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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for September 20, 2018


Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 8, NUMBER 184                                                       
Thursday, September 20, 2018

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “Two very different seconds the last couple weeks. One second I birdied four of my last six to finish second, and then the last second place was not such a great-feeling second, but that's the way it goes, and happy to have an opportunity this week.”

BRAIN TEASER: Which one of these players has never won the FedExCup: Bill Haas, Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Billy Horschel or Rory McIlroy?

IT IS WHAT IT IS: Justin Thomas is one player that isn’t enamored with the new playoff format changes. “I was perfectly content with how the format was last year,” he said. “If it results in me winning the FedExCup, I don't really care how it is.”

But the 25-year old also understands the purpose behind the changes. “I'm a part of the PAC (Player Advisory Council), so I've known this has been in talks for a while. But yeah, it's going to be different for sure. I liked the way that it is now, but like anything, you're just going to have to get used to it and we're just going to have to become comfortable with it because that's the way it is. Hopefully -- I'm sure it will -- it will produce a lot of great drama and a very deserving winner.”

Thomas acknowledged that next year’s format which will someone 10 strokes back before the first shot it struck is going to take some getting use to. “I think that's something that's very, very weird and going to be hard to get used to is you're going to be starting farther back,” he said. “That was something we talked about. It is different and it's never going to be perfect. No system in any sport is ever going to be perfect, and the TOUR has done such a great job of talking to us and trying to get it as good as possible. But it's just hard to understand the fact that you could be starting behind somebody else and still somehow win a golf tournament or an official win.

“You know, for how much pride we take in our wins, I think that that's something that's going to be a little different. But it's definitely going to be weird. I mean, if you start nine or ten back and you go shoot a couple over the first day, your week is realistically done. That part is a little bit of a bummer, but like I said, we're just going to kind of see how it unfolds, and hopefully it turns out well.”

WHICH WAY ARE YOU HEADED? Einstein believed the definition of madness was doing the same thing over and over again expecting or anticipating different results. It’s a paraphrase, yet many would agree it aptly describes golf. Handicaps haven’t changed throughout the years or decades. It’s a fact that many can sadly attest to despite game changing equipment introductions year over year! Yet there is a growing sentiment that golf has a problem with distance. Ah, but that’s a story for another time.

Recreational players aspire to be professionals. They dress like them. Equip their bags as if they were one. Its big business, which generates plenty of revenue back to the industry. Golf is extremely aspirational. But pros are pros for a reason. They can often make the game look easy. We all know it isn’t.

Instruction has made some feeble efforts to try and improve the masses. Once upon a time, ‘How to cure your slice’ was the best selling cover for a leading magazine. recently sent an email out with the subject: 11 reasons why you still stink at golf. Maybe you clicked on it, which was the purpose of the exercise after all. Golf remains a hard game. But an alternative source is looking to help those with an open mind and the courage to go down a different path than everyone else. As Donald Trump once said, “What do you have to lose?”

“I respect the current paradigm, but we see ourselves as an alternative,” said Michael Powers, Director of Instruction at Northbound Golf. “10-15% of all players take lessons. When the ball doesn’t go where they want it becomes swing centric. It’s broken. It’s never linked to positional, for example. Its geometrical instruction. It’s a game of shots. The Tour is about hitting shots and they are great at it. ”

“The game is portrayed to the public as not playing golf without that,” added Martin Ayers, Director of Instruction. “Its about the latest driver, range finder, etc. That’s crazy. They talk about growing the game, what they mean is growing the business. The game is devouring itself.”

Northbound Golf is more than a clever name. It believes the current direction instruction is taking is moving players’ games south! “I believe amateur golfers are frustrated with the whole picture,” noted Andrew Scott, Director of Operations. “The essence is what makes great golfers. I have physical limitations, but I can still play to my potential. As an amateur I didn’t have a way to play and now I do with Northbound. I’m not aware of any other approach that does that. A student can put time in and will get results.”

Golf has been challenged to find more people willing to play it even though plenty enjoy attending a PGA TOUR event. “Golf appears to be more fun standing in a crowd yelling mash potatoes with a beer in your hand than playing,” said Ayers. Many within the industry are concerned that millenials won’t ever embrace the game. For as long as golf has been around, time, money and difficulty have been its enemies. Its found a way to continue but the perception is that its getting harder and harder to accomplish. After the financial crisis of 2008, golf as an industry has yet to find itself on higher ground. But the game itself still offers plenty.

“The answers to help people are out there,” said Ayers. “If you looked back at the 10 best players in history from 100 yards they are different or some would say quirky. Jim Furyk, Fred Couples, Tiger Woods, even Bryson DeChambeau have consistent quirks. Its what makes them similar not different. It’s the human things that we can do and make a difference in their game. It’s like driving a car, something everyone can do. But the difficulty is everyone else driving, road rules, disobeying them. Playing isn’t that different. If you remove the barriers, there will always be other elements; the difference is dealing with the variables on the road or on the course. The game has a ton of variables.”

For those that think they can still buy a new game, Powers advises caveat emptor or buyer beware! The principle of the old Latin phrase is that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made. “Its blasphemy to say we don’t need technology, including apparel. We live in the information age and it perpetuates it,” said Powers. “Accumulated additions often go unfulfilled. The idea is that what is on Tour is available from OEMs to consumers. Tour players have access to products that are not available to the public. Shaft companies are the same. The public pays $400 for a shaft the OEMS get for $15 and they think they have the exact same product. Its a game that revolves around playing shots.”

Paralysis by analysis is something many who have played the game whether for fun or a living have experienced. Northbound Golf doesn’t subscribe to this. “We see a sameness, a thread of over complication of the game,” he continued. “Where instruction is oversimplified the result is often over complicated. Yes, there are common themes. It’s easy to set the grip, aim and set the correct posture and take the club back. Then when you review and add cock the wrists, turn the shoulders the idea is easy at first and then layered it gets complicated. Our opinion is it’s a difficult game but the whole first is the fastest way to easiest.”

So what exactly does NorthBound stand for? If you’re intrigued then visit the website. It offers video lessons with a free trial to see if this alternative can make a difference in the way you play. Otherwise, feel free to continue doing what you’ve always done thinking one day it’s going to lead to different results!

MORE, MORE, MORE: Perry Ellis International, Inc. and the PGA TOUR announced an extension of its 14-year partnership. Perry Ellis International's golf division (PEI Golf) now has the PGA TOUR license in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Mexico. In addition to the golf apparel extension, it has the license for Belts, Wallets, Bags, Luggage, and Jewelry. The agreement also includes expansion into the Golf Accessories and Training Aids market space. PEI Golf plans to launch these new product extensions in spring of 2019. 


DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THEM: A ringing endorsement of the strength of Europe's team for next week's Ryder Cup has arrived from Tiger Woods. "No, I think the European side is one of the best they've ever had," he said. "We have a solid team, but so do the Europeans. It plays out over three days. It's about playing well at the right time and partnering up well at the right time and making putts. I think both teams are very deep this year going into the event, so it's going to be a lot of fun for both sides." READ MORE>>>

A CHANCE TO SALVAGE THE YEAR: Jason Day admits he will class his two-win US PGA Tour season as "disappointing.” However, the 12-time US Tour winner says capturing this week's Tour Championship in Atlanta and having a series of results fall in his favor would allow his season to end on a high. Victory at the 30-man finale would net the Queenslander almost $US1.6 million, while he would also pocket a $US10 million bonus should he pull off the inconceivable and become the first Australian to win the FedEx title. "Winning the FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship would definitely sway that feeling (of disappointment)," Day said. READ MORE>>>

YOU NEVER KNOW: Never mind that Woods is at No. 20 in the FedEx Cup standings, having started no worse than No. 3 in his four previous FedEx Cup finales. This is one tournament where it’s more about the start than the finish. “It’s great to have accomplished one of the goals I set out at the beginning of the year: to make it back to East Lake to be part of the Tour Championship and part of these top 30 guys,” he said. “I’ve exceeded a lot of my expectations and goals because so much of it was an unknown.” The only thing left to cap off a remarkable comeback would be a trophy. This is his last chance. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “Two very different seconds the last couple weeks. One second I birdied four of my last six to finish second, and then the last second place was not such a great-feeling second, but that's the way it goes, and happy to have an opportunity this week.”-- Newly minted world #1 Justin Rose.

Jason Day has never won the FedExCup playoffs. Bill Haas (2010), Henrik Stenson (2013), Billy Horschel (2013/14) and Rory McIlroy (2015/16) have each won it and the corresponding $10 million that went with it.