WGT Golf News

  • The Glenlivet Whisky Season Open

    15 Oct 2009

    WGT and The Glenlivet, the Single Malt that Started it All, invite you to enter The Glenlivet Whisky Season Open! One winner by random drawing receives a trip for two to Scotland to play golf at St Andrews Links and a go on a private tour of the historic The Glenlivet Distillery.

    Five winners will receive a The Glenlivet branded golf bag, and 25 winners will receive two tasting glasses and a whisky tasting DVD. Entry is free and anyone over 21 years old can play. USA residents (excluding CA) are eligible to win the sweepstakes prizes. See rules for details.

    Click here to enter today!

    The Glenlivet Whisky Season Open

  • Swing myths

    14 Oct 2009

    By Josh Zander

    How many times have you heard keep your head down? Don’t do it! What I am saying may sound like heresy but all you have to do is look at tour players and see that they release their heads on their follow through.  What do Annika Sorenstam, David Duval and Robert Allenby have in common? They all release their heads before impact. They are actually looking at the target before they hit the ball. They are not even close to keeping their heads down. They do maintain their spine angles but releasing their heads makes their bodies explosive through the hitting zone. I am not saying you have to exaggerate as much as these players but realize that every tour player is looking at the target on the follow through. If you cannot see your ball flight immediately, your head is down too long.

    How many times have you heard swing slower? If you swing slower, your ball will go shorter! I have been teaching for 15 years and almost every student has asked me for more distance. You cannot hit it farther by swinging slower. If you have a technical fault in your swing, slowing down is not going to fix it. Fix the mistake and then speed up your swing to get distance. Don’t confuse slow with smooth. Ernie Els and Vijay Singh are smooth swingers but they are not slow.

    How many times have you heard to hit down on the ball? This advice may be the reason 90% of golfers slice the ball. While good ball strikers do compress the ball, it is a function of having a forward leaning shaft and their weight shifting correctly through impact which creates a divot that is past the ball. If you look at the spine angle of a tour player from the face-on point of view, you will see that every one of them has a spine angle leaning backward away from the target. This is the same spine angle you would create if you were going to throw something up in the air. Golfers misinterpret hitting down on the ball by swinging down steeply which creates deep divots, pulls and slices. Try swinging up on the ball and you will become a drawer of the golf ball.

    Before taking any swing advice from friends or golf professionals for that matter, always ask the following question. Will this advice help my ball flight and impact? If so, go for it but beware of swing myths!

  • Match Play, Pinehurst No. 8, and New Equipment!

    13 Oct 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.

    Match Play Game Format

    We've released the first iteration of our match play game format, and we'd love to get your feedback. You can create or join match play games and track your match play points on your profile page. "Scored" matches are tracked in the stats section of your profile and shows your record vs. your friends. Go head-to-head with your friends and see who comes out on top! Read more here.

    This feature is brand new and still being tested, so you should expect to see some issues. We plan to make many more improvements to it in the next few releases, and we encourage you to make suggestions and report all bugs in our forums.

    Awards Display Case

    Who has the most prestigious awards? We've made it easier to view and track your awards by organizing them into categories and showing your progress on the awards you can earn. Click the Awards button on your profile page now and see your awards standings! We are planning to release more awards for you to add to your trophy case in the future.

    Pinehurst No. 8 Closest-to-the-Hole Challenge

    A new closest-to-the-hole challenge is now available on Pinehurst No. 8. This course opened in 1996 to commemorate Pinehurst's centennial year. Fazio incorporated signature Ross features into the design, including dips and swales around the greens, sloping greens and false fronts. Located approximately 2 miles from the Main Clubhouse at the site of the former Gun Club, it is a celebration of a century of great golf.

    Ability to Pull Flagstick

    When on the green you can now remove the flagstick so it will not interfere with your shot. Simply mouse over the flagstick and you will see a button with "Remove Flagstick" appear. Click the button and the flagstick will be removed from the hole. To bring it back, mouse over the area where the flagstick appears and a button with "Replace Flagstick" will appear, which will put it back into the cup. When you are on the green, remember the flagstick is not really in the cup.  It is just a visual reference you can hide and bring back.

    Green Speed Indicator

    When you are on the green, you will now see a green speed indicator in the upper right hand corner. The green speed will affect how far your ball will roll. This means that your distances on your putter will only be accurate on standard green speeds. You will need to adjust for your distances to account for the faster and slower greens. Read more in our FAQs.

    New Equipment in the Pro Shop

    • Available to All Tiers:
      • WGT GI-S ball - These balls will give you a small increase in spin and the benefit of a slower swing meter.
    • Exclusive to Pro & Master Tiers:
      • WGT Tour-S ball - These balls will give you increased spin and distance, but their soft covers will take a punishing.
      • WGT Tour-SD ball - These balls will give you extra spin and extra distance.
      • Ping G10 Tour W Pro Wedges - New wedges in 52, 56, 58, and 64 degree lofts.
      • TaylorMade Tour Pro Wedges - New wedges in 52, 56, and 58 degree lofts.
      • WGT Tour Pro Clubs - If you like the WGT Tour Starters, you'll love the WGT Tour Pros. Our most affordable pro-level clubs!

    Product Descriptions in the Pro Shop

    We've added product descriptions in the Pro Shop to help you better select the equipment you need.

    Additional Friend Feed Content

    You can now see more of your friends' activities in your Friend Feed. Below are some of the new activities you will see:

    • Tournament entered
    • Tournament finished
    • Tournament won
    • Completed stroke play round
    • Complete match play round
    • Replay saved
    • Pro shop item purchased
    • Tier changed

    New International Payment Methods

    You can now purchase WGT credits using Maestro (UK), ELV (Germany), iDEAL (Netherlands), and WallieCard (worldwide) payment methods.

    Ball Trail in Replays

    When you view a replay, you will be able to see a white trail showing the path of the ball. This is helpful when looking at the breaks on a green in putting replays.

    Available Credits Displayed in Profile Widget

    It's now easy to see how many credits you have in your account. Just look at the profile widget on the left side of the screen next to your name, and you can see your balance without having to click into your My Account page.

    Bug Fixes

    • There should no longer be a $.01 discrepancy between the career earnings stat on your profile page and the stat on the Top Earners list.
    • When you remove a friend, they should no longer show up in the Friends section of your profile page.
  • Greg Norman’s Great Pick

    11 Oct 2009

    By The Armchair Golfer

    Ryo Ishikawa at the PGA Championship. (jpellgen/Flickr)

    The Americans won the Presidents Cup on Sunday for the seventh time in eight tries. The final points total was 19 ½ to 14 ½. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker—the world’s top three golfers—led the way.

    While International team captain Greg Norman was questioned extensively about his captain’s choice of fellow Aussie Adam Scott, his other captain’s pick made an impressive debut in the Presidents Cup. Ryo Ishikawa, the 18-year-old, was one of only two International team players to post a winning point total. (The other was Ernie Els.) The Japan Tour player went 3-2-0, including a singles victory over Kenny Perry.

    I hadn’t seen much of Ishikawa before this week. Obviously, he’s a terrific putter. Coming into the Presidents Cup, Ryo won three times this summer on the Japan Tour in a 10-week stretch. And he’s the youngest player to crack the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, currently ranked 47th.

    “When Greg first picked me...I didn’t know if I was worthy to be a part of this team,” Ishikawa said. “But when I got here and all of the players looked after me, talked to me, gave me a lot of support, and that really helped me throughout this week.”

    I look forward to seeing more of Ryo. It will be fun to see how he and Rory McIlroy fulfill their potential as golf’s future stars.

  • Weekend Replay Reel

    09 Oct 2009
  • Woods/Stricker Romp as U.S. Takes Lead at Presidents Cup

    08 Oct 2009

    By The Armchair Golfer

    Photo: jrodmanjr/Flickr

    THE U.S. TEAM TOOK a one-point lead over the International squad on Day 1 of the Presidents Cup at Harding Park in San Francisco. Thursday was Foursomes—also known as alternate shot—and all but one of the matches were competitive. On Friday the teams will compete in Four-Ball (best-ball) matches.

    Americans Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker romped to a 6 and 4 win over Internationals Geoff Ogilvy and Ryo Ishikawa by making every putt they looked at. Or at least it seemed that way. Anthony Kim and Phil Mickelson and Kenny Perry and Zach Johnson also won for the U.S. side.

    Partnering with Ernie Els, Adam Scott holed the winning putt to earn a point against Hunter Mahan and Sean O’Hair. Vijay Singh and Robert Allenby also got a point for the Internationals. The final match of the day was halved when American Justin Leonard rimmed out a three-foot putt on the 18th hole.

    Here’s what I like about watching the Presidents Cup.

    Harding Park

    I’ve watched a lot of tour golf over the years. I won’t say I have all the tour stops memorized, but I do know a lot of the golf courses, and especially their final nines. However, I know virtually nothing about Harding Park since the pros rarely play there. It’s interesting to watch them attack a different course, especially in a go-for-broke match-play event.

    Match Play

    Match play is so rare on the PGA Tour and other world tours that I find it fascinating to watch. I know that, unless it’s the Ryder Cup, match play is a ratings killer. But that’s not my problem. I enjoy it anyway. There’s a whole different vibe. And also a different kind of pressure, as everyone witnessed today on the 18th green.

    Ryder Cup Lite

    The Presidents Cup isn’t the Ryder Cup, and never will be. That’s fine. The atmosphere is not as intense; the players are loose. It is what it is. I actually like seeing the players display some emotion, smile more and be less robotic. It’s refreshing.

  • September Course Sweeps Winners

    07 Oct 2009

    Congratulations to the following winners of our September course sweepstakes winners, who each received 500 WGT credits:

  • Presidents Cup 2009

    06 Oct 2009

    The Presidents Cup kicked off today right in WGT's hometown of San Francisco, California. The U.S. Team led by Fred Couples and the International Team led by Greg Norman will compete for ultimate bragging rights in this biennial event. We're excited that San Francisco is only the second U.S. city selected to host the event and the first location on the West Coast.

    If any of you get a chance to catch the action at Harding Park, look for us on Saturday, Oct. 10 sporting our WGT gear!

    Learn more:

  • Winner Profiles - smitty44 & tibbets: What's in Their Bags?

    05 Oct 2009
  • Byron Nelson: Our Last 19th Hole Conversation (Part 1 of 3)

    02 Oct 2009

    By Peter Kessler

    Byron Nelson was born in Texas in 1912, the same year as his rivals Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. He died in September of 2006. The first player to make a successful transition from hickory to steel shafts in the early 1930s, Nelson never made a swing change after his 24th birthday. He never needed to. He was the first of his great triumvirate to win majors and set records. He traveled by car when there was no modern tour, when fresh tires were a player’s best friend. And after winning every important American event, he left the tour at age 34 and bought the Texas ranch he’d dreamed of. He has lived there with his first wife, Louise, who died in 1985, and then with his second wife, Peggy. Nelson played with Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones and Gene Sarazen. He did better against Hogan and Snead than they did against him. The best player in the world from 1937 until he retired in 1946, he left behind one unbreakable record—his 11 straight victories in 1945—and several that were as remarkable, including 113 consecutive top-20 finishes and 18 wins in a stretch of 30 events in a single season. He was the perfect interview. Over many years, things had gotten to the point where I didn't really ask him questions anymore—I offered a phrase or a few scant words, and Byron Nelson told his wonderful stories, as fluid as honey. I was recently asked if I would like to have had a mind like his at age 93. My answer: Why do I have to wait 40 years?

    We spoke for the last time at the TPC at Las Colinas, not far from his ranch, Fairway Ranch in Roanoke, Texas, where Nelson lived for 59 happy years.


    Tell me about the caddie tournament at Glen Garden in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1927, when you and Ben Hogan were 15 years old.

    The members at Glen Garden threw a party each Christmas and invited the caddies to turkey dinner. Before dinner, the members would caddie for the caddies. We played 9 holes, and par was 37. That year, Ben and I tied with 40s. There was still plenty of daylight, so the members decided we would have a playoff. So we played another nine. He shot 40 and I made about a good 15-footer on the last hole for a 39.

    What was Hogan like as a teenager?

    He was smaller than the other kids and had to defend himself. That, plus his father’s suicide, hardened Hogan and made him determined to succeed.

    You and Ben had another playoff 15 years later, at the 1942 Masters. What was the mood?

    I was nervous. I don’t know why because I wasn’t afraid of my game, but I was very tense on the first tee. I hit a high push to the right and made 6. After 5, he’s leading by three shots, but I was not disheartened. The 6th hole is a par 3, downhill, and when I walked to the tee, why, I felt very comfortable because it was about a 6-iron shot then. Back in those days they called me Spade Nelson—a spade was a 6-iron. Ben hit his ball just off the green to the left and had a tough up-and-down. I thought, “If I can get this one close and make two, I can catch a couple of shots back.” I hit my tee shot to seven or eight feet. Ben made 4 and I made 2, and that started the string. From 6 through 13, I played 6-under-par. In the end I shot 69 to Ben’s 70.

    It was a great compliment to you and Hogan that Tommy Armour and other players stayed to watch the playoff.

    Now, I didn’t gamble, but Tommy Armour was a good irons player and he thought I was a good irons player, so he made a sizeable bet on me. After the 5th hole the man he’d bet with offered to let Tommy settle at 50 cents on the dollar. But Tommy said no: “The game is just now starting.”

    You turned pro in 1932, as players turned from hickory shafts to steel. What was the critical swing change players had to make when hickory gave way to steel?

    When steel shafts first came out, many people said they would never catch on. But I liked them right away. With hickory you used a very strong left hand, left arm and left side. The clubface would open and you had to close it up. With steel, you didn’t have to open and close the face. You could use a more neutral grip with steel. I got a good body turn and came all the way through with the left side leading. You control the club with the left side and the right side catches up at the proper time.

    Was the change from hickory to steel the biggest change in golf equipment?

    No. Reducing the weight of the shafts was bigger. When I played, the shafts were heavy. Now, with lighter shafts, you can gather more clubhead speed. That’s what makes the ball go a long way.

    How much has the swing changed in the 70 years since you became the father of the modern swing?

    Very little. The swing is fuller now with lots of extension, lots of time to build clubhead speed. I had a three-quarter swing and used a lot of foot and leg action, which I learned to do on my own because nobody did that with hickory shafts. When Davis Love III came out to the Tour, his backswing was 17 inches longer than mine. It’s the same with Tiger. But there is a reason I still get credit for the modern swing. It’s because I was the first player to use the lower body. You couldn’t use your lower body with hickory; you had to hit against a firm left side. Sarazen said I’d never make it because I had too much lower-body action. Of the great early triumvirate of Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen, Sarazen gets the least attention. I played Gene twice in the PGA Championship when he was still playing great: once in 1941 and once in 1945. I beat him twice. Gene’s swing didn’t have any false motions. He just turned and came back and hit the ball, setting the club to exactly the same position. For years, Snead and Gene and I played nine holes at The Masters. Then we got too old and started just hitting balls off the first tee. Sarazen also made the change from hickory to steel and continued winning majors. Great players like Jones, Sarazen, Hagen and Chick Evans—Evans won the 1916 U.S. Open with seven clubs—could have been champions in any era. When Bobby Jones designed steel-shafted clubs for Spalding in 1931, the players all switched and played well. The key change was in the takeaway. With hickory you had to open and close the face. With steel, you just took it straight away and straight back through, which was fairly easy to do.

    You saw Sarazen’s final-round double eagle at the 1935 Masters, perhaps the most famous shot in golf history.

    By accident. On the 17th hole I drove to the right. The 15th and 17th are parallel. I had to wait to play my shot until Gene’s gallery got out of the way. So I stood right there. I saw it go in the hole. So did Bobby Jones, who was standing behind the 15th green at the same moment, with but two dozen other people. Jones was the greatest. He was an amateur, a businessman, a great attorney, and he played golf differently than I ever felt I could play. He was free and easy and had a great, long rhythm and moved a lot through the ball. I never did play like that. When I was invited to Augusta in 1935 and met him, I was impressed with his manner and the authority with which he spoke of the game. After 1930 the only place he ever really played was Augusta, and I played with him a few times there and became very close to him. He had such great command of the English language. That was remarkable to me because I just talk Texas talk. I don’t think there is anybody I admired more than Bob Jones.

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