Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Danny Lee, US Amateur Champion, Johnny Walker Classic Winner

Danny Lee is a model for amateur players. He has won the US Amatuer, won a professional tour event as an amateur, and will delay turning professional and making a livelihood to play in The Masters as an amateur. Could he possibly win The Masters as an amateur? It is possible! All amateurs, good or lousy, should really cheer for him at the Masters.

I will be there this year, first time, on the Tuesday practice round. I will be watching Danny Lee as well as many of the other players that I really admire, especially Tiger Woods.

Lee's golf swing is looking good. He is tall and thin with a tremendous amount of flexibility. What I have seen so far clearly incorporates Hogan's fundamentals. Lee has great confidence in his swing as he should at this point. He will only get better. Watch out tour professionals everywhere, there is a new fast gun in town. Keep an eye on this fellow's play and career.

Hurray for the amateur!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Welcome back Tiger Woods! Wonder how you improved your swing?

I am really looking forward to seeing Tiger Woods play again on the PGA Tour and throughout the world. He personifies much of what is great about golf and sports in general. As a fan, I hope he remains a gentleman.

I am wondering what is post injury, post rehab, post swing change swing looks like. My guess is that it will be improved and more closely resemble Ben Hogan's swing action. The trouble with the left knee was written on the wall with that violent snap he used to use to give himself some extra leverege on the downswing through the ball. Hogan did it with a sustained increase in speed as he worked through the ball with a bent left knee that facilitated this type of right side release. Two ways of skinning the cat with one being more consistent and pure. I don't bet much but... let's see what Tiger is going to do with that left knee and right side.

The funny thing is that Tiger is much close to using this action when hitting his irons! There was a big difference in those two swings, the driver and iron swings. Not sure if it was just psychological or a just a difference in effort that resulted in the difference. He has so much strength at 6'1" I believe he could still whip the club through the ball using the Hogan action versus trying to brute it through the ball with his standard driver action.

I do hope he changes. It will save his knee from reinjury. And we will get to watch Tiger play more often over the 50 years.

Trevor Immelman, Masters Champion, Hogan-like Swing?

I recently watched the broadcast from Riviera Country Club, fondly called Hogan's Alley due to all those victories he achieved there in his prime. Trevor Immelman, the Masters Champion was struggling with his swing/tempo/feel and proceeded to take several practice swings before making his approach shot to the green.

The practice swings were truly excellent and fully reminded me of Ben Hogan's swing action. Then, Trevor took a swing at the ball. This was not the same swing at all. The ball landed on the green but he was not happy with the result nor was he happy with the cell phone going off during his swing.

I was really amazed at how different the two swings were. The practice swings were somewhat flatter than his ball striking swing. The more upright swing would have required some manipulation to get his plane back down to where he could approach the ball from an inside attack angle. His 'Hogan' practice swing looked much better and should have produced a better strike on the ball. I just wonder out loud if he does this on purpose.

Trevor Immelman will be in the match play championship this week and I do hope he does well.