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WGT Golf News

  • PGA Tour May Lose Sponsors & Tournaments, May Not, Who Knows

    24 Sep 2009

    By Ryan Ballengee

    As part of Tim Finchem's State o' the Tour address yesterday, he was asked about the possibility of losing sponsorships and tournaments for 2010 given the economic halting this year (that may be thawing now).  His response was, well, murky.

    I think it's possible we could lose a couple of events. It's probable that we're going to lose some sponsors. They're two different things, really. You lose a title sponsor to an event and you can't replace—you can't keep that particular tournament going -- well, Buick Open going to the Greenbrier is a good example. In losing the Buick Open sponsorship, we also lost a tournament, and we replaced it with a new tournament. There may be some more of that ahead, I don't know, but it most likely will be some more sponsorship loss.

    Despite that, he answered a follow-up question on that by saying that it is "unlikely" that the total number of events in 2010 will be lower than in 2009.  Prying further, he was asked if some Fall Series events would transition to the big boy FedExCup schedule.

    [Y]ou have a tournament that starts out as an event opposite World Golf Championship or something, and then it blossoms into something that is deserving of its own date just because it's demonstrated strength, et cetera, et cetera.

    But, that didn't work out for the Turning Stone Championship—the tournament with the richest purse and best field in the Fall Series, and the event most clamoring to get into an open FedExCup date.

  • The Real (Kinda) Y.E. Yang Is on Twitter

    23 Sep 2009

    By Stephanie Wei

    South Korean native Yang, the ‘09 PGA Champion and the man who took Tiger down, has jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. Hooray. He’s taken to it pretty well and “@replying” fans. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty pumped when he responded to me after I welcomed him.

    Several people questioned whether it was really him because he speaks through an interpreter for interviews. I was skeptical, too. But in my experience, I know it’s sometimes easier to read and write in a second language than speak it (especially in front of a large audience). Still, some of his tweets were a tad too grammatically correct.

    Yang answered our doubts last night when he tweeted:

    Yes its me. My agent gets to type in the stuff in English. Yes My English needs improving

    Surprise! And he’s honest. And he gets an A for effort. And I like his tweets. Follow him.

  • One Week Left to Play September Tournaments

    22 Sep 2009

    There are a couple of big tournaments ending on September 30, so if you haven't played them, be sure to do so soon! Here are some of the ones ending in a week:

    • ADT Million Dollar Challenge - Play for a chance to win a trip to the Breakers Resort in Florida to compete in the 2009 ADT Golf Skills Challenge, where you will have one chance to hit a 120-yard short iron shot for $1 million if the shot results in a hole-in-one!
    • Pilsner Urquell 2010 Open Challenge - Play the Old Course at St Andrews Links in Scotland for a chance to win a trip for 2 to the 2010 Open Championship!
    • The World Amateur Challenge - Play for a chance to win a trip for two to Myrtle Beach to play in the 2010 PGATOUR Superstore World Amateur Handicap Championship.
    • People vs The Pros VIP Sweeps #8 - Your last chance to win a vacation to Pinehurst Resort and a spot in the 2009 People vs The Pros VIP golf outing with Fred Couples or Nick Faldo.
    • Sept People vs The Pros Open - Last chance for Pro and Master tier players to earn a spot in the 6th Annual People vs The Pros Championship, to play against Fred Couples or Nick Faldo on ESPN2!
  • Latest Community Tips

    21 Sep 2009
  • It's All in the Hips

    17 Sep 2009

    By Josh Zander

    Have you ever hit balls at the range next to someone who made an awesome sound when they hit the ball? That sound is compression. It makes other players turn and watch because obviously this is a great ball striker. The player has made his divot past the ball and transferred the energy efficiently from the clubhead to the ball. Distance control is one of the keys to scoring. Great golfers don’t always hit the ball accurately but they often hit the ball pin high which means they are making solid contact.  Proper hip action on the backswing plays a major role in compressing the ball.

    A common swing thought is to transfer your weight to your right side on the backswing. Unfortunately, most players sway their hips back to do this causing fat and thin contact. The key is to allow your hips to truly turn, not sway. Think of your belt buckle as the center of your hips. If your hips turn around this center, your right hip will actually move towards the target during the backswing. This does not mean you are reverse pivoting as your spine angle should not tilt towards the target during this movement. In order to make sure of this, make sure your head is still or even moves a little away from the target during the backswing.

    The focus of this video is the hip turn on the backswing but compression will only occur if you move your hips correctly on the follow through. The downswing should start with a slight bump of the left hip towards the target. You will hit the ball even longer if you can get this bump to happen before your upper body completes its backswing turn. This will set up the proper kinematic sequence for the downswing. Like any sport where you hit a ball with a stick, the movement starts from the ground up. Proper hip motion on the backswing will help you set up this efficient downswing sequence. If you do, you may just be that guy on the range who causes heads to turn.

  • Arnold Palmer Month

    16 Sep 2009

    By Peter Kessler

    The Masters with Winnie

    By the time I went to the Masters Tournament for the first time I knew Arnold and Winnie Palmer well. I’d had dinner at their homes; I’d walked Arnold’s Irish Setter King past Arnold’s grad school, played golf with Arnold enough to have lost a few hundred dollars to him.

    Winnie and I walked the back nine at Augusta National as Arnold played while his adoring fans screamed his name and woman swooned and men cheered and boys called out “Arnie!” We talked about how Arnold had never packed for a trip, had never unpacked. We talked about his dad’s temper, about Arnold’s putter collection.

    As we walked the final hole I had trouble catching my breath and Winned started laughing at me. I couldn’t figure it out. Finally Winnie told me we were walking straight uphill. And so we were.

    That’s one of the things you can’t see on television. Augusta National is built on the side of a hill and the final hole plays straight up to the top of it. The other thing about the course is that the greens are smaller than you expect and much more undulating.

    When we got to the top of the hill Winnie told me to bring Arnold to her under the big oak tree behind the clubhouse after he signed his scorecard.

    I waited behind the ropes for Arnold to leave the scorer’s tent and hoped he would spot me. He did. And then he walked up to me and put an arm around my shoulder and I did the same to him. He told me to bring him to Winnie under the big tree. We talked about golf and girls for a minute and then I released him to Winnie. I slipped into the crowd and let his fans have him again. His never ending army of fans and his loving general, Winnie.

    Remembering Winnie

    Arnold always knows, always knew, what the audience wanted and needed from him. Even in moments of grief Arnold always has one eye on his fans to see if he’s delivering the goods.

    After his wife Winnie died in late 1999, I didn’t see Arnold after the funeral until January of 2000 when we did a television show for the Golf Channel. If you hadn’t seen a friend since a loved one of theirs passed away the first thing you would say was “I’m sorry for your loss.”  And that’s exactly what I said to Arnold and the only difference from normal life of course was that this was on live television.

    I knew Arnold might have trouble speaking or catching his breath and that I might have to buy him some time. He began to cry.  He couldn’t speak. He held up his hand as if to say,” no more, not yet, I’m not ready.”

    So I reminded him that when Winnie came to the studio to watch our shows she would knit, she would write letters, she would read books, she would do anything but pay attention to anything we were doing or saying. Hundreds of thousands of people were sitting at home listening to every word Arnold had to say and there was his wife Winnie sitting fifteen feet away bored and looking at her watch.

    Arnie recovered and the show went along just as I had hoped thanks to him and his great stories and his laugh and his twinkling eyes

    When the segment ended and it was time to go to a commercial break I leaned over and whispered in his ear. I asked him if he was ok. He leaned in close and whispered back. “This is what they wanted,” he said.

    He always knew he was on stage.  He always knew his lines, he always got them right. He always knew how to deliver them, no matter what was going on. This month as we celebrate his 80th birthday it’s our turn to get it right for him, to say the things he needs and deserves to hear. Happy birthday, Arnie.

  • How to Handle Pressure

    15 Sep 2009

    By Josh Zander

    September seems to be a popular month for Member-Guest tournaments and Club Championships. I am getting a lot of frantic calls from students who need a tune up as they feel pressure to perform. Of course, you would like to play well in your club championship and you don’t want to play poorly at your buddy’s member-guest. You may not be invited back!!

    While your swing may need a tweak or two, the real question is how to deal with pressure. The first thing to understand is that pressure in 100% self imposed. The golf ball has no idea if you are on the first tee of a tournament or if you are out for a casual Sunday round. From my point of view, pressure can be summed up in one thought: What will they think of me? I’ve got news for you, your friend will still like you even if you don’t hit a good shot. Your competitors will still respect you as long as you observe good etiquette and handle yourself well. The truth is that your friends are probably worried about what you think of them. Don’t worry about what others think and you are well on your way to diffusing the pressure.

    Instead of stressing about your swing breaking down because of the pressure, learn how to handle pressure. First, know that the worse thing that can happen to you if you hit a bad shot is NOTHING. Johnny Miller is known for calling people out when they “choke” under pressure. Decision making gets clouded and swings get tight under pressure which is a formula for disaster. Next time you feel pressure, take a deep breath. Inhale deeply through your nose and say the words “alert mind”. Then exhale through your mouth and say “calm body”. If a negative thought comes into your head, let it cycle through and get back to the task at hand. Get back to your calming breaths and enjoy yourself.

    Never let that little white ball tell you how to feel! You are in charge and make a decision to enjoy yourself regardless of how you play.  If so, you just may be hoisting that winner’s trophy. If not, you will still be ok. In my book, you have won if you have enjoyed the experience.

  • Winner Profiles - dmkhorns & Craiger85: What's in their Bags?

    12 Sep 2009

    Congratulations to dmkhorns and Craiger85, winners of the August People v Pros Open! What’s in their bags?


    • TaylorMade R9 TP Master 8.5° Driver
    • Ping G10 Master 3 Fairway Wood 14°
    • Ping G10 Master 3 Hybrid 21° (Graphite)
    • Ping G10 Master Irons (Steel)
    • Ping Tour W Master 54° Wedge
    • Ping Tour W Master 60° Wedge
    • TaylorMade Spider Putter
    • WGT GI-D White Balls


    • TaylorMade R9 TP Master 8.5° Driver
    • Ping Rapture V2 3 Fairway Wood
    • Ping Rapture V2 3 Hybrid 21° (Graphite)
    • WGT Tour Starter Zebra Irons (Steel)
    • WGT Tour Starter Gold 54° Wedge
    • WGT Tour Starter Gold 60° Wedge
    • Ping iWi Anser Series Putter
    • WGT GI-D White Balls
  • A Nation Remembers

    11 Sep 2009

    WGT joins the nation and the world in remembering the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims, and we continue to hope for the end of hatred.


  • Arnold Palmer Turns 80

    10 Sep 2009

    The venerable Arnold Palmer turned 80 today, and to celebrate his birthday, he and his closest friends will tee it up at Latrobe Country Club, the course his father helped build in the 1920s.

    According to the club, "Arnold was born September 10, 1929 in Latrobe. His saga began when he was four-years old swinging a set of golf clubs that had been cut down by his father, Milfred (Deacon) Palmer. Before long, Arnold was playing well enough to beat the older caddies at the club. He began caddying himself when he was 11 and worked almost every job at the club over the years."

    To commenorate his birthday, the Golf Channel will run more than eight hours of programming to honor Palmer, whose achievements include 62 wins on the PGA Tour. Programming will include Top 10 Arnold Palmer Moments, Golf’s Heart and Soul: Arnold Palmer, and 1964 and 1960 Masters highlights.

    Happy birthday Arnie!

    Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

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