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WGT Golf News

  • Wrist position at the Top of the Backswing

    15 Aug 2009

    By Josh Zander

    As you can see from my written blog this month, be careful about taking swing advice from your fellow golfers. One of the tips I often hear golfers giving is to flatten your left wrist (for right-handed players) at the top of the backswing. Does this apply to you? Well there is only a 33% chance it does. If you are slicing the ball, flattening your left wrist will help. Do not take this advice if you are hitting it straight or hooking the ball as flattening your left wrist will close the clubface and make the ball go more left.

    As you can see in the video, the position of the left wrist at the top of the backswing has a lot to do with how you grip the club. If you have a strong grip, your wrist should look cupped at the top. If you have a neutral grip, your wrist should be flat or slightly cupped at the top.  If you have a weak grip, your wrist should be flat to slightly bowed at the top.

    I look at the golf swing as a recipe of many different ingredients. After we pour all these ingredients into our pot of boiling water, we are looking for the end product to be a solid golf shot with the desired ball flight. As an instructor, I love the challenge of putting the puzzle together to help my students achieve their desired results. Every piece of advice I dole out has an effect on the quality of the shot. I never give advice to make something look prettier or because it is the latest swing fad. I give advice to help your game and it has taken years to learn the cause and effect of each ingredient.

    So are you willing to take advice that may or may not be correct from a “helpful” friend? I feel like I have invested a lot of time, effort and money on my golf swing. I will only take advice if the person can give me a good explanation of cause and effect. Find a teacher you trust and stick to the plan. If you do, your recipe will turn out delicious!!

  • Q&A: TNT Analyst Bill Kratzert from PGA Championship

    14 Aug 2009

    By The Armchair Golfer

    (Editor’s note: I had the opportunity to ask TNT analyst and former PGA Tour player Bill Kratzert a few questions prior to today’s start of the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. TNT has 18 hours of coverage on Thursday through Sunday.)

    ARMCHAIR GOLF: How are current course conditions?

    BILL KRATZERT: The course is in great shape. It’s unusually hot right now and the golf course is not as bouncy and as fiery as you would think it would be. The greens are running as quick as they can, given the undulations in the greens. A lot of the greens have mounding and many of them are turtle back greens, where it filters off each way. As far as the rough is concerned, it was topped off Sunday afternoon after a huge amount of rain. I don’t think they’re going to touch it again. In my opinion, the rough isn’t all that penal right now. It’s very playable. I think there is ample room off the tee. I don’t think that driving the ball extremely straight is going to be a huge factor. Which plays into a Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson or a Geoff Ogilvy.

    ARMCHAIR GOLF: Will shorter hitters be able to compete on such an extremely long Hazeltine?

    BILL KRATZERT: A lot of people think the longer player has the advantage. But given the fact that of the par 5 holes where a player like [Tiger] Woods or [Phil] Mickelson should capitalize, only one that is reachable — the 7th hole. The other three are not reachable so the long hitters are not going to have any more advantage on those. When you’re looking at a guy hitting with a 7-iron or a 5-iron, a Tim Clark or Brian Gay or Jim Furyk might be as effective with a 5-iron as the longer hitters are with a 7-iron. I’m not discounting the length of the course, but I’m not placing the shorter hitters off to the side.

    ARMCHAIR GOLF: Other than Tiger, which players are on your radar this week?

    BILL KRATZERT: Jim Furyk or Steve Stricker, or I would also look at Lee Westwood. His name keeps coming to mind. He’s never won a major championship, but he has the game. Look at the way he played the Open Championship. He’s out of the playoff by a shot and he bogeyed on the last four holes. Yes, had a birdie in there on the 71st hole, a par 5, but he should have a major championship on his resume already. He’s one guy we should take a good, hard look at. Or, maybe it’s a young guy — a [Camilo] Villegas, Sean O’Hair, or Anthony Kim.

    ARMCHAIR GOLF: If you were still playing, what would your game plan be this week?

    BILL KRATZERT: I would really concentrate on distance control and, by that, I am referring to the par 5 holes that you can’t reach. Also, the par 3s that are over 200 yards. The 8th hole and 17th hole, they are in the 175, 180 range. Because the rough isn’t that penalizing from what I’ve seen, a lot of it would be distance control. The more times you can put it flag high or just underneath the hole, you’ll benefit from it.

  • Multiplayer Matchmaking, Full Game Screen and More!

    13 Aug 2009

    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.

    New Multiplayer Options

    Customize your multiplayer games with new matchmaking features! When you create a multiplayer game, you can now choose the course and hole groups you want to play, in either ranked or practice mode. When searching for a group to join, you can set preferences for these parameters.

    Credits for Advancing Tiers

    As an incentive for fine-tuning your skills, you will now earn credits for moving up the tiers. Players already in the Pro and Master tiers will receive credits for the last tier advancement made (i.e. from Amateur to Pro). Hack and Amateur tier players will receive credits upon their next tier advancement. Here is a breakdown of the number of credits you earn when advancing tiers:

    • Hack to Amateur - 50 credits
    • Amateur to Pro - 100 credits
    • Pro to Master- 200 credits

    Full/Adjustable Game Screen

    You can now play the game in full screen mode, or adjust it to whatever size you like. Simply click and drag the window to resize, or click on your browser's Full Screen button to experience the game in full-screen glory.

    New Equipment in the Pro Shop

    • Available to All Tiers:
      • WGT B-ES ball - Enhances the amount of spin you get when you apply backspin to your swing. You only get the extra spin if you apply backspin, and the amount you get will vary depending on your tier and the club you are using.
    • Exclusive to Pro & Master Tiers:
      • Ping Redwood ZB Putter - This putter's 303 stainless steel clubhead is 100% precision-milled to exact specifications, creating clean, flowing lines and superior feel for greater confidence. This is the most precise putter we've added to date, and has meter increments of 15, 30, 45, 90 and 150 for greater distance control.
    • Exclusive to Master Tier:
      • Ping G10 Masters - Fitted with stiff shafts for increased swing speeds and distances while retaining the precision of the standard G10s.
      • TaylorMade R9 TP Master Driver - Inverted cone geometry in a classic head shape helps to ensure fast ball speed and big distance even on off-center hits while offering both traditional and modern lines in a stunning driver head. The sophisticated high-inertia tip of the 65-gram low-torque graphite shaft promotes faster ball speed.
      • TaylorMade Master Clubset - Fitted with stiff shafts for increased swing speeds and distances. Includes the R9 Fairway Wood, Burner Rescue T3, Tour Preferred Iron Set, and Z Satin TP Wedges.

    Sell Back Your Clubs in the Pro Shop

    You can now sell the equipment you no longer use back to the Pro Shop at a percentage of the current listed price. Learn more in our FAQs.

    Online Status Updates

    Let everyone know what you are doing right now with the new Status Updates feature! Your status updates appear below your profile picture and also in the Activity Feeds of you and your friends.

    Private Messaging

    Set up tees times and converse with your friends with the new private messaging feature. Private messages may only be sent to people on your friend list. Learn more in our FAQs.

    In-game Tutorials

    Our video tutorials are now accessible in the game window. If you are a new player, a Tutorials tab will appear during gameplay, allowing you to access the tutorials easily. Once you create an account and play a game while logged in, the tab will go away but you can still access the tutorials by clicking on the game menu.

    Bug Fixes

    • You should no longer receive duplicate feeds in your Activity Stream.
    • The game should no longer hang or freeze when a player exits a multiplayer game by closing the game window.
    • Your wind conditions in tournaments should now reflect the tier you were in when you entered the tournament, not your current tier (if different).
  • Scheduled Downtime 8/12/09

    12 Aug 2009

    Hi everyone, there is a product update planned for tonight, Aug 12 starting at 11PM Pacific Time. We expect the site to be down for approximately 4-5 hours.

    During this time, you may see a popup window prompting for a username and password. This is not the WGT login prompt, so don't try to log in. If you see the popup it means we are in the process of updating the site.

    Equipment sellback and multiplayer matchmaking are two of the new features in this release. We will have a complete list posted after the update is done.

  • Hazeltine and This Week's PGA Championship

    12 Aug 2009

    By Peter Kessler

    When Hazeltine was built in the 1960's it measured over 7,400 yards from the back tees. Unheard of at a time when 7,000 was LONG.
    The course is now 7,674 yards--unheard of in 2009.
    The course was originally routed so that a carry of 250-260 yards made it safely over the bunkers. Now that carry is 300-320 yards.
    Hazeltine is number 68 on GolfWeek's Best Modern Course list.
    Every hole is different now than it was for the 1970 U.S. Open.
    The 14th is a drivable par four.
    The 16 is the toughest driving hole.

    Tiger:
    Made 54 of 55 putts inside of ten feet. Unheard of in the history of the game.
    Won 28% of the majors he's played in. Unheard of in the history of the game.
    Won 13 of his last 23.
    Won four of his last six.
    Won all 14 of his major championships when leading after 54 holes.
    Found his putting stroke as evidenced by his 23 putts last Saturday.
    Won four PGA's.
    Could win eight or nine times before the year is out.

  • Take My Advice

    11 Aug 2009

    By Josh Zander

    Have you noticed that golf is as game with almost as many teachers as players? Everyone seems to know what to tell you when you hit a bad shot. They all have a tip that is going to turn your game around. This is even more prevalent if you are a woman. A friend of mine once said that he was going to design a woman’s golf shirt with the words “Don’t tell me what to do” printed on the back. The tips I hear friends giving friends are keep your head down, keep your left arm straight, swing slower and a slew of others. When golfers are playing poorly, they become so desperate that they will listen to anyone. Stop!!!!! The only person you should listen to is your own professional. Would you take legal advice from someone who is not an attorney? Would you take medical advice from someone who wasn’t a doctor?

    Here is my professional advice and remember, I am a golf professional. Only take the advice if it will improve your ball flight or your impact. Just doing something because the best player in your club does it or because you heard it on TV does not mean it is right for you. Even if it is something Tiger does, it may not be right for you. When someone gives you advice, ask them the following question: “How will this tip help my impact position and my ball flight?” If they can’t give you a reasonable answer, don’t try it. You should ask your own teacher the same question. It is their job to know cause and effect.

    The only reason “tips” from friends work sometimes is that it frees your mind from the other 10 other things you were thinking about during your swing. Believe me, playing golf from tip to tip is a recipe for disaster. Your mind will become so confused that you will be paralyzed over the ball. Keep it simple. Listen only to your teacher and stick to the plan. My mentor Jim Hardy once said that one of three things is happening if you are not getting better after receiving advice. First, you understand the advice but simply did not execute. Second, you did not understand the advice. And third, the person gave you the wrong advice. I’ll leave it to you, what are the chances that your friend gave you the right advice?  Friends have great intentions but their advice usually leads to having to book another lesson with your instructor.

  • Should Tiger and Paddy Have Been Put on the Clock?

    10 Aug 2009

    By Stephanie Wei


    Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Say it ain’t so! Tiger Woods won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and called out rules official John Paramor.

    Tiger and Padraig Harrington were coming down the stretch in the final round. Through fifteen holes, Paddy was leading by one stroke. On the sixteenth tee, Paramor put the pair on the clock because they were out of position. Yep, seriously.

    In Tiger’s post-round interview, he repeatedly made it clear that he was unhappy with Paramor’s decision and blamed him for interrupting what had been a thrilling match.

    “Like I was telling [Harrington] out there, I’m sorry that John got in the way of a great battle because it was such a great battle for 16 holes, and we’re going at it head-to-head, and unfortunately that happened.”

    And he said the ruling was the reason why Paddy carded a triple-bogey 8 on the hole and ultimately lost.

    “I don’t think that Paddy would have hit the pitch shot that way if he was able to take his time, look at it, analyze it, but he was on the clock, had to get up there quickly and hit it — Yeah, and hit it in the water.”

    In case you missed it, long story short — Paddy drove it in the right trees, punched out to the rough on the edge of a fairway bunker and then overshot the green on his approach. Tiger is referring to the next shot, where Paddy pitched it into the water hazard.

    I’m not a fan of slow play. In fact, it might be one of my biggest pet peeves. But it’s a different story when the final group is coming down the stretch in the final round. Especially because the sixteenth hole turned out to be the dealbreaker, so to speak. The pair was warned on the 6th hole as well, which is understandable. The third to last hole, though? Gimme a freakin’ break! Sure, rules are rules. But officials have discretion to make these calls as they see fit. In this scenario, let them play.

    When was the last time you heard Tiger sound off this vehemently about anything? Kudos to him for expressing his disapproval. Rules officials were even brought into the media center to defend Paramor’s decision. Whatever. It was the wrong call. Paddy didn’t attribute it to his meltdown (I’m not saying he choked). He took responsibility, but mentioned he felt rushed. That should not happen to a player in the final group, who is leading, no less — even if he is professional. As a bit of an aside, Tiger was also a gracious winner, repeatedly commending Paddy for his stellar play.

    Perhaps Tiger speaking out about it will affect how they handle such situations in the future. After all, he is Tiger Woods.

  • NASAgolfer Gets His Trophy

    09 Aug 2009

    Here is a photo of NASAgolfer, winner of the Virtual U.S. Open 2009, and his engraved trophy from the USGA!

  • August Tournaments

    06 Aug 2009

    August tournaments have begun! Check the Tournament Calendar for the full schedule of monthly and weekly events. Highlights include new weekly stroke play and closest-to-the-hole challenges, and a tierless International Open.

    Also in August are four more chances to win trips to Pinehurst Resort. Be sure to participate in the PVP Open and the two PVP Sweepstakes. Don't miss these opportunities to enjoy a vacation at one of the best golf resorts in the world and chances to play with or against Fred Couples or Nick Faldo. Congratulations to kraneburg, winner of the July 1-14 (#3) sweeps drawing, and sabbath270 and JALAII, winners of the July PVP Open.

    There are two more premium tournaments coming up soon that will run through September, so keep an eye out for them!

  • Scheduled Downtime 8/5/09

    05 Aug 2009

    We are performing database maintenance tonight starting at 11PM, and expect the site to be down for 6-8 hours. This is system maintenance and not a product update, so there are no new features being deployed.

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