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  • Virtual USGA Championship Qualifiers!

    12 Jul 2010

    Congratulations to the following players who qualified for the Virtual USGA Championship tournament.  The winner of this tournament will receive a trip to the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional as a guest of the USGA.  Good luck everyone!

     

    AvatarLee
    TheLighterDark
    BolloxInBruges
    Kmill9
    cyl6
    Fahad911
    iwb1
    coolswing
    PRIESTESS
    flippem1972
    ShaunMcClarty
    werksux
    Golfspieler
    Stryker37
    bigcountry1966
    raidermatt1
    shaghar
    dansamcam
    bobis
    Angeltotti20
    ClarkeBosun
    spinmaster
    Okonkwo21
    Legend999
    molideha
    mefitz
    zant
    TarheelsRule
    Infinito3010
    TallAcePaul
    seanobrien
    flocke2308
    sjnaugle
    jjb22
    kam4122
    PortsD
    ironking34
    MacGillicuddy
    dud_doodle
    thunderbird
    pauls
    TuckerYNWA96
    iconian
    theinferno
    imcoola
    AtlantaCoaster
    jakestanfill7
    geordieles
    Kurtsbuford
    Elswick
    Kosei82
    pricehcs
    craiger85
    OFCOURSEITSTIGHT
    neildiamond11790
    GLADSTONESCREWER
    Mike3226
    ncviz
    Lobwedgex60
    pharaohe
    hesomist
    claremoreblue
    becksfan2185
    sabbath270
    rnegv
    sooner7
    JSimo10
    slipperhero
    YankeeJim
    seveking
    mac1999
    Solid1
    seniorbruno
    luckandcharm
    paulmcm
    KnuckleWoods
    Hightower3
    columbiacgt
    Jimac55
    dcalahan
    cappiest
    eurantia
    DanManCan
    GWill
    bigddogg19
    restorethis
    LTDmin
    villadeoro
    eternalspirit
    JulioMoot
    DougBieker
    HiroshiJPN
    dsdiego
    andyoz
    Kaslo
    GoodyChamp
    eedd
    b0geybuster
    cdp8x
    Egolilly
    jasondement
    mpgAAAA
    subzero6
    noladavid69
    nickolijj
    Middle4man
    deadball
    poolmaniac6
    jeffdos924
    OwenCrew
    TheDubya
    bech01a1
    goldy24
    BIGJEREMYA
    eivets
    LifeSux
    timpyron1980
    Mem11
    lbcgolf
    popcorn8612
    KyRock75
    bkelley
    XBic
    Thraxle
    TaterNater
    francopino
    BrianSJMA
    DuckHooker1
    SkipMan20
    yoban
    TDHarvey
    ty33
    Bigballfirst
    carlos415
    cjfelton
    marioh
    MikeMangan
    MaxwellHeald
    scott989
    Comarco1
    DRWR
    BigHittrTheLama
    negativeROI
    ckiniry
    Daskino
    jimgriff
    Blackwood
    AaronTDF
    cody6202000
    ArmandG
    LincolnParkDave
    lvietri
    rowlets
    Serj
    Broohar
    gitthe
    BOFFMEN
    Cutigersteve
    gobbog
    Showtime29
    AndresVargas
  • Oakmont is Cage Fighting in Fashionable Clothing

    08 Jul 2010












    THE USGA’S COURSE SETUP MAN Mike Davis is “giddy” about course conditions at Oakmont Country Club heading into this week’s U.S. Women’s Open near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Giddy, I tell you.

    “I am truly giddy the whole week that I’m here. It’s just so good,” Davis said at USGA.org. “In fact, it’s perfect [and] it’s been that way the last five days we’ve been here.”

    This might not be good news for the women who must actually play Oakmont for 72 holes over four days. When the USGA man declares that Oakmont is a firm and fast test for the world’s best female golfers, you just know there’s going to be trouble—and lots of it. Some are predicting scores in the 90s and a cut at 12-over par.

    Here’s what I know about Oakmont after watching the boys play it since the late 20th century: It will seriously mess you up. It will blacken your eye and bloody your nose. It will spit in your face and kick you in the groin. It will beat you up, take your lunch money and steal your identity. Oakmont is cage fighting in fashionable clothing.

    If you have a bag and 14 sticks, Oakmont doesn’t like you. If you come near it, it will try to destroy you. Oakmont is Lee Van Cleef in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales. Oakmont is Alien, The Terminator and Predator.

    Oakmont does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, or political beliefs. Man, woman, child—Oakmont doesn’t care. It whips all comers.

    If you complain, whine, or cry about it, Oakmont gets stronger. If you talk to yourself, toss your club in disgust, or berate your caddie, Oakmont gets stronger. When—not if—when you make bogeys, double bogeys and “others,” Oakmont gets stronger.

    Oakmont is permanently in a surly mood, and has been dating back to 1973 (if not longer). That’s when golden boy Johnny Miller slipped by Oakmont without so much as a tear in his plaid slacks or a scuff on his red, white and blue patent leather golf shoes. Johnny walked away with a 63 and the U.S. Open trophy, and he’s been reminding people about it for the last 37 years. Oakmont has been taking it out on golfers just as long.

    Godspeed, ladies.

    Armchair Golfer

     

     


    (Image: StonehouseGolf/Flickr)
  • Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

    04 Jul 2010

    May your 4th of July be filled with family, fun, fireworks and hopefully some golf!

     


    Photo: ActiveTrain.com

  • Grip it and Rip It

    02 Jul 2010

    By Josh Zander

    Before you can rip it, you have to grip it. There are so many ways to grip the golf club and you need to find the one that works best for you. My recommendation is to match your grip to your desired ball flight. If you like to draw the ball, you should favor a stronger grip. If you want to fade the ball, go with a weaker grip. The “old school” way of shaping shots was to make the same swing and just change your grip on the club. I heard Nick Faldo one time making fun of Colin Montgomery’s golf academy. I am paraphrasing but he basically said, what they teach you there is turn your hands one way to hook it, turn your hands the other way to fade it and somewhere in the middle is straight. Now that will be $1,000! Can it be that simple? That might me a slight oversimplification because there are so many other factors involved but the concept is very true.

    For those of you who have read my blogs before, you know that as an instructor, I will only make an adjustment to a student’s technique if it improves the ball flight or the quality of the impact. If you are already hitting it solidly and straight, don’t change your grip! Just because it is not neutral does not mean it is wrong. Paul Azinger and Freddy Couples both have extremely strong grips and they hit it great. I hope they never change. The golf swing is a mixture of all kinds of angles and in Paul and Freddy’s case, the strong grip matches the other aspects of their swings creating a neutral impact and a correct ball flight.

    I want to make this blog helpful so if you don’t have an instructor follow these simple recommendations as to when to change your grip:

    Make your grip stronger if:

    1. You are slicing
    2. You have thin contact

    Make your grip weaker if:

    1. You are hooking
    2. You have deep divots

    Your grip is your one connection to the club. Making a change can be a difficult experience. If you decide to make the change, bring a club into your house and do your repetitions away from the golf course.

    Now go grip it and rip it!

     

  • Scheduled Downtime 7/1

    30 Jun 2010

    Heads up!  We will have a short downtime on July 1st starting at 1:00am PST to fix some issues from today's deploy.  The site will be back up within two hours.  Thanks for your patience.

  • Introducing Country Club Tournaments, New Equipment, and More

    29 Jun 2010

    Here are the highlights from today's product release. While we make an effort to include all updates made to the product, please note that occasionally some changes are unintentionally omitted.

    Compete Against Your Friends in User-Created Tournaments!

    You can now create tournaments that can be played only by members of your country club!  Any club member can set up a tournament for their fellow club members to participate in. They can be free, and players will compete for a virtual trophy and bragging rights, or you can set an entry fee and have a credit payout for the winners! Select between Stroke Play or Closest-to-the-Hole formats and select what course to play, green speed, wind strength and hole locations.

    Go to your Country Club homepage now to create a tournament! Or if you aren't a member of club yet, create or join one now!

    Invite More Friends to Join the Fun! Country Clubs Can Now Include Up to 250 Players.

    You can now increase the size of your country club! Club owners can raise the club member limit by accessing the Country Club’s Owner Tools section and selecting a new club size. Owners can increase the club to a total of 30 members for an additional 100 credits, 50 members for 150 credits, 100 members for 250 credits, or a maximum of 250 members for 500 credits.

    Tournaments are more fun with more competition so increase the size of your club today!

     

    Light up the Course with New Vapor Balls.

    Now you can watch your ball in flight with new Vapor trail balls. The GI-3S Vapor, GI-SD Vapor, and Tour-SD Vapor leave a trail in the ball's color that allows you to watch your ball's path in flight.  Check them out in the Pro Shop.

     

    New Loudmouth Avatars

    Express yourself and have a little fun on the course with these colorful ensembles from Loudmouth.

     

    Bug Fixes and Other Changes

    • Championship tees added for Kiawah Island
    • New hole locations have been added to St Andrews and they will debut in the Championship rounds of the Virtual Open Championship
    • A free drop after hitting an immovable obstruction will no longer result in a lost ball
    • Waterboy award is now being properly awarded in CTTH games


  • Monday Replay Highlights

    28 Jun 2010
  • 10% Credit Bonus, 24 Hours Only

    25 Jun 2010

    Buy Credits and Receive a 10% Bonus Starting at Noon Today, Pacific Time!

    For every dollar you deposit, you'll receive 110 credits until noon PST, June 26.

    Use WGT credits to upgrade your equipment in the Pro Shop, enter premium tournaments, or challenge other players in match play games.

    To purchase credits, click on the ACCOUNT button under your username on the upper left hand side of the screen, then click on the Buy Credits tab.

    Hurry, the offer is good only on credit purchases made between noon on June 25 and noon on June 26, Pacific Time.

  • A Walk With Watson

    23 Jun 2010

    By Stephanie Wei

    Doffing his cap to the gallery, a misty-eyed Tom Watson made his way up to the 17th green for probably the last time at a US Open. Next to him was his son, Michael, who was carrying his bag on Father’s Day. To their right, the crowd lining the fairway to the fans sitting in the grandstands had broken out in a warm standing ovation. At the foot of the stands, I clapped while I tried to soak in the moment and looked on in awe of Watson, particularly the memories he shared with the 17th hole at Pebble Beach on US Open Sundays.

    It was here that Watson chipped in from the thick rough left of the green to a difficult back left pin placement to clinch victory at the ’82 championship by a shot over Jack Nicklaus. On this Sunday — 28 years later — the flag was in a similar spot, where Watson knocked his second shot from the bunker to tap-in range to save par.

    As he and playing partner Edoardo Molinari and their caddies were walking off the green, they stopped while Watson gestured toward something in the direction of the pin — perhaps he was explaining the hour glass shape of the green or maybe he was recalling his incredible shot in ’82. Who knows, but I’ve been kicking myself because I forgot to ask him when he spoke to reporters later.

    After hitting a beautiful drive down the middle on 18, he tipped his cap and smiled at the fans all the way down the fairway. “Tommy!” and “Tom!” cheers roared the entire time.

    I could feel the chills going down my spine and I started to get a little choked up. There’s something about these sentimental moments in sports that make me very emotional (I mean, I cried for nearly a week after Watson lost the British Open. And yes, I admit to it.).

    His second shot on the par 5 flew into the bunker just short and right of the green. He looked down at the ground in disappointment after he realized the ball didn’t end up where he wanted.

    As Watson walked up to the 18th green the hole-long standing ovation continued. By the time he reached the green, tears were running down his face. But he managed to hit another beautiful shot from the sand for the second hole in a row, knocking it to about three feet for birdie.

    Unable to see through his watery eyes, he missed the putt, but made the comeback for par.

    “There were a lot of emotions going on there on 18 today,” Watson said. “Even with my son on the bag and all the memories, great memories I’ve had here.”

    Surrounded by a handful of reporters behind the 18th green (including yours truly), Michael was also fighting the emotions when asked about the putt. With his eyes hidden behind dark shades, he took a second to collect himself and quietly said, “He missed. He missed..it was tough in the moment.”

    After Watson hugged his son for a touching moment — particularly on Father’s Day — he stopped for the dramatic throw of his ball into the water. “It was fitting. It was ‘thank you,’” Michael said.

    “Well, I threw the ball in the ocean after I won the U.S. Open in 1982,” Watson explained.  And what you do, you give the ocean its due because you never know when it’s going to take it from you.”

    After he was whisked away to the flash interview area, a marshal reminded Michael she needed his caddie bib. “I don’t know if I want to give this back to you,” he said only half-jokingly while he simultaneously pulled it over his head and handed it to her.

    Five minutes later, the same lady returned and asked Michael if he wanted to keep the bib. I can’t even describe the look on his face and gratitude in his voice, but he was very appreciative. “That’s going up on the wall,” he said, folding it gently and putting carefully in his dad’s bag.

    I just felt lucky to witness a little sliver of Tom Watson’s last round at a US Open. Oh, memories. Thank you, Tom.

     

  • And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

    21 Jun 2010

    By Stephanie Wei

    After Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell two-putted from 30 feet for par to clinch the US Open title, he looked to the sky, fists clenched and let out a sigh of relief. The grueling battle against Pebble Beach was finally over and he had outlasted the field to win his first major and to become the first European to win the event in 40 years.

    On a day where the groans were more frequent than the cheers, McDowell shot a ho-hum 74, three-over, to win by a stroke over Frenchman Gregory Havret, a virtually unknown name in the US whose world ranking was 391 entering the championship. For the people who watched the trainwreck action at home, some probably want a refund on those five hours of their time. And for the players who slogged and punted their way around the course, all — with the exception of McDowell and perhaps Havret — probably wish they could have theirs, too.

    With his only birdie of the day coming on the par 3, 5th, McDowell posted four bogeys in the final 10 holes to get back to level par for the championship. If there hadn’t been a pretty trophy afterward, the round was forgettable. Pebble Beach was playing just that hard.

    The course was firm, the pins were tight, mistakes were punished, egos were bruised — and welcome to the US Open. a true test in golf designed to examine every aspect of a competitors game. And perhaps better known by the players as a test in torture (whose wails are heard loud and clear the second after they walk out the scoring trailer).

    As it happened, McDowell was the survivor, who deserves credit where it’s due. McDowell minimized his mistakes both physically and mentally, and played the most consistently from tee to green over the course of 72 holes.

    “It hasn’t really hit me yet,” he said. “I work so hard at being calmed and disciplined out there today that I’m still feeling a little too calm right now.  I need to get a beer in my hand or something.”

    Sitting in McDowell’s press conference, I quickly realized, he’s the kind of guy I’d enjoy bantering with over some pints. Perhaps he’s not the most sexy winner — I mean, he’s no Tiger, Phil, Ernie or even DJ — but he’s a very gracious and likable one with a salty sense of humor.

    “I was surprised that Gregory Havret was the guy closest to me,” he said. “No disrespect to Gregory, he’s a great player, but when you have Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els obviously there, you’re not expecting Gregory Havret to be the guy you’ve got to fend off.”

    /interview room explodes with respectful laughter

    Forget the cliched robotic answers. He spoke candidly and freely, which was refreshing, and answered questions thoughtfully and patiently — similar to the way he played.

    I was proud of myself the way I stayed calm today,” he said. “To win at Pebble Beach, to join the names, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Tiger Woods, me — wow.  I’m not quite sure if I belong in that list, but, hey, I’m there now.”

    McDowell also has a customary cold beer after a long day — on the night before winning the US Open, it was an Amstel Light (but he doesn’t have a beer of choice) with his dinner at Montrio’s in Monterey. He slept in until 9:30 on Sunday morning before having a cup of coffee at Monterey Plaza.

    In the ’90s, he was a big fan of Ernie Els and for some reason when he thinks of the US Open, it reminds him of Ernie winning it in ’94 at Oakmont and again in ’97 at Congressional, which was around the time he decided he wanted to be a competitive golfer. His brother is a scratch golfer and the two grew up playing at Portrush. The European Tour is his home tour and will continue to be, but he’s been playing to get his PGA Tour card next season to play more in the US.

    As a big soccer fan, he’s been waking up early to watch the World Cup. He’s going to bring the trophy back to the other side of the pond later this week, where he’ll consume a few beverages from it. And he’s not sure when he’ll sober up.

    See how much I learned about Graeme in just one press conference? If only all players spoke so freely.

    Someone get the man a beer already.

    [Photos by: Allan Henry/Golf Chronicles]



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