we have is some grainy picture of the grassy knoll.


It sure looks like he has created a anchor point with his right arm.  If what he is doing is within the rules, then rule is pointless.  He is clearly anchoring in that photo.  The issue is whether or not he is anchoring as per the rules?



PS. Worth a look at the STP's twitter feed for a players point of view on Katayama's putting stroke.

https://twitter.com/secrettourpro
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Post by Bob_the_Job on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 3:38 pm

McLaren wrote:People, stop obsessing over the picture....

You're the one who brought, and keeps bringing it up.  Fool

McLaren wrote:It sure looks like he has created a anchor point with his right arm...He is clearly anchoring in that photo

See  - there you go again.  And don't be so silly - how can you tell from the picture of a swing if it's anchored or just brushing in passing?


Last edited by Bob_the_Job on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 4:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 3:44 pm

Ahhh.

Mac is the STP...

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Post by navyblueshorts on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 4:32 pm

McLaren wrote:People, stop obsessing over the picture.  I am sure you can see Katayama's putting action in all its HD glory on sky sports.  It is not like the only evidence we have is some grainy picture of the grassy knoll.


It sure looks like he has created a anchor point with his right arm.  If what he is doing is within the rules, then rule is pointless.  He is clearly anchoring in that photo.  The issue is whether or not he is anchoring as per the rules?



PS. Worth a look at the STP's twitter feed for a players point of view on Katayama's putting stroke.

https://twitter.com/secrettourpro
WTF? You posted the damned picture as evidence of what you were claiming. picard
Who cares what the players think? They aren't the rules officials interpreting it.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 6:42 pm

Cream rising to the top in Hawaii.
Kisner, Snedeker and Zach the leading three early in Round 2.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 6:59 pm

Navy

I only posted the picture as a hint to what Katayama was up to.  As I said before, people should take the opportunity to watch him putt on tv.

My original mention of his putting stroke was clearly a tad irreverent - purposely so - and only designed to get the conversation going.  

As you well know I often have no time for the thoughts of PGAT players, but when it comes to identifying technique why wouldn't I take some note?  STP thought Katayama was anchoring, and even in the crappy picture (other media with Katayama putting are available) I could find that seemed a fair question to ask.

If it turns out he has been anchoring, are you not in the least bit interested how golfs well publicized rule change will be enforced?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 9:32 pm

Is it correct to say the panna has now risen to the top as Francesco Molinari reaches the Top Ten with the best round (65) of the morning so far?

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Post by super_realist on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:05 pm

I think Cyclops is in with a 63 Kwini.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:12 pm

Who is Cyclops? Don't see anything better than a growing fistful of 65's.

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Post by super_realist on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:19 pm

Snedeker, he must be Irish. ah, that was RD1. Sorry. Too many Ale Ale Ale Ale

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:23 pm

He's in with a 65 today, a pretty decent start.

Can one ever have too many Ale Ale Ale Ale guinness guinness guinness guinness RedWine RedWine RedWine RedWine

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Post by super_realist on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:52 pm

Always liked Cyclops, seems to have a good attitude. Always a good bet at Augusta too.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 2:55 am

Agreed super_, and there's someone who takes his time debating with his caddie, goes straight up and hits the ball, and everyone thinks he's a fast player. Fun to follow though, hope he gets back to his best.

In other news: Luuuuke!

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Post by beninho on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 7:37 am

I'm a bit late to the fast / slow debate. I would assume people on here don't play golf for more than bragging rights really. If your a playing for millions of pounds then why wouldn't you take as long as your ready to take your shots, it's these people's livelihoods in the end of the day. If it has an impact on the professional game then let's see what impact it has, at the moment I don't see sponsors pulling out and prize funds dropping due to complaints about slow play, therefore it's not a big problem in the pro game. In our jobs on a daily basis who rushes through things and who gets things done when there ready. If it's annoying then don'Muppet if enough ppeople don't watch then you will see a change, maybe.

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Post by super_realist on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 8:10 am

It's a fair point Beninho, although, at my most obsessive, I was known as a slow player. I took a long time to get things done, was taking the golf as seriously as if I was earnin ag living from it and found that being slow, actually made my game worse, hesitant and nervous, of course, it is different for everyone, but ditching practice swings, not bothering with a glove and focussing only on the distance and target has lead to my golf being much better and much more enjoyable.

If you look at other sports where the ball is static, snooker for example, or even in darts, there's plenty of examples of very quick, reactive players who do earn their money from the game, yet aren't slow.

It's all very well having a pre-shot routine, but what's wrong with a quick pre shot routine?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 12:36 pm

At the end of the day, slow play only becomes an issue when it disrupts the play of someone golfing at a normal pace.

Poor from McDowell yesterday and his renaissance seems to be back in the dark ages. Almost 90 players make it to Round 3, so there'll be a dozen or more MDF's after Saturday's play.

The European and PGA Tour boys are off to the desert next week; Casey, Cejka, Davis, Donald, Laird, Molinari, Owen and the usual Swedish suspects will be at PGA West in California.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 10:18 pm

Looks like another lovely day in paradise; the boys have been at it for 90 minutes and scoring seems a touch harder today, birdies a little trickier to come by.
Slow play will be inevitable with 29 x threesomes going off both nines.
Harrington off to a good start, and Tim Clark too - no anchoring for Timmy and that's not seeming to hurt him as he moves in to the top 20.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 12:42 pm

A wasted day in the sun for Donald and Harrington yesterday; plenty of low scores out there, but not for them. Molinari and Owen having decent tournaments, but all four could do with something special today.

Ex-anchorers Webb Simpson and Tim Clark both playing well, just behind the leaders. What was all the fuss about boys?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 10:32 pm

First threesomes out just making the turn, and that includes Harrington who gained two strokes early on, but has given them back. Poor starts from Donald and Owen, but Molinari has an early bird.

Interesting stat: If Snedeker wins today, he'll have seven PGA Tour wins since the start of 2011: He'll be T3rd behind . . . . Who?

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 11:14 pm

Dustin Johnson? Purely a guess as I have no idea

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 11:26 pm

Not Dustin, altho I might have guessed him.

Molinari dropping back, St.Padraig struggling to stay in the Top 50. Shame after his strong start and good result last week.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 3:08 am

Terrible (equivalent of +3 for his final three holes) finish from Luke Donald, but a terrific finish from Greg Owen, T5.

Gomez and Snedeker in a play-off.

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Post by GPB on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 3:42 am

Rory and Woods.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 3:47 am

Gomez with his second win in seven months, whether Peter Jacobsen likes it or not.
Too early to say Gomez clinches an Olympic spot with Emiliano Grillo, but the other gauchos have to come up with something special to take their places away.

Difficult not to fancy Snedeker to follow up strongly in San Diego and Pebble Beach.

EDIT: Correct, GPB, don't think I would have guessed Woods, though I should have done.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 12:52 pm

The FOX TV coverage of last year's US Open was pretty bl00dy awful but wouldn't have said Greg Norman was the worst part of it.
Regardless, multiple reports in this morning's press suggest he's been dumped; no word yet as to who his replacement might be.

Message to FOX: Get rid of Joe Buck. There are any number of Golf Channel hosts who would do a better job.

After what seems like a generation of TV commentating status quo, it seems that musical chairs is being played and the music hasn't stopped yet.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 1:19 pm

A lot of the BBC team must be free to do golf elsewhere. Do the bbc have any golf left?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 1:32 pm

Mac,
Hopefully they'll be able to persuade Azinger to do it.
Who is available from the Beeb's coverage? Would think Ken Brown is way too "English", and not known at all over here. Don't know who else would be a candidate.

I'd hire Warren Humphries to take the host's chair but he's probably too old to start a new gig at 64.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 1:38 pm

Kwini

Who is available from the beeb's coverage? I presume all of them given that the bbc pretty much has no live golf left. Is it this year or was it last year that was there last year providing live coverage of the Open?
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Post by Roller_Coaster on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 1:42 pm

Last year was the Beeb's last live Open.

Do they still have live Masters weekend or is that gone / going?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 1:48 pm

Mac,
Who is "All of them"? If I knew I wouldn't ask.
Last year was also ESPN's last Open and their crew of Azinger and Andy North (who I think are both terrific) and Curtis Strange (who's not much good) are presumably free agents - not sure whether Duval has a contract with Golf Channel, but assume he's available too.

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